Abu Bakr's precedence was due to sornethi in his heart. Seek that. There were thousands who knew Allah in the time of the Prophet but who knew nothing of scholastic theology and the fatwa.
'Umar was one of them. He used to refer people to the emirs, when they came for opinions. At his death people said that nine-tenths of the knowledge of Allah had died. Favor with
Allah is one thing; fame with man, another. Abu Bakr's fame
was in the caliphate; his excellency, in the knowledge of Allah because of the conscience which was put in his heart.
Jurisconsults and scholastic theologians are like caliphs,
judges, and the learned. Allah is pleased with those of them
who seek to please Him with their knowledge. A physician and a sultan may draw nigh to Allah by trying to please Him with
Drawing nigh to Allah has three divisions: 1) knowledge
alone, 2) work alone, and 3) work and knowledge combined. Try
t o be in the group that knows and works. Those who followed
the early Imams wronged them (by their desire for prestige),
for the early Imams sought only to please Allah and guard a worshipper's heart from harm. What we mention will show that
we our criticism was leveled at the unworthy followers of these L,uams, not at the Imams themselves. The five Imams: al-Shafi'i, Malik, Ahmad Sin Hanbal, Abu Fianifah, and Sufyan al-Thawri,
were all ascetics and devotees and tried to please Allah by
his jurisprudence. The present jurisconsults follow them in
only the one quality which is suitable for both the present and the next world: preserving the subordinate elements of
Then follows a group of examples to point out the other four qualities in the lives of the five Imams: Worship, asceticism, knowledge pertaining to the next abode, and good inten
tion. A1-Shafi'i devoted one third of the night to worship; for sixteen years he did not know satiety in food and drink ;
he venerated the name of Allah by not swearing by it; he knew how to be silent. as well as not to listen to evil; he prove d his asceticism by his open-handedness and his fear of Allah; He did not acquire his fear and asceticism from knowledge of salami and ijdrah and so on, but from knowledge of the next abode obtained from the Qur'an and traditions.
MaximB transmitted by tradition prove his knowledge of the heart. He said allurement is the secret of hypocrisy.
Testing comes before achievement which is a grade of the
prophets. Abraham, Moses, Job, and Joseph were all tested.
A man is learned when he knows a science for a certainty.
As for his desire to please Allah by his discussions and
iuriEprudence, he never wanted his opponent to err. He want
ed the truth to appear. Ahmad Bin Hanbal prayed for him for
forty years. Compare this with the enmity between the moderns.
Ahmad said no one writes without being indebted to al-Shafi'i. Most of this comes from a book by Shaikh Nasr Bin Ibrahim alMagdasl on the virtues of al-Shafi't.
On the search of knowledge M, lik said one should stick
to What he needs from morning to evening of life. His extreme veneration of the science of religion led him to perform an ablution before relating anything. This shows his re
cognition of Allah's majesty. Had he not desired to please
Allah by his knowledge he would not have permitted himself to reply, "I do not know", to many questions. Even a caliph's
whip did not prevent him from relating what he considered true.
His asceticism is shown in his refusal to accept three thousand dinars from Harun al-Rashid and leave al-Mad.1nah. Whatever came from his admirers, he distributed. He was ashamed
C, ' it:. C OV
to ride a horse over the groun~,,where the Prophet lay buried. So he gave away beautiful steeds presented to him. He told Harun al-Rashid that people should come to knowledge, rather knowledge go to people.
Abu Hanifah had these four qualities . As a. man of pray
er, he kept all night vigil. As an ascetic, he endured twenty lashes rather than be overseer of the treasury. Ibn Mu
barak: said he was offered the present world and fled from it.
Abu Ja'far al--Mansur gave him ten thousand dirhams which he refused to use and which he commanded his son to return at his death. His knowledge of the next abode is proved by the intensity of his fear of Allah. His taciturnity is a sign that he had mystical -knowledge.
This book is replete with tales of Ahmad and Sufyan.
So we shall not go into details now. The knowledge of the ti-Lree whom we mentioned is the fruit of knowledge higher than the ordinary jurisprudence.
PART THREE: PART THREE CONCERNS WHAT THE MASSES CONSIDER TO BE PRAISEWORTHY SCIENCES, THOUGH THEY AR- NOT.
A. An Exposition of the Cause of Blame in the Blameworthy Sciences
Knowledge is blamed with respect to creatures for one of three causes:
1). When it leads either its possessor or somebody else into harm, such as magic and talismans which are used for harming people. Whatever is a means to evil is evil.
2). What is harmful to its possessor in the majority of cases, as astrology, which in itself is not blameworthy. It has two parts: a) this is concerned with calculation, and b) this is concerned with the decree of the stars and is inferential. The Prophet disapproved of this. Astrology is forbidden from three aspects: a) It is harmful to most people who get the impression that the stars cause effects, as most
of man's observation is limited to the subordinate causes.
b) It is pure conjecture. Disapproval lies in the fact that
it is ignorance. Prognostication is right only by coincidence.
c) There is no benefit in it and results in a great loss of time. What is decreed is finished, and it is impossible to ward against it.
3). Knowledge is blamed when people get in beyond their depth. Many people would have been better had they stuck to the essential beliefs. To show that ignorance sometimes benefits he gives a story of how a doctor cured a woman of barrenness. Be content to follow:'-- the Companions' usage. Huch that you know is harmful to you. The Companions are the doctors of hearts. If you judge their usage by your intellect, you will perish. Their prescriptions are likened to those of a clever physician but which seem to be the height of improbability. Just as the mind fails to grasp all the benefits
of medicine, it fails to apprehend the mysteries of the knowledge of the next abode. Experience can not help, because no one has returned from the dead. It is enough that the mind lead you to a belief in the veracity of the Prophet. This
is why he said, "In knowledge there is ignorance; and in
B. An Explanation of those Scientific Terms Which Were Changed
The garbling of terms has lead to confusion between the blaaneworthy and the lawful sciences. They are five terms:
figh, 'ilm, to hnd, tac k1r, hik ah, all of which are praiseworthy names now given to blameworthy ideas.
1. The first is al-figh (jurisprudence). This has been given to study of the unusual subdivisions of legal decisions, while in the first Muslim century it meant knowledge of the way to the next abode, and philologically figh and fahm have
one meaning. Piety is the fruit of Sigh, not of giving judg
ments and opinions. The real fagih helps people to know Allah's
compassion, His circumvention (makr), His mercy, and does not
forsake the Qur'an. MAlik called attentive study of the Qur -
'an and numbering Allah's mercies figh. Muhammad said that it
is to detest people for the sake of Allah and to know the
Qur an ha.s many aspects. It did not mean to memorize subordinate branches of legal opinions. In general it was ascribed to knowledge of the next abode. People turned to the newer specialization of the word and avoided knowledge of the next abode and qualities of the heart. Since mystic knowledge is abstruse and difficult, they more readily turned to legal decisions and judgments.
2. The second term is al-'ilm (knowledge). From knowl
edge of Allah the word has been particularized to mean knowl
edge of controversy about figh and other subjects. Now the
word 'slim is ascribed to one who knows practically nothing
of Allah, His rules, deeds, and attributes.
3. The third term is al-tawhid (affirming the oneness
of Allah). This has been ascribed to scholastic theology, the Nlu'atazilites calling themselves "the people of justice and the affirmation of the oneness of Allah", though their particular science was unknown in the first Muslim century. It really is to see clearly that all good and evil come from Allah, a fruit of which is trust. Others are satisfaction
and surrender. A1-tawhid has two coverings. The first is to
say in contradiction to tathlif, "There is no god but Allah".
The second, which is the tawhid of the masses, is to have no
contradiction or denial of what he understands of this state
ment. The heart of the matter is that all but Allah be severed from one's attention so that He alone is worshipped.
This excludes following one's evil desires (al-hawa), the most
odious god in the sight of Allah. It also excludes anger and seeking approval from people. This tawhid was a station of of the righteous. Notice how the name has become bankrupt of meaning. Unless his heart is present one's tawhid has no meaning, for the tongue sometimes lies. Allah looks at the heart.
4. The fourth term is dhikr and tadhkir (remembering and admonishing). There are many traditions in praise of sessions
sessions of dhikr. Modern exporters persist in: a) stories, b) poems, c) extravagant utterances (shath), and d) ecstatic ut-
of dhikr . Muhammad said the gardens of the Garden are the
terances (tam mmat).
a) Stories are innovation which appeared about the time
of the Civil War in 'All's time. Ibn 'Umar, SufyAn, Ibn Sirin,
al-A'mash, and Ahmad Bin Hanbal declared them innovation. 'All
expelled story-tellers from the Basrah mosque, but permitted al-Hasan to remain, for he was reminding people of Allah, which is praiseworthy reminding. Story-tellers have transferred "tadliklr" to their fabuldus tales. Some have some good in them„ The Prophet's stories are allowed, if the relater is
veracious. Praiseworthy stories are those contained in the
Qur'rNn as well as valid traditions. Rhymed prose is forbidden.
b) To employ much poetry in the address is blameworthy. Most of the poetry employed by exhorters stirs up passions.
It should have a lesson or wisdom in it, though it may do no harm in a group of people well known for their love of Allah.
c) By shath we mean two classes of speech introduced by some Sufis. (1) attainment of the stage of identification and doing away with externals so that they imitate al-Hallaj and a1-3istami. It has such great harm for the masses that to kill one who practices it is preferable to causing ten to live. Al-Bistarni's words should be considered as quotation,
not as though he thought he was Allah. (2) They are words which the speaker does not understand or they are understood,
but he can not find would to express his ideas. This has no
benefit, as each one will understand it accordin to his inclination and nature. IIuhammad advised confining one's self to what people can understand.
d) Ecstatic utterances (tammat), sharing what was mentioned about ah_ ath, are characterized by changing the obviously understood sense of jurisprudence terms to inner meanings which have no benefit, thus leading to a loss of confidence in the terms. This is like the custom of the Batiniyah sect whose, doctrines are refuted in our book al-Mustazhiri. The absurdity of this is well known by well established information and is forbiddenin accordance with Muhammad's saying, "Let the dwelling of one who explains the Qur'an according to his opinion be in the Fire." For one to falsely interpret the Qur'an is like falsely ascribing a tradition to Muhammad, but the evil is greater, as it robs the Qur'an of meaning.
5. The fifth term is al-hlkmah (wisdom). The name hakim is now used indiscriminately for a physician, a poet, and an astronomer, and even for on who rolls dice in the streets, although al-hikmah is what Allah praised. Notice what it stood for and to what it has been changed.
The corrupt divines harm more than the devils, for by them the devil becomes equipped to remove religion from the heart. The sciences of the Fathers are effaced; people run after Innovation nowadays.
O. An Exposition of the Praiseworthy Amount
of the Praiseworthy Sciences
In this respect knowledge is of three kinds
1). What is blameworthy, be it little or much, has no benefit in religion or the present world and wastes one's
time. The harm of some of it exceeds what benefit one might get out of it.
2). 'hat is praiseworthyin its entirety is knowledge of Allah in all its phases. One's life time is too short t
spend in it, for it is a bottomless sea. Not written in books,
it can be seen in the lives of the other-worldly divines, and needs constant struggle to be reached. Devotional exercises help one to attain it.
:3). That of which only a special amount is praiseworthy
is what we mentioned at the beginning of the section under "General Obligations". Each of these has a minimum, a moderate amount, and an excess. Then be one of two men: (a) occupied. with your own soul, or (b) devoting yourself to others after finishing with yourself, but~do not try to improve others before improving you-self. If you are occupied with yourself, engage in only what your circumstances require, most important
of which are the inner attributes of the heart. Weed out the
blameworthy. Only quacks emphasize the externals. One who
destroys himself in doing what is advantageous to others is
simple-minded. General obligations may be undertaken, when
one has finished with himself, He should observe a gradual progress; first the Qur'an, then usage, and so on. Then he may engage in the subsidiary sciences dealing with religious practices, a minimum amount of which should suffice. In exposition this amounts to double the Qur'an ; a moderate amount, triple it; while beyond that is excess. In tradition a mini
mum is the two Sahihe; a moderate amount, what is not in
these but is in the four sound sunan; excess is what goes be
yond this. In jurisprudence a minimum is our Khulasah of al
Muzani's Mukhtasir; a moderate amount is our al-Waslt min alMadhhab which is three times that; exhaustive research is what goes beyond what is mentioned in al--Basit. The necessary amount of theology to preserve orthodoxy is what we set forth in the Kitab Qawaid al-'Aga'id in the Ihya'; moderation, al
Igtisad fl '1-I'tigad which is necessary to combat innovators.
Beliefs are rarely changed once they become crystallized. If they are changed by argument, they may be changed back by other
arguments. Kindness, mercy, and advice in private is better.
This advice is not from one who is ignorant but one who outstripped his fellows in these matters. Polemics, not known by the Fathers and the Companions, is an outlet for vanity and prestige, harmful to the truth. One should consider him-
self alone with Allah, while at hand are Death, the Day of Judgment, the Day of Reckoning, the Garden, and the Fire. Let him ponder over what is before him and leave all else. A tradition says, "After having had guidance, people only err, when they are given polemics." gnother says, "Logic is given to a people only to hinder their good works."
PART FOUR: THE CAUSE OF PEOPLE'S GIVING THEIR ATTENTION TO
THE SCIENCE OF CONTROVERSY AND AN EXPLANATION OF THE DEFECTS
OF DEBATE AND POLEMICS MID THE CONDITIONS WHICH MAKE THEM
After the rightly-guided caliphs came those who held
the office without desert and who were obliged to seek the help of the learned who in turn shunned them. People, seeing the influence of knowledge, sought it to obtain prestige. Questions about theology and legal opinions were prevalent. Later people, seeing the destructive results of these subsects, forsook scholastic theology and problems concerning al-Shafi'l and Abu Hanlfah. Had the leaders chosen to discuss.
other Imams, the people would have followed them and said they were trying to defend religion and draw nigh-, to Allah.
A. An Exposition of the Deception in Trying to Make These Debates Resemble the Consultations of the Companions and the Conferences of the Fathers
People were attracted by gradual delusion on the basis
of seeking the truth. The process was likened to that of
the Companions in giving mutual aid in deciding problems. To do this has eight conditions or signs:
1) since it is a general obligation, one who is not free from personal obligations should not engage in it. This is like one neglecting worship himself in order to get clothes
for a worshipper.
2) He should not see some other general obligation which is more important than debates. That would be like neglecting
Muslims who are dying of thirst, while he teaches the art of
cupping. Medicine is a general obligation with a crying need
that is being neglected, while many engage in debate.
3) The debater should be independently able to give an
opinion. Then he will follow the truth regardless of the name
of the school with which it is connected. Otherwise there is
no benefit in debating.
4) In general one should debate only an actually occur
ring problem or one about to occur. The Fathers debated only new problems.
5) It is better to debate in seclusion than in auditor
iums. The latter cause a debater to strive for prestige.
6) The debater should be like one seeking a stray animal and care little on whose tongue the truth appears. Thus he
would consider his opponent as a helper in the quest for truth, as the Companions did. Even a woman corrected `All. One who seeks the truth is impartial, but present day debaters are not so.
7) The debater should not prevent his opponent from changing from one proof to another and he would exclude all the novel refinements of dialectics from the debate. He would not assert that some things he knows are not incumbent on him to mention. That may be true according to dialectics, but not according to divine law. The Fathers never prevented anyone from changing from one proof to another.
8) One should debate with one engaged in knowledge from whom he expects some benefit, whereas modern debaters seek one who is less learned.
These will suffice to show the difference between one
who debates for Allah and one who debates for a worldly cause.
B. An Exposition of the Defects of Debating and
Some of the Things Growing out of it
Which Destroy Character
Debates arranged for the purpose of overcoming an opponent and so on are the source of all character blameworthy with Allah and praiseworthy with His enemy, Iblis. Their relationship to internal evils is the same as that of drinuing wine to external evils. The Quarter on the Things That Destroy
will mention the blameworthiness Here we mention the sum total of
1) Envy. A debater does not cease envying. Ibn 'Abbess said, r'--jurisconsults--are as
jealous of one another as
goats in a fold."
2) Pride and self-exaltation. The debater persists in magnifying himself and fighting for a certain seat in the
assembly. He terms humility, baseness; and pride, prestige
of religion, as he attempts to explain his attitude.
3) A debater is hardly ever free of spite, while Muhammad said, "A believer is not spiteful."
4) Backbiting. Allah likened this to eating something
dead. He quotes what harms his opponent.
5) Self-justification, while Allah said, "Do not justify yourself--" (53:33). A debater is not void of self-praise.
6) Prying into private affairs. A debater seeks to find his opponent's defects so that he may mention them if necessary.
7) Joy in what harms people and sorrow over their joy, whereas one who does not desire the same good for his brother Muslim which he wants for himself is far from a true beleiver. This is not the free fellowship and ease of minds which existed among; the former Muslim divines. Knowledge was a uniting bond.
8) Hypocrisy. Outwardly debaters are mutually gentle in speech, while inwardly they are mutually hateful in heart.
of these characteristics. what these debates stir up.
9) To hate and disdain the truth and to covet opposing it, so that the most hated thing for a debater is for the truth to be made known on the tongue of his opponent. So he denies and disowns it.
10) to act the hypocrite and seek to turn people toward one's self. A debater only wants to show off before people and set their tongues wagging in praise of him.
From each of these ten others branch off which are mentioned as a group. The less respectable are drawn into fisticuffs; the more respectable debaters , conceal these traits. The same bad qualities are found in those engaged in admonition and sermonizing, if their aim is the present world. So knowledge destroys or gives gives life forever. Its danger is great. One who seeks leadership is on the road to destruction, while others are sometimes reformed by him.
There are three kinds of learned: (a) those who are destroying themselves and others, (b) those who help to save themselves and others, and (c) those who are destroying themselves and saving others.
Notice to which division you belong. Allah will accept knowledge and action done purely to please Him.
PART FIVE: TIE MANNERS OF PUPIL AND TEACHER
A. The Pupil's Outward Manners and Offices Are Many,
But Their Different Aspects May Be Arranged under Ten Headings
1) To give precedence to purifying the soul from impure
character and blameworthy qualities, for knowledge is worship of the heart, secret prayer, and a mystical oblation
to Allah. As in worship, the physical members must be clean; so in this worship of the heart, the inner life must be clean. Allah casts the light of knowledge into hearts by means of
angels who will not enter a house where there are dogs. So
cleanse your heart of the dogs which may be considered as its evil qualities. Some who seem to have knowledge and whose character is bad, have only the shell; for one of the be
ginnings of knowledge is to show that sin is destructive.
2) To diminish one's attachment to the present world
and draw away from one's people and native land. These are distractive, and knowledge will not give you a part of itself until you give it all of yourself.
3) One should not feign knowledge and become a ruler over his teacher, but he should be soft and pliable in the hands of his teacher. As one escaping from a lion accepts aid from all sources, he should accept knowledge wherever it comes from. The pupil should be to his teacher as soft earth which receives the copious rains. He should even set
aside his own opinion in favor of his teacher's experience.
He should not press for an explanation, as it is a teacher's right not to be questioned too much. And a pupil should be
the first to help a teacher.
4) At the beginning one who is going to plunge into knowledge should avoid listening to disagreement, for that
is bewildering and might cause him to despair of attaining. For teacher he should chose one who can arrive at independent decisions. A novice cannot imitate the well-grounded,
for because of their extra ability they have more liberty.
5) A student should not forsake any part of the praiseworthy sciences nor any one of its various kinds without giving its purpose and aim careful consideration. Then, if time permits, he may go deeper into it. The sciences are mutually helpful.
6) One should not plunge deeply into any particular
sort of knowledge in one swoop, but observe tip gradations, and begin with what concerns him most, and perfect the noblest of sciences, that is, knowledge of the next abode. I mean certain belief, the fruit of the light which Allah,.:has cast into the heart and by which Abu Bakr surpassed others. The
ultimate aim of knowledge is to know Allah and man's highest degree in it is that of the prophets.
7) One should not go deeply into an art until he coMpletes the prerequisite art, for the sciences are arranged
in an exact necessary order. Study to get nearer to the next higher art. Do not drop one of them because of one man's mistake in it nor accept another because one man succeeded in it. Rather know the truth about it.
8) One should know the means by which to apprehend the noblest of sciences. That is the nobility of the fruit and the reliability and strength of the proofs. Thus knowledge of Allah is noblest because its fruit is everlasting life.
9) The pupil's present purpose should be to adorn and
beautify his inner life with virtue and in time to come, draw nigMo Allah and ascend to the proximity of the archangels. With such an aim he would seek knowledge of the next abode. This does not mean that we despise the others sciences, as ail have their place and excellence is only relative. Allah will benefit all who aim to please Him with no matter what science.
10) One should know the relation of the sciences to the objective in order to prefer what is high and near to what is distant and what is of most concern rather than something else. One's greatest concern is his business in this world and in the next. Like the pilgrimage the sciences have three grades: preparation, the Journey, and the essentials. Medicine and jurisprudence resemble preparations for the pilgrimage. The discipline of the inner life resemble the Journey. Knowledge
of Allah and His attributes resembles the essentials. Jurisprudence and medicine are likened to getting a camel and provisions ready for the pilgrimage because they deal with the body, whereas it is the heart that seeks Allah.
The body is only its vehicle. On the way to Allah the body acts for the spirit as a camel does for the body on the way of pilgrimage. Medicine is the art of balancing the bodily humors, while Jurisprudence or political science is the art of preserving a balance in man's contentions and disputes.
Those engaged in Jurisprudence resemble those who are engaged in buying the camel, not those who are traveling on
B. An Exposition of the Duties of a Teacher Who Guides
Acquiring knowledge, like acquiring wealth, has four
states: seeking, obtaining, enlightenment, and the noblest
of all, enlightening others. One who does the last will be
called great in the kingdom of heaven, but teaching carries a grave responsibility. Some of a teacher's offices are:
1) He should have sympathy for his pupils and treat them as sons. When the teacher and pupils aim at the next abode there will be only harmony and love among them; if their aim is the present world, only destruction results.
2) He should emulate the giver of the divine law and not
seek recompense, but teach for the sake of Allah, nor should
he consider that he does them a favor, rather they favor him in entrusting their hearts to him. Were it not for the pupil he would not receive Allah's reward for teaching.
3) He should hold back no advice to the pupil, and should prevent him from exposing himself to a rank for which he is not prepared and from engaging in the hidden knowledge before finishing the clearly obvious. He should remind him that the objective of the quest of knowledge is to draw nigh to Allah, and he should show him that leadership,rivalry,and contention are ugly. He should leave a pupil who seeks the present world with his knowledge.
4) He should prevent the pupil from bad. character by implicit rather than explicit ways. If people are forbidden to do something, they think there is some good in it.
5) one who is responsible for one of the sciences should not villify, in the presence of the pupil, the sciences that are beyond it. He should rather enlarge the way to it.
6) He should limit the pupil to the measure of his understanding andnot give him something which his Intellect has not reached.
7) He should give a weak pupil only the clear knowledge which suits him and not mention that he keeps back some of the fire points, for that makes him imagine that his teacher is miserly. The most stupid consider themselves most bright.
Doubts should not be stirred up in the masses,. for it spoils their work by which the elite are sustained.
8) The teacher should practice what he knows, and his
deeds should not belie his words. The teacher who guides aright and the pupil who seeks guidance resemble a tree
trunk and its shadow and a mold and the clay; how can the clay
be molded by something which has no shape, and when will a
shadow be straight, while the tree trunk is crooked? Therefore a teacher should not prohibit people what he does himself. That makes the crime of a learned person greater than that of an ignorant one.
PART SIX: TIE PERILS OF KNOWLEDGE AND AN EXPOSITION OF THE SIGNS OF TIE OTHER-WORLDLY AND THE CORRUPT DIVINES
The 'ulama' al-dunya are the 'ulamA' al-W; those whose objective in the present world is soft living and prestige. So much has been said about their punishment we should know their signs. Then follow many quotations to emphasize the responsibility of a learned person as well as hi,s danger of great punishment, such as, a learned person will receive double punishment for his disobedience. 'Isa said, "The corrupt divines are like a rock dropped on the source of a watercourse. It neither drinks the water nor leaves it free for agriculture. The other-worldly divines succeed in getting close
to Allah and have signs that distinguish them from others.
1) They do not seek. the present world by their knowledge. The lowest grade of learned person recognizes the contemptibleness of the present world and the m4esty of the next.He realizes that the two are contradictory. Then follow many quotations to show how the learned despise the present world. Several of them occur also in Qut al-Qulub, one of which is: Allah has described the corrupt divines as eating the present
world by knowledge, andr He describes the other worldly divines
with "humility and asceticism". Another shows that all living things pray for the learned person who uses his knowledge rightly, while one who sells it for a price will be bridled with a bit of fire on the resurrection day. This also is in Qut al-Qulub. Ma'adh Bin Jabal gives a tradition which describes different kinds of learned persons on seven different steps of the Fire. This too is in Qut al-Qulub. Hasan
clothes. So the other-worldly divines despise the present world.
2) Their deeds do not contradict their speech, rather they do not enjoin what they would not be the first to do. Then follow many traditions to show how this is dislike with Allah, such as, "Woe to one who does not know, but a seven
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Qut al-Qulub, ii; p. 14:1-2
al-Basri refused five thousand dirhams
and ten changes of
fold woe to one who knows and does not do", said Abu alDarda' . "When a learned man falls, a world of people fall
with him", said 'Umar, and the fall of a learned man is one of the things that destroy Islam.
3) Their concern is to obtain knowledge which is useful for the next abode and which requires obedience, and they shun the sciences the benefit of which decreases, and about which disputation and talk increase.. To engage in dialectics rather than knowledge concerned with acting is like an invalid's neglecting his medicine and talking about the art of medicine. In thirty years.HAtim al-Asamm felt that he had learned only eight things from his teacher, but they all were useful in the next abode. So his teacher declared he had obtained all that is in the Tawrdh, the Injil, the Zubur, and
the Qur'an. Al-Dahhak Ibn Mazaham said, "I knew the Companions, and they only learned scrupulousness from one another, whereas today they only learn theology."
4) They do not lead an easy life in respect to luxury
in food and drink, softness in clothing, and ornamented furnishings and dwellings, but prefer, moderation and imitate. the Fathers and incline: to be satisfied with a little. Then follow three anecdotes about HRtim al-Asamm rebuking, certain learned people in Rai, Qazwin, and al-Madinah for their elegant living. Though the Fathers lived in threadbare clothes
and forsook adornment, the latter is not forbidden as is shown in an exchange of letters between Yahya Bin Yazid alNawfall and Malik Bin Anas. A peculiarity of the godly divines is reverence, while a peculiarity of reverence is to be well away from places that are suspected of danger.
5) They try to be remote from sultans and avoid visiting them as long as there is a way of escape. Rather one should avoid mingling with them , even though they should come to visit him. The present world is attractive, and one who visits sultans can not help being enamored with it. Then follow anecdotes indicating the danger of associating with sultans: Sufyan said, "In Jahannam there is a valley where
reside only Qur'Anic readers who often visit kings." In this there is proof that one who visits sultans is not at all safe from hypocrisy which is contrary to faith. Yet Shaitan tempts one by asserting or suggesting that if he
visits them, he might be able to charge their ways.
6) They are not precipitate in giving legal opinions, but are hesitant and wary. Many quotations follow, many of which are from Qut al-qulub., to the effect that the learned were not afraid to say,"I don't know", when questioned. AlSha'bi said,'"I do not know' is half of knowledge--." Somebody else said, "When a learned person is asked about a prob
lem, he feels as;if his molar is being extracted." The
xc i i
learned used to refer questioners to others and some even wept, when consulted. In the present time the affairs of the learned are quite the opposite.
7) Most of their concern should be about mystic knowl
edge and watchfulness of the heart.and knowledge of the way and their journey to the next abode. Vision and the minutiae of the sciences of the heart by which fountains of wisdom spring up from the heart are the results of spiritual struggle. Books and teaching fall short of one's expectation. Spiritual struggle, sitting alone with Allah, , having a receptive heart and pure thought, and cutting one's self off from all else but Allah; this is the key to divine inspiration and the fountain of revelation. Then Allah opens up subtleties of wisdom which astound the minds of those who are possessed Vith intelligence. The way one receives the mystic light depends on external knowledge. Of the Qur'anic secrets many a fine distinction occurs to the minds of the devotees of remembering and reflection which the most excellent commentators do not know. The other-worldly divines' knowledge derives most of its benefit from doing and continuing to struggle.
8) They have a strong concern to strengthen certain belief (al--yagin), for it is the invested capital of religion. The Prophet said, "Certain belief is faith in its entirety."
There is no escape from learning the knowledge of certain belief. People are advised to sit with the learned to obtain it. The speculative and scholastic theologians use the expression al-,yagin for different ideas. They use it to express the absence of doubt. There are four degrees in the soul's inclination to believe anything: (a) when belief and disbelief are evenly balanced. This is doubt or uncertainty (al- shakk) , (b) the soul inclines toward one of two matters, though it feels the possibility of its contradiction. This is supposition or a preponderant belief (al -zann), (c) the soul inclines to believe something because it overcomes the soul and no other possibilities occur to the mind. This approaches ,al-yagin, but is not true knowledge. It is the be
lief of the masses (al-i'tigad) concerning all their religious
ordinances; (d) this is true knowledge obtained by demonstration which removes ail doubt. When doubt is removed, it is called al--,yagin by the speculative philosophers.
The second technical usage, that of the jurisconsults, Sufis, and most of the learned, pays no attention to probability and uncertainty, but to ruling and dominating the mind. This kind is described by "weak" and "strong" belief, and has
various degrees. Other-worldly divines should remove doubt
and then set up certain knowledge as sultan over the soul.
It is characterized by: (a) strength and weakness,(b) paucity
and abundance, and (c) obscurity and clarity.
Some of the principal ideas connected with certain belief are al-tawhid which is to consider that everything comes from Allah and to pay no attention to the intermediaries. This eliminates giving vent to one's feelings about everyday happenings. From this comes confidence that Allah will
supply his daily needs, which would eliminate greed and cupidity. Then one realizes that Allah is always watching him. So he guards ail his acts. He cares more for building up his inner life and adorning it for Allah than he does for pleas
ing people. So he acts as though he were always in the presence of a great king. This gives rise to many praiseworthy qualities like modesty and fear of Allah. Certain belief is the origin and foundation and many of its parts will be men
tioned in the quarter on The Things Which Save.
9) An other-worldly divine should be sad, contrite, down
cast, silent, and give the appearance of piety on his countenance, his clothing, his conduct, his motion and his quiesence, and his speech and his silence. The other-worldly divines are known by their sign of tranquility, submissiveness, and hu
mility. Numerous traditions follow to illustrate, many of which occur in al-QTat. 'All said, "If you hear knowledge, stop speaking; and do not mix it up with sport, for then the intellect rejects it." One of the Fathers said, "If a
learned person laughs vociferously, he is absolutely refected from knowledge." In short, the other-worldly divines continue to have the traits of character which the Qur'an brought because they learned the Qur'An for the sake of acting, not for the sake of leadership. Five of their traits of character are understood from five verses of the Book: fear, submission, humility, good character, and to prefer the next abode to the present world, which is asceticism.
10) Kost of their discussion should be about practical knowledge and about what corrupts it and confounds hearts and incites satanic thoughts and stirs up evil; for surely the root of religion is to guard against evil. The worldly divines spend their time following the strange rarely occurring cases of law, while the Fathers were more concerned with the states of the heart. Some learned about evil in order not to fall into it. Such was Hadhifah's case, who was called sahib al-sirr. Most of mankind take the easy way, whereas the way of truth is arduous. It possessor endures bitterness now in order to enjoy sweetness in the next life, while the worldly divines reach it bankrupt. While countless numbers listened to the worldly divines of Basrah, only a few listened to Sahl al-Tustarl, al-Subhl, and 'Abd al-Rahman Bin Yahya al-Aswad, because whatever is very precious and expensive is for special people only.
11) Their knowledge should depend on their intelligence and understanding with purity of heart, not on pamphlets,
books, and imitation of what is heard from others; for in reality Kuhammad and the Companions are the ones who should
be imitated. One should seek to understand Muhammad's secret
and not be a mere memorizer. One whose heart Allah has en
lightened becomes followed himself; he can accept some knowl
edge and reject other, as Ibn 'Abbess did. Those who were closest to the Prophet have more claim to be followed, for some of his light was shed on them and they saw his acts. As depending on others was disliked, so is depending on books
which, after all,are a recent innovation. Some even objected
to• writing down the !Zur'an. In the fourth Muslim century books on theology appeared and drew people to its study and to narrations and exhortation. So certain knowledge began to be effaced from that time. The disputative theologian
was called "learned" as was also the story teller who adorned his speech with rhymed prose, and the name passed on to their children. Except for the specialists the difference between
'ilm and kalRm disappeared.
12) One should be strictly on his Guard against new
things, even if a great many should agree on them, and not
be deceived by people's agreement on what has happened since
the time of the Companions. Examine the lives of the Com-
panions to see where their concern lay. The most learned of the time are those who most nearly resemble the Companions and who aremost informed about the way of the Fathers. AlHasan asserted that two new types of man had arisen: one who states that the Garden is for one who thinks as he does, and an effeminate man who worships and seeks the present world. Both should be cast into the Fire. Numerous traditions follow to warn one to steer clear of innovation. "Every newlyhappened thing is an innovation", "The worst part of anything is its newness", and "It is not necessary for one to whom something good has been revealed to do it until he hears of it in the traditions of the Companions." Others show how innovations had been resisted as in the introduction of the platform in the place of worship and covering the floor with carpets. The Prophet explained "deceive your people" by saying, "For one to introduce an innovation which he instigates people to do." Another person stated that all that has originated since the time of the companions which goes beyond the bounds of necessity is Y:# r sport and pastime.. A fairly long selection from aut al-Qulub indicates that Iblis' army had no power against the believers who imitated the Companions. One can learn what Iblis said, because Allah reveals
knowledge to certain people. Disapprove what exceeds your
- --- -
Qut al-Qulub, ii; p.60: 1-10
limit; ignorance is better than intelligence which leads to
a denial of such matters as the saints of Allah. Sahal alTustari said, "Truly, the greatest disobedience is to be ignorant of one's ignorance--". The disobedient masses are more fortunate than those who are ignorant of the way of religion and who believe they are learned, for the masses confess their shortcomings and seek forgiveness. For the religious man the safest course is withdrawal as he will see in the book of "Withdrawal".
Be one to whom these qualities are ascribed or one who confesses his shortcomings, but do not be a third (ie. one who disavows).
PART SEVEN: INTELLIGENCE; ITS NOBILITY, VERACITY, AND DIVISIONS
A. An Exposition of the Nobility of Intelligence
Since the nobility of knowledge has been shown and since
time will be spent in trying to make the nobility of intelligence obvious. Beasts and uncultured peoples respect intel
to indicate its nobility. An intelligent person is one who obeys Allah; the ignorant person, he who disobeys Him. Lon-
intelligence is to knowledge as
a tree is to fruit not much
ligence. Then follow excerpts from tradition
and the Book
keys and pigs are more intelligent in Allah's sight than
one who disobeys Him. Allah's first and most honorable creation was intelligence. A worshipper's faith is not perfected till his intelligence is made perfect. The Prophet said that everything has a vehicle and a man's vehicle is his intelligence; it is religion's support, a worshipper's objective and motive, and the merchandise of the dilligent. One who is most perfect in respect to his intellect is he whose fear of Allah is strongest and who is the very best in respect to observing His commands and prohibitions.
B. An Exposition of the Veracity and Divisions
Various ideas being ascribed to al-'aql cause a disagreement about its definition, for it is a name ascribed Jointly to four different ideas.
1) The first is that quality by which man is differentiated from the rest of the animals and by which he is prepared to receive the speculative sciences and to manage the hidden reflective arts. Just as life is an innate instinct which distinguishes the animal world from the mineral, so intelligence is an instinct which differentiates man from animals.
2) The knowledge which comes into existence in the essence of a child which distinguishes between the possibility
of the possible and the impossibility of the absurd, such as the knowledge that two Is greater than one and that one person cannot be in two places at one time.
3) Knowledge acquired from experience. One having it
is said to be intelligent; one without it, simple and ignorant.
4) The power of this natural disposition leads one to know the issue of affairs and to tame and conquer his appetite which tempts him to follow after fleeting delight.
The first is the foundation; the second is closest to it; the third is a branch of both, while the fourth is the ultimate aim. The first pair come by nature; the latter, by acquisition.
The Prophet said that an intelligent person is one who
is pious, even if he is contemptible in the present world. The word originally denoted the Innate quality and it was ascribed to knowledge from the point of view that it is its fruit, just as something is known by its fruit. The hidden powers are brought out by certain happenings and are like the water under the ground which is gathered together, when man digs a well.
C. An Exposition of People's Disparity in Intelligence
People differ in all except the second division which is axiomatic knowledge. As for the fourth, the domination
of a strong will in taming fleshly inclinations, not only
is there disparity among people but even in an individual's attitude toward various activities. Sometimes it is due to a difference in fleshly inclination; sometimes, to a difference in knowledge of the harm of the appetite. Fear of the consequences becomes a soldier for intelligence. So a wellinstructed person is better able to forsake his disobedience.
People also differ in experiential knowledge both in amount and speed of understanding. This may be due to a disparity in the innate quality which is witnessed in the wide difference between a dull-witted man at one end and the prophets at the other. They received much by illumination (ilham) which differs from clear revelation (al-way) which is hearing a voice with the auditory sense and seeing an angel by vision. Knowing the degrees of revelation does not evoke
its function; even a sick doctor may know the stages of health. There and many differences in people's instinct of intelligence. Allah said He had created as many diverse kinds of intellect as the grains of sand. certain Sufis blame intelligence because people have twisted its real meaning to that of dialectics and debate. As for the mystic light of intelligence by which Allah and the veracity of His prophets are known, how can one blame that? We mean by intelligence what (our interlocutor) means by 'ain al-yaqln and nur al-imam,
and it is the mystic quality by which the human being is differtiated from animals so that by it he understands the real state of matters.
Most of the confusion has come from the ignorance of people who sought inner realities from outer terms, and they were confused about them on account of people's confusion in the use of conventional terms.
This suffices as an exposition of intelligence. The Book of Knowledge is completed with praise to Allah. If He wills, the Book of the Rules of Beliefs will follow.
And we praise Him alone, first and last.
TRA=M SLATION iv OT S BIBLIOGRAPHY
In the name of Allah, the Merciful and Compassion
Firstly, I utter the praise of Allah abundantly and unceasingly even though the declaration of praise of those who utter praise is insignificant, less than what is due to His majesty.
Secondly, I ask blessing and peace for His messengers, a blessing which shall include, along with the chief of mankind, the rest of those sent as messengers.
Thirdly, I pray Him, who is exalted, to prosper me
in what my resolution has impelled me to (undertake, namely) to compose a book on Ihy,'`Ulum al Din, The Vitalizing of the Religious Sciences, and,
Fourthly, I hasten to put a stop to your expression of amazement, 0 you who blame others but blame too much, you who disapprove heedlessly and go too far in your reproach and disapproval.
For what has loosened the bond of silence from my
tongue and imposed the responsibility of speech and the
obligation of utterance on me is (first) your persistent 1
blindness to the true state of the Divine Reality along with your obstinate aid of what is baseless and your approval of ignorance, and (secondly) the stirring up of evil against anyone who prefers to depart slightly from the ways followed by mankind and who inclines a little from adherence to prescription and towards practice as
knowledge requires, out of eager desire to obtain that purity of soul and soundness of heart by which Allah attached him to His service or worship, and (thirdly) to rectify some part of my past life which was wasted, despairing (however), of completely redeeming and restoring it, (but) escaping from the depths (in which those are) of whom the bringer of divine law (Muhammad) said, "The man most severely punished on the Day of Resurrection will be the learned person to whom Allah did not cause benefit to come by his learning".
By my life! there is no reason for your persistent disapproval except ignorance and the disease of insufficient observation of the high importance of this matter which has spread over high and low, nay rather embraces great multitudes. This is a dreadfully serious matter. The next life is approaching; the present world is vanishing. The appointed time of life is near, the journey is far, food for the Journey is small in quantity, dan
ger is great, the road is blocked, and whatever learning or work is not purely to please Allah is rejected in the presence of the All-seeing Critic.
With neither guide nor companion the journey on the road to the next life, with its many pitfals, is toilsomely tirebome. The guides to the road are the learned who are the heirs of the prophets, while our age is left without them, and only those who seek to resemble them remain, while Shait&n has the mastdry over most of them. Going to excess in disobedience has led them astray, and every one of them has become infatuated with his worldly fortune. They have begun to consider the approved as disapproved and the disapproved as approved so that to the ends of the earth the banner of religion has become effaced and the light of guidance has disappeared.
They made the people imagine that there is no knowledge except (1) the formal legal opinion of a government by which judges seek help in settling law-suits, when the foolish people quarrel; or (2) ability in disputation by which one who seeks glory arrays himself to conquer and
silence by argument; or (3) adorned rhymed prose by which 2 the exhorter seeks to delude the masses gradually, since
they do not see anything but these three as a trap and a snare to secure the unlawful vanities (of this world).
As for knowledge of the next life according to which the religious fathers walked and which Allah,in His book, called "discernment" (6:65), "wisdom" (2:272), "knowledge"
(3:5), "illumination" (21:49). "light" (5:18; 39:23), "right guidance" (2:14; 6:70), and "rectitude" (2:182), it had become folded away and quite forgotten among the people. After this had become a penetrating breach and an intensely black calamity in religion, I considered it an important duty for me to occupy myself in composing this book in order to vitalize the religious sciences and to reveal the ways of the early Imams (religious leaders) and to clarify the prohibitions of the beneficial sciences current among the prophets and righteous fathers.
I have put it in four parts which are (1) a quarter on Religious Services, (2) a quarter on Customs, (3) a quarter on the Things which Destroy, and (4) a quarter on the Things which Save.
The whole I have prefaced by the Book of Knowledge; because it is of the highest importance that I disclose first of all that knowledge by seeking which the notables, in accordance with the words of the prophet, worshipped Allah. For the Prophet of Allah said, "To seek knowledge is a duty for every Muslim".
In it I distinguish useful knowledge from that which
is harmful; for he (Muhammad) said, "We seek refuge with
Allah from any knowledge which does not benefit." I prove that the present generation has deviated from the right rule of conduct and that they are being deluded by the glimmer of a mirage and that they are being satisfied with the husk rather than the kernel of the religious sciences.
The quarter on Religious Services embraces ten books: 1) the Book of Knowledge, 2) the Book of the Articles of Faith,
3) the Book of the Mysteries of Ceremonial Purity, 4) the Book of the Mysteries of Worship,
5) the Book of the Mysteries of the Religious Tax, 6) the Book of the Mysteries of Fasting, 7) the Book of the Mysteries of the Pilgrimage, 8) the Book of the Proper Manner of Reciting the
9) the Book of Invocations and Supplications,
10) the Book of the Arrangement of the Devotional Portions in their Appointed Times
As for the quarter on Customs, that also embraces ten books:
1) the Book of the Etiquette of Eating,
2) the Book of the Etiquette of Marriage,
3) the Book of the Rules of Gain,
4) the Boox of the Lawful and the Unlawful, 5) the Book of Etiquette of Friendship and
sociation with Various Kinds of People,
6) the book of Seclusion from Society,
7) the Book of the Etiquette of Travel,
8) the Book of Mystical Audition and Ecstasy, 9) the Book of Commanding the approved and Pro
hibiting the Disapproved,
Book of the Etiquette of That Whereby One
Lives and the Character of the Prophet
As for the quarter on the Things which Destroy, it also embraces ten books:
1) the Book of the Explanation of the Marvels of
2) the book on the Discipline of the Soul,
3) the Book of the Defects of the Two Appetites,
the Physical and the Sexual,
4) the Book of the Defects of the Tongue,
5) the Book of the Defects of Anger, Hatred, and
6) the Book of Blameworthy Aspects of the Present
7) the Book of Blame of Wealth and Stinginess, 8) the Book of Blame of Repute and Hypocrisy, 9) the Book of Blame of Pride and Self-Conceit,
10) the Book of Blame of all Blameworthy Deceit
As for the quarter on the Things which Save, it also embraces ten books:
1) the Book of Repentance,
2) the Book of Patience and Thanksgiving, 3) the Book of Fear and Hope, 4) the Book of Poverty and Asceticism,
5) the Book of Belief in the Unity of Allah and
Reliance on Him,
6) the Book of Love and Ardent Longing and
Pleasure and Satisfaction,
7) the Book of Intention, Sincerity, and Pure
8) the Book of Godly Watchfulness and Examina
tion of Conscience,
9) the Book of Meditation,
10) the Book of the Remembrance of Death
As for the quarter on Religious Services, I plan to mention in it some of their obscure ways and minute usages
and their secret meaning which the man whkearns and pracl
ticea has need of; rather there aree none of those who are learned in the knowledge of the next life who do not study them, although they are , for the most part, neglected in the department of jurisprudence.
As for the quarter on Customs, I plan to mention in it the mysteries and hidden depths of the current manner of carrying on transactions among people and their minute usages and the ways to be scrupulously pious that are obscure. They are a part of the things-which a religious man cannot do without.
As for the quarter on the Things which Destroy, I
plan to mention in it every blameworthy characteristic which the qur'an declared should be extinguished and from which the soul should be cleansed. I plan to mention the definition and real nature of every one of these characteristics. Then I plan to mention the cause from which it originates; then the defects of which it is made; then the signs by which it is recognized; then the methods of treatment by which one is saved from each one of them. (To all
this) evidentiary verses (of the Qur"an) and traditions 3 (spoken by Muhammad and coming from the Companions) are
As for the quarter on the Things which Save, I plan to mention in it every praiseworthy characteristic and
desirable quality of those who are near Allah and of the righteous by which a creature draws near to the Lord of the Worlds. In regard to every quality I plan to mention its definition and real nature, the means by which it is acquired, the fruit from which benefit is received, the signs by which it is recognized, and the excellence for the sake of which it is desired; (all of this) along with some evidentiary examples of the law and reason which are related to them.
People have composed books concerning some of these ideas, but this book (the Ihya') differs from them in five ways: the first, unbinding what they bound and unveiling what (they veiled and making clear what) they gathered together without discrimination; the second, arranging what they scattered and putting in order what they separated; the third, abbreviating what they made lengthy and proving what they reported; the fourth, omitting what they wrote accurately; the fifth, establishing the truth of certain obscure matters which were difficult to be understood and which were not presented in books at all.
Although the 'Ulama' have one way of acting, it is
not to be denied that every one of the travelers also calls attention to some matter that is peculiar to himself and that his companions are heedless of. Or they are not
heedless about calling attention to it, but they neglect
to mention it in books. Or they do not overlook it, but something prevents them from removing the cover from it (and making it clear). So these are the special properties of this Book, besides its inclusion of all these various kinds of knowledge.
Only two things induced me to arrange this book in four parts. The first and fundamental motive is that this arrangement in establishing what is true and in making it understandable is, as it were, inevitable; because the
branch of knowledge by which one starts towards the next
world is divisible into the knowledge of practical religion
and mystical knowledge.
By mystical knowledge I mean that by which only the unveiling of that which is to be known is sought. By knowledge of practical religion I mean that knowledge from which practice of it is sought as well as its unveiling or discovery. That which Is sought from this book is only knowledge of the practice of religion; not mystical knowledge which is not allowed to be put into books, even though it is the ultimate goal of devotees and the object which the great believers aspire to see.
The knowledge which deals with the practice of religion is the way to it (mystical knowledge), but the
prophets spoke with the (rest of) creation only concerning knowledge of the way and guidance to it. As for mystical knowledge, they spoke concerning it only by figure and sign, by simile and generalization, because they knew that the
understandings of men were deficient in ability to bear
with (such knowledge), and "the learned are the heirs of 5
the prophets". So there is no.,way open for them to turn
aside from the path of imitation and conformity in keeping it hidden.
Then the knowledge of practical religion is divided into (a) exterior knowledge- I mean knowledge of the physical activities- and (b) interior knowledge- I mean knowledge of the activities of the heart:
(a) Those that take place through the physical members are either (1) acts of prescribed worship, or (2) acts that are in accordance with custom.
(b) The influence which comes, from the Unseen
World of Spirits, upon hearts which are in the predicament
of being kept separated from the external senses, is either (1) praiseworthy, or (2) blameworthy.
So it must needs be that this branch of knowledge should be divided into two parts, external and internal. The external part, which is connected with the physical members, is subdivided into acts of worship and acts that
pertain to traditional usage. The internal part which is connected with the states of the heart and the characteristics of the soul, is likewise subdivided into blameworthy and commendable states. So the total makes four divisions, and consideration of the branch of knowledge dealing with the practice of religion does not depart from these divisions.
The second motive is that I saw that the eager interest of students was trustful concerning the science of
jurisprudence which is suited (for those who do not fear
(Allah) to be put on for the sake of showing superiority and manifesting one's high rank and position in personal aspirations. It (jurisprudence) is set forth in four divisions, and he who follows the style of one who is beloved becomes beloved.
So I did not put away (my desire) that the arrangement of this book should be in the form of the Science of Jurisprudence in a gentle effort to win hearts over gradually. For this same purpose some one who desired to have the hearts of princes feel an inclination for medicine acted in a subtle manner and composed something in the form of an astronomical chart set in tables and figures which he called the Chart of Health, in order that their enjoyment of that sort might attract them to its study. Acting in a
subtle way to attract hearts to the knowledge which will give meaning to life eternal is more important than subtle acting to attract them to medicine which benefits on
ly the physical body, for the fruit of this branch of knowledge is the medication of hearts and spirits by which one reaches a life which lasts forever.
For (in comparison) where does one rank the science
of medicine by which one treats bodies which, by necessity, are exposed to corruption in the nearest limits of time. Then let us ask Allah for His success-bringing aid to the right guidance and the right course, for He is gracious and generous.
THE BOOK OF KNOWLEDGE CONTAINING SEVEN PARTS
Part One: the Excellence of Knowledge, Teaching,
Part Two: the Sciences that Are Personal and General Obligations, an Explanation of the Definition of Jurisprudence and Scholastic Theology in the Science of Religion, and an Explanation of the Science of the Next Life and the Present World
Part Three:WMat the Masses Regard as the Sciences of Religion.but Which Are Not; Containing an Explanation of the Kind and Extent of Science Which Is To Be Condemned
Part Four: The Science of the Differences in Doctrine and Practice of the Schools and the Science of Dialectics
Part Five: the Etiquette of the Teacher and the