`Abdullah ibn Ash-Shikhkhir (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "The son of Adam was created with ninety-nine trials by his side. If the trials bypass him then he (nevertheless) falls into decrepitude." (1)
The meaning of the Hadith:
The Hadith explains the condition of the son of Adam that ninety nine trials are heading to him. It was also said: The similitude of the son of Adam is like a person beside him there are ninety nine trials.
Some said: The meaning is that the son of Adam was originally created along with trials, afflictions, and diseases. As the saying goes: "Mankind is the target of afflictions."
Ibn `Ata' said: As long as you are in this life, do not wonder that afflictions befall upon you. If these afflictions miss him, for sure you shall be afflicted by the incurable disease which leads to death i.e., old age.
The output is: Worldly life is the prison of a believer and the Paradise of the infidel. So, a believer should observe patience on the rulings of Allah and should be content with the destiny of Allah. (2)
Lessons gained from the Hadith:
1- A Muslim should be ready for the Hereafter because surely death shall befall him no matter how long he does live.
2- The successful person is the one who benefits from the times of his good health, power, and free time so as not to die while he is negligent about the rights of his Lord and while being persistent to disobedience.
3- Old age is a kind of calamities because of its accompanying weakness and decay of powers, therefore it was permissible for a Muslim to seek refuge with Allah (may He be Exalted) against old age. (3)
(1) Jami` At-Tirmidhy, No. (2456) and Al Albany graded it as authentic. See: Al Jami` As-Saghir and its addition, 1/ 1077, No. (10764) and Sahih Al Jami` No. (5825).
(2) See: Tuhfat Al Ahwazy, 6/ 304.
(3) As was reported in Al Bukhari No. 2667, (4 / 200 202) and was reported also by Muslim No. 2723 (8 / 75).