Knowledge is awareness about data that can be achieved by studying, learning and experiencing. But in order for knowledge to have function in life, there is need for wisdom.
Ilm (knowledge) is not the opposite of Jahl (ignorance). There are Hadiths from Ahl-ul-Bayt (AS) about some people of knowledge whose Jahl leads them to destruction. So Jahl is not the opposite of knowledge. From the Quran’s point of view, it is the opposite of wisdom. In order to be beneficial, knowledge should pass through wisdom and be processed.
In view of the verses of the Quran and Hadiths, wisdom, patience and Taqwa (God-fearing) can help make knowledge a light that illuminates one’s life. So Jahiliya is not equal to absence of awareness. Many a time there is knowledge and information but Jahl also exists because of one’s failure to use knowledge in what he does. Jahl is something that is related to behavior and so is wisdom that has a practical function.
Wisdom requires knowledge and one can say knowledge is what the intellect feeds on to decide the correct path. In religious texts, intellect is ofen referred to as wise conduct and Jahl is referred to as ignorant conduct. Wisdom is acting prudently and judiciously.
Religion says that if you learn something, before acting upon it you should think to see what the outcomes of acting upon it would be and whether it is alright to do it or not. That is why we read in Hadiths that a scholar’s sleep is between than the acts of worship by a Jahil (ignorant person).
Wisdom in practicing religion is different from wisdom in the study of religion. In practicing religion, wisdom means paying attention to the results. Also, one of the signs of wisdom is moderation. According to Imam Ali (AS), a Jahil always acts in extremes.
Another criterion for wisdom is emphasis on experience. One should use past experiences and not repeat actions that have failed to bring about the desired outcome before. There are some 20 criterion in verses of the Quran and Hadiths that help one have wise conduct.