Lecture 1: Do Not Rebuild A Broken Dam
Imām Khomeini said that some subjects should be repeated in order to be effective. Likewise, many subjects are repeated in the Holy Qurān. This is the purpose of these lectures.
On the day of unity between university students and seminary students, Imām said: “With this revolution, you were able to break the dam that Ridā Khān and his son built between the university and the religious seminary, between the university students and the seminary students. They built this dam so that these two forces would not join hands and cause problems for their dictatorship. The revolution broke the dam; do not let this dam be built again.”
From the beginning of the revolution you have seen how some people disrespect the religious scholars in their speeches. They want to take the love that the youth have for scholars out of their hearts so that they can establish another dictatorship. University students must be one with religious students. The goal of both institutions are one; serving mankind. Both the university and the religious seminary study medicine. Those who specialize in physical medicine cure physical diseases and those who specialize in spiritual medicine cure spiritual diseases. Both have one goal; serving mankind. Why should they be separated from each other?
We will spend one day a week in this place to take care of the second goal. The second goal is what Imām said: “University and religious students must purify themselves.” They will cause harm to society if they are not purified. An unpurified doctor will cause harm to the society just like an unpurified mujtahid.1 Imām gave examples of these as well. Doctor Ahmadī, who lived in the Pahlavī period, was killed by an injection and Shaykh Nūrī was executed by the order of a Shaykh from Zanjān.
One must both study and purify himself. The Qurān mentioned that the Prophets' duties were both purifying and teaching.2 If one refrains from purifying himself he would be like a donkey that carries books.3 An example is Pharaoh; he had so much knowledge, but still fought against Mūsa. He thought himself to be better than Mūsa.
In short, we must consider self-building more important than learning. Purifying one's self does not come with out struggle. Imām ‛Alī (a) said: “I struggle against myself so that I will be safe on the Day of Judgment.”4
Purification will not happen without struggle. The biggest part of the road to purification is thought and action. I will briefly explain this. The biggest step, as mentioned in the Holy Qurān, is thought. The Qurān has ordered us in different verses to ponder upon different subjects. One must think about where he came from, where he is and where he's going and why.
First, we were all drops of water, and then Allah ordered us to be created.5 One would understand many things if he ponders upon this. One can understand the glory of his body and the amazing relations between the different parts of the body. Allah created different parts of the body from this one drop of water. For example, one's eyes, ears, liver and heart. The liver does many things. Blood is always traveling through our veins. This is one thought where one can understand Allah as well as the fact that one is a servant of His. Allah's strength is unlimited; He is able to do all things. This thought is part of our fundamental beliefs.
Everybody was a drop of sperm that did not have any knowledge or ability. There was no 'I'. If it was left that way, even for a hundred years, we would not have come into existence. The Question comes up, what is this 'I'? The thought that one has power which comes from seeing one's existence, one's eyes, ears, tongue and so forth, must be corrected.
One must understand that this power belongs to someone else; the one who created this body and allowed it to move. One stops saying 'I' when he understands this reality. One would no longer consider himself better than others, take pride in his self or seek popularity when he understands this reality. The beginning and end of two people are the same. Between the two ends, no one is able to help or hurt his own self.6 Who is able to stop old age?
One who sees power in himself forgets his beginning and his end. He is the one who says 'I'.
One should not be humble in front of anyone except Allah. One should only prostrate in front of Allah. Everybody is a servant of Allah and needs Allah to the same degree. The Qurān says that man needs Allah but Allah does not need anyone.7 No group of people is better than another; the only thing that makes somebody better is piety. It is unreasonable for one person to follow another or to be the slave of another.
Imām ‛Alī (a) said in the Nahj al-Balāghah: “Verily, piety frees one from every kind of slavery.”
Whoever walks on the road of piety is free, while those who are not pious must lower themselves to get what they want. As Shaykh Bahā'ī (r) said: “If the curtain was removed, we would see that they are dogs prostrating in front of dogs.”
One's life is his own when he does not have to perform low actions in order to breathe. This is just like the Messenger of Allah's (S) statement: “My life is yours and my death is yours.” The people who are not lowered by possessions, positions or popularity are free. Do not become the slave of anything. Only lower your head to one thing: Allah.
Purifying one's self is freeing one's self of his evil desires. No subject has been emphasized as much as this in the Holy Qurān. Allah, in Surah Shams, swears 14/ times that those who are pious will receive bliss. Allah swears by 14 grand objects that he created that only those who purify themselves will reach salvation. He would be successful in this world and the next. Woe be to the one who did not work on himself, who followed his carnal desires to such a point that it is now impossible to improve himself.
So, we must try and work on ourselves. We must give importance to becoming real human beings. We must loosen the shackles of slavery from our feet. The summary of this lecture is that we should think about the creation of our bodies so that we will become aware of Allah's knowledge and strength as well as become more humble.