يَأْتِى عَلَى النَّاسِ زَمَانٌ لَا يُقَرَّبُ فِيهِ إِلَّا الْمَاحِلُ وَ لَا يُظَرَّفُ فِيهِ إِلَّا الْفَاجِرُ وَ لَا يُضَعَّفُ فِيهِ إِلَّا الْمُنْصِفُ يَعُدُّونَ الصَّدَقَةَ فِيهِ غُرْماً وَ صِلَةَ الرَّحِمِ مَنّاً وَ الْعِبَادَةَ اسْتِطَالَةً عَلَى النَّاسِ فَعِنْدَ ذَلِكَ يَكُونُ السُّلْطَانُ بِمَشُورَةِ النِّسَاءِ وَ إِمَارَةِ الصِّبْيَانِ وَ تَدْبِيرِ الْخِصْيَانِ۔
Shortly a time will come for people when high positions will be given only to those who defame others, when vicious people will be regarded as witty and the just will be regarded as weak. People will regard charity as a loss, consideration for kinship as an obligation, and worship grounds for claiming greatness among others. At this time, authority will be exercised through the counsel of women, the posting of young boys in high positions and the running of the administration by eunuchs.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #102)
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all worlds. May peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.
The Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) warns us about a future time when society will undergo a drastic decline in moral values and principles. Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) describes this era as a time when high positions and authority will be granted to individuals who engage in defaming others. This indicates a shift from merit-based leadership to one that is based on slander and character assassination.
Furthermore, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states that during this period, wicked individuals will be praised for their cunningness, while the righteous and just individuals will be considered weak and insignificant. This highlights the inversion of societal values, where virtue and righteousness are no longer esteemed or valued.
The Imam (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) also mentions that people will view acts of charity as a loss, indicating a decline in generosity and compassion. Similarly, the importance of maintaining family ties will be disregarded, as kinship will be seen as a burden rather than an obligation. This highlights a lack of empathy and compassion towards one's own relatives, which goes against the teachings of Islam.
Moreover, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) warns that worship will be performed not for the sake of Allah, but as a means to gain superiority and recognition among others. This signifies a shift from sincere devotion to a form of ostentation and showmanship, where acts of worship are done to seek praise and admiration from people, rather than seeking the pleasure of Allah.
In this deteriorating society, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states that authority will be exercised through the counsel of women, the appointment of young boys to positions of power, and the administration being run by eunuchs. This suggests a breakdown in traditional structures of leadership and decision-making, where those who are inexperienced or lack the necessary qualifications will be entrusted with positions of authority.
To understand the significance and relevance of this Hadith, we can turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) warns us in Surah Al-Isra (17:80) about the consequences of spreading falsehood and defaming others:
And say: 'My Lord! Cause me to enter a sound entrance and to exit a sound exit. And grant me from Yourself a supporting authority.'
This verse emphasizes the importance of seeking Allah's protection from engaging in slander and false accusations, as it can lead to severe consequences in this life and the hereafter.
Furthermore, the Quran repeatedly emphasizes the importance of justice and righteousness. In Surah Al-Hujurat (49:13), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) states,
O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.
This verse reminds us that true nobility and superiority lie in righteousness and piety, not in worldly positions or wealth.
Additionally, the Quran encourages acts of charity and emphasizes the importance of maintaining family ties. In Surah Al-Baqarah (2:177), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) states,
Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves.
This verse highlights the significance of selfless giving and the importance of caring for those in need, including our own family members.
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) serves as a profound warning about the decline of moral values and principles in society. It highlights the inversion of societal norms, where wickedness is praised, and righteousness is belittled. This Hadith reminds us of the importance of upholding justice, practicing sincere acts of worship, and maintaining strong family ties. It also serves as a reminder to seek knowledge and guidance from the teachings of the Quran and the Ahl al-Bayt (عَلَيْهِمُ ٱلسَّلَامُ), particularly the wisdom and insights of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ), who was known for his profound knowledge and understanding of Islam. May Allah protect us from the challenges of such times and grant us the strength to uphold the values and principles of Islam.
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