Q: My question is if the prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) didn’t know ilm-e-ghaib, then how did he know the following hadith.
Narrated by Hazrat Anas (Radiyallahu Anhu): Allah’s Apostle (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) ascended the (mountain) of Uhud with Abu Bakr and ‘Uthman and it shook. Allah’s Apostle (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Be calm, O Uhud!” I think he stroked it with his foot and added, “There is none on you but a Prophet, a Siddiq and two martyrs.” (The two martyrs were Hazrat Umar and Hazrat Uthman [Radiyallahu Anhuma]) (See Hadith No. 24). Hadith is in Bukhari.
How did he know that Hazrat Umar and Hazrat Uthman (Radiyallahu Anhuma) will be martyred?
A: Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was commanded by Allah Ta’ala in the Holy Qur’an to declare that he does not possess Ilm-e-Ghaib. It is the belief of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is the greatest servant of Allah Ta’ala and the most knowledgeable from the creation. The knowledge bestowed to him by Allah Ta’ala was the greatest. His knowledge compared to the knowledge of the entire creation is like a drop of water in comparison to the vast ocean. However, despite that, his knowledge was not of his own, rather it was blessed to him by Allah Ta’ala. Hence, the knowledge one receives from Allah Ta’ala is not called Ilm-e-Ghaib. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) informed the ummah that Ilm-e-Ghaib is an exclusive attribute of Allah Ta’ala. When Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) himself said that I do not possess Ilm-e-Ghaib, then we should not try to be more intelligent than Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) in attributing Ilm-e-Ghaib to him.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
قُل لَّا أَقُولُ لَكُمْ عِندِي خَزَائِنُ اللَّـهِ وَلَا أَعْلَمُ الْغَيْبَ وَلَا أَقُولُ لَكُمْ إِنِّي مَلَكٌ ۖ إِنْ أَتَّبِعُ إِلَّا مَا يُوحَىٰ إِلَيَّ ۚ قُلْ هَلْ يَسْتَوِي الْأَعْمَىٰ وَالْبَصِيرُ ۚ أَفَلَا تَتَفَكَّرُونَ ﴿الأنعام: ٥٠﴾
Mufti Zakaria Makada
Checked & Approved:
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)