Islamic Knowledge

Muslims are required to learn "Islamic Knowledge." It is divided into two branches, "Religious knowledge" and "Scientific knowledge." The scientific knowledge is called "Wisdom" (Hikmat). Our Prophet 'sall-Allâhu alaihi wa sallam' said, "Wisdom is the lost property of a Muslim. He should pick it up wherever he may find it." This hadîth commands us to learn scientific knowledge. "Religious knowledge" is made up of twenty sub-branches, eight of which contain teachings of a higher level and the remaining twelve consist of teachings of a subsidiary nature. One of the teachings of a higher level deals with ethics.

A Muslim who has good morals and is advanced in the scientific knowledge of his time is called a civil or a progressive Muslim. Alternately, a person who is advanced in scientific knowledge and has established basic industries, and yet who has poor morals is called a tyrant, a regressive person, a bandit, or a dictator. Those who are lagging behind in the scientific knowledge and arts and have poor morals are called savages or vulgar people. Civilization means building cities and serving human beings. This can be accomplished through scientific knowledge, arts, and beautiful morals. In short, when the scientific knowledge and arts are accompanied with beautiful morals, it is called civilization. A civilized person uses scientific knowledge and arts for serving humanity. Alternately, tyrants use them for torturing. We can see that a true Muslim is a progressive person. Unbelievers are retrogressive, and miserable people. It is apparent that civilization means constructing buildings and developing cities. This is only possible through science and technology. Advancement in technology is due to addition of new ideas to the ideas of the previous generations. People's living in peace and comfort is only possible through ethics of Islam.

Learning Islamic knowledge as much as necessary is an obligatory duty (fard) for every Muslim. Islamic scholars have written numerous books on this subject. The following books on the subject of ethics are well known: Akhlâq-i-Nâsirî by Nasîruddîn-i Muhammad Tûsî, Akhlâq-i-Jalâlî by Jalâladdîn-i-Muhammad Dawânî, and Akhlâq-i-Muhsînî by Husayn Wâiz-i Kâshifî of Hirat.