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'Ilm 4 – The Classification of Knowledge: Philosophical Sciences

20 February 2016

The Ikhwan explain that the supreme purpose of this life is for the individual soul to rejoin its Divine Origin, and the process of unification and purification of the soul begins with Ma’refat and Walayat/Muhabbat (recognition and love) for the representative of the Divine in this world, the Imam uz Zamaan.  After Ma’refat and Muhabbat (recognition and love) of the Imam and his Dai, for the further purification of the soul the following virtues are required: 

  1. Acquisition of knowledge – ‘ilm 
  2. Good actions in accordance with this knowledge – ‘amal 
  3. Good character traits and virtues – akhlaaq.

This week’s article is the fourth article in a 10-part-sequence of articles on ‘ilm. This article outlines the third and final category of knowledge (the first and second categories – primary sciences and religious sciences - were discussed in the previous article): 1) primary sciences e.g. language, mathematics, literature, music, history, geography, vocational skills etc.; 2) religious sciences e.g. zahir, tawil, history of Dawat, fiqh (jurisprudence) etc. 3) philosophical sciences e.g. primary sciences (arithmetic, engineering, astronomy, music & geography), logic (creation of poetry, debate), natural sciences (meteorology, minerology, botany) and theology (rational and intellectual principles, knowledge of souls, universe as a microcosmic human being). The classification discussed in this article demonstrates the vision and broadness of thought of the Ikhwan us Safa.