Question and answer details
|Assalaamu 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 Quran), 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|
Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu Dear Abdul Qaadir,
Thank you very much for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.
One of His greatest attributes is that He is All Wise, All Knowing, that He is the One and Only ‘Aalimul-ghayb-wa-shahaadah, the One and Only Knower of the hidden and the manifest. This fact is quite evident from the Holy Quran and hadith. For instance, see the following verses:
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 Quran, it is strange how we can be misled about the Prophet’s role and mission.
‘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:
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.’
‘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.)
Salam and please keep in touch.