Translated by
Reynold A. Nicholson
The Object of Knowledge
God hath said, describing the servants (ulama): “of
those who serve God only the servants fear Him”
(Qur’an, 35:25)
The Prophet said: “To seek knowledge is obligatory
on every Muslim man and woman”. And he said so:
“Seek Knowledge even in China.”
The knowledge of the Law (sharia’t)  has three
The Qur'an
The Sunnah
The Consensus (ijma) of Muslim community

The Prophet said: “To seek knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim
man and woman”.
And he said so: “Seek Knowledge even in China.”
Knowledge is immense and the life is short, hence it is obligatory for
Muslims to learn all the sciences, such as Astronomy and Medicine, and
Arithmetic etc. so much as it is requisite for acting rightly, to abstain
from what is injurious. Allah condemns those who learn useless
knowledge (Qur'an: 2-96). Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) said,

“I take refuge with Thee from knowledge that profiteth

Knowledge should not be separated from action. Hazrat Muhammad
(SAW) had also said,
“The devotee without divinity is like a donkey
turning a mill”
, because the donkey goes round and round over its own
tracks and never makes an advance.
Excerpts from
Discourse on Knowledge
Pages: 11-25
    Knwoledge is of two kinds: Divine and Human. The later is worthless
    in comparison to the former, because God's knowledge is an attribute
    of Himself, subsisting in Him, whose attributes are infinite; whereas
    our knowledge is an attribute of ourselves, subsisting in us, whose
    attributes are finite. God's Knowledge is that by which He knows All
    things existent and non-existent: He does not share it with man: it is
    not capable of division nor separable from Himself. The proof of it lies
    in the disposition of his actions (tartib-i fi`lash), since action demands
    knowledge in the agent as an indespensible condition. The Divine
    Knowledge penetrates what is hidden and comprehends what is
    manifest. It behoves the seeker to contemplate God in every act,
    knowing that God sees him and all that he does.
Knowledge has been defined as
"comprehension and investigation of the object
but the right definition  is
"A quality whereby the ignorant are made wise."
    Muhammad b. Fadl al-Balkhi says, “Knowledge is of three kinds – from Allah, with Allah,
    and of Allah. Knowledge of Allah is the science of gnosis (ilm-ma’rifat) whereby He is
    known to all saints and prophets. One has to seek divine guidance to acquire it, as it is
    unattainable through ordinary means.
The object of knowledge should be to know God and His
commandments. Knowledge of Time (ilm-e-waqt), and of all outward
and inward circumstances of which the due effect depends on “time”,
is incumbent upon everyone. This is of two types: Primary and
Secondary. The external division of primary class consists in making
the Muslim’s profession of faith; the internal division consists in the
attainment of true cognition. The external division of secondary class
consists in practice of devotion; the internal division consists in
rendering one’s intention sincere. The outward and inward aspects
cannot be divorced. The exoteric aspect of Truth without the esoteric
is hypocrisy, and the esoteric without the exoteric is heresy. So with
regard to Law, mere formality is defective, while mere spirituality is
The Knowledge of Truth (Haqiqat) has three pillars:
Knowledge of the Essence and Unity of God
Knowledge of the Attributes of God
Knowledge of Actions and Wisdom of God
    Knowledge of the Essence involves recognition on the part of one who
    is reasonable and has reached puberty, that God exists externally by
    His Essence, that He is infinite not bound by Space, that his Essence is
    not cause of evil, that none of His creatures are like unto Him, that He
    has neither wife nor child, and That He is the Creator and Sustainer of
    all that your imagination and intellect can conceive.

    Knowledge of the Divine Attributes requires you to know that God has
    attributes existing in Himself, which are not He nor a part of Him, but
    exist in Him and subsist by Him, e.g. Knowledge, Power, Life, Will,
    Hearing, Sight, Speech, etc.

    Knowledge of the Divine Actions is your knowledge that God is the
    creator of mankind and all of their actions, that He brought the non-
    existent universe into being, that He predestines good and evil and
    creates all that is beneficial and injurious.

    Knowledge of the Law involves your knowing that God has sent us
    Apostles with miracles of an extraordinary nature; that our apostle
    Hazrat Muhammad (SAW), is a true messenger, who performed many
    miracles, and that whatever he has told us concerning the Unseen and
    the Visible is entirely true.
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Copyright 2010 Jehan-i-Seema. All rights reserved.
All material in this page is original writing of  Seema Arif. Using it in any form of publication and
in research papers proper referencing should be used.