Hadhrat Habeeb Ajmi (Rahmatullah alayh) said: “There is nothing greater in the Path of Allah than Ilm.”
This is in fact the echo of what Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “The quest of Ilm is Fardh on every Muslim.”
It is by means of (Ilm-e-Deen (the Knowledge of the Deen) that one gains the proximity of Allah Ta’ala. In this context the meaning of Knowledge is Ilm-e-Naafi’, i.e. Beneficial Ilm of the Deen. And, the meaning if Ilm-e-Naafi’ is Ilm on which there is amd (practical expression in one’s daily life). Whatever Ilm is acquired it is incumbent to give practical expression to it. This is the primary importance and objective of Knowledge.
Knowledge which is merely for academic purposes or for nafsaani motives is a great wabaal (calamity) with grievous consequences in the Aakhirat.
It should be understood that every molvi is not an Aalim. An Aalim of the Deen is one who possesses Ilm-e-Naafi’. Only such a man is an Aalim in the meaning of the Qur’aan Majeed, for Allah Ta’ala states: “Verily, of His servants, ONLY the Ulama fear Allah.”
The emphasis in this Aayat is most significant. It informs us that minus Ilm-e-Naafi’ the piety of a man is superficial. Genuine khashiyat (fear for Allah blended with humility) is the attribute of only Ulama – those Ulama who qualify for the Office of Nubuwwat, that is, being the Representatives of the Ambiya in general, and of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in particular.
About such Ulama – Ulama in the Qur’aanic meaning – Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “One Faqeeh is harder on shaitaan than a thousand Aabid.” An Aabid is a pious man who devotes the greater part of his life to Thikrullah and Ibaadat. He is one who renounces the world. He is not a jaahil. He has sufficient knowledge to steer himself in his daily activities to conform with the Shariah. Despite this, Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that one Faqeeh surpasses a thousand Aabideen who are easier for shaitaan than the single Faqeeh.
The true Aalim by virtue of amal and constant Thikrulaah, becomes illuminated with Noor which perpetually cascades from the Arsh of Allah Azza Wa Jal. Thus he acquires radiant Firaasat (spiritual wisdom of a lofty status). About him, Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Beware of the Firaasat of the Mu’min, for verily he looks with the Noor of Allah.”
Hadhrat Ma’roof Karkhi (Rahmatullah alayh) said: “When an Aalim makes amal on his Ilm, the hearts of the Mu’nineen incline to him. Then it is only one in whose heart there is a disease who dislikes him.” The Aalim-e-Haqq, like a magnet attracts friends and foes alike. Even those who have an aversion for his Amr Bil Ma’roof Nahy Anil Munkar, deep down in their hearts understand that by him is only the Haqq.
The extremely lofty status of Ilm-e-Naafi’ can be understood from the fact that Allah Ta’ala had commanded all the Malaaikah to make Sajdah to Hadhrat Aadam (Alayhis salaam). Countless millions of Malaaikah who had been engrossed in Ibaadat of various kinds for thousands of years and despite being created out of Noor, were ordered to prostrate to a being made from lowly soil and in whom was implanted the evil nafs. The Ilm which Allah Ta’ala has bestowed to Nabi Aadam (Alayhis salaam) was not granted to the Malaaikah.
It is not a madrasah certificate and a graduating ceremony where turbans are folded on the heads of students which make a man an Aalim. It is Noor from Allah Azza Wa Jal which settles in the heart of the man of Knowledge who diligently pursues the Path of Taqwa by making amal on the Sunnah and submitting fully to the Shariah. In practical life, Fardh, Waajib, Sunnatul Muakkadah, Nafl and Mustahab are all Fardh, and Haraam, Makrooh Tahrimi, Makrooh Tanzihi, Laghw (futility), La’ab (play and amusement) and the like are all Haraam. Only then can a man become a true Aalim in the meaning of the Qur’aan.
Hadhrat Habeeb Ajmi said: “By virtue of abundance of Ibaadat, Karaamat becomes manifest on the hands of the Auliya in abundance. However, by virtue of Ilm, countless spiritual mysteries are unravelled for the Aalim.” Alluding to these spiritual mysteries, Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that every word of the Qur’aan Majeed has a zaahir (outward, esoteric, apparent) meaning, and a baatini (exoteric, spiritual, hidden) meaning.
Article by The Majlis