Ads by Muslim Ad Network

Did Prophet Muhammad Know the Unseen?

12 April, 2023
Q Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh most respected ulamaa, I humbly request an answer to the following question: Was rasoolulAllah (God’s messenger, pbuh) alimun-lel-ghayb (knowledgeable of the unknown) as some people - including some who profess to be Islamic scholars - claim? Kindly honor my humble self with your most valuable answer, including references to the relevant books of tafseer (explanation of Quran), hadith (sayings of the Prophet), fiqh and ‘usool (principles of jurisprudence). Please do remember me in your most pious du’a and the ummah. Wa-salaam


Short Answer: 

  • No. The Quran and various ahadith state clearly that Only Allah knows the Unseen and the future.
  • Allah revealed just enough of the Unseen to Prophet Muhammad to enable him to teach and guide others in their worship of Allah.

Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuhu Dear Abdul Qadir,

Thank you very much for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

No true scholar of Islam would deviate in this way from the straight path of tawhid (unity) towards the dangerous swamps of shirk (associating partners with Allah).

It is a patent fact that the whole foundation of Islam is belief in the One and Only God, Who is the Sovereign Creator and Ruler of the whole universe.

Ads by Muslim Ad Network

One of His greatest attributes is that He is All-Wise, All-Knowing, the One and Only Knower of the hidden and the manifest.

This fact is quite evident from the Holy Quran and hadith.

Only Allah Knows The Unseen

For instance, see the following verses:

Say: “None in the heavens or on earth, except God, knows what is hidden: nor can they perceive when they shall be raised up (for Judgment).” (Quran 20:65)

Say: “I tell you not that with me are the treasures of God, nor do I know what is hidden, nor do I tell you I am an angel. I but follow what is revealed to me.” Say: “can the blind be held equal to the seeing?” Will ye then consider not? (Quran 6:50)

Say: “I have no power over any good or harm to myself except as God willeth. If I had knowledge of the unseen, I should have multiplied all good, and no evil should have touched me: I am but a warner, and a bringer of glad tidings to those who have faith.” (Quran 7:188)

When such categorical statements are in the Holy Quran, it is strange how we can be misled about the Prophet’s role and mission.

The Prophet Advised People Not To Follow His Personal Opinions

Musa bin Talha reported:

‘I and Allah’s messenger (peace be upon him), happened to pass by people near the date-palm trees. The Prophet said: ‘What are these people doing?’

They said: ‘They are grafting, i.e. they combine the male with the female (tree) and thus they yield more fruit.’ Thereupon Allah’s messenger (peace be upon him) said: ‘I do not find it to be of any use’.

The people were informed about it and they abandoned this practice.

Allah’s messenger (peace be upon him) was later informed that the yield had dwindled, whereupon he said:

‘If there is any use of it, then they should do it, for it was just a personal opinion of mine, and do not go after my personal opinion; but when I say to you anything on behalf of Allah, then do accept it, for I do not attribute lie to Allah, the Exalted and Glorious. (Narrated by Muslim)

Here the Prophet spoke about a point related to a future event and his opinion was not correct. He frankly admitted it saying, that his personal opinion was not correct.

This previous hadith proves that the Prophet did not know about the ghayb, or the Unseen.

Prophet Muhammad Waited for Revelation from Allah to Answer Questions

As well, Abdullah bin Mas’ud reported:

“As I was going along with Allah’s Apostle (peace be upon him) in a cultivable land and he – the Prophet – was walking with the support of a wood, a group of Jews happened to meet him.

Some of them said to the others: ‘Ask him about the soul.’

They said: ‘What is your doubt about it? There is a possibility that you may ask him about anything (the answer of) which you may not like.’

They said: ‘Ask him.’ So one amongst them asked him about the soul.

Allah’s messenger (peace be upon him) kept quiet and he gave no reply and I came to know that revelation was being sent to him, so I stood at my place and thus this revelation descended upon him:

They ask thee concerning the Spirit (of inspiration). Say: “The Spirit (cometh) by command of my Lord: of knowledge it is only a little that is communicated to you, (O men!)” (Quran 17:85) (Muslim)

Here too, when the Prophet was asked about the soul, which is part of the mysterious world of the unknown, he did not give any answer, until he received a revelation.

In the revelation, he was clearly told by Allah that we, the humans, are given only a little knowledge.

Allah Revealed Only Sufficient Knowledge of the Unseen to Prophet Muhammad

What we should believe about the Prophet, therefore, is that Allah revealed to him just sufficient knowledge of the ghayb that was necessary to fulfill his mission as a Prophet.

That is all.

It is true that some predictions of the Prophet have come true. But it was not because he had intimate knowledge of these things, but because Allah had revealed to him such knowledge.

Allah knows best. I hope this helps answer your question.

Salam and please keep in touch.

(From Ask About Islam’s archives)

Read more…

Why Muslims Believe in the Unseen?

Islam: A Religion Based on Knowledge

Did Allah Give Any Supernatural Powers to Anyone?