اَلأجَلُ يَفْضَحُ الأمَلَ۔
Death exposes hope.
— 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 Arabic Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states, "الأجل يفضح الأمل" which translates to "Death exposes hope" in English. Let us delve into the meaning of this statement and explore its implications in light of the Quran.
The word (al-ajal) "الأجل" refers to death, the appointed time when every soul shall taste it. It is a reminder of the transient nature of life in this world and the inevitability of our return to our Creator. The word (yufdhih) "يفضح" means to expose or reveal, bringing to light what was previously hidden. And finally, the word (al-amal) "الأمل" signifies hope, the expectation and anticipation of a positive outcome.
To understand the deeper meaning of this Hadith, we can turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-Ankabut, verse 57: (29:57)
Every soul will taste death. Then to Us will you be returned.
This verse emphasizes the certainty of death and the ultimate return to Allah. It serves as a reminder that death is an undeniable reality that awaits each and every one of us.
Furthermore, in Surah Al-Mu'minun, verse 99, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) states: (23:99-100)
Until, when death comes to one of them, he says, 'My Lord, send me back. That I might do righteousness in that which I left behind.' No! It is only a word he is saying; and behind them is a barrier until the Day they are resurrected.
This verse highlights the regret and longing for more time that a person may feel when faced with death. It exposes the true nature of hope, which often lies in the belief that we will have more opportunities to rectify our actions and seek forgiveness.
Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) statement, "Death exposes hope," sheds light on the reality that death is the ultimate revealer of the true nature of our hopes and aspirations. In this world, we may harbor hopes and dreams, believing that we have ample time to fulfill them. However, when death approaches, it exposes the reality that our time is limited and that we must prioritize our actions and intentions.
Reflecting on this Hadith, we realize that our hope should not be solely focused on worldly pursuits and material gains. Rather, our hope should be directed towards the eternal life in the Hereafter, where our deeds will truly matter. It serves as a reminder to prioritize our actions and intentions, ensuring that they align with the teachings of Islam and the pleasure of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ).
When we understand that death exposes the true nature of our hopes, it motivates us to live a life of purpose and righteousness. We are reminded to seize every opportunity to perform good deeds, seek forgiveness, and strive for the pleasure of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). It encourages us to evaluate our priorities and invest our time and energy in actions that will benefit us in the eternal life to come.
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ), "Death exposes hope," serves as a profound reminder of the transient nature of life and the importance of prioritizing our actions and intentions. It urges us to redirect our hopes towards the Hereafter and to live a life of purpose and righteousness. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the wisdom and guidance to make the most of our time in this world and to prepare for the eternal life to come.
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