In the world of humans, there is a narrow space what is known to the mortals superficially. It is part of the past and part of the present. Man does it by perceiving the reality by the distortions of his sensory, within time and space limits of his brain. And in the meantime, he forgets a lot. This is what the Arabic word "man" expresses, which comes from the verb to forget. "Nasi" means forget and "insan" is the one who forgets.
"Nasi" means forget and "insan" is the one who forgets. We might say, the way we make the "fallible" from the word fall. In contrast, Allah (SWT) knows the past, the present and the future, with all their details. But He knows something else, too. He knows a space that is difficult to comprehend by man. He also knows what would occur if something would happen and what would have befallen if something had happened. He also knows a fictional future that is coupled with a fictional past. I know this is difficult to understand, but there is an example in the Kahf (Cave) Surah from the Quran.
You may know the part where Moses meets Khidr, the messenger of God who acts under the inspiration of God. Three events happen to them. One of the events is that Khidr kills a young boy. Moses does not understand and waits impatiently for the cause. But the cause is not in the space what human can perceive. Then the time comes when Khidr will tell him the reason. If the child had grown up, he would have become a miserable criminal who would have killed his parents. At the inspiration of Allah, Khidr ended the boy's life in order that all this would not happen and the parents would be blessed by another good child who will be born later.
Then they proceeded: until, when they met a young man, he slew him. Moses said: "Hast thou slain an innocent person who had slain none? Truly a foul (unheard of) thing hast thou done!" (Quran 18:74)
"As for the youth, his parents were people of Faith, and we feared that he would grieve them by obstinate rebellion and ingratitude (to Allah and man). (Quran 18:80)
This seemed at first sight even a crueler act than scuttling the boat. But the danger was also greater. Khidhr knew that the youth was a potential parricide. His parents were worthy, pious people, who had brought him up with love. He had apparently gone wrong. Perhaps he had already been guilty of murders and robberies and had escaped the law by subtleties and fraud. See next note.
"So we desired that their Lord would give them in exchange (a son) better in purity (of conduct) and closer in affection. (Quran 18:81)
The son was practically an outlaw, -a danger to the public and a particular source of grief to his righteous parents. Even so, his summary capital punishment would have been unjustified if Khidhr had been acting on his own. But Khidhr was not acting on his own: see the latter part of the next verse. The plural "we" also implies that he was not acting on his own. He was acting on higher authority and removing a public scourge, who was also a source of extreme sorrow and humiliation to his parents. His parents are promised a better-behaved son who would love them and be a credit to them.
I know now that most people get caught up in the morbidity of the story, which means the murder of a child. They will refer to human rights, Islamic brutality, and everything else just because their brain capacity does not comprehend what these few verses say. Major part of Surah Kahf (Cave) consists of mysticism and parables. In an article later I will also describe the events behind this Surah. The first meaning of these stories is never the real message, but the hidden one. In this case, Khidr, who fulfills the command of Allah, damages a ship, apparently for no good reason. But only after a while will become clear why he did it. The ship belonged to the poor and a tyrant lord wanted to take it away from them, but in such a damaged condition the lord no longer needed it. The poor could repair the ship and their livelihoods remained secure.
Then, with the help of Moses, Khidr rebuilt a collapsed wall. But he did so, because treasure was buried under the wall and if it collapsed further the treasure would come to surface and goes into the hands of people who are not worth to have it. The treasure belonged to the orphans and was buried by their old parents before they died. Orphans still need to grow up to find their rightful property. Until then, the treasure remained protected under the wall. The third story is the case of the boy who was killed by Khidr.
And the verses are not about the ship, the treasure of the orphans and the killed child. Our brain capacity what has been limited by the material world is in a difficult situation. Especially when the ability of understanding is lost because everything is explained externally according to a given concept, so we are dishabituated from learning to understand. Yet narrowing the intellectual capacities results the closure of our own world.
Moses in the palace of Pharaoh received the knowledge of his age that NASA would give today. So, Moses got the most that the material world could give. But in order to become a prophet this is not enough! Because a prophet cannot see only such a narrow world. His encounter with Khidr aims that Allah opens for Moses a path to understand a space where material causes are not worth to seek for immediately. He should wait for the time until the reasons unfold themselves. Is this not the case in your life, too? Do you not often find the real causes of your life events later? Yet when life events happened, you invented all the nonsense to provide explanations for yourself. It was superfluous. You just have to wait and the real motivations will become visible.
Here you are the knowledge of Allah and an example of a world what He knows. This is perhaps an example to accept the fact: there are many worlds that we do not know. For a dentist, there are only two sorts of people: one who has a toothache and another one who has not. For a lawyer: who has a legal problem and who hasn't. Unfortunately, we Muslims have each day narrowing horizons too: we only see Muslims and non-Muslims. This is a mistake! It leads us to distorted attitudes. If we get rid of the chains on our brains what prevent us the proper understanding and try to perceive the spaces and levels that cannot be described by numbers, then we see how small we are and how great Allah is!