Prophets were given the power to know the unseen : Imam Ibn Daqiq al-Eid (D. 702H)

Ibn Daqiq al Id

 

The Prophet, may God’s peace and blessings be upon him, said,

“The angels said to God, ‘God, one of your servants wants to do a bad deed.’ God replied, ‘follow the servant. If the servant does the bad deed, record it as a bad deed. If the servant doesn’t do the bad deed, record it as a good deed because a servant gives up on a bad deed for me.’  – [Sahih Muslim (Kitab al-Iman)]

Imam Ibn Daqiq al Eid, in his commentary of  Nawawi’s 40 hadith, comments on the above narration:

“Al-Tabari says that this hadith supports the argument of those who say that angels record the good deeds and bad deeds that people intend to do and, hence, they know beforehand what people do. It refutes the argument of those who say that angels only record what they see and hear people do. What it means is that the two angels who are in charge of a human being know what this person harbors in their heart and what this person intends to do. It is possible that God, the Sublime, gave the angels the power to know the unknown the way God gave the power to many prophets to know many unknowns. God says in the Qur’an that Jesus, may peace be upon him, said to the Children of Israel, “I can tell you what you eat and what you store in your homes.” {Al-Imran:49}  Our Prophet Muhammed, may God’s peace and blessings be upon him, was told many unknowns. So it is possible that God gave the two angels the power to know what the children of Adam harbor in their hearts from good and evil and instructed to them to record the deeds of people when they intend on doing them.  Some said that the angels get their information from wind that emanates from the heart. The salaf disagreed as to whether angels know or do not know the unknown. This is all the opinion of Ibn-Khalaf, aka Ibn-Battal.

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