22 Golden Gems of Wisdom By Imam Hadi

These 22 golden nuggets of wisdom by Imam Hadi preserved in history are well-worth reflecting over!

These 22 golden nuggets of wisdom by Imam Hadi preserved in history are well-worth reflecting over!

Imam Muhammad ibn Ali, also known as Imam Hadi, was born in Medina in Rajab. He is a direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), with his lineage traced by to Lady Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet.

Muhammad ibn Ali became known al-Hadi because of the guidance he provided to the ummah throughout his life – indeed, Hadi means guide in English.

A Genius from a Young Age

Imam Hadi’s genius became evident from a young age. At the age of six, the Imam had a personal tutor. This tutor notes how he ended up learning more from Imam Hadi instead! His tutor, Al-Junaydi said:

I mention some matters of literature and think that I have elaborated upon them, but he (Imam al-Hadi) opens sections of literature where I myself learn from him. People think that I teach him, but, by Allah, I learn from him. I ask him to recite long surahs and he recites them in a way that I have heard no recitation better than his. He recites the surahs with a voice nicer than the pipes of Prophet David (a.s.). He has memorized the Qur’an from its beginning until its end and he knows its revelation and interpretation.”

Imam Hadi’s Generosity

Historians have mentioned many examples of the generosity and charity of Imam Hadi. He would give away thousands of dinars to those in need without a second thought.

Imam Hadi’s Spirituality

Imam Hadi turned his back on all pleasures of this worldly life and lived absolutely an ascetic life. He paid no attention to worldly pleasures and preferred the obedience of Allah to everything else. His house in Medina and later in Samarra during his house arrest had no furniture.

One companion said:

Ali al-Hadi had no interest in this worldly life. He kept to the mosque. When they searched his house, they did not find in it save copies of the Holy Qur’an, books of du’a, and scientific books.”

Earning a Halal Living

Being spiritual isn’t about praying and fasting all day. Imam Hadi worked like everyone else, which goes to show working and being spiritual are not mutually exclusive.

He worked on his farm to secure a living for his family.

Ali bin Hamza said:

Once, I saw Imam Hadi work in a farm while his feet were soaked with sweat. I said to him, ‘May I die for you! Where are the men?”

Imam Hadi goes on to explain that working is a practice of his forefathers and all prophets in general – therefore, there is no shame in getting sweaty for the sake of earning a halal living for oneself and his family.

Imam Hadi’s House Arrest and Death

Imam Hadi led a pious life. His dissemination of knowledge and wisdom made the Abbasid empire nervous. Al-Mutwakkil and other Abbasid caliphs were constantly at odds with him – so much so they forced him to move from Medina to Samarra and placed him on house arrest.

The objective of this move was to deprive people of benefits from the Imam. He was eventually poisoned and buried next to his house.

22 Gems of Wisdom by Imam Hadi

Despite Imam Hadi’s short life, history has recorded many gems of wisdom from Imam Hadi that are worth reflecting over.

  1. Better than good is its doer, better than favour is its sayer, and more preferable than knowledge is its follower.
  2. He, who asks for more than his merit, is worthier of deprivation.
  3. The right of one, who ignores dignity, is his lowness.
  4. Patience is to possess yourself and control your anger when you are able to show it.
  5. People (run their affairs) in this life with money and in the afterlife with deeds.
  6. Whoever is pleased with himself. Many are those who are displeased at him.
  7. The evilest of misfortune is bad morals.
  8. An ignorant one is a captive of his tongue.
  9. Misfortune for the patient is one, and for the impatient is two.
  10. Envy eradicates good deeds, and pride brings detestation.
  11. Self-conceit turns one away from seeking knowledge and leads him to ignorance.
  12. Stinginess is the worst of morals, and greediness is a bad nature.
  13. Associating with the wicked shows the wickedness of one who associates with them.”
  14. Undutifulness (to parents) lessens offspring and leads to meanness.
  15. Beware of envy, for it harms you and not your enemy.”
  16. In a time where justice is more than oppression, it is unlawful to suspect anyone before being certain of that which is suspected of, and in a time where oppression is more than justice, one should not trust in anyone except after being certain of him.
  17. Ignorance and niggardliness are the worst of morals.
  18. Good appearance is apparent beauty, and good mind is hidden beauty.
  19. If people walked in a vast valley, I would walk in a valley of a man who worshipped Allah alone sincerely.
  20. Allah made the worldly life a place of trying and the afterlife a place of reward. He made the misfortunes of the worldly life as a means for the reward of the afterlife and the reward of the afterlife as a compensation for the misfortunes of the worldly life.
  21. If you want Allah’s favor, accept the criticisms that are levelled against you and seek to reform yourself.
  22. Wisdom has no effect on corrupt hearts.

Biography adapted from The Life of Imam ‘Ali al-Hadi, Study and Analysis by Baqir Sharif al-Qurashi.



Advertise on TMV