A Number of Robust Proofs Shows That Even The Most Knowledgeable Amongst Allaah’s Creation -[the Messengers and Angels] -Do Not Possess Knowledge of The Unseen – By Imaam Ash-Shanqeetee (rahimahullaah)

In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy



Allaah (The Most High) said: [وَعِنْدَهُ مَفَاتِحُ الْغَيْبِ لَا يَعْلَمُهَا إِلَّا هُوَ – And with Him are the keys of the Ghaib (all that is hidden), none knows them but He] [6:59]

In his explanation of the above Ayah, Imaam Ash-Shanqeetee (rahimahullaah) brought a number of robust examples to demonstrate and establish that even the most knowledgeable amongst the creation- Allaah’s Messengers and Angels-do not posses knowledge of the Unseen. The Imaam (rahimahullaah) said:

Proof 1: Aa’isha (radiyallaahu-anhaa) was falsely accused and the Prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) did not know whether she was innocent or not until Allaah informed him, saying: [ أُولَٰئِكَ مُبَرَّءُونَ مِمَّا يَقُولُونَ- ‘Such (good people) are innocent of (each and every) bad statement which they say’ (24:26)]

Proof 2: Prophet Ibraaheem (alayhis-salaam) slaughtered a lamb for the angels, whilst not knowing that they were angels until they informed him that they were angels. Allaah said that the angels said to him: [إِنَّا أُرْسِلْنَا إِلَىٰ قَوْمِ لُوطٍ    – We have been sent against the people of Lout (Lot). (11:70)]

Proof 3: Also when the angels came to Prophet lut (alayhis-salaam) he did not know that they were angels, and due to that Allaah said: [عَصِيبٌ سِيءَ بِهِمْ وَضَاقَ بِهِمْ ذَرْعًا وَقَالَ هَٰذَا يَوْمٌ – He was grieved on their account and felt himself straitened for them (lest the town people should approach them to commit lewdness with them). He said: “This is a distressful day(11:77)]. And because of this Allaah said that lut said: [لَوْ أَنَّ لِي بِكُمْ قُوَّةً أَوْ آوِي إِلَىٰ رُكْنٍ شَدِيدٍ  – Would that I had strength (men) to overpower you, or that I could betake myself to some powerful support (to resist you). (11:80)]. He did not know the news the angels brought until they said to him: [إِنَّا رُسُلُ رَبِّكَ لَنْ يَصِلُوا إِلَيْكَ – Verily, we are the Messengers from your Lord! (11:81)]

Proof 4: Prophet Yaqoob (alayhis-salaam) lost his eye sight due to grieving for Yusuf (alayhis-salaam), whilst he was in Egypt.  He did not know anything about Yusuf until Allaah reveal news about him.

Proof 5: Prophet Sulaymaan (alayhis-salaam), even though Allaah gave him authority over the devils and subjugated the wind in his service, did not know about the people Bil Qees until the Hud’hud came with news about them. Allaah said that the Hud’hud said: [أَحَطْتُ بِمَا لَمْ تُحِطْ بِهِ وَجِئْتُكَ مِنْ سَبَإٍ بِنَبَإٍ يَقِينٍ  – I have grasped (the knowledge of a thing) which you have not grasped and I have come to you from Saba’ (Sheba) with true news] (27:22)]

Proof 6: Prophet Nuh (alayhis-salaam) did not know that his son – who was drowned- was not from those members of his household who were to be saved, as Allaah said that Nuh said:

[رَبِّ إِنَّ ابْنِي مِنْ أَهْلِي وَإِنَّ وَعْدَكَ الْحَقُّ   – O my Lord! Verily, my son is of my family! And certainly, Your Promise is true.(11:45)]

He did not know the reality of the affair until Allaah informed him, saying:

[بِهِ عِلْمٌ ۖ إِنِّي أَعِظُكَ أَنْ تَكُونَ مِنَ الْجَاهِلِينَ قَالَ يَا نُوحُ إِنَّهُ لَيْسَ مِنْ أَهْلِكَ ۖ إِنَّهُ عَمَلٌ غَيْرُ صَالِحٍ ۖ فَلَا تَسْأَلْنِ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ  – He said: “O Nuh (Noah)! Surely, he is not of your family; verily, his work is unrighteous, so ask not of Me that of which you have no knowledge! I admonish you, lest you be one of the ignorant(11:46)]

And indeed Allaah (The Most High) also stated in Surah Hud about Nuh that he said to his people: [وَلَا أَقُولُ لَكُمْ عِنْدِي خَزَائِنُ اللَّهِ وَلَا أَعْلَمُ الْغَيْبَ -And I do not say to you that with me are the Treasures of Allah, “Nor that I know the Ghaib (unseen)..(11:31)]

Proof 7: And when Allaah said to the Angels:  [هَٰؤُلَاءِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِينَ أَنْبِئُونِي بِأَسْمَاءِ -Tell Me the names of these if you are truthful]; Allaah said that the angels replied: [قَالُوا سُبْحَانَكَ لَا عِلْمَ لَنَا إِلَّا مَا عَلَّمْتَنَا  -They (angels) said: “Glory be to You, we have no knowledge except what you have taught us. [2:31-32]

Therefore, it is very clear that the most knowledgeable amongst the creation, the Messengers and the Angels, do not know anything of the unseen except what Allaah makes known to them. Allaah (The Most High) informs His Messengers what He wishes from the knowledge of the Unseen, as Allaah stated: [وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيُطْلِعَكُمْ عَلَى الْغَيْبِ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَجْتَبِي مِنْ رُسُلِهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۖ- Nor will Allah disclose to you the secrets of the Ghaib (unseen), but Allah chooses of His Messengers whom He pleases. (3:179)]

And Allaah said: [إِلَّا مَنِ ارْتَضَىٰ مِنْ رَسُولٍ  عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ فَلَا يُظْهِرُ عَلَىٰ غَيْبِهِ أَحَد- (He Alone) the All-Knower of the Gha’ib (unseen), and He reveals to none His Gha’ib (unseen).” Except to a Messenger (from mankind)…(72:26-27)]

[Paraphrased and Abridged. Source: Tafseer Al-Qur’aan Bil-Qur’aan Min Adwaa Al-Bayaan’ pages 169-170’ Daar Hady An-Nabawiy’ 2nd ed. (1431AH -2010)]


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