أَفْضَلُ الزُّهْدِ إِخْفَاءُ الزُّهْدِ۔

The best abstemiousness is to conceal it.



The best abstemiousness is to conceal it.

— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #28)

Personal Reflection

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 (), his pure Ahl al-Bayt, and his noble companions.

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

The best abstemiousness is to conceal it.

Let us delve into the meaning of this thought-provoking Hadith and explore its significance in light of the Quran.

Firstly, let us understand the key words in this Hadith. The word "zuhd" refers to abstemiousness, which is the act of refraining from excessive worldly desires and attachments. It involves detachment from material possessions and focusing on the spiritual aspects of life. The word "ikhfa" means to conceal or hide something.

To shed light on the importance of concealing abstemiousness, we find guidance in the Quran. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 197:

And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is Taqwa. So fear Me, O you of understanding.

Here, Allah emphasizes that the best provision for our journey in this world is Taqwa, which can be understood as the consciousness of Allah and the fear of displeasing Him. This verse highlights the significance of focusing on our spiritual well-being rather than being consumed by worldly possessions.

Furthermore, in Surah Al-Kahf, verse 46, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says:

Wealth and children are [but] adornment of the worldly life. But the enduring good deeds are better to your Lord for reward and better for [one's] hope.

This verse reminds us that material wealth and worldly attachments are temporary and superficial. The true value lies in the enduring good deeds that we perform for the sake of Allah. It is these deeds that will bring us closer to our Lord and grant us eternal rewards.

Now, let us reflect on the thought-provoking Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) in light of the Quranic verses mentioned above. The Imam highlights the virtue of concealing abstemiousness, indicating that it is not something to be flaunted or displayed to others. True abstemiousness is not about seeking recognition or praise from others; rather, it is a deeply personal and spiritual journey.

By concealing our abstemiousness, we protect ourselves from the dangers of arrogance and self-righteousness. It prevents us from falling into the trap of seeking validation and admiration from others. Instead, our focus should be on developing a sincere and humble relationship with Allah, seeking His pleasure alone.

Concealing abstemiousness also allows us to maintain a balanced approach in our interactions with others. It prevents us from judging or looking down upon those who may not share the same level of detachment from worldly possessions. Instead, we should strive to be a source of inspiration and guidance through our actions, without drawing attention to ourselves.

Moreover, the concealment of abstemiousness serves as a means of preserving the sincerity of our intentions. When we perform acts of worship or engage in acts of abstemiousness privately, without seeking recognition or praise, we ensure that our intentions are solely for the sake of Allah. This sincerity is crucial in attaining the pleasure and acceptance of our Lord.

In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) teaches us the virtue of concealing abstemiousness. It reminds us to focus on our spiritual well-being and to detach ourselves from excessive worldly desires. By concealing our abstemiousness, we protect ourselves from arrogance, maintain balanced interactions, and preserve the sincerity of our intentions. May Allah grant us the ability to embody true abstemiousness and seek His pleasure in all aspects of our lives.

. : . (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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