Muhammad (S) – The Prophet of Islam – Part 5
by Habib Siddiqui
It is said that true Prophets of God performed miracles that defied natural laws. Jews believe that Moses (Ar. Musa alayhis salam) performed a number of miracles (no less than 32), the most important one (probably) being the parting of the Red Sea (Exodus: 13:17-15:12). Christians believe that Jesus, son of Mary (Ar. ‘Isa ibn Maryam (AS)), performed 46 miracles that included curing the leper (Mark 1:40-45), healing the blind (Mark 8:22-26, 10:46), driving out evil spirits (Mark 16:9), feeding thousands with few loaves of bread and fish (Mark 6:30-44) and raising Lazarus from death (John 11:1-44). They ask: did Muhammad (S), the Prophet of Islam, perform any such miracle? As a matter of fact, they are not alone in their probing. The pagan Arabs of Muhammad’s (S) time demanded miracles from Muhammad (S) to prove to them that he was a true Prophet of Allah (see, e.g., Qur’an 21:5).
Muhammad (S) performed many miracles, numbering more than 300, which are mentioned in dozens of books of history and hadith (see, e.g., the books – Mu`jazat al-Mustapha by Khayru-d-Din Wanili; Al-Jawab as-Sahih li man Baddala Din al-Masih by Imam ibn Taymiyyah; Tarikh ibn Kathir, and Tarikh al-Islam adh-Dhahabi; Fathul-Bari by Imam ibn Hajr; “300 Miracles of Muhammad (S)” by Mawlana Ahmad Said for a compiled list of such miracles). These miracles were witnessed by many people and retained with trustworthy chain of narrators.
These include: the splitting of the moon, his night journey – isra wa miraj (from Makkah to Jerusalem and ascent to the heavens), bringing rain on a clear day when there was no cloud in the sky, stopping rain, water flowing from between his fingers, increasing the quantity of food and water and thereby feeding a multitude of his Companions, the glorification of the food, the palm tree yearning for him, stones greeting him, the talking of the poisoned leg [of roasted sheep], trees walking towards him, two trees that were far apart coming together and then parting again, the barren sheep giving milk, his curing eyesight of Ali ibn Abi Talib (RA), his fixing the eye of Qatidah bin an-Nu`man (RA) to its place, his healing the leg of `Abdullah bin `Atiq (RA) whereupon he was immediately cured. [See Imam an-Nawawi’s “Prophet Muhammad’s Miracles”]
Muhammad (S) also foretold about many future events, all of which came out to be true. This included informing that his grandson Hassan bin Ali (RA) would reconcile between two large warring parties of the Muslims and that Husayn (RA) will be martyred. He also announced the deaths of King Negus (an-Najashi) of Abyssinia and al-Aswad al-`Ansi in Yemen. He informed that Ruwayfi` bin Thabit (RA) would live a long life and that Ammar bin Yasir (RA) would be killed by the transgressing group [in the Battle of Siffin]. He also foretold about the martyrdom of Thabit bin Qays (RA). He told Uthman, the third Caliph of Islam that he would be afflicted by a severe fitnah (trial) that killed him. All of these came out to be true. His yet to fulfill predictions before the Doom’s day include coming of the ad-Dajjal (the anti-Christ), descend of Jesus from heaven to earth to kill ad-Dajjal and coming of Imam al-Mahdi.
In what follows, only 7 relevant miracles are mentioned from the hadith collection in Saheeh Al-Bukhari.
1. Splitting of the Moon:
When the unbelievers in Makkah asked the Prophet Muhammad (S) to show them a miracle, he showed them the splitting of the moon. Narrated Abdullah:
“The moon was cleft asunder while we were in the company of the Prophet, and it became two parts. The Prophet said, Witness, witness (this miracle).”
2. Food Multiplication:
My father had died in debt. So I came to the Prophet and said, “My father (died) leaving unpaid debts, and I have nothing except the yield of his date palms; and their yield for many years will not cover his debts. So please come with me, so that the creditors may not misbehave with me.” The Prophet went round one of the heaps of dates and invoked (Allah), and then did the same with another heap and sat on it and said, “Measure (for them).” He paid them their rights and what remained was as much as had been paid to them.
3. Water Multiplication:
We were one-thousand-and-four-hundred persons on the day of Al-Hudaibiya (Treaty), and (at) Al-Hudaibiya (there) was a well. We drew out its water not leaving even a single drop. The Prophet sat at the edge of the well and asked for some water with which he rinsed his mouth and then he threw it out into the well. We stayed for a short while and then drew water from the well and quenched our thirst, and even our riding animals drank water to their satisfaction.
4. Supplication for rain:
A man came to the Prophet on a Friday while he (the Prophet) was delivering a sermon at Medina, and said, “There is lack of rain, so please invoke your Lord to bless us with the rain.” The Prophet looked at the sky when no cloud could be detected. Then he invoked Allah for rain. Clouds started gathering together and it rained till the Medina valleys started flowing with water. It continued raining till the next Friday. Then that man (or some other man) stood up while the Prophet was delivering the Friday sermon, and said, “We are drowned; Please invoke your Lord to withhold it (rain) from us” The Prophet smiled and said twice or thrice, “O Allah! Please let it rain round about us and not upon us.” The clouds started dispersing over Medina to the right and to the left, and it rained round about Medina and not upon Medina. Allah showed them (the people) the miracle of His Prophet and His response to his invocation.
5. Crying of the stem of the Date-palm Tree:
Narrated Ibn Umar:
The Prophet used to deliver his sermons while standing beside a trunk of a date palm. When he had the pulpit made, he used it instead. The trunk started crying and the Prophet went to it, rubbing his hand over it (to stop its crying).
6. Glorification of Allah by the Prophet’s meals
Once we were with Allah’s Apostle on a journey, and we ran short of water. He said, “Bring the water remaining with you.” The people brought a utensil containing a little water. He placed his hand in it and said, “Come to the blessed water, and the Blessing is from Allah.” I saw the water flowing from among the fingers of Allah’s Apostle, and no doubt, we heard the meal glorifying Allah, when it was being eaten (by him).
7. The expulsion of a Christian liar’s corpse by the Earth
There was a Christian who embraced Islam and read Surat-al-Baqara and Al-Imran, and he used to write (the revelations) for the Prophet. Later on he returned to Christianity again and he used to say: “Muhammad knows nothing but what I have written for him.” Then Allah caused him to die, and the people buried him, but in the morning they saw that the earth had thrown his body out. They said, “This is the act of Muhammad and his companions. They dug the grave of our companion and took his body out of it because he had run away from them.” They again dug the grave deeply for him, but in the morning they again saw that the earth had thrown his body out. They said, “This is an act of Muhammad and his companions. They dug the grave of our companion and threw his body outside it, for he had run away from them.” They dug the grave for him as deep as they could, but in the morning they again saw that the earth had thrown his body out. So they believed that what had befallen him was not done by human beings and had to leave him thrown (on the ground).
The greatest miracle bestowed upon Muhammad (S), however, was the revelation of the Qur’an. The Qur’an is miraculous in a number of aspects: linguistic perfection, eloquence and inimitability, validation of veracity of its contents by recent historical, archaeological, and scientific discoveries, its prophecies and so on. Unlike the miracles of other prophets before him, the miracle of the Qur’an is eternal and remains with us unadulterated and unaltered. It incapacitated the most eloquent of people in the most eloquent of times to produce a single chapter that would be comparable to it, even if the whole of creation were to gather for that purpose. Allah challenged the pagan Arabs by saying: “Say: If the whole of mankind and the jinn gathered in order to produce the like of this Qur’an, they could not produce the like of it, even if they assisted each other.” [Al-Israa’ 17: 88]
(To be continued)
[About the author: Dr. Habib Siddiqui has authored seven books. His latest book: The Counsel – is now available in Malaysia from the Islamic Book Trust.]