A Sufi Shaykh claiming to have a light showing him the Ghayb

Q 1: A shaykh of one of the Sufi orders claims that he has a light through which he knows unseen matters such as future news and circumstances. He trusts this light very much and says that it has nothing to do with the devil nor Jibril (Gabriel) (peace be upon him). He calls any decision he makes in his life as an order. Before he makes a decision, he says: 'If the order comes, I will do such and such and if it does not come, I will not do such and such.' He means the order of Allah (Exalted be He) and makes his life decisions based upon such orders. Moreover, whoever does not accept this order nor believes it, is considered by the shaykh as a hypocrite and a renegade and the shaykh drives him out of his sessions.

A: No one but Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) knows unseen matters; Allah says: Say: “None in the heavens and the earth knows the Ghaib (Unseen) except Allâh” This person's calling knowledge of the unseen as a light is a way for him to deceive simple-minded people to accept his falsehood. His accusation of hypocrisy to those who do not believe his claims cannot be accepted. In fact it is he who should be accused of telling lies as he claims to have knowledge of unseen matters. We have issued Fatwa no. 189 on the ruling on the persons who claim knowledge of the unseen. (Part No. 2; Page No. 61) The Fatwa reads as follows: The basic ruling as regards unseen matters is that Allah Alone knows them. Allah (Exalted be He) says: And with Him are the keys of the Ghaib (all that is hidden), none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in the land and in the sea; not a leaf falls, but he knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record. Also, Allah (Exalted be He) says: Say: "None in the heavens and the earth knows the Ghaib (Unseen) except Allâh, nor can they perceive when they shall be resurrected." But Allah (Exalted be He) may make whomever He chooses, know some unseen matters as Allah (Exalted be He) says: "(He Alone is) the All-Knower of the Ghaib (Unseen), and He reveals to none His Ghaib (Unseen)." Except to a Messenger (from mankind) whom He has chosen (He informs him of unseen as much as He likes), and then He makes a band of watching guards (angels) to march before him and behind him. He (Exalted be He) says: Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): "I am not a new thing among the Messengers (of Allâh 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." Besides it is authentically reported in a long Hadith from the narration of Um Al-‘Ala' who, when `Uthman ibn Mazh`un died, said: 'May Allah be merciful to you, (Part No. 2; Page No. 62) O Abu Al-Sa'ib! I testify that Allah has honored you'. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, 'How do you know that Allah has honored him?' I replied, 'O Allah's Messenger! Let my father be sacrificed for you! On whom else shall Allah bestow His honor?' The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, 'No doubt, death came to him. By Allah, I too wish him good, but by Allah, I do not know what Allah will do with me though I am Allah's Messenger. ' By Allah, I never attested the piety of anyone after that." Related by Ahmad and mentioned by Al-Bukhari in (Book of Funerals) in (his Sahih book, i.e. Sahih Al-Bukhari). In one of his narrations to this Hadith: I do not know what Allah will do with me though I am Allah's Messenger It is authentically reported in many Hadiths that the Prophet (peace be upon him) knew from Allah (Exalted be He) the names of some Companions who will enter Paradise and hence, gave them glad tidings of entering Paradise and also in the Hadith reported by `Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) in the narrations of Al-Bukhari and Muslim: Jibril asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) about the Hour and he (peace be upon him) replied: The one who is asked about it is no better informed than the inquirer. He (peace be upon him) added nothing but described its signs and this indicates that he did not know the unseen matters except what Allah (Exalted be He) enabled him to know and only when there is a need for this.