اِحْتَِرسُوا مِنْ سَوْرَةِ الجِمْدِ(الحَمد)، والحِقْدِ، والغَضَبِ، والحَسَدِ، وَأعِدُّوا لِكُلِّ شَيْء مِنْ ذلِكَ عُدَّةً تُجاهِدونَهُ بِها مِنَ الفِكْرِ فيِ العاقِبَةِ، ومَنْعِ الرَّذيلَةِ، وطَلَبِ الفَضيلَةِ، وصَلاحِ الآخِرَةِ، ولُزومِ الحِلْمِ۔
Protect yourselves from vehement miserliness, malice, anger and jealousy and prepare for each of these things a contrivance which you can fight it with, like thinking about the consequence, refraining [from] vice, seeking virtue, improving your Hereafter and espousing forbearance.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: Stinginess And Avarice)
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, and blessings be upon Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his pure progeny, the Ahl al-Bayt, as well as his noble companions.
The Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) advises us to protect ourselves from five negative traits: vehement miserliness, malice, anger, jealousy, and to prepare for each of these a contrivance to fight against them. Let us delve into the meanings of these words and explore their significance in the light of the Quran.
The first trait mentioned is (sawrat al-jimdi) "سَوْرَةِ الجِمْدِ", which can be translated as "vehement miserliness." This refers to an extreme form of stinginess or greed, where one becomes excessively attached to material possessions and is unwilling to share or give to others. The Quran emphasizes the importance of generosity and warns against the dangers of miserliness in several verses. For example, in Surah Al-Isra (17:29), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,
And do not make your hand [as] chained to your neck or extend it completely and [thereby] become blamed and insolvent.
This verse reminds us that clinging tightly to our wealth without being generous can lead to a negative reputation and financial difficulties.
The second trait mentioned is (al-haqqd) "الحَقْدِ", which can be translated as "malice." Malice refers to harboring ill feelings, grudges, or enmity towards others. The Quran repeatedly emphasizes the importance of forgiveness and forbearance. In Surah Al-Imran (3:134), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,
Who spend [in the cause of Allah] during ease and hardship and who restrain anger and who pardon the people - and Allah loves the doers of good.
This verse encourages us to control our anger and forgive others, as it is a characteristic beloved by Allah.
The third trait mentioned is (al-ghadab) "الغَضَبِ", which can be translated as "anger." Anger is a natural emotion, but it becomes harmful when it is uncontrolled and leads to harmful actions or words. The Quran advises us to control our anger and respond to provocation with patience and kindness. In Surah Al-Imran (3:134), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,
And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden as wide as the heavens and earth, prepared for the righteous.
This verse reminds us that forgiveness and patience are rewarded by Allah with immense blessings.
The fourth trait mentioned is (al-hasad) "الحَسَدِ", which can be translated as "jealousy." Jealousy occurs when one feels resentment or envy towards the success or possessions of others. The Quran warns against the destructive nature of jealousy and encourages contentment. In Surah Al-Falaq (113:5), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,
From the evil of an envier when he envies.
This verse highlights the negative consequences of jealousy and reminds us to seek protection from it.
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) then advises us to prepare a contrivance to fight against these negative traits. This contrivance includes thinking about the consequences of our actions, refraining from vice, seeking virtue, improving our Hereafter, and embracing forbearance. By reflecting on the consequences of our actions, we can make informed decisions and avoid falling into the traps of these negative traits. The Quran encourages us to reflect on the consequences of our actions in Surah Al-Hashr (59:18), where Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,
O you who have believed, fear Allah. And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow - and fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.
Refraining from vice and seeking virtue are essential in combating these negative traits. The Quran repeatedly emphasizes the importance of righteousness and good deeds. In Surah Al-Baqarah (2:197), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,
And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is righteousness. So fear Me, O you of understanding.
This verse reminds us that the best provision for our journey in this world is righteousness, which includes refraining from vices and seeking virtuous actions.
Improving our Hereafter is another aspect of the contrivance mentioned by Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ). This involves focusing on our spiritual growth and striving for a better life in the Hereafter. The Quran encourages us to prioritize our Hereafter over worldly desires in Surah Al-Kahf (18:46), where Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,
Wealth and children are [but] adornment of the worldly life. But the enduring good deeds are better to your Lord for reward and better for [one's] hope.
Lastly, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) advises us to embrace forbearance. Forbearance refers to patience, tolerance, and the ability to control our emotions in difficult situations. The Quran praises those who possess forbearance in Surah Al-Imran (3:186), where Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,
You will surely be tested in your possessions and in yourselves. And you will surely hear from those who were given the Scripture before you and from those who associate others with Allah much abuse. But if you are patient and fear Allah - indeed, that is of the matters [worthy] of determination.
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) serves as a comprehensive guide for Muslims to protect themselves from negative traits and develop positive qualities. By reflecting on the consequences of our actions, refraining from vice, seeking virtue, improving our Hereafter, and embracing forbearance, we can strive towards a more righteous and fulfilling life. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the strength and wisdom to implement these teachings in our lives.
Join our community to daily receive one short Hadith of Imam Ali a.s on your device.
Your message has been successfully received, and we will respond to you soon.