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The word Nabi means ‘a person with information’ and comes from the root word Naba which means ‘information’. So if a Nabi is a person with information, what type of news or information does he give? Newspapers, radio, television, fax etc. all give news and information but they are not regarded as Nabi’s. If one says that a Nabi is he who informs of Haraam and Halaal and the laws of Shariah then every Aalim of Deen would qualify as a Nabi. However, it seems that the information and news of a Nabi is very special and indeed extraordinary. It can therefore be concluded that the news of this world supplied to its inhabitants is conveyed via radio, television, newspaper etc. Information researched and supplied from books is conveyed via an Aalim or scholar. But one who supplies the inhabitants of the earth with information of the heavens and the unseen world is called a Nabi.
A Nabi therefore supplies information and news of a Kingdom where no apparatus or instrument can reach or detect. Those unfortunate people who reject that a Nabi possesses Ilme-Ghayb (Knowledge of the Unseen) are in actual fact rejecting his rank of Nubuwwah (Prophethood). If someone says that a Nabi only possesses knowledge of the Shariah and that is all he was sent to inform the people about, then such fools cannot differentiate between a Nabi and an Aalim of Deen.
The knowledge of a Nabi is exceptionally vast because of his constant contact with his Creator. Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has said, “My eyes sleep but my heart never sleeps.” [Sahih Bukhari] This tells us that every moment of a Nabi’s life is in constant contact with his Sublime Creator. A Nabi is unlike ordinary human beings. For us sleep is half death but for a Nabi his sleep is the Wahi of Allah Ta’ala. When a Nabi sleeps he does not become unconscious but is fully conscious of Allah Ta’ala. His sleep cuts himself off from mankind and connects him with undivided concentration to his Creator. So the correct Islamic understanding of a Nabi is that chosen servant of Allah Ta’ala who is always conscious and Divinely informed of every creation in the universe. He is sent to mankind with guidance and acts as a Wasila between the Creator and the creation. He also has knowledge of Allah Ta’ala and all His creations in the skies and the earth. Hereunder a few Ahadith are presented to illustrate the Knowledge of the Unseen of our Beloved Aaqa Muhammad Mustafa (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).
One day Sayyiduna Jaabir (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was sitting very sadly in the company of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), who then asked, “Why are you so sad?” Sayyiduna Jaabir (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) replied, “Why should I not be sad when my father became Shaheed in the Battle of Uhud and left me with the burden of young sisters and debts.” Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied, “Should I inform you of something that would change your sadness to happiness?” He replied, “Certainly, O Prophet of Allah.” The Beloved Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) then said, “To this day, Almighty Allah has not spoken to anyone directly without a veil in between. Your father is the first deceased that spoke to Allah Ta’ala face to face. Allah Ta’ala said to your father, “Make a desire.” Your father replied, “O Gracious Lord, You have given me in abundance. What is left for me to desire?” Allah Ta’ala said, “You have to make a desire.” He replied, “Oh Allah, if it is your command then I desire to be sent back to the world in the same burning sand of the battlefield and be killed again in Your path. I desire to bath in blood and once more experience the happiness of sacrificing my head in your path. I have never enjoyed such pleasure in anything else.” Allah Ta’ala then said, “It is contrary to My Divine Rule to first test anyone and call him in My Presence, and thereafter to test him again.”” [Tahzeemal Kamaal, Vol. 8]
On another occasion a Muslim was stoned to death as punishment for his sin. Someone made a bad remark after his death. Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) heard this comment and stated, “You are speaking ill of him while he is happily bathing in the rivers of Jannah!”
It is reported in Mishkaat Shareef that one night Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was with Hazrat Aisha Siddiqah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anha). The night was calm and the stars lit up the sky. Hazrat Aisha Siddiqah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anha) inquired from the Habeeb (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), “Ya Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), is there any fortunate person whose good deeds are equivalent to the number of stars in the sky?”
Imagine how intricate this question is because there are seven skies and all of them have their own stars. Some are visible to the naked eye while others are so tiny that it is impossible to be seen even with the most powerful telescope. There are some stars that are constantly hidden due to the brightness of the sun. The calculation of the number of stars is impossible and no human being with the most advanced technology can even vaguely calculate it. This is one factor.
The other impossible factor is to know the exact amount of good deeds of all the believers on this earth. The good deeds of the believers will differ till Qiyaamah and may be performed in public, in private, in the heart, in caves etc. It is obvious that only that person can answer such a question, who, firstly knows and recognizes every single believer in the world until Qiyaamah, and secondly fully understands the extent of his or her every single deed be it exposed or hidden.
From this question we understand that Ummul Mo’mineen Hazrat Aisha Siddiqah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anha) believed that Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) possessed Ilme-Ghayb, otherwise she would not have asked such an intricate question which is humanly impossible to answer. A’la Hazrat Imam Ahmad Raza Khan (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), referring to Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), writes in one of his Naaths about the Aqeedah of Sayyidah Aisha Siddiqah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anha):
Sare Arsh Par He Theri Guzar Dile Farsh Par He Theri Nazar
Malakooth-o-Mulke Me Koyi Shai Nahi Wo Jo Thuj Pe ‘Aya Nahi
Your travel is on the horizons of the Arsh, your vision is in the heart of the earth
There is no atom in the universe that is hidden from you
Now let us look at the reply of our most unique and beloved Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). He did not say, “How do you expect me to know the number of stars in the sky”, or “I am just like you and do not possess such knowledge” or “Let me wait for Hazrat Jibra’eel (Alaihis Salaam), I will ask him when he comes”. He did not even ask for time to ponder over the question, but rather instantly replied, “Yes, there is one person whose good deeds are equivalent to the number of stars in the skies and that is Umar.” His beloved wife then asked, “And then what is the situation of the deeds of my father Abu Bakr?” Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) then replied, “His one good deed of service to me on the night of Hijra is more excellent than all the virtues of Umar.” Subhaanallah! Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) even knew whose deeds equalled the number of stars in the sky and whose deeds exceeded it. This is an example of the extent of the amazing knowledge of unseen of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).
It is reported by Hazrat Anas ibn Maalik (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) that one day before the Battle of Badr Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) in the battlefield placed his sacred hand on various places on the ground and said, “This will be the spot so and so Kaafir will die, this is the spot so and so Kaafir will die.” The narrator of this Hadith was present in this battle and says that after the battle not a single Kaafir mentioned by name moved even an inch away from the spot Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) marked on the ground, that is, every single one was found lying dead on the exact spot demarcated. [Sahih Muslim, Musnad Imam Ahmad]
It is narrated by Hazrat Abdullah ibn Abbas (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) that the glorious Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) passed by two graves where punishment was being given and said, “These two persons are being punished and the cause of their punishment is not the result of a very major reason. One of them did not protect himself from the splashes of urine and the other used to engage in backbiting.” [Sahih Bukhari]
From the above Hadith it is clear that no sand can become a barrier in front of the vision of the exalted Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Although two persons are below tons of sand, he can see the punishment from above the ground. Also, the Habeeb (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is fully aware of every action of everyone. One person did not protect himself from the splashes of urine and the other used to backbite. Both these acts were not done in the presence of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) but he was fully aware of them. This is the unique status of the knowledge of our august Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).
It is narrated that Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) once ascended onto the Mimbar and spoke about Qiyaamah. He said, “Before Qiyaamah many big events will take place.” He then said, “Anyone of you may ask me about anything you desire. I swear by Allah that as long as I am on this Mimbar, I will answer any questions you ask me.” One person stood up and asked, “Where would my final abode be?” Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied, “In the fire of hell.” Then Hazrat Abdullah ibn Huzafa (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) stood up and asked, “Who is my father?” The Beloved Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied, “Your father is Huzafa.” Then he repeatedly said, “Ask me, ask me.” [Sahih Bukhari, Tafseer Khaazin]
The Munafiqeen say that no one besides Allah Ta’ala knows the destiny of a person. How is it that His Habeeb (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) knows who is going to Jannah or Jahannam, or the spot in which someone is going to die? Salutations upon the Beloved Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), who sees everything in this Dunya as well as in the Aakhirah (Hereafter).
[Compiled from The True Concept of Imaan by Hazrat Allama Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khan Qadri Naeemi Rahmatullah Alaih]
May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq to accept the Ilme-Ghayb of our Beloved Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and the Hidaayah to stay away from the enemies who disrespect His Noble Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), Ameen.