اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ تَقِيَّةَ مَنْ شَمَّرَ تَجْرِيداً وَ جَدَّ تَشْمِيراً وَ كَمَّشَ فِى مَهَلٍ وَ بَادَرَ عَنْ وَجَلٍ وَ نَظَرَ فِى كَرَّةِ الْمَوْئِلِ وَ عَاقِبَةِ الْمَصْدَرِ وَ مَغَبَّةِ الْمَرْجِعِ۔
Fear Allah like the one who prepares himself after extracting himself (from worldly affairs) and after getting ready in this way makes effort; then he acts quickly during the period of this life, hastens in view of the dangers (of falling into error) and has his eye on proceeding towards the goal, on the end of his journey and on the place of his (eventual) return.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #210)
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all the 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 fearing Allah and being conscious of Him in all aspects of our lives. Let us delve into the exegesis of this profound Hadith, exploring its key words and their meanings in light of the Quran.
The first important word in this Hadith is (taqiyyah) "تَقِيَّةَ", which means to fear or be conscious of Allah. This word is derived from the root word (waqa) "وَقَى", which signifies protection and guarding against harm. In the Quran, Allah repeatedly emphasizes the significance of taqwa, stating in Surah Al-Baqarah (2:197),
And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is taqwa. So fear Me, O you of understanding.
The Hadith then describes the actions of a person who fears Allah. It uses the imagery of someone who prepares themselves after extracting themselves from worldly affairs and getting ready. This signifies the importance of detachment from worldly distractions and focusing on spiritual growth and preparation. The Quran also encourages believers to detach themselves from worldly pursuits and prioritize their relationship with Allah. In Surah Al-Kahf (18:28), Allah says,
And keep yourself patient [by being] with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance.
The Hadith further mentions that after preparing oneself, the individual makes effort and acts quickly during the period of this life. This highlights the importance of utilizing our time wisely and taking immediate action in fulfilling our responsibilities and obligations. The Quran reminds us in Surah Al-Asr (103:1-3),
By time, indeed, mankind is in loss, except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.
Additionally, the Hadith emphasizes the need to hasten in view of the dangers of falling into error. This highlights the importance of being vigilant and cautious in our actions, always striving to avoid sins and temptations. The Quran warns us in Surah Al-Hashr (59:18),
O you who have believed, fear Allah. And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow - and fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.
Furthermore, the Hadith mentions having one's eye on proceeding towards the goal, on the end of the journey, and on the place of eventual return. This signifies the importance of having a clear vision and purpose in life, focusing on the ultimate goal of attaining Allah's pleasure and seeking eternal success. The Quran reminds us in Surah Al-Mumtahanah (60:4),
There has already been for you an excellent pattern in Ibrahim and those with him, when they said to their people, 'Indeed, we are disassociated from you and from whatever you worship other than Allah. We have denied you, and there has appeared between us and you animosity and hatred forever until you believe in Allah alone.'
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) serves as a profound reminder for Muslims to fear Allah and be conscious of Him in all aspects of their lives. It emphasizes the importance of detachment from worldly distractions, utilizing time wisely, being vigilant against sins, and having a clear vision and purpose in life. May Allah grant us the ability to embody the teachings of this Hadith and strive towards attaining His pleasure.
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