الاْيمَانُ عَلَى أَرْبَعِ دَعَائِمَ: عَلَى الصَّبْرِ، والْيَقِينِ، وَالْعَدْلِ، وَالْجَهَاد۔ِ
Faith stands on four supports: on endurance, conviction, justice and jihad (fighting in the way of Allah).
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #31)
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 Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states,
Faith stands on four supports: on endurance, conviction, justice, and jihad (fighting in the way of Allah).
Let us delve into the profound meanings of these words and explore their significance in light of the Quran.
Firstly, let us understand the key words in this Hadith. The Arabic word "sabr" translates to "endurance" or "patience." It refers to the ability to remain steadfast in the face of trials and tribulations, to persevere in obeying Allah's commands, and to restrain oneself from indulging in sinful desires. Sabr is a fundamental aspect of faith, as it demonstrates trust in Allah's wisdom and His decree.
The word "yaqeen" translates to "conviction" or "certainty." It signifies a deep-rooted belief in the existence and oneness of Allah, as well as in the truthfulness of His messengers and the teachings of Islam. Yaqeen is not mere intellectual acceptance, but rather a firm conviction that influences one's actions and choices.
Next, we have the word "adl," which means "justice." Justice is a fundamental principle in Islam, and it encompasses fairness, equity, and upholding the rights of others. It involves treating others with kindness, respect, and equality, regardless of their race, religion, or social status. The concept of justice is emphasized throughout the Quran, as Allah says in Surah An-Nisa, verse 135:
O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives.
Lastly, the word "jihad" refers to striving or struggling in the way of Allah. While it can include physical combat, it also encompasses various forms of striving, such as striving against one's own desires, striving to improve oneself, and striving to establish justice and righteousness in society. Jihad is not synonymous with violence or aggression, but rather a noble effort to uphold the principles of Islam and defend the oppressed.
Now, let us explore the Quranic verses that support the exegesis of this Hadith. Allah says in Surah Al-Asr, verses 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.
These verses highlight the importance of faith, righteous actions, and patience, which align with the four supports mentioned by Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ).
Furthermore, in Surah Al-Hajj, verse 78, Allah says:
And strive for Allah with the striving due to Him.
This verse emphasizes the concept of jihad, which is an integral part of faith. It encourages Muslims to exert their efforts in the cause of Allah, whether it be through personal development, spreading knowledge, or standing up against injustice.
In light of this Hadith, we can understand that faith is not a mere declaration or belief, but a comprehensive system that is built upon endurance, conviction, justice, and striving in the way of Allah. These pillars of faith work in harmony to strengthen one's relationship with Allah and to establish a just and righteous society.
By practicing patience and enduring hardships, we develop resilience and strengthen our faith. Through conviction, we deepen our understanding and strengthen our belief in Allah and His guidance. By upholding justice, we establish a society based on fairness and equality. And through jihad, we strive to improve ourselves and contribute to the betterment of our communities.
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) provides us with a comprehensive understanding of the pillars of faith. It reminds us that faith is not a static concept, but a dynamic and transformative force that requires endurance, conviction, justice, and striving in the way of Allah. May Allah grant us the ability to embody these pillars of faith and strengthen our relationship with Him.
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