authoritatively, however great, learned and accomplished they may be, nor can their judgements be accepted as decisive. They cannot form part of the learned consensus of the science.
For example, the judgement of a great engineer on the diagnosis and cure of a disease does not have the same value as that of the lowliest physician. In particular, the words of denial of a philosopher who is absorbed in the material sphere, who becomes continually more remote from the non-material or spiritual and cruder and more insensitive to light, whose intelligence is restricted to what his eye beholds — the words of such a one are unworthy of consideration and valueless with respect to non-material and spiritual matters.
On matters sacred and spiritual and concerning the Divine unity, there is total accord among the hundreds of thousands of the People of Truth, such as Shaykh Gilani (May his mystery be sanctified), who beheld God’s Sublime Throne while still on the earth, who spent ninety years ad-vancing in spiritual work, and who unveiled the truths of belief in all three stations of certainty. This being the case what value have the words of philosophers, who through their absorption in the most diffuse details of the material realm and the most minute aspects of multiplicity are choking and dazed? Are not their denials and objections drowned out like the buzzing of a mosquito by the roaring of thunder?
The essence of the unbelief that opposes the truths of Islam and struggles against them is denial, ignorance, and negation. Even though it may appear to be an affirmation of some kind and a manifestation of being, it is in reality negation and non-being. Whereas belief is knowledge and a manifestation of being; it is affirmation and judgement. Every negating aspect of belief is the gate to a positive truth or the veil covering it. If the unbelievers who struggle against faith attempt, with the utmost difficulty, to affirm and accept their negative beliefs in the form of acceptance and admission of non-being, then their unbelief may be regarded in one respect as a form of mistaken knowledge or erroneous judgement. But as for non-acceptance, denial, and non-admission —something more easily done— it is absolute ignorance and total absence of judgement.
In Short: The convictions underlying unbelief are then of two kinds:
The First pays no regard to the truths of Islam. It is an erroneous admission, a baseless belief and a mistaken acceptance peculiar to itself; it is an unjust judgement. This kind of unbelief is beyond the scope of our discussion. It has no concern with us, nor do we have any concern with it.
The Second Kind opposes the truths of belief and struggles against them. It consists in turn of two varieties.