ISA AL-MASIH: THE KNOWER OF THE UNSEEN

In this post: THE QURAN CONFIRMS: JESUS IS EXACTLY LIKE ALLAH!

I showed how the Islamic traditions testify that Jesus is exactly like Allah in the latter’s power and status.

Here I am going to highlight another area where Jesus is likened to Allah.

The Quran attributes knowledge of the unseen to Allah alone:

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

It further has Muhammad emphatically stating that not does he have no power to benefit himself or anyone else, but that he has absolutely no knowledge of the unseen:

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

Or say they: “He (Muhammad) has fabricated it.” Say: “If I have fabricated it, still you have no power to support me against Allah. He knows best of what you say among yourselves concerning it (i.e. this Qur’an)! Sufficient is He for a witness between me and you! And He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.” Say (O Muhammad):”I am not a new thing among the Messengers (of Allah) (i.e. I am not the first Messenger) nor do I know what will be done with me or with you. I only follow that which is revealed to me, and I am but a plain warner.” S. 46:8-9 Hilali-Khan

Contrast this with what the Muslim scripture proclaims about Christ.

According to the Quran, Jesus could benefit or harm any and every one since he has the power to create life, raise the dead, heal all diseases, and even possesses knowledge of the unseen!

And will make him [‘Iesa (Jesus)] a Messenger to the Children of Israel (saying): “I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, that I design for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah’s Leave; and I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I bring the dead to life by Allah’s Leave. And I inform you of what you eat, and what you store in your houses. Surely, therein is a sign for you, if you believe. S. 3:49 Hilali-Khan

Here’s how the Muslim expositors explained this unique ability of Christ;

This clause refers generally to a prophetic knowledge of what is not known to other people. (Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Quran: Text, Translation and Commentary, fn. 391 )

`Isa’s statement…

(And I inform you of what you eat, and what you store in your houses) means, I tell you

about what one of you has just eaten and what he is keeping in his house for tomorrow. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir http://www.alim.org/library/quran/AlQuran-tafsir/TIK/3/48)

(And will make him a messenger) after the age of thirty (unto the Children of Israel), and when he went to them he said: (Lo! I come unto you with a sign) a token (from your Lord) for my prophethood. They said: what is this sign? He replied: (Lo! I fashion for you out of clay the likeness of a bird, and I breathe into it) like the breathing of a sleeping person (and it is a bird) flying in the air, (by Allah’s leave) by Allah’s command. Then he fashioned for them a bat and when it became alive, they said: this is sorcery; do you have another sign? He said: yes, (I heal him who was born blind, and the leper) also, (and I raise the dead, by Allah’s leave) by Allah’s greatest Name: O Alive, the Eternal. And when he did this, they said: this is sorcery, do you have any other sign? He said: yes, (And I announce unto you what you eat) in the morning and at night (and what you store up in your houses) what you save from your lunch to dinner and from your dinner to the next day’s lunch. (Lo! Herein) in that which I have told you (verily is a portent) a sign (for you, if ye are believers) who have faith. (Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs https://www.altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=73&tSoraNo=3&tAyahNo=49&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2; bold emphasis mine)

<1 have come to you, with a sign from your Lord, in that I make for you out of clay> a bird; that is, he made it into the shape of a bird. <and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah’s leave> that is, a bird that has a soul and flies, by Allah’s leave.

<And I heal those born blind, and the lepers> by Allah’s leave <and I bring the dead back to life, by Allah’s leave; and I tell you what you eat, and what you store in your houses. Surely in that is a sign for you if you are believers> What sign could be greater than making an inanimate object come to life, healing people of ailments that doctors cannot treat, bringing the dead back to life and speaking of unseen matters? Each one of these on its own is a great sign, so how about when they are combined and confirm one another? That should be a cause of belief and faith. (Abdur-Rahman Nasir As-Sa’di, Tafseer As-Sa’di, translated by Nasiruddin al-Khattab, edited by Huda Khattab [International Islamic Publishing House, 2018], Volume 1, Juz’ 1-3, p. 419; bold emphasis mine)

That’s not all.

The Quran teaches that Allah caused Jesus to physically, bodily ascend unto himself to dwell with him. Jesus will then return physically to the earth to be a witness against mankind:

But Allah raised him [‘Iesa (Jesus)] up (with his body and soul) unto Himself (and he is in the heavens). And Allah is Ever All-Powerful, All-Wise. And there is none of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), but must believe in him [‘Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), as only a Messenger of Allah and a human being], before his [‘Iesa (Jesus) or a Jew’s or a Christian’s] death (at the time of the appearance of the angel of death). And on the Day of Resurrection, he [‘Iesa (Jesus)] will be a witness against them. S. 4:158-159 Hilali-Khan

What makes this so astonishing is that Jesus has been physically alive and dwelling with Allah above all creation for two thousand years, something which the Quran says is not possible for a mere human creature:

And We did not create them (the Messengers, with) bodies that ate not food, nor were they immortals, Then We fulfilled to them the promise, and We saved them and those whom We willed, but We destroyed Al-Musrifun (i.e. extravagants in oppression, polytheism and in sin).S. 21:8-9 Hilali-Khan

And We granted not to any human being immortality before you (O Muhammad), then if you die, would they live forever? Everyone is going to taste death, and We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good, and to Us you will be returned. S. 21:34-35 Hilali-Khan

The other reason why this is so remarkable is because the Muslim scripture claims that everything that occurs in creation ascends to Allah,

Allah it is He Who has created the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them in six Days. Then He Istawa (rose over) the Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty). You (mankind) have none, besides Him, as a Wali (protector or helper etc.) or an intercessor. Will you not then remember (or be admonished)? He arranges (every) affair from the heavens to the earth, then it (affair) will go up to Him, in one Day, the space whereof is a thousand years of your reckoning (i.e. reckoning of our present world’s time). That is He, the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen, the All-Mighty, the Most Merciful. S. 32:4-6 Hilali-Khan

Whosoever desires honour, power and glory then to Allah belong all honour, power and glory [and one can get honour, power and glory only by obeying and worshipping Allah (Alone)]. To Him ascend (all) the goodly words, and the righteous deeds exalt it (the goodly words i.e. the goodly words are not accepted by Allah unless and until they are followed by good deeds), but those who plot evils, theirs will be severe torment. And the plotting of such will perish. S. 35:10 Hilali-Khan

And that the angels and the Spirit ascend to and descend from Allah for the express purpose of conveying his decrees and messages to the earth:

He sendeth down the angels with the Spirit of His command unto whom He will of His bondmen, (saying): Warn mankind that there is no God save Me, so keep your duty unto Me. S. 16:2 Pickthall

From Allah, Lord of the Ascending Stairways (Whereby) the angels and the Spirit ascend unto Him in a Day whereof the span is fifty thousand years. S. 70:3-4 Pickthall

The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit descend therein, by the permission of their Lord, with all decrees. S. 97:3-4 Pickthall

The implications of these passages upon Jesus’ knowledge of the unseen are quite staggering. Since all the affairs and decrees of the entire creation ascend to and descend from Allah, and since Jesus is physically there alongside Allah, this means that Jesus is privy to and aware of all the things that are taken place in creation!

Logically there’s simply no way around this, as the following syllogism amply illustrates:

  1. Jesus is physically with Allah above the throne.
  2. The affairs of all creation ascend to Allah.
  3. This means that the knowledge of all that takes places in creation ascend up to Jesus as well.
  4. Jesus is, therefore, aware of everything that takes place within creation.

Christians already know all this to be true from God’s true Word, the Holy Bible, which testifies that Christ is the omniscient and omnipresent Son who sits enthroned with the Father as he oversees and sustains the entire creation:

“For where two or three are assembled in My name, there I am in their midst.” Matthew 18:20 Modern English Version (MEV)

“Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20 MEV

“After the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat at the right hand of God. Then they went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.” Mark 16:19-20 MEV

“His disciples said to Him, ‘Yes! Now You are speaking plainly and with no figure of speech. Now we know that You know everything and do not need anyone to question You. By this we believe that You came from God.’ Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe?’” John 16:29-31 MEV

“He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love Me?’ Peter was grieved because He asked him the third time, “Do you love Me?” He said to Him, ‘Lord, You know everything. You know that I love You.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed My sheep.’” John 21:17 MEV

“He has delivered us from the power of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of His dear Son, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God and the firstborn of every creature. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they are thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers. All things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all fullness should dwell,” Colossians 1:13-19 MEV

“that their hearts may be comforted, being knit together in love, and receive all the riches and assurance of full understanding, and knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge… For in Him lives all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Colossians 2:2-3, 9 MEV

“God, who at various times and in diverse ways spoke long ago to the fathers through the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the world. He is the brightness of His glory, the express image of Himself, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had by Himself purged our sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Hebrews 1:1-3 MEV

“To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like fine brass, says these things: I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience, and that your last works are more than the first. But I have a few things against you: You permit that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat food sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, but she did not repent. Look! I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. 23 I will put her children to death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the hearts and minds. I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.’” Revelation 2:18-23 MEV

The Islamic scripture is, therefore, merely parroting what the Holy Bible teaches about the glorious Person and work of the Lord Christ.

Hence, Muhammad’s god attributes transcendence and omniscience to Jesus even though that wasn’t his intention!

I conclude in the words of the late Christian author and evangelist ‘Abdallah ‘Abd al-Fadi who wonderful summed up the Quranic witness to Jesus which sets him apart above every created thing, including Muhammad himself:

(5) His ability to work miracles: The Qur’an attests to Christ’s absolute power to work miracles, which had no equal among the prophets. The Qur’an attributes to Christ the knowledge of the unseen in Sura AI Imran 3:49: “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.” Yet, the knowledge of the unseen is exclusively a divine attribute, as is made clear in Sura Yunis 10:20: “Say: ‘The Unseen belongs only to God.”’ The Qur’an also ascribes to Christ the ability to create. It says in Sura Al Imran 3:49: “I will create for you out of day as the likeness of a bird; then I will breathe into it, and it will be a bird, by the leave of God.” In this same verse the Qur’an also ascribes to Christ the power to heal the sick and raise the dead: “I will also heal the blind and the leper, and bring to life the dead, by the leave of God.” The power to create is exclusively a divine attribute, for the Qur’an says in Sura al-Nahl 16:17: “Is He who creates as he who does not create?” The same holds true concerning the power to raise the dead: “It is He who gives life, and makes to die” (Sura al-Mu’minun 23:80).

(6) His ascension to heaven: The Qur’an testifies that Christ was lifted up from earth to God, and that He is alive forever in heaven. It says in Sura AI Imran 3:55: “When God said, ‘Jesus, I will take thee to Me and will raise thee to Me, and I will purify thee of those who believe not. I will set thy followers above the unbelievers till the Resurrection Day.”’ In contrast, the Qur’an says with regard to Muhammad in Sura al-Anbiya’ 21:34,35: “We have not assigned to any mortal before thee to live forever; therefore if thou diest, will they live forever? Every soul shall taste of death.” The question that presents itself is, How did Christ conquer death, and live eternally in glory and honour, when ordinary people in all generations have died? (Al-Fadi, Is the Qur’an Infallible? [Light of Life, Villach, Austria], pp. 145-146; bold emphasis mine)

For a detailed exposition of how the Islamic sources affirm that Jesus is like Allah in his knowledge of the unseen, whereas Muhammad was ignorant of the unseen, please read the following article: Jesus Christ: Islam’s Greatest Prophet and Messenger.

One thought on “ISA AL-MASIH: THE KNOWER OF THE UNSEEN

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s