MAULANA’S WISDOM: Knowledge and Wisdom (2)

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Knowledge is like a plane and wisdom is its fuel. Without fuel planes can’t fly. Thus, there are so many scholars, but they are still waiting for fuel. They are so proud of their wings that sometimes they go around like this, like that, on the plane but not flying. Perhaps they say that the knowledge of Sufis is not knowledge, because to them, the only knowledge to be found is what we read in books. We call this products of the mind. These products grow bigger and bigger. It becomes a load, a heavy load for our heads to bear because we have to carry it around with us. Knowledge from the heart differs from this.

Products of the heart carry us. We have to carry mind-products, but heart-products carry us. It was because of this that Abu Yazid Bistami, a famous Grand Shaykh in the most distinguished Naqshbandi order, addressed scholars, saying, “Oh scholars, you carry your knowledge about. You are always looking to see whether that knowledge is becoming less and less, going down. You are always looking because when you put aside the knowledge that you got through books, you then have to carry those books around with you to refresh your minds. You are like horses, putting too heavy a load on yourselves, carrying it around, and you are always tired. But we are not in need of carrying books, to be like a horse bearing so heavy a load. Rather our knowledge carries us. Therefore you are bearing a heavy burden, while our knowledge carries us along.”

For this reason, all mind-products are a heavy load for scholars. The Prophet, beloved Muhammad (saws), said, in the original words of a Tradition (hadith), “The calamity of knowledge is forgetfulness.” The thing that destroys knowledge is to forget it. Therefore, each scholar is always worried about that point because he or she is growing older. At every moment his or her mind’s power grows weaker. Everything it may hold little by little leaves. Scholars are always thinking about this, about forgetting. There are so many things that causes our memory to grow weaker and weaker.

Now people, even if they are scholars, are under the command of their egos. They do as their egos want so that their memories weaken. They do not use their hearts. Hearts are never weak. Hearts are strong, but we do not use them. My Grand Shaykh, Sultan of the Friends of God, Shaykh Abdullah ad-Daghistani, may God Almighty bless him, was about 113 when he died. He used heart memory. When the heart’s memory is all right, it never weakens. Such a person may know from the beginning of his life up to its end. He never loses his memory. However, those who leave their heart and use only their mind’s memory, are going to find that their knowledge decreases in time.

Therefore that Grand Shaykh, Abu Yazid Bistami, said to scholars, “If you have no books, you are finished. If you forget what is in your memory, you are going to be empty vessels with nothing in them. You bring from outside and put into the minds’ memory. When your minds are finished, they are like empty cups. Our knowledge, on the other hand, are springs in our hearts.” Therefore, you can see that when they are old people, they lose everything. They lose what they say, what they do. But it is impossible to stop the springs of wisdom of those who have them in their hearts. It is impossible to stop those springs. The springs carry them, as well. Wisdom is a Divine power. It does not have ordinary properties, no. Divine powers come through wisdom and may take that person, by his physical body, from the East to the West in a second, may take them from earth to the heavens.