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According to Imam Khomeini, it is much easier to purify oneself in this world, as changes occur rapidly in this world; but in the next world, the process of change will be a prolonged process, and the effacement of one evil attribute of the soul will take several centuries.
Imam Khomeini sheds light on the subject in his famous work of "an exposition on Forty Hadith" as following:
Therefore, my dear, try to reform your self as long as you possess life, youth, energy, and freedom. Do not pay any attention to this-worldly fame and glory. Trample such phantoms under your feet. You are the. son of Adam (A), so free your self from the trait.
of Satan Perhaps the Devil gives more importance to see that this vice, which is characteristic of his own nature and for which he was driven out of the court of the Almighty God, is shared by everyone, the sage or the commoner, the scholar or the unlettered, and that they join his fold.
Then if you meet him in the next world, having carried this vice with you, he will rebuke you for having adopted this vice. he will say to you, ‘O son of Adam! Didn’t the prophets inform you that my haughtiness towards your father drove me out of the court of the Almighty? I was cursed due to my scorning of Adam and my self glorifying. Why did you allow yourself to be afflicted by this vice?”
At that time, you, wretched creature that you would be, besides confronting all kind of humiliations and tortures, besides all the regret and remorse, will also have to face the rebukes of the most wretched of beings and the basest of creatures, Imam furhter explains.
Satan was not guilty of pride towards God, but of pride towards the creature of God and had said to Him:
Thou createdst me of fire., and him Thou didst create of clay. (7:12)
In this manner he glorified himself and looked down on Adam (A). You, also, who look down on the progeny of Adam and glorify yourself, have disobeyed God’s Commands; for God has commanded His creatures to be modest and humble towards other human beings. You who treat people with haughty contempt, why do you curse the Devil alone?
Why don’t you include your vicious self also in this curse, as it also shares this vice with him? The proud man is a personification of all Satans; perhaps in the purgatory and on the Day of Resurrection, his appearance will be that of Satan.
The criterion of man’s form in the Hereafter are his spiritual qualities. It’s possible that you will acquire the form of Satan as well as the size of an ant. The standards in the Hereafter will be different from those in this world.