Ma’rifah vs. Ilm
April 25, 2012 9 Comments
I’ve recently started reading Shaikh Mashhur Hasan Salmân’s explanation of Imam al-Juwainî’s Waraqât to satisfy an urge I’ve had to read something on the roots of Islamic jurisprudence, particularly of the Shâfi’î variety. Shaikh Mashhur’s explanation, which is fairly large being 797 pages cover to cover, is a bit daunting for me at the moment being that I haven’t really read anything truly Islamic academics oriented in quite some time (when I say I’ve started reading it, I literally mean just started–I’m on pg. 31).
In any case, I thought I’d take it with me to read while I waited while getting my car serviced; one of my tires got shredded while driving on the highway yesterday afternoon and needed replacing. While reading this morning, I came across this little tidbit that I thought I’d like to share with my small readership.
Shaikh Mashhur states,
Cognizance (ma’rifah) is perceiving something according to what it is. It is preceeded by ignorance, contrary to knowledge (ilm), for knowledge is not preceeded by ignorance. Thus, we do not say that Allah is cognizant (‘ârif). Rather, we say that Allah is knowledgeable (‘âlim).
Source: Âl Salmân, Abu Ubaidah Mashhur Hasan. at-Tahqîqât wat-Tanqîhât as-Salafiyyât ‘alâ Matn al-Waraqât ma’ at-Tanbihât ‘alal-Masâ’il al-Muhimmât. Abu Dhabi, UAE: Dar al-Imam Mâlik. pg. 30.