From the Layman’s Desk: Islamic Article No.18:
Part 12: A Brief Survey: Was Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) given the Knowledge of Unseen?
In the Name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful.
Imam Ahmad Raza Khan al-Qadiri (1856-1921 c.e.) highlighted several differences between Divine Knowledge and Prophetic Knowledge in numerous works giving some of the most definitive and convincing arguments: “We do not believe in the equality [of creation’s knowledge] with Allah’s and neither do we uphold it can ever be attained independently and we do not establish except some knowledge [for creation] which is granted by Allah.” He clarified in Khaalis al-I’tiqaad that he never held any of the following views that he Prophet’s knowledge (Allah give him peace and blessings) is personal and intrinsic; that the Prophet’s knowledge (Allah give him peace and blessings) is equal to Allah’s except that Allah’s is eternal and his is contingent; that the Prophet’s knowledge (Allah give him peace and blessings)encompasses everything in Allah’s Knowledge with the exception of His essence and attributes; that the Prophet’s knowledge (Allah give him peace and blessings) effectively encompasses, with complete detail, all everlasting matters (umur gayr mutanahaiyah bil-fi’l). He asked his opponents who alleged he claimed equality between Allah’s knowledge and the Prophet’s (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) to present their evidence.
As we have noted earlier, the Deobandi scholars attribute knowledge of the unseen to their elders and scholars, but are reluctant to do so for the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wassalm). Since Allah says in Quran that Allah gives the knowledge of the unseen to those whom He chooses in the various Qur’anic verses, the Deobandis simply do not want to accept this when the Ahlus Sunnah relate it to the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam). Thus, on the one hand they don’t believe that the aforesaid Quranic verses and the sound hadiths are sufficient to establish Prophet’s (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) vast knowledge; on the other hand they rely on a non-existent hadith that the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhis wasallam) lacked knowledge of what was behind the wall! According to them this is sufficient for them to prove an Aqidah point!!! They show disrespect to our Prophet (sal allahu alayhi wa sallam) and elevate their own cult scholars. What more evidences is needed to prove that these Elders and scholars have flouted the Quranic injunctions and have indeed shown disrespect to prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam), trying to lower his (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) status and personality in whichever way they could!!! Regarding the Prophet’s (sal allahu alayhi wasallam) knowledge of unseen, there is another glaring example of their blasphemous assertions in the Baraheen-e-Qatia which is discussed below.
Radd e Baraheen-e-Qati’a:
Many books were written by Sunni scholars in refutation of Khaleel Ahmed Ambethvi’s Baraheen-e-Qati’a the Deobandi book which contains many blasphemous statements – for example: “Knowledge of Shaitan and Malakat-ul-Maut is more than the Holy Prophet’s (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam).” NAUZ BILLAH! [Khaleel Ahmed Ambethvi in Baraheen-e-Qatia, written in 1303 AH/1885 c.e, p.148. Later editions include Baraheen-e-Qatia (Pg51, Published By: Muhammad Ishaq Maalik Kutb khana Rahimia Saharanpur in 1365 AH, Written By: Khaleel Anbethwi] Now let’s explore the fact where the Deobandis have credited the accursed Iblis with having more knowledge than the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam):
“The final result is: By pondering over the knowledge of the earth possessed by angel of death and satan , one should not use this analogy to prove that prophet (sal Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam) also had the similar knowledge, as there is no documentary evidence for this. Isn’t this belief (that prophet also had the knowledge of the unseen) a CLEAR SHIRK, and if not, then which part of Iman (belief) is it? Because such extensive [knowledge] for the Angel of death and Shaytan is proved from Quran and Sunnah [nusus e qatyi`ah]. Where is any such absolute evidence to prove the extensiveness of the knowledge possessed by prophet, sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam which refutes all absolute documents in order to prove one polytheistic belief?” And then he continues his attack on the Best of the creation (sal Allahu alaihi wasallam) and says: “Hence , mere presence of the soul (Ruh) of Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wasallam) in Illiyeen and his being higher than angel of death does not mean that the knowledge of Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wasallam) is higher than or even equal to the knowledge of angel of death in these fields.” Molvi Khaleel Ahmad said that the knowledge given to angel of death and satan from Allah is proven from Qur’an and Sunnah, but if someone thinks that Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) also was given knowledge of the unseen from Allah , then it is SHIRK!
Molvi Khalil Ahmad Ambethwi thus compared the knowledge of angel of death with Prophet’s (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) knowledge and he in fact lowered the knowledge and status of Prophet (sal Allahu alayihi wasallam). In all this, he was aided and abetted by Molvi Rasheed Gangohi the self-professed Wahhabi. (Khaleel Ahmed had actually written it at the behest of Molvi Rasheed Ahmad). Extolling these blasphemous statements, Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi says on the 51st page of Baraheen-i Qati'a that: “Khaleel Ahmad's book was a blessed one, and kept it at the place called 'Bait-i 'ain-i Islam.'”
Regarding the above, Molvi Rahmatullah Kairanwi (1818-1891) wrote: “I used to think of Molvi Rasheed Ahmad as “Rasheed” but he turned out to be other than this. He has tried hard to prove the knowledge of Rasoolullah sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam to be less than that of Shaytan and has called it Shirk to believe otherwise.” [page 419,“Taqdees al-Wakeel ‘an Tauheen al-Rasheed wa al-Khaleel” ( Urdu) which is the book-form of the actual debate organized by the Nawab of Bhawalpur between Sunni Molvi Ghulam Dastagir Qasoori and the Deobandi Molvis Khaleel Ahmad and Mehmudal Hasan.] The debate resulted in the ouster (zila badar) of Molvi Khaleel Ahmad from Bhawalpur for his anti-Islamic and evil beliefs. Though Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (reh.) was the Pir (spiritual preceptor) of Molvi Khaleel Ahmad, yet he along with Molvi Rehmatullah Kairanvi (reh.) signed in favour of the Ulema of Ahlus Sunnah. Also, his another disciple, Mawlana Abdus Sami Rampuri stated in his book Anwaar-e-Saatiah that the knowledge was given by Allah to His most beloved prophet. Compare this: One disciple Molvi Khaleel said that to have a belief that prophet had the knowledge of unseen is SHIRK whereas Mawlana Abdus Sami who was also a Khalifa of Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (and not of Imam Ahmad Raza – which the Deobandies would like us to believe), praised prophet when he said when lower creatures (with respect to prophet) like angel of death are given knowledge of unseen by Allah, then how can someone say Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) is not given knowledge of unseen by Allah?
Comments of Islamic scholar Muhammed Munawwar Ateeq in his Research Paper, are relevant here. He said that an objective investigator of Baraheen-e-Qati’ah would realize that “these authors not only committed shirk according to their own standard by proving vast knowledge for Satan – which they considered shirk when proven for the Prophet (Allah give him peace and blessings)- but also violated their own standard for accepting textual evidences in aqidah as they offered a baseless report to establish an aqidah point that the Noble Prophet (Allah give him peace and blessings) did not possess knowledge of the unseen whereas they themselves demanded decisive textual proof to prove the vast knowledge of our Prophet (Allah give him peace and blessings)! These authors in fact openly argued that the Noble Prophet’s knowledge (Allah give him peace and blessings) was so limited that he did not even have knowledge of his own fate (Allah forbid!).” Citing many other reasons, the learned Researcher said: It is clear to any objective reader of Baraheen-e-Qati’ah, therefore, that its authors employed every effort to support the Satan and disparage the Noble Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam). Of course, Deoband scholars have attempted to refute him - but in vain!
It is to be noted here that incredible as they may seem, but such are the blasphemous utterances by the “Akabirs” of Deoband! Even a simple layman knows from the Holy Qur’an that the Angels thought they had more knowledge than any creation that Allah (swt) would create, but Allah (swt) preferred Adam over the Angels in honour and knowledge!!! As reported in Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, Muhammad bin Ishaq reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "Before he undertook the path of sin, Iblis was with the angels and was called `Azazil.' He was among the residents of the earth and was one of the most active worshippers and knowledgeable persons among the angels. This fact caused him to be arrogant. Iblis was from a genus called Jinn.'' Iblis envied Adam (a.s.) and thought he was better than Adam (a.s.)! Was he? According to Qur’an: 002.033: He said: O Adam! Inform them of their names, and when he had informed them of their names, He said: Did I not tell you that I know the secret of the heavens and the earth? And I know that which ye disclose and which ye hide. Iblis was cursed because of his arrogance, pride and disobedience to Allah (swt)! Therefore, the part of knowledge taught by Allah to Adam (a.s.) is higher than the one taught by Him to the angels. Allah ordered the angels to learn the names of things from Adam (a.s.); but He ordered the universes to learn about Allah Himself from the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam). Also, according to Qur’an (Surah Baqarah) 2:37: “Then Adam received (some) words from his Lord, so He turned to him mercifully; surely He is Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful.” These were special names which Allah informed Hazrat Adam (a.s.) as a favour. According to Imam Suyuti in al-Durr al-Manthoor vol. 1 p. 58, this name included the name of Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) through whose medium (waseelah), Hazrat Adam (a.s.) was forgiven. The knowledge of Adam (alaihis salaam), who is first Khalifa (vicegerent) of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) is a drop in the ocean when compared with the knowledge that Allah Ta'ala gave to his beloved Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam). How could the Deoband Molvis attribute more knowledge and honour to the Angel of Death, and worse, to Iblis in comparison with Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) who is the reason for Allah the Almighty’s creating the Universe; and who is the cause of forgiveness of our father Adam (a.s.) as is also evident from the ahadith of Umar ®, Ibn Abbas ® and Maysara ® with different chains varying from weak to strong!
Anyway, as stated earlier, for these anti-Islamic writings, two hundred and sixty eight (268) scholars from the Indian subcontinent and thirty three (33) scholars from Harmayn Sherifain declared the fatwa (verdict) of kufr upon Deoband Elders including Khaleel Ambethwi. Hussam al-Haramayn (The Sword of the Two Sancturies) is the famous book of Imam Raza Khan al-Qadiri (reh.) that contains their Fatwas of Kufr – Al-Mo’tanad al-Mustanad (The Reliable Proofs) along with their verdicts, comments and testimonials. In his excellent endorsement to Husam alHaramain of Imam Ahmad Raza, the grand Shafi Mufti of Madina Munawwara, Shaykh as-Sayyid Ahmad al-Barzanji (reh.), regarded the Deobandi passages on the Prophetic Knowledge as clear insults and infidelity. According to him, the statement in al-Baraheen al-qati‘a is blasphemy for two reasons: “The first reason is that Devil has more extensive knowledge than the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam), and it is a clear belittlement of the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam). The second reason is that he has termed the extensiveness of the knowledge of the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) as polytheism. All the leaders of four schools of thought have made clarifications that whosoever belittles the Glory of the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) is a disbeliever and whoever declares anything belonging to Faith as polytheism and unbelief is unbeliever also.” Also, according to the venerable Shafii Shaykh, the Deobandis used a false precedent (khalf al-wa’id) to establish “the proposition of the possibility of falsehood or lie” for Allah Most High!
In this connection, however, an Islamic scholar informs us that according to the Deobandis, Shaykh as-Sayyid Ahmad al-Barzanji (reh.), who was a contemporary of Ahmed Raza Khan, allegedly wrote a book against the latter, entitled “Ghayat al-Mamul fi Ilm Ghayb al-Rasul”. It is to be noted that at the time when Imam Ahmed Raza Khan met Mufti Al Barzanji, the latter was visibly handicapped since he had lost his eyesight. As such he could not personally go through Ad dawalatul Makkiyah . So the book was read out to him. In these circumstances, it is not possible to hold that the Mufti wrote the book. Assuming that the book was dictated by him to someone else, as the Deobandis say, then the least what the Deobandis must do is to establish the identity of the scribe. That is the minimum criteria to accept any manuscript, and Deobandis have to establish the “sama'at" for this, in accordance with the criteria laid down by Imam Suyuti for accepting manuscripts. As per the Deobandi version of the story, this original manuscript was taken from Mufti Barzanji and brought to India and never returned! Now who was the person who had brought this manuscript to India and who published the book written from this manuscript for the first time, is something which all the Deobandis should tell to this world! According to them on a website, they are also trying to find out the Manuscript of this work and have been going to "Middle East manuscript centers" in search of this 'missing manuscript'! The said learned scholar even tries to give them some helpful tips by stating that the Deobandi methodology for tracing the book is wrong. When a book has been printed then the first step is to read the first edition of that book and find out what was the source of that book. If it was a manuscript then the author mentions the details of the manuscript, such as its location, etc. So Deobandis must look for the First Printed Version of Ghayat Al-Ma’mul and reveal to the world about the source. And if they are still bent upon proving their Aqidah , they should provide PRESENT details of this manuscript…”. We all are still waiting for their feedback all this time but in vain!
While just surfing some websites cursorily, I came across some Deobandis posting questions such as: “Isnt there any arabic nuskhah of the book available, anywhere? So that we can show the brlvis, esp gf haddad?” One of them admits on the website: “Your request for an original Arabic copy is important since this is not a matter of the trustworthiness of the Deobandi scholars, but, as one scholar stated, of ‘expert verification’ requiring ‘solid description of provenance and of the physical manuscript’. We need manuscriptal experts in this regard since it is strikingly odd otherwise that such a *recent* manuscript be altogether unknown in the Hijaz in addition to the fact that it goes against what the Barzanji family of Iraq and the Ahly Bayt of Hijaz generally believe in.” Be that as it may, the fact is that Mufti Barzanji’s work was manipulated by some Deobandis who took it to India and published it after altering the text. This forgery in Gayat al-Ma’mul equated the knowledge of Allah and the knowledge of Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam), attributing it to Imam Ahmad Raza. What an absurdity for a forgery! The fact remains that Mufti Ahmad al-Barzanji confirmed his fatwa of kufr on those passages in Gayat al-Ma’mul, which despite being altered and having a murky publication history, still contains this confirmation in the opening! In the meantime the provenance of the alleged manuscript has never been determined!
The Thirty-Three (33) scholars of the Two Holy Sanctuaries had condemned Deoband as Wahhabis. The Deobandi Molvi Khaleel Ambethvi (d.1927) wanted to please the Arab scholars of Ahlus Sunnah and to show that the Deobandis were not Wahhabis. Now, please note how the Deobandi-track changes: In 1907 c.e., the official Deobandi Aqida book al-Muhannad ala al-Mufannad (The Sword on the disapproved) was published in the sub-continent for the first time. Before Al-Mohannad, the Deoband Molvi Rasheed Ahmad had said: “If anyone has this belief that prophet had the knowledge of the unseen, he is a mushrik” (Fatawa Rashidiya); and according to their scholar Khaleel Ahmad Ambethawi, anyone who thinks that Prophet had knowledge of the unseen is in clear Shirk. (Baraheen-e- Qati’a). Now in a tactical shift to their original blasphemous statements, Question Eighteen (18) was framed in Al Muhannad: Do you say that the knowledge of the Prophet (upon him be peace) is limited only to the laws of the Shari'ah or was he given knowledge pertaining to the Essence, Attributes and Acts of the Maker (Exalted is His Name), the hidden secrets (al-asrar al-khafiyyah), the divine judgement (al-hukm al-ilahiyyah) and other than of that of which none from creation, whoever he may be, reached the pavilions of His knowledge? Please note their answer: We say with the tongue and we believe in the heart that our master, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace), is the most knowledgeable of all creation, with sciences pertaining to the Essence and Attributes [of Allah], legislations (tashri'at), of the practical rules and the theoretical rules, the true realties and the hidden secrets, and other sciences, that none from creation reached the pavilions of His courtyard, neither an angel brought nigh nor a messenger sent. (Al-Muhannad). Further, “It is our belief that whosoever says that so and so is more knowing than the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) is a polytheist, and our elders have pronounced fatawa of polytheism against a person who says that Shaitaan, the accursed, is more knowing than the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam).” (al-Muhannad ‘ala al-mufannad). So as per Khaleel Ahmad Ambethavi, he and his teacher Gangohi both are kafir because they both affirmed Satan and the angel of death to be more knowledgeable than prophet!
There are many other questions and answers in Al-Muhannad such as acceptance of Tawassul, etc., to clearly pretend that Deobandis do not follow the Wahhabi creed but we cannot discuss all that here. Al Muhannad has only deceived people since Molvi Khaleel Ahmed did not write those beliefs which were present in Deobandi books. The Deobandis will give a list of scholars who signed Al Muhannad but they will shy away from giving the comments of many scholars who signed it. Also, Deobandis should present the book in the original form in which it was presented to the Arab scholars, that is, in question and answer form, so that everyone can see the truth! Al-Muhannad clearly distorts the texts and denies the clear meanings saying that Satan was never described more knowledgeable than the Noble Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam). It also conceals the fact that Rasheed Gangohi and Ismail Dihlawi denied knowledge of the unseen from the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) considering it shirk to believe in it and denies Ashraf Ali Thanvi’s comparing the Prophetic Knowledge to that of lowly creatures calling such comparison kufr! Khaleel Ahmad presented a Fatwa that contradicted the unofficial beliefs of Darul Ulum Deoband but one will not find him justifying their Kufr in al-Muhannad ‘Ala Al-Mufannad.
Of course, leading Sunni scholars were wise enough from what followed after Al Muhannad that this was a ploy to falsely refute Hussam Al Harmayn. Pointing to Muhannad’s gross deceit, Shaykh Gibril Haddad commented in the footnotes of Albani & His Friends (2004: p. 145), “Yet in al-Muhannad, the same author al-Saharanpuri [Khaleel Ambethwi] states (p. 38) that no creature ever received what the Prophet [Allah give him peace and blessings] has received in the knowledge of the first and the last, whether angel brought-near our Prophet-Messenger ... These flip flops were examined by Na’im al-Din Moradabadi (d.1367 AH) in al-Tahqiqat li-Daf all-Talbisat (Lahore).” In short, the Muhannad is a dismissive and deceitful text carefully crafted by Khaleel Ambethwi to mislead readers regarding the controversial statements of the elite Deobandi ulama.
To summarize, the Deobandis had to publicly withdraw and repudiate their own statements of disbelief in al-Muhannad ‘ala al-mufannad. The Haramayn Ulama did not alter their opinion about the nature of such ugly words. Molvis Khaleel Ahmad and Thanvi had to concur with Imam Ahmed Raza (reh) in order to get their school reinstated. Husam al-Haramayn is an authentic book written by a truthful and conscientious scholar. G.F. Haddad says: "As for the Dawla al-Makkiyya of Imam Ahmad Rida Khan, it is a truly perfected jewel that would be enough proof of its author's grand mastership in Tawhid. It is probable that anyone that reads it with an authoritative teacher and then denies its pure Sunni character of the highest order is himself not yet - or not anymore - a Sunni, wal-`iyadhu billah." Sunni scholars wrote many books in support of Hussam Al Harmayn. One book is by the name 'Hussam Al Harmayn ke 100 saal' (Pages:51) [Book:5] by Dr. Lateef Hussain Saeedi and another one by name 'Al Sawawam al Hindiya' (Pages:218) [Book:6] by Munazir-e-Islam Maulana Hashmat Ali Khan Sahab Qadri. Allama Mawlana Muhammad Hashmat Ali Khan (reh) also wrote Radd Al Muhannad – Ulama-e-Deoband ke Maqr wa Faraib [Refutation of Al Muhannad: Deceptions and Frauds] (Book 3, pages 128).
Imam Kattani wrote Jala al-Qulub during the scholarly controversy concerning the scope of the Prophet’s knowledge of the unseen in the Hijaz. He himself pointed at the beginning and end of his text that he wrote this work due to the conflicting views among the ulama (p. 34) and it is noteworthy that he resided in the Hijaz for 8 years between 1328-1336H when al-Dawlah al-Makkiyyah was circulating among scholars and its several endorsements were being written and when the controversy was alive and pertinent in the Hijaz. Imam Kattani (1857/1858-1927) the celebrated author of Jala al-Qulub, highlighted that none of the Sunni scholars ever disagreed on the matter that the Beloved Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) possessed knowledge of the unseen; that all of them agreed that the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) was the most knowledgeable individual in creation; and that all of them honoured Prophetic Knowledge.
Sunni Muslims say and believe that Allah alone has the self-knowledge of unseen and He bestows this upon anyone whom He wishes. Sarkar-e-Madina (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) ko Allah ki ataa se ilm-e-ghayb haasil hai. In the words of Peer Saquib al-Shami: “Allah ne huzoor ko har voh shay ka ilm de diyaa jo huzur naheen jaante theh. Yeh naheen, ke Allah ne apnaa saaraa ilm de diyaa…” According to Dr. Tahir ul-Qadri, absolute denial of Prophet’s (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) knowledge of the unseen is Kufr (Unbelief), i.e. “Mutalaqan inkaar karna Kufr hai”. Any person who accepts any creation to have more knowledge than Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) is a Kaafir: - Shifaa Sharif. The Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) is the most knowledgeable of all of Allah’s عزوجل creation.
To be concluded in Part 13….