يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ كُنْ وَصِيَّ نَفْسِكَ فِى مَالِكَ وَ اعْمَلْ فِيهِ مَا تُؤْثِرُ أَنْ يُعْمَلَ فِيهِ مِنْ بَعْدِكَ۔
O son of Adam, be your own representative in the matter of your property and do about it whatever you want to be done with it after your death.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #254)
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, the Ahl al-Bayt, and his noble companions.
In this profound Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ), he advises us, the Muslims, to be our own representatives when it comes to our wealth and possessions. The key words in this Hadith are (wasiyya) "وَصِيَّ", which means representative, and (maalika) "مَالِكَ", which means property or wealth.
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) is urging us to take charge of our own affairs and make decisions regarding our wealth while we are still alive. This means that we should not leave our financial matters solely in the hands of others, but rather, we should actively manage and plan for the distribution of our wealth after our death.
To understand the significance of this Hadith, let us turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 180:
It is prescribed for you, when death approaches any of you, if he leaves wealth, that he makes a bequest to parents and next of kin, according to reasonable manners. (This is) a duty upon the righteous.
This verse emphasizes the importance of making a will, or a wasiyya, in order to ensure that our wealth is distributed in a fair and just manner after our passing. It is our responsibility as Muslims to take charge of this matter and make the necessary arrangements while we are still alive.
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) further advises us to do with our wealth what we would like to be done with it after our death. This means that we should prioritize our actions based on the long-term consequences and benefits, rather than short-term gains. We should consider the impact of our wealth on our families, communities, and society as a whole.
In Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 267, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says:
O you who have believed, spend from the good things which you have earned and from that which We have produced for you from the earth. And do not aim toward the defective therefrom, spending [from that] while you would not take it [yourself] except with closed eyes. And know that Allah is Free of need and Praiseworthy.
This verse highlights the importance of spending our wealth in a righteous and beneficial manner. We should strive to invest in projects and initiatives that will have a positive impact on society, rather than wasting our resources on frivolous or harmful pursuits. By doing so, we not only fulfill our duty as responsible Muslims, but we also leave behind a legacy of goodness and righteousness.
Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) advice in this Hadith serves as a reminder for us to be proactive in managing our wealth and making decisions that align with our values and beliefs. It encourages us to be mindful of the consequences of our actions and to prioritize the long-term benefits over short-term gains.
In conclusion, this Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) emphasizes the importance of taking charge of our financial affairs and making decisions regarding our wealth while we are still alive. It reminds us to prioritize the long-term consequences and benefits of our actions, and to strive for righteousness and goodness in our financial dealings. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) guide us in managing our wealth in a manner that is pleasing to Him and beneficial to humanity.
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