People who say Alim ul Ghayb to the Prophet. Permissible, kufr shirk?

Question:

Salaam alaykum beloveds! Could you please pray for me that Allah makes me from his obedient slaves jzk. I believe the prophet was given ilm ul ghayb aata’i. However someone I know says it’s okay to call the prophet alim ul ghayb. Question to Shaykh Gibril

Answer:

Waalaykumussalam warahmatullah,

Among the documented names of the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, are al-`Alim (العالم) and al-`Aleem (العليم).

We should use whatever the pious and knowledgeable predecessors in this Umma used, with the intention of pleasing Allah in obedience to His order to magnify the Prophet and to bless him. We should not trespass that.

Imam Ahmad Rida Khan wrote in al-Dawlat al-Makkiyya to the effect that the Holy Prophet was given `ilm `ata’i (God-given knowledge), juz’i (partial), and ghayr mustaqill (not independent). This is the meaning of Ummi: truly dependent, meaning dependent on Allah, as Shaykh `Abd al-Rahman al-Shaghuri wrote in his preface to Kitab al-Ibriz. However, I have not seen in those books or in any of the many books of the Awliya on the Names of the Prophet, or heard any of the Shuyukh use the name `Alim al-ghayb (عالم الغيب), or `Alim al-ghaybi wal-shahada (عالم الغيب والشهادة Knower of the unseen and the seen) in reference to the Prophet. Such names are considered by all to be Divine Names.

If “`alim al-ghayb” can be found spoken or used by one of the authoritative people of knowledge as being applied to the Prophet verbatim as one of his names, then it may be permissible to use with the required understanding that:

(i) such application must have a demonstrable basis in the Qur’an and Hadith, as the Prophetic Names are divinely-ordained (tawqifiyya) i.e. decided by Allah and the Prophet, and they are impermissible to infer on our own; and

(ii) as stated in al-Dawla al-Makkiyya, that “the knowledge of creation is like a drop in the oceans of the Prophet’s knowledge, and the Prophet’s knowledge is like a drop in the oceans of the knowledge of Allah.”

May Allah make you and us of His obedient servants and followers and of those of the Prophet.

Hajj Gibril Haddad

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