مَا كَذَبْتُ وَلاَ كُذِّبْتُ، وَلاَ ضَلَلْتُ وَلاَ ضُلَّ بِي۔
I have neither spoken a lie nor have I been told a lie. I have neither deviated nor have I been made to deviate (others).
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #185)
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) is a powerful statement of his impeccable character and unwavering commitment to truth and righteousness. Let us delve into the deeper meaning of this wise utterance in light of the Quran.
The first part of the Hadith states,
I have neither spoken a lie nor have I been told a lie.
Here, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) affirms his own truthfulness and the fact that he has never been deceived by anyone. This highlights his exceptional integrity and honesty, which are qualities highly valued in Islam.
The Quran emphasizes the importance of truthfulness in numerous verses. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-Tawbah (9:119),
O you who have believed, fear Allah and be with those who are true.
This verse encourages Muslims to align themselves with those who are truthful, and Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) is a shining example of such a person.
Furthermore, in Surah Al-Hujurat (49:15), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) warns against spreading false information and rumors, stating,
Indeed, those who like that immorality should be spread [or publicized] among those who have believed will have a painful punishment in this world and the Hereafter.
Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) statement affirms his commitment to avoiding falsehood and ensuring that he is not a source of deception for others.
The second part of the Hadith states,
I have neither deviated nor have I been made to deviate (others).
Here, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) asserts that he has never strayed from the path of righteousness nor led others astray. This highlights his profound knowledge and understanding of Islam, as well as his steadfastness in adhering to its teachings.
The Quran emphasizes the importance of guidance and warns against deviation. In Surah Al-Fatiha (1:6-7), we seek Allah's guidance by saying,
Guide us to the straight path - the path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) embodies the essence of the straight path, as he was chosen by Allah and the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) to be the gate of knowledge and the rightful successor.
Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) commitment to truth and righteousness had profound consequences. His unwavering stance against falsehood and injustice led to numerous challenges and conflicts throughout his life, including the Battle of Jamal and the Battle of Siffin. However, he remained steadfast in upholding the principles of Islam and defending the truth.
Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) statement serves as a powerful reminder for all Muslims to prioritize truthfulness and steadfastness in their own lives. It encourages us to seek knowledge, adhere to the teachings of Islam, and stand up against falsehood and injustice.
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) highlights his unwavering commitment to truth and righteousness. It serves as a reminder for all Muslims to prioritize truthfulness and steadfastness in their own lives, seeking guidance from the Quran and emulating the noble character of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ). May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the strength to follow in the footsteps of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) and uphold the principles of Islam.
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