Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Prophet’s greatest miracle was the Qur’an — I

Apart from the greatest miracle — the Qur’an — given to him, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) performed many physical miracles witnessed by his contemporaries numbering in hundreds, and in some cases thousands.(1)
Reports of his miracles reached us by a reliable and strong method of transmission unmatched in world history. It is as if the miracles were performed in front of our eyes. The meticulous method of transmission is what convinces us that the Prophet (peace be upon him) indeed performed thesegreat miracles with divine aid and, thus, we can believe him when he said, ‘I am God’s Messenger.’
The Prophet’s great miracles were witnessed by thousands of believers and skeptics, following which verses of the Qur’an were revealed mentioning the supernatural events. The Qur’an made some miracles eternal by etching them in the minds of the believers.
The ancient detractors would simply remain silent when these verses were recited. Had these miracles not taken place, they would have seized the moment to scandalize it and belie the Prophet (peace be upon him). But rather, the opposite took place. The believers grew more certain of the truth of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the Qur’an.
The fact that the faithful grew stronger in their faith, and the unbelievers remained silent by not denying their occurrence is acknowledgment that the miracles took place exactly as the Qur’an describes.
In this section we will discuss some of the physical miracles performed by the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Miracles are from Divine power
A miracle is one of the factors, which further strengthens the claim of a prophet of God. Miracles should not be the soul essence of belief, as supernatural events can also take place by the use of magic and devils. The truth of prophethood is clear and evident in the actual message brought, as God has instilled a capability, although limited, in humans to recognize the truth as it is, specifically in the matter of monotheism.
But in order to further strengthen the argument of prophethood, God performed miracles at the hands of His Prophets from Moses, Jesus to Muhammad (peace be upon them). God did not produce miracles upon the demand of the Makkans, but the Wise God gave Muhammad the miracles He desired at the time: “And they say, ‘We will not believe you until you break open for us from the ground a spring, or (until) you have a garden of date-palms and grapes and make rivers gush forth within them in force (and abundance) or you make the heaven fall upon us in fragments as you have claimed or you bring God and the angels before (us) or you have a house of ornament (gold) or you ascend into the sky. And (even then), we will not believe in your ascension until you bring down to us a book we may read.’ ‘Say, Exalted is my Lord! Was I ever but a human messenger?’’’ (Qur’an 17:90-93)
The answer was: “And nothing has prevented Us from sending (this message, like the earlier ones,) with miraculous signs (in its wake), save (Our knowledge) that the people of olden times (only too often) gave the lie to them: thus, We provided for (the tribe of) Thamud the she-camel as a visible sign, but they wronged her. And never did We send those signs for any other purpose than to convey a warning.” (Qur’an 17:59)
When demanded ostensibly, God in His wisdom knew they would not believe, so He refused to show them miracles: “Now they swear by God with their most solemn oaths that if a miracle were shown to them, they would indeed believe in this (divine writ). Say: ‘Miracles are in the power of God alone.’ ‘And for all you know, even if one should be shown to them, they would not believe so long as We keep their hearts and their eyes turned (away from the truth), even as they did not believe in it in the first instance: and (so) We shall leave them in their overweening arrogance, blindly stumbling to and fro’.” (Qur’an, 6:109-110)
Footnotes:
(1) The miracles add up to over a thousand. See ‘Muqaddima Sharh’ Saheeh Muslim’ by Al-Nawawi and ‘Al-Madkhal’ by al-Baihaqi.
To be continued next week
n Courtesy of Islamreligion.com