شرُّ إخوانِكَ مَنْ تَثبَّطَ (يَتبَطّئُ) عنِ الخَيرِ وثبَّطكَ (ويُبَطِّئُكَ) معَهُ۔
The worst of your brothers is the one who is slow in performing good deeds and slows you down [from doing good] along with him.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: The Brother, The Friend, The Associate And The Companion)
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 righteous companions.
In this profound Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ), he highlights the negative influence of a person who is slow in performing good deeds and how they can hinder others from doing good as well. Let us delve deeper into the words of this Hadith and explore its meaning in light of the Quran.
The key words in this Hadith are (tathbata) "تَثبَّطَ" and (thabbita) "ثبَّطكَ". The word (tathbata) "تَثبَّطَ" refers to being slow or sluggish in performing good deeds, while (thabbita) "ثبَّطكَ" means to slow down or hinder someone from doing good. These words emphasize the negative impact of a person who not only delays their own good actions but also discourages others from engaging in righteous deeds.
To understand the significance of this Hadith, we can turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) repeatedly emphasizes the importance of hastening towards good deeds and not delaying them. In Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 148, Allah says,
So race to [all that is] good.
This verse encourages Muslims to compete in performing good deeds, indicating the urgency and swiftness required in our actions.
Furthermore, in Surah Al-Mu'minun, verse 61, Allah describes the believers as those who
hasten to good deeds and are foremost in them.
This verse highlights the praiseworthy quality of being proactive and swift in performing good actions. It is clear from these verses that Allah values and encourages promptness in engaging in righteous deeds.
Now, let us reflect on the consequences of being slow in performing good deeds, as mentioned in the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ). When a person is sluggish in their own actions, they not only miss out on the rewards and blessings of those deeds but also risk falling into a state of complacency and spiritual stagnation. This can lead to a decrease in motivation and enthusiasm for performing good deeds.
Moreover, the Hadith highlights the negative influence such individuals can have on others. When someone is slow in their actions and discourages others from doing good, it creates a ripple effect within the community. It can demotivate and hinder those who are striving to engage in righteous deeds, ultimately slowing down the progress of the entire community.
To illustrate this, imagine a scenario where a group of individuals is actively involved in charitable work, helping the less fortunate. However, there is one person who consistently procrastinates and delays their own participation. Not only does this person miss out on the blessings of their potential good deeds, but their lack of commitment and enthusiasm can also discourage others from participating wholeheartedly. As a result, the overall impact of the charitable work is diminished, and the community's progress in serving others is hindered.
In light of this Hadith, Muslims should strive to be proactive and swift in performing good deeds. We should not only focus on our own actions but also encourage and motivate others to engage in righteous acts. By doing so, we can create a positive and dynamic environment that fosters growth and progress within the community.
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) serves as a reminder for Muslims to be diligent and prompt in performing good deeds. It warns against the negative influence of individuals who are slow in their actions and discourage others from doing good. By understanding the importance of hastening towards righteousness and avoiding complacency, we can strive to be proactive in our actions and inspire others to do the same. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the ability to perform good deeds with sincerity and swiftness.
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