narrow-mindedness, lack of capacity causes pride, Imam Khomeini pointed out

narrow-mindedness, lack of capacity causes pride, Imam Khomeini pointed out

There are some other factors that cause pride, such as narrow-mindedness, lack of capacity, petty-mindedness, baseness, and lack of fortitude.

Imam Komeini in this regard in his theological works have undertaken very serious discussion in this regard as following: 

Being a person with a narrow mentality, as soon as he beholds any merit in himself he imagines himself to enjoy a kind of superiority.

He thinks he has acquired a high station, whereas, if he justly evaluates it and judges his accomplishments and merits, he would see that what he imagined to be perfection and is so proud of is not at all an accomplishment or merit, and even if it were a merit how insignificant it was when compared to other persons’ accomplishments.

Poor fellow, he has made his cheeks ruddy with a slap to give an impression of healthiness. The ‘arif who disdains others on account of his pride in his mystic knowledge, and considers others superciliously to be superficial and shallow, what knowledge does he possess about God, except for a handful of concepts and terms that are in reality veils of realities and hindrances in his religious path?

What is this knowledge except for a number of glamorous and gaudy terms which do not have any relevance whatsoever to the knowledge of God? How far are they from the knowledge of God and the knowledge of His Names and Attributes.

Knowledge is a quality of the heart, and in the view of this writer all these are practical sciences, and consist not of mere acquaintance with certain abstract concepts or artful juggling of terms. With this short life and limited knowledge, I have seen certain people among these so-called mystics and other scholars who, I swear by ‘irfan and knowledge that these terms have not made any mark on their hearts; nay, they have rather left on them an opposite effect! My friend! the knowledge of God, in your own words, makes the heart a place where His Names, Attributes, and Essence are manifested, a stage for the appearance of the Real Monarch, who obliterates all signs and purges it of all stains and removes from it all limitations:

Indeed, kings, when they enter a township, ruin it and degrade its men of honor. (27:34)

It converts your heart into a Unitarian and the one filled with the praise of the Lord. But why did it make your heart a place of your own glorification? Why has it added unnecessary colors to it, and accumulated trappings and accretions that deter you from obtaining nearness to God Almighty and from beholding the effulgent glory of His Names? Why, it has made your heart an abode of Satan and so you look down on the servants of God and His chosen, the signs and reflections of His Glory and Splendor! Woe unto you for your wretchedness, O ‘arif, whose condition is worse than of anybody else, and all the doors of defense and pretext are sealed upon him!

You are proud towards God and have assumed a Pharaonic arrogance towards His Names, Attributes, and all the manifestations of His Essence. O amateurish student of concepts who has gone astray of the realities! Deliberate over the matter for a while, and think as to what knowledge you possess of God.

What impact has the knowledge of God and His Attributes made on your self? Perhaps the study of music and musical rhythms may be more exact and precise than your knowledge.

Astronomy, mechanics, other physical sciences, and mathematics can match your learning as to the precision of their terminology. Yet in the same way as they are not concerned with the knowledge of God, your knowledge also is a thick curtain consisting of the veils of words, terms, and concepts. They can neither make one ecstatic nor send anyone into a trance.

Rather, in the eyes of the Shari’ah, the physical sciences and mathematics are better than your knowledge, since they produce some result, whereas your knowledge not only gives no good results, but gives opposite ones. An engineer draws results from his calculations, and a goldsmith is benefited from his craftsmanship; but your knowledge, apart from not gaining any material benefits, has failed to fulfill any transcendental ends as well.

Rather, the veil before your eyes is so thick that when you try to picture the Unity of the Divine Being a world of utter darkness fills your imagination, and when His Names and Attributes are mentioned an infinite plurality is pictured by your mind.

Therefore, these terms did not lead you to the path of Truth, but on the contrary they have become a source of pride and arrogance towards the righteous scholars.

A knowledge, which darkens the heart and increases it in its blindness is not knowledge. A learning, which ultimately makes its possessor an heir of the Devil, woe unto such learning! Kibr is the property of Satan’s nature. He was arrogant to your father, Adam, and was expelled from the Almighty’s court. You who are arrogant towards all human beings and all the sons of Adam are also worthy of banishment.

From this you can infer the plight of the scholars of other sciences also.

A Hakim, a man of wisdom, if he is a real sage, having comprehended the relationship between God Almighty and His creatures and himself, the sense of superiority remains no more in his heart.

But the unfortunate seeker of terminology and terms has mistaken them for hikmah (wisdom) and ‘ilm (knowledge) and imagines himself to be an ‘alim and Hakim. He even associates himself with the Attributes of the Necessary Being and says that hikmah is one of the Attributes of God Almighty’


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