مَنِ اسْتَقصَرَ بَقائَهُ وأجَلَهُ قَصُرَ رَجاؤُهُ وأمَلُهُ۔
Whoever regards his stay [in this world] as short and temporary, his hope and aspiration gets diminished.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: The Appointed Time Of Death)
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 (ﷺ), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.
The Arabic Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states,
Mani-staqsara baqā'ahu wa ajalahu, qasura rajā'uhu wa amaluhu.
This Hadith emphasizes the importance of recognizing the temporary nature of our existence in this world, and how this realization can affect our hopes and aspirations.
Let us delve into the deeper meaning of the key words in this Hadith. The word "istaqsara" comes from the root "qasara," which means to shorten or reduce. In this context, it refers to regarding one's stay in this world as short and temporary. The word "baqā'ahu" refers to one's stay or remaining time in this world. "Ajalahu" refers to the appointed time of death. "Qasura" means to diminish or reduce, while "rajā'uhu" refers to hope, and "amaluhu" refers to aspirations or ambitions.
To understand the enlightening message of this Hadith, we can turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) reminds us in Surah Al-Ankabut (29:64),
This worldly life is only amusement and diversion. But the home of the Hereafter - that is the [eternal] life, if only they knew.
This verse highlights the temporary nature of this world and emphasizes the importance of focusing on the eternal life to come.
Furthermore, in Surah Al-Hadid (57:20), 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.
This verse vividly illustrates the transient nature of worldly pursuits and the fleeting nature of our existence.
Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) Hadith serves as a reminder for Muslims to adopt a mindset that acknowledges the temporary nature of this world. When we recognize that our stay here is short and fleeting, it naturally diminishes our excessive hopes and aspirations for worldly gains. This realization helps us prioritize our efforts towards the eternal life and focus on actions that will benefit us in the Hereafter.
For example, if a person regards their stay in this world as temporary, they will not become overly attached to material possessions or worldly achievements. Instead, they will invest their time and energy in acts of worship, seeking knowledge, helping others, and performing good deeds that will have a lasting impact.
This mindset also helps us cope with the challenges and trials of life. When faced with difficulties, we understand that they are temporary and will eventually pass. This knowledge gives us the strength and resilience to face adversity with patience and trust in Allah's plan.
Moreover, recognizing the temporary nature of this world instills a sense of urgency in our pursuit of righteousness. It motivates us to seize every opportunity to do good and seek forgiveness for our sins. It reminds us that our time in this world is limited, and we must make the most of it by striving to please Allah and seeking His mercy and forgiveness.
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) serves as a profound reminder for Muslims to view their stay in this world as short and temporary. By recognizing the transient nature of this life, our hopes and aspirations for worldly gains diminish, and we are motivated to prioritize our efforts towards the eternal life. This mindset helps us focus on acts of worship, seeking knowledge, helping others, and performing good deeds that will benefit us in the Hereafter. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the wisdom to understand the temporary nature of this world and guide us towards actions that will bring us closer to Him.
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