This World and the Hereafter from viewpoint of Imam Khomeini

This World and the Hereafter from viewpoint of Imam Khomeini

Imam Khomeini, the late founder of the Islamic Republic through theological works defined relation between this world and the hereafter.

According to Imam Khomeini, for many people, this world and the hereafter are cheese and chalk apart, and (to them) worldliness means turning away from the hereafter, while seeking the hereafter denotes hostility to the world.

Whenever the subject of the hereafter and that of keeping it in mind comes up, it seems that one should withdraw from the world, abandon and flee from it. Most of our Sufis and mystics have given currency to this dictum and claimed that the hereafter can be attained by trampling on this world, as this world is a world of matter while the hereafter is a world of meaning, and these two are irreconcilable.

All this vilification of the world, its vainness and the disgrace to which it has been subjected in our literature has its roots in this understanding of the world. Perhaps this world and the hereafter are inimical to one another and will never be reconciled. Someone with this notion of the world had vilified it and whose statement Imām ‘Alī (‘a) heard. Contrary to his expectation, the Imām (‘a) did not confirm his view. Rather, he (‘a) said to him:      

 O’ you who abuse the world, O’ you who have been deceived by its deceit and cheated by its wrongs. Do you accuse it or it should accuse you? When did it bewilder you or deceive you? Certainly, this world is a house of truth for him who appreciates it; a place of safety for him who understands it; a house of riches for him who collects provision from it (for the next world); and a house of instructions for him who draws instruction from it.

It is a place of worship for the lovers of Allah; the place of praying for the angels of Allah; the place where the revelation of Allah descends; and the marketing place for those devoted to Allah.”
From the viewpoint of Imām ‘Alī (‘a) there is nothing wrong with the world and it is not blameworthy. By the way, what is meant by the ‘world’? If we look upon the world as one of the levels of existence and one of God’s creations, then it cannot be reproached. If by the world we mean that place of origin and nourishment of humankind, then again it cannot be blamed. If by the world we mean that ground and bastion of human development, in this case, too, it cannot be deemed futile.

From whatever perspective we view the world, it seems as though the world is far from being blameworthy, and reproaching it is tantamount to reproaching God. Notwithstanding this, the world has been referred to in a blameful and rebuking manner in many of the Qur’anic verses and narrations (of the Prophet). It cannot be denied that the basis of many among those who have been hostile to the world has been some Qur’anic verses and sayings of the Infallibles (‘a) and our religious leaders.

For instance, concerning the world, God Almighty says: “Know that the life of this world is only play, and idle talk, and pageantry, and boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children.

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