Did our prophet (PBUH) know when he was going to die before his death?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Knowing the unknown totally belongs to Allah. The Quran points out this fact in many verses. (1) Therefore, our prophet (PBUH) could not know the unknown as a mortal. However, he knew by the information from Allah. As a matter of fact, this is stated as follows in a verse:

Allah (alone) knows the Unseen, nor does Allah make any one acquainted with Allah’s Mysteries, Except a messenger whom Allah has chosen…”(2)

Allah informed our prophet (PBUH) about the time of his death before he passed away. As a matter of fact, he implied this issue in some hadiths.

Once, the Prophet (PBUH) said:

“Allah gave a choice to one of His slaves either to choose this world or what is with Him. That slave what is with Allah.” (The narrator said, Thereupon, Abu Bakr started crying.)

The Prophet informed people about his death not clearly but indirectly. However, that hint would be enough for the ones whose hearts were the mirrors for the truth or for a few people to whom Allah inspired the truth. Abu Bakr (May Allah be Pleased with Him) was one of that few people. When the Prophet uttered this hadith, only Abu Bakr (May Allah be Pleased with Him) understood the message, cried; then, he said:  “We sacrificed our fathers and mothers for you.”

According to a narration of Muslim, the messenger of Allah (PBUH) said,

“Listen carefully. I am leaving the friendship of every friend (in this world). If I were to choose a close friend, I would certainly choose Abu Bakr. However, your friend (the messenger of Allah) is the friend of Allah.


1. al-An'am, 6/50, 59
2. al-Jinn 72/26:28

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