It follows that Marifat – the rough translation of which is “Theosophy” in the English language – is the finality and peak of intellectual and spiritual development and prowess, for it enables the attainment and reception of direct and intuitive knowledge about the nature of God on the part of the individual. It has been argued that Islam has made Ancient Greek philosophy and thought both “syncretic” and “idiosyncratic” as a result of Marifat or “Theosophy.” As a result, Islam – through the concept or notion of Marifat – has not only made itself distinct amongst the thought systems and value systems of the world as a result of Marifat, but it has also brought all the distinct thought systems and value systems of the world together through this one particular concept or notion.
In turn, and as Spinoza wrote, direct and intuitive knowledge from God to Man has always presented itself in one of either two forms, namely, words or “visible forms.” Hence, the sensory faculty or organ upon which direct and intuitive knowledge of God manifests itself above all others is the human mind, although the heart plays a role in the reception of such knowledge as well. And as Abdul Qadir Jilani wrote, direct and intuitive knowledge of God amounts in large part to “seeing the manifestations of God’s attributes” which in turn would enable one to “see the Essence of God” at some other point in time.
Moreover, the intellect serves a certain ‘polarity’ and is inseparable from a relationship with what has fostered it, as Frithjof Schuon noted. ‘Separation’ is merely an illusion, as Schuon noted, and ‘union’ – or Marifat – is indeed possible. And once attained, Marifat amounts largely to “the intuition of the Essence” which in turn “tends towards the Reality which it senses through the existential darkness.”
One’s sense of “selfhood” is also altered and transformed when the “divine intellect” takes the place of one’s human intellect, and as mentioned before, this replacement happens purely out of a free and voluntary act of divine grace. This ‘union’ between the divine intellect and the individual self and the closing of the ‘fissure’ between the two entities is then maintained through a ‘connection’ that is guided by divine law. ‘Selfhood’ is then replaced by pure being and pure consciousness, given the wholesale alteration and transformation of the individual’s intellect, and the figurative condition and state of such pure being and pure consciousness is one that is implied by the notion of “supernatural beatitude” and so forth, the symbols of which are “Paradise” and “Garden.”
Marifat, therefore, amounts to a kind of love that has no foreseeable limits. “Light” and “heat” are some of the characteristics of this “love” which emanates from Marifat. And to put limits onto the contours of Marifat would violate the actual and supernatural essence and operations of such a phenomenon. In a sense, Marifat is “a way of seeing the world” as a result of a distinct and unique perspective which emerges from a stream of knowledge that is accessible as a result of a two-way street which includes the participation of both the source of the stream of knowledge as well as the individual who is the direct and intuitive recipient of such a stream of knowledge. ‘Theophany’ or Tajalli enables ‘theosophy’ or Marifat, and as a result, in order for the latter to be perpetual, the former also has to be perpetual. And for a select few in this world who remain largely invisible and hidden to the overwhelming majority, both Tajalli and Marifat are indeed perpetual and eternal, and in turn this select few is essentially bounded and tied to this perpetual and eternal state of being and consciousness outside of their own individual will in many cases.