يَابْنَ آدَمَ مَا كَسَبْتَ فَوْقَ قُوتِكَ، فَأَنْتَ فِيهِ خَازِنٌ لِغَيْرِكَ۔

O son of Adam, whatever you earn beyond your basic needs you are only a treasurer of it for others.



O son of Adam, whatever you earn beyond your basic needs you are only a...

— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #192)

Personal Reflection

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all worlds. May 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,

يَابْنَ آدَمَ مَا كَسَبْتَ فَوْقَ قُوتِكَ، فَأَنْتَ فِيهِ خَازِنٌ لِغَيْرِكَ۔

This Hadith emphasizes the concept that whatever a person earns beyond their basic needs, they are merely treasurers of it for others.

Let us delve into the deeper meaning of this profound Hadith in light of the Quran. The key words in this Hadith are (earn) "كَسَبْتَ", (basic needs) "قُوتِكَ", and (treasurer) "خَازِنٌ".

The word "كَسَبْتَ" refers to the act of earning or acquiring something. It implies the effort and labor put into obtaining wealth or possessions. In the Quran, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) reminds us in Surah Al-Isra (17:80),

And say: My Lord! Cause me to come in with a firm incoming and to go out with a firm outgoing. And give me from Thy presence a sustaining Power.

This verse highlights the importance of seeking sustenance from Allah and acknowledging that our earnings are ultimately granted by Him.

The phrase "قُوتِكَ" refers to one's basic needs or sustenance. It encompasses the necessities of life, such as food, shelter, clothing, and other essentials. In Surah Al-Isra (17:80), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) reminds us to seek His sustenance and rely on Him for our needs. This verse emphasizes the importance of recognizing that our basic needs are provided by Allah.

The word "خَازِنٌ" means a treasurer or custodian. In the context of this Hadith, it signifies that whatever we earn beyond our basic needs, we are merely custodians or trustees of it for others. This implies that wealth is not solely for personal accumulation, but rather, it should be used for the benefit of others and for the greater good of society.

The Quran provides numerous verses that support the concept of being custodians of wealth for the benefit of others. In Surah Al-Hashr (59:7), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,

And what Allah restored to His Messenger from the people of the towns - it is for Allah and for the Messenger and for [his] near relatives and orphans and the [stranded] traveler - so that it will not be a perpetual distribution among the rich from among you.

This verse highlights the importance of distributing wealth to those in need, including the Prophet (), his family, orphans, and travelers. It emphasizes the responsibility of the community to support and care for those who are less fortunate.

Furthermore, in Surah Al-Baqarah (2:177), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) states,

Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves.

This verse emphasizes that true righteousness is not limited to mere rituals, but it also includes giving wealth to those in need. It encourages Muslims to be generous and selfless in their financial dealings.

Reflecting on the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) in light of these Quranic verses, we understand that our wealth and possessions are not solely for our personal enjoyment and accumulation. Rather, we are entrusted with these resources to fulfill the needs of others and contribute to the betterment of society. This Hadith serves as a reminder for Muslims to be mindful of their wealth and to use it in a responsible and compassionate manner.

By recognizing that our wealth is a trust from Allah, we can cultivate a sense of gratitude and humility. We should strive to emulate the generosity and selflessness of the Prophet Muhammad () and his noble companions, who exemplified the principles of sharing and caring for others.

In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) reminds us that whatever we earn beyond our basic needs, we are merely treasurers of it for others. This Hadith aligns with the teachings of the Quran, which emphasize the importance of sharing wealth, supporting those in need, and using our resources for the greater good. As Muslims, we should strive to embody the spirit of generosity and selflessness, recognizing that our wealth is a means to benefit others and earn the pleasure of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). May Allah guide us all to be responsible custodians of our wealth and use it in a manner that brings about positive change in society.

. : . (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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