In the path of the Imam (89)
We are with you with another episode of this series. If you remember we discussed Imam Khomeini’s high attention to ethics, especially among the students of seminaries. As a matter of fact, ethics and moral merits are the missing of the modern mankind. This time, we are going to talk about Imam Khomeini’s undeniable role in revival of spirituality and moral values in the contemporary world.
According to many experts, modernism has inflicted serious damages on human life and environment, although it has brought about achievements for mankind. Some experts have divided human crises in two categories: first are those crises that are the outcome of man’s opposition against himself and God; second are the crises that result from man’s opposition against the society and the world. As for the first group, modern man has been trapped in a sort of personal identity and alienation. Today, with the dominance of tools, many aspects of human nature have been neglected and human emotions have been pushed to the margins. Humanism, as dominant ideology of the 20th century and onwards, has dragged man to skepticism. Thus, he has become alienated and left alone in nihilism. Moreover, due to the lack of balance between individual’s relation with the society and the outside world, a big number of crises have gripped him. Excessive exploitation of nature, as the source of welfare and comfort, has caused intensive environmental crises and taken man to the precipice of eventual destruction. Generation gap has increased among communities and family, as the most important unit of life, has reached to the threshold of disintegration. Extravagant consumerism has distances man from balance and turned him into a being devoid of identity. That’s why he doesn’t bother pondering on his fate. The status quo has not only failed to bring calm for man, it has also aggravated internal turmoil incessantly. In view of all these social and spiritual miseries, Imam Khomeini’s movement was definitely the greatest phenomenon for revival of spirituality and identity among human beings.
Imam Khomeini put a novel pattern ahead of mankind. He revived spirituality in the forlorn world. He maintained that Islam is the best model for arrangement of human life and establishment of a government owing to its simultaneous benefiting from reasoning and spirituality. He said, “Islam is the source of human salvation. Islam has come for building human being. It has come to lead humans to light, unlike Taghut (rebel).” Imam Khomeini considered inclination toward spirituality and morality as the key to salvation and happiness. He believed that mere material welfare cannot bring salvation. Therefore, he said, “We should try to invite people to spirituality and morality. Perhaps, many would think that material welfare and having a lot of money in banks, owning real estate, etc. will bring salvation; but, this is s mistake that man makes.” Imam Khomeini considered lack of spirituality as the main disease of human society, saying, “We and our nation are boastful of following a religion that has rescued the Qur’anic realities, which are all calling to unity among Muslims, from graveyards; and, as the greatest savior of human being from all shackles that have been tied on his feet, hands, heart and intellect leading him to take him to destruction and slavery of rebels.”
Imam Khomeini’s approach was not limited to the individual life of mankind; rather he believed that spirituality should be reflected in the establishment of government and political structure of statesmen; otherwise the ruling system would be the system of rebels (ungodly rulers).
Imam Khomeini, defining the format of religious popular rule as the political system of the Islamic Revolution, ruled out any kind of despotism and restriction of political freedom; and adopted clear stances against colonialism by big powers. He deemed revival of spirituality as the ultimate goal of establishment of government. Exactly for this reason, he used to emphasize that any seeking of worldly pleasures and posts and plunging in materialism would lead to the decline of the Islamic state. He maintained that achievement of freedom, independence, justice and civilization-building can materialize only through sticking to spirituality and morality. He strongly opposed development and progress without spirituality. He believed that such development and progress will lead to monarchy and corruption.
Impressed by Imam Khomeini’s thoughts, French thinker, Michel Foucault, criticized modernity and was of the opinion that it has alienated human being from morality. He believed that the Islamic Revolution has defeated modernist current. In his view, Iran’s revolution has tried to show the spiritual aspect of life. He maintained that collective will acts like God; hence no one can confront it. That’s why he refers to Islam caused the bare-handed revolutionaries to triumph over one of the most modern armies. He said Imam Khomeini is the person who can save the 20th century man from the disease of lack of spirituality. He opined that what differentiates the Islamic Revolution from other movements is that it combined reason with spirituality.