مَنْ آثَرَ على نَفْسِهِ بالَغَ في المُرُوءَةِ۔

Whoever prefers others to himself has reached the height of magnanimity.



Whoever prefers others to himself has reached the height of magnanimity.

— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: Self-Sacrifice)

Personal Reflection

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds. May peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.

The Arabic Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states,

مَنْ آثَرَ على نَفْسِهِ بالَغَ في المُرُوءَةِ۔

This Hadith can be translated as,

Whoever prefers others to himself has reached the height of magnanimity.

Let us delve into the meaning of some key words in this Hadith. The word (athara) "آثَرَ" means to prioritize or give preference to something or someone. It signifies the act of placing the needs and interests of others before one's own. The word (nafsihi) "نَفْسِهِ" refers to oneself or one's own self. And the phrase (bilagha fi al-muruwwah) "بالَغَ في المُرُوءَةِ" can be understood as reaching the pinnacle of magnanimity or noble character.

To understand the enlightening message of this Hadith, we can turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-Hashr (59:9),

And [also for] those who were settled in the Home [i.e., the Ansar] and [adopted] the faith before them. They love those who emigrated to them and find not any want in their breasts of what the emigrants were given but give [them] preference over themselves, even though they are in privation. And whoever is protected from the stinginess of his soul - it is those who will be the successful.

This verse highlights the virtue of preferring others over oneself. The Ansar, the inhabitants of Madinah who welcomed and supported the Prophet () and the Muhajirun, the emigrants from Makkah, are praised for their selflessness and love for their fellow Muslims. They did not feel any envy or resentment towards the Muhajirun, even though they themselves were in need. Instead, they gave preference to their brothers in faith, exemplifying the essence of magnanimity.

Furthermore, in Surah Al-Insan (76:9), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,

And they give food in spite of love for it to the needy, the orphan, and the captive.

This verse emphasizes the act of giving food to those in need, even when one has an attachment to it. It encourages Muslims to overcome their personal desires and preferences for the sake of helping others.

Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) Hadith echoes these Quranic teachings, urging us to prioritize the well-being and happiness of others over our own. It calls us to rise above our selfish tendencies and embrace a selfless and compassionate approach towards others. When we genuinely care for the needs and concerns of those around us, we create an atmosphere of love, unity, and harmony within our communities.

By practicing this noble trait of preferring others over ourselves, we can foster a society that is built on empathy, kindness, and mutual support. It encourages us to be considerate of the feelings and needs of others, leading to stronger bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood among Muslims.

In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) teaches us the importance of selflessness and magnanimity. It reminds us to prioritize the well-being of others over our own desires and interests. By following this guidance, we can cultivate a culture of compassion and generosity within our communities, reflecting the teachings of the Quran and the noble example set by the Prophet Muhammad () and his Ahl al-Bayt (عَلَيْهِمُ ٱلسَّلَامُ). May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the ability to embody this virtue and strive towards the height of magnanimity.

. : . (Readers are advised to verify the sources mentioned above, and to independently research for an accurate understanding of Hadith. Remember, personal research and seeking guidance from scholars are essential in gaining a better insight. Please, do contact us if you find any wrong citations or explanations.)

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