مطلب مرتبط

سخنرانی در جمع طلاب نجف (تهذیب نفس و حفظ وحدت)This love of the selfThis love of the selfPrepare yourselvesPrepare yourselvesThe corruption will be discovered The corruption will be discovered
شناسه مطلب صحیفه
نمایش نسخه چاپی

Speech [Self-purification and preservation of unity]

Shaykh Ansari Mosque, Najaf, Iraq
Self-purification and preservation of unity
The `ulama', scholars and students of Najaf Religious Seminary
Imam khomeini's Sahife, Volume 2 from page 14 to 28
I seek refuge in God from the accursed Satan
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Baseless differences as conspiracy of the enemy

I had intended today to proceed with my scheduled seminar, however yesterday two of the gentlemen came to me and told me things which caused me distress and so I deemed it necessary to take the opportunity to remind you of a few matters. It has even been said, privately, that if the situation is not controlled, it could cause severe disagreements and in some cases even fighting. I don't know what these disagreements are about. «1» Are they about worldly things? If so, you have nothing in this world. What do we have in this world to disagree over? If they put all our possessions together, they would not be enough to provide a comfortable life. Was it necessary for the gentlemen to rise up and form factions over such a meaningless and insignificant matter and for it to be feared that three of these factions may start fighting each other over some matters? Is it not possible that there are other hands involved here- hands which seek to bring shame on the theological schools, to bring more shame than this? Do you not think that this is what your enemies are after and they are involved in this in a way that you cannot see? Your enemies work furtively, they are clever, cunning and deceitful. There is a hand behind all this, an impure hand which seeks first to besmirch you and then destroy you so the people will thank them for destroying the akhounds. Is it not possible that they penetrate your groups by pretending to be religious, holy and pious or that they deceive some of you and place some of these gullible people among you to spread ideas which lead to vitiation and aggravate the already demoralized state of the theological schools?

Conspiracy to create chaos in the religious seminaries

How many do we in fact number? Those of us presently at the Najaf center and the Shi`ah theological schools of other cities and countries, how many are we? Does our number reach twenty thousand? Let us suppose there are two hundred thousand of us, including the village akhounds and others, if these two hundred thousand people had a consensus of opinion and followed that which Islam has demanded, then they could achieve much. But when among these two hundred thousand people- even if we say they don't have two hundred thousand differing opinions- each person, each front, as you say, has an independent view and according to that the opinions of other fronts are attacked, we can achieve little. Is this how our community is to act? Are we to humiliate one another in this way, our old men humiliating old men, our young men humiliating young men, our young men humiliating the old men and our old men humiliating the young men, while one group looks for an excuse to add to the already sullied state of the theological center and excite discord in the name of this and that front!? The outcome of this discord will be to the benefit of those who view the schools as being detrimental to their interests and who seek their annihilation. They will acquire a favorable outcome from this, and the nation will not express distress at your plight, the people will say this was the situation in the schools and it has not changed; this is still the situation that you see now.

Bogus factionalism

It saddens me when a young man «2» comes here from Europe and stays with us for only a short time, only six to eight days, and comments on the situation here. He didn't say anything to me personally, although he visited me once or twice during his stay, but he told one of the gentlemen here that:" It's fortunate that it was I, the son of an akhound, who came to Najaf; if somebody else had have come and seen the situation here what would he have made of it?" I do not know what, in these few days, a person who is studying abroad and who is not of our occupation, even though his father is, has seen in this blessed school to make him comment so! Who was he in contact with and what have they told this student of modern sciences to dishearten him so about the situation in Najaf? If there are some hands involved here and these hands force you to say" I am from this faction, he is from that faction and so-and-so is from the other faction," and God forbid this becomes so and factions are created even in one school, and one day a dispute erupts in one school which affects all the other schools and the impure hands fan the flames of this dispute, then this will besmirch us in the eyes of the world, it will bring disrepute not only on me and you, but on a one-thousand-year-ol theological center «3» and the pious religious scholars who, praise be to God, are many in society. In addition to this, how will we answer to God for allowing this to happen?

The defect of knowledge without practice

Our traditions tell us that the dwellers of Hell are vexed by the stench which emanates from an `alim who does not act according to his knowledge. Why do you think this is so? It is because there is a difference between someone who is an `alim and someone who is not. There is a difference in some aspects. If, God forbid, an `alim deviates from the right path, he could lead an ummah astray. I have seen this for myself in some of the provincial towns which I used to visit in the summer time. In some of these towns, for example Mahallat, «4» I saw that the people were well-instructed in their duties; the community was well-trained in its religious duties. If one looked a little closer, one saw that these towns had a righteous `alim to instruct them. If there were just a few righteous, devout clergymen in a society, in a town, a few clergymen who were attentive to their religion, who were aware of what their knowledge meant and acted accordingly, then there wouldn't be any need to preach at all, the very existence of such men would be like a sermon. We have seen people whose mere existence has had a beneficial effect on others. There were clergymen in Qum whose mere existence served as a lesson to others. Tehran, on the other hand, as far as I know, is quite different. The situation there differs according to the different areas of the city. In one area you see that a corrupt person wears a turban or has become the congregational prayer leader and he has led a group of people astray! And how strong is the stench that emanates from him! It's a stench which affects us even here, a stench that we produce in this world, not that which someone else adds to that we already have. This is a stench of our own making. Whatever happens in the Hereafter is what we have prepared here and what we take with us to the Hereafter. We shall not be called to account for anything other than our deeds; these are our own deeds.

Corruption of the scholar [`alim] means corruption of the world [`alam]

When an `alim is corrupt and puts a theological center in danger, this stench which emanates from him pervades not only a theological center but an ummah too. It is this stench that now our sense of smell cannot properly perceive. If we go to Hell, God forbid, there we will perceive this stench. And it is this stench which will vex the people of Hell.
In the same tradition it is related that the most distressed people on the Day of Judgment are those who spoke of justice and good conduct but acted to the contrary. «5» These people invite others to do good, and those who heed their call and act accordingly; they are the ones who will go to Heaven. But the person who makes the call, the `alim who does not act according to his knowledge, he will go to Hell! So one may see, for example, that the grocer who listened to my guidance, my instructions and interdictions enters `eternal happiness, ' «6» and it is I who, because I did not act according to my own knowledge, enters Hell. How distressing this is!

The etiquettes and duties of the people of knowledge

The responsibilities of an `alim are truly great. Just as the scholar is spoken very highly of in the traditions (hadiths), so too is he spoken highly of in the Qur'an. Concerning the duties (of the `alim) which have appeared in our holy traditions refer to the appropriate sections of the books al-Kafi «7» and Wasa'il. «8» Refer especially to Usoul al-Kafi concerning these matters, the duties of clergymen, the duties of an `alim, those rules pertaining to the instructors and the instructed.
God knows that all these terms «9» tie us down. However much we delve into the terminology of the religion it will be to the detriment of the Muslims in this world and the next if we don't practice self-purification. Words alone have no effect. If the science of tawhid «10» is accompanied by a sinful soul, then this very science of tawhid will be harmful to the human being! There were some people who were erudite in the science of tawhid, and yet they misled people, causing some to stray from the right path. There were some people who knew more (about your subject) than you do, but because they themselves had deviated from the right path when they entered a society they caused that society to digress also.

Deviation of the `alim is a blemish to Islam and the religious seminaries

One should be careful about these things. The point is that the position of the `alim is such that he has to be careful about these things. If a grocer does something wrong, the people say that such and such a grocer is a bad person. The same applies to an herbalist, an office worker, whoever. But the position of the clergyman among the people is such that if an akhound does something wrong the people say the akhounds are like this, they don't say that one particular akhound is bad. They make no distinction between the akhounds. But the akhounds are humans too; there are good and, God forbid, bad among them also, however the people don't make any distinction between them. If I do something wrong they say the akhounds are like this, and this is a blow to Islam, the theological schools and the Islamic laws. If we destroy our standing in society, if the centers of learning begin fighting one another and cause one another to be eliminated from the minds of the people, if we curse each other, accuse each other of being unrighteous, call each other unbelievers and create a great hullabaloo, if we disparage one another and destroy one another, then Islam will no longer be strengthened in society through our teachings, we can no longer disseminate Islam. Islam is a trust in our hands. God, the Blessed and Exalted, has entrusted His religion to us, to all of us here and others in other places. Do not betray this trust. This factionalism is tantamount to treason. Are you of two different religions? Does your religion have different denominations? Does each of your teachers invite you to join one of the denominations? What does all this front-making mean? This one supporting that teacher, that one supporting another teacher! This is wrong. This is unbelief. This is a great sin, of the mortal kind if this corruption results from it. Don't act in this way.

Religion means no quarrel!

These are very petty disagreements over very insignificant and meaningless matters! If we look at them from a materialistic point of view, then you have nothing to disagree over. How much stipend do you get? The money is only enough for your cigarettes. I once read in a newspaper or a magazine, I can't remember where, that the budget the Pope has for a priest in Washington- I can remember I worked it out- came to more than the entire budget received by the Shi`ah theological centers! You have nothing to fight over. If you are fighting over religion, then religion gives you no cause to fight. Praise be to God, you have religion, but religion is no cause for argument. The underlying reason of all these disagreements goes back to this world. One deceives oneself by thinking:" Religious duty demands that I join such and such a faction!" Does religious duty demand that you abuse Muslims, affront your teachers, and insult another human being like yourself? Do these constitute your religious duty? Gentlemen, these are things of this world! These come from satisfying one's carnal desires. «11»

Impure hands are bent on silencing the religious seminaries

If, while studying, one takes a step towards self-purification ... these theological centers are found wanting in this area. Very little attention is paid to self-purification; this matter is hardly discussed in the centers. Those people who hold classes dealing with self-purification, moral edification and spiritual counsel are very few. Some impure hands have caused these matters to be omitted from the schools' curriculum, they have sullied the schools. Oh gentlemen, why do you say, in a derogatory tone, that so-and-so is a `devotee of the pulpit'?! «12» Well, what of it; let him be a devotee of the pulpit, Hadrat Amir (Imam `Ali) was a devotee of the pulpit also. This has all come about so the theological schools will be deprived of their spirituality. In material terms, the schools have nothing, they have (only) their standing in society, their reputation, and it is this that the governments are afraid of. The governments are not afraid of you or I; you and I have no power. If governments are afraid of an akhound or a marja`, it's not because of his prayers or curses; since when have they believed in prayers or curses? They are afraid of the people. They are afraid of what the people will do if they offend a marja`. If we start fighting each other, if I accuse him of being an infidel and he accuses me of the same, we will destroy one another, we will lose our reputation among the people, as has already happened. Our standing in society has diminished; now all we hear from the people is that the problem is that the akhounds are like this and the akhounds are like that.

Condition of the Najaf Seminary

[Take] Najaf in particular. There are things peculiar to Najaf that are not found anywhere else. The theological center at Najaf is one thousand years old, while the centers in other places are relatively new. The Najaf center is situated in the vicinity of Imam `Ali's shrine, the others are not. So we should study this great man's life a little. We claim to be Shi`ah. What kind of Shi`ah are we? Imam `Ali was ascetic; I'm not, am I still a Shi`ah? He was pious, we're not, are we still Shi`ah? His life was such, ours isn't, are we still Shi`ah? You are a Shi`ah but you should have followed his example in some things, you should have adhered to some of his teachings to call yourself a Shi`ah.

Haste in repentance

I'm afraid that when our time comes to die we will leave this world, God forbid, having departed from the Shi`ah school of thought and Islam. If we continue to act in this way, continue to live our lives in this manner, then we should fear that, God forbid, at the end of our lives when there is a tradition which says that when the last breath of an `alim reaches here, and the Imam pointed to his throat, he can no longer repent «13» ! Because in the Holy Qur'an it is written that those who act through ignorance can repent. As long as he has time, the `alim can repent; but have you been given an assurance that you have time? You may not even leave this gathering alive! You may be struck down by lightening. Have you been given a guarantee that you will be alive tomorrow? Perhaps you won't be. Have we been given a guarantee that we will be alive in ten years time? We may not be. The young should begin to think about self-purification now. I have reached old age and I know how difficult it is to do this when one is old. That isn't to say that now I am speaking to you as a perfect human being, to attain this state, as the late Mr. Haj Shaykh «14» used to say, is impossible. As I said before, I am a little older than you and as you come here to listen to me so I will tell you that while you are still young you can accomplish something. The roots of corruption are weak in the hearts of the young, but as man's age advances according to a certain tradition:" The heart of the human being is at first white (pure and unsullied). Then, whenever he commits a sin, a black spot appears on it and the more he sins, the more the black spots increase." «15» The heart of the young is subtle and pure, but then when a youth enters the community, when he becomes involved in the community, gradually, God forbid, his heart becomes sullied, he starts to sin, he commits sins continuously until neither a day nor a night passes without his sinning against God. Well, this black spot appears on his heart, not on this (physical) heart, on that heart which is spiritual and purified, and gradually the more he sins, the more the black spots increase until when he reaches old age the whole of his heart is blackened. When this happens, it is difficult for man to restore his heart to its original state. But you young men can do this. You have the ability, the ability which accompanies youth. On the one hand, you have this ability, and on the other the corrupt impulses within your hearts are weak. However, the older one becomes and with each step that one takes towards the Hereafter, the obstacles to man's happiness in the Hereafter increase and his strength to resist them decreases. One cannot repent when one reaches old age.

The true meaning of repentance

Repentance is not accomplished simply by saying:" I turn to God in repentance!" It requires regret and such regret is impossible for persons who have engaged in backbiting and slander for fifty years, whose beards have grown grey in the commission of slander and backbiting! Such people cannot repent. They will be caught up in sin to the end of their lives.
Sometimes the youth become involved in backbiting- they should not, they should not even allow someone else to backbite. It is related in a tradition that a member of the Prophet's household said that if someone attends a gathering where backbiting takes place, that person should get up and leave that gathering. One of the people listening to this said that such an action could not be done, the reply given was:" If they were abusing your father wouldn't you get up and stop them? You would!" There is another tradition which says that one should not allow backbiting to take place, that he who listens to backbiting is one of the backbiters. «16» So we don't need to backbite to be one of the backbiters, it is sufficient for us just to listen to the backbiters. Do not let this corruption come about; advise each other against doing such things.

Trustworthy and temporary faith

How many of you young people have spent your lives doing this? It has no great benefit for you. You are wasting your youth. If you give this youth to the cause of God, spend it in the way of God, then it will not be wasted, you will not lose anything. If, God forbid, you spend your youth like those attached to this world, you will have squandered your youth and you will have nothing of this world either. At least they will have enjoyed this world and its goods. The same cannot be said of you. You will be in a state of loss both in this world and the Hereafter. «17» We are in a state of loss if the love of this world and the love of the self gain dominance over us and prevent us from perceiving truths and realities and hinder us from the path of guidance. Gradually this love of the world and self-love will begin to increase in us to the point where Satan asks for our faith. It is said that all the efforts of Satan are devoted to this one goal: to snatch away men's faith. He may succeed in taking it from us at the very end of our lives. No one has been given a guarantee that he will retain his faith permanently. Our faith may only have been given to us on trust.

The stench of a corrupt `alim in the hell

I should strive to purify myself just as you should strive to purify yourselves. You should purify your friends also. Your sins are not like the sins of others. It is related in a tradition that when an `alim transgresses, it is not merely a case of him committing a sin, rather he corrupts a whole society because of his transgression." The worst person is the corrupt `alim. «18»" It is a well-known fact that the extent of an `alim's corruption reaches as far as his influence. Today, in Tehran or in other places, you find corrupt `alims whose stench has pervaded that place. This is the stench which will reach the dwellers of Hell and vex them.

Holy Qur'an as a trust to us

Gentlemen, do we not have a duty to perform? This Holy Qur'an has been given to us as a trust. Is it not, therefore, our duty to preserve it? Is it not our duty to preserve the laws of Islam? Is it merely our duty to discuss matters of jurisprudential principles[ usoul ]till the end of our lives and then in fifty years when many of these matters are settled we still find ourselves wanting in morals and religious behavior? You should take this matter into consideration from the very beginning. You are young and you can do it. From the beginning, for each step that you take in your quest for knowledge, take one in search of piety, self-purification and lessening one's carnal desires.

Major sins: difference of the `ulama'

What are you quarrelling over? What is the matter with you? What animosity do you have towards each other? You are all from one community. You are all scholars and you are all, God willing, good people as well. Why then is it that they say if something is not said, if a word of warning is not given then an explosion could possibly occur, that the students may start fighting each other. Why? What are you fighting over? Do you think that your fight is between two heroes? Your fight before God is the greatest of all sins because you corrupt a society; you destroy Najaf in the people's eyes. If Najaf is destroyed the religion of Islam will be destroyed. During your time at the center you must purify yourselves so that when you leave here for another town or city, the people there will benefit from your knowledge, your morals and your deeds; they must learn from you. Do not suppose that you can make everything alright for yourselves by being hypocritical for the rest of your lives. Do not think that now while you are here you can do whatever you want, but when you leave you can through hypocrisy deceive the people into thinking that you are a good clergyman. You cannot do this. The corruption will be discovered eventually. Even if we suppose that you can, how long do you expect to live your life of hypocrisy, deceit and slandering people? A hundred and twenty years? We do not have a person who is one hundred and twenty years old among us, and one is rarely found anywhere else either. But let us suppose that you could live your life for one hundred and twenty years deceiving people, and that your life is what- a student's life; an ordinary kind of life? Let's suppose you live a life like that of Haroun ar-Rashid «19» for one hundred and twenty years. What is one hundred and twenty years when compared to infinity; when after that time you will be punished for an eternity?
God, the Blessed and Exalted, has mercy upon his servants. He has given them intelligence, He has given them the ability to purify themselves, and He has not stopped there. He has sent prophets, books, awliya', «20» and purified people. If these have no effect he brings about pressures for them in the world. These are acts of mercy by God, the Exalted, which limit men's actions, which restrain him. The clergy have their turbans removed, they are humiliated in a thousand ways, these are all acts of mercy by God and yet we do not see this. If these pressures do not make man a human being, then He creates pressures through illness. If again these illnesses do not make him a human being he is put under a lot of pressure at the time of his death. Again if that does not work, then he is pressured to purge himself in those stations that he must pass through [`iqabat] «21» after death, and if this does not prove to be successful then he is put under a lot of pressure to purify himself on the Day of Judgment. However, if none of these prove to be successful then the final remedy is the fire, «22» and God forbid that this should happen, for, as it is related in a tradition" they will dwell therein for ages". «23» This fate of which I speak awaits many of us, even those who accept guidance and guard their religion. It awaits you and me. Each period of time there «24» lasts for many thousands of years. Gentlemen, in this world you cannot bear to hold a warm stone in your hand, in the Hereafter it is fire that awaits you. Be afraid of that fire! Throw these fires out of the schools; throw these differences out of your hearts. Purify yourselves. You intend to enter a society, to purify the people, but you cannot do this (if you remain in your present state). How can he who is not able to set right his own affairs do this for anybody else!? This factionalism is wrong, it is sinful. These actions will destroy the schools. Stop this hooliganism.

The danger of the enemy's influence in the seminary

I am very much afraid that some people are attending these gatherings who do not belong to the center. Perhaps the students of the center are themselves all purified, good people and it is these people who, by using others, create `religious duties' so that the students believe that what they're doing is in accordance with their religious duties. Thus they manage to create corruption in the Najaf religious seminary. These people are afraid of true human beings. They want true human beings to be destroyed. These hands work in the schools such that they destroy the standing in society of whoever is useful for the future of Islam so that he can no longer be beneficial to Islam and Muslims. You should be beneficial to Islam. What effect does a useless creature who neither studies here nor teaches, who does nothing, have on people? Those who have finished their studies, those who have nothing to do here, well they should go and begin their work, begin instructing and purifying the people.

Moral program for the future of seminary students

You young people should prepare yourselves for the future. Your future will be much more difficult than ours. We no longer have a future. How much longer am I going to live? I'm seventy years old, I'm at the end of my life; perhaps I only have a few more days left to live. You should make yourselves beneficial for the future of Islam. Your future is a difficult future; you should be prepared for it. The hands of many enemies await you from all classes. Prepare yourselves, reform yourselves, and purify your morals. Throw the love of the world, this world that we don't have, out of your hearts. Those attached to this world have (the pleasures of) this world too, but we only have the love of this world, we only have this corruption, we don't have this world or its pleasures. The source of all sins is the love of the world. «25» It is related in a tradition that two fierce, bloodthirsty wolves who attack an untended flock of sheep from the front and back, take longer to destroy that flock than it does for love of wealth and position to destroy the faith of the believer. «26» And apparently, according to some other traditions, it is from the love of the self and the love of the world that these transgressions occur. Even if the traditions do not actually say this, the truth is such. This love of the self, this love of position destroys Islam, destroys our religion. Think a little bit and throw this love out of your hearts. This world is nothing. It's not right for you to bind yourself to this world in love, especially this world of yours.
It was my duty today to speak to you gentlemen on this matter, to the extent that I am able, so that you will pay more attention to what is happening and what is likely to happen. These actions will not only cause loss of face for those perpetrating them, but to a society, a country and to Islam as well. You will be held gravely responsible in this matter if you do not stop this corruption. Stop these petty differences and the like, for they are very insignificant. We ourselves are insignificant; we don't understand just how insignificant we are. We seem to have put this world of ours before everything. This love of the self that we harbor we have nothing! They have taken everything away from us. They have pushed us into the corner of a school, into the corner of a house. Are we now going to fight over this corner?! Is this worth fighting over? Gentlemen, what are these things that you are saying? You should show compassion and understanding towards others. Everyone has the right to do what he wants. What has it got to do with you if it's against the shari`ah? «27» Your duty is to enjoin the good and forbid that which is evil- so carry it out. Advise one another to do good; there is no cause for fighting or anything else.
May God, the Blessed and Exalted, grant success to all of you. May he guide the Islamic schools towards reform and prepare us for the Hereafter. This world slips through our fingers and will continue to do so. It is nothing, nothing important; one shouldn't give one's heart to it. That which is important is the Hereafter. May God bless you in the next world. May God grant you success in serving Islam and the Muslims. May God guide you towards purification and towards another way of thinking. God willing, tomorrow we will continue with our discussions.
«۱»- For further information on the circumstances surrounding this speech, refer to Barrasi va Tahlili az Nahdat-e Imam Khomeini [Study and Analysis of Imam Khomeini's Movement], the section" Imam Khomeini in exile in Iraq," vol.۲,pp. ۱۱۷-۱۴۸ and" The beginning of a mission in Najaf," vol.۲,pp. ۱۵۱-۲۲۷. «۲»- It refers Mr. Sadiq Tabataba'i, the son of Ayatullah Sultani, who at that time was studying in Germany. «۳»- The establishment of the theological center at Najaf should, in truth, be attributed to Shaykh Tousi (۱۲۰۱-۱۲۷۴). In ۱۲۵۸, the Mongol invader Hulakou (Hulagu), grandson of Genghis Khan, invaded Baghdad giving the city over to plunder and flames. With the help of the opponents of the Shi`ah, he wreaked destruction on the centers of Shi`ah learning and religion in the city and burnt down the great library of Baghdad which housed thousands of volumes of precious and unique books. In the wake of the devastation, Shaykh Tousi found conditions unpropitious for the continuation of his social and scientific endeavors in Baghdad and thus moved to Najaf. Gradually, a large group of students joined him there and the foundations of the great theological center of Najaf were laid. Shaykh Tousi was an erudite, innovative religious scholar whose legacy includes many scientific works. He is one of the most outstanding and influential scientific figures of Shi`ah history, such that even today the Shi`ah religious schools are influenced by his work. He is known as the" Shaykh of the people". After his death, his son Shaykh Abou `Ali Hasan ibn Muhammad ibn Hasan, who later became a famous authority on the science of the traditions, acquired the leadership of the school. Abou `Ali was known as" Mufid ath-Thani" because of his asceticism and immense knowledge. After Shaykh Abou `Ali and his son, the theological center entered a more lustrous phase of its history through the presence of leading scholars of Islamic jurisprudence [fiqh], principles of jurisprudence [usoul or usoul al-fiqh], etc. Then for a while the center fell from the limelight, and this remained the situation until the migration of the students of the late Ayatullah Wahid Behbahani to Najaf, and consequently the beginning of the center's period of scientific movement with the appearance of such distinguished scholars as Sayyid Bahr al-`Uloum, Muhaqqiq-e Damad, Kashif al-Ghita`, Muhammad Hasan Najafi (the writer of Jawahir al-Kalam) and Shaykh Murtada Ansari. In a short period of time, the theological center became renowned as one of the highest possible caliber. «۴»- Mahallat: a town southwest of Qum. «۵»- It is a saying of Imam Ja`far as-Sadiq; al-Kafi, vol.۲, p.۲۲۹. «۶»- " Eternal happiness" is a reference to Sourah at-Tawbah ۹:۲۱:" Their Lord doth give them glad tidings of a mercy from Himself, of His good pleasure, and of Gardens for them, wherein are delights that endure." «۷»- Al-Kafi: one of the most important collections of Shi`i hadith compiled by Shaykh Abou Ja`far Muhammad ibn Ya`qoub ibn Ishaq al-Kulayni (d.۹۴۱ CE). Al-Kafi includes ۱۶,۱۹۹ traditions that can be traced back to the Prophet and his family by an unbroken chain of transmission. The traditions in this book cover ideological, ethical and jurisprudential matters to name but a few. Kulayni lived relatively close in time to the period of the Prophet and the twelve Imams, this, along with the method of gathering, classifying and specifying the chain of transmission, has given al-Kafi a special importance among the collections of traditions and puts it alongside three other books as the most important collections of Shi`i traditions collectively famous as the Kutub al-Arba`ah [The Four Books]. It is not claimed, however, that all the traditions contained therein are authentic [s ahih]. Al-Kafi is divided into three sections: Usoul al-Kafi; Furou` al-Kafi and Rawdah al-Kafi. Usoul al-Kafi covers ideological and ethical matters and consists of the books of: Reason and Ignorance; the Excellence of Knowledge; Divine Unity; Divine Proof; Belief; Unbelief; Qur'an and supplementary Prayer. Furou` al-Kafi, on the other hand, consists of books and sections on jurisprudence and is one of the authoritative reference books for deduction and independent reasoning[ ijtihad ]from Islamic law for the Shi`i jurisprudents. Rawdah al-Kafi comprises different traditions on numerous matters. The grand book al-Kafi has for centuries been used by the Shi`i `ulama' and jurisprudents as a reference book. Muslim scholars have written extensive expositions on al-Kafi, among them Mulla Sadra Shirazi and Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi. «۸»- The book Wasa'il ash-Shi`ah compiled by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Hasan al-Hurr al-`Amili (d.۱۶۹۳ CE) is one of the best collections of traditions [hadiths] ever compiled in recent centuries. Wasa'il is of immense importance to the Shi`ah `ulama' and numerous expositions have been written on it so far. Wasa'il includes traditions from the Prophet of Islam and the Imams which are quoted in the Four Books and in many other hadith collections. The classification and sectioning of the traditions of this book are especially noteworthy. Wasa'il ash-Shi`ah comprises more than fifty-one books from Kitab at-Taharah to Kitab ad-Diyat and provides a comprehensive review of matters concerning jurisprudence, laws, ethics and practices of the Ja`fari school of thought. «۹»- It refers to the preoccupation of the `ulama' in the theological schools with the study of the terminology and sciences covering the fields of jurisprudence [fiqh], principles of jurisprudence [usoul], philosophy, the Qur'an and others. «۱۰»- The science of tawhid is that discipline of theology which seeks to establish the doctrine of divine unity and related doctrines by means of rational argument. «۱۱»- Carnal desires: desires that degrade man down to the level of beasts if submitted to. «۱۲»- It refers to the usage at the Najaf theological center of the derogatory term," ahl-e minbar" (translated as" devotee of the pulpit") which was used to describe those not seen as being learned in jurisprudence [fiqh] and principles of jurisprudence [usoul] but who preferred to preach and teach moral edification. At the center, the exposition of the Qur'an and Nahj al-Balaghah was not even considered as being a science but was described as" a matter of secondary importance". Science was confined to the fields of jurisprudence and principles of jurisprudence. «۱۳»- In one of the traditions it is related: I heard from Imam as-Sadiq (`a) that: When the last breath reaches here- and he pointed at his throat- the `alim can no longer repent. Then he read this verse from the Qur'an:" God will accept repentance from those who did wrong through ignorance." The late Mulla Muhsin Fayd al-Kashani, an outstanding authority on Shi`i hadith, said on this tradition:" When the last breath reaches the throat, repentance by an `alim who recognizes the signs of death and who loses hope of staying alive will not be accepted, but he who is ignorant of these signs and still hopes to live, his repentance will be accepted." Al-Wafi, vol.۱, p.۲۱. «۱۴»- The late Haj Shaykh `Abdul-Karim Ha'iri, the teacher of Imam and the founder of the Qum theological center said:" It is very difficult to become a mullah, but to become a perfect human being is impossible!" «۱۵»- A tradition from Imam al-Baqir relates:" Each man's heart is white. Whenever he commits a sin, a black spot appears on it, if he repents that black spot disappears, but if he continues to sin, the black spots increase until the whole of his heart is blackened, and when that happened he can no longer turn to good. And these are the words of God, the Glorious and Dignified, which state:" By no means! But on their hearts is the stain of the ill which they do!" (Sourah al-Mutaffifin [Dealing in Fraud] ۸۳:۱۴). Refer to Bihar al-Anwar compiled by Muhammad Baqir Majlisi, vol. ۷۳,p.۳۳۲. «۱۶»- The Holy Prophet said:" The hearer of backbiting is one of the backbiters." For further information, refer to Al-Mahajjat al-Bayda', vol.۵, p.۲۶۰ and Imam Khomeini's Sharh-e Chehel Hadith [An Exposition of Forty Hadiths], p.۲۷۰. «۱۷»- " In a state of loss in this world and the Hereafter," is from Sourah al-Hajj (The Pilgrimage) ۲۲:۱۱:" There are among men some who serve God, as it were, on the verge: if good befalls them, they are, therewith, well content; but if a trial comes to them, they turn on their faces. They lose both this world and the Hereafter; that is loss for all to see." «۱۸»- Imam `Ali (`a)said:" The lapse of an `alim corrupts worlds." Ghurar al-Hikam, compiled by Amadi, Section "Zallah". It was asked of the Prophet (s)who the worst people in the world were, and he replied" the `ulama' when they become corrupt." Bihar al-Anwar, vol. ۷۴,p.۱۳۸. «۱۹»- Haroun ar-Rashid, the fifth and most famous `Abbasid caliph who reigned from ۷۸۶-۸۰۹ CE and was the contemporary of the seventh and eighth Imams, Mousa al-Kazim and ar-Rida (`a). This caliph is renowned for his wealth and for the opulence and magnificence of his court in Baghdad. «۲۰»- The word awliya'- like the cognate wilayah- has numerous different meanings. It is used here in the general sense that can be deduced from Qur'an ۱۰:۶۲-۶۳:" Verily the friends [awliya'] of God- those who believe and guard against evil- shall suffer no fear nor shall they grieve." «۲۱»- `Aqabat is the plural of `aqabah meaning a difficult place on the mountain; a steep track or incline; a mountainous pass. In religious terminology these" `aqabat" refer to the stations or stages of the Day of Judgment where one is required to halt and then pass through, and because passing through these stages is very difficult, they have been called `aqabat. «۲۲»- " The final remedy is the fire." Nahj al-Balaghah, Speech ۱۶۷. It is one of the famous sayings of Imam `Ali (`a). «۲۳»- In Sourah an-Naba' (The Great News) ۷۸:۲۳, it is said:" They will dwell therein for ages." Imam as-Sadiq in his commentary on this verse has said:" Ages [ahqab] here means eighty long periods of time [huqb] and each huqb is eighty years, each year is three hundred and sixty days and each day is like one thousand years that you know of as a year." Ma`ani al-Akhbar, p.۲۲۰, the section on the meaning of al-ahqab. «۲۴»- is the name given to a long stretch of time of unspecified length. In some traditions it has been described as being eighty years of the years of the Day of Judgment and each day of these years is one thousand of the years of this world. Mufradat ar-Raqi, p.۱۲۶. «۲۵»- Imam as-Sadiq says:" The source of all sins is the love of the world." Usoul al-Kafi, vol.۲, pp. ۱۳۱,۳۱۵. «۲۶»- It is a saying of Imam al-Baqir. Usoul al-Kafi, vol.۲, p.۳۱۵. «۲۷»- In effect Imam here is warning the students against unwittingly joining those elements of questionable intent in the school who stipulate religious duties for the students and cause disruption and factionalism in the name of the shari`ah.

امام خمینی (ره)؛ 01 شهریور 1346

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