اللَّجَاجَةُ تَسُلُّ الرَّأْيَ۔
Stubbornness destroys (good) advice.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #179)
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 our beloved Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.
The Arabic Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states, "اللَّجَاجَةُ تَسُلُّ الرَّأْيَ۔" This can be translated as
Stubbornness destroys (good) advice.
Let us delve into the deeper meaning of this impactful Hadith in light of the Quran.
The word (al-lajajah) "اللَّجَاجَةُ" refers to stubbornness or obstinacy. It is the state of being unyielding, refusing to accept or consider alternative viewpoints or suggestions. This trait hinders one's ability to accept and benefit from advice, leading to negative consequences.
To understand the significance of this Hadith, we can turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) repeatedly emphasizes the importance of seeking and accepting advice in various verses. For example, in Surah Al-Imran (3:159), Allah says,
So by mercy from Allah, [O Muhammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah. Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him].
This verse highlights the significance of consulting and seeking advice from others. It demonstrates the importance of humility and open-mindedness, qualities that are the antithesis of stubbornness. By seeking counsel, we can benefit from the wisdom and diverse perspectives of others, leading to better decision-making and harmonious relationships.
Stubbornness, on the other hand, prevents us from benefiting from the advice of others. It blinds us to alternative viewpoints and limits our growth and development. In Surah Al-Kahf (18:54), Allah warns against the arrogance and stubbornness of those who reject the truth, saying,
And We have certainly diversified in this Qur'an for the people from every [kind of] example; but man has ever been, most of anything, [prone to] dispute.
This verse highlights the tendency of human beings to engage in disputes and arguments, often due to their stubbornness and refusal to accept guidance. Such obstinacy prevents them from recognizing the truth and benefiting from the wisdom contained in the Quran.
Imam Ali's statement serves as a reminder for Muslims to be open to advice and to avoid the destructive path of stubbornness. By embracing humility and open-mindedness, we can foster a culture of constructive dialogue and growth within our communities. This not only benefits us individually but also strengthens the unity and harmony among Muslims.
In practical terms, the consequences of stubbornness can be seen in various aspects of life. For example, in personal relationships, stubbornness can lead to conflicts and misunderstandings. By refusing to listen to the advice or concerns of others, we may damage our relationships and miss out on opportunities for growth and reconciliation.
In the realm of knowledge and education, stubbornness can hinder intellectual progress. If we are unwilling to consider alternative viewpoints or accept new information, we limit our ability to expand our knowledge and understanding. This is contrary to the teachings of Islam, which encourage seeking knowledge and embracing wisdom from all sources.
Furthermore, stubbornness can also have negative consequences in matters of faith and spirituality. If we are unwilling to accept guidance from the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), we risk straying from the path of righteousness and falling into misguidance.
Reflecting on Imam Ali's statement, we should strive to cultivate the qualities of humility, open-mindedness, and willingness to accept advice. By doing so, we can avoid the destructive path of stubbornness and embrace the guidance and wisdom that Allah has bestowed upon us through the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). May Allah grant us the wisdom to recognize the value of advice and the strength to overcome our own stubbornness.
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