هَلَكَ فِيَّ رَجُلَانِ مُحِبٌّ غَالٍ وَ مُبْغِضٌ قَالٍ۔
Two categories of persons will face ruin on account of me: he who loves me with exaggeration, and he who hates me intensely.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #117)
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 (ﷺ), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.
In this profound Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ), he warns us about two categories of people who will face ruin because of their extreme attitudes towards him. The first category is the one who loves him with exaggeration, and the second category is the one who intensely hates him.
Let us delve into the meanings of the important words in this Hadith. The word (ghālin) "غَالٍ" refers to someone who exceeds the limits in their love and admiration for Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ). They go beyond what is reasonable and balanced, elevating him to a status that is reserved only for Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). On the other hand, the word (mubghid) "مُبْغِضٌ" refers to someone who harbors intense hatred and animosity towards Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ), rejecting his rightful position and denying his virtues.
To understand the wisdom behind this warning, let us turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) emphasizes the importance of moderation and balance in our beliefs and actions. In Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 143, Allah says,
And thus We have made you a just community that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you.
This verse highlights the importance of being a just and balanced community, avoiding extremes in our beliefs and actions.
Furthermore, in Surah Al-Hujurat, verse 7, Allah warns us against exaggeration and extremism in our love for anyone other than Him. Allah says,
And know that among you is the Messenger of Allah. If he were to obey you in much of the matter, you would be in difficulty, but Allah has endeared to you the faith and has made it pleasing in your hearts and has made hateful to you disbelief, defiance, and disobedience. Those are the [rightly] guided.
From these verses, we understand that extremism in love or hate is not in accordance with the teachings of Islam. It is important for Muslims to have a balanced and moderate approach in their beliefs and actions. Exaggerating the love for Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) can lead to idolatry and shirk, as it diverts our attention and devotion away from Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). Similarly, intense hatred towards Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) is a rejection of the truth and the guidance he represents.
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) is known for his unparalleled knowledge, wisdom, and piety. He was the gate to the city of knowledge, and his teachings continue to guide Muslims to this day. However, it is important to remember that he is a servant of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) and a follower of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). Our love for him should be within the boundaries set by Allah and His Messenger (ﷺ).
The consequences of falling into these two extremes can be detrimental to one's faith and spiritual well-being. Those who exaggerate their love for Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) may end up neglecting the worship of Allah and seeking intercession through him, which is against the teachings of Islam. On the other hand, those who intensely hate Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) may fall into disbelief and denial of the truth, closing their hearts to the guidance that he represents.
Reflecting on this Hadith, we are reminded of the importance of balance and moderation in our beliefs and actions. We should love and respect Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) as a revered figure in Islam, but our ultimate love and devotion should be directed towards Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) alone. Similarly, we should avoid harboring intense hatred towards anyone, as it goes against the teachings of Islam and disrupts the unity of the Muslim Ummah.
May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) guide us to the path of moderation and grant us the wisdom to understand and follow the teachings of the Quran and the Ahl al-Bayt (عَلَيْهِمُ ٱلسَّلَامُ). Ameen.
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