لاَ تَقُلْ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُ، بَلْ لاَ تَقُلْ كُلَّ مَا تَعْلَمُ، فَإِنَّ اللهَ سبحانه قد فَرَضَ عَلَى جَوَارِحِكَ كُلِّهَا فَرَائِضَ يَحْتَجُّ بِهَا عَلَيْكَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ۔
Do not say what you do not know; rather do not say all that you know, because Allah has laid down some obligations for all your limbs by means of which He will put forth arguments against you on the Day of Judgment.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #382)
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds. May peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), his pure and noble Ahl al-Bayt, and his righteous companions.
The Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) reminds us of the importance of knowledge and the responsibility that comes with it. Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) advises us not to speak about things that we do not have knowledge about. This is a call for humility and caution in our speech, as it is easy to fall into error or spread misinformation when we speak without knowledge.
The Imam further advises us not to disclose all the knowledge that we possess. This is a reminder that not all knowledge is meant to be shared openly. There are certain matters that should be kept private, especially if they can cause harm or confusion to others. This teaches us the importance of discretion and wisdom in sharing knowledge.
To support this guidance, we can turn to the Quran. In Surah Al-Hujurat (49:6), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,
O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful.
This verse emphasizes the importance of verifying information before spreading it, as it can lead to harm and regret.
Additionally, in Surah Al-Isra (17:36), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,
And do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart - about all those [one] will be questioned.
This verse reminds us of the accountability we have for our actions and speech. We will be questioned about what we said and did, so it is crucial to be mindful of the knowledge we possess and how we use it.
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) highlights that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) has laid down obligations for all our limbs. This means that every part of our body has a responsibility and will be questioned on the Day of Judgment. Our limbs are not just physical entities, but they are also a means through which we interact with the world. Therefore, we must be mindful of how we use our limbs and fulfill their obligations.
For example, our tongue has the obligation to speak the truth, to refrain from spreading falsehood, and to use words that are beneficial and kind. Our hands have the obligation to perform acts of charity and help those in need. Our eyes have the obligation to seek knowledge, to avoid looking at what is forbidden, and to use our sight for good purposes. Similarly, every limb has its own set of obligations that we must fulfill.
On the Day of Judgment, these obligations will be used as arguments against us if we have neglected or misused them. This serves as a reminder of the importance of fulfilling our responsibilities and using our limbs in a manner that pleases Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ).
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) teaches us the importance of knowledge, humility, and responsibility in our speech and actions. We should be cautious in speaking about matters we do not have knowledge about and exercise discretion in sharing our knowledge. Furthermore, we must recognize the obligations that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) has placed on all our limbs and fulfill them to the best of our abilities. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the wisdom and understanding to implement these teachings in our lives.
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