اَلأجلُ مَحْتُومٌ، والرِّزْقُ مَقْسُومٌ، فلا يَغُمَّنَّ أحَدَكُمْ إبطاؤُهُ، فإنَّ الحِرْصَ لايُقَدِّمُهُ، والعَفافُ لا يُؤَخِّرُهُ، والمُؤمِنُ بالتَّحَمُّلِ(بِالتَّجَمُّلِ (خَليقٌ۔
The appointed time of death is [already] determined and sustenance is [already] apportioned, so let not any of you grieve its reduction; for verily greed does not expedite it and self-restraint does not delay it, and it behoves a believer to be patient.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: The Appointed Time Of Death)
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 hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) teaches us important lessons about the predetermined nature of certain aspects of our lives. The Imam (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) begins by stating that the appointed time of death is already determined (الأجلُ مَحْتُومٌ) and sustenance is already apportioned (والرِّزْقُ مَقْسُومٌ). This means that the duration of our lives and the provisions we receive are predestined by Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ).
The Imam (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) then advises us not to grieve over the reduction of our sustenance (فلا يَغُمَّنَّ أحَدَكُمْ إبطاؤُهُ). This is a reminder for us to trust in Allah's divine plan and not to become overly attached to worldly possessions or material wealth. Greed and excessive attachment to material things will not hasten or delay the provisions that Allah has already decreed for us (فإنَّ الحِرْصَ لايُقَدِّمُهُ والعَفافُ لا يُؤَخِّرُهُ).
To support this understanding, let us turn to the Quran. In Surah Al-An'am, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says, (Quran 3:145)
No soul can die except by Allah's permission, at a term appointed
This verse emphasizes that the time of our death is predetermined and can only occur with Allah's permission. Similarly, in Surah Al-Hijr, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) states, (Quran 11:6)
And there is no creature on earth but that upon Allah is its provision
This verse highlights that our sustenance is already apportioned by Allah.
The Imam (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) concludes the hadith by stating that it is incumbent upon a believer to be patient (والمُؤمِنُ بالتَّحَمُّلِ). This means that as Muslims, we should accept the divine decree of Allah and patiently endure the trials and challenges that come our way. We should not become disheartened or lose hope when faced with difficulties, but rather trust in Allah's wisdom and have faith that He will provide for us in the best possible way.
To further understand the importance of patience, we can refer to Surah Al-Baqarah, where Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says, (Quran 2:155)
And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient
This verse reminds us that trials and hardships are part of life, but those who remain patient will be rewarded.
In conclusion, the hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) teaches us to have trust in Allah's divine plan and to be content with the provisions He has already apportioned for us. We should not be consumed by greed or attachment to worldly possessions, as they do not have the power to expedite or delay the predetermined aspects of our lives. Instead, as believers, we should cultivate patience and rely on Allah's wisdom and mercy in all circumstances. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the strength to embody these teachings and lead a life of faith and righteousness.
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