Positive Asceticism

Here, in order to present a correct picture of the ideal Islamic asceticism, we will state its features and facets in the course of some questions and answers:

By citing reference in the Holy Qur’an, Imām ‘Alī (‘a), who was among the pioneering figures of asceticism during his time, describes asceticism in this manner:

The whole of asceticism is confined between two expressions of the Qur’an. Allah, the Glorified, says: That ye grieve not for the sake of that which hath escaped you, nor yet exult because of that which hath been given.[549]

Whoever does not grieve over what he misses and does not revel over what comes to him, acquires asceticism from both its sides.[550]

As such, asceticism has no relation whatsoever to indigence and mendicancy. Asceticism is a psychological state and a sort of inner freedom. In this respect, the ascetic is one who remains so even if he is affluent and if he loses all his possessions, he will not look back on his past and fret about it.

He is such a master of himself that if he were given the whole world, he would still not lose nor forget himself. In fact, asceticism is a sort of mastery and control over oneself and regulation of one’s emotions. In this sense, not only can an indigent man not be an ascetic; but, in order for one to know whether he is an ascetic or not, he should have wealth.

The indigent man has nothing to lose. We can only speak about asceticism when one has wealth and then lose it but is still able to preserve and maintain his spiritual mastery. Imām ‘Alī (‘a) who so describes asceticism, though he led an ascetic life, was a productive person, and even during the time of his caliphate and amidst all his engagements and worries, he never gave up his economic activities.

Throughout his life, he worked just like other laborers did, but not for himself, rather for pious purposes. On the very day that the people swore their allegiance to him, he took his spade and pick-axe in hand and went to finish a job he was doing. He was digging a well, digging it with his own hands. And to whom were congratulations to be extended when water sprung forth? He said that congratulations were to be given to those who would inherit this and asked that he be brought a pen and paper so that there and then he could dedicate the well to pious purposes.[551]

Therefore, asceticism has no direct bearing on indigence. Asceticism implies freedom from want, not dependency and parasitism. A beggar who desires riches is not an ascetic. But a wealthy man who has no attachment to his wealth is an ascetic. As such, asceticism means to use amenities as needed and not beyond that. Asceticism connotes enjoyment of the blessings to attain goals, and not making blessings the goals. In this sense, asceticism is the opposite of lavishness. But, “Lavishness is something that the people are in quest for, even though they may have the least need for it.”[552]

Is asceticism abstention from the blessings?

Well, some have thought that asceticism means abstention from the blessings and legitimate enjoyments and imagined that the ascetic is he who refrains from eating, drinking and wearing clothes except what is needed for survival. The story of Sufyān ath-Thawrī, the ascetic who found fault with Imām as-Sādiq (‘a) for wearing a beautiful garment, is expressive of this wrong view on asceticism. With this same thinking, ‘Asim ibn Ziyād al-Hārithī abandoned his wife and child, retreated to a corner, closed his eyes to all the divine favours, and considered all these acts as values. But Imām ‘Alī (‘a) rescued him from his wrong conception, viewing it as the result of Satanic inculcations and said to him: “Do you believe that if you use those things which Allah has made lawful for you, He will dislike you?”[553]

In refuting this inadmissible notion, the Holy Qur’an states: “Say: Who hath forbidden the adornment of Allah which He hath brought forth for His bondmen, and the good things of His providing? Say: Such will be only for those who believed during the life of the world.”[554] Similarly, the Qur’an emphatically urges the believers to be pure and smart and thus commands them: “Look to your adornment at every place of worship, and eat and drink, but be not prodigal.”[555]

Basically, from this perspective refraining from eating and drinking cannot be considered a value. The believers are well-groomed, and they eat and drink commensurate to their vital needs. What has been forbidden to them is extravagance, and in today’s jargon, ‘wasting the favours of God,’ and not ‘depriving oneself of the favours.’ A cursory glance at the lives of the Infallible Ones (‘a) illustrates this approach.

The Most Noble Messenger (s) was so fond of applying perfume that he would skip his supper so as to procure his needed perfume. If perfume was not at his disposal, he would soak the perfumed scarf of his wife and rub his face with it so as to be perfumed. Likewise, before going out he would always look at himself in the mirror or water, and groom himself to such an extent as to always be an embodiment of adornment and dressing well. He would apply so much perfume that his beard had turned white as a result.[556]

Well, this has been the tradition and way of the true ascetics. Now, let us compare it with that of Dāwūd at*-T&ā’ī who used to assert that he had not enough time to comb or trim his disheveled beard, or with that of the other (person) who was pleased with the lousiness of his clothes, or that of another, that is, Mālik ibn Dīnār who claimed to have not eaten meat for twenty years, about which he was proud, saying: “I do not know the meaning of the statement that if a man does not eat meat for forty days, his intelligence is diminished. I have not eaten meat for twenty years and my intelligence increases every day.”[557] Apparently, it refers to a hadīth attributed to the Most Noble Messenger (s) which states: “Whoever would not eat meat for forty days, the call to prayer [azān] should be recited again near his ear.”

Another story is narrated about this Mālik which, if assumed to be true, not only does not confirm any value for him, but is also incompatible with the indisputable principles of religion. The story is as follows:

For forty years he [Mālik] lived in Basrah and never ate fresh dates. When the season of ripe dates came around he would say, ‘People of Basrah, behold, my belly has not shrunk from not eating them, and you who eat them daily—your bellies have not become any larger.’ After forty years he was assailed by a mood of restlessness. However hard he tried, he could not withstand the craving for fresh dates. Finally after some days, during which the desire daily increased while he constantly denied his appetite, he could resist no more the importunity of his carnal soul.

‘I will not eat fresh dates,’ he protested. ‘Either kill me, or die!’

That night a heavenly voice spoke.

‘You must eat some dates. Free your carnal soul from bondage.’

At this response his carnal soul, finding the opportunity, began to shout.

‘If you want dates,’ Mālik said, ‘fast for a week without breakfasting once, and pray all night. Then I will give you some.’

This contented his carnal soul. For a whole week he prayed all night and fasted all day. Then he went to the market and bought some dates, and betook himself to the mosque to eat them. A boy shouted from the rooftop.

‘Father! A Jew has bought dates and is going to the mosque to eat them.’

‘What business has a Jew in the mosque?’ the man exclaimed. And he ran to see who the Jew might be. Beholding Mālik, he fell at his feet.

‘What were those words the boy uttered?’ Mālik demanded.

‘Excuse him, master,’ the boy’s father pleaded. ‘He is only a child, and does not understand. In our quarter many Jews live. We are constantly fasting, and our children see the Jews eating by day. So they suppose that everyone who eats anything by day is a Jew. What he said he said in ignorance. Forgive him!’

When Mālik heard this, a fire consumed his soul. He realized that the child was inspired to speak as he had.

‘Lord God,’ he cried, ‘I had not eaten any dates, and Thou didst call me a Jew by the tongue of an innocent child. If I eat the dates, Thou wilt proclaim me an unbeliever. By Thy glory, if I ever eat any dates!’[558]
Obviously, it was the hidden voice which had been making fun of him. Besides, day and night fasting for seven whole days, even though it is possible, is certainly forbidden [harām] and can be considered an ‘uninterrupted fasting’ [rūzeh-ye wisāl], which Islam has sternly prohibited.

Anyway, we have plenty of similar stories. But no matter what we call them, we cannot regard them as asceticism that is one of the teachings of the Infallibles (‘a). The Messenger of God (s) as well as other Infallibles (‘a) would eat meat, dates, and other permissible foodstuffs. They did not prohibit for themselves anything which God had permitted for them. In the heat of the Battle of Jamal, Imām ‘Alī (‘a) asked for water but they brought him honey syrup. He drank it and said that the honey is that of T&ā’if.[559]

This tranquility and control which such a war failed to disturb the Imām’s (‘a) mind, surprised others, and ‘Abdullāh ibn Ja‘far, paternal nephew of the Imām (‘a), asked him (‘a), “In such a situation, how could you identify the place of origin of the honey just by taste?” He (‘a) replied, “My son, I swear to God, none of the world’s affairs has ever satisfied your uncle.”[560]

Even if the Imām (‘a) used to refrain from eating food or wearing (expensive) clothes, it had definitely a social philosophy and his action was not inappropriate. In fact, it was considered a lesson and education for the governors. After the Imām was informed that his governor in Basrah, Uthmān ibn al-Hunayf, had accepted the invitation of one of the affluent men of the city to a banquet, he (‘a) in the course of a letter, admonished him, dissuaded him from repeating such actions, and reminded him that he (‘a) who is the caliph of the Muslims has worn two garments and sufficed himself with two loaves of bread, and he urged the state officials to follow this practice. He (‘a) emphasized that this abstinence and asceticism did not arise from indigence and mendicancy and [then, he (‘a) said:]

If I wished I could have taken the way leading toward [worldly pleasures like] pure honey, wheat germ and silk clothes but it cannot be that my passions lead me and greed take me to choosing good meals while in the Hijāz[561] or in Yamāmah[562] there may be people who have no hope of getting bread or who do not have a full meal.[563]

This abstinence shows the height of his humanity. The Imām led an austere life because he felt that possibly others were not be able to dress and drink as they liked. This was very different from what Mālik ibn Dīnār did—a kind of self-torment.

In another instance, the Imām (‘a) expounds the philosophy behind this self-mortification. As he (‘a) had prohibited ‘Alā ibn Ziyād from seclusion and self-mortification, the latter asked, “Why are you so austere in your own case?” He (‘a) replied, “Woe be to you, I am not like you. Certainly, Allah, the Sublime, has made it obligatory on true leaders to live like the poor people, so that they are not tormented by their poverty.”[564] And he (‘a) deemed it endurable. Thus, as he (‘a) himself saw that one of his companions had built a huge house, he (‘a) told him that he did not need a house of such a vast size unless it was for entertaining visitors and establishing relations with kinsmen;[565] and would be used as a means of social interaction and helping others.

Therefore, asceticism does not mean poverty and indigence, or depriving oneself of the [divinely-endowed] favours, but a sort of independence and detachment from worldly possessions, absence of attachment, and in the words of Hāfiz, freedom from any ‘color’ of attachment:

غلامِ همّت آنم كه زيرِ چرخ كبود ز هرچه رنگ تعلق پذيرد آزاد است

I am slave of he under the sky (the world)

Who is free from any color of attachment.[566]

Is asceticism a hindrance to economic activity?

Some have believed that asceticism means solitude and seclusion, and have concluded that it is discordant with any kind of economic activity, and consequently, social progress. It is because they think that asceticism summons man to eat and drink less, be indifferent to the world and to minimize desires, while the prerequisite of any type of economic activity and social development is long-term planning and active presence in the society.

So, they conclude that if all the people are supposed to be ascetic then there will be no sign of the bustle of economic activities, and expansion and progress of the society.

Of course, undoubtedly, some have taken asceticism to mean seclusion, monasticism and solitude. The point must not be overlooked that sometimes, in the different phases of the life of man, seclusion is needed and by remaining alone, man can closet and assess, himself. As such, in our religious tradition i‘tikāf [seclusion in the mosque for prayer and other devotional acts] has a special status.

The Messenger of God (s) would sometimes go to the cave of Hirā, and sometimes seclude himself in the mosque and meditate; but it was only for a short period. In reality, seclusion is a medication and a kind of short-term relaxation; not a strategy for one’s life. In the words of Will Durant,[567] “Seclusion is a medication and a sort of therapy through abstinence; but it cannot be food. As what Goethe[568] had said, once and for ever, ‘‘Human habits and disposition grow only amidst the waves and confusion of this world.”[569]

So, asceticism should not be equated with mere seclusion. Consequently, apart from not being an impediment to economic activity, asceticism, with the magnanimity that it creates in man and warns him of excessive elation over his possessions can be a promoter of economic activity.

This is especially true if the economic activity is a value and a kind of religious worship and devotion [‘ibādah]. With the notion that economic activity is discordant with devotion and reliance on God [tawakkul], some companions of the Infallibles (‘a) abandoned all endeavor and stayed in their houses. But the Holy Infallibles (‘a) dissuaded them from this act and said that the supplications of such persons will not be granted and that everybody should exert efforts to find his sustenance.

One of these persons asked Imām as-Sādiq (‘a) to pray for him and ask God to give him sustenance without the need for him to exert any effort. He (‘a) said, “I will not pray for you as God has commanded you to strive in pursuit of sustenance.”[570] Similarly, the Messenger of God (s) said, “Worship has seventy parts, among which the most superior is the search for permissible [halāl] sustenance.”[571] Economic activity from the viewpoint of Imām as-Sādiq (‘a) is so blessed that he commanded Hishām that even “If you saw a war break out and the opposing forces take up positions, you should not stop your economic activities.”[572]

We have also dwelt on the story of Imām as-Sādiq (‘a) busy working in extreme heat and being subjected to his companions’ objection. And we have also heard his reply.[573]
On the other hand, poverty, according to Islam, is not a value; it is, rather, a matter of disgrace.

Thus, in the supplications of the Infallibles (‘a) refuge has been sought in God from it. Imām ‘Alī (‘a) calls destitution as the greatest death.[574] He (‘a) says to his son, Muhammad ibn Hanafiyyah: “O’ my son, I fear lest destitution overtakes you. So, you should seek Allah’s protection from it, because destitution is deficiency of religious belief, perplexity of intelligence, and it is conducive to hatred of obstinate people.”[575]

Therefore, the very person who views asceticism as a value and invites people to it, brands destitution as loathsome and the source of defilement of religion and the intellect. As such, a connection between asceticism and destitution cannot be established except that of duality and alienation.

Well, the question is: Will the emergence of asceticism at the general level not obstruct economic activities? The answer is ‘no’. Even nowadays there are countries where asceticism is embedded in the depth of their culture, but, at the same time, are enjoying the peak of economic prosperity and boom. We are referring to Japan.

In the culture of Japan, what can be approximately regarded as the equivalent of asceticism of our religion is wabi. Wabi means “not being bound to the things of this world such as wealth, power and fame and, notwithstanding all this, deeply experiencing the most precious things that are above time, place and status.”[576]

These are the words expressed by one of the most notable Japanese culturologists and masters of Zen, who is himself a devotee of this way of life. “Wabi spells out the totality of Japanese culture.”[577]

It is present in all aspects of the individual and social life of the Japanese and has left its marks on the architecture, industry and other facets of today’s life in Japan. Even the wealthy Japanese, who devote their entire life to production and make investment again and again, lead mostly ascetic lives, based on the wabi doctrine. They work and produce wealth as they regard it as holy and blessed. At the same time, they lead ascetic and disciplined lives.

They refrain from profligacy in their lives as they believe in the doctrine of wabi. It is better for us to see what the chairman of the board of directors of the huge Daewoo Organization has to say about this matter. Kim Wu Chung, who is a South Korean and one of the most hard-working economic figures, reproaches the profligacy of some of his countrymen and summons them to learn from the Japanese:

Albeit the standard of living of the Japanese is far higher than ours, their life is far more moderate. Even the high-ranking directors of giant Japanese corporations live in 100-130 meter houses with very simple furniture. The chairman of the board of directors of the eminent Toshiba Company has an annual salary of approximately 100 million yen, but he lives in an 83-meter house. His monthly expenses do not also exceed 15,000 yen, but in [South] Korea some managers of small companies have 330-meter houses with luxurious imported equipment and furniture.[578]

These words have been uttered by someone who himself has spent almost his entire life in travel, signing contracts and production of wealth. He says that he experiences joy in increasing the wealth of his country and is not so much in pursuit of personal enjoyment from his wealth and prosperity. After emphasizing the intensification of economic activity, he recommends, “Let us be hard-working and faithful.”[579] According to this economic icon,
[t]he Japanese are unrivalled in saving and frugality. It is this very saving and frugality that has transformed Japan into one of the richest nations on earth today. Sometimes, things must be learned from others and we have no alternative but to be ashamed of the frugality and modest life of the Japanese.[580]

Then, he urges the people of [South] Korea:

Therefore, the more your possession is, the more you should be frugal in your living, for, through frugality and diligence you are responsible in leading your society toward what is desirable and wholesome. You should bear in mind that one of the greatest hindrances in the progress of every society is immoderation and over-consumption.[581]

Therefore, asceticism is a value, and apart from not being incompatible with other values such as work and activity, it is even a requisite for them. Now, we understand the utility and importance of asceticism. At this juncture, it is a good idea to indicate the three fundamental elements of Islamic asceticism, which the late Martyr Mut*ahharī has pointed out. According to him, the essential elements of asceticism are as follows:

(1) Natural and physical enjoyments are not the sole factors of obtaining happiness;

(2) Individual destiny is not separate from that of society;

(3) While the soul is in union with the body, it is loftier than the latter.[582]

With the same notion of asceticism and positive outlook on it, the Imām urges the government officials to behave ascetically in their lives, take simple living as their motto and, in this path, take Imām ‘Alī (‘a) as their leader and model.

What is the political utility of asceticism?

From the political perspective, asceticism and simple living are not merely moral virtues; rather they are political necessities. One can enter the political arena and employ ethical politics provided he does not have attachment and devotion to materialism, position and power. To the extent that one becomes dependent, the possibility of his ‘movement’ and progress will decrease by the same degree.
Try to consider a mountaineer who wants to climb a summit which can be conquered (climbed) within one night. If this mountaineer is really well-experienced, he will only bring with him the things that he will need for one day and one night and will bring only a maximum of four meals. Now, the more this person increases the weight of his knapsack, the harder his climb will be, and traversing the route, he will become more tired. Inexperienced and neophyte mountaineers have had this bitter experience time and again of bringing along with them equipment that was more than needed and weighed heavily on their shoulders, making them wish that they had set out with a lighter load.

The same is true in the political arena. Those who have many financial, emotional, social, and economic attachments have less chance of keeping their boat on an even keel along this tumultuous river. This aside, the more one has attachment to and affection for something, the more is his chance of being deceived and of forgetting his objective. In fact, bullets do not kill the statesmen; rather, it is the sugar-coated bullets that destroy them.

A glance at history bears witness to the claim that so many statesmen were seduced by the sight of gold or the illusion of power and splendor, and betrayed their ideals and country. In contrast, history shows that the only statesmen who succeeded were those who had taken simple living as their motto and weapon. From among our religious narratives, Imām ‘Alī (‘a) can be mentioned the story of this great man being frequently told and retold.

From among the contemporaries, Gandhi is worth mentioning. A man with a few meters of hand-woven canvas named khadi covering his body, a manual spinning machine and a milking goat, succeeded in obtaining the independence of India and overawed British colonialism with his spiritual power. In the contemporary history of Iran, the late Āyatullāh Sayyid Hasan Mudarris[583] can be mentioned. H

e was a person with respect to whom persons such as Ridā Khān[584] stood helpless. The latter asked the former, “Sayyid, what do you want from me?” He answered, “I want you to be no more [in the position of power].” It was only due to his unflinching faith, simple living, and ascetic life that Mudarris succeeded in not being swayed by power and splendor and in not forgetting his goals. The Imām describes the spiritual strength of Mudarris and reminisces about him with great admiration:

You have noticed and seen the history of the late Mudarris who was a very slim Sayyid [having], I say, a canvas garment (which is one of the abusive words coined by the poet for him—‘clad in canvas trousers’). A person like this stood against the brutality (which was such) that whoever is aware of those times knows that the time of Ridā Shāh was not the same as that of Muhammad Ridā Shāh. At the time when there reigned tyranny, with which our history is perhaps less acquainted, he stood up to such a person (the tyrant). In the Majlis (Parliament)… (Ridā Khān) once asked him, ‘What do you want from me?’ He replied, ‘I wish you to be no more [in the position of power]; I wish you no more [in power]’. This person… used to come to Sepahsālār Madrasah [theology school]… to give lectures.

One day I attended his class; it appeared that he had nothing else to do; a mere theologian engaged in teaching. He had such a strength of character… Even in the days when he used to attend the Majlis sessions, he was held in high esteem by everybody… It seemed as if the Parliament was waiting for Mudarris to come. Although they were not well disposed toward him, it was as if the Parliament felt that something was missing whenever Mudarris was not there. But once he came, it was as though something new had happened. What was the reason for this? It was owing to the fact that he was a person who paid no heed to position, possessions and the like. He paid no heed to anything; no position was able to attract him… Why was it so? It was because he was upright; he was not attached to carnal desires… And neither was he afraid of anyone… It was because he was free from carnal desires. He was honest; he was not dependent [on anything and anybody].[585]

Therefore, political courage, mental freedom, intelligence, and power of practical innovation emerge only when the politician is free and upright [vārasteh] and not dependent [vābasteh]—this exactly is asceticism. From this perspective, asceticism does not mean not eating, drinking and wearing (beautiful) clothes. Basically, this individual level is problematic. At the highest level, asceticism is that very freedom and independence that emerges only when the person disengages himself from his diverse attachments. The Most Noble Messenger (s), who was able to cleanse the entire Arabian Peninsula from the pollution of polytheism, succeeded due to the very fact that, apart from divine assistance, he (s) was free from various attachments; he was upright and free of want; notwithstanding all his authority and in spite of the fact that

he was the vicegerent of God [khalīfatullāh], everybody accepted him; when he was sitting in the mosque, they were not able to recognize him; one who entered (the mosque) did not recognize him for there was no such thing as sitting in ‘superior’ or ‘inferior’ places in the mosque.[586]

Simple living from the Imām’s viewpoint is discussed as one of the pillars of governmental politics. After indicating the simple lifestyle of Imām ‘Alī (‘a) and regarding it as the model, he says:
That which we want is this… In Iran we want it to be so that when the head of state of some country, for example, the President or Prime Minister, is among the people, there should be no such privilege for him that the people have to step aside with ‘ahs’ and ‘ohs’.[587]

In the opinion of the Imām, the Messenger of God (s) who was the most authoritative individual in the Muslim society, “His (material) condition in life was lower than the common people who were then living in Medina.”[588]

From the Imām’s viewpoint, not only does simple living ensure the independence of political authorities, but also secures their political future. If one day the officials abandon their simple lifestyle, they will be forsaken by the people. While addressing the clergymen, he would say:

Praise be to God that, today, there is nothing wrong in dealing with political issues; however, you should bear in mind that all are watching you; Therefore, you must preserve your image as scholars. Live modestly, exactly like the ‘ulamā [religious scholars] of the past… If one day your living standards exceed those of the common people, then, sooner or later, you will be rejected and ostracized.[589]

He staunchly opposed lavishness and would enumerate, one by one, its negative effects. Some of the consequences of lavishness are, according to him, ostracism by the people, dependency and attachment, drifting away from spiritualities, fallen reputations and, finally, spiritual debasement. Even the responsible leaders of society should not engage in lavish formalities on the excuse of their own security. “Even those who want to protect themselves should realize that sometimes a Peykan[590] (automobile) could be safer for them than any other vehicle.”[591]

Some erroneously think that lavishness is a symbol of power, and the more lavish we are in life, the more powerful we are. This notion on the alleged relationship between lavishness and authority has led to the issue of lavishness, or what is called ‘power symbols’, being brought into administrative circles and international relations. One, who thinks of luxury from this angle, and as a political or administrative necessity, endeavors to possess all symbols of power such as costly tables and chairs, showy cars, and palatial mansions. These they use to show their personal or national power. Those who are after such excuses are, actually, deceiving and covering up their concealed desires. One thing certain is that, in the long run, all those who have been engaged in the power play (of politics) and have employed its symbols have gradually been affected and tainted by these symbols. Thus, these are facilities and symbols that are not without their (unsavory) consequences. In fact, they take firm control of the mentality and psyche of man.[592]

In essence, once the politician gets used to simple living he will not be dejected and dispirited by any failure, and will not experience a sense of emptiness or loss. “We should live in such a way that we will not rue the things that were taken from us.”[593]

In the Imām’s code of ethics, asceticism and simple living has such a lofty status that it is the axis and cornerstone of every kind of movement for independence and dignity. Anyone who likes to tread safely the tortuous, dreadful and horrendous path of politics should be an ascetic and accustomed to simple living. He should know that the desert tree which receives a lesser amount of water is more resilient. It seems as if, the Imām has obtained this viewpoint by reflecting on the utterance of our master ‘Alī (‘a) who says, “Remember that the tree of the forest is the best for timber, while green twigs have soft barks, and the wild bushes are quick to kindle but slow in dying off.”[594]

It is with this perception that Imām Khomeinī regards simple living as the key to success and the secret of felicity and honor in both the worlds, saying:

If you want to stand fearless and intrepid against falsehood; to defend the truth; and the superpowers, their advanced weapons, the devils, and their conspiracies not to affect you mentally; and not drive you away from the scene, get yourself accustomed to simple living and refrain from having fondness for riches and position. Most of the great men who have rendered remarkable services to their nations have lived modestly and have been uninterested in the vanities of the world.
Those who were and are captives of mean carnal and bestial desires are willing to endure hardship and humiliation to preserve or obtain them (all that they long for). In front of satanic forces and powers they are humble and meek while in relation to the weak masses of people they are despotic and cruel. But the upright ones are contrary to them owing to the fact that, for them, human and Islamic values cannot be preserved through an aristocratic and consumerist lifestyle.[595]

Therefore, from the Imām’s perspective, asceticism and simple living are deemed part of the triple pillars of ethical politics. The one who can tread this path is like Ya‘qūb ibn Layth as-Saffārī[596] who would suffice with mere bread and onion, and reckon ascetic life as his motto so as to be counted as a formidable threat to the ‘Abbāsid caliphate.

In the course of the foregoing discussions we started from ethics going toward politics and its connection to ethics. Then, we reverted to ethics and its station in politics. As we have seen, the Imām’s view on politics is an ethical one, and he regards it as an extension of ethics on a broader level. From this perspective, precepts and moralities for politics that are separate from the general precepts of Islamic ethics cannot be found. Any attempt to make politics independent from ethics is, in effect, and in the long run the annihilation of not only ethics, but also results in obliterating politics. As such, from the Imām’s viewpoint, it is not only the other-worldly interests that require the statesman to be bound by ethics; even practical reason and political reason demand from him this abidance by ethics. Thus, in admonishing the lawmakers of the Islamic society, he says:

You ought to be the teachers of ethics of the society and the entire society ought to rally behind you… and if, God forbid, deviations arise and selfish motives appear… this, first of all, constitutes a grave moral degeneration and degeneration in the presence of God, and secondly, there is the fear that you will not be able to take this load home.[597]

Therefore, to behave ethically in all spheres, political spheres in particular, leads to emotional and spiritual loftiness and progress of man apart from being a requisite and demand of reason. One of the duties of the political authorities in the Islamic society is the preservation and promotion of Islamic values and slogans, and the best way to this end is for the authorities to observe these values, mottos and ethical principles and to reform themselves.

Today is the day when you ought to preserve Islam; you ought to preserve Islam. Preservation of Islam is that you should modify your actions, you should behave well with the people; be brothers to the people; you should not look uponthe people in such a way.[598]

[1] For a bird’s-eye view on the life, thoughts and movement of Imām Khomeinī, see Hamīd Algar, Imām Khomeinī: A Short Biography, downloadable at the Institute’s Translation Unit Website, . [Pub.]
[2] The abbreviation, “s”, stands for the Arabic invocative phrase, sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa ālihi wa sallam [may God’s salutation and peace be upon him and his progeny], which is used after the name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s). [Pub.]

[3] The abbreviation, “‘a” stands for the Arabic invocative phrase, ‘alayhis-salām, ‘alayhimus-salām, or ‘alayhās-salām [may peace be upon him/them/her], which is used after the names of the prophets, angels, Imāms from the Prophet’s progeny, and saints (‘a). [Pub.]

[4] Imām Khomeinī, Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth (Tehran: The Institute for Compilation and Publication of Imām Khomeinī’s Works, 1376 AHS), p. 511.

[5]Ma‘sūmīn: those possessing the quality of ‘ismah (divinely bestowed freedom from error and sin) such as the prophets and Imāms from the Prophet’s Progeny (‘a). [Pub.]

[6] The original work in Persian, Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth was written by Imām Khomeinī sixty-four years ago and was completed in the month of Muharram 1358 AH (April-May 1939). Under the title, Forty Hadīths: An Exposition of Mystical and Ethical Traditions, its English translation is recently published by the Institute. The manuscript of this work, together with that of two other then unpublished works of the author, Sharh*-e Du‘ā’-e Sah*ar, and Ādāb as-S*alāt, were recovered from the library of the late Āyatullāh Ākhūnd al-Hamedānī. All the three works have been published by the Institute. The English translation of the latter has also undergone its second edition. [Pub.]

[7] “So blessed be Allah, the Best of Creators!”Sūrah al-Mu’minūn 23:14.
Unless stated otherwise, all the Qur’anic quotations throughout this volume are based on Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall’s translation of the Glorious Qur’an. Pickthall’s translation as well as others such as those of ‘Abdullāh Yūsuf ‘Alī, Mīr Ahmad ‘Alī and Muhammad Shākir,

[8] “And man assumed it. Lo! He hath proved a tyrant and a fool.”Sūrah al-Ahzāb 33:72.

[9] Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-80): French philosopher, novelist, playwright, and exponent of existentialism. His writings reflect his vision of the human being as master of his or her own fate, with each life defined by a person’s actions: “Existence precedes essence.” His works include Being and Nothingness (1943); the novels Nausea (1938) and The Roads to Freedom, a trilogy (1945-49); and the plays The Flies (1943) and No Exit (1944). Sartre founded the review Les Temps Modernes in 1945. [Trans.]

[10] Jean-Paul Sartre, Existentialism va Isālat-e Bashar [Existentialism and Human Nature], trans. Must*afā Rahīmī (Tehran: Marvārīd, 1358 AHS), p. 24.

[11] A towering figure of the Illuminationist School of Islamic Philosophy and likewise known as Shaykh Ishrāq, Shahāb ad-Dīn Yahyā Suhrawardī, was born in Suhraward, near Zanjān, Iran in 1155. After studying in Isfahān, a leading center of Islamic scholarship, Suhrawardī traveled through Iran, Anatolia and Syria. Influenced by mystical teachings, he spent much time in meditation and seclusion, and in Halab (modern Aleppo) he favourably impressed its ruler, Malik az-Zāhir. His teachings, however, aroused the opposition of established and learned religious men [‘ulamā], who persuaded Malik to have him put to death. The appellation al-Maqt*ūl [the killed one] meant that he was not to be considered a shahīd [martyr].

Suhrawardī wrote voluminously. The more than 50 works that were attributed to him were classified into two categories: doctrinal and philosophical accounts containing commentaries on the works of Aristotle and Plato, as well as his contribution to the Illuminationist School; and shorter treatises, generally written in Persian and of an esoteric nature, meant to illustrate the paths and journeys of a mystic before he could achieve ma‘rifah (gnosis or esoteric knowledge). [Pub.]

[12] “.ﺍﻟﻧﻔﺲﻮﻣﺎﻔﻮﻗﻬﺎﺍﻧﻴﺎﺖﺼﺮﻔﻪ”

[13] Yathrīb: the former name of the town which after the migration [hijrah] of Prophet Muhammad (s) to it, was renamed Madīnah an-Nabī [City of the Prophet]. It is now briefly called Madīnah (Medina).

People of Yathrīb: It is in reference to the following verse in the Qur’an (Sūrah al-Ahzāb 33:13):
And when said a party of them: “O ye the people of Yathrīb! There is no place for you to stand, so return ye,” and a party of them asked permission of the Prophet saying: “Verily our houses are exposed (to destruction): they only intended to flee away.

The verse was revealed when a group of Muslims, misled by the defeatist rumors spread by the hypocrites, had suggested to the others to leave Islam and return to idolatry or to leave the ranks of the Muslims and go back to their homes. And some, under the pretext of taking care of their undefended homes, wanted to leave the ranks and go away to take shelter somewhere away from the battlefield, though their homes were not undefended. See Mīr Ahmad ‘Alī, p. 1251.[Trans.]

[14] Hāyūlā: the primary substance of creation. [Trans.]

[15] One of the most valuable schools of Islamic philosophy, the Illuminationist School combines Neoplatonic and Islamic ideas. According to this philosophy, the source of all things is Absolute Light. That which is visible requires no definition, and nothing is more visible than light, whose every nature consists in manifestation. We may distinguish two illuminations, i.e. modes of being of the Primal Light: 1) pure, abstract, formless; 2) accidental derivative, possessing form. Pure light is self-conscious substance (spirit or soul), knowing itself through itself ‘for whatever knows itself must be pure light’. Accidental light is related to pure light as effect to cause and only exists as attribute in association with the illuminated object.

Accidental light is of two kinds: a) dark substance; b) dark forms, i.e. quantities, and the combination of these two make up a material body. Since darkness is nothing but the absence of light, and light is identical with reality, the substance and forms of the universe consist of illumination diffused from Primal Light in infinite gradation of intensity. It follows that everything partakes of reality in proportion to the radiance which it receives and toward which it ever moves “with lover’s passion, in order to drink more and more of the original fountain of Light.” This perpetual flow and ebb of desire produces the revolutions of the heavenly spheres, the processes of nature, and all human activities. While the entire universe is eternal as emanating from Eternal Light, but contingent if regarded as the object of irradiation, some illuminations are simple, others compound and therefore inferior. The intelligences, the celestial spheres, the souls of the heavens, time, motion, and the archetypes of the elements belong to a higher world, which may be called eternal in contrast with all below it, though in the relation existing between them not posteriority but parallelism is implied. [Pub.]

[16] Imām Khomeinī, Ta‘līqāt ‘alā Sharh Fusūs al-Hikam wa Misbāh al-Uns (n.p.: Mu’assaseh-ye Pāsdār-e Islām, 1410 AH), p. 78.

[17] Barry L. Recce and Ronda Brandt, Human Relations: Principles and Practices (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1990), p. 54.

[18] Hakīm Abū’l-Qāsim Firdawsī (Ferdowsī) (940-1020): the greatest epic poet of Persia who wrote the Shāhnāmeh [The Epic of Kings], one of the world’s greatest literary masterpieces. [Pub.]

[19] Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 528.

[20] Ibid., p. 510.

[21] Ibid., 110.

[22] Nahj al-Balāghah, trans. Sayyid Ja‘far Shahīdī (Tehran: Intishārāt va Āmūzesh-e Inqilāb-e Islāmī, 1373 AHS), p. 297.

[23] Mawlāwī Jalāl ad-Dīn ar-Rūmī (1207-1273) was the greatest mystic poet in the Farsi language and founder of the Mawlawiyyah order of dervishes (“The Whirling Dervishes”). He is famous for his lyrics and for his didactic epic, Mathnawī-ye Ma‘nawī [Spiritual Couplets]. [Pub.]

[24] Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī [ar-Rūmī], Mathnawī-ye [Ma‘nawī] [Spiritual Couplets], ed. Muhammad Isti‘lāmī (Tehran: Zovār, 1372 AHS), vol. 6, p. 60.

Reynold A. Nicholson (ed. and trans.), The Mathnawī of Jalālu ’ddīn Rūmī (Tehran: So‘ād Publisher, 2002), Book Two under The man who planted a thornbrush on the road and delayed to uproot it, vol. 2, p. 131. [Trans.]

[25] Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, pp. 110-111.

[26] Mathnawī, vol. 2, p. 61.

Nicholson, Book Two under The man who planted a thornbrush on the road and delayed to uproot it, vol. 2, p. 133. [Trans.]

[27] Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 273.

[28] Erich Fromm (1900-1980): German-born US psychoanalyst. He combined the ideas of Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx for the analysis of human relationships and development in the context of social structures and for proposed solutions to the problems of the modern industrial world, such as alienation. His books include Escape from Freedom (1941), The Art of Loving (1956), and The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness (1973). [Trans.]

[29] Muqaddimāt Moroccan Magazine, issue no. 3 (1994), p. 25.

[30] Sūrah Luqmān 31:34.

[31] A Prophetic narration [hadīth]. See Muhammad Muhammadī Reyshahrī, Mīzān al-Hikmah (Qum: Dār al-Hadīth, 1375 AHS), vol. 1, p. 102.

[32] Sūrah al-A‘rāf 7:99.

[33] SÅ«rah YÅ«suf 12:87.

[34] The text of the hadīth is as follows:

بِسَنَدي المُتَّصِلِ إِلى مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ يَعْقُوبَ ثِقَةِ الإسْلامِ وَعِمَادِ المُسْلِمِينَ، عَنْ عِدَّةٍ مِنْ أَصْحَابِنَا، عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ، عَنْ عَلِيِّ بْنِ حَدِيدٍ، عَنْ مَنْصُورِ بْنِ يُونُسَ، عَنِ الحَارِثِ بْنِ المُغِيرَةِ أوْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ أَبِي عَبْدِاللهِ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ قَالَ: قُلْتُ لَهُ: مَا كَانَ فِي وَصِيَّةِ لُقْمَانَ؟ قَالَ: كَانَ فِيهَا الأعَاجِيبُ. وَكَانَ أَعْجَبَ ما كَانَ فِيهَا أَنْ قَالَ لإبْنِهِ: خَفِ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ خِيفَةً لَوْ جِئْتَهُ بِبِرِّ الثَّقَلَيْنِ لَعَذَّبَكَ. وَارْجُ اللهَ رَجَاءً لَوْ جِئْتَهُ بِذُنُوبِ الثَّقَلَيْنِ لَرَحِمَكَ. ثُمَّ قَالَ أَبُو عَبْدِاللهِ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: كَانَ أَبِي يَقُولُ: إِنَّهُ لَيْسَ مِنْ عَبْدٍ مُؤْمِنٍ إلا [و] فِي قَلْبِهِ نُورَانِ: نُورُ خِيفَةٍ وُنُورُ رَجَاءٍ، لَوْ وُزِنَ هَذَا لَمْ يَزَدْ عَلَى هَذَا وَلَوْ وُزِنَ هَذَا لَمْ يَزَدْ عَلَى هَذَا.

Thiqat al-Islām wa ‘Imād al-Muslimīn Muhammad ibn Ya‘qūb (al-Kulaynī): From a number of our companions, from Ahmad ibn Muhammad, from ‘Alī ibn Hadīd, from Mansūr ibn Yūnus, from al-Hārith ibn al-Mughīrah or his father, from Abū ‘Abd Allāh (Imām as-Sādiq) (‘a). Al-Hārith, or his father, says, “I asked him (‘a), ‘What was (mentioned) in the testament of Luqmān?’ ‘There were marvelous things in it’, he said, ‘and the most wonderful of that which he said to his son was this: “Have such a fear of God Almighty that were you to come to Him with the virtues of the two worlds [thaqalayn]He would still chastise you, and put such a hope in God that were you to come to Him with the sins of the two worlds He would still have compassion for you.” Then Abū ‘Abd Allāh (‘a) added: ‘My father used to say, “There is no believer who does not have two lights in his heart: the light of fear and the light of hope. Were one of these to be measured it would not exceed the other, and were the other one to be measured, it would not exceed this one.” Al-Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, ed. ‘Alī Akbar al-Ghifārī, 4th edition, Dār Mus‘ab Dār at-Ta‘āruf, Beirut, 1401 AH, vol. 2, hadīth 1, p. 67.

For a detailed mystical and ethical exposition of this hadīth,see Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, “Fourth Hadīth:Fear of God,” p. 221.

[35]Mīzān al-Hikmah, vol. 1, p. 726.

[36]Ibid.; Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 221.

[37]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 223.

[38]Ibid., p. 230.

[39]Sūrah al-Qiyāmah 75:14.

[40]Sūrah an-Nisā’ 4:49.

[41]SÅ«rah an-NÅ«r 24:21.

[42]Bal‘am ibn Bā‘ūr refers to the man at the time of Pharaoh who knew the Greatest Name of God [Ism al-A‘zam], through which anything and everything sought for is immediately granted by God and it is a very closed secret. Pharaoh urged him to pray that Moses might fall into his clutches. Bal‘am agreed and mounted a donkey but the animal would not move. However much he beat the poor donkey, the animal did not stir from its place at all. At last the animal raised its head toward heaven and cried in clear cut words, “Why do you beat me Bal‘am? O man, woe unto you! Do you want me to take you to curse an Apostle of God and the faithful ones with him? Yet, Bal‘am did not relent and beat the faithful animal to death, consequently causing himself to forget the Holy Name of God whereupon he became an infidel. See Ahmad ‘Alī’s commentary of Sūrah al-A‘rāf 7:175. [Trans.]

[43] Hadrat: The word Hadrat is used as a respectful form of address. [Trans.]

[44]Mathnawī, vol. 1, p. 157.

Nicholson, Book One under How Bal‘am son of Bā‘ūr prayed (to God), saying, “Cause Moses and his people to turn back, without having gained their desire, from this city which they have besieged”, vol. 1, p. 355. [Trans.]

[45]Fadīl ibn ‘Ayyād (Samarqand, circa 101-105 AH – Mecca, 187 AH): He heard ahādīth from Sulaymān at-Tamīmī, Muhammad ibn Ishāq, Imām as-Sādiq (‘a), Sufyān ath-Thawrī, and others. Fayd spent most of his life at the precinct of the House of God in Mecca and passed away in the month of Muharram in 187 AH in Mecca where he was buried. [Pub.]

For his life account, see Arthur J. Arberry, trans. Muslim Saints and Mystics: Episodes from the Tadhkirat al-Awliyā’ (Memorial of the Saints) by Farīd ad-Dīn ‘At*t*ār (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd., 1966), pp. 52-61. [Trans.]

[46]Sūrah al-Hadīd 57:16. [Trans.]

[47] Farīd ad-Dīn ‘At*t*ār Neyshārūrī, Tadhrikat al-Awliyā’, ed. Muhammad Isti’lāmī (Tehran: Ziwār, 1384), p. 90. See Arberry, p. 52. [Trans.]

[48] William James (1842-1910): US philosopher and psychologist, considered the originator of the docrine of pragmatism; brother of novelist Hendry James. His first major work was Principles of Psychology (1890). Turning his attention to religion, in 1902 he published The Varieties of Religious Experience, which has remained his best-known work. James’ pragmatism, which he called ‘radical empiricism,’ argued that the truth of any proposition rested on its outcome in experience, and not on any eternal principles. [Trans.]

[49] Quoted in George Land and Beth Jarmin, Āyandeh-ye Khalāqiyyat va Khalāqiyyat-e Āyandeh [The Future of Creativity and Creativity of the Future], trans. Hasan Qāsimzādeh (Tehran: Intishārāt Nāhīd, 1379 AHS), p. 245.

[50] Āyatullāh Mīrzā Muhammad ‘Alī Shāhābādī (1292-1362 AH): an outstanding jurist, mystic and philosopher of the 14th century AH who studied religious sciences at the Islamic theological centers of Isfahān, Tehran (in Iran) and Najaf (in Iraq). He was Imām Khomeinī’s teacher in irfān [mysticism] and akhlāq [ethics]. [Pub.]

[51]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 67.

[52] Muhammad ibn Murtadā (Kāshān, circa 1006-1090 AH) known as Mullā Muhsin Fayd Kāshānī was a philosopher and mystic of the Safavid era. He studied philosophy and mysticism with Mullā Sadrā in Isfahān. Among his important works are Abwāb al-Jinān, Tafsīr-e Sāfī, Kitāb-e Wāfī (dar Sharh-e Kāfī), Risāleh-ye Isrār, Sharh Sahīfah as-Sajjādiyyah, and a collection of poems with about 12 thousand couplets. [Pub.]

[53] Mullā Sadrā (d. 1050 AH/1640), also called Sadruddīn Shīrāzī and Sadr al-Muta’allihīn, was a philosopher who led the Iranian cultural renaissance in the 17th century. The foremost representative of Ishrāqī [Illuminationist] School of philosopher-mystics, he is commonly regarded by Iranians as the greatest philosopher of Iran. A scion of a notable Shīrāzī family, Mullā Sadrā completed his education in Isfahān, then the leading cultural and intellectual center of Iran. After his studies with scholars there, he produced several works, the most famous of which was his Asfār (Journeys). Asfār contains the bulk of his philosophy, which was influenced by a personal mysticism bordering on asceticism that he experienced during a 15-year retreat at Kahak, a village near Qum in Iran. Toward the end of his life, Mullā Sadrā returned to Shīrāz to teach. His teachings, however, were considered heretical by the orthodox Shī‘ah theologians, who persecuted him, though his powerful family connections permitted him to continue to write. He died on a pilgrimage to Mecca. [Pub.]
[54]Ibid., p. 456.

[55]Ibid., pp. 456-457.

[56] Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679): English political philosopher who sought to apply rational principles to the study of human nature. In Hobbes’ view, humans are materialistic and pessimistic, their actions motivated solely by self-interest, thus a state’s stability can only be guaranteed by a sovereign authority, to which citizens relinquish their rights. Leviathan (1651), his most celebrated work, expresses these views. [Trans.]
[57]Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-78): Swiss-born French writer, philosopher, and political theorist. Greatly influenced by Denis Diderot, Rousseau first gained fame from his essay Discourse on the Sciences and the Arts (1750), an attack on the arts as a source for the increased wealth of the rich and an instrument of propaganda. In his Discourse on Inequality (1755), he professed the equality and goodness of ‘natural man’ and asserted that the golden age of humanity occurred before the formation of society, which bred competition and the corrupting influences of property, commerce, science, and agriculture. The Social Contract (1762), influential during the French Revolution, claimed that when human beings formed a social contract to live in society, they delegated authority to a government; however, they retained sovereignty and the power to withdraw that authority when necessary. [Trans.]

[58] Richard Tock, Hobbes, trans. Husayn Bashariyyeh (Tehran: T*arh-e NÅ«, 1376 AHS), p. 90.

[59] Iain McLean, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), p. 222.

To know the context of the statement, see Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (Oxford: Blackwell, 1946), p. 81-83. [Trans.]

[60] Gerard Shumin, et al. Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. Qarārdād-e Ijtimā‘ī: Matn va Zamīneh-ye Matn [The Social Contract: Text and Context], trans. Murtadā Kalāntariān (Tehran: Āgāh, 1379 AHS), p. 84.

[61]Hobbes, p. 167.

[62] Book of Genesis is the first book of the Old Testament, in particular, and the Bible, in general, and the first of the so-called Five Books of Moses, Pentateuch. [Trans.]

[63] See Genesis 3:1-19 (i.e., chap. 3, verses 1-19).
[64]Job 15:16. In the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible, it is Job 15:15. [Trans.]

[65]Psalms 51:6. In the NIV it is Psalms 51:5. [Trans.]

[66]Romans 3:9-10. In the NIV it is Romans 3:9-11. [Trans.]

[67]Galatians 3:22.

[68]The Social Contract, p. 56.

[69]Ibid., footnote of p. 52.

Article 1 of the Declaration stipulates in full: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act toward one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” [Trans.]

[70]Ibid., p. 85.

[71]Goftar-hā-ye dar Bāb-e Mansha’-e ‘Adam-e Musāwāt [Discourses on the Origin of the Absence of Equality] as quoted in The Social Contract, p. 8.

[72]Ibid., p. 9.

[73]Ibid., p. 10.

[74] François-Marie Arouet Voltaire (1694-1778): French author, philosopher, and major figure of the Enlightenment. An enemy of the tyrants, he spent much of his life in exile, including 23 years at his property on the Swiss border. His Letters Concerning the English Nation (1733) extolled religious and political toleration and the ideas of Sir Isaac Newton and John Locke. The satire Candide (1759), a rational skeptic’s attack on the optimism of Gottfried von Leibniz, shows Voltaire’s astringement style at its best. A friend of Frederick II of Prussia, Voltaire contributed to Denis Diderot’s Encyclopedia and wrote his own Philosophical Dictionary (1764). [Trans.]

[75] Bertrand Russell, Tārīkh-e Falsafeh-ye Gharb [History of Western Philosophy], trans. Najaf Daryābandarī (Tehran: Kitāb-e Parvāz, 1373 AHS), pp. 944-945.

[76]Emile is the title of Rousseau’s didactic novel on education, which he published in 1762 together with The Social Contract,his magnum opus in political philosophy, on which he suggested that rather than imparting knowledge, education should build on a child’s natural interests and sympathies, gradually developing his or her potential. [Trans.]

[77]SÅ«rah al-Baqarah 2:30.

[78] See Sūrah al-Ahzāb 33:72.

[79]SÅ«rah al-Baqarah 2:30.

[80] For further information on the divine plan in man’s creation from the viewpoint of the Qur’an, see Mīr Ahmad ‘Alī, The Holy Qur’an: Text, Translation and Commentary (Elmhurst, New York: Tahrike Tarsile Qur’an, Inc., 1988), Sūrah al-Baqarah 2:30-39 commentary notes 40-50, pp. 66-94, accessible online at . [Trans.]

[81]Sūrah T&ā-Hā 20:121-122.

“Adam (‘a) was accommodated in the earthly paradise, i.e. in some fertile region on earth with the natural resources of the basic requirements of life and its enjoyment. Had Adam been contented with it, he would have remained there with his issues without being worried for his living, but it was not the purpose of his creation. Adam was endowed with infinite potentiality for progress and rise toward the ultimate. Ambition was latent in his nature, unstimulated. On the other hand, the angels thought themselves as superior to Adam, and Satan too. All the three groups had to be put to test to express their latent attitudes. The order or the command of God acted as a stimulus and each group reacted to it, according to its native tendencies. The angels realized their worth and value and submitted with the due response whereas the furious and the fiery temperament of the satanic character in the angelic garb of the Satan, was exposed. Adam had no idea of the consequences of approaching the Prohibited Tree and had no desire to approach it but there was the ambition in him to march toward the glorious state of the beings with whose holy names he was acquainted. He was happy in the primitive paradise and was not alive to his nakedness as his ambition was not yet stirred. It was the command of God that acted as the stirring factor and it was a nāh-e tahrīsī, i.e. a stimulating warning in the sense to say: ‘Behold: If thou want not worries approach not this tree, lest thou beareth the consequences.’ On the other hand, Satan with his underestimation of Adam as an earthly and passive being with ease and comfort, which caused his fall, thought that he would be able to beguile Adam and wreak vengeance on him and his children. Thus the situation made the two groups to face each other and be prepared for a new development in the transformation of the natural struggle for life into a moral warfare between good and evil or the right and the wrong, de facto and de jure.

“The Prohibited Tree was the one, the approach of which was the start of the new warfare…

“Satan could not bear Adam’s living in comfort and ease and was also helpless to do any harm to Adam without stirring the ambition in Adam, but Adam being cautious due to the warning he had received, Satan had no direct approach to him. Nothing could stir the latent ambition in Adam except through the social instinct of attachment to his other sex (i.e. Eve). It is through the sex medium that man steps out of his individuality into social life and starts feeling wants and develops desire after desire. It was through this medium (Eve) that Satan approached Adam. Both Adam and Eve felt their nakedness and their needs and thus their worries began. Thus Satan drove Adam and Eve out of the state of ease and comfort. Adam felt sorry for the loss, and his ambition began to develop itself. The return to the previous state was impossible because the ease and comfort in that state was due to the absence of the awakening to their nakedness and their need. A child whose social sense has not yet developed does not feel ashamed if it is naked and once the sense is developed the same condition would worry him, and the worry will not be over in him until he covers himself. After the development of the sense it would not be possible for him to remain naked and be happy. The same was to Adam and Eve when they felt their nakedness as they approached the forbidden tree and the social sense was awakened in them. They felt their helplessness as it was not possible for them to remain naked as before and be happy and feel comfortable.

“To regain the happiness, they had to turn toward God through the holy names whose potentiality they carried in them. Driven out of the lower (earthly) paradise the happiness cannot be recovered unless one qualifies for the heavenly paradise by putting all his faculties and the latent energies into work with harmony and moderation under the divine guidance.

“Thus the history of Adam, Eve, the angels, and Satan is a psychological presentation of a new development on earth along with the advent of the first man (Adam). It shows the turning point in the history of the natural development. The natural process of life is to give room for the conventional way of life. Reasoning begins to modify the instincts. The living beings developed up to the fall of Adam, were reacting to the call and the requirements, by their individual instincts to gain the objects of the animal senses and to defend themselves against the forces detrimental to their sensual interest, as the life for them had no other meaning. Adam was ordained to give a new significance to the life on the earth and that was not possible if he would not have fallen out of the Paradise wherein the object of his life as the Holy Qur’an represents was not more than mere eating and enjoying the sensual pleasures. Tempted by Satan, Adam gave up the contentment and his ambition for the higher state was stirred. He desired for the eternal life of heavenly nature, hence the change in the object of life. The immediate objects of the human senses yielded to the distant ones of the human intellect which could not be achieved but through strife, labor and toil. This is the significance of the fall, i.e. the fall from the ease and the comfort of the animal life in the sensual paradise with the desire to gain ease and comfort of the higher order through strife and labor, which means the sense of duty and stepping out of what it is, into what it ought to be, which is the first sense of the moral imperative of the conscience—what should be done and what should not be done. Here, Adam enters into the realm of responsibility. The life now is no more mere meeting the demands of the animal senses but to control the demands and modify them harmoniously, to achieve the higher objects of dominating the higher regions and effecting the expansion of life through space and time. Remoter the object, greater would be the effect and the responsibility, but so long as the object remains within the limitations of time and space the value of life will not be much better than that of the animals. The human life shall have its value distinct from the animal life, if the object be beyond all limitations, i.e. the Ultimate (God). To have this object in the focus of the human consciousness, special guidance from the Absolute is the need.

“Adam with the potentiality he carried and with the names he was acquainted with, stepped out of the Paradise with a clean and a repentant heart and shouldering the responsibility, turned toward the Lord. Hence he was blessed with the guiding revelations. Thus the life of man starts on the earth, clean, pure, blessed, and divinely guided on the path to the Ultimate. With this lofty object in view, if man puts all his senses and the faculties into functions, with which he is endowed and the divine guidance, he is on the right path and will be termed as the blessed one. His desires in the form of greed, lust, hatred, anger, harshness, etc. will be modified and then become subordinate to the intellect guided by the divine inspiration, will be termed as excellence and good. On the contrary, if the object be anything other than God, the same qualities become condemnable and termed as base, evil and mean.

“This interpretation of the history of Adam presented by the Holy Qur’an discards the Christian theory of the fall of Adam as an evil and the original sin, and the dark aspect of the human life, and it also discards the view of Adam being a sinner. The Holy Qur’an has used the word asa and ghawa regarding Adam’s approaching the tree yet taking into consideration that the prohibition was given when Adam was in the Paradise, i.e. before his shouldering the responsibility and the order was not imperative or prohibitive as already stated, and after shouldering the responsibility he is not accused of any disobedience or committing any sin. Hence Adam came on the earth as the Vicegerent of God, sinless, following nothing but the divine guidance as the tradition says: ‘Every human child is born with the nature (of Adam’s origin) [fit*rah]; verily it is the parents (i.e., the environment) that turn it into a Jew, a Christian or Magian’.” Mīr Ahmad ‘Alī, The Holy Qur’an, 80, 82, 84. [Trans.]

[82] Sigmund Freud (1856-1939): Austrian neurologist, author, psychiatrist, and founder of almost all the basic concepts of psychoanalysis. He graduated with an MD from the University of Vienna in 1881, and for some months in 1885 he studied under JM Charcot, whose work in hysteria converted Freud to the cause of psychiatry. Dissatisfied with hypnosis and electrotheraphy as treatment techniques, he evolved the psychoanalytic method, founded on dream analysis and free association. Because of his belief that sexual impulses lay at the heart of neuroses, he was reviled professionally for a decade, but by 1906 disciples like Alfred Adler and Carl Gustav Jung were gathering around him (both were later to break away from the International Psychoanalytic Association, dissenting with Freud’s views on infantile sexuality). For some 30 years he worked to establish the truth of his theories, and these years were especially fruitful. Fleeing Nazi anti-Semitism, he left Vienna for London in 1938 and there spent the last year of his life. [Trans.]

[83]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 168.


[85]‘Allāmah Sayyid Muhammad Husayn T+abāt*abā’ī (1904-81) was the Islamic scholar, thinker and philosopher best known for his 20-volume exegesis of the Qur’an, Al-Mīzān fī Tafsīr al-Qur’ān. For his short biography, see Foreword of Al-Mīzān: An Exegesis of the Qur’an, trans. Sayyid Saeed Akhtar Rizvi (Tehran: World Organization for Islamic Services, 1983), pp. xxi-xxiv. [Trans.]

[85] Professor Āyatullāh Murtadā Mut*ahharī (1298-1358 AHS) was born on Bahman 13, 1298 AHS in the village of Fariman near Mashhad into a family of clergymen. At the age of 12, he went to Mashhad where he learned the basics of Islamic sciences and then moved to Qum where he attended the class sessions conducted by the great authorities of the theological center. From 1319 AHS Mut*ahharī had taken part in the sessions led by Imām Khomeinī and other famous teachers of the time. Moreover, he himself conducted lessons in subjects like Arabic literature, logic, kalām [scholasticism], jurisprudence, and philosophy. In 1331 AHS Mut*ahhari was transferred from Qum to Tehran and in 1334 AHS he was invited to teach Islamic sciences at the Faculty of Islamic Sciences, Tehran University. He was arrested on the midnight of Khordād 15, 1342 AHS and spent 43 days in prison. After Imām Khomeini’s migration to Paris in France, Mut*ahharī went to meet him and His Eminence assigned him the responsibility of organizing the Revolutionary Council. On the night of Ordībehesht 11, 1358 AHS (May 2, 1979) Mut*ahharī was martyred by an agent of the Furqān terrorist group. He wrote more than 50 books and tens of articles, and delivered scores of speeches. Imām Khomeinī said of Mut*ahharī: “His written and spoken words are, without exception, educational and enlivening… I recommend the students and intellectual group not to let Mut*ahharī’s words be forgotten by un-Islamic tricks…” [Trans.]

[87]SÅ«rah ar-RÅ«m 30:30.

[88] See Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 179.

[89]Ibid., p. 180.

[90]Ibid., p. 182.

[91]Ibid., p. 183.

[92]Ibid., p. 168.

[93]Ibid., p. 625. For further familiarity with Imām Khomeinī’s views on this issue, refer to Sharh-e Hadīth-e Junūd-e ‘Aql va Jahl.

[94] SÅ«rah al-Hijr 15:28-29.

[95]Tafsīl Wasā’il ash-Shī‘ah ilā Tahsīl Masā’il ash-Sharī‘ah, vol. 2, p. 447.

[96]Mathnawī, vol. 4, Book Four, p. 77.

Nicholson, Book Four, vol. 4, p. 171. [Trans.]

[97]Ibid., p. 79.

Nicholson, Book Four under The battle of the reason against the flesh, vol. 4, p. 177. [Trans.]

[98] “Literally, ‘take lessons from’.” Nicholson, Book Four, under The poet and the two viziers, vol. 4, footnote 3, p. 137. [Trans.]

[99]Ibid., p. 79. For information on the ahādīth pertaining to this couplet, see Badī‘ az-Zamān Furūzānfar, Ahādīth va Qisās-e Mathnavī, com. Husayn Dāwūdī (Tehran: Amīr Kabīr, 1376 AHS), p. 365.

Nicholson, Book Four, under The poet and the two viziers, vol. 4, p. 137. [Trans.]

[100] “Literally, ‘to adopt companionship apart from thee’.” Nicholson, Book Four, under the battle of the reason against the flesh, vol. 4, footnote 2, p. 175. [Trans.]

[101]Ibid., p. 79.

Nicholson, Book Four, under The battle of the reason against the flesh,vol. 4, p. 175. [Trans.]

[102] Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965): German physician, theologian, missionary, musician, and philosopher. He abandoned an academic career in theology to study medicine and became a missionary doctor (1913) in French Equatorial Africa (now Gabon). He devoted his life to the hospital he founded there. His many writings include The Quest of the Historical Jesus (1906), and The Decay and Restoration of Civilization and Civilization and Ethics (1923), the first two volumes of his Philosophy of Civilization. Schweitzer won the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for his inspiring humanitarian work. [Trans.]

[103]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 5.

[104]Farīdūn Mashīrī: a contemporary Iranian poet. [Pub.]

[105] Farīdūn Mashīrī, Zībā-ye Jāvidāneh (Tehran: Sukhan, 1376 AHS), pp. 311-313.

[106]Existentialism va Isālat-e Bashar [Existentialism and Human Nature], p. 25.

[107]House of water and flower: the physical body of the human being. [Trans.]

[108] Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī, Guzīdeh-ye Ghazaliyāt-e Shams, comp. Muhammad-Ridā Shafī‘ī Kadkanī (Tehran: Kitābha-ye Jībī, 1374 AHS), p. 271.

[109]Sūrah al-Insān 76:2-3.

[110]SÅ«rah al-Balad 90:8-10.

[111] See Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 401.

[112]Sūrah al-An‘ām 6:148.

[113]Sūrah al-An‘ām 6:35.

[114]Sūrah al-Mā’idah 5:48.

[115]Mathnawī, vol. 1, p. 37.

Nicholson, Book One under How the disciples raised objections against the vizier’s secluding himself, vol. 1, p. 71. [Trans.]

[116]Ibid., vol. 5, p. 149.

Nicholson, Book Five under Another story in answer to the Necessitarian, vol. 5, p. 367. [Trans.]

[117] Written by Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616), a Spanish novelist, dramatist and poet, Don Quixote is the story of Alonso Quixano, a country gentleman, whose crazed mind leads him to change his name to Don Quixote de la Mancha and to go forth to right the world’s wrongs. Cervantes’ reputation as one of the world’s greatest writers rests almost entirely on this most famous work of his. [Trans.]

[118] “Reading ﻓﻀﻞ.” Nicholson, Book Three, vol. 3, footnote 3, p. 293. [Trans.]

[119] “That is, the science of jurisprudence [fiqh].” Nicholson, Book Three, vol. 4, footnote 3, p. 293. [Trans.]
[120] “‘The religion of old woman’ is synonymous with ignorance and superstition.” Nicholson, Book Three, vol. 3, footnote 5, p. 293. [Trans.]

[121]Ibid., vol. 3, p. 125.

Nicholson, Book Three under Explaining (what is signified by) the far-sighted blind man, the deaf man who is sharp of hearing, and the naked man with the long skirts, vol. 3, pp. 293, 295. [Trans.]

[122] Existentialism: 20th century philosophical current that stresses political responsibility and the relation of the individual to the universe or to God. In general, existentialists emphasize the fear and despair that isolated individuals feel. [Trans.]

[123]Sّren Aabye Kierkegaard (1813-55): Danish religious philosopher and precursor of existentialism. Opposing GWF Hegel, he emphasized that one has a free will and can pass from the aesthetic (or material) to the ethical point of view and finally, through ‘a leap of faith,’ to the religious. Ignored in the 19th century, he has influenced 20th century Protestant theology and modern literature and psychology. His main works are Either/Or (1843), Fear and Trembling (1843), and Philosophical Fragments (1844). [Trans.]

[124] This discussion is extracted from the lectures of Prof. Must*afā Malikiān in The History of Western Philosophy, vol. 4, pp. 111-112. For further information on the philosophy of existentialism and its rudimentary teachings, refer to vol. 4, pp. 29-189 of the book, which is a versatile and precise introduction to philosophy.

[125]Mathnawī, vol. 3, p. 94.

Nicholson, Book Three under Return to the story of Daqūqī, vol. 3, p. 215. [Trans.]

[126]The History of Western Philosophy, vol. 4, p. 22.

[127]Loc. cit.

[128] Muhammad Muhammadī Reyshahrī, Mīzān al-Hikmah (Qum: Dār al-Hadīth, 1375 AHS), vol. 3, p. 1876.

[129]Loc. cit.

[130]Loc. cit.


[132] See loc. cit.

[133]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 7.

[134]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 63.

[135]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 95.

[136]Golestān-e Sa‘dī, ed. Ghulām-Husayn Yūsufī (Tehran: Khwārazmī, 1374 AHS), p. 117.

Shaykh Muslihuddīn Sa‘dī ash-Shīrāzī, The Gulistan or Rose Garden, trans. Francis Gladwin (London: Alhoda, 2000), chap. 3, On Excellence of Contentment, Tale xxii,p. 197. The whole tale is as follows:

I saw a merchant who possessed one hundred and fifty camels laden with merchandize, and fifty slaves and servants. One night, in the island of Kīsh, he entertained me in his own apartment, and during the whole night did not cease talking foolishly, saying, “I have such and such property in Turkistan, and such goods in Hindustan; these are the title-deeds of such a piece of land, and for this matter, such one is security.” Sometimes he would say, “I have an indication to go to Alexandria, the air of which is very pleasant.” Then again, “No, I will not go, because the Mediterranean Sea is boisterous. O Sa‘dī, I have another journey in contemplation, and after I have performed that, I will pass the remainder of my life in retirement, and leave off trading.” I asked what journey it was. He replied, “I want to carry Persian brimstone to China, where I heard it bears a very high price; from thence I will transport chinaware to Greece; and take the brocades of Greece to India’ and Indian steel to Aleppo; the glassware of Aleppo, I will convey to Yemen, and from thence go with stripped cloths to Persia; after which I will leave off trade, and sit down in my shop.” He spoke so much of this foolishness that at length, being quite exhausted, he said, “O Sa‘dī, relate also of something of what you have seen and heard.” I replied:

“Have you not heard that once upon a time, a chief, as he was traveling in the desert of Ghūr, fell from his camel? He said that the covetous eye of the worldly man is either satisfied through contentment, or will be filled with the earth of the grave.” Ibid., pp. 196-197.[Trans.]

[137] “.انّ الحرّ حرّ على جميع احواله” Usūl al-Kāfī, vol. 2, p. 89. [Pub.]

[138]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 257.

[139]Ibid., p. 379.

[140]Ibid., p. 380.

[141] Muhammad ibn Ya‘qūb al-Kulaynī, Furū‘ al-Kāfī, vol. 5, p. 12. For information on the references of this hadīth and its Sunnī narrations, see Ahādīth wa Qisas Mathnawī, p. 63

[142]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 6.

[143]Loc. cit.

[144]Mathnawī, vol. 1, p. 71.

Nicholson, Book One under The jihād against the flesh, vol. 1, p. 149. [Trans.]

[145]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, pp. 12-13.

[146] For information about this claim and its spuriousness, see Guzīdeh-e Ghazaliāt-e Shams, footnote of page 578.
[147]Loc. cit.

[148] Khwājah Shams ad-Dīn Muhammad Hāfiz Shīrāzī (ca. 1325-1391) was the fourteenth century Persian lyric bard and panegyrist, and commonly considered as the preeminent master of the ghazal form. [Pub.]

[149] Sāyeh, Hāfiz (Tehran: Kārnāmeh, 1376 AHS), p. 113.

[150] Jainism: a religion and philosophy of India. Along with Hinduism and Buddhism, it is one of the three most ancient of India’s religious traditions still in existence. The name Jainism derives from the Sanskrit verb root ji, ‘to conquer.’ It refers to the ascetic battle that the Jaina monks must fight against the passions and bodily senses in order to gain omniscience and the complete purity of soul that represents the highest religious goal in the Jaina system. The monk-ascetic who achieves this omniscience and purity is called a Jina (literally, ‘Conqueror’ or ‘Victor’), and adherents to the tradition are called Jainas or Jains. Although Jainism has a much smaller number of adherents than do Hinduism and Sikhism, its influence on India’s culture has been considerable, including significant contribution in philosophy and logic, art and architechture, grammar, mathematics, astronomy and astrology, and literature.

For an introductory survey of Jainism, see Hermann Jacobi, “Jainism,” in Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics (1928) vol. 7, pp. 465-474 and Colette Caillat, “Jainism,” in The Encyclopedia of Religion, ed. Mircea Eliade (1987) vol. 7, pp. 507-514.[Trans.]

[151] Mahavira: literally means ‘Great Hero’ is the title labeled to Vardhamana to whom the origin of Jainism in the 6th century BC is attributed. Mahavira was the 24th and last Tirthankara (literally, ‘Ford-maker’) of the current age (kalpa) of the world. (Tirthankaras, also called Jinas, are revealers of the Jaina religious path [dharma] who have crossed over life’s stream of rebirths and have set the example that all Jainas must follow.) Mahavira was a contemporary of Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha) and was born in the same area, the lower Gangetic Plain in India. Although Mahavira was a historical figure, all of the accounts of his life are legendary and serve the ritual life of the Jaina community better than they do the historian. However, a little of the historical circumstances of Mahavira and the early Jaina community can be pieced together from a variety of sources.

Mahavira, like the Buddha, was the son of a chieftain of the Kshatriya (military or ruling) class. At age 30 he renounced his princely status to take up the ascetic life. It is likely that he pursued the discipline of a preestablished ascetic tradition and had a reforming influence on it. His acknowledged status as the 24th Tirthankara (or Jina) means that Jainas perceive him as the last revealer in this cosmic age of the Jaina dharma. Mahavira had 11 disciples (called ganadharas), all of whom were Brahman converts to Jainism; all founded monstic lineages, but only two—Indrabhuti Gautama and Sudharman, the disciples who survived Mahavira—served as the points of origin for the historical Jaina monastic community. [Trans.]

[152] For familiarity with these sects, see Dāryūsh Shāyigān, Adyān va Maktabhā-ye Falsafeh-ye Hind [Religions and Philosophical Schools of India] (Tehran: Amīr Kabīr, 1375 AHS).

[153] Bābā T&āhir: An Iranian poet and mystic of the mid-5th century AH. [Trans.]

[154] Sa‘dī: Shaykh Muslīh ad-Dīn Sa‘dī (1184-1283) was one of the greatest Persian poets. Born in Shiraz, he studied Sufi mysticism at the Nizāmiyyah madrasah at Baghdad, with Shaykh ‘Abdul-Qādir al-Jīlānī and with Shihāb ad-Dīn Suhrawardī. He made the pilgrimage to Mecca many times and traveled to Central Asia, India, the Seljuq territories in Anatolia, Syria, Egypt, Arabia, Yemen, Abyssinia, and Morocco. His best known works are Būstān [Garden] and Golestān [Rose-Garden], also known as Sa‘dī Nāmeh. The former is a collection of poems on ethical subjects, the latter a collection of moral stories in prose. Sa‘dī is also renowned for his lyric poetry and his panegyrics (written works of praise), composed in both Persian and Arabic. His influence on Persian, Turkish and Indian literatures has been very considerable, and his works were often translated into European languages from the 17th century onward. [Trans.]

[155]Golestān, p. 142.

Gladwin, chap. 4, On the Advantages of Taciturnity, Tale xxii, p. 197. [Trans.]

[156]Ibid., p. 104.

[157]Mīzān al-Hikmah, vol. 2, p. 1122.

[158]Loc. cit.

[159] Wearing a woolen garment signifies leading a life in seclusion usually associated with asceticism, self-mortification and the like. [Trans.]

[160]Nahj al-Balāghah, Sermon 209.

[161]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 6.

[162]Sūrah al-Anbiyā’ 21:16.

[163] See SÅ«rah al-Mulk 67:4.

[164]Sūrah Āli-Imrān 3:191.

[165] Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler, Hunar-e Shādmāndegī [The Art of Happiness], trans. Muhammad-‘Alī Hamīd Rafī‘ī (Tehran: Kitābsārā-ye Tandīs, 1379 AHS), pp. 249-250.

The book, The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living (New York: Riverhead Books, 1998), hardcover, 322 pages, is based on conversations between the Dalai Lama and Dr. Howard Cutler, a Diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, in which the latter endeavors to frame the former’s teachings, stories, and meditations in such a way that makes it interesting for even non-Buddhists. Exploring topics such as intimacy, compassion, suffering, anger, kindness, hatred, and change, the Dalai Lama makes clear that real happiness depends on transforming our deepest attitudes, the very way we look at, and deal with, ourselves and others. [Trans.]

[166] See Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, pp. 133-143.

[167]SÅ«rah al-Fath 48:29.

[168]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, pp. 134-135.

[169]Bihār al-Anwār, vol. 8, p. 170. [Pub.]

[170]Mathnawī, vol. 5 (Book Five), p. 32.

Nicholson, Book Five under “No Monkery in Islam”, vol. 5,p. 71. [Trans.]

[171]Ibid., vol. 6 (Book Six), p. 32.

Nicholson, Book Six under The Fowler and the Bird,vol. 6, p. 59. [Trans.]

[172]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 16.

[173]Sūrah Qāf 50:30. [Trans.]

[174] Qārūn (Korah): one of those who had believed in the ministry of Prophet Moses (‘a) but when God tested him with the abundance of wealth, he was proved to be a disbeliever. See Sūrah al-Qasas 28:76, 79; Sūrah al-‘Ankabūt 29:39; Sūrah al-Ghāfir 40:24. [Trans.]

[175]Hunar-e Shādmāndegī [The Art of Happiness], pp. 21-22.

[176]Ibid., p. 25.

[177]Mathnawī, vol. 1 (Book One), p. 10.

Nicholson, Book One under Proem, vol. 1, p. 7. [Trans.]

[178]Mīzān al-Hikmah, vol. 3, p. 2639.

[179]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 19.

[180] Loc. cit.

[181] Abū ‘Alī Hasan Muhammad Mīkāl: known as Hosang, a pious and intellectual person. He was appointed as vizier by Sult*ān Mahmūd, the 3rd most powerful Ghaznavid king. [Pub.]

[182]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 16.

[183]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, pp. 19-20.

[184]“Hast thou seen him who chooseth for his god his own lust?”Sūrah al-Furqān 25: 43.

[185]Tadhkirat’ ul-Awliyā’: a book written in Persian by ‘At*t*ār Neyshābūrī concerning the life story of 92 saints [awliyā’] and Sufi shaykhs along with their moral excellences and wise sayings. An abridged English version of the book is translated by Arthur J. Arberry, Muslim Saints and Mystics (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd., 1966). [Trans.]

[186]Abū Sa‘īd Hasan Yasār al-Basrī (21-110 AH): one of the notable jurists and ascetics at the time of Hajjāj ibn Yūsuf and ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul-‘Azīz. For his life account, see Arberry, Muslims Saints and Mystics,pp. 19-25. [Trans.]

[187] Farīd ad-Dīn ‘At*t*ār Neyshābūrī, Tadhkirat’ ul-Awliyā’, Ed. Muhammad Isti‘lāmī (Tehran: Zovār, 1384 AHS), p. 46.

[188]Loc. cit.

[189]Ibid., p. 317. For the life account of Sahl ibn ‘Abdullāh at-Tustarī, see Arberry, Muslims Saints and Mystics,pp. 153-160. [Trans.]

[190] Abū Sulaymān ibn Nusayr Dāwūd at*-Tā’ī was a famous ascetic [zāhid], jurist [faqīh] and scholar of the sciences of hadīth [muhaddith] during the 2nd century AH. For his life account, see Arberry, Muslims Saints and Mystics,pp. 138-142. [Trans.]

[191] Tadhkirat’ ul-Awliyā’, p. 262.

[192]Ibid., p. 264.

[193] [193]Ibid., p. 266.

[194] Hujjat al-Islām Abū H+āmid Muh$ammad ibn Ghazzālī at-Tūsī was born in Iran in 1058 at Tūs, Khorāsān, where he died in 1111. Al-Ghazzālī is recognized by many as a great theologian of Islam and the final authority for Sunnī orthodoxy. Starting his religious life as orthodox, al- Ghazzālī soon turned to Sufism. He spent many years roaming from place to place before eventually going to Baghdad to preach and teach. It was there that he composed what many see as his masterpiece, Ih$yā’ ‘Ulūm ad-Dīn [The Revivification of the Sciences of Religion]. His other well-known works include: Fātih$at al-‘Ulūm; Tahāfut al-Falāsifah; Al-Iqtis,ād fī’l-I‘tiqād and Kīmyā-ye Sa‘ādat [The Alchemy of Happiness] which is Ih$yā’ ‘Ulūm ad-Dīn re-presented on a smaller scale for Persian readers. Al-Ghazzālī was, however, among a number of classical Sunnī authorities who attempted to legitimize both the hereditary caliphate and the usurpation of power by military dynasties, by means of their political theories. The influence of these theories has far outlived the circumstances that produced them and it continues to affect the political attitudes of Sunnī Muslims, although it is now diminishing. [Trans.]

[195] The abbreviation, “r” stands for the Arabic invocative phrase, rahmatullāh ‘alayh, rahmatullāh ‘alayhā, rahmatullāh ‘alayhim [may God’s mercy be upon him//her/them], which is used after the names of pious individuals. [Pub.]

[196] Abū Hāmid Muhammad al-Ghazzālī, Kīmyā-ye Sa‘ādat [The Alchemy of Happiness], ed. Husayn Khadyūjam (Tehran: Intishārāt-e ‘Ilmī va Farhangī, 1374 AHS), vol. 1, p. 434.

[197]Ibid., p. 435.

[198]Loc. cit.

[199]Ibid., pp. 442-443.

[200]Ibid., p. 445.

[201] ‘Abdul-Karīm Surūsh, Qisseh-ye Arbāb-e Ma‘rifat (Tehran: Intishārāt-e Sirāt*, 1373 AHS), p. 368.

[202] On the correlation between enjoining what is good [and forbidding what is wrong, on one hand,] and accountability, [on the other hand,] see Sayyid Hasan Islāmī, Amr beh Ma‘rūf va Nahy-e az Munkar (Qum: Khurram, 1375 AHS).

[203]Usūl al-Kāfī, vol. 2, p. 164.

It is to be noted that this hadīth is universally accepted by Muslims and are quoted by the followers of the different Islamic schools of thought. [Trans.]

[204]Sahīfeh-ye Imām, vol. 18, p. 40.

[205] Mīrzā Husayn Nūrī T&abarsī, Mustadrak al-Wasā’il wa Mustanbit* al-Masā’il (Qum: Mu‘assasah Āli al-Bayt (‘a) Li-Ihyā at-Turāth, 1408 AH), vol. 12, p. 183.

[206] Concerning this hadīth and Imām Khomeinī’s discussion of it, see Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 559.

[207]Sahīfeh-ye Imām, vol. 18, p. 314.

[208]Ibid., vol. 17, p. 41.

[209]Ibid., p. 42.

[210]Nahj al-Balāghah, Maxim 131.
[211]Sūrah al-Hadīd 57:20.

[212] For instance, see Sūrah al-An‘ām 6:32; Sūrah al-‘Ankabūt 29:64; Sūrah Muhammad 47:36.

[213]Nahj al-Balāghah, Maxim 77.

[214]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 120.

[215]Loc. cit.

[216]Ibid., pp. 120-121.

[217]Sūrah al-Isrā’ 17:72.
[218]Nahj al-Balāghah, Maxim 303.

[219]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 122.

[220]Nahj al-Balāghah, Sermon 133.

[221]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 121.

[222]Usūl al-Kāfī, vol. 2, p. 315.

[223]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 124-125, 127-128.

[224]SÅ«rah ar-RÅ«m 30:7.

[225] “. ï»£ï»¦ï»»ï»£ï»ŒïºŽïºµï» ï»ªØŒï»»ï»£ï»ŒïºŽïºªï» ï»ªâ€ [Trans.]

[226] It refers to the Prophetic saying, “.نعمالمالالصالحللرجلالصالح ” Ahādīth wa Qisas Mathnawī [Hadīths and the Story of Mathnawī], p. 49.

[227]Mathnawī, Book One, vol. 1, p. 53.
Nicholson, Book One, under How the lion again declared exertion to be superior to trust in God and expounded the advantages of exertion, vol. 1, p. 107. [Trans.]

[228] It refers to the followers of the Mani cult. The cult of Mani consists of the teachings of Mani, which had emerged as a form of creed and religion during the Sassanid period in Iran. [Pub.]
[229] Paulo Cuello, Kūh-e Panjom [The Fifth Mountain], trans. Del-Ārā Qahremān (Tehran: Nashr-e Alborz, 1377 AHS), p. 80.

[230] The other points of the Four Noble Truths are as follows: The cause of suffering is wrongly directed desire; removal of the desire is the way of removing the cause of suffering; and that the Noble Eightfold Path leads to the end of suffering. [Trans.]

[331] Its refers to the Noble Eightfold Path, which consists of (1) right understanding, (2) right thought, (3) right speech, (4) right action, (5) right means of livelihood, (6) right effort, (7) right concentration, and (8) right meditation. [Trans.]

[332] See Sūrah Sād 38:41-44.

[233]Kitāb-e Ayyūb dar Majmū‘eh-ye Kutub-e Tārīkhī va Hikmat [“The Book of Job,” in Collection of Books on History and Wisdom], translation under the supervision of Saru Khacheki, p. 798.

Book of Job 1:1-2. [Trans.]

[234]Loc. cit.

[235]Loc. cit.

[236] This issue has been discussed in the books of philosophy and scholasticism [kalām] under the issue of shurūr [evils, or bad things or happenings]. One of the best books on this topic written in Persian language is the book entitled, ‘Adl-e Ilāhī [Divine Justice] by the late Prof. Āyatullāh Murtadā Mut*ahharī. In that book, he examines the largely technical subjects in a non-technical and attractive manner. Besides, for information on the new approaches on this issue, see Michael Peterson, [et al.], ‘Aql va I‘tiqād-e Dīnī: Darāmadī bar Falsafeh-ye Dīn [Reason and Religious Belief: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion], trans. Ahmad Narāqī and Ibrāhīm Sult*ānī (Tehran: T&arh-e Nū, 1376 AHS), pp. 175-213.

[237]“And of knowledge ye have been vouchsafed but little.” Sūrah al-Isrā’ 17:85.

[239] Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82): US philosophical essayist, poet, and lecturer. He resigned a Unitarian pastorate (1831) and, after traveling in Europe, settled in Concord, Mass. His Nature (1836) was the strongest motivating statement of US transcendentalism. After 1837 he became nationally renowned as a public speaker and after 1842 as editor of the transcendentalist journal, The Dial. He later adjusted his idealistic view of the individual, expressed in essays and addresses like “The American Scholar” and “Self-Reliance,” to accommodate the US experience of humanity’s historical and political limitations, especially over the issue of slavery. [Trans.]

[239] Tuchihiko Izutsu, Mafāhīm-e Akhlāqī-Dīnī dar Qur’an [Ethical-Religious Concepts in the Qur’an], trans. Farīdūn Badreh’ī (Tehran: Farzān, 1378 AHS), pp. 14-15.

[240]Mathnawī, Book Four, vol. 4, pp. 11-12.

Nicholson, Book Four, under Conclusion of the story of the lover who fled from the night-patrol into an orchard unknown to him, and for joy at finding his beloved in the orchard called down blessings on the night-patrol and said, ‘It may be that you loathe a thing although it is better for you,vol. 4, p. 13. [Trans.]

[241]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 120.

[242] “.ï» ï»®ï»»ïºï» ïº—ï»€ïºŽïºªØŒ ï» ï»£ïºŽ ﺼﺢ ïºªï»®ïºï»¢ïºï» ï»”ï»´ïº¾ ﻋﻦﻣﺒﺪﺃ ïºï» ïº ï»®ïºïºª ” [Trans.]

[243]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 643.

[244]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 643-644.

[245]Mathnawī, Book Six, vol. 6, pp. 10-11.

Nicholson, Book Six, under Proem,vol. 6, pp. 7-9. [Trans.]

[246] Michael Peterson, [et al.], ‘Aql va I‘tiqād-e Dīnī: Darāmadī bar Falsafeh-ye Dīn [Reason and Religious Belief: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion], trans. Ahmad Narāqī and Ibrāhīm Sult*ānī (Tehran: T&arh-e Nū, 1376 AHS), pp. 175-213.

[247] The text of the statement is as follows:

أنَّ أَشَدَّ النَّاسِ بَلاءً النَّبِيُّونَ، ثُمَّ الوَصِيُّونَ، ثُمَّ الأمْثَلَ فَالأمْثَلَ. وَإنَّمَا يُبْتَلى المُؤْمِنُ عَلَى قَدْرِ أَعْمَالِهِ الحَسَنَةِ، فَمَنْ صَحَّ دِينُهُ وَحَسُنَ عَمَلُهُ اشْتَدَّ بَلاؤُهُ، وَذَلِكَ أنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لَمْ يَجْعَلِ الدُّنْيَا ثَوَاباً لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلا عُقُوبَةً لِكَافِرٍ، وَمَنْ سَخُفَ دِينُهُ وَضَعُفَ عَمَلُهُ قَلَّ بَلاؤُهُ، وَإنَّ البَلاءَ أَسْرَعُ إلَى المُؤْمِنِ التَّقِيِّ مِنَ المَطَرِ إلَى قَرَارِ الأرْضِ.

Al-Kulaynī, Usūl al-Kāfī, vol. 2, p. 259, hadīth no. 29. For an elaborate exposition of this hadīth, see Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, Fifteenth Hadīth, “The Believer’s Trials and Tribulations,” pp. 235-251. [Trans.]

[248]Sūrah al-Anbiyā’ 21:35.

[249]Sūrah al-A‘rāf 7:168.

[250] There are many āyahs in the Qur’an regarding balā. See, for example, the following āyahs: Sūrah al-Qalam 68:17; Sūrah Muhammad 47:31; Sūrah al-Baqarah 2:155; Sūrah al-Kahf 18:7; Sūrah al-An‘ām 6:165; Sūrah al-Anfāl 8:18; Sūrah al-Fajr 89:15-16.

[251]Hunar-e Shādmāndegī [The Art of Happiness], p. 205.

[252]Ibid., p. 206.

[253]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 245.

[254]Ibid., p. 240.

[255]Ibid., p. 241.

[256]Ibid., p. 242.

[257]Ibid., p. 240.

[258]Sūrah an-Nisā’ 4:79.

[259]SÅ«rah ar-RÅ«m 30:41.

[260] Sa‘īd Shāmlū, Behdāsht-e Ravānī [Mental Hygiene] (Tehran: Intishārāt-e Rushd, 1378 AHS), p. 85.

[261] Imām Ridā: eighth of the Twelve Imāms from the Prophet’s Progeny, born in 148 AH/765 and died in 203 AH/817 in Tūs (Mashhad). He was poisoned by the ‘Abbāsid caliph Ma’mūn, who had appointed him as his successor at first, but then grew fearful of the wide following he commanded. His shrine in Mashhad is one of the principal centers of pilgrimage and religious learning in Iran. See Bāqir Sharīf al-Qarashī, The Life of Imām ‘Ali bin Mūsā al-Ridā, trans. Jāsim al-Rasheed (Qum: Ansariyan Publications, 2001); Muhammad Jawād Fadlallāh, Imām al-Ridā: A Historical and Biographical Research, trans. Yāsīn T. al-Jibourī, ; Muhammad Mahdī Shams ad-Dīn, “Al-Imām ar-Ridā (‘a) and the Heir Apparency,” At-Tawhīd Journal, .

[262] It refers to the event when the Egyptian woman [Zulaykhā] was seducing Joseph (‘a) to commit fornication with her. In reply, he uttered the above statement and as a result he was put behind bars. See Sūrah Yūsuf 12:33.

[263]Mīzān al-Hikmah, vol. 3, p. 2,023.

[264]‘Aql va I‘tiqād-e Dīnī: Darāmadī bar Falsafeh-ye Dīn [Reason and Religious Belief: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion], p. 197.

[265]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 245.

[266]Loc. cit.

[267]Nahj al-Balāghah, Sermon 28.

[268]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 245.

[269] Loc. Cit.

[270] That is, he is really acting as your friend and well-wisher. It refers to the porcupine’s habit of exerting its quills when attacked. See, Nicholson, Book Four, vol. 4, footnote 1, p. 15. [Trans.]

[271]Mathnawī, Book Four, vol. 4, p. 13.

Nicholson, Book Four under Story of the preacher who at the beginning of every exhortation used to pray for the unjust, hard-hearted and irreligious, vol. 4, pp. 15, 17. [Trans.]

[272] That is, the carnal nature.

[273]Mathnawī, Book Four, vol. 4, p. 13.

Nicholson, Book Four under Story of the preacher who at the beginning of every exhortation used to pray for the unjust, hard-hearted and irreligious, vol. 4, p. 17. [Trans.]

[274]Mathnawī, Book One, vol. 1, p. 37.

Nicholson, Book One under How the disciples raised objections against the vizier’s secluding himself, vol. 1, p. 67. [Trans.]

[275]Ibid., p. 27.

Nicholson, Book One under Story of the Caliph’s seeing Laylā, vol. 1, p. 47. [Trans.]

[276] This attack refers to the series of widespread killing, bloodshed and encroachments of Mu‘āwiyah’s army after the Battle of Siffīn on cities within the Commander of the Faithful’s (‘a) domain.

Mu‘āwiyah ibn Abī Sufyān was the first caliph of the Umayyad dynasty (40 AH/662 CE), which ruled the Muslim world after the martyrdom of the Commander of the Faithful, ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib and the five-month rule of the second Imām, Hasan ibn ‘Alī (‘a). As the founder of the Umayyad dynasty (Umayyad is derived from Banī ‘Umayyah, the name of the tribe to whom he belonged), Mu‘āwiyah revived hereditary monarchy and aristocracy in sharp contrast and opposition to the rudimentary precepts of Islam. History is replete with innumerable instances of cruelty and oppression perpetrated in the world of Islam during the reign of the Umayyads including the murder, banishment and imprisonment of the followers of the Prophet’s Progeny [Ahl al-Bayt] (‘a) as epitomized by the tragedy in Karbala (61 AH) during the reign of Mu‘āwiyah’s son and second Umayyad caliph, Yazīd. [Trans.]

[277]Ahl adh-Dhimmah is the term used to designate the non-Muslims living under the protection of the Islamic state. [Trans.]

[278]Nahj al-Balāghah, Sermon 27.

[279] John Stuart Mill (1806-73): son of James Mill—a disciple of Jeremy Bentham, the father of utilitarianism—is considered one of the most important thinkers of the 19th century. Mill was the head of the utilitarian movement and worked actively to promote the rights of workers and women. His most important work, System of Logic (1834), is a seminal one. Other works include Principles of Political Economy (1848), the famous On Liberty (1859), The Subjection of Women (1869), and Autobiography (1873). Mill was a brilliant child, who at the age of 14, mastered Latin, classical literature, history, mathematics, economics, and philosophy. He followed in his father’s footsteps and became head of the East India Company but then went on to become a Member of Parliament in 1865. [Trans.]

[280] Utilitarianism: theory of ethics that holds that the rightness or wrongness of an action is determined by the happiness its consequences produce. The theory dates from the 18th century thinker Jeremy Bentham, who believed that actions are motivated by pleasure and pain and that happiness can be assessed by the quantity of pleasure. His follower John Stuart Mill later argued in Utilitarianism (1863) that some pleasures should be sought for their intrinsic quality. He interpreted the principles of utilitarianism as a basis for the struggle for political and social reforms. [Trans.]

[281] John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism, ed. Roger Crisp (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 57.

[282]Sūrah T&ā-Hā 20:2.

[283]Sūrah Fāt*ir 35:8.

[284]SÅ«rah at-Tawbah 9:128.

[285]Al-Jāmi‘ as-Saghīr, vol. 2, p. 144.

[286]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 246.

[287] For an overview of the pertinent hadīth on smiling, see Mīzān al-Hikmah, vol. 1, p. 262.

[288] For information on the viewpoint of religion with respect to happiness, see Sayyid Hasan Islāmī, “Haqq-e Shād būdan [The Right of Being Happy],” Zendegī [Life], vol. 2 (Spring 1379 AHS), pp. 4-6.

[289]Mathnawī, Book Two, vol. 2, p. 142.
Nicholson, Book Two, under Story of the desert Arab and his putting sand in the sack and the philosopher’s rebuking him,vol. 2, p. 335. [Trans.]

[290]Mathnawī, Book Two, vol. 2, p. 143.

Nicholson, Book Two, under Story of the desert Arab and his putting sand in the sack and the philosopher’s rebuking him,vol. 2, p. 335. [Trans.]

[291]Mathnawī, Book Two, vol. 2, p. 144.

Nicholson, Book Two, under Story of the desert Arab and his putting sand in the sack and the philosopher’s rebuking him,vol. 2, p. 337. [Trans.]

[292] “Reading ﻓﻀﻞ.” Nicholson, Book Three, vol. 3, footnote 3, p. 293. [Trans.]

[293]Ibid., vol. 3, p. 125.

Nicholson, Book Three under Explaining (what is signified by) the far-sighted blind man, the deaf man who is sharp of hearing, and the naked man with the long skirts, vol. 3, pp. 293, 295. [Trans.]

[294] Donald D. Palmer, Kierkegaard for Beginners (London: Writers and Readers, 1996), pp. 35-36.

[295] See SÅ«rah al-Baqarah 2:31-33.

[296]Sahīfeh-ye Imām, vol. 13, p. 448.

[297]Ibid., p. 172.

[298]Ibid., p. 451.

[299]SÅ«rah az-Zumar 39:9.

[300]Sahīfeh-ye Imām, vol. 14, p. 358.

[301]Ibid., vol. 17, p. 186.

[302]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 392.

[303] See Sūrah al-A‘rāf 7:175.

[304]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 90.

[305] Following is the text of the hadīth:

دَخَلَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ المَسْجِدَ فَإذَا جَمَاعَةٌ قَدْ أَطَافُوا بِرَجُلٍ فَقَالَ: مَا هَذَا؟ فَقِيلَ: عَلَّامَةٌ. فَقَالَ: وَمَا العَلّامَةُ؟ فَقَالوا لَهُ: أَعْلَمُ النَّاسِ بِأَنْسَابِ العَرَبِ وَوَقَائِعِهَا وَأَيَّامِ الجَاهِلِيَّةِ وَالأَشْعَارِ العَرَبِيَّةِ. فَقَال النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ: ذَاكَ عِلْمٌ لا يَضُرُّ مَنْ جَهِلَهُ وَلا يَنْفَعُ مَنْ عَلِمَهُ. ثُمَّ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ: إنَّمَا العِلْمُ ثَلاثَةٌ: آيَةٌ مُحْكَمَةٌ أَوْ فَرِيضَةٌ عَادِلَةٌ أَوْ سُنَّةٌ قَائِمَةٌ، وَمَا خَلاهُنَّ فَهُوَ فَضْلٌ.

Al-Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, i, “kitāb fadl al-‘ilm”, “bāb sifat al-‘ilm wa fadluh”, hadith no. 1. For an exposition of this hadīth, see Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, hadīth 24,p. 385-397.

[306]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 396.

[307]Ibid., p. 391.

[308]Ibid., p. 386.

[309] For information on hadīths that emphasize only the useful knowledge, see Mīzān al-Hikmah, vol. 3, p. 2094.

[310]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 396.

[311]Ibid., p. 527.

[312] To term knowledge as the legacy of the prophets (‘a) is relevant to the unanimously accepted hadÄ«th, â€œïºï» ï»Œï» ï»£ïºŽïº€ï»®ïº®ïºœïº”ïºï»»ï»§ïº’ï»³ïºŽïº€.” [The scholars (the knowledgeable ones) are the heirs of the prophets (‘a)]. [Trans.]

[313]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 413.

[314]Ibid., p. 457.

[315]Ibid., p. 527.

[316]Mathnawī, Book Three, vol. 3, p. 94.

Nicholson, Book Three under Return to the story of Daqūqī, vol. 3, p. 215. [Trans.]

[317] Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 527.
[318]Loc. cit.

[319]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 37.

[320]Ibid., p. 38.

[321] Max Weber (1864-1920): German economist and sociologist. His theories contributed to the formation of modern sociological theory. Weber considered bureaucracy the crucial component of society and created an ideal type method for examining different societies. His most influential work, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1904-05), deals with Protestantism’s economic aspects. Other works include From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology and The Theory of Social and Economic Organization.

[322]Dāneshmand va Siyāsatmadār [Scholar and Politician], p. 136.

[323]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 8.

[324]Nahj al-Balāghah, Sermon 222.

[325]Sharh-e Chehel Hadīth, p. 97.

[326]Loc. cit.

[327]Nahj al-Balāghah, Sermon 193.

[328] Literal translation of the original Persian text is: “He keeps a distance of many parasangs away from vices such as greed and jealousy.” Parasang is a unit of length equal to six kilometers. [Trans.]

[329] Envisioned as a human figure who faced both directions at once and was thus suited to watch over the doorway, Janus in Roman mythology is the god of doors and gateways, and also of beginnings, which the Romans believed ensured good endings. [Trans.]
[330] Latium (or Lazio): the west central region of modern Italy composed of the provinces of Rome, Frosinone, Latina, Rieti, and Viterbo on the Tyrrhenian Sea, extending north from the Liri River, on the western slopes of the Apennines range. [Trans.]

[331] It is to be noted that as the offspring of the ass and horse, especially a male donkey and a mare, the mule is used as a beast of burden, and not for procreation and reproduction. [Trans.]

[332] Nādirshāh Afshār (1100-1160 AH): an Iranian king and founder of the Afshār dynasty. [Pub.]

[333]Shīraveyeh: son of Khusrūparvīz who succeeded him as the king. In a bid to obtain power, Shīraveyeh killed his own father and ordered the amputation of his brothers’ hands and feet. After a short period, he murdered them. [Pub.]

[334]Khusrūparvīz Shāhanshāhī (366-591): Sassanid king and son of Hormoz IV. ‘Khusrū’ (Khosroe) is a titular name of a number of Sassanid kings: Khosroe I (Anūshīrvān), Khosroe II (known as Khosroe Parvez), and Khosroe III (Kuvādh [Qubād] and nephew of Khosroe Parvez). [Pub.]

[335] Sa‘īd Hamīdiān, Shāhnameh-ye Ferdowsī (Tehran: Qitreh, 1375 AHS), vol. 9, pp. 282-283.

[336]Loc. cit.

[337] Simon Dubuar, Naqd-e Hikmat-e ‘Āmyāneh: Ārmāngirāyi-ye Akhlāqī va Vāqi‘girāyi-ye Siyāsī [Criticism of the Conventional Wisdom: Ethical Normative Theory and Political Realism], trans. Must*afā Rahīmī (Tehran: Āgāh, 1354 AHS), p. 45.


[339] Thucydides (460?-400 BC): Historian of ancient Greece. His work History of the Pelopennesian War (441-404 BC) eloquently communicates a seemingly accurate account of events in the first 30 years of that war. Both sides in the conflict are quoted, analyzed, and described in detail. Thucydides was an Athenian naval general who, upon failure to defeat the Spartan troops at Amphipolis in the Pelopennesian War, was exiled (424-404 BC).

[340] Known in the political science and international relations literature as the Melian Dialogue, a considerable amount of its extract can be seen in Timothy Dunne, “Realism,” in The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations, eds. John Baylis and Steve Smith (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), box 6.1, p. 111. [Trans.]

[341] Thucydides, Tārīkh-e Jang-e Polūpūnezī [History of the Peloponnesian War], trans. Muhammad-Hasan Lut*fī (Tehran: Khwārazmī, 1377 AHS), p. 336.

Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War, trans. Rex Warner (London: Penguin Classics, 1980). [Trans.]

[342]Loc. cit.

[343]Ibid., pp. 336-337.

[344]Ibid., p. 337.

[345]Loc. cit.

[346] Niccolَ Machiavelli, Shahriyār [The Prince], trans. Dāryūsh Āshūrī (Tehran: Kitāb-e Parvāz, 1374 AHS), pp. 117-118.

NiccolÙŽ Machiavelli, The Prince, trans. G. Bull (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1984); The Prince, trans. P. Bondanella and M. Musa (New York: Oxford University Press, 1984); The Prince, ed. Q. Skinner (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988). [Trans.]

[347]Ibid., p. 118.

[348]Ibid., p. 134. In Arabic language, there is a proverb that accurately conveys this idea: “ﺮﻫﺒﻮﺖ،ﺧﻴﺮٌﻣﻦﺮﺣﻣﻮﺖ.” [Terror is better than mercy].

[349]Pacta sunt servanda: abidance with a treaty in letter and spirit. [Trans.]

[350]Ibid., p. 129.

[351]Ibid., p. 66.

[352]Ibid., p. 130.

[353]Ibid., p. 88.

[354]Ibid., p. 47.

[355]The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics, p. 301.

[356]Raison d’éstat (‘reason of the state’) means that there may be reasons for acting (normally in foreign policy, less usually in domestic policy) which simply override all other considerations of a legal or moral kind. [Trans.]

[357] Niccolَ Machiavelli, Guftārhā [Discourses], trans. Muhammad Hasan Lut*fī (Tehran: Khwārazmī, 1377 AHS), pp. 19-20. Anyone who wants to have in-depth information on Machiavelli’s thought should read this book along with The Prince.

[358] For information on the circumstances surrounding the conclusion of the peace treaty, see Shaykh Rādī Āli-Yāsin, Sulh al-Hasan: The Peace Treaty of al-Hasan, trans. Jāsim al-Rasheed (Qum: Ansariyan Publications, 1998), available online at . [Trans.]

[359] Sa‘īd Ayyūb, Az Zhurfā-ye Fitneh-hā [From the Depth of Seditions], trans. Sayyid Hasan Islāmī (Qum: Markaz-e Barrasīhā-ye Islāmī-ye al-Ghadīr, 1378 AHS), vol. 2, p. 225.

[360]Ibid., p. 277.

[361]Battle of Siffīn: Battle of Siffīn: This battle was fought in the year 37 AH between Imām ‘Alī (‘a) and the Governor of Syria (ash-Shām), Mu‘āwiyah, for the so-called avenging for the killing of Caliph ‘Uthmān. But in reality it was nothing more than Mu‘āwiyah who had been the Autonomous Governor of Syria from Caliph ‘Umar’s days not wanting to lose that position by swearing allegiance to Imām ‘Alī (‘a) but wanting to keep his authority intact by exploiting the killing of Caliph ‘Uthmān, for later events proved that after securing the government he did not take any practical step to avenge ‘Uthmān’s blood, and never spoke, not even through omission, about the killers of ‘Uthmān. Mu‘āwiyah at the head of an army decided to wage a war against Imām ‘Alī and when they reached an area close to the Euphrates River, called Siffīn, he confronted Imām ‘Alī’s troops. The two parties fought each other in 90 battles. When Mu‘āwiyah found out he could not defeat Imām ‘Alī, he resorted to a trick contrived by ‘Amr ibn al-‘Ās and told his men to hang copies of the Qur’an on their swords and at the same time called for the end of the confrontation through arbitration. The trick was successful and Imām ‘Alī finally yielded to arbitration. The Battle of Siffīn lasted for 110 days in early seventh century CE. For a brief account of the battle, see Nahj al-Balāghah, Sermon 123, “To exhort his followers to fight,” footnote 1, . [Trans.]

[362]Az Zhurfā-ye Fitneh-hā [From the Depth of Seditions], pp. 590-591.

[363]Ibid., p. 592.

[364]Sahīfeh-ye Imām, vol. 3, p. 227. Pākravān, the commander of the army and head of SAVAK, during an audience with Imam on August 2, 1963 (Mordād 11, 1342 AHS) at ‘Ishrātābād garrison said: “…I took great pains to obtain a document confirming the relationship between a great marja‘ and a foreign country; and to this end I even sent an Arab to see you, but I didn’t find the least evidence of a relationship between Your Great Eminence and foreign agents. . . Your Eminence is about to be released, but before that I have to tell you that politics means cheating and deceiving; politics means lies, hypocrisy and trickery. In brief, politics means chicanery. These matters are our concern and the leaders of the clergy must not soil their hands with these things; they must in no way indulge in politics.” Imām, in response to the latter part of Pāravān’s comments, said: “From the very beginning we played no part in the kind of politics of which you speak.” See Barrasī va Tahlīlī az Nihzat-e Imām Khomeinī,vol. 1, p. 575.

For the full text of the Imām’s speech, see Kauthar: An Anthology of the Speeches of Imām Khomeinī including an Account of the Events of the Revolution (1962-1978) (Tehran: Institute for the Compilation and Publication of Imām Khomeinī’s Works, Winter 1995), pp. 135-145. [Trans.]

[365]Loc. cit.

[366] State Organization for Security and Information (SAVAK) was officially established in 1336 AHS [circa 1957] by the explicit order of Muhammad Ridā Shāh Pahlavī. SAVAK was assigned to suppress any opposition to the regime and to counteract the Islamic resistance. SAVAK had close collaboration with the CIA and Mossad. The callosity and cruelty of the SAVAK in torturing political prisoners was such that the secretary general of Amnesty International declared in 1354 AHS [circa 1975], “No country in the world has such a dark record of human rights as Iran!” [Pub.]

[367]Sahīfeh-ye Imām, vol. 1, p. 269.

[368] Gladwin, chap. 1, On the Morals of Kings, Tale xix, p. 65. The whole tale is as follows:

They have related that Nūshīrvān, being at the hunting seat, was about to have some game dressed, and as there was not any salt, a servant was sent to fetch some from a village; when the monarch ordered him to pay the price of the salt, that the exaction might not become a custom, and the village be desolated. They say to him, “From this rifle, what injury can ensue?” He replied, “Oppression was brought into the world from small beginnings, which every new comer has increased, until it has reached the present degree of enormity. If the monarch were to eat a single apple from the garden of a peasant, the servants would pull up the tree by the roots: if the sultan orders five eggs to be taken by force, his soldiers will spit a thousand fowls. The iniquitous tyrant remaineth not, but the curses of mankind rest on him forever.[Trans.]

[369]Discourses, p. 20.

[370] Watergate Crisis: series of scandals involving US Pres. Richard Nixon and his administration. On June 17, 1972, five men from Nixon’s reelection committee were arrested as they tried to plant electronic eavesdropping equipment in the headquarters of the Democratic Party national committee in the Watergate office building, Washington DC. As a result of their convictions and the suspicions of Judge John Sirica, who tried the case, that a conspiracy was being covered up, investigations were opened that led to Nixon’s inner councils. Though Nixon easily won reelection in November 1972, his public support eroded as a televised US Senate investigation continued. Newspaper revelations (notably by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward in the Washington Post) and testimony of Republican Party and former governmental officials clearly implicated his and his senior aides in a massive abuse of power and the obstruction of justice involving campaign contributions, the CIA, the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service, and other governmental agencies. The House of Representatives Judiciary Committee voted to impeach Nixon in July 1974, and his ouster from office became inevitable; on August 19, 1974 he resigned—the only US president to do so. One month later he was granted a full pardon by Pres. Gerald Ford. Almost 60 individuals, including former US Attorney General John Mitchell and senior White House staff were convicted of Watergate crimes. [Trans.]

[371]Pāyān-e Tārīkh wa Buhrān-e I‘timād: Bāzsināsī-ye Andīsheh-hā-ye Tāzeh-ye Fukuyama [The End of History and the Crisis of Confidence: A Review of Fukuyama’s New Ideas], Māhnāmeh-ye It*t*ilā‘āt-e Siyāsī-Iqtisādī [Political-Economic Information Monthly Journal], no. 97-98 (Mehr and Ābān 1374 AHS), p. 13.

[372]Loc. cit.

[373]Ibid., p. 15.

[374] See Sayyid ‘Alī Asghar Kāzimī, Akhlāq va Siyāsat: Andīsheh-ye Siyāsat dar ‘Arseh-ye ‘Amal [Political Thought in the Arena of Practice] (Tehran: Nashr-e Qums, 1376 AHS), p. 241.

[375] Michael Pulanini, “Farāsū-ye Nihilism [Beyond Nihilism],” in Khirad dar Siyāsat [Wisdom in Politics] (Collection of Articles), collected, written and translated by ‘Izzatullāh Fūlādvand (Tehran: T*arh-e Nū, 1376), pp. 223-224.

[376]Akhlāq, Siyāsat va Inqilāb [Ethics, Politics and Revolution], p. 100.

[377]Loc. cit.

[378]Loc. cit.

[379] “Farāsū-ye Nihilism [Beyond Nihilism],”in Khirad dar Siyāsat [Wisdom in Politics], p. 224.

[380]Ibid., p. 229.

[381] Sayyid ‘Alī Asghar Kāzimī, Haft Sutūn-e Siyāsat [Seven Pillars of Politics] (Tehran: Daftar-e Nashr-e Farhang-e Islāmī, 1379), p. 323.

[382] Daniel Shiro, “What transpired in Eastern Europe in 1989,” in Khirad dar Siyāsat [Wisdom in Politics], p. 515.

[383] See, ibid., p. 518.

[384] Glenn Tinder, Political Thought, trans. Mahmūd Sabūrī (Tehran: Intishārāt-e ‘Ilmī va Farhangī, 13 74), p. 100.

[385] Plato, The Republic, trans. Fuād Rūhānī (Tehran: Intishārāt-e ‘Ilmī va Farhangī, 1374 AHS), pp. 152-153.

Plato, The Republic (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1974). [Trans.]

[386] Bertrand Russell (1872- 1970): British philosopher, mathematician and man of letters. Initially a subscriber of idealism he broke away in 1898 and eventually became an empiricist. His most important work was relating logic and mathematics. His works include The Principles of Mathematics (1903), Principia Mathematica (3 vols., 1910-1913) in collaboration with A.N. Whitehead, Marriage and Morals (1929), Education and the Social Order (1932), An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth (1940), History of Western Philosophy (1945), and popularizations such as The ABC of Relativity (1925), as well as his Autobiography (3 vols., 1967-69). [Trans.]

[387] “Individual and Social Ethics,” in Khirad dar Siyāsat [Wisdom in Politics], p. 308.

[388] Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971): One of the two US brothers and leading Protestant theologians, the other being Helmut Richard Niebuhr (1894-1962). Reinhold Niebuhr was an active socialist in the early 1930s. After World War II he turned back to traditional Protestant values, relating them to modern society in his ‘conservative realism’. His Nature and Destiny of Man (2 vols., 1941-43) greatly influenced American theology. [Trans.]

[389]Politid als Beruf.

[390] Max Weber, Dānishmand va Siyāsatmadār [The Scientist and the Politician], trans. Ahmad Naqībzādeh (Tehran: Tehran University Press, 1376 AHS), p. 136.

[391]Loc. cit.

[392] Immanuel Kant (1724-1804): German philosopher and founder of critical philosophy. Though originally influenced by the rationalism of Leibniz, Kant was awakened from his ‘dogmatic slumber’ by the work of skeptic David Hume and thus led to greatness as a metaphysician. In Critique of Pure Reason (1781), Kant proposed that objective reality (the phenomenal world) can be known only because the mind imposes its own structure (time and space) on it. Things beyond experience (noumena) cannot be known, though we may presume to know them. The questions of the existence of God, immortality, freedom—all metaphysical questions—cannot be answered by scientific means, and thus cannot be proved or disproved. But, according to Kant in Critique of Practical Reason (1788), their existence must be presumed for the sake of morality. Kant’s absolute moral law states, “Act as if the maxim from which you act were to become through your will a universal law.” In Critique of Judgment (1790), beauty and purpose form the bridge between the sensible and the intelligible worlds that he sharply divided in his first 2 Critiques. [Trans.]

[393] Immanuel Kant, “Dar Bāb-e Haqq-e Pandārī-ye Durūgh-Guftān beh Angīzeh-ye Insāndūstāneh [On the Truth of the Notion of Telling Lies with Humanitarian Motives],” trans. Sayyid Hasan Islāmī, Faslnāmeh-ye Naqd va Nazar [Criticism and View Quarterly] 6, nos. 1-2 (Winter-Spring 1378-9 AHS), p. 376.

[394]Ibid., p. 379.

[395]Matthew 5:38-42.

[396]Dānishmand va Siyāsatmadār [The Scientist and the Politician], p. 140.

[397]Ibid., p. 146.

[398]Loc. cit.
[399] Immanuel Kant, Dars-hā-ye Falsafeh-ye Akhlāq [Philosophical Lessons on Ethics], trans. Manūchehr Sāni‘ī-Darehbīdī (Tehran: Naqsh va Nigār, 1378 AHS), p. 306.

[400] Immanuel Kant, Bunyād-e Mā Ba‘dat*-T+abī‘eh-ye Akhlāq, trans. Hamīd ‘Ināyat va ‘Alī Qaysarī (Tehran: Khwārazmī, 1375 AHS), p.61.

[401] See, for example, Stephen Cornier, Falsafeh-ye Kant [The Kantian Philosophy], trans. ‘Izzatullāh Fūlādvand (Tehran: Khwārazmī, 1367 AHS); Sayyid Hasan Islāmī, Durūgh dar Nizām-e Akhlāq-e Islām [Lie in the Moral System of Islam] (Master’s Degree Thesis on Philosophy and Kalām [Scholasticism] at the Tarbiyyat Mudarris Center, 1379 AHS); Rechels James, The Elements of Moral Philosophy (McGraw-Hill, 1993).

[402] Humhrey Carpenter, ‘Īsā [Jesus], trans. Hasan Kāmshād (Tehran: T+arh-e Nū, 1374 AHS), p. 89.

[403]Ibid., p. 90.

[404]Matthew 10:34.

[405]Matthew 21:12. In the NIV it is Matthew 21:12-13. [Trans.]

[406]Dānishmand va Siyāsatmadār [The Scientist and the Politician], p. 143.

[407]Ibid., p. 144.

[408]Akhlāq, Siyāsat va Inqilāb [Ethics, Politics and Revolution], p. 104.

[409] Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832): English philosopher, economist, and jurist, founder of utilitarianism, a social philosophy whose aim was to achieve ‘the greatest happiness of the greatest number.’ His major work was An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789). Bentham’s ideas were influential in the legal reform in the 19th century and in the thinking of John Stuart Mill and David Ricardo. [Trans.]

[410]Quoted in loc. cit.

[411]Ibid., p. 101.

[412]Loc. cit.

[413]Ibid., p. 104.

[414] Francis Neumann, Āzādī, Qudrat va Qānūn [Freedom, Power and the Law], trans. ‘Izzatullāh Fūlādvand (Tehran: Khwārazmī, 1373 AHS), pp. 43-44.

[415]Akhlāqiyāt: Mafāhīm-e Akhlāq dar Adabiyyāt-e Fārsī az Sadeh-ye Sevvum tā Sadeh-ye Haftum-e Hijrī [Moralities: Moral Concepts in the Persian Literature from the Third to the Seventh Century Hijrī], trans. Muhammad-‘Alī Amīr-Ma‘zī and ‘Abdul-Muhammad Rūhbakhshān (Tehran: University Publication Center and Association of French Iranologists in Iran, 1377 AHS), p. 613.

[416] Of course, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s) is not included in the list as he is the best of creation and the model par excellence for the entire humanity. [Trans.]

[417] See Nahj al-Balāghah, Sermon 5.

[418]‘Umar ibn al-Khat*t*āb was the second caliph who succeeded Abūbakr, the fisrt caliph. [Pub.]

[419] Muhammad-Bāqir Mahmūdī, Nahj as-Sa‘ādah fī Mustadrak Nahj al-Balāghah (Beirut: Muassasah al-Mahmūdī, n.d.), vol. 1, p. 155.

[420] ‘Uthmān ibn ‘Affān was the third caliph who succeeded ‘Umar ibn al-Khat*t*āb. [Pub.]

[421]Nahj al-Balāghah, Sermon 240.

[422] Mughayrah ibn Shu‘bah: born in T+ā’if and became Muslim in 5 AH. He did not participate in the Battle of Siffīn; Mu‘āwiyah appointed him as the governor of Kūfah.

[423] Hasan Az-Zayn, Al-Imām ‘Alī ibn Abī T+ālib (‘a) wa Tajrubah al-Hukm [Imām ‘Alī (‘a) and the Experience of Governance] (Tehran: Dār al-Fikr al-Hadīth, 1994), p. 66.

[424]Talhā and Zubayr: among the companions of the Prophet (s) who, along with ‘Ā’ishah led the Battle of Jamal against Imām ‘Alī (‘a). The former died in the battle. [Pub.]

[425]Loc. cit.

[426] See Nahj al-Balāghah, Sermon 205.

[427] Shaykh al-Mufīd, Al-Jamal, researched by Sayyid ‘Alī Mīr-Sharīfī (Qum: Markaz al-I‘lām al-Islāmī, 1374 AHS), p. 166.

[428] See Nahj al-Balāghah, Sermon 73.

[429]Ibid., Sermon 206.

[430] Kharijites: from the Arabic word, khawārij meaning seceders or dissenters. After the Battle of Siffīn, a group of Muslims who had fought with Imām ‘Alī in the battle split off from his army and using the slogan “No command except God’s” sought to kill him. This group became known as the Kharijites [Khawārij]. [Pub.]

[431] See Nahj as-Sa‘ādah fī Mustadrak Nahj al-Balāghah, vol. 2, p. 276.

[432] See Nahj al-Balāghah, Maxim 420.

[433]Ibid., Letter 47.

[434]Ibid., Sermon 200.

[435]Ibid., Sermon 41.

[436]Vaclلv Havel (1936- ), Czech playwright and political leader, elected president of Czechoslovakia in 1989. A resistance leader under the Communist regime from the mid-1960s until 1989, he was repeatedly jailed, and his works (such as the play The Memorandum, 1965) were banned. Michael D. Harkavy, ed. The New Webster’s International Encyclopedia: The New Illustrated Home Reference Guide (Florida: Trident Press International, 1996), p. 481. [Trans.]

[437]Vaclلv Havel, Yād-dāsht-hā-yī dar Bāb-e Akhlāq, Siyāsat, Tamaddun dar Dūrān-e Tahavvul [Memorandum on Ethics, Politics and Civilization during the Periods of Transformation], Muhammad Rafī‘ī Mehrābādī (Tehran: Intishārāt-e ‘Ilmī va Farhangī, 1374 AHS), p. 28.

[438]Ibid., p. 13.

[439]Ibid., p. 22.

[440]Loc. cit.

[441]Loc. cit.

[442]Ibid., p. 23.

[443]Ibid., p. 26.

[444] Mahatma Gandhi, Hameh-ye Mardum Barādarand [All People are Brothers], trans. Mahmūd Tafaddulī (Tehran: Amīr Kabīr, 13 61 AHS), p. 139.

[445]Loc. cit.

[446] C.A.J. Coady, “Politics and the Problem of Dirty Hands,” in A Companion to Ethics, ed. Peter Singer (Basil: Blackwell, 1991), p. 382.
[447]Sahīfeh-ye Imām, vol. 4, p. 190.

[448]Ibid., vol. 3, p. 237.

[449]Loc. cit.

[450]Ibid., vol. 18, p. 423.

[451]Sahīfeh-ye Imām, vol. 14, pp. 527-528.

[452] It refers to the statement of the Messenger of God (s), “One who spends the night without having concern on the affairs of Muslims is not a Muslim.”

[.ﻤﻦﺍﺼﺑﺢﻮ ï» ï»¢ï»´ï»¬ïº—ï»¢ ïº‘ïºŽï»¤ï»®ïº®ïºï» ï»¤ïº´ï» ï»¤ï»´ï»¦ï»”ï» ï»´ïº²ïº’ï»¤ïº´ï» ï»¢].

[453]Ibid., vol. 4, p. 9.

[454]Ibid., vol. 1, p. 271.

[455]Ibid., vol. 1, p. 271.

[456]Al-Bay‘, vol. 2, p. 472.

[457]Sahīfeh-ye Imām, vol. 15, p. 214.

[458]Ibid., vol. 13, p. 432.

[459]Khāt*irāt bā Dū Sidā: Kuftigū-ye Ely Weasel bā François Mitterrand [Memoirs with Two Voices: Dialogue between Ely Weasel and François Mitterrand], trans. ‘Abbās Āgāhī (Tehran: Daftar-e Nashr-e Farhang-e Islāmī, 1377 AHS), p. 171.

[460] Del-Ārā Qahremān, Sad Hikāyat-e Zen [Hundred Zen Stories] (Tehran: Nashr-e Mītrā, 1377 AHS), p. 143. See Reginald Huras Blithe, Dars-hāyī az Ustādān-e Zen [Lessons from Zen Masters], trans. Nasrīn Majīdī (Tehran: Hīrmand, 1379 AHS), p. 140.

[461]The story is narrated in the Mathnawī as follows:

Listen to a tale of the chronicler, in order that you may get an inkling of this veiled mystery. A snake-catcher went to the mountains to catch a snake by his incantations. Whether one be slow or speedy (in movement), he that is a seeker will be a finder… He was searching round about the mountains for a big snake in the days of snow. He espied there a huge dead dragon, at the aspect whereof his heart was filled with fear. (Whilst) the snake-catcher was looking for snakes in the hard winter, he espied a dead dragon… The snake-catcher took up that snake and came to Baghdad for the sake of (exciting) astonishment. In quest of a paltry fee he carried along a dragon like the pillar of a house, saying, “I have brought a dead dragon: I have suffered agonies in hunting it.” He thought it was dead, but it was alive, and he did not see it very well. It was frozen by frost and snow: it was alive, but it presented the appearance of the dead… The snake-catcher, with a hundred pains, was bringing the snake along, till (at last) the would-be showman arrived at Baghdad to set up a public show at the crossroads. The man set up a show on the bank of the Tigris, and a hubbub arose in the city of Baghdad—“A snake-catcher has brought a dragon: he has captured a marvelous rare beast.” Myriads of simpletons assembled, who had become a prey to him as he (to it) in his folly. They were waiting (to see the dragon), and he too was waiting for the scattered people to assemble. The greater the crowd, the better goes the begging and contributing (of the money). Myriads of idle babblers assembled, forming a ring, soul against soul. Man took no heed of woman: on account of the throng they were mingled together like nobles and common folk at the Resurrection. When he (the snake-catcher) began to move the cloth (which covered the dragon), the people in the crowd strained their throats (necks), and (saw that) the dragon, which had been frozen by intense cold, was underneath a hundred kinds of coarse woolen cloths and coverlets. He had bound it with thick ropes: that careful keeper had taken great precaution for it. During the delay (interval) of expectation and coming together, the sun of Iraq shone upon the snake. The sun of the hot country warmed it; the cold humors went out of its limbs. It had been dead, and it revived: from astonishment (at feeling the sun’s heat) the dragon began to uncoil itself. By the stirring of that dead serpent the people’s amazement was multiplied a hundred thousand-fold. With amazement they started shrieking and fled en masse from its motion. It set about bursting the bonds, and at that loud outcry (of the people) the bonds on every side went crack, crack. It burst the bonds and glided out from beneath—a hideous dragon roaring like a lion. Many people were killed in the rout: hundreds of heaps were made of the fallen slain. The snake-catcher became paralyzed with fear on the spot, crying, “What have I brought from the mountains and the desert?” The blind sheep awakened the wolf: unwittingly it went toward its ‘Izrā’īl (angel of death). The dragon made one mouthful of that dolt: blood-drinking (bloodshed) is easy for Hajjāj. It would and fastened itself on a pillar and crunched the bones of the devoured man.

Nicholson, Book Three under Story of the snake-catcher who thought the frozen serpent was dead and wound it in ropes and brought it to Baghdad,vol. 3, pp. 109, 111, 115, 117. [Trans.]

[462]Mathnawī, Book Three, vol. 3, pp. 53-54.

Nicholson, ibid., p. 117. [Trans.]

[463]Sahīfeh-ye Imām, vol. 14, p. 379.

[464]Khāt*irāt bā Dū Sidā [Memoirs with Two Voices], p. 171.

[465]Ibid., p. 177.

[466]Loc. cit.

[467]Ibid., p. 183.

[468]Loc. cit.

[469]Sahīfeh-ye Imām, vol. 18, p. 206.

[470]Loc. cit.

[471]Ibid., vol. 19, p. 250.

[472] For example, see Sahīfeh-ye Imām, vol. 1, p. 269; vol. 8, p. 185; vol. 9, p. 177; vol. 10, p. 124; vol. 13, p. 431.

[473]Ibid., vol. 5, p. 40.

[474]Ibid., vol. 3, p. 227.

[475]Wilāyat-e Faqīh, p. 16.

Imām Khomeinī, Islamic Government: Governance of the Jurist, trans. Hamīd Algar (Tehran: The Institute for Compilation and Publication of Imām Khomeinī’s Works, Autumn 2002), p. 16. Electronic version of the whole book is downloadable at the Institute’s Translation Unit Website,

. [Trans.]

[476]Sahīfeh-ye Imām, vol. 21, pp. 402-403.

[477]Ibid., vol. 3, p. 338.

[478]Ibid., vol. 18, p. 72.

[479]Ibid., vol. 17, p. 204.

[480]Loc. cit.

[481]Ibid., vol. 13, p. 432.

[482]Ibid., vol. 10, p. 15.

[483]Ibid., vol. 13, p. 130.

[484]Ibid., vol. 16, p. 161.

[485]Ibid., vol. 5, p. 531.

[486]Ibid., vol. 5, p. 533.

[487]Ibid., vol. 13, pp. 431-432.

[488]Ibid., vol. 1, p. 271.

[489]Ibid., vol. 4, p. 9.

[490]Ibid., vol. 4, p. 447.

[491]Ibid., vol. 13, pp. 130-131.

[492]Ibid., vol. 13, p. 142.

[493]Goftārhā [Discourses].

[494]SÅ«rah Maryam 19:54.
[495] For example, Sūrah an-Nisā’ 4:69: “All who obey Allah and the Messenger are in the Company of those on whom is the Grace of Allah, of the Prophets (who teach) [an-nabiyyīn], the Sincere (lovers of Truth) [as-siddīqīn], the Witnesses (who testify), and the Righteous (who do good): Ah! What a beautiful Fellowship!” (‘Abdullāh Yūsuf ‘Alī’s translation) [Trans.]

[496] See Tuchihiko Izutsu, Mafāhīm-e Akhlāqī-Dīnī dar Qur’ān-e Majīd [Ethical-Religious Concepts in the Glorious Qur’an], trans. Farīdūn Badreh-ī (Tehran: Farzān, 1378 AHS), p. 197.

[497]Ibid., p. 198.

[498]Ibid., p. 184.

[499]Loc. cit.

[500] Council of Guardians: the council constituted for the safeguarding of Islamic laws and the Constitution and verifying the compatibility of legislation passed by the Islamic Consultative Assembly (the Iranian Majlis or Parliament) with them. Composed of six competent and just jurists and six other legal experts in various branches of the law, the council members are elected by the Leader for a period of six years. See Articles 91-99 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. [Trans.]

[501] Supreme Judicial Council: the council constituted to carry out the responsibilities of the judiciary. After the amendment of the Iranian Constitution ratified on July 26, 1989, this highest judicial body is vested in a single person. Article 157, as amended, stipulates:

“The Leader shall appoint a mujtahid, possessing integrity and administrative and problem-solving abilities, and well-versed in judicial affairs as the Head of the Judiciary for a period of five years, to carry out the judicial, administrative and executive responsibilities of the judiciary. His will be the highest judicial office.” [Trans.]

[502]Sahīfeh-ye Imām, vol. 18, p. 241.

[503] Sir Karl Raimund Popper (1902- ): Austrian-born English philosopher, best known for his theory of falsification in the philosophy of science. Popper contends that scientific theories are never more than provisionally adopted and remain acceptable only as long as scientists are devising new experiments to test (falsify) them. He attacks the doctrine of historicism (presuming to understand phenomena entirely through their development) in The Open Society and Its Enemies (1945) and The Poverty of Historicism (1957).

[504] Karl Popper, At-Tasāmih wa’l-Mas’ūliyyah al-Fikriyyah: Majmū‘ah Maqālāt at-Tasāmih bayn ash-Sharq wa’l-Gharb: Dirāsāt fī at-Ta‘āyish wa’l-Qabūl bi’l-Ākhar, trans. Ibrāhīm al-‘Arīs (Beirut: Dār as-Sāqī, 1992), p. 99.

[505]Sahīfeh-ye Imām, vol. 14, p. 92.

[506]Ibid., p. 93.

[507]Ibid., vol. 18, p. 7.

[508] Bertolt Brecht (Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht; 1898-1956): German Marxist playwright and poet, who revolutionized modern theater with his production techniques and concept of epic theater. He left Nazi Germany in 1933, returning to East Berlin in 1948 to found the Berliner Ensemble. His plays include The Threepenny Opera (1928), The Life of Galileo (1938), Mother Courage (1939), and The Caucasian Chalk Circle. [Trans.]

[509] Bertolt Brecht, Andīshehā-ye Mātī [Matthew’s Ideas], trans. Behrām Habībī (Tehran: Āgāh, 1377 AHS), p. 88.

[510]Sahīfeh-ye Imām, vol. 19, p. 157.

[511]Mathnawī, Book One, vol. 1, p. 144.

In the Mathnawī the tattooist continues to say:

O brother, endure the pain of the lancet,

That you may escape from the poison of your miscreant self [nafs],

For sky and sun and moon bow in worship

To the people who have escaped from self-existence.

Any one in whose body the miscreant self has died,

Sun and cloud obey his command.

Since his heart has learned to light the candle (of spiritual knowledge and love),

The sun cannot burn him.

God hath made mention of the rising sun as turning aside—

Like that—from their cave.

The thorn becomes entirely beautiful, like the rose,
In the sight of the particular that is going toward the Universal.

What is (the meaning of) to exalt and glorify God?

To deem yourself despicable and (worthless) as dust.

What is (the meaning of) to learn the knowledge of God’s Unity?

To consume yourself in the presence of the One.

If you wish to shine like day,

Burn up your night-like self-existence.

Melt away your existence, as copper (melts away) in the elixir,

In the Being of Him who fosters (and sustains) existence.

You have fastened both your hands tight on (are determined not to give up) “I” and “we”:
All this (spiritual) ruin is caused by dualism.

Nicholson, Book One under How the man of Qazwin was tattooing the figure of a lion in blue on his shoulders, and (then) repenting because of the (pain of the) needle-pricks,vol. 1, p. 325. [Trans.]

[512] â€œïºïº¤ïºïºïº§ï»®ïºï»§ï»°ïºï» ï»°ï»£ï»¦ ïºï»«ïºªï»¯ïºï» ï»°ï»‹ï»´ï»®ïº‘ï»°. ” MÄ«zān al-Hikmah, vol. 3, p. 2207.

[513] Hendry Waissinger, Hīchkas Kāmil Nīst [Nobody is Perfect], trans. Parīchehr Mu‘tamad-Garchī (Tehran: Fīrūzeh, 1378 AHS), p. 123.

[514]Golestān-e Sa‘dī, p. 175.

Gladwin, chap. 7, Rules for Conduct in Life, Tale xxx, p. 357. [Trans.]

[515]Loc. cit.The whole tale is as follows:

Everyone thinks his own wisdom perfect and his child beautiful. A Jew and a Muslim were disputing in a manner that made me laugh. The Muslim said in wrath, “If this deed of conveyance is not authentic, may God cause me to die a Jew!” The Jew said, “I make oath on the Pentateuch, and if I swear falsely, I am a Muslim like you.” If wisdom was to cease throughout the world, no one would suspect himself of ignorance. [Trans.]

[516] René Descartes (1596-1650): French mathematician, scientist, and philosopher, often referred to as ‘the father of modern philosophy.’ A dualist who believed the world was composed of 2 basic substances (matter and spirit), he ignored accepted scholastic philosophy and stated a person should doubt all sense experiences; but if a person can think and doubt, he or she therefore exists. Descartes stated his belief in his famous phrase, cogito, ergo sum (“I think, therefore I am.”) This skeptical philosophy is called Cartesianism and is detailed in Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy (1641). His other major works include the Discourse on Method (1637) and Principles of Philosophy (1644). Descartes also attempted to explain the universe in terms of matter and motion and invented analytic geometry. [Trans.]

[517] Quoted in Muhammad-‘Alī Farūghī, Sīr-e Hikmat dar Urūpā [Trend of Wisdom in Europe] (Tehran: Zuvār, 1360), vol. 1, p. 213.

[518]Sahīfeh-ye Imām, vol. 17, p. 246.

[519] Sāyeh, Hāfiz (Tehran: Kārnāmeh, 1375), p. 181.

[520] Karen Hurney, ‘Asabiyyat va Rushd-e Ādamī [Prejudice and Human Growth], trans. Muhammad-Ja‘far Musaffā (Tehran: Behjat, 1373 AHS), p. 95.

[521]Sahīfeh-ye Imām, vol. 17, p. 246.

[522]Ibid., vol. 14, p. 401.

[523]Ibid., vol. 13, p. 198.

[524] Frank Bruno, Farhang-e Tūsīfī-ye Ist*ilāhāt-e Ravānshināsī [Descriptive Dictionary of Psychological Terms], trans. Muhshīd Yāsā’ī and Farzāneh-ye T&āhirī (Tehran: T*arh-e Nū, 1373 AHS), p. 297.

[525]Sahīfeh-ye Imām, vol. 21, p. 20.

[526]Ibid., vol. 14, pp. 145-146.

[527]Ibid., vol. 8, p. 512.

[528] “.ï»œï» ï»œï»¢ïº®ïºï»‰ï»® ï»œï» ï»œï»¢ï»£ïº´ïºŒï»®ï»ž ﻋﻦﺮﻋﻴﺗﻪ ” Bihār al-Anwār, vol. 72, p. 38. [Pub.]

[529] Murtadā Mut*ahharī, Dah Guftār [Ten Sayings] (Tehran: Intishārāt-e Sadrā, n.d.), p. 93.

[530]Ibid., p. 94.

[531] See SÅ«rah al-Kahf 18:60-82. [Trans.]

[532]Loc. cit.

[533] Murtadā Mut*ahharī, Mas’aleh-ye Hijāb [The Islamic Modest Dress] (Tehran: Intishārāt-e Sadrā, n.d.), p. 71.

[534]Ibid., p. 40.

[535]Sahīfeh-ye Imām, vol. 20, p. 36.

[536]Mathnawī, Book Four, vol. 4, p. 12.

Nicholson, Book Four under The story of the preacher who at the beginning of every exhortation used to pray for the unjust and hardhearted and irreligious,vol. 4, p. 15.
[537] It is based on the explanations of the late Dr. Muhammad Khazā’ilī on Golestān as quoted by Ghulām-Husayn Yūsufī in the explanations of Golestān-e Sa‘dī, p. 44.

[538]Tadhkirah al-Awliyā’, p. 265.

[539] Kīmyā-ye Sa‘ādat [The Alchemy of Happiness], vol. 1, p. 434.

[540] It refers to the Friday congregational prayers.

[541]Kīmyā-ye Sa‘ādat [The Alchemy of Happiness], vol. 1, p. 435.

[542] See Golestān-e Sa‘dī, Part Seven, pp. 162-168.

[543]Hāfiz, p. 262.

[544]Ibid., p. 470.

[545]Golestān, Part Two, pp. 88-89.

[546] That is, he performs flattery and pretension.

[547] Literally it means ‘to this one and that one.’ [Trans.]

[548]Mathnawī, Book Five, vol. 5, p. 168.

Nicholson, Book Five under How the enraged Amir set out to punish the ascetic, vol. 5, p. 415. The rest of the poem is as follows:

If he is mad and bent on mischief (literally, ‘digging up (searching for) mischief’),

The cure for a madman is an ox-hide whip (literally, ‘veretrum tauri’),

So that the devil may go forth from his head:

How should an ass go (forward) without the ass-drivers’ blows?”

The Amir dashed out, with a mace in his hand:

At midnight he came, half-intoxicated, to the ascetic.

In his rage he wished to kill the ascetic,
(But) the ascetic hid beneath (some) wool.

The ascetic, hidden under the wool belonging to certain rope-makers,

Heard that (threat) from the Amir.

He said (to himself), “(Only) the mirror that has made its face hard

Can tell a man to his face that he is ugly.

It needs a steel face, like a mirror,

To say to thee, ‘Behold thy ugly face’.”[Trans.]

[549]Sūrah al-Hadīd 57:23.

[550]Nahj al-Balāghah, Maxim 439.

[551]Sahīfeh-ye Imām, vol. 4, pp. 396-397.
[552] Lashk Kolakovski, Dars-hā-ye Kūchak dar Bāb-e Maqūlāt-e Buzurg [Simple Lessons concerning Great Subjects], trans. Rushān Vazīrī (Tehran: T&arh-e Nū, 1377 AHS), p. 85.

[553]Nahj al-Balāghah, Sermon 209.

[554]Sūrah al-A‘rāf 7:32.

[555]Sūrah al-A‘rāf 7:31.

[556] For further information on these etiquettes of the Prophet (s), see ‘Allāmah Sayyid Muhammad Husayn T&abāt*abā’ī, Sunan an-Nabī [Traditions of the Prophet] (Tehran: Kitābfurūshī-ye Islāmiyyeh, 1370 AHS), pp. 91-92.

[557]Tadhkirat al-Awliyā’, p. 53.

See Arberry, Muslims Saints and Mystics,p. 30. [Trans.]

[558]Ibid., pp. 53-54.

See Arberry, Muslims Saints and Mystics,pp. 30-31. [Trans.]

[559] T&ā’if is the name of a city situated on the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula, 12 parsang east of Mecca. T&ā’if’s honey is famous for its excellent quality. [Pub.]
[560]Nahj as-Sa‘ādah fī Mustadrak Nahj al-Balāghah, vol. 1, p. 332.

[561] Hijāz: the region in Western Arabia that includes Mecca and Medina. [Pub.]

[562] Yamāmah: another region in the Arabian Peninsula. [Pub.]

[563]Nahj al-Balāghah, Letter 45.

[564]Ibid., Sermon 209.

[565]Loc. cit.

[566]Hāfiz, p. 35.

[567] Will(iam James) Durant (1885-1981): US educator and popular historian. He wrote the bestseller The Story of Philosophy (1926) and, with his wife Ariel (1898-1981) the 11-volume Story of Civilization. [Trans.]

[568] Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832): German poet, novelist, and playwright. His monumental work ranges from correspondence and poems to 14 volumes of scientific studies and is crowned by Faust (part I, 1808; part II, 1833), written in stages during 60 years, in which he synthesized his life and art in a poetic and philosophical statement of the search for complete experience and knowledge. Among his best-known novels are The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774) and The Apprenticeship of Wilhelm Meister (1795-96). [Trans.]

[569] Will(iam James) Durant, Lidhdhāt-e Falsafeh [The Joys of Philosophy], trans. ‘Abbās Zaryāb (Tehran: Intishārāt va Āmūzesh-e Inqilāb-e Islāmī, 1369 AHS), p. 212.
[570] Shaykh at*-T&ā’ifah Muhammad ibn Hasan at*-T&ūsī, Tahdhīb al-Ahkām, ed. ‘Ali Akbar Ghaffārī (Tehran: Nashr-e Sadūq, 1376 AHS), vol. 6, p. 371.

[571]Ibid., p. 372.

[572]Loc. cit.

[573] See ibid., pp. 372-373.

[574] Nahj al-Balāghah, Maxim 163.

[575] See ibid., Maxim 319.

[576] D.T. Suzuki, Zen va Farhang-e Zhāponī [Zen and the Japanese Culture], trans. A. Pāshā-ī (Tehran: Nashr-e Mītrā, 1378 AHS), p. 65.

[577]Ibid., pp. 294-295.

[578] Kim Wu Chung, Sangfarsh-e har Khiyābān az T&alā ast [The Cobblestone of Every Street is from Gold], trans. Muhammad Sūrī (Tehran: Intīshārāt-e Sīmīn, n.d.), p. 259.

[579]Ibid., p. 263.

[580]Ibid., p. 260.

[581]Ibid., p. 263. It is said that this book is the collection of the writer’s life experiences and strivings, which after publication has more than 1 million copies being sold within two years.

[582] For further explanation on these elements, see Murtadā Mut*ahharī, Sīrī dar Nahj al-Balāghah [A Survey of the Nahj al-Balāghah] (Tehran: Sadrā, 1376 AHS), p. 232.

[583] Sayyid Hasan Mudarris [1859-1938] was one of the greatest religious and political figures in the recent history of Iran. He received his elementary education in Isfahān and then traveled to the cities of the holy shrines (the cities of Iraq where certain of the Imāms are buried: Najaf, Karbalā and Kāzimayn, and to a certain extent some others) where he received further education from such scholars as Mullā Muhammad Kāzim KhurāsānÄ« and, after graduation to the level of ijtihād, he returned to Isfahān and began teaching Islamic jurisprudence [fiqh] and principles [usÅ«l]. In 1909, at the time of the Second National Assembly, he entered Parliament having been chosen by the marāji‘ at-taqlÄ«d and the ‘ulamā’ of Najaf as one of the five mujtahids who were to oversee the law-making procedures. At the time of the Third National Assembly, he was chosen as a Member of Parliament. When Ridā Khān carried out his coup d’état, Mudarris was arrested and sent into exile, but after being freed he was again chosen by the people and again entered Parliament. In the Fourth National Assembly, he headed the opposition majority against Ridā Khān. At the time of the Fifth and Sixth National Assemblies, he opposed the proposal for the establishment of a republic, which Ridā Khān was in favour of, to replace the constitutional government, and he dissuaded the Parliament from approving it. He was resolute in his stand against the stubborn Ridā Khān, such that the Shah hired an assassin to kill Mudarris and when he escaped the attempt, he sent him first into exile in the remote town of Khāf near the Afghan border, and later in Kāshmar, where eleven years later in Ramadān 1938, the agents of the Shāh poisoned him. In this way, one of the greatest political and religious personalities of Iran was martyred in the way of Allah. Mudarris possessed outstanding qualities, and even though he was a man of great political and religious influence, he lived very simply. Imām KhomeinÄ« always spoke of him with a great deal of respect. The Leader of the Revolution, on the occasion of the renovation of Mudarris’ grave, wrote: “At a time when pens were broken, voices silenced and throats gripped, he never ceased from revealing the truth and abolishing falsehood….this feeble scholar, weak in body but strong in a spirit joyful from belief, sincerity and truth, and possessing a tongue like the sword of Haydar Karrār (Imām ‘AlÄ«), stood in front of them and shouted out the truth and disclosed the crimes, making life difficult for Ridā Khān and blackening his days. Finally, he sacrificed his own pure life in the way of dear Islam and the noble nation, and was martyred in exile at the hands of the oppressive Shāh’s executioner and joined his virtuous forefathers.” [Trans.]

[585]Sahīfeh-ye Imām, vol. 16, pp. 451-453.

[586]Ibid., vol. 9, p. 190.

[587]Ibid., vol. 8, p. 429.

[588]Ibid., vol. 4, pp. 219-220.

[589]Ibid., vol. 18, pp. 452-453.

[590] Peykan is the brand name of automobile manufactured in Iran for many years, which is noted for being ‘old-fashioned’ and ‘outmoded’. [Trans.]

[591]Ibid., vol. 19, p. 318.

[592] For information on these power symbols, their functions and deceptions, see Hoyle Dalton and Cincinnati Watts, Human Relations (Ohio: Southwestern Publishing House, 1992), pp. 216-219.

[593]Loc. cit.

[594] Nahj al-Balāghah, Letter 45.

[595]Sahīfeh-ye Imām, vol. 18, p. 471.

[596] Ya‘qūb ibn Layth as-Saffārī: founder of the Saffārī dynasty in Iran who resisted against the ‘Abbāsid caliphate. [Pub.]

[597]Ibid., vol. 12, p. 351.

[598]Ibid., vol. 8, pp. 381-382.

Source: al-shia.org











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