اَلمالُ وَالْبَنُونَ زينَةُ الحَيوةِ الدُّنيا، والعَمَلُ الصَّالِحُ حَرْثُ الآخِرَةِ۔
Wealth and children are the adornment of the life of this world whereas good deeds are the tillage of the Hereafter.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: The Hereafter)
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. All praise is due 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) beautifully captures the essence of the worldly life and the Hereafter. It highlights the transient nature of material possessions and the eternal value of good deeds. Let us delve deeper into the meanings of the important words in this Hadith and explore their significance in light of the Quran.
The word (zīnatu) "زينَةُ" in Arabic refers to adornment, decoration, or embellishment. It represents something that beautifies and enhances the appearance. In the context of this Hadith, it refers to wealth and children as the adornment of the life of this world. Wealth and children are often seen as symbols of success and prosperity in society. They bring joy, comfort, and a sense of fulfillment to individuals. However, the Quran reminds us that these worldly possessions are temporary and fleeting.
Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-Kahf (18:46):
Wealth and children are [but] adornment of the worldly life. But the enduring good deeds are better to your Lord for reward and better for [one's] hope.
This verse emphasizes that while wealth and children may bring temporary happiness, they should not be the ultimate goal in life. The true adornment lies in the enduring good deeds that we perform for the sake of Allah. These good deeds are the true source of beauty and honor in the sight of our Lord.
The word (harthu) "حَرْثُ" in Arabic means tillage, cultivation, or farming. It refers to the act of preparing and cultivating land for the purpose of sowing seeds and reaping a harvest. In the context of this Hadith, it symbolizes the efforts and actions that we undertake in order to secure a fruitful Hereafter.
Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-Baqarah (2:261):
The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.
This verse beautifully illustrates the concept of "harthu" or tillage in the Hereafter. Just as a farmer invests time, effort, and resources in cultivating the land, a believer invests their wealth, knowledge, skills, and time in performing good deeds. These good deeds, like seeds, have the potential to multiply and bear abundant rewards in the Hereafter.
Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) Hadith serves as a profound reminder for Muslims. It urges us to strike a balance between the temporary pleasures of this world and the everlasting rewards of the Hereafter. While wealth and children are not inherently evil, we should not become overly attached to them or prioritize them above our spiritual growth and the pursuit of good deeds.
By focusing on the cultivation of good deeds, we invest in our eternal life and secure a bountiful harvest in the Hereafter. Just as a farmer carefully tends to their crops, we must nurture our good deeds through sincerity, consistency, and selflessness. We should engage in acts of worship, charity, kindness, and all other righteous actions that bring us closer to Allah and benefit humanity.
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) reminds us that wealth and children are temporary adornments of this worldly life, while good deeds are the means to cultivate a prosperous Hereafter. Let us strive to strike a balance between the two, prioritizing our spiritual growth and investing in acts of righteousness. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the wisdom and guidance to understand the true value of this life and the Hereafter.
Join our community to daily receive one short Hadith of Imam Ali a.s on your device.