`Ilm, Huda & Hikmah


There are three things associated with knowledge:

بسم الله والحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله ، وبعد

  1. `Ilm (Knowledge)
  2. Huda (Guidance)
  3. Hikmah (Wisdom)

1) `Ilm: this refers to having information, or awareness of the Texts or its memorization. Not everyone who knows the Texts is guided or has wisdom.

Example: Shaitan, he knew and understood Allah’s Commands, but he disobeyed and argued that he is better than Aadam, so his understanding deceived him and he was amongst the misguided.

Another example: The People of the Book knew about Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم the way they knew about their own children:

الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ يَعْرِفُونَهُ كَمَا يَعْرِفُونَ أَبْنَاءَهُمْ ۖ وَإِنَّ فَرِيقًا مِّنْهُمْ لَيَكْتُمُونَ الْحَقَّ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ

{Those to whom We gave the Scripture (Jews and Christians) KNOW him (Muhammad) as they KNOW their own sons. But verily a party of them conceal the truth while they KNOW it} [Surah al-Baqarah (2): 146]

2) Huda: Shaikh al-Sa`dee رحمه الله in the Tafseer of Aayah # 13 of Surah al-Kahf defined al-Huda as: ❝Beneficial Knowledge and Righteous Deeds.

In other words, True Guidance is the ability of converting Knowledge into Actions.

In the Qur’an, wherever Allah تعالى says: “He increases in guidance”, it means, increase in beneficial knowledge and righteous deeds.

Allah تعالى says:

وَيَزِيدُ اللَّـهُ الَّذِينَ اهْتَدَوْا هُدًى

{And Allaah increases those who were guided, in guidance} [Surah Maryam (19): 76]


وَالَّذِينَ اهْتَدَوْا زَادَهُمْ هُدًى وَآتَاهُمْ تَقْوَاهُمْ

{And those who are guided – He increases them in guidance and gives them their righteousness.} [Surah Muhammad (47):17]

A person may have knowledge, but he does what he has been prohibited from doing, and neglects what he has been commanded to do. Such a person is void of guidance.

3) Hikmah: This means understanding of the Texts and their implication. As Allaah تعالى says:

يُؤْتِي الْحِكْمَةَ مَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَمَن يُؤْتَ الْحِكْمَةَ فَقَدْ أُوتِيَ خَيْرًا كَثِيرًا ۗ وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلَّا أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ

{He gives WISDOM to whom He wills, and whoever has been given WISDOM has certainly been given much good. And none will remember (will receive admonition) except men of UNDERSTANDING.} [Surah al-Baqarah (2): 269]

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم supplicated for Ibn `Abbaas رضي الله عنهما saying:

اللَّهُمَّ فَقِّهْهُ فِي الدِّينِ

❝O Allaah! Give him deep understanding of the Deen. [Saheehain]

In another narration, the wordings are:

اللَّهُمَّ عَلِّمْهُ الحِكْمَةَ

❝O Allaah! Teach him WISDOM. [Saheeh al-Bukhaaree]

In Musnad Ahmad, the wordings are:

اللهُمَّ فَقِّهْهُ فِي الدِّينِ، وَعَلِّمْهُ التَّأْوِيلَ

❝O Allaah! Give him deep understanding of the Deen and teach him the interpretation (of the Qur’aan). [Musnad Ahmad and graded as “Saheeh” by Shaikh al-Albaanee in al-Saheehah (2589)]

Hikmah is when a man uses his knowledge, wealth and strength for a good and beneficial cause.

This can further be divided into three parts:

a) Hikmah in using/interpreting the Texts: Merely knowing the Aayat is not enough if the person doesn’t know there correct implications.

Imaam al-Bukhaaree mentioned in his Saheeh:

Ibn `Umar رضي الله عنهما considered the Khawaarij and the heretics (al-Mulhideen) as the worst of Allaah’s creatures and said: ❝These people took some Aayaat that had been revealed concerning the disbelievers and interpreted them and applied them to the believers.

[Ref: English Saheeh al-Bukhaaree Volume 9, Page No 49-50, Chapter on Killing the Khawaarij and the Mulhideen]

The Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said about the Kharij:

قَوْمًا يَقْرَءُونَ القُرْآنَ لاَ يُجَاوِزُ حَنَاجِرَهُمْ

❝…there will be some people who would recite the Qur’aan but the Qur’aan will not reach beyond their throats (i.e. they will recite like parrots and will not understand it nor act on it).

[Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (3344, 3610, 5058, 6931, 6934, 7432, 7562) and Saheeh Muslim (1791, 2316, 2318, 2323, 2328, 2335, 2336)]

Throughout history the Khawaarij have been a classical example of having no Hikmah.

b) Hikmah in presenting the Texts and proofs: Hikmah is also needed in how a person presents his arguments. A person may be knowledgeable and guided, but may still lack in Hikmah in his speech, manners and presentation. Allah تعالى says:

ادْعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ ۖ وَجَادِلْهُم بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ

{(O Muhammad) Invite (the mankind) to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islaam) with WISDOM and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better.} [Surah al-Nahl (16): 125]

Ibn al-Qayyim رحمه الله said: ❝Allaah تعالى has assigned certain levels in Da`wah, each depending upon the different types of people.

The one who responds to the call, the wise accepter (of truth), the one who is not a proud resistor of truth, such are to be called towards the Deen using Hikmah.

As for the one who accepts the truth but has in him some ignorance and negligence, such are to be called towards the Deen through good admonition – i.e. enjoining good and forbidding evil along with encouragement towards righteousness and discouragement from sins.

As for the stubborn opposer of truth, then one argues with them in a way that is better.

And this is the most correct explanation of this Aayah.

[Miftaah Daar al-Sa`aadah (1/153). Tafseer al-Qayyim]

Shaikh al-Sa`dee رحمه الله said: ❝And part of this Hikmah is to invite the people (to the way of your Lord) with knowledge and not with ignorance; and to begin with the most important, then the next most important, then the like; and that which is easy to understand and comprehend; and that which would be easy to accept it completely; with gentleness and kindness (and without harshness). So if he submits with Hikmah (then that is better), otherwise, also include in good admonition in your call – i.e. enjoining good and forbidding evil along with encouragement towards righteousness and discouragement from sins. [Tafseer al-Sa`dee (1/452)]

c) Hikmah in utilizing the resources: Knowledge, wealth, time, health are all resources which should be utilized properly. When a person who has knowledge of the Arabic language, but yet engages in translating fabricated and weak Ahaadeeth and in spreading them amongst the masses; while leaving the many authentic Ahaadeeth which have not yet been translated. Such a person is void of wisdom.

And Allah knows best

Ref: http://ilm4all.blogspot.in/2017/01/ilm-huda-hikmah.html

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