أَكْثَرُ مَصَارِعِ الْعُقُولِ تَحْتَ بُرُوقِ الْمَطَامِعِ۔

Most of the deficiency of intelligence occurs due to the flash of greed.



Most of the deficiency of intelligence occurs due to the flash of greed.

— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #219)

Personal Reflection

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 (), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.

The Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states,

أَكْثَرُ مَصَارِعِ الْعُقُولِ تَحْتَ بُرُوقِ الْمَطَامِعِ

which translates to

Most of the deficiency of intelligence occurs due to the flash of greed.

This enlightening Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) highlights the detrimental impact of greed on one's intellect and reasoning abilities.

Let us delve into the key words of this Hadith to gain a deeper understanding. The word (masari'i) "مَصَارِعِ" refers to the deficiencies or shortcomings, while (al-'uqul) "الْعُقُولِ" denotes intelligence or intellect. The term (tahta) "تَحْتَ" means beneath or under, and (buruq) "بُرُوقِ" signifies the flashes or sparks. Lastly, (al-mataamii) "الْمَطَامِعِ" refers to greed or desires.

This Hadith emphasizes that the majority of deficiencies in intelligence are caused by the sudden and intense flashes of greed. Greed, in its various forms, can cloud one's judgment, distort their perception, and hinder their ability to think rationally. It blinds individuals to the consequences of their actions and leads them to make impulsive decisions driven solely by their desires.

The Quran provides us with several verses that shed light on the destructive nature of greed and its impact on one's intellect. In Surah Al-Imran (3:180), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) warns against the allure of worldly possessions and the desire for more:

And let not those who [greedily] withhold what Allah has given them of His bounty ever think that it is better for them. Rather, it is worse for them. Their necks will be encircled by what they withheld on the Day of Resurrection. And to Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth. And Allah, with what you do, is [fully] Acquainted.

This verse highlights that those who withhold or hoard their wealth out of greed will face severe consequences in the Hereafter. Their obsession with accumulating material possessions blinds them to the fact that true success lies in using one's wealth for the betterment of society and the fulfillment of their responsibilities.

Furthermore, in Surah Al-Humazah (104:1-4), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) condemns those who engage in backbiting and slander due to their insatiable desire for wealth:

Woe to every scorner and mocker who collects wealth and [continuously] counts it. He thinks that his wealth will make him immortal. No! He will surely be thrown into the Crusher. And what can make you know what is the Crusher?

This passage warns against the destructive consequences of greed, as it leads individuals to engage in harmful behaviors such as slander and mockery. The obsession with accumulating wealth blinds them to the transient nature of worldly possessions and the ultimate accountability they will face.

Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) Hadith serves as a reminder for Muslims to be cautious of the detrimental effects of greed on their intellect. Greed can distort one's perception, cloud their judgment, and lead them astray from the path of righteousness. It is essential for individuals to cultivate contentment and prioritize the pursuit of spiritual growth and the well-being of others over materialistic desires.

Reflecting on this Hadith, we should strive to develop a balanced approach towards wealth and possessions, recognizing that true intelligence lies in using our resources for the betterment of ourselves and society. By doing so, we can overcome the deficiencies caused by greed and attain a higher level of intellectual and spiritual enlightenment. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) guide us all on the path of righteousness and protect us from the destructive influence of greed.

. : . (Readers are advised to verify the sources mentioned above, and to independently research for an accurate understanding of Hadith. Remember, personal research and seeking guidance from scholars are essential in gaining a better insight. Please, do contact us if you find any wrong citations or explanations.)

Join our community to daily receive one short Hadith of Imam Ali a.s on your device.