Allah Almighty states in the Holy Quran:

اِنَّ رَبَّکَ لَبِالْمِرْصَادِ ﴿ؕ۱۴﴾

Indeed nothing is hidden from the sight of your Lord

(Al-Fajr 89, Verse 14)


{إِنَّ رَبّك لَبِالْمِرْصَادِ} يَرْصُد أَعْمَال الْعِبَاد فَلَا يَفُوتهُ مِنْهَا شَيْء لِيُجَازِيَهُمْ عَلَيْهَا

Assuredly your Lord is ever on the watch, watching over the deeds of servants, nothing of which escapes Him, that He may then requite them for these [deeds].

(Tafseer Jalalain)

فَرَوَى الضَّحَّاكُ عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ قَالَ:

 إِنَّ عَلَى جَهَنَّمَ سَبْعَ قَنَاطِرَ

يُسْأَلُ الْإِنْسَانُ عِنْدَ أَوَّلِ قَنْطَرَةٍ عَنِ الْإِيمَانِ، فَإِنْ جَاءَ بِهِ تَامًّا جَازَ إِلَى الْقَنْطَرَةِ الثَّانِيَة

 ثُمَّ يُسْأَلُ عَنِ الصَّلَاةِ، فَإِنْ جَاءَ بِهَا جَازَ إِلَى الثَّالِثَةِ

 ثُمَّ يُسْأَلُ عَنِ الزَّكَاةِ، فَإِنْ جَاءَ بِهَا جَازَ إِلَى الرَّابِعَةِ

 ثُمَّ يُسْأَلُ عَنْ صِيَامِ شَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ، فَإِنْ جَاءَ بِهِ جَازَ إِلَى الْخَامِسَةِ

 ثُمَّ يُسْأَلُ عَنِ الْحَجِّ وَالْعُمْرَةِ، فَإِنْ جَاءَ بِهِمَا جَازَ إِلَى السَّادِسَةِ

 ثُمَّ يُسْأَلُ عَنْ صِلَةِ الرَّحِمِ، فَإِنْ جَاءَ بِهَا جَازَ إِلَى السَّابِعَةِ

ثُمَّ يُسْأَلُ عَنِ الْمَظَالِمِ، وَيُنَادِي مُنَادٍ: أَلَا مَنْ كَانَتْ لَهُ مَظْلِمَةٌ فَلْيَأْتِ، فَيُقْتَصُّ لِلنَّاسِ مِنْهُ، يُقْتَصُّ لَهُ مِنَ النَّاسِ

Sayyiduna Dhahhak narrated from Sayyiduna Ibn ‘Abbas – may Allah be pleased with them – to have said:  There are seven bridges on the road that stretches over hell (Pulsirat):

The human being will be asked the question regarding faith on the first bridge.  If one succeeds through it then he will advance to the second bridge.

Then he will be questioned about Salah, and if he succeeds through it, he will be given clear passage to the third stage.

He then will be questioned regarding Zakah, and if he succeeds through it, he will be granted passage to the fourth stage.

He will then be questioned regarding the fasts of the month of Ramadan.  If he succeeds through it, he will go to the fifth bridge.

Then he will be questioned regarding Hajj and ‘Umrah.  If he succeeds in it, he will be given clear passage to the sixth bridge.

He will then be questioned about keeping family ties.  If he succeeds through it, he will be sent to the seventh bridge.

He will then be asked about the wrongdoings.   A caller will call, “Is there anyone who has any rights over this person then he will be compensated for it.

(Tafseer al-Qurtubi)


عَنْ عُمَرَ بْنِ الْخَطَّابِ – رَضِیَ اللّٰہُ عَنْہُ  –  قَالَ: بَيْنَمَا نَحْنُ عِنْدَ رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ذَاتَ يَوْمٍ، إِذْ طَلَعَ عَلَيْنَا رَجُلٌ شَدِيدُ بَيَاضِ الثِّيَابِ، شَدِيدُ سَوَادِ الشَّعَرِ، لَا يُرَى عَلَيْهِ أَثَرُ السَّفَرِ، وَلَا يَعْرِفُهُ مِنَّا أَحَدٌ، حَتَّى جَلَسَ إِلَى النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، فَأَسْنَدَ رُكْبَتَيْهِ إِلَى رُكْبَتَيْهِ، وَوَضَعَ كَفَّيْهِ عَلَى فَخِذَيْهِ، وَقَالَ: يَا مُحَمَّدُ أَخْبِرْنِي عَنِ الْإِسْلَامِ، فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «الْإِسْلَامُ أَنْ تَشْهَدَ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، وَتُقِيمَ الصَّلَاةَ، وَتُؤْتِيَ الزَّكَاةَ، وَتَصُومَ رَمَضَانَ، وَتَحُجَّ الْبَيْتَ إِنِ اسْتَطَعْتَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا»، قَالَ: صَدَقْتَ، قَالَ: فَعَجِبْنَا لَهُ يَسْأَلُهُ، وَيُصَدِّقُهُ، قَالَ: فَأَخْبِرْنِي عَنِ الْإِيمَانِ، قَالَ: «أَنْ تُؤْمِنَ بِاللهِ، وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ، وَكُتُبِهِ، وَرُسُلِهِ، وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ، وَتُؤْمِنَ بِالْقَدَرِ خَيْرِهِ وَشَرِّهِ»، قَالَ: صَدَقْتَ، قَالَ: فَأَخْبِرْنِي عَنِ الْإِحْسَانِ، قَالَ: «أَنْ تَعْبُدَ اللهَ كَأَنَّكَ تَرَاهُ، فَإِنْ لَمْ تَكُنْ تَرَاهُ فَإِنَّهُ يَرَاكَ»، قَالَ: فَأَخْبِرْنِي عَنِ السَّاعَةِ، قَالَ: «مَا الْمَسْئُولُ عَنْهَا بِأَعْلَمَ مِنَ السَّائِلِ» قَالَ: فَأَخْبِرْنِي عَنْ أَمَارَتِهَا، قَالَ: «أَنْ تَلِدَ الْأَمَةُ رَبَّتَهَا، وَأَنْ تَرَى الْحُفَاةَ الْعُرَاةَ الْعَالَةَ رِعَاءَ الشَّاءِ يَتَطَاوَلُونَ فِي الْبُنْيَانِ»، قَالَ: ثُمَّ انْطَلَقَ فَلَبِثْتُ مَلِيًّا، ثُمَّ قَالَ لِي: «يَا عُمَرُ أَتَدْرِي مَنِ السَّائِلُ» قُلْتُ: اللهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَعْلَمُ، قَالَ: «فَإِنَّهُ جِبْرِيلُ أَتَاكُمْ يُعَلِّمُكُمْ دِينَكُمْ»

رَوَاہُ مُسْلِمٌ

Sayyiduna Umar ibn al-Khattab – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates that, once we were in the blessed company of the Holy Prophet – (may Allah send peace and blessings upon him) – when a person appeared, whose clothes were extremely white and his hair was extremely black.  From his condition, there were no signs of a journey.  He was also a stranger to every one of us.  He then sat in front of the Holy Prophet – (may Allah send peace and blessings upon him) – and his knees also touched the knees of the Holy Prophet – (may Allah send peace and blessings upon him).  He also placed his palms on his thighs. (like how a student sits in front of his teacher with utmost respect)

He then asked, “O Mohammed! Tell me about Islam”. The Holy Prophet – (may Allah send peace and blessings upon him) – replied, ‘(Islam is) that you should bear witness on the Oneness of Allah and the Messenger-ship of His Messenger – (may Allah send peace and blessings upon him), read salah, give Zakah, keep fast in Ramadan, and if you have the means, then perform hajj’.  The stranger replied, ‘You have spoken the truth.’ Hadrat Umar then revealed that they were surprised that this person asks the questions and after it, he also testifies to it. The person then asked the Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – about Imaan.  The Holy Prophet – (may Allah send peace and blessings upon him) – replied, ‘(That you should believe) in the Angels of Allah Almighty, in His Divine books, in His Prophets, on the day of Judgement, and that all good and bad is associated with the Divine Decree of the Almighty’. The person replied, ‘You have spoken the truth.’ 

The person then asked about (the status of) Ihsaan.  The Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – replied, “You should pray to the Almighty in such a state as if you are looking at the Almighty, and if you cannot find yourself in this state, then without doubt, the Almighty is watching you. ‘ He then asked to be informed about the day of Judgement.  He (The Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him) declared, in this regard, the one being questioned does not know more than the one who is questioning. ‘ This person again asked, then inform me about its signs.’ The Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – replied, when the master of a female slave will be given birth by her and when you see the (once) naked and bare feet shepherd build large mansions (or buildings).’ Hadrat Umar narrates that this person then departed, and that he sat awhile (at that spot).  The Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – then said, “O Umar! do you know who this person was?’ I replied that Allah Almighty and His Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – knew better.  The Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – replied, “This was Jibraeel (peace be upon him) who came to teach you your religion.”

(Sahih Muslim)


Imaan (faith) literally means “to provide peace”.   In Shariah terminology, Imaan is the name of the Islamic beliefs by accepting which, one gains protection from Allah’s punishment.   It includes all the articles of faith that our beloved Prophet (peace be upon Him) brought from Allah.   Since, Imaan merely means “to believe and affirm”, thus, to measure the Imaan is impossible, though the increase and decrease in its state is possible.  Since, it’s the root of all the prayers, therefore it ranks first to be mentioned.

It was Hazrat Jibra’eel (Gabriel, peace be upon Him) who appeared in human-form, as he went to Hazrat Maryam (Mary, may Allah be pleased with Her) in the appearance of a man.   Angels are made of light and can form different shapes while Jinns are made of fire and can take many different forms, but their soul remains the same; therefore, it is not “shifting of the soul”.

He was not a traveler; otherwise his hair and clothes would have been dusty.  Beware, that Hazrat Jibra’eel’s (Gabriel, peace be upon Him) black hair and white garb were compatible with a humanly figure, otherwise, He is Noor, regardless of His black hair and white clothes.   The angels, Haroot and Maroot, used to eat and drink while in humanly form, they could even exercise intimacy.  The stick of Hazrat Moosa (Moses, peace be upon Him) had swallowed everything while in the shape of a snake, in the same manner, eating, drinking, marriage, etc. of our Master (peace be upon Him), the humanly image of the embodiment of light, were the effects of humanly code of conduct.  His luminous effects were unfolded when he spent a lengthy time without eating or drinking.   It’s the outcome of His luminous embodiment that Hazrat ‘Isa (Jesus, peace be upon Him) is still residing in the sky for hundreds of years without food or water.

He was not a citizen of the Madinah Munawwarah otherwise we would have recognized him, but the Holy Prophet (peace be upon Him) recognized him very well, as it is apparent from the previous context.

He sat very close to the Holy Prophet (peace be upon Him); it seemed as if He already had recognized Hazrat Jibra’eel (peace be upon Him), or else, he would have inquired as to whom he was and why was he sitting so close to him in such a way.

Visitors of the Holy Prophet’s (peace be upon Him) grave, nowadays stand and recite the salutations in the same manner as the one who performs Salah reads Al-Tahiyyaat sitting in Salah.  It’s the root of observing respect, for this is Hadeeth.  Hazrat Jibra’eel (peace be upon Him) has taught and proved to the Muslims of all generations the respect, that sitting or standing in respect of the holy court of the Prophet (peace be upon Him) is not forbidden, but yes, the Rukoo’ and Sajdah are forbidden.

Sometimes Islam means Imaan and seldom it is meant Islamic practices, and the name of its inner beliefs is Imaan (faith) here, it is used in the sense of apparently testifying (giving Shahaadah) and Islamic practices.  Behold, that it is now forbidden to call the Holy Prophet (peace be upon Him) by just saying “O Muhammad!”  Allah Almighty states:

لَا تَجْعَلُوۡا دُعَآءَ الرَّسُوۡلِ بَیۡنَکُمْ کَدُعَآءِ بَعْضِکُمۡ بَعْضًا ؕ قَدْ یَعْلَمُ اللہُ الَّذِیۡنَ یَتَسَلَّلُوۡنَ مِنۡکُمْ لِوَاذًا ۚ فَلْیَحْذَرِ الَّذِیۡنَ یُخَالِفُوۡنَ عَنْ اَمْرِہٖۤ اَنۡ تُصِیۡبَہُمْ فِتْنَۃٌ اَوْ یُصِیۡبَہُمْ عَذَابٌ اَلِیۡمٌ

Make not the summoning of the Messenger among yourselves, like one who calls the other among you.  Undoubtedly, Allah knows those of you who slip away quietly taking shelter of any excuse; therefore let those who do against the command of the Messenger fear lest some trial befall them or a painful torment overtake them.

(Surah Noor 24, Verse 63)

This incident might have, most likely, occurred prior to the revelation of this verse or the angels are excluded from (following the command mentioned in) this verse.

(Mirqatul Mafateeh)

The meaning of Kalimah recitation includes all the knowledge of beliefs; like, it has been established that the recitation of Alhamdulillah (Surah Fatiha) is obligatory in Salah, it means the entire Surah Fatiha; thus making this Hadeeth a point of argument that it cannot be proven that all the so-called Islamic sects such as; Chakralwi, Mirzai etc. are Muslims, for they have gone astray from Islamic beliefs.

Though apparently this conversation was with Hazrat Jibra’eel but in fact, the Muslim humans are addressed by it, since the Salah, fasting, pilgrimage etc. are not compulsory upon the angels; as Allah Almighty states:

عَلَی النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَیۡتِ

The people are to perform Hajj (pilgrimage) to this House.

(Aale Imran 3, verse 97)

Because to ask is the sign of unawareness while to verify is the sign of awareness.  This points out that the Holy Prophet (peace be upon Him) had the knowledge of all the previous books, for Allah Almighty has declared:

مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا مَعَکُمۡ

“Confirming the book with you.”

(Nisaa 4, verse 47)

The objective of اَلۡاِیۡمَان is the Islamic definition of faith and the objective of اَنۡ تُؤۡمِنَ is the literal meaning of faith i.e. to believe, thus it’s not “defining something by its divisions (Ta’reefush Shai beqismihi)” nor “repeating itself (Daur)”.   It’s satisfactory to have abstract faith in all the angels, Prophets, books, yet it’s rather compulsory to have detailed faith in the Quran and the bearer of Quran (The Holy Prophet – peace be upon Him).

Everything that we do, be it good or evil, is already within Allah’s knowledge which has been in scripted, this is what is meant by “Allah’s will.”  Destiny is of two types, inevitable and pending.  Inevitable does not accept changes while the pending one can be changed by prayers and Du’as etc.  Iblees’ age lengthened by the virtue of his Du’as,

فَاِنَّکَ مِنَ الْمُنۡظَرِیۡنَ

You are among those who are given time.

(Al-Hajar 15, verse 37)

The life span of Hazrat Dawood (David, peace be upon Him) increased by up to 100 years from sixty, by the du’a of Hazrat Adam (peace be upon Him).

The objective of اِحۡسَان in Allah’s words:

لِلَّذِیۡنَ اَحْسَنُوا الْحُسْنٰی

For the good-doers there is good

(Yunus 10, verse 26)

is “sincerity in Islamic deeds”.

That if you look for Allah your heart would elevate with Allah’s fear and you would take control of your actions.  One should continue practicing the Islamic deeds with fear and whole-heartedly in this manner.

Your Lord is always watching you, but let this sink in your heart, especially when you are in Salah, then, Allah willing, it will reform your prayers and create humbleness within your heart which shall bring forth the pearls of tears in your eyes.  May Allah fulfil this wish of ours, Ameen!

On which day, which month and which year will it occur?  It appears that Hazrat Jibra’eel (peace be upon Him) believes that Allah Almighty has blessed the Holy Prophet (peace be upon Him) with the knowledge of Qiyamah (the last day) because the question is posed to the one who possesses the knowledge, not because Hazrat Jibra’eel had the intention of challenging or humiliating Him, but the main motive was that though He had the knowledge of Qiyamah, He did not want to show off.  One should bear in mind that the Holy Prophet (peace be upon Him) had clearly stated on different occasions the day, time and date; on Friday, 10th of Muharram (in regards to the occurrence of the Day of Qiyamah).

It’s not absence of knowledge, otherwise He would have said, “I don’t know,” but it’s rather the negation of excessive knowledge i.e. “I do not know more about it than you do,” meaning, “It’s the gathering of people, Jibra’eel, and the knowledge of Qiyamah is from amongst Allah’s secrets, then why do you urge me to unveil it?!”  The truth is that Allah Almighty granted Him the knowledge of Qiyamah also (Tafseer Saawi) which is why Hazrat Jibra’eel posed this question to Him.   Detailed research on this issue is in my book “Ja-al Haq” vol. 1.

Which means, that if letting out the news of Qiyamah goes against your wisdom then at least, give a clue.  This question unfolds that the Holy Prophet (peace be upon Him) did possess the knowledge of Qiyamah, because the signs (of something) are always asked from an expert.

Meaning, that the children will be disrespectful, and the son will treat the mother like one treats his slave, as if the mother gave birth to her master.  It also has some other explanations.

There will be a revolution that the poor will become rich and respected and the respected personalities will be disgraced, as it is seen today.  Hazrat Sikandar Zul Qarnain had passed the law that no one can leave their traditional occupation, so that the world-order remains in peace. (Ashe’ atul Lam’aat)

From this, we come to know that leaving one’s ancestral occupation and seeking a higher one is a sign of Qiyamah and a cause of destruction for the world-order.

It’s the manner of the companions of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon Him) to put Allah and His Messenger in charge of knowledge.  Two points emerge out of this; one, that adding the name of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon Him with Allah’s name) is not polytheism, it’s in fact Sunnah, of His beloved Companions.  There is no harm in making statements; such as, Allah and His Messenger know best, Allah and Rasool bless you, Allah and Rasool may succeed you etc.  Secondly, because He knew that the questioner was Hazrat Jibra’eel (peace be upon Him).

He came here so that he may ask me those questions in your presence so you may learn your religion.  It also points out that it’s compulsory upon Muslims to follow the Holy Prophet (peace be upon Him) and not Hazrat Jibra’eel (peace be upon Him).  Did you notice that Hazrat Jibra’eel himself did not proclaim among the people presented there, e.g. “O people, I am Jibra’eel.  You should learn certain things from me. A, B, C etc.”, but rather he made the Holy Prophet (peace be upon Him) authenticate it for them.  Jibra’eel means “Allah’s servant”; Jibr means servant and Eel means Allah in the Hebrew language.

Five things, that nobody besides Allah has its knowledge of, are:

1) Destiny (Taqdeer)?

2) When it will rain?

3) What is in the womb of a mother?

4) What one will one do tomorrow, and

5) Where will one die?

It indicates the last verse of Surah Luqman.  The verse and Hadeeth do not mean that the knowledge of the said five is not given to anyone at all.  The Angel who writes the destiny, and the Angel of death have been bestowed with such knowledge.  Our beloved Prophet (peace be upon Him) had already drawn the lines and maps of the death spots of disbelievers even before the battle began.  What the Hadeeth really means is that, nobody can guess or apprehend and calculate these five secrets, but only revelation can unveil them.

(Mir’aat al-Manajeeh Vol. 1 under Hadeeth No. 2)

Different stages of Ihsaan

Allamah Nawawi explains that there are two stages in Ihsaan.  If the person has reached such a lofty and elevated position that he finds himself in the Divine Court of the Almighty, then obviously, he will make certain that he is performing every minute detail of ibaadah in its proper fashion.  He will also make sure that internally and externally, everything is completed properly.  Hence, the purpose of this message is that a person should always have this thought in his mind that when he performs any ibaadah he is actually present in the Divine Court of the Almighty.

Hafiz ibn Hajr Asqalani has explained that the first stage of Ihsaan is that the heart of a Muslim should be so overwhelmed with Divine Awe that he should stand in such a manner as if he is gazing upon Allah Almighty.  And if he has not reached this stage of spiritual elevation, then he should always bear this thought in mind while performing ibaadah that the Almighty is watching him.

Mulla Ali Qari explains that the first stage of Ihsan indicates to the state of an Arif and the inner dimension of his spiritual self or heart.  In other words, a true Arif is that person who is overtaken by such a state, that it is as if he is watching Allah Almighty. The second state is that of an Abid who whenever he is performing ibaadah, he is also conscious of the fact that the Almighty is watching him.  We see that when an ordinary person is employed by someone, and has long as the employer of this person is watching him, he will make certain that he makes no mistake while on the job.

The true Abid also is like this person, always making sure that every detail of ibaadah is faultless.  The first part of Ihsan is certainly the state of those special servants of Allah who have already achieved this state.  The special quality of these servants of Allah Almighty is that when any bounty comes to them, they do not look at the bounty but the Being who has blessed them with this bounty. In like manner, when any test or illness comes to them, they are not concerned about the test or the illness which has come or the effects of this illness such as pain and hardship, but in all moments, they are watching the Almighty.  Those who are in this state are always immersed in watching the marifah of Allah Almighty.

This is one of the reasons that one day while people were reading salah in a masjid a snake fell from the ceiling and everyone broke their salah and ran except Imam Abu Hanifah.  As far as this great Imam was concerned, he was not even aware that a snake had appeared! (Tafseer Kabeer).

In like manner, Urwah bin Masud had a major wound in one part of his limb and it was recommended that it should be cut away.  However, while he was in salah, this part was cut off and he did not even notice the slightest bit of what had happened! (Tafseer Kabeer).

Once Imam Bukhari was reading salah and after salah, he picked up the upper portion of his kurtah and asked one of his students to see what was under it.  The student was shocked to see that there was a scorpion present and that it had bitten the great Imam nearly sixteen times and every part of this area which had been stung was greatly swollen.  The student asked as to why the great Imam did not break his salah on the first occasion when this scorpion had stung him.  The great Imam replied, “I was so immersed and spiritually overwhelmed by the verses of the Quran I was reading that I did not even notice I had been stung.

In brief, these giants of Islam became so over awed and amazed by the Divine Manifestation they were seeing that they noticed nothing around them.  Imagine if people are so amazed and transfixed at the beauty of a mere creation, such as Nabi Yusuf that these females in the royal court of Egypt actually cut their fingers instead of the lemon they had in their hands, what would be the state of those people who are actually looking at Divine Manifestation?

Allamah Mulla Ali Qari explains that there are three categories of an abid regarding their state of Imaan.  The first is that person who performs ibaadah because he is fearful of hell and is also earnestly in need of reward.  It is said that the state of his Imaan is Ilmul Yaqeen and his worship is considered as ibaadah.

The second type of individual is that person who performs obedience with genuine spiritual enthusiasm.  His Imaan is considered as Ainul Yaqeen and his state of ibaadah is considered as “Uboo diya”.  The third type of person is that person who worships the Almighty because he sincerely believes that he is the servant of Allah Almighty and the duty of a slave is to serve his Master.  The state of his obedience is called Haqqul Yaqeen and the state of his worship is called “Uboo datun”. The common Muslim like us, are those who are, considered to be in the third category, in other words, our state of obedience or Imaan is Ilmul Yaqeen.  We make sincere Dua that the Almighty blesses us with the state of the other two categories of Imaan.

Opinions of Ulama on the issue of the five special categories of Ilme Ghaib (knowledge of the unseen)

In this specific hadith shareef, the question of when the day of Judgement will occur was also asked, and the Holy Prophet Peace be upon him clearly mentioned that the one been asked knows as much as the one asking the question.  In other words, the one been asked does not know more than the one asking the question.

When will the day of Judgement appear, when will rain occur, what is inside the womb of a mother, what will a person do tomorrow and which person will die where tomorrow, this is that five special categories of unseen knowledge which is specific to the Divine Being of the Almighty.

The debate is on whether He has also blessed anyone else with this knowledge. There are some people who have mentioned in their state of ignorance that this knowledge has never been given to anyone and no creation is aware of any of these things.  While the majority of the Ulama have declared that this knowledge has also been given to the Prophets especially the Holy Prophet Peace be upon him.  We will present the statements of those Ulama who have clearly mentioned that these branches of the Unseen have certainly been given to the Holy Prophet Peace be upon him.

Allamah Badrudeen Aini writes that, “Allamah Qurtabi has stated that if “Any person who claims to know any of these five branches of knowledge without the Holy Prophet Peace be upon him being a source of this knowledge (of theirs), that person is a liar in his claim.”

Allamah ibn Hajr Asqalani, Allamah Ahmed Qastalani, Mullah Ali Qari, and Shaikh Uthmani in their own commentaries have also mentioned the statement of Allamah Qurtabi.

Allamah ibn Hajr Asqalani writes that, “Certain Ulama have given the opinion that in Surah Bani Israeel, there is no proof that the Almighty has not revealed the knowledge of the true essence of the soul to the Holy Prophet Peace be upon him.  In fact, there is a great possibility that he was informed about this.  However, he was also commanded not to reveal this to anyone.  The Ulama have also mentioned the same thing about the knowledge of the day of Judgement”.

Allamah Ahmed Qastalani has mentioned the following words, “The knowledge of the day of Judgement and those five branches of knowledge which are mentioned in Surah Luqman in the last verse, the Ulama have mentioned that the knowledge of these five things have been given to him and he was commanded to keep them secret.”

Allamah Jalaaludeen Suyutwi writes, “Certain Ulama have mentioned that the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) has been given the knowledge of these five branches.  He has also been given the knowledge of when the day of Judgement will occur and the knowledge of the soul and that he has also been commanded to keep this secret”.

Allamah Saawi Maliki writes, “The Ulama have declared that the truth is this, he did not pass away from this world until the Almighty had revealed the knowledge of these five things to him.  However, he was also commanded to keep them secret.”

Allama Alusi writes, “The Holy Prophet( Peace be upon him) did not pass away until that time when the Almighty had revealed to him the knowledge of all those things which it was possible to reveal.”

He again writes, “It is also permissible that the Almighty had revealed to the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) every aspect has well as when the day of Judgement will occur.  However, not in the sense that there would be similarity or confusion with this knowledge and the knowledge of the Almighty.  The Almighty has also; based on Divine Wisdom, made it necessary upon him, (the Holy Prophet Peace be upon him) not to reveal this. This is also among the special knowledge possessed by the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him).

Imam Razi writes, “The Almighty is Aalimul Ghaib.  He does not reveal this special knowledge, such as when the day of Judgement will occur, to anyone. However, He does reveal this to those whom He is pleased with and (obviously that can only be) His Prophet.”

Allamah Alawudeen Khazin has also recorded the same explanation.

Allamah Taftazaani writes, “The meaning of Ghaib or Unseen in this context does not mean unseen in a common context but it signifies unseen in a confined context or it can also signify unseen in a special context.  In other words, such things as the appearance of the day of Judgement and this is also understood from the subject of this verse.  And this is also not impossible, that the Almighty would reveal the actual time of Qiyamah to any of His Messengers whether they are Angels or human.

Shaikh Abdul Haq Muhaddith Dehlwi writes that, “There is no Quranic verse which proves that the Almighty had not given the Prophet (Peace be upon him) knowledge of the true essence of the soul.  In fact, it is permissible to admit that He did in fact give him this knowledge. (Perhaps) He also instructed him not to reveal this to people.  There are also certain Ulama who mention the same thing about the day of Judgement.  However, this servant admits and asks, how can any true believer negate that the Holy Prophet has knowledge of the soul?

He is indeed Sayyidul Mursaleen and Imaamul Aarifeen.  He is that person to whom the Almighty has revealed His Divine Being, His Divine Attributes and has blessed him with all past and present knowledge.  What is the knowledge of the soul compared to this (knowledge of his?).  As a matter of fact, the knowledge of the true essence of the soul compared to his knowledge, in reality, is nothing but a small droplet”.

Syed Abdul Aziz Dabbaagh who is considered as a Kaamil Aarif writes that, “How can these five branches of knowledge remain hidden from the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) when in reality, any person from his Ummah can never be a true and elevated saint, (Saahib-e-Tasarruf) until and unless he is not aware of these five (branches of knowledge)?”

The reason that these five branches of unseen knowledge have been strictly associated with the Almighty!

In Surah Luqman, verse 34, the Quran declares that:

اِنَّ اللہَ عِنۡدَہٗ عِلْمُ السَّاعَۃِ ۚ وَ یُنَزِّلُ الْغَیۡثَ ۚ وَ یَعْلَمُ مَا فِی الْاَرْحَامِ ؕ وَمَا تَدْرِیۡ نَفْسٌ مَّاذَا تَکْسِبُ غَدًا ؕ وَمَا تَدْرِیۡ نَفْسٌۢ بِاَیِّ اَرْضٍ تَمُوۡتُ ؕ اِنَّ اللہَ عَلِیۡمٌ خَبِیۡرٌ ﴿٪۳۴﴾

Undoubtedly, with Allah, is the knowledge of the Hour, and He sends down rain and knows what is in the wombs of the mothers and no soul knows what it will earn tomorrow and no soul knows in what land it will die.  Undoubtedly, Allah is the Knower, All Aware.

This verse clearly proves that the knowledge of these five things strictly belong to the Divine Knowledge of the Almighty.  The question which arises is that all Knowledge belongs to the Almighty, why specifically these five branches of knowledge?

There are two answers to this question.  The first is that the mushriks used to always question about these things and therefore, it has been clearly mentioned that this knowledge belongs to Allah Almighty.  The second answer is that these same mushriks also believed that these things could be revealed by their fortune tellers and astronomers and hence, in this verse, this has been clearly refuted and they are clearly informed that these branches of knowledge belongs to Allah Almighty specifically.

This is also something that people do not seem to understand. If something belongs to you, it means you have the right to give it to someone.  After all, it is your property and you are at liberty to give it to whomever you please.  Likewise, these five branches of knowledge belong to the Almighty and if He wishes to give this to His special servants, how can you object to this?  How can you even object as to what He does with His own Knowledge? As a matter of fact, even those who object belong to Him! It is therefore no surprise that when he places them in Hell for their erroneous beliefs, they will finally understand that He can do whatever He wishes with what belongs to Him.

People in those days also used to continuously question the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) about these five things.  There was a village person named Haarith bin Umar who once appeared in front of the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) and presented the following questions, “When will the day of Judgement occur?, Our land is now dry, I wish to plant seeds when will the rain come?, My wife is also pregnant, will it be a boy or girl?.  I am aware of what transpired yesterday, however, what will I do tomorrow?  I have knowledge of where I was born, where and when will I die etc.” It is at that moment that this verse in Surah Luqman was revealed.

The people in the days of ignorance also had the habit of visiting their astrologers and fortune tellers and they firmly believed that these people had knowledge of these things.  At the same time, we must understand that if someone visits a fortune teller, and even believes in this, he is indeed a Kaafir!  The Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) has stated that, “Whosoever goes to a fortune teller and believes in his word, then he has indeed committed Kufr in the religion which was revealed to Mohammed”.

As for those reports in which certain Prophets and even saints are able to reveal the unseen, this is because they have been inspired with either Divine revelation in the form of Wahi or Ilham which is Divinely inspired knowledge.  Hence, even though these five branches of knowledge belong to the Almighty, it does not mean that at times, the Prophets and saints have not revealed certain aspects of this knowledge of the unseen.

As we have already said, it belongs to Allah Almighty and He can bestow it upon whomsoever He wishes.  It does not belong to us; hence we have no right to claim ownership as to whom it should be revealed to.  In surah Jinn, verses 26, 27 the Quran declares that:

عٰلِمُ الْغَیۡبِ فَلَا یُظْہِرُ عَلٰی غَیۡبِہٖۤ اَحَدًا ﴿ۙ۲۶﴾

  The Knower of Unseen reveals not His secret to anyone.
 اِلَّا مَنِ ارْتَضٰی مِنۡ رَّسُوۡلٍ فَاِنَّہٗ یَسْلُکُ مِنۡۢ بَیۡنِ یَدَیۡہِ وَ مِنْ خَلْفِہٖ رَصَدًا ﴿ۙ۲۷﴾

  Except to His chosen Messenger and appoints guard before them and behind them.

At the same time, there is also unique Divine knowledge of the Unseen which He reveals to no one and is specific to Himself. This is revealed in Surah An’am, verse 59:

وَ عِنۡدَہٗ مَفَاتِحُ الْغَیۡبِ لَا یَعْلَمُہَاۤ اِلَّا ہُوَ

And with Him is the key of the unseen, He only knows them.

The knowledge of Qiyamah is also from among those signs and this has been kept secret.  However, the Holy (Prophet Peace be upon him) did reveal certain signs about its impending arrival such as the appearance of Dajjal, the arrival of Nabi Esa Peace be upon him, the sun rising from the West etc.

In like manner, certain eminent saints have also predicated the coming of rain which was revealed by them through inspired knowledge and some have even revealed whether the child would be a female or male.  In like manner, once Abul Azam Isfahani became ill in Shiraz and he mentioned to those around him that he had made Dua to Allah Almighty that he passes away in Tartus.

He also mentioned that if he dies in Shiraz, then he should be buried in a non-Muslim graveyard.  In other words, he had absolute certainty that he would pass away in Tartus.  A few days later he recovered from his illness and was eventually buried in Tartus! In the same way, my Shaikh also predicated the moment of his death nearly twenty years earlier and he passed away exactly at the same time which he had foretold.

(Allamah Ismail Haqqi Hanafi – passed away 1137. Ruhul Bayan, pages 103/105 vol. 7)

The reasons that the Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – revealed the signs and not the actual date

In this hadith shareef, the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) revealed the signs of Qiyamah and not the actual date.  One of the signs will be that the female will give birth to her master.  You will also see people who were once bare foot, naked and poor, build large structures.  There is no doubt that the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) knew the exact date of Qiyamah, but he was commanded not to reveal this to ordinary people.

This is the reason when the question was asked about when the day of Judgement would occur, the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) did not say that he did not know about its exact moment.  As a matter of fact, he merely moved away from the topic and began to reveal the signs of Qiyamah.

There are many explanations about a female giving birth to her master.  But the closet is that near the day of judgement, children would completely disobey their parents.  They would be rude and abrupt and would instruct their mothers what to do and what command to obey.  In this manner, the mothers would appear as if they are slaves of these children!

The Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) merely revealed two signs.  One is the state of a female and the other about those who were once poor and large structures that will be built by them.  There are many other hadith where the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) revealed many other signs such as the Yajuj and Majuj, Daabatul Ard, Nabi Esa Peace be upon him, Imam Mehdi May Allah have mercy on him, the fact that women would wear revealing clothing, incompetent people would become leaders and rulers.

At the same time, he also revealed certain key time factors such as, it will occur on Friday and it will be the 10th of Muharram.  The only thing not revealed was the actual year.  If this was revealed, then every child would know by now when it would really occur.  However, we see that the Quran clearly states that it would appear suddenly.

In Surah Al Araf, verse 187, the Quran declares that:

لَا تَاۡتِیۡکُمْ اِلَّا بَغْتَۃً

“it shall not come upon you but suddenly”.

If the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) had revealed the actual date, it would not remain a sudden event and would therefore disprove the Quran which is impossible.  At the same time, the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) was sent to prove the Quran and not to disprove it.  Hence, as per Divine Instruction, he did not reveal the actual date but merely informed us about the signs and even the day on which it will occur and nothing else.  And certainly not the actual date.

In the Jamia of Tirmidi and the Sunan of Abu Daud, it is mentioned that only after three days, the Holy Prophet 9Peace be upon him0 revealed to Hadrat Sayyiduna Umar May Allah have mercy on him who this stranger was who had appeared.  In the hadith narrated by Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah May Allah have mercy on him, which is the fifth and sixth hadith, the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) actually instructed the Ashaab to go and call this stranger.

However, we all know that they could not find him.  Only then, did the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) reveal to them that this was Jibraeel Ameen. Allamah Nawawi May Allah have mercy on him explains that perhaps the reason that this was only revealed three days later to Hadrat Sayyiduna Umar May Allah have mercy on him was perhaps he had left after this and had only appeared three days later.  Also, perhaps after he had inquired, then only was he informed about the actual identity of this person.

(Sharah Muslim of Imam Nawawi & Sharah Muslim by Maulana Sa’eedi)


  • This Hadeeth, also known as Hadeeth Jibreel, it mentions the basics of Islam in detail.