Home > General, Imam Shaafi’i, Ml. Ashraf Ali Thanvi, Quotes, Seeking 'Ilm (Knowledge) > What is ‘Ilm (Knowledge)?
What is ‘Ilm (Knowledge)?
“‘Ilm [Knowledge] is that which vanishes from committing sins. And is not obtained by a sinner. If solely word-ism was the name of ‘Ilm, it would come together with sin, too – but even with Kufr [Disbelief]. Otherwise in Beirut and Germany Christians are instructors of Arabic, their memory is very strong and their mind is very fast. So, one comes to know that ‘Ilm is not the name of that.
The reality of real ‘Ilm is Noor [Light], regarding which it is said in the Qur’an, قَدْ جَاءكُم مِّنَ اللّهِ نُورٌ وَكِتَابٌ مُّبِينٌ [“There has come to you from Allah a Light and clear Book.” – 5:15]. And this has been given a Ruh [Soul] as well, وَأَيَّدَهُم بِرُوحٍ [“…and has helped them with a Spirit from Him.” – 58:22]. Enough, in reality exactly this is ‘Ilm.“
Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Rahimahullah)
Imam Shafi’ee (rahimullaah) said:
“A wise man wrote to another wise man: ‘O my brother, you have indeed been given knowledge, so do not pollute your knowledge with the darkness of sins – such that you remain in darkness on the Day that the people of knowledge speed forth with the light of their knowledge.’”
He also wrote:
“All humans are dead except those who have knowledge;
and all those who have knowledge are asleep, except those who do good deeds;
and those who do good deeds are deceived, except those who are sincere;
and those who are sincere are always in a state of worry.”
On another occasion Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee (rh) said:
“I complained to Wakee’ (his teacher) about the poorness of my memory
So he directed me to abandon disobedience
And informed me that the knowledge of Allaah is light
And [that] the light of Allaah does not guide the disobedient”