طُوبَى لِمَنْ ذَلَّ فِى نَفْسِهِ وَ طَابَ كَسْبُهُ وَ صَلَحَتْ سَرِيرَتُهُ وَ حَسُنَتْ خَلِيقَتُهُ وَ أَنْفَقَ الْفَضْلَ مِنْ مَالِهِ وَ أَمْسَكَ الْفَضْلَ مِنْ لِسَانِهِ وَ عَزَلَ عَنِ النَّاسِ شَرَّهُ وَ وَسِعَتْهُ السُّنَّةُ وَ لَمْ يُنْسَبْ إلَى الْبِدْعَةِ۔
Blessed be lie who humbles himself, whose livelihood is pure, whose heart is chaste, whose habits are virtuous, who spends his savings (in the name of Allah), who prevents his tongue from speaking nonsense, who keeps people safe from evil, who is pleased with the (Prophet's) sunnah, and who is unconnected with innovation (in religion).
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #123)
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 (ﷺ), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.
The Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) emphasizes the qualities and actions of a blessed individual. Let us delve into the exegesis of this profound Hadith and explore its meanings in light of the Quran.
Firstly, let us examine the important words in this Hadith. The word (tuba) "طُوبَى" refers to a state of ultimate bliss and happiness. It is a divine reward for those who possess the qualities mentioned in the Hadith. (dalla) "ذَلَّ" means to humble oneself, to lower one's ego and pride. (taba) "طَابَ" signifies purity and goodness in one's livelihood. (kasbuhu) "كَسْبُهُ" refers to one's earnings and income. (salahat) "صَلَحَتْ" denotes a chaste and pure heart. (sirratuhu) "سَرِيرَتُهُ" refers to one's innermost character and intentions. (hasunat) "حَسُنَتْ" signifies virtuous and righteous habits. (khaliqatuhu) "خَلِيقَتُهُ" refers to one's moral and ethical disposition. (anfaqa) "أَنْفَقَ" means to spend or donate in the way of Allah. (al-fadl) "الْفَضْلَ" refers to the surplus wealth that one possesses. (amsaka) "أَمْسَكَ" means to withhold or restrain. (lisanihi) "لِسَانِهِ" refers to one's tongue and speech. (azala) "عَزَلَ" means to distance oneself or to keep away. (sharruhu) "شَرَّهُ" signifies evil or harm. (wasi'atuhu) "وَسِعَتْهُ" refers to the expansiveness of one's actions and character. (as-sunnah) "السُّنَّةُ" refers to the teachings and practices of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). (al-bid'ah) "الْبِدْعَةِ" refers to innovation in religion.
Now, let us turn to the Quran to find support for the teachings of this Hadith. 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 the importance of humility and righteousness, which are key qualities mentioned in the Hadith. It emphasizes that true nobility lies in piety and good character.
Furthermore, in Surah Al-Qasas (28:77), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,
But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter; and [yet], do not forget your share of the world. And do good as Allah has done good to you. And desire not corruption in the land. Indeed, Allah does not like corrupters.
This verse encourages believers to spend their wealth in the way of Allah and to do good deeds. It aligns with the Hadith's emphasis on spending one's savings in the name of Allah and having virtuous habits.
The Hadith also emphasizes the importance of controlling one's tongue and refraining from speaking nonsense. In Surah Al-Isra (17:53), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,
And tell My servants to say that which is best. Indeed, Satan induces [dissension] among them. Indeed Satan is ever, to mankind, a clear enemy.
This verse reminds Muslims to choose their words wisely and speak in a manner that is pleasing to Allah. It highlights the significance of restraining one's tongue from uttering falsehood or causing harm.
Moreover, the Hadith emphasizes the importance of distancing oneself from evil and keeping people safe from harm. In Surah Al-Ma'idah (5:2), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,
And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.
This verse encourages Muslims to work together in promoting righteousness and preventing evil. It aligns with the Hadith's emphasis on keeping people safe from harm and distancing oneself from evil actions.
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) provides a comprehensive guide for leading a blessed and righteous life. It emphasizes the importance of humility, purity in livelihood, chastity in heart, virtuous habits, spending in the way of Allah, controlling one's tongue, keeping people safe from harm, adhering to the Prophet's sunnah, and avoiding religious innovation. These teachings are in line with the Quranic principles of righteousness, piety, and good character. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) bless us all with the ability to embody these qualities and lead a life that is pleasing to Him.
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