طالِبُ الآخِرَةِ يُدْرِكُ مِنْها أمَلَهُ وَيَأتيهِ مِنَ الدُّنيا ما قُدِّرَ لَهُ۔
The seeker of the Hereafter finds in it what he hopes for, whereas in this world [only] that which is predestined for him comes to him.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: The Hereafter)
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, and blessings be upon Muhammad (ﷺ) and his pure progeny, the Ahl al-Bayt, as well as his noble companions.
The provided Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) highlights the dichotomy between the seeker of the Hereafter and the worldly pursuits. Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states that the one who seeks the Hereafter will find in it what he hopes for, while in this world, one only receives what has been predestined for him.
Let us delve into the deeper meaning of this profound statement by examining the key words and concepts within it. The word (seeker) "طالِبُ" signifies an individual who actively pursues something, in this case, the Hereafter. It implies a person who is not content with the transient pleasures of this world and seeks eternal bliss in the life to come.
The term (Hereafter) "الآخِرَةِ" refers to the life after death, where the consequences of our actions in this world will be fully realized. It encompasses the eternal abode of Paradise or Hellfire, depending on one's deeds and faith in this worldly life.
The phrase (finds in it what he hopes for) "يُدْرِكُ مِنْها أمَلَهُ" emphasizes the fulfillment of the seeker's aspirations and desires in the Hereafter. It implies that the rewards and blessings of the Hereafter are far greater and more fulfilling than anything this world can offer. The seeker's hopes and dreams will be realized in the eternal realm, where there is no limit to the bounties of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ).
On the other hand, the phrase (that which is predestined for him) "ما قُدِّرَ لَهُ" highlights the limited nature of worldly possessions and achievements. It suggests that in this world, one can only attain what has been decreed for them by Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). This does not mean that we should not strive or work hard in this life, but rather that our ultimate success and fulfillment lie in the Hereafter.
To further understand the wisdom behind this Hadith, let us turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-Kahf (18:46):
Wealth and children are [but] adornment of the worldly life. But the enduring good deeds are better to your Lord for reward and better for [one's] hope.
This verse emphasizes the temporary nature of worldly possessions and highlights the superiority of good deeds in the sight of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ).
Furthermore, in Surah Al-Baqarah (2:201), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says:
But among them is he who says, 'Our Lord, give 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.'
This verse illustrates the balanced approach that Muslims should adopt, seeking goodness and blessings in both this world and the Hereafter.
Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) statement serves as a reminder to Muslims that while we may strive for success and prosperity in this world, our ultimate goal should be the attainment of eternal happiness in the Hereafter. It encourages us to prioritize our actions and intentions, ensuring that we are not solely focused on worldly gains but also investing in our spiritual growth and preparation for the Hereafter.
By seeking the Hereafter, we align ourselves with the teachings of the Quran and the example of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and his Ahl al-Bayt. We are reminded to live a life of righteousness, fulfilling our obligations towards Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) and our fellow human beings. This Hadith encourages us to reflect on our priorities and make conscious choices that will lead us to success in both worlds.
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) serves as a profound reminder for Muslims to prioritize the Hereafter over the fleeting pleasures of this world. It urges us to seek the eternal rewards and blessings that await us in the Hereafter, while recognizing the limited nature of worldly possessions and achievements. By aligning our actions and intentions with the teachings of the Quran, we can strive for success in both worlds and ultimately attain the pleasure of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) guide us all on the path of righteousness and grant us success in this world and the Hereafter.
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