عَلَيْكَ بِالآخِرَةِ تَأْتِكَ الدُّنيا صاغِرَةً۔
Seek the Hereafter and the world will come to you belittled.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: The Hereafter)
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 family, his noble companions, and all the righteous Muslims.
The provided Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) is a thought-provoking Hadith that highlights the importance of prioritizing the Hereafter over the worldly life. Let us delve into the exegesis of this Hadith and explore its deeper meaning in light of the Quran.
The key words in this Hadith are (the Hereafter) "الآخِرَةِ" and (the world) "الدُّنيا". The Hereafter refers to the eternal life that awaits us after death, where we will be held accountable for our actions in this world. The world, on the other hand, refers to the transient and temporary life we live in this world.
To understand the significance of seeking the Hereafter, we turn to the Quran, where Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) repeatedly emphasizes the superiority and everlasting nature of the Hereafter over the worldly life. In Surah Al-Qasas, Allah says, (28:77)
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 reminds us that while we should strive for success in both the Hereafter and the world, our primary focus should be on the Hereafter. We should not forget our responsibilities and obligations in this world, but our ultimate goal should be to attain the eternal bliss of the Hereafter.
Imam Ali's statement further emphasizes that when we prioritize the Hereafter, the world will come to us belittled. This means that when we seek the pleasure of Allah and focus on our spiritual growth, the allure and attachment to worldly possessions and desires diminishes. Our perspective shifts, and we realize that the material possessions of this world hold little value compared to the eternal rewards of the Hereafter.
The Quran supports this notion in various verses. In Surah Al-Baqarah, Allah says, (2:15)
Beautified for people is the love of that which they desire - of women and sons, heaped-up sums of gold and silver, fine branded horses, and cattle and tilled land. That is the enjoyment of worldly life, but Allah has with Him the best return
This verse highlights that the attractions of this world may seem enticing, but they are temporary and fleeting. The true and everlasting reward lies with Allah in the Hereafter. When we prioritize the Hereafter, we detach ourselves from the materialistic pursuits of this world, and they lose their significance in our eyes.
Imam Ali's statement serves as a reminder for us Muslims to reflect on our priorities and the purpose of our existence. It encourages us to focus on our spiritual growth, seeking knowledge, performing good deeds, and striving for the pleasure of Allah. By doing so, we attain tranquility and contentment in this world, knowing that our ultimate success lies in the Hereafter.
When we prioritize the Hereafter, we become less attached to the transient nature of the world. We become less affected by the trials and tribulations of this life, as our hearts are anchored in the hope and promise of the Hereafter. We become more content with what Allah has decreed for us, knowing that true success lies in the eternal life to come.
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) serves as a profound reminder for Muslims to prioritize the Hereafter over the world. By seeking the pleasure of Allah and focusing on our spiritual growth, we detach ourselves from the materialistic pursuits of this world. The Quranic verses mentioned support this notion, highlighting the superiority and everlasting nature of the Hereafter. May Allah guide us all to prioritize the Hereafter and grant us success in this world and the Hereafter.
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