FAQ11: All the verse of the Quran which negate Ilm al Ghayb for the Prophet (saww) only point to the fact that he did not have independent knowledge; rather Allah (swt) gave him the knowledge of everything. This does not mean that the Prophet (saww) does not know everything.
This argument seems good on the surface, but when applied to all the verses, it does not hold water.
Ex1: In 7:188
قُل لَّا أَمْلِكُ لِنَفْسِي نَفْعًا وَلَا ضَرًّا إِلَّا مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ ۚ وَلَوْ كُنتُ أَعْلَمُ الْغَيْبَ لَاسْتَكْثَرْتُ مِنَ الْخَيْرِ وَمَا مَسَّنِيَ السُّوءُ ۚ إِنْ أَنَا إِلَّا نَذِيرٌ وَبَشِيرٌ لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ
Say, “I hold not for myself [the power of] benefit or harm, except what Allah has willed. And if I knew the unseen, I could have acquired much good (wealth), and no harm would have touched me. I am not except a warner and a bringer of good tidings to a people who believe.”
In this verse, having of ilm al ghayb has been related to “acquiring much good” and “not touching of any harm”, how can we apply the “independent and acquired” argument here?
It does not matter whether the Prophet (saww) had independent or acquired “ilm al ghayb”, the point is, if he had this knowledge, he could have acquired much good and no harm would have touched him.
We know that a lot of harm did come to our Prophet (saww), people left him in the battle of Uhud, he was tortured, garbage was thrown at him etc, the Prophet (saww) is being asked to say in the above verse, that if he had ilm al ghayb he could have prevented all this from happening.
Clearly the argument of “independent and acquired” cannot be applied here.
Ex2: In 72:25
قُلْ إِنْ أَدْرِي أَقَرِيبٌ مَّا تُوعَدُونَ أَمْ يَجْعَلُ لَهُ رَبِّي أَمَدً
Say, “I do not know if what you are promised (day of judgment) is near or if my Lord will grant for it a [long] period.”
If the Prophet (saww) had acquired knowledge about the time of Day of Judgment, why would he be asked to say that he does not know? He should have said “My lord has informed me of it, but this is a secret knowledge which cannot be revealed”, but that’s not what he says.
We cannot apply the “independent and acquired” argument here.