Verily, the parable of myself and the people is that of a man who kindled a fire and when it lighted what was around it, some moths and insects started falling into the fire. The man tried to prevent them from falling in, but they overpowered him and rushed into the fire. Likewise, I take hold of your belts in order to prevent you from falling into the Hellfire, but you insist on falling into it.”

Source: Sahih Bukhari 6118, Sahih Muslim 2284

Question: who lighted the fire?

  • To the downvoter, please take pains to explain Jun 5 '17 at 15:43
  • i have just now downvoted, because a man who lighted the fire is not important, he is just a part of story, what is important is after word "likewise", and lighting the fire is not mentioned there.
    – qdinar
    Jun 6 '17 at 10:54

It's described as a parable:

A parable is a succinct, didactic story, in prose or verse, which illustrates one or more instructive lessons or principles.

Therefore, one would not expect there to be a literal fire lit by a literal person. It's a thought exercise. You're meant to imagine a man lighting a fire, and afterwards struggling to prevent moths from harming themselves by flying into it.

Or, if the confusion is around the mechanics of the fire, i.e., this part:

...a man who kindled a fire and when it lighted what was around it...

"A man" started (kindled) the fire (perhaps by rubbing sticks of the appropriate wood together and blowing), then after a while the fire became self sustaining.

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