وسئل عليه السلام عن التوحيد والعدل فقال: التَّوْحِيدُ أنْ لا تَتَوَهَّمَهُ وَالْعَدْلُ أَلاَّ تَتَّهِمَه۔ُ
He (a.s.) was asked on the Unity of Allah and His justice, when he replied: Unity means that you do not subject Him to the limitations of your imagination and justice means that you do not lay any blame on Him.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #470)
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.
In this profound hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ), he was asked about the concepts of Tawhid (Unity of Allah) and Adl (Justice). The Imam's response provides us with a deep understanding of these fundamental principles of Islam.
Let us first delve into the meanings of the key words in this hadith. The word "Tawhid" refers to the belief in the oneness of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). It encompasses the belief that Allah is One in His essence, attributes, and actions, and that there is no partner or associate with Him. The word "Adl" refers to justice, fairness, and equity. It signifies that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) is just in all His actions and decisions.
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) beautifully explains the concept of Tawhid by stating that we should not subject Allah to the limitations of our imagination. This means that we should not confine Allah to our limited understanding or try to comprehend His essence and attributes through human limitations. Allah is beyond our comprehension, and our minds cannot fully grasp His infinite greatness. The Quran affirms this in Surah Al-An'am, verse 103:
No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision. He is the Subtle, the Aware.
To further support this understanding, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Ash-Shura, verse 11:
There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing.
This verse emphasizes that Allah is unique and incomparable, and no creation can resemble Him in any way. Therefore, we must not limit our understanding of Allah based on our own perceptions and imaginations.
Moving on to the concept of Adl, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) explains that justice means that we should not lay any blame on Allah. This means that we should not question or doubt the fairness of Allah's actions and decisions. Allah is the epitome of justice, and everything He does is based on His infinite wisdom and knowledge. Our limited understanding may not always comprehend the wisdom behind certain events or circumstances, but we must trust in Allah's perfect justice.
The Quran repeatedly emphasizes the justice of Allah. In Surah An-Nisa, verse 40, Allah says:
Indeed, Allah does not do injustice, [even] as much as an atom's weight; while if there is a good deed, He multiplies it and gives from Himself a great reward.
This verse reassures us that Allah is never unjust, and even the smallest good deed is multiplied in reward. It is a reminder for us to have complete trust in Allah's justice, even if we do not understand the wisdom behind certain situations.
Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) profound explanation of Tawhid and Adl serves as a reminder for us as Muslims. We should strive to strengthen our belief in the oneness of Allah and His perfect justice. We should not limit our understanding of Allah based on our own limited perceptions, but rather acknowledge His infinite greatness and submit to His will. We should trust in Allah's justice, even when faced with challenges or difficulties, knowing that He is the All-Wise and All-Knowing.
This hadith also highlights the importance of seeking knowledge and understanding the principles of Islam. Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) was known for his immense knowledge and wisdom, and his teachings continue to guide and inspire us today. As Muslims, we should strive to follow in his footsteps and deepen our understanding of the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and his progeny.
In conclusion, this hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) provides us with profound insights into the concepts of Tawhid and Adl. It reminds us to transcend our limited understanding and acknowledge the infinite greatness of Allah. It also encourages us to trust in Allah's perfect justice, even when faced with challenges or difficulties. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the wisdom and understanding to strengthen our belief in Tawhid and Adl, and may He guide us on the path of righteousness.
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