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Did the Prophet Know He Was Going To Pass Away?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Maulana Syed Johir Miah


Looking at the farewell sermon of our beloved Prophet Muhammad(صلى الله عليه وسلم). The question I have is, did the prophet know he was going to pass away? If so, do we know how he knew?

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful



Sayyiduna Abdullah Ibn Abbas ( رضى الله عنهما ) narrated that;

كانَ عُمَرُ يُدْخِلُنِي مَعَ أشْياخِ بَدْرٍ فَكَأنَّ بَعْضَهُمْ وجَدَ فِي نَفْسِهِ، فَقالَ: لِمَ تُدْخِلُ هَذا مَعَنا ولَنا أبْناءٌ مِثْلُهُ، فَقالَ عُمَرُ: إنَّهُ مَن قَدْ عَلِمْتُمْ، فَدَعاهُ ذاتَ يَوْمٍ فَأدْخَلَهُ مَعَهُمْ، فَما رُئِيتُ أنَّهُ دَعانِي يَوْمَئِذٍ إلّا لِيُرِيَهُمْ، قالَ: ما تَقُولُونَ فِي قَوْلِ اللَّهِ تَعالى: ﴿إذا جاءَ نَصْرُ اللَّهِ والفَتْحُ﴾ [النصر ١]؟ فَقالَ بَعْضُهُمْ: أُمِرْنا أنْ نَحْمَدَ اللَّهَ ونَسْتَغْفِرَهُ إذا نُصِرْنا، وفُتِحَ عَلَيْنا، وسَكَتَ بَعْضُهُمْ فَلَمْ يَقُلْ شَيْئًا، فَقالَ لِي: أكَذاكَ تَقُولُ يا ابْنَ عَبّاسٍ؟ فَقُلْتُ: لاَ، قالَ: فَما تَقُولُ؟ قُلْتُ: «هُوَ أجَلُ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ﷺ أعْلَمَهُ لَهُ»، قالَ: ﴿إذا جاءَ نَصْرُ اللَّهِ والفَتْحُ﴾ [النصر ١] «وذَلِكَ عَلاَمَةُ أجَلِكَ»، ﴿فَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ واسْتَغْفِرْهُ إنَّهُ كانَ تَوّابًا﴾ [النصر ٣]، فَقالَ عُمَرُ: «ما أعْلَمُ مِنها إلّا ما تَقُولُ

Umar( رضى الله عنه ) used to make me sit with the elderly men who had fought in the Battle of Badr. Some of them felt it (did not like that) and said to Umar( رضى الله عنه ) “Why do you bring in this boy to sit with us while we have sons like him?”Umar( رضى الله عنه ) replied, “Because of what you know of his position (i.e. his religious knowledge.)”.

One day Umar( رضى الله عنه ) called me and made me sit in the gathering of those people, and I think that he called me just to show them. (my religious knowledge). Umar( رضى الله عنه ) then asked them (in my presence). “What do you say about the interpretation of the Statement of Allah:

﴿إذا جاءَ نَصْرُ اللَّهِ والفَتْحُ﴾

‘When comes Help of Allah (to you O, Muhammad(صلى الله عليه وسلم) against your enemies) and the conquest (of Makkah).’ (Surah Nasr, Verse 1)

Some of them said, “We are ordered to praise Allah and ask for His forgiveness when Allah’s Help and the conquest (of Makkah) comes to us.” Some others kept quiet and did not say anything. On that, Umar( رضى الله عنه ) asked me, “Do you say the same, O Ibn Abbas( رضى الله عنهما )?” I replied, “No.” He said, ‘What do you say then?” I replied, “That is the sign of the death of Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم)which Allah informed him of.

Allah (عز و جل)said:

﴿إذا جاءَ نَصْرُ اللَّهِ والفَتْحُ﴾

‘(O Muhammad(صلى الله عليه وسلم)) When comes the Help of Allah (to you against your enemies) and the conquest (of Makkah).(Surah Nasr, Verse 1)

Which is the sign of your death.

﴿فَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ واسْتَغْفِرْهُ إنَّهُ كانَ تَوّابًا﴾

“You should celebrate the praises of your Lord and ask for His Forgiveness, and He is the One Who accepts the repentance and forgives”.(Surah Nasr, Verse 3).

On that Umar( رضى الله عنه ) said, “I do not know anything about it other than what you have said.”[1]

Hence, our beloved Prophet Muhammad(صلى الله عليه وسلم), knew His(صلى الله عليه وسلم)departure from the world is close as His mission was near to an end due to this Surah.

Only Allah knows best.

Written by Maulana Syed Johir Miah

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

[1] Sahih Bukhari, Hadith number 4970, 179/6, Dar Tuqin Najah, First edition 2001. 1422 H.

Sahih Bukhari, Hadith number 4294, 149/5, Dar Tuqin Najah, First edition 2001. 1422 H.

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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