Miracles of Prophet Muhammad

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(part 1 of 2) Description:  Two lessons will explain the nature of miracles and some of the miracles performed by Prophet Muhammad. Objectiv...

(part 1 of 2)

Description: Two lessons will explain the nature of miracles and some of the miracles performed by Prophet Muhammad.
Objectives
·       To learn about why prophets are given miracles by Allah.
·       To appreciate that the Quran is a miracle.
·       To learn the four aspects of how the Quran is a miracle.
Miracles-of-Prophet-Muhammad-Part-1.jpgA miracle is what proves the claim of a prophet of Allah.  A number of miracles were performed by Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, to establish the proof of his prophethood.
The Prophet of Islam said,
”Every prophet was given ‘signs’ because of which people believed in him.  Indeed, I have been given the Divine Revelation that Allah has inspired to me.  So, I hope to have the most followers of all the prophets on the Day of Resurrection.”[1]

The Miracle of the Quran

Briefly, the miracle of the Quran is in the following aspects:
A.  Miracle of the Language
B.  Miracle of Future Prophecies
C.  Miracle of Internal Consistency

A.  Miracle of the Language

The supremacy of Quran’s language cannot be fully conveyed or understood in another language because English lacks parallels and the sophistication of classical Arabic.  It is precisely for this reason that a translation of the Quran is not the Quran itself.  A translation conveys the meaning to some extent, but can never duplicate the linguistic supremacy of the original Quran.  Hence, we are forced to limit our discussion to a few aspects only.
·       Inimitability of words & meaning
All Arabic grammar, jurisprudence, wisdom, and philology is based on the Quran.  For example, post-Islamic poets would borrow words of the Quran to make their works potent because the Quran was considered rhetorically unsurpassable.  The depth, wisdom, and beauty of its content cannot be matched.  The difference can be seen by anyone who compares the content of biblical and other religious texts with that of the Quran.
·       Inimitability of style (aslub)
The Quran does not follow the rules of poetic rhymes of ancient Arabs, yet the ecstasy it produces is sweeter than poetry.  The secret lies in the harmony produced by the arrangement of the words. 
When ordinary human beings repeat something, it loses strength and effect.  On the other hand, Quranic repetition is equally forceful and meaningful without losing its sweetness.

B.  Miracle of Future Prophecies

The Quran made many prophecies that came true.  We will limit ourselves to three in this discussion. 
The first two prophecies are noteworthy: unlike any other world scripture, the Quran prophesizes its own preservation under divine care.
·       Protection of Quran from corruption
The Quran makes a claim no other religious text makes: Allah will keep it safe from textual alteration.  Allah says,
“Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur’an and indeed, We will guard it [from corruption].”  (Quran 15: 9)
·       Ease of Memorizing Quran
Allah has made the Quran easy to memorize,
“And in truth We have made the Quran easy to remember; who, then, is willing to take it to heart?”  (Quran 54: 17)
The ease with which the Quran is memorized is inimitable.  There is not a single scripture or religious text in the world that is as easy to memorize; even non-Arabs commit it to memory easily. 
Not only the words of the Quran have been preserved, but the original sounds of those words have been preserved as well.  No other religious text has been preserved in a similar manner – a claim any objective reader can verify for themselves.  Thus, the Quran stands inimitable in its mode of preservation over the centuries as prophesizedand promised by Allah Himself.
·       Twofold Prophecy
Before the rise of Islam, the Romans and the Persians were two competing superpowers.  Romans were led by Heraclius (610–641 CE), a Christian Emperor, whereas the Persians were Zoroastrians led by Khosrow Parviz (reigned 590–628 CE), under whom the empire achieved its greatest expansion. 
In 614 the Persians conquered Syria and Palestine, taking Jerusalem and what was believed to be Christ’s Cross, and in 619 occupied Egypt and Libya.  In an effort to placate the Avars, Heraclius met them at Thracian Heraclea (617 or 619).  They sought to capture him, and he rode madly back to Constantinople, hotly pursued.[2]
The Muslims were grieved by the Roman defeat as they felt spiritually closer to Christian Rome than Zoroastrian Persia, but the Meccans were naturally joyed by the victory of pagan Persia.  To Meccans, the Roman humiliation was a sinister omen of Muslim defeat at pagan hands.  At the time Allah’s prophecy comforted the faithful,
"The Romans have been defeated - in a land close by; but they, (even) after (this) defeat of theirs, will soon be victorious- within ten years.  With Allah is the Decision, in the past and in the future.  And on that day shall the believers rejoice with the help of Allah.  He helps whom He will, and He is the Mighty, the Most-Merciful.’ (Quran 30: 2-4)
The Quran made a prophecy of two victories:
(i) Future Roman victory within ten years over Persians, something unimaginable at the time.
(ii) Joy of the faithful on their own victory over the pagans.
And so it happened. 
In the words of an Indian scholar,
      ‘…a single line of prophecy was related to four nations and the fate of two great empires.  All this proves Holy Quran being the Book of Allah.’

C.  Miracle of Internal Consistency

Allah presents internal consistency of the Quran as proof of its divine origin,
“Then do they not reflect upon the Quran?  If it had been from [any] other than Allah, they would have found within it much contradiction.” (Quran 4:82)
A person who is familiar with internal inconsistencies within the Bible, for example, can appreciate the full thrust of this argument.  Unlike other religious texts, the Quran’s teachings on Allah, prophet hood, Moses, Jesus, evil, Satan, and afterlife are harmonic and internally consistent.


Footnotes:
[1] Saheeh Al-Bukhari

Miracles of Prophet Muhammad (part 2 of 2)

Description: Two lessons will explain the nature of miracles and details of the miracles 
Objectives
·       To learn about 8 different types of confirmed miracles of Prophet Muhammad.
Apart from the greatest miracle given to him, the Quran, Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, performed many physical miracles witnessed by his contemporaries numbering in hundreds, and in some cases thousands.
In this section we will discuss some of the physical miracles performed by Prophet Muhammad.

Splitting of the Moon

Miracles-of-Prophet-Muhammad-Part-2.jpgOne of the times when Allah performed miracles at the hand of the Prophet was when the Meccans demanded to see a miracle from Prophet Muhammad to show his truthfulness.  Allah split the moon in two separate halves and then re-joined them.  The Quran recorded the event:
 “The Last Hour draws near, and the moon is split asunder!  And if they see a miracle, they turn away and say, "Passing magic."  And they denied and followed their inclinations.  But for every matter is a [time of] settlement.” (Quran 54:1-3)

Night Journey and Ascent to Heaven

A few months before the migration from Mecca to Medina, Allah took Prophet Muhammad in one night from the Grand Mosque in Mecca to al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, a month’s journey of 1230 km for a caravan.   From Jerusalem, he ascended to the heavens, passing the boundaries of the physical universe to be in divine presence, meet Allah, and witness the Great Signs (al-Ayat ul-Kubra).  His truth became apparent in two ways. 
First, the Prophet described the caravans he had overtaken on the way home and said where they were and about when they might be expected to arrive in Mecca; and each arrived as predicted, and the details were as he had described. 
Second, he was never known to have been to Jerusalem, yet he described al-Aqsa Mosque to skeptics like an eye-witness.
The journey is mentioned in the Quran:
“Exalted is He who took His Servant [Prophet Muhammad] by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al-Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs.  Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing.” (Quran 17:1)
“So will you dispute with him over what he saw? And he certainly saw him in another descent at the Lote Tree of the Utmost Boundary – near it is the Garden of Refuge (Paradise) – when there covered the Lote Tree that which covered (it).  The sight (of the Prophet) did not swerve, nor did it transgress (its limit).   He certainly saw of the greatest signs of his Lord.” (Quran 53:12-18)

The Tree Trunk

In Medina, Prophet Muhammad used to deliver sermons leaning on a tree stump.   When the number of worshippers increased, someone suggested a pulpit be built so he can use it to deliver the sermon.   When the pulpit was built, he abandoned the tree trunk. Abdullah ibn Umar, one of the companions, gave an eye-witness testimony of what happened.  The trunk was heard weeping, the Prophet of mercy went towards it and comforted it with his hand[1].

The Flowing of Water

On more than one occasion when people were in dire need of water, the blessing of the Prophet saved them.   In the sixth year after the he migrated from Mecca to Medina, the Prophet went to Mecca for pilgrimage.  In the long journey through the desert, people ran out of all water, only the Prophet was left with a vessel with which he performed ablution for prayers.   He put his hand in the vessel, water began flowing from between his fingers.  Jabir ibn Abdullah, who witnessed the miracle, says of the fifteen hundred men, ‘We drank it and made ablution.’[2]

Blessing of Food

On more than one occasion, the Prophet blessed food by either praying or touching it so all present could get their fill.   This happened at times when food and water shortage afflicted Muslims (Bukhari).  These miracles took place in the presence of a large number of people and is, thus, not possible to deny.

Healing the Sick

Abdullah ibn Ateek broke his leg and Prophet Muhammad healed it by wiping his hand over it.   Abdullah said it was as if nothing had happened to it!  The person who witnessed the miracle was another companion, Bara’ ibn Azib.[3]
During the expedition of Khyber, Prophet Muhammad healed the painful eyes of Ali ibn Abi Talib in front of a whole army.   Ali, many years later, became the fourth Caliph of the Muslims (Bukhari, Muslim). 

Exorcising Devils

Prophet Muhammad exorcised the devil out of a boy brought by his mother for healing to him by saying, ‘Come out!  I am Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah!’  The woman said, ‘By the One who sent you with the truth, we have never seen anything wrong with him since.’ (Musnad)

Prayers Answered

(1)  The mother of Abu Hurayrah, a close companion of Prophet Muhammad, used to speak ill of Islam and its Prophet.  One day, Abu Hurayrah came weeping to Prophet Muhammad and asked him to pray for his mother to be saved.   Prophet Muhammad prayed and when Abu Hurayrah returned home he found his mother ready to accept Islam.  She bore the Testimony of Faith in front of her son and entered Islam (Muslim).
(2)  Jarir ibn Abdullah was commissioned by the Prophet to rid the land of an idol worshipped besides Allah, but he complained he could not ride a horse well!  The Prophet prayed for him, ‘O Allah, make him a strong horseman and make him one who guides and is guided.’ Jarir testifies he never fell off his horse after the Prophet prayed for him[4].


Footnotes:
[1] Saheeh Al-Bukhari
[2] Saheeh Al-Bukhari
[3] Saheeh Al-Bukhari
[4] Saheeh Muslim

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