‘Ilm (Arabic: علم "knowledge") is the Islamic term for knowledge. However central the idea of 'ilm to Islamic intellectual culture, it was an essentialist concept, assumed to be a fixed and identifiable (if undefined) object or fact.
"In this work on the concept of knowledge, Franz Rosenthal collected a number of definitions of 'ilm, organizing them according to what he saw as their essential elements (admitting that the list was ahistorical and did not necessarily conform to categories the medieval Muslim scholars themselves would have used). Among these definitions, we find the following: Knowledge is the process of knowing, and identical with the knower and the known.
Knowledge is that through which one knows.
- Knowledge is that through which the essence is knowing.
- Knowledge is that through which the knower is knowing.
- Knowledge is that which necessitates for him in whom it subsists the name of knower.
- Knowledge is that which necessitates that he in whom it subsists is knowing.
- Knowledge is that which necessitates that he in whom it resides (mahall) is knowing.
- Knowledge stands for ( 'ibarah 'an) the object known ( 'al-ma lum).
- Knowledge is but the concepts known ( 'al-ma ani al-ma luma).
- Knowledge is the mentally existing object."
Shiism and Knowledge
doctrine about necessity of acquiring knowledge
According to Allameh Muzaffar, Allah gives humans the faculty of reason and argument. Also Allah order human to spend time thinking carefully on creation while he refers to all creations as his signs of power and glory. These signs encompassed all of universe. Also there is similarity between human as little world and universe as large world. Allah doesn’t accept the faith of those who follow him without thinking and only with imitation but also Allah blames them for such an action. In other word, human has to think about universe with reason and intellect, a faculty bestowed us by Allah. Since that there is more insistence on the faculty of intellect among Shia, even evaluating the claims of someone who claim prophecy is on the shoulder of intellect.
- Fudge, Bruce (7 April 2011). Qur'anic Hermeneutics: Al-Tabrisi and the Craft of Commentary (Routledge Studies in the Qur'an). United Kingdom: Routledge. p. 60. ISBN 0415782007.
- Allamah Muhammad Rida Al Muzaffar (1989). The faith of Shia Islam. Ansariyan Qum. p. 1.