for this reason that death and the appointed hour of death are left obscure, and the calamities that are to befall human beings remain behind the veil of the Unseen.
Again, as a result of His wisdom and mercy, God Almighty did not entirely or in detail inform His Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) about the dreadful events that would befall his Family and Companions after his demise, in order not to hurt his extremely tender compassion for his community and his firm affection for his Family.1 For certain divine purposes, He made some of these significant events known to him, but not in all their awesomeness. As for pleasant events, He communicated them to the Messenger (UWBP) sometimes in outline and sometimes in detail, and the Messenger (UWBP) in turn made them known to his Companions. Thus those tidings were accurately transmitted to us by the scholars of Hadith, who were at the height of piety, justice, and truthfulness, and who feared very much the warning of the Hadith, “Whoever knowingly tells a lie concerning me should prepare for a seat in Hell,”2 and that of the Qur’anic verse, “Who, then does more wrong than the one who utters lie concerning God?”(39:32)
Although some qualities and aspects of the Most Noble Messenger (UWBP) have been described in books of history and biography, most of those qualities relate to his humanness. But in reality, the spiritual personality and the sacred nature of that blessed person were so exalted and luminous that the qualities described in books fall short of his high stature. For according to the rule, “The cause is like the doer,” everyday, even at this moment, the amount of the worship performed by all his community is being added to the record of his perfections. He is also everyday the object of the countless supplications of his vast community, in addition to being the object of infinite divine mercy in an infinite fashion and with an infinite capacity to receive. He was, indeed, the result and the most perfect fruit of
For example, he was not made to know about ‘A’isha’s taking part in the Battle of the Camel so that his deep love and affection toward her (May God be pleased with her) would not be hurt. He said, in fact, to his wives: “I wish I knew which one of you will be involved in that incident.” Later he was apparently made aware of it to a slightly greater extent, as he once said to ‘Ali (May God be pleased with him): “Some event will take place between you and ‘A’isha.”*
* Musnad, vi, 393; Bayhaqi, Dala’il al-Nubuwwa, vi, 410; al-Haythami, Majma’ al-Zawa’id, vii, 234.
Bukhari, ‘Ilm, 38; Jana’iz, 33; Anbiya’, 50; Adab 109; Muslim, Zuhd, 72; Abu Da’ud, ‘Ilm, 4; Tirmidhi, Fitan, 70; ‘Ilm, 8, 13; Tafsir, 1; Manaqib, 19; Ibn Maja, Muqaddima, 4; Darimi, Muqaddima, 25, 46; Musnad, i, 70, 78; ii, 159, 171; iii, 13, 44; iv, 47, 100; v, 292.