Imam Khomeini explained variation in degrees of qualities among different individuals

Imam Khomeini explained variation in degrees of qualities among different individuals

Imam Khomeini through his theological has said that at this stage it is essential to remind you that each one of the qualities of the soul, both the good ones and the bad, has numerous grades and degrees.

Imam has undertaken very useful discussion in his famous book "Forty Hadith" in this regard very useful discussions as following:  

Those who acquire virtues and give up vices are grouped with the urafa, saints and friends of God (awliya’ Allah.) As for other individuals, the nature of vices and virtues is determined by the spiritual station to which they belong.

It may be that the qualities, which are considered to be vices for those belonging to higher spiritual station, are not considered vices for those belonging to a lower stage. On the contrary, in a way, they may even be regarded as their accomplishments.

And similarly the qualities that are regarded as virtues for the people of a lower category may be vices for men of a higher category.

Riya’ is also one of such (relative) vices that we are discussing presently. Authenticity (ikhlas) is the highest stage of freedom from riya’ and is characteristic of the saints (awliya’ Allah)others do not share this quality.

The common people generally attain a lower stage of it, and this does not harm their iman or ikhlas, because, generally, they have a natural inclination that their virtues be known to others.

Though they may not have intentionally performed them for the sake of demonstrating them, but their self is instinctively inclined to make them known. This tendency does not annul their action, nor does it make them infidels, hypocrites (munafiqun) or polytheists either, Imam further explained. 

But the same trait is considered to be a shortcoming in the case of a wali or ‘arif bi-Allah, as for them it amounts to nifaq or shirk.

Absolute purification from the impurity of polytheism and obtaining perfect authenticity (ikhlas) of devotion is essentially a primary, condition for attaining the stage reserved for awliya’ Allah, and there are even higher stages which they can attain, but, here, it would be out of place to go into these details.

Our infallible Imams (peace be upon them) have declared that their worship was the worship of emancipated souls (ahrar)which was performed for the sake of love of God alone, neither due to the fear of hell nor in the hope of heaven; and they considered this stage to be the first step of their wilayah.

To them worship is a state of ecstasy and rapture which is beyond the reach of our imagination and understanding.

Apart from the above-mentioned ahadith narrated from the Prophet and Amir al-mu’minin (Peace be upon them), there is another hadith also, reported by Zurarah from imam Abu Ja’far (A), which is as follows:

Zurarah reports that he questioned Imam al-Baqir (A) about the status of a person who performed good deeds, which were seen by others and it made him happy. Said the Imam (peace be upon him ): There is no harm in it; there is no one who does not like that his good deeds be made known to the people, in case he does not perform them [solely] for the sake of attracting their admiration.

In one of the two ahadith, the tendency of performing good deeds for the sake of earning respect and admiration is considered as the sign of riya’, while in another hadith it is stated that there is no harm in the joy resulting from the demonstration of a good deed.

These two different positions are taken in view of the category to which an individual belongs. There are certain other reasons also for such a view, but we shall abstain from mentioning them.

Read more: 

Self-refinement will push away corruption and difficulties, Imam Khomeini explained

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