Islamic Concept of

Knowledge














Shaykh-ul-Islam
Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri




Minhaj-ul-Quran Publications
Lahore, Pakistan
Copyright © 2007 by Minhaj -ul -Qur an International ,
Lahore , Pakistan. All ri ghts reser ved. No par t of thi s book
may be used or re produced in any manner whatsoe ver
wi thout prior permi ssion, e xcept in c ase of brief quotations
embodied in cri tic al ar ticle s and reviews.

Research Assi stant: Shaykh Abdul Azi z Dabbagh


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Qadri ’s books, recorded audio/video c asse tte s & CDs of
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Minhaj -ul -Qur an Inte rnational.





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CONTENTS


Beyond Description 7
Introduction 15
Definition 17
Elements of knowledge 18
The c oncept of knowledge in the li ght of Surah Al-
Alaq
19
Six aspec ts of the c oncept of knowledge 21
The concept and objec ts of knowledge 21
Knowledge and di vine gnosi s 23
Tele ologic al c ate gorization of knowledge 24
The vast and ope n field of knowledge 25
Syll abi – the progr ammes and pac kage s of le ar ning 27
The outc ome of knowledge 30
Feeling of humblene ss and mode sty 31
Removing the superiori ty complex 32
Knowledge defined by Abu Bakr Siddi q 33
The r anking of prophetic knowledge 34
Humblene ss stands for di gnity 36
The sourc es of knowledge 37
The f i ve phy si c al se nse s 38
Fi ve spi r i tual se nse s 40
Man and l i mi tati ons of hi s knowl e dge 42
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 6
Ec stasy 43
The divi ne re vel ation 44
The scope of knowledge 45
Bibl iogr aphy 49




Beyond Description


His Eminence Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri
i s a the ologi an, theosophi st, scientist and spiri tualist of
modern times. A pre acher , reformer and phil osopher , he i s
al so a politic al thinker of world r enown. He i s the animati ng
he ar tbe at of hundreds of thousands of Muslims around the
gl obe . It has l ayer s of me anings whate ver he wri te s and
spe aks about, addressing simultaneously the whole mankind
in gener al , the whole Muslim Umma in parti cular as the
immedi ate f ocus of hi s magic al rhe toric and f ascinating pen.
He tal ks about and proves the r elevanc e of Isl am to the
modern age . Di agnosing the mal adie s that have afflic ted
mankind he prescribes Isl am as the sol e remedy to the entire
syndrome . He has authored some 450 publi shed wor ks in
Ar abic , English and Urdu and deli vered ove r 5,500 l ecture s
in various l anguages all over the world. His c apabilities,
God-gi fted quali ties, achie vements and hi gh ideals beggar
de scription.

Leading the Umma out of its ordeal
His te achings are deep, defini te and sublime le ading one’s
soul to the divine chamber s. Gal vanizing and inspiri ng, hi s
or atory le aves us spell -bound, enlighteni ng vi vidly as to
what we ar e doing on e ar th and what, i n f ac t, we are
supposed to do; what trouble s we are sufferi ng f rom and
how in a scienti fic f ashion c an we cure and c onvale sce .
Spe aking in terms of modern logic , he pricks one ’s inner
core and cle ars one ’s visi on on the compatibili ty of Isl am
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 8
wi th the scientific re ali ties of the universe which have so f ar
been di scovered and which the scie nti sts may explor e in the
times to c ome . He is re ally an embodiment of all knowledge
and wi sdom that is r equi red to le ad the Umma out of its
curre nt orde al .

Restoring man’s status in the universe
Falling prey to str ay ideol ogie s and burdened by the stre sse s
and str ains of modern life , the mode rn man has become
thoroughly materi ali stic , c onsi gning all mor al , spi ritual and
human value s to oblivion. It seems as if the Here af ter , the
Last Day and the Final Accountabili ty during life after de ath
have no more been hi s conce rns. This has added enormous
mi series to hi s daily chore s le aving little chances of hi s
survi val from the quagmi re of materi al pur suits and base
nature . In thi s conte xt, Shay kh-ul -Isl am Dr Qadri has
emer ged as a saviour to sal vage and rescue the human
socie ty from the evil s of the earthl y e xistence and le ad them
to man’s re al status All ah Almighty has blessed him wi th.
Thi s re stor ation of re al spiri tual as well as worldly status of
man in this world is, in nutshell , all what Dr Qadri i s up to.

Minhaj-ul-Quran International – a message
of gl obal peace
To achie ve his obj ecti ve s Dr Tahir -ul -Qadri l aunc hed hi s
struggle in 1977 wi th the establi shment of “Mahaz-e -
Hurriyy at”, an intellec tual forum for the ideologic al tr aini ng
of the youth. He advanc ed dynamic ally in the right direc tion
and establi shed Mi nhaj -ul-Qur an International in 1981. Hi s
voice r eceived warm welcome ; people would si t ar ound their
TV se ts and wait for hi s Fahm-ul-Qur’an progr amme
impatiently . The MQI soon bec ame the he ar tbe at of the
masse s. Shaykh-ul -Isl am then pl anned to take hi s me ssage to
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 9
the entire globe . It was in 1982 that he vi si ted Ir an, met the
Ir ani an le ade rship and put f orth hi s me ssage which was
gi ven a he ar ty welcome . He then vi sited Europe in 1984 to
e xte nd the r ange of his missionary servi ces and to introduce
the Europe ans to the true e ssenc e of Isl am. The tour was a
gre at succe ss. The Muslims of Denmar k were hi ghly
impre ssed and invi ted Dr Qadri to e stablish an insti tute in
Denmar k under his supe rvi sion. Conse quently , an Isl amic
Centre was establi shed in Copenhagen, Denmar k on 25
January 1986. Dr Qadri himself pe rformed i ts inaugur ation.
He toured Abu Dhabi , Dubai , Sharj a and other Gulf
State s i n 1984 and 1985 where people accorded him rousi ng
rece ptions. As a re sult of hi s ener gizing tours, a huge br anch
of the Institute of Minhaj -ul -Qur an was e stabli shed in the
Uni ted Emir ate s.
Dr Qadri vi sited Engl and to further widen the sc ope of
hi s mi ssionary c ampai gn: He visi ted the country first in May
1985 and then in January 1986. During his tour of Engl and
he addre ssed huge gatherings in London, Manc hester ,
Birmi ngham and Boston e tc . He vi si ted Uni ted State s in
April , 1986 i n order to e xtend and promote his mi ssion. He
deli vered lec tures in many seminar s and symposi a on
various Isl amic topic s specif ic ally per taining to Isl amic
re vi val i n the We st, at New Yor k, Washington, Chic ago and
other s state s. This visi t l aid the foundation of the MQI in
the Uni ted States. The l ate 80s and the e arly 90s then saw a
wave spr eading through entire Europe , the US, Canada and
the Middle East, and in only a dec ade ’s time the MQI
Centres were establi shed in more than 80 countries of the
world. That is how the magic of true Isl am wor ks. Shay kh-
ul -Isl am Dr Qadri wor ked sleeple ssly to spre ad his mission
and i t i s now a globally welcome mission to spre ad Isl am as
the most moder ate, toler ant, re alistic , scientific and
pr ac tic able way of life and reli gion for the entire mankind.
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 10
The quest for knowledge
The modern scientific thought has undergone metamorphic
changes over ages. Its spiri t, howe ver , has constantly
remained to justify the e xisting f ac t on r ational gr ounds.
Eve ntually , the twentie th c entur y has witne ssed an
unimagi nable scie ntific advancement that has assi gned a
vital role to man on the globe in c onquest of uni ver se . In
the que st for knowledge , the mode rn man has al so
di scove red that the c enturi es old conce pts about religion are
contr ary to the scientific thought and, therefore , need to be
ei ther di sc arded or made compatible wi th the scientific
me thod. This i s the challenge that the reli gious sc hol ars and
theologi ans have f ailed to f ace . Inste ad of analyzing the
problem on sc ientif ic basi s, they have adhered to their
timeworn ideologie s with a pr actic al surrender to the
materi alistic values in vogue . Even the torchbe are rs, the so-
c alled intellec tuals and modern schol ar s of Isl am who
pre tend to be abre ast with the modern scientific thought
have gi ven in to the onsl aught of modern science s and in
secre t de pths of their he ar ts fe el ne rvous how to defend
their position. They are doing more harms than good by
defending their post wi th archaic we apons.
Howe ver , at the dawn of new millennium, Shay kh-ul -
Isl am Dr Tahi r-ul -Qadri has ri sen li ke a guiding star on the
intellec tual horizon and has showe red r ay s of hi s effulgent
wisdom on the modern mind. Equipped ade quately with the
scientific and reli gious knowledge , he has gi ven the call to
modern man that Isl am is the religi on that, ever sinc e its
re vel ation, has the scientific base s which the modern
scientific thought i s now cl aiming to disc over and fur ther
needs to e xplore i n i ts totali ty .

Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 11
On Isl am
The contributions made by Shaykh-ul -Isl am to the modern
Isl amic thought and i ts re construc tion are colossal r ather
incredi ble . Nor c an we me asure hi s achievements i n cle ari ng
and purifyi ng Isl amic ideology from muddling of vari ous
‘isms’ wrought over ce nturie s. A huge reser voir of li ter ature ,
for instance , e xi sts on My sti cism, Isl amic My sticism,
Pantheism and Tr anscendentali sm, nature of Mystic
Expe rience , i ts varie ty , allied philosophie s and sc hools of
thought. The antagonists too have ge ner ated colossal works
proving i t contr ary to the ‘true Isl am’ and l abeling i t as an
impious i nnovation in the approved Isl amic code of life .
Thi s contr over sy has inf licted se rious damage to the modern
Muslim mind le ading the young educ ated Muslims all over
the world to de sper ation and abhorrence from Isl am. They
are confused and bl atantly question the intellec tual validi ty
and logic al well -being of Isl amic thought. The Muslim
schol ars engaged in thi s unf ortunate controversy, howe ver ,
ill afford any attempt to recover fr om the ‘spin’. They
dr astic all y l ac k in advanced knowledge and are unaware of
the ‘phenomena’ of mode rn scientific mi nd. Being the odd
one s, they now stay out of thi s war of wits, which has
spre ad over East and West. How to sati sfy the modern
scientific mind on the que stion of Isl amic Spiri tuali sm, its
nature and signific ance? Shay kh-ul -Isl am Dr Qadri has
perf ormed this uphill task wi th absolute f acili ty , authori ty
and c ommand.

Knowledge of modern logic
Simultaneously , endowed with a vi vidly hi stor ic insight, he
educ ates the modern Muslim mind how, centuries ago, the
Muslim schol ar s defe ated their rival thinker s employing the
then contempor ary logic against them. He emphatic ally
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 12
e xhor ts all educ ated Muslims of the world to ac quire perfec t
knowledge of modern logic and def eat the antagonists of
Isl am who have joi ned hands agai nst the Umma wi th an
intention to shake the solid spiri tual re ali tie s which are the
bases of Isl ami c thought and ideology . Shaykh-ul-Isl am Dr
Muhammad Tahir -ul-Qadri has a sagacious eye on rise and
f all of the Muslim and non-Muslim empire s. He possesses a
vision that pene tr ates into future and cle arly di scerns the
impending dangers and their remedies. He bases hi s
ar guments on the Holy Qur ’an, attr ac ts and c onvinces the
modern re ader and dele te s hi s di sbelief in pe rmanent human
values reve aled by the Qur ’an
The primary mi ssi on of hi s life is to dr ag the Musl ims
out of the mi re and to ele vate them to hei ghts of
unprec edented glor y. His c re ati ve i nter pre tation of Isl am
has pulled i t out of i ts str ai t-jacke t in which i ts str ai t-l aced
cri tic s have robed it. He has broadened the are a of its
me aning and applic ation to make it conform to the r apidly
changing imper ative s of the contempor ary world and asser t
i ts universali ty , whi ch has been muffled by centuries of
narr ow and conservati ve atti tudes. Shay kh-ul -Isl am Dr
Qadri is the most auspicious star on the mur ky and cloud-
c apped gal axy of the Isl amic world whom God has blessed
wi th knowledge , guidance and el oquence to steer the
roc king world of Isl am thr ough the tempe stuous billows of
strif e and di ssension and to put it back on the roller s to
make i t self -reli ant and self -sustaining.
He has dedic ated all his ener gies and sources to promote
and spre ad the me ssage of pe ace , moder ation, and toler ance
not onl y in South Asi a but also round the globe . Univer sally ,
he has e arned reputati on as ambassador of pe ace . Hi s
dynamic and gal vanizing ende avours for e cumenism and
inter -f ai th harmony in particul ar , have produced inspiri ng
and c oncre te re sults.
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 13
As such Shaykh-ul -Isl am emer ges as a person of destiny
wi th hi s le arned instruc tion and cre ati ve interpretation of
Isl am providing r efreshi ng per spec tives of the role of Isl am
in the c ontempor ary World. Unfor tunately , in the past
seve ral dec ade s, the uni ver sality of Isl am has been obscured
by stereotyped conservati sm and Shay kh-ul -Isl am wi th hi s
progre ssi ve ide as and be tter contempor ary wor ld vi sion i s
perf orming an impor tant role in the renai ssance of Isl am.

A glimpse of his intellectual works
We find a vi vid manifestation of his depth of le arning, all -
embr aci ng insight and f ar -re aching visi on in hi s intellec tual
wor ks of hi storic impor t. Thi s shor t introduc tion simply
c annot encompass his wor ks. Some of the most signific ant
of them include Irfan a l- Qur’a n, a scientific , e xege tic ,
modern, lucid and comprehensi ve tr ansl ation of the Holy
Qur ’an; Irfa n a s-Sunna , a c ompendium (in 25 volumes) of
30,000 f air , fine and sound tr aditions of the Holy Prophe t
(All ah bless him and gi ve him pe ace ) that validate the main-
stre am Isl amic doc trine ; Minha j a s-Sa wī , a coll ection of 1100
f air , fi ne and sound tr adi tions; Sira t a r-Ra sul, (in 12 volumes)
a de tailed account of all the phases of the Holy Pr ophe t’s
life whic h the Qur ’an has c alled Uswa Hasa nā — the best
pattern; Kita b at- Ta whi d, Kita b a l- Bi d‘ah and dozens of books
on the true Isl amic doctrines whic h dispel the exi sti ng
di sagreement among Muslims on various doc trinal i ssues
and pre sent to the non-Muslim world Isl am in i ts ri ght, true
and scientific form and spirit, preci sely del ine ati ng what
Isl am i s and what it is not. Hi s books particul ar ly on the
subject of beliefs are numerous and voluminous. A list of
these books has been produced in the end of thi s tre ati se
for the benefi t of our re aders. Hi s wor ks have recei ved
gl obal appreci ation from the le ading authorities,
tr adi tionists, juri sts and schol ar s of the Muslim world.
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 14
Shay kh al -Isl am has alre ady been awarded numer ous
international ti tles in this regard.

Shaykh Abdul Aziz Dabbagh



Islamic Concept of Knowledge

Introduction
Thi s paper r eflects on hi s wider and broader vi sion on the
conce pt of knowledge . It el abor ate s i n the li ght of the
Qur ’anic Sur ah a l- Ala q what is knowledge , its eleme nts and
i ts si x aspec ts that are contained in the fir st fi ve ver ses of
the Sur ah. The paper also diff erenti ate s knowledge from
ignor ance and provide s us with a new visi on to see and
scrutinize the i ssue . Ignor ance doe s not merely imply l ac k of
knowledge . A knowledge able person may al so be i gnor ant
bec ause i gnor ance in f ac t ref ers to f ailure in recognizing the
Di vine Truth and percei ving the power and might of the
Cre ator of uni ver se manif est through Hi s cre ation. And i t i s
the cre ation that forms the c anvas of human studie s. The
subject of human le arning is, in thi s way , all -inclusi ve
r anging f rom phy sic al and soci al scienc es to studie s of
spiri tual and tr anscendental pursui ts. Isl am doe s not put any
limi ts anywhere on see king knowledge and c onsider s the
entire uni verse as the syll abi of human le ar ning. What i s
condi tional to knowledge i s the Di vine Gnosi s and Ne arness
to All ah () which emanates and must emanate from all
le arning.
But that is not the only condi tion Isl am stresses upon.
The process of gaining knowledge invol ves a
phenomenology whi ch by de sign influenc es the le arne r or a
di sciple in two way s. Fir stly , he per si stently develops a sense
of not knowing any thing along with the gr adual incre ase in
le arning; the e xposure to vastne ss of knowledge shrinks hi s
self -consciousne ss as le ar ner . So he star ts fee ling humble
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 16
and at the same time gr ateful to All ah () f or his infini te
ble ssings showered on man. Secondly , he may prove to be a
bloc khe ad and f ail s to rec ognize hi s own exi stence as a tiny
and worthl ess spot on the expanse of uni ver se . He starts
feeling magnified and also f all s prey to megalomani a. Thi s
phenomenon gi ves bir th to Phar aohs and tyr ants. Thi s i s
Satanic and anti -human. All r adic alism, extremi sm and
terrori sm gener ate s fr om i t. This is ignor ance and c annot be
c alled knowledge bec ause as i ts outcome , knowledge
humble s man and tur ns him into a moder ate, pe aceful and
loving per son. Feeling humble and lowly , theref ore , i s one
of the essenti als of le arning proce ss.
Knowledge is ei the r ac quired or gif ted by All ah (). The
l atte r refer s to the knowledge be stowed upon the
Messenge rs of All ah. The Final Prophe t of All ah () is the
fountainhe ad of all knowledge in the uni ver se . The
knowledge man has acqui red so f ar has been decl ared by
All ah () as li ttle . But the Holy Prophe t () is the city of
knowledge . Ye t he is humble and his life hi story le aves for
us a stri king lesson of humility and mode sty . We , the refore ,
c an ac quire maximum le ar ning from the Prophe tic source of
knowledge whic h is hi s life conduc t, the Seer ah and the
Di vine Revel ation, the Qur ’an.
Thi s le ads us to understand the vari ous source s of
knowledge . Man i s e xtrocepti ve by de sign and make , and
le arns through sensory expe rience . But he i s i ntr ospec ti ve at
the same time and l e arns al so through the facultie s of
intellec t and ec stasy . But re vel ati on is the supreme source
which is be yond human perception and intelligibili ty . We
c an benefi t from thi s source , therefore , only through a
str ong l ink with the chain of l earning connec ting us to the
Holy Pr ophe t (A). So, the mi ssion of ac quiring knowledge
c annot be accompli shed wi thout see king guidance from the
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 17
Holy Prophe t (A) may the humanity put all i ts ener gies to
push the way through.
As for the scope of knowledge , i t is infini te . There is no
end to knowledge as the re i s no end to All ah’s Lordship and
Godship and the Holy Prophe t’s Messenge rship. Knowledge
has enveloped the enti re cre ation. One stri ve s according to
one ’s potenti al and when he strikes the climax he gets
amazed and this fe eling c an be e xpre ssed onl y thr ough
obser ving silence .

Defi niti on
Morphologic ally the Ar abic word i lm (ﻢﻠﻋ) has bee n deri ved
from ain (ﻉ), lam (ﻝ) and mim (ﻡ) that me ans to know:
ﭐ ﻢﹾﻠﻌﹾﻟ ﹺﺇ ﺸﻟﺍ ﻙﺍﺭﺩ ﻲ ﻪﺘﹶﻘﻴﻘﺤﹺﺑ ِﺀ .
“Knowledge is the awareness of a thing wi th
refe rence to i ts re ali ty .”
1

So, knowledge i s that theorem or pr oposi tion which
consists in knowing an objec ti ve r eal ity exi stent in externi ty .
The word knowledge is applic able to that pr oposi tion which
compri se s subj ec t and predicat e wi th an objec tively e xistent
re ali ty par allel to the one c ontained in the propositi on. The
subject and the predica te are the two t erms of a proposi tion
synthesized by me ans of c opula , which is always some part of
the verb “to be”. Mor eove r, a proposi tion is ei ther true or
f al se and the que stion of i ts truth or f al sity i s r ai sed only
when asser tions are made about the objec ts. We c an,
therefor e, say that e very proposi tion c annot be c alled
knowledge ; only that pr oposi tion will be c alled knowledge
which i s whole some and asserti ve and has sound validation
wi th refer ence to re ali ty on ground, external to proposi tion.

1. Raghib al-Asfahani, Muf radat al faz- il- Qur an, 343;
Zubai di, Taj-ul -urus min jawahi r- il -qamus, 1: 7825.
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 18
Elements of knowl edge
Thi s defini tion of knowledge le ads us to the following four
elements of knowledge:
1. Obser ver
2. Objec t
3. Obser ving Capabili ty
4. Objec ti vity

Observer
A per son who see ks knowledge or is e ager to le arn about
some truth is c alled an obser ver . Thi s i s the distinc tion of
man alone who is the be st of all the cre ation of All ah
Almighty (). An obse rver i s ge ner ally known as a student,
the one who is all the time inquisiti ve to know something.
Knowledge i s an unf athomable oce an. No one c an cl aim
posse ssion of the whole of knowledge . He who knows a bi t
of i t i s known as a schol ar .

Obj ect
The thing that i s being e xplored, sought for and known i s
c alled an obje ct. It implie s any re ali ty c oncre te or abstr ac t,
whe ther empl oying senses or intellec t. The e ntir e cre ation
that e xists in the embr ace of univer se and i ts physic al and
me taphy sic al enti tie s and truths, all are the objec ts of
knowledge .

Observing capabili ty
Thi s i s the third el ement of knowledge . This rel ates to the
susceptibili ty and potenti al of an observe r to know
something. If the objec t i s of sensory natur e, the obser ver i s
re quired to posse ss sensory c apabili ty to obser ve , percei ve
and know the obje ct through five sense s. On the other hand
if the objec t c an be known through re ason and intellec t the
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 19
obser ver needs to have intellec tual c apabili ty without which
objec ts of re ason c annot be encompassed. Thirdly if the
knowledge of an objec t c annot be ac quired wi thout ec stasy
and i ntui tion the observe r has to fir st e quip himself wi th
this faculty . And over and above all is the c apabili ty of
recei ving re vel ation which is the attribute of the Prophets
and the Me ssenger s alone . This is beyond human c apabilitie s
and c annot be acquir ed; thi s i s absolutely a di vine c apabili ty
which All ah () be stows only upon His chosen ser vants,
the Prophe ts and the Me ssenger s.

Obj ecti vity
The four th and the l ast of the e lements of knowledge i s
objec ti vi ty . It si gnifies purpose -oriented quest to percei ve
and know the objec t. Thi s ne cessitate s perce ptibili ty of the
objec t through any of the obser ver ’s c apabiliti es, that i t c an
be gr asped wi th any of the inquisi tor ’s potenti als.

The concept of knowledge in the light of
Surah Al -Al aq
Le t us now see the conc ept of knowledge in the li ght of the
fir st fi ve ver ses of Sur ah Al -Al aq of the Holy Qur ’an. It was
17 of Ramadan. The sacred seclusion of Mount Hir a c ave
was pe rfumed with the holy pr esence of All ah’s Beloved
when i t glowed wi th the brightening arri val of the angel
Gabriel . All ah Most Gr acious () addre ssed His Most
Exal ted of men and His Final Messenge r (A) sent towards
mankind in the following divine words through revel ation.
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 20
ù&ø%# ÉΟó™$Î/ 7În /´‘ “Ï%©!# ,={ ∩⊇∪ ,={ ´≈¡Σ}# ôÏΒ @,=ã ∩⊄∪
ù&ø%# 7š/´‘´ρ ãЍø.{# ∩⊂∪ “Ï%©!# ´Ο‾=æ ÉΟ=)ø9$Î/ ∩⊆∪ ´Ο‾=æ ´≈¡Σ}#
$Β óΟ9 ÷Λ>÷èƒ ∩∈∪
“(O Bel oved!) Re ad (commencing) wi th the name of
All ah () Who has c re ated (every thing); He cre ated
man from a mass suspended like a leech (in the
mother ’s womb). Re ad and your Lord i s Most
Gener ous; He Who taught man (re adi ng and wri ting)
by the pen. He Who (be sides that) taught man (all
that) whic h he did not know.”
1

The se are the fi ve ver ses that contain the note of
knowledge . Man knew nothing but now he was bl essed wi th
knowledge . He started knowing (the r e ality of the things).
He was brought to light fr om the dark and deep di tch of
ignor ance . It was li ght of awarene ss that was conferred
upon him. Knowledge i s, in truth, a journe y towards light
and awareness.
Through medi ation of the Holy Prophe t (A) All ah
Almighty () connected man to the sy stem of educ ation
and expl or ati on of knowledge re ve aled in the se five verse s
and kindled human mind wi th c ountle ss lights of
consciousness and cognition. Thi s was the fir st centre of
enli ghtenment in Isl am that c ame about under the di vine
guidanc e in the holy seclusion of Mount Hir a c ave ; the Holy
Prophe t (A) was its first discipl e and the Cre ator of the
uni verse hi s Guide , the Te acher and the Tr aine r. If we
ponde r over various aspec ts of the above mentioned ver ses,
and pr epare i ts synopsis the foll owing three scientific and
doc trinal f e ature s stand out:

1. Quran, 96: 1-5.
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 21
1. The Concept of Cre ati on
2. Human Cre ati on
3. The Gr andeur of All ah ()
But as these topics do not r el ate to the inquiry of thi s
tre atise and we are to tal k only about the concept of
knowledge we , therefore , confine our wor k only to
e xploring the following six fe atures of the conce pt of
knowledge conce aled in these ver ses.

Six aspects of the concept of knowledge
1. Knowl edge: We would see what knowledge i s? And
what is its nature ?
2. The obj ective of knowl edge: Why shoul d we attain
and ve nture for knowledge? And what i s i ts pur pose ?
3. Syl l abus : What i s the sy l l abus of Isl ami c c onc ept of
knowledge and on what aspects of it Islam sheds l i ght?
4. The outcome of knowl edge: What woul d be the
possible r esult or outcome after acquiri ng knowl e dge ?
5. Means of knowl edge: What shoul d be the me ans of
knowledge? What is the ide nti f i c ati on of i ts or i gi ns?
6. The s cope of knowledge: What shoul d be i ts sc ope ?
Le t us e l abor ate the se aspe c ts one by one .

The concept and objects of knowledge
If we think for a while over the first ve rse of Surah Al -Al aq
we find that it star ts wi th the word “re ad”. The
commenc ement of the Sur ah wi th thi s word signifies that
All ah () has star ted the r evel ation of His Guidance wi th
the command to see k knowledge . Ac quiring knowledge ,
therefor e, is the fir st step whe nce apostol ate ini ti ates. In
the like manne r if we look at the l ast word of the 5th ve rse ,
i t reve al s that be st of the apostol ate also come s out to be
ac quisi tion of knowledge . The commencement as well as
zeni th of Me ssenger ship i s but knowledge alone ; that is the
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 22
be -all and end-all . What remains i s found nowhere but in
the embr ace of knowledge . The truth of see king knowledge
and its re al impor t come s to fore vividly . We c an see how
signific ant it i s to gai n knowledge to promote and
promul gate the divine guidance . It al so persuade s to stri ve
hard against the darknesses of ignor ance .

Knowledge that meri ts excell ence
We should be ar in mi nd that knowledge and educ ation doe s
not only me an liter acy . Capabili ty to r e ad and wri te or
gai ning some c ommand or hold over ce rtain aspec ts of
prof essional knowledge i s not in i tself the maj or obj ecti ve .
The objec tive to attai n knowledge is very hi gh; i t is a
ble ssing that e ncompasses the e ntire univer se . We c an say
that, high or low, nothing of this univer se f all s be yond the
scope of knowledge . Ever ything i n the he avens and the
e ar th and in be tween them is i n the ambi t of knowledge . But
what be ars speci al signific ance in this regard i s re ve aled in
the fir st verse :
ù&ø%# ÉΟó™$Î/ 7Î n/´‘ .
“(O Bel oved!) Re ad (commencing) wi th the name of
All ah ().”
1

All ah Almighty () asks the Holy Pr ophe t (A) to star t
le arning wi th the ble ssed name of All ah (). It brings to
fore that only that knowledge is acceptable in the sight of
All ah () that star ts wi th the holy name of All ah () –
knowledge based on the name of All ah (), giving pivotal
status to Isl amic ideology and doc trine.
We should keep i n mind that Islami c conc ept of
knowledge i s not confined only to religi ous or spiri tual
knowledge . It encompasses the entire sc ientif ic, modern and

1. Quran, 96: 1.
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 23
secul ar knowledge . The Isl amic hi story be ars testimony to i t
that, l aying the foundation of scientific knowledge , the
Muslim scie nti sts c arried out the Prophe tic injunc tion
contained i n this tr adi tion:
ﹸﻠﹾﻃﹸ ﺃ ﹺﲔّﺼﻟﺎﹺﺑ ﻮﹶﻟﻭ ﻢﹾﻠﻌﹾﻟﺍ ﺍﻮ ﺒ , ﹶﻓ ﺐﹶﻠﹶﻃ ﱠﻥﹺﺈ ﻰﹶ ﻠﻋ ﹲﺔﻀﻳﹺﺮﹶﻓ ﹺﻢﹾﻠﻌﹾﻟﺍ
ﱢﻞﹸ ﻛ ﹴﻢﻠﺴ ﻣ .
“See k f or knowledge e ven (you have to go) to China.
Ge tti ng knowledge i s obli gator y for e very Muslim
(man and woman).”
1

The Holy Qur ’an has fre quently urged to conquer
uni verse which i s not possible without gaining mastery over
modern scie nces. But the per tinent poi nt to make here i s
that only that knowledge of modern sciences merits
e xcellence that see ks the ple asure of All ah Most Hi gh ().

Knowledge and divi ne gnosi s
Le arning, starting with the sacred name of All ah Almighty
(), l aying centr al emphasi s on Isl amic doc trine and
ideology , brings about gnosi s of All ah (). Only that
knowledge , the refore , will be considered re al knowledge that
brings man closer to All ah (); brings All ah’s gnosi s and
true servi tude to Him and gr ants an access to Him and
finally take s man to e nforcement of Isl amic law and putti ng
All ah’s commands to pr ac tice . On the c ontr ary , knowledge
that dri ves us away f rom our Lord is not the re al knowledge .
The modern and scientific knowledge and disc overi es bri ng
us, both i ntellec tually as well as pr ac tic ally , close to All ah
Almighty (). A scientist with a broader mind and visi on i s
basic ally a monothei st. Knowledge me ans to be aware but

1. I bn Raj ab Hambal i , Jami’ bayan- il- i l m wa fadl ih i: 7.
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 24
only that awarene ss become s knowledge in the re al sense
which brings di vine gnosi s and ne arness to All ah ().

What i s ignor ance?
Now the que stion ari se s as to what is ignor ance . Doe s i t
me an knowing nothing? We have seen that only that
knowledge is worthwhil e and valuable that gr ants us di vine
gnosi s. So, the knowledge that drif ts us away from All ah
() and f ail s to become a me ans of ne arness to All ah (),
His awareness, c onsciousness and gnosi s i s not knowledge
but ignor ance . If a per son holds many degree s but hi s
knowledge make s him forge t All ah () he is not a schol ar ;
he is r ather an i gnor ant soul . The knowledge he posse sse s i s
but ignor ance . Abu Jahl was not known as Abu Jahl (f ather
of ignor ance) for he c ould not re ad or wri te ; he was
considered li ter ate man of hi s time. But he was known as
Abu Jahl bec ause his knowledge could not help him
recognize All ah Almighty (). That i s why Isl amic concept
of Knowledge aims awarene ss of All ah Almighty () and
the le arning proce ss star ts wi th the blessed name of All ah
().

Tel eological categori zation of knowl edge
Thi s i s now a se ttled baseline that re al knowledge is that
which is a me ans to di vine gnosis and cl ose proximity to the
Cre ator of the uni ver se . But c ate gorization f rom this point
of view would not consider only the Qur ’anic Studies,
Knowledge of Exege ses, Propheti c Tr adi tions, Isl amic
Juri sprudence , Morphology and Syntax, Spiri tualism and
Sufism as br anches of Isl amic knowledge . Thi s will al so
include Biology, Physic s, Psyc hology , Chemi stry , Politics,
Sociology , Economic s, Hi story , Law, Nucle ar Technol ogy ,
Compute r Science s, Management, Commerce , Mass
Communic ation etc . as religious studie s. The sole condi tion
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 25
i s that we should ac quire this knowledge for the sake of
All ah () and as me ans of Hi s gnosi s and ne arness. So, all
those who star t their studies in the name of All ah ()
aiming at His ne ar ness will be considered as students of
Isl amic Studie s whate ver speci al ty they wor k for and
where ver the y may be, bec ause all the se br anches of
knowledge do take us to the gnosis of All ah () some way.
The quest for the word of truth i s the venture towards
Lord. A man ble ssed wi th pe aceful mind and f aculty of
re asoning wor king dili gentl y in various fields of worldly
knowledge will ul timately e nd up with di vine gnosis. The
more he advanc es and ascends gr ades of re ason and
intellec t, the more he become s aware of oneness of All ah
(), His Lordship, Godship and various aspec ts of Hi s
Gr andeur and Glory . So, e very te acher and the taught and
the tr aine r and the tr ainee engaged in que st for knowledge
must know that he i s stepping into the field of le arning wi th
the sol e purpose that his shor t stay on e ar th may prove a
me ans towards attaining the gnosis of the Re al Cre ator , Hi s
ne arness and an access to Him alone .

The vast and open fi eld of knowledge
Knowledge is an unf athomable se a having no bounds. It i s a
continuous journey towards light. It c annot be confined to
any fini te are as of studie s. A li ttle medi tation ove r the word
kha laqa ( ﺧ ﹶﻠ ﻖ ) would bring to light that no spec ial subjec ts of
knowledge have been taken up for ac quiring knowledge ; the
field of le arning has be en ke pt vast and open. All ah
Almighty () says:
ù&ø%# ÉΟó™$Î/ 7Î n/´‘ “Ï%©!# ,={ ∩⊇∪
“(O Bel oved!) Re ad (commencing) wi th the name of
All ah () Who has cre ated (ever ythi ng).”
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 26
It has not been mentioned in the holy verse as to what
has been cre ated. If i t were me ntioned that would deline ate
i ts confines. All ah Almi ghty () has left it open for
e xplor ation and discussion. The world kha laqa (ﻖﹶﻠﺧ) has been
used in the verse in ge ner al sense and the ve rse i s quie t on
de scribing the c re ati on. Thi s signifies that All ah () has not
fi xed any di recti on of studying the cre ation and the cr e ati ve
proc ess. Le arning too, the refore , i s left unde termined.
Whate ver exi sts in the uni ver se i s cre ated by All ah ()
alone . Man, theref ore , should know through his gained
knowledge that the universe is running only due to All ah
() Who e xi sts and i s the Fir st and the Last and Eternal . He
i t i s Who direc ts the clouds to r ain over the drought
stric ken barren l ands; He i t i s Who feeds a small insec t
inside a stone ; He gives His hands to hi s men in the time of
test and tri al . He i s the Lord of the Uni ver se , the One , the
Peerle ss. Hi s knowledge e ncompasses e very gr ain of sand
and i s the fountain of entire knowledge . And O Man! Your
knowledge le ads you and guide s you towards All ah (). “He
Who has cr eated e very thing” me ans that when you look at
the vastness of the uni verse you should imagine His infini te
Mercy and Ble ssing showered upon the entire cr eation. Hi s
r aining bountie s provide for all the l ands and quench their
thir st. Whe neve r you lift your e yes towards he aven above ,
you behold the Gr andeur and Tr anscendence of the Lord of
he avens and the e ar th; when you see the ice -c apped hilltops,
you remember the Glory of Lord; when y ou see towards the
lush green crops, f ascinating waterf all s, flowing ri ver s and
dancing fields, you rec all the c ar e, love and aff ection All ah
() blesses man wi th. In sum, whate ver you obser ve in the
cre ation spre ad around you, you find i t as a masterpie ce of
the Cre ator .
The discussion we have so f ar made over the contents of
the fir st ver se i s from the standpoi nt of the concept of
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 27
knowledge and i ts objecti vi ty . It le ads us to conclude that
we c annot decide whe ther some knowledge i s ri ght or wrong
unle ss the objec tive of knowledge i s de termined. Nor c an
we work out any estimation in thi s connec tion. It is,
therefor e, the obje cti ves of knowledge that e stabli sh
whe ther some knowledge is religious or irreli gious.

Syllabi – the programmes and packages of
learning
It i s important to note here that the word syll abi and its
synonyms like curricul a, c ourse outline s, le arni ng
progr amme s and other e xpre ssions that are commonly used
to convey the ide a f all shor t of i ntimating what man has to
know on e ar th for divine gnosi s and me ans of ge tting closer
to the Cre ator of the univer se . That i s what we intend to
communic ate here by using the word ‘syll abi ’. That is a f ar
broade ned se nse thi s word has be en coined to convey .
Eve rything c re ated in the uni verse is attributed to the
Cre ator as He is the Cre ator of the entire uni ver se . So, the
knowledge we acquir e must also per tain to e very thing in the
uni verse. The e ar th and the sky , the moon and the sun, the
star s and pl ane ts, the vastness of oc e ans and the me anderi ng
flow of ri ver s f rom hill s to the se a down through pl ains, the
torrents and the violent wave s, the rhy thm of wate rf alls,
blossoming of buds, the sunri se and the sunset, the
fre shne ss of vege table world, the flor a of pl ants, the
splendour of the tree s and varie ty of stone s, the charmi ng
fr agr ance and ple asant colours of le aves and frui ts and, so
to say , the entire unive rse and i ts contents are but the
cre ation of the One and the Only Lord. He has no par tner s
or peer s; He i s Matchle ss and Singul ar . The que stion i s what
should man strive to know that he i s gr anted di vine gnosi s
and nearness to All ah Most High ()?
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 28
The Qur ’anic expr ession a lla dhi kha laqa ( ﺬﱠﻟﭐ ﻖﹶﻠﺧ ﻱ ) and its
applic ations in gener al refe r to infini ty of subj ects and
di sciplines to le arn. It is a cle ar pointer towards a Mega
Syll abus that include s e very thing cre ated by All ah () in the
uni verse which man should venture to take up for study .

The syllabi include every livi ng and non-li ving
creation
Whate ver All ah Almighty () has cre ated in the uni ver se or
whateve r e xists in the universe besides All ah Almighty ()
f all in the ambi t of the syll abi . If one wants to le arn about
the Earth, one will take up Geology , Archaeology , and
Anthropol ogy . This includes the study of e very change
occur ring inside or on the surf ace of the e ar th, all the
miner al s, and their source s. If one wants to le arn the
wor king of human mind, the varie ty of psychologi c al and
psychic state s and their phenomenology and bi ology , the
di scussions and studie s of the conscious, sub-conscious, and
unconscious mind, he will take up to study Psychology . If
one wants to study matter , its form and motion and the
phy sic al phenomena, he will go for Physi cs. The study and
analy sis of the origin and the end of man and the univer se
on the basi s of re ason and original form of uni verse and
man’s posi tion and responsibili ty entail an inquiry known as
Philosophy . Chemi stry i nquir es into chemic al struc tures and
bonds and ac tions and r eactions and Biology pe rtains to the
study of biologic al phenomena. So, there i s a l ong li st of
di sciplines of knowledge , old and new, that invite human
mind to reflec t on and open up a world full of explor ations
and discove ries. In nutshell eve rything cre ated by All ah
Almighty () is a subjec t of study and forms a syll abus.
That i s what syll abi of human le arning is all about.

Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 29
Removal of a common mi sconception
Thi s di scussion takes us to the inference that Isl am doe s not
confine knowledge seeki ng venture s only to the Qur ’an,
Exe gese s, Pr ophe tic Tr adi tions, Juri sprudence , and Sufism.
It al so includes all the modern sci ences and technologie s in
the quest for knowledge . The word a laq (ﻖﻠﻋ) and its
implic ations are a proof that science s are presc ribed subjects
of le arning. Alaq (ﻖﻠﻋ) me ans suspe nded mass re sembling a
leech and i t i s a biologic al doc trine to study re lating to the
cre ati ve process. So, we c an conclude that Isl amic concept
of knowledge neither r ecogni zes any cogni tive boundarie s
nor sugge sts any limited cour se outlines. It ope ns the door
of knowledge to the entire unive rse .

The di fference between the Qur ’an and other
branches of knowl edge
The Holy Qur ’an is the fountainhe ad of entire le arning. But
there is a striking di fference be tween the Holy Qur ’an and
other books. The Qur ’an is the word of All ah () and
books on various br anche s of knowledge are human studies
of All ah’s cre ation. These books only de al with specific
subjects and topic s. A book on one di scipline i s quie t on
other di scipline s. They are no way compar able to the
Qur ’an. The Holy Qur ’an i s a tre asure of all knowledge and
le arning that man may need till the end of time . The
sciences and technologie s are human ve nture s in the line of
guidanc e All ah () has reveal ed in the Qur ’an. They are
par ts of an infini te whole contained in the Qur ’an. All
knowledge origi nate s f rom the Qur ’an and thi s i s the basic
truth of the Isl amic doc trine of knowledge .

Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 30
A subtle reali ty
The Holy Qur ’an provides us an ideology in wri tten form.
As a theory i s e xperime nted in some l abor atory for its
validation the Qur ’anic knowledge is validated in the sacred
per son of All ah’s Beloved Messenge r (A). The holy
per sonali ty of the ador able Prophet (A) is the
embodiment of the Qur ’an – the Qur anic te achings put into
pr ac tice as a pr ac tic al model for the entire mankind. As the
knowledge contained in the Qur an i s unlimi ted the life
conduc t of the Holy Prophet (A) too i s infi nite in the li ke
manner bec ause a limi ted thing c annot encompass an
unlimi ted thing.

The outcome of knowledge
The subje ct taken up in the thi rd verse of the Sur ah refer s
to the impac t of the ac quir ed knowledge on human
char ac ter , his way s, manner s and habi ts and the per sonali ty
profil e at l arge . That is the outcome of knowledge when
pr ac ticed. What influence knowledge imprints on human
per sonali ty and char acte r i s c ontained in this third ve rse .
All ah Almi ghty () say s:
ù&ø%# 7š/´‘´ρ ãЍø.{# ∩⊂∪
“Re ad and your Lord i s Most Generous.”
1

The Gr andeur and Glory of All ah Most High () i s
supreme . He has no be ginning and no end. He is the Lord
of both pre -e terni ty and eter nity . He is Eternal , Most Hi gh
and Tr anscendent. Hi s Light encompasse s the whole
uni verse. All the cre ation whe ther li ving or non-li ving are
subject to Hi s command alone . The holy verses of the Sur a
inform man, the humble cre ature , on the gr eate st truth of

1. Quran, 96: 3.
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 31
the unive rse that Gre atne ss, Gr andeur and Glory are the
attribute s of All ah Almighty () alone . Man i s but a humble
and l owly being. Knowledge al so te ache s him humbleness
and mode sty and manners of obedience to All ah (). It
provide s him a skill to percei ve and conceive Hi s Majesty
and Be auty . When his he ar t gets kindled wi th knowledge i t
makes him bow down before hi s Lord and frees him from
all other chains. He fe ars none but Him and ge ts instilled
wi th cour age to rise against all the tyr ants of his age . He
c are s not for any Phar aoh and stre tche s not his hands
before any tycoon. He begs only fr om All ah () and Hi s
Messenge r (A). He has f aith in the Glory and Gr andeur of
All ah () and belie ves in his own humblene ss and
powerle ssness. Influenced by the se feelings he holds:
He i s mea nt nei t h er for h ea v en nor ea rt h ;
Th e world i s for h i m, not h e for world.

Feeling of humbleness and modesty
Whe n the br anc hes are decreed to be ar f ruit, they bow down
before the will of All ah (). This is the prostration of
gr ati tude in the Hol y Presence of the Lord of the unive rse .
But the br anch that stiffens inste ad of bowing down give s
way and bre aks. All ah () despi se s pride and arrogance the
most. In the same way when man venture s to e xplore and
study various br anches of knowledge , mysterie s of the world
star t dawning on him. He then f eels humble , down to e ar th
and becomes par agon of mode sty . Hi s lips quiver wi th
thankfulness and gr ati tude and he ge ts immer sed in Hi s
ble ssings. He pr ac tic ally affirms that All ah () i s Clement
and Gracious and all Glory and all pr aise s are for Him
alone . But if contr ary to that, knowledge rouse s i n him
feelings of self -love , e goti sm, and arrogance and man starts
gi ving c redit for his achie vements to himself inste ad of
attributing them to All ah () and becomes stiff -neck taki ng
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 32
all good as the resul t of his personal hard wor k he i s not a
true schol ar or man of le arni ng. He is r athe r an i gnor ant
per son having no knowledge of the truth.
The word i qra ’ (ﺃﺮﹾﻗﭐ: re ad) has been repe ated in this ve rse .
All ah () has me ntioned His Glory also al ong wi th “re ad”.
Thi s signifi es that fai th in Hi s Glor y is an i nevi table resul t
of ac quired knowledge. But if knowledge does not le ave thi s
impac t on him and he does not feel humble , lowly and
mode st and does not belie ve in the Majesty and Glory of
All ah (), then hi s knowledge is no knowledge and he i s but
an embodiment of i gnor ance and unawarene ss.

Removing the superiori ty compl ex
Knowledge foste rs se nse of obedience in man, purifie s hi s
he ar t and soul wi th humili ty and humbleness and roots out
arrogance and sense of superiori ty from his mind.
Superiori ty comple x is almost an incorrigible mal ady . It
take s i ts roots deep i n man. God-feeli ng al so stems f rom the
same dise ase . Tyr anny and oppre ssion is the outcome of thi s
awful state of mind which gi ves bir th to Phar aohs and
Nimruds. This feeling is the mother of all radic alism,
e xtremism and terrori sm. It spoil s pe ace and de vastate s
human socie ties. But ye t we c an cure it through knowledge .
Knowledge condemns and discour ages growth of superiori ty
feelings in man and hel ps him mai ntain bal ance , e quilibrium
and moder ation. It promote s toler ance and emotional
stabili ty in socie ties. It inculc ate s humbleness in man which
provide s a fe rtile soil for human prosperi ty . Howeve r , this i s
wrong if someone starts feeling that he i s the know-all and
has comple ted his ventur e to ac quire knowledge . If a per son
af ter ge tti ng knowledge cr af ts such a belief as if he knows
e very thing, his c ourse of study has been c ompleted, and he
has become a ve ter an schol ar , he i s still wandering in the
dar kne ss of ignorance and has lost the path of truthfulne ss.
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 33
Showi ng l ack of knowl edge stands for
knowl edgeabili ty
The men of knowledge and intellec t say : “Beware of the
fool who thinks himself a wi se man.” The journey to the
de stination of knowledge ne ver ends. One remains a student
always. We c annot eve n think of ac quiri ng complete hold
over knowledge . The truth is that the more we ac quire
knowledge , the more we de velop a sense of l ack of
knowledge . The more we ac quire the we al th of knowledge ,
the more we are r avaged by the sense of being ignor ant. We
should bel ieve that knowledge i s a bottomless oce an and we
have not sipped eve n a drop of i t. When we re ach the top of
the hill we find that we are still at the bottom and we find
our bowl of knowledge still empty . All ah Almighty () i s
the fountainhe ad of all the knowledge .

Knowledge defi ned by Abu Bakr Si ddiq ( )
Knowledge ge ner ates thi s feeling as if man does not know
any thing. Mode sty and humili ty springs out of knowledge .
Abu Bakr Siddi q ( ) said:
ﭐ ﹾﻟ ﻌ ﺠ  ﺰ ﻋ ﻦ ﺩ ﺭ ﻙ ﺍ ِﻹ ﺩ ﺭ ﻙﺍ ﹺﺇ ﺩ ﺭ ﻙﺍ .
“Feeling c onscious of being unabl e to know is c alled
knowledge .”
1

The hi gher one goes in see king knowledge the more the
my ste ries and secre ts dawn on him. And the more the
secre ts are unveil ed to him the more mode st and humble he
become s. He thinks as if he is insignifi c ant. The point to
note is that thi s mode sty and humili ty should not be
confused wi th inferiori ty comple x bec ause these feelings
gener ate af ter ac quiring affluence in knowledge . Moreover ,

1. Aalus i , Ruh-ul -Ma' an i min taf si r- il -Qur an-i l- azi m was-s ab' i l-
math ani , 13:141.
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 34
this humbleness i s expressed befor e the Holy Prese nce of
All ah Almi ghty (). Any inf eriori ty comple x is, the refore ,
out of que sti on.

A poi nt to consi der
It i s ve ry unfor tunate that one who gains a li ttle knowledge
star ts feeling ve ry hi gh of him ul timately losing all bal ance .
He is all arrogance and concei t. Egotism fl ashes in hi s e yes.
He de ceive s himself feeling as if he i s matchle ss and a
gre ate r schol ar than all . That he i s the gr e ate st orator , the
gre ate st re se arch schol ar , the gre ate st jurist and authori ty ,
and the most renowned intellec tual and moder nist of the
world. Thi s i s the most dangerous virus which spoils human
mind with e vil thoughts. Its venom is le thal and the ailment
that i t c auses is f atal . When i t cor rupts one’s mi nd i t kill s all
hi s f acul tie s and construc tive abili ties; he for ge ts the truth
that the re is someone who is holdi ng hi gher posi tion in
knowledge than he doe s
1
:
−öθù´ρ Èe ≅à2 “ÏŒ AΟù=Ïæ ÒΟŠÎ=æ ∩∠∉∪

The ranking of Prophetic knowledge
The cl aim that man c an ac quire the whole knowledge i s
me aningless. Knowledge i s an e ndless c ontinui ty of
information and awarene ss which is i nfinitely spre ad out in
the uni ver se . It i s ac quired by the seeker as well as gif ted by
All ah (). All ah () confer s i t upon Hi s chose n ser vants,
the Prophe ts and Messenge rs through Hi s Perf ect Might.
The Hol y Pr ophe t (A) is the Beloved Messenger (A) of
the Lord of the unive rse . He i s the final Messenger of All ah
(A) f or whom All ah () has cre ated the enti re uni ver se . It

1. Quran, 12: 76.
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 35
i s beyond our estimation and evaluation to know and
me asure as to what knowledge and how much of i t All ah
() bestowed upon His Beloved.
God has granted everything to the Prophet (A);
Th a t i s i n t h e embra c e of t h e best of men.
As alre ady mentioned ther e i s someone higher in r ank in
the field of knowledge than the one who cl aims to be high.
We should al so be ar in mind that the l evel of Prophe tic
knowledge be gins where all the knowledge able r anks come
to an e nd. The rank of Prophe tic knowledge is always too
ele vated to be imagi ned. It is the hi ghest in the univer se
beyond which i s the impenetr able knowledge of Godship.
Human mind is not formed to have any ide a of the Di vine
Knowledge . A study of the sacred li fe of All ah’s Me ssenger
(A) reve al s that he was r aised to the hi ghest station of
knowledge but still he demonstrated f or us a pe rfec t lesson
of modesty and humili ty through the conduct of hi s life . Hi s
i s an incompar able high r anking i n knowledge . Tal king of
mankind All ah Almighty () has said that human beings
have been gr anted but very little of knowledge :
$Β´ρ ΟçFÏ?ρé& ´Ï iΒ ÉΟù=Ïèø9# āωÎ) WξŠÎ=% ∩∇∈∪
“You have been gi ven a very little par t of
knowledge .”
1

The total e xtent of knowledge ac quired by mankind i s
just a por tion of what the Holy Prophe t (A) posse sse s. It
i s from him that all knowledge has emanated. He said:
ﹶﺃ ﻧ ﻣ ﺎ ﺪ ﻳ ﻨ ﹸ ﺔ ﹾﻟﺍ ﻌ ﹾﻠ ﹺﻢ ﻭ ﻋ ﻠ ﻲ ﺑ ﺑﺎ ﻬ ﺎ .
“I am the city of knowledge and Ali i ts door .”
2

On another occ asion he said:

1. Quran, 17: 85.
2. Hakim, al- Mustadr ak al as-s ahih ayn, 3:124.
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 36
ﹶﺃ ﻧ ﺎ ﺩ ﺭﺍ ﹾﻟﺍ ﺤ ﹾﻜ ﻤ ﺔ ﻭ ﻋ ﻠ ﻲ ﺑ ﺑﺎ ﻬ ﺎ .
“I am the home of wi sdom and Ali its door.”
1

So, the Holy Prophe t (A) i s the f ountainhe ad of
knowledge in the annal s of human hi story . It i s hi s attribute
alone that standing on the pulpi t he told all the truths and
e vents from the ini ti ati on of the uni ver se till the day of
rec koning and answered the que sti ons of every que stioner .
He who posse sse s knowledge of the whole unive rse , the
beloved Me ssenger of All ah (A) encour aged us and taught
us a le sson of humility and mode sty when he said to hi s
humble students and companions who used to quench the
thir st of their knowledge at hi s fountain that they were
be tter in the worldly af fairs than he . Hi s mode sty i s
ador able and gl orious. His e very ac tion exhibi ts hi s
obedie nce to his Lord. Hi s eve ry word displ ays his gr ati tude
to hi s Lord. How humbl e a common man must the refore
be ? What i n re ality i s the whol e uni ver se ; sple ndid and hi gh
or inferi or and low r ather nothing? What man is today
proud of ; his knowledge or his i gnor ance he is unaware of ?
Why does he become so arrogant? He become s concei ted,
haughty and arrogant just for the insignific ant knowledge he
has his hand on. That is wic ked of man. Knowledge must
always re sult in upright char ac ter embellished wi th the tr aits
of humility and submi ssi vene ss.

Humbleness stands for di gnity
Whe n a person is ble ssed with knowledge by All ah Almighty
(), he ge ts imme rsed in gr ati tude . He bows down before
hi s Lord and prostr ate s to submi t his thanks and obedience .
But if unfor tunately , assuming hi gh posi tion for hi s
knowledge and worship, he rebel s and tr ansgre sse s and

1. Ti rmi dhi , al- Jami ’-us- sah ih, abwab-u l-manaqib, 2:214.
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 37
become s stiff -nec k he turns into Satan bec ause arrogance
and di sobedience are Satanic quali tie s. But humbleness and
submissivene ss are angelic tr ai ts; they in retur n be get digni ty
and splendour . Bowing down e arns ele vation. When a
servant bows down before his Cre ator , He shower s r espec t
and honour on him. They tur n towards Him to quench the
thir st of knowledge . Man conti nues to bow down seeki ng
more and more knowledge . All ah Almighty () keeps
r ai sing his status higher and higher . Iqbal says:
Humble y ourself t o exa lt y ourself;
Th e seed g et s buri ed t o bec ome flowers.
The gist of the discussion i s that humbleness, modesty
and humili ty are the outcome of knowledge . Fe eling of
l ac king knowledge overpower s him welling eye s wi th te ars.
Knowledge and arrogance c annot be yoked toge ther or
r ather they c annot e xi t toge ther . Knowledge does not dwell
in a he ar t filled wi th arrogance ; i t depar ts fore ver . Contr ary
to that knowledge illumine s the he ar t imbued wi th humili ty
and modesty ; i t flouri shes there wi th in pe ace and comfort.

The sources of knowledge
“Sourc es of knowledge” is a broad subject. Much c an be
wri tten on it. We , howeve r, confine our selve s to the dic tate s
of fi rst fi ve ver ses of Sur ah Al -Al aq which i s our subjec t
here . All ah Almighty () says:
“Ï%©!# ´Ο‾=æ ÉΟ=)ø9$Î/ ∩⊆∪
“Who taught knowledge by pe n.”
1

The light of knowledge r adi ates from the nib of the pen.
The pen is a signific ant mile stone on the way to le ar ning.
The source s of knowledge and le arning are numerous which
All ah () has not menti oned here . He only mentions that

1. Quran, 96: 4.
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 38
which helps us star t our quest for knowledge and which i s
the most effec tive and reli able me ans of le arning. So the pen
represents all other way s and me ans of le ar ning. Mentioni ng
pen as source does not negate other sourc es of knowledge ;
i t only highli ghts the signific ance of pen in the proce ss of
gai ning knowledge and i ts r ole as the most helpful me ans to
pre ser ve knowledge and tr ansfer it to the comi ng
gener ations. Wi th thi s si gnific ance of pen in view we al so
need to know other source s of knowledge as well which are
briefl y discussed below.
The source s of knowle dge are divide d into thr e e par ts:
1. Fi ve Phy si c al Se nse s
2. Fi ve Spi r i tual Se nse s
3. Fi ve Subtl e ti e s of Intui ti on

The fi ve physi cal senses
Al l ah () has e ndowe d man with five sources of knowledge
f or c ontac t and c ommuni c ati on wi th the sur r oundi ng
e nvi r onme nt and mi l i e u. He l e arns through them about the
phy si c al wor l d and i ts r e al i ti e s and develops his awareness
about the m. The y ar e c al l e d f i ve phy si c al se nse s. The y
c onti nue gr owi ng al ong wi th age . The se ar e :
1. Se nse of Touc h (se nsati ons from skin; cutaneous senses:
pr e ssur e , war mth, c ol d and pai n)
2. Vi si on (se nse of se e i ng)
3. Audi ti on (se nse of he ar i ng)
4. Gustati on (se nse of taste )
5. Se nse of Smell (sensations of ol f ac tor y or gan, nose )
The se se nse s pr ovi de the human mi nd wi th only raw
se nsor y i nf or mati on. Eac h one of them works in its specific
sphe r e . The se se nse s c annot r e pl ac e one another. If one of
the m mal f unc ti ons, the others cannot be depended upon for
i ts pe c ul i ar f unc ti on to pe r c e i ve the reality of a thing. If any
of the se nse s f ai l s or br e aks down, the rest of them cannot
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 39
make up i ts de f i c i e nc y e ve n j oi ntl y. For example, a voice is
se nse d thr ough e ar s, the c ol our s thr ough e y es, fragrance
thr ough nose , hot and c ol d thr ough touc h and bitter and
swe e t thr ough tongue . On the c ontrary, an eye cannot hear,
the ski n c annot se e , nor an e ar c an taste. All the five senses
have the i r r e spe c ti ve f unc ti ons. Se nse of taste cannot even
te mpor ar i l y wor k i n the pl ac e of se nse of smell, nor touch
c an be c ome i ts standby . None c an ste p away from its fixed
c our se to gi ve a j udgme nt i n an ar e a i t is not meant for. So
i t i s e stabl i she d that i f a thi ng e xi sts but the specific sense
to pe r c e i ve i t doe s not e xi st, the thi ng c annot be sensed
e ve n by de pl oy i ng al l the othe r se nse s jointly. From these
pr e mi se s we i nf e r the c onc l usion that we cannot claim non-
e xi ste nc e of a thi ng on the basi s of i ne f f ectiveness of the
l i mi te d sc ope of our phy si c al se nse s.

Inevi tabi l i ty of r eason for fi ve senses
He r e i s anothe r l i mi tati on of the f i ve senses. They furnish
the de si r e d data unde r supervision and guidance of intellect.
Unl e ss l e ad by human r e ason the y c annot take man to any
c onc l usi on de spi te ac c urate and immaculate perception. The
sti mul ati on of si ght, he ar i ng, touch and taste spurs intellect.
The se se nsati ons c annot shape i nto knowl e dge or
me ani ngf ul i nf or mati on unl e ss the y ar e pr oc e sse d and
di r e c te d by i nte l l e c t al ong a pe c ul i ar appr oac h of man’s
i nqui si ti on to dr aw i nf e r e nc e s. The human body works like
an automate d mac hi ne . Br ai n i n thi s mac hi ne i s l i ke an
i nbui l t c ompute r . It c ontr ol s ope r ati ons of human
appar atus. It c oor di nate s the body unde r a sy ste m. In
addi ti on to that i t ge ne r ate s i n the se nse s a state of
c onsc i ousne ss. Al l ah () has made human brain a factory
and se nse s f unc ti on l i ke i ts cogs. They produce raw material
of i nf or mati on f or the br ai n and do not have to know or
unde r stand the sti mul ati ons. Ear s do not have to decide
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 40
what the wor ds that the y he ar me an. Nor have the eyes to
j udge the di f f e r e nc e be twe e n red and green. Likewise other
se nse s too ar e not i nvol ve d i n any data pr oc e ssi ng. It is
r e ason or i nte l l e c t that pr oc e sse s the received data; brain is
i ts stati on.

Five spiritual senses
As Al l ah () has c r e ate d f i ve phy si c al se nse s f or the
mate r i al wor l d so has He endowed human intellect with five
spi r i tual se nse s. The se ar e :
1. Common Se nse
2. Imagi nati on
3. Thi nki ng
4. Me mor y
5. Assoc i ati on
A br i e f summary of each of these senses is given below.
1. Common Sens e: No soone r thi s f ac ul ty of human
i nte l l e c t r e c e i ve s data f r om phy si c al se nse s than they get
absor be d i nto i t. For i nstance, when our eyes see something,
c ommon se nse take s and ac c e pts thi s se nsati on. It can be
i l l ustr ate d wi th the si mi l i tude of a pond that is common
se nse and f i ve phy si c al se nse s are five drains bringing water
i nto i t.
2. I magination: It pr e se r ve s the shape s and i mage s of
se nsati ons and pe r c e pti ons r e c e i ve d in the common sense
pool f r om se nsor y c hanne l s. For example when we hear the
wor d “Lor d” i ts i mage s “L, O, R, D” ar e stor e d i n
i magi nati on.
3. Thi nking: Thi s spi r i tual se nse pe r c e i ves the meaning
and i mpl i c ati ons or spi r i tual f or ms of phy si c al se nsual
sti mul ati ons and tr ansf e r s the r e c e i ved impressions to the
ne xt se nse f or pr e se r vati on.
4. Memor y: It r e tai ns me ani ngs of se nsations in the same
way as i magi nati on stor e s the i r phy si c al i mage s.
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 41
5. As s ociation: It c onne c ts me ani ng preserved in faculty
of thi nki ng to the phy si c al images saved in imagination. This
e nabl e s us to unde r stand and di f f e r entiate between words
on he ar i ng the m. Al l the se f i ve senses work jointly and with
mutual c oope r ati on and c oor di nati on. It i s he r e whe r e
se nsor y i nf or mati on c hange s i nto knowl e dge and
unde r standi ng. The se se nse s may br e ak down if common
se nse i s wi pe d out. Eac h se nse has a l i nk wi th the other.
The y are inef fective and unproductive without one anothe r .
Thi s sy l l ogi sti c study c l e ar l y pr ove s that physical five
se nse s de pe nd upon spi r i tual f i ve senses to culminate into
knowl e dge and unde r standi ng. The perceptions of material
r e al i ti e s r e c e i ve d thr ough phy si c al se nses can mature into
knowl e dge onl y i f the y de ve l op i nto some c onc l usi on
thr ough spi r i tual se nse s. Phy sical senses can only perceive a
thi ng but c annot know i t. On the othe r hand intellect and
spi r i tual se nse s too ar e de pe nde nt upon physical senses. If
al l se nse or gans f ai l to pe r form their functions, intellect just
c annot dr aw any c onc l usi on owi ng to abse nc e of the
r e quired data. So intelle ct and senses ar e i nte r de pe nde nt.
Our se nse s ar e e xtr e me l y susc e ptible to environmental
i mpr e ssi ons. If a ne wbor n baby is shifted immediately after
hi s bi r th to a pl ac e whe r e the r e i s no voice to stimulate his
audi ti on, he wi l l gr ow abnor mal , unabl e to spe ak or
unde r stand any wor d e ve n af te r ge tti ng f i f ty y ears old. It
wi l l happe n f or the sol e r e ason that whatever we say results
f r om whate ve r we he ar . That i s the learning phenomenon.
We he ar voi c e s, whi c h our me mor y r e tai ns. The intellect
suppl i e s me ani ngs to the se voi c e s thr ough the process of
assoc i ati on. The n we r e pr oduc e the same voi c e s on the
S.I.R. patte r n: sti mul ati on, i ntegration and response. If there
i s no sti mul ant, the r e wi l l be no r e sponse and no learning
si mul tane ousl y . If a man doe s not hear anything his intellect
wi l l r e mai n bar r e n, unabl e to r e tai n any voi c e s, wor ds,
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 42
sy l l abl e s, e nunc i ati ons, ac c e nts, r hy thms and sty l es. His
mi nd r e mai ns l i ke a c l e an sl ate wi th no impressions drawn
on i t. Li ke wi se , he al so c annot and doe s not ac qui re any
c apabi l i ty to say and e xpr e ss hi s feelings, desires and needs.
It was f or the same r e ason that i n the Holy Prophet’s times
the Ar abs use d to se nd the i r c hi l dren with rural women so
that the y mi ght l e ar n pur e and f l ue nt Ar abi c thr ough
he ar i ng the m, tal ki ng to the m, ge tti ng c or r e cted by them
and by l i vi ng wi th the m.

Man and l imitations of his knowl edge
The r e i s no de ny i ng the f ac t that human intellect can reach
onl y whe r e se nse s c an take i t. It wor ks onl y wi thi n the
j ur i sdi c ti on of se nse s. It doe s not exist outside the sensory
te r r i tor y . It i s a par al y ze d l i mb without sensory support. All
se nse s at the same ti me ar e useless and insignificant without
i nte l l e c t.
So the sour c e s man i s bl e sse d with are inter-dependent.
De spi te dy nami c f unc ti oni ng of senses and intellect several
que sti ons about r e al i ty of human l i f e r e main answerable.
For e xampl e what i s the pur pose of man’s l i f e ? Who has
c r e ate d man? How was he c r e ate d? How the universe began
and how and whe n wi l l i t e nd? What i s the relation of man
wi th the uni ve r se ? Whi c h l aw has to be obe y e d to live a
pl e asant and use f ul l i f e i n the world? What is good and what
i s bad? What i s j ust and what i s unjust? What is man’s abode
af te r de ath? Is de ath the e nd of l i f e or the star t of a new
l i f e ? If af te r de ath man e nte r s a ne w l i f e the n what are its
modal i ti e s? Af te r de ath, wi ll he be responsible for his deeds
or not?
And many mor e i nqui r i e s may be adde d to the l i st.
The se que sti ons c r op up i n man’s mi nd, whi c h e ve r y
se nsi bl e man who be l i e ve s i n a pur pose f ul l i f e needs to
answe r . Whe n the se que r i e s whi r l hi s mi nd man can only
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 43
e nde avour thr ough f i ve se nse s to know who the Creator is
and what l i f e and de ath, good and bad i mpl y . Se nse s,
howe ve r , ar e c onf i ne d onl y to the task assi gned to them.
The r e al i ti e s the se que sti ons l e ad to ar e f ar of f from the
se nsor y pe r c e pti on; the y ar e beyond the material world. For
se nse s i t i s a f or e i gn l and.
Human i nte l l e c t too f ai l s to pr obe into. It does not deal
wi th me taphy si c al i nqui r i e s. The phy si c al and spi r i tual
se nse s ar e l i ke i ts l i mbs. It f unc ti ons through them. It gives
up whe n the y gi ve i n. The se ar e i n f ac t not the means to
know about the Lor d of the Uni ve r se .

Ecstasy
Al l ah () has be stowe d upon man another spiritual source
c al l e d e c stasy or i ntui ti on. It also has five dimensions, which
ar e known as f i ve subtl e ti e s (la t a 'i f; ﻒﺋﺎﻄﻟ):
1. The subtl e e sse nc e of the he ar t
2. The subtle essence of the spi r i t or spi r i tual subtl e ty
3. The subtle e sse nc e of the se c r e t or se c r e t subtl e ty
4. The hi dde n subtl e e sse nc e
5. The subtle essence of the most se c r e t of the se c r e t.
The se subtl e ti e s pr ovi de l i ght to the eye of your heart.
The r e al i ti e s star t unve i l i ng the mse l ve s. The spiritual ears
star t he ar i ng. The n our he ar t l e arns about such realities that
our se nse s and i nte l l e c t c annot gr asp. But Intui ti on or
Ec stasy (wa j da n) al so wor ks wi thi n the confines of material
e xi ste nc e . Imam Ghazal i say s:
ﻭ ﻭ ﺭ ِﺀﺍ ﹾﻟﺍ ﻌ ﹾﻘ ﹺﻞ ﹶﻃ ﻮ  ﺭ ﺧﺁ ﺮ ، ﺗ ﻨ ﹶﻔ ﺘ  ﺢ ﻓ ﻪﻴ ﻋ  ﲔ ﹸ ﺃ ﺧ ﺮ ﹶﻓ ﻯ  ﻴ ﺒ ـﺼ  ﺮ
ﹺﺑ ﻬ ﹾﻟﺍ ﺎ ﻐ ﺐﻴ ، ﻭ ﻣ ﺳ ﺎ ﻴ ﹸ ﻜ ﹸﻥﻮ ﻲﻓ ﹾﻟﺍ  ﻤ ﺴ ﺘ ﹾﻘ ﹺﺒ ﹺﻞ ، ﻭ ﹸ ﺃ  ﻣ ﺭﻮ ـﺧﺁ  ﺮ ،
ﭐ ﹾﻟ ﻌ ﹾﻘ ﹸ ﻞ ﻣ ﻌ  ﺰ ﹲﻝﻭ ﻋ ﻨ ﻬ ﺎ .
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 44
“And the r e i s a stati on ahe ad of intellect, where the
spi r i tual e y e ope ns up. By me ans of this vision you
c an se e the r e al i ti e s of the r e al m of unse e n; the
oc c ur r e nc e s de sti ne d to happen in the time to come
ge t di sc e r nabl e and othe r matte r s that f al l off the
j ur i sdi c ti on of i nte l l e c t c ome to l i ght.”
1

Ec stasy too, howe ve r , has i ts own l i mi tations. It is also
unabl e to tr ansc e nd i ts span of action to prey any awareness
of the Di vi ne Re al i ty or Hi s Attr i bute s. The se nse s, the
i nte l l e c t and the e c stasy , none of the m c an se r ve any
c onc l usi ve and f i nal i nf or mati on about c r e ation of man,
pur pose of i ts c r e ati on, de ath and que r i e s r e l ate d to
postmor te m oc c ur r e nc e s. Man has knocked at all the three
door s one by one but c ould earn only disappointment. None
of the sour c e s of knowl e dge c oul d br i ng about anything
c onc l usi ve , de c i si ve and f i nal . Losi ng hope , options and
c our age , one c an onl y f al l i n pr ostr ati on be f or e Al l ah
Al mi ghty () and submi t: “O Lor d of the Universe! I seek
y our gnosi s; I want to know about this universe and long for
my own r e c ogni ti on as we l l . But I do not have any means to
sati sf y thi s ur ge . It i s onl y You now Who c an provide me
out of Your Unse e n Inf i ni te tr e asur e s some source spring
that woul d e nl i ghte n me wi th awar e ne ss about the secret
and hi dde n r e al i ti e s. It i s but You al one Who can confer
some sour c e of knowl e dge on me from where I may beg and
gai n.”

The di vi ne revelation
Whe re all possible me ans of acquiri ng knowledge that f all in
man’s re ac h come to an end, the Di vine Re vel ation come s
in. The f acts and truths lyi ng beyond the access of fi ve
sense s, re ason and ec stasy ar e le arnt only through Di vine

1. Ghazali , al- Munqi dh min-ad- dalal :54.
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 45
Re vel ation. This is the speci al bl essing of All ah Almighty
() that He showers on Hi s chosen ser vants, the Prophets
and the Messengers. A common man c annot e ven think of
hi s access to this di vine source . Nor c an he comprehend as
to what is the nature of thi s e xperience c alled re vel ation.
Thi s Divi ne Re vel ation continued to the Final
Messenge r of All ah (A), the Prophe t Mohammad (A).
Wi th hi s apostol ate the chain of sending the Messenge rs to
mankind c ame to an end and the door of re vel ation was shut
fore ver .
It i s now the lif e history of the Holy Prophe t (A)
wherefr om all knowledge and cognition one has to ac quire .
All the truths veiled from human perception and which man
has alway s pur sued to le arn but his senses, intellec t and
ec stasy f ailed to explore are re ve aled to mankind thr ough
the enli ghte ning guidance of the Final Messenger of All ah
(A). Wi th the medi ation of the Holy Prophet (A), All ah
() has provided to manki nd that fountainhe ad of
knowledge which is the e nd-all of all le arning. He i s the ci ty
of knowledge and all the roads of human i nqui ry le ad to thi s
ci ty and end up the re . The mission of ac quiring knowledge
c annot be accompli shed wi thout see king guidance from the
Holy Prophe t (A) may the humanity put all i ts ener gies to
push the way through.

The scope of knowledge
We have le arnt in the l ight of Sur ah Al -Al aq the concept of
knowledge in Isl am, the major obje cti ve of seeki ng
knowledge , the syll abi pre scribed for man to le arn, the
sources of knowledge and the outcome of knowledge . Now
if one asks as to what has All ah () taught man to l e arn or
whe ther the Qur an has fixed any limit with re gard to
seeking knowledge we need to turn towards fifth holy ver se
of Surah a l- ‘Alaq. All ah () say s:
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 46
´Ο‾=æ ´≈¡Σ}# $Β óΟ9 ÷Λ>÷èƒ ∩∈∪
“He Who (be side s that) taught man (all that) which
he did not know.”
1

So, the Holy Qur an has not fi xed any limi t of
knowledge . All ah Almighty () has taught all what man did
not know before . He has enlightened him on all the truths
and the re ali tie s of the unive rse of which he had no
knowledge . He ki ndled his mind with awarene ss enabli ng
him to di stinguish ri ght from wrong. All ah Almighty ()
has ble ssed us wi th knowledge of all the pr ofessions. Hi s
te achings keep pouring down. And e veryone benefi ts from i t
accordi ng to one ’s c apaci ty . It all depends upon man how
much he benefits fr om All ah’s infini te blessings. All ah ()
has not put any l imit on it. The entire uni ver se i s l ying open
before him li ke a pre scribed text book. It is endle ss and
unlimi ted. Thi s vastne ss c an be percei ved from the saying of
Almighty All ah ():
−öθù´ρ È e≅à2 “ÏŒ AΟù=Ïæ ÒΟŠÎ=æ ∩∠∉∪
“There i s alway s someone higher i n knowledge than
the other .”
2

Thi s sets man f ree to go as f ar as he c an in the pursui t
of knowledge . There is no restric tion or upper limit which
one c annot tr ansgre ss. There is no end to thi s jour ney . He
c an le arn as muc h as he wants from the open syll abi . All ah
Almighty () has not se t any de stination to this journey .
The re is no end to knowledge as there i s no end to Al lah’s
Lordship and Godship and the Holy Pr ophe t’s
Messenge rship. Knowledge has enveloped the entire
cre ation. One strive s according to one ’s potenti al and when

1. Quran, 96: 5.
2. Quran, 12: 76.
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 47
he stri ke s the climax he gets amazed. The height of thi s
uni que feeling of amazeme nt i s but sile nce . One c an say
nothing, posse ssed by an i nner f eeling of appreci ation that
inundates all hi s f acul ties:
If I rema i n si lent , y ou a re t h e ult i ma t e bea ut y ;
If I spea k, y our bea ut y i s c onfi ned.





BIBLIOGRAPHY


1. Th e Holy Qur’an, re ve aled by Almighty All ah.
2. Alusi , Sayyid Mahmud (1217-1270/1802-1854), Ruh -ul-
ma ‘ani fi ta fsi r-i l-Qur’an-i l- ‘azim wa s- sa b‘-i l- mathani , Mul tan,
Paki stan: Maktabah imdadiyy ah, n.d.
3. Ghazali , Abu Hamid Muhammad bin Muhammad (d. 505
AH), a l- Munqi dh min-a d- da lal, n.d.
4. Hakim, Abu ‘Abdull ah Muhammad bin ‘Abdull ah (321-
405/933-1014), a l-Musta dra k a la s- sahihayn, Makkah, Saudi
Ar abi a: Dar -ul -baz, n.d.
5. Ibn Raj ab Hambali (368-463/979-1071), Jami ‘ bayan-i l-
‘i lm wa fa dlihi , Beirut, Lebanon, Dar -ul -kutub-il -‘imiyy ah,
1398/1978.
6. Raghib Asf ahani , Husayn bin Muhammad, Abu al -Qasim
(d.502/1108), Mufra dat a lfaz al-Qur’an, Damascus, Syri a:
Dar -ul -qal am, 1
st
ed. 1412/1992.
7. Tirmidhi, Muhammad bin ‘Isa (210-279/825-892), a l-
Jami ‘-us- sahih , Beirut, Lebanon: Dar ihy a’-i t-tur ath-il -
‘ar abi , n.d.
8. Zubaydi , Muhammad bin Muhammad (1145-1205/1732-
1791), Ta j- ul- ‘urus min ja wahi r-i l-qa mus, Beirut, Lebanon:
Dar -ul -fi kr , 1414/1994.





THE AUTHOR'S ARABI C & ENGLISH BOOKS


Arabic Books
1 at - Tassawa r- ul- Isla mi li- ta bi‘a t-i l- ba sha riyyah
2 Nah j- ut-ta rbiyya t-i l-i jti ma ‘iyyah fi l-Qur’an
3 at - Tassawa r- ut-ta sh ri ‘i li l-h ukm-i l- Islami
4 Fa lsa fat -ul-i jtiha d wa l- ‘a lim-ul- mu‘si r
5 a l-Ja rima h fi l- fiqh -il- Isla mi
6 Minha j-ul- khut bat lil- ‘i dayn wa l- jumu‘a t
7 Qawa ‘i d-ul-iqtisa d fi l- Isla m
8 a l- Iqtisa d-ul-a rbawi wan- nizam- ul-mi sr fi l- Islam

English Books
9 Si rat- ur-Ra sul (A), vol .1
10 Th e Await ed Imam
11 Beseeching for Help ( Istighathah)
12 Islami c Conc ept of Int ermediati on (Tawassul)
13 Rea l Islami c Faith a nd th e Prophet’s Status
14 Greeting s and Sa lutations on the Proph et (A)
15 Spi ritua li sm and Mag netism
16 Islami c Phi losophy of Human Li fe
17 Islam in Va rious Perspecti ves
18 Islam and Ch ri stianit y
19 Islam and Crimina li ty
20 Qur’ani c Conc ept of Human Gui danc e
21 Islami c Conc ept of Huma n Nature
22 Divine Plea sure
Islami c Conc ept of Knowledge 52
23 Qur’ani c Phi losophy of Benev olenc e ( Ihsan)
24 Islam and Freedom of Human Wi ll
25 Islami c Pena l Sy st em and it s Phi losophy
26 Islami c Conc ept of La w
27 Phi losophy of Ijtiha d and th e Modern World
28 Qur’ani c Basi s of Constituti ona l Th eory
29 Islam — Th e Stat e Religi on
30 Lega l Cha ract er of Isla mic Puni shment s
31 Lega l Struct ure of Islamic Puni sh ments
32 Cla ssi ficati on of Isla mic Puni shments
33 Islami c Phi losophy of Puni sh ments
34 Islami c Conc ept of Cri me
35 Qur’an on Creati on and Expansion of Univ erse
36 Creati on and Evoluti on of th e Univ erse
37 Creati on of Man
38 Islam on prev ention of Hea rt Di sea ses
39 Th e Gha di r Dec la ration
40 Vi rutes of Sayyi da Fati mah (ﺎﻬﻨﻋ ﷲﺍ ﻲﺿﺭ )


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