Al-hikmah, “the wisdom,” is a term used by the Sufi mystics to express a knowledge of the essence, attributes, specialities, and results of things as they exist and are seen, with the study of their cause, effects, and uses. This is said to be the wisdom mentioned in the Qur’an, Surah ii. 272: “He (God) bringeth the wisdom (al-hikmah) unto whom He willet.”
The Sufis say there are four kinds of wisdom expressed in the term al-hikmah: –
(1) Al-hikmatu ‘l-Mantuqah, “spoken wisdom,” which is made known in the Qur’an or in the Tariqah, “the Path” (i.e. the Sufi path.)
(2) Al-hikmatu ‘l-maskutah, “unspoken wisdom.” Such as understood only by Sufi mystics, and not by the natural man.
(3) Al-hikmatu ‘l-majhulah, “unknown wisdom,” or those acts of the Creator the wisdom of which is unknown to the creature, such as the infliction of pain upon the creatures of God, the death of infants, or the eternal fire of hell. Things which we believe, but which we do not understand.
(4) Al-hikmatu ‘l-jami’ah, “collective wisdom,” or the knowledge of the truth (haqq), and acting upon it, and the perception of error (batil) and the rejction of it. (‘Abdu r-Razzaq’s DIct. Of Sufi Terms.)
Based on Hughes, Dictionary of Islam