“In Islam the meaning of Ilm (Knowledge), is Uloome-Ma‟aad (the Knowledge of the Abode of Return), i.e. the Knowledge necessary for success and salvation in the Aakhirah. This is the Knowledge of the Qur‟aan, Hadith and Fiqah (the Knowledge of the Shariah). It is termed the Knowledge of Ma‟aad because we on earth are on a journey which was initiated in Jannat which is our true and original Home. Just as our Progenitors/Ancestors Hadhrat Aadam (alayhis salaam) and Hadhrat Hawwaa (alayhas salaam) were created in Jannat, so too was all mankind created in Jannat. After the creation of Hadhrat Aadam (alayhis salaam), Allah Ta‟ala extracted all the arwaah (souls) of the entire mankind in the form of infinitesimal creatures, and took the Pledge of Obedience from them. With Hadhrat Aadam‟s descent to earth, his entire progeny was also transferred from Jannat to earth. It is therefore imperative to acquire that Ilm which is necessary for a safe journey back Home. Secular knowledge or only knowledge of the Arabic language is wholly inadequate. Similarly, one who acquires the Knowledge of Ma‟aad but does not submit to it or he distorts and changes it (with baatil interpretation), is like the Kuffaar of Makkah. There is no difference between him, Abu Jahl and Abu Lahab.” (Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi)


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