The slander that Allah does not know the deeds that man will do..
Some people and their followers claim that Allah does not know the deeds that man will do. Besides, they claim that the chapter of al-Masadd was sent down after the death of Abu Lahab. They say that Allah knows the ghayb (unknown/unseen) but that He does not know it in occasions where testing is in question. I want evidence from the Quran and hadiths that Allah also knows the ghayb in occasions where testing is in question. I want the views showing that Allah’s knowledge of the ghayb is also valid for testing. Please do not evade thinking that it is a delusion. I want clear answers for the issues that I have mentioned both for me and my friends.
Submitted by on Wed, 19/04/2017 - 15:45
Dear Brother / Sister,
We live in a very strange age. Some people deny Allah, who created them; others claim that they are Muslims but they deny Allah's knowledge.
We can understand to some extent when an unbeliever denies Allah's knowledge that surrounds everything. How can you explain when a person who says he is a Muslim and claims that he is knowledgeable denies Allah's knowledge; by ignorance, malicious intention or the effort of distorting this religion?
Anyway, let us leave their intentions aside and deal with their views, or rather refute their views.
"Allah does not know the deeds that His slave will do Allah. First, the slave does a deed; then, Allah knows it. Similarly, Allah does not know whether a slave will die as a believer or an unbeliever. The deeds that are dependent on the free will of a slave are known by Allah only after they are done."
They utter nonsense like the one above. We will show them the verses informing us that Allah knows everything before they happen. Besides, we will explain the real meanings of the verses that they use as evidence for their views. Thus, we will try to protect the ummah of Muhammad from their evil. Help and success come from Allah.
"Perish the hands of the Father of Flame! Perish he! No profit to him from all his wealth, and all his gains! Burnt soon will he be in a Fire of blazing Flame! His wife shall carry the (crackling) wood ―as fuel!― A twisted rope of palm-leaf fibre round her (own) neck!." (al-Masadd, 111/1-5)
This chapter was sent down five years before Abu Lahab died. The reason for the verse to be sent down is the following incident:
The Prophet (pbuh) gathered the Qurayshis and asked them, "If I told you the enemy would attack us in the morning or in the evening, would you believe me?" They said,"Yes." Thereupon, the Prophet (pbuh) said, "I warn you against a severe torture." Abu Lahab said, "Did you gather us here for this? Woe on you! May your hands perish!" Thereupon, Allah sent down the chapter of al-Masadd. (Ibn Kathir, Fakhruddin Razi)
As it is seen, this chapter was sent down before Abu Lahab died and stated that Abu Lahab would not believe. Therefore, tafsir scholars agreed unanimously that this chapter is a miracle about the ghayb and they stated the following:
“This chapter is clear evidence of the prophethood of Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) and a clear miracle. For the following is stated in the verse: ‘Burnt soon will he be in a Fire of blazing Flame! His wife shall carry the (crackling) wood …’ thus, it is stated that they would remain as bad people and that they would not believe. And things turned out to be as the verses stated and both of them died as unbelievers.”
Those who say, "Allah does not know what His slave will do" did not know what to do due to this verse and slandered Allah and this chapter; they said, "This chapter was sent down after Abu Lahab died."Now we want to quote from the soundest tafsir books:
"The chapter of al-Masadd consists of five verses it is unanimously agreed that it was sent down in Makkah."(Fakhruddin Razi, Mafatih al-Ghayb)
"It is a chapter that was sent down in Makkah after the secret period of the call of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh)." (Basair al-Qur'an)
"It was sent down in the Era of Makkah. It consists of five verses." (Büyük Kur'an Tefsiri)
"It is unanimously agreed that it was sent down in Makkah."(al-Jamiu li-Ahkami’l-Qur’an)
"It is a Makkan chapter. It consists of five verses." (Furkan Tefsiri)
"This chapter, which is unanimously agreed to be sent down in the Era of Makkah... The verses about Abu Lahab include information about the ghayb in three aspects: 1. It gives information about his destruction and frustration and its actual happening. 2. It states that he will not be able to benefit from his property and children, which turned out to be true. 3. It states that he is a person of Hell, which turned out to be true. (Tafsiru’l-Munir)
"It was sent down in Makkah; it consists of five verses." (Safwatu’t-Tafasir)
“It was sent down in Makkah. It consists of five verses."(Samarqandi)
"It was sent down in the Era of Makkah. It consists of five verses." (Şifa tefsiri)
"This blessed chapter was sent down in Makkah. It consists of five verses. It is called "Tabbat" because it showed Abu Lahab's destruction and frustration." (Ömer Nasuhi Bilmen)
"The death of Abu Lahab took place in the same way as the Quran stated fifteen years ago." (Elmalı Hamdi Yazır)
"It was sent down in Makkah." (Ibn Kathir)
"It was sent down in Makkah." (Asbab an-Nuzul)
We can quote the sentence "This chapter was sent down in Makkah" from many more tafsir books. However, we regard the ones above as sufficient and will not quote any others to keep it short.
To sum up, the chapter of al-Masadd informed beforehand that Abu Lahab and his wife would die as unbelievers and it turned out to be true. This chapter proves that Allah knows everything before they happen. This chapter is a big blow to those who say, "Allah does not know what His slaves will do with their own free will."
"As to those who reject Faith, it is the same to them whether thou warn them or do not warn them; they will not believe. Allah hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing.” (al-Baqara, 2/6-7)
Let us meditate on these verses: Allah Almighty states in the verse that the unbelievers will not believe -whether they are warned or not. If somebody said for this verse,
"This verse states that the unbelievers will not believe. However, we see many unbelievers believe. Thus, the statement they will not believe' is- God forbid- wrong",
the answer we -that is, those who believe that Allah knows everything - give to this claim would be very simple. We would say,
“The verse above and similar verses were sent down about the people who were known to die as unbelievers in the pre-eternal knowledge of Allah. They will not believe whether they are warned or not. Allah Almighty knew with His pre-eternal knowledge that they would not believe; so, He said, ‘they will not believe' about them.”
Besides, the word "alladhi (who)" at the beginning of the verse is a relative pronoun used for known/definite people. The people who are known here are the people that are known to die as unbelievers in the pre-eternal knowledge.
Ibn Abbas, Imam Tabarani, Ibn Jarir, Imam Bayhaqi, Imam Suyuti and others state the following about the verse:
“The Prophet (pbuh) wanted the unbelievers to believe very much; he became very sad because they did not believe. It was stated by the verse above and similar verses that the people who were known to die as unbelievers in the pre-eternal knowledge of Allah would not believe and that their guidance was not in the hand of the Prophet; thus, the Prophet was consoled.”
We answered the question about the verse "they will not believe" in short. How will those who do not believe in the pre-eternal knowledge of Allah and claim that Allah does not know the deeds man will do answer the question above? If somebody asked them, "Allah says they will not believe' but many unbelievers believe; it means what the verse says is - God forbid - wrong"; how would they answer this?
Or, how would they answer if we asked them the following question?
Which unbelievers are meant by the phrase "they will not believe" in the verse? We say the unbelievers who are known to die as unbelievers in the pre-eternal knowledge of Allah are meant. However, you do not believe in pre-eternal knowledge. You say Allah cannot know the end of His slave. Then, who are the unbelievers in the verse that will not believe?
Let us see how the verse goes on:
"Allah hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing."
How would you answer if somebody said the following?
"What is their sin? If Allah had not set a seal ontheir hearts and on their hearing, they would have believed. The sin belongs - God forbid - to Allah."
Our answer to this question is very simple: Allah knew by His pre-eternal knowledge that they would choose unbelief and that they would never believe. Therefore, He set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing. The unbelievers who would choose belief were not sealed.
While we say so, what will you - who deny the pre-eternal knowledge of Allah - say? If Allah did not know the end of His slave and that His slave would choose unbelief using his own free will, how did He set this seal? Or, do you believe in the following? Allah does not know, God forbid, but He set a seal on the heart and hearing of some of His slaves that He chose; those slaves cannot believe because of those seals.
Do you believe in this? See what kind of a conclusion your wrong creed reached. Not only do you deny Allah's knowledge but you also attribute oppression to Him. For, if they cannot believe because Allah sealed their hearts and if they are to go to Hell because they do not believe, it will be cruelty and oppression. It is like cutting a person's tongue off, then demanding him to speak and punishing him because he cannot speak. Is the Allah that you believe in an Allah like that?
Now we want to put this evidence together with the following questions:
1. The following is stated for unbelievers in verse six:"They will not believe." Who are the unbelievers mentioned here?
2. The relative pronoun at the beginning shows that these unbelievers are known people. If these people are not the ones that are known to die as unbelievers, who are they?
3. If Allah does not know who will die as unbelievers and who as believers, who did He mean by "they will not believe"?
4. It is seen that some unbelievers believe. Therefore, this state violates the decree "they will not believe" of the verse. If we do not accept that the word "they" means the people whoare known to die as unbelievers in the divine knowledge, how can we associate "the unbelievers who believe" with the decree "they will not believe"?
5. It is stated in verse seven that Allah set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing. In our view, this seal was set on those who are known to die as unbelievers; who was it set on in your opinion?
6. If Allah set this seal on the slaves He knows to die as unbelievers and if they cannot believe, will it not be cruelty and oppression?
7. If you do not accept that Allah sets this seal on the people whom He knew with His eternal knowledge that they would die as unbelievers, answer the following question: "Based on what does Allah set this seal?"
"It was revealed to Noah: "None of thy people will believe except those who have believed already!...and address Me no (further) on behalf of those who are in sin: for they are about to be overwhelmed (in the Flood)." (Hud, 11/36-37)
Let us analyze the aspect of this verse that is related to our issue:
Allah told Hz. Nuh that his people except those who believed beforehand would not believe and that they would beoverwhelmed in the flood. Therefore, He prohibited Hz. Nuh from praying for them and ordered him to construct a ship. Hz. Nuh completed this ship in two years, or, according to another narration, in four years. And as Allah stated, nobody from his people believed in this time period and finally they were all drowned.
We refer the details of the story to tafsir books and we ask those who say, "Allah knows what man will do only after he does them," answer the following questions:
1. If Allah does not know the end of His slaves, how did He know that Hz. Nuh's nation would not believe and that they would be drowned? Did He - God forbid - guess?
2. Or, did Allah remove their free will and prevent them from believing so they could not believe in the two-year period of the construction of the ship? If it is so, will not they speak as follows in the hereafter?
"O Allah! If you had not made us unbelievers by force and had not removed our free will, we would have believed when Hz. Nuh constructed the ship. We are not guilty; You are guilty because you forced us to remain in unbelief."
Or do you believe in this possibility? In fact, one of the reasons why prophets are sent is the fact that people will not be able to say,
"There came unto us no bringer of glad tidings and no warner (from evil)." (al-Maida, 5/19)
That is, there will not be left any evidence for people against Allah (an-Nisa, 4/165). This evidence not being left depends on Allah's not removing people's will.
How will we solve this problem now? Allah told Hz. Nuh that his nation - except the ones who had believed beforehand - would die as unbelievers two years later and prohibited him from praying for them. If Allah had not known the future and had not removed their will, how did He acquire this knowledge? Or, do you believe - God forbid - that Allah made a guess and it turned out to be true? What else can we say to you if you believe in this? What can be said to a person who has no conscience?
Conclusion: Allah told Hz. Nuh two years - according to another narration four years - before this incident that his nation would not believe and that they would be drowned; and it turned out as He had stated. This verse is related to giving information about the future and proves clearly that Allah knows the future of His slaves.
How will those who oppose the chapter of al-Masadd, which stated that Abu Lahab would die as an unbeliever by saying, "This chapter was sent down after Abu Lahab died," oppose the verse in the chapter of Hud mentioned above? What is more, Allah stated this time that all members of Nuh's nation - except the ones who had believed beforehand - not one person, would die as unbelievers and it turned out so.
Now, there are three ways before us:
1. Allah knew with His pre-eternal knowledge that Hz. Nuh's nation would not believe and revealed this to Hz. Nuh.
2. Allah -God forbid- made a guess and this guess turned out to be true.
3. Allah -God forbid- removed their will and forced them to remain in unbelief. Then, he oppressed them by both drowning them in water and torturing them in the hereafter.
O ignorant people who deny the pre-eternal knowledge of Allah! We accept the first way and acquit Him of the other two ways hundreds of thousand times. Which way do you accept?
"Behold thy Lord said to the angels: 'I will create a vicegerent on earth.' They said 'Wilt thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood?'" (al-Baqara, 2/30)
There are two points that we will deal with in this verse. The first point is that Allah Almighty said, "I will create a vicegerent on earth." Yes, Allah Almighty said, "I will create a vicegerent on earth." However, after He created Hz. Adam, He sent him to Paradise. That is, He did not send Adam directly onto the earth; He tested him in Paradise. When Hz. Adam approached the forbidden tree, Allah sent him out of Paradise to the world.
The following is understood from the verse: Allah knew that Hz. Adam would approach the forbidden tree because He said in the verse, "I will create a vicegerent on earth." The reason why Hz. Adam was sent down to the earth was his approaching the forbidden truth.
"Would Hz. Adam have been sent down to the earth if he had not approached that tree?" If we were asked this question, we would answer it as follows: It is clearly stated in the verse before Hz. Adam was created that he would be sent down to the earth. Therefore, he was bound to be sent down. However, for the realization of several wisdoms, Allah first put him in Paradise and sent him out of Paradise due to his mistake. Our issue is not related to the reason why he was sent out; so, we will ignore it. We attract attention to the following point, which is related to our issue:
It means Allah knew the mistake of Hz. Adam that would cause him to be sent out of Paradise. If he had not known it, He would not have put Hz. Adam, whom He created for the world, in Paradise first. Yes, if Hz. Adam had not approached the forbidden tree, he would not have been sent out of Paradise in terms of cause and effect. In that case, would Hz. Adam not have remained in paradise forever?
The second point we will deal with in the verse is as follows: The angels asked the following question about the creation of man:"Wilt thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood?" How did the angels know that man will make mischief and shed blood? Yes, man had not been created and sent down to the world yet. How did the angels obtain this knowledge about the ghayb?
There are two answers that can be given to this question:
1. They knew it because Allah informed them about it.
2. They might have read it in Lawh al-Mahfuz (the Preserved Tablet); everything that will take place is recorded there. Both answers mean that Allah knows everything.
Look! Even the angels know the future when they are informed, let alone Allah. Then, it is complete ignorance to say, "Allah does not know the future."
Now we want to put this evidence together with the following questions:
1. Though Allah said, "I will create a vicegerent on earth," He placed Hz. Adam in Paradise first. He allowed Adam to walk all around Paradise but forbad approaching only one tree. Did Allah not know that Hz. Adam would approach that tree?
2. If Allah had not known - God forbid - Hz. Adam would approach that tree, would He not have sent him directly to the world?
3. What about the angels knowing man would make mischief and shed blood? What will you say about it? We say either Allah informed them or they looked at Lawh al-Mahfuz and learned from it. Both of them prove the pre-eternal knowledge of Allah. O those who say Allah does not know the future! Answer us. How did the angels know that man would make mischief and shed blood?
"Nor can a soul die except by Allah's leave the term being fixed as by writing." (Aal-i Imran, 3/145)
It is stated in this verse that the time of death is fixed. Some other verses also attract attention to this issue and state the time of death cannot be advanced or delayed. (al-A’raf, 7/34; ar-Rad, 13/38;an- Nahl, 16/61)
That is, Allah Almighty determined a lifespan for us before we were created and a time of death. We do not die before that time comes and we cannot delay it.
Then, suppose that somebody jumped off a mountain and committed suicide. Which of the following is true in that case?
1. Allah determined a lifespan for him but he advanced his death by committing suicide.
This cannot be true because it is definitely stated in verses that death cannot be advanced or delayed. For instance, the following is stated in verse 16 of the chapter of an-Nahl: "When their Term expires they would not be able to delay (the punishment) for a single hour." (16/61) It means committing suicide cannot advance death. Then, this option has been eliminated.
2. Allah determined a lifespan for this person and when that time came, He forced this person to commit suicide. The person who committed suicide jumped off the mountain involuntarily. Or rather, Allah made him jump off and he could not resist Allah's power. Thus, the time of death was not delayed or advanced.
However, this cannot be true, either. For, in that case, the partial free will of the slave is removed and he is forced to commit suicide. However, Allah stated that committing suicide was a major sin and threatened a person who committed suicide to torture in Hell. If the free will of the person who committed suicide had been removed from him, this threat would have been meaningless and the torture would have been oppression. Then, this option has been eliminated too because Allah is away from oppression.
3. Allah knew with His pre-eternal knowledge that this person would commit suicide using his partial free will and determined a lifespan for him accordingly. If that person had not committed suicide by using his partial free will, Allah would have determined a longer life for him or would have taken his life at the same time due to another reason. This is something that we cannot know.
This is the only option that is true. This option does not contain oppression or advancing the time of death.
Now let us look at the aspect of this analysis that is related to our issue:
- If Allah knows the time that a slave will commit suicide with His pre-eternal knowledge and determines a lifespan for him accordingly, is it not natural for Him to know his other deeds before he does them?
- Our Lord knows when and how man will die and records it in Lawh al-Mahfuz as the verse "fixed by writing";why should He not know and record our other deeds?
- Does the fact that when man will die is known before his death not show that his other deeds will be known before they occur?
"The Roman Empire has been defeated― In a land close by; but they, (even) after (this) defeat of theirs, will soon be victorious, Within a few years. With Allah is the Decision, in the Past and in the Future: on that Day shall the Believers rejoice." (ar-Rum, 30/2-4)
Before we deal with the aspect of the verse that is related to our issue, let us deal with the reason why this verse was sent down:
Between the years 613 and 614, the Persian army, who were fireworshippers, defeated and overwhelmed the Byzantine army, who were Christians. Makkan polytheists became very happy when the Christians, who were of the People of the Book, were defeated and they said to Muslims, “If Allah had been the only victor, He would have made the Byzantines, who are of the People of the Book, defeat the Persians.” Thereupon, the Quran gave some news, which seemed impossible at that time, about the future as a miracle. The Byzantines would defeat the Persians and the Muslims would be happy.
As a matter of fact, acting upon this promise of Allah's, Hz. Abu Bakr said to the polytheists, who were very happy about the victory of the Persians, “Allah will not allow you to be happy so long. Allah stated that the Byzantines would be victorious again.” Upon this word of Hz. Abu Bakr's, Ubay B. Khalaf offered Hz. Abu Bakr to make a bet on this subject. They made a bet on ten camels whether the Byzantine would be victorious or not within three years.
When Hazrat Abu Bakr told the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) about what had happened, the prophet said: The word of (بِضْعِ) (a few) in the verse does not express three years but between three and nine years; thus, he told Hz. Abu Bakr to increase the time period and the number of camels.
This time, they made a bet on whether the Byzantine could be victorious within nine years for one hundred camels. In fact, according to the Sahih of Tirmidhi, during the days of the Battle of Badr, the Byzantine became victorious over Persians in the battle and the news of the Quran about the ghayb came true. Hz. Abu Bakr gave the camels that he obtained from the successors of Ubay Ibn Khalaf to the poor upon the advice of the prophet (pbuh).
Now let us analyze the aspect of this verse that is related to our issue:
They say, "Allah does not know the future. An incident is known by Allah only after it takes place." If they are sure about what they say, they should answer the following questions:
1. How did Allah inform the Prophet about the victory of the Byzantines if he did not know the ghayb?
2- If you say, "Allah does not know what the slave will do with his partial free will; He knows the other things," we will say, "Did they nothave their partial free will when the Byzantines defeated them? Or, was the free will of the Persians removed when they were defeated?" No. Both parties used their own free will. Allah Almighty knew through His pre-eternal knowledge what they would do and the outcome of the war; and the Quran informed us about it. Does this not prove clearly that Allah knows the ghayb?
3. Since Allah informed us about the victory of the Byzantines and the defeat of the Persians, He knew that this war would take place, how many soldiers would take part in it, how many of the soldiers would die and other issues about the war. Yes, He knew; therefore, He stated which side would win and which side would lose. If Allah had not known what people would do in this war, would He have been able to tell what the result would be?
4. If you still insist on your idea that "Allah does not know the ghayb," explain to us how Allah knew about this incident before it happened.
"Ye shall enter the Sacred Mosque, if Allah wills, with minds secure, heads, shaved, hair cut short, and without fear." (al-Fath, 48/27)
Before we deal with the aspect of the verse that is related to our issue, let us deal with the reason why this verse was sent down:
The Prophet (pbuh) saw a dream when he was in Madinah. He saw in his dream that the believers were circumambulating the Kaaba securely by entering Masjid al-Haram. Thereupon, the Prophet (pbuh) gave this good news to the believers. For, the believers who migrated from Makkah to Madinah have not been able to visit Makkah since then. Thereupon, Allah sent verse 27 of the chapter of al-Fath. Indeed, after a while, when Makkah was conquered, the Muslims entered Masjid al-Haram securely.
It is necessary not to forget the following and view the verse accordingly: It is easy to give the good news of spring at the beginning of the spring. What is difficult is to give the good news of spring in the middle of the winter. The news that the Quran gives is like giving the good news of spring in the middle of the winter. For, in the period when these verses were sent down, the Muslims were weak and their number was very small. They were forced to migrate, leaving their country and things behind. They had gone to Makkah from Madinah in order to visit the Kaaba but they had to return to Madinah sadly because the Makkan polytheists had not allowed them to visit the Kaaba. Thus, under these conditions, the Quran informed them that they would enter the Kaaba securely and that the religion of Islam would become superior to the other religions; and everything turned out as the Quran informed.
Now let us analyze the aspect of this verse that is related to our issue:
They say, "Allah does not know the future. The future is known only after it takes place." That is, according to them, Allah is not dependent on time like us. Since they believe so, they should answer the following questions:
1. If Allah did know the ghayb, how did He inform the Muslims that Makkah would be conquered?
2. Or, God forbid - did Allah make a guess and it turned out to be true?
3. Although you heard the news Allah gave about the ghayb, how do you still say, "Allah does not know the ghayb"?
4. Or, do you say, "He knows some but He does not know most of it"? If you say so, how do you divide it?
"In whatever business thou mayest be, and whatever portion thou mayest be reciting from the Qur'an― and whatever deed ye (mankind) may be doing― We are Witnesses thereof when ye are deeply engrossed therein. Nor is hidden from thy Lord (so much as) the weight of an atom on the earth or in heaven. And not the least and not the greatest of these things but are recorded in a clear Record." (Yunus, 10/61)
Allah states in the verse above that everything is in a clear book/record. This news is mentioned in some other verses of the Quran, too. For instance, it is stated in al-Anam, verse 59, Hud, verse 6, an-Naml, verse 75, and Saba verse 3 that everything is recorded in a clear book.
Imam Zajjaj writes the following about the phrase "clear book" mentioned in the verse: “Allah Almighty wrote all the information before creating beings in a book.”
Tafsir scholars wrote the following about the wisdom behind this writing/record:
1. This writing serves to warn people that their situations related to reward and punishment will not be ignored. This view is preferred by Hasan al-Basri.
2. One of the reasons why everything is recorded in Lawh al-Mahfuz before they are created is as follows: The angels take lessons by seeing that everything happens in accordance with the knowledge of Allah and they glorify Allah.
3. Allah's writing everything aims to show His grandeur. That is, the following is emphasized: If everything that is not related to reward and punishment is written, what about the things that are related to reward and punishment?
Fakhruddin ar-Razi writes the following: There are two views about "kitab mubin" (clear book): 1. Clear book is Allah's knowledge. 2. Allah wrote the qualities of knowledge (what is to be known) in a book before creating the beings. Imam Zajjac holds the second view.
Imam Fakhruddin ar-Razi, who made the explanation above, holds the first view and states that clear book is Allah's knowledge.
If you study all of the explanations about clear book, you cannot find anything but the two explanations mentioned above. The essence of both of them is that Allah knows everything before they are created.
Now, we want to ask those who say, "Allah does not know the ghayb" the following questions:
1. It is stated in the verses that everything is recorded in a clear book. The scholars interpret this phrase as Allah's knowledge or Allah's book in which He recorded everything, that is, Lawh al-Mahfuz. This proves that everything is known by Allah. How do you interpret the phrase kitab mubin (clear book)?
2. Can something that all scholars agree on be wrong?
3. Or, are you better scholars than Fakhruddin ar-Razi and Imam Zajjaj?
In the chapter of al-Kahf, Hz. Musa's travel with Hz. Khidr is narrated.
We refer the details of this travel to the chapter of al-Kahf and attract attention to the part that is related to our issue:
In verse 71 of the chapter of al-Kahf, it is narrated that Hz. Musa and Hz. Khidr embark a ship and that Hz. Khidr scuttles the ship. Hz. Musa cannot find it appropriate and says, "Hast thou scuttled it in order to drown those in it? Truly a strange thing hast thou done." Hz. Khidr explains the reason why he scuttled the ship in verse 79 as follows: "As for the boat, it belonged to certain men in dire want: they plied on the water: I but wished to render it unserviceable, for there was after them a certain king who seized on every boat by force."
That is, the reason why Hz. Khidr scuttled the ship iss to prevent the cruel king from seizing the ship by force. Yes, the cruel king intends to seize the ship but when he sees that it is torn, he gives up the idea of seizing it. After that, the poor people who owned the boat repaired it and continued working.
Hz. Musa and Hz. Khidr got off the ship and continued travelling. It is stated in verse 74 that Hz. Khidr killed a child. Hz. Musa cannot put up with it and says, "Hast thou slain an innocent person who had slain none? Truly a foul (unheard-of) thing hast thou done!"
Hz. Khidr explains the reason why he killed the child in verses 80 and 81. If that child had grown up, he would have caused his parents to deviate; Allah wanted to give them a better and more merciful child.
After summarizing the story like this, we want to ask the ignorant people who say, "Allah does not know the ghayb" the following questions:
1. You have listened to the story. You already know the details. How can you say, "Allah does not know the ghayb" though you know this story? It is not ignorance but treachery.
2. Hz. Khidr scuttled the ship and explained the reason as the cruel king who will seize it by force. It means Hz. Khidr knew that the king would seize the ships. Look! Even a slave can know the ghayb when he is informed by Allah. If Allah had not known the seizing to be done by the cruel king with his partial free will, how wouldthat incident have taken place? How did Hz. Khidr obtain this information?
3. What about Hz. Khidr killing the child? Hz. Khidr explained the reason for his deed by saying the child would cause his parents to deviate and to disbelieve. How did Hz. Khidr know about it? The only answer is that Allah informed him. How did Allah know about it? For us, the answer is simple: He knew about it with His pre-eternal knowledge, which is free from time. He decreed that the child be killed so that this knowledge would not be realized.
According to you, who deny Allah's pre-eternal knowledge, how did Hz. Khidr know about the end of the child? Did he guess? Did he kill the child acting upon his guess?
4. After these clear verses showing that Allah knows the ghayb and that He took some measures so that some incidents would not take place based on some wisdom, will you still insist on your claim, "Allah does not know the ghayb"? Are your minds so blind and your hearts so dead that you still insist on this wrong idea?
"For each period is a Book (revealed). Allah doth blot out or confirm what He pleaseth: with Him is the Mother of the Book." (ar-Ra’d, 13/38,39)
Fakhruddin ar-Razi states the following for the decree, "For each period is a Book (revealed)" mentioned in the verse: There is a determined time for everything. This determination is recorded in Lawh al-Mahfuz. Every incident like life, death, richness, poverty, happiness and unhappiness has a determined time. Allah decreed that it happen at that time. This time does not change. The verse above is similar to the following hadith: "The pen of qadar wrote everything that would happen up to the Day of Judgment and finished them." (Tefsir-i Kebir)
Imam Rabbani explains the sentence "Allah doth blot out or confirm what He pleaseth" in the verse as follows: Qada (the things that Allah will create) are of two parts in Lawh al-Mahfuz: 1. Qada al-Muallaq (conditional decree) 2. Qada al-Mubram (irrevocable decree). The first one means the things that are created based on a condition; its way of creation can change; or, it is not created at all. The second one means things that are definitely created; it does not change by any means and it is definitely created. The following is stated in verse 29 of the chapter of Qaf: “The Word changes not with Me”. This verse is related to qada al-mubram. Verse 39 of the chapter of ar-Rad is related to qada al-muallaq: "Allah doth blot out or confirm what He pleaseth. " (Mektubat-ı Rabbani, 217. Mektup)
We want to quote the following from Fakhruddin ar-Razi here: If somebody says, "Did you not claim that qadar was determined beforehand, that the pen of qadar wrote and finished them and that things did not happen newly? According to this claim, how can ‘blotting out’ and ‘confirming’ be valid?" We will answer him as follows: "Blotting out and confirming are also things written by that pen. Allah blots out the things that He determined in His qadar and qada in pre-eternity; and He confirms the others."
With the phrase "with Him is the Mother of the Book" at the end of the verse, Lawh al-Mahfuz is meant. Lawh al-Mahfuz is the book of qadar in which everything that took place and will take place is written.
We can quote the same view of tens of scholars regarding the issue. However, we do not want to lengthen the issue and stop here.
Now, let us list in items the explanations we have made so far and try to understand the issue better:
1. Allah has a book called Lawh al-Mahfuz;everything that took place and will take place is written in it.
2. There are two kinds of qadar writing in it: 1.Qadar al-Muallaq (conditional qadar) 2. Qadar al-Mubram (irrevocable qadar).
3. The writings in Qadar al-Muallaq can change. That is, these writings are written as follows: "If such and such a person acts in accordance with a certain cause, such and such a thing will happen; if not, something else will happen." This writing of qadar serves to save people from laziness and make them act in accordance with causes.
4. The writings in Qadar al-Mubram are a manifestation of Allah's pre-eternal knowledge and they do not change. If we accept that this writing changes, it is necessary to accept that something that is known to happen in the knowledge of Allah will not happen or something that is known not to happen in the knowledge of Allah will happen. In that case, it means to accuse Allah Almighty of ignorance, which is impossible. We mentioned the reason why the book of qadar was written while dealing with verse 8; therefore, we do not deem it necessary to repeat it here.
After listing the issue like this, we want to ask those who say, "Allah does not know the ghayb" the following questions:
1. In the verse that we analyzed, it is stated that everything that will happen is written by the following phrase: "For each period is a Book (revealed)." All scholars interpreted this verse like that. How do you, those who deny qadar, explain this verse?
2. Does the verse"Allah doth blot out or confirm what He pleaseth" not necessitate the existence of a writing that will be blotted out and confirmed? If there is no writing, what is the thing that is blotted out and confirmed?
3. All tafsir scholars interpret the verse above as "Qadar al-Muallaq" and "Qadar al-Mubram"; how do you interpret this verse?
4. All tafsir scholars interpret the verse"with Him is the Mother of the Book" as Lawh al-Mahfuz. You deny Lawh al-mahfuz; then, according to you, what is “the Mother of the Book” that is with Allah?
5. We also want to ask the following question: Do you mean the scholars like Fakhruddin ar-Razi, Ibn Kathir, Imam Zajjaj, Ibn Abbas and the others were wrong while interpreting this verse but you were right? Do you believe in this?
"No misfortune can happen on earth or in your souls but is recorded in a decree before We bring it into existence: that is truly easy for Allah." (al-Hadid, 57/22)
We wonder about this: Do those who say "Allah does not know the ghayb" not see the verse above? Can there be a clearer expression than it stating that Allah knows the future? Or, do they lay it as a condition for the veil of the ghayb to be removed and to see Lawh al-Mahfuz in order to believe that Allah knows the ghayb?
It is clearly stated in the verse that all misfortunes that hit us in the world and in our souls are recorded in a book before they come into existence. It is also stated that it is very easy for Allah. Let us think of a misfortune that will hit us. For instance,
Suppose that a car will hit you in ten years. The Quran says this misfortune is written in a book before it happens. Now let us think of this: Since this misfortune is written in a book before it happens, it means our Lord knows where you will be at the time of that incident. He knows the car that will hit you and how it will hit you. He knows all of the other details about it. He recorded them all in a book. If Allah had not known the future, would He have been able to write it?
In the light of the views above, we ask those who say, "Allah does not know the ghayb" the following questions:
1. It is stated in the verse that all misfortunes in the world and in our souls are recorded in a book before they come into existence. Does this not prove that Allah knows the ghayb and the future?
2. If Allah did not know the ghayb, how did He record the misfortunes that will happen in this book (Lawh al-Mahfuz)?
3. O those who say, "Allah does not know the ghayb"! How do you understand the following verse? "No misfortune can happen on earth or in your souls but is recorded in a decree before We bring it into existence."
4. The verse ends with the following phrase: "…that is truly easy for Allah," According to us, what is easy for Allah is knowing everything that will happen through His pre-eternal knowledge. You deny this pre-eternal knowledge. What is easy for Allah according to you?
5. All tafsir scholars who interpreted the verse said the book in which everything is written is Lawh al-Mahfuz.How do you interpret this book since you do not believe in Lawh al-Mahfuz?
6. Will you still insist on the nonsense "Allah does not know the ghayb" despite the clear expression of the verse?
"Knowest thou not that Allah knows all that is in heaven and on earth? Indeed it is all in a record and that is easy for Allah." (al-Hajj, 22/70)
We are really surprised. How can a person deny qadar and that Allah knows the future despite the clear expressions of the verses? Can there be a clearer expression? Look what our Lord says in the verse: "I know everything that is in the sky and on earth. They are all recorded in a book. It is very easy for me to know them and to record them in a book."
Allah says so but they say, "No, You do not know. There is no such book in which everything is written. It is not easy for You to do it. You can know what I will do only after I do it. You cannot know more than this." They utter these words, which we shiver while writing.
Is it not to slander and deny Allah? Is it not necessary for a person who is sane to shiver, abandon this wrong creed and repent?
According to what is stated in the chapter of Yusuf, Allah taught Hz. Yusuf how to interpret dreams. In verse 4 of the chapter, Hz. Yusuf tells his father about a dream that he saw: This dream is “seeing eleven stars and the sun and the moon prostrating themselves to him.”
In verse 100 of the chapter, it is stated that Yusuf's father, mother and his eleven brothers prostrate before him. Upon this prostration, Hz. Yusuf says, "This is the fulfillment of my vision of old! Allah hath made it come true."
Another dream that Hz. Yusuf interprets is mentioned in verse 36 of the chapter. Hz. Yusuf addresses the two people who tell him about their dreams as follows: "As to one of you he will pour out the wine for his lord to drink: as for the other, he will hang from the cross, and the birds will eat from off his head."
The incident takes place in the same way as Hz. Yusuf says. One of them is hanged and the other goes to the palace and serves the king.
Another dream interpreted by Hz. Yusuf is mentioned in verse 43 of the chapter. The king narrates the dream he saw as follows: "I do see (in a vision) seven fat kine whom seven lean ones devour and seven green ears of corn, and seven (others) withered. O ye chiefs! Expound to me my vision if it be that ye can interpret visions."
Hz. Yusuf interprets this dream in verse 47 and it takes place exactly.
We want to reach the following conclusion:Since a slave knows about the ghayb with the permission and information given by Allah, is it possible for Allah not to know the ghayb?
Now, let us think about the following:
1. Hz. Yusuf's father, mother and brothers prostrated before him; Hz. Yusuf had seen it in his dream when he was a child. IfAllah had not known the ghayb, would He have shown this dream, which would come true years later, to Hz. Yusuf?
2. Hz. Yusuf interpreted the dream of two people in the dungeon; that is, he gave them some news about their future and this news came true. One of them was hanged and the other served in the palace. Does this news given by Hz. Yusuf not mean to know the ghayb? If Hz. Yusuf knows about some issues about the ghayb when Allah informs him, is it possible for his Lord, Allah, not to know all about the ghayb?
3. The dream of the king was interpreted by Hz. Yusuf and it exactly happened as he interpreted. Seven years of abundance were followed by seven years of drought and famine; after that, abundance came again.
Now, we ask this question: Is it possible for Allah, who gives Hz. Yusuf information about the ghayb, not to know the ghayb?
There are many more verses showing that Allah knows the ghayb; we can tell you about all of them but we think that is enough. In fact, what we have written so far is too much. For, we do not believe that a Muslim can have the belief that "Allah does not know the ghayb" and we do not want to believe it. However, there are some heedless people who say so. They are the people who have been hired to distort the religion. We do not think that a Muslim will be deceived by their words no matter how ignorant he is.
We said, "We can show many more verses from the Quran."Believe this statement. We found the verses that we have mentioned up to now from the Quran in one hour. We riffled the pages of the Quran and quoted the verses that caught our eye. For, we do not take their statement, "Allah does not know the ghayb" seriously as we said before and we do not think that there will be some people who will believe in this statement. However, we wrote the answer so long in case somebody who believed in them would not question us in the hereafter by saying, "Why did you not warn me? Why did you not write the truth since you know the Quran?"
Besides, we only wrote the evidence from the Quran. We did not write any evidence from hadiths. There are tens of hadiths that can be used as evidence regarding the issue in Kutub as-Sitta books, which are the soundest resources after the Quran. We did not quote them because it is useless to quote evidence from hadiths to the people who overstep the limits by denying the verses of the Quran. What will those who deny the Quran not do to hadiths? They would just say the hadiths are "fabricated" and cast them aside without even looking at their chain of narrators.
We did not quote from the scholars except the tafsir scholars whose views regarding the verses we reported, and we did not mention the consensus (ijma) on the issue. For, they would not have uttered this wrong view if they had believed in consensus and the scholars. Which scholar would a person who denies verses and interprets them based on his own soul believe? Whose word would such a person respect? He will understand that Allah knows the ghayb only when he dies but it will be too late then.
Now, let us write answers to their evidence or rather their nonsense they put forward when they say, "Allah does not know the ghayb". However, this answer is not for them but for those poor people who are harmed by their words. We do not answer those who say so.
Our answer is for our poor brothers who should not be wounded but who are wounded due to their ignorance and being away from the Quran and who do not have any scientific ointment to cure their wounds. Therefore, we will address them directly.
Those who say,"Allah does not know the ghayb"cast the following three suspicions into hearts:
1. They say, If Allah knows what we will do, what is our sin? I do it because Allah knows it. If Allah had not known it, I would not have done it. Then, I cannot be guilty. Since it is written whether I will go to Paradise or Hell, how can I change my qadar? Everything has already been written. For instance, if it is written in my qadar that I will kill a person, why will I be labeled as a murderer when I kill him? If it had not been written in my qadar, I would not have killed him. If everything is written in qadar, why should we struggle and try to achieve something? Whatever is written will happen anyway. Then, if I am to be held responsible for what I do, Allah should not know the ghayb.
It is possible to increase questions. The main reason that underlies them is the fact that the issue of qadar has not been understood. Those who ask these questions do not know about the pre-eternity of Allah and the rule "knowledge is based on what is known." We, "Feyyaz Informatics Services" prepared a visual work in which you will find answers to all of your questions on qadar with the certainty of two times two equals four.
In this video, which is about four hours long, you can find answers to the questions above and the ones that come to your mind. Since the answers to these questions are given in this work, we will not deal with the issue here. You can click on the link to watch it. Besides, the scripts of the videos are recorded under each video. You can also read the scripts if you wish. Click here for detailed information.
2. They say, If Allah knows what we will do and if everything is written in qadar, why were we created and why was this realm created? .
According to them, probably Allah should not know what they would do for the realization of the wisdoms behind the creation of the realm. This view is enough to prove how ignorant they are. If they knew the purposes of their creation and the creation of this realm, they would know that these purposes would not disappear because Allah knew what they would do.
It will cover a long place if we mention the purposes of our creation and the creation of this realm one by one. What we will do here is to refer you to works we prepared regarding the issue. For, it is not possible to inform you with three or five sentences in the same way as those works prepared specially for those issues containing lots of pages will do. If you really want to learn the answer to this question and understand that the purposes of our creation and the creation of this realm will not disappear because Allah knows what we will do, click on the link and study the resources we advise. We refer you to the following resources:
A. You can watch the video in which the purposes of the creation of man and the world are explained and you can witness with the truth of certainty that these purposes do not disappear when qadar is known.
B. You can read Badiuzzaman Said Nursi's work called “On Birinci Söz (Eleventh Word)”. In this work, the purposes of the creation of man and the world are explained. If you do not have this book, you can access to it through the following link: The Risale-i Nur Collection
3. One of the things that those who say "Allah does not know the ghayb" mention is the expressions like "Allah knew; Allah did it in order to know". They say, “Since Allah did it in order to know, it means He did not know about it beforehand.”
These words of theirs are evidence proving that they are very ignorant of the Quran. Now, let us explain the expressions like "Allah knew; Allah did it to know" mentioned in the Quran and refute their mischievous claim.
The expressions like "Allah knew; Allah did it in order to know" mentioned in the Quran have two meanings:
1. What is meant by the word to "know" here is to distinguish, to differentiate. For instance, when it is stated "Allah did it in order to know the believers and the hypocrites (munafiqs)," the word to "know" here means to distinguish; so the meaning of the verse is "Allah did it in order to distinguish between the believers and the hypocrites."When the verb عَلِمَ(know) is used with the preposition مِنْ (from) in the Quran in Arabic, all of those verses have the meaning of distinguishing. The preposition مِنْin these verses is called "min (from) of distinguishing". Let us see the usage of this preposition مِنْin an example:
The sentence يَعْرِفُ الْاُسْتَاذُ الْمُجْتَحِدَ means "The teacher knows the hardworking one." If we use the verb عَرَفَ with the preposition مِنْ and make the sentence as, يَعْرِفُ الْاُسْتَاذُ الْمُجْتَحِدَمِنَالكَسْلاَنِ, the meaning of the sentence is "The teacher distinguishes between the hardworking one and the lazy one." As it is seen, the verb عَرَفَ, which means "knew" when it is used alone, means "distinguished" when it is used with the preposition مِنْ.
The same thing is valid for the verb عَلِمَ. Therefore, when this verb is used with the preposition مِنْ, it is necessary to translate it as "distinguished", not as "knew". After settling the issue of the usage of the verb عَلِمَwith the preposition مِنْ, let us have a look at the places where this verb is used without a preposition:
In the Quran, the verb عَلِمَ(knew) is attributed to Allah and sentences like the following are used: "Allah did it in order to know" and "Allah has not known it yet." In such cases, the meaning is as follows: "Allah knew the thing that He knew in pre-eternity after it happened." "Allah knew the thing that He knew in pre-eternity has not known yet because this writing has not come into existence yet."
The rule here is as follows: "Pre-eternal knowledge is old but its occurrence may be new." Let us explain this issue a bit:
Allah Almighty knew what we would do in the pre-eternity, when time and matter did not exist. However, He knew them as 'to be done', not as 'been done'. (You will understand this issue better if you watch our video called "Kadere İman (Belief in Qadar)".)
When He created with His power the thing that He knew would happen, He knew it as something that happened. The change here does not take place in Allah's attribute of ilm (knowledge) but in the thing that knowledge is related to. The things that are known as 'to be realized' are known as 'been realized' after they take place. There is no increase or decrease in the knowledge of Allah. That is, pre-eternal knowledge is old but its occurrence may be new.
The phrases like "He knew" and "We did it in order to know" in the verses mean "He knew the thing that He knew would take place after it took place" and "We did it in order to know that thing We knew would happen after it took place."
We do not deem it necessary to analyze all verses in this meaning one by one. You can deal with any verse interpreting it like the word عَلِمَ.
We complete this work here and praise our Lord who used us in this service. We want to state the following in conclusion:
A person who says, "Allah does not know the ghayb" becomes an unbeliever and exits the religion of Islam. His spouse is divorced. His worshipping is annulled. The flesh of the animals that he slaughters is not eaten. His janazah prayer is not performed. He is treated in the same way as an unbeliever who denies the existence of Allah is treated. May Allah protect the ummah of Muhammad from the evil of these people! Amin!
Questions on Islam
- Does Allah inform anybody whom He wishes about ghayb (unknown/unseen)?
- Why is Hz. Aisha’s innocence narrated in ten verses in the Quran?
- In some verses, it is stated that "ghayb (the unseen, the unknown) cannot be known by anyone except Allah. How can it be explained under the light of these verses that some prophets and saints give news about the future?
- The Death of Abu Lahab on disbelief (Kufr)
- The Fallacy of Reincarnation Part 1: What is Reincarnation?, Does reincarnation (transmigration of the soul from one body to another) exist in the Quran?
- Is tawassul permissible according to verses and hadiths?
- Life in the Grave is True
- Is it permissible to pray for a non-Muslim, oppressor, munafiq and unbeliever? What is the decree about praying for a person who was an enemy of Islam, after his death, reading the chapter of Yasin for him and mentioning his name with mercy?
- How should the Muslim creed and faith be?
- Why did the Quran not state clearly that Hz. Isa (Jesus) would come at the end of time?