إذا تَأكَّدَ الإخاءُ سَمُجَ الثَّناءُ۔

As the bond of brotherhood strengthens, compliments become distasteful.



As the bond of brotherhood strengthens, compliments become distasteful.

— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: The Brother, The Friend, The Associate And The Companion)

Personal Reflection

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet Muhammad (), his progeny, the Ahl al-Bayt, and his noble companions.

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

إذا تَأكَّدَ الإخاءُ سَمُجَ الثَّناءُ۔

This Hadith conveys a impactful message about the nature of brotherhood and the impact it has on the way we interact with one another.

Let us first examine the key words in this Hadith. The word (ikhā') "إخاء" refers to brotherhood or the bond between individuals who share a common faith and purpose. It signifies a deep connection and mutual support among believers. The word (samuj) "سَمُجَ" means that compliments or praise become distasteful or unpleasant. It implies that excessive praise or flattery can be detrimental to the strength and sincerity of brotherhood.

To understand the deeper meaning of this Hadith, we can turn to the Quran for guidance. In Surah Al-Hujurat (49:10), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,

The believers are but brothers, so make settlement between your brothers. And fear Allah that you may receive mercy.

This verse emphasizes the importance of unity and reconciliation among believers, highlighting the essence of brotherhood in Islam.

Furthermore, in Surah Al-Ma'idah (5:2), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) states,

And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression.

This verse emphasizes the need for mutual support and collaboration among believers, while also cautioning against engaging in sinful or aggressive behavior.

Now, let us delve into the exegesis of the Hadith itself. Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ), known for his wisdom and knowledge, is highlighting the delicate balance that should exist within brotherhood. While it is essential to appreciate and acknowledge the positive qualities and actions of our fellow believers, excessive praise can lead to insincerity and undermine the authenticity of the bond.

When brotherhood is based on genuine love and respect, it thrives on sincerity and humility. Compliments, when given with sincerity and moderation, strengthen the bond of brotherhood. However, when compliments become excessive or insincere, they can create an atmosphere of flattery, which can lead to arrogance, envy, and a false sense of superiority.

Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) statement serves as a reminder to Muslims that true brotherhood is built on mutual support, humility, and genuine care for one another. Excessive praise can create a sense of entitlement and superiority, which goes against the principles of equality and humility in Islam.

In practical terms, this Hadith encourages Muslims to be mindful of their words and actions towards their brothers and sisters in faith. It reminds us to be genuine in our compliments and to avoid excessive flattery or insincere praise. By doing so, we maintain the purity and authenticity of our relationships, fostering an environment of trust, love, and unity.

Moreover, this Hadith serves as a reminder to reflect on our intentions when offering compliments. Are we praising others sincerely, or are we seeking personal gain or validation? Are our compliments rooted in genuine appreciation, or are they merely empty words meant to please others?

In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) teaches us the importance of maintaining a balance in our interactions within the bonds of brotherhood. While compliments and praise are important for fostering positive relationships, excessive flattery can be detrimental to the sincerity and authenticity of brotherhood. By being mindful of our words and intentions, we can strengthen the bonds of brotherhood and create an atmosphere of genuine love, respect, and unity among Muslims. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) guide us in embodying the true spirit of brotherhood and grant us the wisdom to navigate our relationships with sincerity and humility.

. : . (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.)

Join our community to daily receive one short Hadith of Imam Ali a.s on your device.