Sharh as-Sunnah : Lessons 34 : Point 46
Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|English]
Imaam Barbahaaree rahimahullaah said:
And to have eemaan that Allaah, the Most High knew whatever was going to occur from the start of time and whatever was not going to occur. Whatever was going to happen then Allaah fully comprehended and enumerated it. And whoever says that He does not know except what has already occurred or what is occurring then he has disbelieved in Allaah, the Tremendous.
It is obligatory to affirm the knowledge of Allaah, the Majestic and Most High and its encompassing everything. So, He has full knowledge of everything and He has full ability over everything and His ilm (knowledge) has no beginning and no ending. His ilm (knowledge) is just like the rest of the attributes established for Him forever. So, just as Allaah has no beginning then likewise, there is no beginning for His names and His attributes and His actions, He, the Perfect and Most High. And just as Allaah has no end, then likewise there is no end for His names and His attributes and His actions, He, the Majestic and Most High. So, He along with His names and His attributes is the First One with no beginning and He along with His names and His attributes is the Last One with no ending just as he sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said addressing his Lord, He, the Most High:
“You are Al-Awwal (the First One) so there is nothing before You and
You are Al-Aakhir (the Last One) so there is nothing after You and
You are Az-Zaahir (the Uppermost One) so there is nothing above You and
You are Al-Baatin (the Closest One) so there is nothing closer than You.”
His saying, “And to have eemaan that Allaah, the Most High knew whatever was going to be from the start of time and whatever was not going to be and whatever exists, He enumerated it and comprehended it all,” Allaah knew whatever was and has passed away in previous time and He knows whatever will be in the future and He knows whatever will not be, if it were to be; how it will be. So, Allaah’s knowledge comprehends everything and therefore He said:
وَلَوْ رُدُّوا لَعَادُوا لِمَا نُهُوا عَنْهُ
If they were to be sent back, they will return to doing whatever they had been forbidden from. (Sooratul-An`aam (6), aayah 28)
So, Allaah knew that if they were to be returned to the world, they would return to doing what they had been forbidden from, meaning if they were returned to the world then they would return to disbelief even though their returning to the world would never happen ever.
His saying, “And whoever says that He does not know except what has already occurred or what is occurring then he has disbelieved in Allaah, the Tremendous,” whoever restricts the knowledge of Allaah to events that have already occurred only and that He does not know what is going to occur before it actually happens then he has disbelieved in Allaah because he has denied the knowledge of Allaah, the Majestic and Most High and he has denied the comprehensiveness of the knowledge of Allaah, the Majestic and Most High and He has affirmed for Allaah deficient knowledge so he becomes a disbeliever on account of this, for the knowledge of Allaah cannot be restricted. As for the knowledge of the created being then it is restricted no matter what level it reaches.
وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ ذِي عِلْمٍ عَلِيمٌ
And above every person possessing knowledge there is one who knows more. (Soorah-Yoosuf (12), aayah 76)
Every person who has knowledge, there will be another person who knows more than him and above all of them is Allaah, the Most High with His knowledge. And He commanded His Messenger to say:
رَّبِّ زِدْنِي عِلْمًا
Oh my Lord, increase me in knowledge. (Soorah Taa-Haa (20), aayah 114)
So, the person who restricts the knowledge of Allaah and says He knows such and such but He does not know such and such, this one is a disbeliever (kaafir) since he has belittled Him and denied the generality of His knowledge of everything.
 Reported by Muslim (2,713) from a hadeeth of Aboo Hurayrah radiyAllaahu `anhu.
 Translator’s side point: Shaykh Ahmad an-Najmee rahimahullaah said,
“With regard to this sentence, there appears to be something missing in the wording here and what is apparent that the meaning is “And He does not know what will be except after it has occurred” and this was the statement of Hishaam ibn Al-Hakam; the head of misguidance, the one who said Allaah does not know things until they actually happen. So, he clearly stated that He, the Perfect does not know anything until He brings about knowledge for Himself of it and this is clear disbelief. Refer to the book Al-Fissal of Ibn Hazm.
I,Shaykh Ahmad, say, the saying that “Allaah does not know things until they have actually happened,” this is the saying of some of the Mu`tazilah and it is a false and futile saying. Whoever believes that then he has disbelieved. So, knowledge (al-ilm) is an attribute of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic. Allaah knew whatever was and whatever will not be and whatever is. If something were to occur, how it will be and He wrote it down in the preserved tablet (al-Lawh al-Mahfudh) before He created the heavens and the earth. So, therefore, whoever denies al-ilm (Allaah’s knowledge) then he is a disbeliever. It’s obligatory that his repentance should be sought and he’ll either repent or he’ll be executed for disbelief and apostasy. And the Salaf (predecessors) said with regard to the Qadariyyah, “Argue with them concerning Allaah’s knowledge for if they deny it, they are disbelievers.” And success is granted by Allaah.”
Ithaaful-Qaaree bit-Ta`leeqaat `alaa Sharhis-Sunnah
(A Gift To The Reader In Annotation Of Sharh As-Sunnah)
by Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan al-Fowzaan hafizahullaah
Translated by Aboo Talhah Daawood Burbank, rahimahullaah
Transcribed by Saima Zaher.
Posted with kind permission from Dawud Burbank rahimahullaah
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