None has more knowledge of the unseen than the Ahle Bait (peace be upon them) except Allah the Almighty

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عَنْ جَابِرٍ عَنْ اَبِي جَعْفَرٍؑ قَالَ اِنَّ اسْمَ اللهِ الْاَعْظَمَ عَلَى ثَلَاثَةٍ وَ سَبْعِينَ حَرْفاً وَ اِنَّمَا عِنْدَ آصَفَ مِنْهَا حَرْفٌ وَاحِدٌ فَتَكَلَّمَ بِهِ فَخُسِفَ بِالْاَرْضِ مَا بَيْنَهُ وَ بَيْنَ سَرِيرِ بِلْقِيسَ ثُمَّ تَنَاوَلَ السَّرِيرَ بِيَدِهِ ثُمَّ عَادَتِ الْاَرْضُ كَمَا كَانَتْ اَسْرَعَ مِنْ طَرْفَةِ عَيْنٍ وَ عِنْدَنَا نَحْنُ مِنَ الِاسْمِ اثْنَانِ وَ سَبْعُونَ حَرْفاً وَ حَرْفٌ عِنْدَ اللهِ اسْتَاْثَرَ بِهِ فِي عِلْمِ الْغَيْبِ عِنْدَهُ وَ لَا حَوْلَ وَ لَا قُوَّةَ اِلَّا بِاللهِ الْعَلِيِّ الْعَظِيمِ 

Jaabir Ibn Yazid al-Jofi reports from Imam Abu Jafar (al-Baqer a.s.) who said, “Surely, the greatest Names of Allah comprise of seventy-three (73) alphabets. Asif (the son of Barkhiyaa a.s., the successor of Prophet Sulaiman a.s.) had only one alphabet. When he uttered it, the earth was rent asunder between him and the throne of Bilqis (the queen of Yemen). Then, he brought the throne with his hand. Thereafter, the earth returned to its original position faster than the batting of an eyelid. With us (Ahle Bait a.s.) are seventy-two (72) alphabets and one alphabet is with Allah which He has stored in the knowledge of the Unseen with Him. And there is no power and strength except with Allah, the High, the Great.” 


1)    None is aware of these great names except Allah the High and those whom He has informed from His proofs (peace be upon him).

2)    Imam (peace be upon him) wants to prove the absolute mastership of the Ahle Bait (peace be upon them) over the entire creation through the incident of Asif Ibn Barkhiyaa (peace be upon him).

3)    In this tradition, Imam (peace be upon him) proves that none has more knowledge of the unseen than the Ahle Bait (peace be upon him) except Allah the All-Knowing.

4)    Most importantly, this incident shows that power is rooted in knowledge.

5)    When Imam (peace be upon him) recites the last sentence “And there is no power and strength except with Allah, the High, the Great” (called as hauqalah in religious terminology), he (peace be upon him) wants to establish that the source of all power and strength is Allah the Almighty. This should be our belief and approach as well that we must rely in all our affairs on Him alone. None will deny this fact except an ignoramus or an arrogant boaster.  


1.    Basaaer al-Darajaat, p. 208, H. 1, Chapter 13

2.    Al-Kaafi, vol. 1, p. 230, H. 1

3.    Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 27, p. 25, H. 1

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