تَنْزِلُ الْمَعُونَةُ عَلَى قَدْرِ الْمَئُونَةِ۔
Assistance is allowed according to need.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #139)
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 (ﷺ), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.
The provided Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states,
Assistance is allowed according to need.
This concise statement holds profound wisdom and guidance for Muslims in their interactions and relationships with one another.
Let us delve deeper into the words of this Hadith. The word (tanazilu) "تَنْزِلُ" means "to descend" or "to come down." It signifies that assistance or support is something that comes down from a higher position to a lower one. It implies that those who possess the means to help should extend their support to those in need.
The word (ma'unah) "مَعُونَةُ" refers to assistance or help. It encompasses any act of kindness or support that one person provides to another, whether it be physical, emotional, or financial. This includes helping someone in times of difficulty, providing for their basic needs, or offering guidance and advice.
The phrase (ala qadril ma'unah) "عَلَى قَدْرِ الْمَئُونَةِ" means "according to need." It emphasizes the importance of assessing the level of need before extending assistance. It implies that assistance should be given in proportion to the actual requirements of the person in need. This highlights the significance of understanding the specific circumstances and challenges faced by individuals before offering help.
To further understand the significance of this Hadith, let us turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) repeatedly emphasizes the importance of helping those in need and the rewards associated with it. In Surah Al-Baqarah, Allah says, (Quran 2:195)
And spend in the way of Allah and do not throw [yourselves] with your [own] hands into destruction [by refraining]. And do good; indeed, Allah loves the doers of good
This verse encourages Muslims to spend their wealth in the way of Allah and to help others. It reminds us that by assisting those in need, we are not only fulfilling our duty as believers but also earning the love and pleasure of Allah. The act of giving and helping is not only a means of supporting others but also a means of purifying our own souls.
Another verse that supports the message of this Hadith is found in Surah Al-Ma'un. Allah says, (Quran 107:1-5)
Have you seen the one who denies the Recompense? For that is the one who drives away the orphan and does not encourage the feeding of the poor. So woe to those who pray but are heedless of their prayer
This verse highlights the importance of assisting the needy and the consequences of neglecting this duty. It condemns those who turn away from orphans and fail to provide for the poor. It serves as a reminder that true faith is not limited to ritualistic acts of worship but also encompasses acts of kindness and compassion towards others.
Reflecting on the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) and the supporting Quranic verses, we can draw several important lessons. Firstly, it reminds us of the obligation to help those in need and to extend our support according to their actual requirements. It encourages us to be mindful of the struggles faced by others and to offer assistance in a manner that is meaningful and beneficial.
Secondly, this Hadith emphasizes the importance of empathy and compassion in our interactions with fellow Muslims. It reminds us that we are all part of a larger community and that it is our duty to alleviate the suffering of others. By extending a helping hand, we not only provide immediate relief but also foster a sense of unity and solidarity among believers.
Lastly, this Hadith serves as a reminder of the exemplary character of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ). His profound knowledge and understanding of Islamic principles allowed him to provide concise and insightful guidance to the Muslim community. His words continue to resonate with Muslims of all backgrounds, reminding us of the importance of compassion, justice, and support for one another.
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ)
Assistance is allowed according to need
holds immense wisdom and guidance for Muslims. It reminds us of our duty to help those in need, to be mindful of their circumstances, and to extend our support in a meaningful and beneficial manner. By following this guidance, we can strive to create a society that is characterized by compassion, justice, and unity. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the ability to practice these teachings and to be a source of assistance and support for those in need.
Join our community to daily receive one short Hadith of Imam Ali a.s on your device.
Your message has been successfully received, and we will respond to you soon.