سابِقُوا الأجَلَ، وأحْسِنُوا العَمَلَ، تَسْعَدُوا بالمَهَلِ۔

Anticipate death and do good deeds; [by this] you will attain felicity through your [hastening to good deeds while you have] respite.



Anticipate death and do good deeds; [by this] you will attain felicity...

— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: The Appointed Time Of Death)

Personal Reflection

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 (), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.

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

سابِقُوا الأجَلَ، وأحْسِنُوا العَمَلَ، تَسْعَدُوا بالمَهَلِ۔

This Hadith is a profound reminder for us to anticipate death and engage in righteous actions. Let us delve into the deeper meanings of the words used in this Hadith and explore their significance in light of the Quran.

The word (sabiqu) "سابِقُوا" means to precede or anticipate. It urges us to be proactive and not delay in preparing for the inevitable reality of death. This word emphasizes the importance of being mindful of our limited time in this world and utilizing it wisely. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) reminds us in the Quran, (Quran 15:99)

And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty (death)

This verse emphasizes the need to constantly strive in acts of worship and righteousness, knowing that death can come to us at any moment.

The word (al-ajal) "الأجَلَ" refers to death or the appointed time of death. It serves as a reminder that death is an inevitable reality that awaits every soul. Allah (تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in the Quran, (Quran 3:185)

Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection

This verse highlights the certainty of death and the importance of preparing for the Hereafter through righteous actions.

The phrase (wa ahsinu al-amal) "وأحْسِنُوا العَمَلَ" means to do good deeds or to excel in righteous actions. It emphasizes the quality and sincerity of our actions rather than mere quantity. Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) says in the Quran, (Quran 2:195)

Indeed, Allah loves those who do good

This verse encourages us to strive for excellence in our actions, seeking the pleasure of Allah rather than seeking recognition from others.

The phrase (tas'adu bil-mahal) "تَسْعَدُوا بالمَهَلِ" can be translated as

you will attain felicity through your respite.

It highlights the rewards and blessings that await those who hasten to perform good deeds while they still have the opportunity. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) promises in the Quran, (Quran 4:124)

And whoever does righteous deeds, whether male or female, while being a believer - those will enter Paradise and will not be wronged, [even as much as] the speck on a date seed

This verse assures us that those who strive in righteousness will be rewarded with eternal felicity in Paradise.

Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) Hadith serves as a reminder for Muslims to be proactive in preparing for death and to excel in righteous actions. By anticipating death and engaging in good deeds, we can attain felicity in this life and the Hereafter. This Hadith encourages us to reflect on the brevity of life and the importance of utilizing our time wisely. It motivates us to constantly strive for excellence in our actions, seeking the pleasure of Allah and the eternal rewards that await us. May Allah grant us the ability to heed this advice and lead a life of righteousness.

. : . (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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