Knowledge from God

Farhan Iqbal – CanadaShahrukh Abid EXPERIENCING GOD • THE EXISTENCE OF GOD

24th October 2021

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Farhan Iqbal & Shahrukh Abid, Canada

The following article is an adapted extract from a chapter in the recently published book, ‘The Folly of Atheism’.

The extent of human knowledge will remain limited indefinitely. However, it is only God Who can determine with absolute certainty what will happen until the end of time. God says in the Holy Qur’an:

عٰلِمُ الۡغَیۡبِ فَلَا یُظۡھِرُ عَلٰی غَیۡبِہٖۤ اَحَدًا
اِلَّا مَنِ ارۡتَضٰی مِنۡ رَّسُوۡلٍ فَاِنَّہٗ یَسۡلُكُ مِنۡۢ بَیۡنِ یَدَیۡہِ وَ مِنۡ خَلۡفِہٖ رَصَدًا  

That is, ‘He is the ‘Aalimul Ghaib (Knower of the unseen); and He reveals not His secrets to anyone, except to him whom He chooses, namely a Messenger of His. And then He causes an escort of guarding angels to go before him and behind him’. [1]

When a person claims to be divinely guided, he is not readily accepted by most. He informs the world about things which are impossible for a human to know and says that God has informed him that such and such event will take place, but his words are deemed absurd. However, when the event actually does take place in the exact sequence that he promised, we have to believe that there is a God who is All-Knowing and is the source of all the predictions. 

This is because it is simply beyond human ability and capacity to say when someone will die or if an event will take place years down the road. We see this quite often in our daily lives. Predictions about weather conditions are made regularly yet many a time they do not come true. Despite all the statistical data and scientific measurements that meteorologists make, they are not able to predict the weather beyond a few days, and that too is not stated with 100% accuracy.

Hence, for a person to repeatedly make accurate predictions about future events is not humanly possible, and this can only mean that God is the One Who informed the Prophet about the future. As such, if a person makes this type of claim and history bears testimony that the predicted event did in fact take place precisely as foretold, then there is no room to deny the existence of God. Let us take a few examples.

My Lord, The God Of Power, Has Killed His Master!

Khosrow Parvez bin Hormzid was a Persian king at the time of the Holy Prophet (sa). As a polytheist and fire worshipper, he had amassed gargantuan wealth, grandeur and influence. The Holy Prophet (sa) decided to write a letter to him, inviting him to Islam, and sent it. The Holy Prophet (sa) specially requested the Governor of Bahrain to present it to the Chosroes (title of the Persian kings at that time) himself.

Upon receiving the message, the Chosroes ripped the letter into shreds and ordered the Governor of Yemen to arrest the Holy Prophet (sa). Badhan, the Governor of Yemen, appointed two men and sent them to the Holy Prophet (sa) with the official arrest warrant. The men met the Holy Prophet (sa) and ordered him to return to Persia with them or else the Chosroes would destroy his country and people.

The Holy Prophet (sa) remained calm despite having heard a threat to his life by one of the two most powerful nations in the world at the time, and invited the two men to Islam. The men were told that the Holy Prophet (sa) would provide his answer to the Chosroes on the following day. The next day, as promised, the Holy Prophet (sa) said to the men:

Tell your master (the Governor of Yemen) that my Lord, the God of power, has killed his master (the Chosroes) last night.

This was an outstanding message! No one had expected this, and the two men were taken aback with awe at the daring tone of such a message. They rode back and gave the message of the Holy Prophet (sa) to Badhan to which he replied: ‘If what this man has foretold actually occurs, he is indeed a Prophet of God.’ [2] A short while later, Badhan received a letter from Shairwaih, son of Parvez, stating:

In the interest of the country, I have killed my father Khosrow Parvez, who was guilty of cruel conduct and would kill the noble people of the country without hesitation. When you receive my letter, seek an oath of obedience in my name from the people of your region. I have also come to know that my father sent an order with regard to a person of Arabia. Consider it revoked and wait for further instruction.‘ [3]

Overwhelmed with the accuracy of the Holy Prophet’s (sa) prediction, Badhan instantly converted to Islam after reading the letter. He then sent a letter to the Holy Prophet (sa) pledging allegiance to him along with many other people from Yemen. In an era when communication between two remote lands was extremely difficult and would take days or even months to travel long distances, it is absolutely impossible to conceive that the Holy Prophet (sa)—a resident of the deserts of Arabia—could have received news of the death of Khosrow Parvez on the same night he was killed. He did not know the Persian King. He had never even met him yet he was able to foresee his passing on the same night. Is it possible to explain away this event as yet another coincidence? Is it possible to suggest that this was a mere chance? We, the authors, do not have the kind of faith that atheists have in mere coincidences! The fact of the matter is that this incident is yet another sign of the magnificent ability of God to be the Knower of the unseen and to share some of that knowledge with His chosen servants.

Gold Bangles Of Chosroes

After more than a decade of persecution at the hands of the Makkans, many Muslims in Makkah began to migrate to Yathrib (a town that later came to be known as Madinah). Meanwhile, the Quraish of Makkah were becoming more and more frustrated at the rising popularity of Islam and the continuous influx of conversion to the new faith. Eventually, they decided to murder the Holy Prophet (sa) in order to put the Islamic mission to an end. They devised a plan amongst the clans to nominate a representative from each of the clans who would encounter the Holy Prophet (sa) and end his life. Their purpose was to involve each of the clans in this dire feat. When Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) heard of their evil intentions, he said, ‘O Messenger of Allah (sa), the time of our departure has come‘. [4] The Holy Prophet (sa) agreed and the two of them departed Makkah in secrecy.

The Quraish searched all around Makkah for any sign of the Prophet (sa), becoming increasingly desperate for his doom. To encourage others to join them, they offered a reward of 100 camels for the capture of both the Holy Prophet (sa) and Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra). Shortly after their departure from Makkah, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) noticed that a man was chasing them on a horse. At this, he said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! A man pursues us’. The Holy Prophet (sa) calmly replied, ‘Do not worry, Allah is with us!‘ [5]

The bounty announced by the Quraish to bring the Prophet (sa) and his companion, dead or alive, enticed a Bedouin chief by the name of Suraqa Bin Malik. On his way, he began to notice several striking signs. While racing after the Prophet (sa) and Abu Bakr (ra) on his horse, he started catching up to them. Suddenly, his horse was struck with something and he fell to the ground. He then took out his quiver and sought an omen with his arrows, which also indicated ill-fortune. However, Suraqa ignored the bad omens and continued in his pursuit. He narrates:

This time, I reached so close to them that I could hear the voice of the Holy Prophet (sa) (who at the time was reciting the Holy Qur’an). At that time, I saw that the Holy Prophet (sa) did not even turn his face once, but Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) (in concern for the Holy Prophet (sa)) would turn his face again and again.

He goes on to describe his journey by saying:

When I moved a bit closer, my horse struck something again, and this time its feet were driven into the sand and I fell to the ground again. When I regained myself and saw the horse, its feet had been driven into the ground so deep that it could not hoist them out of the ground. At that time, I sought an omen once again but it turned out the same, upon which I relinquished my intentions, and gave the Holy Prophet (sa) and his companions a call of reconciliation.’ [6]

At this sudden change of heart, Suraqa bin Malik approached the Holy Prophet (sa) and Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) on foot alongside his horse. He understood in his heart that this man is divinely protected and would ultimately be victorious. In an attempt to extend a gesture of peace, he said:

Your people have set such and such a bounty for your assassination or capture, and people have planned such and such against you. I also came with the same intention, but now I shall return.’ [7]

The Prophet (sa) let him go after Suraqa Bin Malik promised not to reveal their location to anyone. By this time, Suraqa was convinced of the truthfulness of the Prophet (sa) and that he would be the guide for their people. He then requested the Holy Prophet (sa) for ‘a written declaration of peace’ for when the Prophet (sa) would inevitably be victorious.

At this time, the Prophet (sa) received a revelation, and he said:

‘Suraqa, how will you feel with the gold bangles of the Chosroes on your wrists?

Stunned, Suraqa asked, ‘Which Chosroes? Chosroes, the Emperor of Iran?’ The Prophet (sa) replied, ‘Yes’.

Now, this was an astonishing revelation for Suraqa bin Malik. He was left in amazement at the mere thought of something as prestigious as the bangles of an Emperor on his arms. But it was also incredibly strange! Here was a fugitive who barely escaped with his life, making an incredible, multifaceted prophecy for a person who was his enemy just moments earlier!

This prophecy stated that Suraqa would live a long life; that he would see the rise of Islam in his life; that he would live to the day when Islam would be so powerful that the Muslims would have their own empire; the Muslims would have large armies capable of standing up to the superpower of their time; this superpower would get into a war with the Muslims; and this superpower would be defeated so badly that it would lose its capital and its king. All this was coming from a man who had a handful of persecuted followers and was still on the lookout for a place where he could peacefully live along with his followers.

Yet, incredibly enough, seventeen years later, this prophecy was fulfilled, and the Muslims conquered the Kingdom of Chosroes. In the aftermath of the war, the second Caliph Hazrat Umar (ra) saw the bangles once worn by the defeated Chosroes, summoned Suraqa, and ordered him to wear them. The inconceivable fulfilment of this prophecy forces us to ponder how the Holy Prophet (sa) could be so accurate in foretelling a victory to this degree despite being in the most trying of circumstances. [8]

God Will Begin With You

When it comes to the matter of life and death or how long someone will live, no human has the ability to make a prediction to such accuracy. It is not the ability of ordinary individuals to make claims that their lineage will continue while others would cease to exist. A human being only lives a certain number of years and they can maybe predict that they will see their children grow up and possibly their grandchildren but not with absolute unwavering certainty.

The Promised Messiah and founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) received a revelation: [9]

یَنْقَطِعُ آبَاؤُكَ وَیُبْدَءُ مِنْكَ

That his lineage will move only through his progeny and the rest will be cut off. Commenting on this prophecy, his son, the Second Caliph, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra), states:

The Promised Messiah (as) was told that the legacy of his family will only continue through his progeny, and this is exactly what happened. Right now only those people from this family are alive who had accepted Ahmadiyyat and everybody else’s progeny did not continue (from the family). When the Promised Messiah (as) made this prophecy, there were around 70 men who belonged to this family and now none of their progenies are alive except for those who are the physical and spiritual progeny of the Promised Messiah (as).’ [10]

How did the Promised Messiah (as) know this in 1984 when there were other people in his family who were healthy and had children? How was he able to predict something none of us can? Again this clearly explains that there was a God who had the knowledge of the future and revealed it to his servant. Precision in the legitimacy of each of his claims speaks to his divine connection with God Who indeed is the Knower of the unseen.

About the Authors: Farhan Iqbal is an Imam of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Canada. He graduated from the Ahmadiyya Institue of Languages and Theology in Canada and is currently serving as Imam of the Baitun Naseer Mosque, Ottawa, Canada. Imam Farhan has represented the Community in various interfaith events, radio programs discussing various matters of faith, and is co-host of the podcast The Conviction Project. He has also hosted several live and recorded programs on MTA (Muslim Television Ahmadiyya). He has co-authored 3 books, namely, ‘Understanding Islam’, ‘The Quest of a Curious Muslim’ and ‘With Love to Muhammad (sa), the Khatam-un-Nabiyin’.

Shahrukh Abid is a graduate from the Ahmadiyya Institute of Languages and Theology in Canada. He currently serves as an Imam of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Brampton, Canada. He has also co-authored two books titled ‘Quest of Curious Muslim’ and ‘Folly of Atheism’.


ENDNOTES

[1]. Holy Qur’an 72:27-28

[2]. Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad (ra), The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophets (sa)—Volume III, trans. Ayyaz Mahmood Khan (UK: Islam International Publications Ltd., 2017), 204.

[3]. Ibid.

[4]. Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad (ra), The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophets (sa)—Volume I, trans. Ayyaz Mahmood Khan (UK: Islam International Publications Ltd., 2011), 324-326.

[5]. Ibid.

[6]. Ibid.

[7]. Ibid.

[8]. Ibid.

[9] Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya—Part IV (UK: Islam International Publications Ltd., 2016), 367.

[10] Khutbat-e-Mahmood, Volume 3, page 39.

Related Posts:

  1. Allah, the Exalted – Part 6
  2. Knowledge of God – Part 11
  3. The True Nature of the ‘Arsh Throne – Part 13
  4. 8 Foundational Arguments for the Existence of God

source THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS

2 replies

  1. ‘How did the Promised Messiah (as) know this in 1984 when there were other people in his family who were healthy and had children? How was he able to predict something none of us can?’

    Can the date mentioned above be corrected, please?

  2. Surah Al Baqarah is the 2nd as well as the longest surah of the Holy Quran. The surah consists of 286 verses and it talks about a range of issues like fasting, pilgrimage, suffering and so on. The surah was revealed to Prophet ﷺ in Medina. Listen to the surah online at Al Quran Karim Website now.

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