Ilm-e-Gaib (Knowledge of the UnSeen)

Ilm-e-Gaib in Quran

Holy Quran: Sura: 72 (Al-Jinn) Verse:25-26

عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ فَلَا يُظْهِرُ عَلَىٰ غَيْبِهِ أَحَدًا 
إِلَّا مَنِ ارْتَضَىٰ مِنْ رَسُولٍ فَإِنَّهُ يَسْلُكُ مِنْ بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِ رَصَدًا

"He knows the Unseen, nor does He make any one acquainted with His Mysteries.
Except a messenger whom He has chosen: and then He makes a band of watchers march before him and behind him."
Chapter: 72, Verse 25-26.

Tafseer of the Above verse from the Holy Imam's (as):-

Imam Ali (as) says:
و عرف الخلق اقتدارهم على علم الغيب بقوله عالِمُ الْغَيْبِ فَلا يُظْهِرُ عَلى‏ غَيْبِهِ أَحَداً إِلَّا مَنِ ارْتَضى‏ مِنْ رَسُول

"And Allah (swt) has made known to his creations that his Wali's have authority over the knowledge of the unseen as per the saying of Allah "He knows the Unseen, nor does He make any one acquainted with His Mysteries.Except a messenger whom He has chosen".

Source: Al-Ehtejaaj Vol.1 Pg. 252 / Tafseer e Noor us Saqlain Vol.5 Pg.444
http://gadir.free.fr/Ar/Tefsir/KUTUB/Nurus_sekaleyn/noor-05/data/08.htm

حدثنا أحمد بن محمد عن الحسن بن محبوب عن علي بن رئاب عن سدير قال:
سمعت حمران بن أعين يسأل أبا جعفر عليه السلام عن قول الله تبارك تعالى بديع السماوات والأرض فقال أبو جعفر ان الله ابتدع الأشياء كلها على غير مثال كان وابتدع السماوات والأرض ولم يكن قبلهن سماوات ولا أرضون اما تسمع قوله تعالى وكان عرشه على الماء فقال له حمران بن أعين أرأيت قوله عالم الغيب فلا يظهر على غيبه أحدا فقال له أبو جعفر عليه السلام الا من ارتضى من رسول وكان محمد والله ممن ارتضاه واما قوله تبارك وتعالى عالم الغيب فان الله عالم بما غاب عن خلقه بما يقدر من شيء ويقضيه في علمه فذلك يا حمران علم موقوف عنده إليه فيه المشية فيقضيه إذا أراد ويبدو له فيه فلا يمضيه فاما العلم الذي يقدره الله ويقضيه ويمضيه فهو العلم الذي انتهى إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله ثم إلينا

Narrated to us Ahmad Bin Muhammad, from Al-Hassan Bin Mahboub, from Ali Bin Ra'ab, from Sadeer who said:

"I heard Humran ibn A‘yan ask abu Ja‘far (as) about the words of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High Allah, ‘. . . One Who is the Originator of the heavens and the earth. . .’" [6:101] Abu Ja‘far (as) said, "Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, originated all things through His knowledge. It was unprecedented. He invented the heavens and earths and there were no heavens and earths before. Have you not considered the words of Allah, ". . .His Throne existed on water. . ." [11:7] 

Humran then said, "Have you considered His words, Majestic is Whose name, ‘He knows the unseen and He does not allow anyone to know His secrets . . ." [72:26]

Abu Ja‘far (as) then said, " except those of His Messengers whom He chooses. [72:26] Muhammad (as), I swear by Allah, was one of those whom Allah had chosen.
However, there are His words "He knows the hidden facts." The fact that Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, knows what is hidden from His creatures of the things that He measures and determines and decrees in His knowledge before creating it and before assigning to the angels, it is because of the following. O Humran, there is the knowledge withheld before Him in which He has a wish. He then decrees it when He wills. Bada’ may take place in it and He then will not decree it. The knowledge that, however, Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, measures and determines and approves is the knowledge that reaches the Messenger of Allah and then it reaches us."

[Source: Basaar Al-Darjaat, Vol.2, Chapter. 22, Hadees. 1 & Al-Kafi, Vol.1 Pg. 256]
All narrators are trustworthy. Narration is Saheeh (Authentic).
[Regarding Sadeer Al-Sairafi, he is considered as Trustworthy by Sayed Khoi. See Mojam Al-Rijal, Narrator no. 4992]



Holy Quran: Sura: 27 (An-Naml) Verse:75

وَمَا مِنْ غَائِبَةٍ فِي السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ إِلَّا فِي كِتَابٍ مُبِينٍ

Nor is there aught of the unseen, in heaven or earth, but is (recorded) in a clear record. (27:75)

So its very clear from the above verse that even the knowledge of the Unseen is recorded in the Holy Quran. And there are many narrations which very clearly and explicitly say that the Imams (as) have the complete knowledge of the Holy Quran and hence they even have the knowledge of the unseen. Below is one such tradition.

مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ يَحْيَى عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ أَبِي زَاهِرٍ أَوْ غَيْرِهِ عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ حَمَّادٍ عَنْ أَخِيهِ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ حَمَّادٍ عَنْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنْ أَبِي الْحَسَنِ الْأَوَّلِ ع قَالَ قُلْتُ لَهُ جُعِلْتُ فِدَاكَ أَخْبِرْنِي عَنِ النَّبِيِّ ص وَرِثَ النَّبِيِّينَ كُلَّهُمْ قَالَ نَعَمْ قُلْتُ مِنْ لَدُنْ آدَمَ حَتَّى انْتَهَى إِلَى نَفْسِهِ قَالَ مَا بَعَثَ اللَّهُ نَبِيّاً إِلَّا وَ مُحَمَّدٌ ص أَعْلَمُ مِنْهُ قَالَ قُلْتُ إِنَّ عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ كَانَ يُحْيِي الْمَوْتَى بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ قَالَ صَدَقْتَ وَ سُلَيْمَانَ بْنَ دَاوُدَ كَانَ يَفْهَمُ مَنْطِقَ الطَّيْرِ وَ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ص يَقْدِرُ عَلَى هَذِهِ الْمَنَازِلِ قَالَ فَقَالَ إِنَّ سُلَيْمَانَ بْنَ دَاوُدَ قَالَ لِلْهُدْهُدِ حِينَ فَقَدَهُ وَ شَكَّ فِي أَمْرِهِ فَقالَ ما لِيَ لا أَرَى الْهُدْهُدَ أَمْ كانَ مِنَ الْغائِبِينَ حِينَ فَقَدَهُ فَغَضِبَ عَلَيْهِ فَقَالَ لَأُعَذِّبَنَّهُ عَذاباً شَدِيداً أَوْ لَأَذْبَحَنَّهُ أَوْ لَيَأْتِيَنِّي بِسُلْطانٍ مُبِينٍ وَ إِنَّمَا غَضِبَ لِأَنَّهُ كَانَ يَدُلُّهُ عَلَى الْمَاءِ فَهَذَا وَ هُوَ طَائِرٌ قَدْ أُعْطِيَ مَا لَمْ يُعْطَ سُلَيْمَانُ وَ قَدْ كَانَتِ الرِّيحُ وَ النَّمْلُ وَ الْإِنْسُ وَ الْجِنُّ وَ الشَّيَاطِينُ وَ الْمَرَدَةُ لَهُ طَائِعِينَ وَ لَمْ يَكُنْ يَعْرِفُ الْمَاءَ تَحْتَ الْهَوَاءِ وَ كَانَ الطَّيْرُ يَعْرِفُهُ وَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَقُولُ فِي كِتَابِهِ وَ لَوْ أَنَّ قُرْآناً سُيِّرَتْ بِهِ الْجِبالُ أَوْ قُطِّعَتْ بِهِ الْأَرْضُ أَوْ كُلِّمَ بِهِ الْمَوْتى‏ وَ قَدْ وَرِثْنَا نَحْنُ هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ الَّذِي فِيهِ مَا تُسَيَّرُ بِهِ الْجِبَالُ وَ تُقَطَّعُ بِهِ الْبُلْدَانُ وَ تُحْيَا بِهِ الْمَوْتَى وَ نَحْنُ نَعْرِفُ الْمَاءَ تَحْتَ الْهَوَاءِ وَ إِنَّ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ لآَيَاتٍ مَا يُرَادُ بِهَا أَمْرٌ إِلَّا أَنْ يَأْذَنَ اللَّهُ بِهِ مَعَ مَا قَدْ يَأْذَنُ اللَّهُ مِمَّا كَتَبَهُ الْمَاضُونَ جَعَلَهُ اللَّهُ لَنَا فِي أُمِّ الْكِتَابِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَقُولُ وَ ما مِنْ غائِبَةٍ فِي السَّماءِ وَ الْأَرْضِ إِلَّا فِي كِتابٍ مُبِينٍ ثُمَّ قَالَ ثُمَّ أَوْرَثْنَا الْكِتابَ الَّذِينَ اصْطَفَيْنا مِنْ عِبادِنا فَنَحْنُ الَّذِينَ اصْطَفَانَا اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ وَ أَوْرَثَنَا هَذَا الَّذِي فِيهِ تِبْيَانُ كُلِّ شَي



Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn abu Zahir or another man from Muhammad ibn Hammad from his brother Ahmad ibn Hammad from Ibrahim from his father who has said the following.

"I said to abu al-Hassan al-Thani Imam Moosa Kazim (as), "May Allah take my soul in service for your cause, would you tell me about the Holy Prophet (as) who inherited all the prophets." The Imam (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) said, "Yes, I may do so. I asked, "Did he inherit from Adam up to his-self?" The Imam (as) said, "Of every prophet that Allah sent Prophet Muhammad (as) was more knowledgeable." I then said, "Jesus son of Mary would bring the dead to life by the permission of Allah."

The Imam (as) said, "You spoke the truth."

"I said, "Solomon son of David could understand the language of the birds. The Holy Prophet (as) was also capable of doing such things." The narrator has said that the Imam (as) then said, "Solomon son of David said to the (Hoopoe) Hud-Hud when he found him missing and had doubts about the bird. "(Solomon) inspected the birds and said, "How is it that I cannot see the hoopoe (when he did not find him present and became angry). Is he absent? (27:20). I shall certainly punish him severely or slaughter him unless he has a good reason for his absence." (27:21) He became angry because the bird would show him how to find water. This is only a bird but is given something that is not given to Solomon. The wind, ants, man, Jinn, devils and the rebels obeyed him in submission but he did not know about the water in the space but the bird knew it as Allah says in His Book. "Even if the Quran would make mountains move, cut the earth into pieces and make the dead able to speak . . ." (13:31) We have inherited this Quran which contains such things that can make the mountains move, cross the lands and make the dead to come to life. We know there is water in space. In the book of Allah there are verses that are indicative of certain issues only if Allah would give permission. This is along with the fact that Allah sometime grants permission to make use of the things that people of the past had written. Allah has set them for us in the origin of the Book as Allah says, "All the secrets in heavens and earth are recorded in the illustrious Book. (27:75) Then Allah has said, "We gave the Book as an inheritance to Our chosen servants," (35:32) We are the ones whom Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, has chosen and has given this which contain the explanation of all things."

[Source: Al-Kafi Vol.1 Pg.227 / Basair Al Darajat Pg.47 ]


Ziyarat-e-Jamiya


We also have the following in Ziyarat-e-Jamiya, which is an authentic Ziyarat trusted and relied up by scholars from the past and present. This Ziyarah is also considered authentic by Sheikh Sadooq.

This Ziyarah can be recited for all the Imam's (as) and hence its called 'Jamiya

وَارْتَضَاكُمْ لِغَيْبِهِ  -  And Approved you for his unseen

[Source: Ziyarat-e-Jamiya, Uyoon Al-Akbar Al-Reza - Sheikh Sadooq]

For the details on the scholars who considered this Ziyarat as authentic and reliable read here (in arabic): http://www.alkafi.net/vb/showthread.php?t=460


Ilm-e-Gaib of Prophet Muhammad (saww)


A Part of Sermon of Friday from Imam Muhammad Baqir (as):

وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له وأشهد أن محمدا عبده ورسوله انتجبه لولايته واختصه برسالته وأكرمه بالنبوة، أمينا على غيبه ورحمة للعالمين وصلى الله على محمد وآله عليهم السلام

And I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, He is the One without a partner;
and I bear witness that Muhammad is his slave and messenger, He chose him for his guardianship, and distinguished him with His message, and blessed him with the prophet-hood; (he was) a trustee of His veiled (unseen matters), and a mercy unto the worlds – the blessings of Allah upon him - Muhammad and his family عليهم السلام

Note: As per the Sanad analysis, this Hadees is Saheeh/Authentic

[Source: Al Kaafi Vol.3 Pg.422]



Imam (as) questioned if they (as) have Ilm-e-Gaib

صفوان بن يحيى عن بعض رجاله عن الصادق قال و الله لقد أعطينا علم الأولين و الآخرين فقال له رجل من أصحابه جعلت فداك أ عندكم علم الغيب فقال له ويحك إني لأعلم ما في أصلاب الرجال و أرحام النساء ويحكم وسعوا صدوركم و لتبصر أعينكم و لتع قلوبكم فنحن حجة الله تعالى في خلقه و لن يسع ذلك إلا صدر كل مؤمن قوي قوته كقوة جبال تهامة إلا بإذن الله و الله لو أردت أن أحصي لكم كل حصاة عليها لأخبرتكم و ما من يوم و لا ليلة إلا و الحصى يلد إيلادا كما يلد هذا الخلق و الله لتباغضون بعدي حتى يأكل بعضكم بعضا

Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) said, “By Allah (swt) we have the knowledge of the firsts (beginning) and the lasts (ending).”

A man from among his companions asked Imam (as), “My I be sacrificed over you. Do you have knowledge of the unseen?”

Imam (as) replied, “Woe upon you. Verily I know what is in the loins of men and wombs of women. Woe upon you. Widen your hearts and open your eyes and accept it in your hearts. We are Allah’s (swt) argument in his creations. And none has the heart to accept that, except all those believers whose hearts are as strong as the mountain of ‘Tihama’ but by the will of Allah (swt).

By Allah (swt)! Verily I can count the total grains pebbles and can inform you of that. And there is no day and night but that the grains (of sand) give birth and are born like are born these creations (humans).

By Allah (swt)! You will have hatred towards each other after me such that some of you will kill other.

[Source: Al Manaqib – Ibn Sharashoub Vol.4 Pg.250]

Ilm-e-Gaib of Imam Jafar Sadiq (as)

Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) narrates:

عن الصادق قال و الله لقد أعطينا علم الأولين و الآخرين فقال له رجل من أصحابه جعلت فداك أ عندكم علم الغيب فقال له ويحك إني لأعلم ما في أصلاب الرجال و أرحام النساء ويحكم وسعوا صدوركم و لتبصر أعينكم و لتع قلوبكم فنحن حجة الله تعالى في خلقه و لن يسع ذلك إلا صدر كل مؤمن قوي قوته كقوة جبال تهامة إلا بإذن الله و الله لو أردت أن أحصي لكم كل حصاة عليها لأخبرتكم و ما من يوم و لا ليلة إلا و الحصى يلد إيلادا كما يلد هذا الخلق و الله لتباغضون بعدي حتى يأكل بعضكم بعضا
"We have been given the knowledge of begining and the end."

A person from the Imams (as) companions said: "May I be your ransom. Do you have Knowledge of the unseen (Ilm e Ghaib)?"

Imam(as) replied:"Woe unto you. I know what is in the lions of men and womb of women. Woe unto you all. Open us your heart and see with your eyes and accept with your hearts. We are the proof of Allah in his creations. And none can accept this except all those believers whos hearts are as strong as the mount of Tahama and by the will of Allah."

[Source: Al Manaqib - Ibn Sharashoub Vol.4 Pg.250 / Bihar Al Anwar Vol.26 Pg.28]


Ilm-e-Gaib of Imam Musa ibn Jafar (as)

عن يعقوب السراج قال: دخلت على أبي عبدالله وهو واقف على رأس أبي الحسن موسى وهو في المهد، فجعل يساره طويلا، فجلست حتى فرغ، فقمت إليه فقال لي:

  ادن من مولاك فسلم، فدنوت فسلمت عليه فرد علي السلام بلسان فصيح، ثم قال لي.

اذهب فغير أسم ابنتك التي سميتها امس، فإنه اسم يبغضه الله، وكان ولدت لي ابنة سميتها بالحميراء، فقال أبوعبدالله (عليه السلام): انته إلى أمره ترشد، فغيرت اسمها


From Ya‘qub al-Sarraj who has said the following.

"Once I went to see abu ‘Abd Allah (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) who was standing by the cradle of abu al-Hassan. He began to speak secretly to him for a long time. I sat there until he was free. I then stood for him and he said to me, "Come close to your Mawla (master and Leader with Divine Authority)." I went close and said the greetings of peace. He answered my greetings very clearly and then he said to me, "Go and change the name of your daughter that you named just yesterday. It is a name that makes Allah angry." A girl was born to us and I had named her al-Humayra.’" Abu ‘Abd Allah (DivineSupremeCovenantBody) said to me, "Follow his command you will have the right guidance." I then changed her name."

[Source: Al-Kaafi Vol.1 Pg.310 Hadees.11]
http://www.al-shia.org/html/ara/books/lib-hadis/al-kafi-1/10.htm#09


Ilm-e-Gaib of Abu Talib (as)


قال أبوعبدالله عليه السلام: إن فاطمة بنت أسد جاءت إلى أبي طالب لتبشره بمولد النبي صلى الله عليه وآله فقال أبوطالب: اصبري سبتا ابشرك بمثله إلا النبوة، وقال: السبت ثلاثون سنة وكان بين رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله

"Abu ‘Abd Allah (as) has said, ‘Once Fatima, daughter of Asad came to abu Talib with the glad news of the birth of the Holy Prophet (saww). Abu Talib said, "Wait for a sabt then I will give a glad news of one similar to Him except prophet-hood."

The Imam (as) said, "A sabt is thirty years. Amir al-Mu’minin Ali (as) was born thirty years after the birth of the Holy Prophet (saww).

[Source: Al-Kaafi Vol.1 Pg.452 Hadees.1]
http://www.al-shia.org/html/ara/books/lib-hadis/al-kafi-1/14.htm#05