مِنْ شِيَمِ الأبْرارِ حَمْلُ النُّفوُسِ علَى الإيثارِ۔

From the qualities of the virtuous is impelling themselves to be selfless.



From the qualities of the virtuous is impelling themselves to be selfless.

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

Personal Reflection

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. May peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.

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

مِنْ شِيَمِ الأبْرارِ حَمْلُ النُّفوُسِ علَى الإيثارِ۔

This can be translated as,

From the qualities of the virtuous is impelling themselves to be selfless.

Let us delve into the deeper meaning of this wise utterance of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) and explore its significance in light of the Quran.

The word (shiyam) "شِيَمِ" in the Hadith refers to the qualities or characteristics of the righteous individuals. It encompasses their noble attributes and virtuous behavior. It is important to note that the term (abrār) "أبْرارِ" refers to the righteous and pious individuals who strive to please Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) through their actions and intentions.

The phrase (hamlun-nufūsi 'alā al-i'thār)

حَمْلُ النُّفوُسِ علَى الإيثارِ

can be understood as the act of impelling oneself to prioritize the needs and well-being of others over one's own desires and interests. It signifies selflessness and the willingness to sacrifice for the greater good.

This concept of selflessness is deeply rooted in the teachings of the Quran. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) repeatedly emphasizes the importance of caring for others and putting their needs before our own. In Surah Al-Hashr (59:9), Allah says,

And [also for] those who were settled in the Home (i.e., 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 exemplary behavior of the Ansar (the residents of Madinah) who welcomed and supported the Muhajirun (the emigrants from Makkah). They selflessly shared their resources and even preferred the needs of the emigrants over their own, despite facing their own hardships. This selflessness is praised by Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) and is considered a characteristic of the righteous.

Another verse that supports the concept of selflessness is found in Surah Al-Insan (76:9), where Allah says,

They give food, despite their love for it (or for the needy), to the poor, the orphan, and the captive.

This verse highlights the act of giving food to those in need, even when one desires it for themselves. It emphasizes the selflessness of the righteous individuals who prioritize the well-being of others over their own desires.

Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) Hadith encourages Muslims to embody the quality of selflessness and prioritize the needs of others. It urges us to go beyond our own self-interests and extend a helping hand to those in need. By doing so, we not only fulfill our duty towards our fellow human beings but also earn the pleasure of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ).

This selflessness can manifest in various forms, such as giving charity, helping the needy, supporting the oppressed, and showing kindness and compassion to others. It requires us to be aware of the needs of those around us and actively seek opportunities to alleviate their suffering.

Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) statement serves as a reminder for Muslims to constantly strive towards selflessness and to emulate the examples set by the righteous individuals mentioned in the Quran. It encourages us to reflect on our own actions and intentions, and to continuously seek ways to benefit others.

In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) emphasizes the importance of selflessness and impelling ourselves to prioritize the needs of others. It aligns with the teachings of the Quran, which repeatedly highlight the virtues of caring for others and sacrificing for the greater good. As Muslims, we should strive to embody this quality of selflessness in our daily lives, seeking opportunities to serve and uplift those around us. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the ability to be selfless and virtuous, and may He reward us abundantly for our efforts.

. : . (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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