How to find a good Teacher - Part 6: Signs of the learned men of the hereafter

>> Sunday, September 21, 2008

Obviously by the title this is the 6th part of the series, again there is only one sign I share here.

In The Words of Imam Ghazzali

(7) Seventh sign. The seventh sign of the learned man of the next world is that his main object of anxiety is to learn secret knowledge, observation of the heart, knowledge of the paths of the hereafter, to travel thereon and to have abiding faith in finding self-mortification and observation, because self-mortification leads to Mushahadah or contemplation and lets flow the fountain of wisdom through the intricate details of the science of heart. Reading of books and learning of sciences are not sufficient for it but this wisdom appears as a result of hard labour. It opens if one sits in loneliness with God with a mind turned with humility of spirit towards God and through self-mortification, observation and watching. This is the key of

Iham or inspiration and the fountainhead of Kashf or secret knowledge. Many students who have been learning for a long time could not move more than what they heard. There are many students who cut short their education and remain busy in action and observation of the heart. God opens for them the niceties of wisdom for which the wisdom of the wise becomes perplexed. For this reason, the Prophet said: If a man acts according to his learning. God gives him such a knowledge as was unknown to him. It was also mentioned in one of the books of ancientages: 0 children of Israel, don't say that knowledge is in heaven. Who will bring it down to the earth? Don't say that knowledge is in the lowest abyss of the earth? Who will dig it out? Don't say that knowledge is far beyond the ocean. Who will bring it after crossing it?

Know, 0 dear readers that knowledge is in your hearts. Take its lesson from those who have got knowledge of soul or heart and make one's character like that of the Truthful and then knowledge will spring forth in heart, so much so that it will immerse him therein. Sahal Tastari said: The learned men, the worshippers and the ascetics departed from the world with their hearts locked up. They can not be opened except by the hearts of the truthful and martyrs. Then he recited this verse of God: To him are the keys of unseen things. None knows them but He (6 : 59). Had it not been for the fact that the light to the heart of one who has a heart with inner light determines the outward or esoteric knowledge, the Prophet would not have said: If they seek justice of you (thrice), ask your heart. The Prophet said that God said: A man continues to come close to Me with optional divine servings till I love him. When I love him. I become his ears with which he hears, etc. So many are the subtle meanings of the mysteries of the Quran that appear in devotee. the hearts of those persons who have devoted themselves to Zikr and meditation of God. It is not found in the commentaries and it also did not appear in the hearts of the reputed commentators. It appears as a result of the meditation of a devotee. When its meaning is presented to the commentators, they take it as good and realise that they are the news of a pure soul
and a
gift of God arising out of sincere devotion and reflection. The condition of secret knowledge, the science of practical religion and the subtleties of the flow of thoughts of the heart is similar.
ch of these beneficial learnings is an ocean of which the depth is beyond reach. Each disciple gets its clue in proportion to his ability and good deeds.

Hazrat Ali said in the course of a long discourse about such men: Hearts are like different vessels and the best vessel is that Which holds good things. Men are of three kinds-the divine learned men, the travellers to the path of salvation, and the ignorant people calling towards evils who are swayed by every passing wind. Their hearts are not illumined by the light of knowledge and stand not on its firm foundation. Knowledge is better than wealth. It guards you, but you guard wealth. Knowledge increases by expense, while wealth decreases Learning is knowledge by which religion is learnt and by which allegiance is obtained in your lifetime and which becomes a good thing to be remembered after your death. Knowledge is a judge and wealth seeks justice. Along with death, the benefits of wealth disappear, but the benefits of knowledge remain. All people are dead, but the learned are alive and will live as long as time shall last. Then taking a deep breath and pointing to his breast Hazrat Ali said: Alas, here is abundant knowledge, but I find none to carry it. I don't find any trusted seeker but I find such men who seek the world with the weapon of religion and attribute to the friends of God the gift's of God and give prevalence of His proof over His creations, make subdued the seekers of truth, but on the first onslaught of opposition doubt arises in their minds. They lose their insight owing to their scepticism and keep themselves busy in indulgences. They amass wealth and hoard it. 0 God, thus will knowledge perish when its people will die. The world will not be free of men who will establish religion secretly and openly in order that the proofs of God are not obliterated. They will be few in number but they will be great in honour. They will be lost openly, but their pictures will reign in hearts. God will preserve His religion through them. They will leave the religion for their successors and will plant it in the hearts of the young. The real nature of knowledge will be disclosed with their help. They will get good news from the life of sure faith. They will make easy what the rich think difficult and they will make clear what the heedless think obscure. They will keep company with the world with their bodies, but their souls will be kept hanging in lofty places. They are servants of God among His people, His trustees and deputies on the earth. Then he wept and said: How eager I am
meet them. These are the attributes of the learned men of the next world which can be gained by constant actions and sincere efforts.