لاَ خَيْرَ فِي الصَّمْتِ عَنِ الْحُكْمِ، كَمَا أَنَّهُ لاَ خَيْرَ فِي الْقوْلِ بِالْجَهْلِ۔
There is no advantage ill keeping quiet about an issue of wisdom, just as there is no good in speaking out an unintelligent thing.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Nahj al-Balagha — Peak of Eloquence: Hadith #182)
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 Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states,
There is no advantage in keeping quiet about an issue of wisdom, just as there is no good in speaking out an unintelligent thing.
This wise utterance emphasizes the importance of speaking up when it comes to matters of wisdom and knowledge, while discouraging the utterance of ignorant and baseless statements.
Let us delve into the key words of this Hadith to gain a deeper understanding. The word (samti) "صَمْتِ" refers to keeping quiet or remaining silent, while (hukm) "حُكْمِ" denotes wisdom or judgment. On the other hand, (qawl) "قَوْلِ" signifies speech or utterance, and (jahli) "جَهْلِ" refers to ignorance or lack of knowledge.
To further comprehend the significance of this Hadith, we can turn to the Quran for guidance. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-A'raf (7:169),
And ask them about the town that was by the sea - when they transgressed in [the matter of] the Sabbath - when their fish came to them openly on their Sabbath day, and the day they had no Sabbath they did not come to them. Thus did We give them trial because they were defiantly disobedient.
This verse highlights the importance of speaking up and taking action when it comes to matters of obedience to Allah's commands. The people of the town remained silent when they witnessed the violation of the Sabbath, and as a result, they were tested and faced the consequences of their inaction.
Another relevant verse is found in Surah Al-Mujadila (58:9), where Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,
O you who have believed, when you converse privately, do not converse about sin and aggression and disobedience to the Messenger but converse about righteousness and piety. And fear Allah, to whom you will be gathered.
This verse emphasizes the importance of using our speech wisely and avoiding discussions that involve sin, aggression, and disobedience. It encourages Muslims to engage in conversations that promote righteousness and piety, which aligns with the wisdom mentioned in the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ).
Now, let us reflect on the impactful message conveyed by Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) in this Hadith. By stating that there is no advantage in keeping quiet about an issue of wisdom, he emphasizes the importance of sharing knowledge and wisdom with others. Remaining silent when we possess valuable insights or solutions to problems can hinder progress and deprive others of benefiting from our knowledge. Islam encourages seeking knowledge and spreading it for the betterment of society, and Imam Ali's statement aligns perfectly with this principle.
Furthermore, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) warns against speaking out unintelligent things. This serves as a reminder to Muslims to be mindful of their words and to refrain from uttering baseless or ignorant statements. Islam places great emphasis on seeking knowledge and understanding before speaking, as Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-Hujurat (49:6),
O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful.
This verse highlights the importance of verifying information before spreading it, as spreading false or ignorant statements can lead to harm and regret.
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) reminds us of the importance of speaking up when it comes to matters of wisdom and knowledge. It encourages us to share our insights and solutions for the betterment of society. At the same time, it cautions against speaking out unintelligent things, reminding us to be mindful of our words and to seek knowledge before speaking. By adhering to these teachings, we can contribute to a more enlightened and harmonious society. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the wisdom to speak with knowledge and understanding, and protect us from uttering ignorant and baseless statements.
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