Question and answer details
|KAssalaamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh most respected ‘ulamaa, I humbly request an answer to the following question: Was rasoolulAllah (God’s messenger, pbuh) ‘alimun-lel-ghayb (knowledgeable of the unknown) as some people - including some who profess to be Islamic scholars - claim? Kindly honor my humble self with your most valuable answer, including references to the relevant books of tafseer (explanation of Qur’an), hadith (sayings of the Prophet), fiqh and ‘usool (principles of jurisprudence). Please do remember me in your most pious du’a and the ummah. Wa-salaam|
Hello Abdul Qaadir,
Assalamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu.
Thank you very much for your question.
In the first verse, it is clearly stated that only Allah knows ghayb or what is hidden. What this means is, the mysterious world unknown to man, which includes the future. In the second verse quoted, the Prophet is commanded by Allah to tell his followers that he does not know ghayb. In the third verse, the Prophet is also, commanded to say that everything happens as God wills and that the Prophet has no power; nor has he any knowledge of the unseen. He also is asked to make clear what his mission is: "I am but a warner, and a bringer of glad tidings to those who have faith". When such categorical statements are in the Holy Qur’an, it is strange how we can be misled about the Prophet’s role and mission.
In addition to this, please read the following hadiths:
Musa bin Talha reported:
‘I and Allah's messenger (peace be upon him), happened to pass by people near the date-palm trees. The Prophet said: ‘What are these people doing?’ They said: ‘They are grafting, i.e. they combine the male with the female (tree) and thus they yield more fruit.’ Thereupon Allah's messenger (peace be upon him) said: ‘I do not find it to be of any use’.
The people were informed about it and they abandoned this practice. Allah's messenger (peace be upon him) was later informed that the yield had dwindled, whereupon he said:
‘If there is any use of it, then they should do it, for it was just a personal opinion of mine, and do not go after my personal opinion; but when I say to you anything on behalf of Allah, then do accept it, for I do not attribute lie to Allah, the Exalted and Glorious. (Narrated by Muslim)
Here the Prophet spoke about a point related to a future event and his opinion was not correct. He frankly admitted it saying, that his personal opinion was not correct. He also gave his advice: ‘Do not go after my personal opinion.’
This previous hadith proves that the Prophet did not know ghayb. See one more hadith:
Abdullah bin Mas'ud reported:
‘As I was going along with Allah's Apostle (peace be upon him) in a cultivable land and he - the Prophet - was walking with the support of a wood, a group of Jews happened to meet him. Some of them said to the others: Ask him about the ‘soul’. They said: ‘What is your doubt about it? There is a possibility that you may ask him about anything (the answer of) which you may not like.’ They said: ‘Ask him.’ So one amongst them asked him about the soul.
Allah's messenger (peace be upon him) kept quiet and he gave no reply and I came to know that revelation was being sent to him, so I stood at my place and thus this revelation descended upon him:
(This hadith is reported by Muslim.)