To Know God

We Must Try To Know God And His Way Of Acting. 

Before passing on to discuss the Divine wisdom in the differences amongst human beings, all such questions arise from not knowing the Divine Being. If modern man had as much desire to know his Creator as he has to know a film star or football player; if he had recourse to the sources from which he could obtain some knowledge about his Lord and studied the book of the universe in accordance with the criteria established by the Divine Scripture; if paying some heed to the principles preached by the Messenger to establish a true life, he could discern the immaterial dimension of things and events through the prism of his conscience, he would not need to ask many of the questions occupying his mind. Nevertheless, at a time when sciences follow a different direction from that of religion and a healthy meditation is replaced by a mechanical life and mass of information, modern man will continue to raise many more similar questions and face difficulties in coming to know his Creator.

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Ma’rifa (Knowledge of God) is a special knowledge that is acquired through reflection, sincere endeavor, using one’s conscience and inquiring into one’s inner world. It is different from (scientific) knowledge (‘ilm)(Scientific) knowledge is acquisition reached through study, investigation, analysis, and synthesis, while ma’rifa is the substance of knowledge attained through reflection, intuition, and inner perception. The opposite of (scientific) knowledge is ignorance, while the opposite of ma’rifa is denial.

Knowledge means comprehending or encompassing something thoroughly, while ma’rifa means familiarity with or recognition of something-that something may be the Divine Being some of its aspects. For this reason, the One of Unity is called the All-Knowing (‘Alim), but He has never been called the One having familiarity with something (‘Arif). In addition, the exacting scholars of truth view ma’rifa, which also means information, talent, and skill, as the culture acquired by conscience or one’s conscious nature. It has other meanings such as the ability to feel something with the spiritual faculty that humanity has been endowed with, the image of something known in the mind, and the knowledge kept in the memory which gains strength through repetition. From another perspective, it is consciousness, perception, and sufficient information which helps distinguish one thing from another. Ma’rifa can be summed up as having concise knowledge about something or someone through their acts or works and attributes-knowledge which can be developed and detailed.

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