Professor Dr. Muhammad Mas`ud Ahmed, M.A. Phd.
Translated by Prof. Azimi Faqir Muhammad Shaikh
1. WHAT IS KNOWLEDGE ?
2. THE TWO CATEGORIES OF KNOWLEDGE
3. VERSES OF THE QURAN PERTAINING TO I`LM-I-GHAYB
4. LEVELS OF I`LM-I-GHAYB POSSESSED BY THE AMBIYA (ALAIHIMUS SALAAM)
5. I`LM-I-GHAYB OF THE HOLY PROPHET MUHAMMAD (SALLAL LAAHU ALAIHI WASALLAM)
6. THE THREE DIMENSIONS OF THE GHAYB OF THE HOLY PROPHET (SALLAL LAAHU ALAIHI WASALLAM)
7. THE HOLY PROPHET (SALLAL LAAHU ALAIHI WASALLAM) ALSO DISTRIBUTED PORTIONS OF HIS I`LM-I-GHAYB TO HIS SERVANTS
8. CONCLUSIVE FACTS CONCERNING I`LM-I-GHAYB
Bismillah Hir Rahmaan Nir Raheem
1. WHAT IS KNOWLEDGE?
It is truly said: KNOWLEDGE is power - a great power, with tremendous potentialities and unfathomable capabilities. The ever growing expanse of knowledge in the modern age in all direction has amply unfolded and demonstrated the great significance and influence of knowledge over all things existing on the surface of the earth and beyond.
The Holy Quran - the most accomplished and the final revealed Divine Book has laid great stress on the acquisition of knowledge and it`s blessings, inviting human endeavour in seeking and preserving more and more knowledge for leading a successful life in this world and the Hereafter.
The very first Revealed verses of the Holy Quran proclaim in an unambiguous manner that the acquisition of knowledge is the most fundamental pre-requisite for survival and development of existence (Wajud) in all its pervasive sense. Says the Holy Quran: "He (Allah the Almighty) taught (man) the use of the Pen (the basic implement in the field of knowledge) and taught man which he knew not (a divine invitation for research and advancement of knowledge so as to lead the life in conformity and obedience to Divine Pleasure)." 1
At another place it is said: "O my Lord! Advance me in knowledge."2 These divine Revelations brought in focus the significance of knowledge to motivate and enlighten the human mind to seek more and more knowledge in any conceivably beneficial manner.
The Holy Quran is a treasure house of Knowledge and Wisdom.It contains references or mentions at more that 800 places relating to knowledge and it`s derivatives, i.e. the innumerable branches of knowledge which continue to grow as the life advances from stage to stage. Similarly, references to "books" and "writing" are at more than 600 places in the Holy Quran. This clearly indicates the divine emphasis on knowledge and its acquisition at all levels of life.
In a tradition (Hadith), the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has said: "I have been raised as a teacher and an accomplisher of (refined) manners." 3 The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has laid great emphasis as a compulsive obligation of the Ummah to seek more and more knowledge and brought forth the blissful significance of knowledge. 4
Hazrat Ali (Karramallahu wajhul Kareem) has said: "The real dignity to men is through learning." The Holy Quran itself bears testimony to the significance of knowledge when its says that it was on account of his knowledge that Almighty Allah chose Hazrat Talut (alaihis salaam) as the King of the Bani Israel, "Allah hath filled Talut with Knowledge and bodily prowess." 5 The superiority of Hazrat Adam (alaihis salaam) - the epitomic symbol of human progeny - over angels (and all the creations) was on account of this knowledge alone. 6
All these examples illustrate the significance and dignified evaluation of the acquisition of knowledge in the fields of human pre-eminence, viz. the Prophetic assignment, the leadership and Five Regent kingship for guidance the human destining as the Vicegerent of Allah on earth.
1. Surah Alaq: Verses 4-5
2. Surah Taha: Verse 114
3. Ibn-i-Abd al-Birr: Jami bayan al I`lm wa fazlihi, p. 47
4. ibid., p. 46, 49
5. Surah Baqarah: Verse 247
6. Surah Baqarah: Verse 31