Ilm Hikmat & Aql
of Knowledge can be understood through
various Quranic verses and traditions. For
example “Allah will exalt those of you who
believe, and those who are given knowledge,
in high degrees” (58:11).
understanding we can describe it as the raw
material required for obtaining finished
products. In computer terms we can say that
it is the raw data that is required as an
input to deliver any kind of processed
information (output). As we know, raw data
is absolutely necessary for processing but
it is not the ONLY thing essential. On
getting the raw data we need to have proper
formulas/software to process the data. If
the software used to process the data is not
up to the mark then we may have negative
results. Hence, we have two categories of
Ulema in terms of good Ulema and bad Ulema.
numerous benefits of knowledge out of which
is necessary to basically know the right
and the wrong.
understand the implications of the right
and the wrong.
understand the external subject so as to
implement a particular theory on it.
understand the significance of ‘the
right’ and degradation of ‘the wrong’.
Hikmat may be
mostly considered as something different
from knowledge and not a part thereof. But
it can also be considered a part of
knowledge (though a different aspect) based
on the context.
It is named as
Hikmat because it prevents a person from
is granted wisdom, he indeed is given a
great good and none but men of understanding
this it has also come in traditions that
here wisdom (hikmat) means ‘Obedience of
Allah and recognition of Imam’.
It can be
explained in terms of the example used in
case of ‘knowledge’ above, as the
software/formula/coding used to process the
raw data (knowledge in this case). This
‘kind of processing’ is basically
responsible for the ‘kind of processed
information/output’. Here it is important to
note that hikmat is not any kind of
processing capability but it is the positive
capability only and not the negative one.
Though in case of software’s there can be
negative ones as well but hikmat cannot be
negative, it is always a positive one.
Hence, though we have terms like Ulema e
soo’ we do not have Hukama e soo’.
We observe all
around us that people acquire knowledge
through various means. Like it can be
acquired through observation, reading,
listening, other senses, teacher, etc. The
avenues are open for everyone and there are
no barriers for anyone for acquiring
But in the
above quoted 2 verses of the Holy Quran
under ‘Knowledge’ and ‘Wisdom’ it reads
‘given knowledge’ and ‘granted wisdom’. It
does not read ‘acquired knowledge’ and
everybody – including the unbelievers – has
been originally bestowed lot of knowledge.
Most of this knowledge gets covered when the
soul gets attached to the material body.
Gradually as the soul remains attached with
the body most of the knowledge that was
bestowed on a person gets covered. A person
does not recollect most of it. But sometimes
it happens that when we meet someone or
observe a certain thing, it occurs to us
that we had met the person or observed the
thing earlier too. This earlier observation
was actually by the soul.
When a person
disassociates from the material life, though
not necessarily physically but
psychologically, and starts living and
attaching oneself with the spiritual world
lot of things are uncovered for him. These
are such chunks of knowledge that are
otherwise possible to normally acquire only
through reading and acquiring knowledge
through hundreds or thousands or even
millions of years based on the persons
Ilm is the raw
data - knowledge - possessed by a person.
Though there are other meanings of Ilm like
manifesting/showing - H.Quran Kahf-12, Ale
Imran-140, Hadid-25, Jinn-28 OR
proof/reasoning Kahf-4&5, Haj-3, Luqman-15,
Anaam-100, here we are more concerned with
the first meaning -Knowledge.
Aql is the
capacity for a person to process the data.
Through this processing a person also comes
to understand the difference between 'the
right' and 'the wrong'.
Hikmat is the
mannerism of the soul reached after
processing of the Ilm through Aql. Through
this mannerism a person understands the Haq,
avoids wrong and performs an act with
comparing lot of traditions we may conclude
that Aql is the most significant of all
1. In first 5
verses revealed of Sure Alaq a person
wonders what is the connection between
‘Alaq’ and ‘Ilm’? In fact, these are two
ends of a person’s life. ‘Alaq’ being the
start and ‘Ilm’ being the end/goal.
2. About the
prestige of an Alim, it is sufficient to
mention that the word Alim in general is
used specifically for Ahle Bayt (a.s.).
(a.s.) - There are 2 types of Ilm. One is
through listening and the other is
imprinted. There is no use of the knowledge
through listening without the presence of
the other type, that is, imprinted.
tradition for Aql. There are 2 types of aql.
One is acquired and the other is endowed.
There is no use of the acquired aql without
the presence of the other type, that is,
Aql is a spiritual noor through which the
nafs comprehends ilm.
Aql: Allah s.w.t. : I did not CREATE
anything more loved by me than you.
Hadis: Man did not earn anything better than
Aql that steers him towards guidance.
8. The natural
Aql is bestowed gradualy in the early stages
of life. It is completed at the time of
"There is no deliverance except through
obedience, no obedience except through
knowledge, no knowledge except through
learning and no learning except through Aql".
English equivalent of Aql is discernment.
11. "Discern a
tradition through Aql-ur-ri'ayat and not
through Aql-ur-riwayat". Aql-ur-ri'ayat is
pondering over it and comprehending it and
Aql-ur-riwayat is conveying of mere words.
12. Aql is
always good. Being cunning is not from Aql
but it is something else that only seems to
be similar to Aql.
referring to the Holy Quran please note that
the word 'Aql' has come in it only in the
form of 'fel' ~ verb( verb is not an exact
equivalent of 'fel' but perhaps the closest
one) - meaning understood/understand/s. It
has not come as 'ism' ~ noun - meaning
discernment. Aql has come in ‘ism’ form in
the Holy Traditions.
stops a person from wrong. It is also always
Alhakim - One of the meanings given to the
verse "I swear by the Quran-il-Hakim" (36:2)
is that the Quran is profound/deep-seated.
AlHakim - Hakim is one of the siffats of
Allah (s.w.t.). One of the meanings is 'one
who knows the minutest details of his
creation and its precise measure'.
"I beseech Allah s.w.t. to fill my heart
with knowledge and wisdom”.