الدَّاعِي بِلاَ عَمَلٍ كَالرَّامِي بِلاَ وَتَرٍ۔

He who prays but does not exert effort is like the one who shoots without a bow-string.



He who prays but does not exert effort is like the one who shoots without...

— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #337)

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.

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

He who prays but does not exert effort is like the one who shoots without a bow-string.

This analogy highlights the importance of sincerity and effort in our worship. To understand the impactful message behind this Hadith, let us delve into the meanings of the key words.

The word (da'i) "دَّاعِي" refers to the one who prays or supplicates. It encompasses all forms of worship, including Salah (prayer), fasting, giving charity, and other acts of devotion. The word (bila 'amal) "بِلاَ عَمَلٍ" means without any effort or action. It signifies the lack of sincerity and dedication in performing these acts of worship.

To comprehend the essence of this Hadith, we can turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) emphasizes the importance of sincerity and effort in numerous verses. For instance, in Surah Al-Mu'minun (23:1-2), Allah says,

Certainly will the believers have succeeded: They who are during their prayer humbly submissive.

This verse highlights the significance of humility and concentration in prayer, which can only be achieved through sincere effort.

Furthermore, in Surah Al-Qasas (28:77), Allah states,

But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter; and [yet], do not forget your share of the world.

This verse reminds Muslims to strike a balance between their worldly responsibilities and their spiritual pursuits. It encourages us to make an effort in both aspects of our lives, realizing that neglecting one for the other will lead to an imbalance.

Now, let us reflect on the beautiful message of Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) analogy. Just as a person who shoots without a bow-string cannot expect their arrow to hit its target, a worshipper who performs acts of devotion without sincerity and effort cannot expect their prayers to be accepted by Allah.

When we pray, we must do so with utmost sincerity, focusing our hearts and minds solely on Allah. We should strive to understand the meanings of the words we recite, ponder over the significance of the actions we perform, and be conscious of the presence of Allah throughout our worship. This level of dedication and effort is what distinguishes a true believer from a mere performer of rituals.

Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) analogy also serves as a reminder of the consequences of insincere worship. Just as a bow without a string is useless in archery, a prayer devoid of sincerity and effort holds no value in the sight of Allah. It is merely a mechanical action, lacking the spiritual essence that elevates our worship and brings us closer to our Creator.

Moreover, this Hadith encourages us to reflect on our own actions and intentions. Are we merely going through the motions of worship, or are we truly striving to connect with Allah? Are we exerting effort to improve the quality of our prayers, or are we content with superficial rituals? These questions prompt us to evaluate our sincerity and commitment in our worship.

In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of sincerity and effort in our worship. It urges us to go beyond the outward actions and delve into the depths of our hearts, ensuring that our prayers are performed with utmost dedication and mindfulness. By doing so, we can attain the true essence of worship and draw closer to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). May Allah guide us all to be sincere and diligent in our worship.

. : . (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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