Did Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) have Ilme Ghaib? Part Two

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Continued from Did Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) have Ilme Ghaib? Part One

1)      Ilme Ghaib of Previous Prophets (a.s.)

Below we have outlined a few cases of prophets (a.s.) being recipients of Ilme Ghaib and this is by no means an exhaustive list.


a)      Hazrat Adam (a.s.)

‘Then Adam received (some) words from his Lord, so He turned to him mercifully; surely He is Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful.’ (Surah Baqarah (2): Verse 37)

These were special names which Allah informed Hazrat Adam (a.s.) as a favour. According to Suyuti in al-Durr al-Manthoor vol. 1 p. 58, this name included the name of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.a.), through whose medium (waseelah), Hazrat Adam (a.s.) was forgiven.


b)      Hazrat Nuh (a.s.)

‘And make the ark before Our eyes and (according to) Our revelation, and do not speak to Me in respect of those who are unjust; surely they shall be drowned.’ (Surah Hud (11): Verse 37)

Hazrat Nuh (a.s.) was informed of the impending chastisement. He knew who would be saved and who would be drowned. So much so he knew his own son would not be saved.

‘He (Nuh’s son) said: I will betake myself for refuge to a mountain that shall protect me from the water. Nuh said: There is no protector today from Allah’s punishment but He Who has mercy; and a wave intervened between them, so he was of the drowned.’ (Surah Hud (11): Verse 43)


c)       Hazrat Khizr (a.s.)

The incident in Surah Kahf (18): Verses 65-82 highlights three incidents where Hazrat Khizr (a.s.) was bestowed with Ilme Ghaib which was not granted even to Hazrat Moosa (a.s.).


It is clear from the incident that Hazrat Khizr’s (a.s.) knowledge of the unseen extended beyond the incidents and he was only restricted from revealing more from the agreement he had with Hazrat Moosa (a.s.) at the outset.


d)      Hazrat Lut (a.s.)


Allah informed Hazrat Lut (a.s.) of the impending chastisement and that the ones to turn back (Hazrat Lut’s (a.s.) wife) would be destroyed.


e)      Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.)

Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) was informed of the chastisement on Hazrat Lut’s (a.s.) nation.


He and his wife were informed of the birth of a son (Hazrat Ishaaq (a.s.))

‘They said: Fear not, surely we are sent to Lut’s people. And his wife was standing (by), so she laughed, then We gave her the good news of Ishaq and after Ishaq of (a son’s son) Yaqoob.’ (Surah Hud (11): Verses 70-71)


f)       Hazrat Moosa (a.s.)

Hazrat Moosa (a.s.) was informed by Hazrat Khizr (a.s.) about the details of the three incidents in Surah Kahf (18): Verses 65-82). Although Hazrat Moosa (a.s.) was not the original recipient of the knowledge, it was nonetheless Ilme Ghaib as it was information of the future that was not available with others.


Hazrat Moosa (a.s.) was informed by Allah about the miracles like the staff transforming into serpent, shining hand and the effect it would have on Firaun and his people resulting in his triumph against the magicians.

‘He said: Cast it down, O Moosa! So he cast it down; and lo! It was a serpent running. He said: Take hold of it and fear not; we will restore it to its former state. And press your hand to your side, it shall come out white without evil: another sign. (Surah Taha (20): Verses 19-22)


‘We said: Fear not, surely you shall be the uppermost. And cast down what is in your right hand; it shall devour what they have wrought; they have wrought only the plan of a magician, and the magician shall not be successful wheresoever he may come from. (Surah Taha (20): Verses 68-69)


Hazrat Moosa (a.s.) was informed by Allah that he would be saved from drowning:


‘So when the two hosts saw each other, the companions of Moosa cried out: Most surely we are being overtaken. He said: By no means; surely my Lord is with me: He will show me a way out.’ (Surah Shoara (26): Verses 61-62)


g)      Hazrat Yaqoob (a.s.)

Hazrat Yaqoob (a.s.) knew that Hazrat Yusuf’s (a.s.) dream would deepen the rift between him and his brothers landing Hazrat Yusuf (a.s.) in trouble. Hazrat Yaqoob (a.s.) was already informed by Allah that he would engage him in a difficult examination for turning down a fasting believer. The entire incident of Hazrat Yusuf (a.s.) was that examination.


He knew Hazrat Yusuf (a.s.) was alive contrary to the claims of his sons. He was first informed about it by the wolf (who was accused of eating Hazrat Yusuf (a.s.)) and he could sense Hazrat Yusuf’s (a.s.) fragrance.


When his sons taunted him for bringing up Yusuf (a.s.) despite news of his death, Yaqoob (a.s.) reminds them that he has Ilme Ghaib:

‘He said: Did I not say to you that I know from Allah what you do not know?’ (Surah Yusuf (12): Verse 96)


This is one of the most telling proofs establishing Ilme Ghaib was bestowed by Allah and no skeptic has any reply to such an evident verse. Denying Ilme Ghaib after such an apparent verse is open disbelief (Kufr).


h)      Hazrat Yusuf (a.s.)

Hazrat Yusuf (a.s.) was conversant with the interpretation of dreams as he himself says:

‘My Lord! You have given me of the kingdom and taught me of the interpretation of sayings…’ (Surah Yusuf (12): Verse 101)


With this knowledge, he interpreted dreams on two occasions as mentioned in Surah Yusuf (12) —

‘O my two mates of the prison! As for one of you, he shall give his lord to drink wine; and as for the other, he shall be crucified, so that the birds shall eat from his head, the matter is decreed concerning which you inquired.’ (Surah Yusuf (12): Verse 41)


On the second occasion he interpreted the dream of the king that none in the kingdom knew:

‘And the king said: Surely I see seven fat cows which seven lean ones devoured; and seven green ears and (seven) others dry: O chiefs! Explain to me my dream, if you can interpret the dream.’ (Surah Yusuf (12): Verse 43)


This is apart from the original dream at the beginning of Surah Yusuf (12): Verse 4 —

‘When Yusuf said to his father: O my father! surely I saw eleven stars and the sun and the moon– I saw them making obeisance to me.’


He knew that Hazrat Yaqoob’s (a.s.) eyesight would return:

‘Take this my shirt and cast it on my father’s face, he will (again) be able to see, and come to me with all your families.’ (Surah Yusuf (12): Verse 93)


i)        Hazrat Sulaiman (a.s.)

Hazrat Sulaiman (a.s.) was the recipient of many favours and special knowledge.


‘And Sulaiman was Dawood’s heir, and he said: O men! We have been taught the language of birds, and we have been given all things; most surely this is manifest grace.’ (Surah Naml (27): Verse 16)

Clearly he had been bestowed with special knowledge and grace which was not made available to others.


j)        Hazrat Asif b. Barkhiyyah (a.s.)

When Hazrat Sulaiman (a.s.) challenged his courtiers to bring Bilkis’s throne, Hazrat Asif b. Barkhiyyah (a.s.) who was blessed with knowledge of the book (Ilme Ghaib) took up the challenge and brought the throne within the twinkling of an eye. In fact it is clear that even the Jinn who boasted of bringing the throne was gifted with special knowledge.


‘One audacious among the jinn said: I will bring it to you before you rise up from your place; and most surely I am strong (and) trusty for it. One who had the knowledge of the Book said: I will bring it to you in the twinkling of an eye.’ (Surah Naml (27): Verses 39-40)


k)      Hazrat Esa (a.s.)

There are numerous verses that establish Ilme Ghaib for Hazrat Esa (a.s.) right from the time he was a mere infant:

‘Then (the child — Esa (a.s.)) called out to her from beneath her: Grieve not, surely your Lord has made a stream to flow beneath you. And shake towards you the trunk of the palm tree, it will drop on you fresh ripe dates. So eat and drink and refresh the eye. Then if you see any mortal, say: Surely I have vowed a fast to the beneficent God, so I shall not speak to any man today.’ (Surah Maryam (19): Verses 24-26)


These verses highlight that Hazrat Esa (a.s.) who was just born consoles his mother and informs her about food and drink and instructs her on how to ward off unwanted attention.


‘He said: Surely I am a servant of Allah; He has given me the Book and made me a prophet. And He has made me blessed wherever I may be, and He has enjoined on me prayer and poor-rate so long as I live. And dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me insolent, unblessed. And peace on me on the day I was born, and on the day I die, and on the day I am raised to life. Such is Esa, son of Maryam; (this is) the saying of truth about which they dispute.’ (Surah Maryam (19): Verses 30-34)


The verses prove that Hazrat Esa (a.s.) was informed of all this by Allah.


‘…and I inform you of what you should eat and what you should store in your houses; most surely there is a sign in this for you, if you are believers.’ (Surah Ale Imran (3): Verse 49)


It is as if this verse is addressing these skeptical Muslims who deny Ilme Ghaib. It is clear that Hazrat Esa (a.s.) had Ilme Ghaib and informed the people of what they ate and stored in their houses among other things. Indeed one who rejects Ilme Ghaib of Hazrat Esa (a.s.) has rejected the prophethood of Hazrat Eesa (a.s.) as he says — most surely there is a sign in this for you, if you are believers.


Continued in Did Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) have Ilme Ghaib? Part Three

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