إن الأنبياء لا يعلمون من الغيب إلا ما علمهم الله تعالى ووقت الساعة ليس منه
“The Prophets do not know from the ghayb except what Allah – exalted is He – taught them, and the timing of the Hour is not from this.”
Of course this is not a doctrine for which we need to take recourse to the Imams of ‘Aqidah as it is evident from the clear pronouncements of the Qur’an and hadith. But the Barelwis have attempted to muddy this clarity, which is why the statements of ‘Aqidah scholars are quoted. In Abu Hafs Siraj ad-Din Umar ibn Ishaq al-Ghaznawi al-Hindi’s (d.773 H) commentary of Imam al-Tahawi’s ‘Aqidah text we have another explicit quote from this great Maturidi Hanafi Imam on this issue, in which he explicitly states that to hold the belief that someone from creation has this knowledge is kufr (disbelief)! Barelwis must therefore distance themselves from this opinion and from anyone who holds this opinion (like Ahmad Rida Khan) if they wish to be included in the Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah as propounded by the Imams of Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah.Al-Ghaznawi’s work can be found here: http://ia600400.us.archive.org/27/items/aslein5/babarty.pdfOn page 87, he quotes Imam al-Tahawi’s ‘Aqidah text which says:
العلم علمان علم فى الخلق موجود وعلم فى الخلق مفقود فإنكار العلم الموجود كفر وادعاء العلم المفقود كفر ولا يثبت الإيمان إلا بقبول العلم الموجود وترك طلب العلم المفقود
“Knowledge is two knowledges: Knowledge available to the creation, and knowledge unavailable to creation. Thus, denial of the knowledge available [to creation] is disbelief, and to claim the knowledge unavailable [to creation] is disbelief. Iman is not established except by accepting the available knowledge and avoiding seeking the unavailable knowledge.”After explaining what is meant by “available knowledge” (like knowledge of the existence of the Creator, His omniscience and omnipotence, and knowledge of Halal and Haram), he explains unavailable knowledge as follows:
وأما العلم المفقود فيهم فنحو العلم الذي أخفاه الله عن خلقه كالعلم بالغيب الذي استأثر بعلمه وكعلم القضاء والقدر وقيام الساعة كما قال الله تعالى قل لا يعلم من فى السموت والأرض الغيب إلا الله وقال لا يجليها لوقتها إلا هو فادعاء هذا العلم وطلبه كفر أيضا لأنه دعوى المشاركة مع الله فيما استأثر به
“As for the knowledge unavailable to them [i.e. creation], it is like the knowledge which Allah has kept hidden from His creation, like knowledge of that unseen which Allah has kept exclusive knowledge of, and like knowledge of Qada and Qadr [as stated by al-Tahawi in the main text], and [the time] of the commencement of the Hour, as Allah (exalted is He) said: ‘Say: None in the heavens and earth knows theghayb besides Allah,’ (Naml: 65) and He said: “None reveals it [i.e. the time of the Hour] besides Him at its time.” (A’raf: 187). Thus, to claim this knowledge [for any of creation] and to seek it is also disbelief (kufr) because it is to claim partnership with Allah in that which He has taken exclusive possession of.” (Sharh ‘Aqidah Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah, al-Ghaznawi, p. 88)
Note: in the link given above, the editors have mistakenly attributed the sharh of Tahawiyya to al-Babarti.