تَمامُ العِلْمِ اِسْتِعْمالُهُ۔

The completeness of knowledge is [in] its application.



The completeness of knowledge is [in] its application.

— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: Knowledge)

Personal Reflection

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all worlds. May peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (), his pure Ahl al-Bayt, and his noble companions.

The Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states,

The completeness of knowledge is [in] its application.

This thought-provoking saying emphasizes the importance of not just acquiring knowledge, but also putting it into practice. Let us delve into the exegesis of this Hadith in light of the Quran.

The key word in this Hadith is (knowledge) "عِلْمِ", which refers to the understanding and awareness of a particular subject matter. Knowledge is a powerful tool that can transform individuals and societies, but its true value lies in its practical application. Merely possessing knowledge without implementing it in our lives is incomplete and fails to fulfill its purpose.

The Quran beautifully emphasizes the significance of applying knowledge in numerous verses. In Surah Al-Imran (3:79), Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,

It is not for a human [prophet] that Allah should give him the Scripture and authority and prophethood and then he would say to the people, 'Be servants to me rather than Allah,' but [instead, he would say], 'Be pious scholars of the Lord because of what you have taught of the Scripture and because of what you have studied.'

This verse highlights that the true purpose of knowledge is to guide individuals towards becoming pious scholars who serve Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) and benefit humanity. It emphasizes the importance of using knowledge to empower others and promote righteousness, rather than seeking personal authority or control.

Another verse that supports the Hadith is Surah Al-Mu'minun (23:84), where Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says,

Say, 'To whom belongs the earth and whoever is in it, if you should know?' They will say, 'To Allah.' Say, 'Then will you not remember?'

This verse reminds us that knowledge should lead to reflection and action. Understanding that everything belongs to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) should motivate us to utilize our knowledge for the betterment of society and the fulfillment of our responsibilities as stewards of the earth.

Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) statement also highlights the consequences of neglecting the application of knowledge. When knowledge is not put into practice, it remains stagnant and fails to bring about positive change. It becomes a mere intellectual exercise, devoid of any real impact on our lives or the lives of others.

Furthermore, the Hadith serves as a reminder of the importance of seeking knowledge with the intention of implementing it. It encourages Muslims to actively engage with the knowledge they acquire, using it to make informed decisions, solve problems, and contribute to the betterment of society. By doing so, they embody the true essence of knowledge and fulfill their duty as responsible individuals.

Reflecting on this Hadith, we are reminded of the example set by Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) himself. Known for his immense knowledge and wisdom, Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) was not only a scholar but also a man of action. He applied his knowledge in various aspects of life, including governance, justice, and spirituality. His actions serve as an inspiration for Muslims to strive for the completeness of knowledge through its practical application.

In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) teaches us that true knowledge is not limited to its acquisition but lies in its application. It emphasizes the importance of using knowledge to benefit oneself and others, and to fulfill our responsibilities as servants of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ). By actively applying our knowledge, we can strive towards the completeness of knowledge and make a positive impact in the world. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the wisdom and motivation to apply the knowledge we acquire, and may He bless us with success in this world and the Hereafter.

. : . (Readers are advised to verify the sources mentioned above, and to independently research for an accurate understanding of Hadith. Remember, personal research and seeking guidance from scholars are essential in gaining a better insight. Please, do contact us if you find any wrong citations or explanations.)

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