Education,  Islamic,  Religion,  School Gist

The Difference Between Intelligence And Knowledge.

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What is the difference between knowledge and intelligence?

Did you know

Ọgbọn, ìmọ àti òye jẹ ọmọ ìyá. (Yoruba Adage)

Wisdom, knowledge and intelligence (understanding), are siblings.

انما الحكمة، والعلم، والفهم اخوة.

What is Knowledge?

According to the Oxford English dictionary,  (

1. Knowledge: Fact of knowing about something that is, understanding or familiarity with a subject matter, place, situation etc.

   His knowledge of Iceland was limited to what he’d seen on the Travel Channel. 

2. Awareness of a particular fact or situation; a state of having been informed or made aware of something. 

That’s enough of knowledge, let check for the meaning of Intelligence.

What is intelligence?

 According to the Oxford English.

intelligence (

The Capacity of mind, especially to understand principles, truths, facts or meanings, acquire knowledge, and apply it to practice; it is  the ability to comprehend and learn. 

This text is extracted from the Wiktionary and it is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license


Text generated by the application English Dictionary

Often known the meaning of knowledge and intelligence, let check the context of the two according to Islamic perspective.


Between knowledge and intelligence, which come first? 

It’s a matter of context. The context of consideration determines which is greater at any particular time

Generally speaking, wisdom(Hikmah) is greater than knowledge (Ilm) based on the verse:

يوتي الحكمة من يشاء، ومن يوتي الحكمة فقد اوتي خيرا كثيرا، وما يتذكر الا أولوا الألباب

Wisdom is not learnt but a gift of Almighty Allah. So, it’s greater than knowledge which can be acquired by anyone.

But when considering religion, especially Islam, then knowledge comes first! 

Ìmọ ló l’adinni, ọgbọn o gbee. 

Meaning: Knowledge is acquired through learning and education.

However, both require Intelligence to be useful. Intelligence is also called understanding (Oye), and is usually a natural gift or endowment of Allah, though it can also be acquired. This is what defines:

1.Fiqh(Jurisprudence/Agboye-esin) as said by the prophet (SAW) that:

,من أراد الله به خيرا، يفقهه في الدين

2. Ma’arifah (Gnosis/Imo-Olohun) which is the divine knowledge or apperciation of Allah that makes uneducated and illiterate people to be prophets of Allah! As said by rasulullah in the Hadith Qudsiyy that Allah said:

فأعرفوني قبل أن تعبدوني، فمن لم يعرفني فكيف يعبدني؟

3. Fu’ad(Native intelligence/Logical reasoning/Oye), which is what separates man from other animals.


Intelligence is a prerequisite for wisdom and knowledge. You can be wise naturally without being knowledgeable. You can be knowledgeable through education without being naturally wise (“iwe o kan ọgbọn”). But you  can’t be intelligent without wisdom, or a mixture of both knowledge and wisdom.

To your own thinking faculty, what is your idear on this topic, tell us in the comments box below, I will like to hear from your opinion.


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