بِالإيثارِ يُسْتَحَقُّ اسْمُ الكَرَمِ۔

It is through self-sacrifice that munificence gets true meaning.



It is through self-sacrifice that munificence gets true meaning.

— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: Self-Sacrifice)

Personal Reflection

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all worlds. Peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (), his pure progeny, the Ahl al-Bayt, and his noble companions.

The Arabic Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states,

بِالإيثارِ يُسْتَحَقُّ اسْمُ الكَرَمِ۔

This can be translated as,

It is through self-sacrifice that munificence gets true meaning.

Let us delve into the connotation of this Hadith in light of the Quran.

The word (i'thar) "إيثار" in this Hadith refers to self-sacrifice or preferring others over oneself. It is an act of generosity and kindness that goes beyond mere charity. It is an act of giving without expecting anything in return, solely for the sake of pleasing Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). The word (karam) "كَرَمِ" refers to munificence or generosity, which is an attribute of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) Himself.

The concept of self-sacrifice and preferring others over oneself is deeply rooted in the teachings of the Quran. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-Hashr (59:9),

And [also for] those who were settled in the Home [i.e., Al-Madinah] and [adopted] the faith before them. They love those who emigrated to them and find not any want in their breasts of what the emigrants were given but give [them] preference over themselves, even though they are in privation. And whoever is protected from the stinginess of his soul - it is those who will be the successful.

This verse highlights the virtue of the Ansar, the residents of Madinah, who welcomed and supported the Muhajirun, the immigrants from Makkah. Despite their own needs and hardships, the Ansar preferred the Muhajirun over themselves. This act of self-sacrifice and generosity is praised by Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) and is a clear manifestation of the concept mentioned in the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ).

Furthermore, in Surah Al-Insan (76:8-9), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) describes the righteous believers by saying,

And they give food in spite of love for it to the needy, the orphan, and the captive, [Saying], 'We feed you only for the countenance of Allah. We wish not from you reward or gratitude.'

These verses emphasize the selflessness of the believers who give food to the needy, orphans, and captives, solely seeking the pleasure of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). They do not expect any reward or gratitude from those they help. This exemplifies the essence of self-sacrifice and the true meaning of munificence.

The Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) reminds us that true generosity is not limited to material possessions or wealth. It is about sacrificing one's own desires, needs, and comforts for the sake of others. It is about putting the well-being and happiness of others above our own. This selflessness is a reflection of the noble character of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ), who was known for his immense knowledge and wisdom.

When we practice self-sacrifice, we not only benefit others but also purify our own souls. It helps us develop empathy, compassion, and a deep sense of gratitude towards Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). It strengthens the bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood within the Muslim community and fosters a spirit of unity and cooperation.

In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) teaches us that true munificence is achieved through self-sacrifice. By putting the needs of others before our own, we embody the essence of generosity and kindness. This concept is beautifully illustrated in the Quran through various verses that emphasize the virtue of selflessness and preferring others over oneself. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the ability to practice self-sacrifice and become true embodiments of munificence.

. : . (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.)

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