جَعَلَ اللهُ مَا كَانَ مِنْ شَكْوَاكَ حطّاً لِسَيِّئَاتِكَ، فَإِنَّ الْمَرَضَ لاَ أَجْرَ فِيهِ، وَلكِنَّهُ يَحُطُّ السَّيِّئَاتِ، وَيَحُتُّهَا حَتَّ الاْوْرَاقِ، وَإِنَّمَا الاْجْرُ فِي الْقَوْلِ بِالّلسَانِ، وَالْعَمَلِ بِالاْيْدِي وَالاْقْدَامِ، وَإِنَّ اللهَ سُبْحَانَهُ يُدْخِلُ بِصِدْقِ النِّيَّةِ وَالسَّرِيرَةِ الصَّالِحَةِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ مِنْ عَبَادِهِ الْجَنَّة۔َ
May Allah make your illness a means for writing off your sins, because there is no reward for sickness but that it erases sins and makes them fall like (dried) leaves. Reward lies in saying by the tongue and doing something with the hands and feet. Certainly, Allah, the Glorified, admits into Paradise by virtue of truthfulness of intention and chastity of heart to whomsoever He wishes from among His creatures.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #42)
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, and his noble companions.
The provided Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) highlights the profound wisdom and mercy of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) in using illness as a means to expiate sins. The Imam (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) explains that while there is no reward in the illness itself, it serves as a purification for the individual, causing their sins to fall away like dried leaves. The true reward lies in the sincere words spoken and the righteous actions performed by the individual. It is through the purity of intention and the righteousness of character that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) admits His servants into Paradise.
To understand the depth of this Hadith, let us delve into the key words and concepts mentioned. Firstly, the word (hutta) "حطّاً" is used to describe how Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) makes the illness a means to erase sins. This word conveys the idea of wiping away or removing something completely. It signifies that the illness serves as a complete purification, leaving no trace of sins behind.
This concept of purification through illness can be found in the Quran as well. In Surah Al-Baqarah, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says, (Quran 2:155-156)
And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient, who, when disaster strikes them, say, 'Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return.'
Here, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) informs us that He will test us with various trials and tribulations, including illness. However, those who remain patient and turn to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) during these difficult times will be rewarded.
Furthermore, the Hadith emphasizes that the reward lies in the words spoken and the actions performed by the individual. This aligns with the teachings of the Quran, where Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) repeatedly emphasizes the importance of both belief and righteous deeds. For example, in Surah Al-Asr, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says, (Quran 103:1-3)
By time, indeed, mankind is in loss, except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.
This verse highlights the significance of combining faith with good deeds, as well as encouraging one another towards truth and patience.
The Hadith also mentions the importance of sincerity of intention and purity of heart. This echoes the teachings of the Quran, where Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) emphasizes the significance of having a sincere and pure heart. In Surah Al-Qasas, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says, (Quran 13:11)
Indeed, Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.
This verse reminds us that true change and acceptance by Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) comes from within, through purifying our intentions and rectifying our hearts.
Reflecting on this Hadith, we can understand that illness is not merely a physical affliction, but a spiritual opportunity for purification and growth. It serves as a reminder for us to turn to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ), seek forgiveness for our sins, and strive to improve ourselves. It teaches us the importance of sincere words, righteous actions, and a pure heart in attaining the ultimate reward of Paradise.
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) highlights the wisdom and mercy of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) in using illness as a means to purify and erase sins. It emphasizes the significance of sincere words, righteous actions, and a pure heart in attaining the reward of Paradise. As Muslims, we should strive to understand and implement the teachings of this Hadith in our lives, seeking Allah's forgiveness and striving for spiritual growth during times of illness and hardship. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the strength and guidance to overcome our trials and purify our souls.
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