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  • Date :
  • 1/16/2012

The Greatest Jihad:Combat with the Self

(part 14)


I am not saying that you should not study, that you should not acquire knowledge, but you have to pay attention, for if you want to be a useful and effective member of society and Islam and lead a nation to awareness of Islam and to defend the fundamentals of Islam, it is necessary that the basis of jurisprudence be strengthened and that you gain mastery of the subject. If, God forbid, you fail to study, then it is forbidden for you to remain in the seminary. You may not use the religious salary of the students of the religious sciences. Of course, the acquisition of knowledge is necessary, although in the same way that you take pains with the problems oiiqh and usul (jurisprudence and its principles), you must make efforts in the path of self-reformation. Every step forward which you take in the acquisition of knowledge should be matched by a step taken to beat down the desires of the soul, to strengthen one's spiritual powers, to acquire nobility of character, and to gain spirituality and piety [taqwd].

The learning of these sciences in reality is an introduction to the refinement of the soul and the acquisition of virtue, manners and divine knowledge. Do not spend your entire life with the introduction, so that you leave aside the conclusion. You are acquiring these sciences for the sake of a holy and high aim, knowing God and refining the self. You should make plans to realize the results and effects of you work, and you should be serious about reaching your fundamental and basic goal.

When you enter the seminary, before anything else, you should plan to reform yourselves. While you are in the seminary, along with your studies, you should reine yourselves, so that when you leave the seminary and become the leader of a people in a city or district, they may profit from you, take advice from you, and reform themselves by means of your deeds and manners and your ethical virtues. Try to reform and refine yourselves before you enter among the people. If now, while you are unencumbered, you do not reform yourselves, on the day when people come before you, you will not be able to reform yourselves.

Many things ruin people and keep them from studying and purifying themselves, and one of them, for some, is this very beard and turban! When the turban becomes a bit large, and the beard gets long, if one has not reined oneself, this can hinder one's studies, and restrict one. It is dificult to trample the commanding self under one's feet,

and to sit at the feet of another for lessons. Shaykh at-TusI," may Allah have mercy on him, at the age of ity-two would go to classes, while between the ages of twenty and thirty, he wrote some of his books! His TahdhJb was possibly written during this period.12 Yet at the age of ity-two he attended the classes of the late Sayyid Murtada,1 may Allah have mercy on him, and thereby achieved a similar status as he did. God forbid that prior to acquiring good habits and strengthening one's spiritual powers that one's beard should turn a bit white and that his turban should get big, so that he would lose the blessings of knowledge and spirituality. So work, before your beards before white; before you gain the attention of the people, think about your state! God forbid that before a person develops himself, that people should pay heed to him, that he should become a personality and have influence among the people, causing him to loose his soul. Before you loose hold of the reins of your self, develop and reform yourself! Adorn yourselves with good traits, and remove your vices! Become pure in your lessons and discussions, so that you may approach God! If one does not have good intentions, one will be kept far from the divine precincts. Beware that, ater seventy years, when the book of your deeds is opened, Allah forbid that you should have been far from God Almighty for seventy years. Have you heard the story of the 'stone' which was dropped into hell? Only ater seventy years was the sound of its hitting the bottom of hell heard. According to a narration, the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allah be with him and his progeny, said that it was an old man who died ater seventy years, and during these seventy years he was falling into hell.14 Be careful that in the seminary, by your own labor and the sweat of your brow during ity years, more or less, that you do not thereby reach hell! You had better think! Make plans in the ield of refinement and purification of the soul, and reformation of character.

Source:”‌‌ The Greatest Jihad”‌‌ by imam khomeini

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