ان الله عنده علم الساعه و ينزل الغيث و يعلم ما في الارحام وما تدري نفس ما ذا تكسب غدا وما تدري نفس باي ارض تموت ان الله عليم خبير
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. [31:34]
The opponents say on the basis of this verse that the knowledge of all the above mention things known as Five Branches of Knowledge lies with Almighty Allah and no one else! By this they conclude that the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon Him) did not possess Ilm-e-Ghayb. This is indeed a hasty conclusion. Let us have an eye over some Authentic Commentaries of Qur’an to understand the real and true meaning of this verse.
Commentaries on the Above Verse of Holy Qur’an
Tafseer-e-Saavi Hashiya Ala Tafseer al Jalalain comments under this verse:
اي من حيث ذاتها واما باعلام الله للعبد فلا مانع منه كالانبياء و بعض الاولياء قال تعالى ولا يحيطون بشئي من علمه الا بما شاء قال تعالى فلا يظهر علي غيبه احدا الا من ارتضي من رسول فلا مانع من كون الله يطلع بعض عباده الصلحين علي بعض المغيبات فتكون معجزة للنبي و كرامة للولي ولذلك قال العلماء الحق انه لم يخرج نبينا من الدنيا حتي اطلعه علي تلك الخمس
It means that no one knows about these five things. But on being informed by Almighty Allah Himself it is not prohibited that any of chosen people such as Prophets and Mystic saints (Auliya Allah) may come to know about of anythings belonging to the Realm of the Unseen (Ghayb). Allah Almighty has said that (even) these chosen servants can not encompass the knowledge of Allah except what Almighty Allah pleases to enlighten them and only to the extent revealed by Him. Similarly he can inform any of these dignitares of the knowledge of the Ghayb especially the Prophets and the Friends of Allah known as Auliya Allah, in the latter case the manifestation of that knowledge of the unseen (Ghayb) becomes mircales and super human feat (Karamat). It is for this reason that the scholars have said, as an element of truth that the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon Him) did not leave the world until he was fully informed by Almighty Allah on all these five subjects (concerning human destiny). [Saavi Hashiya Ala Tafseer al Jalalain, Vol 3, Page 215]
In Tafseer Araais al-Bayan, it is said with reference to what is in the wombs (of the mothers):
سمعت ايضا من بعض الاولياء انه اخبر ما في الرحم من ذكر و انثي ورأيت بعيني ما اخبر
We heard some Auliya saying that they had given the advanced information whether the child in the womb was a boy or a girl and we saw with our own eyes that the information given by the Auliya (saints) was correct. [Araa’is al-Bayan, Dar al Kutb Ilmiyah (Berut – Lebenon), Vol 3, Page 126]
It is said in Rooh al-Bayan, about this verse:
وما روي عن الانبياء و الاولياء من الاخبار عن الغيوب فبتعليم الله تعالى اما بطريق الوحي او بطريق الالهام والكشف … و كذا اخبر بعض الاولياء عن نزول المطر و اخبر عما في الرحم من ذكر و انثي فوقع كما اخبر
And whatever the information about the Unseen (Ghayb) are reported from the apostles and the mystic saints, these are the blessings from Almighty Allah either by way instruction from Him or Revelation (Wahi) or Inspiration (Ilhaam). Likewise some saints (Auliya) predicted rainfall, some about the child in the womb, these all proved correct. [Tafsir Rooh al-Bayan, Vol 10, Page 446 / 447]
It is stated in Tafseer-e-Ahmadiyyah under this verse:
ولك ان تقول ان علم هذه الخمسه و ان لايعلمها احد الا الله لكن يجوز ان يعلمها من يشاء من محبيه و اولياء بقرينه قوله تعالى ان الله عليم خبير بمعني المخبر
And you can also say that though Allah is the absolute knower of all these things, it is not unjustifiable that he may inform some such chosen servants (Prophets, Saints, Scholars) whom He pleases in any or all these subjects for Allah besides knowing (Aleem) himself, he can also inform others (Khabeer) of that knowledge.
Prophet’s Knowledge of Five Secrets in Ahadith
Now, Let us discuss the Five Secrets and show how far they relate to the realm of the Unknown and how much of it can be shared by Messengers of Allah as far as their knowledge is concerned.
It is recorded in Sahih al Bukhari and Tafsir al Khazin:
فقام على المنبر ، فذكر الساعة ، فذكر أن فيها أمورا عظاما ثم قال من أحب أن يسأل عن شىء فليسأل ، فلا تسألونى عن شىء إلا أخبرتكم ما دمت فى مقامى هذا. فأكثر الناس فى البكاء ، وأكثر أن يقول سلونى. فقام عبد الله بن حذافة السهمى فقال من أبى قال أبوك حذافة. ثم أكثر أن يقول سلوني سلوني
The Holy Prophet (Peace be upon Him) stood on the Pulpit (Mimbar) and spoke about the things relating to the Day of Judgment and said that the occurrence of the fateful day many events of grave significance would have taken place. He said to the people present on the occasion to ask any thing they are keen to know about. He said: By Allah the Almighty! till such time I am on the pulpit (Mimbar) any thing you ask I shall give the answer thereto. One stood up and asked, “Where is my place? The Holy Prophet (Peace be upon Him) O replied:’ In the hell! Then Abdullah bin Huzafa asked: ‘Who is my farther? He replied, ‘Huzafa’. After that he repeatedly said: Ask, Ask, Ask. (But there was no more question to be asked). [Sahih Bukhari, Vol 2, Page 424, Hadith 540 – Tafseer al Khazin (5:101), Vol 2, Page 341]
It may be noted that to be a person destined to be sent in the hell or the paradise, relates to the basic five things of the Unseen, namely whether a person is a righteous one or a transgressor. Similarly to know about real father, the real answer is the secret known only to the mother. It has nothing to do with knowledge of the Unseen! The answers given by the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon Him) show that he was aware about the reality of the man who was declared to be sent to hell was transgressor in his practical life; Similarly. The Holy Prophet (Peace be upon Him) knew that the father of Abdullah was Huzafa, declaring there by that the mother of Abdullah was chaste and maintained her purity or her moral modesty.
Sayyeduna Anas narrated about the incident took place in Battle of Badr:
قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم هذا مصرع فلان قال ويضع يده علي الارض هاهنا هاهنا قال فما مات احدهم عن موضع يد رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم
The Messenger of Allah (may Peace be upon Him) said: This is the place where so and so would be killed. He placed his hand on the earth (saying) here and here; (and) none of them fell away from the place which the Messenger of Allah (may Peace be upon Him) had indicated by placing his hand on the earth.
Sahih Muslim, Book 19 (The Book of Jihad and Expedition), Hadith 4394
Sahih Muslim, Kitab Al-Jihad wa’l-Siyar, Vol 9, Page 247, Hadith 3330
It may be remembered in this connection that according to Holy Qur’an it is of the Five Fore-knowledge known only to Allah Almighty about the place where a certain person would die, and which the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon Him) indicated one day in advance of the battle of Bad’r.
أخبرنى سهل رضى الله عنه يعنى ابن سعد قال قال النبى صلى الله عليه وسلم يوم خيبر لأعطين الراية غدا رجلا يفتح على يديه ، يحب الله ورسوله ، ويحبه الله ورسوله فبات الناس ليلتهم أيهم يعطى فغدوا كلهم يرجوه فقال أين على. فقيل يشتكى عينيه ، فبصق فى عينيه ودعا له ، فبر