The Prophet's (s.a.w.) Knowledge of the Unseen

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Imam at-Tirmidzi (r.a.) and Imam Ahmad (r.a.) both record a hadits where the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “I stood at night and prayed what was destined for me, then I felt sleepy during my prayer until, Lo!  I was with my Lord Mighty and Exalted and He Said to me, ‘O Muhammad, what are the angels disputing over?’

I replied, ‘I do not know.’”

Then Allah (s.w.t.) Poured knowledge into the Prophet (s.a.w.) until he said, “Everything was Manifested to me and I knew,” or in another narration, “And so, I knew everything that was in the skies and upon the Earth.”

Imam ath-Thabarani’s (r.a.) narration went, “And so, He Taught me everything so that I knew whatever He Asked of me; then He Said, ‘O Muhammad, what are the angels disputing over?’ and I said. ‘Over expiations and degrees.’”

‘Amr ibn al-Akhthab (r.a.) related, “Rasulullah (s.a.w.) lead us in swalah fajr, then stood on the minbar and spoke until zhuhr.  He came down and prayed and then stood again on the minbar and spoke until ‘aswr.  Then he came down and prayed then again stood on the minbar and spoke until maghrib.  He told us what would happen until the Day of Judgement and we learnt and remembered.  He did not leave anything that would be until the Day of Judgement.”

Of the breadth of his knowledge is the knowledge of the unseen that Allah (s.w.t.) Bestowed upon him.  Allah (s.w.t.) Says:

“He (Alone) Knows the unseen, nor does He Make any one acquainted with His Mysteries ― Except a Messenger whom He has Chosen …” (Surah al-Jinn:26-27)

And of the unseen that Allah (s.w.t.) Disclosed to Rasulullah (s.a.w.), is the Creation of the universe from its first moment until the moment the people of Paradise enter Paradise and those of the Fire enter the Fire as indicated by the hadits of Swahih al-Bukhari where ‘Umar ibn al-Khaththab (r.a.) said, “The Prophet (s.a.w.) stood before us and told us about the beginning of Creation until the people of Paradise enter Paradise and the people of the Fire enter the Fire; whoever remembered what he said remembered it, and whoever forgot it, forgot it.”

Hudzayfah (r.a.) added about this incident, “I had seen something that I had forgotten then he reminded me of it just like a man is reminded of someone he had forgotten when he sees him.”

Imam Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuthi (q.s.) wrote, on this ayat, “‘Taught to you what you did not know’, means that Allah Most High has Told the Prophet (s.a.w.) of ahkam and the unseen.”

Another ayat is this:

But for the Grace of Allah to thee and His Mercy, a party of them would certainly have plotted to lead thee astray.  But (in fact) they will only lead their own souls astray and to thee they can do no harm in the least.  For Allah hath Sent Down to thee the Book and wisdom and Taught thee what thou knewest not (before); and Great is the Grace of Allah unto thee. (Surah an-Nisa’:113)

Imam ibn Jarir ath-Thabari (r.a.) wrote, of this verse in his Tafsir, “Allah (s.w.t.) has Told the Prophet (s.a.w.) to thank Him as He has Informed the Prophet (s.a.w.) of what has already happened and what will happen, and this is a Bestowal of Great Grace.”

There are also further verses from the Qur’an that show that Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) was Given the knowledge of the ghayb:

This is part of the tidings of the things unseen, which We Reveal unto thee (O Prophet!) by inspiration ... (Surah Ali ‘Imran:44)

… Nor will He Disclose to you the secrets of the unseen.  But He Chooses of His Messengers (for the purpose) whom He Pleases ... (Surah Ali ‘Imran:179)


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