One of the definitions of knowledge is the activation of the process of knowing or learning about something. if we do not have knowledge about something it remains nonexistent for us. Knowledge can be classified into three categories. First one is that we are supplied with information about something and that information is accepted by us with believing certitude. Second one is that in which we believe only when it is actually sighted by us. And third type of knowledge is that when we could feel the intrinsic qualities of the thing witnesses and could explore its inner depths. Spiritual people have denominated these three classes of knowledge as 1) True Knowledge, 2) Exact Truth and 3) the True Reality.
True knowledge (um-ul-Yaqeen) is that state of knowledge when we are informed that the scientists have invented a device which could annihilate hundreds of thousands of people instantaneously. Although we have not seen the atomic or nuclear bomb, we believe and are certain that there exists such a device.
Exact truth (Ain-ul-Yaqeen) is that state of knowledge when we are informed that scientists have invented a screen, which can display the pictures of an object, located at far off distances. Since we can see the phenomenon of transmitting a view from a distant station and its reception on a TV set therefore this knowledge is called the Exact Truth because the exactness of the truth of the knowledge has been confirmed by sighting it. We are informed that the basis of the universe and all that is existing in the universe is the light because the lights cannot be sighted by us nor do we have any knowledge about the structural formation of these lights therefore we would say that we do not enjoy the knowledge of True Reality (Haq-ul-Yaqeen). And, if we know the source and the structural formation of the lights and we can witness the reality of the light then it would be the state of knowing the True Reality.
Scientists have discovered that all that is existing on the earth is enveloped in lights. The lights surrounding an object has been witnessed to some extent with the help of specially designed photographic cameras in particular circumstances but anyhow now it has been confirmed that everything is encased in a shell of lights but this is yet to be discovered that what is the source of feeding for these lights. Since our knowledge is lacking about the source of feeding of these lights therefore it cannot be claimed that we have discovered the reality. Although now we know that this physical body is depending upon the feeding of the lights our knowledge about the source of feeding of these lights is almost nil. The spiritual students through practicing Muraqbah continuously enable themselves to have access to the True Reality after crossing the limits of the first two stages of knowledge; true knowledge and the exact truth.
When a spiritual master dwells upon something existing in the universe or explains some theory or idea he has three stages of knowledge in front of him. First of all he observes, examines and comprehends that thing scholarly then he observes that thing closely, minutely and in depth and then he contemplates to explore the reality of that thing. He does not feel at ease unless he has not succeeded in discovering the reality underlying the appearance of the thing under consideration. Before delving into the depths of these classifications of knowledge it is necessary that one should first of all enter the circle of information’s, that is, one should accept something as manifestation of knowledge.
It has been elaborately discussed in all the heavenly books and the Holy Scriptures that existence of something is only an information Before learning the knowledge of the Names, Adams was nothing, not even worthy of mentioning. Adam was granted knowledge first by God, the Omniscient and then was asked to tell about the knowledge learnt by him. Angels were also told to express.
They responded saying, “We know only that which You have taught us, we do not know more than that.” This conversation of angels decisively divulges that whether it is man or angel, in fact, is an aggregate form of knowledge achieved by him.
Angels were existing prior to Adam’s creation. The knowledge of angles was telling them that Adam (man) would be shedding blood and doing mischief. God did not refute them rather He said, “You know not what we know.” And, the angels also admitted that they know not except what they are taught by God. There is sagacity and wisdom in it that God himself says, ‘First I taught Adam the knowledge of Names and then commanded him to tell’. This explanation clearly proves that man’s whole life; whether it is internal or external, it is life in Purgatory before coming to the earth, the life on earth, The life hereafter in Aaraf, life in Doomsday, or in the Day of Resurrection, or the life in the Day of Judgement, or the life in Paradise or in Hell all depends upon the knowledge. If we are oblivious of Paradise and Hell then both are non-existing for us. If we do not know that we live even after death and the entire urges remains operative as they are here in this life then life in hereafter would be meaningless for us and we won’t be able to even mention the life of Aaraf. If we do not have this knowledge from the Holy Quran. Divine Scriptures and the Auliya with the prophetic legacy that we are accountable after death and we have to live in one of the two states then death and life in hereafter would become an absurd and useless thing for us and the concept of good and evil will lose its significance. The good and evil both are existing because we have been informed about them by the prophets of God.
One type of knowledge is that which is acquired through various means of learning available to us. This knowledge, in, terms of spirituality, is called the Acquired Knowledge i.e. the knowledge which can be acquired according to one’s conscious abilities. This knowledge, too, is a sort of ceaseless information. For example, we are familiar with one, two and three because it is passed down to generations as ceaseless uninterrupted information. We do mention one, two, three but we are unable to tell, what comes before one? if someone contradicts that this one is not one and two is not two then we have no authority to prove that one is actually one and it cannot be denominated as two and the two is actually two and nothing else.