إذَا كَانَ في رَجُلٍ خَلَّةٌ رَائِعَةٌ فَانْتَظِرْ أَخَوَاتِهَا۔
If a man possesses a revealing quality wait and see his other qualities.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #445)
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Praise be to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ), the Lord of all worlds, and blessings and peace be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.
The Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states,
If a man possesses a revealing quality, wait and see his other qualities.
This beautiful Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) highlights the importance of observing and recognizing the true character of an individual. Let us delve deeper into the words of this Hadith to understand its significance in the light of the Quran.
The word (khalah) "خَلَّةٌ" in Arabic refers to a quality or characteristic that is distinct and prominent in an individual. It is a revealing quality that can give us insight into the person's true nature. Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) advises us to be patient and observant when we come across such a quality in someone, as it may serve as an indication of their other qualities.
This Hadith reminds us of the importance of not judging someone solely based on one aspect of their character. It encourages us to look beyond the surface and seek a comprehensive understanding of an individual's virtues and flaws. In doing so, we can avoid hasty judgments and form a more accurate perception of others.
The Quran also emphasizes the importance of observing and recognizing the true character of individuals. In Surah Al-Hujurat (49:6), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,
O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful.
This verse highlights the need for verification and investigation before passing judgment based on hearsay or limited information. It encourages Muslims to be cautious and not harm others based on incomplete knowledge.
Furthermore, in Surah Al-Mumtahina (60:8), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,
Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes - from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.
This verse emphasizes the importance of treating others with fairness and justice, regardless of their beliefs or backgrounds. It reminds us that true character is reflected in how we treat others and uphold justice.
Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) statement in this Hadith encourages us to be patient and observant when we come across individuals who possess a revealing quality. By doing so, we can gain a deeper understanding of their true character and avoid making hasty judgments. This approach promotes fairness, justice, and a more comprehensive understanding of others.
For example, if we encounter someone who displays kindness and compassion towards others, we should not hastily assume that they possess all virtuous qualities. Instead, we should observe their behavior in different situations, their treatment of others, and their adherence to moral principles. This way, we can form a more accurate assessment of their character and avoid being deceived by superficial appearances.
Similarly, if we come across someone who exhibits a negative quality, such as anger or impatience, we should not immediately label them as a bad person. Instead, we should consider other aspects of their character, such as their repentance, forgiveness, or efforts to rectify their behavior. By doing so, we can recognize the potential for growth and change in individuals and avoid writing them off based on one flaw.
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) reminds us to be patient and observant when we come across individuals who possess a revealing quality. It encourages us to look beyond the surface and seek a comprehensive understanding of an individual's virtues and flaws. By doing so, we can avoid hasty judgments, promote fairness and justice, and develop a more accurate perception of others. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the wisdom to recognize and appreciate the true character of those around us.
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