Icharwi distorting quotes about ilm al-ghayb

December 30, 2011

by Saad Khan

It is a well-known belief of the Barelwis that the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) was given complete knowledge of the unseen (ilm al-ghayb) from the advent of creation till people enter Paradise and Hell and even after that.

Famous high-ranking Barelwi scholar and debater Molwi Muhammad ‘Umar Icharwi (d: 1971), known as ‘Munazir-i-Islam’ in Barlewi circles, has tried in vain to prove that Holy Messenger had complete ilm al-ghayb. In this effort he goes as far as misquoting Shihab al-Din Qastalani al-Shafi’i (d. 923).

Molwi Muhamamd ‘Umar quotes from Irshad al-Sari which is a Sharh of Sahih al-Bukhari by Qastalani,

يرى ان صحة النبوة تستلزم اطلاع النبى صلى اللّه عليه وسلم على جميع المغيبات

“For the Prophethood to be valid it is required the Holy Prophet knows all of the unseen.” (Miqyase Hanafiyyat, p. 385)

He misquotes ‘Allamah Qastalani. Below is the accurate quote from Irshad al-Sari of Qastallani:

فإن بعض من لم يرسخ في الإيمان كان يظن ذلك حتى كان يرى أن صحة النبوة تستلزم إطلاع النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم على جميع المغيبات

“Some of those who are not firm in faith (Iman) believe to such a degree that they consider that for the Prophethood to be valid it is required the Holy Prophet (Allah bless him and hive him peace) knows all of the unseen.”

Notice how he left out the part in red as it demolishes their ‘aqidah.

This exact quote can also be found in Fath al-Bari, 13:364, of Hafiz ibn Hajr al- ‘Asqalani (may Allah have mercy on him).

فإن بعض من لم يرسخ في الإيمان كان يظن ذلك حتى كان يرى أن صحة النبوة تستلزم إطلاع النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم على جميع المغيبات

It is bold of him to leave out the first part of the sentence in which ‘Allamah Qastalani is attributing the ‘aqidah of complete knowledge of unseen to those who are not solid in faith and belief.

Scan from Umar Icharwi:

Original scan of Qastalani: