Only such Knowledge is beneficial, whose rays spread through the breast and heart, and dispel the veils of doubts and suspicion from the heart.
Beneficial Knowledge (Ilm-e-Naafi’) refers to the knowledge of Allah’s Thaat (Being) and Sifaat (Attributes). It is that knowledge by which man learns the way of worshipping Him. The similitude of this Knowledge is that of a lamp or candle. When it is cast in the heart of the bandah (servant of Allah), its rays illumine his heart and all vestiges of doubt and suspicion pertaining to either the Deen or the dunya (world) are eliminated. In everything the doors of Yaqeen (absolute conviction) and Haqeeqat (reality and truth) are opened up and the darkness of shahwat (lowly desire) is dispelled from his heart. This is the meaning of Haqeeqat-e-Ilm (The Reality of Knowledge).
Any knowledge which is devoid of this quality and effect is not Ilm. It is merely a verbal knowledge (i.e. it is not Haqeeqat-e-Ilm). (In other words, it is an outer-facade or a mere shadow of Knowledge devoid of reality – Translator.)
Beautiful Ilm is such Knowledge which is accompanied by fear for Allah.
Divine Fear is to perceive in the heart the greatness and grandeur of Allah Ta’ala. When Ilm is accompanied by this quality, it will be the best and most beautiful Knowledge because Allah Ta’ala has praised in His Kalaam those who possess such Ilm. He says:
“Verily, among His servants only the Ulama fear Allah.”
Thus a knowledge devoid of Divine Fear is not Ilm nor is the bearer of such superficial knowledge an a lim-e-Haqqaani. The sign of an a lim-e-Haqqaani is Divine Fear. The sign of Divine Fear is obedience to the Shariah. In the absence of obedience to the Shariah, understand that Divine Fear is non-existent.
A knowledge which is accompanied by worldly desire, flattery of worldly people, acquisition of only the world, pride, distant and great hopes, and neglect of the Hereafter is not Ilm. Such an a lim is not among the Inheritors of the Ambiyaa.
If along with knowledge you have the Fear of Allah, then only will it benefit you. Minus this Fear, the knowledge will be harmful for you.
The Knowledge accompanied by the Fear of Allah – the meaning of which has already been explained – will prove beneficial in this world and in the a khirat (Hereafter). The knowledge which is shorn of this quality will be harmful in this world and the a khirat.
There is a difference between the Ulama-e-Haqq and those who are not among the Ulama-e-Haqq. While Divine Fear is the attribute of the former, the latter are devoid of it. They are proud and arrogant on account of their (superficial) knowledge.