لاَ حَوْلَ وَلاَ قُوَّةَ إِلاَّ باللهِ: إِنَّا لاَ نَمَلِكُ مَعَ اللهِ شَيْئاً، وَلاَ نَمْلِكُ إِلاَّ مَا مَلَّكَنَا، فَمَتَى مَلَّكَنَا مَا هُوَ أَمْلَكُ بِهِ مِنَّاكَلَّفَنَا، وَمَتى أَخَذَهُ مِنَّا وَضَعَ تَكْلِيفَهُ عَنَّا۔
"la hawla wala quwwata illa bi'llah " (there is no strength nor power but by means of Allah). Amir al-mu’minin, peace be upon him, said: We are not master of anything along with Allah, and we are not master of anything save what He makes us master of. So, when He makes us master of anything of which He is a superior Master over us, He also assigns some duties to us; and when He takes it away He will take away those duties as well.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #404)
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. All praise is due 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.
The Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states,
la hawla wala quwwata illa bi'llah
which translates to
there is no strength nor power but by means of Allah.
This statement holds deep significance and serves as a reminder of our complete reliance on Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) in all aspects of our lives.
The word "hawla" in Arabic refers to strength, ability, or capability. It encompasses the idea of having control or authority over something. On the other hand, "quwwah" refers to power or force. It signifies the ability to act or exert influence. Therefore, when Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) says
la hawla wala quwwata illa bi'llah,
he is emphasizing that all strength and power ultimately belong to Allah alone.
This concept is beautifully echoed in the Quran, where Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) repeatedly reminds us of His absolute sovereignty and control over all things. In Surah Al-Fatiha, verse 5, Allah says,
You alone we worship, and You alone we ask for help.
This verse highlights the fact that our worship and seeking of assistance should be directed solely towards Allah, as He is the source of all power and strength.
Furthermore, in Surah Al-An'am, verse 59, Allah states,
And with Him are the keys of the unseen; none knows them except Him. And He knows what is on the land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but that He knows it. And no grain is there within the darknesses of the earth and no moist or dry [thing] but that it is [written] in a clear record.
This verse emphasizes Allah's complete knowledge and control over every aspect of creation. It serves as a reminder that even the smallest details of our lives are under His command.
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) further explains that as human beings, we are not masters of anything alongside Allah. We do not possess any authority or control except what Allah has granted us. When Allah entrusts us with something, He also assigns us certain responsibilities and duties. For example, when He blesses us with wealth, He expects us to use it in a responsible and righteous manner, giving to those in need and fulfilling our obligations towards others.
Conversely, when Allah takes away something from us, He also relieves us of the associated responsibilities. This highlights the wisdom and mercy of Allah, as He does not burden us beyond our capabilities. He knows what is best for us and what we are capable of handling.
This Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) serves as a profound reminder of our complete dependence on Allah in every aspect of our lives. It teaches us humility and reminds us to rely on Him for strength, guidance, and success. It also encourages us to fulfill our responsibilities and duties with sincerity and excellence, recognizing that all authority and power ultimately belong to Allah.
As Muslims, we should reflect on this Hadith and strive to internalize its message in our daily lives. We should constantly seek Allah's help and guidance, recognizing that true strength and power come only from Him. By doing so, we can cultivate a deep sense of trust and reliance on Allah, knowing that He is the ultimate source of all our blessings and successes. May Allah grant us the understanding and ability to live by this profound teaching of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ).
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