Two Types of Knowledge
May 29, 2014
Words of the Prophet versus Words of Men
February 4, 2015
To be sure, the Islamic intellectual tradition is a rich source of insights and wisdom articulated by a host of outstanding scholars and seers over the last fourteen centuries: insights and wisdom to which they were led in the course of their effort to understand the meaning of God’s message and the way of His last Messenger. Hence, it would not be surprising if a great many men and women of our time, who are baffled by the bewildering circumstances confronting them, will find a great deal in this tradition that will help them find a new, constructive orientation in their lives. It goes without saying that the way to benefit from the treasures of Islamic tradition is not to carbon copy the ideas of these great thinkers and blindly apply them. This tradition will yield the riches of its meaning only to persons with keen minds and genuine curiosities. It is only such persons who will discover valuable gems of wisdom in the writings of Muslim thinkers and savants that would either elude the grasp of the mediocre and the undiscerning, or would appear to them as utterly irrelevant to the problems of the age.
—Zafar Ishaq Ansari, Editor’s Note, Muḥammad al-Ghazali, The Socio-Political Thought of Shāh Walīullah. International Institute of Islamic Thought. Islamabad, Pakistan. 2001.