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What is hikmah?

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)


One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

what is the meaning,concept,scope and limitation of "Hikmat" in Islam.Please give a comprehensive,elaborate,complete and comparative description with references of Quran,hadith & Islamic history.


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What is Hikmah?

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Dear and Beloved Brother, the question that you have posed on Hikmah is so vast, that were we to satisfy all your conditions, we would require to write a volume of books, but even then we would not be able to do justice to your question! Thus brother, what we will do, Insha Allah, is give you a synopsis or the principles of hikmah as the term is understood in light of the Quran and the Sunnah.


The literal meaning of the Arabic term hikmah would be wisdom; and hikmah can and must be applied to every aspect of our living lives. One might have undergone 30-40 years of learning and be a very learned and knowledgeable person, or one might work 18 hour days and be a very hard worker; but if knowledge and hard-work is not associated with hikmah or wisdom, the results would be disastrous to say the least!


Hikmah or wisdom is the application of the right knowledge at the right time to a particular issue. It could be with ones thought, ones upbringing, ones friends, ones associates, ones relatives, ones family, ones spouse, ones children, ones work, or on a collective basis with ones governance or rulership. There is absolutely no limitations to the application of hikmah or wisdom in every aspect of ones life!


The scope or concept of this term does indeed become humble when it is associated with the hikmah and Wisdom of the All-Powerful, All-Mighty Lord of the Worlds. In fact, one of Allahs Noble and Exclusive Attributes is that He Alone is the Al-Hakeem or the Most Wise! Whatever is associated with Him is based on His Hikmah, be it His superb creation, His Laws, His Books, His Messengers, His Commands, His Guidance or His Judgment. Whatever and whoever is not associated with Him is bound to be devoid of Hikmah and wisdom, and thus would have nothing but ignorance, foolishness, and falsehood!


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 62 Surah Jumuaa verse 1: Whatever is in the heavens and on earth doth declare the Praises and Glory of Allah, The Sovereign, The Holy One, The Exalted in Might, The Al-Hakeem (The Wise One).


The Al-Hakeem (Wise) Lord, in His Infinite and Sublime Mercy, revealed His Book of Guidance for all mankind, which again if full of Hikmah and wisdom! And the All-Wise, All Knowing Lord named it the Al-Quran and gave it its attribute of Al-Hakeem.


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 31 Surah Luqman verses 1-9:

1 Alif Lam Mim.

2 These are Verses of the Wise (Hakeem) Book,

3 A Guide and a Mercy to the Doers of Good,

4 Those who establish regular Prayer and give regular Charity and have (in their hearts) the assurance of the Hereafter.

5 These are on (true) guidance from their Lord; and these are the ones who will prosper.

6 But there are among men those who purchase idle tales without knowledge (or meaning) to mislead (men) from the Path of Allah and throw ridicule (on the Path): for such there will be a humiliating Penalty.

7 When Our Signs are rehearsed to such a one he turns away in arrogance as if he heard them not as if there were deafness in both his ears: announce to him a grievous Penalty.

8 For those who believe and work righteous deeds there will be Gardens of Bliss.

9 To dwell therein. The promise of Allah is true: and He is Exalted in Power, The Al-Hakeem (The All-Wise).


Allah Subhanah, in His Wisdom and Knowledge, bestowed two things upon mankind (and the Jinns) which He did not bestow on any amongst His superb creation:

Intelligence or the Power of Reasoning

A free-will for a limited period of one life allowing man to choose what way of life he wills; a life of guidance or misguidance, a life of wisdom or ignorance!


The ones, who with their bestowed intelligence and power of reasoning, recognize their Lord Creator, and submit their bestowed free-will to the Will of their Creator will be the wise in His Sight; deserving His Mercy, Forgiveness and Grace.


The ones, who with their bestowed intelligence and power of reasoning, deny their Lord Creator, and choose not to submit their free-will to the Will of their Creator will be the ignorant and arrogant in the Sight of their Lord; deserving His Wrath and Anger.


Thus wisdom or hikmah when it concerns man is to strive to use his faculties of intelligence and power of reasoning, and recognize and submit to His Al-Hakeem Lord and Creator. Everything one does in alignment with His Guidance will be based on hikmah; and anything one does which is not aligned to His Guidance will be devoid of hikmah and thus ignorance!


Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 66 Narrated by AbuYa'la ibn Shaddad ibn Aws

The Prophet (saws) said: A wise person is one who keeps a watch over his bodily desires and passions, and checks himself from that which is harmful and strives for that which will benefit him after death; and a foolish person is one who subordinates himself to his cravings and desires and expects from Allah the fulfilment of his futile desires.



Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 9.255 Narrated by Abdullah

Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "Do not wish to be like anyone, except in two cases: (1) A man whom Allah has given wealth and he spends it righteously. (2) A man whom Allah has given wisdom (knowledge of the Qur'an and the Sunnah) and he acts according to it, and teaches it to others."


If one trusts, obeys, and follows the guidance and commands of Allah and His Messenger (saws), he can be assured of never ever being misled; but if one believes, obeys and follows any other guidance, other than that of Allah and His Messenger (saws), he can be assured of being led astray.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your Brother in Islam,





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