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  • Date :
  • 1/18/2012

The Greatest Jihad:Combat with the Self

The First Step in Refinement (4)


What thought have you given to these terrible devastating torments, and what way have you found to salvation from them? When are you going to decide to reform and refine yourselves? Now, while you are young, have the strength of youth, you have power over your faculties, and physical weaknesses have not yet overtaken you, if you do not think of refinement and of making something of yourselves, then how will you able to do it when you become old, when your bodies and souls are in the grip of weakness and feebleness, and you have lost your will power, your decisiveness and your resistance, and when the burden of your sins has blackened your hearts? With every breath and every step you take, and with each passing moment of your life, reform becomes more dificult, and it is possible for darkness and corruption to increase. The more one's age advances, the more the things which conlict with human felicity multiply and the more one's powers are weakened. Thus, when old age arrives, it is dificult to be successful at refinement and the acquisition of the virtues and piety (taqwd). One is unable to repent, for repentance is not merely the verbal expression, "I repent before Allah," rather, contrition and the resolve to abandon one's sin are also necessary.45 Such contrition and resolve are not to be obtained by one who has engaged in backbiting and lying for ity or seventy years, whose beard has become white with sin and transgression. Such a person is aflicted with sin to the end of his life.

Youths should not sit still the dust of age turns them grey. (I have reached old age, and am aware of its misfortunes and dificulties). While you are young, you are able to accomplish something. While you enjoy the strength and determination of youth you can expel selish desires, worldly attractions and animal wants from yourselves. However, if you do not think about reform and making something of yourselves while you are young, it will be too late when you become old. Think, while you are young, before you become old and exhausted. A young heart is subtle and celestial, and within it the motivation for corruption is weak. However, the older one gets the stronger and more irm is the source of sin implanted in the heart, until it can no longer be uprooted, as it is reported. The heart of man is clear and shining like a mirror. With each sin a man commits, another black mark is added to the heart, until it becomes black, so that it is possible a night and day cannot pass without the commission of a sir against the Lord.

When old age arrives, it is dificult to return one's heart to its original form and state. If, God forbid, you have not reformed yourself when you leave the world, in what manner do you expect to meet God, when your heart is black and your eyes, ears and tongue are polluted by sins? How can you return that with which you have entrusted by God when it has become polluted and wicked, while it was given to you in perfect purity and cleanliness? These eyes and ears which are under your control, this hand and tongue which are at your command, these organs and limbs with which you live””all have been entrusted to you by God, the Almighty, and were given to you in perfect purity and righteousness. If they are aflicted with sin, they become polluted. If, God forbid, they are polluted with that which is forbidden, wickedness results. When the time comes to return this trust, it is possible that you will be asked if this is the right way to protect the trust which was given you. When the trust was placed under your control, was it like this? Was the heart which you were given like this? Were the eyes which were bestowed upon you like this? Were the other organs and limbs which were placed at your will this polluted and dirty? What will be your answer to these questions? How will you meet God when you have committed such treachery with regard to that with which you have been entrusted?

You are young. You have spent your youth in such a way that from a worldly perspective you have given up many benefits. If you use this valuable time and the spring of your youth in the way of God and with a specific sacred purpose, then it has not been wasted, but rather this world and the next have been determined for you. However, if your behavior is of such a manner as is currently witnessed, then you have wasted your youth and the prime of your life has been passed in vain. In the other world also, various severe dificulties, calamities and troubles will grab you by the neck, and you will fall into the whirlpool of misfortunes and disaster.

Source:”‌‌ The Greatest Jihad”‌‌ by imam khomeini

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