REVIVAL OF RELIGIOUS LEARNINGS
Translated by FAZL-UL-KARIM VOL. I
About the Book
The book is the English version of Imam Ghazzali's Ihya Ulum-ud-Din.. It deals with worship and divine service.
Imam Abu-Hamid al-Ghazzali is unquestionably the greatest theologian of Islam and one of its noblest and most original thinkers. He was born in 1058 A.D. at Tus, where he died in 1111. He reproduced in his religious experience all the spiritual phases developed by Islam.
Starting his religious life as orthodox, Al-Ghazzali soon turned Sufi, and when still under twenty he had broken with all the past. In 1091 he was appointed lecturer at the Nizamiyah in Baghdad, where he became a skeptic. Four year later he returned to Sufism after a terrific spiritual struggle that left him a physical wreck. Intellectualism had failed him. As a dervish he roamed from place to place enjoying peace of soul and acquiescence of mind. After about twelve years of retirement in various places, including two years of retreat in Syria and a holy pilgrimage, he returned to Baghdad to preach and teach. There he composed his masterpiece lhya Ulum-id-Din (the revivification of the sciences of religion).
The mysticism of this work vitalized the law its orthodoxy leavened the doctrine of Islam. In it and such other works of his Fatihat-al-Ulum, Tahafut of Falasifah, Iqtisad fi-al-Itiqad, orthodox speculation reached its culminating point.
THE BOOK OF WORSHIP
Preface of Imam Gazzali 13
CHAPTER I Acquisition of Knowledge 18
Excellence of Learning 24
Praiseworthy and blameworthy learnings 29
Four Imams 38
Meanings of some words now changed 45
Manners to be observed by teachers and students 54
Signs of the learned of the Hereafter 62
Intellect and its noble nature 92
THE BOOK OF WORSHIP
Through the unbounded grace of the Almighty God and blessings of the greatest Apostle of God, the English version of the Book of worship of the world renowned Ihyaul Ulum (Revival of religious learning) of Imam Ghazzali, the greatest thinker of the world of Islam, the Proof of Islam, the famous Sufi and devout, has now been published in full. This book Ihya is a sea of knowledge full of reasons and arguments, full of Quranic verses, traditions of the Holy Prophet and of the companions and the famous saints of early ages. Each subject was supported by the Quran, traditions and sayings of the learned sages and wise men and established by reasons and arguments.
As the great Imam belonged originally to the Shafeyi Sunni sect, some of the religious doctrines will be found in line with that sect, but nevertheless its importance is very great. In his advanced age, the Imam was not a blind follower of sects but followed his independent thinking and as such indirectly created a sect of his own. As the world is advancing with ever new ideas and scientific discoveries, so also this work is full of novel and great ideas and scientific discoveries and thereby the Imam revived truly the religious sciences and gave them an impetus never given by his predecessors in such a manner. He saved Islam from the currents and cross currents of devilish thoughts and pagan ideas that imperceptibly entered into Islam and clearly showed their fallacies and misconceptions. For this reason, he was given the title of Hujjatul Islam or the Proof of Islam. His thoughts prevailed upon those savants who came after him. Had not the Almighty blessed him with the necklace of reason and intellect, the true belief of Islam would have been carried away by the strong current of irreligious and misguided thoughts.
True it is that there are many weak traditions in this book, bu t at the same time it should be remembered that the authors of six authentic traditional books specially Bukhari and Muslim selected some few thousand traditions as most of them were not proved to have been founded by trustworthy narrators from the Holy Prophet down to the narrator or did not meet with all the rules laid down for an authentic tradition. For want of proof,
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many guilty persons are acquitted. For that, it cannot be said that all acquitted persons are innocent. So in this perspective, the traditions in the Ihya should be regarded. Had Imam Ghazzali not found them trustworthy, he would not have incorporated them in his book.
The present translation is an attempt to bring out a complete translation of Ihya in English in four Books. The first book deals with worship and divine service, the second book with worldly usages, the third book with destructive evils and the fourth book with constructive virtues. Ihya in original is a book in Arabic comprising four parts and its abridged addition in Persian was termed by the author himself as 'Kimiyae Sa'adat' or the Touchstone of fortune. Unnecessary arguments of different sects prevalent nearly one thousand years ago, some matters not needed at the present time and some sayings of some sages of less reputation have been omitted in the present English version. The book has been, however, translated into Bengali in full by the author himself without omission.
SHORT LIFE OF IMAM GHAZZALI
Imam Ghazzali was born in 450 A.H. (1058 A.D.) in the village Taberan in the district of Taus in Persia and his name is Abu Hamid Muhammad. His title is Hujjatul Islam or Proof of Islam and his dynastic title is Ghazzali. His father was not a famous person but his grand father was one of the leading men of that age. His father died while he was young leaving him under the care of his mother and grand father. Ghazzal is said to be the name of a village in the district of Taus in the province of Khorasan in Persia. According to Maulana Shibli Nomani, his ancestors had the business of weaving. (Ghazzal) and therefore he retained his family title Ghazzali (weaver).
HIS EDUCATION: At the time of the death of Ghazzali's -father, he entrusted the education of his two sons Muhammad and Ahmad to one of his trusted friends. The latter imparted to them primary education and then sent them to a private Maktab. The boys within a short time committed the whole Quran to memory and after that began to learn Arabic.
They were then admitted in a free Madrasa. After sometime, Imam Ghazzali left his native village for higher
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education for Zarzan and began to study under a great earned man Imam Abu Nasr Ismail. He used to take notes of his lectures but in a certain journey he was robbed of these notes by some dacoits along with his other belongings. He took courage, went to the chief of the robbers and begged of the notes only to be returned to him. It was returned to him at his earnest entreaties.
Then he joined Nizamia Madrasa at Nishapur which was a reputed seat of learning and a great educationist named Imamul Haramain was its principal. He had 400 students of whom three were most noted - Harrasi, Ahmad-b-Muhammad and Imam Ghazzali. The latter became so much grieved at his death that he left Nishapur and went to Baghdad, the capital of the Caliphs. He was then a young man of 28 years of age.
At Baghdad, he was appointed principal of Nizamiyah Madrasa by Nizamul Mulk the chief vizier of the Turkish ruler Malek Shah. Being thus appointed at an early age to such a high post, his popularity as a great learned man spread far and wide and the rulers and the chieftains used to consult him in state affairs and theological matters.
LECTURES OF IMAM GHAZZALI: In the lectures of the Imam, hundreds of learned men and dignitaries of the State and even the ruling princes attended. His lectures were full of arguments and reasons and they were mostly recorded by Sayeed-b-Fares and Ibn Lobban. They recorded nearly 183 of his lectures which were completed in a book named Majalesse-Ghazzali.
The great Imam then turned his mind to gain spiritual heights and the circumstances leading to it were recorded by him in his book Munkezum Minaddalal (Deliverance from error). He was a follower of Imam Shafeyi in his early age but in Baghdad he mixed freely with the peoples of all sects and thoughts and ideas. There were then the Shias, the Sunnis, Zindiqs, Magians, Scholastic theologians, Christians, Jews, atheists fire-worshippers and idol worships. There were also the Deists, the Materialists, the Naturalists, the philosophers. They used to meet in mutual wars of argumentations and debates. This had such an effect in the mind of the Imam that his whole life became changed and he began to search for truth with a free mind. His old ideas disappeared and he began to live in
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doubts. He then became inclined to Sufism but here practical actions were more required than mere belief. Being imbued with such an idea, he gave up his lucrative post at Baghdad, wore Sufi dress and left Baghdad suddenly one night in 488 A.H.
He then went to Damascus and closetted himself in a room of its mosque and began attentively the divine services, meditations and Zikr. Thus he spent here two years in solitude. At the age of 27 years, he was initiated by Pir Abu Ali Farmedi who was the spiritual guide of also the vizier Nizamul Mulk. After two years he went to Jerusalem and visited the birth place of Jesus Christ and in 499 A.H. he visited the holy shrine of Hazrat Abraham and made there three promises:- 1) he will not go to the Darbar of any ruler, 2) he will never accept their presentation, 3) he will not join any religious debates. He fulfilled these promises up to his death. Then he went to Mecca for pilgrimage and visited alto Medina and stayed there for a long time. When he returned home, he was requested by the ruler to accept the post of the principal of Nizamia Madrashah and he accepted it. When the ruler was assassinated by an assassin, he gave up the post and went to Tas and closetted himself in a khankah. The new ruler requested the Imam to join his post of the principal but he declined the offer.
He died at his native village Taberan on 14th Jamadis Sani in 505 A.H. corresponding to 19th December 1111 A.D. Ibn Jauzi narrated a story about his death. He said: On Monday early in the morning he got up from his bed, performed his morning prayer and then sent a man to bring his coffin cloth. When it was brought, he lifted it up to his eyes and said: Lord's command is to be obeyed. Saying this, he prolonged his legs and immediately breathed his last. The Imam left no son, but only daughters.
HIS BOOKS: The Imam lived nearly 55; years and he began to write books from his early age when he was 20 years old. He travelled for nearly 10 to 11 years and spent most of his time in reading, writing and teaching. Besides this, he had to reply to thousand letters which came from far and near for his decision and opinion. He wrote nearly 400 books of which the following
THEOLOGY: Wasit (Shafeyi jurisprudence), Basit, Waft (Canon Law) (compendium), Bayanul Qaolaine li Shafeyi, Khulasatul Rasail (Quintessence of jurisprudence), Fkhtesarul
Mukhtesar, Gayatul Gaur, Mazmatul Fatawah (collection of legal decisions), Risalatul Qudsiyya (canon laws of Prophet).
PRINCIPLES OF THEOLOGY: Tahsinul Muakhej, Shefaye Alil (cure of diseases), Mankhul, Mustastfa jurisprudence.
JURISPRUDENCE: Khulasatul Fiqh (quintessence of jurisprudence) Wajiz, Igtisad-fil-I'tiqad (exposition of faith),
LOGIC: Mizanul Amal, Mihakhul Nazar fil Monteq (whetstone of reflection on Logic), Mayarul Ilm (weighing scale of science), AI-Ma'arif (Discourse on Logic). Mayarul Ilm fi Fannil Manteq (the weighing scale of the science of logic).
PHILOSOPHY: Maqasidul Falasifah (aim of the Philosophers), Munqezum Minaddalal (Deliverence from error), an autobiographical statement of his spiritual progress) Kitabul Arbayin (abridgement of Ihya), Resalatul Laduniyya (Ilham and
SCHOLASTIC THEOLOGY: Tahafatul falasifah (destruction of the philosophers), Iqtisad, Mustajhari (guide of novices), Iljamal Awam (vilification of peoples), Faysatul Zindiq (refutation of atheists), Fikhrot wal lbrah (Meditation and contemplation), Al Hikmat (wisdom of God), Haqiqatur Ruh
(realities of soul).
SPIRITUAL AND MORAL: Ihyao Ulumiddin (Revival of religious learnings), Kimiyae Sa'adat (Touch stone of fortune), Akhlaklul Abrar (conduct of the pious), Jawaharul Quran (jewels of Quran), Minhajul Abedin (path of the devout), Mirajus Saleqin (steps for the sojourners), Bidayataul Hidayah (beginning of guidance), Mishkatul Anwar (Niche of lights).
TAFSIR: Yeakutut-Ta'wil (a commentary of the Quran in 40 volumes now lost).
Of the 400 books he compiled, some only have been preserved in many libraries of Europe, while the Muslims did not accept them as they should have been accepted. Besides, they went so far as to burn some of his books which were lost forever
to the world.
REVIVAL OF RELIGIOUS LEARNINGS
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IHYA , ULUMIDDIN: Revival of Religious sciences is a
master piece of Imam Ghazzali. Abul Gafer Fersi was a
contemporary of Imam Ghazzali. He said that a book like Ihya
was never compiled before. Imam Nodi said: Ihya is near the
Quran. Shaikh Abu Muhammad said: If all the lights of
knowledge of the world are extinguished they can be revived
from Ihya. Shaikh Abdullah Idrees was a great saint. He committed to memory the whole book Ihya. Shaikh Ali read it 25 times from first to last and at the end of each reading gave a feast to the students and the poor. Many students of the Imam committed it to memory. Many saints regarded the book as a result of Ilham or inspiration. The great saint Kutub Shaji one day held the book in his hand and said to the people: Do you know which book is in my hand? Immediately he showed them the signs of lashes on his back and said: I was not a supporter of the book. Last night, Imam Ghazzali took me in presence of the Holy Prophet and inflicted on me these lashes on my back for my disregard of the book. These are the signs of lashes on my back.
IMAM GHAZZALI AND EUROPE: The books of Imam Ghazzali was so much accepted and honoured in Europe that they preserved them in many libraries. But they did not receive so much attention in Muslim countries. Some Muslim learned men even did not open their eyes to see them, but rather prohibited the people to read them. For this reason, his books are rarely found in the libraries of Muslim countries. Mankhul is a book compiled by the Imam at his early age. Therein he wrote with completely free and independent mind and was not a blind follower of Mazhabs or sects. This book fell into disregard in Muslim countries only for this fault. Mankhul and Ihya were ordered to be burnt and it was translated into action. Europe accepted them with honour and preserved them from destruction. The book 'Maqasedul Falasefa' is not found in Muslim countries but it is preserved in the libraries of Spain, Europe also accepted his other books.
GHAZZALI'S INFLUENCE: It is no exaggeration to say that the modern opinion about religion is much due to the influence of the Imam's thoughts. The many books that were written after his death reflect greatly the thoughts of the great Imam. His views on Sufism were accepted by the latter Sufis. After him Maulana Rumi, Ibne Rushd, Shah Waliullah and such other
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noted learn men wrote many books which resound with the opinions of Imam Ghazzali. In short, his thoughts reigned supreme in their minds. His influence on Persian literature was also great. He himself wrote Kimiyae Saadat in Persian which influenced to a great extent the minds of Maulana Rural Shaikh Sa'di, Farid Uddin Attar, Shiraaji, Hafez and other poets and Sufis. The works of such a learned man held in high esteem by all. should be widely read and circulated. Mr. Watt says: Ghazzali has sometimes been acclaimed in both east and west as the greatest Muslim thinker after Muhammad and he is by no means unworthy of that great dignity.
PREFACE OF IMAM GHAZZALI
Take whatever the Apostle gave you and keep away from whatever he forbade you -59:7 Quran.
Firstly, I begin with the praise of God though our praise is guide insufficient and meager in relation to His real glory. Secondly, I invoke His blessings on all the prophets and specially on His last and greatest Prophet Muhammad (peace be on them all). Thirdly, I pray for His help and grace that there should remain in me firm will and incentive for writing the book Ihayo Ulumiddin or the Revival of religious sciences.
Fourthly, 0 defamer, 0 heedles, 0 one denying truth, God has removed from my tongue the tie of silence and put on my neck the necklace of arguments and reasons. It is my duty to reply to what you argue. In other words, you have closed your eyes from open truths and taken help from whatever is void and untrue and praise ignorance. If a man wants to remove something from the evil practice and habits of men or expresses his wish to translate his learning into action in order that the Almighty may prefer to purify his soul, let him keep himself engaged in divine services and seek to atone for the sins that he committed in his past life and for which he has become despaired. Let him keep aloof from the society of those persons about whom the Holy Prophet said: The greatest punishment on the Resurrection Day will be meted out to that learned man whom God has not given any benefit to his learning.
It is my firm conviction that there is no reason for your refusal to accept the truth except what has been stated below. In
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other words, the disease which entered into the minds of the majority of people has also entered your mind. The meaning is that they have given up the rules and regulations for acquiring ranks in the hereafter. They do not know that this affair is very serious and grave, that the hereafter is coming forward and this world is reseding backward, that death is near and the journey is long, that provision is scanty, dangers are great but the paths are blocked.
The learnings and actions which have got no connection with
God are fit to be entirely rejected by the wise and those who seek
wisdom. It is very difficult for a traveller to the next world to
tread the paths, because there are injurious and destructive elements on the way but there are no passport and means to cross them. The learned are the guides to these paths. They are the heirs of the prophets. Time has slipped out of their hands. Those who are slaves to evil habits are alive. The devil is powerful over the majority among them and various kinds of sins misguide them. Almost every one among them is engrossed in the luxuries of this world and its comforts and enjoyments. For this reason, the majority of them consider good as bad and bad as good. Even the religious learnings and sciences have become obsolete. The lights of guidance have almost disappeared from this world. They duped the people to believe that there is no other science than that of Flah (Jurisprudence). These are the laws of administration which help the judges in the administration of justice and the rulers in the administration of their countries. They say that there is no learning except that of Munazara or debates. The present learned man cherishes hope of victory over his adversary and seeks means to make him silent. Or they informed the people that there is no learning except the science of scholastic theology by help of which a speaker seeks to influence the minds of the public. They see no other science except these three sciences. The sciences of the next world and the learnings of the sages of early times have disappeared from the people and the learning which was described by-God in His Holy Book as theology, wisdom, light and guidance has been immerged in the
deepest recess of forgetfulness.
When such is the condition of the religion, such downfall and catastrophe, I have thought it prudent to write this book entitled, Ihyao Ulumiddin (Revival of religions Sciences). By this book, the path of early Muslim sages has been opened and the
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impediments that lay in the path o f acquiring learnings beneficial to the prophets and sages have been removed.
I have divided this Ihya into four books - 1) the Book of worship, 2) the Book of worldly usages, 3) the Book of destructive evils, 4) and the Book of constructive virtues. I have discussed the chapter of knowledge at the very beginning as it is of extreme importance. It is necessary to discuss such learning at the outset which is a great help towards divine service according to a saying of the Holy Prophet. He said: To seek learning is compulsory on every Muslim. I began with the chapter on knowledge in order to separate the useful knowledge from the harmful knowledge as the Prophet said: We Seek refuge to God from the knowledge
which is not useful.
(1) The Book of worship comprises ten chapters - (1) Knowledge, (2) Articles of Faith, (3) Secrets of Purity, (4) Secrets of Prayer, (5) Secrets of Alms-giving, (6) Secrets of Fasting, (7) Secrets of Pilgrimage, (8) Rules of Quran-reading, (9) Rules of invocations and supplications and (10) observance of daily duties according to fixed times.
(2) The Book of worldly usages consists of ten chapters - (1) rules of eating and drinking, (2) rules of marriage, (3) rules of earning livelihood, (4) lawful and unlawful things, (5) rules of companionship and brotherhood (6) rules of habitation in solitude, (7) rules of journey, (8) music and ecstasy, (9) rules of enjoining good and forbidding evil, (10) rules of living as exemplified by the character and conduct of the Prophet.
(3) The Book of Destructive evils comprises ten chapters - (1) wonders of soul, (2) discipline of soul, (3) harms of stomach and sexual passion, (4) harms of tongue, harms of anger, hatred and envy, (6) evils of the world, (7) evils of wealth and miserliness, (8) evils of show and pomp, (9) evils of self- conceit and pride and (10) evils of vanity.
(4) The Book of constructive virtues comprises ten chapters - repentance, (2) patience and gratefulness, (3) fear and hope, (4) poverty and asceticism, (5) Tauhid (unity of god) and Godreliance, (6) love and contentment, (7) intention, truthfulness and sincerity, (7) self-examination and self-accounting, (9) meditation, (10) death and ponder over death.
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Some people wrote some books on these subjects, but this book has got five special characteristics which are not found in those books. Firstly, I have opened by the grace of God what they closed up and I have written in detail what they kept secret. Secondly, I have arranged what they kept scattered and I have brought together what they kept separate. Thirdly, I have made short what they made long and corrected what they approved. Fourthly, I have deleted what they repeated. Fifthly, I have made this book easy to understand after disclosing the subtle matters. These are the five specialities of this book.
I have placed the foundation of this work on four books for two reasons. The first basic reason is that I have incorporated in this book well-arranged rules and their real nature, so that they may be easily understood, as the knowledge by which the next world is known is of two kinds - knowledge of outward behaviours and usages and the knowledge of revelation, inspiration, secret and subtle matters. What I mean by this knowledge is the knowledge for attaining the submum bonum or the ultimate object of life. What I understand by the science of outward behaviours and usages is the knowledge of practical religion attended with actions in accordance with that knowledge. The object of this work is only to narrate the science of practical religion and usages and not to narrate the science of revelation and inspiration, as there is no permission to put the latter into black and white though the science of revelation is the ultimate object of those who search after truth and the most coveted matter in the eye of the extremely truthful, and the best way of acquiring knowledge of worldly uses. The Holy Prophet did not speak anything about the science of revelation except through signs and symbols, because he knew that the wisdom of men to understand it is very little. There is no means of the learned other than the path of the prophets, as the learned are the heirs of the prophets. The science of practical religion are of two kinds-open science of the actions of the physical senses and the secret science of the functions of the heart. The actions which keep connection with the physical senses are the actions of habits or usages of life. The heart which comes from the unseen world and is removed ultimately from the senses is influenced by either the praiseworthy virtues or the blame-worthy vices. In short, the science of practical religion is divided into open and secret sciences. The open science and usages of life. The secret science
keeps connection with the condition of heart and its qualities and is sub-divided into praise-worthy virtues and blame-worthy vices.
The second basic reason is this. I see a great enthusiasm of students for study of jurisprudence or Fiqh. To those who do not fear God, jurisprudence has turned into an object of pride and a means for acquiring name and fame. Jurisprudence is of four kins. As the objects which adorn the dear things are also dear, I think it better that this book should be modelled into the form of Fiqh or jurisprudence, so that the minds may be inclined to it. For this reason, one who wants to attract the attention of the minds of some men to the science of medicine remodels it after astronomical tests and writes a book after naming 'Tablets of Health'. So also I have adopted some measures in this work, so that the minds of the people are attracted towards such learning which is beneficial to human life. As the minds of the people are attracted to the science of medicine for preservation of the health of body, so also it is necessary that the minds of the people are attracted to the treatment of the diseases of soul and mind in expectation of a happy and prosperous life in the next world which will last forever and forever. Physical happiness is short and transient as compared to spiritual happiness in the hereafter. Physique is mortal while soul is immortal. So I pray to the Almighty for his help and succour for writing and completing this book Ihyao Ulumiddin as He is the most Compassionate, the
ACQUISITION OF KNOWLEDGE
SECTION 1- EXCELLENCE OF LEARNING
PROOF OF THE QURAN: God says: God, angels and those learned men who stand on justice bear testimony that there is no deity but He - 3: 18. Now look, 0 dear readers, how God began attestation first by Himself, then by His angels and then by the learned. It is understood from this verse that the rank of the learned and their honour are much high. God says: Those who are believers among you and the learned, God will increase their rank - 58: 12. Hazrat Ibn Abbas said about them: The rank of the learned is seven hundred times more than that of the believers, and the ofference between the two ranks is the distance of the path of five hundred years. God says: Are those who are learned equal to the illiterate - 39: 9 ? God says: The learned among His servants fear God most-35 : 28. God says: Say, God is sufficient as a witness between me and you and those who have got knowledge of the Quran - 13 :43. God says: But those who had been granted knowledge said: Alas for you, the reward of God is best for those who believe and do good -28 :80.
God says: These parables We set forth for men and none understands them except the learned - 29 : 42. God says: If they had only referred it to the Apostle and to those charged with authority among them, those of them who would investigate it would have know it - 4 : 93. God thus made knowledge dependent upon their efforts. In the practical religion, God's commands have been placed upon the investigation of the learned and their rank with the prophets for propagation of God's commands. God says: 0 the children of Adam! I have sent down to you raiment to cover your shame and adornment to you, but the raiment of piety is best - 7 : 25. God says: I have sent to them a book and with knowledge I explained it in detail, a guide and a mercy to all who believe - 7 : 52. God says: I shall recount their story with knowledge - 7 : 6. God says: It is a clear sign in the hearts of those to whom knowledge has reached - 29 : 48. God says: He created man and taught him to speak -55; 2.
HADIS: The Holy Prophet said: God gives knowledge of religion and guidance to truth to one whose good He intends. He
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said: The learned are the heirs of the prophets. From these, it is understood that there is no rank above the rank of prophethood and there is no honour higher than its inheritance. He said: 'Whatever is in heavens and the earth seeks forgiveness for the learned.' So the angels of heaven and earth remain busy in seeking forgiveness for the learned and they remain busy with themselves. What can be greater than this rank? The Prophet said? 'Wisdom increases the honour of the noble and exalts a servant as high as to raise him to the level of kings.' From this tradition, it is understood that even in this world the fruits of learning can be enjoyed. This is also true that the Hereafter is better and more lasting than this world.
The Holy Prophet said: Two traits of character are not united in a hypocrite - good guidance and knowledge of theology. The meaning of theology or jurisprudence will be discussed soon. The lowest knowledge of a jurisprudent is that the Hereafter is better than this world. When this knowledge will prevail over him, he will be free from hypocrisy and show. The Prophet said: The best of the people is a believing learned man who does good when sought for, and when the people keep away from him, he also keeps away from them. He said: Belief is without dress and its dress is God-fear, its ornament is shame and its fruit is knowledge. He said: The learned and the warriors are nearest to the rank of prophethood.' The learned have been sent for which the prophets were sent. They are guides to the people and the warriors wage war in the path of God with their arms like the apostles. He said: The death of a people is easier than the death of one learned man. He said: Men are like the mines of gold and silver. Those who were best in the days of ignorance are the best in Islam provided they have got the knowledge of theology. He also said: I shall intercede on the Day of Resurrection and be a witness for one who commits to memory forty traditions out of, my followers and transmits these to them.
The Holy Prophet said: The ink of the learned will be weighed against the blood of the martyrs on the Resurrection Day. He said: Whoever of my followers commits to memory forty traditions will meet with God as a learned theologian. He said: God is sufficient for the worries of one who acquires knowledge of God's religion. He gives him provision from a source which he has never conceived. He said: God revealed to Abraham: 0
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Abraham! I am All- wise and I love every wise man. He said: A learned man is a trust of God on earth. He said: There will be two groups among my people. When both the groups are good, the people are good and when they are corrupt, the people become corrupt - the rulers and the theologians He said: Should the day come wherein my knowledge for nearing God does not increase, let not the sun rise on that day. The superiority of a learned man over a worshipper is like my superiority over the ordinary men. So see how he linked knowledge with prophethood and how he belittled the rank of the learned man without action, even though a worshiper is worshipping always and he would not have worshipped had he not possessed knowledge. He said: The superiority of a learned man over a worshipper is like the superiority of moon over the stars. He said: There will intercede on the Resurrection Day the prophets, then the learned and then the martyrs. So the rank of the learned is next to that of the prophets and higher than that of the martyrs.
The Holy Prophet said: God has not given any man more excellence than the knowledge of religion and one theologian is more formidable to the devil than a thousand worshippers. Everything has its foundation and the foundation of this religion is knowledge of theology. He said: The best part of your religion is its easiest and the best worship is (the acquisition of) religious knowledge. He said: The superiority of a believing learned man over a believing worshipper is seventy degrees. He said: You are living in an age wherein the theologians are many, the Quran-readers and the preaches are few, the beggars are few and the givers are many, wherein deeds are better than knowledge. But soon there will come over you such an age wherein the theologians will be few, the preachers and the Quran-readers many, the givers few and the beggars many, wherein knowledge will be better than deeds. He said: There is difference of one hundred degrees between a worshipper and a learned man. The distance between two degrees is as the run of a racing horse for seventy years.'
The Holy Prophet was once asked: 0 Prophet of God, which action is best? He said: Knowledge. He was then questioned: Which knowledge do you mean? He said: Knowledge about God. They said: We ask you about action but you speak of knowledge. The Prophet said: With your knowledge of God, a few actions
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will suffice and your ignorance about God will not suffice even though actions are numerous. He said: On the Day of Resurrection, God will raise up the worshippers and the learned men. He will say: 0 the congregation of the learned men, I have not imbued you with My knowledge but for My knowledge about you. I have not placed knowledge in you in order to punish you. Go, I have forgiven you.
Sayings of the sages: Hazrat Ali said to Kamil: 0 Kamil, knowledge is better than wealth. Knowledge guards you but you are guarding wealth. Knowledge dispenses justice, while wealth seeks justice. Wealth decreases with expense while knowledge increase with expense. He said: A learned man is better than one who prays and fights in the way of God. When a learned man dies, such a calamity befalls on Islam which cannot be removed except by his successor. Hazrat Ali said in poems:
Glory is due to none other than to the learned.
Guided are they and proofs to the seekers of guidance. Everybody is honoured proportionate to his knowledge, But the illiterate are disgraced, as enemies of the learned. Acquire knowledge, you will be immortal. All men are dead, only the learned are alive.
The sage Ibn Aswad said: Nothing is more honourable than knowledge. While the kings rule over the people, the learned rule over the kings. Hazrat Ibn Mobarak was asked: Who are men? He replied: The learned, He was again asked: Who are kings? He replied: The ascetics. He was again asked: Who are the meanest? He said: Those who exchange the religion for the world. He did not consider anybody as a man except the learned, knowledge distinguishes men from the lower animals and it is only for knowledge that men are honoured. This honour is not due to a man for his physical strength, because a camel is physically stronger than a man. This honour is not for his large body as the body of an elephant is bigger then that of a man. This honour is not on account of his bravery as a ferocious beast is braver than a man. This honour is not for his strength of too much eating as the stomach of an oxe is bigger than that of a man. This honour is not for his strength of sexual passion as a sparrow has got more strength for coition than that of a man. This honour of a man is on account of his knowledge and intellect.
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The Holy Prophet said: Whoever has been given the Quran and thinks that any one has been given something better, he has degraded what God has exalted. Once the saint Fathul Musolli was asked: Does not a sick man die for want of food, drink and medicine? The people said: Yes, He said: Such is the condition of heart. When the heart is not given wisdom and knowledge for three consecutive days, it dies. It is a veritable truth that the food of the heart is knowledge and wisdom. As food keeps the body alive, these two things similarly keep the heart alive. He who misses knowledge has got his heart diseased and its end is its death, but he does not understand it. When he leaves the world and its works, his power of sense goes away just as excessive fear keeps one forgetful for a moment of the pangs of wound. But when death takes away the burden of this world from a man, he repents at the advent of his death but it comes to no use. His condition is just like that of one who does not feel any pain in swoon, but as soon as he recovers from his swoon, he begins to feel pain. Men are in sleep but they are awake at death.
The sage Hasan Basari said: The ink of the learned will be weighed against the blood of martyrs and then it will be found that the ink of the learned is heavier than the blood of the martyrs. Hazrat Ibn Masud said: You should acquire knowledge before your death. By One in whose hand there is my life, those who were killed in the way of God would every time wish that God should resurrect them, as learned men, as they will find the honour meted out to the learned men there. Nobody is born learned. Learning is to be acquired. Hazrat Ibn Abbas said: To discuss about learning in a portion of night is dearer to me than to keep up awake throughout the night in prayer. Hazrats Abu Hurairah and Imam Ahmad held this view. God advised us to pray thus: 0 God, give us good in this world and good in the hereafter - 2 : 297. In explaining 'good' in this verse, Hazrat Hasan Basari said that it means Knowledge so far as this world is concerned and Paradise so far as the hereafter is concerned. A certain wise man was once asked: Which thing is to be hoarded? He replied: That thing which will remain with you even if your boat capsizes, that is knowledge.
. God says: If you know not, then ask those who have got knowledge of the Book -16:43.
HADIS: The Holy Prophet said: If a man seeks the path of acquiring knowledge, God guides him to a path leading to Paradise. He said: Angels spread their wings out of cheer for the seeker of knowledge. He said: To rise up at dawn and learn a section of knowledge is better for you than to pray one hundred rak'ats. He said: If a man learns a chapter of knowledge, it is better than the world and its contents. He said: Seek knowledge even if it be in China. He said: To seek knowledge is compulsory on every Muslim, male and female. He said: Knowledge is a treasure house and its key is enquiry. So enquire and there are rewards therefore for four persons - the enquirer, the learned man, the audience and their lover. He said: The ignorant should not remain silent over their ignorance, nor the learned over their knowledge. He said: To be present in an assembly of a learned man is better then praying one thousand rak'ats, visiting one thousand sick men and attending one thousand funerals. The Prophet was asked: 0 Messenger of God, is it better than the reading of the Quran? He said: What benefit can the Quran do except through knowledge? He said: He who seeks knowledge to revive Islam and dies in that condition, there will be the difference of only one step between him and the prophets.
SAYINGS OF SAGES:
Hazrat Ibn Abbas said: When I sought knowledge, I became degraded, but when I was sought for knowledge, I became exalted. Ibn Mubarak said: I wonder for one who does not seek knowledge. How can he call himself towards honour? A certain wise man said: I do not feel, sympathy for anybody more than two persons 1) one who seeks knowledge but does not understand it and 2) one who understands knowledge but does not seek it. Hazrat Abu Darda's said: To learn one point is better than to pray the whole night. He said: Either be a learned man, or a student, or an auditor, but not anything else. Hazrat Omar said: The death of one thousand persons who pray all the nights and fast all the days is a lesser calamity than the death of one learned man who is versed in lawful and unlawful things of God. Imam Shafeyi said: To seek knowledge is better than optional prayers. Hazrat Abu Darda'a said: He who thinks that to go at dawn in search of knowledge is not jihad is deficient in intellect.
EXCELLENCE OF LEARNING
' QURAN: God says: If a party from every band of them
remained behind, they could devote themselves to the religion - 9:1U
24 THE BOOK OF WORSHIP Vol-I EXCELLENCE OF TEACHING
QURAN: God says: When they return to them, they warn their people, so that they may guard themselves - 9: 122. It means teaching and guidance. God says: Remember when God took a covenant from the People of the Book - you shall surely make it known to mankind and not conceal it - 3 : 187. It shows that teaching was binding on them. God says: A party from them conceal the truth although they know it - 2: 140. This shows that concealing truth is unlawful. God says: Don't conceal evidence, for whoever conceals it is wicked at heart - 2 : 283. The Prophet said: God does not give a learned man any knowledge until He takes from him a covenant as He took covenant from the prophets - namely to. make it known to the people and not conceal it God says: Who is better in speech than one who calls towards God and does good-41: 33? God says: Call towards the way of your Lord with wisdom and good sermon - 16:125. God says: He teaches them the Book and wisdom - 2:123.
HADIS: The Holy Prophet said to Mu'az when he was about to start for Yemen: If God gives guidance to a man through your help, it is better than the world and its contents. He said: If a man learns a section of knowledge to teach it to the people, he will be given the rewards of seventy Siddiqs (true righteous men). Jesus Christ said: He who acquires knowledge, acts up to it and teaches it to the people, will be called great in the kingdom of heavens. The Prophet said: On the Day of Resurrection God will say to the worshippers and the warriors: Enter Paradise. The learned will then say: By virtue of our learning, you have worshipped and fought. God will then say: You are like some of my angels. Intercede and your intercession will be accepted. So. they will intercede and enter Paradise. This rank they will get for that knowledge which reached others and not for the knowledge which did not reach others but remained with them. The Prophet said: God will not take away knowledge from men after He has given it to them, rather He will withdraw it after taking the lives of the learned men. Whenever a learned man will pass away, the knowledge with him will also pass away and at last there will be none left except the ignorant leaders. Whenever anything will be asked to them, they will give decision without knowledge for which they will be misguided and will misguide others. The Prophet said: If a man after acquiring knowledge keeps it
Vol-I KNOWLEDGE 25
concealed God will drag him with the bridle of fire on the Resurrection Day.
The Holy Prophet said: How excellent a gift and how excellent a present is a word of wisdom which you hear and remember and then carry it and teach it to your brother Muslim. It is equal to worship for one year. He said: Accursed is the world and what is therein except one who remembers the glorious God, one who makes friendship with Him, one who learns and teaches. God, His angels, the inmates of heaven and earth, even the ant in its hole and the fishes in the sea like one who teaches good to the people. He said: A Muslim gives his brother Muslim no greater benefit than a fair tradition which has reached him and which he subsequently transmits to him. He said: If a believer hears a good advice and then translates it in to action, it is better than his worship for one year. The Prophet once came out and saw two assemblies - one was calling God and offering their supplications and another giving the people good instructions. The Prophet said: The first group offer supplications to God. If He wishes, He may grant them and if He wishes He may reject them. Another group are giving good instructions to the people. I have been sent as a teacher. Then he went to them and took his seat among them.
The Prophet said: The simile of guidance and knowledge with which God sent me is like that of profuse rain falling upon a certain locality. One spot became full of water and consequently abundant herbs and grasses grow therein. The ditches and the canals in another spot reserve water and God gives benefit to mankind therewith. They drink water therefrom, irrigate their lands and grow crops. Then there is a spot which neither hoards water, nor grows any grass and herb. The first simile is that of a man who gets benefit from his knowledge. The second simile is that of a man who does benefit to others. The third simile is that of a man who is deprived of both the benefits. The Prophet said: One who guides towards something good is like one who does it.
The Holy Prophet said: When a man dies, all his actions stop except three - 1) a permanent endowment for charity, 2) useful knowledge (7) and righteous successors. He said There is no envy except for two persons - 1) one whom God has given knowledge according to which he conducts himself and teaches it to the
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people. 2) and one whom God has given wealth and power to spend it and he spends it in good deeds. He said: May God's mercy be upon my successors. He was asked: Who are your successors? He said: Those who love my ways and teach them to the people.
SAYINGS OF SAGES
Hazrat Omar said: He who learns a Hadis and induces one to act up to it will get the rewards of one who translates it into action. Hazrat Ibn Abbas said: If a man teaches good to the people, everything seeks forgiveness for him, even the fishes of the sea. A certain wise man said: A learned man is an intermediary between God and men? So see how he acts as an intermediary. A learned man said: The learned men are the lights of the ages. Each is a light in his own time giving light to the people of his time.
Hazrat Hasan Basari said: But for the learned, the people would have been animals. In other words, learning takes a man to the limit of humanity from the limit of animality. The Prophet said as reported by Muaz-b-Jabal: Acquire knowledge, because its acquisition is fear of God, search for it is worship, its study is praise, search for it is jihad, teaching it to him who does not know is alms-giving, imparting it to those who are worthy is meritorious. It is the friend in journey, companion in solitude, guide to religion and light to them in happiness and misfortune, bosom friend to a stranger and become to the path of Paradise. Through it, God exalts a nation, makes them leaders and guides of good. Seeing them, others also become guides to good and the people follow them. The angels urge them to work. Everything, dry and fresh, seeks forgiveness for them, even the fishes in sea, insects and worms, beasts in forests, cattle and sheep and even the stars in sky seek forgiveness for them, Knowledge gives life to a dead heart, it is a light of eyes in darkness and gives strength to body after removing weakness. By its help, a man reaches the rank of the pious. To think of it is like fasting, and its study is like prayer. By its help, God is obeyed and worshipped, by its help warning is given, by its help, unity of God is understood, tie of blood is maintained and lawful and unlawful things are
PROOF OF REASON
The proof of reason for the excellence of knowledge is this. If the word excellence is not understood, it is not possible to know the excellence of other thing. For instance, if one desires to know whether Zaid is a wise man, he should know first the meaning of the word wisdom and then of Zaid or else he will go astray. Excellence is the additional quality of a thing which has got no defect. It is said that a horse is better than an ass. If the quality of carrying loads is taken, both are the same but a horse has got some additional qualities which are not found in an ass - the quality of running fast and physical beauty. An animal is sought for its quality and not for its body. Now understand why knowledge is better. As a horse is called better than an ass for its quality of running fast, so you will call knowledge better if it is compared to other qualities, Knowledge is good for its own sake and not for its connection with other qualities.
All precious things fall into one of three groups - 1) what is sought for its own intrinsic value, 2) what is sought as a means to an end, 3) and what is sought for both. What is sought for its own intrinsic value, for instance knowledge is noble. What is sought as a means to an end is gold and silver which are mere pieces of stone having no value of their own. If God had not made them instruments of purchasing things, their value would have been equal to other stones. Knowledge is precious for its own sake, because with its help the happiness of the next world and Divine Vision can be gained. It is not so in case of gold and silver. What is sought for both, that is for its own sake and as a means to an end is physical health. If the body is healthy, all things can be easily done, such as eating and drinking and other works. But the object of these things is to gain happiness in the hereafter and nearness to God. If this object is kept in view, you will get pleasure in the-acquisition of knowledge. The highest rank of man is the attainment of happiness in the next world and the most excellent things are the ways that lead to it. So knowledge is the root of good fortune in this world and in the next. The result of knowledge is to enjoy nearness of God, to keep company with the angels and the pious divines which are objects of the next world and its result in this world is honour, influence over the rulers and the people. So acquisition of knowledge and its teaching are excellent actions in order to seek good of this world and good of the next and it is most laudable with the above object.
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The affairs of this world do not become orderly except through activities, but the human activities are divided into three categories. 1) The first category includes four fundamental activities without which the world can not go on in order. (i) Agriculture for raising food stuffs for maintaining lives, weaving for manufacturing clothes, architecture for building houses and government for regulating human relations for living in peace and harmony. 2) The second category includes such activities as are helpful to the above mentioned activities, such as iron crafts or ploughs for cultivation, instruments for spinning and weaving clothes and other implements. 3) The third category includes such activities as are supplementary to the principal industries previously mentioned, such as eating, drinking, making dresses, sewing clothes.
These activities are necessary for human habitation just as the various organs of the body are necessary for up-keep of the human body. The organs of the body also are divided into three categories - 1) The fundamental organs, such as heart, liver and brain. 2) What is helpful to these principal organs are stomach, veins, and back-bone without which they can not function. 3) What is supplementary to the above two categories for perfection are nails, fingers, eye brows etc. Out of these three categories, the most noble are the fundamental things, out of which the most noble is government on account of which peaceful habitation becomes possible. For this reason, experienced and expert men are necessary to run the government.
Administration is divided into four classes. (1) The first class is the highest as it is the government of the prophets and their jurisdiction spread over the public and private mattes of the people. (2) Next is the administration of temporal rulers over the public matters of the people and not their private matters. (3) Next is the administration of the learned and the wise over the people in the matter of the religion of God as they are the heirs of the prophets. It involves thoughts of the privileged few. (4) Next is the administration of the preachers which involves the thoughts of the common men. After the administration of the prophets, the most noble is the diffusion of knowledge whereby the people are saved from evil and destructive habits and are led towards fortune and constructive virtues. This is the goal of knowledge and education.
Intellectual activities are more excellent than the other activities, because the excellence of an activity is known by three things - (1) by examining the natural qualities of a man by the help of which an activity is recognised. For instance, acquisition of knowledge is better than learning a language as knowledge can be acquired by intellect, while language can be learnt through the sense of hearing. As intellect is better than the sense of hearing, so knowledge is better than language. (2) By examining the extent of human usefulness, for instance, agriculture is superior to the craft of a goldsmith. (3) By observing the excellence of a business, for instance, the business of a goldsmith is better than that of tanning hides. Knowledge also has got the above three qualities. (1) Firstly, it is widely known that the science of religion is the path of the hereafter. Perfect knowledge and bright intellect can acquire it. This is the most noble attribute of a man, because owing to this attribute, trust of God has been accepted by him and through it, he can enjoy the neighbourhood of God. (2) Secondly, there is no doubt that the people in general get benefit of knowledge as its extant of usefulness is very wide and it contributes to the happiness of this world and the hereafter. (3) Thirdly, knowledge is a thing which heals and governs the hearts and souls of men. Man is the lord of creation and the lord of human organs is his heart. A spiritual teacher purifies the heart and guides it towards God. So teaching is the finest mode of worship. The heart of a learned man is one of the good stewards of God. What rank is therefore higher than that in which a man is an intermediary between his Lord and fellow-men to draw them closer to God and to paradise?
PRAISEWORTHY AND BLAMEWORTHY
BRANCHES OF KNOWLEDGE
COMPULSORY LEARNING (FARZE AYIN)
The Holy Prophet said: To seek learning is compulsory on every Muslim. He said: Seek knowledge even though in China. There is difference of opinion among the learned as to which branch of knowledge is obligatory on an individual. There are about twenty different groups in this matter. The scholastic theologians any that it is scholastic theology because it contributes towards understanding of Tauhid and the attributes of God. The Jurists say that it is Fiqh or jurisprudence, because
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with its help worship, worldly affairs, lawful and unlawful things can be understood and known. The traditionists say that it is the knowledge about the Quran and the ways of the Holy Prophet. The Sufis say that it is Sufism. So on and so forth. Abu Taleb Makki said that it is the knowledge about the five pillars of Islam.
Knowledge is of two kinds - knowledge of practical religion and knowledge of spiritual matters. The knowledge which Is compulsory appertains to practical religion which deal with three matter - beliefs, actions and prohibitions. For instance, when a sane man attains puberty, it becomes compulsory on him to learn the words of attestatton "There is no deity but God and Muhammad is the servant and apostle of God. To know its inner meaning does not then become compulsory on him. He is to believe it without any doubt and proof. The Prophet first required only mere verbal acceptance of Islam and confession of faith from the Arabs. What was compulsory on them at that time was fulfilled. After that, knowledge of the duties to do became compulsory on them.
These duties deal with actions and prohibitions. As regards actions, if a Muslim reaches the early afternoon prayer, it becomes compulsory on him to know first how to pray it and to put it into action. This is the case with him in case of other prayers also. If he lives up to the month of Ramazan, it becomes compulsory on him to know the rules of fasting and then to fast. This is the case with Pilgrimage, Zakat and other duties ordained by God and binding on all Muslims.
AS TO PROHIBITIONS: It depends upon circumstances and new events. It is not compulsory on the blind man to know which sight is unlawful, on the mute to know which words are unlawful. So to know a thing is not compulsory on a Muslim who does not require it. If after the acceptance of Islam there is anybody who wears silk dress or takes property of another man by force or looks to a strange woman with passion, he must know how to restrain himself from these things.
As to beliefs and thoughts of mind, their knowledge is obligatory according to the state of mind. Thus if a man feels any doubt in his mind about the meaning of attestation formulas, it then becomes compulsory on him to know what will remove that
doubt. When a duty becomes binding on a man, to acquire knowledge about it becomes binding on him. As a man is not free from hatred, envy and impulses of evil, it becomes compulsory on him to know some of the evils as described in the Book of destructive evils. Why should it not be compulsory when the Prophet said: Three things are destructive - sordid miserliness, vehement passion and self- conceit. Other evils follow these three destructive evils. To remove these evils from mind is compulsory. If a man is converted to Islam, what is compulsory on him is to believe in paradise, hell, resurrection day, judgment day. The Prophet said: To acquire learning is binding on every Muslim. He did not say to learn Alif, Lam or Mim, but he said to learn the science of actions. As actions become gradually compulsory on him, to acquire knowledge about these duties becomes gradually compulsory on him.
(COMPULSORY DUTY ON COMMUNITY)
Know, 0 dear readers, that learning about the duties are divided into two categories - those which are connected with religion and those which are not so connected. The religions learning are those which came from the Holy Prophets and in which there is no question of intellect, and the learnings that are not connected with the religion are Mathematics, Medicine etc. They are of three kinds - praiseworthy, blameworthy and permissible. The sciences which are necessary for progress in the world are praiseworthy, such as Medicine, Mathematics etc. These are Farze Kefayah or binding on the community as a whole. Farze Kefayah is such compulsory duty without which no nation can go on in this world. If a man at least acquires such learning or science in a town or locality, all other people in the town or locality get absolved from its sin. If, however nobody learns it, all will be transgressors. The sciences which should be learnt for agriculture, administration, industry, horticulture, weaving etc. are Farze Kefayah. To be expert in such learnings is not Farze Kefayah. The learnings which are blameworthy are sorcery, talismanic science juggling, gambling and the like. The learnings which are permissible are poetry, history, geography, biology etc.
All learnings connected with the religion are praiseworthy, but when any other learning is mixed with any of them, it
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becomes sometimes blameworthy. The praiseworthy learnings comprise sources branches helpful and supplementary learnings. They are therefore of four kinds.
1) Sources of religious learnings are four in number (a) the Book of God, the Sunnah or usages of the Holy Prophet, the unanimous opinions of Muslim jurists (Ijma) and the sayings of companions. Ijma is the third source of Islam as it shows the path towards the usages of the Prophet. The first source is the Quran and the second is the Sunnah. The fourth source is the sayings of the companions because they saw the Prophet, witnessed the coming down to revelations and they saw what others did not see through their association with the Prophet.
2) Branches of learnings of religion are drawn from the sources not according to the literal meaning but according to the meaning adduced by the mind, thereby writing the understanding as indicated by the following Hadis: A judge shall not sit in judgment when angry. This means that he shall not pass judgment when he is pressed by calls of nature, hunger and disease. The last thing is of two kinds. One kind relates to the activities of the world, such as the books of law and is entrusted to the lawyers and jurisprudent; and the other kind relates to the activities of the hereafter. The latter is the science of the conditions of the heart and of its praiseworthy virtues and blameworthy evils.
3) The third is the sciences helpful to the praiseworthy sciences such as the science of language and grammar which are necessary to know the Quran and Sunnah. They are not themselves religious education. They were not necessary for the Holy Prophet as he was illiterate.
4) The fourth kind is the supplementary sciences and is connected with pronunciation of words and different readings and meanings, such as tafsir, knowledge of revocation of verses, books on authoritative transmission, biographies of illustrious companions and narrators of traditions.
These are the religious learnings and are praiseworthy and as such Farze Kefayah or binding on the community as a whole.
If you question: Why have you included Fiqh or jurisprudence within the worldly sciences and Faqihs or
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jurisprudent as worldly scholars, the reply is this. Fiqh contains the laws of the administration of the world and Faqihs are such lawyers. There is of course no doubt that a Faqih also deals with religion, but that is done through the intermediary of this world as the world is the seed ground of the hereafter. The religion does not become perfect without the world. If you leave the religion with the rulers, you will find that the religion is the foundation and the ruler is its guard. That which has got no foundation it destroyed and that which has got no guard is also destroyed. Rule can not go without a ruler and the instrument of rule is Fiqh or administrative laws. The government does not belong primarily to the religious sciences. It is well-known that pilgrimage does not become perfect unless a companion is takeh for protection from the ruffians and robbers in journey, but Haj or pilgrimage is one thing, rule for pilgrimage is another thing, guard is a third thing and the laws are a fourth thing. The object of Fjgh is to give knowledge of administration. This is supported by the following Hadis: Nobody can give legal decision except three- ruler, authorised agent and one not so authorised and who gives decision out of his own accord. A ruler or leader is qualified to give legal decisions. One who is authorised by him is his deputy. Except these two, the third person is called an intruder who undertakes the responsibility himself. The companions in general refrained from giving legal decisions, but when they were asked about the Quran and the learnings of the hereafter, they did not remain silent.
It may be said that the argument does not apply to various acts of worship about which a Faqih gives decision. In reply, it may be said that Fiqh gives decision about the following matters of religion - Islam, Prayer, Zakat, Halal and Haram. About Islam, a Faqih pays attention only to outward confession of Kaletha 'Tauhid but the heart or mind is outside his domain. The Prophet kept the rulers and, the warriors outside it. He questioned a man who praised another man as a martyr: Have you examined the heart of the killed? He uttered Kalema Tauhid out of fear of being killed and then he was killed,,The jurisprudent will give decision that his Islam was good even though he uttered it under the shadow of sword. This is therefore a matter of this world. For this reason, the Holy Prophet said: I have been ordered to fight the people until their lives and properties are safe in my hand, but it will come to no help in the hereafter. What will help him there is
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the light of heart, its secret thoughts and its sincerity which are outside the domain of Fiqh.
ABOUT PRAYER: A Faqih will give decision of correctness of prayer if the outside formalities are observed even though one's mind was absent in prayer from first to last. This kind of prayer will be of no use in the hereafter. As verbal expression of Kalema Shahadat will be of no use in the hereafter, so also the outward formalities of prayer will come of no use there. The actions of .mind and God-fear which appertain to the actions of the hereafter and which help the outward actions are outside the domain of a Faqih or jurisprudent.
ABOUT ZAKAT: A Faqih will see whether Zakat has been realised according to th prescribed rules. It is related that the judge Abu Usuf gave decision that if a man makes gift of his wealth to his wife at the end of a year and takes back that wealth to him by gift, it is alright although it is done to avoid payment of Zakat. On this point, Imam Abu Hanifa declared that it is the result of his knowledge of Fiqh and it is correct and the result of worldly wisdom, but it will be of no use in the hereafter and its harms in the hereafter will be greater that its benefits.
ABOUT HALAL AND HARAM: To abstain from an unlawful thing is piety and there are four grades of piety: (1) Piety which is required for attestation of truth. If a man gives it up, he is not qualified to act as a judge, administrator or witness. This kind of God-fear is only to save oneself from all unlawful things (2) The second grade of piety is that of a pious man. He saves himself even from doubt whether a certain things is lawful or unlawful. The Holy Prophet said: Discard that which is doubtful for that which is not doubtful. He also said: Sin is heart-alluring (3) The third grade of piety is that of the God-fearing man who gives up even a lawful thing for fear of falling into an unlawful thing. The Prophet said: Nobody can be a God-fearing man unless he gives up what causes no harm to him for fear of what causes harm. For instance, such a man does not state all affairs to the people lest he is drawn to back-biting or he fears to eat a delicious food or drink lest it stimulates passion and lust which drive the people to commit unlawful things. (4) The fourth grade is the piety of the siddiqs or extremely religious man who gives up everything except God for fear of spending one single hour of life for nothing.
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Out of the above four stages, only the first one is within the domain of a Faqih and not the other three. The Holy Prophet once said to Wabisaa: Consult your conscience even though they give you decision (thrice). A Faqih does not express opinion regarding the machinations of the heart but confines his opinion on things which are subject matters of courts. His jurisdiction is limited to the matters of the world.
Science of the road to the hereafter is divided into two parts - the science of revelation and the science of practical religion. The science of revelation is the primary object of the science of practical religion. A certain Sufi said: I fear the bad end of a man who has got no portion of the knowledge of revelation. The least portion is to believe it and place it to those who are worthy of it. A certain sage said: Whoever has got two characteristics-here say and pride-will never be blessed with this secret science. Anotl er sage said: Whoever is addicted to this world or persists in his low desires will not attain this secret science though he might learn the other sciences. This secret science is the science of the Siddiqs and those who are in the neighbourhood of God. This is a light which illumines the heart, cleansing it of all impurities and blameworthy sins. He understands now what he heard before but did not understand. he comes to learn the eternal and perfect attributes of God, His works and wisdom in the creation of this world, the meanings of prophethood, the devil, the angels, the cause of revelation on Prophets, the meaning of Paradise, Hell, punishment of grave, Bridge, Balance, accounts and many other things. 41
Some say that these things are mere examples, but God has reserved for the pious what no eye has seen, no ear has heard and no heart has conceived. Some say that man knows nothing of Paradise except its attributes and names. Others hold that some are mere patterns and some are identical with the realities which these names signify. Likewise others hold that limit to the knowledge of God is one's inability to reach it. The object of secret knowledge is to remove the covers of doubt over these things from mind and the appearance of such light therein which clears everything like day light. It is possible owing to the light of heart. It is like a mirror through which one can see clearly everything that falls on it if is cleared of all impurities therein. The science of the heart is that by which these impurities are
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removed from thee heart as these impurities ar impediments or . obstacles .td the knowledge of God's attributes. The mode of clearing theta is the abstinence from low desires and passions and following the ways off the prophets. Thus to whatever extent the heart, is cleansed and made to face the truth, to that same extent-, will it reflect its reality, this cannot be attained without discipline, and 'efforts. This secret science cannot be written in books, but it can be gained by experience as a gift of God. About this science, the Holy. Prophet said: this is such a knowledge which is like a hidden things. None can grasp it except those who know God. Don't despise such learned man whom God has given a portion.of it, as God does not despise a man on whom He gives a gift.
The second kind of practical religion is the praiseworthy and blameworthy sciences of the states of the heart. Its praise- worthy qualities are patience, gratitude, fear, hope, contentment, as criticism, God-fear, generosity, recognition of the gift of God under all circumstances, goodd faith, good conduct, truthfulness and sincerity. To,know the limits of these attributes, their real nature and the means whereby they are attained, their results and their signs are included in the Science. of the hereafter. The blame-worthy. evils are the following-fear of poverty, displeasure over. pre-decree, envy, hatred, hypocrisy, flattery, hope for living long, pride, show, anger, enmity, greed, miserliness, self-conceit, to honour the' rich, to look the poor with
contempt, haughtiness, vanity, boasting, loss of fear of God,
expression of. piety, lukewarm support for truth, secretly fostering.erimity with outward of friendship, revenge, deceit, breach of trust, harsh treatment, contentment with the world, oppression, loss of shame and kindess. These are the faults of the mind, roots of evil deeds and miseries.
The opposing dualities.are,praise-worthy and the fountain
heads of all. good deeds. To know their real nature belongs to the
Science of the hereafter and to know it is compulsory on the part
of a learned man of the hereafter. Whoever turns away from it
will be destroyed in the hands of the Kingg of kings just as
anybody,going against the temporal rulers and the laws of a state would be destroyed. The attention of the jurisprudents with respect to the compulsory sciences is towards the; world and the
attention of these people is towards the good of the hereafter. If
Vol-I KNOWLEDGE 37
any Fagih is asked about sincerity, God-reliance etc., he would make delay in reply, but as soon as he is asked about divorce and other matters, he will at once reply and deal with' subtle intricacies.
Among the learned men of practical sciences, those who are
God fearing keep attached to the learned men' of secret sciences.
As a student sits in school, so'Imam Shafeyi used to sif near
Shaiban Ray and ask him: How shall T do this work? The people
asked Imam Shafeyi: Are you asking questions to a.Beduin?' le
said: This man has learnt what we have not learnt. Imam
b-Hampal and Ihya- b-Maven could not agree on a
certajn matter and they therefore went to Maruf l(arkht who was
not equal to them in the science of practical relig on. `l hey said to
him: The Prophet said: What will you do when you will not find a
matter in the Quran and Sunnah? He said: Ask the pious men among you and consult them in this matter. We have come to you for this.
Someone said: The learned men of exoteric knowledge are
the ornaments of the world and the state but the learned risen of
exoteric knowledge are the ornaments' of the kingdom and
angles. Hazrat Jun a?.d said: My spiritual guide said to me once:
With whom do you keep company when you leave my fi ouse? I
said: I keep company with Mohabasi. He said: Yes, follow his knowledge and manner but avoid the subtleties of hrs schplaspc theology and return it to him. When 1'14t hire, I heard him say: May God make you first a Muhaddis (traditionist) and then an ascetic (Sufi), but not first an ascetic-and then a traditipnist. Its meaning is that he should acquire first the science of tradition and learning and then become an ascetic and he will then get salvation, but he who becomes an ascetic before acquisition of Knowledge throws himself into faults.
As to Philosophy, it is not a single branch of science but comprises four subjects. The first subject includes Geometry and Arithmetic, both of which are permissible for those who are firm in faith. The second subject is Logic which is a science of reason, and it states proof, reason and cause. Both these are. included within theology. The third subject is the science of Sufism or the science of His being and attritutes of God. This is also included within theology. The fourth subject is Physics of which some
portions contradict Shariat and true religion and are therefore not right. .
I shall describe the character and conduct of the early Faqihs.
They had no other object except to gain the pleasure of Lord and
the signs of the learned men of the hereafter were known to them
from their conditions. They lived not only for the silence of Fiqh, but also for the science of heart, The companions did not publish books on Fiqh or read them. So also the Imams did not compile books, yet they were experts in the science of Fiqh. Soon we shall narrate the lives of some noted Faqihs not, to attack them but to attack those who claim to be their followers act and contrary to their character and conduct. The noted Faqihs are five:- Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Malek, Imam Shafeyi, Iman Ahmad-bHambal and Imam Sufiyan Saori. Everyone of them was an ascetic, devout, learned in the science of the hereafter, law given for the people, seeker of God's pleasure through the help of Fiqh. Everyone of them possessed five qualities, but the modern Faqihs accepted only one of these qualities. That is research in to the minutest details of Fiqh. The four other qualities relate to the good of the hereafter and only one relates to the good of this world. They are followed only in respect of one quality and not
the other four.
IMAM ABU HANIFA
He was a great Imam and a great ascetic and God fearing man. He sought God's pleasure by his knowledge Ibn Mobarak said that Imam Abu Hanifa had good character and conduct and observed prayer and fast too much. Hammad-b-Solaiman said that he was in the habit of praying the whole night and in another narration half the night. Once Abu Hanifa was walking in a street when the people hinted at him saying: This man spends the' whole night in prayer. He said: I am ashamed before God that I am described by something which I don't possess. Regarding his asceticism, Rabiy-b-Asem said: Caliph Yezid sent me once to Abu Hanifa and he wanted to appoint him as cashier of the state treasury. On his refusal to accept the post, he was given twenty stripes. Now see how he fled away from a prize post and as a result he received punishment. Hakim-b-Hashim said: I heard about Abu Hanifa at Syria that he was the most trusted man for which the Caliph wanted him to be appointed as a Treasurer of the state treasury and threatened him with punishment if he
Vol-I KNOWLEDGE 39 would not accept it. He preferred king's punishment to that of God.
Ibnul Mobarak narrated about Abu Hanifa: Do you say of that man who was given the treasures cf the world but who fled away from them.? Muhammad-b-Shuja narrated: Caliph Abul Mansur ordered W,000 dirhams to be given to the Imam but he declined the offer. On the day when the wealth would be delivered to him, he covered his body with a cloth after prayer and did not talk with anybody. The man of the Caliph went to him with Dirhams but the Imam did not talk with him. One of the people present said: This is his habit. Put it in a corner of his room. This was done. Thereafter Abu Hanifa left death instruction with regard to this wealth and said to his son: When I die and you finish my burial, take this purse to the Caliph and tell him: This is your trust which you have deposited with Abu Hanifa. His son said: I did accordingly. The Caliph said: May God have mercy on your father.
It is narrated that he was once offered the post of the chief justice of the state, but he said: I am not fit for this post. When he was asked about the reason, he said: If l have told the truth, it is good for the post, and if I have told a lie, I am unfit for that post as
I am a liar.
He was a devout worshipper. He divided the night into three parts-one part for study, one part for prayer and one part for sleep. The narrator said that Imam Shafeyi used to finish the Quran 60 times in the month of Ramzan and every time he finished it in prayer. Hasan Qarabasi reported: I spent many nights with the great Imam. He used to spend one third of the night in prayer and yet I have not seen him reciting more than fifty to one hundred verses. At the end of each verse, he would
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Abu Hanifa's knowledge of the things of the hereafter and his concern over the important matters of religion are proved by the following narration. Ibn Juray said: I was informed that Abu Hanifa was a great God fearing man. Sharik said: Abu Hanifa used to spend long time in silence and meditation and converse little with the people. These actions prove his exoteric knowledge. He who has been given silence and asceticism has
been given all knowledge.
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beseech God's mercy upon himself and upon all Muslims. The Imam said: I used not to take food with satisfaction for the last 16 years as a full stomach makes the body heavy, makes the heart hard, increases sleep and renders a man lazy for worship. He also said: Never have I taken oath by God whether true or false. He said: He who claims that the love of the world and love of God are united in him is a liar. Hudaidi said: Imam Shafeyi once went to yemen with some men and returned to Mecca with 10,000 dirhams. A tent was fixed for him in the outskirts of Mecca and people began to come to him He did not move from that place till he distributed all dirhams among the people.
Generosity of the Imam was great and the root of asceticism is generosity. Whoever loves a thing keeps it with him and everything is insignificant to one to whom the world is insignificant. This is asceticism which leads to God-fear. Once Sufiyan-b-Aynabat fell in swoon before the Imam. He was told that he had expired. He said: If he has died, the best man of his time has died. Omar-b-Nabatah said: I have not found more God-fearing man than Imam Shafeyi. I, he and Hares-b-Labeed went one day to the valley of Safa. Hares had a student with him and he was a Qari or reader of the Quran. He had a sweet voice and began to read: This is a day on which they will not speak and they will not be given permission to rise excuse-77:35, I saw that the colour of the face of the Imam became changed and he was trembling vehemently and then fell in swoon. When he recovered he began to say: 0 God, I seek refuge to Thee from the place of the liars and the scoffing of the heedless. 0 God, the hearts of gnostics have submitted and the necks of those who yearn for Thee bowed. 0 worshipped, bestow Thy bounty upon me and cover me with Thy mercy. Forgive my faults through the grace of Thy countenance. Then he along with us left the place. When I reached Baghdad, he was then in Iraq. I was making ablution in the bank of the river for prayer. A man then was passing by me and said: 0 young man, make ablution well, God will then treat good with you both in this world and in the next. I followed him. He looked at me and said: Have you got any necessity? I said: Teach me something of what God has taught you. He said: Know that he who knows God as true gets salvation and he who fears his religion, remains safe from destruction. He who remains indifferent from the world, will be cool at seeing the rewards which God will give him tomorrow. Shall I give you
Vol-I KNOWLEDGE 41
more advice? I said: Yes He said: The faith of one who has got three characteristics is perfect-(1) to enjoin good to act according to it, and (2) to prohibit evil and to desist from it, (3) and to guard the limits of God. Shall I give you more advice? I said: Yes. He said: Adopt asceticism in the world, entertain hopes for the next world and believe God in all your affairs, you will then be among those who will get salvation. Then he went away. I asked: Who is he? They said: Imam Shafeyi. Such fear and asceticism are the result of nothing but for his knowledge of God and not for his
knowledge of legal questions like advance payment, loan, wages
etc. as are embodied in Fiqh.
Imam Shafeyi said: The knowledge of one who does not make himself perfect will come of no use to him. He also said: Whose confesses his obedience to God through the help of his knowledge, his heart becomes illumined. He also said: Every one has got some persons who love him and some who hate him. If it be so, be among those who obey God.
Abdul Qader-b-Abdul Aziz was a God-fearing man. He once asked Imam Shafeyi: Which of these virtues is better-patience, trial and peace and mind (Tamkin)? The Imam replied: Peace of mind is the rank of the Prophets and it is not attained except by trial, and patience comes after trial. Don't you see that God examined Abraham and then He gave him peace of mind? he examined Solomon and then gave him peace of mind and kingdom. He did the same with Moses, Job, Joseph and others. This reveals the deep knowledge of Imam Shaheyi about the Quran. Sufyan Saori said: I or anybody has not seen like Shafeyi.
He was adored with five qualities. Once he was asked: 0 Malik, what do you say about search for knowledge? He replied: It is fair and beautiful. If anybody does not separate from you morning to evening, don't be separate from him. When the Imam intended to narrate traditions, he used to make ablution, sit in the middle of his bed, comb his beard, apply scent and then become fearful and grave and then narrate traditions. When asked about these formalities, he said: I intend to show honour to the traditions of the Prophet. He said: Knowledge is light. God places it wherever He wishes. Regarding the seeking of pleasure of God
by knowledge, he said: There is no benefit in arguments about
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Vol-I KNOWLEDGE 43
religion. This is proved by a saying of Imam Shafeyi who said: Once I was near Malek. He was asked about forty eight legal questions: He replied regarding thirty two questions: I don't know. When the learned were mentioned, Imam Malek was counted as a bright star. It is said that once the Caliph Mansur prohibited him to narrate the particular tradition on the illegality of divorce made under compulsion. The Caliph thereafter instigated some one to question the Imam on the subject. He declared among the people that divorce pronounced under compulsion is not binding. For this, the Caliph had him flogged.
The Caliph Harun Rashid once asked Imam Malek: Have you got any house? He said: No. The Caliph then gave him 3000 dinars and said: Go and buy with this money a house. The Imam accepted the money but did not spend it for the purpose. When the Caliph intended to return to Baghdad he asked Malek: You should come along with us, because we have decided to make the people follow 'Mualta' as Osman made them follow the Quran. Malek said: This is not the way to make the people follow 'Mualta' because the companions of the Prophet after his death dispersed around the different countries and they related the traditions in each place. Further the Prophet said: Difference of opinion among the people is a blessing. As for my going with you, there is no way as the Prophet said: Had they known, they would 'have known that Medina is best for them again he said: Medina removes its corruption just as the furnace removes the dross of iron. Therefore here are your dinars. If you like, take them back and if you like, you may leave them. Does this mean that you ask me to leave Medina in return for what you have given me? I prefer nothing more than the city of the Messenger of God, not even the whole world. 1
Such was the asceticism of Malek. When as a result of his diffusion of knowledge and the spreading of his companions, large wealth began to come to him from different corners of the earth, he used to distribute them in charity. Such an ascetic was Soloman despite his royal glory. Another example of his asceticism is that Imam Shafeyi once said: I noticed a number of Khorasan horses at the door of Malek. I have never seen any other horse better than them. I said to Malek: How beautiful are they! He said: They are then presents from me to you. I said to him: Keep one of them for yourself for riding. He said: I shall be
ashamed before God to tread with the hoof of any least of burden the soil wherein lies His Prophet. See therefore his benevolence and his veneration for the soil of Medinah.
There is yet another report of his asceticism. He said: I once went to the Caliph Harun Rashid. he asked Malek: 0 Abu Abdullah, you should come frequently to my place, so that I may learn from you 'Muatta'. He said: May God exalt my master. This knowledge has come from you. If you honour it, it will be exalted; and if you dishonour it, it will be despised. Knowledge is .something you shall learn and not something you should receive.
Then the Caliph said: You are right. He said to his sons: Go out to the mosque and acquire from him knowledge along with the people.
Imam Ahmad and Sufiyan Saori had many followers. Nevertheless they are known for asceticism and God fear. All books contain their sayings and stories of their asceticism.
Now examine the lives of the Imams and serutinize those who claim to be their followers. Did the Imams rise to such eminence only for their knowledge of Fiqh which now means contracts of the type of salam, hire, rental, lease and other worldly laws?
Knowledge is not held to be blameworthy except for one of three reasons. Firstly, if it leads to the harm of another, it becomes blameworthy, such as magic, talisman, sorcery' These sciences are true no doubt as the Quran testifies. The Sahihs Bukhari and Muslim narrate traditions also that the Prophet of God was once victim of sorcery for which he fell ill. Gebriel informed the Prophet of this matter. The enchantment was taken out from underneath a stone in the bottom of a well. It is a kind of knowledge obtained through the learned men of the precious stones and mathematical calculations of the places and times of the rising of stars.
(2) The second reason is that if a science causes much harm to the acquner, it is blameworthy, such as the science of Astronomy. It is of two kinds, once coals with Mathematics and is connected
44 THE POOK OF WORSHIP Vol-I
with accounts. The Quran says: The sun and the moon have got courses reckoned-55: 4 It says again: As for the moon, I decreed stations for it till it changes like an old and crooked palm branch-36:39. The second kind deals with Astrology, the gist of which is that the future events are indicated by the present causes. Astrology is therefor an attempt to know the course of the laws and ordinances of God in connection with His creations. The Sharia has declared it as blameworthy. The Prophet said: Whenever Taqdir is mentioned, remain silent and whenever my companions are mentioned, remain silent. The Prophet said: I fear three things for my followers after me, the oppressionn of the leaders, faith in Astrology and disbelief in Taqdir (predecree). Hazrat Omar said: Learn Astrology, to conduct you in land and sea and not more. There are three causes for this prohibition. Firstly, it is harmful for majority of the people, because thoughts occur in their minds that it is the stars which influence the course
of events and so the stars are to be worshipped: The wise man knows that the sun, the moon and the stars are st}bjects to the
commands of God. The second reason is that Astrology is purely guess work. It has been termed blameworthy because it command is that of only ignorance. Once the Prophet was passing by a man surrounded by the people. He asked: Who is this man? They said: He is a great learned man. The Prophet asked: Of what learning? They said: Of poetry and Arab geneology. The Prophet said: Such a learning which does not do any benefit and such ignorance which does not do any harm. The Prophet said: Learning is of decisive verses or lasting usages (of Prophet) and just ordinances (based on the Quran and Sunnah). It appears from this that discussion about Astrology and the like sciences are useless undertakings.
(3) The third reason that this science is blameworthy is that it becomes of no use to one who acquires it, for example, learning of trivial sciences before the important ones learning of subtleties before fundamentals, Ignorance, however, in some cases is beneficial as is seen from the following story.
A certain person once complained to a physician that his wife was sterile and that she bore no children. The physician left the pulse of the woman and told her that she would die after 40 days. The woman got extremely frightened and gave away all her wealth and lived these forty days without food and drink. After
Vol-I KNOWLEDGE 45
the period, her husband came to the physician and said that his wife did not die. The physician said: Now col?abit with het and you will get an issue. He asked: How will it e? The physician said: I saw that the woman was too fat and that grease was blocking her uterus and that it could not be removed except by fear of death. Then she became lean and fit for conception. It is gathered from this story that ignorance is sometimes good. Ignorance of some branches of knowledge is good and it will be clear from the following Hadis of the Holy Prophet. He said: I seek refuge to God from useless knowledge.
So don't discuss about those learning which have been declared by Shariat as useless. There are many things which, if inquired into, will do harm.
CHANGE OF THE MEANINGS OF SOME WORDS
CONNECTED WITH KNOWLEDGE.
The people have changed the original meanings of the words Fiqh, Ilm, Tauhid, Tazkir and Hekmat and have given them the meanings of their own. As a result, they have become now blameworthy.
FIQH (religious learning). It has now the meaning of the science of unusual legal cases, mystery of the minutest details of jurisprudence and excessive debates on them. The man who gives attention to such a science is called now Faqih or jurisprudent. In the first century, it had a different meaning. It was a science of the path of the hereafter and knowledge of the beneficial and harmful matters of soul, knowledge of the meanings of the Quran and. the domination of God fear over the heart. This is proved by the words of God in the following verse that they may be expert in religion and may warn their people when they come back to them-9:193. Fiqh or jurisprudence is that which gives such a warning and fear rather than the details of divorce, manumission, rental etc. God says: They have got hearts but they do not understand 'therewith-2:178. Those who were present before the Prophet did not know the details of laws.
Someone asked Sa'ad-b-Ibrahim: Who is the greatest Faqih in Medina? He said:. He who fears God most. This points out to the result of Fiqh. Te Prophet once said: Shall I not inform you
46 THE BOOK OF WORSHIP Vol-I
about a perfect Faqih? The companions said: Yes. He said: a perfect Faqih is one who does not deprive the people of the mercy of God, does not give hope of freedom from punishment, nor makes them lose hope of His mercy, nor discards the Quran in favour of something else. When Anas-b-Malek narrated the following tradition-To sit with those who remember God from dawn to sun- rise is dearer to me than the manumission of four slaves', the Prophet said: A man cannot become a perfect Faqih unless he makes the people understand about the existence of God and believes that there are several objects in the Quran. Hazrat Hasan Basari said: A Faqih is one who renunciates the world, remains steadfast to the hereafter, is wise in his religion worships his Lord constantly, restrains himself from attacks on the reputation of his fellow Muslims, is indifferent to their wealth and wishes good of the Muslim world. He did not say. One who commits to memory the intricacies of law is Faqih.
ILM is the science of religion, the science of the knowledge of God and His verses. When the Caliph Omar died, Hazrat Ibn Masud exclaimed: Nine-tenths of the science of religion have passed away. The present people used the term Ilm to mean the science of those who can well debate the cases of jurisprudence with their adversaries and those who cannot do that are termed weak and outside the category of the learned men. But what has been said about the excellence of learning and the merits of the learned men apply to those who are versed according to the
TAUHID (unity of God). The present meaning of Tauhid is scholastic theology or Ilm Kalam, the knowledge of the methods of argumentation, the manner of confronting adversaries. Tauhid was then the belief that all things come from God and it ruled out all intermediary causes, the belief that good and evil all come from God and that the result of Tauihid is God-reliance. Such people believed that another fruit of Tauhid is to avoid complaints to the people, not to get angry at them and to remain satisfied with the decree of God. Another fruit of Tauhid is the saying of Hazrat Abu Bakr in his illness. The people said to him: Let us call a physician for you. He said: The Physician Himself has given me this disease. In another narration, he said: The Physician said: I certainly do what I wish-11:109,85:16Q.
Vol-I KNOWLEDGE 47
Tauhid is therefore a precious fruit which is engaged into several husks, the outer husk is distant from the inner. The modern people have taken up the husk and given up the pith. The people have termed it as the science of husk and given up the science of pith. The meaning of the husk of Tauhid is to utter by tongue 'There is no deity but God'. It is opposite to Trinity of the Christians. The hypocrite Muslims also utter it. The pith of Tauhid is confirmation by heart what the tongue confesses. The heart believes it to be true. This is real Tauhid which is to entrust every affairs of man to God in such a way that his attention is not diverted to any other matter except to God. Those who follow their passion do not conform to this monotheism.
God says: Have you seen such one who takes his passion as God-25: 43Q?. The Prophet said: The worst deity in the sight of God that is worshipped in the world is the deity of passion. Idol worship is also done according to the wishes of passion. For this reason, the soul of such a man inclines towards the religion of his ancestors. Such a man is like one who rises up in the morning and says facing the Ka'ba: I have turned my face towards One who created the heavens and the earth, but he really does not turn his heart towards God and begins the day with a lie. The direction of the Ka'ba is not the direction of God. He who turns his face towards the Ka'ba can't be called to have turned his face towards God as God is not confined within space and direction. Mind is the mine of Tauhid and its fountainhead. A man of Tauhid turns his mind towards God and not towards any other direction.
ZIKR OR TAZKIR (God's Remembrance). This is the science of invocation and admonition. God says: Remind them because Zikr or admonition benefits the believers-51:55Q. There are many traditions regarding the merits of the assemblies of Zikr. The Prophet said: When you pass by the garden of paradise, enjoy yourselves. He was asked: What are the gardens of Paradise? He said: Assemblies of Zikr (remembrance of God). The Prophet said: The angels of God roam in the horizon except the angels of creation. When they see any assembly of Zikr, they accost themselves and say: Come unto your goals. They then come to the place, surround them and hear them, remember God and take lessons. Now the assembly of Zikr means the assembly of lectures wherein the modern lecturers deliver long speeches,
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tell stories, recite poems and poetries and sing songs. Such was not the practice at the time of the four rightly guided Caliphs.
Story-telling is an innovation. Ibn Omar once came out of the mosque exclaiming: None has sent me out except a story-teller. Hazrat Ali turned out the story tellers from the congregational mosque of Basra. He did not turn out Hasan Basari as he used to deal with the hereafter, contemplation of death, defects of soul, machinations of the devil. Such is the assembly about which the Prophet said: To be present at the assembly of Zikr is better than one thousand rak'ats of prayers, visiting one thousand sick men and attending one thousand funerals. Hazrat Ata said: One assembly of Zikr expiates the sins of seventy assemblies of useless talks. The Prophet once heard three talks from Abdullahb-Rawahah and said: 0 Abu Rawahah, keep yourself far from ornamental talks. He asked the Prophet one day about the blood money of a child which died in the womb of its mother saying: How shall we pay the blood wit of a child who has taken no food, no drink, nor cried, nor breathed. Such murder is excusable. The Prophet said: are you like the desert Arabs who indulge in ornamental words?
POETRY: As to poetry, its general use in sermons is bad. God says: As to poets, those who go astray follow them. Don't you find the wondering in every valley and say what they do not do-26 255? God said: I did not teach him (Prophet) poetry, nor it is becoming of him. Furthermore what is narrated of poetries is sermons comprises mostly of love episodes, descriptions of the beauties of the beloved; the joys of union and pangs of separation. This gives arise to lust and sexual passion more than religious enthusiasm. There are however such poetries which contain wisdom. The prophet also said: There is wisdom in poetry.
HIKMAT: The word Hakim derived from the word Hikmat is now used in the case of physicians, astrologers and those who tell the future of the people by examining hands, but God says about the word Hikmat (wisdom): He gives wisdom whom He wishes Whoever has been given wisdom has been given a great good-2:272Q. The Prophet said: If a man learns a word of wisdom, it is better than the world and what it contains. Now think what was Hikmat and what it has come to. Now think also of the meaning of many words which have come down to us. One
day a man asked the Prophet: Who is the worst creature in creation? The Prophet said: 0 God, pardon me. On being repeatedly asked, the Prophet replied: They are wicked learned men.
Now you have come to know about praiseworthy and blameworthy sciences and how the intermingled with one another. Now chose either of the two. If you want good, you may follow the path of the ancient sages and saints, and if you want, you may follow the paths. of the latter generations. All knowledge which the ancient sages loved have vanished. The Prophet said: Islam began with a few and it will soon return to a few as it began. Good nes to those few. He was asked: Who are those few? He said: Those who purify my Sunnah after the people polluted them and those who revive my sunnah after their death. In another narration: The few are a few righteous people in the midst of many unrighteous men.
HOW MUCH IS PRAISEWORTHY OF THE PRAISEWORTHY SCIENCES?
Knowledge is divided into three parts. One part is blameworthy in whole or in part, one part is praiseworthy in whole or in part and one part is praiseworthy upto a certain limit and beyond that it is blameworthy. Look to the condition of physique. A little of health and beauty is good, but a little of ugly figure and bad conduct is bad: Moderate expense of wealth is praiseworthy but immoderate expense is blameworthy.
(1) The knowledge of which a little or much is blameworthy has got no benefit either in this world or. in the next, because, there is such harm in it which is greater than its benefit, for example magic, astrology or talismnics. A valuable life should not be spent uselessly but there are some sciences which have got moderate benefits, but their harms are greater.
(2) The science which is beneficial up to the end is the science of knowing God, His attributes and His works. His laws affecting this world and the hereafter. This is the science which is sought for its own attributes and by which the blessings of the hereafter is gained. To exert oneself to the utmost of one's
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capacity to gain it falls far short of what is required, because it is such a sea of which the depth is unlimited. Those who search it are remaining constantly in its shores and edges. The Prophet, the saints and the learned with faith according to their different ranks, power and streng,.i and according to the decree of God could not even navigate its ends. This is the hidden science which can never be recorded in books. For it, precaution shall have to be taken, efforts shall have to be made and the condition of the learned men of the hereafter shall have to be examined. For this science, a great deal of efforts, purification of mind, renunciation of the world and the following of the Prophets and friends of God are necessary. He who does all these things earns it according to his fate and not to his efforts, but there is no escape from efforts as efforts are the only keys of guidance and there is no other key.
(3) The sciences which are praiseworthy up to a certain limit are those which have been narrated at the time of discussion of Farze-Kafayah. Each has got three limits-first limit up to necessity, second up to moderation and third up to excessive quantity and there is no end of it during life. Beware of the two persons. Either be busy with yourself or be busy after finishing your work with others. Be careful of correcting others before you correct yourself. If you keep busy with yourself, be busy with acquisition of knowledge which is compulsory according to your need, for instance, knowledge of open deeds such as prayer, fast etc. More importance however is the science which everybody neglects, It is the science of heart. Know which of these sciences are bad and which are good as there is nobody who is safe from envy, hatred, pride, self-conceit and such other destructive faults. Performance of these outward deeds is like the external application of ointment to the body when it is stricken with scabies and boils while neglecting to remove the pus by means of surgery. The learned men lay stress upon the outward actions and the learned men of the hereafter remove the impurities of mind.
So you should not engage yourself in Farze Kefayah duties till you are pure in heart and acquire strength to give up open and secret sins. Give attention first to the Holy Quran, then to the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet, then to Tafsirs of the learned men and then to other learnings. Don't engage your life to the learning of only one branch of education as life is short but the learnings
Vol-I KNOWLEDGE 51
are many. The acquisition of these learnings are weapons for the hereafter. There is no learning which has got no limits of necessity, moderation and perfection. This is applicable also to Had is, Tafsir and Fiqh.
A certain saint asked a learned man in dream: Tell me the condition of learning about which you held disputation. He said: It has all vanished like scattered dust, Only two rak'ats of prayer at the latter part of night has done me benefit. The Prophet said: No people are misguided after guidance except disputation. Then he read the following verse: They did nothing about you but disputation. Rather they are a contentions people. About a verse-'But they in whose hearts there is perversity'(3:5:) the Prophet said that they are a contentious people about whom God said: Beware of them. The Prophet said: You are living in an age when you receive inspiration for actions but soon a people will appear who will be given to disputation. The worst men to God in creation are given to bitter disputes. He also said: Those,-who has been given to disputation have not beeii given actions.
HARMS OF THE SCIENCE OF POLEMICS AND EVILS
OF DEBATES AND DISPUTATIONS.
Know, 0 dear readers, that after the Prophet, the rightly-guided Caliphs were the leaders of the learned in the science of God. They were the eyes of knowledge and were experienced in the legal decisions. They did not take the help of jurisprudents except in cases where consultation was necessary. They decided on the strength of Ijtihad and their decisions were recorded in their lives. After their death, Caliphate went to those who were not so experienced in legal matters and administrative affairs. They were compelled to seek the aid of jurisprudents. At that time, a band of Tabeyins (successors of companions) were alive and they persisted in following strictly the injunctions of religion. Whenever the Caliphs called them, they fled. But some learned men used to mix with the Caliphs and consequently became humiliated. Therefore there were differences of opinions among the learned men and there grew different Mazhabs or sects as a result. There were argumentation and disputations over the intricate questions of religion. They composed also many works on these subjects. This induced the people to take the controversies and disputations.
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Vol-I KNOWLEDGE 53
THERE ARE EIGHT CONDITIONS
(1) The first condition is that where debate for search of truth is one of Farze Kefayah duties, one who has not already fulfilled his part in duties of Farze Ain should not engage himself in the debates even for searching truth.
(2) The second condition is that one should not consider debates more important than Farze-Kefayah duties.
He commits sin who does other works leaving aside a more important Farze Kefayah duty. He is like a man who does not give water to drink to people who are thirsty and facing death even though he has got power to do so, beacause he remains then busy in giving lesson of cupping. Once the Prophet was asked When will the people give up enjoining good and fobidding evil? The Prophet said : When flattery will grow in good people among you, kingdom will go to the meanest of you and theology to those who will be corrupt.
(3) The third condition which justifies debate is that the debater should have ability and give decision on his own responsiblility without referring to the opinion of Imam Abu Hanfia or any other Imams. He who has not the ability of independent interpretation should not express his opinion but should refer it to an Imam.
(4) The fourth condition which justifies debate, is that the subject for decision should be about actual cases that crop up, for example, the question of inheritance and not about future cases. The companions also held consutations as questions arose or were likely to arise in order to arrive at truth.
(5) The fifth condition is that debate should be held in priavte in preference to open meetings in presence of noted people and in grandeur because privacy is more suitable for clear thinking and to examine what is right and what is wrong.
(6) The sixth condition is that the debater should like truth in the same spirit as a lost thing is searched for. He should not mind weather the truth is found by him or by his adversery. when Hazrat Omar was once giving sermon, a woman pointed out to him his mistake to which he submitted. At another time, Hazrat Ali was asked a question by a man and he replied. When the man pointed cut his mistake, he admitted it.
(7) The seventh condition is that the debater should not prevent his adversary from giving up one argument in favour of another and one illustration in favour of another.
(8) The eighth condition is that debate should be held with such person from whom benefit is derived and who is learned.
From these eight conditions, you will be able to distinguish those who debate for the sake of God and those who debate for other purposes.
THIRD MATTER-EVILS OF DEBATES The following evils arise out of modern debates.
(1) ENVY: The Prophet said : Envy consumes good deeds as fire consumes fuels. A debater is never free from envy and hatred. Envy is a burning fire. One who falls in it gets punishement in the world. Hazrat Ibn Abbas said : Acquire knowledge wherever it is found and don't obey the devils who are prone to disputes.
(2) PRIDE: The Prophet said : A believer cannot have pride in him. There is 'a'Hadis Qudsi in which God said : Grandeur is My cloak and pride is My mantle. I destory one who snatches anything of these two from Me.
(3) RANCOUR: A debater is seldom free from the evil of rancour. The Propherr said : A believer has got no rancour.
(4) BACK-BITING which is likened by God to the eating of carrion (49:12). A debater ascribes to his oppoinent foolishness, ignorance and stupidity.
(5) DECLARATION OF SELF-PURITY. God says : Don't attribute purity of yourself. He knows best who fears Him (53:33).
(6) SPYING and prying into the secrets of adversary. God says : Pry not (49:12).
(7) H'Y'POCRISY. A debater expresses his friendship for his adversary outwardly but he cherishes hatred for him inwardly. The Prophet said: When the learned men do not translate their learning into action, when they profess love for one another with their tongue and nurse hatred in their hearts, when they sever the
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ties of relationship, God sends curse upon them, makes their tongues mute and their eyes blind.
(8) TO TURN AWAY FROM TRUTH. The most hateful thing to a debater is to reject the truth revealed to his adversary and thus he takes to deception and deceit. The Prophet prohibited dispute about useless things. He said : If a man gives up disputation in matters of unlawful things, a garden will be built for him in paradise. If a man gives up desputation in matters of truth, a house will be built up for him in the highest paradise. God said : He is more wrongful than one who devises a lie against God and calls the truth a lie when it comes to him 29:68. God said : Who is more wrongful that he who lies against God and treats the truth when it comes to him as a lie-39:33 ?
(9) ANOTHER FAULT OF DEBATE IS SHOW AND FLATTERING the people in an effortto win their favour and to nislead them. Hypocrisy is the greatest disease with which a debater is attacked and it is a major sin.
(10) DECEPTION. Debators and compelled to deception.
These ten evils are the secret major sins arising out of debates and disputations. Besides these major offences, there arise many other guilts out of controversies leading to blows, kicks, boxing, tearing of garments etc.
The learned men are ,of three classes. One class comprise those who ruin themselves and also ruin others. Another class make themselves fortunate and make other also fortunate. Such learned men call others towards good. The third class learned men call ruin to themselves but make others fortunate.
Manners to be observed by teachers and students. These manners comprise ten duties.
(1) The first duty of a student is to keep himself free from impure habit and evil matters. Effort to acquire knowledge is the worship of mind. It purifies secret faults and takes to God. Prayer is observed by outward organs and as outward purity is not gained except by outward organs, so worship by mind, the fountain head of acquisition of knowledge, cannot'be attained without the removal of bad habits and evil attributes. The
Prophet said : Religion is founded on cleanliness. So outward and inward purities are necessary. God sys : The polytheists are impure 9: 28Q. It is understood from this that purity and impurity are not merely external as the polytheists also keep their dresses clean and bodies clean, but as their mind is impure, so they are generally impure. The inward purity is of greatest importance. The Prophet therefore said : Angels do not enter a house wherein there are dogs. Human mind is a house, the abode of angels, the place of their movements The blameworthy evils like anger, lust, rancour, envy, pride, conceit and the like are dogs. When dogs reside in a heart, where is the place for the angels? God takes the secrets of knowledge to the hearts throught the angels. They do not take it except to the pure souls. Hazrat Ibn Masud said : Knowledge is not acquired through much learning. It is a light cast in heart. A certain sage said : Knowledge is God-fear as God said : The learned among the people fear God
(2) The second duty of a student is to reduce his worldly affairs and keep aloof : from kith and kin as acquisition of knowledge is not possible in these environments. For this reason, a certain sage said : God has not gifted two minds to a man. For this reason, a certain sage said : Knowledge will not give you its full share till you surrender your entire mind to it.
(3) The third duty of a student is not to take pride or exalt himself over the teacher but rather entrust to him the conduct of all his affairs and submit to his advices as a patient submits to his physician. The Prophet said : It is the habit of a believer not to flatter anyone except when he seeks knowledge. Therefore a student should not take pride over his teacher. Knowledge cannot be acquirred except through modesty and humility. God said : Herein there is warning for one who has got a heart or sets up ear while he himself being a witness-50:36. The meaning of having a heart is to be fit for receiving knowledge and one who is prepared and capable of understanding knowledge. Whatever the teacher should recommend to the student, the latter should follow it putting aside his own opinion. The people should question only in the matter which the teacher permits him. Here there is an instance of Moses and Khizir Khizir said : You will not ask me anything I do. Still Moses questioned him and for that he separated him.
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(4) The fourth duty of a student is that he should first pay no attention to the difference whether about wordly sciences or sciences of the hereafter as it may perplex his mind and he may lose enthusiasm. He should adopt first what the teacher says and should not argue about the different mazhabs or sects.
(5) The fifth duty is that a student should not miss any branch of knowledge. He should try to become perfect in them as all branches of learning help one another and some branches are allied with others. If a man does not get a things, it becomes his enemy. God says : When they do not find guidance they say, it is an age-long lie 46:10 A poet said : A sweet thing is bitter in the mouth of a patient as sweet water is tasteless to a sick man. Good knowledge is acquired according to one's genius. It leads man to God or helps him in that way. Each branch of knowledge has got its fixed place. He who guards it, is like a guard who patrols the frontiers in jihad. Each has got a rank in it and each has got a reward in the hereafter according to his rank. The only condition required is that the object of acquisition of knowledge should be to please God.
(6) The sixth duty of a student is that he should not take up all branches of knowledge at a time, but should take up the most important one at first as life is not sufficient for all branches of knowledge. A little learing if acquired with enthusiasm perfects the knowledge of the hereafter or the sciences of the worldly usages and the sciences of revelation. The object of the science of worldly usages is to acquire spiritual knowledge. The goal of the spiritual knowledge is to know God. Our object by this knowledge is not that belief which is handed down from generations to generations. Our object for this knowledge is to acquire light arising out of certain faith which God casts in soul. Such light was acquired by Hazrat Abu Bakr. The Prophet said about Abu Bakr: If the faith of the people of the world is weighed with the faith of Abu Bakr, his faith would be heavy. In short, the highest and the noblest of all science, is to know God This science is like a sea of which the depth cannot be ascertained. In this science, the highest rank is that of the Prophets, then of the friends of God and finally that of those who follow them. It has been narrated that the portraits of two ancient wise men were seen on the wall of a mosque. One of them held a peice of paper in which it was written: If you purify everything, don't understand
Vol-I KNOWLEDGE 57
that you have even purified one thing till you know God and know that He is the cause of all Causes and the Creator of everything. In the hand of the second man, there was a scroll in which it was writen : I removed thirst before by drinking water and then I have come to know God. But when I have come to know God, my thirst was quenched without any water.
(7) The seventh duty of a student is that he should not take up a new branch of learning till he has learnt fully the previous branch of learning, because it is requisite for the acquisition of knowledge. One branch of knowledge is a guide to another branch. God says : Whoso has been given the Quran recities it with due recitation-2:15 In other words, he does not take up one learning till he masters the previous one. Hazrat Ali said : Dont't
onceal truth form men, rather know the truth, then you will be
is master of truths.
(8) The eighth duty of a studnet is to know the causes for which noble sciences are known. It can be known from two things, nobility of its fruit and the anthenticity of its principles. Take for example the science of religion as medicine. The fruit of the science of religion is to gain an eternal life and the fruit of the other is to gain a temporary life. From these points of view. the science of religion is more noble as its result is more noble. Take up Mathematics and Astrology, the former is nobler because the former is more authentic in its foundations. From this, it is clear that the science of the knowledge of God, of His angels, of His books and of His prophets is the noblest and also the branches of knowledge which help it.
(9) The ninth duty of a student is to purify mind and action with virtues, to gain proximity to God and His angles and to live in the company of those who live near Him. His aim should not be to gain worldly matters, to acquire riches and properties, to argue with the illiterate and to show pride and haughtiness. He whose object is to gain nearness of God should seek such learning as helps towards that goal, namely the knowledge of the hereaafter and the learnings which are auxiliary to it. God said God will raise herewith in rank who are believers and to whom knowledge have been given-58:11. God said : They have got stages, some lower, some higher. The highest rank is that of the Prophets, then of the friends of God and then of the learned who are firm in knowledge and then of the pious who follow them.
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(10) The tenth duty of a student is that he should keep attention to the primary object of knowledge. It is not in your power to enjoy bliss of this world and that of the next world together. This world is a temprory abode. Body is a conve3 ance and the actions run towars the goal. The goal is God and nothing else. All bliss and happines lie in Him. So give more importance to the sciences which take to that ultimate goal.
There are three kinds of learnings.
(1) One kind of learning is like the purchase of commodities in journey. They are the sciences of medicine, laws (Fiqh) and all other sciences which keep connection with the welfare of the people in the world.
(2) Another class of learning is like the science of travelling in the desert and surmounting obstacles. They purify the mind from evil traits and take it to a high place that does not fall to the lot of any except to those whom God shows favour.
(3) The third kind of knoweldge is like the knowledge of pilgrimage and its rules and regulations. This is the science of knowledge of God, His attitutes and the knowldge of the actions of angels. This is the knowledge which can not be gained except by the agnostics who are close to Him. Those who are lower in rank than them will get also salvation. God says As for one who is of those nearest to God, there is happiness, bounty and garden of bliss for him. But as for one who is of the companions of the right hand there is peace for him-56:87. This is a certain truth which they perceived through contemplations. This is more clear than geeing with eyes. They are confirmed in their faith after seeing for themselves. Others are like those who have got faith but without contemplation and without seeing with their own eyes.
By the soul, I don't mean heart made up of flesh but it is a subtle Sir or secret essence which the bodily senses fail to perceive. It is a spiritual substance from God and has been described sometimes by Nafs, sometimes by Qalb. The material heart is the vehicle for the spiritual essence to remove the veil from it as it belongs to the science of revelation, a sceince which is withheld from men and there is no permission to discuss it. What is permissible is the discussion that it is a precious jewel and belongs to the world of spirit and not to the world of matter. God
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says : They ask you about soul. Say : Soul proceeds from the command of my Lord-17:87. The connection of soul with God is nobler than that of all the bodily limbs. To God belong the creation and the command is the most precious thing which can carry the trust of God. It is nobler than the heaven and the earth and what they contain as the latter refused to bear the trust out of fear of the spiritual world. It has come from God and it will return to God. It is the spiritual substance which drives towards God.
SECOND SUBJECT-DUTIES OF A TEACHER
A man has got four conditions in relation to wealth. A wealthy man at first produces commodities. Secondly he hoards his productions and does not seek the aid of others, Thirdly, he spends it for himself and rests satisfied with it. Fourthly, he spends there from for another to get honour. The last is the best. Similar are the conditions of knowledge. It is acquired like wealth and has got four conditions. - (1) condition of acquisition of knowledge, (2) condition after acquisition of knowledge, (3) condition wherein he will contemplate and enjoy his achievement and (4) condition wherein he would impart his knowledge to others and this last condition is the best. He who acquires knowledge and acts up to it and teaches it to the people is noble to the angels of heaven and earth. He is like the sun which illumines itself and gives light to other things. Such a man is like a pot of musk which is full of fragance and gives fragrance to others. He who teaches knowledge to others but does not himself act up to it is like a note-book which does not benefit itself but benefits others or like an instrument which gives edge to iron but itself has got no edge, or like a needle which remains naked but sews clothing for others, or like a lamp which gives light to other things but itself burns.
A poet said:
"Knowledge without action is like a glowing wick, it gives light to others but itself dies burning.
Whoever takes up the profession of teaching should observe the following duties:
(1) He will show kindness and sympatty to the students and treat them as his own children. The Prophet said : 'I am to you like a father to his son.' His object should be to protect the student
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from the fire of Hell. As parents save their children from the fire of this world, so a teacher should save his students or disciples from the fire of Hell. The duties of a teacher are more that those of parents. A father is the immediate cause of this transient life, but a teacher is the cause of immortal life. It is because of the spiritual teacher that the hereafter is much remembered. By teacher, I mean the teacher of the sciences of the hereafter or the sciences of the world with the object of the hereafter. A teacher ruins himself and also his students if he teaches for the sake of the world. For this reason, the people of the hereafter are journeying towards the next world and to God and remain absent from the world. The months and years of this world are so many stations of their journey. There is no miserliness in the fortunes of the nxet world and so there is no envy among them. They turn to the verse: "The believers are brethren"-49:10.
(2) The second duty of a teacher is to follow the usages and ways of the Prophet. In other words, he should not seek remuneration for teaching but nearness to God therefor. God instructs us to say : Say, I don't want any remuneration for this from you-9:31. Wealth and property are the servants of body which is the vehicle of soul of which the essence is knowledge and for which there is honour of soul. He who searches wealth in lieu of knowledge is like one who has got his face besmeared with impurities but wants to cleanse his body. In that case, the master is made a servant and the servant a master.
(3) The third duty of a teacher is that he should not withhold from his students any advice. After he finishes the outword sciences, he should teach them the inward sciences. He should tell them that the object of education is to gain nearness of God, not power or richnes and that God created ambition as a means of perpetuating knowledge which is essential for these sciences.
(4) The fourth duty of a teacher is to dissuade his students from evil ways with care and caution, with sympathy and not with rebuke and harshness, becausesin that case it destroys the veil of awe and encourages disobedience. The Holy Prophet is the guide of all teachers. He said : If men had been forbidden to make ,parridge of camel's dung, they would have done it saying that they would not have been forbidden to do it unless there has been some good in it.'
(5) The fifth duty of a teacher is that he shall not belittle the value of other sciences before his students. He who teaches grammer naturally thinks the science of jurisprudence as bad and he who teaches jurisprudence discourages the science of traditions and so on. Such evils are blameworthy. In fact the teacher of one learning should prepare his students for study of other learnings and then he should observe the rules of gradual
progress from one stage to another.
(6) The sixt duty that a teacher should do is to teach his students up to the power of their understanding. The students should not be taught such things as are beyond the capacity of their understanding. In this matter, he should follow the Prophet who said : We prophets form one class. We have been commanded to give every man his rightful place and to speak to men according to their intellect. The Prophet said When a man speaks such a word to a people who cannot grasp it with their intellect, it becomes a danger to some persons. Hazrat Ali said pointing out to his breast : 'There is much knowledge in it, but then there should be some people to understand it. The hearts of pious men are graves of secret matter.' From this,, it is understood that whatever the teacher knows should not all be communicated to the students at the same time. Jesus Christ said : Don't hang pearls around the neck of a swine. Wisome is better than pearls. He who knows it as bad is worse than swine. Once a learned man was questioned about something but he gave no reply. The questioner said : Have you not heard that the Prophet said?He who conceals any useful knowledge will on the Resurrection Day be bridled with a bridle of fire." The learned man said : You may place the bridle of fire and go.
If I don't disclose it to one who understands it, then put the bridle of fire upon me. God said: Don't give to the fools your property (4 : 4). There is warning in this verse that it is better to safeguard knowledge from those who might be corrupted by it. To give a thing to one who is not fit for it and not to give a thing to one who is fit for it are equally oppression. A certain poet
Should I cast pearls before the illiterate shepherds? They will not understand, nor know thir worth.
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If God by His knowledge sends one with knowledge, I will give my goods to him, and gain his love. He wastes his learning who gives it to one unworthy. He commits sin who witholds it
from one worthy.
(7) The seventh duty of a teacher is that he should teach his backward students only such things as are clear and suited to their limited understanding. Every man thinks that his wisdom is perfect and the greatest fool is he who rests satisfied with the knowledge that his intellect is perfect. In short, the door of debates should not be opened before the common men.
(8) The eighth duty of a teacher is that he should himself do what he teaches and should not give a lie to his teaching. Knowledge can be grasped by internal eye and actions by external eye. Many people have got external eyes but very few have got internal eye. So if the actions of a teacher are contrary to what he preaches, it does not help towards guidance, but it is like poison. A teacher is like a stamp to clay and a student is like clay. If the stamp has no character, there is no impression on clay. Or he is like a cane and the student is like the shadow of the cane. How can the shadow of the cane be straight when the cane itself is crooked? God said: Do you enjoin good to the people and forget it for yourselves - 2 : 44? Hazrat Ali said: Two men have broken my back, the learned man who ruins himself and the fool who adopts asceticism. The learned man misleads the people through his sins and the fool through his
EVILS OF KNOWLEDGE AND SIGNS OF THE LEARNED
MAN OF THE HEREAFTER
We have enumerated the excellence of knowledge and learned men, but a great warning has come about the dishonest learned men. For this reason, one should know the differences of the learned men of this world and the learned men of the hereafter. What I mean by the learned man of the world is that his object of learning is to live in ease and comforts and to get honour and prestige from the people. The Prophet said: The most severely punished among men on the Day of Resurrection will be a learned man whom God has not blessed on account of his knowledge. The Prophet said: Nobody can be learned unless he
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puts his learning into practice. He said: Knowledge is of two kinds-knowledge by tongue which is open proof of God for the children of Adam and the science of soul which is useful. He said: In the latter days, there will be ignorant worshippers and sinning learned men. He said: Don't acquire knowledge to boast over the learned nor dispute with the ignorant and gain popularity among the people. He who does this will go to Hell. He said: He who conceals his knowledge will be given by God a bridle of fire. He said: I fear most for one* who appears as Anti-Christ than Anti-Christ himself. Someone asked him: Who is he? He said: I fear most for the misguided leaders. He said: He whose knowledge is great but guidance less is away from God. Jesus Christ said: How can you guide the night travellers along the right way when you yourself are perplexed? These and other traditions show that a learned man faces eternal happiness or
SAYINGS OF WISE-MEN
Hazrat Osman said: I fear most for this nation the hypocrite learned men. People asked: How can a hypocrite be a learned man? He replied: He has verbal knowledge, but his mind and his actions are ignorant. Hazrat Hasan Basan said: Don't be included within those persons who are learned in wisdom and knowledge but are equal to the ignorant in actions. Khalld-b-Ahmed said: There are four kinds of men - (1) One who has real knowledge and knows that he knows. He is a real learned man. (2) One who has knowledge but he does not know that he knows. Be careful of him. (3) One who has no knowledge and knows that he does not know. Such a man is fit to be guided, so guide him. (4) One who has no knowledge and does not know that he knows not. Leave him alone. Ibn Mobarak said: A man is learned till he searches for knowledge. When he thinks that he has knowledge, he becomes ignorant. Hazrat Hasan said: Death of the heart is the punishment of a learned man. The death of the heart is search of
the world with the actions of the hereafter. A poet said:
"Woe to one who buys misguidance
in lieu of guidance;
"Woe more to one who buys the world
in lieu of the hereafter;
woe still more to one who fosters irreligion
in lieu of religion."
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The Prophet said regarding a wicked learned man: Some learned men will suffer such intense agonies of torture that the inmates of Hell will seek refuge on seeing their tortures. They are the wicked learned men. The Prophet said: On the resurrection day, a learned man will be brought and will be thrown into Hell. His bowels will gush forth and he will roam with his bowels as a donkey moves round a mill-stone. The inmates of Hell will move along with him and ask: What is the matter with you? He will reply: I used to enjoin the people to do good but I was not myself accustomed to do it. I used to prohibit them evil but I myself used to do it. God says: The hypocrites will remain in the lowest abyss of Hell (4: 144) as they refused to accept truth after they acquired knowledge.
There is a story of Bal'am-b-Baura about whom the Quran says: Narrate to them the story of one to whom I revealed My signs. He rejected them. So the devil followed him and he became one of those who were misguided. He is therefore like a dog which lolls out its tongue whether you chase it or leave it alone - 7: 175. This has been said about the wicked learned man. Bal'am also got God's book but he kept himself busy in worldly affairs and was therefore likened to a dog. Jesus Christ said: The wicked learned man is like a rock which has fallen into the source of a stream. It neighter absolves any water itself, nor permits it to flow out and reach the plants. The wicked learned man is also like pipes which come out of a garden full of stenchy smell as it has got graves of dead men. Its outer part is cultivated but its inner part is full of dead men's bones.
These traditions and historical narratives show that the
learned man who is given to lust and worldly love will be
disgraced and put to endless tortures and one who is a learned man of the hereafter will getsalvatic n and gain nearness of God.
SIGNS OF THE LEARNED MAN
Oh THE HEREAFTER
There are many signs of the learned man of the hereafter. (1) He does not seek the world by his learning He considers the world as insignificant and the hereafter as great and ever-lasting. He considers this world and the next world as diametrically opposed to each other like two hostile friends of a man, or like two co- wives. If one friend or co-wife is pleased, the other friend
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or co-wife becomes displeased. The two worlds are like two scales of a balance, the lower the one falls, the other rises up higher. Or they are like the east and the west. The more one advances towards the east, the more he goes distant from the west. Or the two worlds are like two pitchers, one is full and another empty. The more you pour water from the full pitcher into the empty one, the more the full pitcher will become less and the empty one more in water. There is defect in the intellect of a man who has not come to know that the happiness of this world will soon pass away, as this matter has been established as true by veritable sights and experiences. He who does not recognise the grave nature and stability of the next world is an unbeliever bereft of faith. He who does not consider this world and the next world as opposed to each other does not know the religion of the Prophets and does not believe the Quran from first to last. Such a learned man is not included within the category of the learned men of the hereafter. he who knows these things but does not love the next world more than this world is in the hand of the devil.
God said in the scripture of David: If any learned man loves his passion more than his love for Myself, My treatment with him is that I deprive him of the pleasure of communion with Me. 0 David, don't take the message of God to such a learned man. The world captivated him and he will turn you from My love. Such a man is a robber in the pathway of My servants. When you see such a man who searches Me, he is a true servant. 0 David, I write one as a man of sound judgement who flees towards Me. I will never punish such a person.' For this reason, Hasan Basari said: Death of the heart is the punishment of a learned man and death of the heart means search of this world in exchange of the actions of the next world. Hazrat Ihya-b-Muaz said: When the world is sought by learning and wisdom; his light goes gradually. Hazrat Sayeed-b- Musayyeb said: When you see a learned man frequenting the houses of rulers, he is a robber. Hazrat Omar said: When you see a learned man addicted to this world, disregard him for the sake of your religion, because every learned man is addicted to his object of love.
The saint Sahal Tastari said: Every branch of learning is worldly except the learning of religion which, if put into practice, is next worldly. Every action without sincerity is fruitless. He
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also said; All are dead except the learned. All learned men are in a
state of stupefaction except those who translate their learning
into practice. All the learned men who translate their learning
into practice are in error except those who are sincere. Those
learned men who are sincere are in fear till they come to know
their ultimate good end. Jesus Christ said: How can a man be counted as a learned man who persists in the pathways of this world although his journey is towards the next world? The Prophet said: He who searches learning in which there is pleasure of God but by which he seeks worldly honour will not get fragrance of paradise on the Resurrection day.' God says of the dishonest learned men: They devour this world in lieu of learning. He described the learned men of the hereafter as God-fearing and given to asceticism. God says regarding the learned men of the world: God took oath from the People of the Book that they would disclose it to the people and would not conceal it, but they threw it behind their backs and sold it for a small price - 3: 184. God says regarding the learned men of the next word: There are such men among the People of the Book who believe in what was revealed to them and what has been revealed to you. They don't sell the verses of God for a small price. Their reward is near their Lord - 3: 198.
The Prophet said: God sent revelation to a people: Those who learn jurisprudence for an object other than that of religion' and those who search the world with the actions of the next world are like those who wear the dress of goat's skin before the people but whose hearts are like the raving wolves. Their tongues are sweeter than honey but their hearts are more bitter than colocynth. They deceive Me and scorn Me. I will create such a calamity for them which will perplex even the patient. The Prophet said: The learned men of my followers are of two kinds. Cod gives to one kind learning which they distribute among the people and for which they do not covet anything and they do not sell it for a small price. The birds in the horizon, the fishes in water, all the animals in the world, and the honourable scribes invoke blessings for them. They will come to God being honoured on the resurrection day and they will even get the company of the Prophets.
God gives learning to another kind of men but they are miser to distribute it to the people. They take wealth in its exchange and
sell it for a small price. Such people will be brought on the resurrection day with bridles of fire and they will raise up shrieks before all the creatures. It will be proclaimed: They are children of so and so. God gave them learning but they were miser in distributing it to the people and took small price in lieu thereof and property in exchange. Thus they will be punished till God finishes the judgment of account.
A more severe punishment will be meted out to the following kind of people. A certain man was a servant of Prophet Moses. He went round saying: Moses, the chosen man of God told me this. Moses, the confident of God, told me this. Moses, the intimate friend of God, told me this. Saying these, he became rich and then disappeared. Moses searched for him but his whereabouts were not found. Sometime after, a man came to Moses with a pig with a rope tied to its neck. Moses said to him: Do you know such and such a person? He said: Yes, he is this pig. Moses said to hink 0 - Lord, turn him into his former position. I shall ask him about his condition. God revealed to him. If you remember Me with what - Adam and his successors remembered Me, I shall not accept your invocation. I shall inform you how he was changed to this condition. He searched for the world in lieu of religion.
A more severe narration was reported by Muaz-b-Jabal to the effect that the Prophet had said: 'One danger of a learned man is that he would prefer talking than hearing, as there is ornamentation and exaggeration in his speech. A speaker is not free from these faults but there is safety and wisdom in silence. There is such a man among the learned who guards his learning but does not like to communicate it to others. Such a learned man is in the first stage of Hell. There is such a man among the learned who is like a king in learning. In other words, if any objection is raised against learning, he becomes angry. He is in the second stage of Hell. There is such a man among the learned who broadcasts his learning and narrates traditions to the rich and not to those who are in need of them. Such a learned man is in the third stage of Hell. There is such a man among the learned who remains busy with legal decisions and commits mistakes and remains satisfied with one who does divine service. Such a learned man is in the fourth stage of Hell. There is such a man among the learned who delivers lectures quoting the sayings of the Jews and Christians to show his learning. Such a learned man
is in the fifth stage of Hell. There is such a man among the learned who delivers lectures with pride and self conceit and considers his speech as good and when any other man delivers lectures, he sneers at him. Such a learned man is in the seventh stage of Hell.
There is in Hadis: If a man is praised so much that it fills up what is between the east and the west, it is not valuable to God . even like the wing of a mosquito. The Prophet said: Don't sit with every learned man. Sit with the learned man who calls towards five matters towards faith from doubt, sincerity from show, modesty from pride, love from enmity, and asceticisn from worldliness.
(2) SECOND SIGNS: The second sign of the learned man of the next world is that his words and actions are the same, rather he does not order an action to be done without first doing it himself. God says: Will you enjoin the people to do good deeds but forget them for yourselves - 2 : 41? God says: It is a hateful thing to God that you say what you do not do - 61: 3. God says in the story of Shuaib: I don't wish to do anything which I myself forbid you - 9 : 90. God says: Fear God and He will give you knowledge - 2:282. God says: Fear God and you will know - 2:190. God says: Fear God and listen-5 5: 11God said to Jesus Christ: 0 son of Mary, take lessons to yourself and then give admonition to others, otherwise you will be ashamed of Me. The Prophet said: I passed by a party of men in the night of my ascension to heaven. Their tongues were being cut with scissors. I asked them: Who are you? They said: We used to give advice to others for good deeds but we used not to do them. We used to prohibit evil deeds to others, but we used to do them.
The Prophet said: The corrupt learned men and illiterate worshipers will be the cause of destruction of my people. The Prophet Once came to his companions and said: Take to learning as far as possible, but God will not give its rewards till you translate it into action. Jesus Christ said: He who teaches good but does not translate it into action is like a woman who commits fornication in secret and becomes pregnant but when her pregnancy is exposed, she becomes repentant. God will disgrace one before all people on the Resurrection Day who does not act according to his learning. Hazrat Muaz said: Beware of the learned man's error, because he is the most honoured one among the people and because the people follow his error. Hazrat Omar
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said: Three things will cause the end of time. One of them is the error of the learned men. Hazrat Ibn Mas'ud said: Soon there will come a time over the people when sweetness of heart will vanish. At that time neither the teachers, nor the taught will get any benefit from learning. The hearts of the learned will be hard like a hard stone. Rains will fall on it from the sky but it will slip away therefrom. The reason is that the hearts of the learned will be addicted to the love of this world in preference to that of the next world. God will then rob them of the fountain of wisdom and extinguish the light of guidance from their hearts. They will say to you by their tongue 'Fear God' but sin will be exposed in their actions. Tongue will then become dry and heart hard. The only reason is that the teachers will teach except for the sake of God and the students will learn except for the sake of God. There is written in the Torah and Bible: Don't search for learning which you do not know till you do what you know. Hazrat Huzaifa said: You are now in an age wherein if you give up one tenth of what you know, you will perish, but there will soon come an age wherein if a man does one-tenth of what he knows will get salvation.
The simile of the learned man is that of a judge. The Prophet said: Judges are of three classes. One class of judges judge with justice and with knowledge of truth and they will go to Paradise. Another class of judges judge unjustly with or without knowledge of truth and they will go to Hell. Another class of judges judge contrary to the laws of God and they will go to Hell. The Prophet said: The devil sometimes will prevail over you on account of knowledge. It was questioned: 0 Prophet of God, how will it happen? He said: The devil will say: Search for knowledge but don't put it into practice till you acquire it. So he will remain busy with :acquisition of knowledge but will remain without action up to his death and at the time of his death he will have no action. Hazrat Ibn Mas'ud said: The Quran was revealed in order that men may direct their lives according to its teachings. Direct your life according as you read it. There will soon appear such men who will keep it like an arrow and they are not good among you. The learned man who does not act up to his knowledge is like a patient who describes the qualities of a medicine without using it or like a hungry man who describes the taste of a food without eating it. God said: Woe unto you for what you utter. The Prophet said: What I fear most for my followers is the errors of
the learned and the arguments of the hypocrites about the Quran.
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(3) THIRD SIGN: Another sign of the learned man of the next world is that his mind would be directed towards such learnings as will be useful for the next world and give encouragement to pious deeds. He will avoid those learnings -which will bring lesser benefit and wherein there are much arguments. He who shuns the learning of practice and remains busy in arguments is like a sick man who suffers from many diseases, but when he fears death, he goes to an experienced
physician and asks him many questions of the qualities of drugs
and complexities of medical profession but he does not ask him
about his diseases. This is the height of foolishness.
On day a man came to the Apostle of God and said: Teach me
some of the strange things of knowledge. He asked him What have you done with the beginning of knowledge? The man said: What is the beginning of knowledge? The Prophet replied: Have you known God? He said: Yes, He asked: What have you learnt about this truth? He said: What God willed. The Prophet said: Have you known death? He said: Yes, He said: How have you prepared for it? He said: What God willed. The Prophet said: Go and gain experience of these things first and then I shall teach
you some of the strange things of knowledge.
A student should be like Hazrat Hatem Asem who was the disciple of Hazrat Shaqiq Balakhi. He once asked Hatem: How long are you in my company? Hatem said: For the last 33 years. He said: What have you learnt from me during this period? Hatern said: I have learnt only eight things. Shaqiq said: You have not learnt except eight things! He said: Yes, 0 dear teacher, I have learnt nothing except eight things. I don't wish to speak falsehood. He said: Describe those eight things to me. Let me hear
them. Hatem began to describe them.
First, I looked around and beheld that every man has got an object of love and he lives with that thing until his death. When he goes to the grave, it becomes separate from him. I pondered over the following words of God "We are for God and to Him we shall return." So I have made good deeds as my object of love. When I will go to the grave, my good deeds will accompany me to the grave. The sage Shaqiq said: 0 Hatem, you have done well.
Secondly, I have pondered over the following words of God "As for one who fears the majesty of his Lord and refrains his soul
from lust, paradise is his resting place - 79: 40 Q. I have come to know that the words of God are true. I have tried my utmost to suppress my lust and remained satisfied with obeying the injunctions of God.
Third, I looked around the people and found that everyone values what he possesses. Then I turned to the following words of God: What is with you will end and what is with God will last - 16:98 Q. Then I began to give unto God whatever valuable things fell into my hands.
Fourth, I looked around and saw that everyone puts his trust in his wealth and properties, his name and fame and his honour and glory and found that there is nothing in them. Then I looked towards the following words of God 'The most honourable of you to God is one who is the most God-fearing among you' - 49 13Q. Then I intended to accept God-fear in my life till I am honoured by God.
Fifth, I looked around the people and found them slandering and cursing one another because of envy and hatred and then I looked towards the words of God: It is I who distributed their subsistence among them in this world's life - 43: 31 Q. So I gave up envy and hatred and'realised that subsistence comes from God and then I disliked the people no more.
Sixth, ? looked to the people and found them ungrateful to one another and even some of them kill others and then I looked towards the following word of God: The devil is your foe and so take him as foe - 35: 6 Q. So I took the devil as a foe and ceased to have enmity with the people.
Seventh, I turned to the people and found everyone seeking his livelihood and for that debasing himself and committing unlawful things and then I looked towards the following words of God: There is no animal in the earth of which the provision is not upon God - 11 : 8Q. Finding that I am one of the animals whose provision is upon God, I turned towards the duties prescribed by God and entrusted my fate unto Him.
Eighth, I turned to the people and found that everyone placed his trust in something created, some in his wealth, some in his profession, some in his industry and some in the health of his body and then looked towards the following words of God: If a
man relies on God, He is sufficient for him - 65: 3Q. Then I relied on God and He is sufficient for me.
On hearing Hatem, Hazrat Shadiq exclaimed; Hatem, may God prosper you. I examined the Torah, the Bible, the Jabur (Psalms) and the great Quran and found that all these centre round these eight things and he who puts them into practice
follows these four books.
In short, the learned men of the hereafter seek and acquire knowledge but the learned men of the world are engaged in acquiring wealth and name and fame and give up those learnings for which God sent the Prophets.
(4) FOURTH SIGNS: Another sign of the learned man of the next world is that he has got no attraction for various kinds of foods and drinks, luxury in dresses, furnitures and houses, but rather he adopts moderate course in all these things following the earlier sages and he is best satisfied with the least of everything. The less is a man attracted towards luxuries, the more he will be close to God and the more he will be in association of the learned men of the hereafter and in rank.
Abdullah-b-Khawas used to keep company with Hazrat Hatem Asem and he said: Once I with 320 pilgrims went to Rayy along with the sage Hatem Asem. We had food stuffs with us and not food. We went to a merchant who was well known for love of the poor. We became his guests that night. He said next day to the sage Hatem: Have you got any necessity with me? I wish now to go to see an ailing theologian. Hatem said: "Visiting the sick is no doubt meritorious but looking after the poor is worship. I will go along with you. The sick man was Muhammad-b-Magatil, judge of Rayy. When we came near his gate, we looked at his lofty and beautiful palace. Hatem thought for a moment and then said: Is this the condition of the house of a learned man? After permission, we entered the house and found it very beautiful and spcious with carpets spread all over the floor and screens of varied colours hanging. The judge lay down on a oft mattress and a servant was standing with a fan near his head. The merchant asked about his health but Hatem stood silent. Being requested to sit, he did not sit but asked the judge: From whom have you got your learning? He said: From the companions of the Apostle of God. He asked him: From whom did the companions learn? He
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said: From the Apostle of God, He asked: From whom did the Apostle of God learn? He said: From Gebriel and he learnt from God. Hatem asked: Have you found in their learnings that to God the rank of a man whose palace is high and spacious is grater? He said: No. He asked: What then have you found? The judge said: I found therein that a man who renunciates the world, turns his attention towards the next world, loves the poor and proceeds towards the hereafter has got a great rank near God. Hatem said to the judge: Whom have you followed, prophets or their companions, or the pious men, or Pharaoh and Namrud who erected lofty buildings with bricks? The dishonest learned men like you are fools. Then he went away from that place.
Ibn Maqatil's sickness became thereafter acute and the inhabitants of Rayy came to know what passed between him and Hatem. They said to Hatem: The palace of Tanafusi and Qazawin is more lofty and spacious. Hatem went there on his own accord and said to Tanafusi: May God have mercy on you! I am a foreigner and I wish that you should teach me the elements of my religion and the particulars of ablution. Tanafusi said: Yes, 0 lad, bring a pot of water. when it was brought, Tanafusi made ablution and washed each limb thrice and said: This is thus Hatem said: I am making ablution in your presence. Then he began to wash each limb four times. Tanafusi said: 0 Shaikh, you have been extravagant and washed your hands four times. Hatem said: 0 glorious God, i have been extravagant for washing my hands four times, but you do not consider yourself extravagant for what you are in all these luxuries. Tanafusi then came to know that he had no necessity of learning from him ablution. Thereafter he did not come out to the people for forty days.
Hatem once went to Bagdad and there Imam Ahmad went to see him and asked him: What will ensure salvation from the world? Hatem said: You are not safe in this world unless you possess four characteristics - (1) overlook the ignorance of man, (2) conceal your ignorance from them, (3) seek their good and (4) don't seek anything from them.
When the sage Hatem went to Madina, some of its inhabitants went to him and he asked them: 0 people, what is the name of this city? They said: It is the city of the Prophet of God. He asked: Where is the palace of the Prophet of God? I shall observe my prayer therein. They said: He had no palace except a
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small cottage wherein he rested. He asked: Where are the palaces
of his companions? They said: They had no palaces. They had
only cottages in this world for rest. Hatem said: 0 people, this
city then is the city of Pharaoh. They brought him before the
Governor and said: This man is a foreigner and says that this is
the city of Pharaoh. The governor asked him: Why do you utter
this? Hatem said: Don't be hasty in judgment upon me. I am a
foreigner. Then he narrated the whole conversation between him
and some Medinites. Then he said: God said: You will find in the
Prophet of God an excellent example - 33: 21 Q. Whose example
have you adopted, example-33; 21 Q. Whose example have you
adopted, example of the Prophet or of Pharaoh? They then left
him. These are the stories of Hatem Asem.
In short, use of ornamentation in permissible things is not
unlawful but it creates fondness for these and to give them up
at the end becomes difficult. The Prophet did not lay stress for
renunciation of the world. It has been narrated that Caliph
Yahya-b-Syeed once wrote to Imam Malek-b-Anas saying: In
the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate
and blessings on Prophet Muhammad. From Yahya-b-Sayeed
to Malek-b-Anas: I have been informed that you put on fine
cloths, eat delicious food, sleep on soft couches and keep a
door-keeper at your door. You sit in the assembly of learning
and people come to you from distant places. They have taken
you as Imam and they are satisfied with your words. 0 Malek,
fear God, take to humility. I write to you this letter as an
admonition,. None has seen its contents except God. Imam
Malek wrote back saying: I have received your letter and it has
come to me as an admonition, kindness and a sign to good conduct. May God bless your piety and reward you for your advice. I seek His help. There is no power and might except by His help. We do what you have mentioned but beg forgiveness of God for them. God said: Who has made unlawful the fineries of God which God has gifted to His servants and clean and pure foods - 7 : 32Q? I know certainly that abstinence from these things is better than indulging in them. Don't give up writing to me. Peace be on you." See then the sense of justice which Imam Malek showed. He did not make the fineries of
the world unlawful but admitted that abstinence from luxuries is better.
(5) FIFTH SIGN: Another sign of the learned man of the hereafter is that he keeps himself distant from the ruling authorities add avoids their company, because this world is sweet, ever-new and its bridle is in their hands. He who comes near them is not free from their pleasures and harms. They are mostly unjust and do not obey the advices of the learned men. The learned man who frequents them will look to their grandeurs and then think God's gift upon him as insignificant. To keep company with the rulers is the key to evils. The Prophet said: He who lives in desert becomes hard-hearted, he who follows them becomes unmindful and he who frequents the rulers falls into danger. He said also: Soon you will have rulers to whom you will bear allegiance or not. He who rejects his allegiance to them will be save and he who hates them will be safe but God will keep him distant who remains satisfied with them and follows them. He was asked: Shall we fight with them? The Prophet said: No, till they pray.
Hazrat Huzaifa said: Be careful of the place of danger. He was asked: What is it? He said: The palaces of the rulers. Some one of you will go to a ruler, approve his lies and say that he possesses an attribute which he does not actually possess. The Prophet said: The learned are the representatives of the Prophets to the people till they do not mix with the rulers. When they mix, they commit treachery with the Prophets. So beware of them and don't mix with them. Hazrat Sayed-b-Musayyeb said: When you see a learned man frequenting the house of a ruler, beware of his company as he is a thief. Hazrat Aozayi said: There is nothing more hateful to God than a learned man who frequents the house of a ruler. The Prophet said: The learned men who frequent the houses of rulers are worst and the rulers who frequent the houses of the learned men are best. Hazrat Maqhul said: He who learns the Quran and becomes expert in religious learning but comes to the company of the rulers out of greed is immerged in the sea of Hell fire. When you see a learned man loving the world, convert him to your religion because I have learnt it by experience.
Hazrat Hasan Basari said: There lived before your time a man who was born in Islam and enjoyed the company of the Prophet. He is Sa'ad-b-Abi Waqas. He did not frequent the houses of rulers and hated it. His sons said to him : Those who are like you in following Islam and keeping company with the
76 THE BOOK OF WORSHIP Vol-I Prophet frequent the houses of rulers. It would have been better if you frequnent their houses, He said: 0 dear sons, the world is a
corpse and the people surround it. By God, I will not be a partner to it even if I am able to do it. They said : 0 father, you will then die of starvation. He said : 0 sons, I would rather starve to death than die as a great man with hypocrisy. Hazrat Hasan used to say to the opposing parties : By God, know that earth will consume the flesh and fat but not faith. Hazrat Omar-b-Abdul Aziz wrote a letter to Hasan Basari saying : Name such persons to me who will help me in enforcing the injunctions of God. He replied to him : Those who are religious do not wish to go to you. You will not wish the company of those who love the world Keep the
noble in company as they will defile their honour by breach of trust.
(6) SIXTH SIGN. Another sign of the learned man of the
hereafter is that he does not give Fatwa or legal decision in a
hurry but tarries to be relieved of it. When he is asked about a
matter known to him from the Quran, Hadis, Ijma and Qiyas, he gives his opinion, When he has doubt, he says : I don't know. When he is asked about a matter about which he has formed an opinion through Ijtihad, independent interpretation and speculation, he is careful not to commit himself but refer the matte to someone else who is more capable than himself. According to one tradition : There are three roots of learning, the express word of the Quran, the lasting usage of the Prophet (and another root is unknown to me-reporter). The sage Shubi said : "I don't know" is half of learning. He who remains silent for God owing to his ignorance gets reward not less than that of the man who does not remain silent, because to confess one's ignorance is the most difficult thing. Such was the condition of companions of the Prophet and the earlier sages. When Ibn Omar was asked any question, he would say : Go to the ruler, because he has taken the affairs of men. Hazrat Ibn Mas'ud said: He who gives opinion as soon as a question is put to him is mad. He also said: I don't know
is the shield of a learned man. Tf he commits mistakes; it would amount to murder.
Ibrahim-b-Adam said: There is nothing more formidable to the devil than a learned man who manifests his knowledge both
openly and salinity. The devil says : Look to this man. His silence is severer to me than his speech.
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Some wise man said: There are Abdals (worshipers) in the world. Their meal ends when they are still hungry. They sleep when it overcomes them. Their words end only in necessary talks. In other words, they donot speak unless asked and they remain silent when sufficient reply is obtained from others. When compelled, they reply. Ibn Omar used to say : Do you wish to use us as a bridge over which you wish to cross over to Hell, Abu Hafs Nishapuri said : A learned man is he who fears the day of questions, who fears that he will be asked on the Resurrection Day : Wherefrom have you got this answer : The Prohpet said : I don't know whether Uzair was a Prophet or not, whether Tubba was accursed or not, whether Zul-Qarnain was a Prophet or not. When asked about the best and worst places on the earth, the Prophet said : I don't know. But the Almighty God said to me that the best place is mosque and the worst place is market. When Hazrat Ibn Omar was asked ten questions, he replied only one and not others, Hazrat Ibn Abbas replied nine and did not reply one. Someone said that among the jurists, the greater number were men who used to say we don't know than the numbers who who used to say we know. Sufiyan Saori said : Malek-b-Anas, Ahmad-b-Hanbal, Fuzail, Bashar and others were among the
former, Abdur Rehman-b- Abi Laila said : I met in this mosque
120 companions of the Prophet among whom there was none
who when questioned to express an opinion would not have
wished that someone else would reply to it. It is narrated that
when somebody presented something to someone of Ahle Suffa,
he would give it to another who would give it to another and so
on, until it finally came back to the first one. Now see what was
the condition of the learned men of that age and what is the
The Prophet said: Let not the people seek legal decision except from three persons, a ruler or a person to whom power is delegated or a religious man. Some one said : the companions used to refer to one another about four things-Immate (leadership), Wasiat (legacy), Amant (deposit) and Fatwa (legal decision). Someone said : One who hurriedly used to give opinion was a less learned man. The activites of the companions and their followers were confined only to four things, reading the Quran,building mosques, Zikr of God and enjoining good had forbiding evil. They heard the Prophet say : There is no good in most of their secret talks except only in. his who enjoins
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alms-giving or what is right or concord among men. Hazrat Ibn Hussan said. Any question of legal decision, when put to them, used to be placed before Hazrat Omar who used to call all the warriors who took part in the battle of Badr for consulation. The Prophet said : If you see a man adopting silence and asceticism, take advice from him, as he is not free from wisdom.
The learned men are of two kinds, a learned man for the public who is a Mufti or giver of legal decision and a companion of the ruler, and another learned man for Tauhid and good deeds and he resides in solitude. It is said that such a learned man was Imam Ahmad-b-Hanbal who was like the river Tigris and everyone used to take benefit from him. The sage Bashr-b-Hares was also like him. He was like a covered well of fresh water visited by a single person at a time. A wise man said: When know
ledge increases, loquacity decreases.
If any question was put to Hazrat Abu Darda'a, he used to give no reply. When Hazrat Anas was asked anything, he used to say : Ask our leader Hazrat Abbas. When Hazrat Abbas was asked, he used to say : Ask Hares-b-Zaid. When Ibn Omar was asked anything, he used to say : Ask Sayeed-b-Musayyeb.
(7) SEVENTH SIGN. The seventh sign of the learned man of
the next world is that his main object of anxeity is to learn secreat
knowledge, observation of the heart, knowledge of the paths of
the hereafter, to travel thereon and to have abiding faith in
finding self mortification and obsertion, because self
mortification leads to Mushahadah or contemplation and lets
flow the fountain of wisdom through the intricate details of the
science of heart. Reading of books and learning of sciences are
not sufficient for it. But this wisdom appears as result of hard
labour. It opens if one sits in loneliness with God with a mind
turned with humility of spirit towards God and through self-mortification, observation and watching. This is the key of Ilham or inspiration and the fountain head of Kashf or secret knowledge. Many students who have been learning for a long time could not move more than what they heard. There are many students who cut short their education and remain busy in actions and observations of the heart. God opens for them; the niceties of wisdom for which the wisdom of the'wise becomes perplexed. For this reason, the Prophet said : If a man acts according to his learning, God gives him such a knowledge as
was unknown to him. It was also mentioned in one of the books of ancient ages : 0 children of Israil, don't say that knowledge is in heaven. Who will bring it down to the earth? Don't say that knowledge is in the lowest abyss of the earth ? Who will dig it out? Don,t say that knowledge is far beyond the ocean. Who will bring it after crossing it?
Know, 0 dear readers, that knowledge is in your hearts. Take its lesson from those who have got knowledge of soul or heart and make one's character like that of the Truthful and than knowledge will spring forth in heart so much so that it will immerge him therein. Sahal-Tastari said : The learned men, the worshipers and the ascetices departed from the world with their hearts locked up. They can not be opened except by the hearts of the truthful and martyrs, Then he recited this verse of God : To him are the keys of unseen thing. None knows them but He-6:59. Had it not been for the fact that the light of the heart of one who has a heart with inner light determines the outward or esoteric knowledge, the Prophet would not have said : If they seek justice to you (thrice), ask your heart. The Prophet said that God said : A man continue to come close to Me with optional divine services till I love him. When I love him, I become his ears with which he hears, etc. So many are the subtle meanings of the mysteries of the Quran that appear in the hearts of those persons who have devoted themselves to Zikr and maditation of God. It is not found in the commentaries and it also did not appear in the hearts of the reputed commentators, It appear as a result of the meditation of a devotee. When its meaning is presented to the commentators. They take it as good and realise that they are the news of a pure soul and a gift of God arising out of sincere devotion and reflection. The condition of secret knowledge, the science of practical religion and the subtleties of the flow of thoughts of the heart is similar Each of these beneficial learnings is an ocean of which the depth is beyond reach. Each disciple gets its clue in proportion to his ability and good deeds.
Hazrat Ali said in the course of a long discouse about such men : Hearts are like different vessels and the best vessel is that which holds good things. Men are of three kinds, the divine learned men, the travellers to the path of salvation and the ignorant people calling towards evils who are swayed by every passing wind. Their hearts are not illumined by the light of
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knowledge and stand not on its firm foundation. Knowledge is better than wealth. It guards you, but you guard wealth, Knowledge increases by expense, while wealth descreases. Learning is knowledge by which religion is learnt and by which allegiance is obtained in your life time and which becomes a good thing to be remembered after your death. Knowledge is a judge and wealth seeks justice. Along with death the benefits of wealth disappear, but the benefits of knowledge remain. All people are dead, but the learned are alive and will live as long as time shall last. Then taking a deep breath and pointing to his breast, Hazrat Ali said : Alas, here, is abandant knowledge, but I find none to carry it, I don't find any trusted seeker but I find such men who seek the world with the weapon of religion and attribute to the friends of God the gifts of God and give prevalence of His proof over His creations, make subdued the seekers of truth, but on the first onslaught of oposition doubt arises in their minds. They lose their insight owing to their-scepticism and keep themselves busy in indulgences. They amass wealth and hoard it. 0 God, thus will knowledge perish when its people will die. The world will not be free of men who will establish religion secretly and openly in order that the proofs of God are not obliterated. They will be few in number but they will be great in honour. They will be lost openly, but their pictures will reign in hearts. God will preserve His religion through them. They will leave the religion for their successors and will plant it in the hearts of the young. The real nature of knowledge ledge will be disclosed with their help. They will get good news from the life of sure faith. They will make easy what the rich think difficult and they will make clear what the heedless think obscure. They will keep company with the world with their bodies, but their souls will be kept hanging in lofty places. They are servants of God among His people, His trustees and deputies on the earth. Then he wept and said: How eagar I am to meet them." These are the attributes of the learned men of the next world which can be gained by constant actions and sincere efforts.
(8) EIGHT SIGN: Another sign of the learned man of the next world is that he is sincere and upright for making his faith firm and strong as firm faith is the root of religion. The Prophet said: Sure faith is belief in its entirely or perfect faith. So it is necessary to learn the learning of faith, after which the path of the heart will be opened. For this reason the Prophet said: Learn sure faith.' In other words, keep company with those who have firm faith, hear
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from them the learning of sure faith, follow them always, so that your faith may become firm as their faith became firm. A little sure faith is better than many actions. When two persons, one of whose sure faith was good but whose sins more and another whose actions were more and faith little, were mentioned to the Prophet, he said: There is no man without sin. One whose intellect is short and faith sure cannot be injured by sin, because whenever he commits sin, he repents and seeks forgiveness. Thus his sins are expiated and his virtues remain intact and he enters paradise. For this reason, the Prophet said: Among the things you have been given, the least is firm faith and determination for patience. Whoever is given a special share of these two, has got faith even if he misses prayer at night and
fasting by day. Loqman advised his son: 0 dear son, action is not
possible except through firm faith in religion. A man cannot act except in proportion to his sure faith and his action does not decrease except when his sure faith decreases. Ihya ibn Muaz said: Tauhid (monotheism) has got light and shirk (polytheism) fire. The light of Tauhid for the sins of the monotheists is more warm than the fire of polytheists for their virtues. Here light means sure faith. God referred to those who have sure faith several times in the Quran and pointed out also that through faith they receive His blessings.
The reply to the question - What is meant by Yeqin or sure faith is as follows. The philosophers and the scholastic theologians say that its meaning is faith in objects beyond doubt. There are four states of a person when he is eager to know the truth of a thing. Firstly when truth and falsehood are equal in the mind of a person. Such a state is called doubt. Secondly, if mind inclines more to a thing out of the two states and if mind knows that it may be otherwise, the first state will be stronger. For instance, if you are asked about a man who is in your sight pious and God-fearing, whether he will be punished or not, your mind inclines more to his not being punished as there are outward signs of his piety. Never the less you admit the possibility that something which requires punishment has been concealed in his secret life. This admission is mixed with your first inclination and creates in your mind conjecture. The third state is that the mind is strongly inclined to a thing and opinion adverse to it cannot come to it. This is called I'teqad or belief approaching certainty. This is the conjecture of the general public about religious matters.
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The fourth state is sure or certain faith in a matter without the least doubt in it. This is called 'yegin'. For instance, when a wise man is asked: "Is there anything eternal in existence" he cannot suddenly reply to it as the eternal thing is not subject to conjecture . or perceived by the sense# and it is not like the sun and the moon of which the truth can be perceived by eyes. So the existence of an eternal thing cannot suddenly be said to be true without thought. The truth of an eternal thing is not such as the truth that two is greater than one or as the truth that nothing can occur without a cause. Knowledge of these things come out spontaneously without the necessity of any thought. So true belief in the truth of an eternal thing does not come spontaneously in the mind. Those who have knowledge of an eternal thing tell the people of it and the people believe it and stand on it. This is called I'tiqad or faith. This is the state of all common people.
But there are such men who established the truth of an eternal matter by such proof as follows. If there be no existence of an eternal thing, then all things are originated or created. If all the things are created, they come without cause or some of them come to existence without cause. This is impossible and that which leads to impossibility is itself impossible. Therefore the mind is compelled to believe in the existence of something eternal. All things fall under one of the three categories. 91) All existing things are eternal, (2) or all existing things are originated or created, (3) or somethings are eternal and somethings are originated. If all things are eternal, the object is attained as the truth of eternal things has been established by proof. But if all things are created, it becomes impossible as the existence of a thing becomes without a cause. In that case, either the first or the third position is established. The knowledge thus obtained through reasoning such as above or through the mind instinctively as the impossibility of any created thing coming into existence without a cause or through traditions as the knowledge that there is existence of Mecca, or through experimentation such as our knowledge that cooked scammony is purgative, or through some evidences as we have already stated, is called Yeqin or certain faith. The ordinary meaning of Yeqir. is belief without doubt.
The second meaning of Yeqin is that of the jurists, sufis and most of the learned men. It is not to look at a thing with
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conjecture or doubt. For instance, it is said that so and so has got weak faith about death, although there is no doubt in it. Another instance is that so and so has firm faith in earning wealth, although a time comes when he cannot even earn his livelihood. Thus whenever anything prevails over the mind and enjoins one to do and prohibits him not to do is called Yeqin or certain faith. All people believe firmly about death and it is free from doubt, but there are men who don't turn their attention to it and there are men who engage all their thoughts towards preparation for death. Such men are called men of strong faith. For this reason, some one said: I have seen nothing so certain and at the same time completely unheeded as death. According to this, faith may be described either with strength or with weakness. What I wish to impress is that the object of the learned man of the hereafter is to make his faith strong, certain and firm as it is a medicine of doubt, so that it becomes so strong in his mind that it, can rule
Thus it is clear from what has been described above ,that Yeqin can be described in there meanings - as to strength and weakness, increase and decrease and clearness and vagueness.
What the Prophets said from the first to the last is a subject of certain faith. Yeqin is a work of special Marfat. These matters appertain to Shariat and I am mentioning some of these matters which are the roots of certain faith.
(1) TAUHID: This is tobelieve firmly that all things come from the Cause of all causes, with no attention to the secondary causes but to the First Cause. It is not to look to the means or intermediaries but to the original and primary cause. It is that all causes come from Him and that everything is within His control and power. It is that everything is subject to His will and nothing has got any will of its own. If one has got sure faith in this Tauhid, his wrath on others, hatred for others and jealousy for others vanish away and His will remains supreme in his mind. Then to him, the means or intermediaries become like hand and pen. He does not express gratefulness to hand and pen as he considers them as weapons and means. This certain faith is highest in rank. Then he understands that the sun, moon, stars, animals, plants and all creatures are subject to His order, that the pen moves under the control of the Writer who moves them. (2) From this, his faith that God provides every man with subsistence grows
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strong. God says: There is no moving animal in the earth whose provision is not upon God (9: 8Q). He believes that what has been pre-ordained for him must come to pass. The result of this certain faith is that he will not regret for anything he loses. (3) Then he believes firmly in the following: Whoever does an atom weight of good will find it and whoever does an atom weight of evil will find it - (99: 7). That is a faith of reward and punishment. As there is connection of bread with satisfaction of stomach and punishment with sins or poison with loss of life, so he finds connection of good deeds with rewards artd of evil deeds with punishment. As there is greed to satisfy hunger whether its quantity is large or small, so he strives to do all acts of worship, whether few or many. Just as a man avoids poison regardless of quantity, so a man avoids sins, major or minor. Belief in its first meaning is found among all believers, while certain belief of the second meaning is found only in the favourites of God. The stronger the faith, the stronger is carefulness and the more are the religious actions.
Fourthly, he believes that God watches him in all circumstances and sees his currents of thoughts in mind and machinations of the devil. This certain faith is in accordance with the first interpretation. The object is noble according to the second interpretation as it is the faith of a Siddiq. In this case, he observes all the ettiquits in loneliness as he observes them before an emperor. For this reason, he makes his heart more pure and clean than his body. In this condition, shame, fear, humility, peace, modesty and all other praise worthy qualities appear in him. So certain faith is the root and its branches are many.
(9) NINTH SIGN: Another sign of the learned man of the next world is that he becomes humble and adopts silence. The effect of God-fear appears on his body, dress, character movements, speech and silence. If any man looks at him, it reminds him of God and his nature and character are proofs of his actions. His eye is a mirror of his mind. The signs of the learned man of the hereafter are recognised in his face, tranquillity, modesty and freedom from pride and vanity. A certain wise man said: God has not given a man with a garment better than the garment of God-fear. It is the garment of the Prophets, Siddiqs, pirs and the learned men. The sage Sahal Tastari divided the learned into three classes. (a) One class are
those who are well acquainted with the commands of God but not punishment of God. They are examined by lawful and unlawful things. Such kind of learning is God-fear which cannot be inherited. (2) Another class are those who have got knowledge of the commands of God and His punishments and they are the ordinary believers. (3) Another class are those who have knowledge of God, His commands and punishments. They are siddiqs, and God-fear and humility become strong in their minds. Hazrat Omar said: Acquire knowledge and therefor acquire tranquillity, gravity and patience. Humble yourselves before your teacher and let your students do the same before you. Be not among the proud learned men lest your knowledge encourages ignorance. There is in a tradition: There are such good man among my followers who rejoice getting the mercy of God and weep secretly for fear of His punishment. Their soul is in the earth but their wisdom is in the hereafter. They walk with modesty and come close to God through the means of His grave. Hazrat Hasan Basari said: Patience is the vizier of knowledge, kindness its father and humility. its garment. Bashr-b-Hares said: If a man seeks to rule by knowledge, the nearness of God keeps enmity with him, as he is detested both in heaven and earth. There is a story that a certain wise man of Banu Israil composed 360 books on wisdom for which he was called Hakim (wise). God then revealed to his Prophet: Tell so and so, the earth has become full of your hypocrisy and you have not sought My pleasure therein. So I accept nothing of it. The man became repentant and gave it up. He began to mix with the people and roamed in the streets befriending all the children of Israil and he humiliated himself. God then revealed to their Prophet: Tell him: You have now earned My pleasure.
It has been narrated that the Prophet was asked: 0 Prophet of God, which actionis best? He replied: To avoid evil and to make your tongue wet with the remembrance of God. He was asked: Which companion is best? He replied: The companion who helps you when you remember God and reminds you when you forget. He was asked: Which companion is worst? He replied: The companion who does not remind you when you forget. If you remember, he does not help you. He was asked: Who is the most learned man among the people? He replied: The most learned man among them is he who fears God most. He was asked: Inform us about the best men among us, so that we may keep
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company with them. The Prophet said: Those who remind you of God whenever they are seen. He was asked: Who are the worst among men? He said: 0 God, I seek Thy pardon. They said: Tell us, 0 Apostle of God. He said: The corrupt learned men. The Prophet said: Those who have been the most God-fearing in the world will be the most secure in the hereafter. Those who have wept much in the world will laugh most in the hereafter. Those who have suffered most in the world will be happiest in the
Hazrat Ali said in his sermon: This is my responsibility and I am pledged for the following. The crops of nobody will wither if they were planted with piety. The roots of no tree will get thirsty if they were raised with righteousness. The most ignorant man is he who knows not the honour of God-fear. The worst man to God is one who gathers knowledge from every quarter and yet remains covered in the darkness of trials. The worst man calls such a man a learned man, while he has not lived a single day in learning. He gets up in the morning from sleep and searches for increase of wealth. He goes after greater knowledge little knowing that a little knowledge of right kind is better than a great deal of knowledge which detracts man from God. He lives in doubts and scepticism like living in the spider's web and does never know whether he committed mistake or not.
Hazrat Ali said: When you hear the word of knowledge, remain silent and don't mix it with frivolous talks. It will yield no fruit. Someone said: If a teacher possesses three qualities, gifts become perfect on a student, patience, humility and good conduct. When a student possesses three qualities, gifts become perfect on a teacher, intelligence, good manners and keen understanding. In short the qualities which the Quran mentions are found in the learned men of the hereafter as they learn the Quran for actions and not to acquire name, fame, power and prestige. A certain wise man said: Five qualities inferred from five verses of the Quran are the signs of the learned men of the hereafter, God-fear, humility, modesty, good conduct and love of the hereafter more than that of the world which is asceticism. Fear of God is based on the following verse: Of His servants, the learned fear God most (35 : 25Q). Humility is based on the following verse: They are humble to God and they barter not His verses for a small price (3 : 198 Q). Modesty is based on the
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following verse: And lower your wing for the believers (15: 88Q). Good conduct is based on the following verse: You have become gentle to them on account of the mercy of God (3 : 153 Q)., Asceticism is based on the following verse: But they to whom knowledge has been given said: Woe to you, the reward of God is better for one who believes and does good deeds (28: 80Q)..
When the Prophet read this verse: If God wishes to guide anyone, He expands his breast for Islam (6:125), he was asked as to the meaning of expansion of breast and he said: This is light. When it is cast into heart, it expands. He was asked: Has it got any sign? The Prophet replied: Yes, to be separate from this world of deceit, to turn to the hereafter and to prepare for death before it
(10) TENTH SIGN: Another sign of the learned man of the hereafter is that he studies the learning of practice and avoids such leanings as destroy actions, keep mind anxious and provoke evils. The root of religion is to be careful of evil deeds. For this
reason, a poet said:
I have not known evil for evil's sake. I have not known it but to live.
He who is ignorant of the evil of men. Falls un oit although he is wise.
Hasan Basari was the man whose words had the greatest similarity to those of the Prophet and whose ways of life nearest to those of the companions. He was asked: 0 Abu Sayeed, you utter such words which nobody knows except you. Wherefrom have you got them? He said: From Huzaifah, Huzaifah was asked: You utter such words which no companion heard except you. Wherefrom have you got them? He said: From the Messenger of God, He was always asked about good deeds but I used to ask him about evil deeds, so that I may not fall therein. The companions were want to ask the Prophet: 0 Apostle of God, what are the rewards of one who does such and such good deeds? I used to ask him: 0 Apostle of God, what corrupts the deeds? So Hazrat Huzaifa had special knowledge about hypocrisy, hypocrites and subtleties of dangers and difficulties.
The natural way of the actions of the learned men of the hereafter is to make efforts about the different conditions of heart but this knowledge is now rare. Whenever anything of it is
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presented to a learned man, he expresses wonder at it and says that it is the deception of one who believe sermons. A poet said:
"The true path is one out of many paths.
Very few are so journers to this path. Their goal is obscure, they are unknown.
Slowly and steadily they march to their destination, People are indifferent to their goal,, Ignorant also are they of the true path."
It has been said that at Basra there were 120 men of scholastic theology regarding speech and Zikr but there were only three men regarding the knowledge of Yeqin or certain faith and the conditions of soul and secret attributes. They were Sahal Tastari, Shu'bi and Abdur Rahman.
(11) ELEVENTH SIGN: Another sign of the learned man of the next world is that he relies on his insight and knowledge which enlighten his heart and not on books and what he learns from others. His object of following is what the law giver said and enjoined. The companions believed blindly what they heard from the Prophet and they put into it practice. He from whose soul screen has been removed and whose soul has been illumined with the light of guidance is an object to be followed and he should not follow others besides him. For this reason, Ibn Abbas said: There is nobody except the Apostle of God whose knowledge is not sometimes followed and sometimes rejected. One sage said: We placed in our hearts and in our eyes what we received from the Prophet. We accepted something of what came from the companions and rejected something. Their successors were mere men like ourselves. The companions were superior, because they saw the circumstances under which the Prophet had lived and saw with their own eyes the revelation of the Quran and hence their rank is higher as their minds were imbued with it. The light of Prophethood was so strong on them that it saved them from many sins. They were not satisfied with the words of others. Their minds were distant from books and manuscripts which were not in vogue in their times, nor in the time of their successors. These books were compiled first in about 120 Hijra after the death of the companions and some of their successors specially after the death of Hazrat Sayeed-bMasayyeb, Hasan Basari and other pious successors. Hazrat Abu Bakr and one party. of the companions did not like to collect even
the Quran in a book form for fear that the' people would not commit the Quran to memory and lest the people depend only on this. Then Hazrat Omar and some companions gave advice to put it in to writing. Thus Hazrat Abu Bakr had the Quran collected in one book. Ahmed-b-Hanbal was critical of Malek for his composition of Al-Muatta and said: He has done what the companions did not do:
It has been said that the first books in Islam was written by Ibn-Juray on dialects of the Quran and historical sayings based on what he heard from Mujahed, Ata and the students of Ibn-Abbas at Mecca. Then Moammer-b-Rashed composed a book in Yemen on traditions and usages of the Prophet. Then came the book Mutta of Imam Malek and the Jame of Sufiyan Saori. Then in the fourth century many books on scholastic theology and argumentation were written. When the people were inclined to these books, Yeqin or certain belief began to diminish. Thereafter the science of heart, research in to the qualities of soul and the learning of safety from the stratagem of the devil began to disappear. Thus it became the custom too call the scholastic theologians and story tellers who embellished their words with ornamentation and ryhmed prose. Thus the. learnings of the next world began to decrea 'e.
(12) TWELVTH SIGN: Another sign of the learned man of the next world is that he saves himself from innovations even though the people are unanimous on innovations and novelties. He is rather diligent in studying the conditions of the companions, their conduct and character and their deeds. They spent their lives in jihad, meditation, avoidance of major and minor sins, observation of their outer conduct and inner self. But the great object of thought of the learned men of the present time is to teach, compose books, to make argumentation, to give Fatwa, to become mutawalli of Waqf estates, enjoy the properties of orphans, frequent the rulers and enjoy their company.
Hazrat Ali said: 'The best of us is one who follows this religion: In short if you follow the companions of the Apostle of God, no blame will attach you even if you act in opposition to the people of this age. Hazrat Hasan Basari said: Two innovators have appeared in Islam, a man of bad judgment who holds that paradise is for those whose judgment is like mine, and a rich man who loves this world and searches it. Reject these two. God saved
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the learned man of the next world from these two kinds of persons.
The Prophet said: Word and guidance act two matters. The best word is the word of God and the best guidance is the guidance of the Prophet. Beware of innovation, because it is the worst thing. Every innovation is here say and every here say is a sin. Beware don't think that the end will be delayed. Your hearts may become hard. Whatever is ordained is impending. Beware, what has passed will not return. The Prophet said in a sermon: Blessed is he whose concern for his own faults keeps him away of finding fault of others, who spends out of his lawful earnings, keeps company with theologians and the wise and spurns the sinners and the wicked people. Blessed is he who humbles himself, makes his conduct refined, heart good and does not do harm to the people. Blessed is he who acts up to his knowledge, spends his surplus wealth, abstains from superfluous talks, follows sunnah and does not introduce innovations.
Ibn Masud used to say: In latter days, good guidance will be better than many actions. He also said: You are now in an age when the best of you is one who is quick in doing good deeds, but soon there will come an age when the best of you will be one who will be firm in faith and remain silent to ward of doubt. Hazrat Huzaifa said a more wonderful saying: Your good deeds of this age are the evil deeds of the past age and the evil deeds of. this age will be considered as good deeds of the next age. You will be in good deeds till you know the truth. The learned man among you will not conceal truth. He said the truth, because most of the good deeds of this age were reprehensible at the time of the companions. The good deeds of our age is the embellishment of mosques, excess in ablution and bath, huge expenses in the construction of buildings for mosques, spreading of soft and fine rugs in mosques etc. The early Muslims seldom placed anything for their prayer. Hazrat Ibn Masud truly said: You are living in an age when passion is harnessed ljy knowledge, but soon there will come over you a time wherein passion will have priority over knowledge. Imam Ahmad-b-Hanbal used to say: People have discarded knowledge and followed strange things. How little is their learning. God is our helper. Imam Malek said: In past times people were not in the habit of questioning as they do now-a-days and their learned men did never say that such a thing
is lawful and such a thing is unlawful and the question of unlawfulness pever arose, as their condemnation of unlawful thing was open.
Abu Solaiman Darani said: Nobody who gets any inspiration for something good should attempt to do it unless it is conformed by a tradition. Let him then praise God for he has got what was in his mind. When the Caliph Merwan introduced the custom of a pulpit in the I'd prayer, Hazrat Abu Sayeed Khodri said to him: 0 Merwan, is it not innovation? He said: It is not innovation. It is better than what you know. Many people assembled here. I wish that my sound should reach them. He said: By God, you don't know better than what I know. By God, I will not pray to-day behind you. He declined to pray behind him saying that the Prophet used to stand with a stick in his hand at the time of I'd prayer and deliver sermon.
There is a well known Hadis: Whoever introduces such an innovation in our religion which is not there is an evil man. There is in another Hadis: The curse, of God, angels and all people is upon one who deceives our people. He was asked: 0 Prophet of God, what is the deception of your people? He said: God has an angel who proclaims every day Saying: He who oppresses the religion by introducing an innovation in opposition to the usages of the Prophet in relation to one who commits it, is like a man who changes the reign of a king in relation to one who opposes his particular order. The latter crime can be forgiven but there is no pardon of one who changes the regime. A certain learned man said: Truth is heavy. He who increases it transgresses and he who decreases it fails and he who keeps attached to it is satisfied. The Prophet said: Adopt the middle course. He who goes in advance retards it and he who remains behind advances. God says: Avoid those who make their religion a sport and pastime (6 : 69Q). God says: Have you seen one who considers his evil as good and it appears to him alright?' What has been introduced as innovation after the companions and what is unnecessary appertain to sport and pastime.
These are the twelve signs of the learned men of the next world and every quality was found in the learned men of early ages. Be therefore one of the two. Either be imbued with these attributes or be repentant after admitting your sins and faults. But never be the third one, as in that case doubt will arise in your mind. If you take the weapons of the world in lieu of religion,
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follow the conduct of the -transgressors and if you take to ignorance and refusal of faith, you will reside with those who are doomed to destru,_Jon and despair.
INTELLECT AND ITS NOBLE NATURE
The noble nature of knowledge has been revealed through intellect. Intellect is the source and fountain head of knowledge and its foundation. Knowledge is like the fruit of a tree and it flows from intellect, or like the light of the sun or like the vision of the eye. Why should it not be honoured when it is the cause of fortune in this world and the next? What is there to distinguish between beasts and men except intellect? Even a ferocious beast which has got more strength than man fears a man at seeing him as it knows that he may put him into snare on account of his intellect.
For this reason, the Prophet said: Just as the rank of the Prophet upon his followers, so is the rank of an old man over his people. This is not for his wealth or for his long body or for his great strength but for his ripe experience grown out of intellect. For this reason, you find the ignorant near the quarupeds and they were about to kill the Prophet. But when they saw his noble countenance, they feared him and there shone on their face the brilliance of his prophethood although it was latent in his soul in the same manner as intellect. My object is to show the honour of intellect from the Quran and Hadis. Intellect has been termed as Nur or light in the following verse: God is the light of the heavens and the earth. His light is like a niche etc (24 : 35). He named benefiting learning arising therefrom as spirit, revelation or life.
God said: Thus I have revealed to you spirit by My command (42: 5Q). God said: Have I not given life to one dead and have I not created light for him with the help of which he can mix with the people - 6 : 122? Whenever God mentioned about light and darkness, He meant knowledge and ignorance. God said: He will take them from darkness into light (5: 18Q). The Prophet said: 0 people, acquire knowledge from your Lord and advise one another with intellect. Know what you have been enjoined and what you have been prohibited. Know that intellect will give you rank to your learning. Know that intelligent man is who obeys God, although his face is ugly, his body dwarf, his rank low and appearance shabby. An ignorant man is he who disobeys God though his appearance is
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beautiful, his body long, his conduct good and his speech fluent. He who disobeys God is not more intelligent than an ape or a pig. Don't mix with those who received honour for love of the world as they are doomed. The Prophet said: The first thing God created is intellect. He said to intellect: Come near aid it came near. Then He said to it: Go back and it went back. Then God said: By My honour and glory: I have created nothing in my sight more honourable than you. Through you I take, through you I give, through you I give reward and through you I punish.
Once a party of men were praising a man before the Prophet and praised excessively. The Prophet asked: How is his intellect? They said: We shall inform you after seeking his diligence in prayer and other good deeds. Why do you ask us about his intellect? The Prophet said: The ignorance of an ignorant man is more harmful than the transgression of a sinner. On the Resurrection day, a man will be raisedito the rank of nearness to God in proportion to his intellect. The Prophet said: Nobody earns a better thing than intellect. It shows him path towards guidance and saves him from destruction. The intellect of a man does not become perfect and his religion firm till his faith does not become perfect. The Prophet said: A man acquires the rank of praying all nights and fasting all days through good conduct. The good conduct of a man does not become perfect till his intellect is not complete and when his intellect becomes perfect he obeys God and disobeys his enemy the devil. The Prophet said: Every thing has a root and the root of a believer is intellect and his divine service will be in proportion to his intellect. Have you not heard the words of the sinners in Hell: Had we heard and understood, we would not have been the inmates of Hell.
Hazrat Omar asked Tamim Dari: What is the supreme authority among you? He said: Intellect. He said: You have spoken the truth, I had asked the Prophet as I asked you and he had replied as you replied. Then the Prophet said: I asked Gebrail: What is the main thing? He said: Intellect. Hazrat Bara'a-b-Azeb said: I asked many things to the Prophet. He said: 0 people, for everything there is a mainstay and the mainstay of man is intellect. He who among you learns a thing by proof and argument is the best in intellect among you. Hazrat Abu Hurairah said: When the Prophet returned from Uhud. He heard him say: So and so is such and such. The Prophet then said: You
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have got no knowledge about these men. They asked: 0 Prophet of God, how? He said: Each man has got rank according to the intellect 'God' has given him. Their victory and their hope were in proportion to their intellect. So they reached to their different ranks. On the Resurrection Day, they will get those ranks according to their intention and intellect.
The Prophet said: Angels have been earnest and diligent in their obedience to God through their intellect, while the believers among the children of Adam have endeavoured to that effect in proportion to their intellect. He who is more earnest in obedience of God's commands is greater in intellect. Hazrat Ayesha asked: 0 Apostle of God, for what thing do the people in the world get excellence over one another? He said: For intellect. I asked: In the next world? He said: For intellect. I asked him: Will they not get their rewards in proportion to their actions? The Prophet said: 0 Ayesha, do they act except in proportion to their intellect? Their actions will be in proportion to their intellect and they will get reward in proportion to their actions.
The Prophet said: Everything has got a weapon and the weapon of a believer is his intellect. Everything has got a mainstay and the mainstay of man is his intellect. Everything has got a support and the support of religion is intellect. Every people have got a goal and the goal of this people is intellect. Every people has got a missionary and the missionary of the worshippers is intellect. Every merchant has got merchandise and the merchandise of the diligent is intellect. Every amity has got a permanent house and the basis of the house of Siddiqs is intellect. Everything has got a basis and the basis of the next world is intellect. Everyman has got an offspring to whom he is as crited and mentioned and the offspring of the Siddiqs to which they are ascribed and mentioned is intellect. Every journey has got a tent for shelter and the tent of a believer is his intellect. The Prophet said He who is greatest in intellect among you is most dearful of God and the greatest observant of what has been ordered and prohibited even though he does not do much optional worships among you. The Prophet said: The believer whct*is most load by God is he whose sole goal is to obey the commands of God, to admonish His servapts,Ao complete his intellect and to admonish himself. He who according to-that for the few days of his life gets s'iccess and salvation.
TRUTH ABOUT INTELLECT
AND ITS DIVISION
Intellect is a word which has got four meanings.
First Meaning. It is an attribute for which man can be distinguished from other animals. It shows the path to theoretical learnings on mastering the abstract disciplines. Hares-b-Asad said in defining intellect that it is a natural attribute by which theoretical sciences are grasped and understood. It is like a light which falls in to the heart and helps it to understand things. He who denies this meaning and limits intellect to understand only the necessary sciences is wrong, as he who is indifferent to the sciences and he who is asleep are both classed by him in the same rank. They have got this instinct though they are not learned. Just as life in them helps them to move their bodies at sweet will, so also intellect is so much intermingled with some men that it helps them towards acquisition of theoretical learnings. Had it been possible that the natural intellect, sensation and power of understanding of a man and an ass are equal with no difference, then it would have been possible that an ass and a lifeless thing are equal regarding life with rio difference. Just as according to natural law, an ass has been helped with life, so according to natural law, a man and a beast have been differentiated in the matter of theoretical learnings by intellect. Intellect is like a mirror which can be differentiated from other things having bodies by their special attribute regarding form and colour. This special attribute is a polisher. Forehead can he differentiated from eye as it has not been given the special quality of sight as in case of eye. As there is connection of eye with sight, so also there is the connection of this natural quality of intellect with learning. Just there is connection of sun's rays with sight, so there is connection of Shariat with intellect with a view to express and spread learning.
Second Meaning: According to this meaning, intellect is wisdom which appears even in childhood, as a body knows by instinct that two is greater than one, that and individual cannot remain in two different place4 at the same time and that a lawful thing is not the same as an unl wful thing.
Third Meaning: Intellect eans according to this knowledge acquired through experience. Thus he who is laugh by experience and schooled by time is called a man of intellect and he who lacks these qualifications is called ignorant.
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Fourth Meaning: When the natural power of a man reaches such point by which he can know th result of actions and for which the present pleasure of sexual passion is controlled, it is said that he has got intellect. Such a man is called an intelligent man. Such a man acts not by dictates of passion but by the ultimate result of an action.
The first meaning of intellect is its base and fountain-head. The second meaning is its branch and near the first meaning. The third meaning is the branch of the first and second meanings. The fourth meaning is the ultimate result of intellect and distant goal. The first two arise as natural causes and the latter two are acquired.
Hazrat Ali said:
Knowledge is of two kinds, natural and acquired, Acquired knowledge is useless without the other, Just as the light of the sun rendered useless, When the light of the eye is closed.
The first meaning is understood from the following Hadis. The Prophet said: God has not created anything more honourable than intellect. The fourth meaning is understood from the following Hadis: When a man comes close to the doors of religion and good deeds, he come close to intellect. The Prophet said to Abu Dard'a: Increase intellect, then your nearness to Lord will increase. Abu Darda's said: May my parents be sacrificed to you, how will it be in my case? The Prophet said: Avoid illegal things prohibited by God and fulfill the obligatory duties ordered by God, you will then become a man of intellect. Do good deeds, your honour and fame will increase in this world and you will gain for that proximity to your Lord and honour in the next world.
Hazrat Abu Hurairah and others went to the Prophet and said: 0 Prophet of God, who is the most learned of men? He said: The wise. They asked him: Who is the best worshipper among men? He said: The wise. They asked him: Who is the most excellent of men? He said: The wise. They asked him: Is not he the wise man who is best in conduct, whose eloquence is well-known, whose hand is full of charity and whose rank is exalted? The Prophet said: These are the treasures of the life of the world but the hereafter is for the God-fearing. The wise man is God-fearing though he is abject and despised in the world.
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The Prophet said: The wise man is he who believes in God, believes in His Prophet as true and obeys His commandments. It appears from this that intellect is the name of natural instinct. It is however applied to knowledge as a thing is known by its fruit. A learned man is one who fears God, as fear of God, is the fruit of learning. Thus the word intellect, if applied to any fruit, becomes like a natural attribute. Knowledge does not come from outside. It lies under intellect as a natural course. It is like water hidden in earth. If a well is dug, water comes out of iHmd no new thing is poured over it. Similarly there is oil latent in almond seeds and otto in roses. To this effect, God says: When your Lord took out progeny from the children of Adam from their backs and then took witnesses 'Am I not your Lord' they all said: Yes - 7: .171 Q. This means confession of their souls, not verbal promise by tongue. God says about this matter : If you ask them "Who created you," they would certainly answer "God" (43 : 87Q). In other words, their souls will bear witness about it God says; The natural religion of God upon which He created men (30:29Q). In other words, the natural religion of every man is upon a thing that he should have faith in one God and know the natural attribute of each thing. In other words, this attribute is latent in him. So Iman or faith is hidden in the heart of every man.
Viewed from this angle, men are of two kinds. To one kind of men Iman was presented but they forgot it and they are unbelievers and to another kind of men who cultivated their souls and-remembered it. These people are like those who forgot a thing after remembering it and afterwards it is reminded to them. God says for this : So that they may remember (14 : toQ). that those with understanding may remember (38 : 28Q). Remember the gifts of God upon you and your covenant with Him (5 : 10) 1 have made the Quran easy for remembrance. Is there any one who will remember it (54:17Q)?
Soul is like a horseman and body like a horse. The blindness of the horseman is more serious and harmful than that of the horse. The power of internal insight is more than that of external sight. Thus God said : His soul fulfilled not what he saw-53:.18Q. And thus I showed Abraham the kingdom of the heavens and earth - 6 : 75Q. The opposite of inner light and insight is blindness. God says : It is not the eyes that are blind but the souls which are in breasts-22:45Q. God says : He who is blind in the world will be also
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blind in the hereafter. These secrets were revealed to the Prophet, some through insight and some through sight and both were called sight. He whose insight is not ripe, acquired nothing but husk of religion. These attributes are called intellect.
INTELLECTUAL DISPARITY OF MEN
As the lands are of several kinds, so also there is disparity of intellect in different individuals by instinct. This disparity of intellect in different individuals is also understood from a tradition. Abdullah-b-Salam narrated that the Prophet at the end of a long sermon described the Throne and stated that the angels asked God : b God, hast Thou created anything greater than the Throne? He said: Yes, intellect. They asked: How great is it? He said : Alas, your intellect cannot grasp it. Can you count the number of sands? They said : No. God said : I have created intellect in different minds as numerous as sands. Some men have been given one grain, some two, some three, some four, some over one Farq, some one Wasq and some more.
This disparity of intellect is found in- all its meanings as described above except the second, namely axiomatic knowledge, such as the thing that two are greater than one, that an object cannot remain in two different places at the same time or that a thing cannot be both eternal and originated. Intellect with reference to the three other meanings is subject to disparity. With-regard to the fourth meaning of intellect, namely controlling power, disparity of men is clear and evident. For instance the power of control of appetite and sexual passion is different in different individuals even it is different in the same individual at different stage of life. A wise man will be able to overcome appetite more easily than an ignorant and illiterate man. A young man may fail to overcome sexual appetite but when he grows old, he is able to do it.
The disparity is also due to the differences in knowledge of a subject. Thus a man having special knowledge of medicines may refrain from some harmful foods whit a lay man fails to do that simply because he lacks in medical knowledge. Similarly a learned man is more competent to give up sin than an ignorant man.
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