|Gnosis of God
|Knowing God is the duty of mankind, but mostly they neglect
this duty for most of the time except those whom God has
chosen and whose hearts He hath vivified with Himself. The
worth of everyone is in proportion to Gnosis, and he who is
without gnosis is worth nothing.
Theologians, clergy, scholars and other learned persons give
the name gnosis (ma`rifat) to right cognition (`ilm) of God,
but Sufi Shaykhs call right feeling (hal) towards God by that
name. They all agree that gnosis (ma`rifat) is more excellent
than cognition (`ilm), for right feeling (hal) is the result of
right cognition, but one who has not cognition of God is not
always a Gnostic (`arif), but one may have a cognition of God
without being Gnostic.
The Mutazillites assert that gnosis is intellectual and that only a
rational (originally used is reasonable) person (`aqil) can
possibly have it. Others pretend that demonstration (istidlal) is
the cause of knowledge of God, and is not gained by anyone
except those who can deduce in such a manner. Allah The
Almighty has said, “Knowledge of Me depends on My Will.”
(Qur'an: 6:111). According to conventional Muslim belief,
soundness of reason and regard to evidences are a means
(sabab) to gnosis, but not the cause (`illat) thereof: the sole
cause is God’s Will and favor, for without His favor (inayat)
reason is blind. Man’s only guide and enlightener is God, all
human faculties are just tools, and all human emotions and
feelings and perceptions are just means, but the real and only
cause is God’s favor alone.
|When the commander of the faithful, Ali `ibn Talib was asked
concerning gnosis, he said, “I know God by God, and I know
that which is not God by the light of God.” Allah The Almighty
says in Qur'an: “I am the Creator of Light in which believers
are illumined.” And "It is God that opens and seals the hearts
of men.” (Qur'an: 39:23) & (2:6). God has created the body
and committed its life to the spirit (jan), and He created the
soul (dil) and committed its life to Himself; reason and all
other human faculties have no power to make the body live
with spirit or to enliven the soul.
|“While thou wert independent thou wert veiled
by the faculties and their exercise, and when
these were annihilated thou didst fail, and having
failed thou didst attain.”
Reynold A. Nicholson
they may serve Me.” (Qur'an: 51:56) Serving cannot be done without
knowing one: how does ‘One’ wants to be served and what one is to
serve? Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) has said, “if ye knew God as He
ought to be known, ye would walk on the seas, and the mountains
would move at your call.”
this world and in the next, for most important thing for a
man at all times in all circumstances is knowledge of God.
Emotional (Hali): Gnosis is the life of heart through God,
and turning away of one’s inmost thoughts from all that is
must be known by all rational persons, and we see some of rational persons deny the
existence of God and hold the doctrines of assimilation (tasbih) and nullification (tatil).
Moreover, if it were so the principle of religious obligation (taklif) would be destroyed,
for that principle cannot be possibly applied to objects of intuitive knowledge, such as
one’s self, the heaven and the earth, day and night, pleasure and pain, etc.
|Piety as means of Gnosis
|Egoism and Gnosis
|Reason on way of Gnosis
|Gnosis is result of inspiration (ilham)
|Knowledge of God is Intuitive (daruri)
|All material in this page is original writing of Seema Arif. Using it in any form of publication and
print media without prior permission will be considered against violation of rights. While quoting
in research papers proper referencing should be used.