مَنْ أيْقَنَ بِما يَبْقى زَهِدَ فيما يَفْنى۔
One who is certain about the everlasting is uninterested in that which perishes.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: The Hereafter)
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds. 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) beautifully encapsulates the essence of detachment from worldly possessions and a focus on the eternal. Let us delve into the meaning of this Hadith and explore its implications in light of the Quran.
The key words in this Hadith are (ayqana) "أيْقَنَ" which means "to be certain" or "to have conviction," (zahida) "زَهِدَ" which means "to be uninterested" or "to abstain," and (yafna) "يَفْنَى" which means "to perish" or "to fade away."
To understand the significance of this Hadith, we can turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) repeatedly emphasizes the temporary nature of this worldly life and the importance of focusing on the eternal. In Surah Al-Hadid, Allah says, (57:20)
Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children - like the example of a rain whose [resulting] plant growth pleases the tillers; then it dries and you see it turned yellow; then it becomes [scattered] debris
Furthermore, in Surah Al-Imran, Allah reminds us, (6:32)
What is the worldly life but a diversion and amusement? But the home of the Hereafter is best for those who fear Allah, so will you not reason?
These verses highlight the transient nature of worldly possessions and pleasures. They serve as a reminder that our focus should be on the everlasting life in the Hereafter, where true success lies.
Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) Hadith urges us to cultivate certainty in the eternal nature of the Hereafter. When one truly believes in the permanence of the afterlife, they naturally become disinterested in the fleeting pleasures and material possessions of this world. This detachment does not mean complete abandonment of worldly responsibilities, but rather a shift in perspective and priorities.
For example, a person who is certain about the everlasting life will not be consumed by the pursuit of wealth and status. They will prioritize acts of worship, charity, and kindness, knowing that these are the deeds that will benefit them in the long run. They will not be swayed by the allure of material possessions, recognizing that true contentment lies in the remembrance of Allah and the pursuit of righteousness.
This Hadith also serves as a motivation for Muslims to reflect on their actions and choices. It encourages us to question our attachment to worldly possessions and to evaluate whether we are investing our time and energy in that which will perish or in that which will endure. It prompts us to reevaluate our priorities and strive for a balance between our worldly responsibilities and our spiritual growth.
The consequences of embracing this Hadith are profound. By focusing on the eternal, Muslims can find solace and contentment in the face of worldly challenges and setbacks. They will be less affected by the fluctuations of this life, as their hearts and minds are anchored in the belief in the Hereafter. This detachment from the temporary will also lead to a more meaningful and purposeful existence, as Muslims prioritize actions that have lasting impact and benefit.
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) reminds us of the impermanence of this worldly life and the importance of focusing on the everlasting. By cultivating certainty in the Hereafter, Muslims can detach themselves from the allure of material possessions and prioritize actions that will benefit them in the long run. This Hadith serves as a motivation for reflection, a call to reevaluate priorities, and a reminder of the profound consequences of embracing the eternal over the transient. May Allah guide us all to live in accordance with this wisdom and grant us success in this life and the Hereafter.
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