Ilm (Arabic, knowledge) is especially knowledge of high status in Islam, which is because of the strong doctrine of creation (all things coming from God and having revelatory of him) is combined an absence of anything resembling original sin (which might make humans incapable of appreciating God’s self-revelation in the created order). It is believed that the capacity for ilm is a gift from God, which, when exercised, will lead the individual to a deeper knowledge of himself. However, this concept later became devalued because philosophical speculations led to suspicions that knowledge for its own sake led away from Islam, which led to an increasing subordination of reason to revelation. A.G.H.


Bowker, John, The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, New York, Oxford University Press, 1997, pp. 468-469