3 kinds of Knowledge: Excerpt of Daata Sahib’s Kashf ul Majoob
Muhammad b. Fadl al-Balkhi says:
“Knowledge is of three kinds ~ from God, with God, and of God.”
Knowledge of God is the science of Gnosis (ilm-i ma’rifat), whereby He is known to all His prophets and saints. It cannot be acquired by ordinary means, but is the result of Divine guidance and information. Knowledge from God is the science of the Sacred Law (ilm-i shari’at), which He has commanded and made obligatory upon us.
Knowledge with God is the science of the “stations” and the “Path” and the degrees of the saints. Gnosis is unsound without acceptance of the Law, and the Law is not practised rightly unless the “stations” are manifested. Abu ’Ali Thaqafi says: Al-ilm havat al-qalb min al-jahl wa-nir al-ayn min al- zulmat, “Knowledge is the life of the heart, which delivers it from the death of ignorance: it is the light of the eye of faith, which saves it from the darkness of infidelity.”
The hearts of infidels are dead, because they are ignorant of God, and the hearts of the heedless are sick, because they are ignorant of His Commandments. Abu Bakr Warraq of Tirmidh says: “Those who are satisfied with disputation (kalam) about knowledge and do not practice asceticism (zuhd) become zindiqs (herctics); and those who are satisfied with jurisprudence (ftqh) and do not practise abstinence (wara) become wicked.”
This means that Unification (tawhid), without works, is predestination (jahr), whereas the assertor of Unification ought to hold the doctrine of predestination but to act as though he believed in free will, taking a middle course between free will and predestination. Such is the true sense of another saying uttered by the same spiritual guide, viz.: “Unification is below predestination and above free will”.