Imam Khomeini viewed world and the hereafter as complementary to one another

Imam Khomeini viewed world and the hereafter as complementary to one another

Imam Khomeini, the late founder of the Islamic Republic stressed through his theological works that Man has to go on a great journey from the earth to the heavens

This odyssey, from creation [khalq] to Truth [Haqq] is a spiritual one, the provisions of which are the aspiration and faith of man.

If man knows the starting point of his journey and appreciates it to just that extent, he has then taken this world to be the preliminary step to the hereafter and the place of its cultivation. 

In such an event, if this preliminary step is lost sight of, the hereafter and the purpose of the journey would be meaningless. In the absence of this world, the hereafter will no longer be so. 

It is only with the admission of this contrariety that journey and movement acquire meaning. Nevertheless, the journey from this world to the hereafter is not a spatial journey. Rather, it is an inner, behavioral and spiritual one. 

From the viewpoint of the Qur’an, the world is the external manifestation and outer layer of the hereafter while the hereafter is the esoteric form and inner layer of this world. Yet, most of the people do not realize this truth and “they know only some appearance of the life of the world, and are heedless of the Hereafter.”

Imam Khomeini describes some of the evils of loving this world in this manner:

Among the evil effects of the love of the world and attachment to it is that it makes man afraid of death… Another great evil caused by the love of the world is that… it weakens his power of resolution and debilitates the will… Since he mistakenly believes the world and worldly fascinations to be the desired ultimate goal his greed grows day by day and his desire for them multiplies. His need for the world increases and poverty and deprivation becomes his fate.

Consequently, he is like a thirsty person who drinks water from the sea and becomes thirstier.

The reason for this negligence and complacency is that they have not yet realized the fact that the heaven and the earth and all the things therein have been created in truth and that every phenomenon has its own specific function.

If only this corporeal man thinks deeply about the essence of the world and realizes its true condition, he will then benefit from it without taking it as his goal and being captivated by and attached to, it. Constructing the hereafter is bound to that in constructing this world.

Anyone who did not invest in this world would be a loser in that world. Exertion of effort and endeavor in this world is valuable since it is the hereafter that guarantees [the well-being of] man. It is with this outlook that this maxim can be understood: “Whoever does not have sustenance has no hereafter, too.”

This view is a broad perspective on the world and the hereafter, which gives meaning to any type of economic venture and social participation without which he would be confined to the whirlpool of daily routine.

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