In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful…
The Permanent Committee of Scholars in Saudi Arabia has issued a verdict stating that saying “Allaah and His Messenger know best” was for the lifetime of the Messenger. After his death (sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam), “Allaah knows best” is to be used. This was signed by Shaykh Ibn Baaz, Shaykh Ghudayyaan, and Shaykh Abdur-Razzaaq ‘Afeefee (may Allaah have Mercy on them).
What seems to be correct based on the overall practice of the Companions and the early scholars is to refrain from saying “Allaah and His Messenger knows best” after his death, and rather say, “Allaah knows best.”
“…Because the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam) is not aware of what is happening after his death.”
Source: Verdicts of the Permanent Committee (2/163) [English translation]
In addition, Shaykh Saalih al-Fowzaan, Shaykh Bakr Aboo Zayd, and others mentioned that saying “Allaah and His Messenger know best” was for his lifetime, and that after his death (sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam), “Allaah knows best” is to be used.
Refer to: I’aanat al-Mustafeed (1/44), Mu’jam al-Manaahee al-Lafthiyyah (p.128).
However, some scholars allowed saying “Allaah and His Messenger know best” after his death (sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam), like Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have Mercy on him) and some of the explainers of Kitaab at-Towheed, relying on a passage from the Nooniyyah of Ibn al-Qayyim:
والله أعلم بالمراد بقوله — ورسوله المبعوث بالفرقان
“And Allaah knows best about the intending meaning of his words, and His Messenger, the one sent with the Furqaan (the Qur’aan).”
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen mentioned that this may only be said in issues related to the knowledge given to Him from Allaah, not things specific to the unseen that only Allaah knows. Like: Is it going to rain? Only Allaah knows. And: What is the ruling on fasting on the ‘Eed days? Allaah and His Messenger know best. (Refer to: al-Qowl al-Mufeed (1/57), See also: Mu’jam al-Manaahee al-Lafthiyyah (p.128), and this link to Shaykh Ibn Baaz’s explanation of some scholars’ usage.)
However, it seems much safer and more correct to stick to what the other scholars mentioned, especially when it is unfounded that any of the Companions used the phrase “Allaah and His Messenger know best” after his death (sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam), but you find them and the scholars after them commonly saying, “Allaah knows best.” (As stated by Shaykh Bakr Aboo Zayd in Mu’jam al-Manaahee (p.128).)
This is very important especially when we live in a time when certain Soofee sects are calling to the idea that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhe wa sallam) is alive and aware of what is happening to us, and hears our calls, and can help us, etc. They commonly say, “Allaah and His Messenger know best” because some of them believe that he knows the unseen, just as Allaah knows it. This is sheer falsehood, rejected by many Qur’aanic verses, and it is in fact shirk to believe this, equating the Knowledge of Allaah with the knowledge of some of His Creation!
However, we should not believe that the few scholars from Ahlus-Sunnah that allow it have anything to do with what the deviant Soofees intend when they use it.
And Allaah knows best.
Written by: Moosaa Richardson
ST Archives – Originally published 03-22-2011