لَيْسَتِ الرَّوِيَّةُ كَالْمُعَايَنَةِ مَعَ الاْبْصَارِ، فَقَدْ تَكْذِبُ الْعُيُونُ أَهْلَهَا، وَلاَ يَغُشُّ الْعَقْلُ مَنِ اسْتَنْصَحَهُ۔

Perception by the eyes is not real observation because the eyes sometimes deceive people; but wisdom does not deceive whomsoever it counsels.



Perception by the eyes is not real observation because the eyes sometimes...

— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #281)

Personal Reflection

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 (), his pure progeny, the Ahl al-Bayt, and his noble companions.

In this profound Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ), he highlights the distinction between perception and true observation. The Imam (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states,

Perception by the eyes is not real observation because the eyes sometimes deceive people; but wisdom does not deceive whomsoever it counsels.

Let us delve deeper into the key words of this Hadith to gain a comprehensive understanding. The word (rawiya) "رواية" refers to perception or seeing, while (mu'ayana) "معاينة" means true observation or insight. The Imam (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) emphasizes that mere perception through the eyes is not equivalent to true observation, as the eyes can deceive their owners. On the other hand, wisdom, represented by the term (aql) "عقل", is described as a reliable counselor that does not deceive those who seek its guidance.

To further elucidate the Imam's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) statement, we turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) repeatedly emphasizes the importance of using wisdom and intellect in various verses. For instance, in Surah Al-Ankabut (29:43), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,

And these examples We present to the people, but none will understand them except those of knowledge.

This verse highlights the significance of knowledge and understanding, which are products of wisdom and intellect.

Furthermore, in Surah Al-Baqarah (2:269), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) states,

He gives wisdom to whom He wills, and whoever has been given wisdom has certainly been given much good.

Here, Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) emphasizes the immense value of wisdom and how it is a blessing bestowed upon individuals.

The consequences of relying solely on perception without the guidance of wisdom can be detrimental. Our eyes can deceive us, leading us to form incorrect judgments and conclusions. We may be swayed by appearances or external factors, which can cloud our understanding of the truth. However, wisdom, rooted in knowledge and intellect, serves as a reliable counselor that guides us towards the right path.

Let us consider an example to illustrate the significance of wisdom over mere perception. Imagine a person sees a wealthy individual and immediately assumes that they are virtuous and righteous based solely on their material possessions. However, wisdom would counsel us to look beyond the surface and consider the person's character, actions, and intentions. It reminds us that true righteousness is not determined by wealth alone, but by one's piety, humility, and adherence to moral values.

The motivation behind Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) statement is to encourage Muslims to seek knowledge, develop wisdom, and rely on intellect rather than relying solely on what they perceive through their eyes. By doing so, we can avoid being deceived by appearances and make informed decisions based on a deeper understanding of the truth.

The consequences of following the Imam's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) advice are profound. When we prioritize wisdom over mere perception, we become more discerning individuals who are not easily swayed by external influences. We develop a deeper understanding of ourselves, others, and the world around us. Our decisions and actions are based on knowledge and intellect, leading to better outcomes and a more righteous way of life.

In conclusion, Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) Hadith serves as a reminder for Muslims to prioritize wisdom over mere perception. While our eyes can deceive us, wisdom acts as a reliable counselor that guides us towards the truth. By seeking knowledge, developing wisdom, and relying on intellect, we can make informed decisions and lead a righteous life. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the ability to cultivate wisdom and use it to navigate through the complexities of life.

. : . (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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