الصَّديقُ أقْرَبُ الأقارِبِ۔
A friend is the closest of relations.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: The Brother, The Friend, The Associate And The Companion)
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all worlds. May peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.
The Arabic Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states, "الصَّديقُ أقْرَبُ الأقارِبِ۔" This Hadith can be translated into English as,
A friend is the closest of relations.
Let us delve into the deeper meaning of this impactful Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) and explore its significance in light of the Quran.
The word (sadiq) "صَدِيق" in Arabic refers to a friend or companion who is truthful, sincere, and loyal. It is derived from the root word (sadaqa) "صَدَقَ", which means to be truthful and honest. Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) emphasizes the importance of such a friend by stating that they are (aqrabu al-aqarib) "أقْرَبُ الأقارِبِ", meaning they are closer than any other relations.
This Hadith reminds us of the significance of true friendship in Islam. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) has highlighted the importance of companionship and friendship in the Quran. In Surah Al-Anfal (8:73), Allah says,
And those who believed and emigrated and fought in the cause of Allah and those who gave shelter and aided - it is they who are the believers, truly.
This verse emphasizes the bond of friendship and support among the believers, highlighting the role of friends in times of struggle and hardship.
Furthermore, in Surah Al-Ma'idah (5:55), Allah mentions the close bond between the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) by saying,
Your ally is none but Allah and [therefore] His Messenger and those who have believed - those who establish prayer and give zakah, and they bow [in worship].
This verse highlights the unique friendship and companionship between the Prophet (ﷺ) and Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ), which serves as an example for all Muslims.
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) emphasizes the closeness of a true friend by stating that they are even closer than blood relations. This highlights the profound impact that a sincere and loyal friend can have on our lives. A true friend is someone who supports us, guides us, and stands by our side through thick and thin. They are there to lend a helping hand, provide comfort, and offer advice when needed.
The significance of this Hadith lies in the fact that it encourages us to seek and maintain genuine friendships based on sincerity, trust, and righteousness. A true friend is not just a companion for socializing or passing time, but someone who helps us grow spiritually, morally, and intellectually. They inspire us to become better individuals and assist us in our journey towards attaining the pleasure of Allah.
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ), known for his immense knowledge and wisdom, understood the importance of surrounding oneself with righteous companions. He himself was a shining example of a true friend and companion to the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). His unwavering loyalty, unwavering support, and unwavering love for the Prophet (ﷺ) serve as a testament to the significance of true friendship in Islam.
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) reminds us of the profound impact that a true friend can have on our lives. It encourages us to seek and maintain sincere and loyal friendships, as they are even closer than blood relations. By surrounding ourselves with righteous companions, we can strive towards spiritual growth, moral development, and the attainment of Allah's pleasure. May Allah guide us in choosing and nurturing such friendships and grant us the wisdom to be true friends to others.
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