Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Part 13: Was Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) given the knowledge of unseen?

From the Layman’s Desk: Islamic Article No.18:

Part 13: A Brief Survey: Was Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) given the Knowledge of Unseen?

In the Name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful.

As we have seen earlier, the Deobandis/Wahhabis deny, among other things, that Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) was at all given knowledge of the unseen by Allah (swt).  The muslims of Ahlus sunnah say and believe that Allah alone has the self knowledge of unseen and He bestows this to any one whom He wishes.  Knowledge of the Unseen is one of Allah's prerogatives, exclusive to Him except insofar as He discloses it to His elect servants.  The last 12 Parts of this Article have been devoted to proving just this.  In the beginning we have already pointed all the Quranic verses regarding the Knowledge of the Unseen.  Some clearly show that Allah (swt) does reveal His secrets and some knowledge of the unseen to his prophets.  We also produced sound hadiths in support.  There is no error in holding that Allah (swt) bestows a part of the knowledge of unseen to his prophets and they convey it to their successors.   We already noted before that the Qur'an states: Allah will not leave the believers in the state in which ye are now, until He separates what is evil from what is good "NOR WILL HE DISCLOSE TO YOU THE SECRETS OF THE UNSEEN, BUT HE CHOOSES OF HIS MESSENGERS (FOR THE PURPOSE) WHOM HE PLEASES" So believe in Allah. And His messengers: And if ye believe and do right, ye have a reward without measure. (3:179) The beautiful ayah of Surah al Imran 3:179 is ''one of the'' Qati'i Nasoos  for  Prophet  (Peace be upon him)'s Knowledge of Unseen. The context of this ayah proves that Munafiqeen doubted the knowledge of Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) about Imaan and Kufr of people who are yet to be born whereas he does not recognize us.  Here is Tafsir of the ayah:  
Rasul Ullah (sal Allahu alaihi wasallam) said: My Ummah was presented to me in their shapes of clay like they were presented to Adam (as) and I have known who shall believe and who shall do Kufr. When  Munafiqeen found out about this they laughed and said: Muhammad (sal Allaho alaihi wasalam) claims that he knows about Imaan and Kufr of people before their birth whereas we are with him and he does not recognize us.  When the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) found out what Munafiqeen said, he then stood up on the pulpit, did Hamd and Sana of Allah and said: What will be the situation of those people who found faults in my knowledge, I will explain to you everything from now onwards till the day of judgement. [Tafsir al Baghawi, Tafsir al Khazin, Under 3:179]  Hence from Nass of Quran (i.e. categorical proof of Qur'an) It is established that Ilmul Ghayb is Dhaati (personal) Sift of ALLAH alone but also At’ai (granted) Sift of Prophet (sal Allaho alaihi wassalam).  If this point is understood then Insha'Allah all so called debates on Nafi-O-Isbaat (negation and affirmation) of Ilm ul Ghayb shall end.  This means that ALLAH knows by Himself and is Aalim ul Ghayb (a title, which we mentioned earlier, which cannot be given to anyone else.  Wahabis/Deobandis lie that Ahlus Sunnah believe Prophet to be Aalim ul Ghayb) and he holds the keys of Unseen.  This in no way means he does not teach "ILM UL GHAYB" to anyone.  Wahabis practise hyypocrisy by misquoting Qur'an where Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) denies Dhaati Ilm ul Ghayb not his Ata'i Ilm ul Ghayb.  Regarding the Quranic verses which  deny knowledge of the unseen and extraordinary powers, the reader is urged to understand that those verses really mean that independently the prophets are incapable of knowing the unseen and performing miracles.  And this is our stand too, since it is Allah alone who grants these gifts to his prophets.  So let not the Najdis/Deobandis  beguile you into thinking otherwise!  

We have already explored that many scholars held the view that Allah Most High had granted the Prophet (upon him  blessings and peace) that knowledge before he left dunya. This is confirmed by his own words in which he indicated that his knowledge of the unseen (`ilm al-ghayb) was formerly partial then became complete at a later point. This completion took place first in dream as expressed in the hadith “everything became manifest to me” (al-Tirmidhi, hasan sahih); then while he was awake when he said in the famous hadith of the eclipse, “Nothing whatsoever that I had not been shown before is left but I was shown it while I stood right here” (al-Bukhari and Muslim). There are many other proofs that were listed 18 years ago in Shaykh Hisham’s Encyclopedia of Islamic Doctrine, chapter on the Prophet’s `Ilm al-Ghayb. We have also discussed the last verse of Surah Luqman and the views of the Moroccon  Shaykh Abdullah Ghumari explanation of the hadith regarding Prophet’s (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) knowledge of the unseen ‘except the Five’.  Again, nor is the Prophet's knowledge after his life in dunya in any way lessened. Rather, the contrary is true, as established in the following hadith:  My life is a great good for you, you will relate about me and it will be related to you, and my death is a great good for you, your actions will be presented to me (in my grave) and if I see goodness I will praise Allah, and if I see other than that I will ask forgiveness of Him for you.  The soundness of the this hadith has been explained at great length by the Sunni scholars and therefore we need not listen to those who try to show that the above hadith is a forged one,  since they soundly stand refuted.  Just one quote out of the many:  Qadi Shawkani writes:  "Our Prophet (sallal laahu ‘alaihi wassallam) knows the actions of his Umma. When he sees them doing something good, he is happy and when he sees them doing bad actions he makes du'a for them" [Qadi Shawkani, Nayl al-Awtar]  We reiterate that Shaykh al-Islam, Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani, writes:  "One of the qualities bestowed upon a Prophet is the quality that he knows what has already happened in the past and what will happen in the future" (Fath al-Bari, Chapter on the Anbiya). 

We must remember that after Allâhu ta’âlâ, the most honourable and sacred entity within Islam is the personality of the holy Prophet Muhammad (sall-Allâhu ta’ala ‘alaihi wa sallam), the Chosen One, and his respect is mandatory upon every Muslim. There are Quranic verses and many ahadith concerning reverence towards the holy Prophet (sall-Allâhu ta’ala ‘alaihi wa sallam).  To state shortly, Allah (swt) commands us to revere and honour the holy Prophet (sal Allaho alayhi wasallam) (Qur’an 48:8-9).

We now turn to the Najdis who, according to the righteous scholars, are worse than even the Mu'tazala: for the Mu'tazala denied the Honourable Awliya the knowledge of the Unknown but not the Prophets; while the vicious Wahhabia have denied the Prophets themselves.  As per the Wahhabis, one who claims to know something from knowledge of the Unseen is a taghut or false deity (Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab, al-Usul al-thalatha, end)!  Also, no one except Allah has the knowledge of the unseen. And if any one ascribes knowledge of the unseen to anyone except Allah , then he becomes a mushrik!  Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen: “The ruling on one who claims to have knowledge of the unseen is that he is a kaafir, because he has disbelieved in Allah.”  “Those who claim to have knowledge of the unseen future are all fortunetellers”.  [Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 1 Shawwaal, no. 115] 

Let us see their own Takfir against their own Imam.  It is also well-known that the Wahhabis/Najdis/Ahle Hadith/Salafis don’t accept the Miracles (karaamaat) of the Awliya-Allah and yet this book, The Lofty Virtues of Ibn Taimiyya speaks of the miracles of Ibn Taimiyyah!  The Book, The Lofty Virtues of Ibn Taimiyya has among its Table of Contents at page 22 Ibn Taimiyya’s “Miracles and Incredible Foresight”, while the explanation for the suffix 42 is given at the bottom of the page…which reads as below :
The occurrence of miracles (karamat) to the awliya’ is a reality that is agreed upon between the scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah, and is proven in the Qur’an and authentic Sunnah. For example, the Qur’an contains the story of the People of the Cave, while the Sunnah contains stories of the Angels greeting ‘Imran bin Husayn, to name a few.  It may be stated that according to the meaning given by the Wahhabi Shaykh Google  the word FORESIGHT is “The ability to predict or the action of predicting what will happen or be needed in the future.” Why we have taken the meaning of this word from google is because when these self-called ahle hadeeth can’t answer us they say that the sunnis have misinterpreted the words.  

It is mentioned in pages 22-25 of The Lofty Virtues of Ibn Taimiyya, written by Hafidh Abu Hafs 'Umar bin 'Ali al-Bazzar and Translated By Abu Sabaayaa:  “And I was told by the righteous Shaykh ‘Uthman bin Ahmad bin ‘Isa an-Nassakh (may Allah be Pleased with him) that he would visit the sick in the hospital in Damascus every week, and this was a constant habit of his. He once came to a young man and supplicated for him, and he was quickly cured. He came to the Shaykh wanting to greet him, and when he saw him, he smiled to him, pulled him close, gave him some money, and said: “Allah has healed you. So, promise Him that you will quickly return to your homeland. Is it right for you to abandon your wife and four daughters without a provider while you sit here?”  The man kissed his hand and said: “Sir, I repent to Allah on your hand,” and he later said:  “I was amazed at what he knew about me, as I did leave them without any provision, and nobody in Damascus had known of my situation.”
And I was told by someone I trust that some judges were on their way to Egypt to assume positions there, and that one of them said:  “As soon as I arrive in Egypt, I will rule that such and such of the noble scholars should be killed.”  Everyone had agreed that this scholar was righteous and pious. However, this man’s heart contained such hatred and enmity to him that it drove him to want him dead. Everyone who heard him say this became worried that he would actually carry out his threat to kill this righteous man, and they were afraid that this man who wanted to be a judge would be led by Satan and by his own desires, causing him to spill sacred Muslim blood - they feared the great evil that would result from such an action.
So, they went to Ibn Taymiyyah and told him of exactly what had taken place.  He said:  “Allah will not allow him to carry out what he wants, and he will not even get to Egypt alive.”  The judge had a very short distance to travel until he would arrive in Egypt when he was suddenly stricken with death.  So, he died before arriving in Egypt, just as Allah had revealed on the tongue of the Shaykh…” [pages 22-25 of The Lofty Virtues of Ibn Taimiyyah]. 
Again, on Page 34 of the same book:  “If I had to swear standing between the corner of the Ka'bah and the spot of Ibrahim, I would swear that I have not laid my two eyes on anyone like him, nor has he seen anyone as knowledgeable as himself.” - al-Hafidh adh-Dhahabi
We read in Al-Uqood al-Duria by ibn Abdulhadi al-Maqdisi, page 326:  “Such as this wise man he could cite the commandments that came down from the heavens and earth.”  Al-Maqdisi is a Salafi, trying to praise his Master:  "To him, Ibn Taymiyyah knew all the divine commandments from Adam (as) to Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam). But, we think that is unseen knowledge!"  [Al-Uqood al-Duria, page 326]
Well...well how about that?  

Now let us see the reports by Ibn Qayyim, a direct student of Ibn Taymiyyah and not to forget an eyewitness to the happenings...

We read the below-mentioned accounts in Madarij al-Salekin by Ibn Qayyim, Volume 2: 

Page 489:  He (Ibn Taymiyyah) informed his companions about the invasion of the Tatars in Shaam in year 699 H, and that the Muslim army would be defeated, but there would neither butchery nor capture. The army would only seek money. This was (foretold) prior to the Tatar marching.  Is this prediction a claim to unseen knowledge?

Page 489:  Then he (Ibn Taymiyyah) told the people and the commanders in year 702 when the Tatars marched towards Shaam: that they (the Tatars) will be defeated and the victory will be for the Muslims.  He gave seventy oaths on that. They (the people) said to him: ‘Say inshallah.’  He replied: ‘Inshallah for sure, no comments.’  I heard him saying that when they (the people) insisted on him, he replied:  ‘Do not insist, verily Allah wrote it in the Guarded Tablet that they (the Tatars) shall be defeated in this battle and the victory will be for Muslims’.  Ibn Taymiyyah made a prediction, and swore seventy(70) times to its authenticity. When the people kept doubting him, he told them the source of his information: the Lau al-Mahfuz (the Guarded Tablet).  It is in the heavens, and Wahhabi/Salafi's do not accept that even the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) had any access to it?

Pages 489-490:  "When he was sent to Egypt and they wanted to kill him after they made a plot against him. His friends gathered to bid farewell to him and they said to him: ‘We have a succession of messages that they intend to kill you.’ He replied: ‘By Allah they will not be able to achieve that.’ They asked: ‘Will they put you in jail?’ He replied:‘Yes, and I will be there for a long time, after that I will be released.’

We also read:  "When his enemy who is known as Jashengir became the king, they (people) informed him (Ibn Taimiyah) about that and said: ‘Now he has reached to his desire.’ Then he (Ibn Taimiyah) prostrated to Allah in sake of thanking.  They said: ‘What is the reason for this prostration?’ He replied: ‘This is the beginning of his ignominy and losing his power.’ They said: ‘When will that happen?’ He replied: ‘The army when it marches to al-Qurt, he will be defeated.’ Then it happened exactly as I had heard from him.’

Page 490:  It was not just about predictions. Ibn Taymiyyah could also reveal one’s thoughts!  "On more than one occasion, he told me (Ibn Qayyim) about internal things regarding me from the things that I wanted to do but my tongue didn’t mention them."

Page 490:  ‘He told me (Ibn Qayyim) about some great incidents that will take place in the future. But he didn’t specify the time. Some of it I saw and I wait to see the rest.’

On a last note, he performed great miracles, in addition to the ones mentioned.

We read in Al-Alaam al-Alya by Salafi scholar Umar bin Ali bin Musa al-Bazar: 

Page 57:  During the days when I was in his company, whenever he began to discuss an issue, and a question came to my mind, before I raised it, he would answer it.

We also read:  “The pious Sheikh Ahmad al-Herimi told me that he traveled to Damascus and he said: ‘When I arrived, I didn’t have money to use and there wasn’t anyone there whom I knew. So I kept walking hesitantly through the streets. Then suddenly a Sheikh came towards me in a speedy manner. He smiled to me and placed a bag of money in my hand and said: ‘From now on, use it, and do not worry about anything, Allah will not let you.’ Then he went as if he had only come for me. Then I prayed for him and felt happy. Then I asked about the Sheikh with whom I had met on my way. They replied: ‘You don’t know him?’ He is Ibn Taimiyah.”

Page 58:  “Sheikh Taqiuddin Abdullah son of Sheikh Ahmad bin Saeed said: ‘I traveled to Egypt when the Sheikh (Ibn Taimiyah) was residing there. I arrived there at night and I was very ill. Hence I visited some place. Then I heard a sound of someone calling me by my name and nickname. I answered, though I was feeling weak. Then a group belonging to the Sheikh (Ibn Taimiyah) that I had already met previously in Damascus entered.  I said to them: ‘How do you know I arrived even though I arrived at this time?’ They replied: ‘The Sheikh (Ibn Taimiyah) told us that you arrived and you are ill and ordered us to transport you.’ Then I knew that this was a miracle from the Sheikh may Allah be pleased with him.”

Page 58: He (Sheikh Taqiuddin Abdullah son of Sheikh Ahmad bin Saeed) also said: ‘I fell ill in Damascus and was so severely ill that I could not sit up. Then I felt the Sheikh (Ibn Taimiyah) standing over my head whilst I was suffering from fever and sickness. He prayed for me and said: ‘You will become healthy.’ When he left me I automatically got healthy.

Page 59:  “Sheikh ibn Emaaduddin al-Mutrez said: ‘I went to the Sheikh and I had limited money. I greeted him and he greeted me and welcomed me and didn’t ask me if I had money or not.’ After some days my money finished. Therefore I wanted to leave his class after praying with the people. But he held me back and when the people left he gave me some money and said: ‘You don’t have money. So use this.’ I wondered with regards to that.”

We have shown a few examples how these Wahhabis (self called ahle- hadeeth) claim something which, according to them,  is not possible for RasoolALLAH sallallahu alaihe wasallam and they on other side prove the same for their scholar. “We say to them: How can you possibly have knowledge of the unseen when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not have knowledge of the unseen?”  “Are you better or the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)?”

Before we conclude it is very important to understand that Allah’s knowledge is boundless.  This has been explained beautifully by Imam Ahmad Raza  (reh. ) who stated that knowledge of what happened in the past and what is to occur in the future (ilm ma kana wa ma yakun) cannot be the essence of Allah’s Knowledge as time has boundaries and Allah’s Knowledge is boundless. He believes that his opponents undermined Divine Knowledge saying  “We have shown that the knowledge of Allah cannot be restricted both in light of religious evidence and rationally. When Wahhabis read books written by the religious scholars and their followers, and therein study the knowledge of the unseen possessed by the Noble Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) in light of the Qur’an and Hadith, and reach the point that the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) possess knowledge of every past and future event from the beginning of creation till the last day, their reaction is to issue fatwas of shirk and kufr upon these writers. They accuse them of equating the Prophet’s knowledge with Allah’s Knowledge. These Wahhabis are flawed in making this assumption and are incorrect. They themselves in fact fall into the pitfalls of kufr and shirk due to this statement, as they level the limited and measurable knowledge [of creation] to the boundless and infinite (ghyar mutanahi).

To sum up, the Righteous Scholars of Ahle Sunna have written extensively and have established beyond the pale of doubt regarding Prophet’s (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) knowledge of the unseen and future events.  Such scholars also include Qadi` Iyad (1083-1149 c.e.) who wrote al-Shifa' fi ma`rifat huquq al-mustafa (The Healing Concerning the Knowledge of the Rights of the Elect One), and Imam al-Qastallani (1447-1517 c.e.) who wrote al-Mawahib al-laduniyya bi al-minah al-muhammadiyya (The Gifts from Allah: the Muhammadan Dispensations).  These scholars have proven the falsity of ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab who preached that one who claims to know something from knowledge of the Unseen is a taghut or false deity (Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab, Three Principles of Oneness)!  In the same manner, the Wahabbi-inspired Deobandis (“Gulabi Wahhabi”) too are rejected for speaking out falsehood against the Prophet’s (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) knowledge of the unseen and future events.  The evidence regarding the Unseen Knowledge of the Holy Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wasallam is too overwhelming to be narrated here and it stands uncontroverted and irrefuted.  We seek refuge in Allah from such statements that smack of enmity to Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasalla) and Allah’s Pure Religion.
I repeat:  Lots and lots of evidence in favour can be adduced on this subject.  The proofs for Ilm-e-Ghaib are so numerous that the Wahhabi Deobandis can be buried under the evidences. How can the devil’s disciples understand the extent of Prophet’s (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam)  Knowledge of Unseen bestowed on him by Allah (swt) when they have no sense at all of Allah’s limitless and boundless Knowledge of the Unseen which is “Dhati” but in fact there is nothing Unseen for Him!   Being a layman with little knowledge, I have only contributed my Two Cents.  I conclude the article with the warning that denying Ilme Ghaib merits Allah’s Wrath:  “Evil is that for which they have sold their souls– that they should deny what Allah has revealed, out of envy that Allah should send down of His grace on whomsoever of His servants He pleases; so they have made themselves deserving of wrath upon wrath, and there is a disgraceful punishment for the unbelievers.” (Surah Baqarah (2): Verse 90)

May ALLAH save us all from the Fitnah E Wahabiyyah in all its forms and manifestations.  Aameen. In the next concluding part we shall bring some ahadith shareef to show that the emergence of Khwarij (i.e. the Kharjis) and their modern prototypes such as the Wahhabis, Tablighis and their offshoots,  and the Fitna they would cause,  were already known to the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam). 

Peace and Blessings upon the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions

Allah and His Rasool knows best.

Continued in Part 14.