وسئل عن القدر، فقال: طَرِيقٌ مُظْلِمٌ فَلاَ تَسْلُكُوهُ، وَبَحْرٌعَمِيقٌ فَلاَ تَلِجُوهُ، وَسِرُّ اللهِ فَلاَ تَتَكَلَّفُوهُ۔
He (a.s.) was asked about Destiny, when he said: It is a dark path -- do not tread upon it, it is a deep ocean - do not dive in it, and it is the secret of Allah -- do not take trouble about (knowing) it.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #287)
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 Ahl al-Bayt, and his noble companions.
The provided Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) sheds light on the concept of Destiny or Qadr. Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) describes it using three metaphors: a dark path, a deep ocean, and the secret of Allah. Let us delve deeper into the meanings of these metaphors and explore their significance in light of the Quran.
Firstly, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) compares Destiny to a dark path, advising Muslims not to tread upon it. This metaphor implies that the nature of Destiny is complex and beyond human comprehension. Just as a dark path is difficult to navigate without light, Destiny is a realm that is veiled from our understanding. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in the Quran, (Quran 72:26-27)
He is the Knower of the unseen, and He does not disclose His unseen to anyone except whom He has approved of messengers
This verse emphasizes that the knowledge of the unseen, including Destiny, is exclusive to Allah and His chosen messengers.
Secondly, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) likens Destiny to a deep ocean, cautioning Muslims not to dive into it. This metaphor signifies the vastness and depth of Destiny. Just as a deep ocean can overwhelm and drown those who venture into it without proper knowledge and preparation, attempting to comprehend the intricacies of Destiny without guidance can lead to confusion and misinterpretation. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) reminds us in the Quran, (Quran 6:59)
And with Him are the keys of the unseen; none knows them except Him
This verse highlights that the knowledge of the unseen, including the depths of Destiny, is solely in the hands of Allah.
Lastly, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) describes Destiny as the secret of Allah, advising Muslims not to trouble themselves with seeking to know it. This metaphor emphasizes that the intricacies of Destiny are known only to Allah, and it is not within our capacity to fully comprehend them. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) states in the Quran, (Quran 17:85)
And they ask you about the soul. Say, 'The soul is of the affair of my Lord. And mankind has not been given of knowledge except a little'
This verse highlights the limited knowledge granted to humanity and emphasizes that certain matters, such as the secrets of Allah, are beyond our grasp.
Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) enlightening words in this Hadith serve as a reminder for Muslims to acknowledge the limitations of human understanding when it comes to the concept of Destiny. It is a call to humility and submission to the will of Allah, recognizing that His knowledge surpasses our own. Instead of delving into the complexities of Destiny, Muslims are encouraged to focus on fulfilling their duties and responsibilities in accordance with the guidance provided by Allah and His messengers.
By recognizing the incomprehensibility of Destiny, Muslims are reminded to place their trust in Allah and rely on His wisdom and guidance. This understanding fosters a sense of contentment and tranquility, knowing that Allah's plans are perfect and encompass all aspects of our lives. It also encourages Muslims to seek knowledge and understanding within the boundaries set by Allah, rather than attempting to unravel the mysteries of the unseen.
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) regarding Destiny serves as a reminder for Muslims to approach this concept with humility and submission. The metaphors of a dark path, a deep ocean, and the secret of Allah highlight the complexity and incomprehensibility of Destiny. By acknowledging our limited understanding and placing our trust in Allah, we can find solace and contentment in His plans for us. May Allah guide us on the straight path and grant us the wisdom to accept His decree.
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