Stages of Certainty
1. Ilm al-Yaqin : Which is certain and permanent conviction. It is like the conviction of a man who when he sees smoke believes with certainty that there must be a fire too.
2. Ayn al-yaqin: Which is beholding something with-either the outer or the inner-eye. Using the above example, it is like the conviction of a man who not only sees the smoke but fire itself.
3. Haqq al-yaqin: Which is the state of certainty acquired when a form of spiritual and actual union exists between the knower and the known thing. This would be the case, for example, if one should be himself in the midst of fire mentioned in the above example. This is called "the union of the knower and the known", and is discussed in its appropriate place. In order to attain haqq al-yaqin one must fulfil certain necessary conditions. These are:
1. The individual soul must have the capacity to receive and understand these truths; the soul of a child, for example, cannot understand the reality of things.
2. The soul should not be one defiled by corruption and sin.
3. Complete attention must be concentrated on the object in question, and the mind must be free of pollution of worldly and base interests.
4. One must be free of any kind of blind imitation and prejudice.
5. In order to attain the aim, relevant and necessary preliminaries must be covered.
Adapted from: "Jami' al-Sa'adat" by: "Muhammad Mahdi al-Naraqi"
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