As Salam Alaikum,
I was listening to parts of Sunday’s lecture and you said that going to a fortune teller is shirk because only Allah has knowledge of the future. I do agree with you that it is shirk because it is putting your trust in someone other than Allah. However, I had heard a lecture about how the evil Jinns listen in on the angels speaking and that they are pelted which is why we have comets and they take these messages to the fortune teller’s who add there lies to a little bit of truth. Is it okay to say that they have just a little bit of knowledge of the future because Allah allowed them to have it to test who would listen to Him and not go by those people? Also, is it okay to say that Rasulullah s.a.w was given some knowledge of the future which we can find in Hadiths but complete knowledge will forever remain with Allah especially about things like when the world would end. We know the signs but the exact knowledge remains with Allah. Also, there is the topic of dreams such as those which Yusuf a.s interpreted, yes I believe all knowledge belongs to Allah but is it okay to say that He has given that knowledge to some of His slaves?
Wa Alaikum as Salaam,
When we speak about the knowledge that Allah Alone possesses, it is refered to ‘Knowledge of the unseen’. This knowledge is exclusive for Allah and no one has it, not even a prophet or an angel. Knowledge of the unseen refers to things which are not visible and cannot be known to anyone on his own. This is known as ’ilmul Ghaib’ and Allah is known as ‘Alimul Ghaib’, the knower of the unseen. If Allah communicates a part of this knowledge to anyone, whether it is about the future, present or past, then for the person, it is not known as knowledge of the unseen. Instead, it will be referred to as Wahi (a revelation) or an inspiration from Allah. For example, the Prophet (SAS) was informed by Allah about future occurrences, signs of the hour and matters of the hereafter. These are all matters of the future occurrences, signs of the hour and matters of the hereafter. These are all matters of the future, but these were told to the Prophet (SAS), and he was not able to achieve this on his own. Hence, it will not be said that the Prophet (SAS) has knowledge of the unseen (ilmul ghaib), but it will be said that the Prophet (SAS) was informed by Allah regarding future occurrences based on revelation or inspiration. Knowledge of the unseen is that knowledge which a person has ‘inheretently’ and naturally. When information of this nature is communicated to another one via a media, then it is not referred to as ‘knowledge of the unseen’ (as mentioned by the great scholars).
With respect to the evil jinns, they try to ‘steal a hearing’ by going up to the lowest heavens, but the angels throw balls of fire at them. Because of this, they are not able to hear anything completely. They only hear bits and pieces, and then put their own words and statements with it (which are fabrications). So, it will not be correct to say that they have knowledge of the future. It was not given to them, neither did they hear anything properly.
Dreams coming to prophets were a form of revelation and true information from Allah. Hence, although they may be about matters of the future, they are not referred to as ‘knowledge of the unseen’. Regarding the knowledge of the unseen, the Quran has categorically stated that this belongs to Allah Alone. Some of these verse are:-
Surah Naml verse 65
Say, “No one in the heavens or on earth knows the future except Allah; and they do not perceive when they will be resurrected.”
Surah An’am verse 59
And with Him are the keys of the Ghaib (all that is hidden), none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in the land and in the sea; not a leaf falls, but he knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record.
Surah Yunus verse 20
And they say: “How is it that not a sign is sent down on him from his Lord?” Say: “The Unseen belongs to Allah Alone, so wait you, verily; I am with you among those who wait (for Allah’s Judgement).”
Even the Prophet (SAS) was ordered by Allah to tell the people:-
Surah A’raf verse 188
Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): “I possess no power over benefit or harm to myself except as Allah wills. If I had the knowledge of the Ghaib (Unseen), I should have secured for myself an abundance of wealth, and no evil should have touched me. I am but a warner, and a bringer of glad tidings unto people who believe.”
This shows that the Prophet (SAS) himself did not claim that he had the knowledge of the unseen.
And Allah knows best,
Mufti Waseem Khan