قُل لَّآ أَملِكُ لِنَفسِى نَفعًا وَلَا ضَرًّا إِلَّا مَا شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ وَلَو كُنتُ أَعلَمُ ٱلغَيبَ لَٱستَثَرتُ مِنَ ٱلخَيرِ وَمَا مَسَّنِىَ ٱلسُّوٓءُ إِن أَنَا إِلَّا نَذِيرٌ وَبَشِيرٌ لِّقَومٍ يُؤمِنُونَ (١٨٨
English translation (Surah Al Araaf 7:188) Say: For myself I have no power to benefit, nor power to hurt, save that which Allah willeth. Had I knowledge of the Unseen, I should have abundance of wealth, and adversity would not touch me. I am but a warner, and a bearer of good tidings unto folk who believe.
Introduction: This is an ayah reinforcing tawheed, telling our Rasool (PBUH) to tell the pagans and us that Allah SWT has knowledge of the unseen and that he holds all power over the benefits and the adversity that is handed to us in this world. It also informs us of the role of the Messengers in our lives as warners and the bearers of good news for those who believe.
My Take: Thus we can neither attribute thanks nor animosity towards any human for what has been our lot, whether it was Khair (good) or Sharr (adversity)
TAFSEER BY FARHAT HASHMI (English translation)
ALLAH SWT is instructing Rasoolallah that ‘say this to the people that ‘I have no power to hurt or save even myself except by what Allah wills.’
Allah SWT instructs Rasool Allah to say: If I had knowledge of the unseen I would have collected wealth and comfort of the world (Khair) and I would not have been touched with any difficulty or adversity.
Examples of adversity in the life of RasoolAllah:
He went through a childhood without parents and then faced the year of grief, lost his two closest friends, and supporters, and then had a war injury. Later he was invited by the Jews and given poisoned meat by a Jewish woman in Khyber.
Immunity and response to Adversity:
• No one is immune to these not even the Rasools of Allah.
• Trials and tribulations can happen to anyone.
• We, as Muslims are not allowed to rejoice in someone’s trial and tribulation even if it has befallen an enemy.
The knowledge of the Unseen
If one had knowledge of the unseen one can make preparations for adversity and receipt of benefits.
My take: We cannot plan based on knowing the future which is Unseen. we are thus being told to account for every minute of our lives and put it to good use which will reap benefits in the Hereafter.
Examples of the unseen: The Day of Judgment, (only Allah knows this)
RasoolAllah did not have knowledge of the unseen except what Allah gave him. Allah knows the unseen and does not share with anyone except those rasools he chooses to share it with.
Reference in the Quran regarding the Knowledge of the Unseen:
٢٦) إِلَّا مَنِ ٱرتَضَى مِن رَّسُولٍ فَإِنَّهُ يَسلُكُ مِن بَينِ يَدَيهِ وَمِن خَلفِهِ رَصَدًا (٢٧) لِّيَعلَمَ أَن قَد أَبلَغُواْ رِسَـلَـتِ رَبِّہِم وَأَحَاطَ بِمَا لَدَيہِم وَأَحصَى كُلَّ شَىءٍ عَدَدَا
Surah AL Jinn: 072.026 YUSUFALI: “He (alone) knows the Unseen, nor does He make any one acquainted with His Mysteries
072.027 YUSUFALI: “Except a messenger whom He has chosen: and then He makes a band of watchers march before him and behind him.
And in Surah Naml 27:65:
قُل لَّا يَعلَمُ مَن فِى ٱلسَّمَـوَتِ وَٱلأَرضِ ٱلغَيبَ إِلَّا ٱللَّهُ وَمَا يَشعُرُونَ أَيَّانَ يُبعَثُونَ (٦٥)
Surah Al Naml 027.65 Say (O Muhammad): None in the heavens and the earth knoweth the Unseen save Allah; and they know not when they will be raised (again).
Who has knowledge of the Unseen?
Only Allah! Though Rasooll Allah (PBUH) knew some secrets of the unseen but not all.
SUMMARY OF THIS AYAH CLARIFIES THE TAWHEED OF ALLAH AND THE ROLE OF HIS MESSENGERS:
1. All good and adversity comes from Allah and no human being can allocate this to us.
2. Messengers are warners and bring good news for the believers.
We cannot allocate the power of bringing good or adversity to a human being no matter how pious.
A REMINDER OF TAWHEED FOR ME AND ALL BELIEVERS:
1. ASK ONLY ALLAH FOR WHAT WE WANT (tawheed)
2. LISTEN TO HIS MESSAGE BROUGHT VIA HIS MESSENGER AND RASOOL TO LEARN HOW TO ASK? (Sunnah)
WHO DO YOU FIND YOURSELF ASKING FOR FAVORS?