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The Desert that Flourishes

Now let’s examine the verse of Surah Al-Baqarah in which grant of the knowledge ”
kullaha” (
5/’@[)/ZV “R
) (all the names) to Adam viz human being is mentioned. “asmaa” (
) is plural of “ism” (
) whose matter (root) is “seen-meem-waao” (

1] ). Meaning of “ism” (
) is a symbol of something by which it can be recognized. Lexeme “Raghib Isfahani” (

) arguing on it writes that “maarifatul asmaae la tahsulu illa bemaarifatil musamma” (
FV ‘O'()


[ :92-‘7

) viz till ” musamma ” (
FV ‘O+
) is not known, definition of its “asmaa” (
) does not give any benefit. It means that “Adam” (man) has been given such ability about knowledge of things that he gives name to everything for recognizing it by knowing its appearance and characteristics. Analyze that human brain works in a similar way, that it understands everything by its characteristics and recognizes it through its name. When a child starts the process of getting acquainted with the environment around him, he recognizes things around him by their appearance, by their odour and taste, or by their sounds. He smiles and gets attentive on familiar sounds, recognizes odour of his mother. Later he learns the names of them and puts labels such as this is “mother”. This is “father” or “dad”. As he grows, he understands, this globe of glass on the ceiling, which gives light in the evening is called “bulb”. Though if you tell the name of a thing even to an adult and intelligent man, with which he is not “acquainted”, neither will he be able to understand it, nor will he be able to make an image of it in his mind. However, when he will get “acquaintance” of that thing, viz he will get knowledge of that, it will be added to his mind. Same is the matter with “asmaa” of “Rabb” (names of God). If we are just acquainted with the names of Allah but are unaware of His nature’s charisma, and the scenes and mementos spread over the universe, then obligation of acquaintance is not discharged. “Bismillah” (

) (with the name of Allah) remains just verbal. Starting a task with the name of Allah, has the peculiarity that, at that moment you also remember Allah’s attributes along with His name. The glimpse of Allah’s attributes is sighted in His universe, seen in His signs. For understanding which, getting

acquaintance with them is essential and the key of acquaintance with them is in “uloom” (
) (plural of knowledge). It is in “ilm ul aayat” (


) (knowledge of verses/signs, both in Qur
an and in Universe)).
In the mentioned verse, the word “kullaha” (
/ZV “R
) is very important and noteworthy. This one word has given an invitation to humans for becoming familiar with the huge ocean of knowledge. Viz Allah has put capacity in human to acquire knowledge of everything, this is now upon his discretion and ability that how much portion of it can he acquire. How does he pass over these grades of insight (“maarifah”
) It
s extremely notable form appears in the mentioned verse of “Surah Al-baqarah” (

) where Allah says that He has granted Adam the knowledge of all things in universe and it is mentioned in “Al-Nahl” (
) that “Allah has brought you out of the wombs of your mothers in a condition that you did not know anything ” la taalamoona Shaian ” (


) He gave you ears, eyes and (thinking) hearts so that you become thankful (Al-Nahl:78). As though when human came into the world, he did not have knowledge of anything. However, Allah had granted him ear, eye and ability to think so that with the help of these tools he can acquire knowledge of Allah’s universe. If he, in this way acquires knowledge of Allah’s universe, then it will be a practical thank for the blessings, which have been granted to him because their use will then exactly be according to Allah’s will. Notable thing is that when knowledge and acquiring knowledge is discussed, majority of us term it as “religious studies”. Worldly studies are left out of religion and just for “worldly gains” whereas the truth is that “ilm” (
) is a word of Arabic language which has just been explained. “Almaurid” (
) which is English-Arabic as well as Arabic-English authentic dictionary, it translates “ilm” (
) as “science”.

Here it is also necessary to understand that science is not the name of a subject as usually understood, like physics, chemistry. Science is actually the name of a progression or methodology, “tareeqat” (
). What method do we use for becoming aware from unaware. If we try to understand the truth by observation, by thinking on overview results, by research on that, and wherever possible by experiments, then this is the scientific method, this is what is called science and this is the method of acquiring knowledge according to Quran, becoming aware from unaware. Quran also emphasizes on observation, hearing, thinking (hearing, vision, heart) and also talks about accountability on the Day of Judgment upon the use of these blessings. Further clarity about the same meaning of knowledge and science can be acquired by seeing the display board at any Arabic university’s faculty of science where “kulliyat ul uloom” (

) would be found written. Mentioned in Surah Al-fatir “Haven’t you thought over the truth that Allah makes the rain from clouds and from that grows different types of fruits and (see that how) in mountains white and red terrains (or classes) exist which have different types and a few among them are very black. And similarly there are also different types in humans, in other living things, and in cattle. (27-28)” Here with much clarity Quran has mentioned those studies which in modern terminology are called pure science studies. After that “innama yakhshallaha min ibaadihil ulamaa …..” (






) it is the truth that among His mortals only those remain anxious in front (of mastery and greatness) of Him, who are
Knowledgeable among his mortals. Due to this knowledge and recognition they are well aware of Allah’s greatness and therefore are anxious of him. This is the truth and definition of “ilm” which is proven by dictionaries and Quran.

Translated by: Aqil Farooqi, Asim Iqbal