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Last Updated: 2011/09/29
Summary of question
How does God have knowledge of unreal or false information whereas false information is not considered to be knowledge?
question
When we say that God has knowledge of everything does it mean that He has knowledge of both false and true information? If not, how can we say that He has knowledge of everything?
Concise answer

God's knowledge of something – be it true or false – does not imply its acceptance. You know that God’s knowledge is neither acquired through learning nor preceded by ignorance. God’s knowledge encompasses all things, as does His mercy and wisdom. Nothing in the heavens or on Earth escapes His notice. His knowledge is intrinsic to him.

Detailed Answer

The discussion concerning God's knowledge of minute details has been raised in the commentaries of the Quran under relevant verses and also in the traditions. As for the nature of God's knowledge and how He has knows the details in a way such that it is not dichotomous with the Divine Essence, it is question that only a few scholars have been able to solve.

For this reason, some theologians consider the viewpoints raised by some philosophers (who refute God's knowledge of minute details) as opposed to the apparent and outward meaning of the verses of the Holy Quran and prophetic traditions. But many theologians have also raised points similar to the philosophers' viewpoint in regards to the nature of God's knowledge of the details.

In our answer to this question, we do not aim to propound and render a detailed discussion about God's knowledge. Assuming that God knows the minutest of details of all things hidden and manifest and He knows every generality and every particular, from the most abstract of concepts to the most concrete object, we shall now deal with the question:

God's knowledge of something – be it correct or incorrect – does not imply its acceptance. Same is true with an insightful and knowledgeable individual who has knowledge of both the correct and incorrect viewpoint but he does not accept the incorrect viewpoint and its implications. Moreover, God's judgment about something being true or false does not have anything to do with His knowledge of the details. Knowledge of something does not in any way mean accepting it. God's knowledge is intrinsic to Him; He is never influenced by others' knowledge.

Not only does God's knowledge encompass the correct and incorrect but it also true with the creational matters. We know that knowledge of the existence of something when compared to some other things is "time pass and play" yet, God has granted a kind of existence to these things which become the subject of human knowledge. Therefore, there is no dichotomy in the extension of God's knowledge, sustenance, mercy, creation and other divine attributes to the general and particular; correct and incorrect existents. He has knowledge of every subjective and objective; mental and creational existence. If anything is wrong, it does not change God's knowledge nor does it make His knowledge to become ignorance. The flaw is with the creature not with God. He has granted man the power to think or act either in the right or the wrong way and He sees what he is doing.

Related index:

- God and Human action, 131 (site: 1880).

- God's Knowledge and Creation of Bad Human Beings, 3880 (site: 4158) .

- The Relationship between God's Knowledge and Man's Freewill, 3906 (site: 4187).

- God's Knowledge and Human Volition, 2084 (site: 2135).

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