Clemency is (like) a kinsfolk.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #418)
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 (ﷺ), his pure progeny, the Ahl al-Bayt, and his noble companions.
The Arabic Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states, "الْحِلْمُ عَشِيرَةٌ۔" which translates to
Clemency is (like) a kinsfolk.
This short but amazing Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) highlights the importance and value of patience, forbearance, and forgiveness in our lives.
Let us delve deeper into the meaning of the key words in this Hadith. "Al-Hilm" refers to clemency, patience, and forbearance. It is the ability to remain calm and composed in the face of adversity, to control one's anger, and to respond with kindness and gentleness. "Ashira" means kinsfolk or relatives, indicating that clemency should be treated as a close and cherished companion in our lives.
The Quran provides us with numerous verses that emphasize the significance of clemency and its positive impact on individuals and society. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-Imran (3:134),
Those who spend [in Allah's cause] during ease and hardship and who restrain anger and who pardon the people - and Allah loves the doers of good.
This verse highlights the connection between patience, forgiveness, and the love of Allah. By restraining our anger and pardoning others, we demonstrate our righteousness and earn the love of our Creator.
Furthermore, in Surah Al-A'raf (7:199), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) instructs Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) to
show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the ignorant.
This verse emphasizes the importance of forgiveness and forbearance as essential qualities for a believer. By forgiving others, we not only follow the example of the Prophet (ﷺ) but also distance ourselves from ignorance and negativity.
Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) statement highlights the profound impact of clemency in our lives. When we exercise patience and forgiveness, we create an atmosphere of love, understanding, and unity. Just as we cherish our kinsfolk and maintain strong bonds with them, clemency should be treated as a close companion in our daily interactions.
By practicing clemency, we can transform conflicts into opportunities for growth and understanding. Instead of responding to anger with anger, we can choose to respond with kindness and empathy. This approach not only diffuses tensions but also allows us to maintain our dignity and uphold the teachings of Islam.
Moreover, clemency has far-reaching consequences. It promotes harmony within families, strengthens relationships, and fosters a peaceful society. When we forgive others, we inspire them to reflect on their actions and seek forgiveness themselves. This cycle of forgiveness and compassion creates a positive ripple effect that extends beyond our immediate circles.
Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) impactful saying serves as a reminder for Muslims to cultivate the quality of clemency in their lives. By practicing patience, forgiveness, and forbearance, we can emulate the noble character of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) and strive to be better individuals. Let us remember that clemency is not a sign of weakness but rather a manifestation of strength and wisdom. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the ability to embody this beautiful trait and may it bring us closer to Him and to one another.
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