Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, is
the Sole All-Knower of the Unseen and Seen. Some people may wonder why the word ‘Seen’ was stated here, when what
is intended by it is the present world? We say that it is stated to negate the false belief that because Allah, all praise
and glory be to Him, is unseen to us He only knows the Unseen. That Allah, Whose Majesty reigns supreme, is unaware of the
present world we live, but the truth is that Allah possesses the two worlds, the Unseen and Seen. Its statement thus closes
the door on wrong interpretation and reasoning. Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, masters the Unknown and is omniscient
of whatever happens in worldly life. Nothing whatsoever escapes His Knowledge in the heavens or in the earth.
On the other hand, ‘The
All-Knower of the Unseen’ signifies that Allah knows all
that is hidden from us, and as aforesaid, we know but little, very little about the universe. Therefore, the Name, ‘The
All-Knower of the Unseen’ commands an absolute knowledge mastered by Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, for whatever
is hidden from us is known by Allah, Blessed and Exalted be He.
The universe is hidden from us, but
Allah is the All-Knower of it. The world of the jinn is also hidden from us, but nothing of it escapes the Knowledge of Allah,
The Exalted and Ever-Majestic. The world of the angels is hidden from us, but Allah, The Omniscient, knows it entirely and
whatever descends unto land or ascends to heaven are both obscure to us, but Allah, Whose Majesty reigns supreme, possesses
them all. Also, the Barzakh [the grave as the barrier or the intermediate realm that
separates between this world and the other world from the time of death till the time of Resurrection] world, Doomsday, Judgment,
the Hereafter, Paradise and Hellfire all are hidden from us but Allah, Blessed and Exalted be He, is the All-Knower of them
infinite Knowledge of Allah
What will follow the Day of Judgment is hidden
from us but Allah knows it all. What occurs in the depths of the earth is hidden from us but Allah knows it all. The fruit
that will sprout after a thousand years is hidden from us but Allah knows all about it. The human that will be born hours
before the Day of Judgment is hidden from us but Allah knows all about him. The leaf that will fall after hundreds or thousands
of years is hidden from us but Allah knows all about it. All world events that will take place are hidden from us but Allah
knows them all.
Let us recite the noble Qur’anic verses
in which The Truth, praise be to Him, says (what means):
“No calamity befalls on the
earth or in yourselves but is inscribed in the Book of Decrees (Al-Lauh Al-Mahfūz),
before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allāh. In order that you may not be sad over matters that you
fail to get, nor rejoice because of that which has been given to you. And Allāh likes not prideful boasters.” (Al-Hadīd,
Through these Qur’anic verses Allah,
Blessed and Exalted be He, wanted to free the believers from anxiety and restlessness because they afflict the body with deadly
diseases. For the believers to lead a good blessed life, Allah, be ever gloried His Majesty and Might, commanded them neither
to be grieved over matters they failed to get, nor rejoice because of what has been given them, since all are the decreed
Destines of Allah with a wisdom hidden behind. For the matters they failed to get might be an evil that Allah has warded off,
and the gains they got might be unfavorable to them, so they should not rejoice because of them.
Let us start from the beginning, before creating
the universe Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, possessed absolute knowledge of all its events. Allah, Blessed and Exalted
be He, designed the purpose of everything, as one must assign the goal before starting the realization.
For instance, if we want to construct a building,
do we just go ahead and build it? Or do we bring the architects and ask them to construct us a building? Of course not! But
first we have to design it, as the structure differs according to the purpose of its use. If we wanted to build a house it
would definitely differs from constructing a factory or the headquarters of a company. So, first comes the purpose, then after
assigning it follows the execution.
life of this world…an abode of trial
The purpose of worldly life lies in being
an abode of trial where Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, tries His servants in obeying Him. We have already stated that
everything Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, has created has a will.
Some have chosen once and for all, have chosen
to be subjected as the sun, the mountains, the seas; in fact, the entire universe save mankind and the jinn, whereas, some
have preferred to have choices.
So, there are those who have exercised their
discretion once and chose to be subjected, because they do not trust themselves if given the freedom of showing obedience
to Allah, they would honor and fulfill the trust or not; whereas others were misled by their reasoning power and accepted
to submit to Allah willingly and not by subjection.
But neither the
choosers of subjection nor those who preferred to have a free will escaped the Knowledge of Allah. Indeed, Allah, all praise
and glory be to Him, is The Omniscient of all that happened or would happen before it happens. Recite the noble Qur’anic
verses in which Allah, be ever gloried His Majesty and Might, says (what means):
“And (remember) when your
Lord said to the angels: ‘Verily, I am going to place (mankind) generations after generations on earth.’”
(Al-Baqarah, 2: 30)
Did Allah, all praise and glory be to Him,
when informing the angels about the creation of Ādam (peace be upon him), address these words after He created Ādam or before
it? Allah, Blessed and Exalted be He, says (what means):
“So, when I have fashioned
him completely and breathed into him (Adam) the soul which I created for him, then fall (you) down prostrating yourselves
unto him.” (Al-Hijr, 15: 29)
Allah, The Exalted and Ever-Majestic, ordered
the angels to prostrate themselves before creating Ādam (peace be upon him) and after informing them that He would place mankind
generations after generations on earth. Hence, Ādam is intrinsically created to make the land fruitful, inhabit it and have
children till the Day of Resurrection befalls. The knowledge of Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, fully encompassed the
creation of the universe and the purpose behind it, that of Ādam and the purpose behind him, and all that would render the
fulfillment of such purpose possible. Thus, The Almighty, praise be to Him, created the water, the plants and the animals
to ensure the survival of Ādam and his offspring on land till the Day of Resurrection.
The Truth, all praise and glory be to Him,
says (what means):
“Say (O Muhammad SAW): ‘Do you verily disbelieve in Him Who created the earth
in two Days and you set up rivals (in worship) with Him? That is the Lord of the ‘Alamīn (mankind, jinns and all that exists). He placed therein (i.e. the earth) firm mountains from above it, and He blessed
it, and measured therein its sustenance (for its dwellers) in four Days equal (i.e. all these four ‘days’ were
equal in the length of time), for all those who ask (about its creation).’” (Fussilat, 41: 9-10)
If we contemplated these two noble Qur’anic
verses we would realize that Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, measured on the Day of Creation the sustenance needed
on the earth. Allah, The Exalted and Ever-Majestic, knew beforehand all that would live on the earth till the Day of Resurrection
from humans, animals, insects and plants; fully and precisely knew them, arranging to every species the sustenance it would
need till the Day of Resurrection befalls.
All is eternally encompassed within the Knowledge
of Allah, Blessed and Exalted be He, before creating the earth; all the species of the universe till the day the earth ceases
to be and be destroyed. All is arranged for them; the sustenance they will need for survival.
with Him is in due proportion
To create such sustenance Allah possessed
absolute infinite knowledge of it to create it, for Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, is The Creator before there exists
a creation. He originated and created in the name of being The Creator; the Divine Attribute existed since eternity and then
came the creation, same as all the Divine Attributes of Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, are eternal. For Allah is The
Most Merciful before there exist those who deserve mercy. He is The Provider before there exist those who need provision,
so are all the Divine Attributes of Allah, The Exalted and Ever-Majestic.
Now we resume reciting the noble verses in
which The Almighty says (what mean):
“Then He Istawā (rose over) towards the heaven when it was smoke, and said to it and to the earth: ‘Come
both of you willingly or unwillingly.’ They both said: ‘We come, willingly.’ Then He completed and finished
from their creation (as) seven heavens in two Days and He made in each heaven its affair.” (Fussilat, 41: 11-12)
We thus learn from the noble verses that
Allah, The Exalted and Ever-Majestic, has inspired in each heaven its affair; that is, ordained the events He willed to pass
in each till the heavens and earth cease to exist, which bespeaks an absolute knowledge of all that will happen in them till
Since Allah, all praise and glory be to Him,
is The Creator of the heavens and earth, He, Whose Majesty reigns supreme, is their Maintainer until arrives their appointed
term. Meaning, that He keeps them from vanishing until they receive the Command to vanish.
Through the aforementioned noble verses we
realize that The Truth, all praise and glory be to Him, is All-Knowing of the secrets of the entire universe before its creation,
because He measured, before creation, the things that must continue to exist till the universe ceases to be.
To approximate the picture to the minds:
on constructing a building and after specifying its purpose, we have to design for it what the architects call (a maquette),
a model including all the fine details on whose bases the building will be constructed. Without such details execution will
not be possible for nothing is done haphazardly. In sum, first there must be some visualization of the thing so that its execution
agrees with its designed purpose.
If the architect that supervises the work
is a skilled one, the maquette he makes will include the finest details, which he cares to exhibit and pinpoint, and then
comes the construction matching his plans and designs. When the Maker is the All-Knower of the Unseen, Allah, all praise and
glory be to Him, nothing will escape His Knowledge, however slight it might be, and the realization perfectly matches what
Allah, praise be to Him, willed to be without the slightest bit of difference.
When reciting the noble Qur’anic verse
in which The Truth, all praise and glory be to Him, says (what means):
“And nothing is hidden from
your Lord (so much as) the weight of an atom (or small ant) on the earth or in the heaven. Not what is less than that or what
is greater than that but is (written) in a Clear Record.” (Yūnus, 10: 61)
You would see that the revelation of this
noble verse caused no conflict between the Noble Qur’an and science, as just recently the scientists have discovered
that the atom is the smallest composing unit of matter that does not undergo fission. After the scientific revolution man
became able to cause atomic fission and explosion, so they claimed that the Noble Qur’an came into conflict with science,
because Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, has stated the atom based on being the minutest component of a matter.
We simply say to them that they did not understand
the Noble Qur’an, because Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, says (what means), ‘Not what is less than
that,’ and ‘less than’ signifies that there are two
degrees of comparison: little and less, with the atomic fission we reached the ‘less than’ stage. But new horizons
in science may uncover what surpasses the atomic fission discovered so far.
We must clarify that point because having
no indication of the discovery of the atomic fission in the Noble Qur’an would be inconsistent with the fact that Allah,
praise be to Him, is the All-Knower of the Unseen. And certainly nothing whatsoever in this universe escape the Knowledge
of Almighty Allah, however slight it might be.
Recite in Surat Luqmān the noble Qur’anic
verse in which The Truth, all praise and glory be to Him, says (what means):
“O my son! If it be (anything)
equal to the weight of a grain of mustard seed, and though it be in a rock, or in the heavens or in the earth, Allāh will
bring it forth. Verily, Allāh is Subtle (in bringing out that grain), WellAware (of its place).” (Luqmān, 31: 16)
The mustard seed is a grain highly minute
and light in weight. In order to understand the parable that Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, set forth for us in the
Noble Qur’an, we have to imagine the size of a mustard seed compared with that of the heavens and earth to grasp the
precision of the knowledge that The All-knower possesses. Even that minute grain and its whereabouts in this prodigious universe!
Also, to learn for sure that nothing whatsoever escapes the Infinite Knowledge of Allah, all praise and glory be to Him.
the Knowledge of Allah
Allah, be ever gloried His Majesty and Might,
created Paradise and Hellfire, as well as the Hereafter and the Day of Judgment. All fully exist in His Knowledge, as we have
said in a precise maquette that comprises the finest details. Before creation, Allah, The Exalted and Ever-Majestic, arranged
the delights awaiting the inhabitants of Paradise and destined them to be, and the torments awaiting the inhabitants of Hellfire
and destined them to be. If Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, has not revealed them to us from the world unseen to that
seen, they do preexist in His Realms with their full details. We need to meditate on the Qur’anic verse in which The
Truth, all praise and glory be to Him, says (what means):
“Verily, His Command, when
He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, ‘Be!’ and it is!” (Yā-Sīn, 36: 82)
We have to carefully contemplate His saying
(what means), ‘That He says to it,’ which signifies
that it fully and eternally preexists in the Knowledge of Allah and when Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, wills to bring
it forth to the world of mankind or to our present world, He says to it ‘Be’, which denotes that He says to a
thing He has, ‘Be’, whereby it comes forth from the world unseen to the world seen.
Allah, be ever gloried His Majesty and Might,
having mercy on our minds, gives us in the Noble Qur’an more than one verse elucidating the meaning of the Unseen; for
every unseen matter Almighty Allah brings a perceivable image that approximates its concept to the minds.
For instance, the creation of man is unknown
to us; none of us has witnessed his creation or that of another, but Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, told us how creation
took place. Allah, The Exalted and Ever-Majestic, said that man was created from dust, turned to clay, then turned to altered
black smooth mud, then turned to sounding clay, just like pottery clay, and finally breathed into man the soul He created
If we took a handful of dust and added water
to it, it would become clay, and if we left it to allow its element to interact it would become altered black smooth mud similar
to that used by mankind in their industries, and finally it would dry into sounding clay.
That is the process of creation hidden
from us. But Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, wants to approximate that meaning to us, therefore He made death a demonstrating
proof of the creation process. For death annuls life; that is to say, when life exists, Allah ends it by death. And the destruction
of a thing happens contrarily to its construction.
For instance, if we wanted to erect a building we would start by constructing the first floor but
if we wanted to destroy it we would start by the last floor! Similarly, when traveling to Alexandria, your last destination
would be Alexandria. But if you wanted to return, your first place of departure would be Alexandria.
We certainly know nothing about the creation
of life because we were not there at the time of creation, but we witness death each and every singly day. Death ends life;
therefore it occurs contrarily to it.
The first to leave the body at death is the
last to enter it in life, which is the soul. The soul is the last to enter man’s body at creation to endow man with
life and it is the first to leave it at the death hour. Afterwards, begins the stages of death contrarily to the process of
creation. The body hardens and becomes as sounding clay, just like pottery clay, then it decomposes and becomes as altered
black smooth mud. Afterwards, water evaporates from the body and clay turns to dust and returns to earth once more, dust just
as it has started.
Thus, we see that Allah, all praise and glory
be to Him, out of mercifulness towards His servants sets forth examples that approximate the Unseen to our minds and we must
acquire whatever knowledge related to the Unseen from Allah and adopt no other doctrine save that of Allah, all praise and
glory be to Him. He Alone is The Omniscient and solely the One Capable of giving us the true picture as we have the Unseen
veiled before us.
There is a number of Qur’anic
verses that approximate the meaning of ‘The All-Knower of the Unseen,’ that boundless meaning that we have to profoundly reflect on. Recite that Qur’anic verse
in which The Truth, Blessed and Exalted be He, says (what means):
“(The learned men) refer to
Him (Alone) the knowledge of the Hour. No fruit comes out of its sheath, nor does a female conceive (within her womb), nor
brings forth (young), except by His Knowledge.” (Fussilat, 41: 47)
the Qur’anic verse where The Almighty says (what means):
“And no aged man is granted
a length of life, nor is a part cut off from his life (or another man's life), but is in a Book (AlLauh AlMahfūz)
Surely, that is easy for Allāh.” (Fātir, 35: 11)
And the Qur’anic verse where The Most
Exalted says (what means):
“What you (O Muslims) cut
down of the palm-trees (of the enemy), or you left them standing on their stems, it was by Leave of Allāh.” (Al-Hashr,
We can thus see that many verses in
the Noble Qur’an explain the meaning of ‘The All-Knower of the Unseen’ and if Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, has set forth examples of things we see, we have
to learn that before actually perceiving such things they were invisible to us.
When moving to the present world, that is
the seen world, we must bear in mind that Allah is The All-Knowing of everything in this present world, even what revolves
in our minds and hearts and we conceal it and whisper to none. Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, says (what means):
“And know that Allāh knows
what is in your minds, so fear Him.” (Al-Baqarah, 2: 235)
To have the picture approximated to our minds,
imagine how countless souls exist in the same breath within the entire universe, and the thoughts revolving in every mind
in the same breath, Allah, all praise be to Him, fully knows them all. Moreover, He knows the secrets of every soul since
the time of Ādam (peace be upon him) up to now and knows what secrets will revolve in every soul till the Day of Resurrection.
Recite the Qur’anic verse in which
The Truth, be ever gloried His Majesty and Might, says (what means):
“Have you not seen that Allāh
knows whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is on the earth? There is no Najwa (secret counsel) of three, but He is
their fourth (with His Knowledge, while He Himself is over the Throne, over the seventh heaven), nor of five but He is their
sixth (with His Knowledge), not of less than that or more, but He is with them (with His Knowledge) wheresoever they may be.”
(Al-Mujādilah, 58: 7)
This noble Qur’anic verse offers us
another meaning; every group of people sitting anywhere, whether on a plane, in a submarine, in a car, over a mountain or
a hill or in whatever place in this world, Allah is with them, hearing what they say, what they speak and whisper. Every word
is recorded, every word the tongue utters is to earn a reward or incur punishment.
This infinite knowledge that encompasses
every soul in this world belongs only to Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, The All-Knower of the Unseen.
We delve further when meditating the Qur’anic
verse in which The Almighty says (what means):
“And if you (O Muhammad SAW) speak (the invocation) aloud,
then verily, He knows the secret and that which is yet more hidden.” (Tā-Hā, 20: 7)
We know what a secret is; it is something
kept hidden that someone may impart to another. It can be shared by two and remain hidden from a third. But what is the thing
beyond the secret? It is what is kept unvoiced within the hearts.
It is related that once a teacher wanted
to test his students, so he handed each of them a cock and a knife and said that he wanted everyone of them to go to a place
where nobody would see him, slaughter the cock and then return. All the students returned after each of them had slaughtered
his cock, except for one student. When the teacher asked the student why he did not slaughter the cock, he simply answered
that he did not find a place where Allah does not see him.
We thank Allah Who guided us in revealing
some meanings of the Qur’anic Statement of The Truth, all praise and glory be to Him, saying (what means), ‘The
All-Knower of the unseen and seen,’ that shoreless meaning
that no mind whatsoever can ever grasp. We hope that Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, has led us to what is conducive
to prosperity and has guided us in what we have said.
Verily, Allah is The Guide to the Straight