By Aftab Ahmad, New Age Islam
08 May, 2015
Knowledge is the basis of salvation. It is the truth and belief found in not only Islam but in all the religions. That’s why all the holy scriptures stress on the acquisition of knowledge in every way possible. Moreover, knowledge is not spiritual, material or scientific or non-scientific. The seat and source of all knowledge is the Supreme Being which has no form. That Supreme Being is Omniscient and loves those who strive to acquire knowledge which is one of His attributes. The Quran says that
Fitratallah al lati fatarannasa alaiha
(The nature of God is that on which He has created man)
In another verse, God says that he created man from his own single breath (Sura Nisa opening verse). And one of the attributes of His nature is knowledge. Man can win his closeness by acquiring a tiny part of this attribute – knowledge. The divine realization of God is possible only through knowledge of the objects of nature and universe as all are part of that Supreme Being. This has been said in the Quran that God covers the entire universe.
The seeker of knowledge acquires knowledge in stages through his devoted and sincere efforts. He has to make many sacrifices to achieve this objective. The stages of this divine knowledge are described in the Quran as:
1)Ilmal Yaqin 2)Aynal Yaqin 3)Haqqul Yaqin
The verses in which these three terms occur are as follows:
And indeed, it is the truth of certainty (Ilmal Yaqin). (102:5)
Then you will surely see it with the eye of certainty (Aynal Yaqin) (102:7)
And indeed, it is the truth of certainty (Haqqul Yaqin). (69:51) (Surah Al Haqqah)
When man believes in a universally accepted fact, this knowledge is called Ilm al Yaqin. For example, Man believes that the tree has been created by God. This is because of his unsubstantiated belief in the power and existence of God. But when he cuts its stem and puts it under the microscope, he enters another world of knowledge through his perception and observation. Here the knowledge is not based on mere blind faith but on the basis of his own observation. This stage of knowledge is called Aynal Yaqin.
He does not stop at this stage because the observation arouses his curiosity to go into the depth of the facts and observation of the inner makings of the stem of the tree. The intricate, sophisticated and highly disciplined system within the stem leads the seeker of knowledge to the ultimate Truth behind the system and he is overwhelmed by the power, wisdom, artistry and mastery of the Supreme Being. This stage of knowledge is called Haqqul Yaqin, the knowledge of Certainty.
All the unsubstantiated knowledge, that is, the initial knowledge (Ilmal Yaqin) finally leads to Haqqul Yaqin, if sought sincerely and single-mindedly.
These three stages of knowledge --- Ilmal Yaqin, Aynal Yaqin and Haqqal Yaqin – are used by the Sufis in their quest for the final and penultimate Truth. A seeker of knowledge on his spiritual voyage travels through these stages to reach the highest stage of divine revelation of Baqa, union with God.
But these three stages of knowledge cannot be confined to spiritual quest of the Supreme Being because it has been said at the outset that the knowledge is not either spiritual or material or scientific. Thus, the terms apply to even scientific quest in the world. Any research on any material object or issue also courses through these three stages of knowledge. A scientist reaches the final stage in his research and possesses the Haqqul Yaqin and forms his theory on the basis of the knowledge at this stage. He does not form any of his ideas or theory at the first or the second stage. It is at this stage that he realizes the existence of a Supreme power at work behind his object of research.
Therefore, it can be concluded that the terms Ilmal Yaqin, Aynal Yaqin and Haqqul Yaqin are not mere terms relating to Sufism or mysticism but they can also be used in any field of human concern both spiritual and scientific.