شرُّ إخوانِكَ مَنْ أغراكَ بِهَوىً، ووَلّهَكَ بالدُّنيا۔
The worst of your brothers is the one who beguiles you with vain desire and distracts you with this world.
— 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 the 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) serves as a profound reminder for all Muslims about the dangers of being influenced by worldly desires and distractions. Let us delve into the exegesis of this Hadith, exploring its important words and their meanings in light of the Quran.
The first word to focus on is (sharru) "شرُّ", which translates to "worst" or "most evil." This word emphasizes the severity of the action being described. It signifies that the action being committed is not only detrimental but also carries a great deal of harm. In the context of this Hadith, it refers to the actions of a person who deceives and misleads others.
The next word is (ikhwānika) "إخوانِكَ", which means "your brothers." This term is significant as it highlights the importance of unity and brotherhood among Muslims. It reminds us that we should be cautious of those who claim to be our brothers but lead us astray.
The phrase (man aghrāka bihawān) "مَنْ أغراكَ بِهَوىً" translates to
the one who beguiles you with vain desire.
Here, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) warns against individuals who manipulate others by appealing to their base desires and whims. This manipulation can lead one away from the path of righteousness and towards sinful actions.
The final phrase (wawallaha ka bid-dunya) "ووَلّهَكَ بالدُّنيا" means
and distracts you with this world.
It highlights the danger of becoming engrossed in worldly pursuits and losing sight of our ultimate purpose in life. This distraction can divert us from focusing on our spiritual growth and fulfilling our obligations towards Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ).
To further understand the wisdom behind this Hadith, let us turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) warns us in Surah Al-Hadid (57:20),
Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children - like the example of a rain whose [resulting] plant growth pleases the tillers; then it dries and you see it turned yellow; then it becomes [scattered] debris.
This verse reminds us that the allure of this world is temporary and fleeting. It is a test for us, and we should not allow it to distract us from our ultimate goal of seeking the pleasure of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). Similarly, in Surah Al-Qasas (28:77), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) warns,
But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter; and [yet], do not forget your share of the world.
Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) Hadith serves as a reminder to Muslims to be vigilant and cautious of those who try to lead us astray with their own desires and worldly distractions. Such individuals may appear as our brothers, but their intentions are driven by their own selfish interests. They may tempt us with temporary pleasures and material gains, diverting our attention from the true purpose of our existence.
By reflecting on this Hadith and the supporting Quranic verses, we are reminded to prioritize our spiritual growth and seek the pleasure of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) above all else. We should be wary of the influence of worldly desires and distractions, recognizing that they can lead us away from the straight path. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the strength and wisdom to remain steadfast in our faith and protect us from those who seek to misguide us.
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