Third Level of Pretension

This is the pretension that is known to be found among jurists, may Allāh be pleased with them, and it, too, has two degrees:

The first degree is that one carries out his action and whatever worship is legislated for him, or through what he deems as rationally commendable, intending thereby to show his acts of adoration to the people and win their hearts, intending to be pretentious through that act of worship or through its method, or condition, or a part thereof, as described by our fellows in their books of jurisprudence.

The second degree is that he abandons a deed in order to reach the same result. The greatest professor of theology, imām al-Khomeini, says the following: "Be informed that pretension in this level is more frequent and common than all other levels because most of us are not qualified for both above-stated levels. In this aspect, Satan does not intercept our way from that highway.

But, since most people are worshippers, upholding the rituals and formal manifestations of adoration, Satan is active here more than anywhere else, and the plots of the nafs in this level are many more. In other words, since most people, according to their quality, live in a physical Paradise, earning stations in the Hereafter through doing good deeds and abandoning bad ones, Satan, too, enters upon them from this door, instilling in their hearts the roots of pretension and deception in their deeds, so much so that branches grow out of them and leaves, substituting their good deeds with bad ones, hurling them into hell and the lower stations through these same rituals and acts of adoration, rendering the means whereby the abode of the Hereafter are built requiring their very destruction, introducing into an act what is supposed to get one in the 'Illiyyeen station to be turned by the angels, according to the command of the Almighty, into one qualifying the individual to be hurled into the inferno. The persons who fit in this level, who have neither rations nor a conveyance for the trip [to the Hereafter], must persist in cultivating themselves fully, and they must not neglect this matter, too, God forbid, lest they should be among the fellows of hell: They lose track of the path to happiness, and the gates of Paradise will be closed before them while those of the fires will be opened." Thus the imām, may his shade endure, ends his statement.