Contents > Chapter 9: Knowledge of the Ghayb (Unseen) > Deobandis and the Knowledge of the Ghayb


Deobandis and the Knowledge of the Ghayb

It is mentioned in Kitabul-Imaan (p.75), “Ilmul Ghayb (Knowledge of the Unseen) is an attribute exclusive with only Allah Ta’ala. Knowledge of the past, present and future and of all this, from eternity to eternity is known to only Allah Ta’ala. The knowledge of many Unseen things and events, e.g. Angels, Jannah, Jahannum, Qiyaamah, Siraat, Hawdh-e-Kawthar, etc., has been conveyed to or granted to the Ambiya (as) by Allah Ta’ala. Possession of the Knowledge of Ghayb is not the attribute of any created being. Thus, Ambiya and Awliya do not have Ilmul Ghayb. Since Ilmul Ghayb is the Necessary attribute belonging exclusively to Allah Ta’ala, it is Kufr to believe that any Nabi or Wali has Ilmul Ghayb.”


This and other general quotes from the books of Deobandis about Ilmul Ghayb or knowledge of the Unseen, give the false impression that the Deobandis believe that the knowledge of the Unseen exclusively belongs to Allah and human beings other than the Prophets do not get direct knowledge of the Unseen. But the reality is completely the opposite. Whilst admitting that only Allah is the Knower of the Unseen, the Deobandis give their Shaikhs and Sufi elders’ access to the knowledge of the Ghayb. This is very clear from the following quotes…


1. From Ashrafus-Sawaneh[1], “The story of Hazrat’s (Ashraf Ali Thanvi) birth is extremely amazing, which was well-known in the family and which Hazrat himself has written after listening to it from his elders and those present.” Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi’s father was suffering from impotence so the maternal grandfather complained to a Pir (saint) called Hafidh Gulam Murtuza Majzoob Panipathi, “’The sons of my daughter do no remain alive.’ Hafidh Sahib said in a puzzling way, ‘They die in the fight between Umar (radhi allahu anhu) and Ali (radhi allahu anhu). Give it in the protection of Ali (radhi allahu anhu), he will remain alive.’” None understood the saying of this Pir except for Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi’s mother, who said that Hafidh Sahib (the Pir) means that, “’the father is from the lineage of Farooqui (i.e. from the descendants of Umar Ibn Khattab (radhi allahu anhu)) and the mother is from the lineage of Alawi (i.e. from the descendants of Ali (radhi allahu anhu)); and up to now the name (of the child) was given upon the name of the father, like Fazl-e-Haqq. This time the son that is born should be named in accordance with the mother’s family and the name should end with Ali.’ Hafidh sahib smiled and said: ‘This is what I mean.’… ‘Then he said: ‘Insha’Allah, there will be two sons and they will remain alive. Name one Ashraf Ali Khan and the other Akbar Ali Khan.’…he also said: ‘Both will be Sahib-e-Naseeb (lucky) and said one will be mine, he will be a Moulvi (religious) and a Hafidh and the other will be a worldly person.’” The compiler of this book says that these Prophecies came true word for word. (View scanned image of this quote)


Note: This quote shows the extremely deviant beliefs of the family of Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, where it is believed that the Pirs have fore knowledge of births including details of how a child will grow up to be. It also shows that the Pir whom the family of Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi had such high regard for was an accursed Rafidhi Shia, who believed that Umar and Ali hated each other to the extent that centuries after their demise, Ali would kill the child that was named upon the family of Umar. And that the child would remain safe under the protection of Ali.


2. Moulana Muhammad Maseehullah Khan, who is a Khalifah of Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi and had studied many of his works at the hands of Moulana Ilyas (the founder of Jamaat Tableegh) says in the book, Shareeat and Tasawwuf p.113, about the state in which the heart is ever engrossed with Allah: “In this high stage of spiritual development, matters pertaining to the Thaat (Being of Allah), Sifaat (Attributes of Allah), Af’aal (Acts of Allah), Haqaaiq (realities) as well as relationships between Allah and His servants become manifest.”[2]


3. Moulana Zakariyah says: “Khwajah Maudood Chisti acquired the capabilities knows as Kash-e-Quloob (revelations of the conditions of the hearts) and Kashf-e-Quboor (revelation of the conditions of the graves).”[3]


4. Moulana Zakariyah says: “Khwaajah Abu Ishaq would often visit Sultan Farsanafah. One day he told Sultan’s sister that you will be having a nephew.”[4]


These quotes render meaningless the Deobandi’s denial of ‘the Knowledge of the Unseen’ for other than Allah. They say that none knows the Ghayb except Allah, but their claims exclude all the matters of the Ghayb including the Being, Acts and Attributes of Allah, relationships between Allah and His servants, the Barzakh, the secrets of the heart and the contents of the womb. The Deobandis claim access to the knowledge of the Unseen for their Shaikhs either through dreams, Ilham (inspirations of the heart) or Kashf (visions in wakefulness). Apart from this, they also claim that some of their Shaikhs can directly communicate with Allah.


We will analyze all these alleged sources to the Knowledge of the Unseen in the discussion next…

[1] Ashrafus-Sawaneh, (Urdu) Maktubaat Taleefaat Ashrafiyyah – Thanabhawan, U.P. chp.4, p.16-17.

[2] Shariat and Tasawwuf (p.113).

[3] Mashaikh-e-Chist (Eng. Trans.) p.138.

[4] Mashaikh-e-Chist (Eng. Trans.) p.131.