Unseen knowledge given to our Prophet (saas)

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Only Almighty Allah knows the unseen things about the past and the future that are beyond the capacity of human senses to perceive. Everything that happens in all the worlds of the universe is controlled by Allah and contained in His knowledge. The miracle of unseen knowledge was vouchsafed to our Prophet (saas) to the extent that Allah willed. Allah told our Prophet (saas) about events hidden in the past that no one else knew and about things that would happen in the future, and he revealed this knowledge to his companions and all his people.

It is Allah Who created time and taught the concept of it to the people. He is exalted above time and not limited by it, He knows all secrets and He can reveal the secret things hidden in his Presence to any of His messengers according to His will.  Those to whom He has given secret knowledge can, by His will, tell about things past and the yet to come; they see the inner face of events and know their various consequences.

Allah tells us in the Qur’an that He has given some of the unseen knowledge hidden in His Presence to some messengers:

He is the Knower of the Unseen, and does not divulge His Unseen to anyone–except a Messenger with whom He is well pleased, and then He posts sentinels before him and behind him, so that He may know that they have indeed transmitted the Messages of their Lord. (Surat al-Jinn, 26-27)

Our Prophet Muhammad (saas) was a messenger special to Allah to whom He gave much secret knowledge from His Presence. Our Prophet (saas) knew things that happened in the past unknown to anyone else and learned from Allah many things that were going to occur in the future. Allah reveals this in the Qur’an:

This is news of the Unseen which We reveal to you. You were not with them when they decided what to do and devised their scheme.’ (Surah Yusuf, 102)

OUR PROPHET’S (saas) MIRACULOUS UNSEEN KNOWLEDGE

Our Prophet’s (saas) ability to know unseen things did not come from himself. But he revealed these things to those around him in accordance to Allah’s will. All-knowing Allah revealed this knowledge to His messenger which pointed to events that happened in the past or that were with certainty about to occur in the future. This shows that all the knowledge our Prophet (saas) revealed was a miracle. Several times throughout his life, our Prophet (saas) delivered information that could only be known by Allah’s revelation. He was given knowledge e about the past, the present and the future and this was a proof that he was a true prophet. The Qur’an describes many details of the divine knowledge given to Muhammad (saas) together with his devotion and submission to Allah:

Say: ‘I possess no power to help or harm myself, except as Allah wills. If I had had knowledge of the Unseen, I would have sought to gain much good and no evil would have touched me. I am only a warner and a bringer of good news to people who believe.’ (Surat al-A‘raf, 188)

As a result of the revelations given to Allah’s holy Prophet Muhammad (saas) both personally and through the verses of the Qur’an, he gained knowledge about the past, present and future. According to Allah’s will, he had knowledge about many matters that no one else could know. Because of this knowledge, he could announce victory to Muslims in dire straits by which he was able to bolster their zeal. The occurrence in sequence of each of these events predicted by our Prophet (saas) was miraculous. 

There are many events predicted by our Prophet (saas) 1400 years ago that are coming true today. Many scholars of the Hadiths such as Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Thirmidhi, Nasai, Ibn Majah, witness to the fact that secret knowledge revealed by our Prophet (saas) in the Hadiths is true. They attest to the miracle that all the secret knowledge revealed by our Prophet (saas) has come true and continues to come true.

False Accusations Against Our Prophet (saas) Despite The Miracle of His Unseen Knowledge

From the time our Prophet (saas) started to communicate what is revealed to him in the Qur’an to the people around him, unbelievers accused this blessed personage of not telling the truth. They approached every piece of information brought by him with suspicion and were unwilling to believe in him. However, our Prophet (saas) was a personage whose honesty and credibility could easily be understood just by looking at his face and way of living. Although he was a person who was unanimously qualified as “Al-amin” (reliable) throughout his life and addressed with this epithet, some people insisted on saying lies not to comply with the right path to which he called.

In their savage attacks on our Prophet (saas), deniers reject the possibility that a person can tell the truth every moment of his life. They say that an individual cannot live his life speaking the truth every moment until his death. But our Prophet (saas) was a devout and self-sacrificing man who prayed day and night; he was patient and his moral rectitude was an example to the whole world. He entered battle with great courage and fought in the front ranks. Even faced with the threat of death, he continued to proclaim the truth.

Our Prophet (saas) always practiced the moral teachings of the Qur’an impeccably and was an example for all believers. Our blessed Prophet (saas) taught generosity and gave liberally of all he had; he offered his life and his possessions to gain the favor of Allah. He taught patience, self-sacrifice, true love and friendship and lived these moral qualities in the best possible way. Also, he urged people to be merciful and forgiving and he practiced these virtues with singular determination. The unbelievers that accused our Prophet (saas) should have considered following:

It does not belong to the power of human nature to perpetuate a lie throughout a lifetime. It is not possible for a person to be a liar and live his life consistently in accordance with thousands of non-conflicting verses. And why would a liar persist in such an attitude until the end of his life? And why would people put their lives at risk in order to show the right path to the Hereafter?

And is it possible for everything a liar says to be the vehicle of such great wisdom? Is it possible for everything he has said to be perfect from the aspect of eternity; to be possessed of a certain numerical code; for everything he has said throughout 23 years to be in an eternal, mathematical and scientific harmony? Is it possible for all he has said to contain the wisdom to answer all the questions concerning social life to which people’s consciences seek the answer? It is certain that a liar cannot avoid detection when one day his words do not hold together. However, everything our Prophet (saas) said has come true and both Muslims and deniers have witnessed that truth.

Undoubtedly, every miracle given to every prophet is important. But the fact that masses of people witnessed the miracles of our Prophet (saas) make him different from other prophets. For example, when ‘Isa (as) raised a person to life or cured a sick person, it was only the people standing around who witnessed the miracles. And it was only Pharaoh, his people and the children of Israel that witnessed the miracles of Musa (as). (Only Allah knows the whole truth).  When our Prophet (saas) predicted a victorious war, the number of people who witnessed the battle was much greater. Tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of people saw these miracles happen.

 Here are some of the announcements of our Prophet (saas) that qualify as miracles:

The Victory over Byzantine Empire

One of the future predictions in the Qur’an comes immediately at the beginning of Surat ar-Rum. In these verses it is announced that the Byzantine Empire has suffered defeat but that a short time later it would again be victorious: 

Alif Lam Mim. The Romans have been defeated in the lowest land, but after their defeat they will themselves be victorious in a few years’ time. The affair is Allah’s from beginning to end. On that day, the believers will rejoice. (Surat ar-Rum, 1-4)

These verses were sent down in 620 A.D., 7 years after the Christian Byzantines suffered a major defeat by the pagan Persians in 613-614 A.D.  The verses tell us that the Byzantines were going to be victorious very soon. However, at that time, the Byzantines had experienced such serious losses that it seemed impossible for them even to survive, not to mention winning another victory. The Persians defeated the Byzantines at Antioch in 613 A.D. and went on to take Damascus, Cilicia, Tarsus, Armenia and Jerusalem. It was especially the loss of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher that dealt the greatest blow to the Byzantines. 1

At that time it was not the Persians but the Avars, Slavs and Lombards that were the most serious threat to the Byzantines. The Avars came up to the very gates of Constantinople. In order to supply the armies, the Byzantine emperor Heracleius had the gold, silver and precious ornaments from the churches melted down and turned into money. When this proved insufficient, he even melted down the bronze statues to make coins. Many governors revolted against the Heracleius and the empire came close to disintegration. The former Byzantine possessions of Mesopotamia, Cilicia, Syria, Palestine, Egypt and Armenia were occupied by the pagan Persians. 2

In short, everything pointed to the destruction of the Byzantine Empire. But exactly at that time, the first verses of Surat ar-Rum were revealed saying that, before 9 years had passed, the Byzantines would again be victorious. The Arab hypocrites thought that this victory announced in the Qur’an would never happen.

But, as with everything predicted in the Qur’an, this too was inevitable. In 622 A.D., Heracleius invaded Armenia and won several battles against the Persians.3  In December 627 A.D., there was a major battle between the Byzantines and the Persians near Baghdad, 50 km east the Tigris River by the ruins of Nineveh. The Byzantines defeated the Persians and a few months later the Persians were forced to sign a treaty restoring the occupied lands to the Byzantines. 4

The Byzantine victory in 630 A.D. and the defeat of the Persian emperor, Chosrov II, meant that Jerusalem was returned to Heracleius and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher came back under Christian control. 5

So, as Allah said in the Qur’an and our Prophet (saas) proclaimed to the people, the Byzantine victory happened miraculously within that predicted 3-9 year period.

Another miracle of these verses is that facts of geography were given that no one could have known at that time.

Verse 3 of Surat ar-Rum says that the Byzantines were defeated at the the lowest land. The Arabic for this is edna el-ard, which can also mean a nearby place.  But this translation is not a literal rendering of the original; it is metaphorical. The Arabic word edna is the superlative form of deni (low) and means lowest. Ard means Earth.  So, edna el-ard means the lowest place on Earth.

Some commentators, thinking that this place is close to the Arabs, translate the phrase as closest.  But the basic meaning of the word points to a geological fact that no one could known at the time the Qur’an was revealed: the lowest place on Earth is the area of the Dead Sea where the Byzantines were defeated in 613 A.D. And, as we said before, the hardest blow for the Christians was the loss of Jerusalem, close to the Dead Sea.

The Dead Sea, at 399 meters below sea-level, is the lowest point on Earth. 6

What is remarkable here is that the level of the Dead Sea could only be determined with the use of modern measuring equipment.  Previously no one could know that the Dead Sea was the lowest place on Earth.  But this area is described in the Qur’an as the lowest land on Earth.  This is another proof that the Qur’an is the word of Allah; and it is a miracle that Allah granted this knowledge to His Prophet.

The defeat of Mecca

Allah has confirmed His Messenger’s vision with truth: ‘You will enter the Sacred Mosque (Masjid al-Haram) in safety, Allah willing, shaving your heads and cutting your hair without any fear.’ He knew what you did not know and ordained, in place of this, an imminent victory. (Surat al-Fath, 27)

While our Prophet (saas) was in Medina, he had a dream: he saw believers safely entering the The Sacred Mosque (Masjid al-Haram) and circling the Kaaba. He revealed this good news to the believers.  It was good news because the believers who had left Mecca for Medina had not been allowed to return.

As an encouragement, Allah revealed verse 27 of Surat al-Fath to our Prophet (saas).  He said the dream was true and, according to His will, believers could return to Mecca. Indeed, later as the dream had foretold, after the Treaty of Hudaybiya and the subsequent defeat of Mecca, Muslims entered the Sacred Mosque in peace. So the glad tidings inspired in our Prophet (saas) by Allah came true.

Buhari relates a story of Ibn-i Abbas concerning the defeat of Mecca:

İbnu Abbas said that in the verse, “He Who has imposed the Qur’an upon you will most certainly bring you back home again” (Surat al-Qasas, 85), what is meant with the word home here is Macca.”7

It is important to note here that verse 27 of Surat al-Fath mentions another victory before the defeat of Mecca. As the verse foretold, before they captured Mecca, Muslims took the Hayber Castle that had been a Jewish possession.8  The famous Jelaleyn interprets the verse of Surat al-Fath as follows:

“…Allah made the dream He showed his Prophet (saas) come true. In the year the Hudaybiya was signed, before going to expedition, the Prophet (saas) saw in his dream himself and his people safely entering Mecca with shaved heads and informed his people about this [good news]which made his people pleased. He set out together with his people but unbelievers averted them in Hudaybiya. Some of the hypocrites raised suspicions of this. This is the time when this verse was revealed. “InshaAllah you will enter Masjid al-Haram safely, with no fear whatsoever, with shaved heads, (or some of you) with shortened hair. But in terms of peace, for your benefit, Allah knew what you did not know and before entering Mecca, granted a conquest. This was the conquest of Haybar. And the next year the dream came true.”  9

In the eighth year of the Migration, our Prophet (saas) entered Mecca and conquered it. But when he delivered this good news to the believers, it did not appear likely to happen. Conditions seemed to be in favor of an opposite outcome; the hypocrites seemed determined to keep the believers from entering Mecca. This caused those who had sickness in their hearts to doubt the words of the Prophet (saas). But our Prophet (saas) trusted in Allah and was not moved by what people said; he believed in what Allah had told him and revealed it to the people. The fact that this secret revelation from our Lord came to pass is a miracle witnessed by millions of people.

The Defeat of Egypt

O my people! You are about to conquer Egypt. Keep the welfare of the conquered people in view. You shall have to abide by the divine covenant that their life and property and their honor should be protected. 10

This Hadith announces that Egypt would be conquered.  While our Prophet (saas) was proclaiming this, Egypt was under the rule of Rome and Muslims were not yet very strong. But these words of our Prophet (saas) came true: in the year 641 A.D., shortly after his death, in the caliphate of Omar, Egypt was conquered by Muslims commanded by Amr bin As. 11  This event was another secret revelation of our Prophet (saas) that came true.  

The Conquest of Roman and Persian Lands

Kisra (Khosrau, King of Persia) will die; there will be no Kisra after him, and Qaisar (Caesar, King of Rome) will die; there would be no Qaisar after him, but, by One in Whose Hand is my life, you will spend their treasures in the cause of Allah. 12

The word kisra that appears in this saying was a title used by Persian kings.  The title Caesar was used by Roman Empire. In the Hadiths, our Prophet (saas) announces that the treasuries of these two monarchs would remain in the possession of Muslims.

It is important to notice here that, when our Prophet (saas) made this glad announcement, Muslims had no military or economic power and did not yet have the ability to make such a great conquest. And, at that time, the most powerful states were Persia and Rome. For this reason, when our Prophet (saas) announced these two conquests, economic and military conditions seemed to be against the possibility. Nevertheless, they happened.  Persia was conquered in Omar’s time and the Empire of the Persian Kisra was brought to an end.13

The beginning of the end of the Roman Caesar and the Muslim confiscation of his treasury started in the time of the Rashid caliphs with the conquest of some important Roman centers. Starting in the time of Abu Bakr, the Roman possessions of Jordan, Palestine, Jerusalem, Syria and Egypt fell to Muslims. Constantinople was taken by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror in 1453. And with the fall of the Roman Empire the title of Caesar ceased to be used.14 So, these conquests that seemed impossible in the time of our Prophet (saas) were miraculously revealed to him by Allah.

Our Prophet (saas) Answered a Question before it was asked.

In the Qur’an, Allah tells us that ‘Isa (as) knew by the will of Allah what people ate and what they kept. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 49) and that Yusuf (as) could tell when a meal was about to come (Surah Yusuf, 37). These miracles were gifts bequeathed by Allah’s grace to His prophets. As our Prophet (saas) says in the Hadiths, that, as a miracle from Allah, he answered a question before a person asked it and could tell what a person was thinking. For example, the Hadiths tells us that our Prophet (saas) told his companions where and when there would be a victory.15  Again, according to the Hadiths, our Prophet (saas) could tell when someone was going to come home before they came and when they would enter a room before they entered it. 16 He also was able to recognize immediately the mind of a hypocrite, those hostile to Muslims and those who harbored evil ideas. 17 (Surah Muhammad, 30)

There are hundreds of examples of such miracles in the Hadiths.  In one Hadith, our Prophet (saas) gave an answer to a question in the mind of Abu Sufian who, as a result, bore witness to the fact that this blessed person was indeed a prophet:

Abu Sufian was sitting in a corner of the Masjid. One day our Prophet (saas) came out of his house. From where he sat Abu Sufian thought: “I wonder with what he overcame?” Our Prophet (saas) came next to Abu Sufian and touched his back, saying: “I overcame you with Allah.” Abu Sufian said: “I bear witness that you are the Messenger of Allah”. 18

Our Prophet (saas) knew what people were thinking and was able to give them an answer to their questions. An example is the Hadith about Vabisa:

I came to our Prophet (saas). My intention was to ask him every thing about goodness and sins. He was surrounded by Muslims, asking him questions and demanding fetwa. I wanted to proceed among them.

- “Stay away from Allah’s messenger, Vabisa!” they said.
- I replied: “Leave me so that I can come very close to him. He is the most amiable of all those to whom I want to be close!
- He said: “Leave Vabisa!” Then, he addressed me twice or three times: “Vabisa, come closer! At the end I came close to him and sat in front of him.
- He said: “Vabisa. Shall I tell you or would you like to ask to me!”
-“ I want you to tell me”I said.
- He said: “You are here to ask me about goodness and sins, right?”
- I said: “Yes.” Then, he showed my heart with his fingers and said: “Vabisa, consult your heart, consult yourself! Goodness is what your heart finds peace in even if people give you a fatwa or not; sin is what eradicates (disturbs) the heart, the thing that wanders around in chest!”
  19

As the Hadith says, our Prophet (saas) was given grace from Allah to be able to know the answer to a question often before he was even asked. Another example of his ability to read a person’s thoughts and intentions is the Hadith about Abu Darda’s being a Muslim:

Abu Darda was worshipping an idol. Abdullah b. Ravaha and Abu Salam went near that idol and broke it. When Abu Darda saw the idol in that situation he couldn’t help himself from saying: “What a pity! Couldn’t you protect yourself” Then the Prophet (saas) came. Abdullah b. Ravaha saw him on the way and said: “That is Abu Darda! He should certainly be here to find us.” Upon this Allah’s messenger said: “No! He is coming here to be a Muslim. My Lord told that he would be a Muslim.” 20

All the above examples show that our Prophet Muhammad (saas) showed many miracles by Allah’s will. Our Prophet (saas) was an example of excellent moral character, trust and faithfulness; with his miracles he strengthened the eager resolve of those with faith.

The End Times that is being experienced in the light of our Prophet’s Knowledge about the Unseen.

The End Times is a period that will be experienced on Earth before the Doomsday. Our Prophet’s many news regarding the events that would occur in the End Times have reached us. That these events occur one after another in our time is also a miracle of our Prophet (saas). Our Prophet (saas) explained the events that would occur 1400 years after his time in details as if he watched that time. The rise of a comet, the Iran-Iraq war, the Qaba raid, the increase in fitnah and moral degeneration are only a few of the signs that would occur in the End Times.

It should be stated at this point that the signs revealed by our Prophet (saas) in the Hadiths may have been seen severally over the past 1400 years at various times and in diverse places in the world. But since the year 1400 in the Muslim calendar they have happened one after another in the same period of time. This shows that another event predicted by our Prophet (saas) has come to pass: 

Signs following one another like the pieces of a necklace falling one after the other when its string is cut.  21

Many of these events announced in the Hadiths of our Prophet (saas) as signs of the end are happening in our day. The increase of wars, conflicts, terror, violence, anarchy, chaos, murders and torture is an indication that the first period of the end times is upon us.

According to what our Prophet (saas) says in the Hadiths, Allah will rescue people after this dark period and save them from chaos; it will be a great salvation. In order to direct morally deficient, degenerate societies onto the right path, Allah will appoint His excellent servant, Mahdi, as mediator. Mahdi (the guide to the truth) will assemble the Islamic world under one roof; he will cause the moral teachings of the Qur’an to prevail throughout the world and, together with ‘Isa (as) who is to return to Earth a second time, he will engage in an intellectual struggle against the strife of the End Times.

In the Hadiths, our Prophet (saas) told people to obey the excellent Mahdi who would be the means of salvation in this world and in the Hereafter; he pointed out all the good things that would mark this period: 

A man from my family appears to fill Earth with justice, just as it has been filled with corruption. So whoever reaches that [time] ought to come to them, even if crawling on the ice/snow, since among them is the caliph of Allah al-Mahdi. 22

All the miracles proclaimed by our Prophet (saas) concerning past events or with regard to ‘Isa (as), Mahdi and signs of the End Times are a cause for rejoicing for all Muslims and a gracious help from Allah. According to Allah’s will, these miracles are proofs that will strengthen the faith of believers and bind them even more closely to the glorious Qur’an sent down to our Prophet (saas) from Allah.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heraclius
2.  Warren Treadgold, A History of the Byzantine State and Society, Stanford University Press, 1997, pp. 287-299.
3.  http://fstav.freeservers.com/emperors/heraclius.html
4.  Warren Treadgold, A History of the Byzantine State and Society, pp. 287-299.
5.  http://web.genie.it/utenti/i/inanna/livello2-i/mediterraneo-1-i.htm; http://impearls.blogspot.com/2003_12_07_impearls_archive.html; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heraclius
6.  World Book Encyclopedia, 2003, Contributor: Bernard Reich, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University
7.  Buhâri, Tafsir, Surat al-Qasas, Qutub-i Sitte- 729
8.  Imam Tabari, Tabari Interpretation, Volume 5, Umit Publishing, Istanbul, p. 2276
9.  Jalallayn Interpretation Translation, Translation: Ibrahim Serdar, Yusuf Sensoy, Faith Enes Publishing House, Istanbul, 1997, Volume 3, p. 1843
10.  Al Hafiz ibn al-Dayba al-Shaybani,Taysir al-'usul ilaJami al-'usul, Volume 15, p. 420
11.  H.U. Rahman, Islamic History Chronology, Birlesik Publishing House, Istanbul 1995, p. 70-71
12.  Prof. Dr. Ibrahim Canan, Qutub-i Sitte, Muhtasarı Translation and Sherhi, Vol: 15, Akçag Publishing, Ankara, p. 416
13.  http://www.mustakiim.de/Islam/IslamTarihi/bilgi5.htm
14.  a.g.e
15.  Imam Suyuti, Our Prophet’s Extraordinary Aspects (saas) el-Hasaisu’l-Kubra, Translation: Naim Erdoğan İz Publishing, Istanbul, 2003, pp. 696-700
16.  Imam Suyuti, Our Prophet’s Extraordinary Aspects (saas) el-Hasaisü’l-Kubra, Translation: Naim Erdoğan Iz Publishing, Istanbul, 2003, pp. 688-689
17.  Imam Suyuti, Our Prophet’s Extraordinary Aspects (saas) el-Hasaisü’l-Kubra, Translation: Naim Erdoğan Iz Publishing, Istanbul, 2003, pp. 689-691
18.  Haris; Ibn Hajar Askalani, Metalib-u Aliye 4, Tevhid Publishing, 1996, 3839, p. 17
19.  Ibn-i Qesir, Our Prophet’s  (saas) Appearance, Miracles, Celik Publishing House, p. 361
20.  Imam Suyuti, Our Prophet’s Extraordinary Aspects (saas) el-Hasaisü’l-Kubra, Translation: Naim Erdoğan Iz Publishing, Istanbul, 2003, p. 680
21.  G.Ahmed Ziyauddin, Ramuz Al Hadis, Vol. 1, Gonca Yayınevi, Istanbul, 1997, 277/6
22.  Portents of the Mahdi of the End Times, Jalalladdin Suyuti, p. 14

2008-07-27 14:59:51

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