مِنْ كَفَّارَاتِ الذُّنُوبِ الْعِظَامِ إِغَاثَةُ الْمَلْهُوفِ، وَالتَّنْفِيسُ عَنِ الْمكْرُوبِ۔
Rendering relief to the grief-stricken and providing comfort in hardship are among the means of atonement for great sins.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #24)
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 purified progeny, and his noble companions.
The provided Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) emphasizes the importance of two actions that serve as a means of expiating major sins. The first action mentioned is "إِغَاثَةُ الْمَلْهُوفِ" which can be translated as
rendering relief to the grief-stricken
assisting those in distress.
The second action is "التَّنْفِيسُ عَنِ الْمكْرُوبِ" which can be translated as
providing comfort in hardship
alleviating the sorrow of the afflicted.
To understand the depth and significance of this Hadith, let us delve into the meanings of the key words. "مَلْهُوفِ" refers to someone who is experiencing grief, distress, or hardship. This could be due to various reasons such as poverty, illness, loss of a loved one, or any other form of suffering. "مكْرُوبِ" refers to someone who is afflicted with sorrow, anguish, or sadness. This could be a result of personal struggles, emotional pain, or any other form of distress.
The Quran provides us with numerous verses that emphasize the importance of helping those in need and providing comfort to the afflicted. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-Baqarah (2:177):
Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous.
This verse highlights the importance of giving wealth to those in need, being patient during times of hardship, and fulfilling promises. It emphasizes that true righteousness lies in one's actions and intentions, rather than mere outward displays of religiosity. By assisting the needy and being patient in the face of adversity, one can attain closeness to Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins.
Another verse that supports the exegesis of this Hadith is found in Surah Al-Tawbah (9:103):
Take, [O, Muhammad], from their wealth a charity by which you purify them and cause them increase, and invoke [Allah's blessings] upon them. Indeed, your invocations are reassurance for them. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.
This verse highlights the concept of giving charity as a means of purification and increase in blessings. By providing relief to those in distress and comforting the afflicted, we not only alleviate their suffering but also purify ourselves and seek Allah's blessings.
The exegesis of this Hadith teaches us that rendering relief to the grief-stricken and providing comfort in hardship are not only acts of kindness but also acts of worship that have the power to expiate major sins. By actively seeking out those in need and extending a helping hand, we embody the teachings of Islam and follow in the footsteps of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and his noble companions.
The motivation behind these actions should stem from a genuine desire to alleviate the suffering of others and seek the pleasure of Allah. The consequences of these actions are not only the relief and comfort provided to those in distress but also the purification of our own souls and the forgiveness of our sins. By engaging in acts of kindness and compassion, we cultivate a sense of empathy and unity within the Muslim community and contribute to the betterment of society as a whole.
Reflecting upon this Hadith, we are reminded of the immense responsibility we have as Muslims to actively engage in acts of charity, kindness, and support for those in need. It is through these actions that we can seek forgiveness for our sins and strive to attain closeness to Allah. Let us strive to embody the teachings of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) and follow his example of knowledge, compassion, and selflessness. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) guide us in our efforts to render relief to the grief-stricken and provide comfort in hardship, and may He accept our sincere intentions and actions.
Join our community to daily receive one short Hadith of Imam Ali a.s on your device.
Your message has been successfully received, and we will respond to you soon.