Ilm (Arabic)

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‘Ilm (Arabic: علم‎‎ "knowledge") is the Islamic term for knowledge. However central the idea of 'ilm to Islamic intellectual culture, it was an essentialist concept, assumed to be a fixed and identifiable (if undefined) object or fact.[1]

Meaning of knowledge[edit]

Linguistic[edit]

According to Oxford English Dictionary,"Knowledge is refers to as facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject".

"In this work on the concept of knowledge, Franz Rosenthal collected a number of definitions of 'ilm, organizing them according to what he saw as their essential elements (admitting that the list was ahistorical and did not necessarily conform to categories the medieval Muslim scholars themselves would have used). Among these definitions, we find the following: Knowledge is the process of knowing, and identical with the knower and the known.

Knowledge is that through which one knows.

  1. Knowledge is that through which the essence is knowing.
  2. Knowledge is that through which the knower is knowing.
  3. Knowledge is that which necessitates for him in whom it subsists the name of knower.
  4. Knowledge is that which necessitates that he in whom it subsists is knowing.
  5. Knowledge is that which necessitates that he in whom it resides (mahall) is knowing.
  6. Knowledge stands for ( 'ibarah 'an) the object known ( 'al-ma lum).
  7. Knowledge is but the concepts known ( 'al-ma ani al-ma luma).
  8. Knowledge is the mentally existing object."[1]

Islamic Meaning[edit]

Knowledge in the Western world means information about something, divine or corporeal, while In Islamic point of view 'ilm is an all-embracing term covering theory, action and education, it is not confined to the acquisition of knowledge only, but also embraces socio-political and moral aspects.it requires insight, commitment to the goals of Islam and for the believers to act upon their belief.[2] Also it is reported in hadith that "Knowledge is not extensive learning. Rather, it is a light that God casts in the heart of whomever He wills." [3]

Shiism and Knowlege[edit]

Doctrine about necessity of acquiring knowledge[edit]

  • According to Allameh Muzaffar, Allah gives humans the faculty of reason and argument. Also Allah order human to spend time thinking carefully on creation while he refers to all creations as his signs of power and glory. These signs encompassed all of universe. Also there is similarity between human as little world and universe as large world. Allah doesn’t accept the faith of those who follow him without thinking and only with imitation but also Allah blames them for such an action.

In other word, human has to think about universe with reason and intellect, a faculty bestowed us by Allah. Since that there is more insistence on the faculty of intellect among Shia, even evaluating the claims of someone who claim prophecy is on the shoulder of intellect.[4][5]

  • The Qur'an is said to demand the acquisition of knowledge.[6] It explains the study and development of sciences during the Islamic Golden Age.

Ilm in Qur'an[edit]

In the Qur'an the word 'alim has occurred in 140 places, while al-'ilm in 27. In all, the total number of verses in which 'ilm or its derivatives and associated words are used is 704. The aids of knowledge such as book, pen, ink etc. amount to almost the same number. Qalam occurs in two places, al-kitab in 230 verses, among which al-kitab for al-Qur'an occurs in 81 verses. Other words associated with writing occur in 319 verses.

Quranic Verses Regard Ilm[edit]

Allah regards the virtues of knowledge said as follows: *"Recite: In the name of thy Lord who created man from a clot. Recite: And thy Lord is the Most Generous Who taught by the pen, taught man that which he knew not." (Quran, 96:1-5)

  • "He grants wisdom to whom He pleases, and whoever is granted wisdom, he indeed is given a great good and none but men of understanding mind" (Quran, 2:269).
  • "Are those who have knowledge and those who have no knowledge alike? Only the men of understanding are mindful. " (Quran, 39:9).
  • "Allah will raise up, to (suitable) ranks and (degrees), those of you who believe and who have been granted knowledge. And Allah is well-acquainted with all you do." (Qur'an, 58:11).
  • "It is only those who have knowledge among His servants that fear Allah." (Qur'an, 35:28).
  • "There is no one worthy of worship but He: That is the witness of Allah, His angels and those endowed with knowledge, Standing firm in Justice (or maintaining His Creation in Justice). There is no god but He, the Exalted in power, the Wise." (Qur'an, 3:18).
  • "And say: My Lord increase me in knowledge." (Qur'an, 20:114).
  • And fear God, and God shall teach you". (Qur’an 2:282).
  • These are parables, which We tell to human being, but only the learned ones understand them". (Qur'an 29:43)

Ilm in Hadith[edit]

  • Muhammad said: "The virtue of knowledge is more beloved with Allah than the virtue of worship" [7]
  • Muhammad said: "The Qur’an is Allah's university; so learn as much as you can in this University". [8]
  • Muhammad was asked: "What is Knowledge?" He replied: "To keep silent". He was asked: "Then?" He said: "To listen attentively." He was asked: "Then?" He said: "To remember." He was asked: "Then?" He said: "To act upon (what is learned)." He was asked: "Then?" He said: "To propagate."Template:Almajlisi Bihar-ul-Anwar
  • And this is mentioned in a famous hadith: "Knowledge is a light that God casts into the heart of anyone that He wishes"
  • Imam Amir-ul-Mu’mineen: "The worth of every man is in his attainments (i.e extent of his knowledge)" [9]
  • Imam Hassan "Teach your Knowledge to others and (try to) learn yourself the knowledge of others" [10]
  • Imam Baqir said: "Try to learn knowledge because learning it, is a good action and study is itself a worship".[11]
  • Imam Sadiq: "The one who learns knowledge and acts accordingly , and teaches it for Allah, will be called magnificiently in heavens." [12]
  • It was reported in hadith saying that "Seeking knowledge is a duty upon every muslims". [13]
  • Imam Sodiq said: "Be careful of your knowledge and see from whom you get it"[14]
  • In another famous hadith it was reported to have been said that: "Seek knowledge even if it is in China".Template:Bihar-ul-Anwar

References[edit]