Does the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم know the Unseen? A Long Discussion Concerning that | 2

by The Albaani Blog


Translated by Ahmed Abu Turaab

Continuing from the first post on this topic.

Shaikh al-Albani continues, “Here we say that the word, ‘Unseen,’ is [understood] exactly as what we were previously talking about: does our Lord inform the Prophets about all of the Unseen?  No.

The scholars of tafsir said: it all goes back to the Will of our Lord, the Mighty and Majestic, to inform whoever He wants to from the Messengers about some of the Unseen, but not all of it.

That is because the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, [in fact] all Prophets, when Allaah gives them some knowledge then it becomes obligatory upon them to proclaim it to the Muslims, exactly as Aishah said, may Allaah the Most High be pleased with her, in a long hadith which we are not in the middle of explaining right now [but] in it she says, ‘Whoever tells you that Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم concealed something that he was ordered to proclaim …’ O Messenger, announce that which has been revealed to you from your Lord, and if you do not, then you have not conveyed His message. And Allaah will protect you from the people.’ [Maa’idah 5:67]  [So] she said, ‘Whoever tells you that Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم concealed something that he was ordered to proclaim then he has fabricated a great lie against Allaah.’

Thus, our Lord said, “… and He does not disclose His [knowledge of the] unseen …” [Jinn 72:26], i.e., some of the unseen, [the word ‘some’ being] an implicit [or omitted] qualifier here, because as we said, even though the Prophet is the chosen one, it is not possible for him to be a second deity [comparable to Allaah] in his knowledge and in his encompassing all things that will be, for then he would have become a partner [to Allaah].

Here we [should] remember something very important connected to the knowledge of tawheed.  Allaah the Blessed and Most High is One in His Essence, so there is none of what the disbelievers from the Christians said about Allaah being one of three, no, He is a single deity, “Say, “He is Allaah, [who is] One. Allaah, the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born, nor is there to Him any equivalent.” [Ikhlaas 112:1-4]

So Allaah is One in His Essence, in opposition to what the Christians say, and He is One who is singled out for worship, He is the one [and only] deity, i.e., not like what the polytheists, the Arabs [used to] say and still say today, “We only worship them that they may bring us nearer to Allaah in position.”

So [like we said] Allaah is the One singled out for worship too. Whoever believes that Allaah is One in His Essence [Rububiyyah] but worships others along with Him has not singled Him out [Uluhiyyah]. And the final [category of] tawheed after mentioning that Allaah is One in His Essence and the only One who deserves to be worshipped, [is that He is] One in His Characteristics [Sifaat].

So it is not permissible for a Muslim to believe that Allaah the Mighty and Majestic would inform His prophet of all of the knowledge of the Unseen, because then he would have become a partner with Him in the characteristic of [knowing all of] the Unseen, “Say, “None in the heavens and earth knows the unseen except Allaah …” [Naml 27:65], the aayah is as such [is it not], inshaa Allaah?

Questioner: “And with Him are the keys of the unseen …” [An’aam 6:59]

Al-Albaani: No, this aayah is not relevant to us now, because these are the keys, the head issues, the foundations of the Unseen, but we now are referring to the details.

I say, “Say, “None in the heavens and earth knows the unseen except Allaah …” [Naml 27:65] so, [is it that] the Messenger of Allaah doesn’t know anything from the Unseen?

This is a mistake.  Why?

Because Allaah said in the previous aayah, “Say, “None in the heavens and earth knows the Unseen …” i.e., the Unseen in its entirety, “… except Allaah …” the Blessed and Most High.

Look, my brothers, and learn, and know that knowledge is that a person does not give a free hand to his intellect regarding an aayah and say, “Here you go, [Allaah said], ‘Say: None in the heavens and the earth knows the unseen except Allaah …,’ so [that means] the Messenger of Allaah does not know any of the Unseen.”

This is incorrect.  Why?

Because Allaah said in the previous aayah, “[He is the] Knower of the unseen, and He does not disclose His [knowledge of the] unseen to anyone except [those] whom He has approved of [from the] messengers …”

Okay, don’t stop at His Saying, “… and He does not disclose His [knowledge of the] unseen [to anyone except those whom He has approved of from the messengers],” [and take it to the other extreme and say that He gives them] all of the knowledge of the Unseen, no.

Because He is One in His Characteristics just as He is the only One who deserves to be worshipped, just as He is One in His Essence, so it is not permissible for a Muslim to believe that Allaah would inform His Prophet عليه السلام of everything that is to happen up until the Day of Judgement, because this is a characteristic of Allaah [Alone], the Mighty and Majestic.