الْحَذَرَ الْحَذَرَ! فَوَاللهِ لَقَدْ سَتَرَ، حتَّى كَأَنَّهُ قَدْ غَفَرَ۔
Fear! Fear! By Allah, He has hidden your sins so much so as though He has forgiven.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #30)
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.
In this profound hadith, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) warns us about the importance of fearing Allah and being cautious of our actions. He emphasizes the gravity of this matter by repeating the word "fear" twice. The Imam then swears by Allah, the Exalted, to emphasize the truth and seriousness of his statement.
The word (satar) "ستر" in the hadith means to conceal or hide. Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) is reminding us that Allah, in His infinite mercy, has concealed our sins from others and has hidden them from public view. It is as if Allah has forgiven us, even though we may still carry the burden of our sins.
This hadith is a powerful reminder of Allah's mercy and forgiveness. It teaches us that Allah, in His infinite wisdom, has chosen to hide our sins and not expose them to the world. This concealment is a manifestation of His mercy and compassion towards His servants.
The concept of Allah concealing our sins is mentioned in the Quran as well. In Surah Al-A'raf, Allah says: (Quran 24:22)
And if it had not been for the favor of Allah upon you and His mercy... He has concealed [your faults] and pardoned you.
This verse affirms the idea that Allah, out of His mercy, conceals our faults and forgives us. It is a reminder that we should be grateful for this divine favor and strive to rectify our actions.
Another verse that supports the message of this hadith is found in Surah Al-Hujurat, where Allah says: (Quran 49:12)
O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is accepting of repentance and Merciful.
This verse highlights the importance of avoiding negative assumptions about others and refraining from backbiting. It reminds us to fear Allah and seek His forgiveness, as He is the Most Merciful and the Accepter of repentance.
Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) hadith serves as a wake-up call for Muslims to be mindful of their actions and to constantly seek forgiveness from Allah. It reminds us that although our sins may be hidden from others, they are not hidden from Allah. We should fear His punishment and strive to improve ourselves.
This hadith also teaches us the importance of not judging others based on their outward appearance or actions. Just as Allah has concealed our sins, we should also be forgiving and merciful towards others. We should not be quick to expose or condemn others for their mistakes, but rather strive to guide them towards repentance and forgiveness.
In conclusion, this hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) serves as a powerful reminder for Muslims to fear Allah and be cautious of their actions. It highlights the mercy and forgiveness of Allah, who conceals our sins and gives us the opportunity to repent. We should strive to rectify our actions, seek forgiveness, and be compassionate towards others. May Allah guide us all on the path of righteousness and grant us His mercy and forgiveness.
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