خَيْرُ البِرِّ ما وَصَلَ إلَى المُحْتاجِ۔

The best righteous act is that which reaches the needy.



The best righteous act is that which reaches the needy.

— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: Righteousness And Those Who Prevent It)

Personal Reflection

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet Muhammad (), his noble family, the Ahl al-Bayt, and his companions.

The provided Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states,

The best righteous act is that which reaches the needy.

Let us delve into the significance of this statement and explore its significance in light of the Quran.

Firstly, let us examine the key words in this Hadith. The word (bir) "بر" refers to righteousness or acts of goodness. It encompasses all actions that are pleasing to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) and beneficial to others. The word (wasala) "وَصَلَ" means to reach or to arrive at. And finally, (al-muhtaj) "المُحْتاج" refers to the one who is in need or the needy.

To understand the significance of this Hadith, we can turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) repeatedly emphasizes the importance of helping those in need and performing acts of charity. In Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 177, Allah says,

Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves.

This verse highlights that true righteousness is not merely limited to ritualistic acts of worship, but it also encompasses giving wealth and assistance to those in need. It emphasizes the importance of selflessness and generosity towards the less fortunate members of society.

Furthermore, in Surah Al-Ma'un, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) condemns those who neglect the needs of others and fail to perform acts of kindness. He says,

So woe to those who pray [but] who are heedless of their prayer - those who make show [of their deeds] and withhold [simple] assistance.

This verse serves as a reminder that true righteousness is not limited to outward displays of piety, but it also requires actively reaching out to those in need and providing them with assistance. It emphasizes the importance of sincerity and genuine concern for the well-being of others.

Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) statement in the Hadith aligns perfectly with the teachings of the Quran. It emphasizes the significance of performing acts of righteousness that directly benefit those who are in need. It encourages Muslims to go beyond the mere fulfillment of religious obligations and to actively seek opportunities to help and support those who require assistance.

By prioritizing the needs of the needy, we not only fulfill our duty towards our fellow human beings but also earn the pleasure of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). Our acts of kindness and charity have far-reaching consequences, both in this world and the hereafter. They have the power to alleviate suffering, bring about positive change, and create a society that is characterized by compassion and justice.

In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) teaches us that the best righteous act is one that reaches the needy. It reminds us of the importance of actively seeking opportunities to help and support those who are less fortunate. By doing so, we not only fulfill our obligations as Muslims but also contribute to the betterment of society as a whole. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the ability to embody the true spirit of righteousness and to be a source of assistance and support for those in need.

. : . (Readers are advised to verify the sources mentioned above, and to independently research for an accurate understanding of Hadith. Remember, personal research and seeking guidance from scholars are essential in gaining a better insight. Please, do contact us if you find any wrong citations or explanations.)

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