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Preparation for Golden Noorani and Golden Jubilee Didars
:: Spiritual and Luminous Nazrana Spark No. 23 ::
Imitative Knowledge versus Realized Knowledge

Ya Ali Madad! In this posting I would like to present some thoughts of William C. Chittick and his views on imitative knowledge versus realized knowledge from the spiritual teachings of Rumi, and augment these with the teachings of our Holy Imams. Let us reflect upon the following questions:

  1. What the difference between imitative knowledge and realized knowledge?
     
    The most direct answer to the above question is captured in the following excerpt:
     
    "Since they are inwardly identified with the Universal Intellect, the prophets and saints have passed beyond the limitated of discursive knowledge and "rational thought", for these are the workings of the partial intellect. The prophets and saints do not seek for knowledge, since they themselves are its source; they know nothing of supposition and opinion, since they dwell in certainty and immediate vision. Their knowledge is true (haqiqi) and "realized" (tahqiqi), for it derives directly from the Source of all knowledge. It bubbles up within their breasts without the slightest effort on their part. But those who have not become identified with the Universal Intellect must acquire all their knowledge from outside themselves through "imitation" (taqlid), and most of what they learn remains in the realm of hearsay and opinion. As long as they imitate the prophets and saints, their knowledge is on the whole positive, but far below human potential. Hence Rumi spends much more time criticizing imitation than praising it." [Source: W. C. Chittick, The Sufi Path of Love, pp. 125-126]
     
  2. What is the difference between people who have partial intellect versus people who have Universal Intellect?
     
    The most direct answer to the above question is captured in the following teaching of Rumi:
     
    "...A man is walking, but does not know whether he is following the road or has strayed from it. He walks blindly. Perhaps he will hear a rooster's call or find a sign of habitation. But how can he be compared with a person who knows the road? The latter has no need of signs and waymarks. He is the one who will carry through. So (realized) knowledge is more important than all else. (F 59/71)" [Source: W. C. Chittick, The Sufi Path of Love, p.126]
     
  3. Who does not need signs and roads?
     
    The most direct answer to the above question is captured in the following teaching of Rumi:
     
    "This sign on the road is for a traveler who becomes lost every moment in the desert. Those who have attained union have nothing but the inward eye and the divine lamp—they have delivered of signs and roads. If a man (with realized knowledge) has spoken of signs, he did so in order that those who are still disputing may understand. The father of a newborn child makes babbling sounds, though his intellect should encompass the world. (M II 3312-15)" [Source: W. C. Chittick, The Sufi Path of Love, p.126]
     
  4. What is the comparison of spiritual vision versus the sciences?
     
    The most direct answer to the above question is captured in the following teachings of Rumi:
     
    "Whoever finds the way to vision in the spiritual retreat will never seek support from the sciences. Since he has become the companion of the spirit's beauty, he is tired of hearsay and (partial) knowledge. (Spiritual) vision dominates over (partial) knowledge. This is why this world prevails for the vulgar (secular): They see it as ready cash and look at the next world as a debt. (M IV 3856-59)" [Source: W. C. Chittick, The Sufi Path of Love, pp.126-127]
     
  5. What are the characteristics of an imitator?
     
    The most direct answer to the above question is captured in the following teachings of Rumi:
     
    "The imitator gives expression to a hundred proofs, but he speaks from discursive reasoning, not direct vision. He is musk-scented but not musk; he smells like musk but is only dung. (M V 3856-59)" [Source: W. C. Chittick, The Sufi Path of Love, p. 127]
     
  6. So what should we do?
     
    The most direct answer to the above question is captured in the following teachings of Rumi:
     
    "If you want your wretchedness to vanish, try to make your "wisdom" leave you. That wisdom which is born of your lower nature and your fantasy, devoid of the effusion of the Almighty's Light. The wisdom of this world increases opinion and doubt, the wisdom of the religion soars beyond the heavens. (M II 3201-03)" [Source: W. C. Chittick, The Sufi Path of Love, p. 128]
     
  7. What is the relative weight of realized versus secular knowledge?
     
    The most direct answer to the above question is captured in the following teachings of Rumi:
     
    "The sciences of the Possessors of the Heart carry them aloft, the sciences of the people of bodies weigh them down. When knowledge is revealed to the heart, it becomes an aid; but knowledge acquired by the body is a heavy load. God said, Like an ass carrying books (57:5): Knowledge not from Him is a burden. A knowledge not immediately from Him will soon vanish like a paint on a woman's face. (M I 3446-49)" [Source: W. C. Chittick, The Sufi Path of Love, pp. 128-129]
     
  8. What is the teaching of our Holy Imam's on acquired (imitative) knowledge versus given (realized) knowledge?
     
    Terrestrial man needs empirical (imitative) and realized knowledge to perfect his personal world. Empirical knowledge is related to the external world and is acquired through the scientific method, cultural learning and life-long education. Real knowledge is related to the internal (spiritual) world and is given to a person who practices his faith. This is described by Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah as follows:
     
    "Ibn-Rushd, the great Muslim Philosopher, known to Europe as Averroes, established clearly the great distinction between two kinds of apprehensible human experience; on one hand, our experience of nature as we recognize it through our senses, whence comes our experience to measure and to count (and with that capacity all that it brought in the way of new events and new explanations), and, on the other hand, our immediate and immanent experience of something more real, less dependent on thought or on the process of the mind, but directly given to us, which I believe to be religious experience. Naturally, since our brain is material, and its processes and all the consequences of its processes, are material, the moment that we put either thought or spiritual experience into words this material basis of the brain must give a material presentation to even the highest, most transcendent spiritual experience. But men can study objectively the direct and subjective experiences of those who have had spiritual enlightenment without material intervention." [Source: Memoirs of Aga Khan, p. 170]
     
    Although, I have been educated in the West, I do not subscribe to the dichotomy between matter and spirit and have resorted to Islamic philosophy to develop my world viewpoint. Islam makes no such distinction and seeks a balance between the material and spiritual dimensions of one's existence and encourages humans to seek knowledge for both these dimensions. The search for knowledge and the balance between the material and spiritual dimensions of one's being are described by Imam Shah Karim al-Husayni, also known as Aga Khan IV, on the occasion of the acceptance of the Charter of the Aga Khan University in Karachi on March 16, 1983:
     
    "In Islamic belief, knowledge is twofold. There is that revealed through the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) 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 endeavors, God has opened and continues to open new windows for us to see the marvels of His creation."
     
    In order to develop a balance between the material and spiritual dimensions of one's existence, two kinds of knowledge have to be integrated. The first is related to the external world and is acquired through the scientific method, cultural learning and life-long education. The second, which is described as other endeavor in the above paragraph, is related to the internal (spiritual) world and is given to a person who practices his faith. The inner dimension of man depends upon knowledge of spiritual science and practice of faith, especially bandagi (meditation). Development of the inner (subtle) dimension leads to knowledge of a spiritual and a luminous universe which is hidden in man. This is the reason that NOOR Mowlana Hazar Imam has guided us to acquire exoteric (secular, imitative) and esoteric (spiritual, real) types of knowledge.

Prayer Card for the Well-being and Health of the Whole Noorani Family

Niyat and Wish List:
Let us first declare our noble intentions and then invoke the angelic salwat for exoteric and esoteric purposes. Ya Ali, Ya NOOR Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazar Imam, we pray for:

  1. The well being and health of the whole NOORANI family;
  2. Protection from the elements of dross and darkness;
  3. Sunshine in hearts, Light in our foreheads and the blessing of the inner vision of the Truth;
  4. Mushkil Aasan and material, spiritual & intellectual upliftment of the global Jamat, the global Muslim community and humanity at large;
  5. Salvation of all departed souls;
  6. Empowerment of our children with the correct understanding of our holy faith; and
  7. External and internal peace for the whole humanity.
"It is mentioned in verse (33:33): "O you the people of the house (of the Prophet)! Verily Allah intends but to keep off from you (every kind of) uncleanness and purify you with a thorough purification." By the people of the house or ahl-i bayt are meant the holy Prophet himself, Hazrat Ali, Hazrat Fatimah, Hazrat Hasan and Hazrat Husayn. (Muslim, IV, 1883; Tirmidhi, V, 663)" [Source: Tawil 144: A Thousand Wisdoms]

Now let us use a bouquet of salwats for this session.

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

Listen to Real audio streams online:

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or download angelic salwat sound track in mp3 format

Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad (1)
(O Allah! Bestow Peace on and through Muhammad and his Descendants)

Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad (2)
(O Allah! Bestow Peace on and through Muhammad and his Descendants)

Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad (3)
(O Allah! Bestow Peace on and through Muhammad and his Descendants)

Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad (4)
(O Allah! Bestow Peace on and through Muhammad and his Descendants)

Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad (5)
(O Allah! Bestow Peace on and through Muhammad and his Descendants)

Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad (6)
(O Allah! Bestow Peace on and through Muhammad and his Descendants)

Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad (7)
(O Allah! Bestow Peace on and through Muhammad and his Descendants)

Al-Hamdu Lillahi Rabbil 'Alamin
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds!

Global Prayer:
Ya Ali, Ya NOOR Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazar Imam, make us One global Jamat with One Sound Heart (Qalb-i Salim), bless us with the Golden Noorani and the Golden Jubilee Didars, and empower us to present Material, Spiritual and Luminous Nazranas. Ameen.

Peace, light, barakat, tayid, Golden Jubilee and Golden Noorani Didars,
Noorallah Juma
March 5, 2008

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Spiritual and Luminous Nazranas Links:
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The lit candle represents the Light of Imamat. Let us actualize this Light into our spiritual hearts, heads, & consciences so that we may also be able to submit spiritual & luminous nazranas in the Diamond Jubilee.


 
Project for friends preparing for Imamat Day 2018
Anant Akhado Verses, Gratitude Dhikr and Angelic Salwat (40 Days: June 2 - July 11, 2018)
 
Projects for friends in Vancouver
Anant Akhado Verses, Gratitude Dhikr and Angelic Salwat (40 Days: May 23 - July 1, 2018)
 
Ana(n)t nâ Nav Chhuga
Ana(n)t nâ Nav Chhugâ verses, Gratitude Dhikr & Angelic Salwat (9 Days: July 2 - July 10, 2018)
 
Recitation of Ana(n)t nâ Nav Chhugâ, 28 dasond verses , Gratitude Dhikr and Angelic Salwat (9 Days: July 2 - July 10, 2018)
 
Other Potential Projects
Anant Akhado Dasond Verses
28 Dasond verses from Anant Akhado, Gratitude Dhikr & Angelic Salwat (9-day Project: TBA)
 
Anant Akhado Venti Verses
Vênti Verses from Anant Akhado, Gratitude Dhikr & Angelic Salwat
(7 Days: Friday, TBA 10 min before first dua)
 
Ana(n)t nâ Nav Chhuga
Ana(n)t nâ Nav Chhugâ verses, Gratitude Dhikr & Angelic Salwat (9 Days: TBA)
 
Moti Vênti
Moti Vênti verses, Gratitude Dhikr &Angelic Salwat
(7 Days: TBA; 22 min before first dua)
 
Anant Akhado and Nav Chhuga Combined Project
Anant Akhado & Ana(n)t nâ Nav Chhugâ Verses, Gratitude Dhikr, dhikr of 99 Beautiful Names of Allah and Angelic Salwat (49 Days: TBA)

 
 
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