Al-Ilm al-Laduni and the Suryani (Syriac) Language
Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
Allahuma Sali Ala Sayyidna Muhammad
Another such blessing that Allah ﷻ has bestowed upon His selected is the knowledge of ‘al-ilm al-laduni’ or ‘direct knowledge from God, knowledge of the unmanifest world”. Hujjat al-Islam Imam Ghazali (d.1111) in his treatise titled, al-Risala al-Laduniya touches upon this subject of ‘direct knowledge’, in response to a scholar of the exoteric sciences. He criticizes such a scholar saying, “Know that one of my friends told me about a certain scholar who rejected [the existence] of “direct knowledge from God, knowledge of the unmanifest world” (al-‘ilm al-ghaybi al-laduni), upon which knowledge the elect of the Sufis rely and to which the folk of the Way (tariqa) are connected–such Sufis stating that “knowledge from God” is more powerful and rigorous (ahkam) than the forms of knowledge acquired through study and attained by learning.” In a similar tone, Imam Rabbani Ahmad Faruq as-Sirhind an-Naqshbandi (d. 1624) wrote how Khidr (AS) dressed him with ‘al-ilm al-laduni’ and that:
“Allah ﷻ unveiled to me the Secrets of the Unique Oneness and He poured into my heart all kinds of Spiritual Knowledge and its refinement. He unveiled to me the Secrets of the ayats of Qur’an so that I found beneath every letter of the Qur’an an ocean of knowledge all pointing to the High Essence of Allah Almighty and Exalted. If I were to reveal one word of the meaning of it they would cut off my head, as they did to Hallaj and to Ibn ‘Arabi. This is the meaning of the hadith of the Prophet, in Bukhari, narrated by Abu Huraira (r), “The Prophet salla poured into my heart two kinds of knowledge, one of which I have revealed and another which if I were to reveal they would cut my throat.” (Taken from, The Naqshbandi Sufi Way: History and Guidebook of the Saints of the Golden Chain by Shaykh Hisham Kabbani an-Naqshbandi)
One aspect of the direct knowledge from Allah ﷻ, is the ability to speak the spiritual language known as Suryani. Our Shaykh Banaras Owaisi QS is one of the few who can speak this language. He has stressed to us that this language is something from the aspect of ‘al-ilm al-laduni’ and that it is Allah ﷻ who bestows this blessing upon whomever. By a few words of this language, Shaykh Banaras Owaisi has been able to remove evil magic etc., from people whom have suffered for years. We are witness to this, alhumdulilah. The Suryani (Syriac) language, though falling under the guise of ‘direct knowledge’, has been spoken about several times by the Awliya Allah. Foremost, it is the language of our Father Adam AS. We read from Sidi Abdul Aziz ad-Dabbaqh (d. 1718) in al-Ibriz:
Syriac is the root of all languages. The [other] languages are new arrivals after it, and the cause of their arriving after it is the general ignorance that befell the offspring of Adam AS. This happened because the foundation of Syriac, and the basis of communicating in it, is pure knowledge devoid of any ignorance, so that the meanings of those who speak it are known before they speak. A hint concerning the communication of the meaning is sufficient for the mind of the listener. They’ve agreed that they’d indicate their meanings by means of the letters of the alphabet, approximately and in abbreviated form, because their purpose was to delve deeply into the meanings, not into the means of expressing them now if you’ve grasped this, know that when ignorance became general among the offspring of Adam AS, this was the cause of shifting the letters from the meanings that were originally given to them and of their neglect.
I heard him say-God be pleased with him: ‘When our lord Adam-blessings and peace be upon our Prophet and upon him as well-descended to earth, he spoke Syriac with his wife and children because it was still familiar to them and their knowledge of the meanings was pure. Thus Syriac remained in its original form among his descendants without change and alteration until the time when our lord Idris (Enoch) died-blessings and peace be upon our Prophet and upon him as well! Then change and alteration affected it and the people began to transfer it from its original form and to derive their own languages from it. The first language to be derived from it was the language of the Indians which is the closest thing to Syriac.’ He continued: ‘Our lord Adam-blessings and peace be upon him-spoke Syriac after his descent from Paradise because it was the language of the inhabitants of Paradise. He’d been speaking it in Paradise and brought it with him when he descended to earth.'” (Aḥmad b. al-Mubārak al-Lamaṭī, “Pure Gold from the Words of Sayyidī ʻAbd Al-ʻAzīz Al-Dabbāgh”, pp. 425-427)
Interestingly, Ibn Taymiyya (the Shaykh ul-Islam of a most unfortunate movement calling themselves the ‘salafis’) was cognizant (approvingly or not) of how Syriac was the language spoken by Adam AS. Suryani, while being the language of origin, is also the language of the Day of Judgement. We read from Imam Abdullah Alawi al-Haddad (d. 1720) a narration of the Prophet ﷺ speaking of the language spoken on the Day of Judgment. It states that:
“The spirits will repair to their bodies, entering through the nostrils and spreading like poison through the veins of a bitten man. Then the earth shall be rent asunder about you, and I shall be the first for whom it shall do so. You will emerge as young people of thirty-three, and the language on that day will be Syriac.”- Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, cited in Imam al-Haddad’s “The Lives of Man”
It is recorded that the Prophet Idris AS had 41 names of Allah in the Syriac language which has been passed down, and then translated into Arabic. These names were more or less in sentences.
Again, the Syriac language falls under the category of ‘direct knowledge’ which the Awliya Allah have access to. We pray that Allah ﷻ does not deprive us of the knowledge of Himself. Ameen!