Do Prophets and Imams have Knowledge of the Unseen [Ilm al-Ghayb]?
In the Name of Allah, the All-Beneficent, the All-Merciful.
May Allah bless Muhammad and his Family and damn their enemies.
All Prophets and Imams (peace be upon them) have a certain amount of knowledge of the unseen granted to them based on their ranks.
Some try to defame the Shi’as by accusing them of associating partners with Almighty God for believing that creatures can know the unseen. However, such an accusation is false and baseless.
The Holy Qur’an states the possibility that God can grant knowledge of the unseen to His Messenger:
(He is) Knower of the unseen, and He does not disclose His (knowledge of the) unseen to anyone, except whom He is pleased with of Messengers.
No Muslim would claim that God is not pleased with the Greatest Prophet and Messenger, Muhammad, son of Abdullah (peace be upon him and his family). Hence, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family) does indeed receive knowledge of the unseen from God.
It is however disputed among Shi’a theologians what type of, or what the extent is of the knowledge of the unseen that is granted to the Prophet Muhammad and the Imams (peace be upon them).
Nonetheless, the Shi’a believe that Prophets and Imams are nothing but servants to God (Exalted is He) and that they hold no knowledge in and within themselves independently. Their knowledge and ability to gain is granted to them by the Almighty God, and that only God is the One, who in origin, has ultimate knowledge of the unseen independently from everything else because He is the Absolute Self-Sufficient, may He be exalted and praised.
The Office of Sheikh al-Habib