Is the divining power peculiar to God?

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According to some people the verses of the Holy Qur'an signify that the divining power is one of the attributes of the Almighty God and the knowledge of nobody enters it. Some of these verses are as follows:﴿وَعِنْدَهُ مَفاتِحُ الْغَيْبِ لا يَعْلَمُها إِلاّ هُوَ﴾ 1- “And with Him are the keys of the unseen treasures and no one aware about it except He”. [1]﴿قُلْ لا أَمْلِکُ لِنَفْسي نَفْعاً وَلا ضَرّاً إِلاّ ما شاءَ اللهُ وَلَوْ کُنْتُ أَعْلَمُ الْغَيْبَ لاَسْتَکْثَرْتُ مِنَ الْخَيْرِ وَما مَسَّنِيَ السُّوءُ إِنْ أَنَا إِلاّ نَذِيرٌ وَبَشِيرٌ لِقَوْم يُؤْمِنُونَ﴾2- [O, Our messenger] “Say (to the people): I do not control any benefit or harm for my own soul except as Allah pleases; and had I known the unseen I would have had much of good and no evil would have touched me; I am nothing but a warner and the giver of good news to a people who believe”. [2]﴿قُلْ لا يَعْلَمُ مَنْ فِي السَّماواتِ وَاْلأَرْضِ الْغَيْبَ إِلاَّ اللهُ وَما يَشْعُرُونَ أَيّانَ يُبْعَثُونَ﴾3- [O, Our messenger] “Say: No one in the heavens and the earth knows the unseen but Allah; and they do not know when they shall be raised”. [3] In the answer to their reasoning we should say that: The faultfinder has just observed some of the verses which confine the divining power to the Almighty God and he has not considered other verses which do not indicate the peculiarity of the divining power to god. The Almighty God in the chapter of Jinn says: ﴿عالِمُ الْغَيْبِ فَلا يُظْهِرُ عَلى غَيْبِهِ أَحَداً إِلاّ مَنِ ارْتَضى مِنْ رَسُول﴾“The Knower of the unseen! So He does not reveal His secrets to any * except to him whom He chooses as a messenger”. [4] It is realized from the exception of this verse that the Almighty God is the Knower of the divining power in essence, but He has bestowed it on His messenger who is agreeable by Him. Moreover Imam should be given whatever given to the Prophet because both of them explain the religious laws, so the Imam will be also included in this favor of God. Therefore, God has mentioned the various kinds of divining power of the prophets and saints in the Holy Quran and says:﴿لِکَ مِنْ أَنْباءِ الْغَيْبِ نُوحيهِ إِلَيْکَ﴾“This is of the announcements relating to the unseen which We reveal to you”. [5] And quotes from his highness Isa who said that: ﴿وَأُنَبِّئُکُمْ بِما تَأْکُلُونَ وَما تَدَّخِرُونَ في بُيُوتِکُمْ﴾“And I inform you of what you should eat and what you should store in your houses.” [6] The result of comparison between these two groups of verses is that: Those verses, which indicate the peculiarity of divining power to the God, relate to the original and independence divining power. And other verses which consider the divining power for other than God are based on following and permission of God. With this explanation, we can realize the meaning of the verses which deny the divining power of the Prophet; because the denial of these verses relate to the independent kind of divining power , not to the absolute denial of it about the Prophet. Ibn Hajar Haithami says: These verses:﴿قُلْ لا يَعْلَمُ مَنْ في السَّماواتِ وَاْلأَرْضِ, الْغَيْبَ إِلاَّ اللهُ﴾Say: No one in the heavens and the earth knows the unseen but Allah”. [7] And﴿عالِمُ الْغَيْبِ فَلا يُظْهِرُ عَلى غَيْبِهِ أَحَداً﴾“The Knower of the unseen! So He does not reveal His secrets to any”. [8] And the knowledge of prophets and saints to some of the unseen things are not inconsistent with each other; because their knowledge depends on the permission of God and it differs from the eternal and everlasting knowledge which is from the attributes of God and is free from any change and replacement.” [9] And also Ibn Abil Hadid Mu'tazali says that: We do not deny the divining power of some people but we believe that it depends on the permission of the Almighty God Who has granted it to them with power and after preparing its factors. [10] [11]


[1] An'am, verse 59. [2] A'araf, verse 188. [3] Naml, verse 65. [4] Jin, verse 26, 27. [5] Al `Imran, verse 44. [6] Al `Imran, verse 49. [7] Naml, verse 65. [8] Jinn, verse 26. [9] Al Fatawa Al Hadithiya, p. 222. [10] Sharh Ibn Abi al-Hadid, vol. 1, p. 427. [11] Ali Asghar Rizwani, Imamology and answering to the doubts (1), p. 136. ------------------------------ Ref:

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