كُلُّ الحَسَبِمُتَناه إلاّ العَقْلَ والأدَبَ۔

Every distinction is limited except intelligence and good etiquette.



Every distinction is limited except intelligence and good etiquette.

— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: Good Etiquette)

Personal Reflection

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds. 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,

كُلُّ الحَسَبِمُتَناه إلاّ العَقْلَ والأدَبَ۔

This Hadith emphasizes that every form of distinction or superiority has its limits, except for intelligence and good etiquette. Let us delve deeper into the meanings of the key words in this Hadith to gain a better understanding.

The word (hasabimutanaha) "حَسَبِمُتَناه" refers to any form of distinction, privilege, or superiority that one may possess. It implies that these distinctions are limited and have boundaries. This includes material wealth, social status, physical strength, and any other worldly advantage that may be temporary and subject to change.

On the other hand, the words (al-'aql) "العَقْلَ" and (al-adab) "الأدَبَ" refer to intelligence and good etiquette, respectively. Intelligence is the ability to reason, understand, and make sound judgments. It encompasses intellectual capabilities, wisdom, and knowledge. Good etiquette, on the other hand, refers to proper behavior, manners, and moral conduct. It includes treating others with respect, kindness, and compassion.

To further understand the significance of this Hadith, let us turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-Hujurat (49:13),

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 highlights that true distinction and superiority lies in righteousness and piety. It is not based on race, ethnicity, or any worldly advantage. Similarly, in Surah Al-Hujurat (49:11), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,

O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one's] faith. And whoever does not repent - then it is those who are the wrongdoers.

This verse emphasizes the importance of good etiquette and the prohibition of ridiculing or insulting others. It reminds us that true distinction is not based on belittling or demeaning others but rather on treating them with respect and kindness.

Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) Hadith serves as a reminder to Muslims that while worldly advantages may come and go, intelligence and good etiquette are timeless qualities that should be cultivated and valued. Intelligence allows us to seek knowledge, understand the teachings of Islam, and make informed decisions. Good etiquette enables us to interact with others in a manner that reflects the teachings of Islam and promotes harmony within society.

By prioritizing intelligence and good etiquette, we can overcome the limitations of worldly distinctions and strive for a higher level of excellence. These qualities have far-reaching consequences, not only in this world but also in the Hereafter. They shape our character, influence our relationships, and contribute to the betterment of society.

In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) reminds us that every form of distinction is limited except for intelligence and good etiquette. It encourages us to prioritize these qualities and recognize their significance in our lives. By doing so, we can strive for true excellence and earn the pleasure of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). May Allah guide us all to embody these qualities and grant us success in this world and the Hereafter.

. : . (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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