The Knower of the Unseen: More Islamic Proof for the Deity of Christ

According to the Quran there is no person who knows the unseen except Allah,

Say (O Muhammad): None in the heavens and the earth knoweth the Unseen save Allah; and they know not when they will be raised (again). Nay, but doth their knowledge reach to the Hereafter? Nay, for they are in doubt concerning it. Nay, for they cannot see it. S. 27:65-66 Pickthall

And they say: “How is it that not a sign is sent down on him from his Lord?” Say: “The unseen belongs to Allah Alone, so wait you, verily I am with you among those who wait (for Allah’s Judgement).” S. 10:20 Hilali-Khan

Not even Muhammad himself:

Say (O Muhammad): “I possess no power of benefit or hurt to myself except as Allah wills. If I had the knowledge of the Ghaib (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.” S. 7:188 Hilali-Khan

And yet ironically, the Quran claims that Jesus possesses knowledge of the unseen, since he knew what people would eat and what they hidden from plain sight:

to be a Messenger to the Children of Israel saying, “I have come to you with a sign from your Lord. I will create for you out of clay as the likeness of a bird; then I will breathe into it, and it will be a bird, by the leave of God. I will also heal the blind and the leper, and bring to life the dead, by the leave of God. I will inform you too of what things you eat, and what you treasure up in your houses. Surely in that is a sign for you, if you are believers.” S. 3:49 Arberry

The Islamic scripture further implies that Jesus has knowledge of the last hour, i.e., Christ knows when the end of the age shall come to pass:

And when is presented, (the) son (of) Maryam, (as) an example behold! Your people about it laughed aloud. And they said, “Are our gods better or he?” Not they present it to you except (for) argument. Nay, they (are) a people argumentative. Not he (was) except a slave, We bestowed Our favor on him and We made him an example for (the) Children of Israel. And if We willed, surely We (could have) made among you Angels in the earth succeeding. And indeed, he surely (is) a knowledge (la’il’mun) of the Hour. So (do) not (be) doubtful about it, and follow Me. This (is the) Path Straight. And (let) not avert you the satan. Indeed, he (is) for you an enemy clear. And when came Isa with clear proofs, he said, “Verily, I have come to you with wisdom and that I make clear to you some (of) that which you differ in it. So fear Allah and obey me. Indeed, Allah, He (is) my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. This (is) a Path Straight.” S. 43:57-64

Note how the following versions render v. 61:

And he (‘Isa) is a source of knowledge of the Hour (the Day of Judgment)… (Muhammad Taqi Usmani

Indeed, He has the knowledge of the Hour… (Ahmed Hulusi

And he (Isa) is certainly the knowledge (a sign) for the hour of doom… (Mir Aneesuddin

Here is how renowned Muslim scholar and Quran commentator Ibn Kathir explains this verse:

Allah’s saying…

(And he (`Isa) shall be a known sign for (the coming of) the Hour.) The correct view concerning this phrase is that it refers to his descent before the Day of Resurrection, as Allah says…

(And there is none of the People of the Scripture but must believe in him before his death) (4:159). — meaning before the death of `Isa…

(And on the Day of Resurrection, he will be a witness against them) (4:159). This meaning has the support from an alternate recitation of the Ayat (And he shall be a known sign for (the coming of) the Hour.) means, evidence that the Hour will surely come. Mujahid said…

(And he shall be a sign for (the coming of) the Hour.) means, sign and “One of the signs of the Hour will be the appearance of `Isa son of Maryam before the Day of Resurrection.” Something similar was also narrated from Abu Hurayrah, Ibn `Abbas, `Abu Al-`Aliyah, Abu Malik, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and others. Many Mutawatir Hadiths report that the Messenger of Allah said that `Isa will descend before the Day of Resurrection as a just ruler and fair judge. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Q. 43:61; bold and underline emphasis mine) 

Hence, Muslims have virtually unanimously held to the view that Q. 43:61 is all about Jesus and the role he plays in revealing and ushering in the last day.

In fact, according to one hadith Jesus is depicted as the only prophet/messenger who has knowledge about what first must take place before the end comes:

It was narrated that ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud said:

“On the night on which the Messenger of Allah was taken on the Night Journey (Isra’), he met Ibrahim, Musa and ‘Eisa, and they discussed the Hour. They started with Ibrahim, and asked him about it, but he did not have any knowledge of it. Then they asked Musa, and he did not have any knowledge of it. Then they asked ‘Eisa bin Maryam, and he said: ‘I have been assigned to some tasks before it happens.’ As for as when it will take place, no one knows that except Allah. Then he mentioned Dajjal and said: ‘I will descend and kill him, then the people will return to their own lands and will be confronted with Gog and Magog people, who will: “swoop down from every mound.”[21:96] They will not pass by any water but they will drink it, (and they will not pass) by anything but they will spoil it. They (the people) will beseech Allah, and I will pray to Allah to kill them. The earth will be filled with their stench and (the people) will beseech Allah and I will pray to Allah, then the sky will send down rain that will carry them and throw them in the sea. Then the mountains will turn to dust and the earth will be stretched out like a hide. I have been promised that when that happens, the Hour will come upon the people, like a pregnant woman whose family does not know when she will suddenly give birth.'” (One of the narrators) ‘Awwam said: “Confirmation of that is found in the Book of Allah, where Allah says: “Until, when Gog and Magog people are let loose (from their barrier), and they swoop down from every mound (21:96).”

Grade: Sahih (Darussalam)

Reference: Sunan Ibn Majah 4081

In-book reference: Book 36, Hadith 156

English translation: Vol. 5, Book 36, Hadith 4081 (; underline emphasis mine)

Here we have Jesus clearly revealing the events which usher in the last hour, showing he clearly knows the unseen just like God does. This in itself outs Christ on a whole different level than any prophet, messenger, or creature. As one Christian writer and evangelist put it:

First, we look at Surat al-Imran (the Family of ‘Imran) 3:49…

Muslim scholars take two positions on this passage. Some believe that from the beginning ‘Isa (Jesus) learned hidden matters. Saddi relates that while ‘Isa (Jesus) was playing with the children. He told them what their mothers and fathers did. He told one boy, “Your mother has hidden something for you,” and the boy went home and cried until he received it.

Another scholarly opinion holds, “discernment of hidden matters to be miraculous.” Astrologers who tell the future and reveal hidden matters can only do so by questioning. They also confess that they often make mistakes. But knowledge of the unknown, without recourse to aids or previous knowledge, cannot be without inspiration.

A second reference to Jesus’ knowledge is in Surat Zukhruf (Ornaments of Gold) 43:57, 61…

Al Jalalan explained the phrase “a knowledge of the Hour” as meaning Jesus knew when the Day of Judgment would come. If you recognize Allah as separate from his creation, in that he alone knows the times to come, you can comprehend the measure of distinction to which the Quran assigns Christ. (Dr. Anis A. Shorrosh, Islam Revealed: A Christian Arab’s View of Islam [Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN 1988], pp. 86-87; bold and underline emphasis ours)

Here is a break down of the logical implications of the Quran’s teaching regarding Jesus’ possessing knowledge of the unseen:

  1. Allah alone knows or has knowledge of the unseen.
  2. Jesus knows and has knowledge of the unseen.
  3. Therefore, Jesus is Allah Incarnate, while also being personally distinct from Allah.

This is another instance of Muhammad borrowing and embracing specific beliefs, stories and/or myths of the Christians he was trying to convert, without realizing how this would end up contradicting his express denial that Jesus is God in the flesh.

Further Reading

Jesus Christ: Islam’s Greatest Prophet and Messenger

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