we Hear and Obey.

In Islam, God is the ultimate resource of knowledge and the Qur’an is the primary resource of spiritual learning. The Arabic ax Qur’an is a linguistic noun the carries the connotation that a “continuous reading,” “recital,” or message that is recounted or listened to over and also over again. Thus, the term may be analyzed into English as “recitation,” “recital,” or even “teaching.” God “speaks” the Qur’an and human beings discover by listening.? The solution of Muslims to God’s command is, “We hear and obey” (2:285). Those who proactively listen come God’s teachings and also obey his commands prosper and also are saved (24:51); the hypocrites that say, “we hear” yet do no listen (8:26) perform not respond to the call and also are lost. Muslims are motivated to “listen to God’s verses once they are recited,” and should not “become arrogant, as if had not heard them” (45:8).

Clearly, as much as the Qur’an is concerned, God teaches through speaking v the voice that authority; people learn through listening come God’s voice with the text of the Qur’an and also by submitting come his authority. Return in modern-day Islam lot is do of adhering to the call ( da’wa ) to the truth, in Qur’anic discourse the human who hears God’s speak to submits and obeys (cf. Higton , 2-3, 4-5).? This, after ~ all, is the basic meaning of the term, Islam : to submit to the dictates the the magnificent Word. Due to the fact that the existential relationship in between humans and their Creator is expressed in terms of a lord-servant ( rububiyya vs. ‘ubudiyya , literally, “slavery”) relationship, the condition of obedience itself is logically before the form?such as complying with God’s call?that obedience takes: “When your Lord drew forth their descendants indigenous the youngsters of Adam, the made them testify concerning themselves : ‘Am I not your Lord?’ lock replied, ‘Yes, we execute so testify"” (7:172). ???

The publications of God and also the World.

transparent the Qur’an, divine revelation, and especially the Qur’an itself, is dubbed a “book” ( kitab ). ? However, this term have to not be taken as simply an simple book. In middle ages Arabic, the term kitab stood because that any kind of dictated communication, even if it is it was written or verbal.? The Qur’an describes itself together Umm al-Kitab , “Mother the the Book” or “Sourcebook” (13:39). As such, it acts together a model of divine communication and also as a sort of “teacher’s guide” to magnificent pedagogy. One learns from this book that magnificent pedagogy is based upon a methodology the what now would be referred to as “active learning.” To use the terms that Mike Higton applies to discovering in the new Testament, magnificent pedagogy in the Qur’an is a technique of participatory finding out the is based on an interleaved reading of 2 complementary sacred texts: the Qur’an and the lived world around us (cf. Higton , 5-6).

an aya , a verse of the Qur’an, is a to teach in the speech of God (9:6). A sign of God in nature is likewise called an aya .? In Lisan al-‘Arab (The Tongue that the Arabs), Ibn Manzur (d. 1311-12), one of the many authoritative vocabulary of premodern Islam, identified aya as a “sign” ( ‘alama ), a term the is etymologically related to the verb “to teach” ( ‘allama ) and whose relationship to contemporary semiotics cannot be overlooked. The purpose of these magnificent signs, whether they space to be found in between the consists of the composed Qur’an or in the “book” the nature, is the same: the is come teach person beings about the nature that the magnificent Reality. To be a human of knowledge ( ‘alim ), one must learn two registers of divine discourse: the Arabic message of the Qur’an and also the “text” of the natural world. ? The people is a book to be studied and learned through the human being of knowledge, just as the word of God is a book to it is in studied and learned by the religious scholar. The prophet Abraham read the indicators of God in the stars, the moon, and also the sun, and understood God to be the creator that the universe (6:75-79). ? Likewise, the prophet Solomon was inspired by God to find out the “discourse that the birds” (27:16).

Thus, indigenous the Qur’anic perspective, Muslims space “People that the Book,” but they execute not research the book in an simple way. ? The Qur’an renders it clear that spiritual learning is interaction ; the is supposed to transcend passive learning or rote memorization. ? Significantly, the Qur’an most often uses the Arabic verb “to study” ( darasa ) once referring not to Muslims, but to Jews or Christians. These earlier “Peoples the the Book” are depicted as absent the spiritual suggest of Islam through fetishizing words of God and by approaching the magnificent message in an unreflective way. An example of together a depiction deserve to be found in the following verse:

A succeeding generation succeeded them and inherited the Book. They take everything they uncover in this lower world and also say, “It will certainly be forgiven us.”? If something comparable came come them, they would certainly take the again. Have they not welcomed the covenant of the Book, such that they must say naught around God but the truth? and also they also studied ( darasu ) what is in !? The Abode the the Hereafter is much better for the God-fearing. Perform you not remember? (7:169)

discovering by seeing (Qur’an 6:101-106).

The only use of the verb darasa in the Qur’an the does not refer to Jews or christians is in Surat al-An’am (6. The Cattle): “Thus do we display screen our indicators ( ayat ), so that they might say to you , ‘You have actually indeed studied ( darasta )!’? and so the we might make clear for a human being who understand” (6:105). ? Here, the practice of formal study is referred to in a mocking tone, for in the paper definition of the broader discourse in i m sorry the city appears, real finding out is “learning by seeing” (cf. Higton , 2).? This latter form of finding out is described in the Qur’an together “The Eye of Certainty” ( ‘ayn al-yaqin , 102:7).? In the adhering to verses, learning by seeing requires the visionary endure of revelation, the display by God of indications to be review by those v discernment, and also spiritual vision as a type of consciousness, the sight that originates from the “eye” of the soul:

such is Allah, your lord.? over there is no god but He, Creator of all Things. So worship him, because that He is the agent ( Wakil ) of every Things.

Vision walk not recognize him, but he comprehends every vision. He is the Caring ( al-Latif ), the completely Informed ( al-Khabir ).

Visions ( basa’ir ) have involved you from your Lord. ? whenever one sees, the is for the benefits of his soul, and if one is blind, the is against . I am not your keeper.

for this reason do we display our indicators so the they might say to you : “You have indeed studied!” ? and also so the we might make clear because that a people who understand.

So monitor what has actually been revealed to you from her Lord. Over there is no god but He.? and turn away from those who assign partner to him (6:102-106).

The principle of “learning as seeing” that shows up in this discourse generally corresponds come Plato’s idea that the “vision” of the intellect; it refers to the expertise that is acquired by the spirituality intelligence, i m sorry the Qur’an locates metaphorically in the heart. Prior to attaining this kind of knowledge, the breast of the believer must very first be “opened to Islam” (39:22).? when the breast is opened, the heart assimilates God’s teaching as a magnificent “light” or illumination (39:22).? through the Eye that Certainty, what leader a human to expertise of God are not debates that room to be interpreted by the reasonable mind, however rather theophanic “appearances” ( bayyinat ) that strip away the veil the worldly phenomena to expose the magnificent Truth. This theophanies constitute a self-evident discussion for anyone through understanding.? The importance of together self-evident disagreements to the acquisition of spiritual knowledge is reflect in the truth that Sura 98 the the Qur’an is entitled al-Bayyina .

The teaching of Wisdom (Qur’an 2:30-39).

one of the most vital uses of the Arabic verb “to teach” ( ‘allama ) in the Qur’an can be found at the finish of city 113 in Surat al-Nisa’ (4, The Women), wherein the revelation the the Qur’an is depicted as a wisdom teaching: “Allah has revealed come you the publication ( al-Kitab ) and the Wisdom ( al-Hikma ) and taught friend ( wa ‘allamaka ) what friend did no previously know ( ma lam takun ta’lam ).”? that is clean from this passage that there space two main vehicles because that God’s teachings: created scripture, in the form of the revealed message of the Qur’an, and the subtextual “Book of Wisdom” the complements the created scripture. The semiotic nature of these wisdom teachings can be discerned in verses 30-39 of Surat al-Baqara (2, The Cow), which introduce humanity’s magnificent vicegerency and also describe the temptation and expulsion of Adam and Eve indigenous the Garden. ? In the an initial portion of this discourse us are educated that God taught Adam the “names” of all things:

and teach ( ‘allama ) Adam every one of the names. Climate He placed before the angels and said, “Make recognized to me the names of this if you without doubt uphold the fact ( in kuntum sadiqin ).”

said, “All glory is yours!? We have no understanding ( la ‘ilma lana ) other than that i m sorry you have actually taught united state ( illa ma ‘allamtana ).? Verily you space the Knowledgeable ( al-‘Alim ), the way ( al-Hakim ).

said, “Oh Adam! ? Make known to them their names.” ? and also when had actually made well-known to them your names said, “Did I no tell you that I understand the secrets of the heavens and also the earth ( ghayb al-samawati wa al-ard ), and that I understand what friend reveal and also what girlfriend conceal (2:31-33)?”

In this verses, the “names” that God teaches to Adam was standing for the important natures the things.? By to teach Adam the “names of all things,” God bestows upon humankind the wisdom the both the inner essences and the outer forms of developed things. This capability to know both overt and also subtle truths is fundamental to the principle of wisdom in the Qur’an. Because that the Sufi Ibn ‘Arabi (d. 1240), the “names” that God teach to Adam were, in a sense, God’s own names, because every one of existence is a manifestation the the divine names.? In publication 558 the al-Futuhat al-Makkiyya (The Meccan Revelations) Ibn ‘Arabi states, “In truth, ours entities space names. ? They deserve to be nothing other, because that in His own self God decrees and also differentiates affairs” (Michel Chodkiewicz, wilhelm Chittick, and also James W. Morris, The Meccan Revelations Volume i ).? follow to Ibn ‘Arabi, when the angels say to God, “We have no knowledge except what you have actually taught us,” they space actually saying, “We have no understanding of our existence apart indigenous what you have made well-known in us.” In other words, the self-knowledge the the angels, like the self-knowledge of every sentient beings, is not newly learned knowledge. ? Rather, that is “old” knowledge. That is, in effect, a remembrance of times that have actually been lost ( une recherche du temps perdus ) to contemporary consciousness, an existential remembrance that the primordial agreement struck in between creature and also Creator in ~ the beginning of time: “He make them testify worrying themselves : ‘Am I no your Lord?’ castle replied, ‘Yes, we do so testify"” (7:172).

Qur’an 18:54-82.

The most renowned parable that teaching and also learning in the Qur’an is the narrative of Khidr the hermetic sage (18:60-82), of who God says, “We taught him expertise from our very own presence” ( wa ‘allamnahu min ladunna ‘ilman ) (18:65). This “knowledge native God’s presence,” i beg your pardon is described in Islamic literature as ‘ilm laduni , specifies the wisdom ( hikma ) that is the score of magnificent pedagogy.? Surat al-Kahf (18, The Cave), where the Khidr rigid appears, has three story that are presented as parables in the manner of wisdom traditions: these room the narrative of the 7 Sleepers of Ephesus, the Khidr narrative, and the Dhu’l-Qarnayn (The Two-Horned One) narrative, i m sorry Muslim exegetes have associated with the Alexander romances of so late antiquity.? The Khidr narrative in particular is a parable that discipleship whose use of the imagery the a fish, a boat, and the sea is rather reminiscent of note 1:16-20 in the new Testament. This narrative is prefaced (18:50) by a reminder of the earlier narrative of the creation of Adam and of God’s command come the angels to recognize Adam’s vicegerency (2:30-39). The message goes on to state the God has explained the meaning of numerous parables in the Qur’an, but that people remain, because that the most part, argumentative and contentious (18:54). “Who,” asks the Qur’an, “is a better wrongdoer 보다 one who is reminded ( dhukira ) the the indicators of his Lord and also turns far from them, forget what his hands have wrought? ? Verily, we have actually covered your hearts through veils, lest they recognize it, and also over their ear we have actually placed deafness.? therefore if you speak to them come guidance, they will certainly never concerned guidance at all” (18:57).? This, indeed, is among the message of the Khidr narrative, in i beg your pardon the Prophet Moses is unable to remain patient with the unexplained? and also seemingly unexplainable? plot of his secret guide. Ultimately, Moses is rejected by Khidr together an unworthy disciple because his absence of patience denotes a lack of obedience. This is one of numerous reiterations in the Qur’an that the point made in ~ the beginning of this paper: that learning demands very first of every obedience and a willingness to listen and also “see.”

expertise by Remembrance.

city 18:57 over also reminds us that divine pedagogy, whether it is in the form of the created Qur’an or the wisdom heritage that acts together its complement, relies prior to all else on the ability of the love to psychic what it has “heard” or “seen” the the magnificent truth. In the Qur’an, the verb “to remember” ( dhakara ) appears in one or an additional of that is forms?in the feeling of remembering, recalling, invoking, recollecting, or remembrance?no much less than 280 times.? the is far an ext common than any kind of variation of the verb “to learn,” and also the frequency that its illustration underscores the prominence of remembrance as a tool of divine teaching.? “All that us relate come you of the stories of the Messengers the God,” claims the Qur’an, “is for the function of strengthening her inner love ( fu’ad ).? In this is the Truth, a warning, and also a remembrance ( dhikra ) for the believers” (11:120). Follow this and other comparable verses, the best sin committed by humans is ghafla , the forgetfulness the the self-evident truths the every produced being was born come remember.?

Ultimately, every one of the “hearing” and “seeing” that is component of finding out God’s wisdom in the Qur’an takes ar in the heart, i m sorry is the website of spirituality intellection.? although the pedagogy the the Qur’an likewise speaks come the mind as a means of pull close knowledge, it is clean from many passages the the mind, in its love the argument and attachment to rational pundit processes, might actually hinder remembrance and also render one “deaf” or “blind” to God’s message. In a letter come the Sufi Abu ‘Uthman al-Makki, the understand of the Sufi method Abu al-Qasim al-Junayd the Baghdad (d. 910) speaks in the adhering to terms of the scholar ( ‘alim ) who lives totally in the mind and is spiritually tone-deaf come God’s Wisdom:

The circumstance which stays clear of you and those in her state indigenous achieving her goal ~ . . . Long hrs of study and protracted meditation in collating your knowledge and increasing that is scope, is her inclination in the direction of indirect sophistical interpretation and also your predilection because that worldly standards of which friend yourself room unaware. Currently there space many species of those devoted to indirect interpretation.? over there is the kind who is mindful of his very own failings and recognizes his concealed fallibilities, yet nonetheless proceeds to translate indirectly; on fallible knowledge and also from time to time forgets the innate weakness in his technique of deducing knowledge. Over there is also the kind that favors indirect interpretation v the objective of clear and proven reality in his deduction. However in this procedure he can not escape his very own unwitting prejudice, i beg your pardon must affect him in his aim. As a result, he has actually an overweening to trust in the conclusions which the achieves and relies ~ above them specifically . . . people are they who have actually based their guidance ~ above the exposition of males whose counsel though sincere is wanting, males whose fate it is no to irradiate on the ultimate fact which lock seek. (Ali Hassan Abdel-Kader, The Life, Personality, and Writings the al-Junayd , 132-135).

In comparison to the scholar who is prevent by his own mind from discovering the magnificent Wisdom is the sage or wise male ( hakim ), that realizes that whatever he says or to know is meaningless unless it is very first sanctioned through God. The way man, echoing the teachings that the Qur’an, counsels the scholar to open up his heart to God’s wisdom and also to realize that knowledge acquired by remembrance is premium to the knowledge gained by officially intellection. ? This path, the means of the sincere student of the soul, is the just path toward the attainment of true knowledge. ? such a person, according to Junayd, “walks in the footsteps of the prophets and follows the method of life of the friend of God ( awliya’ Allah ) and the righteous ( salihin ).? he does no stray ~ innovations, nor does he refrain from accepting the agreed legacies of Islam.? In discovering he is expert, well grounded, and solid and his attitude is clear, explicit and balanced .


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… Such space those who have actually filled and beautified their resides with the remembrance of God.? They pass their stays in an excellent and fine works and they leave behind because that their other men a praiseworthy memory and also the brilliance of your light shines clearly for their fellow creatures” (Ibid, 143-144).