الْحِلْمُ غِطَاءٌ سَاتِرٌ، وَالْعَقْلُ حُسَامٌ قَاطِعٌ، فَاسْتُرْ خَلَلَ خُلُقِكَ بِحِلْمِكَ، وَقَاتِلْ هَوَاكَ بِعَقْلِكَ۔

Forbearance is a curtain for covering, and wisdom is a sharp sword. Therefore, conceal the weaknesses in your conduct with forbearance and kill your desires with your wisdom.



Forbearance is a curtain for covering, and wisdom is a sharp sword....

— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #424)

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.

In this profound Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ), he beautifully highlights the virtues of forbearance (hilm) and wisdom (aql) as essential qualities for a Muslim to possess. Let us delve into the meanings of these important words and explore their significance in the light of the Quran.

Firstly, let us understand the meaning of "hilm" which is translated as forbearance. Hilm refers to the ability to remain calm and patient in the face of adversity, to control one's anger and respond with kindness and gentleness. It is like a protective curtain that shields us from reacting impulsively and allows us to maintain a peaceful demeanor. The Quran emphasizes the importance of hilm in numerous verses. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-Imran (3:134):

And those who restrain anger and pardon the people - and Allah loves the doers of good.

This verse encourages Muslims to exercise forbearance and forgiveness, as it is a characteristic beloved by Allah.

Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) advises us to conceal the weaknesses in our conduct with forbearance. This means that when we encounter situations where our character or actions may fall short, we should respond with patience and tolerance. Instead of reacting impulsively or becoming defensive, we should strive to address our shortcomings with humility and self-restraint. By doing so, we not only protect ourselves from unnecessary conflict but also create an opportunity for personal growth and improvement.

On the other hand, "aql" which is translated as wisdom, refers to the ability to think critically, make sound judgments, and act in accordance with knowledge and understanding. It is like a sharp sword that cuts through ignorance and guides us towards righteousness. The Quran repeatedly emphasizes the importance of wisdom and knowledge. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-Baqarah (2:269):

He grants wisdom to whom He wills, and whoever has been granted wisdom has certainly been given much good.

This verse highlights that wisdom is a divine gift and a source of immense goodness.

Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) advises us to kill our desires with wisdom. This means that we should use our intellect and understanding to overcome our base desires and make choices that align with our moral values. Our desires can often lead us astray and tempt us towards actions that are harmful or sinful. However, by employing wisdom, we can discern between right and wrong, and make decisions that are in line with the teachings of Islam. Wisdom enables us to navigate the complexities of life and make choices that bring us closer to Allah and His pleasure.

In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) serves as a powerful reminder for Muslims to cultivate the virtues of forbearance and wisdom. By practicing forbearance, we can conceal our weaknesses and respond to challenges with patience and kindness. And by embracing wisdom, we can overcome our desires and make choices that are guided by knowledge and understanding. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the ability to embody these qualities and lead lives that are pleasing to Him.

. : . (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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