لاَ تَأْمَنَنَّ عَلَى خَيْرِ هذِهِ الاْمَّةِ عَذَابَ اللهِ، لِقَوْلِهِ تَعَالى: (فَلا يَأْمَنُ مَكْرَ اَللَّهِ إِلاَّ اَلْقَوْمُ اَلْخاسِرُونَ) وَ لاَ تَيْأَسَنَّ لِشَرِّ هَذِهِ اَلْأُمَّةِ مِنْ رَوْحِ اَللَّهِ لِقَوْلِهِ تَعَالَى (إِنَّهُ لا يَيْأَسُ مِنْ رَوْحِ اَللَّهِ إِلاَّ اَلْقَوْمُ اَلْكافِرُونَ)۔
Do not feel safe from the punishment of Allah even about the best man in the whole community because Allah, the Sublime, says: But no one feels secure against the plan of Allah save the people (who are the) losers. (Qur'an, 7:99). Again, do not lose hope even for the worst man of the community because Allah-, the Sublime says: Verily, despairs not of Allah's mercy but the disbelieving people. (Qur'an, 12:87).
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #377)
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.
In this profound hadith, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) advises us to never feel secure from the punishment of Allah, regardless of the righteousness or wickedness of individuals within the community. The Imam (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) draws our attention to two verses from the Quran to support his statement.
The first verse he quotes is from Surah Al-A'raf (7:99), where Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,
But no one feels secure against the plan of Allah save the people (who are the) losers.
This verse reminds us that no one can be absolutely safe from the punishment of Allah, except those who are destined to be losers. It serves as a warning to the Muslims to never become complacent or arrogant, thinking that they are immune to the consequences of their actions.
To further emphasize this point, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) quotes another verse from Surah Yusuf (12:87), where Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,
Verily, despairs not of Allah's mercy but the disbelieving people.
This verse reminds us that even the worst individuals in the community should not lose hope in the mercy of Allah. It serves as a source of comfort and motivation for those who may have committed grave sins, reminding them that as long as they turn to Allah in sincere repentance, they can still attain His mercy and forgiveness.
The exegesis of this hadith highlights the importance of balance in our understanding of Allah's justice and mercy. On one hand, we are reminded that no one is exempt from the consequences of their actions, regardless of their status or reputation. This serves as a deterrent against complacency and arrogance, urging us to constantly strive for righteousness and seek forgiveness for our shortcomings.
On the other hand, we are reassured that Allah's mercy is vast and encompasses all, even the most sinful individuals. This serves as a source of hope and encouragement for those who may have strayed from the path, reminding them that it is never too late to repent and seek Allah's forgiveness. It also reminds us not to judge or despair of others, as only Allah knows the true state of their hearts.
Furthermore, this hadith teaches us the importance of humility and self-reflection. Regardless of our perceived righteousness or piety, we should always be aware of our own shortcomings and constantly strive to improve ourselves. It also reminds us to be compassionate and understanding towards others, recognizing that we are all fallible human beings in need of Allah's mercy.
In conclusion, this hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) serves as a powerful reminder for Muslims to never become complacent or lose hope. It urges us to constantly strive for righteousness, while also seeking Allah's forgiveness and mercy. It teaches us the importance of balance, humility, and compassion in our interactions with others. May Allah guide us all on the straight path and grant us His mercy and forgiveness.
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