Imam tells future events


Is it right in Islam for any Imam to say he knows the events of the future? Is there anyone but Allah who knows the person we will be married to or end up with or the type of life we will lead? I know there are fortune tellers out in this world but is it not haram for an Imam to claim he knows the future?


Past, present and future are equally and indifferently known to Allah Most High and He reveals of that whatever He wishes to whomever He wishes:

يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ
أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ وَلاَ يُحِيطُونَ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلاَّ بِمَا
{He knoweth that which is in front of them and that which is behind them, while they encompass nothing of His knowledge save what He will} (2:255).

However, it is not the way of the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) to claim to know the events of the future unless there is a Divine command and wisdom to that effect which is part of his Prophetic mission and therefore exclusive to him:

قُلْ مَا كُنتُ بِدْعًا مِّنْ الرُّسُلِ
وَمَا أَدْرِي مَا يُفْعَلُ بِي وَلَا بِكُمْ إِنْ أَتَّبِعُ إِلَّا مَا يُوحَى إِلَيَّ وَمَا أَنَا
إِلَّا نَذِيرٌ مُّبِينٌ

{Say: I am no new thing among the messengers (of Allah), nor know I what will be done with me or with you. I do but follow that which is inspired in me, and I am but a plain warner}

When the angel asked the Holy Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) “When is the Hour?” He replied “It is among five things of the unseen which Allah alone knows.” Imam Abu al-`Abbas al-Qurtubi said in his Commentary on Sahih Muslim:

No one whatsoever may aspire to know anything about these five things as stipulated in this hadith. In addition, the Prophet explained that the verse {And He has with Him the keys to the unseen, which no one knows except He} (6:59) means these five things. This explanation is in the Sahih. Therefore, whoever claims to know any of them independently of the Messenger of Allah (upon him blessings and peace) , that person is a liar in what they claim. As for conjecture about the unseen, such is possible on the part of the astrologer (al-munajjim) and others [e.g. geomancers, fortune-tellers] since it is a matter of custom, not knowledge, and Ibn `Abd al-Barr cited Consensus over the prohibition of taking, stipulating, or giving any kind of compensation in exchange for such information.

Hajj Gibril Haddad

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