مِنْ أفْضلِ الإختيارِ التَّحَلّي بِالإيثار۔

One of the most excellent choices is adorning oneself with selflessness.



One of the most excellent choices is adorning oneself with selflessness.

— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: Self-Sacrifice)

Personal Reflection

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all worlds. May peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.

The Arabic Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states,

مِنْ أفْضلِ الإختيارِ التَّحَلّي بِالإيثار۔

This can be translated as,

One of the most excellent choices is adorning oneself with selflessness.

Let us delve into the meaning of the key words in this Hadith. (tahallī) "تَحَلّي" refers to adorning or beautifying oneself, while (al-i'thār) "الإيثار" means selflessness or preferring others over oneself.

The concept of selflessness is emphasized in the Quran, where Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) encourages Muslims to prioritize the needs of others over their own desires. In Surah Al-Hashr (59:9), Allah says,

And [also for] those who were settled in the Home [i.e., Al-Madinah] and [adopted] the faith before them. They love those who emigrated to them and find not any want in their breasts of what the emigrants were given but give [them] preference over themselves, even though they are in privation. And whoever is protected from the stinginess of his soul - it is those who will be the successful.

This verse highlights the virtue of selflessness and the importance of preferring others over oneself. The early Muslims in Madinah demonstrated this quality by loving and supporting the emigrants who had left their homes for the sake of Islam. They did not feel any jealousy or resentment towards the emigrants but instead prioritized their needs and provided for them, even if it meant they themselves were in need.

Another verse that supports the concept of selflessness is found in Surah Al-Insan (76:8-9), where Allah describes the righteous believers, saying,

And they give food in spite of love for it to the needy, the orphan, and the captive, [Saying], 'We feed you only for the countenance of Allah. We wish not from you reward or gratitude.'

This verse highlights the selflessness of the believers who give food to those in need purely for the sake of Allah, without expecting any reward or gratitude from the recipients. Their motivation is solely to please Allah and fulfill their duty towards their fellow human beings.

Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) statement in the Hadith emphasizes the importance of selflessness as a choice that one can make. It is not merely a passive trait, but an active decision to prioritize the well-being and needs of others over one's own desires. By adorning ourselves with selflessness, we become more compassionate, empathetic, and generous individuals.

Practicing selflessness has numerous positive consequences. Firstly, it strengthens the bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood within the Muslim community. When we prioritize the needs of others, we create an atmosphere of love, support, and unity. This fosters a sense of belonging and solidarity among Muslims, leading to a stronger and more cohesive community.

Secondly, selflessness allows us to emulate the noble qualities of the Prophets and the Ahl al-Bayt (عَلَيْهِمُ ٱلسَّلَامُ). The Prophet Muhammad () and his family were known for their selflessness and generosity towards others. By following in their footsteps, we not only gain the pleasure of Allah but also become role models for others to follow.

Furthermore, practicing selflessness leads to personal growth and spiritual development. When we prioritize the needs of others, we become less attached to material possessions and worldly desires. This detachment allows us to focus on our spiritual journey and cultivate qualities such as gratitude, humility, and contentment.

In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) highlights the importance of adorning ourselves with selflessness. By prioritizing the needs of others over our own desires, we strengthen our faith, build stronger communities, and foster personal growth. Let us strive to embody this noble quality and make selflessness a conscious choice in our lives. May Allah grant us the ability to practice selflessness and bless us with His mercy and guidance.

. : . (Readers are advised to verify the sources mentioned above, and to independently research for an accurate understanding of Hadith. Remember, personal research and seeking guidance from scholars are essential in gaining a better insight. Please, do contact us if you find any wrong citations or explanations.)

Join our community to daily receive one short Hadith of Imam Ali a.s on your device.