كَفى بالإيثارِ مَكْرُمَةً۔
Self-sacrifice suffices as nobility.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: Self-Sacrifice)
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.
The Arabic Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states, "كَفَى بِٱلْإِيثَارِ مَكْرُمَةً۔" which translates to
Self-sacrifice suffices as nobility.
This beautiful saying highlights the virtue and honor that lies in prioritizing the needs and well-being of others above one's own desires and interests.
Let us delve into the key words of this Hadith to gain a deeper understanding. The word (Ithar) "إِيثَارِ" refers to selflessness, generosity, and sacrificing for the sake of others. It encompasses acts of kindness, compassion, and putting others before oneself. The word (Makrumah) "مَكْرُمَةً" denotes nobility, honor, and dignity. It signifies the elevated status and respect that one attains through acts of self-sacrifice and altruism.
To further comprehend the significance of self-sacrifice as nobility, we turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-Hashr (59:9):
And [also for] those who were settled in the Home (i.e., Madinah) and [adopted] the faith before them. They love those who emigrated to them and find not any want in their breasts of what the emigrants were given but give [them] preference over themselves, even though they are in privation. And whoever is protected from the stinginess of his soul - it is those who will be the successful.
This verse highlights the noble character of the Ansar (the residents of Madinah) who opened their hearts and homes to the Muhajireen (the emigrants from Makkah). Despite their own limited resources, the Ansar selflessly prioritized the needs of the Muhajireen, demonstrating the essence of self-sacrifice as a means of attaining nobility and success in the eyes of Allah.
Another Quranic verse that resonates with the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) is found in Surah Al-Insan (76:8-9):
And they give food in spite of love for it to the needy, the orphan, and the captive, [Saying], 'We feed you only for the countenance of Allah. We wish not from you reward or gratitude.'
This verse highlights the selflessness of the believers who provide sustenance to those in need, not seeking any reward or gratitude from them. Their motivation is solely to seek the pleasure of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) and to fulfill their duty towards their fellow human beings. This exemplifies the concept of self-sacrifice as a means of attaining nobility and righteousness.
Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) statement emphasizes the importance of selflessness and altruism in our lives as Muslims. It encourages us to prioritize the needs of others and to be willing to sacrifice our own desires and interests for the greater good. By doing so, we not only attain nobility and honor in the sight of Allah, but we also contribute to the betterment of society and the well-being of our fellow Muslims.
Self-sacrifice can manifest in various forms, such as providing financial assistance to those in need, offering a helping hand to the less fortunate, or even sacrificing our time and energy to serve others. It requires us to overcome our selfish inclinations and to embody the spirit of compassion and empathy that is central to Islam.
When we practice self-sacrifice, we inspire others to do the same, creating a ripple effect of goodness and kindness in our communities. Moreover, self-sacrifice strengthens our relationship with Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) as it reflects our trust in His provision and our willingness to fulfill His commandments.
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) teaches us that self-sacrifice is not only a virtuous act but also a means of attaining nobility and honor in the sight of Allah. By prioritizing the needs of others and putting their well-being before our own, we embody the essence of Islam and contribute to the betterment of society. May Allah grant us the ability to practice self-sacrifice and may it be a source of blessings and rewards for us in this world and the hereafter.
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