مَعَاشِرَ النَّاسِ اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ فَكَمْ مِنْ مُؤَمِّلٍ مَا لَا يَبْلُغُهُ وَ بَانٍ مَا لَا يَسْكُنُهُ وَ جَامِعٍ مَا سَوْفَ يَتْرُكُهُ وَ لَعَلَّهُ مِنْ بَاطِلٍ جَمَعَهُ وَ مِنْ حَقٍّ مَنَعَهُ أَصَابَهُ حَرَاماً وَ احْتَمَلَ بِهِ آثَاماً فَبَاءَ بِوِزْرِهِ وَ قَدِمَ عَلَى رَبِّهِ آسِفاً لَاهِفاً (قَدْ خَسِرَ الدُّنْيا وَ الْآخِرَةَ ذلِكَ هُوَ الْخُسْرانُ الْمُبِينُ)۔
O groups of people, fear Allah, for there is many a man who aspires for what he does not get, many a builder of a house who does not live in it, and many a collector of that which he shall just leave behind. Possibly he may have collected it wrongfully or by denying a right. He acquired it unlawfully and had to bear the weight of sins on account of it. Consequently, he returned (from this world) with that weight and came before Allah with sorrow and grief. Loses he both this world and (also) the hereafter; that is a loss (which is) manifest. (Qur'an, 22:11).
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #344)
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all worlds. Peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.
In this profound hadith, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) advises the people to fear Allah and be conscious of their actions. He begins by highlighting the aspirations of individuals who desire things that they may never attain. This could refer to worldly desires, ambitions, or material possessions. The Imam reminds us that such aspirations can lead to disappointment and dissatisfaction, as they may not align with the divine decree.
To emphasize this point, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) gives the example of a builder who constructs a house but never gets to live in it. This metaphorical example signifies the transience of worldly possessions and the impermanence of our existence. It serves as a reminder that our focus should not solely be on accumulating material wealth, but rather on building a strong foundation of faith and righteousness.
The Imam further warns against collecting wealth and possessions that one will eventually leave behind. This could refer to the accumulation of wealth through unlawful means or by denying others their rightful share. Such ill-gotten gains not only carry the burden of sin but also lead to regret and remorse in the hereafter.
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) emphasizes the consequences of acquiring wealth unlawfully. He states that those who acquire wealth through wrongful means will bear the weight of their sins and will approach Allah on the Day of Judgment with sorrow and grief. This weight of sin will be a heavy burden on their souls, causing them to lose both this world and the hereafter.
The Imam's words echo the teachings of the Quran, where Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) warns against the pursuit of worldly desires and the accumulation of wealth through unlawful means. In Surah Al-Hajj, verse 11, Allah says,
And among mankind is he who worships Allah as it were upon the edge (i.e., in doubt): if good befalls him, he is content therewith; but if a trial befalls him, he turns back on his face (i.e., reverts to disbelief after embracing Islam). He loses both this world and the Hereafter. That is the evident loss.
This verse emphasizes the importance of sincere and steadfast devotion to Allah, rather than being swayed by worldly desires. It warns against the consequences of turning away from faith when faced with trials and tribulations, as it leads to the loss of both worldly and eternal blessings.
In conclusion, Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) hadith serves as a powerful reminder for Muslims to prioritize their relationship with Allah and to be mindful of their actions. It cautions against the pursuit of worldly desires and the accumulation of wealth through unlawful means. By aligning our aspirations with the teachings of the Quran and the guidance of the Ahl al-Bayt, we can strive for success in both this world and the hereafter. May Allah grant us the wisdom to understand and implement these teachings in our lives.
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