الزُّهْدُ كُلُّهُ بَيْنَ كَلِمَتَينِ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ: قَالَ اللهُ عزّوجلّ: (لكيلا تأسَوا عَلَى مَا فَاتَكُمْ ، وَ لا تَفْرَحُوا بِما آتَاكُمْ) ، فَمَنْ لَمْ يَأْسَ عَلَى الْمَاضِي، وَلَمْ يَفْرَحْ بِالاْتِي، فَقَدْ أَخَذَ الزُّهْدَ بِطَرَفَيْهِ۔
The whole of asceticism is confined between two expressions of the Quran. Allah, the Glorified says: "Lest distress you yourselves for what escapes you, and be overjoyous for what He has granted you." (Quran, 57:23). Whoever does not grieve over what he misses and does not revel over what comes to him acquires asceticism from both its sides.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #439)
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, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) highlights the essence of asceticism, or zuhd, by drawing our attention to two specific verses from the Quran. The first verse is from Surah Al-Hadid (57:23), where Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,
Lest distress you yourselves for what escapes you, and be overjoyous for what He has granted you.
This verse reminds us not to become overly saddened by what we have missed out on, nor excessively delighted by what we have been given.
To truly understand the depth and significance of this hadith, let us delve into the meanings of the key words used by Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ). The term "zuhd" refers to asceticism or detachment from worldly desires and possessions. It involves recognizing the transient nature of this world and focusing on the eternal rewards of the hereafter. The word "tasawwuf" is often used interchangeably with zuhd, as both concepts emphasize detachment from materialism and attachment to spiritual growth.
Now, let us explore the first verse mentioned in the hadith, which is from Surah Al-Hadid (57:23). Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) advises us not to distress ourselves over what we have missed out on. This means that we should not dwell on past losses or become consumed by regret. Instead, we should accept Allah's decree and have faith in His wisdom. This verse teaches us to have contentment and trust in Allah's plan, knowing that He is the best of planners.
To further understand the importance of not grieving over what we have missed, we can turn to Surah Al-Imran (3:139), where Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,
So do not weaken and do not grieve, and you will be superior if you are [true] believers.
This verse encourages us to remain steadfast and not let grief weaken our resolve. It reminds us that true believers trust in Allah's wisdom and rely on Him for strength and guidance.
The second part of the hadith focuses on not reveling excessively in what we have been granted. This means that we should not become arrogant or boastful about our blessings, but rather remain humble and grateful to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). This is beautifully expressed in Surah Al-Qasas (28:77), where Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,
But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter; and [yet], do not forget your share of the world.
This verse reminds us to strike a balance between seeking the rewards of the hereafter and fulfilling our responsibilities in this world. It teaches us to be grateful for the blessings we have been given and to use them in a way that benefits both ourselves and others.
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) concludes the hadith by stating that whoever does not grieve over what they have missed and does not revel excessively in what they have been granted has truly acquired asceticism from both its sides. This means that true asceticism lies in finding the balance between detachment from worldly desires and gratitude for the blessings bestowed upon us by Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). It is about recognizing the temporary nature of this world and focusing on the eternal rewards of the hereafter, while still fulfilling our responsibilities and being grateful for the blessings we have.
In conclusion, this hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) teaches us the essence of asceticism and the importance of striking a balance between detachment from worldly desires and gratitude for the blessings of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). It reminds us not to dwell on past losses or become consumed by regret, but rather to have trust in Allah's plan. It also emphasizes the need to remain humble and grateful for the blessings we have been given, without becoming arrogant or boastful. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the wisdom to understand and implement the teachings of this hadith in our lives.
Join our community to daily receive one short Hadith of Imam Ali a.s on your device.
Your message has been successfully received, and we will respond to you soon.