According to Dr Sharib:
"Al-'Alim is the One Whose knowledge is so thorough and perfect that it
is beyond understanding and it cannot be fathomed even by any stretch
of the imagination."
He points out that the knowledge bestowed on man is not eternal as is
God's knowledge and it is limited. Men's knowledge, even that of the
prophets, depends on Allah, but He depends on no one.
"The knowledge of the prophets is related to the outer and inner senses,
whereas the knowledge of Allah does not depend on any sense."
Correct use of knowledge is required to emulate the name.
Appropriate invocation can make one enlightened or can open the gates
of gnosis or knowledge.
see 'The 99 Most Beautiful Names of Allah' by Dr Zahurul Hassan Sharib
Some other references:
Al-Ghazzali refers to difference between the knowledge of man and the
knowledge of God. There is a difference in quantity due to the infinite
nature of God's knowledge. There is a difference in the quality of the
clarity of knowledge since man's knowledge is always somewhat veiled.
There is also the important difference that the things that men can know
themselves derive their existence from God's knowledge.
(Al-Ghazzali - The Ninety-nine Beautiful Names of God. Trans. Burrel/Daher: ITS: 1992.)
Some Thoughts on Knowledge
The holy Prophet Muhammed said: - 'Seek knowledge even unto China'
(the furthest ends of the earth).
Hazrat Ali said: 'knowledge is life and health'.
Hazrat Khawaja Muinuddin Hasan Chishti said:
'Unless a salik follows Hazrat Ali and unless he has a true relationship
with him in his heart and soul, not even a thousand years of austerity and
war with the self will give him a glimpse of the knowledge of God
The divine name 'the Knower' (al-Alim) is one of the dhikrs of devotees,
and it is appropriate for beginners among the wayfarers. It contains
wakefulness for meditation and by it fear and hope are attained.
Ibn 'Ata' Allah (d 1309) quoted from the Shambala guide to Sufism. C. Ernst. 1997.
Traditional expression: 'Knowledge is power'
It is said that the holy Prophet is the 'City of Knowledge' and Hazrat Ali is
the gateway. In Sufism access to the real knowledge is a gift, and it
cannot be gained by study or asceticism alone. To prepare oneself to be
capable of receiving such a gift the disciple should follow his guide
assiduously, and be ever anxious to help others, even in small ways, and
not look down on people, but treat everyone with courtesy and
consideration according to their need.
The one with knowledge may feel like the short sighted person who has
acquired spectacles. Now he sees the same things - but clearly and they
|Bismillah ir Rehman ir Rahim
The Omniscient One, The Knowing One
It is He Who hath created for you
All things that are on earth;
Moreover His design comprehended the
For He gave order and perfection
To the seven firmaments;
And of all things He has perfect knowledge.
Huwal-lazii khalaqa lakum-maa
samaawaat; wa Huwa bi-Kulli
(Qur'an 2: 29 trans. Y. Ali)
(Al-'Aleem, Al-'Aliim, )
(the angels speaking to God)
They said: "Glory to
Thee: of knowledge
We have none, save what Thou
Hast taught us: in truth it is Thou
Who art perfect in Knowledge and Wisdom."
"Subhaanaka laa 'ilma lanaaa
'illaa maa 'allamtanaa: 'innaka
(Qur'an 2:32 trans. Y. Ali)