لاَ يَنْبَغِي لِلْعَبْدِ أَنْ يَثِقَ بِخَصْلَتَيْنِ: الْعَافِيَةِ، وَالْغِنَى: بَيْنَا تَرَاهُ مُعَافىً إِذْ سَقِمَ، وَغَنِيّاً إِذِ افْتَقَرَ۔
It does not behove a man to have trust in two positions, health and riches, because there is many a man whom you see healthy but he soon falls sick and many a man whom you see rich but soon turns destitute.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #426)
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds. Peace and blessings be upon the final Messenger, Muhammad (ﷺ), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.
In this profound hadith, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) advises us against placing our trust in two positions: health and riches. The Imam (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) highlights the transient nature of these worldly blessings, cautioning us against relying on them as a source of security and contentment.
The first word of importance in this hadith is (yanbaghi) "يَنْبَغِي", which means
it is not appropriate
it does not behove.
This word emphasizes the Imam's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) strong recommendation against trusting in health and riches.
The second word is (khaslatayn) "خَصْلَتَيْنِ", which refers to two specific qualities or positions. In this context, it refers to health and riches. The Imam (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) advises us to be cautious and not place our complete trust in these two fleeting attributes.
To further understand the wisdom behind this advice, let us turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) reminds us in Surah Al-Imran, verse 185:
Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion.
This verse reminds us of the transient nature of life in this world. No matter how healthy or wealthy we may be, death is inevitable and our true reward lies in the Hereafter. Placing our trust solely in health and riches can lead to delusion and distraction from our ultimate purpose in life.
Furthermore, in Surah Al-Hadid, verse 20, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says:
Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children - like the example of a rain whose [resulting] plant growth pleases the tillers; then it dries and you see it turned yellow; then it becomes [scattered] debris. And in the Hereafter is severe punishment and forgiveness from Allah and approval. And what is the worldly life except the enjoyment of delusion.
This verse highlights the fleeting nature of worldly possessions and the temporary nature of our existence in this world. It reminds us that the pursuit of wealth and material possessions can distract us from our spiritual growth and lead us astray from the path of righteousness.
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) provides us with examples to illustrate his point. He says,
there is many a man whom you see healthy but he soon falls sick and many a man whom you see rich but soon turns destitute.
These examples serve as a reminder that our circumstances can change in an instant. Health can deteriorate, and wealth can be lost. Placing our trust solely in these temporary blessings can lead to disappointment and despair.
Reflecting on this hadith, we are reminded of the importance of placing our trust in Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) alone. It is He who controls our health and wealth, and it is He who provides sustenance and blessings. As Muslims, we should strive to seek contentment and security in our relationship with Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ), rather than in the fleeting pleasures of this world.
In conclusion, Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) hadith serves as a profound reminder for us to place our trust in Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) alone and not to rely on the transient blessings of health and riches. We should strive to seek contentment and security in our faith and in our relationship with Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ), knowing that true success lies in the Hereafter. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the wisdom to understand and implement the teachings of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) in our lives.
Join our community to daily receive one short Hadith of Imam Ali a.s on your device.