Friday, August 10, 2007

235)An important distinction between rational intellect of the mind and transcendental knowledge of the divine.

On July 20th 2007 I posted an article on my blog as well as on Ismaili Mail in which I talked about the creation according to the Quran and leading personalities in the world of Islam. In it I tried to show the cascading upward sequence of types of knowledge ranging from the rational intellect of the mind to the transcendental knowledge of the divine. One commenter posted 2 splendid quotes to underscore the clear difference between these two types of knowledge. My response was to quote our present Imam on how one specific kind of rational knowledge(among others), namely, that involved with learning about our universe-what is it made of and how does it operate-can be used as a springboard or platform to facilitate the search for the higher knowledge referred to in those 2 quotes:

I spoke about this topic at greater length in another article posted to Ismaili Mail:

Excerpt of speech made by Mowlana Hazar Imam at the founding of the Aga Khan University In Karachi, Pakistan in 1983:

"..........In Islamic belief, knowledge is two-fold. There is that revealed through the Holy Prophet (s.a.s.) and that which man discovers by virtue of his own intellect. Nor do these two involve any contradiction, provided man remembers that his own mind is itself the creation of God. Without this humility, no balance is possible. With it, there are no barriers. Indeed, one strength of Islam has always lain in its belief that creation is not static but continuous, that through scientific and other endeavours, God has opened and continues to open new windows for us to see the marvels of His creation....."

On the Oregon Trail, somewhere between Portland, Oregon and Boise, Idaho, U.S.A.

Islam, eminently logical, placing the greatest emphasis on knowledge, purports to understand God's creation:Aga Khan 4(2006)
The God of the Quran is the One whose Ayats(Signs) are the Universe in which we live, move and have our being:Aga Khan 3(1952)
Our interpretation of Islam places enormous value on knowledge. Knowledge is the reflection of faith if it is used properly. Seek out that knowledge and use it properly:Aga Khan 4(2005)
All human beings, by their nature, desire to know(Aristotle, The Metaphysics, a few hundred years BC)