يَهْلِكُ فِيَّ رَجُلاَنِ: مُحِبٌّ مُفْرِطٌ، وَبَاهِتٌ مُفْتَرٍ۔
Two types of persons will fall into ruin over me: The one who loves exaggerates and the other who lays false and baseless blames.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #469)
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. All praise is due 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.
In this profound hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ), he warns us about two types of individuals who will fall into ruin because of their actions related to him. The first type is the one who loves him to an excessive and exaggerated extent, and the second type is the one who falsely and baselessly blames him.
Let us delve deeper into the words used in this hadith. The word (muhibbun) "مُحِبٌّ" refers to someone who loves intensely and passionately. The word (mufrithun) "مُفْرِطٌ" means someone who exceeds the limits and goes to extremes. The word (bahitun) "بَاهِتٌ" refers to someone who lays false and baseless blames, accusing Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) of actions or intentions that he did not have.
To understand the deeper meaning of this hadith, we can turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) warns us against extremism in several verses. In Surah Al-Baqarah, Allah says, (2:286)
O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion or say about Allah except the truth
This verse emphasizes the importance of moderation and avoiding going to extremes in matters of faith and love.
Furthermore, the Quran also emphasizes the importance of speaking the truth and not spreading false accusations. In Surah Al-Hujurat, Allah says, (49:6)
O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful
This verse highlights the importance of verifying information before spreading it, as false accusations can lead to harm and regret.
Now, let us reflect on the consequences of falling into these two types of ruin. The one who loves Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) excessively and goes to extremes may deviate from the true teachings of Islam. They may elevate Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) to a status that is beyond what he himself would have desired, thus leading to innovations and deviations in religious practices.
On the other hand, the one who falsely blames Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) without any basis or evidence tarnishes the reputation of this great personality. Such false accusations can lead to division and discord among Muslims, undermining the unity and harmony that Islam promotes.
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ), known for his immense knowledge and wisdom, warns us about these two pitfalls to protect the integrity of his teachings and the unity of the Muslim Ummah. He wants us to love and respect him within the boundaries set by Allah and His Messenger (ﷺ), and to refrain from spreading false accusations that can harm his reputation and cause division among Muslims.
In conclusion, this hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) serves as a reminder for us to maintain a balanced and moderate approach in our love for him and to refrain from spreading baseless accusations. By following the teachings of the Quran and the guidance of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), we can avoid falling into the ruin that Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) warns us about. May Allah guide us all on the straight path and protect us from any form of extremism or false accusations.
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