النَّاسُ فِي الدُّنْيَا عَامِلاَنِ: عَامِلٌ عَمِلَ فِي الدُّنْيَا لِلدُّنْيَا، قَدْ شَغَلَتْهُ دُنْيَاهُ عَنْ آخِرَتِهِ، يَخْشَى عَلَى مَنْ يَخْلُفُهُ الْفَقْرَ، وَيأْمَنُهُ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ، فَيُفْنِي عُمُرَهُ فِي مَنْفَعَةِ غَيْرِهِ وَعَامِلٌ عَمِلَ فِي الدُّنْيَا لِمَا بَعْدَهَا، فَجَاءَهُ الَّذِي لَهُ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا بِغَيْرِ عَمَلٍ، فَأَحْرَزَ الْحَظَّيْنِ مَعاً، وَمَلَكَ الدَّارَيْنِ جَمِيعاً، فَأَصْبَحَ وَجِيهاًعِنْدَاللهِ، لاَ يَسْأَلُ اللهَ حَاجَةً فَيَمْنَعَهُ۔
There are two kinds of workers in the world. One is a person who works in this world for this world and his work of this world keeps him unmindful of the next world. He is afraid of destitution for those he will leave behind but feels himself safe about it. So, he spends his life after the good of others. The other is one who works in this world for what is to come hereafter, and he secures his share of this world without effort. Thus, he gets both the benefits together and becomes the owner of both the houses together. In this way, he is prestigious before Allah. If he asks Allah anything He does not deny him.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #269)
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.
In this profound Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ), he describes two types of workers in this world. The first type is a person who works solely for the material gains of this world. Their focus is on accumulating wealth and possessions, and they are completely engrossed in the affairs of this worldly life. They are so preoccupied with their own worldly affairs that they neglect the importance of the hereafter. They fear poverty and are constantly worried about what will happen to their wealth and possessions after they pass away. However, they feel secure about their own well-being and prioritize their own interests over the needs of others. They spend their entire lives pursuing the benefits and pleasures of this world, without considering the consequences of their actions.
The second type of worker is one who works in this world with the intention of reaping the rewards in the hereafter. They understand that this world is temporary and that the true and everlasting life is the one that awaits them in the hereafter. They prioritize their actions and efforts based on the principles and teachings of Islam, seeking to please Allah and earn His blessings. They do not neglect their worldly responsibilities, but they do not let their attachment to this world distract them from their ultimate goal of attaining success in the hereafter.
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) highlights the difference between these two types of workers by stating that the second type of worker is blessed with both the benefits of this world and the rewards of the hereafter. They are able to strike a balance between their worldly affairs and their spiritual obligations. They are successful in this world and are also granted a high status in the sight of Allah. They do not have to ask Allah for their needs because He provides for them abundantly.
This Hadith emphasizes the importance of having the right intentions and priorities in our actions. It reminds us that our focus should not solely be on the material gains of this world, but rather on working towards the eternal rewards of the hereafter. It teaches us that true success lies in striking a balance between our worldly responsibilities and our spiritual obligations. We should not neglect our worldly duties, but we should also not let them consume us to the extent that we forget our ultimate purpose in life.
The Quran provides us with numerous verses that support the teachings of this Hadith. Allah says in Surah Al-Baqarah (2:201),
And of them are some who say, 'Our Lord, give us in this world [that which is] good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.'
This verse highlights the importance of seeking goodness in both this world and the hereafter, and seeking protection from the punishment of Hell.
Another verse that complements this Hadith is found in Surah Al-Kahf (18:46), where Allah says,
Wealth and children are [but] adornment of the worldly life. But the enduring good deeds are better to your Lord for reward and better for [one's] hope.
This verse reminds us that while wealth and worldly possessions may be attractive and desirable, the true value lies in the enduring good deeds that we perform for the sake of Allah.
In conclusion, this Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) serves as a profound reminder for Muslims to prioritize their actions and intentions. It teaches us to strike a balance between our worldly responsibilities and our spiritual obligations, and to work towards the rewards of the hereafter. By doing so, we can attain success in both this world and the hereafter, and earn the pleasure and blessings of Allah. May Allah guide us all to be among the second type of workers described in this Hadith and grant us success in this world and the hereafter.
Join our community to daily receive one short Hadith of Imam Ali a.s on your device.