مَا أَكْثَرَ الْعِبَرَ وأَقَلَّ الاْعْتِبَارَ۔

How many are the objects of lessons, but how few the taking of lessons.



How many are the objects of lessons, but how few the taking of lessons.

— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #297)

Personal Reflection

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds. Peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.

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

مَا أَكْثَرَ الْعِبَرَ وأَقَلَّ الاْعْتِبَارَ۔

This beautiful saying of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) highlights the abundance of lessons and wisdom that surround us, yet the scarcity of individuals who truly reflect upon and internalize these lessons.

Let us delve deeper into the key words of this Hadith to gain a better understanding. The word (ibar) "عِبَرَ" refers to lessons or moral teachings that can be derived from various experiences, events, and situations. These lessons serve as guidance for Muslims, enabling them to navigate through the challenges of life and grow spiritually. On the other hand, (i'tibar) "اْعْتِبَارَ" means to take heed, to reflect upon, and to apply these lessons in our lives.

To support the exegesis of this Hadith, we turn to the Quran, the ultimate source of guidance for all Muslims. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) repeatedly emphasizes the importance of reflecting upon His signs and extracting lessons from them. In Surah Al-Imran, Ayah 190, Allah says,

Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding.

This verse encourages believers to ponder over the natural world and recognize the wisdom and lessons embedded within it.

Furthermore, in Surah Al-Mu'minun, Ayah 68, Allah states,

Do they not contemplate the Word (of Allah), or has there come to them that which had not come to their forefathers?

This verse reminds us of the importance of reflecting upon the Quran and seeking guidance from its teachings. It urges us to contemplate the divine message and apply its lessons to our lives.

Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) Hadith draws our attention to the disparity between the abundance of lessons available to us and the scarcity of individuals who truly internalize and apply these lessons. It serves as a reminder that simply being exposed to lessons is not enough; we must actively seek to understand and implement them in our lives.

Reflecting on this Hadith, we realize that the world around us is filled with opportunities for learning and growth. Every experience, every interaction, and every challenge presents us with valuable lessons. However, it is our responsibility as Muslims to actively engage with these lessons, to contemplate their deeper meanings, and to apply them in our daily lives.

By neglecting to take lessons from the world around us, we risk missing out on valuable opportunities for personal growth and spiritual development. We may find ourselves repeating the same mistakes, lacking the wisdom to navigate through life's challenges, and failing to fulfill our potential as believers.

Therefore, let us strive to be among those who take lessons from the abundance of wisdom that surrounds us. Let us be individuals who reflect upon the signs of Allah, contemplate the teachings of the Quran, and apply these lessons in our lives. By doing so, we will not only grow as individuals but also contribute to the betterment of our communities and the world at large.

May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the wisdom to recognize and internalize the lessons that surround us, and may He guide us to live our lives in accordance with His teachings. Ameen.

. : . (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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