أَحْلِفُوا الظَّالِمَ إِذَا أَرَدْتُمْ يَمِينَهُ بِأَنَّهُ بَرِيءٌ مِنْ حَوْلِ اللَّهِ وَ قُوَّتِهِ فَإِنَّهُ إِذَا حَلَفَ بِهَا كَاذِباً عُوجِلَ الْعُقُوبَةَ وَ إِذَا حَلَفَ بِاللَّهِ الَّذِى لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ لَمْ يُعَاجَلْ لِأَنَّهُ قَدْ وَحَّدَ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى۔
If you want an oppressor to take an oath ask him to swear like this that he is out of Allah's might and His power, because if he swears falsely in this way he will be quickly punished, while if he swears by Allah Who is such that there is no god but He, he will not be quickly punished since he is expressing the Unity of Allah, the Sublime. ciii.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #253)
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 pure progeny, and his noble companions.
The provided Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) emphasizes the importance of taking an oath in a just and truthful manner. Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) advises us that if we want an oppressor to take an oath, we should ask them to swear by stating that they are out of Allah's might and power. By doing so, if the oppressor swears falsely in this manner, they will be swiftly punished.
Let us delve deeper into the words used in this Hadith. The word (dhālima) "ظَّالِمَ" refers to an oppressor or a wrongdoer. It is someone who transgresses the boundaries of justice and fairness. The word (arad'tum) "أَرَدْتُمْ" means "if you want" or "if you desire." The word (yameenahu) "يَمِينَهُ" refers to an oath or a pledge. It is a solemn promise made by an individual, invoking the name of Allah or something sacred to them.
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) advises us to ask the oppressor to swear by stating that they are out of Allah's might and power. By doing so, the oppressor is acknowledging that they are not under the protection or support of Allah. This is significant because it highlights the consequences of falsehood and deception. If the oppressor swears falsely in this manner, they will be swiftly punished. This punishment serves as a deterrent and a reminder that Allah's justice will prevail.
To further understand the importance of truthful oaths and the consequences of false oaths, let us turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-Ma'idah (5:89):
Allah will not impose blame upon you for what is meaningless in your oaths, but He will impose blame upon you for [breaking] what you intended of oaths. So its expiation is the feeding of ten needy people from the average of that which you feed your [own] families or clothing them or the freeing of a slave. But whoever cannot find [or afford it] - then a fast of three days [is required]. That is the expiation for oaths when you have sworn. But guard your oaths. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be grateful.
This verse emphasizes the seriousness of breaking oaths and the need for expiation when one fails to fulfill their oath. It reminds us that Allah holds us accountable for the oaths we make and the intentions behind them. Therefore, it is crucial to uphold the sanctity of oaths and to be truthful in our words.
Another verse that sheds light on the consequences of false oaths is found in Surah An-Nahl (16:38):
And they swear by Allah their strongest oaths that if a sign came to them, they would surely believe in it. Say, 'The signs are only with Allah.' And what will make you perceive that even if a sign came, they would not believe?
This verse highlights the hypocrisy of those who swear false oaths. They may swear by Allah, but their intentions and actions do not align with their words. It serves as a reminder that mere words are not enough; true belief and sincerity are required for one's oath to hold weight.
In light of these Quranic verses, we can understand the wisdom behind Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) advice. By asking the oppressor to swear in a manner that acknowledges their separation from Allah's might and power, we are exposing their falsehood and deception. This serves as a means to deter them from committing further injustices and reminds them of the consequences they will face.
Moreover, Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) emphasis on the Unity of Allah in the oath is significant. Swearing by Allah, who is the One and Only God, signifies the acknowledgment of His absolute sovereignty and power. It is a reminder that Allah's justice is all-encompassing and that He is the ultimate judge of our actions.
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) teaches us the importance of taking oaths in a just and truthful manner. It highlights the consequences of false oaths and the need to uphold the sanctity of our words. By asking the oppressor to swear in a manner that acknowledges their separation from Allah's might and power, we expose their falsehood and remind them of the swift punishment that awaits them. Let us strive to be truthful in our words and actions, upholding the principles of justice and fairness in all aspects of our lives.
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