لا تَسْتَكْثِرَنَّ مِنْ إخوانِ الدُّنيا، فَإنَّكَ إنْ عَجَزْتَ عَنْهُمْ تَحَوَّلُوا أعداءً، وإنَّ مَثَلَهُمْ كَمَثَلِ النَّارِ كَثيرُها يُحرِقُ وقليلُها يَنْفَعُ۔

Do not acquire more ‘worldly’ brothers, for if you become incapable of fulfilling their wishes they turn into enemies; and their example is like the example of fire – a lot of it burns and a little of it benefits.



Do not acquire more ‘worldly’ brothers, for if you become incapable of...

— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: The Brother, The Friend, The Associate And The Companion)

Personal Reflection

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds. May peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.

In this profound hadith, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) advises us against acquiring too many worldly friends. He warns that if we are unable to fulfill their desires or expectations, they will quickly turn into enemies. To illustrate this point, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) compares such friends to fire, where the majority of it burns and only a small portion is beneficial.

Let us delve deeper into the words used in this hadith to gain a better understanding. The word (istakthir) "استكثر" means to acquire or accumulate in large numbers. The term (ikhwan ad-dunya) "إخوانِ الدُّنيا" refers to worldly friends or companions. The word (ajazta) "عَجَزْتَ" signifies the inability to fulfill their wishes or meet their expectations. And finally, the word (tahawwalu) "تَحَوَّلُوا" means to transform or turn into.

To further comprehend the wisdom behind this advice, we can turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) reminds us in Surah Al-Kahf (18:28),

And keep yourself patient [by being] with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance. And let not your eyes pass beyond them, desiring adornments of the worldly life, and do not obey one whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance and who follows his desire and whose affair is ever [in] neglect.

This verse emphasizes the importance of surrounding ourselves with righteous companions who remind us of Allah and strive for His pleasure. It cautions against being distracted by the allurements of the worldly life and associating with those whose hearts are heedless of Allah's remembrance. By choosing the right companions, we protect ourselves from the negative influences that can lead us astray.

Additionally, in Surah Al-Mumtahanah (60:8), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) advises,

Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes - from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.

This verse highlights the importance of treating others with fairness and justice, regardless of their beliefs or backgrounds. However, it also reminds us to be cautious and discerning in our relationships, especially when it comes to matters of faith. We should prioritize those who share our commitment to Islam and seek to strengthen our faith, while still maintaining kindness and justice towards others.

Now, let us reflect on the profound wisdom behind Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) advice. By cautioning against acquiring too many worldly friends, he reminds us of the transient nature of worldly attachments. Worldly friendships often revolve around material desires and superficial interests. When we are unable to fulfill these desires, the foundation of such friendships crumbles, and they can quickly turn into enmity.

Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) compares these friends to fire, where the majority of it burns and only a small portion is beneficial. Just as fire can cause destruction and harm, excessive attachment to worldly friendships can lead to negative consequences. It can distract us from our spiritual journey, compromise our values, and hinder our progress towards attaining the pleasure of Allah.

Therefore, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) advises us to prioritize the quality of our friendships over their quantity. We should seek companions who share our values, support our spiritual growth, and remind us of our ultimate purpose in life. These are the friends who will stand by us through thick and thin, and whose influence will benefit us in this world and the hereafter.

In conclusion, Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) profound advice serves as a reminder for us to be mindful of the company we keep. While it is important to be kind and just towards all, we should prioritize companions who share our commitment to Islam and strive for the pleasure of Allah. By doing so, we protect ourselves from the negative consequences of excessive attachment to worldly friendships and ensure that our relationships are based on sincerity, righteousness, and spiritual growth. May Allah guide us in choosing the right companions and grant us the wisdom to prioritize our ultimate purpose in life.

. : . (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.)

Join our community to daily receive one short Hadith of Imam Ali a.s on your device.