مَنْ أَصْلَحَ سَرِيرَتَهُ أَصْلَحَ اللهُ عَلاَنِيَتَهُ، وَمَنْ عَمِلَ لِدِينِهِ كَفَاهُ اللهُ أَمْرَ دُنْيَاهُ، وَمَنْ أَحْسَنَ فِيَما بَيْنَهُ وبَيْنَ اللهِ كَفَاهُ اللهُ مَا بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ النَّاسِ۔
Whoever set right his inward self, Allah sets right his outward self Whoever performs acts for his religion, Allah accomplishes his acts of this world. Whoever's dealings between himself and Allah are good, Allah turns the dealings between him and other people good.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #423)
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 (ﷺ), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.
The provided Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) highlights the profound relationship between a person's inward self and their outward actions. Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) begins by stating that whoever rectifies their inward self, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) will rectify their outward self. This refers to the importance of purifying one's intentions and ensuring that their actions are driven by sincerity and righteousness.
The Imam (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) then emphasizes the significance of performing acts for the sake of one's religion. When a person dedicates themselves to acts of worship, obedience, and righteousness, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) will facilitate their worldly affairs. This means that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) will provide them with ease, blessings, and success in their worldly endeavors.
To support this exegesis, we find numerous verses in the Quran that emphasize the importance of sincerity and righteous actions. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-Ankabut (29:69),
And those who strive for Us - We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good.
This verse highlights that those who strive for Allah's sake will be guided by Him and will be granted success in their endeavors.
Furthermore, in Surah Al-Hajj (22:77), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) states,
O you who have believed, bow and prostrate and worship your Lord and do good - that you may succeed.
This verse emphasizes the importance of performing acts of worship and righteousness in order to attain success in both this world and the hereafter.
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) also highlights the significance of maintaining good relations between oneself and Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). When a person's relationship with Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) is based on sincerity, obedience, and devotion, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) will ensure that their interactions with others are also characterized by goodness and fairness.
This concept is beautifully echoed in the Quran in Surah Al-Hujurat (49:13), where Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,
O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.
This verse emphasizes that the righteousness of a person is not determined by their outward appearance or social status, but rather by their piety and good character.
In light of this Hadith, we can understand that rectifying our inward selves, performing acts for the sake of our religion, and maintaining a strong relationship with Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) are all interconnected. When we purify our intentions, dedicate ourselves to acts of worship, and strive to please Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ), we will witness the positive consequences in both our personal and social lives.
For example, if a person strives to be honest, trustworthy, and just in their dealings with others, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) will bless their interactions and ensure that they are treated with fairness and respect by others. Similarly, when a person dedicates themselves to acts of worship and obedience, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) will facilitate their worldly affairs and grant them success in their endeavors.
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) teaches us the importance of purifying our intentions, performing acts for the sake of our religion, and maintaining a strong relationship with Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). By doing so, we can expect Allah's guidance, blessings, and success in both this world and the hereafter. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the ability to rectify our inward selves and strive for righteousness in all aspects of our lives.
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