Imam Khomeini stressed that knowledge should be accompanied by piety [taqwa] and refinement of the soul

Imam Khomeini through his works stressed that knowledge should be accompanied by piety [taqwa] and refinement of the soul.

Imam explains the matter as following:

How many individuals have had the very same knowledge that you have, or even more knowledge, but were deviant and did not reform themselves, so that when they entered the community, they perverted many and led them astray? This dry terminology, if it is not accompanied by piety [taqwa] and refinement of the soul, as much as it accumulates in one’s mind it will only lead to the expansion of pride and conceit in the realm of the soul.

The unfortunate ‘alim who is defeated by his own conceit cannot reform himself or his community, and it will result in nothing but harm to Islam and the Muslims. And after years of studying and wasting religious funding, enjoying his Islamic salary and fringe benefits, he will become an obstacle in the way of Islam and the Muslims.

Nations will be perverted by him. The result of these lessons and discussion and the time spent in the seminary will be the prevention of the introduction to the world of Islam and the truths of the Qur’an; rather, it is possible that his existence will be barrier preventing the society from coming to know Islam and spirituality.

I am not saying that you should not study, that you should not acquire knowledge, but you have to pay attention, for if you want to be a useful and effective member of society and Islam and lead a nation to awareness of Islam and to defend the fundamentals of Islam, it is necessary that the basis of jurisprudence be strengthened and that you gain mastery of the subject. If, God forbid, you fail to study, then it is forbidden for you to remain in the seminary.

You may not use the religious salary of the students of the religious sciences. Of course, the acquisition of knowledge is necessary, although in the same way that you take pains with the problems of fiqh and usul (jurisprudence and its principles), you must make efforts in the path of self-reformation.

Every step forward which you take in the acquisition of knowledge should be matched by a step taken to beat down the desires of the soul, to strengthen one’s spiritual powers, to acquire nobility of character, and to gain spirituality and piety [taqwa].

The learning of these sciences in reality is an introduction to the refinement of the soul and the acquisition of virtue, manners and divine knowledge. Do not spend your entire life with the introduction, so that you leave aside the conclusion. You are acquiring these sciences for the sake of a holy and high aim, knowing God and refining the self.

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