“THE ALL-KNOWING, ALL-AWARE INFORMED ME” VERSE 66:3

MISCONCEPTION

Hadithmongers argue that In verse 66:3 we are told that Allah made some information known to the prophet about his wives. The question is, how did Allah make this information known to the Prophet? Certainly not via the Quran since there is no mention of it anywhere in the Quran. The Prophet must have received personal inspiration from Allah which is not part of the Quran.

So If we follow the Quran alone we would not know about this information.

CLARIFICATION

A verse used to prove that there were additional revelations to the prophet is the following from Surah At-Tahriem 66 (Chapter 66 Prohibition):

“The Prophet in private told a hadith to one of his wives and she disclosed it – Allah made this known to him and he confirmed part of it, keeping the rest to himself – so he confronted her with what she had done. She asked, ‘Who inform you about this?’ and he replied, ‘The All-Knowing, the All-Aware inform me.’ (Qur’an 66:3)

First: Here we must clarify the difference between Revelation and Inspiration. A revelation is a scripture which Allah gives a prophet to deliver to the people. Moses received a revelation from Allah (Torah), Jesus received a revelation from Allah (Injeel) and Muhammad received a revelation from Allah (Quran).

However, an inspiration is not a scripture, it is simply a personal piece of information which Allah inspires to a single person, and for the benefit of that person alone.

In addition, Allah inspires all people and not only the messengers. For example, we read in the Quran how Allah inspired the mother of Moses (who was not a messenger) to throw her baby in the river (28:7).

Allah in fact inspires all creatures and not just humans. In 16:68 we read how Allah inspired the bee.

Second: The information Muhammad received about some of his wives (66:3) was an inspiration and not a revelation. This information was exclusive to Muhammad and for his benefit alone. It is totally irrelevant for us to know about this information in order to practice Islam.

Thirdly: in 66:3 …and Allah revealed it to him, he confirmed part of it and keeping the rest to himself… This part of the verse highlights that even Muhammad’s wives during the lifetime and company of Muhammad either made up false or exaggerated claims hence the prophet did not confirmed part of his attributed words.

Fourth: A more logical and rational way to look at this verse is this. From the verse we know that the particular wife had disclosed confidential information, which the prophet had entrusted her with, without the prophet’s knowledge. However, the method by which the prophet was informed of what she did can be in any worldly means, since everything is from Allah. A particular companion may have informed the prophet – however, in the good interest of concealing his or her identity, the prophet instead used the expression “The All-Knowing, the All-Aware informed me”. This is to not strain the relationship between the companion and the wife in concern.

We must not forget that Prophet Muhammad put complete trust in Allah and adhered to Quranic understanding of faith. Everything happens to us through the will of Allah. Thus, it would be very natural for him to use the expression, “The All-Knowing, the All-Aware informed me” instead of revealing the name of the companion.

Finally: The main message of Chapter 66 and in particular 66:1 is that Allah is reminding all readers of the Quran, till the end of time, that the authority of law making is exclusive to Allah. When Muhammad made the error of prohibiting something which was made lawful by Allah, Allah immediately reprimanded him:

66:1 O you prophet, why do you prohibit what Allah has made lawful for you, seeking to please your wives? Allah is Forgiver, Merciful.

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