The Insider (7): Reality of Self-knowledge (Know My Own Self)

By Salim I. Hassan
(written since 2008)
The main task for the man after the knowledge of his Lord (Allah) is to know, understand and recognize himself; he has to know his real nature and the purpose of his living in this world. The final attainment, aim, and achievement in this life is the knowledge of Allah and a wise man is he who can see his Lord and remains strictly obedient to him.

I know my Lord (Allah) as I know myself; Allah is my real and absolute creator whose commands must be strictly observed: and I am the servant of Allah. This world or earth is my examination hall: the sun and moon are my invigilators: Angels are my supervisors. Lastly, Allah, the most high, is my chief examiner. This is meant that, in this world I am taking an examination and my result will be presented in the Day of Judgment.

Whatever I do, doing, or did is for myself; if I am right, to praise or criticize me does not matter, because praise and criticism are always positive to me. And whenever I am wrong you should just pray for me. I am not sure if I can call myself a free-minded man-he who his mind is always positive toward praise and criticism, prosperity and adversity- he who stands strictly for the pleasure of Allah, not for the lust of paradise or fear of hellfire- he who his action does not contradict his intention and vice versa. This is the true culture of good servant of Allah. I wish to be raised up to such status.

Knowledge is man because it gives him personality. Man devoid of personality makes no difference from  simple animal. Value of knowledge is innumerable and unquantifiable. The noble prophet (S.A.W) says: “Seek for knowledge even to china”, and he also says: “Ink of the scientists is equal to the blood of martyr” stressing the value of knowledge. The best and the noblest kind of knowledge is the knowledge of Allah. I know and you should know that “the best human art which is highest in degree and noblest in rank is the art of philosophy, which is the knowledge of the true nature of things, in so far as is possible for man. The aim of the philosopher is, as regards his knowledge is to attain the truth, and as regards his action is to act truthfully, asserts Al-kindi (The great Arab philosopher).

Yet, you must fight for one thing (knowledge) and against the other (ignorance)-I can call them evil and good. The replacement of ignorance by knowledge is the only salvation.

I have realized that knowledge is a vast ocean full of bless and benefit: and ignorance is a wide ocean full of regret and worry.

While I am writing my presentation, I must maintain that the only beneficial knowledge is that of Allah’s sake: the negative of this idea leads to oneself-destruction. In the struggle of my pursuit of knowledge, I have chosen to have God-fearing so that my lord (Allah) will inspire me with direct knowledge. Perhaps I will be among the self-knowledgeable men.

And do not forget that no matter how fully knowledgeable you are, you remain ignorant yet, because the how much you know is not more than how much you don't know; and also “وفوق كل ذي علم عليم – says Allah (s.w.t) in his sacrosanct Qur’an, meaning “Above every knowledgeable man there is one who is even more knowledgeable”. 

As for my relation with fellow men, I believe to be my better self. I might not know all what you know, and vice versa. You might excel me in one area and I might excel you in another. Your thought might not necessarily be better than mine, ditto for me. I have my own ways to see and analyze things. They might be a little bit differed from yours. Just as Allah says “ان سعيكم لشتى....”(Your deeds are indeed diverse), so our thoughts, opinions, perceptive, experiences, ideas and lots more, I think. Our differences are not meant to contradict one another, but to share knowledge and exchange ideas.

What unjust and erred human can see in me is not the yardstick of my true self in the sight of my Lord. So they don’t have to interfere with my self-esteemed faith. If you think you have all right to air your view so don’t ever try to hijack this right from others, for none of us is receiving the ‘Divine Knowledge’, WAHY, if you can know it.   In every incidence, event, happening and any debatable/controversial issue I believe I've the most right to express my point of view, having in mind that criticism is a most in academic/intellectual field. But why some want to strip you of your faith just because of perceptual differences in certain issues. I know that freedom of expression an academic liberties are far too precious to be smothered by intimidation campaigns.

Finally, I cannot change how people feel about me. I don’t even try to do so. I just live my life to be happy with my Lord, Allah. 

But I always ask who is there to judge me? Unjust, erred, selfish and ignorant man or Just, All-perfect and Omniscient Allah, the God-Almighty.


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