ما ظَفِرَبِالآخِرَةِ مَنْ كانَتِ الدُّنيا مَطْلَبَهُ۔
He whose goal is [attaining] this world will not be successful in [attaining] the Hereafter.
— 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. Peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.
The provided Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) highlights the importance of prioritizing the Hereafter over the worldly desires. Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ), known for his profound knowledge and wisdom, reminds us that those who solely focus on worldly gains will not be successful in attaining the rewards of the Hereafter.
Let us delve into the words of this Hadith to gain a deeper understanding. The key word in this Hadith is (zafira) "ظَفِرَ", which means to achieve success or triumph. The word (al-akhirah) "الآخِرَةِ" refers to the Hereafter, the eternal life that awaits us after death. And (ad-dunya) "الدُّنيا" refers to the temporal world, the life of this world.
To further comprehend the significance of this Hadith, we can turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) repeatedly emphasizes the transitory nature of this world and the everlasting nature of the Hereafter. In Surah Al-Kahf, Allah says, (Quran 57:20)
But what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion?
This verse reminds us that the pleasures and pursuits of this world are fleeting and illusory.
Moreover, in Surah Al-Baqarah, Allah states, (Quran 17:18)
Whoever desires the immediate gains of this world - We hasten for him therein what We will to whom We intend. Then We have made for him Hell, which he will [enter to] burn, censured and banished
This verse serves as a warning that those who prioritize worldly desires will face severe consequences in the Hereafter.
Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) Hadith aligns perfectly with these Quranic teachings. It serves as a reminder that our ultimate goal should be the Hereafter, where true success and eternal rewards await. If we become too engrossed in the pursuit of worldly gains, we risk losing sight of our purpose and neglecting the deeds that will benefit us in the Hereafter.
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) encourages us to prioritize our actions and intentions, ensuring that they are aligned with the teachings of Islam and aimed at attaining success in the Hereafter. This Hadith serves as a motivation for Muslims to focus on acts of worship, seeking knowledge, performing good deeds, and developing a strong connection with Allah. By doing so, we can strive for success in both this world and the Hereafter.
The consequences of prioritizing the world over the Hereafter are grave. We may become consumed by materialistic desires, neglecting our spiritual growth and the development of our character. This can lead to a loss of morality, compassion, and empathy towards others. Moreover, excessive attachment to worldly possessions can create a sense of greed, envy, and arrogance, which are detrimental to our spiritual well-being.
On the other hand, when we prioritize the Hereafter, our actions become guided by a higher purpose. We strive to fulfill our obligations towards Allah and His creation. We seek knowledge, engage in acts of charity, show kindness and mercy to others, and strive to purify our hearts and souls. By doing so, we not only attain success in the Hereafter but also experience a sense of fulfillment and contentment in this world.
Reflecting on this Hadith, we should evaluate our priorities and ensure that we strike a balance between our worldly responsibilities and our spiritual obligations. We should strive to make the Hereafter our ultimate goal, seeking the pleasure of Allah in all our actions. By doing so, we can lead a meaningful and purposeful life, one that is focused on attaining success in both this world and the Hereafter.
May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) guide us all to prioritize the Hereafter and grant us success in both worlds. Ameen.
Join our community to daily receive one short Hadith of Imam Ali a.s on your device.