LEVELS OF I'LM-I-GHAYB POSSESSED BY THE AMBIYA (ALAIHIMUS SALAAM)
This, however, does not mean that Allah the Almighty restricts and retains the Knowledge of Unseen exclusively to Himself and does not reveal any part of it to any other person. No, not at all. Allah the Almighty has revealed and honoured His apostles as much and as and when He willed, for guidance and enlightenment to cope with the circumstances and situations confronting them viz-a-viz the enemies of Allah, and to fulfill the mission assigned to them. These phenomena have been illustrated at various places in the Holy Quran.
Some of the relevant verses are quoted below:-
A. Regarding Hazrat Adam (alaihis salaam) and the Angels, it is said: "He (Allah) taught the names (nature and qualitative attributes) of all the things and placed them before the Angels". 15
B. Regarding Hazrat Da'ud (alaihis salaam), it is said, "He (Allah) gave Da'ud power and wisdom and taught him whatever (else)He willed." 16
C. In respect of the I'lm-i-Ghayb to Hazrat Sulaiman (alaihis salaam), it is said, "O People! We have been taught the speech of the birds, and on us has been bestowed (a little of) all things." 17
D. For Hazrat Lut (alaihis salaam), it is said, "And to Lut We gave Judgement and Wisdom." 18
E. About Hazrat Yaqub (alaihis salaam) it was said, "He was, by Our instructions full of Knowledge (and experience), but most men know not." 19
F. Hazrat Yaqub (alaihis salaam) himself told his sons about this blessing from Allah thus, "Did I not say to you, I know from Allah that which you know not." 19
G. About Hazrat Yusuf (alaihis salaam), it is said, "When Yusuf attained his full manhood, We gave him Power and Knowledge; thus do We reward those who do the right things." 20
H. Regarding Hazrat Musa (alaihis salaam), it is said, "When he reached full age and was firmly established (in life), We bestowed on him Wisdom and Knowledge." 21
I. It is said about Hazrat Khizr (alaihis salaam): "So they found one of our servants on whom We had bestowed Mercy from Ourselves and whom We had taught knowledge (of special significance) from Our Own Presence." 22
These verses of the Holy Quran make it clear that Allah the Almighty bestowed the Knowledge of the Unseen (Ghayb) on His chosen servants, but is unfortunate that most people do not know this; on the contrary, even they refuse to believe it without realising the consequence thereof! These pious souls, at times on their own, disclosed this Divine bestowment in order to convince the people and clear their doubts and put them on the right track of faith and Belief.
J. For example, Hazrat Isa (alaihis salaam) spoke to his followers thus, "And I declare to you whatever you eat and whatever you store in your houses." 23 (It meant that whatever they had eaten in the houses - within four walls - and whatever they had preserved therein, was well known to the Prophet of Allah.
K. On another ocassion, Hazrat Yusuf (alaihis salaam) spoke to his fellow prisoners before telling them the meaning of their dreams. He said, "Before any food comes to you, I shall surely reveal to you the truth and meaning of this. It is due to the knowledge bestowed upon me by Allah that I have to reveal to you what you did not know." 24
These verses reveal that Allah the Almighty has bestowed I'lm-i-Ghayb to His chosen Apostles. To deny this, amounts to the denial and rejection of the Holy Quran itself. This is not an ordinary or routine knowledge. Elaborate precautionary and protective measures are adopted before such messages relating to the "Unseen" are despatched. Special angels are sent (on earth) who stay around the Apostles, on whom the Knowledge of the Unseen (I'lm-i-Ghayb) is bestowed. 25
The grant of I'lm-i-Ghayb is admitted by a great honour and whosoever of the Apostles are bestowed this Unique Divine blessing become the holders of great Divine Treasure. However, there is no uniform and set pattern of Divine Message transmitted to each recipient in accordance to their status.
According to the Holy Quran the status and nature of responsible of the Apostles vary from one to another. "Those Apostles, we bestowed with gifts (endowed with ranks, etc.) as willed by Allah." 26 Likewise the grant of I'lm-i-Ghayb to Prophets varies according to their nature of assignment relating to their prescribed mission.
The story of Hazrat Musa and Khizr (alaihimus salaam) so vividly described in the Holy Quran explains this aspect of the proposition. Hazrat Musa met Khizr (alaihimus salaam) and requested him to enlighten him with the specific knowledge which Allah bestowed on him. Hazrat Khizr (alaihis salaam) accepted, but advised Hazrat Musa (alaihis salaam) to be patient and not to utter any word until he would permit him to do so. Whatever Hazrat Khizr (alaihis salaam) did was beyond the understanding of Hazrat Musa (alaihis salaam).
The promise of keeping silence on events taking place before his eyes was too much for Hazrat Musa (alaihis salaam) to sustain and at last (he broke the silence) Hazrat Khizr (alaihis salaam) revealed the secrets of the events. Hazrat Khizr (alaihis salaam) did not keep him in his company any more. Details of the story is found in the Holy Quran 27 This clearly shows that the nature of I'lm-i-Ghayb even to Prophets of Allah was not uniform nor of equal measure.
15. Surah Baqarah: Verse 31
16. Surah Baqarah: Verse 251
17. Surah Namal: Verse 16
18. Surah Anbiya: Verse 74
19. Surah Yusuf: Verse 96
20. Surah Yusuf: Verse 22
21. Surah Qasas: Verse 140
22. Surah Kah'f: Verse 65
23. Surah Ale Imran: Verse 49
24. Surah Yusuf: Verse 37
25. Surah Jinn: Verse 26
26. Surah Baqarah: Verse 253
27. Surah Kah'f: Verse 65-82