لايُدْرِكُ أحَدٌ رِفْعَةَ الآخِرَةِ إلاّ بِإخلاصِ العَمَلِ، وتَقْصيرِ الأمَلِ، وَلُزُومِ التَّقوى۔
No one will attain an elevated rank in the Hereafter except through sincerity in action, reducing hopes and espousing God-wariness.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: The Hereafter)
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 of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ), he highlights three essential qualities that are necessary for attaining a high rank in the Hereafter. Let us delve into the exegesis of this Hadith and explore the meanings behind the important words used.
The first word that requires our attention is (ikhlas) "إخلاص", which translates to sincerity in action. This term emphasizes the purity of intention and the devotion of one's actions solely for the sake of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). It signifies the absence of any ulterior motives or desires for worldly gains. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) repeatedly emphasizes the importance of sincerity in the Quran:
And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, [being] sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give zakah. And that is the correct religion.
The second word is (taqseer al-amal) "تَقْصِيرِ الأَمَلِ", which means reducing hopes. This concept encourages Muslims to have realistic expectations and not to rely solely on their good deeds for salvation. It reminds us that our actions alone are not sufficient for attaining the elevated ranks in the Hereafter. We must recognize our limitations and seek the mercy and forgiveness of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) reminds us in the Quran:
And do not extend your eyes toward that by which We have given enjoyment to [some] categories of them, [its being but] the splendor of worldly life by which We test them. And the provision of your Lord is better and more enduring.
The third word is (luzoom al-taqwa) "لُزُومِ التَّقْوَى", which means espousing God-wariness or piety. It signifies the constant awareness of Allah's presence and the conscious effort to adhere to His commands and avoid His prohibitions. Taqwa is a comprehensive concept that encompasses righteousness, fear of Allah, and mindfulness of His presence. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) emphasizes the importance of taqwa in the Quran:
O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims [in submission to Him].
Now, let us reflect on the enlightening message conveyed by Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) in this Hadith. He teaches us that attaining an elevated rank in the Hereafter is not merely based on performing good deeds, but rather on the sincerity of our actions, the reduction of our hopes, and the adoption of taqwa.
Sincerity in action reminds us to purify our intentions and seek the pleasure of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) in all that we do. It requires us to constantly evaluate our motives and ensure that our actions are solely for the sake of Allah, without seeking praise or recognition from others.
Reducing hopes teaches us humility and reliance on Allah's mercy. It reminds us that our efforts alone are insufficient and that we must constantly seek forgiveness and mercy from Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). By reducing our hopes in worldly matters, we focus on the eternal rewards of the Hereafter.
Espousing taqwa reminds us to be conscious of Allah's presence in our lives and to strive for righteousness in all aspects. It encourages us to be mindful of our actions, thoughts, and intentions, ensuring that they align with the teachings of Islam. Taqwa serves as a shield against sin and motivates us to constantly improve ourselves.
Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) wise words in this Hadith serve as a guide for Muslims, regardless of their sect. They remind us that true success lies in the sincerity of our actions, the reduction of our hopes, and the adoption of taqwa. By embodying these qualities, we can strive for an elevated rank in the Hereafter and attain the pleasure of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the ability to implement these teachings in our lives and bless us with success in this world and the Hereafter.
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.