Praise be to Allaah.
What this expression means
if that if a person knew what was going to happen to him, which is a matter
of the unseen, he would have been able to avoid the problems and evil that
have befallen him. This is in accordance with the Muslim’s belief
(‘aqeedah), and there is nothing wrong with it, because the unknown is
something that is known only to Allaah. If it were the case that people
could see the unseen and know of events before they happen, they would have
achieved everything good and avoided everything bad. They would look at the
causes of good health, wealth and happiness and they would pursue them, and
they would look at the causes of poverty, disease and death and they would
avoid them. But this is something hypothetical and impossible. The point is
that man is incapable and weak and must submit to the fate that Allaah, may
He be glorified and exalted, has decreed for him.
Allaah says (interpretation
of the meaning):
“Say (O Muhammad
صلى الله عليه وسلم): ‘I possess no power
over benefit or hurt to myself except as Allaah wills. If I had the
knowledge of the Ghayb (Unseen), I should have secured for myself an
abundance of wealth, and no evil should have touched me. I am but a warner,
and a bringer of glad tidings unto people who believe’”
It says in Tafseer
al-Qur’aan il-‘Azeem (3/524):
The best comment concerning
this is what was narrated by al-Dahhaak from Ibn ‘Abbaas: “If I had
knowledge of the unseen I would have acquired a lot of good” i.e., wealth.
According to another report: “If I knew the unseen I would have known what
would make a profit and what would not, and I would have made a lot of money
and poverty would not have come my way.”
Ibn Jareer said: Others
said: What that means is: If I had knowledge of the unseen I would have
prepared for the year of drought (by setting side something) from the year
of plenty, and I would have known when prices were about to go up or down,
so I would have saved for myself from the times when prices were low for the
times when prices were high.
‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Zayd
ibn Aslam said: “and no evil should have touched me” I would have
avoided evil before it happened. End quote.
Shaykh al-Sa’di said in
Tafseer al-Kareem al-Rahmaan (p. 311): “If I had the knowledge of the
Ghayb (Unseen), I should have secured for myself an abundance of wealth, and
no evil should have touched me” means: I would have done the things that
I know would have resulted in good and benefits for me, and I would have
avoided everything that could lead to evil and negative consequences,
because I would have known about things before they happened, and I would
have known what they would lead to.
But – because of my lack of
such knowledge – bad things may happen to me, and I may miss out on good
things. This is the clearest evidence that I have no knowledge of the
unseen. End quote.
See also the answer to
question no. 49004.
And Allaah knows best.