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How Much Ilm-E-Ghaib Did The Ahlul Bayt Have?

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I heard Prophet p.b.u.h used to cry for his nephew (Hussein ra.) long before the Battle of Karbala happened. Another story is when one of the 12 imams was asked by a king what he was holding in his enclosed hand, and the imam correctly answered it without having any way to look at it first. 

So the question is, how much knowledge of the unseen did the Ahlul Bayt really have? 

 

Since in some ayahs, we are told the Prophet pbuh didn't know what was to happen in the future. Eg:

"I am no different from the other messengers, nor do I know what will happen to me or to you. I only follow what is inspired to me. I am no more than a clear warner" [46:9]

 

Another thing that bugs me, isn't ilm-e-ghaib a power that is special only to Allah? 

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The Prophet did have knowledge of the future. If he didn't, by definition, he would not be a prophet.. The difference being he did not know every single detail only what Allah willed for him [sawa] to know. 

You are confusing limited knowledge given to the Prophet and Aimmah with complete knowledge of the Unseen which is possessed by Allah

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Can other than Allah (swt) be aware of the unseen, and if it is possible, then why has it been allocated solely to Allah (swt) in surah Luqman?

 

Did the Imams have knowledge of the unseen?

 

The word “Gheib” literally means anything hidden from one’s senses and understanding, while the word “Shahadah” means anything that is apparent and evident. One thing can be a Gheib issue to one person and a Shahadah issue to another. This depends on one’s spiritual limitations and his knowledge about this world. (A sentence and a half highlighted in yellow). The Quran says in this regard: “Say," [The knowledge of] the Unseen [and miracles] belongs only to Allah [and depends on his command].” [1]

 

Knowing that the knowledge of all beings is limited and that of Allah is complete, it is obvious that knowledge of Gheib is exclusively for Allah and no one other than Him possesses this knowledge; because it is only him that utterly encompasses the world and knows of Gheib and Shahadah. In other words, to Allah everything is considered Shahadah. As for other beings, depending on their intellectual and spiritual capacity some things are known and others are hidden from their eyes and their other senses, thus they either know nothing about them or know very little.

 

Therefore, allocating knowledge of the unseen to Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì doesn’t mean that others can't learn of some of these secrets as a result of their worthiness and through Allah's ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì teaching. This is a blessing that Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì bestows upon certain chosen servants of His, such as the prophets and apostles. This is why we see the prophets speaking of revelation, which is considered of the unseen, or we see them foretelling future incidents that actually do take place at the time they have predicted. [2]

 

There are different opinions in regard to the infallible imams having unconditional knowledge of Gheib and other issues in such a way that they knew about all the events of the past and future including the time and place of their martyrdom.

 

Some have denied the imams’ unlimited knowledge, which would include their knowledge to the place and time of their martyrdom. However, the majority of Shi’a scholars argue relying on the Almighty’s words in the Quran: “Allah will not acquaint you with the Unseen (in order to tell the believers from the hypocrites, because this is against Allah’s custom), but Allah chooses from His apostles whomever He wishes (and informs them of some of the secrets that are needed for the position of leadership)” [3] and “Knower of the Unseen, He does not disclose His Unseen to anyone, except to an apostle He approves of. Then He dispatches a sentinel before and behind him” [4] , that the special servants of Allah can be informed of the Gheib on occasions which this knowledge is necessary. This meaning is also indicated in the ahadith of the imams. Imam Sadiq says in this regard: “When an imam wills to know something, Allah will teach him.” [5]

 

Therefore, according to these verses and ahadith and knowing that the prophets are responsible for guiding man in all spiritual and physical fields, they must possess a great amount of knowledge so that they can discharge their duty correctly, and the situation is similar to the imams that are the successors of the prophets. Therefore, they too have knowledge of the Gheib in a vast and unconditional form. [6]

In this regard it is narrated from Imam Sadiq that he stated: “When an Imam wills to know something, Allah will teach him.” [7]

 

[1] Yunus:20.

 

[3] Āl-Imrān: 179 “ا کاَنَ اللَّهُ لِیَذَرَ الْمُؤْمِنِینَ عَلىَ‏ مَا أَنتُمْ عَلَیْهِ حَتىَ‏ یَمِیزَ الخْبِیثَ مِنَ الطَّیِّبِ وَ مَا کاَنَ اللَّهُ لِیُطْلِعَکُمْ عَلىَ الْغَیْبِ وَ لَاکِنَّ اللَّهَ یجَتَبىِ مِن رُّسُلِهِ مَن یَشَاءُ فََامِنُواْ بِاللَّهِ وَ رُسُلِهِ وَ إِن تُؤْمِنُواْ وَ تَتَّقُواْ فَلَکُمْ أَجْرٌ عَظِیمٌ

 

[4] Jinn: 26 and 27 “ عَلِمُ الْغَیْبِ فَلَا یُظْهِرُ عَلىَ‏ غَیْبِهِ أَحَدًاإِلَّا مَنِ ارْتَضىَ‏ مِن رَّسُولٍ فَإِنَّهُ یَسْلُکُ مِن بَینْ‏ِ یَدَیْهِ وَ مِنْ خَلْفِهِ رَصَدًا

 

[5] Kuleini, Usul Kāfī, vol. 1, chapter on when the imams wish to know something, they know it, hadith 3. For further information, see: Man and   Knowledge of the Unseen, Question 150 (website: 1056).

 

[6] However, not always knowing about Gheib is a virtue, and sometimes can be a deficiency. For example, on the night that Imam Ali slept in the Prophets bed, if he knew that he would not be harmed, then such a thing would not be a means of his spiritual growth; because, in that case, everyone would be willing to sleep in his place. In such a situation not knowing about the Gheib is considered a virtue.

 

[7] Adopted from: The Imams’ Supernatural Knowledge of their Martyrdoms, Question 579 (website: 631).

Edited by PureEthics

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since knowledge is not finite, but infinite... it really is not possible to answer this question. Only Allah is ALL knowing, and source of Knowledge, and His Knowledge is infinite... so no matter how great and extensive the knowledge of Ahlulbayt, it is not possible for it to surpass that of Allah swt.

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 Here is the answer to your questio

 

I heard Prophet p.b.u.h used to cry for his nephew (Hussein ra.) long before the Battle of Karbala happened. Another story is when one of the 12 imams was asked by a king what he was holding in his enclosed hand, and the imam correctly answered it without having any way to look at it first. 

So the question is, how much knowledge of the unseen did the Ahlul Bayt really have? 

 

Since in some ayahs, we are told the Prophet pbuh didn't know what was to happen in the future. Eg:

"I am no different from the other messengers, nor do I know what will happen to me or to you. I only follow what is inspired to me. I am no more than a clear warner" [46:9]

 

Another thing that bugs me, isn't ilm-e-ghaib a power that is special only to Allah? 

 

Here is the answer to your question:

 

The Knowledge of The Unseen (Ghaib)

 

WS

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We don't know how much ilm ul ghaib imams possesed since we don't know how much ilm Allah possesses. What we do know us that ilm possessed by the imams was given by Allah

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حدثنا أحمد بن الحسن بن علي بن فضال عن عمر بن سعيد المدايني عن مصدق بن صدقه عن عمار الساباطي أو عن أبي عبيدة عن عمار الساباطي قال

سألت أبا عبد الله عليه السلام عن الامام أيعلم الغيب قال لا ولكن إذا أراد ان يعلم الشئ علمه الله ذلك.

Narrated to us from Ahmad b. al-Hasan b. `Ali b. Fadhal, from `Amro b. Sa`eed al-Madayini, from Masdak b. Sadka, from `Ammar al-Sabati, or from Abi `Ubaida, from `Ammar al-Sabati, he said:
I asked Aba `Abdillah [a.s] about the imam, does he know the unseen? He said "No, but if he wanted to know something, Allah will make him know"

Source: Basa'er al-Darajat p. 335.

 

I think the Hadith answers the question. The imams [a.s] might in fact know everything, if they wish to know it. And God knows best.

 

(wasalam)

Edited by Abe

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