Information and knowledge

One of the vital matters for the information age is to know the difference between information and knowledge. If one is informed of something that someone else knows then that is information. When one knows it oneself with genuine knowing then it is knowledge. Quite properly in every culture there are means to verify information. This differs from discipline to discipline. In the sciences of Islam, there are, for example, the sciences of intellect (‘aql) and the informational sciences of transmitted reports (naql). For this latter there are very necessary sciences of verification of the authenticity of the chains of transmission and other sciences. So the sciences of naql revolve around isnad and ijazah. However, if a person fulfils all of these criteria he does not necessarily yet have knowledge. He is a master of information but is not necessarily a person of knowledge. What it takes to become a man of knowledge is another matter, which is not well attended to. One of the great afflictions of the age is that people take the masters of information for people of knowledge.

 Source: Abdassamad Clarke

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Filed under Islam, Religion, Seeking knowledge

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