THE BOOK (AL-KITAB) MEANS QURAN AND WISDOM (HIKMAH) MEANS MAN MADE BOOKS OF PERSIAN IMAMS ?
When the Qur’an gives a concept then it does not leave it hanging in the air, but it also defines that concept. It is stated in certain verses of the Qur’an that the messenger of Allah was to give the knowledge of ‘Al-Kitab’ and ‘Hikmah’. Now the Qur’an will itself define what is ‘Al-Kitab’, i.e. The Book or written laws, and what consists of ‘Hikmah’ i.e. wisdom. The following verses inform us:
“Our Sustainer! and raise up in them a messenger from among them who shall recite to them your verses and give them knowledge of The Book and the wisdom (Hikmah), and provide development to their personalities; surely Thou art the Mighty, the Wise.” (2:129)
“Certainly Allah conferred a favor upon the believers when He raised among them a messenger from among themselves, reciting to them His verses and providing development to their personalities, and giving them the knowledge of the Book and the wisdom (Hikmah), although before that they were surely in manifest error.” (3:164)
In the above and many similar verses it is mentioned that the messenger is to give knowledge of the Book and the wisdom. The Book or ‘Al-Kitab’, refers to the Qur’an, as this is clarified in many other verses itself, e.g. ”Alif Lam Mim. That is The Book, (Al-Kitab) there is no perplexity in it, guidance to those who guard (against evil).” (2:1-2)
“And recite what has been revealed to you of the Book (Al-Kitab) of your Sustainer..” (18:27)
But traditionalists imply that ‘Hikmah’ or ‘Wisdom’ in the previously mentioned verses refers to something other than ‘Al-Kitab’, hence it is another type of revelation which the messenger received. According to them, this revelation which is identified as ‘Hikmah’, is the un recited hidden revelation of Allah, and is not contained in the Qur’an but it is to be found in the books of traditions authenticated by their sect. However to term the books of traditions as ‘Hikmah’ is very wrong as the Qur’an itself clarifies what is ‘Hikmah’, as we shall see.
The claim that ‘Hikmah’ is some revelation outside of the Qur’an is refuted by Allah Himself when after stating the divine values of the Qur’an, He says:
“This is of what your Sustainer has revealed to you of ‘Hikmah’ (wisdom), and do not associate any other god with Allah lest you should be thrown into hell, blamed, cast away.” (17:39)
Thus the above verse identifies the Qur’an itself to be ‘Hikmah’, and it is confirmed that ‘Hikmah’ is simply another attribute of the Book of Allah. In Surah Al-Qamar this is again repeated:
“There have already come to them Recitals wherein there is (enough) to check (them). Mature wisdom <Hikmat ul baaligha> but (the preaching of) Warners profits them not.” (54:4-5)
Finally those who are under the misconception that ‘Hikmah’ is <wahy ghayr matlu> i.e. the “un recited revelation” outside of the Qur’an, are clarified in the following verse that ‘Hikmah’ is also <wahy matlu> i.e. recited revelation and is contained within the folds of Allah’s Book, not outside of it.
The wives of Nabi are reminded:
“And bear in mind that which is recited in your houses of the revelations of Allah and wisdom. Lo! Allah is Subtile, Aware.” (33:34)
The above verse clearly states that ‘Along with the Ayat of Allah, ‘Hikmah’ was also recited in the homes of the wives of Nabi, thus this nullifies the claim that ‘Hikmah’ consists of ‘un recited revelation’.
The Qur’an makes it evident that ‘Hikmah’ is not some revelation outside of the Qur’an, but is simply another attribute of the Qur’an itself. All the messengers of Allah, received ‘Al-Kitab’ i.e. the written laws and injunctions for governing human society, but along with the law, Allah also gave the wisdom or rationale behind that law. Since the law of Allah was not meant to be applied forcefully upon people, and it is something that the people have to accept using their faculties of reason and free will, therefore whenever the Qur’an ordains a law, it also gives the wisdom or reason behind it and asks us to reflect upon the benefits we derive by implementing the divine law in our societies. E.g.
After giving the injunctions for modest dress for women, the Qur’an states the wisdom or ‘Hikmah’ behind that law as:
“..This (dress code) will be more proper, that they may be recognized, and thus they will not be given trouble..” (33:59)
Similarly the rationale i.e the ‘Hikmah’ behind the prohibition of intoxicants and games of chance is identified when it is stated:
“They ask thee concerning intoxicants and gambling. Say: “In them is great enervation (Ism)” (2:219)
The above verse identifies intoxicants, i.e. liquor, drugs, gambling etc as “Ism”, an Arabic word which means “Enervation” i.e. such a thing which produces weakness and atrophy in something. And it is no secret what gambling, drugs and alcoholic drinks are doing to human society nowdays. Thus Allah asks us to think, ponder and reflect on the benefits of implementing His laws and even gives the wisdom behind the divine injunctions. That is why among the often repeated attributes of the Qur’an, one is <Al-Hakeem>, that is, “The Book of Wisdom”, as the following verses identify:
“Ya Seen. I swear by the Quran full of wisdom (Hakeem). Most surely you are one of the messengers.” (36:1-3)
“Alif Lam Mim. These are verses of the Book of Wisdom (Hakeem). A guidance and a mercy for the doers of goodness,” (31:1-3)
‘Book and Wisdom’ does not mean two different things – rather one, the Quran. This fact can be observed in the following verse as well:
“We sent our messengers with clear Revelations, and we sent down the Book and Balance so that people could uphold justice…” 57:25
“The Balance” and “Book” are both referring to the Qur’an. Yet, it is expressed as “Book and Balance”, like “Book and Wisdom”.
“Remember, Allah’s blessing on you and the Book and Wisdom He has sent down (Anzala) to you to admonish you. Have fear of Allah and know that Allah has knowledge of all things.” (Qur’an 2:231)
The words “He sent down (Anzala)” as used in the above verse is used regularly in the Qur’an to refer to Allah’s verses being revealed. It is Quranically strange for Allah to use the words “sent down” to refer to ordinary words of the Prophet as he spoke day-to-day with one another. Thus, the ‘Book and Wisdom’ being sent down are referring to the Qur’an itself, Qur’an is both the Book and the Wisdom.
Thus it is evident from the above that ‘Hikmah’ is not some un recited revelation outside of the Qur’an, but one of the attributes of Allah’s Book it self and refers to the rationale and wisdom that is given behind the divine laws. Those who insist upon claiming that ‘Hikmah’ refers to the books of traditions of their sect, should be asked, that in the Qur’an, Allah says that He gave ‘Hikmah’ to:
David (2:215), Jesus (3:48), The Followers of Abraham (4:54), Luqman (31:12) etc, So were all these people given the books of traditions of a certain sect if ‘Hikmah’ is implied to be as such?
Lastly, as an additional point, the word Hikmah is also used in the Qur’an to refer to the insight possessed by all true believers. It can refer to such things as belief in the existence of Allah, the Day of Judgment and adherence to good deeds, one’s ability to use his or her conscience, pondering on Allah’s signs are just some of these:
“He gives wisdom to whoever He wills and whoever has been given wisdom has been given great good. But no one pays heed except the people of intelligence.” (Qur’an 2:269)
Books of Allah teaches mankind these qualities of a wise person. This may be the reason why the Quran and all previous Scriptures have been referred to by the word ‘Wisdom – Hikmah’