The following excerpt is from the teachings of Hakeemul Ummat Hadhrat Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Rahimullah Ta’ala). May Allah protect us from holding wrong ‘Aqaid (beliefs) and give us the tawfiq to correct our ‘Aqidah. Verily, Allah is most forgiving.
“Those who assert the belief of ‘Ilmul Ghaib [Knowledge of the Unseen] for Rasulullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم are of two kinds.
- The one group believes in ‘Uloom ghair-Mutanahiyyah or limitless knowledge (eternal knowledge).
- The second group subscribes to the belief of ‘Uloom Mutanahiyyah or limited knowledge.
Those who believe in ‘Uloom ghair-Mutanahiyyah are in fact denying the absolute proofs of the Shari’ah (Nusoos-e-Qat’iyah). Such people are, therefore, kafir. Unlimited knowledge [‘Ilm ghair-Mutanahi] is the attribute of Allah Ta’ala exclusively. It is impossible for the created human to encompass limitless knowledge.
Those who subscribe to the belief of ‘Uloom Mutanahiyya [limited knowledge], in turn consist of two groups. The one group believes that Rasulullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم was awarded the ability and power of encompass the knowledge of all things and that the power of Rasulullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم extends over all ‘Uloom Mutanahiyyah. Furthermore it is their belief that after having awarded this power to Nabi صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم Allah’s Will no longer operates, just as a king who assigns control to a minister who then utilizes his personal discretion in the office placed under his jurisdiction. The minister, while holding office does not require the consent of the king in each and every detail. This is the type of belief which the Mushrikeen of Arabia held in regard to their idols. The one who subscribes to this belief is also a kafir.
The other group believes that while the knowledge of details of everything has been bestowed to Rasulullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم he nevertheless is yet dependent on the Will of Allah Ta’ala. Baseless interpretation [Ta’weel Fassid] is employed by this group in vindication of its belief in regard to the limit of this ‘Uloom Mutanahiyyah. Therefore, this group represents the people of Bid’ah. Their belief entails that Rasulullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم possessed the knowledge of all things form the beginning of creation to the time of entry into Jannat and Jahannum, without the exception of a single detail. However, numerous narrational evidences refute this belief.”
[“Malfoozat (Statements and Anecdotes)” published by Mujlisul Ulama of South Africa]