‘ÂLIM - عَالِم
Literally: Who knows. Who possesses ‘ilm. Learned. Erudite. Knowledgeable. A doctor of a science. Hoja. Scholar.
بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
وَمَنْ يُؤْتَ الْحِكْمَةَ فَقَدْ اُوتِىَ خَيْرًا كَثِيرًا1
[It is a brief comparison between the sacred hikmah of Al-Qur'an Al-Hakîm and the hikmah of philosophy, and a very short summary of the instruction of tarbiyyah which the hikmah of Qur'an gives to man’s personal and social life, and an indication of the aspect of the superiority of the Qur'an to other Ilahî words (kalimât) and all speech. Thus, there are “Four Principles” in this Word.]
Look to the differences between the hikmah of the Qur'an and the hikmah of science through the telescope of the following story which is in the form of a comparison:
One time, a celebrated Ruler, who was both religious and the most skilful craftsman, wanted that he may write Al-Qur’an Al-Hakîm with a script worthy of the sacredness in its meaning and the miraculousness in its words. May that stature displaying miracles be clothed with a marvellous garment. Thus that embroiderer wrote the Qur'an in such a wonderous fashion. He used all the precious jewels in his writing. In order to indicate the variety of its haqiqahs, he wrote some of its embodied letters in diamond and emerald, some in pearl and agate, and another sort in brilliant and coral, while another with gold and silver. He also adorned and embroidered it in such a way that everyone, who knew how to read and those who did not, was astonished and admired through its beholding. Since such visible beauty is the indication of an extremely brilliant beauty and extremely charming adornment in its meaning, especially in the view of the people of haqiqah, it became a very precious antique. Then the Ruler showed the artistically made and jewelled Qur'an to a foreign philosopher and a Muslim ‘âlim. Both to test and reward, he commanded: "Each of you write a work about the hikmah of this!" First the philosopher, then the ‘âlim composed a book about it. But, the philosopher's book discusses only the embroideries of the letters, their relations and conditions and the peculiar qualities of their jewels and the description of them. It does not touch on its meaning at all. For, the foreign man does not know to read the Arabic script. He does not even know that the adorned Qur'an is a book and writing which expresses a meaning. He rather considers it as an embroidered antique. Although he does not know Arabic, he is a perfect engineer, a fine describer, a skilful chemist and a clever jeweller who discriminates the jewels. Thus, that man wrote his work according to those arts.
As for the Muslim ‘âlim, when he looked at it, he understood that it was Al-Kitâb Al-Mubîn, Al-Qur’an Al-Hakîm. Thus, this haqq-loving person neither attached importance to the external adornments nor occupied himself with the embroideries of the letters. He rather occupied with such a thing that it was a million-degree more elevated, more precious, more subtle, nobler, more beneficial and more comprehensive than the other man’s matters with which he occupied. For he wrote an extremely beautiful noble tafsir through discussing its sacred haqiqahs and nûrs of its mysteries beneath the veil of the embroideries. Then both of them took their works and presented them to the Glorious Ruler. The Ruler firstly took the work of the philosopher. He looked at it and saw that that conceited man who performs ‘ibâdah to nature had worked very hard but had not written any of its true hikmah. He had not understood any of its meaning. Rather, he had confused it. He had been disrespectful towards it, ill-mannered even. For supposing it to be a meaningless embroidery, he had insulted that Qur’an, which is the source of haqiqah, with being valueless regarding meaning, the Ruler possessing hikmah hit his work over his head and expelled him from his presence.
Then he looked at the work of the other haqq-loving ‘âlim, who minutely investigates, and saw that it was an extremely fine and beneficial tafsir, a book composed with utmost hikmah in a manner of a murshid. "Congratulations! Bârakâllah!", he said. Thus, hikmah is this, and the possessor of it is called ‘âlim and hakîm. As for the other man, he is a craftsman who has exceeded his limit. Then as a reward for his work, in return for each letter, he willed "May ten gold pieces be given" from his inexhaustible treasury.
If you have understood the comparison, look and see the face of the haqiqah as well:
As for the adorned Qur'an, it is this artistically made universe. As for the Ruler, He is Al-Hakîm, Who is eternal in the past. And as for those two men, the foreigner one is the ‘ilm of philosophy and its philosophers. The other is the Qur'an and its students.
Yes, Al-Qur'an Al-Hakîm is a most elevated mufassir and a most eloquent translator of the Mighty Qur'an of the Universe. Yes, it is the Furqân that gives the lesson on the takwînî âyahs written by the pen of Qoudrah on the pages of the universe and on the leaves of time to man and the jinn. It looks at beings, each of which is a meaningful letter, through the point of view of ma’nâ al-harfî, that is, on account of As-Sâni’. It says: "How beautiful they have been made, how beautifully they indicate the beauty of their Sâni (jamâl)". And it shows the true beauty of the universe with this. As for the philosophy, which they call ‘ilm of hikmah, it has plunged into the ornaments of the letters of beings and into their relationships, and has become mindless; it has lost the way of haqiqah. While it is necessary to look at the letters of this mighty book through ma’nâ al-harfî, that is, on account of Allah, it does not do this. It looks at beings through ma’nâ al-ismî, that is, it looks at beings on account of beings, and discusses them in that way. Instead of saying "How beautiful they have been made", it says "How beautiful they are", and makes them ugly. With this, it insults the universe and causes it to complain about itself. Indeed, philosophy without religion is a fallacy that lacks haqiqah and is an insult to the universe.
The Twelfth Word
1 (Whoever is granted hikmah is indeed given a great khayr.)