Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | The Sunday Guardian | January 08, 2017, p. 12
According to recent research, one can absorb information better by closing one’s eyes. This and other such findings indicate that God has blessed human beings with unlimited capacities.
In the past, people who were physically challenged were called blind, dumb, deaf, crippled and lame. These words conveyed the image that those who suffered from such challenges were disabled. But today, after modern scientific research has indicated that such people possess many other gifts, they are referred to as differently-abled. It is a law of nature that if someone loses one part of his body, he develops new capacities in compensation. And so, despite his apparent disability, he is able to do some really amazing things which he may not have been able to do before.
If you reflect on this phenomenon of nature you may understand the significance of this hadith, in which the Prophet is said to have noted: “God says, ‘If I put a person to the test and deprive him of his two eyes, and he remains patient, I will grant him entry to Paradise as recompense.’” (Bukhari) The hadith uses the term “ibtila”, which literally means to put to the test. But, in its real sense, the word “ibtila” means to experience something. In other words, the above hadith refers to a person who experiences loss of vision, but remains patient instead of giving up hope.
Patience means endurance. But in this context it means that such a person takes his loss of vision in a positive sense, as a result of which his intellectual capacities are awakened. His hidden potentials begin to unfold.
People with awakened minds are able to enjoy such positive experiences. The law of nature leads their hidden capacities to reveal themselves, and so despite difficulties or various handicaps they are able to do great things.