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  • 1/15/2012

The Greatest Jihad: Combat with the Self

Translator's Introduction (part 2)

Although the present work consists of speeches delivered to the students at Najaf, the moral advice given is particularly pertinent for all Muslims in the contemporary situation of discord and confusion. Imam Khomeini advises the seminarians to abandon their quarrelling, which only serve as an opportunity for mischief on the part of the enemies of Islam. In the Islamic world today, we also observe that the opponents of the Islamic movement take advantage of disputes among Muslims. Imam reminds the students that they do not possess sufficient wealth and power to make these things worth fighting over even according to the standards of materialism. Parallel remarks are appropriate for the Muslim world as a whole, given the poverty and powerlessness which characterized the vast masses of the Islamic ummah. Imam sanctions the students that they should take heed of the fact that the major purpose of the prophets and the Imams has been spiritual progress and moral improvement, and that the students must not content themselves with learning a few terms of Islamic jurisprudence. The same warning should be heeded by contemporary Muslims. We must not content ourselves with a handful of slogans and the performance of a few rituals, but must take steps for spiritual and moral growth. Not merely in the seminary of Najaf, but wherever and to whom ever Islam is taught, this teaching must not confine itself to a rehearsal of basic beliefs and necessary practices, but must be accompanied by the moral and spiritual teachings which were the primary focus of the prophets and the Imams, peace be upon them all.

The present work may be read in order to gain insight into the thought of the founder of the Islamic Revolution of Iran. It may be read in order to become familiar with the sort of problems which existed in Najaf at the time the lectures were delivered. It can be read as an example of the type of moral preaching which could be expected from among the best of Shi'ite moral teachers of this age. It is a work

leading cultural and intellectual center of Iran. Ater his studies with scholars there, he produced several works, the most famous of which was his Asfar (Journeys). Asfar contains the bulk of his philosophy, which was influenced by a personal mysticism bordering on asceticism that he experienced during a 15-year retreat at

Kahak, a village near Qun in Iran.

Toward the end of his life, Mulla Sadra returned to Shiraz to teach. His teachings, however, were considered heretical by the orthodox ShT'ite theologians, who persecuted him, though his powerful family connections permitted him to continue to write. He died on a pilgrimage to Mecca

Source:”‌ The Greatest Jihad”‌ by imam khomeini

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