Fundamentals of ilm(knowledge)

“Bismillahi Rahmani Rahim”

1st. of all i want to share with you all some pages that are simple to understand what ilm really means with the permission of Allah subhana wa ta’ala…………..

Unit 1. The Concept of Knowledge in Islam

What is knowledge?

How knowledge is attained?

Is there some knowledge which precedes birth, or is a baby born like a blank slate?

Before answering these questions, let us first point out one of the distinctive features of Islam: It’s emphasis on knowledge (‘ilm). No other religion or ideology has so much emphasized the importance of ‘ilm.

In the Qur’an the word ‘alim has occurred in 140 places, while al‘ilm in 27. In all, the total number of verses in which ‘ilm or its derivatives and associated words are used is 704. The aids of knowledge such as book, pen, ink etc. amount to almost the same number. Qalam occurs in two places, al-kitab in 230 verses, among which al-kitab for al-Qur’an occurs in 81 verses. Other words associated with writing occur in 319 verses. It is important to note that pen and book are essential to the acquisition of knowledge. The Islamic revelation started with the word iqra’ (‘read!’ or ‘recite!’).

According to the Qur’an, the first teaching class for Adam started soon after his creation and Adam was taught ‘all the Names’.

Beside various Qur’anic verses emphasizing the importance of knowledge, there are hundreds of Ahadith that encourage Muslims to acquire ‘ilm (knowledge).

Now let us start with the first question: What is knowledge?

The term used for knowledge in Arabic is ‘ilm, which is defined by the scholars as:

a statement, a concept, a perception, an understanding or a belief that corresponds to reality and is based on evidence.

The highlighted phrases are the most important terms in this definition.


The widespread belief among disbelievers that God has a son or parteners along with Him is not true knowledge, despite many people belief in it, because it does not correspond to reality. Allah the Exalted said:

مَا اتَّخَذَ اللَّهُ مِنْ وَلَدٍ وَمَا كَانَ مَعَهُ مِنْ إِلَهٍ إِذًا لَذَهَبَ كُلُّ إِلَهٍ بِمَا خَلَقَ وَلَعَلا بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ

No son did Allah beget, nor is there any god along with Him: (if there were many gods),  behold, each god would have taken away what he had created, and some would have Lorded it over others! Glory to Allah! (He is free) from the (sort of) things they attribute to Him!” [Al-moumenoun 91]

This Ayah establishes that what the disbelievers have claimed is not true knowledge, because if there had been many gods, then each one of them would have taken away what he had created and have exclusive control over whatever he had created, and some of them would have tried to overcome others! So there would never be any order in the universe. But what we see, in reality, is that the universe is ordered and cohesive, with the upper and lower realms connected to one another in the most perfect fashion.

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