All About Miracles

Miracles – in General

Allaah SWT created this universe with such features and attributes that it runs automatically in accordance with His wishes. He has done this by pre-programming every creation to follow all the laws and processes that He has prescribed for them. Nothing and no one can escape the laws and processes that are applicable to them. In other words, those laws constitute their Taqdeer. Inanimate things are bound by physical laws, and living species found on the earth are additionally bound by biological laws and processes. People generally refer to all these as laws of nature. Besides being bound by the laws of nature, human beings have been granted freedom to make decisions and have been given the ability to execute those decisions. In that realm of their freedom, they are still bound by some metaphysical laws that determine natural consequences of their decisions and actions, both individually as persons and collectively as societies and nations. One example of such laws is that every human decision or action has a natural consequence that cannot be avoided. People have freedom to make decisions or take actions but they do not have freedom to avoid the consequence of those decisions or actions. Another example is the set of laws that governs how nations rise and fall. But metaphysical laws such as these are not the topic of this article, and we will not delve into that subject any further. Only the physical laws of nature are relevant to the discussion on the topic of miracles.

Allaah has not revealed the details of all of the inherent laws and processes that exist in the universe except for what was necessary for our guidance, which He revealed in His Book. However, He gave people the ability to discover physical laws and processes by our study and observation so that we can learn about them and benefit from them. Those are what human beings have discovered through sciences such as physics, chemistry, biology, etc. Our scientific study has not only discovered these laws of nature, the Taqdeer of the physical aspects of the universe, it has also confirmed that every creation of Allaah is bound by these laws. No creation of Allaah can overrule or escape these laws.

However, we must remember that Allaah SWT as the Creator and the Sovereign of the universe is not bound by any of these laws, processes or Taqdeer, whatever we may want to call them, and He can overrule them and make things happen differently as and when He wants. Sometimes, He does things differently from what we are accustomed to and/or what we know as the laws of nature. When He makes those extra-ordinary incidents happen through or for His messengers, they are referred to as miracles.

Every messenger of God was sent with miracles to show that he was a special person from God and to establish his credibility. Moosa’s (Moses’) staff turned into a snake and he was able to pass through the parted sea. ‘Eesa (Jesus) cured the blind and the lepers, and raised the dead. Similarly, the life of Prophet Muhammad was full of miracles. The list of his miracles is long and they are as amazing as Moses’ or Jesus’ miracles. There was one miracle, however, which he always presented as his special miracle. Whenever the non-believers demanded a miracle, it was the one they were asked to look at. That miracle is the Qur-aan, which in fact is a living miracle.

And they say: Why are not Signs sent down to him from his Lord? ... Is it not enough for them that we have revealed to you (O Muhammad!) the Book which is recited to them? (Al-‘Ankaboot 29:50-51)

The miracles of Moses were performed but cannot be verified or repeated now. We can only read about them. The same is true for the most astounding miracles of Jesus. But the Qur-aan is the only miracle that can be witnessed, experienced and validated by any sincere and willing person today and always until the Last Day. How the Qur-aan is a living miracle will be discussed shortly, but first some words about the wisdom in choosing the Qur-aan as the distinguishing miracle.

God gives each of His messengers the miracles suitable for their time. The miracles cover a field or an area of human endeavours that is highly regarded in the society to which the miracle is presented. A messenger’s miracles are intended to astound the people and establish the messenger’s supremacy in that particular field by exceeding and surpassing all the expected levels of skills in that area. For example, during the time of Moses, magic had gained pre-eminence in the society; consequently Allaah SWT gave him the miracles that surpassed any performance of magic. Even the subject matter of the miracles was selected with the audience in mind. As indicated from the items discovered in the pyramids, snakes had special relevance to the Pharaohs. The snake on Pharaoh’s crown was considered to have the power to destroy his enemy. Similarly, Moses was given the shining hand miracle because of Egyptians’ reverence to the sun as a deity. During Jesus’ era, healing and medicine were the greatest areas of concern. Hence, Jesus’ miracles were concentrated in that area. Lastly, the Arabs were enamoured with eloquence and literary excellence, therefore, Allaah SWT gave Muhammad ŝall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam the miracle of the Qur-aan, the literary book par excellence. There is, however, more to it than that. Because Prophet Muhammad was to be the last prophet during this intellectually oriented age of knowledge, he was given the appropriate miracle for the coming times, i.e. the miracle of knowledge that inspires the intellect.

The Qur-aan is a living miracle not only because people can witness its features such as: its excellence of language, the beauty of its style, its impact on the hearts and minds, it being free from any inconsistencies, it being meticulously preserved, it being the only memorized religious book, the revolution it created, the lives it changed and keeps on changing, the universal principles it has taught to humanity, the moral standards it has set forth, the purity of its teachings, the validity of its reports, the awe it inspires, the fear it creates, the hopes it builds and the personality it prepares; but also because it is a living miracle from the scientific point of view as well.

It is the only religious book, and Islam is the only religion, that is not at odds with science. Rather, it encourages scientific thought and approach in its followers. Although it is not a book of science, it often uses scientific facts about natural phenomena to make its points and invites readers to reflect on them:

Indeed there are signs in it for a people who reflect ... Certainly, there are signs in these (phenomena)for people who have sense. (Ar-Ra‘d 13:3-4.)

These signs are presented in such words so as to be equally meaningful for everyone – from a simple Bedouin of the 7th century to the most sophisticated scholar of current times. In fact, it keeps showing its miracles with the passage of time and the advancement of human knowledge, as it claimed that it would:

We will soon show them Our signs in the Universe and within themselves, until it will become quite clear to them that it is the truth. (Fuŝŝilat 41:35)

Every now and then, a new scientific or historic discovery brings another miracle of the Qur-aan to light so that people can discover that this Book is from Allaah. It could not have been a human product. Some of its miracles revealed recently through scientific advancements and historical discoveries have been listed in the author’s book, “Exploring Islamic Beliefs”.


The Denial of Miracles

Although the physical miracles shown through earlier messengers are realities of the past, they are described by Allaah SWT in the Qur-aan requiring us to believe in them. Their mention helps us understand the consistency of the Sunnah of Allaah in sending and supporting His messengers. However, some people who reject Hadeeth and Sunnah of Rasoolullaah also reject any reality described in the Qur-aan that their minds cannot grasp or comprehend. The miracles mentioned in the Qur-aan are one such reality. In 2001, one group of such people who follow Ghulam Ahmad Pervaiz of Lahore, Pakistan, and are thus called Pervaizis, fervently raised this issue on an internet chat group called Pakistan Forum whereby they attacked and ridiculed the concept of miracles. In April 2001, I responded to their attacks in a series of posts that have been collected under their own headings in this article. Although it has been written in reference to Pervaizis, the evidence presented and points explained herein respond to arguments put forth by the deniers of the miracles in general.

The first point they made was: the miracles are in violation of Sunnatullaah (the Sunnah of Allaah); hence, miracles cannot happen because Allaah does not deviate from His Sunnah. From their comments, it was evident that they did not even understand what the Sunnah of Allaah means. Thus, the first step was to explain the correct meaning of the Qur-aanic concept “Sunnatullaah”.

Sunnatullaah -- Allaah’s Sunnah

Literally, Sunnah means someone’s consistent way of dealing with certain situations. Allaah’s Sunnah, then, is Allaah’s consistent way of dealing with certain situations. This being a Qur-aanic term, instead of speculating, let us go to the Qur-aan itself to find out how it uses this term and for what situations. Obviously, to understand the meaning properly, we cannot take the verses in isolation. We would have to look at the context as well. Following are the instances in the Qur-aan where the unchanging nature of the Sunnah of Allaah has been mentioned:

  1. “And indeed they (Makkans) are about to uproot you from the land (Makkah) to evict you from there, but then, they would not be able to stay there after you much longer. This has been the way (Sunnah) for Our messengers We sent before you, and you will not find any alteration in Our Way (Sunnah).” Banee Israeel 17:76-77

    In these two verses, which were revealed just before Hijrah (migration) of Rasoolullaah (the Messenger of Allaah) ŝall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Allaah SWT is assuring him that just as He (Allaah) has always in the past ensured the safety and victory of His messengers and the destruction of their enemies, the same Sunnah of Allaah SWT will continue in the case of Rasoolullaah and his Makkan enemies. Here the Sunnah of Allaah refers to His policy of helping His messengers while eliminating those of their enemies who exceed all bounds and try to kill or evict a messenger. Consequently, just a year after his Hijrah, all those leaders of the Quraish who were instrumental in plotting against Rasoolullaah were killed at the battle of Badr.

  2. “There is not to be upon the Prophet any discomfort concerning that which Allaah has decided for Him. This has been the Sunnah of Allaah with those (messengers) who have passed before, and the decision of Allaah is a destined decree. (This Sunnah of Allaah has been applicable to all prophets) who convey the messages of Allaah, fear Him, and do not fear anyone except Allaah. And Allaah is enough to take account.” Al-Aĥzaab 33:38-39

    The context of these verses is that Allaah had commanded Rasoolullaah to marry Zainab to break an un-Islamic tradition. Rasoolullaah did as commanded being the most obedient servant of Allaah, though he was hesitant and reluctant, anticipating the vilification he would have to endure from the hypocrites and other enemies (and those attacks continue till this day). Through these verses, Allaah is reminding the world by addressing Rasoolullaah that Allaah’s policy (Sunnah) is that a messenger does not have a choice or an option. A messenger has to do what he is commanded, without being concerned about how the world would react.

  3. “If the hypocrites and those whose hearts (mentalities) are diseased and those who spread false, scandalous rumours in Madeenah do not stop, We shall incite you against them and then they will not be able to stay in this city as your neighbours for any length of time – they will be accursed, seized wherever found, and slain altogether. This is the Sunnah of Allaah in the case of those who passed away before, and you will not find any change in the Sunnah of Allaah.” Al-Aĥzaab 33:60-62

    In this case, Sunnah of Allaah refers to His policy of severely punishing those who persistently spread Fitnah[1] against a messenger and an Islamic society.

  4. “And they swore by Allaah their strongest oaths that if a warner came to them, they would be more guided than any of the nations before them. Yet when a warner came to them, it did not increase them except in aversion and, due to their arrogance in the land, in evil plotting; but the evil plot recoils only on the plotters themselves. Are they waiting to be dealt the way (Sunnah) former people were dealt with? Well, you will not find any change in the Sunnah of Allaah and you will not find any turning away in the Sunnah of Allaah. Have they not traveled through the land and observed what was the end of people before them, though they were superior to them in power? Nothing in the universe can escape Allaah’s control. He is All-Knowing, Omnipotent.” (Faaŧir 35:42-43)

    Once again, Sunnah of Allaah refers to the way Allaah deals with people who, due to their arrogance, reject a messenger, turn away from him and his message, and plot against the messenger. It gives Makkans a clear message that they will be dealt with exactly as it has always happened.

  5. “Have they (Arab Kuffar) not traveled through the land and observed how was the end of those before them? They (the people of the past) were more in number, were mightier in strength and left more significant traces than them, yet none of their achievements were of any avail. When their messengers came to them with Bayyinaat (clear proofs including miracles), (they rejected the messengers and laughed at their message because) they were happy and content with what they had of knowledge. However, they were ultimately surrounded by what they used to mock at. And when they saw Our punishment, they said, ‘we believe in Allaah alone and disbelieve in that which we used to associate with Him.’ But their faith was not going to benefit them once they saw Our punishment as that has been the way (Sunnah) of Allaah in dealing with His Slaves. Hence, the disbelievers lost utterly.” (Al-Mu’min / Ghaafir 40: 82-85

    Here, Sunnah of Allaah refers to His policy of not accepting the faith of people once the punishment appeared beyond a doubt right in front of them.

  6. “And if those (Makkans) who disbelieve were to fight you, they would certainly turn their back. Then they would not find a protector or a helper. This is the Sunnah of Allaah which has occurred before, and you will not find in the Sunnah of Allaah any change.” (Al-Fatĥ 48:22-23)

    Once again, these verses refer to the fact that the disbelievers would always turn their backs and run away in an actual battle against a messenger, and then there would be no place for hiding or for their protection. It reiterates the Sunnah of Allaah that eventually a messenger of Allaah would always be victorious.

These quotations clearly indicate that the Qur-aanic term ‘Sunnah of Allaah’ has been used in the Qur-aan only and only in reference to the way Allaah deals with His messengers and a messenger’s staunch opponents. Hence, the Sunnah of Allaah is the following:

  1. Allaah sends messengers with Bayyinaat (which include miracles) so that reasonable people can realize that this caller towards Allaah is not an ordinary person but a special person sent by Allaah as His representative who must be listened to and obeyed.
  2. Messengers do not have choice. They are obligated to do exactly as and what Allaah instructs them to do.
  3. Once a Messenger has done everything in his human power to bring people back to Islam, his blinded, bigoted or arrogant opponents and hypocrites are either subdued or destroyed and the messenger of Allaah succeeds in establishing a clean and pure Islamic state that functions according to the Deen of Allaah.
  4. When the punishment of Allaah comes to the staunch disbelievers, at that moment even their acceptance of faith does not help.

This is, according to the Qur-aan and its context, the “Sunnatullaah” that never changes, which in other words means that Allaah is consistent in His ways and that He does not deviate from His Sunnah. Allaah’s ways do not change, nor do they need to change, because all of His ways and decisions are based on His infinite knowledge and infinite wisdom and thus are infinitely perfect from the beginning, without ever needing any fine-tuning or adjustment.

Those people who deny miracles do not interpret this term (Sunnatullaah) in its Qur-aanic context, but treat it as an isolated term, outside of its context. Then, because the laws of nature operate consistently, they wrongly speculate that the laws of nature must be the Sunnah of Allaah. On the basis of this misunderstanding, they conclude that nothing can happen in this universe against the known laws of nature because Sunnatullaah does not change. Using this logic, they reject and deny any miracles shown by Allaah through any of His messengers because the miracles by nature are supernatural[2].

This reasoning shows that, in addition to Sunnatullaah, they do not even understand Taqdeer and the difference between Sunnatullaah and Taqdeer. Otherwise they would know that the Qur-aanic name for the laws of nature is Taqdeer, through which Allaah SWT has automated the operation of the universe and all His creations contained therein. They are applicable only to the creations of Allaah for whom they have been decreed. Allaah SWT can and does overrule them as and when He wants. On the other hand, Sunnatullaah is about Allaah’s own ways, not His creations; and thus has nothing to do with the laws of nature. Taqdeer (laws of nature) regulates the behaviour of Allaah's creations (in terms of automated processes), while Sunnatullaah describes Allaah’s behaviour. As shown above, the Qur-aan indicates it as Allaah’s own way of dealing with His messengers, the Islamic movements and their opponents. The miracles are very much part of this Sunnah of Allaah as they are used to introduce the messengers at the launch of the Islamic movement and to help them succeed eventually over their opponents. These roles of miracles as part of the Sunnah of Allaah are explained in detail in the next section.


Miracles – The Clear Signs

To understand the wisdom and the great mercy of Allaah SWT in using miracles to help people recognize messengers, let us recall the purpose for which we were sent on the earth and the purpose for which messengers were sent to us.

Allaah SWT put human beings on earth to voluntarily live their whole life in accordance with His guidance and to establish an equitable (just), peaceful, caring, sharing and loving society based on the Islamic principles. For this purpose, He mercifully bestowed Islam upon them as the perfect, complete and holistic life-governing system for all aspects of human life, designed to create an optimal balance, justice and excellence in human society. This was done so that people could use this turn-key, pre-packaged system without having to invent or design it through trial and error.. Also, being so Merciful and Kind, He sent prophets from time to time to help people stay on this Islamic path or to bring them back on track when lost. Whenever humanity abandoned Islam to such an extent that the Islamic principles of justice and excellence were collectively disregarded by a society and the objectives of Deen were completely forgotten, Allaah SWT sent his messengers to re-establish the proper concept of Islam as a wholesome Deen (life-governing system) and to practically re-establish the Islamic state, wresting the control of the world from Taghoot[3] and restoring it into the hands of loyal slaves of Allaah SWT. When a messenger single-handedly launches an Islamic movement, naturally, his worst enemies are the leaders of his society who are the beneficiaries of the existing power structure and whose power is threatened by any change in the status quo. Hence, those leaders become the Taghoot, hindering the restoration of Allaah’s rule in the society. The prime example of such a Taghoot is Fir‘awn (Pharaoh) who opposed Allaah’s messenger Moosa (Moses) ‘Alaihissalaam (AS).

Allaah has endowed human beings with many creative and thinking powers. They usually can come up with many theories and ideas which they can sell effectively to the public so as to garner followers and supporters. These philosophers, theorists and ‘religious scholars’ are usually powerful and influential people who enjoy public support. Being human, their ideas are never perfect. Their propositions are usually a mixture of right and wrong which common people cannot discern. Because of the wrong elements in their propositions, they are at odds with Islam in the matters related to those propositions. Being egotists and proud of their accomplishments, usually they are the people who create propaganda material against the messengers in order to support the people in power and to defend their faulty propositions. Pharisees (the religious leaders) and Sadducees (Hellenistic Jewish philosophers) were that type of Taghoot against Eesa (Jesus), the messenger of Allaah.

Usually, both kinds of Taghoots, the political establishment and religious/ideological establishment, work together against messengers.

That puts the public in a dilemma. It is difficult for the masses to see who is right and who is wrong. Although messengers are one hundred percent (100 %) right and make perfect sense, their contemporary philosophers or religious leaders also appear to make a lot of sense to them, though they are wrong in subtle or small but far reaching aspects. Often people can more easily relate to the contemporary philosophers and religious leaders because they talk about concepts and views that people are accustomed to, while the role of messengers is to uproot the current way of thinking and to establish the Islamic way of thinking which sounds foreign and strange to the average person. So, how should people be helped to differentiate a messenger from an erring philosopher or misguided religious leaders so that they can intelligently figure out to whom they ought to listen and follow?

To help humanity in this difficult situation, Allaah sent his messengers equipped with the following:

  1. Superb Character: They used to be very well respected in their society for their intelligence, wisdom, truthfulness, trustworthiness, sincerity, concern for others’ well-being and selflessness. Thus, on the basis of their pre-prophethood life, the truthfulness of messengers should be evident to sensible, intelligent people.
  2. Outstanding Message: They received revelations from Allaah that penetrated the hearts of open-minded people with the beauty of the words, the rationality of the message and the perfectly balanced and moderate teachings. Such a beautiful, sensible message should attract those with discriminating taste, equitable approach to life and attitude of moderation who did not harbour prejudices against the prophet or who valued the truth instead of status quo.
  3. Sensible Logic: The messengers, under the guidance of Allaah, helped people see the truth by inviting them to reflect on the signs of Allaah in the universe, logical examples and irrefutable points. People capable of independent thinking and logical reflection would be attracted to Islam through this approach.
  4. Impressive Miracles: To complement the abovementioned three-facet mainstay of the prophetic mission, Allaah SWT would give some miracles to His messengers so that people could right away know that he was not just another ‘philosopher’ or another ‘self-proclaimed religious leader’, but a special person appointed by Allaah. He was not a person who was ‘power hungry’ for his own sake. Rather, he had been appointed by the Lord Himself to lead the people. He was not coming with nice theories on his own, he was bringing the message from the Creator.

    In other words, the miracles were the equivalent of diplomatic credentials in political terms or digital signatures in electronic terms. That is why they were always unique and consisted of such actions that would be impossible for any human being at that time. They were chosen according to the environment of the society, pertaining to some activity highly valued in that society and were so wondrous that people of that time could appreciate their being beyond human power. Two miracles (the staff turning into a living snake and a brightly shining hand) given to Moosa AS at the outset of his prophet-hood were exactly for this purpose. This was also the purpose of the miraculous birth of Eesa (Jesus) AS and his speaking as an infant. The miracle of the Qur-aan, given to Rasoolullaah, fulfilled all three needs (2, 3 and 4).

The Qur-aan uses the word ‘signs’ (Aayaat) and ‘clear evidence’ (Bayyinaat) for any and all of these three things the messengers are endowed with: The message, the logical reasoning and the miracles.

It has been the unchanging Sunnah of Allaah to send the messengers with all these three kinds of Aayaat (signs) and Bayyinaat (clear proofs). In addition, it has also been the unchanging Sunnah of Allaah SWT that the messengers are eventually victorious over their enemies and that their enemies either surrender or are destroyed. Hence, miracles have another role in the life of a messenger. Once a messenger has done everything humanly possible in any of their endeavours, Allaah helps them regarding those factors that are beyond human control. For example, parting of the sea for Moses was one such miracle. Jesus’ escape from death, Jonah’s escape from the storm and fish, Rasoolullaah’s successful migration to Madeenah are all such examples.

Here are the verses of the Qur-aan that indicate the roles of miracles in the mission of the prophets and messengers:

  1. The following verses tell that the signs (miracles) were demanded by people and provided to show that the messengers of Allaah were not ordinary human beings, and that when people rejected the messengers despite the miracles, they were destroyed.

    “You are but a human being like us. Then bring us a sign if you are of the truthful. He said, “Here is a she-camel”…So the punishment overtook them… Verily, in this is indeed a sign, yet most of them are not believers.”(Shu‘araa 26:154, 158)

    Throughout this Soorah, Allaah has mentioned how the punishment of Allaah destroyed previous nations after they had been shown the miracle. At the end of every narration of destruction of a messenger’s opponents, it repeats the following phrase to indicate that these narrations are signs for the Makkans to learn from:

    “Verily, in this is indeed a sign, yet most of them are not believers.”

  2. The following verse also shows that miracles were a means of showing the official appointment of a person by Allaah:

    “And their prophet said to them: Verily the sign of (Allaah’s sanction of) his leadership is that the box, which is source of tranquility for you and which contains the heirlooms of Moosa and Haroon, will come back to you, carried by angels. Indeed in this is a sign for you if you are believers.” (Al-Baqarah 2:248)

    In this verse, the Qur-aan describes how Allaah used a miracle to indicate to people the legitimacy of Ŧaloot’s appointment to the leadership of Banee Israeel.

  3. The following verses indicate that the Bayyinaat (miracles) were separate from and in addition to the book, wisdom and revelations given to the prophets:

    Indeed We have sent Our Messengers with clear proofs (Bayyinaat), and sent down with them the Scripture and the Balance that mankind may keep up justice. (Al-Ĥadeed 57:25)

    And if they belie you, those before them also belied. Their Messengers came to them with clear signs (Bayyinaat), and with the Scriptures, and the illuminated book. (Faaŧir 35:25)

  4. The following verses clearly establish that miracles were given as the credentials of the messengers, and for that reason, they were construed by words “Bayyinaat” (clear proofs) and “Aayaat” (signs):

    Moosa was given two miracles in the beginning to identify him as Allaah’s appointee, Allaah SWT told him:

    “Put your staff down! When he saw it moving like snake, he stepped back…” (Al-Qaŝaŝ 28:31)

    After giving him the miracle of the staff transforming into a live snake, Allaah said,

    “Put your hand in your bosom, it will come out (shining) white without a disease, and draw your hand close to your side to be free from fear. These are two proofs (or credentials) from your Lord to Pharaoh and his chiefs.” (Al-Qaŝaŝ 28:32)

    Then when Moosa (Moses) came to them with Our clearly-proving signs (Aayaat Bayyinaat), they said: "This is nothing but invented magic. Never did we hear of this among our fathers of old." (Al-Qaŝaŝ 28:36)

     “And press your hand to your side, it will come forth white (and shining), without any disease as another sign…

    In another Soorah, Allaah SWT told Moosa and Haroon to go to Fir‘awn (Pharaoh) with these two signs,

    “So go you both to him, and say: 'Verily, we are Messengers of your Lord, so let the Children of Israel go with us, and torment them not; indeed, we have come with a sign from your Lord! And peace will be upon him who follows the guidance!” aa Haa 20:22, 47)

    Other examples:

    “Ask Banee Israaeel: how many clearly-proving signs (Aayah Bayyinah) We gave them; and, how severe really Allaah is in punishing those who change Allaah’s favour after receiving it.” (Al-Baqarah 2:211)

    And indeed We gave to Moosa (Moses) nine clear signs (Aayaat Bayyinaat). Ask then Banee Israaeel, when he came to them, then Pharaoh said to him: "O Moosa (Moses)! I think you are indeed bewitched." [Moosa (Moses)] said: "Verily, you know that these signs have been sent down by none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth as clear proofs. And I think you are, indeed, O Pharaoh doomed to destruction!" (Al-Israa 17:101-102)

    They said to Moosa (Moses)]: "Whatever signs you may bring to us, to work therewith your sorcery on us, we shall never believe in you. So We sent on them: the flood, the locusts, the lice, the frogs, and the blood: (as a succession of) manifest signs, yet they remained arrogant, and they were of those people who were criminals. And when the punishment fell on them they said: "O Moosa (Moses)! Invoke your Lord for us because of His Promise to you. If you will remove the punishment from us, we indeed shall believe in you, and we shall let the Children of Israel go with you. But when We removed the punishment from them to a fixed term, which they had to reach, behold! They broke their word! So We inflicted retribution on them. We drowned them in the sea, because they rejected Our Aayaat (signs) and were heedless about them. (Al-A‘raaf 7:132-136)

    And indeed We did send Moosa (Moses) with Our Aayaat (signs) to Pharaoh and his chiefs (inviting them to Allaah's Religion of Islam) He said: "Verily, I am a Messenger of the Lord of the universe. But when he came to them with Our Aayaat, behold! They laughed at them. And not an Ayah (sign,) We showed them but it was greater than its fellow, and We seized them with torment, in order that they might turn [to Islam] And they said [to Moosa (Moses)]: "O you sorcerer! Invoke your Lord for us according to what He has covenanted with you. Verily, We shall guide ourselves (aright). But when We removed the torment from them, behold! They broke their promise. (Az-Zukhruf 43:46-50)

    ‘Eesa (Jesus) said:

    "I have come to you, with a Sign from your Lord, in that I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allaah's leave: And I heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I bring the dead to life by Allaah's leave; and I inform you what you eat, and what you store in your houses. Surely therein is a Sign for you if you believe.” (Aali- ‘Imraan 3:49)

    She said: "How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?" He (the Angel) said: "So (it will be): Your Lord says, 'that is easy for Me: and (We wish) to make him as a Sign to people and a Mercy from Us': It is a matter (already) decreed." (Maryam 19:20-2)

    And (remember) she who guarded her chastity [Maryam (Mary)], We breathed into her of Our spirit, and We made her and her son (‘Eesa) a sign for all peoples. (Al-Ambiyaa 21:91)

  5. Miracles used to enlighten the prophets about the concepts that are impossible for a prophet to understand without special teaching from Allaah SWT:

    Or he, for example, who passed by a township that had fallen down upon its roofs; he wondered, “How will Allaah raise its population after its death?” So Allaah caused him to die for a hundred years, then raised him to life and asked, “How long have you lain here?” He said, “I have lain for a day or a part of a day.” Allaah informed him, “Rather, you have been lying here a hundred years. Now look at your food and drink, they have not yet even become stale; but look at your donkey! We have kept you alive so that We make you a sign for people, and now watch the donkey’s bones, how We set them together, then clothe them with flesh.” So when it became clear to him, he exclaimed, “I know that Allaah has power over all things.” Also keep in mind when Ibraheem said, “My Lord! Show me how do You revive the dead.” He asked, “Why, do you not believe?” He responded, “Of course I do, but just want to bring certainty to my heart.” Allaah said: “Then take four of the birds, train them to follow you, then place on every mountain a part of them, then call them, they will come to you flying in haste; and know that Allaah is Mighty, Wise. (Al-Baqarah 2:259-260)

All of the above examples from the Qur-aan clearly show that signs (Aayaat) and clear proofs (Bayyinaat) were the words that were used to connote miracles because they were the signs and clear proofs of the appointments of the prophets and messengers by Allaah. They also show that miracles did occur and that those who rejected the messengers after being shown the clear miracles were destroyed by Allaah’s punishment. This whole package is the Sunnah of Allaah SWT which does not change, thus has been consistently applied for all prophets and messengers including the final prophet and messenger, Muhammad ŝall Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

In summary, the discussion so far indicates that Allaah makes some miracles happen through a messenger as signs and clear proofs to indicate that he is truly an appointee of Allaah. This is to distinguish the messengers from philosophers and leaders as well as from false claimants to prophet-hood. Although a true prophet is outstanding in the excellence of his character and behaviour and that should be a clear indication of his being a special person from Allaah, ordinary people are usually not perceptive enough to make a clear distinction on that basis. Hence, to make it easier for people to recognize the prophets, being kind and merciful, Allaah SWT awards them a clear distinction by making miracle(s) happen for them. They are an essential part of the Sunnah of Allaah SWT and one of His great mercies to help people accept guidance and succeed in this world and the Hereafter.

The Balanced View about Miracles

Those who deny miracles claim that if the miracles were meant to help people accept messengers and guidance, then it would be tantamount to negating the freedom of action of people. That would be true if Allaah would use His power to force people to believe in a messenger, but how is the provision of evidence for the legitimacy of a messenger a denial of freedom? Miracles were a mercy from Allaah that just made it easier to establish the legitimacy of a messenger for those who wanted to establish it. People were still free to behave the way they liked and they remained accountable about the decisions they made and the actions they took. Miracles only helped those who wanted to find the truth. Others — those who were preoccupied with protecting their vested interests in the status quo, were blinded by their biases, and were really not interested in the truth of the matter — continued to reject the messengers, even after witnessing the miracles.

Then, the deniers take the flip side and claim that if miracles were real then they must have been useless because not everyone believed even after seeing the miracles. But that is not a fair conclusion either, because they served their purpose by providing evidence for those who sought the truth.

We need to understand that miracles are the manifestation of Allaah’s mercy to people the same way Allaah sent messengers as His mercy towards people. A miracle gives an opportunity to the silent majority who are usually sceptical about everyone’s claims and do not have enough opportunity or drive to properly weigh the message of the messenger versus the stance of the opposing establishment (all establishments -- political, religious and ideological). It gives them the opportunity to identify the person from Allaah and then open their mind to understand, rationalize and make sense out of a messenger’s message. In other words, a miracle helps the prophets to bring people out of darkness (like their biases, prejudices, narrow-mindedness, short-sightedness, inertia, laziness, carelessness) into the light of Islam, while it enables people to adopt a rational approach to understand and accept the truth.

Should we deny the miracles because hardliners refused to believe in them? We cannot deny miracles because some people rejected them or refused to benefit from them. Similar to the miracles, the messengers and the books were also denied and rejected by many people; so, are we going to deny the existence of the books and messengers as well? Because of the rejection from people, neither did Allaah SWT stop sending the messengers until the final messenger was sent according to His plan, nor do we deny the messengers for that reason. By the same token, neither did Allaah stop his Sunnah of sending messengers fully equipped with miracles, nor should we deny their existence.

Does Allaah’s refusal to show miracles on demand justify denying miracles altogether? Because of their understanding that a messenger of Allaah always came equipped with some miracles, many disbelievers would come to Rasoolullaah and demand to be shown a miracle of their liking. These demands were usually denied and discouraged throughout the Glorious Qur-aan. By the time of Rasoolullaah, the last prophet, human society had matured to a level that they could be weaned away from the physical miracles towards miracles of knowledge and character. That is why any physical miracles were denied as a proof of the messenger-hood and people’s attention was diverted to the miracle of the Qur-aan and the miracle of the character of Rasoolullaah. They were the only two miracles used to demonstrate to the people the truth of Rasoolullaah. But this point in itself is not enough to deny all the miracles that had happened in the past through the previous messengers. It also cannot negate the fact that there were many miracles in the life of Rasoolullaah which occurred to protect his life from enemies or to provide him support in matters where He had already exhausted all human means available.

This shows that none of the questions raised about the incidence of miracles is valid, nor are any arguments that are used to deny them. Having shown that, we also need to be careful that our views on miracles are balanced. It means that we must accept the miracles mentioned in the Qur-aan as they are: without denying them, without adding unauthentic stories to them from any other source, and without elevating a messenger to divinity because of the miracles shown by Allaah through him.

To be vigilant in this respect, we must differentiate the balanced view of the miracles given by the Qur-aan from extremist views.

When it comes to miracles, there are extremes found among non-Muslims and Muslims alike. Among non-Muslims, on one extreme are those who are so overawed by the miracles that instead of recognizing them as Allaah’s way of introducing His messengers, they deify and worship the messenger. Their sense is so clouded by the miracles that they fail to see God’s hand behind them. On the other extreme are those who reject the religion altogether because they cannot comprehend miracles due to their inability to explain them through their ‘scientific’ observations.

Among Muslims, on the one hand, we have those superstitious people who are impressed even by random, haphazard occurrences which have no meaning whatsoever. They get excited to imagine ‘Allaah’ in one calligraphic form superimposed on the shape of their hand or some pieces of clouds appearing in the shape of the word Allaah. They forget that people see all kind of shapes and words written in the scattered clouds. On the other hand, there are those who deny the miracles because they believe in the supremacy and inviolability of the laws of nature as they know them. First of all, they forget that Allaah as the Sovereign of the Universe has established the laws of nature for His creations and for human use and benefit so that the universe is consistent and useable for our purposes and for our sustenance. The principles that Allaah uses to operate and manage this universe and to regulate human society are beyond our imagination and our estimation except whatever he has graciously decided to reveal for our knowledge and understanding. We cannot judge and form opinions on His actions on the basis of the laws that are meant for the creations. Secondly, they do not realize that human knowledge of the laws of nature is neither perfect nor complete. As our scientific knowledge advances, we discover that there are more possibilities under the laws of nature than we have been accustomed to. Because of our incomplete and imprecise knowledge, we are in no position to say what could or could not have happened. Thus, instead of putting all our trust in the inadequate, faulty, incomplete and imperfect knowledge of some of the observable laws of nature that we have been able to discover, we must accept the facts as stated by the Qur-aan, instead of explaining them away by our imaginary theories.

Dishonest Explanations of Miracles

If the miracles are a reality, how do the deniers of miracles explain away the miracles mentioned in the Qur-aan? The short answer is that they play games with the words of the Qur-aan to twist them to mean what they want to prove. To demonstrate their forgery, we use their denial of the miracle through which Ibraheem was saved from burning in the fire he was thrown into.

However, before showing their manipulation of words and ideas, it is necessary to explain a few principles of understanding words of any text.

The basic rule of communication in any language is that any word will be taken to mean its commonly understood meaning unless the context or idiom suggests a metaphorical meaning. A complementary rule is that idiomatic use of a word cannot replace the original meaning of a word; i.e., whenever the word is used in itself, it will retain its original meaning regardless of whatever meanings it imparts idiomatically or proverbially. For example, ‘water’ will always mean ordinary water made of H2O, but a ‘watered-down version of the report’ is clearly a metaphorical or idiomatic use which has nothing to do with H2O. It implies something like ‘toned down’ or ‘compromised’ version. However, using the argument that ‘water-down’ mean ‘thinning or toning down’, no one can claim that ‘He watered his plants’ implies that he thinned his plants or trimmed them down. Neither can it be confused with ‘He gulped the water down his throat’. Each usage here has its own clear meaning and none of the idiomatic meaning can alter the meaning of ‘water’ itself. If someone confuses their meanings with each other, he will be viewed as naive.

This example was used merely to show that to understand a message properly we cannot take poetic licence with the meanings of the words as we want. A word will be taken to mean its original generally accepted and understood meaning unless it is qualified explicitly though an idiomatic or contextual usage to mean something differently. Proverbial, idiomatic or metaphorical meaning cannot be implied in the absence of a clear indication of that intent. Now, consider another example. ‘Merchant’ will always mean a trader in goods unless it is qualified with other word(s) such as ‘merchants of death’. Similarly, fire will always mean a physical energy that burns unless it is qualified with other words such as ‘fire in the belly’, ‘fire of jealousy’, ‘fire of war’. The metaphorical use of fire for jealousy, etc. cannot allow interpretation of the word ‘fire’ in any way other than physical fire, when there is no qualifier to give the other meaning.

Another important literary principle is that use of a word for a particular meaning is demonstrated by quoting examples for the use of that word in that sense by well-recognized literary authorities. In the case of the Qur-aan, the literary authorities from whom the citation has to come are the recognized orators and poets of Rasoolullaah's time.

A third important principle is the consistency in the use of words and terminology. Any decent text will not confuse the reader with using words haphazardly to convey different meanings of the same words. If a word needs to convey a different meaning, the word is clearly qualified through context or additional words (qualifiers).

Finally, the context is extremely important. Any meaning implied from a word must be supported by its context.

These are general rules well-established in civilized societies applicable to any and all languages. We all practice them on a continuous basis in our communications throughout our daily life. Unfortunately, when it comes to the Qur-aan, we tend to throw away all basic principles of communication and try to infer meanings from the text which are not conveyed by the text under the normal rules of communication. This usually happens when someone does not like the message of the Qur-aanic text as it is. Instead of changing their ideas to comply with the message of the Qur-aan, they try to fit the Qur-aan to their mode of thinking. For that purpose, they try to speculate on the meaning of the words and fish around to seek some meaning until they find something with which they can support their point of view. To give a good spin to this unhealthy attitude, we can call it ‘reverse re-engineering’, i.e. reengineering the Qur-aan to fit one’s ideas. This is what Allama Iqbal called, “khood badaltay naheen Qur-aan ko badal daytay hayn.” (Instead of changing themselves to align their views with the Qur-aan, they change the meaning of the Qur-aan).

This is in fact an abuse of the Glorious Qur-aan which some people take liberty to commit. If we want to develop a healthy understanding of the Qur-aan, and unity among our Ummah, we must start respecting these fundamental literary principles and stop abusing the Glorious Qur-aan.

Ibraheem and Fire

There has been an understanding among Muslims since the time of the Prophet, without break, that when Ibraheem AS (‘Alaihissalaam) broke the idols in the temple, his society condemned him to be thrown into a fire and burnt alive. This has been the typical punishment for all ‘heretics’ in non-Islamic religions. Even as recently as a few centuries ago, people who were considered heretics by the Christian church were burnt at the stake on the order of the Pope.

Now Allaah’s Sunnah is that He never lets His messengers[4] be killed by their opponents. So, Allaah SWT intervened and commanded the fire not to burn Ibraheem. Ibraheem was saved by a “miracle”. The fire’s natural property to burn was overruled for Ibraheem.

The question is: from where did the Muslims get this idea? Is it reported in Torah or in the Gospels or in the Talmud or in the Bible? Is it mentioned in any history books? The answer is: nowhere! Naturally, then, Muslims must have gotten this idea from the Qur-aan. Let us see from where in the Qur-aan:

“He (Ibraheem) hit them (idols) forcefully. So they (people) ran to him aggressively. He said, “Do you worship what you manufacture, while Allaah has created you and what you make?” They said, “Build a ditch for him and throw him in flames of fire (Jaĥeem ). So, they wanted to harm him, but We defeated them. He said, “I am going to my Lord, He will guide me.” (Aŝ-Ŝaafaat 37:93-99)

And the answer of his (Ibraheem’s) people was nothing but that they said, “kill him or burn him (ĥarriqoohu),” but Allaah saved him from fire (naar). Indeed in that are signs for a people who believe. (Al-‘Ankaboot 29:24)

“They said, “Who did this to our gods? Indeed that person is a transgressor.” They said, “We have heard of a young man, named Ibraheem, mentioning about them.” They said, “Bring him for an open trial so everyone witnesses it.” They asked, “Have you done this to our gods, O Ibraheem?”… He said, “Do you worship, other than Allaah, those who cannot benefit or harm you? Pity on you and those you worship other than Allaah. Do you not understand?” They said, “Burn him (ĥarriqoohu) and help your gods, if you are going to do something about it.” We commanded, “O fire (naar), be cool and comfortable for Ibraheem.” As it was, they wanted to harm him, so we made them the losers. We saved him and Loot to the land that We have blessed for all people.” (Al-Ambiyaa 21:59-70)

Any unbiased person who has freed his mind from pre-conceived notions can easily see that it is the real, physical fire being referred to. There are no words, context or style indicating that it was some kind of proverbial fire, hence, a reader’s mind does not go to anything but the real ‘fire’. That is why all generations of Muslim have always believed it to be that way, despite the fact that the Glorious Qur-aan is the only Book that has reported this incident.

The words used in these verses are Jaĥeem, Ĥarriqoohu and Naar. Jaĥeem has never been used in the Glorious Qur-aan or any other Arabic literature except for flaming fire. Ĥarriqoo has never been used anywhere except for real burning. And Naar is such a common word that in itself no one will ever suspect it to mean anything but fire, unless it is qualified by additional words. It has been used in the Qur-aan 143 times for that specific original meaning of physical fire.

Unfortunately, there are people who claim to believe in the Qur-aan, but in order to deny that Allaah SWT protected Ibraheem miraculously from burning in the fire, claim that the fire does not mean the real fire. They claim that the fire here means the fire of hate, animosity and opposition. Is this claim based on any evidence from the Qur-aan or any Qur-aanic reference? No!

Has the “Fire” been used metaphorically anywhere in the Qur-aan?

Yes, there are only two places in the Qur-aan (out of 145 uses of this word) where the word “fire” has been used metaphorically. The first is where people who usurp an orphan’s property have been told that they were filling their bellies with fire (An-Nisaa 4:10). The second is where Jews have been told that Allaah extinguishes the fire of war they ignite (Al-Maaidah 5:64). In both situations, the context and the qualifiers clearly point to the figurative meanings.

Does the deniers’ claim make sense?

Can these two instances of the metaphoric use of fire, which are quite explicit in their phraseology, justify anyone taking the word “fire” figuratively at any of 143 occurrences of simple, unqualified use of this word in the Qur-aan? Absolutely not! Does this figurative use change the meaning of the word “fire” when used on its own? No one in his right mind can make such a ridiculous claim.

Do the verses about Ibraheem contain any word or clue to indicate that the fire he was thrown into was a figurative fire? Not at all! Does Qur-aan mention anywhere that it was a figurative fire? No! Does the context indicate in any way that the fire might not be the real fire? No! So where did the deniers of miracles get this idea of fire being the fire of negative emotions? Obviously, this is only from the misguidance of their own minds.

In summary, no sensible person can use these two examples to change the meaning of the fire where there is no such context or qualifiers. In particular, these examples cannot be used to imply that absolute ‘fire’ mentioned in the above quoted verses in relation to Ibraheem can mean anything but the real fire. Taking any other meaning will be against the established norms of literary expression and basic principles of understanding the Qur-aan. Any meaning derived in such a manner will not be the guidance of the Qur-aan, but the misguidance of one’s personal attitude and thoughts.

The fact is that taking the word “fire” to mean anything else in the verses about Ibraheem is against the literary principles, rules of context and rules of consistency. In addition, it poses the following additional problems:

  • If the fire was just the figurative fire of their animosity towards Ibraheem, why does the verse mention the “ditch” and his being thrown into it? Is that how the opponents normally express their animosity by saying that “let us build a ditch of our hatred for him, and then throw him in the fire of our animosity”?
  • How did Allaah cool the fire of their animosity? Did their opposition and animosity die down? Where is the evidence of this happening? And if it did happen, why did Ibraheem and Looŧ have to leave the town?
  • If the fire represented the attitude and emotions of people towards Ibraheem, who was Allaah commanding to be cool and safe? Was His command directed to the attitudes and emotions of so many people in the society? Did it exist as one entity, separate from the psychology of people? By commanding it to cool down, did Allaah change their psychology? Would that not be interfering with the freedom of people to choose? And where is the evidence of Allaah commandeering the psychology and emotions of people? Is that not against the natural law, just like a miracle? Or is the command of Allaah also figurative? In that case, is there anything real in the Qur-aan? Or is it that whatever you do not like to accept is disregarded as figurative and metaphorical?

Thus, the misguided interpretation of this fire to mean fire of hate or animosity is wildly speculative, outright baseless and completely foreign to the text of the Qur-aan. It suffers from the following problems:

  • It violates every sensible rule of literary interpretation;
  • It is not afforded or supported by the words of the Qur-aan; and
  • It does not fit in the context.

It is saddening to see educated people abandoning all principles of literary interpretation and logical reasoning, and indulging in the promotion of totally nonsensical explanations of simple and straightforward verses of the Qur-aan – just to escape from the concept of “miracle”. An outright irrational approach is being used in the name of rationality.

The dangers of denying the miracles!

Let us see now why the concept of miracle has to be defended, instead of just ignoring the attacks of those who deny miracles.

What does it mean to accept the new explanations given by the Miracle deniers?

The Glorious Qur-aan is replete with mention of the miracles shown by Allaah to establish the legitimacy of a prophet or to help protect a messenger from being overtaken by his enemies. Denying miracles necessitates misinterpreting major portions of the Glorious Qur-aan, as the deniers of miracles are compelled to do numerously, wherever miracles are mentioned in the Qur-aan, such as the text of the three places in the Qur-aan that mention Ibraheem’s episode of being thrown in the fire.

Now we have two choices. Either we accept the miracles as they are described in the Qur-aan and consider the miracle-deniers (Mr. Pervaiz and his ilk) completely misguided on that point; or, we accept the explanations for the miracles given by the deniers and conclude one of the following to be true[5]:

  1. Allaah SWT is an extremely lousy communicator. He is a lousy communicator because He cannot even properly describe in clear words what He wants to say. He uses such words and terminology whose simple straightforward meaning betrays His real intent and thus an ordinary person cannot even understand what He really means. He failed so miserably in His communication that even His own Messenger and his close companions could not get the true meaning. Only 1,400 years later a few Sunnah-rejecters guided by the current materialistic attitudes saw the light and discovered the true meaning.
  2. He is a sadistic deceiver. He knew what he meant and He was able to communicate it succinctly, but He intentionally used such words that will mislead people into believing in supernatural miracles – especially when there were strong influences from previous books to lead people into believing in those miracles. Again, His deception was so successful that even his Messenger and his close companions were misguided by those deceptions. Had it not been for some miracle-denying “intellectuals” dazzled by the glitter of modern materialism, the deception would have never been uncovered.
  3. Allaah is neither a bad communicator nor a deceiver, it is in fact Muĥammad who was an impostor. He did not get any revelation from Allaah. He just collected old stories and put them into dubious statements called Qur-aan. For centuries, people believed in that mythology, but now, in the 21st century, those things do not make sense. Hence, we are just trying to make some sense out of nonsense compiled by Muĥammad.

My logic and intelligence guides me to accept Allaah and His Messenger being true, while miracle-deniers (Mr. Pervaiz, his ilk and their followers) being in the wrong in this matter.

Insistence on denying the miracles demolishes the very foundations of Islam, Here is how:

If a miracle is not possible, one will have to deny the revelation of the Qur-aan and contend that it was a writing of Muĥammad. The revelation of Qur-aan in itself is a miracle. How would you explain with your laws of nature that Allaah sent Jibreel with His words to the Rasoolullaah? Under what laws of nature were the words created, transmitted and received by Rasoolullaah? The fact is that it was an out of ordinary act – a miracle!

If you can fathom some law of nature that can explain words from an Infinite God taking a finite shape to be conveyed from God to human beings, then the end of the prophet-hood cannot occur. The law of nature does not change, right? Even every one of us should be able to hear the words of God the same way Rasoolullaah heard! Remember the contention that the Sunnah of Allaah does not change! The fact is that the Sunnah of Allaah as described in the Glorious Qur-aan is His way of dealing with His Messengers and the people he is sent to. It is a special Sunnah not applicable to ordinary people.

If you deny miracles, how can you claim that the Qur-aan is the preserved Book from Allaah? For that purpose, you have to believe that Rasoolullaah remembered every word of the Qur-aan after revelation without being able to write or to read whatever others wrote? According to the laws of nature, people forget, in due course, most of what they hear. How did Muĥammad manage to remember every letter of the Qur-aan exactly? How many people in history do you know who have a didactic memory to be able to recite verbatim every one of the more than 6000 words in exact order despite so many confusing repetitions and similar phrases all over the Qur-aan? Ask those who learn big parts of the Qur-aan, how confusing it becomes to differentiate the similar phrases occurring at multiple places in the Qur-aan? What laws of nature explain that flawless memory of Muĥammad for the most difficult text to remember? Or, are you willing to accept that the Qur-aan is not reliable because according to normal human behaviour many errors must have crept in because Rasoolullaah got mixed up as a normal human being?

The fact is that it was a miracle for the Rasoolullaah to remember every word in perfect order until his death.

Denial of miracles actually puts the whole concept of messenger-hood in question.

The law of nature is that people are products of their society. They do exactly what they see. Their values are what they pick up from their society. If it is not for a miracle, how were messengers totally different persons who grew up with totally different values from the societies’ values and paradigms in which they grew up? If it was not a miracle, how did that happen? Or do you believe that the prophets did what everyone else did? In that case, why did Ibraheem break the idols? Why was he the only one in the society who hated them? One may say it was illogical to worship idols made by their own hands, if it was such an easy logic, why had no one else figured it out? The fact is that every messenger was raised by Allaah different from the society so they were never involved in any un-Islamic practices of their societies. Hence, their character was able to be presented as a proof of their being from Allaah. If you deny miracles, you have to deny that their behaviour was different from the society, and then you will be contradicting the Qur-aan.

So the conclusions are that:

  • Allaah has a standard way of treating His messengers and the people they are sent to. That is the Sunnah of Allaah.
  • Miracle is a convenient term used to describe all out-of-ordinary dealings of Allaah with His Messengers. They are manifestations of Allaah’s infinite power, His authority to overrule any laws of nature as He likes, and His mercy towards people.
  • The Messengers’ upbringing is miraculous; in addition, they are given miracles when they announce their prophet-hood as signs of their authentication. In addition to his character and upbringing, Rasoolullaah was given the living miracle of the Glorious Qur-aan;
  • They are protected from their enemies miraculously because messengers are not to be overcome or killed by the enemies. They use all possible human means they can, and when all human means are exhausted, they are helped miraculously.
  • When a Muslim says, "I believe in prophets", it includes belief in all these aspects of their special dealings with Allaah SWT, including the miracles shown through them.
  • Denying miracles is very dangerous: it is denying faith in Allaah’s power over nature; it is denying His messengers’ miraculous ability to receive revelations and their miraculous upbringing; it denies the authenticity of the Qur-aan; and, it results in the serious abuse of the Qur-aan by the misinterpretations of the text.


[1] Different tactics undertaken to makes the prophetic mission fail such as aggressive attacks, false accusations, rumours and propaganda to create doubts in people’s minds, violence, persecution, etc.

[2] They violate the laws of nature as we understand them.

[3] Any power, authority or influential entity that hinders the establishment of the rule of Allaah in a society.

[4] The case of messengers should not be confused with the prophets. For details, see the author’s treatise on Prophets and Messengers: http://ayubhamid.com/clarifications/644-the-role-of-prophets-messengers-sunnah-and-ahaadeeth-in-teaching-islam-

[5] I seek Allaah’s refuge from and forgiveness for such nonsense

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