What is meant by ‘Ilm Dharuri and ‘Ilm Nazari?
‘ilm (knowledge) in this instance, can also translate as conviction or certainty.
There are essentially two types of conviction.
1. One that is acquired by everyone, without the need for any qualification. Like: when the sun rises, every person is convinced that it is daytime. This kind of knowledge or conviction is compelling, and actually undeniable. This is called: ‘ilm Daruri (العلم الذي يضطر الإنسان إليه).
2. ‘ilm Nazari, refers to that knowledge or conviction that is only attained by those who have some sort of expertise (لمن له أهلية النظر). For example, the answer to a difficult maths sum, is only solvable by a person who has some expertise in mathematics. Those who do not have such expertise will not be able to solve that sum.
Furthermore, those who have the expertise, will indeed reach the correct answer, and once they do so, they are convinced of their answer. This type of conviction is labelled: ‘ilm Nazari.
In other words, it is that type of knowledge/conviction/certainty that is only attained by certain people, based on their qualification and expertise.
(Sharh Nukhbah, pg. 44-45)
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,
Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar