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Implications Of Shaykh Thanvi’s Baaz And Ba-wasta Categorisation On Statement Of Hifz ul-Iman.

3 posts in this topic

Introduction:

Questioner enquired from Shaykh Thanvi about one who believes RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is Aalim ul-Ghayb (i.e. knower of Ghayb) and believes knowledge of Ghayb of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is ba-wasta (i.e. through means). While responding to the questioner Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanvi a founding father of Deobandism made a very distasteful and disrespectful statement about Ghayb knowledge of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). In order to negate the uniqueness of Prophet Muhammad’s (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) knowledge of Ghayb he compared the knowledge of Ghayb of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) with knowledge of Ghayb of; infants, lunatics, animals, carnivores and harbivores. Effort will be made to make clear the sort of Ghuyub inclusive of ba-wasta/baaz and how they effect the meaning of his already offensive statement.

Relevent Statements Of Hifz ul-Iman:

“A certain individual, Amr, stated prostration is of two types, worship, respect, and when on to state Amr believes prostration of respect for other then Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is permissible. And believes Tawaf around the graves (of Awliyah-Allah) is permissible. Evidence of permissibility … Amr also stated Knowledge of Ghayb is bil-Zaat , in this meaning only Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is Aalim ul-Ghayb. And ba-wasta (i.e. bil-Ardh, with means) and in this meaning RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was Aalim ul-Ghayb. How is Amr’s this evidence (and what is legal ruling on Amr’s) these actions and belief? [Ref: Hifz ul-Iman, by Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanvi, Page2,
here] Shar’ri application of Mutliq Ghayb (i.e. boundless Ghayb) is upon Ghayb which cannot be established by evidence and for which there is no mean or way of comprehension. On this [stated] foundation it has been stated (in Quran): "None in the heavens and earth knows the unseen except Allah …” (27:65) and: “And if I knew the unseen, I could have …” (7:188) And knowledge which is via means (i.e. ba-wasta) on this (type of knowledge) application of (word) Ghayb is need of qarina (i.e. evidential support).” [Ref: Hifz ul-Iman, by Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanvi, Page14, here] “If it is correct to attribute knolwedge of Ghayb to holy being (of Prophet) then issue needing to be enquired is: Is this baaz (i.e. some/limited) from Ghayb or qull (i.e. every/all) Ghayb (of Allah); if some from knowledge of Ghayb is intended then what is so unique about Hadhoor’s (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) knowledge of Ghayb; knowledge like (i.e. aisa) this is even possessed by Zayd and Amr; every infant, lunatic, all animals and quadrupeds;because every person knows something which is hidden from another person. (If knowing Ghayb is criteria of attributing title;) then we should call everyone of them Aalim al-Ghayb.” [Ref: Hifz ul-Iman, by Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanvi, Page15, here]

Termonologies Employed And How They Are In Agreement:

Bil-Zaat (بالذات, i.e. of Self) is opposite of Bil-A’rdh (بالعرض, i.e. through means). Bil-Zaat is for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and Bil-A’rdh is for creation. Bila-Wasta (بلاوسطہ , i.e. without means) is opposite of Ba-wasta (بواسطہ , i.e. with means). Bila-Wasta is for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and Ba-wasta is for creation. Mutliq (مطلق , i.e. boundless/limitless) is opposite of Muqayyid (مقيد , i.e. restricted). Mutliq is for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and Muqayyid is for His creation. Baaz (بعض, i.e. partial, some) is opposite of Qull (کل, i.e. all, every).

Termonologies Used For Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) And His Creation:


The terminologies of; bil-Zaat, bila-Wasta, Qull and Mutliq are for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and following are used for creation including RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam); bil-Ardh, bil-Wasta, Baaz, and Muqayyid.

Scholarly Practice One From Set Is Entire Set In Context Of Tawheed:

By employing one or another scholars tend to indicate entire set. So even though Shaykh Thanvi and questioner used different terminologies both are actually referring to same Ghayb. Precision Nazi’s should note questioner mentioned,
بواسطہ, and, بالذات. Shaykh used, بواسطہ, and, مطلق. And in the problematic statement he used, بعض
. Questioner and Shaykh used Ba-wasta and Shaykh in problematic statement used Baaz for knowledge of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). In light of this both Baaz and Ba-wasta will be inserted into context. The word difference of Ba-wasta and Baaz means has no real significance because both referr to same knowledge of Ghayb and it will be established ahead.

Detail Of Ba-wasta Type Of Ghayb:

Ba-wasta means, through means, via means, and such knowledge of Ghayb can be gained through supernatural sight and hearing, and be informed by another. In detail of ba-wasta it is important to point out that there are three main types of ba-wasta type of Ghuyub: i) Akhbar e Ghayb (i.e. news of Ghayb), ii) Mushayda e Ghayb (i.e. seeing of Ghayb), iii) Sama’at e Ghayb (i.e. hearing of Ghayb). Note all knowledge of Ghayb is ba-Atah (i.e. with granting) of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) including ba-wasta (i.e. with means) because Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) grants through means of His choosing. In the next section each type of Ghayb will be briefly explained with its evidences.

News Of Ghayb:

There are verses of Quran which clearly and emphatically state Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) received news of Ghayb: “That is from the news of the Ghayb which We reveal to you. And you were not with them when they cast their pens as to which of them should be responsible for Mary. Nor were you with them when they disputed.” [Ref: 3:44] “That is from the news of the Ghayb which We reveal to you, you knew it not, neither you nor your people, before this. So be patient; indeed, the (best) outcome is for the righteous.” [Ref: 11:49] “That is from the news of the Ghayb which We reveal to you. And you were not with them when they put together their plan while they conspired.” [Ref: 12:102] Yet the foremost evidence for this type of Ghayb is Quran because entire Quran is news/report from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) to Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states: “Say, "I do not know if what you are promised is near or if my Lord will grant for it a (long) period." (25)  (He is) Knower of the Ghayb (i.e. hidden), and He does not disclose His (knowledge of the) Ghayb to anyone.(26) Except whom He has approved as Messengers, and indeed, He sends before each Messenger and behind him observers.(27) That he may know that they have conveyed the messages of their Lord; and He has encompassed whatever is with them and has enumerated all things in number.”(28) [Ref:72:25/27] There are two interpretationf of these verses.[1] If verse 26 is understood in context of verse 26, 27, and 28, then Ghayb is Quran. And interpretation is: Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) the knower of Ghayb (i.e. Aalim ul-Ghayb) grants knowledge of Ghayb to Messengers and accompanies them with angels so Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) knows that the Prophets convey the Message of Ghayb,Wahi/revelation, Quran in context of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Also another verse which reffers to revelation/Wahi, which eventually resulted in Quran, hence establishing Quran is part of Ghuyub known to RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam): “Nor would Allah reveal to you the unseen. But (instead), Allah chooses of His messengers whom He wills, so believe in Allah and His messengers. And if you believe and fear Him, then for you is a great reward.” [Ref: 3:179] Also Ahadith record Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) foretold everything to take place till the day of judgment:
“Narrated Umar: One day the Prophet stood up amongst us for a long period and informed us about the beginning of creation (and talked about everything in detail) till he mentioned how the people of Paradise will enter their places and the people of Hell will enter their places. Some remembered what he had said, and some forgot it.” [Ref: Bukhari, B54, H414] “Narrated Hudhaifa: The Prophet once delivered a speech in front of us wherein he left nothing but mentioned (about) everything that would happen till the Hour. Some of us stored that our minds and some forgot it. (After that speech) I used to see events taking place (which had been referred to in that speech) but I had forgotten them (before their occurrence). Then I would recognize such events as a man recognizes another man who has been absent and then sees and recognizes him.” [Ref: Bukhari, B77, H601] This is one of the miracles of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). These two Ahadith establish the amount of knowledge of Ghayb RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) possessed.

Seeing Of Ghayb:

While Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was leading companions in prayers he saw paradise and the grapes in it and saw hell and Amr bin Luhai in it:
“These (lunar and solar eclipses) are two of the signs of Allah and if you see them, pray till the eclipse is over. No doubt, while standing at this place I saw everything promised to me by Allah and I saw (Paradise) and I wanted to pluck a bunch (of grapes) therefrom, at the time when you saw me stepping forward. No doubt, I saw Hell with its different parts destroying each other when you saw me retreating and in it I saw `Amr bin Luhai who started the tradition of freeing animals (set them free) in the name of idols."
[Ref: Bukhari, B22, H303] Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) saw behind him as he saw with his eyes and sincerity of peoples hearts was not concealed from him as the following Ahadith establish: "It was narrated from Anas that the Prophet used to say: "Make your rows straight, make your rows straight, make your rows straight. By the One in Whose Hand is my soul! I can see you behind me as I can see you in front of me." [Ref: Nisai, B10, H814] "It was narrated from Anas that: The Messenger of Allah  said: 'Bow and prostrate properly, for by Allah I can see you from behind my back when you bow and prostrate.'" [Ref: Nisai, B12, H1118] "Yahya related to me from Malik from Abu'z Zinad from al-Araj from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah ( may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: "Do you see the direction I am facing here? By Allah, neither your concentration nor your ruku is hidden from me. I can see you behind my back." [Ref: Muwatta.I.Malik, B9, H73] Other Ahadith establish that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was shown good/bad deeds of his entire Ummah during his life time and he will be shown the good/bad deeds of his Ummah after his deparths from earthly life: “It was narrated from Abu Dharr that the Prophet said: "My nation was shown to me with their good deeds and bad deeds. Among their good deeds I saw a harmful thing being removed from the road. And among their bad deeds I saw sputum in the mosque that had not been removed." [Ref: Ibn Majah, B33, H3683] “Narrated Sulayman bin Harb, Hammad bin Zaid, Ghalib al Qattan, Bakr bin Abdullah al-Muzani: RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: My life is good for you [because] Hadith are narrated for you and you narrate them. When I die then in my death there is good for you [because] your actions are presented to me. If I see goodness I will praise Allah and if I see otherwise I will seek forgive for you from Allah. [Ref: Khasa’is Ul Kubra, Imam Suyuti, pages 391/392.] He also saw everything to take place on earth till day of judgment established from following Hadith:  "Narrated Hakim Bin Nafi, Saeed Bin Sinan, narrated Abu Zahriyat, Kathir Bin Murra Abu Shajara al-Hadhrami, Ibn Umar said: Abdullah bin Umar (radi Allahu anhuma) that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: "Indeed this entire world is in front of me so that I can observe everything in it. I can see everything in this world and everything that will take place till the Day of Qiyamah. I see the entire world as I see the palm of my hand". [Ref: Kitab al-Fitan, 1st Chapter, Hadith No. 2, by Hafidh Naeem Bin Hammad al-Marwazi]

Hearing Of Ghayb:

It is recorded in Hadith Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) heard the screams of people being tortured in the graves: “Narrated Ibn Abbas:Once the Prophet went through the grave-yards of Medina and heard the voices of two humans who were being tortured in their graves. The Prophet said, "They are being punished, but they are not being punished because of a major sin, yet their sins are great. One of them used not to save himself from (being soiled with) the urine, and the other used to go about with calumnies (Namima)." Then the Prophet asked for a green palm tree leaf and split it into two pieces and placed one piece on each grave, saying, "I hope that their punishment may be abated as long as these pieces of the leaf are not dried." [Ref: Bukhari, B73, H81] “Narrated Abi Aiyub: Once the Prophet went out after sunset and heard a dreadful voice and said, "The Jews are being punished in their graves.” [Ref: Bukhari, B23, H457] “Anas b. Malik said: The Messenger of Allah entered the garden of the palm trees of Banu al-Najjar. He heard a voice and was terrified. He asked: Who are the people buried in these graves? The people replied: Messenger of Allah! These are some people who died in the pre-Islamic times. He said: Seek refuge in Allah from the punishment of the fire, and the trail of Antichrist. They asked: Why is it that, Messenger of Allah? He said: When a man is …” [Ref: Abu Dawud, B41, H4733] In another Hadith it is recorded Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and his companions heard a loud bang noise and Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) explained it is sound of a stone falling bottom of hell: “Abu Huraira reported: We were in the company of Allah's Messenger that we heard a terrible sound. Thereupon Allah's Apostle said: Do you know what (sound) is this? We said: Allah and His Messenger know best. Thereupon he said: That is a stone which was thrown seventy years before in Hell and it has'been constantly slipping down and now it has reached its base.” [Ref: Muslim, B40, H6813] Note sound of stone falling into Hell was heard by companions also because companions of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) witnessed with their ears a miracle of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam).

Seeing And Hearing All Happenings In Universe By Prophet Of Allah:

In another Hadith Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is reported to have said: "It was narrated from Abu Dharr that the Messenger of Allah said:“I see what you do not see, and I hear what you do not hear. The heaven is creaking and it should creak, for there is no space in it the width of four fingers but there is an angel there, prostrating to Allah. By Allah, if you knew what I know, you would laugh little and weep much, and you would never enjoy women in your beds, and you would go out in the streets, beseeching Allah.’” [Ref: Ibn Majah, B37, H4330] And same is reported in another Hadith of Tirmadhi: "Abu Dharr narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: "Indeed I see what you do not see, and I hear what you do not hear. The Heavens creak, and they have the right to creak. There is no spot, the size of four fingers in them, except that there is an angel placing his forehead in it, prostrating to Allah. By Allah! If you knew what I know, then you would laugh little and you would cry much. And you would not taste the pleasures of your women in the beds, and you would go out beseeching Allah." [Ref: Tirmadhi, B10, H2312] Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) described what he saw by saying there isn’t a even four-finger gap on which the angels don’t prostrate  and informed about the creaking of space. This is indication of how much Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’salam) saw and heard.

Ghayb Knowledge Implication Of Shaykh Thanvi’s Statement:

Shaykh Thanvi’s
writtenstatement in light of Baaz and Ba-wasta would read like this: “If it is correct to attribute knolwedge of Ghayb to holy being (of Prophet) then issue needing to be enquired is: Is this baaz (i.e. some/limited) from Ghayb or qull (i.e. every/all) Ghayb (of Allah); if some from (ba-wasta) knowledge of Ghayb is intended then what is so unique about Hadhoor’s (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) knowledge of Ghayb; (ba-wasta) knowledge like (i.e. aisa) this is even possessed by Zayd and Amr; but infants, lunatics, every animal; quadrpeds and carnivores because every person knows something which is hidden from another person. (If knowing Ghayb is criteria of attributing title;) then we should call everyone of them Aalim al-Ghayb.” [Ref: Hifz ul-Iman, by Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanvi, Page15, here] The baaz/ba-wasta knowledge of Ghayb established in previous sections how does it not make prophetic knowledge unique? And which  lunatic, insect, cow, goat, donkey, pig, Amr, buffalo shares with Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) all this knowledge of Ghayb? This much and countless more knowledge of Ghayb being known to RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) proves that he is unique. Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) having so much of ba-wasta and baaz Ghayb is his uniquesness and to negate his speciality/uniqueness of in baaz/ba-wasta Ghayb by equating his knowledge with lunatics, infants animals is Kufr: “… if some from (ba-wasta) knowledge of Ghayb is intended then what is so unique about Hadhoor’s (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) knowledge of Ghayb; (ba-wasta) knowledge like (i.e. aisa) this is even possessed by Zayd and Amr; every infant, lunatic, all animals and quadrupeds;…”

Explanation Of Islamic Position With Examples And Their Objectives:

When ever someone esteemed is compared with inferior in order to negate a merit insult is intended. If one says: You’re not slim in fact you’re fat like a pig. He may say I intended to say you’re fat but every sane person would take offence for two reasons being called fat and being equated to pig in fatness. Similarly Shaykh Thanvi’s first offense is that he negated merit of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and second is that he did so by equating his prophetic knowledge to knowledge of lunatics, infants, and animals. Also considering what the Ghuyub are, especially knowledge of Wahi/Quran, it is disrespect of Quran/Wahi to say even dogs possess such baaz knowledge of Ghayb. And worse it would mean that lunatics, infants, animals and every day idiots can receive Wahi because it is part of baaz/ba-wasta Ghuyub.


Conclusion:

Baaz and Ba-wasta knowledge of Ghayb known to RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is unique and the quantity and the types of Ghuyun known to him establishes his uniqueness/speciality in creation of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). And therefore to equate prophetic knowledge with knowledge of lunatics, infants, animals and common folk is to insult Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Being equated to animals, lunatics and infants implies being infant, lunatic, animal in knowledge and or no better then them in knowledge. None would take this to be words of endearment. And to think for RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) this would be acceptable/excusable is only dream and wishful thinking of disbelievers.

Wama alayna ilal balaghul mubeen.
Muhammed Ali Razavi.

Footnotes:

- [1] And if verse 26 is understood in the context of verse 25 and 27 then Ghayb referred is knowledge of judgment day and meaning is Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) does not share it with anyone other then chosen Messengers. Implications would be that Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) sends four gardian angels with Jibraeel (alayhis salam) so no one steals knowledge from him and that he delivers it to Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam).

Edited by MuhammedAli

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Updated.

Implications Of Shaykh Thanvi’s Baaz And Ba-wasta Categorisation On Statement Of Hifz ul-Iman.

Introduction:

Questioner enquired from Shaykh Thanvi about one who believes RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is Aalim ul-Ghayb (i.e. knower of Ghayb) and believes knowledge of Ghayb of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is ba-wasta (i.e. through means). While responding to the questioner Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanvi a founding father of Deobandism made a very distasteful and disrespectful statement about Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and his Ghayb knowledge. In order to negate the uniqueness of Prophet Muhammad’s (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) he compared the knowledge of Ghayb of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) with knowledge of Ghayb of; infants, lunatics, animals, quadrupeds, Zaid and Amr.  Effort will be made to make clear the sort of Ghuyub inclusive of ba-wasta/baaz and how they effect the meaning of his already offensive statement.

Relevent Statements Of Hifz ul-Iman:

“A certain individual, Amr, stated prostration is of two types, worship, respect, and when on to state Amr believes prostration of respect for other then Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is permissible. And believes Tawaf around the graves (of Awliyah-Allah) is permissible. Evidence of permissibility … Amr also stated Knowledge of Ghayb is bil-Zaat , in this meaning only Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is Aalim ul-Ghayb. And ba-wasta (i.e. bil-Ardh, with means) and in this meaning RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was Aalim ul-Ghayb. How is Amr’s this evidence (and what is legal ruling on Amr’s) these actions and belief? [Ref: Hifz ul-Iman, by Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanvi, Page2,
here] Shar’ri application of Mutliq Ghayb (i.e. boundless Ghayb) is upon Ghayb which cannot be established by evidence and for which there is no mean or way of comprehension. On this [stated] foundation it has been stated (in Quran): "None in the heavens and earth knows the unseen except Allah …” (27:65) and: “And if I knew the unseen, I could have …” (7:188) And knowledge which is via means (i.e. ba-wasta) on this (type of knowledge) application of (word) Ghayb is need of qarina (i.e. evidential support).” [Ref: Hifz ul-Iman, by Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanvi, Page14, here] “If according to Zaid it is correct to attribute knolwedge of Ghayb to holy being (of Prophet) then matter needs to be enquired; is intended meaning of this Ghayb; baaz Ghayb or qull Ghayb (of Allah); if baaz knowledge of Ghayb is intended; then in this what is so unique about Hadhoor (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam); Ghayb knowledge like-this is even possessed by Zayd and Amr; every infant, lunatic, all animals and quadrupeds; because every person knows something which is hidden from another person. (If knowing Ghayb is criteria of attributing title;) then we should call everyone of them Aalim al-Ghayb.” [Ref: Hifz ul-Iman, by Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanvi, Page15, here]

Termonologies Employed And How They Are In Agreement:

Bil-Zaat (
بالذات, i.e. of Self) is opposite of Bil-A’rdh (بالعرض, i.e. through means). Bil-Zaat is for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and Bil-A’rdh is for creation. Bila-Wasta (بلاوسطہ , i.e. without means) is opposite of Ba-wasta (بواسطہ , i.e. with means). Bila-Wasta is for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and Ba-wasta is for creation. Mutliq (مطلق , i.e. boundless/limitless) is opposite of Muqayyid (مقيد , i.e. restricted). Mutliq is for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and Muqayyid is for His creation. Baaz (بعض, i.e. partial, some) is opposite of Qull (کل, i.e. all, every).

Termonologies Used For Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) And His Creation:


The terminologies of; bil-Zaat, bila-Wasta, Qull and Mutliq are for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and following are used for creation including RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam); bil-Ardh, bil-Wasta, Baaz, and Muqayyid.

Scholarly Practice One From Set Is Entire Set In Context Of Tawheed:

By employing one or another scholars tend to indicate entire set. So even though Shaykh Thanvi and questioner used different terminologies both are actually referring to same Ghayb. Precision Nazi’s should note questioner mentioned,
بواسطہ, and, بالذات. Shaykh used, بواسطہ, and, مطلق. And in the problematic statement he used, بعض. Questioner and Shaykh used Ba-wasta and Shaykh in problematic statement used Baaz for knowledge of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). In light of this both Baaz and Ba-wasta will be inserted into context. The word difference of Ba-wasta and Baaz means has no real significance because both referr to same knowledge of Ghayb and it will be established ahead.

Detail Of Ba-wasta Type Of Ghayb:

Ba-wasta means, through means, via means, and such knowledge of Ghayb can be gained through supernatural sight and hearing, and be informed by another. In detail of ba-wasta it is important to point out that there are three main types of ba-wasta type of Ghuyub: i) Akhbar e Ghayb (i.e. news of Ghayb), ii) Mushayda e Ghayb (i.e. seeing of Ghayb), iii) Sama’at e Ghayb (i.e. hearing of Ghayb). Note all knowledge of Ghayb is ba-Atah (i.e. with granting) of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) including ba-wasta (i.e. with means) because Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) grants through means of His choosing. In the next section each type of Ghayb will be briefly explained with its evidences.

News Of Ghayb:

There are verses of Quran which clearly and emphatically state Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) received news of Ghayb: “That is from the news of the Ghayb which We reveal to you. And you were not with them when they cast their pens as to which of them should be responsible for Mary. Nor were you with them when they disputed.” [Ref: 3:44] “That is from the news of the Ghayb which We reveal to you, you knew it not, neither you nor your people, before this. So be patient; indeed, the (best) outcome is for the righteous.” [Ref: 11:49] “That is from the news of the Ghayb which We reveal to you. And you were not with them when they put together their plan while they conspired.” [Ref: 12:102] Yet the foremost evidence for this type of Ghayb is Quran because entire Quran is news/report from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) to Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states: “Say, "I do not know if what you are promised is near or if my Lord will grant for it a (long) period." (25)  (He is) Knower of the Ghayb (i.e. hidden), and He does not disclose His (knowledge of the) Ghayb to anyone.(26) Except whom He has approved as Messengers, and indeed, He sends before each Messenger and behind him observers.(27) That he may know that they have conveyed the messages of their Lord; and He has encompassed whatever is with them and has enumerated all things in number.”(28) [Ref:72:25/27] There are two interpretationf of these verses.[1] If verse 26 is understood in context of verse 26, 27, and 28, then Ghayb is Quran. And interpretation is: Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) the knower of Ghayb (i.e. Aalim ul-Ghayb) grants knowledge of Ghayb to Messengers and accompanies them with angels so Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) knows that the Prophets convey the Message of Ghayb,Wahi/revelation, Quran in context of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Also another verse which reffers to revelation/Wahi, which eventually resulted in Quran, hence establishing Quran is part of Ghuyub known to RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam): “Nor would Allah reveal to you the unseen. But (instead), Allah chooses of His messengers whom He wills, so believe in Allah and His messengers. And if you believe and fear Him, then for you is a great reward.” [Ref: 3:179] Also Ahadith record Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) foretold everything to take place till the day of judgment:
“Narrated Umar: One day the Prophet stood up amongst us for a long period and informed us about the beginning of creation (and talked about everything in detail) till he mentioned how the people of Paradise will enter their places and the people of Hell will enter their places. Some remembered what he had said, and some forgot it.” [Ref: Bukhari, B54, H414] “Narrated Hudhaifa: The Prophet once delivered a speech in front of us wherein he left nothing but mentioned (about) everything that would happen till the Hour. Some of us stored that our minds and some forgot it. (After that speech) I used to see events taking place (which had been referred to in that speech) but I had forgotten them (before their occurrence). Then I would recognize such events as a man recognizes another man who has been absent and then sees and recognizes him.” [Ref: Bukhari, B77, H601] This is one of the miracles of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). These two Ahadith establish the amount of knowledge of Ghayb RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) possessed.

Seeing Of Ghayb:

While Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was leading companions in prayers he saw paradise and the grapes in it and saw hell and Amr bin Luhai in it:
“These (lunar and solar eclipses) are two of the signs of Allah and if you see them, pray till the eclipse is over. No doubt, while standing at this place I saw everything promised to me by Allah and I saw (Paradise) and I wanted to pluck a bunch (of grapes) therefrom, at the time when you saw me stepping forward. No doubt, I saw Hell with its different parts destroying each other when you saw me retreating and in it I saw `Amr bin Luhai who started the tradition of freeing animals (set them free) in the name of idols." [Ref: Bukhari, B22, H303] Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) saw behind him as he saw with his eyes and sincerity of peoples hearts was not concealed from him as the following Ahadith establish: "It was narrated from Anas that the Prophet used to say: "Make your rows straight, make your rows straight, make your rows straight. By the One in Whose Hand is my soul! I can see you behind me as I can see you in front of me." [Ref: Nisai, B10, H814] "It was narrated from Anas that: The Messenger of Allah  said: 'Bow and prostrate properly, for by Allah I can see you from behind my back when you bow and prostrate.'" [Ref: Nisai, B12, H1118] "Yahya related to me from Malik from Abu'z Zinad from al-Araj from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah ( may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: "Do you see the direction I am facing here? By Allah, neither your concentration nor your ruku is hidden from me. I can see you behind my back." [Ref: Muwatta.I.Malik, B9, H73] Other Ahadith establish that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was shown good/bad deeds of his entire Ummah during his life time and he will be shown the good/bad deeds of his Ummah after his deparths from earthly life: “It was narrated from Abu Dharr that the Prophet said: "My nation was shown to me with their good deeds and bad deeds. Among their good deeds I saw a harmful thing being removed from the road. And among their bad deeds I saw sputum in the mosque that had not been removed." [Ref: Ibn Majah, B33, H3683] “Narrated Sulayman bin Harb, Hammad bin Zaid, Ghalib al Qattan, Bakr bin Abdullah al-Muzani: RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: My life is good for you [because] Hadith are narrated for you and you narrate them. When I die then in my death there is good for you [because] your actions are presented to me. If I see goodness I will praise Allah and if I see otherwise I will seek forgive for you from Allah. [Ref: Khasa’is Ul Kubra, Imam Suyuti, pages 391/392.] He also saw everything to take place on earth till day of judgment established from following Hadith:  "Narrated Hakim Bin Nafi, Saeed Bin Sinan, narrated Abu Zahriyat, Kathir Bin Murra Abu Shajara al-Hadhrami, Ibn Umar said: Abdullah bin Umar (radi Allahu anhuma) that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: "Indeed this entire world is in front of me so that I can observe everything in it. I can see everything in this world and everything that will take place till the Day of Qiyamah. I see the entire world as I see the palm of my hand". [Ref: Kitab al-Fitan, 1st Chapter, Hadith No. 2, by Hafidh Naeem Bin Hammad al-Marwazi]

Hearing Of Ghayb

It is recorded in Hadith Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) heard the screams of people being tortured in the graves: “Narrated Ibn Abbas:Once the Prophet went through the grave-yards of Medina and heard the voices of two humans who were being tortured in their graves. The Prophet said, "They are being punished, but they are not being punished because of a major sin, yet their sins are great. One of them used not to save himself from (being soiled with) the urine, and the other used to go about with calumnies (Namima)." Then the Prophet asked for a green palm tree leaf and split it into two pieces and placed one piece on each grave, saying, "I hope that their punishment may be abated as long as these pieces of the leaf are not dried." [Ref: Bukhari, B73, H81] “Narrated Abi Aiyub: Once the Prophet went out after sunset and heard a dreadful voice and said, "The Jews are being punished in their graves.” [Ref: Bukhari, B23, H457] “Anas b. Malik said: The Messenger of Allah entered the garden of the palm trees of Banu al-Najjar. He heard a voice and was terrified. He asked: Who are the people buried in these graves? The people replied: Messenger of Allah! These are some people who died in the pre-Islamic times. He said: Seek refuge in Allah from the punishment of the fire, and the trail of Antichrist. They asked: Why is it that, Messenger of Allah? He said: When a man is …” [Ref: Abu Dawud, B41, H4733] In another Hadith it is recorded Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and his companions heard a loud bang noise and Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) explained it is sound of a stone falling bottom of hell: “Abu Huraira reported: We were in the company of Allah's Messenger that we heard a terrible sound. Thereupon Allah's Apostle said: Do you know what (sound) is this? We said: Allah and His Messenger know best. Thereupon he said: That is a stone which was thrown seventy years before in Hell and it has'been constantly slipping down and now it has reached its base.” [Ref: Muslim, B40, H6813] Note sound of stone falling into Hell was heard by companions also because companions of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) witnessed with their ears a miracle of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam).

Seeing And Hearing All Happenings In Universe By Prophet Of Allah:

In another Hadith Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is reported to have said: "It was narrated from Abu Dharr that the Messenger of Allah said:“I see what you do not see, and I hear what you do not hear. The heaven is creaking and it should creak, for there is no space in it the width of four fingers but there is an angel there, prostrating to Allah. By Allah, if you knew what I know, you would laugh little and weep much, and you would never enjoy women in your beds, and you would go out in the streets, beseeching Allah.’” [Ref: Ibn Majah, B37, H4330] And same is reported in another Hadith of Tirmadhi: "Abu Dharr narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: "Indeed I see what you do not see, and I hear what you do not hear. The Heavens creak, and they have the right to creak. There is no spot, the size of four fingers in them, except that there is an angel placing his forehead in it, prostrating to Allah. By Allah! If you knew what I know, then you would laugh little and you would cry much. And you would not taste the pleasures of your women in the beds, and you would go out beseeching Allah." [Ref: Tirmadhi, B10, H2312] Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) described what he saw by saying there isn’t a even four-finger gap on which the angels don’t prostrate  and informed about the creaking of space. This is indication of how much Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’salam) saw and heard.

Ghayb Knowledge Implication Of Shaykh Thanvi’s Statement:

Shaykh Thanvi’s
writtenstatement in light of Baaz and Ba-wasta would read like this: “If it is correct to attribute knolwedge of Ghayb to holy being (of Prophet) then issue needing to be enquired is: Is this baaz (i.e. some/limited) from Ghayb or qull (i.e. every/all) Ghayb (of Allah); if some from (ba-wasta) knowledge of Ghayb is intended; then in this what is so unique about Hadhoor’s (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) knowledge of Ghayb; (ba-wasta) knowledge like (i.e. aisa) this is even possessed by Zayd and Amr; but infants, lunatics, every animal; quadrpeds and carnivores because every person knows something which is hidden from another person. (If knowing Ghayb is criteria of attributing title;) then we should call everyone of them Aalim al-Ghayb.” [Ref: Hifz ul-Iman, by Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanvi, Page15, here] The baaz/ba-wasta knowledge of Ghayb established in previous sections how does it not make Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and his prophetic knowledge unique? And which  lunatic, insect, cow, goat, donkey, pig, Amr, buffalo shares with Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) all this knowledge of Ghayb? This much and countless more knowledge of Ghayb being known to RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) proves that he is unique. Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) having so much of ba-wasta and baaz Ghayb is his uniquesness and to negate his speciality/uniqueness of in baaz/ba-wasta Ghayb by equating his knowledge with lunatics, infants animals is Kufr: “… if baaz ba-wasta knowledge of Ghayb is intended; then in this what is so unique about Hadhoor (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam); ba-wasta Ghayb knowledge like-this is even possessed by Zayd and Amr; every infant, lunatic, all animals and quadrupeds …”

Explanation Of Islamic Position With Examples And Their Objectives:

When ever someone esteemed is compared with inferior in order to negate a merit then insult is intended. If one says: You’re not slim in fact you’re fat like a pig. He may say I intended to say you’re fat but every sane person would take offence for two reasons being called fat and being equated to pig in fatness. Similarly Shaykh Thanvi’s first offense is that he negated merit of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and second is that he did so by equating him through prophetic knowledge to knowledge of Zaid, Amr, lunatics, infants, and animals. Also considering what the Ghuyub are; especially knowledge of Wahi/Quran, it is disrespect of Quran/Wahi; to say even lunatics, infants, animals … possess such baaz knowledge of Ghayb. And worse it would mean that lunatics, infants, animals and every day idiots can receive Wahi because it is part of baaz/ba-wasta Ghuyub.

Conclusion:

Baaz and Ba-wasta knowledge of Ghayb known to RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is unique and the quantity and the types of Ghuyun known to him establishes his uniqueness/speciality in creation of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). And therefore to equate Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) prophetic knowledge with knowledge of lunatics, infants, animals and common folk is to insult Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Being equated to animals, lunatics and infants implies being infant, lunatic, animal in knowledge and or no better then them in knowledge. None would take this to be words of endearment. And to think for RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) this would be acceptable/excusable is only dream and wishful thinking of disbelievers.

Wama alayna ilal balaghul mubeen.
Muhammed Ali Razavi.

Footnotes:

- [1] And if verse 26 is understood in the context of verse 25 and 27 then Ghayb referred is knowledge of judgment day and meaning is Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) does not share it with anyone other then chosen Messengers. Implications would be that Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) sends four gardian angels with Jibraeel (alayhis salam) so no one steals knowledge from him and that he delivers it to Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam).

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I have made improvements to translation of Hifz ul-Iman. I noted did not translate an important part ... and some structural modifications were made to ensure it is closer to original Urdu:

  “A certain individual, Zayd, stated prostration is of two types, worship, respect, and when on to state Amr believes prostration of respect for other then Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is permissible. And believes Tawaf (i.e. circumbulation) around the graves (of Awliyah-Allah) is permissible. Evidence of permissibility … And says Ilm Al-Ghayb is of two types: bil-Zaat [of one’s ownself]; in this meaning only Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is Aalim ul-Ghayb, none else. And ba-wasta [through means, alternative; bil-Ardh; granted by another] and in this meaning RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was Aalim ul-Ghayb. How is Amr’s this evidence (and what is legal ruling on Amr’s) these actions and belief? [Ref: Hifz ul-Iman, by Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanvi, Page2, here]

The underlinned parts were improved

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