خَيرُ إخْوانِكَ مَنْ عَنَّفَكَ في طاعَةِ اللّهِ۔

The best of your brothers is the one who is stern with you regarding obedience to Allah.



The best of your brothers is the one who is stern with you regarding...

— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: The Brother, The Friend, The Associate And The Companion)

Personal Reflection

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all worlds. Peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.

The Arabic Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states:

خَيرُ إخْوانِكَ مَنْ عَنَّفَكَ في طاعَةِ اللّهِ۔

This can be translated as:

The best of your brothers is the one who is stern with you regarding obedience to Allah.

Let us delve into the meanings of important words in this Hadith. The word (khayr) "خَيرُ" means the best, the most excellent, or the most virtuous. (ikhwanika) "إخْوانِكَ" refers to your brothers, indicating fellow Muslims. (man) "مَنْ" means the one who, and (annafaka) "عَنَّفَكَ" comes from the root word (anafa) "عَنَفَ", which means to be stern, strict, or firm. Finally, (ta'atillah) "طاعَةِ اللّهِ" refers to obedience to Allah.

To understand the essence of this Hadith, we can turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-Tawbah, verse 71:

The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those - Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.

This verse emphasizes the importance of believers supporting and advising one another in matters of righteousness and obedience to Allah. It highlights the duty of Muslims to enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong. The Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) echoes this sentiment by emphasizing the value of a brother who is stern in reminding and guiding others towards obedience to Allah.

The phrase "stern with you" in the Hadith implies that this brother is not afraid to correct and admonish when necessary. They are firm in upholding the principles of Islam and encouraging others to do the same. This sternness is not rooted in arrogance or superiority, but rather in a genuine concern for the well-being and spiritual growth of their fellow Muslims.

Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ), known for his deep knowledge and wisdom, understood the importance of guiding others towards the path of righteousness. He exemplified this quality throughout his life, whether it was during his caliphate or in his interactions with the companions of the Prophet (). His sternness was not driven by personal gain or power, but by his unwavering commitment to the obedience of Allah.

When we reflect on the consequences of this Hadith, we realize that having such brothers in our lives is a blessing. Their firmness and guidance can prevent us from straying off the straight path and falling into disobedience. They serve as a reminder and a source of motivation to remain steadfast in our faith and to continuously strive for improvement.

Furthermore, this Hadith encourages us to cultivate the quality of being stern with ourselves when it comes to obedience to Allah. We should hold ourselves accountable and be disciplined in our worship, seeking to please Allah above all else. By doing so, we can become a source of inspiration and guidance for others, just as the best of our brothers are for us.

In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) teaches us the value of having brothers who are stern with us in matters of obedience to Allah. It emphasizes the importance of enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, as well as the duty of supporting and guiding one another on the path of righteousness. May Allah grant us the ability to be firm in our obedience to Him and to be surrounded by brothers and sisters who encourage us in our journey towards Him.

. : . (Readers are advised to verify the sources mentioned above, and to independently research for an accurate understanding of Hadith. Remember, personal research and seeking guidance from scholars are essential in gaining a better insight. Please, do contact us if you find any wrong citations or explanations.)

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