مَنْ راقَبَ أجَلَهُ قَصَّرَ أمَلَهُ۔

Whoever is mindful of his [eventual] death reduces his aspirations.



Whoever is mindful of his [eventual] death reduces his aspirations.

— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: The Appointed Time Of Death)

Personal Reflection

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 (), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.

The Arabic Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states,

مَنْ راقَبَ أجَلَهُ قَصَّرَ أمَلَهُ۔

This can be translated as,

Whoever is mindful of his [eventual] death reduces his aspirations.

Let us delve into the essence of this Hadith in light of the Quran.

The word (raaqaba) "راقَبَ" in this Hadith means to be watchful, vigilant, and mindful. It implies being aware of the reality of death and its inevitability. By reflecting upon the transient nature of life and the certainty of death, one becomes more conscious of their actions and priorities. This mindfulness leads to a reduction in worldly aspirations and a shift towards focusing on the hereafter.

Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) reminds us in the Quran of the temporary nature of this worldly life in Surah Al-Hadid, verse 20:

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. And in the Hereafter is severe punishment and forgiveness from Allah and approval. And what is the worldly life except the enjoyment of delusion.

This verse highlights the fleeting nature of worldly pursuits and emphasizes the importance of focusing on the eternal life in the Hereafter. When one truly internalizes the reality of death, they realize that their time in this world is limited and that their ultimate goal should be to attain the pleasure of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ).

Reducing one's aspirations does not mean abandoning worldly responsibilities or neglecting one's duties. Rather, it means prioritizing the pursuit of righteousness and the accumulation of good deeds. This is beautifully expressed in Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 201:

And of them are those who say, 'Our Lord, grant us in this world [that which is] good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.'

In this verse, we are taught to seek goodness in both this world and the Hereafter. However, the emphasis is on the Hereafter, as it is the eternal abode. By reducing our aspirations for worldly gains and focusing on the Hereafter, we ensure that our actions are aligned with the pleasure of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ).

Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ), known for his unparalleled knowledge and wisdom, reminds us of the importance of being mindful of death. This mindfulness serves as a motivation to lead a righteous life, as it reminds us of the transient nature of this world and the eternal nature of the Hereafter. By reducing our aspirations for worldly gains and redirecting our focus towards the Hereafter, we strive to attain the pleasure of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) and secure our place in the everlasting abode of Paradise.

May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the wisdom to be mindful of our eventual death and guide us to prioritize our actions in accordance with His pleasure. Ameen.

. : . (Readers are advised to verify the sources mentioned above, and to independently research for an accurate understanding of Hadith. Remember, personal research and seeking guidance from scholars are essential in gaining a better insight. Please, do contact us if you find any wrong citations or explanations.)

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