كَمْ مِنْ مُسْتَدْرَجٍ بِالْإِحْسَانِ إِلَيْهِ وَ مَغْرُورٍ بِالسَّتْرِ عَلَيْهِ وَ مَفْتُونٍ بِحُسْنِ الْقَوْلِ فِيهِ وَ مَا ابْتَلَى اللَّهُ أَحَداً بِمِثْلِ الْإِمْلَاءِ لَهُ۔
There are many people who are given time (by Allah) through good treatment towards them, and many who are deceived because their sinful activities are veiled (by Allah), and many who are enamoured by good talk about themselves. And Allah does not try anyone as seriously as He tries him whom He allows time (to remain sinful).
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #116)
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 provided Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) highlights the various ways in which Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) deals with people based on their actions and intentions. Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) describes three different categories of individuals and the consequences they face.
Firstly, there are those who are given respite and time by Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) due to the good treatment they receive from others. These individuals may have committed sins or wronged others, but because of the kindness and forgiveness shown to them, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grants them an opportunity to repent and reform themselves. This highlights the importance of treating others with kindness and compassion, as it can have a profound impact on their spiritual journey.
The Quranic verse that supports this concept is found in Surah Al-Baqarah (2:286), where Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,
Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear.
This verse emphasizes that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) is merciful and just, and He gives people the opportunity to rectify their mistakes and seek forgiveness.
Secondly, there are those who are deceived by the veiling of their sinful activities by Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). These individuals may engage in wrongful acts, but they are not immediately held accountable for their actions. They may mistakenly believe that their sins are going unnoticed or that they have escaped punishment. However, this deception is temporary, and eventually, they will face the consequences of their actions.
The Quranic verse that supports this concept is found in Surah Yunus (10:24), where Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,
The example of [this] worldly life is but like rain which We have sent down from the sky that the plants of the earth absorb - [those] from which men and livestock eat - until, when the earth has taken on its adornment and is beautified and its people suppose that they have capability over it, there comes to it Our command by night or by day, and We make it as a harvest, as if it had not flourished yesterday. Thus do We explain in detail the signs for a people who give thought.
This verse reminds us that just because the consequences of our actions may not be immediate, it does not mean that they will be overlooked. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) has full knowledge of our deeds, and He will hold us accountable for them in due time.
Lastly, there are those who are enamored by good talk about themselves. These individuals may be praised for their eloquence, intelligence, or other positive qualities, which can lead them to become arrogant and self-centered. They may become so engrossed in their own self-image that they neglect their spiritual growth and fail to recognize their own flaws and shortcomings.
The Quranic verse that supports this concept is found in Surah Al-Isra (17:37), where Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,
Do not walk upon the earth exultantly. Indeed, you will never tear the earth [apart], and you will never reach the mountains in height.
This verse serves as a reminder that no matter how great our worldly achievements may be, we should never become arrogant or boastful. Our true worth lies in our devotion to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) and our adherence to His commandments.
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) reminds us of the different ways in which Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) deals with individuals based on their actions and intentions. It emphasizes the importance of treating others with kindness and forgiveness, as well as the temporary nature of deception and the dangers of arrogance. May we strive to embody the teachings of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) and seek Allah's (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) mercy and guidance in all aspects of our lives.
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