مَا الْمُجَاهِدُ الشَّهِيدُ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ بِأَعْظَمَ أَجْراً مِمَّنْ قَدَرَ فَعَفَّ، لَكَادَ الْعَفِيفُ أَنْ يَكُونَ مَلَكاً مِنَ الْمَلاَئِكَةِ۔
The fighter in the way of Allah who gets martyred would not get a greater reward than he who remains chaste despite means. It is possible that a chaste person may become one of the angels.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #474)
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 highlights the immense reward for those who strive in the path of Allah and attain martyrdom. However, he also emphasizes that there is an even greater reward for those who possess the strength to remain chaste despite the temptations and desires of this world. Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) goes on to say that a chaste person may even attain a status similar to that of the angels.
Let us delve deeper into the words of this Hadith. The word (mujahid) "مُجَاهِدُ" refers to a fighter or a warrior who engages in jihad, which can be understood as striving or struggling in the way of Allah. The term (ash-shahid) "الشَّهِيدُ" refers to a martyr, someone who sacrifices their life in the path of Allah. The word (fi) "فِي" means "in" or "within", indicating the context in which the mujahid and shahid are being discussed.
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) compares the reward of the shahid with that of the one who remains chaste despite having the means and opportunities to indulge in desires. The word (qaddara) "قَدَرَ" means to have the ability or power to do something. The term (fa'afa) "فَعَفَّ" refers to someone who exercises self-restraint and refrains from engaging in sinful acts. This could include refraining from unlawful sexual relations, maintaining purity in thoughts and actions, and guarding oneself against immoral behavior.
To understand the significance of remaining chaste, we can turn to the Quran for guidance. In Surah Al-Mu'minun (23:5-7), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) describes the qualities of the believers:
And they who guard their private parts, except from their wives or those their right hands possess, for indeed, they will not be blamed - But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors - And they who are to their trusts and their promises attentive.
These verses emphasize the importance of maintaining chastity and guarding one's private parts, except within the permissible boundaries of marriage. Those who adhere to these guidelines are praised as believers who fulfill their trusts and promises.
Furthermore, in Surah An-Nur (24:30-31), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) instructs both men and women to lower their gaze and guard their modesty:
Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what they do. And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands' fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers, their brothers' sons, their sisters' sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women.
These verses emphasize the importance of modesty and self-restraint for both men and women. By adhering to these guidelines, believers are able to protect themselves from falling into sin and maintain their purity.
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) highlights the immense reward for those who possess the strength to remain chaste despite the temptations and desires of this world. Such individuals demonstrate a high level of self-discipline, self-control, and devotion to Allah. Their ability to resist the allure of sin is a testament to their faith and commitment to righteousness.
Moreover, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states that a chaste person may even become one of the angels. This does not mean that they physically transform into angels, but rather that they attain a status and rank similar to that of the angels. The angels are known for their purity, obedience, and devotion to Allah. By remaining chaste, individuals can attain a spiritual state that aligns them with the qualities of the angels.
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) reminds us of the great reward for those who strive in the path of Allah and attain martyrdom. However, it also emphasizes that there is an even greater reward for those who possess the strength to remain chaste despite the means and opportunities to indulge in desires. By maintaining purity and guarding oneself against immoral behavior, believers can attain a spiritual state that aligns them with the qualities of the angels. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the strength to remain chaste and strive in His path.
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