The Prophet (saas) Revealed That Only Allah Can Know the Unseen
The word "ghaib" in the Qur'an is used for hidden things that man cannot see or know. Things that will happen in the future are unknown to us, for instance. Yet everything to do with the future, the future of every individual, country, building and piece of furniture, is known to Allah. This is how the Prophet (saas) was told to explain that knowledge of the invisible (ilm-ul-ghaib) lies solely with Allah:
The first original text of the Qur'an (Surat al-Qadr) is exhibited in the Archives Department of Topkapi Palace in Istanbul.
Say: "Allah knows best how long they stayed. The Unseen of the heavens and the earth belongs to Him. How perfectly He sees, how well He hears! They have no protector apart from Him. Nor does He share His rule with anyone." (Surat al-Kahf: 26)
Say: "No one in the heavens and the earth knows the Unseen except Allah." They are not aware of when they will be raised. (Surat an-Naml: 65)
Say: "My Lord hurls forth the Truth—the Knower of all unseen things." (Surah Saba': 48)
When asked about the unseen from time to time, our Prophet (saas) would give the following answer:
"I do not know. I am a servant; all I know is what my Lord reveals. I cannot know what He does not reveal ..." (Abdul-Rahman al-Jami, Nafahat al-Uns, translated into Turkish by Abdulkadir Akcicek, Istanbul, 1981, p. 325)
However, it is also a fact revealed in verses that Allah does impart knowledge of the unseen to those servants He chooses. He reveals in one verse that:
He is the Knower of the Unseen, and does not divulge His Unseen to anyone. Except a Messenger with whom He is well pleased ... (Surat al-Jinn: 26-27)
In another verse, Allah reveals that He has bestowed news from the unseen on our Prophet (saas):
This is news from the unseen which We reveal to you… (Surah Al 'Imran: 44)
Indeed, Allah blessed the Prophet (saas) with much knowledge of the future, and these things have all come about, just as our Prophet (saas) said they would.
The Prophet (saas) Reminded People That Allah Heard Even Their Most Secret Conversations
Some people think that when they intend to do something wrong, or plan a wicked act with others of like-mind, or gossip, they can conceal it from others. However, Allah knows everything an individual thinks, what enters his mind, what two people whisper to each other, and everything in heaven and earth. He witnesses everything a person does. Every individual will have to offer account in the hereafter for everything he thought he had done or said in secret. That person may perhaps forget those words full of wickedness, but Allah will place everything he has forgotten before him on the Day of Judgment.
The Prophet (saas) also drew attention to that fact, and warned people they would have to give account of themselves. These are some of the verses on the subject:
Say, "Whether you conceal what is in your breasts or make it known, Allah knows it. He knows what is in the heavens and what is on earth. Allah has power over all things." (Surah Al 'Imran: 29)
Say: "Allah is a sufficient witness between me and you. He is certainly aware of and sees His servants." (Surat al-Isra': 96)
If they turn their backs, then say: "I have informed all of you equally and I do not know if what you have been promised is near or far. He knows what is said openly and He knows what you hide." (Surat al-Anbiya': 109-110)
Say: "Do you presume to teach Allah your religion when Allah knows everything in the heavens and everything in the earth? Allah has knowledge of all things." (Surat al-Hujurat: 16)