إنَّ عَلَىَّ مِنْ أجَلي جُنَّةً حَصينَةً، فَإذا جاءَ يَومِي انْفَرَجَت عَنّي وَأسْلَمَتْني، فَحينَئذ لا يَطيشُ السَّهْمُ ولا يَبْرَءُ الكَلِمُ۔
Verily there is a shield over me, in the form of my appointed time of death, which protects me; so when my day comes, it relieves itself of me and surrenders me [to death]. At this time the arrow will not miss its target and the wound will not heal.
— 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 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 beautifully describes the protection and guidance he receives from Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) in the form of a shield. The key words in this Hadith are (junnatan hasinatan) "جُنَّةً حَصينَةً", which can be translated as a strong and impenetrable shield. This shield is a metaphorical representation of the appointed time of death that Allah has decreed for each individual.
To understand the depth and significance of this Hadith, we can turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-An'am, verse 2:
It is He who created death and life to test you as to which of you is best in deed - and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving.
This verse reminds us that death is a natural part of life, and it is a test from Allah to see how we have lived our lives.
Furthermore, in Surah Al-Mu'minun, verse 80, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says:
And it is He who gives life and causes death, and His is the alternation of the night and the day. Then will you not reason?
This verse emphasizes the power and control that Allah has over life and death. It is He who determines the appointed time of death for each individual.
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states that when his appointed time of death arrives, the shield over him relieves itself of him and surrenders him to death. This indicates that Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) fully submits to the will of Allah and accepts his destiny. He recognizes that death is inevitable and that it is a part of Allah's divine plan.
The Imam further explains that at the time of his death, the arrow will not miss its target and the wound will not heal. This signifies the certainty and inevitability of death. Just as an arrow hits its target with precision and the resulting wound cannot be healed, so too is the appointed time of death for every individual. It is a fixed decree from Allah that cannot be altered or avoided.
This Hadith serves as a reminder to all Muslims of the transient nature of this worldly life and the certainty of death. It encourages us to reflect on our own mortality and to prepare ourselves for the hereafter. It teaches us the importance of submitting to the will of Allah and accepting our destiny with grace and humility.
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) sets an example for us through his unwavering faith and trust in Allah. His knowledge and understanding of the Quran allowed him to comprehend the deeper meaning behind the concept of death and the appointed time. He recognized that death is not something to be feared, but rather a transition to the eternal life in the hereafter.
As Muslims, we should strive to emulate the qualities of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) and develop a strong connection with the Quran. By studying the Quran and reflecting on its teachings, we can gain a deeper understanding of the purpose of life and death. We can learn to trust in Allah's divine plan and accept our appointed time with gratitude and contentment.
May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the wisdom to comprehend the deeper meanings of His words and the ability to apply them in our lives. May He bless us with the strength to face our own mortality with faith and submission. And may He guide us to live a life that is pleasing to Him, so that we may attain success in this world and the hereafter.
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