During a lecture, I attended last month, on the HereAfter it was mentioned that there are three ‘Levels of Certainty’ :
1. Knowledge of Certainty – you see it with your heart and where there are no doubts
2. The Eye of Certainty – if you don’t see it with your heart, you will see it with the ‘eye of certainty’ – refers to the phrase seeing is believing
3. Truth of Certainty – Quran
Here’s some of my further research on the topic:
Certainty is referred to as al-yaqîn
This concept is rooted in Sufism, an inner dimension of Islam (hopefully I’ll touch on this topic in another post) – where I believe the basic belief is to internalize the character of a Muslim: to be in constant remembrance of Allah (swt) and to work towards purifying the heart and soul of the believer- basically building Iman (Faith in a believer).
May Allah (swt) increase me in knowledge and forgive me if I am wrong, but so far in the research that I have done I believe that Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi was responsible for developing the concept of the ‘Three Levels of Certainty’.
Who is Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi?
“Mystic, philosopher, poet, sage, Muhammad b. ‘Ali Ibn ‘Arabi is one of the world’s great spiritual teachers. Known as Muhyiddin (the Revivifier of Religion) and the Shaykh al-Akbar (the Greatest Master), he was born in 1165 AD into the Moorish culture of Andalusian Spain, the centre of an extraordinary flourishing and cross-fertilization of Jewish, Christian and Islamic thought, through which the major scientific and philosophical works of antiquity were transmitted to Northern Europe. Ibn ‘Arabi’s spiritual attainments were evident from an early age, and he was renowned for his great visionary capacity as well as being a superlative teacher. He travelled extensively in the Islamic world and died in Damascus in 1240 AD.” (Source: http://www.ibnarabisociety.org/ibnarabi.html)
What are the Three Levels of yaqîn (Certainty)?
1. Knowledge of Certainty, ‘ilm al-yaqîn (pronounced ‘illum al-yaqeen in arabic)– The first level of degree is known as the ‘knowledge of certainty’. At this level the “object of Certainty is knowledge just as the aim of knowledge is Certainty. Both together are in the soul uniquely, such that Certainty is the first degree of spiritual life and the last of speculative experience.”
2. The Eye of Certainty, ‘ayn al-yaqîn (pronounced ‘iyn al-yaqeen in arabic) – The second level is known as the ‘Eye of Certainty’. This is when the “object of certainty” is present in front of the person. This knowledge becomes known as “‘ilm-hudûrî (Presence of knowledge)” because it is within our reality before our very eyes.
3. The Total Reality of Certainty, haqq al-yaqîn – This is the third degree of Certainty. In this stage “certainty is the supreme truth” and “the object of Certainty is identical to the one who is experiencing it, knowledge being transformed into actual experience and actual experience into knowledge. At this stage, in fact, knowledge is not limited to the intellect, nor to the vision of the one who is contemplating it, it becomes one with the human being.” In other words, the supreme truth that we uphold as Muslims is the Quran and with its pages is a truth for all of mankind to understand and experience, no matter how intelligent they may be.
I hope this post enlighted you in some way or another. Try to personalize the concepts above to your own life to really define the meaning.
(Accessed: Monday, Nov 3rd, 2008. All quotes from above are from the SOURCE: http://www.ibnarabisociety.org/articles/osmanyahya.html)