When we look around in our society it is highly disappointing. It contains every kind of evilness and this is rising day by day. It is dilemma that we have a book of light Holy Quran with us but we did not take benefits from this Holy book. Have you ever think that the previous Prophets were gifted with miracles but they left the world without passing them to their Ummah whether our last Prophet Hazrat Mohammed PBUH passed every miracle to his Ummah whatever he possessed. But the question is that if the Ummah took advantage from that gift of Prophet PBUH? During earlier eras people took benefits from the discoveries of Islamic scientists then eventually we set back from our achievements. This time we have all scriptures, exegesis. Publications of philosophers, psychologists, and for self-help but we find no peace in society. We are following the basics of our religion but despite this the society is corrupt. Western societies are progressing but we are perplexed. The flaws of our societies yet to address, we are the ones who will raise this issues and the correct them. According to the Human Development report by UNESCO. Europeans read 35 books/ year. Jews read 41 books/year while Muslims read one book/year. According to the report of Arab thought foundation cultural development Europeans read 200 hours yearly while Muslims and Arabs read 6 hours only.
When we look upon the curriculum of religion so we conclude that it is not paying any attention towards our personality building nor teaching us the morality. Allama Iqbal proposed an Idea of reconstruction of religious thoughts in Islam during 1930s, do you ever think What he said to us. We are bound to think there is a root cause of the problem and then we conclude that Humans could not recognize themselves.
Regarding this we have prepared some lectures that will also help you to figure out the problem. First of all we will take a Verse of Holy Quran and Hadees of Prophet Mohammed PBUH according to narration “He who knows his soul knows his Lord “.
"من عرفہ نفس فقط عرفہ رب ہو"
From Last 1400 years we are blessed with Both Verse and Hadees do ever think if any one of us brought these as a point of discussion or debate. Let’s have a look over history “Know Thy Self “(recognize yourself) is repeated many times. But traditionally it is attributed to ancient Greeks. Pausanias, a geographer of Greek in the second century AD. According to him this proverb was found on the arch of the front door of the Temple of Delphi, known as the temple of Apollo in Greece. This proverb is commonly known as Oracle of Delphi. As Greek philosophy spread this proverb became a touch stone, standard for western Philosophers.
Knowledge of one’s self encompasses everything within itself the learned proverb with experience can also be applicable on different levels. This is the highest form of knowledge that is prior to any knowledge. Intuitive knowledge is free from the bondage of time that’s means the next/ upcoming generations can have benefits from the benefits had taken in previous eras as well. The universal quest for self-knowledge also shows that the devotion of self-knowledge had not varied from an institution. Most of the philosophers expressed this wisdom among them the Thales of Miletus was significant. According to him the most difficult thing in the world is the recognition of yourself.
Lately, Socrates and Plato has gripped over this mysterious knowledge. According to Plato the essence of knowledge is self-knowledge. As far as we have researched this notion that recognize yourself is seen in east that is completely different from the influence of the Greeks. It is mentioned in the scriptures of Hindus in which the self is highlighted and it has been realized that with the help of self-knowledge the human life can be miraculous. Hindus claim that when a man born he doesn’t possessed any self-knowledge. To gain knowledge about it is a daunting task.
More than that the in East the famous Tao Te Ching of Imperial China, which is attributed to the Chinese classic religious text and LAO-TZU of the sixth century BC. It is narrated in it that knowing others is intelligence, knowing yourself is true wisdom, mastering others is strength mastery yourself is true power.
This command of two words has reached us today passing through different periods of history from ancient times. An advise of know thyself wrapped in limelight, knitting itself in different nations, rituals, religious and worldly traditions is significant in spiritual knowledge, art and literature. We see the announcement of this ancient proverb in all sub-continents by all communication means.
The statement know thy self has significance in past and it is not attributed with any particular tradition or a person. This deep proverb has appeared in Egypt before the three traditions from Greece, China and Hindustan. According to Plato, Thales Anaximander, Pythagoras and Solon, they acquired their basic education from Egypt. Herodotus the Greek father of History has studied in the institutions of Egypt for 23 years. It is recently been learned that this statement know thy self is mentioned on the main entrance of every temple in Egypt.
The Egyptian civilization is 3150 BC and in their intuitions the saint teachers required from their students to purify themselves physically, mentally, and spiritually before entering into the institutions for study, and in this regard they wanted that student should analyzed themselves that can be done by fasting and prayers so they can bring humbleness in them and they may confined their desires as well.
So the history of know thyself is as significant for us as the ancient generations took benefits from it and some people were failed to get benefits from this statement. Or they have left a great legacy of complete literature for us with the help of that the construction of ourselves is our responsibility. In this age it is a big challenge for us that we should take initiative for tough research of self-knowledge and by recognizing the self we can adorn our life and eternal life.
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