إنَّ الدُّنيا لَمُفْسِدَةُ الدّينِ، مُسْلِبَةُ اليَقينِ، وإنَّها لَرَأْسُ الفِتَنِ، وَأصْلُ المِحَنِ۔

Verily this world is the corruptor of faith and the dispossessor of certitude; it is the source of [all] troubles and root of tribulations.



Verily this world is the corruptor of faith and the dispossessor of...

— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: This World)

Personal Reflection

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all worlds. Peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.

In this profound Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ), he describes the nature of this world and its impact on our faith. Let us delve into the meanings of the important words in this Hadith and explore its deeper implications.

The first word to focus on is (dunya) "دُنْيَا", which refers to the temporal world, the material realm that we inhabit. It is a place of fleeting pleasures, transient desires, and worldly pursuits. This word is derived from the root (dana) "دَنَا", which signifies nearness and closeness. Hence, the dunya is the realm that is close to us, the physical world that we experience with our senses.

Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) describes the dunya as (mufsidahtu al-deen) "مُفْسِدَةُ الدِّينِ", meaning the corruptor of faith. This implies that the dunya has the potential to corrupt and undermine our religious beliefs and practices. It can distract us from our spiritual journey and lead us astray from the path of righteousness. The dunya tempts us with its allurements, causing us to prioritize worldly pursuits over our obligations to Allah and our fellow human beings.

To support this understanding, we find a relevant Quranic verse in Surah Al-Hadid (57:20), where Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,

Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children - like the example of a rain whose [resulting] plant growth pleases the tillers; then it dries and you see it turned yellow; then it becomes [scattered] debris. And in the Hereafter is severe punishment and forgiveness from Allah and approval. And what is the worldly life except the enjoyment of delusion.

The second phrase in the Hadith is (muslibatu al-yaqeen) "مُسْلِبَةُ اليَقِينِ", which means the dispossessor of certitude. Yaqeen refers to unwavering faith and conviction in the existence and oneness of Allah. It is the pinnacle of spiritual certainty that transcends doubt and skepticism. However, the dunya has the power to erode this certitude, causing us to become doubtful and uncertain in our faith.

The Quranic verse in Surah Al-Hajj (22:55) supports this notion, where Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,

And those who disbelieve will not cease to be in doubt of it until the Hour comes upon them unexpectedly or there comes to them the punishment of a barren Day.

Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) further describes the dunya as (rasu al-fitn) "رَأْسُ الفِتَنِ", the source of troubles. The dunya is a breeding ground for trials, tribulations, and tests. It presents us with numerous challenges and temptations that can lead us astray from the straight path. It is through these trials that our faith is tested and our character is shaped.

In Surah Al-Ankabut (29:2-3), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,

Do the people think that they will be left to say, 'We believe' and they will not be tried? But We have certainly tried those before them, and Allah will surely make evident those who are truthful, and He will surely make evident the liars.

Lastly, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) describes the dunya as (aslul mihan) "أَصْلُ المِحَنِ", the root of tribulations. This signifies that the dunya is the origin, the foundation from which various trials and hardships arise. It is in this world that we encounter difficulties, sufferings, and adversities. However, it is through these trials that we have the opportunity to grow spiritually, develop resilience, and seek closeness to Allah.

In Surah Al-Baqarah (2:155), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,

And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient.

In conclusion, this profound Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) serves as a reminder for us as Muslims to be cautious of the corrupting influence of the dunya on our faith. It urges us to prioritize our spiritual journey over worldly pursuits and to remain steadfast in our conviction and certitude. The dunya may present us with trials and tribulations, but it is through these challenges that we have the opportunity to grow closer to Allah and attain eternal success in the Hereafter. May Allah protect us from the temptations of this world and grant us the strength to navigate its trials with steadfastness and faith.

. : . (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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