الْفَقِيهُ كُلُّ الْفَقِيهِ مَنْ لَمْ يُقَنِّطِ النَّاسَ مِنْ رَحْمَةِ اللهِ، وَلَمْ يُؤْيِسْهُمْ مِنْ رَوْحِ اللهِ وَلَمْ يُؤْمِنْهُمْ مِنْ مَكْرِالله۔
The perfect jurist of Islam is he who does not let people lose hope from the mercy of Allah, does not make them despondent of Allah's kindness and does not make them feel safe from Allah's punishment.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #90)
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 Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) emphasizes the qualities of a true jurist in Islam. The key words in this Hadith are (faqih) "فَقِيه", (yuqanniti) "يُقَنِّطِ", (yu'is) "يُؤْيِسْ", and (yu'min) "يُؤْمِنْ".
The term (faqih) "فَقِيه" refers to a jurist or a scholar who possesses deep understanding and knowledge of Islamic jurisprudence. This Hadith highlights that a true faqih is not only knowledgeable in matters of fiqh, but also possesses certain qualities that are essential for guiding and uplifting the Muslim community.
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states that a perfect jurist is one who does not let people lose hope from the mercy of Allah. This means that the faqih should always remind Muslims of the infinite mercy and forgiveness of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). He should encourage them to seek repentance and forgiveness, assuring them that Allah's mercy is vast and all-encompassing.
The Quran supports this notion in multiple verses. In Surah Az-Zumar (39:53), Allah says,
Say, 'O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.'
This verse emphasizes that Allah's mercy is limitless and that no matter how great our sins may be, we should never lose hope in His forgiveness.
Furthermore, the faqih should not make people despondent of Allah's kindness. This means that he should not discourage or dishearten them by portraying Allah as a harsh and unforgiving deity. Instead, he should emphasize Allah's kindness, compassion, and love towards His creation.
The Quranic verse in Surah Al-Baqarah (2:143) supports this idea, where Allah says,
And thus We have made you a just community that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you. And We did not make the qiblah which you used to face except that We might make evident who would follow the Messenger from who would turn back on his heels. And indeed, it is difficult except for those whom Allah has guided. And never would Allah have caused you to lose your faith. Indeed Allah is, to the people, Kind and Merciful.
This verse highlights Allah's kindness and mercy towards His believers, and the faqih should reflect this in his teachings and interactions.
Lastly, the faqih should not make people feel safe from Allah's punishment. This means that he should remind them of the consequences of their actions and the accountability they have towards Allah. He should caution them against complacency and encourage them to strive for righteousness and obedience to Allah's commands.
The Quranic verse in Surah Al-Anfal (8:53) supports this notion, where Allah says,
That is because Allah would not change a favor which He had bestowed upon a people until they change what is within themselves. And indeed, Allah is Hearing and Knowing.
This verse reminds us that Allah's favor and mercy are not unconditional, and that we must constantly strive to improve ourselves and seek His pleasure.
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) provides us with valuable guidance on the qualities of a true jurist in Islam. A perfect faqih is one who instills hope in people, reminds them of Allah's kindness, and cautions them against complacency. By embodying these qualities, the faqih can effectively guide and uplift the Muslim community, helping them to attain spiritual growth and closeness to Allah. May Allah grant us the understanding and wisdom to follow the teachings of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) and strive to be true jurists in Islam.
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