Contents > Chapter 9: Knowledge of the Ghayb (Unseen) > Knowledge of what the Hearts Conceal
Allah says, “No doubt! They did fold up their breasts that they may hide from Him. Surely, even when they cover themselves with their garments, He knows what they conceal and what they reveal. Verily, He is the All-Knower of the (innermost secrets) of the breasts.”
Only Allah knows the secrets of the hearts. This knowledge has not been granted to anyone, not even the Messengers. This is clearly apparent from the following Hadeeth.
Umm Salamah, the wife of the Prophet, narrated: “Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) heard some people quarrelling at the door of his dwelling. He came out and said, “I am only a human being, and opponents come to me (to settle their problems); maybe someone amongst you can present his case more eloquently than the other, whereby I may consider him true and give a verdict in his favour. So, if I give the right of a Muslim to another by mistake, then it is really a portion of (Hell) Fire, he has the option to take or give up (before the Day of Resurrection).”
If the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) knew the conditions of the heart, the lying but eloquent person would not be able to get the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) to rule in his favour.
The hypocrites of Medina, the Quraysh of Mecca and the Jews persisted in plotting against the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). At times, they were able to harm the Muslims, whilst at other times, Allah aided His Messenger by informing him (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) of their real intentions by revelation. Thus, no one knows what the hearts conceals, except Allah, the Exalted. But the books of the Deobandis have many incidents whereby they claim that their Shaikhs have been granted the knowledge of what the hearts conceals. Following are some quotations from their books:
1. “O Salik! Sometimes Allah reveals to you by way of Kashf and Ilaham some of the hidden mysteries of the Heavens and earth, e.g. future events or information of distant places, etc. However, He does not make you aware of the secrets in the hearts of His servants. It is not appropriate for you to desire such information (of the hearts of the people) because this awareness is withheld for your own benefit. The knowledge of the secrets in the hearts of men is awarded to only such a person who has become a perfect manifestation of Allah’s attribute of mercy.”
2. From Tazkirat ar-Rasheed, “One-Day Moulvi Amir Shah Khan mentioned a story - an incident to Rasheed Ahmad Gungohi. He said, “One day I was sitting with a Buzurg (Shaikh) in Masjid al-Haraam. A young Dervish (hermit) visited the Buzurg (Shaikh) and sat down besides him. The Buzurg looked at the young Dervish and said, ‘Brother, in your heart is a very nice thing.’ Even though the poor fellow wanted to hide the condition of his heart, the Buzurg unveiled everything by saying, ‘In your heart is an image of a young woman … her nose is such, her eyes are such, her hair is such….’; that is to say that he mentioned her entire appearance. Momentarily, the Dervish was extremely embarrassed but went on to say, ‘No doubt, you speak the truth. During my teenage, I fell in love with a woman. Because I always had her in mind, her image came on my heart. Now, whenever I feel depressed, I close my eyes and see her. This makes me calm and my heart feels at rest.” – “After narrating this incident, Moulvi Amir Shah kept silent and waited so that Rasheed Ahmad Gungohi would comment. But Hazrat Imam Rabbani (Rasheed Ahmad Gungohi) did not say anything. When Amir Shah mentioned this incident a few more times, Rasheed Ahmad Gungohi finally spoke up. He said, ‘Brother, this is not a major achievement, for he had to close his eyes and concentrate on his heart. My contact with Hazrat Haji Sahib (i.e. his spiritual guide, Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki) for many years was such that without consultation with him my discussions (meetings) never came to a conclusion… even though he was in Mecca (and I in India). And after this I had the same connections with Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) for years.’ After saying this Rasheed Ahmad Gungohi remained silent.” (click to view the scanned image of this quote)
3. Aashiq Ilahi Meerathi relates in Tazkirat ar-Rasheed, “One morning whilst going to see Hazrat (Rasheed Ahmad Gungohi), Moulvi Wali Muhammad passed by a sweets (confectionery) shop, where some fresh sweets were being prepared. He stood there for a while thinking that if he had money, he could buy some sweets. He then headed straight for the Khanqah (hermitage), where he found Hazrat (Rasheed Ahmad Gungohi) waiting for him. Upon seeing him, Hazrat said, ‘Moulvi Wali Muhammad, Today I wish to eat sweets, so take these four annas (some money) and fetch me some sweets of your choice’. So, Wali Muhammad bought some sweets from the same shop and kept them in front of Hazrat. Hazrat said, ‘It is my hearts desire that you should eat these sweets’. Moulvi Wali Muhammad used to say after this incident, ‘I feel afraid in meeting Hazrat because the intentions in the heart are not within one’s control and Hazrat gets informed about them.” (click to view the scanned image of this quote)
4. “Once in the Masjid of Keraana, a pious butcher was sitting by Hazrat Sahib (Imdadullah Muhajir Makki). While sitting there, thought came to his mind: “Is the rank of Hazrat Sahib higher or that of Hazrat Haji Sahib?” Hazrat immediately commented: “It is disrespect to compare the ranks of the Ahlullah: Who is big and who is small?”
5. Moulana Zakariyah says: “Hazrat Shaikh Abdul Hadi was a Sahib-e-Kashf and generally he was apprised (by means of Kashf) of the thoughts of people, hence he would answer them immediately.”
6. Once Hazrat (Khalil Ahmad) Saharanpuri, along with Moulana Zafar went to visit Moulvi Abdullah Jan (an attorney). On the way, Zafar Ahmad wondered, why does Hazrat go to such a gentlemen without being called? As this thought occurred, Hazrat Saharanpuri turning to him said: “Moulvi Abdullah Jan’s heart is very good even though he appears like a man of the world.”
Conclusion: From the above examples, we see that the Deobandi’s understanding of Kashf of the heart is not a matter of having an intuition about somebody or having a good or bad feeling of someone - It is a matter of knowing detailed and certain knowledge of the Unseen.
 Soorah Hud (11): 5.
 Saheeh al-Bukharee, vol.3, no.638.
 Ikhmaalush Shiyaam (Eng. Trans.) p.157.
 Tazkirat ar-Rasheed, vol.2, p.197.
 Tazkirat ar-Rasheed, vol.2, p.227.
 i.e. People of Allah or Awliyya.
 Mashaikh-e-Chist, (Eng. Trans.) p.226.
 Mashaikh-e-Chist (Eng. Trans.) p.206.
 Mashaikh-e-Chist (Eng. Trans.) p.288.