The Prophet MHMD Alim-ul-Ghayb?

I need to know if the title "Alim ul Ghayb" can be applied to the Prophet MHMD?

He MHMD knows of the ghayb through Allah (swt), but some people say that we cannot call him MHMD Alim ul Ghayb, because what Allah made known to the Prophet MHMD is Ghayb no more.

If we can call him MHMD Alim ul Ghayb, could you please provide some proofs for it as well (e.g. the term used in the wordings of the scholars, etc)? Kindly reply in detail, if you could find some time.

There is no question that the Prophet MHMD upon him blessings and peace, was given knowledge of ghayb to a degree no other creature was given whether human beings, Jinn, or angels. Allah Most High made this very clear when he said {the knower of the Unseen, and He reveals unto none His secret save unto every messenger whom He has chosen} (72:26-27) {and it is not (the purpose of) Allah to let you know the unseen. But Allah chooses of His messengers whom He will, (to receive knowledge thereof.) So believe in Allah and His messengers.} (3:179) Furthermore, the implicit proof (dalil al-ishara) of the Divine Name "`Allam al-Ghuyub" is that Allah Most High made His ghayb (in the singular) accessible to His elect creatures, while He reserved His Ghuyub absolutely for Himself exclusively, and Allah knows best.

Saying that "what Allah made known to the Prophet MHMD is Ghayb no more" is incorrect, since most of the states of the past, present, and future, including Qiyama, which Allah Most High made known to the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, remain ghayb for us, and he, upon him blessings and peace, knew that ghayb and continues to know it until Qiyama. The very term Nabi essentially means someone who brings news of the unseen. Our combined knowledge is like a drop in the ocean of the knowledge of a single Prophet and the combined knowledge of 124,000 Prophets is like a drop in the ocean of the Seal of Prophets and the knowledge of the Seal of Prophets is like a drop or less in the ocean of the knowledge of Allah Most High, as Imam Ahmad Rida said in al-Dawla al-Makkiyya fil-Maddat al-Ghaybiyya ("The Meccan Authority on the Subject of the Unseen," thus titled because he wrote it in less than three days in the Haram, away from his library).

However, from the established facts that [1] the Prophet MHMD upon him peace, knows ghayb by the grace of Allah, and [2] whoever claims that what the Prophet knows is accessible to all or disbelieves that the Prophet knows ghayb is a materialist and an atheist, nevertheless, it does not follow that the Prophet can be called by the name `Alim al-ghayb.The reason for this caveat is that, for Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jama`a, the Prophetic Names and Attributes, like the Divine Names and Attributes, are Divinely ordained (tawqifi) and cannot be inferred or derived. This is stated by Imam al-Laqani in his commentary on his own poem Jawharat al-Tawhid and others.

For example, the Qur'an says that Allah Most High {istawa `ala al-`arsh} which is commonly translated "He established Himself over the Throne." However, it does not follow that we can invent the name "al-Mustawi" for Allah Most High. Nor can we infer the name "al-Mudamdim" from the verb damdama, although it is an act that Allah Most High said He effected. Similarly, the name `Alim al-ghayb is tawqifi and cannot be inferred for a Prophet even if the very term Nabi essentially means someone who brings news of the unseen.

To illustrate this through another name, we know that the Prophet, upon him peace, is the greatest mercy to the created universes. Nevertheless, it does not follow from this that he can be called "the All-Merciful" (al-Rahman)! The latter is a name exclusively reserved for Allah Most High by Consensus and, as the Tahawiyya says, "Whoever brings something unsupported by the Qur'an, the Sunna, or the Consensus, we do not believe him." I actually asked Mawlana al-Shaykh Nazim in his house in Cyprus about this very point and he replied on the spot: "No! We do not call the Prophet 'al-Rahman'; rather, we say he is the greatest manifestation (mazhar) of mercy." and this fine point is the whole difference between the harmony and truth of right Sunni belief on the one hand and, on the other, the cacophony of invented terminology and jarring exaggerations.

Finally, there are many books by the pious scholars on the names of the Prophet, upon him peace, reaching up to a thousand names, but not `Alim al-ghayb. None of those books mentioned that name. Allah Most High referred to Himself by that name in the Holy Qur'an and so we, also, refer to Allah Most High by that name and to none other. At the same time we firmly believe that the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, was given knowledge of ghayb by Allah Most High and we say to whoever doubts this: "May Allah strengthen your belief in your Prophet and grant you better understanding of His Power over all things." It is best to stay with the Sawad al-A`zam of this Umma and avoid unnecessary controversy and differences between hearts.

Was-Salam,

gibril
© GF Haddad





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2006-05-21





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