Mankind naturally avoids poverty and deficiency. If a person finds poverty or deficit in any aspect of his life, he would do his best to overcome that poverty and remove that deficit. For example, every person can feel material poverty and tries to avoid it.
However, spiritual poverties such as having deficiencies in education or politeness is less sensible for people. One who lacks the manners of social interaction, human moralities, or correct social education usually does not feel such deficiency within himself, especially if bad manners have penetrated his soul and become his “habit”. Educational and intellectual poverty are of the same nature. An ignorant or fool person does not feel ignorance or foolishness.
Therefore, if one is asked “What is the most essential and beneficial knowledge for mankind?” the answer would be acknowledgement of education poverty and ignorance. In fact, knowledge and intellect are spiritual foods. Therefore, one should think about his spiritual food as much as he thinks about his sustenance. It is essential to care about the food for our soul as much as we care about food for our body.
Among foods, some are energetic, yet some are weakening; some cause power and energy while some cause weakness; some are healthy while others are unhealthy; this is the case with spiritual foods as well. The education one receives, the books he studies, the articles he reads, and the lectures he listens to are not similar in their effects. Some of them strengthen the intellect and will, while others bring about disappointment and despair. Some educations make on optimistic about the life and the creation, yet some teachings introduce life and creation as vain and purposeless, and make one pessimistic about everything and everyone.
Therefore, as every person is responsible towards himself and his salvation, he has to be cautious about what he feeds his soul. Also, those in charge of the society have the responsibility to control the spiritual food of the people.
Imam Hassan Mujtaba (PBUH) has a statement about this issue where he says:
I wonder how people are cautious about their food; yet they do not care about what they feed their souls of thoughts, ideas, and knowledge. They avoid harmful food for their stomachs, yet they do not care if their souls are fed with harmful thoughts (1)”.
(The above is a selection taken from “Words of Wisdom and Advice”, by Martyr Murtada Mutahhari (with some changes))
The Roshd Website congratulates all Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon 15th of Ramadan, the birthday anniversary of the generous one of the Ahl al-Bait (PBUT),
Imam Hassan al-Mujtaba (PBUH).
1. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 1, p. 218