Imam Khomeini highlighted need for self-purification, spiritual growth

Imam Khomeini highlighted need for self-purification, spiritual growth

Imam Khomeini, the late founder of the Islamic Republic through his theological works stressed the need for self-purification in order to gain spiritual freedom.

According to Imam Khomeini’s thought, the accomplishment of social freedoms and civil liberties were impossible until individuals and societies gain spiritual freedom by overcoming their lusts and carnal desires.  

The objective of combat with the self is to place all carnal powers, desires and instincts under the dictates of reason and use them for serving God and perfecting the self. 

From this aspect, Imam Khomeini describes it as follows:

"Thus, the combat of the self… implies overpowering one’s own powers and faculties, and placing them under God’s command, and purging the domain of our body of satanic elements and their forces."

Combat with the self, in the Imam’s code of ethics has such an esteemed position that he commences his book, Sharh-e Chehel Hadih (An Exposition of Forty Hadiths) with it and the first hadith he expounds is this very hadith of ‘combat with the self,’ considering it loftier than attaining martyrdom in the way of God: 

"Thus, the combat of the self is the combat of greater importance. This is superior to being killed in the way of God the Almighty."

While conducting an analysis of anger, Imam Khomeini also delves into all its dimensions and considers it in moderation to be necessary for individual and social life.


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