إيّاكَ ومُصادَقَةَ البَخيلِ، فإنَّهُ يَقْعُدُ عَنْكَ (بِكَ) أحوَجَ ما تَكوُنُ إلَيهِ۔

Be careful not to befriend a miser, for he will hold back [from assisting you] when you are most in need of him.



Be careful not to befriend a miser, for he will hold back [from assisting...

— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: The Brother, The Friend, The Associate And The Companion)

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 provided Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) warns Muslims against befriending a miser, as such a person will withhold assistance when one is in dire need. Let us delve into the deeper meaning of this Hadith by examining the key words and concepts it contains.

The word (bakhil) "بَخِيل" in Arabic refers to a miser or a stingy person. This individual is characterized by their reluctance to spend or give, even when they have the means to do so. They prioritize their own wealth and possessions over the needs of others, often leading to a lack of generosity and compassion.

Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) advises Muslims to be cautious and avoid befriending such individuals. This caution is rooted in the understanding that a miser will not be there for you when you are in desperate need of their support. They will withhold their assistance, even if you have been a loyal friend to them.

To further understand the wisdom behind this advice, let us turn to the Quran for guidance. In Surah Al-Isra, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says, (Quran 17:29)

And do not make your hand [as] chained to your neck or extend it completely and [thereby] become blamed and insolvent

This verse highlights the importance of striking a balance in our approach to wealth and generosity.

A miser, by their very nature, fails to strike this balance. They cling tightly to their wealth, refusing to extend their hand in assistance to those in need. This behavior not only brings blame upon them but also renders them insolvent in the eyes of Allah. Their attachment to worldly possessions blinds them to the greater purpose of wealth, which is to be a means of helping others and seeking the pleasure of Allah.

In another verse, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says, (Quran 2:220)

And they ask you about orphans. Say, 'Improvement for them is best. And if you mix your affairs with theirs - they are your brothers'

This verse emphasizes the importance of caring for orphans and extending a helping hand to those who are less fortunate. It encourages Muslims to integrate their affairs with those in need, treating them as brothers and sisters in faith.

When we befriend a miser, we risk compromising our ability to fulfill this Quranic injunction. The miser's stinginess and reluctance to assist others can influence our own behavior, leading us to neglect our duty towards those in need. By distancing ourselves from such individuals, we can protect ourselves from falling into the same mindset and ensure that we are able to fulfill our obligations towards our fellow Muslims.

Furthermore, the consequences of befriending a miser can extend beyond our own ability to help others. It can also impact our own well-being and spiritual growth. The company we keep has a profound influence on our character and actions. If we surround ourselves with individuals who prioritize worldly possessions over the needs of others, we risk adopting the same mindset and becoming detached from the true purpose of wealth.

Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) advice serves as a reminder to Muslims to choose their friends wisely. By befriending those who embody generosity, compassion, and a willingness to help others, we can cultivate these qualities within ourselves. We can strive to emulate the example of the Prophet Muhammad () and his noble companions, who were known for their selflessness and willingness to sacrifice for the sake of others.

In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) warns Muslims against befriending a miser, as such individuals will withhold assistance when we are most in need. This advice is rooted in the Quranic teachings of striking a balance between wealth and generosity, caring for those in need, and choosing our companions wisely. By heeding this advice, we can protect ourselves from falling into the trap of selfishness and cultivate a spirit of generosity and compassion within ourselves. May Allah guide us in our friendships and grant us the ability to be a source of support and assistance to those in need.

. : . (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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