The highest wisdom is the knowledge of oneself. (1)

(Imam Ali bin Musa al-Reza (PBUH))

Paying attention to one’s parlance, behavior and actions or more accurately knowing ourselves and our actions, and the art of self-awareness is the duty of every human being. The importance of this matter is to an extent to which it has turned self-awareness to a fundamental skill for reaching salvation and a better life. According to the saying of Imam Ali bin Musa al-Reza (PBUH), self-awareness is the most important aspect of our wisdom. The more we have knowledge from ourselves our intellect would be more mature.

But what is meant by self-awareness? Self-awareness is the ability of the individual to understand his personal and social traits; in a way which makes him aware of his strengths and weaknesses, wants, needs and other existential aspects so that it finally reaches the human to a genuine knowledge of himself. Now, in order to reach this genuine knowledge there are different facets in this respect can be listed as follows: 

1- The knowledge of rights: the awareness of the human being of his rights and others’ rights, and the responsibilities which come from them will help him to form his social relations on a correct basis.

2- The knowledge of capacities: The familiarities of the person with the capabilities that will help him have self-confidence and self-esteem.

3- The knowledge of weaknesses: same as that man has some capabilities, he also has some weaknesses which their acknowledgement require internal courage and tolerance; for the acknowledgement of the flaws is a difficult task and noticing them plays an important role in self-awareness.

4- The knowledge of enthusiasms: this deals with the recognition and analysis of different enthusiasms that has been present in the personality or has been established later. The individual, with the help of this awareness, can separate his real and reasonable likes from the rest.

5- The knowledge of needs: one of the important characteristics of man is his dependence on physical and psychological needs. Sometimes this dependence is important to an extent that its satisfaction becomes a decisive factor in the wellbeing of personality and behavior of the individual.

6- The knowledge of ideals: similar to his dependence on his needs, the human also is dependent on his ideals and hopes; for hopes and ideals are the maker of the mind and behavior of the self. Therefore the person who has reached a fair level of self-awareness can illustrate a future that is realizable in the framework of his capabilities, and he can follow it with motivation.

Doubtlessly, the beneficent birthday of Imam Reza (PBUH) is a good opportunity for us to ponder on our identity and reach to a fair self-awareness.

(The above is a selection taken from “Skills of Life in Lifestyle of Imam Reza (PBUH)”, by Dr. Muhammad Reza Sharafi)

The Roshd Website congratulates all Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon 11th of Dhi al-Qa’dah, the birthday anniversary of the container of the knowledge of the Prophets and the manifestation of kindness of Allah, Imam Ali ibn Musa al-Reza (PBUH).


1. Al-Udad al-Qawiah

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