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Two Sorts Of Knowledge


Muhyi al-Din Ibn `Arabi

“The need of the self for knowledge is greater than the constitution's need for the food that keeps it wholesome. Knowledge is of two sorts: The first knowledge is needed in the same way as food is needed. Hence it is necessary to exercise moderation, to limit oneself to the measure of need. This is the science of Shari`ah's rulings. One should not consider these rulings except in the measure that one's need touches on them at the moment, for their ruling property pertains only to acts that occur in this world. So take from this knowledge only in the measure of your activity!

The second knowledge, which has no limit at which one can come to a halt, is knowledge that pertains to God and the stages (al-mawâqif) of the resurrection. Knowledge of the resurrection's stages (stops) (al-mawâqif) will lead its knower to a preparedness for what is proper to each stage (mawqif). This is because on that day the Real Himself (al-Haqq, Allah) will make demands through the lifting of the veils; that is the Day of Differenciation (yaum-ul fasl) (37:21). It is necessary for all intelligent human beings to be upon insight (`ala basîrah) (12:108) in their affairs and to be prepared to answer for themselves and for others in the stages (al-mawâqif) within which they know that answers will be demanded of them.”
(I 581.29)

SDG xvi, The Self-Disclosure of God; W C Chittick; p.xvi



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last upd: Tue, Jul 18, 2006
* living ISLAM  -  Islamic Tradition *