قَدْ غابَ عَنْ قُلُوبِكُمْ ذِكرُ الآجالِ، وَحَضَرَتْكُمْ كَواذِبُ الآمالِ۔
The remembrance of [the times of] death has disappeared from your hearts and has been replaced by false hopes and aspirations.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: The Appointed Time Of Death)
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 (ﷺ), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.
The provided Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) highlights a profound observation regarding the state of the hearts of Muslims. Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states that the remembrance of death has disappeared from their hearts, and instead, false hopes and aspirations have taken its place.
Let us delve into the key words of this Hadith to gain a deeper understanding. The word (dhikr) "ذِكْرُ" means remembrance, while (al-ajal) "الآجالِ" refers to the appointed time of death. The word (kawadhib) "كَوَاذِبُ" means false or deceitful, and (al-amal) "الآمالِ" refers to hopes or aspirations.
To comprehend the significance of this Hadith, we must turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) reminds us in Surah Al-Hashr, verse 18:
O you who have believed, fear Allah. And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow - and fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.
This verse emphasizes the importance of remembering the appointed time of death and being mindful of our actions in preparation for the Hereafter.
Furthermore, in Surah Al-Munafiqun, verse 9, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) warns us:
O you who have believed, let not your wealth and your children divert you from remembrance of Allah. And whoever does that - then those are the losers.
This verse cautions us against being consumed by worldly desires and neglecting the remembrance of Allah and the reality of death.
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) draws our attention to the fact that the remembrance of death has vanished from our hearts. This is a cause for concern because the remembrance of death serves as a powerful motivator for righteous actions and the pursuit of the Hereafter. When we are aware of the fleeting nature of this worldly life, we are more likely to prioritize our actions and make choices that align with the teachings of Islam.
By replacing the remembrance of death with false hopes and aspirations, we become susceptible to distractions and delusions. We may become engrossed in materialistic pursuits, seeking fulfillment in worldly possessions, status, and pleasures. This shift in focus can lead us astray from the path of righteousness and cause us to neglect our spiritual growth and preparation for the Hereafter.
Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) observation serves as a wake-up call for Muslims to reevaluate their priorities and reconnect with the remembrance of death. By acknowledging the transient nature of this life, we can regain a sense of urgency in striving for good deeds and seeking forgiveness for our shortcomings.
Reflecting on the consequences of neglecting the remembrance of death, we find ourselves vulnerable to spiritual stagnation and a loss of perspective. We may become complacent, thinking that we have plenty of time to rectify our actions and seek repentance. This false sense of security can lead to a life devoid of purpose and a neglect of our duties towards Allah and our fellow human beings.
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) serves as a powerful reminder for Muslims to revive the remembrance of death in our hearts. By doing so, we can realign our priorities, seek forgiveness for our shortcomings, and strive for righteousness. Let us not be deceived by false hopes and aspirations, but instead, let us embrace the reality of death as a catalyst for spiritual growth and preparation for the Hereafter. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the wisdom and guidance to live a life that is pleasing to Him.
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