Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Balance between Outer and Inner World of Knowledge October, 2017

             Knowledge is taking in different colors and assimilating it to become a rainbow for others. Knowledge is accumulation of facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education, the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject (or) awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation. Knowledge is just knowledge, it cannot be divided into worldly or hereafter. People who make these divisions think Money is the only product of the worldly knowledge but it is not. Knowledge should be acquired not with an intention to earn money, power or fame but just to be knowledgeable. Money is a by-product of your knowledge and it is knowledge that gifts you wealth as a by-product. Now the knowledge which has been acquired how can it be spread across or used for the benefit of others. Others who others. Others are a part of community or society we live in. The knowledge needs to be translated in the way other's can be benefited. Knowledge needs language or expression which other's can understand. And that is the job which knowledge provides you to fulfill few needs of the society. Society pays you back by giving you money or responsibility or power or fame. If you don't want these from the society fine ask them to pay through smiles.

             So the education system which is a medium to acquire knowledge has to touch vast and deep topics, vaster than the universe and deeper than the earth. It should be both of the Inner and Outer World. When we Humans and Nature are creation of God. Inner world's knowledge can be biological, emotional, psychological or spiritual from Human's perspective. Outer world's knowledge consists of social, anthropological, historical, geographical, astronomical, material and so on. So Knowledge both inner and outer is equally important and is a vast field to reach out to. If one color is missed rainbow cannot be formed.
                                              When we are knowledgeable we are bound to have learning based on perspectives because we have limitations. Knowledge is an ocean and a human can only drink a drop from it. But should the drop be just of inner knowledge or outer knowledge. There needs to be a balance. The difference in opinions are nothing but understanding of the same philosophy in a different perspective. Perspectives might be different but the truth is one. So if I bring this philosophy and implement in the form of observation of how Quran's truth has got it's perspectives. When we take the example of Sunnah and Quran, there are different perspectives to it. Few go into the deeper meanings, few just follow the literal sayings, few just want to by heart them, few would love to take Quran and Sunnah as base for scientific discoveries and inventions, few might love the poetic nature and excellence of Quran, few might see the historical and geographical relevance of it, few might see how it impacts social structure and brings on activism, few just read and enjoy it's beauty, few take it and implement in healing processes and on and on we find the same Quran and Sunnah being taken as base to construct the society around us and help it in its growth. So there is no conflict of interest everyone is doing his job perfectly fine. It would be ridiculous to say a Doctor is better than an Engineer, that is how I see one sect cursing other. Similarly I see religious cursing the worldly. Inner cursing the outer. Hold your difference of perspectives to appreciate others not to degrade them and humiliate other sects to uphold yours. The secular knowledge only expands our horizons of learning for inclusive living.
                                            The past glory of Muslims in Science was not the result of separation of science and religion example Ibn Sina and Canon of Medicine. Those revolutionary Muslim scientists were truly devoted to religion and became more spiritual while carrying out their scientific studies. There were no contradictions between their scientific thinking and their religious thinking, it only enhance their growth as a human and soul. In fact, the driving force behind their scientific discoveries was the Quranic command to observe the signs of God spread throughout the Universe. But if you feel today's scientific thinking is in contradiction with Quran why don't you stand up and prove them wrong using their own methods.
                                      Why are we getting aloof from the secular learning? Why is this division of Deen and Duniya? I want to share my own example here. The more I learnt from this world more did my faith in God increase. I have learnt from multiple mediums like Science and Technology, Film Making and Theatre, Sociology and Anthropology, Psychology, Pedagogy and Teaching Methodology, Tibb(Medicine) and when I come back and read Quran and it's Tafsir (Interpretation) I find these methods can be used aligned with it. There is no contradiction. We have to think how? As the eras changed, mediums changed, didn't our ancestors make use of those technologies and developments, are we not using mobile phones created by others, are we not using internet being created by others, why do we have this inhibition against the medium, if at all we should be concerned it should be about the content. Medium is never a problem content is. Why don't we contribute to the development of society as many in the past did?
Knowledge of the outer world and inner world needs to be balanced. The door between the inner-world and outer-world is where I stand. I find a tremendous connect between both. Same level of corruptions on both the sides, same kind of freedom movements inside and outside, same oblivions and confusions. Those who claim to be searching heaven in hereafter are equally lost as much as those who are trying to find an idealistic society here in this world. I stand here as a mere observer, that troubles me. In other words, human reason can subdue the forces of nature but cannot by itself find a satisfactory solution to the complexity of the problems of humankind. The holistic or integrative approach is the only way to balancing both aspects of human existence Duniya (the outer world) as well as Deen(the inner world) which is to acquire knowledge of the forces of the Universe and to use its power for the benefit of all humankind without any discrimination whatsoever. This is how we can create long-term balance between the outer and inner worlds. Yes, it is an ideal society I am talking about but Idealism is what I learnt from the belief in heaven. So let us find a balance and I am sure we will get it sooner or later.

Nuzhath M Syed is an Education and Communication Consultant. He writes curriculums and teaches holistic methods of education. He takes simulation workshops using Theatre. He likes to go into the depth of psychology and spirituality. He is a proponent of Art Integrated Education. He is an Artist and Sufi by heart and mind.

Get in touch with him at


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