مَا أَهَمَّنِي ذَنْبٌ أُمْهِلْتُ بَعْدَهُ حَتَّى أُصَلِّيَ رَكْعَتَيْنِ وَأسْأَلَ اللهَ الْعَافِيَة۔
I am not worried by a sin after which I get time to offer prayer in two units (rak 'ah) and beg safety from Allah.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #299)
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 noble companions.
In this profound Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ), he expresses his lack of concern for committing a sin if he is given the opportunity to seek forgiveness and perform two units of prayer, while seeking safety from Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). Let us delve into the deeper meanings and implications of this Hadith in light of the Quran.
The key words in this Hadith are (sin) "ذَنْبٌ", (given time) "أُمْهِلْتُ", (two units of prayer) "رَكْعَتَيْنِ", and (safety) "الْعَافِيَة".
When we reflect upon the concept of sin in Islam, we understand that it refers to any action or thought that goes against the commandments of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). It is important to note that sins can vary in their severity and consequences. Some sins may be minor, while others may be major and require sincere repentance and seeking forgiveness from Allah.
The phrase "أُمْهِلْتُ" in the Hadith implies being given time or respite after committing a sin. This indicates that Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) recognizes the mercy and forgiveness of Allah, who grants His servants the opportunity to repent and rectify their actions before facing the consequences.
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) mentions the act of performing two units of prayer, "رَكْعَتَيْنِ," as a means of seeking forgiveness and drawing closer to Allah. This highlights the significance of prayer in Islam and its role in seeking forgiveness and spiritual purification. The act of praying two units of prayer after committing a sin demonstrates the sincerity and remorse of the individual, as they turn to Allah for forgiveness and guidance.
Furthermore, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) seeks "الْعَافِيَة" from Allah, which can be understood as seeking safety, protection, and well-being. This reflects the understanding that true safety and security can only be attained through the mercy and forgiveness of Allah. By seeking "الْعَافِيَة," Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) acknowledges his reliance on Allah's protection and his understanding that true safety lies in the obedience and submission to Allah's commandments.
To further understand the beautiful message of this Hadith, let us turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-Zumar (39:53),
Say, 'O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.'
This verse emphasizes the boundless mercy and forgiveness of Allah, encouraging believers to never lose hope in seeking His forgiveness. It reassures us that Allah forgives all sins when sincere repentance is sought. Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) statement in the Hadith aligns perfectly with this Quranic principle, as he expresses his confidence in the forgiveness and mercy of Allah.
Additionally, in Surah Al-Baqarah (2:286), Allah says,
Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear.
This verse reminds us that Allah is aware of our capabilities and limitations. He does not burden us with sins that are beyond our capacity to bear. Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) statement in the Hadith reflects this understanding, as he acknowledges that he is not overwhelmed by a sin if he is given the opportunity to seek forgiveness and perform two units of prayer.
In conclusion, this Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) teaches us profound lessons about the mercy, forgiveness, and guidance of Allah. It highlights the importance of sincere repentance, seeking forgiveness through prayer, and relying on Allah for protection and well-being. It reminds us that Allah's mercy is vast and that He grants respite to His servants to rectify their actions. May we all strive to follow the example of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) and seek forgiveness and safety from Allah in times of difficulty and sin.
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