إذَا اتَّخذَكَ وَليُّكَ أخاً فَكُنْ لَهُ عَبْداً وامْنَحْهُ صِدقَ الوفاءِ وحُسْنَ الصَّفاءِ۔
When your friend takes you as a brother, then be like a servant to him and accord him with true loyalty and perfect sincerity.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: The Brother, The Friend, The Associate And The Companion)
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 progeny, and his noble companions.
The provided Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) emphasizes the importance of true friendship and the responsibilities that come with it. Let us delve into the exegesis of this profound statement in light of the Quran.
The first part of the Hadith states,
When your friend takes you as a brother, then be like a servant to him.
Here, the word "friend" is translated from the Arabic term (wali) "ولي", which refers to a close companion or confidant. The term "brother" signifies the depth and intimacy of the relationship. Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) advises us to treat our friends with utmost humility and servitude, just as a servant would serve his master. This highlights the importance of selflessness and putting the needs of others before our own.
The second part of the Hadith states,
and accord him with true loyalty and perfect sincerity.
The term "true loyalty" is derived from the Arabic word (sidq al-wafa) "صِدقَ الوفاءِ", which implies being faithful, trustworthy, and fulfilling one's promises. It emphasizes the need for unwavering commitment and dedication in our friendships. The term "perfect sincerity" is translated from the Arabic phrase (husn al-safa) "حُسْنَ الصَّفاءِ", which signifies purity of intention, honesty, and transparency in our interactions. It reminds us to be genuine and sincere in our relationships, without any hidden agendas or ulterior motives.
To further understand the significance of this Hadith, let us turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) emphasizes the importance of sincere friendship and loyalty in several verses.
In Surah Al-Imran (3:103), Allah says,
And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favor of Allah upon you - when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favor, brothers.
This verse highlights the importance of unity and brotherhood among Muslims. It reminds us that true friendship is a blessing from Allah, and we should cherish and nurture it.
In Surah Al-Mumtahanah (60:8), Allah says,
Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes - from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.
This verse emphasizes the importance of treating others with kindness and justice, regardless of their beliefs or backgrounds. It teaches us that true friendship transcends differences and requires us to be fair and just in our interactions.
Reflecting on the exegesis of this Hadith, we can understand that true friendship is not merely based on superficial connections or personal gain. It is rooted in selflessness, loyalty, and sincerity. Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) encourages us to be humble and servile towards our friends, fulfilling their needs and supporting them in times of difficulty. He reminds us that true friendship is a sacred bond that should be nurtured and cherished.
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) serves as a profound reminder for Muslims to cultivate genuine and sincere friendships. It teaches us to be selfless, loyal, and transparent in our interactions, just as Allah and His Messenger (ﷺ) have taught us. By embodying these qualities, we can strengthen the bonds of brotherhood and create a harmonious society based on love, compassion, and mutual support. May Allah guide us in embodying the teachings of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) and bless us with sincere and righteous friendships.
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