The Sublime Islamic Knowledge
The extraordinary Islamic knowledge, which was learned by our great early Muslim scholars, has sprung out from the holy Quran and Sunna. Such knowledge can not be attributed to the acquired common knowledge which was available before and after Islam.
Such extraordinary knowledge, in my opinion, may represent a true mutation in the main pillars of the common knowledge of mankind and it can not be attained nor acquired through our perceived universal principles of knowledge unless it is bestowed from the higher dimension of existence.
The Quran may allude to such knowledge in 2:151:
“and to teach you the book and wisdom, and to teach you of what you are unable to know (1)”
wayuAAallimukumu alkitaba waalhikmata wayuAAallimukum ma lam takoonoo taAAlamoona
وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُعَلِّمُكُم مَّا لَمْ تَكُونُواْ تَعْلَمُونَ (2:151)
These attained divine wisdom and knowledge have enlightened our great early Muslim scholars and philosophers who have established the foundations of the major sciences which were fundamental in the progress of our modern great human civilization.
One example of such great Islamic scientific contribution, is the great Muslim mathematician “alkhawarizmi” who have utilized the numbers of “ones” and “zeros (4)” into the science of Mathematics and later on were incorporated into the binary system of “ones and zeros” of the principle of computations, which represents the fundamental principle of the modern computer. Our world today is very much at the mercy of these computers. Other Muslim scientific contributions were in the field of medicine, astronomy, sociology’s, and others.
It is worth reiterating here that these Muslim scientists were truly illuminated by the sublime knowledge of the Holy Quran and the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Every human being on earth today must pay tribute to all of those early Muslim scientists and scholars who have benefited mankind tremendously by absorbing some of the hidden knowledge of Quran and Sunna, and then have given out its beauty to humanity.
Hence the only reasonable conclusion to offer for their extraordinary Islamic knowledge, which was fundamental to the modern human advancement, is ought to be attributed to the hidden divine knowledge of Quran and the teachings of wisdom of the holy prophet of Islam.
I believe that this divine knowledge can not be learned nor acquired by any of our worldly intellectual means of learning unless it is channeled through the Quran and the Prophet of Islam as it is clearly stated in verse 2:151, in which a reference was made to the two dimensional divine knowledge. The first dimension of such knowledge is referred to in the first part of this verse 2:151 as in ” and to teach you the book and wisdom” and the second dimension of such knowledge is referred to in the second part of this verse 2:151 as in “and to teach you of what you are unable to know”
It is worth noting here that in verse 2:151 the word “to teach you-wayuAAallimukumu” is mentioned twice, this follows that these two references of teachings “to teach you” must refer to two different dimensions of knowledge(5) otherwise there is no need of repeating the word “to teach you” twice in this verse. So if the knowledge being taught, which is referred to in this verse, is the same type in the two instances mentioned in the same verse then the verse could have been stated something like “and to teach you the book, wisdom, and of what you are unable to know” In other words if the knowledge which is being taught by the Prophet, which is referred to in “and to teach you of what you are unable to know” , of the same type of that mentioned in “ and to teach you the book and wisdom” then this follows that there is no need to repeat the verb “to teach” twice. Hence there has been a sublime knowledge which was bestowed from the divine realm of the absolute to Prophet Mohammad and then this knowledge was transmitted to all believers of the Absolute Being from among all God’s creation. Accordingly, Prophet Muhammad is the essential receiving agent of this sublime knowledge.
Furthermore looking at this verse very closely in its original Arabic text we can see the beauty of such set of words. If we take the part of the verse “and to teach you of what you are unable to know” we see the negative particle “lam (2)” is a negation particle and it would flip the tense of the verb which proceeds it. So in this case we see the particle negation “lam” precedes the verb” takoonoo” which is in the plural-present tense of the verb “to be-takoon” but because it is preceded by the negation particle “lam” then its tense is flipped to the past tense which would transform the meaning in the past tense and it would make the event continuous (3) in addition to the past tense. Then the events which are being negated are to be spread along the entire dimension of time that is past, present and future. This follows that the meaning of this verse becomes far more profound than simply negating an act of learning in a given segment of time. This follows that the possibility of attaining such knowledge by Man is being negated in the absolute sense that is not likely to have happened in the past, the present nor the future.
Hence it becomes very clear that learning such knowledge can not be achieved by the natural process of learning which is subject to the principle of time. In other words attaining this divine knowledge is conditional to the existence of the holy prophet of Islam. It is only through him this divine knowledge was released from the higher dimension of the unseen to the lower world of matter.
Footnotes:(1) Based on the characteristics of the negative particle lam which is stated in footnotes 2 and 3 below, I have offered an alternative translation for the 2:151 which is I believe to be literal form of the original Arabic text. So for comparison here are three different most common translations of 2:151: 2:151. and instructing you in Scripture and Wisdom, and in new knowledge. Yusuf Ali 2:151 …and to impart unto you revelation and wisdom, and to teach you that which you knew not (Muhammad Assad) 2:151 and teacheth you the Scripture and wisdom, and teacheth you that which ye knew not.(Pickthal) (2) According to Karen C. Ryding in the book titled “Modern Arabic Standard” reports from ” ‘Abdl al-Latif et al.1997, 307, that -“lam is a negative particle and is used to negate the past tense. However, it is not used with a past tense verb. Instead it is used with the jussive form of the verb, conveying a meaning of past tense. In Arabic grammatical terms “lam” is said to transform the meaning of the verb following it to the past.” and further more it reports that “the particle lam indicates negation, and it transforms the present tense verb after it into the past tense and therefore grammarians call it the particle of negation, jussive, and transformation” (3) According to “jami’ alduroos al’arabyia” by Shiekh Mustapha alghalayeeni; vol 2 page 189; he states that (to paraphrase him) “the event which is negated by lam can not take place nor have the possibility of occurring in the future”. In other words in addition to these characteristics of the particle “lam” it gives the verb a continuous tense. In other words in addition to transforming the present verb into the past tense, it also makes it continuous tense. This folows that the negative particle “lam” would transform the present tense verb to past tense and continuous tense so that the verb would posess all tenses, past, present and future. (4) It also believed that early Indian people has discovered the “Zero”, however it was the Muslims who have employed the Zero and “one” into science. (5) Quran commentator Ibn ‘ashoor and ‘tan’tawi allude to the notion of the two different types of knowledge in verse 2:151 which have been transmitted to Prophet Muhammad through inspiration “wa’hi” form God.
Posted on November 7, 2007, in Current Issues, Islam, Islam Versus Muslims, Islamic History, Islamic mysticism, Islamic philosophy, Islamic thoughts, Islamic wisdom, Muslims & The Western World, Mysticism, Philosophy, Quranic Studies, Reflections, Thoughts, Wisdom. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.