The difference between prophecy and vision
Fatwa No: 31512

Question

Does a good vision differ from a prophecy in that it may happen? Do innate questions lead to disbelief?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu 'alyhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

On the authority of Abu At-Tufayl  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam, said that prophethood will come to an end by his death and nothing of its traces will remain except the glad tidings, i.e., the good vision. [Al-Bukhari].

As for true prophecy, it cannot happen except to a prophet, because it is only prophets who can tell infallible news about the Unseen.

As for visions, they happen to believers, as indicated by the above-mentioned Hadeeth.

Prophecy came to an end with the death of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam, and it can never occur again, whereas visions continue to exist.

As for natural questions that originate from human nature and may cause man to have some temporary doubts, they do not cause him to apostatize.  Allaah The Almighty created man with an innate inclination to Oneness. Allaah the Almighty Says (what means): {So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. [Adhere to] the fitrah (innate inclination to Islam) of Allah upon which He has created [all] people. No change should there be in the creation of Allaah. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know. } [Quran 30:30].

Therefore, natural questions neither lead to disbelief nor contradict faith. What really contradicts faith is any question involving ridicule of the religion, an objection to the wise decree of Allaah The Almighty, or any similar matter which indicates that the requisite faith is not there. Such questions cannot be described as natural.

Allaah Knows best.

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