لَأَنْسُبَنَّ الْإِسْلَامَ نِسْبَةً لَمْ يَنْسُبْهَا أَحَدٌ قَبْلِى الْإِسْلَامُ هُوَ التَّسْلِيمُ وَ التَّسْلِيمُ هُوَ الْيَقِينُ وَ الْيَقِينُ هُوَ التَّصْدِيقُ وَ التَّصْدِيقُ هُوَ الْإِقْرَارُ وَ الْإِقْرَارُ هُوَ الْأَدَاءُ وَ الْأَدَاءُ هُوَ الْعَمَلُ۔

I am defining Islam as no one has defined before me: Islam is submission, submission is conviction, conviction is affirmation, affirmation is acknowledgement, acknowledgement is discharge (of obligations), and discharge of obligations is action.



I am defining Islam as no one has defined before me: Islam is submission,...

— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #125)

Personal Reflection

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 (), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.

In this profound Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ), he provides a unique and comprehensive definition of Islam that surpasses any previous definition. He begins by stating that Islam is submission, which is the literal meaning of the word "Islam" itself. This submission encompasses surrendering oneself completely to the will of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ), accepting His guidance, and obeying His commandments.

To further elaborate on the concept of submission, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) explains that it is rooted in conviction. Conviction here refers to a deep and unwavering belief in the truth of Islam and its principles. It is the firm belief that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) is the One and Only God, and that Muhammad () is His final messenger.

This conviction then leads to affirmation, which is the next stage in the process of Islam. Affirmation involves acknowledging the truth of Islam and its teachings, both intellectually and emotionally. It is a conscious acceptance of the principles and values of Islam, recognizing them as the ultimate guidance for one's life.

Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) further emphasizes that this affirmation must be followed by acknowledgement. Acknowledgement refers to openly and confidently declaring one's faith in Islam. It is the public proclamation of one's belief in Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) and His messenger, as well as the acceptance of the responsibilities and obligations that come with being a Muslim.

The final stage in this comprehensive definition of Islam is the discharge of obligations, which refers to the practical implementation of one's faith. It encompasses performing the acts of worship, fulfilling the religious duties, and living according to the moral and ethical teachings of Islam. It is through action that one truly manifests their submission to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) and demonstrates the sincerity of their conviction.

To support the exegesis of this Hadith, let us turn to the Quran for further guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-Baqarah (2:208):

O you who have believed, enter into peace completely and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.

This verse emphasizes the importance of complete submission to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) and warns against following the path of Satan, who is the ultimate enemy of mankind.

Additionally, in Surah Al-Hujurat (49:14), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says:

The bedouins say, 'We have believed.' Say, 'You have not [yet] believed; but say [instead], 'We have submitted,' for faith has not yet entered your hearts. And if you obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not deprive you from your deeds of anything. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

This verse highlights the importance of not only claiming belief but also demonstrating submission through obedience to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) and His Messenger.

Reflecting on the enlightening words of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) in this Hadith, we understand that Islam is not merely a label or a set of rituals. It is a comprehensive way of life that encompasses submission, conviction, affirmation, acknowledgement, and action. It is a journey of the heart, mind, and soul towards the ultimate truth and the pleasure of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). May we all strive to embody the true essence of Islam and follow in the footsteps of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) in our quest for spiritual growth and righteousness.

. : . (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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