Dr. Tabei: “In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful is a phrase which definitely acts as a key which opens the door of the wise man’s treasury. In other words, it is an opening phrase which acts as a key to the wise man’s success in his life. The above – mentioned phrase is the opening line of a Persian poem composed by the famous Persian poet named Hakim Nezami Ganjavi.”
Presenter: “Dr. Tabei, as far as I remember, you were busy carrying out some research lately, and you were on a research trip, too, so, we, for a while, were deprived of your presence and statements. Now that you have returned from your research trip, and have free time, we are very glad that your carrying out the research has been successfully finished, and once again, we are at your presence to listen to your influential statements.”
Dr. Tabei; “Thank you very much. First of all, let me narrate a memory from my last trip for you. The last trip I took, coincided with Sunday which is a bank holiday in western countries. As a matter of fact, I had traveled to the United States of America to carry out my research, and that Sunday I was completely free and had lots of free time. I was staying in the state of Texas that Sunday. I have seen many churches in my life in different countries. When I was in the state of Texas, I said to myself: “Why do not you go and see a church in the U.S.?” I had not seen a church in the United states of America before. So, I, in company with some of my intimate friends, decided to go to a church to see what a church in this vast country would be like. When we reached the church and stepped into it, I, accidentally, saw a very beautiful and meaningful sentence installed inside the church.
It was so beautiful and meaningful that I took out my notebook from my coat pocket and wrote down the beautiful and meaningful sentence in it. After a while, I noticed that as if this meaningful sentence was appropriately written for Muslims around the world to read it as a prayer for the Twelfth Imam, His Holiness Mahdi. What is more, I noticed that American worshippers, when in the church, always pray God for the return of Jesus Christ (Peace be upon him). American people go to churches on Sundays, and their major prayers in the church are usually accompanied with singing happy religious songs and playing musical instruments. They perform their church singing so passionately that the foreign watcher would become so impressed. To cut a long story short, the church we stepped into was a huge church and it was full of people and worshippers including a great number of men, women, young and old people. Seeing this great number of church people, I started to compare them with the number of Iranian worshippers in our mosques in Iran. I noticed that the number of American worshippers I was watching in that church was much much greater than the number of Iranian worshippers I watched in Iranian mosques in bank holidays. Afterwards, I took notice of the beautiful and meaningful sentences again, which were hanging on the walls of the church. Those sentences said: “I will watch ourselves; you can wait; it is worship.” Then, I said to myself, “This means if you keep waiting for the second coming of Jesus Christ (Peace be upon him), and if you keep watching yourself in order to be a good and faithful person, it will be like a worship. “In any case, that was a great experience I had that Sunday in the United States of America.”
Presenter: “Since our arguments center on the inherent human principles, and they are closely interwoven with those arguments we formerly had, which centered on ontology and anthropology, so, if you think there are any remaining points to be argued on these two issues, that is to say, ontology and anthropology, please deal with them. Let me put it in this way, on what bases have the pillars of humanity been solidified and erected?”
Dr. Tabei: “If we compare the human being with the Holy Quran, we will have the Quran – based interpretation. As for the human being, we have a kind of interpretation called” Man – to – man interpretation”, that is to say, a man – based interpretation.
It is worthy of mention that Ayatollah Javadi Amoli has written a book by this name, that is to say, “Man – based Interpretation”. But what does man – based interpretation really mean? In the Quranic surah of “Shams” [=the Sun], after several vows that Allah makes, He counties to say: “والشمس و ضحاها، و القمر اذاتلاها”, which means: “I swear to the Sun and its brightness; I swear to the moon as it follows the Sun …….” At the end of this surah, the Holy Qumran says: “فالهمها فجورها و تقواها”, which means: “By the soul, and the proportion and the order given to it … .” therefore, those Quranic verses whose meanings are completely made clear and do not need any interpretation, those which relate to Man’s nature, and those which have been com down from on high to us, do have similar Quramic verses whose meanings are not completely made clear, those which do not need appropriate interpretations, those which have to be interpreted on the basis of Man’s nature. It is also worthy of mention that on the basis of the very issue you just mentioned on Man, there are two conflicting philosophical ideas proposed by two well – known philosophers, that is to say, Thomas Hobbes and John Jock Rousseau. On Man, Thomas Hobbes believes that Man is naturally an evil creature, but due to the different needs he has, he is step by step forced to convince that he must be law – abiding in the end; furthermore, Hobbes believes, that of you set Man free, he will become no more than an animal; however, since animals do have limited and fixed needs, they do not claim that they have their own limited and fixed needs; therefore, animals do not show respect to one another; that is, what Hobbes believes is true for human beings, too – On the contrary, John Jock Rousseau believes that Man is good by nature. He believes that Man is misled and seduced by Satan from the direction of goodness. Allameh Tabataba’ee believes that both these conflicting philosophical ideas of Hobbes and Rousseau are true for the case of Man. But if we think more carefully, we will notice that there will be a third philosophical idea saying that if we look at Man according to his nature, he is no more than an animal, but if we look at Man’s soul, he will be considered as a good – natured creature. This reminds me of a story by which God, the Almighty asks Satan, “Why did not you worship Man?” And Satan answers, “Man is made of earth and soil, but I am made of fire. It will be below my dignity to worship Man. “Then, God, the Almighty says, “I myself have created Man, and I have bestowed willpower and freedom of choice on him.” Therefore, we will come to this conclusion that the basic essence of Man is his willpower, and his freedom of choice, which have given him a form of incubative evolution, that is to say, the central essence of Man, which is different from other creatures, is this very point of his spiritual evolution. Of course, there is no doubt that other creatures have been given the willpower and freedom of choice; for example, God, the Almighty at some time told other creatures to come to Him, so He asked them, “Are you coming to Me willingly or reluctantly?” The creatures told Him, “We are coming to you willingly”; and they released themselves by saying that. But God, the Almighty did not ask the same question from Man. Therefore, the basic essence of humanity consists of the willpower that has been bestowed on the part of Allah on Man. For this reason, the phases of the willpower in Man, in a religious way, have been perceived by Allah for Man, either in good ways or in evil ways. This is because if the issue of willpower did not exist in Man, he could not choose between the good and the evil. Therefore, the thing that exists in the face of Man’s willpower, has been bestowed on him by God, the Almighty. To see His own willpower, God, the Almighty has provided Man with a big light in order that Man makes use of his own willpower, and that bestowed big light would be Man’s “wisdom” which sheds light on the way on which Man is proceeding. As a matter of fact, to my way of thinking, if anyone gives his or her own willpower to God, the Almighty from the beginning, if anyone proceeds forward towards God, the Almighty, He will surely come to help them. God, the Almighty will teach them some affairs and release these affairs to them. Presumably, those who are nearest to God the Almighty are of those persons who abandoned their willpower to the willpower of God, the Almighty, who from the immemorial, before they turned to objects, they abandoned their willpower to the willpower of God, the Almighty. Therefore, in the words of Shams al – Din Muhammad, known as Hafiz, a great Persian poet of the late eight century A. H., “From the immemorial, I have been following God, the Almighty’s divine characteristics like what parrot does / whatever God, the Almighty states, I will state imitatively.” In a similar manner, His Holiness Imam Hussain (Peace be upon him), in the evening of Ashoura, the tenth day of the month of Muharram, which is the martyrdom day of him, says,”الهی رضی بقضائک تسلیما لامرک لامعبود سواک”
, which means: “O God! I am satisfied with your satisfaction, and I will await Your decree and judgment.” This is what comes to my mind about God, the Almighty’s willpower as compared to Man’s willpower. On the other hand, if someone does not abandon his or her own willpower to the willpower of God, the Almighty, they will become like Pharaoh of Egypt who said, “انا ربکم العلی”, which means: “I [Pharaoh] am the great God”, which can be likened in this way: It is said that at the time of immemorial, Man showed himself to Us in Our mirror. What does that mean? It means that if we place a mirror over here, and if the mirror had a tongue to speak, and if we asked the mirror, “What do you see in the mirror?”, it would answer,” I see You. “Therefore, at the time of immemorial, God, the Almighty showed Himself to us in the mirror of His existence. At the time of immemorial, God, the Almighty said, “الست بربکم قالوابلی”, which means: “This world is like a hallway. In the world of being, God, the Almighty spoke with the language of existence. Existence does have a language, and basically, the language belongs to existence. Human beings, at the time of immemorial, with the help of the language of existence perceived the voice of Allah body and soul. Human beings’ existence was like an ear which listened to this divine voice of Allah, and they said to this voice: “Yes”. But after the fall of Man, we, human beings replied the voice of God, the Almighty, “قالوا لابلا”, which means: “They did not listen and did not answer to the voice of Allah”. In this respect, Allameh Tabatabaei says: “Whenever we do a good action, it is as if we are saying, “قالو بلی”, which means: “We answer” Yes” to the voice of Allah”; and whenever we do a wrong action, it is as if we are saying, “قالوا لابلا”, which means: “we say “No” to the voice of Allah” Therefore, it is very important to imagine that there is a mirror in which we are shown by God, the Almighty. Now, it is not a bad thing to know that there exists a woman named “Nancy Murphy” who is considered as one of the Christian dialectical theologians. I think she must have travelled to Iran two times. She has held a conference in New York Science Academy by the name of “Man’s self: from the Soul to the Brain.” She, with the accompaniment of some scientists held this conference to discuss about Man’s self: from his Soul of the Brain. In this conference, there were lots of scientists including neurologists, neurosurgeons, computer experts, theologians as well as philosophers. They all tried to justify Man’s self and explicate it in this conference. At the end of this conference, these experts and scientists and theologians came to this conclusion that there were almost a few theories in relation to Man. One of these theories is that of materialism. Materialists say that Man is made of matter; whatever originates from soul, exists in the material body. Man’s body is born once, and it will die one day in the future, and the body and whatever exists in that including the soul, will be destroyed with the death of Man. Elsewhere in the conference, she says that chemists, biologists, and physicians believe in this materialistic theory. The second group are those who believe in dualism in relation to Man’s self, including philosophers such as Immanuel Kant and Rene’ Descartes. One of these two philosophers, I do not know exactly which one, believes that Man’s self would be an abstract essence, and it lives only for its existence. On the other hand, we have Man’s body. The body and the self, or the soul, do exist in a way, but to the question, “What will happen to the Man’s soul or self after death?”
these two philosophers have not had an answer and they become silent. The third group are those who believe in trinity in relation to Man’s self or soul. They believe in the body, the self, and the soul. In the end, Nancy Murphy says that Islamic scholars believe in the fourth theory according to which the essence of the existence of Man is God, the Almighty Himself, and all creatures are like shadows of Him. Murphy adds that since she is not an expert in Quranic cultures, she will, therefore, not be able to explicate more on this matter, but she refers to one of the greatest Islamic philosophers known as Mullah Sadra (=Sadroddin Muhammed Shirazi), a Shitte philosopher of the tenth century A.H. Muslims believe in a kind of idealism which is, in general, called “pantheism” or “monoism”.
Dr. Ghazipour: “In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful. The essence of creation, and, in general, what really exists in the world of being depends on common rules and principles, that is to say, the dimension of the world of being, the universe, as well as solid bodies are directional, which are not related to our discussion. The dimension and direction of the creation of the creatures on which God, the Almighty has bestowed life, including plants, animals as well as the human beings are bound to a single abstract being which is called God, the Almighty. Earlier in this discussion, Dr. Tabei said that what distinguishes the human being from other creatures would be the human being’s inherent tendency towards being sociable, to live in the society with other human beings, that is to say, God, the Almighty has bestowed independence on all the human beings He has created. Dr. Tabei, earlier in this discussion, said that all animals are savage, with which I do not agree in a way. I believe that all animals, depending on their way of creation and their instincts, are living in a complete way of harmony with each other in this world of being. For instance, the jungle has its own rules and regulations, but, in a wrong way, we, human beings, in general, consider the jungle as a lawless phenomenon. But the truth is that the jungle, as I stated earlier, has its own rules and regulation. All creatures including animals, apart from human beings, make use of each other to provide their basic needs for their lives in a balanced way in Nature; they, the animals, play their roles in the jungle and in Nature in accordance with what has been defined and ordered by God, the Almighty for them. Animals do not eat an animal of the same kind. They do not attack other animals pointlessly unless they need them as a food they need to eat for their survival. In terms of sociability and relationship, the human being is similar to other animals, because the willpower which has been bestowed on Man on the part of God, the Almighty is not at all supposed to be tempered with. The question is here. Since these structural principles, which exist in all creatures, are not supposed to be tempered with, we have to know that the principle of being a human being and, more suitably, in these animals do not at all conform with the belief that all animals in this world do not possess intelligence or wisdom, saying that these animals are ignorant in terms of wisdom. Let me give you an example. We could say that animals are ignorant or savage, and such statements which some philosophers wrongly utter or write. These wrong statements have been written in the writings of some philosophers. Please, pay attention to what I am going to say. Man is a kind of animal, and the principles of his being an animal must not be tempered with, al though we believe that Man has the willpower of their own. Therefore, before human beings proceed into any domain and field with the aid of their willpower, we have to emphasize that they have to protect their human principles as a human principle originated from a sort of animals created by God, the Almighty. The wisdom and willpower of Man have not been originated from their power of speech, which enable them to attack other creatures, which enable them to attack other men, which enable them to tyrannize other people in order that they gain their needs. These are beyond their accepted and usual needs in their creation. As a matter of fact, Man’s wisdom does not allow him to attack, to tyrannize and to misuse other animals. These are placed in the divine power of God, the Almighty, although we do not deny that a power, too, has been bestowed on Man on the part of God, the Almighty to fall to the abyss of ignominy. There is no doubt about it. It is with this very willpower that Man can reach the ideal perfection, although God, the Almighty has never wanted Man to fall to the abyss of ignominy. On the contrary, God, the Almighty has wanted Man to choose the ideal perfection, and with this very choice of ideal perfection, God, the Almighty helps Man to be more evolved, and make him go beyond the usual limits of his being. But, unfortunately, Man having his willpower, sometimes steps on the wrong path or direction, and following satanic temptations and evil tendencies, proceeds in the direction which makes him fall in to the abyss of ignominy. But let me make this point clearer, that is to say, in the discussion related to anthropology, before we go through the matter of Man’s general willpower in a definite way, we have to deal with Man’s specific willpower, that is to say, the good and bad ways which are common in all human beings, and which are considered as human principles. These common characteristics and human principles have to be observed and protected. Man, in the direction of his evolution and perfection, should try not to do something wrong which helps to hurt and destroy his evolution and perfection. It is at this point that there is a difference of opinion between some Islamic scholars who believe that being a human being is prior to being a Muslim person. They also say that being a human being is prior to religiosity. Therefore, It is desired that Man should keep and protect his humanity first, taking care of his human principles, walking on the path of humanity. If Man does so, he will be able to reach perfection and ideal evolution, becoming an exemplary Muslim in the end. On the contrary, if Someone thinks that he or she has turned into an exemplary Muslim, but, on the other hand, ignores a series of human principles, they de finitely have made a big mistake and have chosen a wrong path. Observing and protecting human principles are necessary factors to become a real human being and ultimately to be an ideal Muslim.”
Presenter: “What I understand from your statements is that apart from believing in a specific religion, Man should possess, observe, and ported a series of human principles which are considered as necessary conditions for them to be called human beings. In other words, the necessary condition for any religion and religiosity would be being a real human being. And that is for sure. So, according to what you said, we, human beings should consider human principles over religiosity. Furthermore, human beings are called human beings on the condition that they freely can choose their willpower and relate it to human principles.”
Dr. Tabei: “Of course, in one respect, we can say that it is the religion that comes down from on high by God, the Almighty, and leads Man, a creature who is called a talking animal so to speak. Therefore, we come to this conclusion that Man should be a creature who seeks God, the Almighty; a creature who wants to know their own creature. Apart from Man’s primary phases of evolution which you mentioned earlier, Man possesses other phases, that is to say, a phase which is beneath the phase of animals, in which they, one day, were stones and their hearts were as hard as stones. As the Quranic surah of “Baqarah”, verse seventy – four says:
“ثم قست قلوبکم من بعد ذلک فهی کالحجاره او اشدقسوه و ان من الحجاره لما تیفجر منه الانهار وان منها لما یشفق فیخرج منه الماء وان منها لما یهبط من خشیه الله و ما الله یغافل عما تعلمون”.
, which means: “Then your hearts become hardened after that, being like stones or even harder. For in deed, there are stones from which rivers burst forth, and there are some of them that split open and water comes out, and there are some of that fall down for fear of Allah. And Allah is not unaware of what you do.”
So, in this way, the stone is placed in the bottommost place in terms of hardness. Afterwards, the stone becomes softer and softer in a gradual manner, turning into earth, dust, and the like, which all of them come to know God, the Almighty. In contrast to this, Man has been given the ability to reach a position over divine angels; this is the position which is called “real and complete humanity”. Everything that exists in the universe exists inside the soul of Man. His Holiness, Imam Ali (Peace be upon him) says: “Man is a microcosm in which the macrocosm exists”. In other word, from the phase of stone to the phase of over the position of divine angels, Man is able to manifest himself. There fore, Man, with the aid of his willpower, is able to reach a position which is over the position of divine angels, and, in contrast, he also has the ability to fall in the abyss of ignominy, too. If we, human beings, can transcend, it is for the goodness of ourselves, and if we fall in to decadence, it is for the badness of ourselves. Therefore, determinism means nothing here. Some people, when they try to explicate the term determinism, justify it by this poetic line composed by Omar Khayyam who says:
“If I drink wine, God, the Almighty knew this from the very beginning / And if I do not drink wine, God’s knowledge would be like a kind of ignorance/.” Those people who do not have any knowledge, quote this poetic line composed by Omar Khayyam to justify that the poet had been a determinist. But it is not so; God, the Almighty knows well that you are drinking wine. On the other hand, He knows well that you have a willpower not to drink it as well, because God, Himself, has given the willpower to you; so you have only two choices to make, either you can drink wine or not to drink it. This is the matter of willpower. But if God, the Almighty intervened in your drinking the wine, the willpower of you would be vanished. Therefore, the greatest blessing bestowed by God, the Almighty on Man would be the blessing of willpower. As it is said: “There is no mere determinism, nor is mere willpower; but there is something between the determinism and Man’s willpower.”
Dr. Ghazipour: “I very much like to put an emphasis on the point which was mentioned earlier in this discussion by Dr. Tabei. May be the point is not related to our discussion, but I have to put an emphasis on it. The point is that Man finds out and knows a creator from his creation. Let me give you on example. For instance, when a great thing is created or produced, and, afterwards, when Man observes this great creation or production, he finds out that what great man or woman has been its creation. Therefore, with reference to God, the Almighty, we can definitely claim that the Creator creates something. There is an indispensable relationship between the Creator and the creature in the whole universe. In a smaller scope, that is to say, in this world, this indispensable relationship works, too. It is also true for the creation of the world of being. And it is interesting to know that in the creation of Man, since the creation and the Creator are in their mutual manifestations, the creation is the beautiful manifestation of its Creator, that is to say, God, the Almighty. And this conformity and indispensable relationship exist in all human beings, that is to say, every man or woman is able to find out the appearance of their creator, that is to say, God, the Almighty in his or her self or creation. It is also true for spiritual aspects. As the Quranic surah of “Asra”, verse eighty – five says:
“ویسالونک عن الروح قل الروح من امرربی و ما اوتیتم من العلم الا قلیلا”
, which means: “And they ask you, [O Muhammed], about the soul. Say, ‘The soul is of the affair of my lord. And mankind has not been given of the knowledge except a little.” And this is an absolute matter.”
Presenter: “I reach a conclusion from your statements, and that is so, if we believe in human principles including freedom of choice and willpower and other things you had mentioned in previous discussions; so we can infer that from human principles, we are able to believe in divine principles, that is to say, if we see the willpower of mankind, this willpower has originated from God, the Almighty; if we see freedom of choice in mankind, this freedom of choice has existed earlier in God, the Almighty, too. So, it is important to consider God, the Almighty as the super Being.”
Dr. Tabei: “yes, the point you just mentioned reminds me of a famous saying which says: “Whoever knew him or herself, did know his or her God.”, that is to say, there is a mutual relationship between mankind and his or her God. In Mullah Sadra’s words, if we look closely at our soul, we will realize that: “النفس فی وحدتها کل القوا”, which means: “The soul or the self of mankind would be considered as something which encompasses every thing, although it is a single being. “It means that although we have one soul or self, we can do every thing by it. Let me give you an example, here. We are able to write; we are able to sing; we are able to move our hands; we are able to see things, and so on and so forth. If we aggrandize these abilities, we will be able to reach and observe God, the Almighty, a single God who is Almighty, a single God who has His own willpower, who has His own knowledge, who has His own freedom, who has His own power, who rules over the world of being, who has the ability to control this world. This is the first stage, that is to say, to know our soul or self. Next stage comes when we try to know God, the Almighty. If we are sure that God, the Almighty is knowledge, we will go and seek knowledge in this world; if we are sure that God, the Almighty is power, we can produce power inside ourselves; if we are sure that God, the Almighty is divine life, we will go and seek divine life in this world. These two stages are closely interwoven as well as indispensable.
Therefore, in this way, the famous saying I mentioned earlier becomes meaningful; in this way, after one has known his or her soul or self, he or she will try to know their God. Therefore, if mankind is determined enough to know him or herself well, and, thus, in the future, will be able to know God, the Almighty and His divine characteristics, he or she will try to be something like God, the Almighty, and, finally, he or she will turn into the successor of God, the Almighty on the planet Earth. As the Quranic surah of “Baqarah”, verse thirty – one says:
” و علم آدم الاسماء و کلها ثم عرضهم علی الملائکته فقال انبوئنی باسماء هولاء ان اکنتم صادقین”
, which means: “And He taught Adam the names – all of them. Then He showed them to the angels and said, “Inform me of the names of these – if you are truthful.”
Dr. Ghazipour: “Here, I take the opportunity to say some sentences. I would like to state something which is in relation to what Dr. Tabei just said, that is to say, knowledge, power, and freedom which do exist in God, the Almighty. There is no doubt the there are other things in Him such as love, passion, affection which all manifest themselves in a kind of art called literature. There is also philanthropy in God, the Almighty. All of these I just mentioned is one single thing as a matter of fact. And all the things which do exist in God, the Almighty are assessed and valued by His endless love. Love is every thing in this world. It is second to none.”
Presenter: “yes, that is true. Even in solid things and objects we can find love. In those solid things which can be mixed with one another, it has been proved that there exists a love, a bond, a connection between their atoms. On the contrary, in those solid things such as some stones or metals which cannot be mixed with one another, there would be no love between their atoms.”
Dr. Tabei: “If we take out the evolutional stages from a solid thing, we will have the absorption and the repellence. In human beings, if we take out their evolutional stages from them, what will remain in them will be the anger and the lust; then comes the enmity and the reluctance; then comes the love; then comes what we call in Islamic culture “Tavalla”(= the love of His Holiness Imam Ali (Peace be upon him) and his children), and “Tabarra” (=Showing hatred towards the enemies of His Holiness Imam Ali(Peace be upon him) and his children.)”
Presenter: “It is worthy of mention that “Tavalla” and “Tabarra” are considered as secondary parts of the religion of Islam. These two factors are said to be parts of love which has showed itself here.”
Dr. Ghazipour: “It is appropriate to use the word” idealist” here. If God, the Almighty were not an idealist, He would not embark on creating human beings.”
Dr. Tabei: “Abslutely. God, the Almighty is an idealist Himself, because He has embarked on creating His creatures, and above all, the human being. As a matter of fact, in an Islamic habit and tradition, we are told: “I [=God, the Almighty] wanted to see Myself, so I embarked on creating Adam.” As a matter of fact, we, now, have two dimensions: one is that God, the Almighty sees us, and He praises Himself as the best and the greatest creator for the creation of Adam. The other dimension is that if we, human beings, see ourselves in the mirror of God, the Almighty, what, do you think, we will see in it?
Of course, we do not see ourselves in the mirror of God, the Almighty; instead, what we will see in the mirror will be God, the Almighty Himself, who did create us. Last night, I heard Mr. Dastgheib say something beautiful. He said, “If one knows that he or she is no one, they will not feel any pride if they are praised by others, because in the creation of the world of being, Man is nothing, that is to say, Man is like a zero number. If you multiply zero by the infinity, the result will be zero. Therefore, those great people who have found out that they are nobody in comparison with the universe and the world of being, they really feel satisfied with themselves, and it is not important for them whether they are praised by others. As a matter of fact, their minds rest in peace.”
Dr. Ghazipour: “Let me complete Dr. Tabei’s statements by saying that His Holiness Imam Khomieni (Peace be upon him) once said, “We, human beings, are nobody; God, the Almighty is every thing.” Imam Khomeini (May he rest in peace) did not say, “Everything that is made by God, the Almighty is everything”. As a matter of fact, every thing that exists in the world of being is the manifestation of God, the Almighty. This is the very belief which is called monotheism or the belief in one single God; this is the same thing that Man sour ibn-e Halladj said; he said, “I am my own God.” Indeed, Mansour ibne- Halladj became out of his senses by finding out the greatness of God, the Almighty, and said, “I am the God,”; and, thus, he was hung.”
Dr. Tabei: “yes, that is completely right. Let me give you an example. Take a mirror and place it in front of your nose. what will you see? You will see an ugly piece of cartilage. Now, place the mirror where your can see you lips, your nose as well as your eyes; so, you will find out that you are not that ugly as before. Now, place the mirror where you can see all creatures of this world. Now, can you identify yourself, after all? Of course not. You will not be able to see yourself any more. As a matter of fact, you will be lost in the mirror. Therefore, if you are seeking to see the beauty, it is necessary that you do not see yourself any more; indeed, you will be engrossed in the big ocean of God, the Almighty, where you will not identify yourself any more. In this state, what you will see would be only and only God, the Almighty as well as to feel the miracle of creation.”
Presenter: “Let me allude to a different aspect of this discussion. These very concepts and principles you just mentioned have been harmed by those who have had the love of this world inside their minds. So, I think these concepts and principles must have been distorted. For instance, if, in the religion of Islam, we would like to discuss about the matter of truthfulness, which is so common in this world, instead of talking about truthfulness, we tend very much to talk about double – facedness, which is the opposite pole of truthfulness. On the other hand, to talk about double – fakeness which is the opposite pole of truthfulness, verity, honesty, frankness and the like, we tend to use the word conservatism instead, because the group of people who I mentioned above want to distort it. Now, let me raise a question: “Do we really trust these very human principles and concepts?” These human principles and concepts have really been distorted throughout the history of mankind, and when young people start to deal with them, they think that these distorted concepts and principles are really the very truth. Young people see materialistic freedom in these distorted concepts and principles; as a result, they cannot be educated and evolved well enough, so clergymen will surely have difficulty with these young people who have understood a distorted form of understanding of the real freedom.
In this way, the relationship between clergymen and young people will be surely cut off. Clergymen have to be able to answer young people’s questions, but the clergymen are not, indeed, able to answer them in reality. There would be a big big gap between clergymen and young people. So, what can be done to fill this gap which is between these two groups of people?
In other words, in recent decades, there has been a great misunderstanding between clergymen and young people. The question is this: “How are we going to remove this gap of misunderstanding between them?”
Dr. Tabei: “yes, it is true that there has been a great gap of misunderstanding between clergymen and young people. Let me give you a tangible example. Take us, we, university instructors. Most of the times, when we teach in university classrooms, our students often say to us: “Sir, it seems that you are really an expert in the field you are teaching, but the point is that we, university students do not understand you at all. “yes, this gap of misunderstanding has always existed between the old and the young generations. Young and old generations, it is a truth, do not understand one another. It is an undeniable fact. The only thing, to my way of thinking, that can fill this gap of misunderstanding existing between the old and the new generations, that was just mentioned. One day some of my friends and I had the honor of going to the presence of Ayatollah Javadi Amoli. I told him, “Sir, you, in your discussions and debates, use a lot of difficult words which although they can be pleasant to the ear, they cannot be understood by me. Could you please compile a glossary book of Islamic terms which can be used by us?” Ayatollah Javadi Amoli accepted my complaint, and suggestion and said,” a man named Mr. parsania has been ordered by me to compile such a glossary book for simplifying the Islamic terms, but, till now, I do not know whether this glossary book has been published or not.” Ayatollah Javadi Amoli has put an interpretative book on “Nahj – ol – Blaghah” in to writing of which two volumes have been published so far. This interpretative book is really difficult to understand, to tell you the truth; besides, it cannot be simplified for common readership. I acknowledge that our words have to be simplified for the young generation.”
Dr. Ghazipour: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that God, the Almighty has spoken in all levels of language to people of the world through His divine books including the Holy Quran, in a way which is understandable by all people, for every people from all walks of life. It should be stated that God, the Almighty has hidden His statements in that all – understood language. The Holy Quran has different levels to be understood. At the first level, God, the Almighty speaks with faithful people. At the third level, God, the Almighty speaks with innocent Imams in a way that the more innocent Imams read the Holy Quram, the less they can reach the position of God, the Almighty, because at this level, it is so difficult to understand what I really think is that our society including people from all walks of life really need a psychological peace of mind. Nowadays, our society is not detached from the rest of the world, thanks to social networks and media. The people of the world do need a psychological peace of mind. With the intention of modem technologies, Man has lost his peace of mind, As the American people say, “we have lost happiness.” Meditation, in the real sense of the word, does not exist in western culture. That is why western people have found meditation in other countries, that is to say, in eastern cultures such as India or in Buddhist cultures to find out or understand the philosophy of Zen. On the other hand, if you take a close look at Muslims’ praying, you will notice that Muslims all around the world say their prayers five times a day, which is considered as the best possible way of meditation. Muslims’ sprayings have remained a mystery until now. No one knows why a Muslim stand, bows, or becomes prostrated while they are saying their prayers. It has been proved that by saying Islamic prayers, by standing still, by bowing, by becoming prostrated and the like as well as repeating holy, appropriate words and sentences which have been ordered by the prophet of Islam, His Holiness Muhammed (Peace be upon him and his family), the psychological system of the prayer’s body is really regulated. But there are some people who desert or ignore Mushims’ prayers and, instead, they only resort to Chinese acupuncture to solve their psychological problems and disorders. That is really to be regretted. We know that Mushims’ prayers have four columns. We also know that Muslims’ prayers have their specific orders and principles of which we know little. We also know that Muslims’ prayers have their own specific manners and styles. After that comes the mysteries of Namaz – If any person understands these three levels of Muslims’ prayers, that is to say, Namaz, he or she will come to a stage which I have called” the conditions or qualities” of Namaz. No one will reach these stages, unless they understand the three stages or levels of Namaz or Muslims’ prayers which I just mentioned. The conditions or qualities of Namaz will then be so pleasing for real, faithful, and sensitive prayers. What I really feel and suggest is that we should pave the way for our university students that they get step by step be acquainted with Islamic prayers and their stages. I remember that His Holiness Imam Khomeini (May he rest in peace) put a book into writing about the mysteries of Namaz in Arabic language. He also wrote a book on the mysteries of Namz in Farsi language, which he dedicated it to his son, Seyyed Ahmad Khomeini. But, the Farsi version contains difficult words and phrases which make the book very difficult for the readership.”
Presenter: “yes, I remember that Imam Khomeini’s books were written in a difficult style which made them very difficult to be understood by the readership. Nevertheless, Imam Khomeini’s conversational language was so easy to understand that people from all walks of life could understand his statements easier. I have noticed that Islamic scholars, throughout the history, have unwantedly ignored young people and young university students. These Islamic scholars, in their books and speeches, speak as if they are only speaking whit the old and the experts. Their books show this, too; as a matter of fact, they are all difficult to understand except for the experts. I repeat again that the tendencies and tastes of young people have, throughout history, been unwantedly gathered by a great majority of Islamic scholars.”
Dr. Tabei: “There is this discussion that when you would like to teach a person a practical profession, it is as if you must have done it before. It is useless to teach a person a practical profession if you have not done it before. In other words, you have to be an expert person in a certain field if you are going to teach it to another person. Therefore, if we are supposed to teach university students a certain discipline, we must be a specialist in that discipline. These Islamic scholars, in their books and speeches, speak as if they are only speaking with the old and the experts. Their books show this, too; as a matter of fact, they are all difficult to understand except for the experts. I repeat again that the tendencies and tastes of young people have, throughout history, been unwantedly ignored by a great majority of Islamic scholars.”
Dr. Tabei: “There is this discussion that when you would like to teach a person a practical profession, it is as if you must have done it before. It is useless to teach a person a practical profession if you have not done it before. In other words, you have to be an expert person in a certain field if you are going to teach it to another person. Therefore, if we are supposed to teach university students a certain discipline, we must be a specialist in that discipline.
If we are not a specialist in a certain discipline, giving advice about and teaching it will be surely useless. University students should then learn a kind of love, a kind of self – sacrifice, a kind of thing which in western culture is called “forgiveness”. They should learn forgiveness forum us, university teachers. The kind of love that Dr. Ghazipour mentioned before would be a kind of love in which you always give to someone or something. We should not receive love from our students; rather, we should give love to them. Anyone whose philosophy of life is that he or she should receive something when giving love is making a big mistake. A true love has to give love all the time. He or she must be a giver not a taker. This is true even in conjugal life. In conjugal life, if the husband thinks that he is only there to take something including love from his wife just because he truly loves her, he is definitely making a big mistake. In love, you have to love to give love to the person you love.
Let me give you an example in this regard. You give me some money for no reason. I simply like to be given this amount of money by you. But, if you give this amount of money in a loving way, I will never forget your giving me the money.
What is more, you will also be pleased by giving that amount of money to me. You will also remember my action of giving the money, because my giving has made you feel so good. As the Holy Quran, in the surah of “Al – e – Emran”, verse ninety – two, says:
“لن تنالوا البر تنفقوا مماتحبون وماتنفقوا من شی فان الله به علیم”
, which means: “Never will you a attain the good [reward] until you spend [in the way of Allah] from that which you love. And whatever you spend – indeed, Allah is Knowing of it.”
The giver of something will not experience the feeling and the taste of goodness, unless they give it with love to someone else. And this is not an easy job. If you love something which belongs to you, and, after all, you give it in a loving way to someone you love, you will surely experience the taste and feeling of goodness.”