Imam Ali quotes about haste are significantly helpful to understand that whether haste is good or bad according to Islam. In general, haste is highly disliked by Allah but He likes it when someone hastes for doing something good. So according to Islam, haste is a good thing only when you are going to some good deeds. But it is very bad to haste in general affairs. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has stated that the source of haste is the devil. He said it in the context of making general decisions or acting in general. But when it comes to doing something good, Islam stresses on hastening. Islam forbids to haste except five of the followings as stated by Haatim Al-Assam:
- Feeding the guest when he arrives,
- Preparing the deceased when he dies,
- Marrying off the virgin when she reaches the appropriate age,
- Paying off the debt when its due,
- Repenting from a sin when a sin is committed,
Imam Ali quotes about haste clearly state the same. He has told us that it is highly discouraged to haste in all the matters, but not to repel evil. At many occasions, he has told us to haste when we are going to do something good. He has also told us to hurry for abstaining from sins and evils and repenting for our sins. But in general affairs, he has told us to be patient. He has stated that the patience can keep us safe, whereas hastening can lead us toward regrets.
Given here under are few of the quotes of Imam Ali (R.A) for your understanding of haste:
“Offer your prayers on time, do not rush through them, and never delay in offering them. Remember that piety and nobleness of all your activities are subject to sincerity and punctuality of your prayers.”
“Remember that backbiters and scandal-mongers belong to a mean and cunning group, though they pretend to be sincere advisers. Do not make haste to believe the news they bring and do not heed to their advice.”
“They took to the right and the left piercing through to the ways of evil and leaving the paths of guidance. Do not make haste for a matter which is to happen and is awaited, and do not wish for delay in what the morrow is to bring for you. For, how many people make haste for a matter, but when they get it they begin to wish they had not got it.”
“Therefore, you should go ahead with what you are ordered and desist from what you are refrained. Do not make haste in any matter till you have clarified it. For in the case of every matter which you dislike we have a right to change it.”
“Stick to the earth, keep patient in trials, do not move your hands and swords after the liking of your tongues, and do not make haste in matters in which Allah has not asked for haste because any one of you who dies in his bed while he had knowledge of the rights of Allah and the rights of His Prophet and members of the Prophet’s house, will die as martyr.”
When Imam Ali was asked about Faith in Religion, he replied:
“The structure of faith is supported by four pillars endurance, conviction, justice and jihad. Endurance is composed of four attributes: eagerness, fear, piety and anticipation (of death). So whoever is eager for Paradise will ignore temptations; whoever fears the fire of Hell will abstain from sins; whoever practices piety will easily bear the difficulties of life and whoever anticipates death will hasten towards good deeds.
“So hasten towards knowledge before its vegetation dries up and before you turn yourselves away from seeking knowledge from those who have it. Desist others from the unlawful and abstain from it yourself, because you have been commanded to abstain (yourself) before abstaining (others).”