WHAT WISDOM BRINGS WITH IT
The wise are defined in the Qur'an as: "Those who
listen well to My precepts and follow the best in them are the ones whom
Allah has guided. They are the people of understanding". (Surat az-Zumar:
18) Allah had rewarded these people with wisdom because, they unfailingly
follow the path Allah has shown them, they carry out the advice of the
Qur'an meticulously, and they clearly abide by their conscience.
Wisdom is a very important factor that opens the doors to many other beneficial qualities. A wise person displays his uniqueness in every situation, by his actions, and the things he says, and he elicits great respect and admiration from those around him. Wisdom is such an important quality, that it goes on making one more and more superior right to the end of one's life.
The pages to follow will be a reminder of what a blessing wisdom is by touching
on some examples of the superiority conferred by wisdom.
Foremost among the qualities people of wisdom acquire is the morality of the Qur'an, which opens the paths to many beauties in this world and the Hereafter. The wise man is one who meticulously practices the morals Allah lays down in the Qur'an. The Qur'an recommends such moral qualities as honesty, genuineness, sincerity, modesty, peacefulness, compassion, justness, tolerance, and forgiveness among many other virtues. And a wise person is successful in displaying all of these qualities in the best possible way, in every situation he or she faces. He knows that the more care he takes in evincing these qualities, the better Allah will recompense him in the Hereafter.
For this reason, a wise person acts according to his conscience in situations he faces every day. For example, he helps someone in need without leaving the responsibility to others. He carries out all the good things he knows that Allah will approve of, without missing any of them. Or he helps someone who is trying to carry a heavy object instead of sitting and watching him. Whenever he sees someone who is elderly or sick on a bus, he prefers to stand and give his seat to that person. Otherwise he knows that he will be uncaring and this is something Allah will not approve of. Even when he faces a situation that angers him, he knows that Allah will prefer him to act with kindness, so he overcomes his anger and responds to the person concerned with kind words. He is always honest, even when he knows that it will be of disadvantage to him.
One, who displays all the above qualities in the best possible way till the end of his life using the full power of his mind, lives a good life in this world. Moreover, because he was aiming to please Allah with his behaviour, he will be rewarded with Heaven are elaborated upon in the following verses:
But as for those who believe and do right actions,
We will not let the wage of good-doers go to waste. They will have Gardens
of Eden with rivers flowing under them. They will be adorned in them with
bracelets made of gold and wear green garments made of the finest silk
and rich brocade, reclining there on couches under canopies. What an excellent
reward! What a wonderful repose! (Surat al-Kahf: 30-31)
SAGACITY - DISCERNMENT
Sagacity is the human ability to understand and comprehend things quickly. Discernment is the ability to recognize the essence of things, to be foresighted and to have an insight on the truth in its every detail. The source that provides both these qualities to human beings is their wisdom.
In one of His verses, Allah draws attention to the importance
of discernment and defines people who lack this quality as blind; "The
blind and the seeing are not the same. Nor are those who believe and do
right actions the same as evildoers. What little heed they pay!" (Surah
In another verse in the Quran, the difference between those who possess this quality through wisdom and those whose sight and comprehension are blocked is compared as:
Is he who knows that the truth has been sent down to you from
your Lord like him who is blind? It is only people of understanding who
pay heed. (Surat ar-Ra'd: 19)
One who possesses sagacity and discernment has the capability to analyse an event, a behaviour, or a word in the best possible way. He can draw the best conclusions from his past experiences and use these in the most appropriate way for future events. He can cleverly analyse his situation, means, and the condition he is in and can make the most out of these and use whatever means he has at hand to the best advantage. Before he undertakes any task, he takes every possible precaution, foreseeing any future problems, and acts accordingly. Everything he says is appropriate, his manner entirely composed, and his thoughts are the product of a clear mind and understanding.
If people of wisdom possess these qualities, it is because they live out their lives trying to earn Allah's approval and sincerely aiming for the Hereafter. The Qur'an reminds us that the Prophets sincerely turned towards the Hereafter and in accordance with the high morals they displayed they were people of strength and discernment.
And remember Our servants Ibrahim, Ishaq and Ya'qub,
men of true strength and vision. We purified their sincerity through sincere
remembrance of the Hereafter. They shall dwell with Us among the righteous
whom we have chosen. (Surah Sad: 45-47)
WISDOM, DECISIVE SPEECH,AND THE ART OF PUBLIC SPEAKING
Another aspect of wisdom which most people fail to recognize is its ability to add purpose to one's mannerisms and speech. Most people miss the point that the actual source of such mannerisms and speech is wisdom. On the contrary, they think that wisdom is a quality that can be acquired through education and experience. That is why it is generally thought that the only way to speak well and persuasively is to memorize rules of influential speech by taking classes or reading books on how to speak effectively. These books outline when people should start and stop speaking, when they should laugh, and details such as these which are supposed to produce effective oratory. They believe that people can be successful speakers in relation to how well they follow these rules.
However, it is definitely not possible to bind effective speaking to any rules. On the contrary, truly effective speaking is not linked to any rules and is not memorized, rather it is a "sincere speech", which comes from the heart, without any difficulties, and without artificiality. And only people of wisdom possess this type of perfection in speech. The one who speaks with wisdom leaves a deep impression on the hearts of his listeners with the sincerity of his words.
One who is far from religion can make a good speech on a topic within his area of expertise with proper emphasis and by following the rules of speech. However, we shouldn't forget that the qualities mentioned do not reflect any wisdom in this speech. For a speech have wisdom, it has to be sincere and leave a deep impression on the hearts of the listeners. A wise person is someone who can explain what he wants in the most genuine and sincere way, with the most striking examples. In one verse, Allah points out the importance of wisdom by stating that He has given this quality to the Prophet Dawud (as):
We made his kingdom strong and gave him wisdom and decisive
speech. (Surah Sad: 20)
As is seen in the verse, along with giving wisdom as a virtue, "decisive speech" is also mentioned. To attain such a blessing one doesn't need to have any special talent or expend any extraordinary effort. It is given by Allah to those who have faith and are sincere.
However, wisdom is not something that manifests itself only in speech. It is evinced also in a wise person's mannerisms and decisions, and in the analyses he makes. It is declared in the Qur'an that this important superior quality is given to many of the Prophets:
They are the ones to whom We gave the Book, Judgement
and Prophethood... (Surat al-An'am: 89)
And with Allah's permission they routed them. Dawud killed
Talut and Allah gave him kingship and wisdom and taught him whatever He
willed... (Surat al-Baqara: 251)
"Yahya, take hold of the Book with vigour." We gave him
judgement while still a child. (Surah Maryam: 12)
In other verses of the Quran, it is stated that Allah can give wisdom and insight to whomever He wills:
He gives wisdom to whomever He wills and he who has been given
wisdom has been given great good. But no one pays heed but people of understanding.
(Surat al-Baqara: 269)
From all these verses we can understand that this
great blessing, given to a responsive person, brings about "strength of
expression" and with it the "ability to persuade". A believer takes the
opportunity to explain the true religion and morals of the Qur'an in the
best possible way, with the qualities of wisdom, decisive speech, and
apt expression, as Allah advises: "Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom
and fair admonition, and argue with them in the kindest way..." (Surat
A SUPERIOR ANALYSIS ABILITY
Another important quality wisdom brings with it is the ability to "analyse things". Anyone can recognize and make comments on any given thing. However, of where people of wisdom excel is in their recognition always being appropriate and their ability to see details which others cannot. The secret of this appropriateness and fine recognition ability is that believers use the Qur'an as their guide and use their wisdom toward its ends. The Qur'an is Allah's just book. As a consequence, people who obey the Qur'an will definitely tread the most righteous path.
This ability of wise people makes for superiority and ease in every part of their lives. Above all else, they can analyse in detail the character of the people they meet. As a result they can easily determine their friends and enemies. By taking the characters Allah introduces in the Qur'an as their guide, they can understand others' characters in a very short period. Moreover, their ability to realize at the outset which events are in their favour and take precautions accordingly is a great advantage to them. Also, it is those with wisdom who can appreciate the beauties of the people around them, the details of which generally go unappreciated and the signs of wisdom they demonstrate.
Another important quality of wise people that merit attention, is that they do not need to make lengthy observations or gather detailed information before making correct assumptions. A wise person's chief quality is his ability to arrive at correct conclusions with as little evidence as is needed and in the briefest possible time.
A wise person can determine whether a person is lying by his mannerisms at that time, by inconsistencies in his speech, by his efforts to explain the situation in detail, by his restless behaviour, and many other factors depending on the situation. A person lacking wisdom will fully trust a person who is lying and even talk about his honesty. Because of this, he can go into a partnership with the dishonest person and suffer materially and spiritually as a consequence.
The reason why people lacking wisdom draw wrong conclusions and make wrong decisions under the same circumstances is that they don't follow the Qur'an's teachings. Allah therefore draws attention to the fact that only the wise can see and comprehend the examples given in the Qur'an and reminds us that people who know and who don't know are not the same:
Such metaphors-We devise them for mankind; but only those
with knowledge understand them. (Surat al-'Ankabut: 43)
What of him who spends the night hours in prayer,
prostrating himself and standing up, mindful of the Hereafter, hoping
for the mercy of his Lord? Say: "Are they the same-those who know and
those who do not know?" It is only people of understanding who pay heed.
(Surat az-Zumar: 9)
ATTENTION AND CLEAR CONSCIENCE
In the Qur'an, Allah reminds people to heed Him and draws their attention to various topics:
Everything in the heavens and on the earth belongs to
Allah. He knows what you are engaged upon. On the Day when they are returned
to Him, He will inform them of what they did. Allah has knowledge of all
things. (Surat an-Nur: 64)
What! Are they in doubt about the meeting with their
Lord? What! Does He not encompass all things? (Surah Fussilat: 54)
Have they looked at the sky above them:how We structured
it and made it beautiful and how there are no fissures in it? And the
earth:how We stretched it out and cast firmly embedded mountains onto
it and caused luxuriant plants of every kind to grow in it, thus offering
an insight and a reminder unto every human being who turns to Allah. (Surah
As the above verses recall, Allah advises people to apply their minds to thinking clearly, analyzing situations rightly, and thus seeing realities. However, it shouldn't be forgotten that the ability to focus our attention as mentioned in the Qur'an is a quality evinced only by people of wisdom. We are told in the Qur'an that only the wise reflect on and take the advice of the teachings of the Qur'an:
… But only people of understanding pay heed. (Surah Al 'Imran:
It is a Book We have sent down to you, full of blessing, so
let people of understanding ponder upon its Signs and take heed. (Surah
So, people of wisdom who focus their attention as the Qur'an instructs can see the whole of reality. They grasp primarily that there is no god other than Allah, that He is the owner of the whole universe, and that the Hereafter is a definite reality.
As we dwelt upon previously, a clear conscience and close attention manifest themselves at all times in a wise person's life. Knowing that Allah created everything for a reason, that everything they experience and every utterance they hear are parts of the test created for them, and that they're responsible for all the things they're faced with, sharpens their attention. As a result, they can sense a developing threat in their environment and take the appropriate measures before anyone else. In the same way, they can instantly determine a positive development by paying close attention.
It is true that intelligence also provides people with a certain superior awareness. But the difference made by wisdom in this case is that it notices details that intelligence can't distinguish and this gives the opportunity to analyse, take precautions, and make timely decisions. For example, an intelligent and alert person will realize that there is a burglar in his house by paying attention to the sounds coming from the basement. A wise person, on the other hand, is one who will take definite precautions and bring lasting solutions to the possibility of a burglary before the situation develops to this extent. He will have thought about all the alternatives to the possibility of a burglar entering and worked extensively on this issue. For example, he will set up a sophisticated security system that will definitely prevent a stranger from entering the house.
So, this is the ideal type of attention one should be capable of. A wise person
does not just cope with a dangerous situation as it's happening. He takes
precautions before the danger begins to develop, before he faces such
a situation, even where many of the relevant factors are not immediately
obvious. After he has determined these actual dangers, he takes definite
precautions in order not to be subjected to them.
A STRONG PERSONALITY
A wise person knows that all creatures alive or not, submit to Allah and nothing ever happens in this universe without His permission. His submission to and the trust he reposes in Allah enable him to be fearless of anyone or anything except Allah and thus enables him to develop a strong personality. Because he knows that Allah controls everything, his behaviour towards others or in different situations does not change. As he strives to earn Allah's approval and not that of other people, he doesn't ever make a concession in his personality, behaviour, and morals for any personal benefit.
However, we should remember that the true meaning of a "strong personality" is actually different from the way it is used in ignorant circles. People far from religion, believe that the only way to build up the personality is through arrogance, formality, and gravity. They think that the more a person makes his difference from and superiority over others felt by those around him, the greater the personality he has. However, this kind of conduct does not denote a strong inner personality but is rather aimed at hoodwinking others and projecting "an image" of an individual with a great personality to those around him.
Real personality has nothing to do with pride, gravity, formality, or outward appearances. According to the Qur'an, a strong personality indicates one's fear of Allah and as a result of this, shows determination in living by the morals of the Qur'an. One with strength of personality never compromises upon the truths told to him by Allah for any reason or for any worldly gain, and never condescends to crude or unpleasant behaviour. So, these are the qualities that give a person a real personality and people who are steadfast in maintaining these qualities are people of wisdom. People of wisdom who never stray from the right path are given this good news in the Qur'an:
The angels descend on those who say, "Our Lord
is Allah", and then take the right path to Him. They say: "Do not fear
and do not grieve but rejoice in the Garden [i.e., Paradise] you have
been promised." (Surah Fussilat: 30)
ALLAH'S HELP AND SUPPORT
You who believe! You are only responsible for yourselves.
The misguided cannot harm you as long as you are guided. All of you will
return to Allah and He will inform you about what you were doing. (Surat
In this verse Allah informs the believers of a very important reality: unbelievers cannot misguide believers.
The right path can be reached only by those who have faith and who follow the teachings of the Qur'an. Because such people always take the teachings of the Qur'an as their guide and live their lives accordingly, they always receive Allah's help and support in return. Allah helps believers and has promised to help those who help his religion:
… Allah will certainly help those who help Him-Allah is Powerful,
Almighty. (Surat al-Hajj: 40)
Allah explains in another verse, that He helps and supports those that believe in Him sincerely and that He makes things easier for them:
As for him who gives [generously], performs his duty
and acts charitably in the finest manner, We shall facilitate an easy
way for him. (Surat al-Layl:5-7)
... Whoever heeds Allah-He will make matters easy for
him. (Surat al-Talaq:4)
Those who seek the protection of Allah, His Messenger
and the faithful must know that it is Allah's followers who are victorious!
(Surat al-Ma'ida: 56)
In Surat al-Anbiya', Allah points out that the truth and justness always wins over falsehood. This is why, people of wisdom who follow the right path always win against those who hide behind falsehood. Allah tells us this truth:
We hurl the truth against falsehood and it cuts right through
it and it vanishes clean away!... (Surat al-Anbiya': 18)