Salaam Alaiykum. We should accept information about knowledge not from beings who will experience death, but from the eternal and all knowing Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala, as well as from that extraordinary human being, Mohammad Sallallahu 'Alaihi Wa Sallam who is ‘ the mercy to all worlds’.
Muhammad Sallallahu 'Alaihi Wa Sallam is the mercy to all worlds since Allah says:
“We have not sent you (Prophet Muhammad) except as a mercy to all the worlds.” (21:107)
In the search for real understanding of knowledge we need to ask some basic questions and search for answers in the Holy Qur'an, the Sunnah and the Hadiths of Mohammad Sallallahu 'Alaihi Wa Sallam.
What is knowledge?
There are many secular definition of knowledge:
• Psychological result of perception and learning and reasoning. (wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwnd)
• Awareness and understanding of facts, truths or information gained in the form of experience or learning (a posteriori), or through introspection (a priori). Knowledge is an appreciation of the possession of interconnected details which, in isolation, are of lesser value. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge)
• Organized or contextualised information which can be used to produce new meanings and generate new data.( www.christlinks.com/glossary2.html)
• What the person knows.( www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/DV/Intro.html)
• The act or condition of knowing something with a familiarity gained through experience or association. It means "to perceive directly", "to have direct cognition", to "apprehend intellectually", "to acquire facts".(www.calvarychapel.com/redbarn/terms.htm)
• Understanding gained by actual experience. (www.haley.com/resources/Glossary.html)
• Relationships, facts, assumptions, heuristics and models derived through the formal and informal analysis or interpretation of data. (www.cordis.lu/ist/ka1/administrations/publications/glossary.htm)
• Organized body of information. The acquaintance with facts, truths or principles as from study or investigation or the familiarity with a partaker subject, branch of learning, etc. see also information and wisdom. (www.seattlecentral.org/faculty/jshoop/glossary.html)
I have chosen the various sources with intention to show secular thinking. All the above mentioned definitions are based on secular understanding of knowledge which is more or less the product of the isolated human mind. In the following text knowledge will be defined through the Qur'an and the Sunnah of Mohammad Sallallahu 'Alaihi Wa Sallam.
The most condensed and brilliant definition of knowledge and deed comes from Mohammad Sallallahu 'Alaihi Wa Sallam:
“Knowledge is the guide to the deed and the deed is the knowledge’s follower.”
Taking into account these definitions it could be concluded that, knowledge is the instrument to manifest the deed. There is no deed without knowledge. Mohammad Sallallahu 'Alaihi Wa Sallam said:
“Who are the learned? They who practise what they know.”
Knowledge without deed is not knowledge. The prophet's definition couples the deed and knowledge in a permanent bond. Here the deed is understood as a good deed, which benefits the individual as well as society. Everything else is a lack of knowledge and leads to bad deeds. Imam Jaffer as-Sadiq said:
“Don’t accept the deed without knowledge and there is no knowledge without application. Hence, whoever is knowledgeable is guided by knowledge to the deed and whoever does not act has not knowledge.”
Mohammad Sallallahu 'Alaihi Wa Sallam clearly explains the lack of knowledge:
“Sleeping with knowledge is better than praying without knowledge. Those who are acting without knowledge make more damage than profit.”
The competence of Mohammad Sallallahu 'Alaihi Wa Sallam to teach about knowledge is verifed in the Qur’an:
“Say: 'This is my Path. I call to Allah with sure knowledge, I and my followers. Exaltations be to Allah! I am not among the idolaters. '” (12.108)
Real knowledge must be useful knowledge. It should provide happiness and fulfilment of human requirements. Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala condemns all of those whose teaching is harmful to people:
«... It is the devils who disbelieved, teaching people magic and that which was sent down upon the angels Harut and Marut in Babylon. They did not teach anyone, until both had said: 'We have been sent as a trial; do not disbelieve. ‘From them they learned how they might separate a husband and his wife. However, they did not harm anyone with it, except by the permission of Allah. Indeed, they learned what harms them and does not profit them, yet they knew that anyone who buys it would have no share in the Everlasting Life. Evil is that for which they have sold their souls, if they but knew! » (2:102)
Mohammad Sallallahu 'Alaihi Wa Sallam warns:
“Ask Allah for useful knowledge, and seek refuge in Allah from useless knowledge.” Ibn Majah, op.cit., Sec. 34, No. 3843.
The Qur'an is an infinite source of knowledge because it is Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala’s Word, the Superior Word and Absolute Knowledge. Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala informs us that the Holy Qur'an contains and explains everything:
«Indeed, in their stories is a lesson for those of understanding. Never was it (i.e. the Qur'an) a narration invented, but a confirmation of what was before it and a detailed explanation of all things and guidance and mercy for a people who believe. » (12:111)
»With Him are the keys of the unseen, none knows them but He. He knows that which is in the land and sea. No leaf falls except He knows it, and there is no grain in the darkness of the earth, fresh or withered, but is recorded in a clear Book. » (6:59)
The seeker's incapability to find specific information does not prove that the Qur'an does not contain and explain it. The Qur'an is not the “Classified Pages” with classified information. There is no doubt that the Qur’an contains all information because the abovementioned statement is coming from Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala. However, it does not mean that all information is presented in literal meaning.
The seed of all information swims in the Qur'anic Ocean. These seeds are to be found at different depths, some in the shallows and some in the deep waters.
One should dive in to find it.
So, in summary, 'Yes' Knowledge is Power and with Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala lies ALL the knowledge. jazak ALLAH khair