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musim 1992

Prophet Required 15 Days To Answer Few Questions?

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My question is related to the background of Surah Kahf.

 

Before putting forward the question it is important to refer to Surah Kahaf Ayat 23 and 24 which say:

 

 

18_23.png

 

"And never say of anything, "Indeed, I will do that tomorrow,""

(Surah Kahf Ayat 23)

 

 

 

18_24.png

 

"Except [when adding], "If Allah wills." And remember your Lord when you forget [it] and say, "Perhaps my Lord will guide me to what is nearer than this to right conduct."" 

(Surah Kahf Ayat 24)

 

 

Now the most popular story related with the background of these these verses state that there were some Jew Scholars who sent 3 questions for Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) and they said that if He(pbuh) is a true Prophet of the Lord then he will be able to answer the first two questions but not the third.

When our Prophet(pbuh) was asked these questions He said He would answer tommorrow. But it took a lot of days before He(pbuh) was able to answer the questions because He did not receive any revelation from God in the meantime. The above mentioned verses were finally revealed in which, according to the commentaries, Prophet(pbuh) is addressed and the value of saying Inshallah is expressed to Him.

Thus the commentaries establish the fact that since the Prophet(pbuh) did not say Inshallah, God made him wait a lot of days before finally providing Him with the answers to the Jew's questions.

 

The complete incident is as under as taken from Tafsir Ibn Kathir:

 

Muhammad bin Ishaq mentioned the reason why this Surah was revealed. He said that an old man from among the people of Egypt who came to them some forty-odd years ago told him, from `Ikrimah that Ibn `Abbas said: "The Quraysh sent An-Nadr bin Al-Harith and `Uqbah bin Abi Mu`it to the Jewish rabbis in Al-Madinah, and told them: `Ask them (the rabbis) about Muhammad, and describe him to them, and tell them what he is saying. They are the people of the first Book, and they have more knowledge of the Prophets than we do.'
 
So they set out and when they reached Al-Madinah, they asked the Jewish rabbis about the Messenger of Allah . They described him to them and told them some of what he had said. They said, `You are the people of the Tawrah and we have come to you so that you can tell us about this companion of ours.'
 
They (the rabbis) said, `Ask him about three things which we will tell you to ask, and if he answers them then he is a Prophet who has been sent (by Allah); if he does not, then he is saying things that are not true, in which case how you will deal with him will be up to you.
 
Ask him about some young men in ancient times, what was their story For theirs is a strange and wondrous tale. Ask him about a man who travelled a great deal and reached the east and the west of the earth. What was his story And ask him about the Ruh (soul or spirit) -- what is it If he tells you about these things, then he is a Prophet, so follow him, but if he does not tell you, then he is a man who is making things up, so deal with him as you see fit.'
 
So An-Nadr and `Uqbah left and came back to the Quraysh, and said: `O people of Quraysh, we have come to you with a decisive solution which will put an end to the problem between you and Muhammad. The Jewish rabbis told us to ask him about some matters,' and they told the Quraysh what they were.
 
Then they came to the Messenger of Allah and said, `O Muhammad, tell us,' and they asked him about the things they had been told to ask. The Messenger of Allah said "I will tell you tomorrow about what you have asked me." but he did not say `If Allah wills.' So they went away, and the Messenger of Allah stayed for fifteen days without any revelation from Allah concerning that, and Jibril, peace be upon him, did not come to him either.
 
The people of Makkah started to doubt him, and said, `Muhammad promised to tell us the next day, and now fifteen days have gone by and he has not told us anything in response to the questions we asked.' The Messenger of Allah felt sad because of the delay in revelation, and was grieved by what the people of Makkah were saying about him. Then Jibril came to him from Allah with the Surah about the companions of Al-Kahf, which also contained a rebuke for feeling sad about the idolators. The Surah also told him about the things they had asked him about, the young men and the traveler.

 

 

This is Tafsir Ibn Kathir and I have taken this from the following website

http://www.qtafsir.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2744&Itemid=73

 

 

Now I have one and only one question:

 

How is it possible that the Prophet(PBUH) who was created before all of creation...... who had the most knowledge and wisdom in all of creation.....Who was of those who didn't even need to hear a question and could read what was going on in someone's mind......Whose student Imam Ali(as) told about the whole creation of Prophet Adam(as) as if He had seen all of it with His very own eyes......How could the Grand Prophet(pbuh) not answer the questions straight away???????

 

And we are talking about questions the answers of which were known by the Jew scholars.....How is it possible that a trivial Jew scholar knows something that the Prophet of the whole universe didn't know?????

 

one can either believe a Prophet who splits the moon into two with a single gesture or one can believe a Prophet who needs 15 days to answer a history question...I refuse to believe the above mentioned story because the Prophet(PBUH) I believe in would smile on these questions and answer them straight away.

 

The biggest problem is that I have searched a lot for an alternative story but every site I visit gives some version of the above mentioned story...even shia websites have put forward similar stories with regard to these verses.

 

Kindly Post any information you have regarding the background of these verses. I couldn't find Tafsir Al-Mizan's commentary on surah kahf in english...if you have it kindly post it......or put forward if you have any other sources which would give the REAL reason for revealing Surah Kahaf.

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salam

 

The Holy Prophet (saw) and his student Imam Ali (a.s.) has all these knowledge, only by the permission of Almighty Allah.

And  if Allah wanted he can take what he has bestowed.

 

When Allah sends a Prophet then He does not send a Prophet who is less in knowledge and wisdom in anything than the ones the Prophet has been sent to lead and guide. Allah does not play games of giving knowledge and taking it back...it is knowledge, not some sort of trophy my friend.

Prophets are nor some sort of puppets whose strings are controlled by God...Allah puts knowledge and wisdom in their personalities....All the Prophets by birth possess knowledge and wisdom...Prophets are not like us who learn after coming into this world by some teachers and educational institutes.

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Salam

 

I think that I`ve not explained my word completely.

I do accept that prophets have the knowledge that is bestowed upon them by Almighty Allah, and I do accept that the prophet chosen by Allah is the most knowledgeable person of his time. But: I want to say this knowledge and virtue comes from Allah, and whenever He wants He is able to take all or some parts of this knowledge back from His prophet.

 

And (as you mentioned) since Allah is not a person who wants to play with His servants -yet with His prophets- and all of His deeds are routed in His infinite knowledge and wisdom, so for sure He will not take the knowledge He had bestowed upon someone without a proper reason (of course we may not know that reason). He will not take what He has bestowed upon His creatures unless He has a reason out of His wisdom.

 

On the other hand: although Rasoolullah is a unique person, but his majesty simultaneously is a human being (as it is indicated in many verses in Quran e.g: Al-Kahf, 110 . and Fussilat,6. etc). So he is continuously in need of the help of Almighty Allah, as other persons of human being are.

It is mentioned in the Quran that the holy prophet says: "Say: For myself I have no power to benefit, nor power to hurt, save that which Allah willeth. Had I knowledge of the Unseen, I should have abundance of wealth, and adversity would not touch me. I am but a warner, and a bearer of good tidings unto folk who believe". (َAl-A`araf(7) verse: 188). This verse clearly refers to this point that the Holy prophet has no independence in front of Allah (as we also do not have any independence in front of God).

 

So the holy prophet(saw) has the unseen knowledge with the permission of Allah. And if Allah wants (and for sure this decision has a reason, even-though we are not aware of it) he can take it back, or postpone the giving of knowledge of sth to His prophet, and there will be no problem.

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Salam

 

I think that I`ve not explained my word completely.

I do accept that prophets have the knowledge that is bestowed upon them by Almighty Allah, and I do accept that the prophet chosen by Allah is the most knowledgeable person of his time. But: I want to say this knowledge and virtue comes from Allah, and whenever He wants He is able to take all or some parts of this knowledge back from His prophet.

 

And (as you mentioned) since Allah is not a person who wants to play with His servants -yet with His prophets- and all of His deeds are routed in His infinite knowledge and wisdom, so for sure He will not take the knowledge He had bestowed upon someone without a proper reason (of course we may not know that reason). He will not take what He has bestowed upon His creatures unless He has a reason out of His wisdom.

 

On the other hand: although Rasoolullah is a unique person, but his majesty simultaneously is a human being (as it is indicated in many verses in Quran e.g: Al-Kahf, 110 . and Fussilat,6. etc). So he is continuously in need of the help of Almighty Allah, as other persons of human being are.

It is mentioned in the Quran that the holy prophet says: "Say: For myself I have no power to benefit, nor power to hurt, save that which Allah willeth. Had I knowledge of the Unseen, I should have abundance of wealth, and adversity would not touch me. I am but a warner, and a bearer of good tidings unto folk who believe". (َAl-A`araf(7) verse: 188). This verse clearly refers to this point that the Holy prophet has no independence in front of Allah (as we also do not have any independence in front of God).

 

So the holy prophet(saw) has the unseen knowledge with the permission of Allah. And if Allah wants (and for sure this decision has a reason, even-though we are not aware of it) he can take it back, or postpone the giving of knowledge of sth to His prophet, and there will be no problem.

 

I agree with everything that you say but It doesn't give any answer to the question I posted.

 

Allah says in Quran:

 

 

"By the star when it descends,Your companion [Muhammad] has not strayed, nor has he erred,Nor does he speak from [his own] inclination.It is not but a revelation revealed,Taught to him by one intense in strength -One of soundness....."

(Surah An Najm Ayat: 1-6)

 

These verses are a proof that our Prophet (P.B.U.H) didn't use to speak out of His own self, Everything that our Prophet (P.B.U.H) said even other than the verses of the Quran was from Allah's will.

 

Now in the tradition that I have mentioned above it says:

 

Then they came to the Messenger of Allah and said, `O Muhammad, tell us,' and they asked him about the things they had been told to ask. The Messenger of Allah said "I will tell you tomorrow about what you have asked me." but he did not say `If Allah wills.' So they went away, and the Messenger of Allah stayed for fifteen days without any revelation from Allah concerning that, and Jibril, peace be upon him, did not come to him either.

 

 

Now when Our Prophet (P.B.U.H) says that He will give the answer tomorrow then remember it is not that He is speaking out of his own accord...it is backed by Allah's will...So how come He is not able to answer in 15 days?...that has been my question since the beginning.

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We do believe that all the prophets chosen by Almighty Allah were infallible. So what do you say about the action of prophet Jonah, when he left his tribe and went toward the sea. Quran says:

وَإِنَّ يُونُسَ لَمِنَ الْمُرْ‌سَلِينَ ﴿١٣٩ إِذْ أَبَقَ إِلَى الْفُلْكِ الْمَشْحُونِ ﴿١٤٠ فَسَاهَمَ فَكَانَ مِنَ الْمُدْحَضِينَ ﴿١٤١ فَالْتَقَمَهُ الْحُوتُ وَهُوَ مُلِيمٌ ﴿١٤٢ فَلَوْلَا أَنَّهُ كَانَ مِنَ الْمُسَبِّحِينَ ﴿١٤٣ لَلَبِثَ فِي بَطْنِهِ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ

 

And also about prophet Adam: فَدَلَّاهُمَا بِغُرُ‌ورٍ‌ ۚ فَلَمَّا ذَاقَا الشَّجَرَ‌ةَ بَدَتْ لَهُمَا سَوْآتُهُمَا وَطَفِقَا يَخْصِفَانِ عَلَيْهِمَا مِن وَرَ‌قِ الْجَنَّةِ ۖ وَنَادَاهُمَا رَ‌بُّهُمَا أَلَمْ أَنْهَكُمَا عَن تِلْكُمَا الشَّجَرَ‌ةِ وَأَقُل لَّكُمَا إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ لَكُمَا عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ ﴿٢٢

 

These deeds done by these prophets, and they were punished by Almighty Allah. We believe that they did not commit a sin, but Tark-Awla (to leave doing what was better to do). The case of the Holy prophet Muhammad (saw) is also the same. He did a Tark-Awla (to leave doing what was better to do) due to his free will, and Allah postponed the answer for some days to inform His prophet about that Tark-Awla (to leave doing what was better to do).

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I don't believe the Prophet commited tarkal awla. I believe he always acts according to the most praiseworthy possible thing from his state of knowledge.

 

I agree 1000%

Our Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) can't even commit a tark-e-awla. He is way above that. 

 

 

We do believe that all the prophets chosen by Almighty Allah were infallible. So what do you say about the action of prophet Jonah, when he left his tribe and went toward the sea. Quran says:

وَإِنَّ يُونُسَ لَمِنَ الْمُرْ‌سَلِينَ ﴿١٣٩ إِذْ أَبَقَ إِلَى الْفُلْكِ الْمَشْحُونِ ﴿١٤٠ فَسَاهَمَ فَكَانَ مِنَ الْمُدْحَضِينَ ﴿١٤١ فَالْتَقَمَهُ الْحُوتُ وَهُوَ مُلِيمٌ ﴿١٤٢ فَلَوْلَا أَنَّهُ كَانَ مِنَ الْمُسَبِّحِينَ ﴿١٤٣ لَلَبِثَ فِي بَطْنِهِ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ

 

And also about prophet Adam: فَدَلَّاهُمَا بِغُرُ‌ورٍ‌ ۚ فَلَمَّا ذَاقَا الشَّجَرَ‌ةَ بَدَتْ لَهُمَا سَوْآتُهُمَا وَطَفِقَا يَخْصِفَانِ عَلَيْهِمَا مِن وَرَ‌قِ الْجَنَّةِ ۖ وَنَادَاهُمَا رَ‌بُّهُمَا أَلَمْ أَنْهَكُمَا عَن تِلْكُمَا الشَّجَرَ‌ةِ وَأَقُل لَّكُمَا إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ لَكُمَا عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ ﴿٢٢

 

These deeds done by these prophets, and they were punished by Almighty Allah. We believe that they did not commit a sin, but Tark-Awla (to leave doing what was better to do). The case of the Holy prophet Muhammad (saw) is also the same. He did a Tark-Awla (to leave doing what was better to do) due to his free will, and Allah postponed the answer for some days to inform His prophet about that Tark-Awla (to leave doing what was better to do).

 

Allah did not say for any other Prophet that whenever the Prophet speaks, He is not speaking from His own accord but it is Allah who is communicating.

It is only for our Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) that every single word that comes out of His mouth whether it is a part of Quran or not is approved by Allah.

 

I am investigating on the tradition that I have mentioned in my first post. I believe it to be incomplete or I think that there has been some problem in translation. I posted this tradition expecting that someone would point out problem in this tradition and enlighten me with the correct tradition. I have no question on the knowledge of  Prophet (P.B.U.H) neither do I have any doubts that our Prophet cannot err. I just wanted to discuss the authenticity of this tradition or its correct form.

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Now I have one and only one question:

 

How is it possible that the Prophet(PBUH) who was created before all of creation...... who had the most knowledge and wisdom in all of creation.....Who was of those who didn't even need to hear a question and could read what was going on in someone's mind......Whose student Imam Ali(as) told about the whole creation of Prophet Adam(as) as if He had seen all of it with His very own eyes......How could the Grand Prophet(pbuh) not answer the questions straight away???????

 

And we are talking about questions the answers of which were known by the Jew scholars.....How is it possible that a trivial Jew scholar knows something that the Prophet of the whole universe didn't know?????

 

 

I wanted to answer your question!

 

Anyway: This Hadith is quoted in Al-mizan and Majma-al-bayan and Tafsir Al-Qommi, etc. and -as I searched- no one has said that there is a problem with this Hadith. Unfortunately I don`t have the link to English translation.

 

Bye.

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W Salam

These situations can be signs for the rest of us to realize that divine Prophets are dependent on divine support, and there's something more than human geniusness and less than Godness in their mission.

There are two extreme and deviating attitudes about the Divine Prophets, some believe they were gods (like Christians) and some believe they were only genius human beings (atheists)

But the correct understanding is that they were the most obedient to Gad, thus were given revelation and high position, they were great because they were the best servants of God, may his name be exalted.

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Thus the commentaries establish the fact that since the Prophet(pbuh) did not say Inshallah, God made him wait a lot of days before finally providing Him with the answers to the Jew's questions.

 

Speaking from the back of the class here, but if you use the word 'permission' there, would that not address the issue?

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