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n. the height of human understanding, especially that of a mystic


Hikmah (, ) is an Arabic word meaning wisdom. Hikmah is important to Islamic philosophy.

In Islam, Allah is viewed as All-Wise and messengers are given scripture and wisdom . Muslims believe that those who reject faith in God are rejecting wisdom. "The parable of those who reject Faith is as if one were to shout like a goat-herd to things that listen to nothing but calls and cries: Deaf, dumb, and blind, they are void of wisdom."

Mulla Sadra defines it as

"Hikmah is to know the best of things by way of the best of sciences. And the one who excels in the knowledge of the details of various things is referred to as one who is hakim."

"One who is muhakkam is an old man with experience, and such a person has hikmah ascribed to him."

"Hikmah is justice in judging, and it is knowledge of the reality of things according to how they really are, and it has also been described as the established strength of knowledge-based logic. It has also been defined as reaching the truth with knowledge and action…and when it is said 'ahkamahu,' this means that one has been prevented from committing evil."

"A hikmah is a silver saddle that weighs down a riding beast, and it is called this because if humbles the animal for the one who will ride it, preventing it from going wild, etc."

"It is that which prevents ignorance."

Abd ar-Rahman ibn Nasir as-Sa'di said: "Hikmah consists of the beneficial sciences, knowledge of correct facts, firm logic, composed spirit, and being accurate in speech and action. And all of these affairs are not rectified except by hikmah, which is to put things in their proper places, assigning them to their proper status, being forthcoming when it is appropriate to do so, and refraining when it is proper to do so."

Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi said: "What is meant by hikmah is either knowledge, or doing that which is correct."

Ibn 'Ashur said: "Hikmah has been explained as knowing things for what they really are, as much as is possible. In other words, it is such that one is not confused by various doubtful possibilities mixed together, and is not mistaken as to why certain things have occurred."

Sayyid Qutb said: "It is accuracy and justice, and realization of reasons and goals, and lightened insight that guides one to that which is correct and accurate in his movements and actions."

Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani said, in regards to the hadith of Abd Allah ibn Abbas, that the Messenger of Allah said: "O Allah! Teach him the hikmah!": "And there is a difference of opinion in regards to the meaning of hikmah here. So, it was said that it is: correctness in speech; understanding of Allah; that whose correctness is confirmed by logic; the light that distinguishes between inspiration and devilish whispers; quickness in answering correctly; and some of them explained hikmah here to mean the Qur'an." ['Fath al-Bari'; 7/100]

Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya said: "The best that has been said regarding hikmah is that which was said by Mujahid and Malik: "Knowledge of the truth, acting upon it, correctness in speech and action," and this is impossible to achieve except by understanding the Qur'an, and having fiqh in the laws of Islam and the realities of faith."

Ibn al-Qayyim also said: "Hikmah is to do that which needs to be done, in the manner in which it needs to be done, at the time in which it needs to be done."

Ibn al-Qayyim categorized hikmah into two types, and three levels. Ibn al-Qayyim's two types of Hikmah are:

  1. related to knowledge, to realize the essence of things, and to understand the connection between cause and effect – in regards to the Creation, occurrence of events, fate, and legislation
  2. related to action, to put things in their proper places

Ibn al-Qayyim's three levels are:

  1. "that you give everything its right and do not exceed the limits in this, and that you do not rush it before or delay it past its proper time"
  2. "that you realize Allah's intent in His Promise, realize His Justice in His Decision, as well as His grace in preventing you from something. And from that which defines this level is that which has been said by the people of firmness and Sunnah: 'Hikmah consists of the lofty and praiseworthy goals that are necessitated by his Creating and Commanding, for which He Commanded, and for which He Predestined"
  3. "that you reach the highest levels of knowledge when making deductions and coming to conclusions, and it is the insight, the knowledge of which is to the heart like something which is being looked at to the eyes that are looking at it (i.e., in confirming that the organ is functioning properly). And this is the exclusive level that has been reserved for the Companions over the rest of the Ummah, and it is the highest level that the scholars can reach."