افْعَلُوا الْخَيْرَ وَلاَ تَحْقِرُوا مِنْهُ شَيْئاً، فَإِنَّ صَغِيرَهُ كَبِيرٌ وَقَلِيلَهُ كَثِيرٌ، وَلا يَقُولَنَّ أَحَدُكُمْ: إِنَّ أَحَداً أَوْلَى بِفِعْلِ الْخَيْرِ مِنِّي فَيَكُونَ وَاللهِ كَذلِكَ، إِنَّ لِلْخَيْرِ وَالشَّرِّ أَهْلاً، فَمَهْمَا تَرَكْتُمُوهُ مِنْهُمَا كَفَاكُمُوهُ أَهْلُهُ۔
Do good and do not regard any part of it small because its small is big and its little is much. No one of you should say that another person is more deserving than I in doing good. Otherwise, by Allah, it would really be so. There are people of good and evil. When you would leave either of the two, others will perform them.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #422)
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), his family (Ahl al-Bayt), and his companions.
The provided Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) emphasizes the importance of performing good deeds and not underestimating their significance. Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) advises Muslims to do good without considering any part of it as insignificant, as even the smallest good deed holds great value in the sight of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). He further cautions against comparing oneself to others in terms of righteousness, as it is Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) who determines the worthiness of our actions.
To understand the essence of this Hadith, let us delve into the key words and concepts mentioned. The word (khayr) "خَيْرَ" refers to goodness or righteousness, encompassing all acts of virtue and piety. It includes acts of worship, kindness, charity, and any action that brings benefit to oneself or others. The word (tahqiru) "تَحْقِرُوا" means to belittle or underestimate something. In this context, it signifies the act of devaluing or disregarding the importance of any good deed.
The Hadith highlights the significance of every good deed, regardless of its size or magnitude. Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) reminds us that even the smallest good deed holds immense value in the sight of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). This concept is beautifully echoed in the Quran, where Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says, (Quran 99:7)
So whoever does an atom's weight of good will see it
This verse emphasizes that even the tiniest good deed will not go unnoticed by Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ), and it will be rewarded accordingly.
Furthermore, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) advises against comparing oneself to others in terms of righteousness. He warns against the mentality of thinking that someone else is more deserving or capable of performing good deeds. This is a reminder for Muslims to focus on their own actions and intentions, rather than seeking validation or superiority over others. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) affirms this principle in the Quran, stating, (Quran 17:70)
And We have certainly honored the children of Adam and carried them on the land and sea and provided for them of the good things and preferred them over much of what We have created, with [definite] preference
This verse highlights the inherent worth and dignity of every individual, emphasizing that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) has bestowed His blessings upon all of humanity.
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) further explains that there are people of good and evil in the world. This statement acknowledges the existence of both righteous and wicked individuals, each with their own choices and actions. It serves as a reminder that the responsibility to perform good deeds and abstain from evil lies with each individual. When one neglects their duty to do good, others may step forward to fulfill it. This concept aligns with the Quranic verse, (Quran 47:38)
And if you turn away, He will replace you with another people; then they will not be the likes of you
Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) assures us that if we fail to fulfill our obligations, He will raise others who will carry out the tasks assigned to us.
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) urges Muslims to perform good deeds without underestimating their significance. It reminds us that even the smallest act of goodness holds immense value in the sight of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). It also cautions against comparing oneself to others in terms of righteousness, as Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) is the ultimate judge of our actions. The Hadith emphasizes the importance of personal responsibility and the continuous need for individuals to fulfill their obligations to perform good deeds. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the understanding and motivation to do good and seek His pleasure.
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