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Thursday, January 08, 2009

ISLAMIC KNOWLEDGE

The knowledge which Muslims have to acquire and learn is called "Ulum-i Islamiyya" (Islamic knowledge). It is fard [1] to learn some of this knowledge. It is sunnat [2] to learn some other branches of it, and it is mubah [3] to learn even more of it. Islamic knowledge is mainly divided into two branches. The first one is 'Ulum-i naqliyya. This is also called "religious knowledge." This originates from four sources called "Adilla-i Shar'iyya." Religious knowledge is also divided into two: the Zahiri (external) branches of knowledge and the batini (internal) branches of knowledge. The first group consists of the Knowledge of fiqh [4] or Islam; the second group consists of the knowledge of tasawwuf or Ma'rifat. The Islam is learned through murshids [5] and through the books of fiqh. Ma'rifat originates from a murshid's heart and flows into the hearts of Muslims eligible to receive it.

The second branch of Islamic knowledge is 'Ulum-i 'aqliyya (experimental sciences). The branch dealing with living creatures is called 'Ulum-i tibbiyya (science of medicine), and the branch dealing with non-living creatures is called Ulum-i hikemiyya. The branch dealing with the space and stars is called 'Ulum-i falakiyya. The knowledge dealing with the earth is called 'Ulum-i tabi'iyya. The subdivisions of 'Ulum-i 'aqliyya are mathematics, logic and experimental knowledge. They are acquired by perceiving through the five senses, by observing through mind, experimentation and calculation. These fields of knowledge help us to understand and better carry out religious knowledge. They are necessary for this reason. They change, increase and improve in the course of time. For this reason, it has been said, "Takmil-i sina'at is fulfilled by talahuk-i afkar," which means that "improvement in arts, science and technology is realized by adding to one another's ideas and experiments."

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GLOSSARY
[1] fard: an act or thing that is commanded by Allahu ta’ala in the Qur’an al-karim.
[2] sunnat: (act, thing) that was, though not commanded by Allahu ta’ala, done and liked by the Prophet (‘alaihi ‘s-salam).
[3] mubah: (act, thing) neither ordered nor prohibited; permitted.
[4] fiqh: knowledge dealing with what Muslims should do and should not do; actions, a’mal, ‘ibadat.
[5] murshid: guide, director.

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