الْكَرَمُ أَعْطَفُ مِنَ الرَّحِمِ۔

Generosity is more prompting to good than regard for kinship.



Generosity is more prompting to good than regard for kinship.

— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #247)

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 progeny, and his noble companions.

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

الْكَرَمُ أَعْطَفُ مِنَ الرَّحِمِ۔

This can be translated as,

Generosity is more prompting to good than regard for kinship.

Let us delve into the essence of this Hadith and explore its implications in light of the Quran.

The word (al-karam) "الْكَرَمُ" refers to generosity, which entails the act of giving and being kind to others. It is an attribute that encompasses various forms of benevolence, such as giving charity, helping those in need, and showing kindness and compassion towards others. The word (a'tafu) "أَعْطَفُ" means more inclined or more prompting, indicating that generosity has a stronger inclination towards goodness than (ar-rahim) "الرَّحِمِ", which refers to kinship or blood relations.

The Quran emphasizes the importance of generosity and its positive impact on individuals and society. In Surah Al-Baqarah, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says, (Quran 3:92)

You will not attain righteousness until you spend from that which you love. And whatever you spend - indeed, Allah is Knowing of it.

This verse highlights the significance of giving from what we hold dear, as it is a means to attain righteousness and please Allah. Generosity is not limited to monetary wealth but also includes giving one's time, knowledge, and resources for the betterment of others.

Furthermore, the Quran encourages Muslims to be generous and kind to their relatives. In Surah An-Nisa, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) states, (Quran 4:36)

And worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding and boastful.

This verse emphasizes the importance of fulfilling the rights of kinship and treating relatives with kindness and compassion.

However, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) highlights that while kinship is important, generosity has a greater inclination towards goodness. This means that being generous and kind to others, even if they are not our relatives, holds more weight in terms of promoting goodness and establishing harmonious relationships within society.

Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) possessed immense knowledge and wisdom, and his statement in this Hadith reflects his deep understanding of human nature and the importance of fostering a spirit of generosity. When we are generous, we not only benefit others but also experience personal growth and spiritual fulfillment. Generosity has the power to uplift the spirits of both the giver and the receiver, creating a positive ripple effect that spreads goodness and kindness.

Moreover, this Hadith serves as a reminder that our actions should be driven by a genuine desire to do good and benefit others, rather than being solely motivated by our blood relations. It encourages us to extend our generosity beyond our immediate family and embrace the wider community as our brothers and sisters in faith.

In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) teaches us that generosity holds a greater inclination towards promoting goodness than regard for kinship. It reminds us of the importance of being kind, compassionate, and generous towards others, regardless of their relationship to us. By embodying the spirit of generosity, we can contribute to a more harmonious and compassionate society, following the teachings of the Quran and the noble example of our beloved Prophet Muhammad () and his Ahl al-Bayt. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the ability to be generous and kind-hearted Muslims.

. : . (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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