Imam Khomeini defined knowledge's guiding role

Imam Khomeini defined knowledge's guiding role

Imam Khomeini, the late founder of the Islamic Republic through his theological works has attached a great significance to discussions regarding knowledge.

After exploring Imam Khomeini’s works, someone can easily conclude that knowledge for the sake of knowledge is not that important. Rather, it is due to its guiding role that it is praiseworthy.

Knowledge will acquire its fundamental function when it is pursued throughout one’s life. Therefore it should be planned in such a way as to be present throughout man’s existence.

Up to the last moment of his life man is in need of knowledge, learning and training. No man could be independent from (not in need of) knowledge or be independent from learning and training.

As what has been stated in the hadith that seeking knowledge is from cradle up to the grave.

 If a man in the agony of death can learn a single word, it is better for him than to die as ignorant of it.    

Having roots in our religious tradition in which seeking knowledge is deemed great struggle and the ink of the scholars is even viewed as holier than the blood of the martyrs. 

Concerning the man’s appointment as God’s vicegerent on earth) of Adam we read that God taught him the names of things. Then He tested the angels with respect to these names (in which they failed to give answer). Thus, He proved to them that the reason behind Adam’s superiority is these very names. 

In this regard Imam Khomeini says as following:

 “It is the pen, knowledge and speech that can build man, and not machine guns and other destructive powers. Machine guns as well as other implements of war came into existence under the aegis of knowledge.” 

If we accept that the tradition of tests and trials are prevalent everywhere.

The man has no respite for even a moment from not being tested, and if we accept that every test entails lessons and teaching, we will then accept the conclusion that the whole world is, for us, essentially the place of learning and accumulation of knowledge.

As such, madrasahs [schools] and maktabs [old-fashioned primary schools] are not the only specific places with particular lessons. Rather, all places are schools and everything is a lesson.

The teacher and student are not surrounded by teachers of the universities and high schools or the rest of places, and the student too is not surrounded by those who go to the university. The universe is a university while the prophets, awliya and those trained by them are the teachers and the rest of mankind are students, and they ought to be students.  

So, knowledge is regarded as the light of man in guaranteeing his prosperity and the ground for his advancement and excellence.

In this regard, Imam Khomeini emphasized that  “It is through knowledge that man can secure his prosperity in this world and the next. It is through teaching that man can train and educate the youth in such a way that they are able to safeguard their own interests in this world and the hereafter.” 
By raising an amazing question which, at the same time, contains its own answer, the Glorious Qur’an, shows us the criterion of superiority and prominence: Are those who know equal with those who know not?

Hence, apart from considering knowledge as particularly valuable, Islam also regards it as the standard of superiority.

Imam Khomeini stressed that “Islam strives to that extent for the experts and specialists. In both common laws and religious laws it has given preference to the (one who is) more expert; it has given preference to the more expert opinion.” 

Read more: 

Humans possess potentialities for deriving excellence, Imam Khomeini highlighted



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