Egotism, arrogance affect mental and spiritual actions, Imam Khomeini defined

Egotism, arrogance affect mental and spiritual actions, Imam Khomeini defined

Imam Khomeini defined that arrogance and egotism affect one’s inner (mental and spiritual) actions also and corrupts them.  

Theological works by Imam Khomeini, the late founder of the Islamic Republic contains treasure of mysticism and comprises of interdisciplinary discussion on various Islamic disciplines. 

A detailed commentary by Imam Khomeini, the late founder of the Islamic Republic, on 40 selected traditions narrated through the Prophet him) and his Ahl al-Bayt(peace be upon them) on topics of ethics and spirituality, including jihad al-nafs or combat with the self is becoming increasingly popular among believers and truth seekers. 

Imam wrote dozens of works on various Islamic disciplines including philosophy, mysticism, jurisprudence and Quranic and Hadith Sciences.

Imam Khomeini has undertaken very precious discussions  in his famous works of ‘Forty Hadith’ regarding mysticism.   

While explaining one of Hadith, Imam Khomeini writes as following: 

In the opinion of the scholars, ujb is magnification of one’s virtues and good deeds, their overestimation, and satisfaction with them accompanied with a feeling of superiority on their account, while one exonerates and exculpates himself from all failings and faults. But to feel pleasure and delight on performing virtuous deeds accompanied with a sense of humility and modesty before God and gratitude to God for His favors, and to ask Him to increase them, is not ‘ujb, but is a praiseworthy (mamduh) trait. The great compiler of hadith, al-Allamah al-Majlisi, may his grave be filled with fragrance, quotes the great scholar and thinker al-Shaykh Baha’ al-Din al-Amili as having said,

There is no doubt that when anyone performs good deeds, like fasting, night vigils, etc., he feels some kind of joy and pleasure within him. This pleasure and joy, if it is on account of the feeling that God Almighty has conferred on him favor and grace, which caused him to perform such acts of piety, while he is afraid of their loss and is anxious about their disappearance, and asks God Almighty for their continuity and abundance-this kind of exultation and gladness is not ‘ujb.

But if the exultation and pride is felt on account of the belief that he is the doer of such deeds and that it is he who possesses all such good qualities, and if he glorifies his own deeds with confidence in his goodness, considering himself to be free from all faults and vices, it reaches such a point that one believes that he is conferring some favor upon God in performing these deeds. This feeling of exultation and pride is ‘ujb.

In my opinion, this definition of ‘ujb is correct, but the deeds and actions referred to should be considered to include the external as well as the internal acts, and at the same time to apply both to good and bad actions. Because, while affecting the bodily or external actions ‘ujb also affects one’s inner (mental and spiritual) actions also and corrupts them. In the same way as a virtuous person may become conceited and vain about his good deeds, so also the doer of wicked deeds may think highly of his qualities, and feel proud of himself on their account. The tradition explicitly mentions both of them, as they are frequently ignored by a majority of men. We shall discuss them in the course of our discourse.


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