أَطْلَعَتِ الْوَرِقُ رُؤُوسَهَا! إِنَّ الْبِنَاءَ لَيَصِفُ عَنْكَ الْغِنَى۔
This is silver coins showing forth their faces. Certainly, this house speaks of your riches.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #355)
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all worlds. Peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), his pure progeny, and his righteous companions.
The provided Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) is a profound statement that carries deep wisdom and guidance for all Muslims. Let us delve into the exegesis of this Hadith and explore its meanings in light of the Quran.
The Hadith begins with the phrase "أَطْلَعَتِ الْوَرِقُ رُؤُوسَهَا!" which can be translated as
This is silver coins showing forth their faces.
Here, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) uses a metaphor to describe the nature of material wealth and possessions. The imagery of silver coins showing their faces represents the ostentatious display of wealth and the allure it holds for people.
To further understand the meaning of this metaphor, we can turn to the Quran. In Surah Al-Kahf (18:46), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,
Wealth and children are the adornment of the life of this world.
This verse highlights the transient nature of worldly possessions and the temptation they pose to individuals. It reminds us that material wealth is merely a temporary adornment, and it should not be the sole focus of our lives.
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) then continues, saying,
Certainly, this house speaks of your riches.
Here, he draws attention to the fact that the accumulation of wealth often leads to the construction of grand houses and extravagant dwellings. These opulent houses serve as a visible manifestation of one's wealth and social status.
To support this understanding, we can refer to Surah Al-Qasas (28:76), where Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,
Indeed, Qarun was from the people of Moses, but he tyrannized them. And We gave him of treasures whose keys would burden a band of strong men; thereupon his people said to him, 'Do not exult. Indeed, Allah does not like the exultant.'
This verse tells the story of Qarun, who was blessed with immense wealth and possessions. However, his arrogance and pride led to his downfall, as he became consumed by his worldly riches.
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) is cautioning us against becoming too attached to material wealth and the trappings of luxury. He reminds us that true richness lies not in the accumulation of possessions, but in the richness of our hearts and souls. The pursuit of worldly wealth should not overshadow our pursuit of spiritual wealth and righteousness.
This Hadith serves as a powerful reminder for Muslims to maintain a balanced perspective on wealth and possessions. While it is not inherently wrong to possess material wealth, it is crucial to remember that it is a temporary and fleeting aspect of life. Our focus should be on accumulating good deeds, seeking knowledge, and nurturing our relationship with Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ).
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) was known for his immense knowledge and wisdom, and this Hadith reflects his deep understanding of the human condition. He encourages us to prioritize the development of our inner selves and to seek true richness through acts of worship, kindness, and compassion towards others.
May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the wisdom to understand the true value of wealth and possessions. May we strive to be rich in faith, knowledge, and good deeds, and may we always seek the pleasure of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) above all else.
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