زُهْدُكَ فِي رَاغِبٍ فِيكَ نُقْصَانُ حَظٍّ، وَرَغْبَتُكَ فِي زَاهِدٍ فِيكَ ذُلُّ نَفْسٍ۔
Your turning away from him who inclines towards you is a loss of your share of advantage while your inclining towards him who turns away from you is humiliation for yourself.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #451)
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.
The provided Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) highlights the importance of our interactions with others and the consequences that result from our actions. Let us delve into the exegesis of this profound Hadith, exploring its meanings and implications in light of the Quran.
The Hadith begins with the phrase
زُهْدُكَ فِي رَاغِبٍ فِيكَ نُقْصَانُ حَظٍّ
which can be translated as
Your turning away from him who inclines towards you is a loss of your share of advantage.
Here, the word "زُهْدُكَ" refers to one's indifference or detachment, while "رَاغِبٍ فِيكَ" signifies someone who desires your company or seeks a relationship with you. The Hadith emphasizes that when we turn away from those who genuinely seek our companionship or assistance, we are actually depriving ourselves of the benefits and blessings that could have been derived from that relationship.
To further understand the significance of this concept, we can turn to the Quran. In Surah Al-Isra (17:80), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,
And say: My Lord! Cause me to come in with a firm incoming and to go out with a firm outgoing. And give me from Thy presence a sustaining Power.
This verse highlights the importance of maintaining strong and meaningful relationships with others, as they can provide us with support and strength in our journey through life. By turning away from those who seek our companionship, we are denying ourselves the opportunity to benefit from the sustenance and blessings that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) bestows upon us through these relationships.
The Hadith continues with the statement
وَرَغْبَتُكَ فِي زَاهِدٍ فِيكَ ذُلُّ نَفْسٍ۔
which can be translated as
while your inclining towards him who turns away from you is humiliation for yourself.
Here, the word "رَغْبَتُكَ" refers to one's inclination or desire, while "زَاهِدٍ فِيكَ" signifies someone who is detached or disinterested in having a relationship with you. The Hadith highlights that when we seek the attention or approval of those who are uninterested in us, we are actually demeaning ourselves and compromising our self-respect.
To understand the implications of this statement, we can refer to the Quran. In Surah Al-Qalam (68:51-52), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,
And those who disbelieve would almost smite you with their eyes when they hear the Reminder, and they say: Lo! he is indeed mad. And it is naught else than a Reminder to all creatures.
This verse reminds us that seeking the approval of those who reject the truth or belittle our beliefs can lead to humiliation and compromise of our principles. By inclining towards those who turn away from us, we risk compromising our values and lowering ourselves in the eyes of others.
In light of this Hadith, we should strive to cultivate meaningful relationships based on sincerity, respect, and mutual benefit. We should not turn away from those who seek our companionship or assistance, as doing so would result in a loss of the advantages and blessings that could have been derived from those relationships. Similarly, we should not seek the attention or approval of those who are disinterested in us, as doing so would compromise our self-respect and lead to humiliation.
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) possessed immense knowledge and wisdom, and his teachings continue to guide us today. This Hadith serves as a reminder for us to be mindful of our interactions with others, to value sincere relationships, and to prioritize our self-respect and integrity. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the wisdom to act upon these teachings and to cultivate meaningful connections with our fellow Muslims.
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