By: Khursheed Alam Dawood Qasmi*
Definition of Miracle:
Mujizah is an Arabic word. Its plural is Mujizaat. Linguistically it means miracle and sign. In Islamic terminology, “A miracle is a supernatural act performed by a claimant to prophethood; while the entire world is unable to perform such an act. This is done so that it may become clear to the rejecters and the opponents that this person is a chosen one of Allah the Almighty. In order to incapacitate his enemies, Allah the Exalted enabled him to demonstrate this supernatural act. The people may realize that divine help is behind this person. This person is not a magician, astrologer or fortune teller with whom others can compete. Therefore, if anyone desires his own good and salvation, he can only achieve this by believing in and following this chosen person of Allah.” (Maulana Muhammad Idris Kandhalwi, Siratul-Mustafa 3/451)
Types of Miracle:
The miracles and signs which Allah bestowed a prophet with are of two types: intellectual and perceptual. The intellectual miracles refer to those which need to be understood through the intellect. Such miracles can only be understood by those who have been endowed with intelligence and deep understanding. As for the perceptual miracles and matters that are extraordinary, these have to be understood by the senses. Such miracles are normally demanded by those who are either unable to understand intellectual principles or are stubborn and obstinate. (Siratul-Mustafa 3/440-441)
Following these few introductory words, some of the miracles and signs of Allah’s Messenger Muhammad (SAWS) are presented here. Among the miracles of the Prophet (SAWS), the greatest and distinguished one is the Holy Qura’an. The Arab, who are the most eloquent and excellent people regarding the Arabic language, were challenged to reproduce even one chapter of its kind; but they were left speechless and astounded to do so. The holy Qura’an says: “If you are in doubt about what We have revealed to Our servant, then bring a Surah similar to this, and do call your supporters other than Allah, if you are true.” (Al-Baqarah: 23) They failed to do so. They had no choice; but to accept that the Qura’an is the words of Allah and it was revealed upon Muhammad (SAWS) who is Allah’s true prophet and messenger.
Apart from the miracle in the form of the Qura’an, there are numerous external and perceptual miracles, like water gushed forth from his fingers. A small amount of food sufficed an entire army. The moon split into two parts. Pebbles read the Tasbih in the Prophet (SAWS)’s hand. Trees and rocks greeted him. Roasted meat, which was poisoned and presented, informed him that it is poisoned. Here are some perceptual miracles.
In a full moon night, Makkah’s disbelievers demanded Allah’s Messenger Muhammad (SAWS) to perform a certain miracle. On their demand, Allah Ta’ala assisted him and the moon split into two. One part was seen in the eastern side of the mountain; while another one was in the western side of the mountain. The Prophet (SAWS) told them, see it. But they didn’t accept it and they said it is a magic. (Surah al-Qamar: 01)
After the Miraaj (Ascension to Heaven), the disbelievers of Makkah tried to test the truth of Allah’s Messenger (SAWS)’s account of the journey, by asking him to describe in detail, the construction and surroundings of Bayt al-Maqdis. Allah the Exalted placed the entire scenario in full view of him (SAWS). Then he (SAWS) was able to give the details to the doubting disbelievers. (Sahih al-Bukhari: 3886)
In the early days of Islam, Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) made Duaa: “O Allah! Honour Islam through Abu Jahl bin Hisham or through Umar bin Al- Khattab!" So, it happened that Umar (RA) came the next day to Allah’s Messenger and accepted Islam. (Sunan Tirmidhi: 3683)
Abu Jahal always used to be on the look out; so that he could catch the Prophet (SAWS) off guard. Once, he saw that he (SAWS) was in Sajdah. He took this as an opportunity and picked the largest stone, so that he could throw it on Him (SAWS). Allah the Almighty made the stone stick to his hand and he failed to throw it at him (SAWS). (Seerate Ibn Hisham, 1/298-299)
Once Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) cursed Utaibah bin Abi Lahab saying, may Allah unleash a beast upon him! He was mauled to death by a lion at a place called Zurqa, in Syria. (Dalail al-Nabuwwah of Bayhaqi: 2/339)
When the various clans of the Qureish made plans for the assassination of Allah’s Messenger (SAWS), the assassins to be, fell into a deep slumber as He (SAWS) emerged from His home. He (SAWS) walked up to them casting a fistful of sand at them; whilst reciting the verse: (Translation) “And We have placed a barrier in front of them and a barrier behind them, and (thus) they are encircled by Us; so they do not see.” Then he (SAWS) came away totally unharmed. (Seerah Ibn Hisham 1/483)
The Quraysh announced publicly that any person who would capture Muhammad (SAWS) or Abu Bakr (RA) would be rewarded with a hundred camels. Suraqah bin Malik mounted his horse and began his search. He had not gone far when suddenly his gaze fell on Allah’s Messenger (SAWS). He proceeded, when all of a sudden his horse stumbled making him fall to the ground. He got to his feet, made his horse stand up and carried on. Upon being informed that the enemy was closing in on them, he (SAWS) simply lifted his hands and said, “Oh my Lord! Protect us from his mischief.” Then Suraqah’s horse began sinking in the ground causing him to drop down as well. Suraqah understood at once that it was futile to challenge divine protection and humbly begged for clemency. The Messenger (SAWS) pardoned him. Suraqah came forward and declared, “Now, I will prevent every attacker from coming after you.” (Sahih al-Bukhari: 3906)
Once, while Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) was delivering a sermon from the pulpit, someone complained about the prevailing drought and requested for Dua. As he (SAWS) raised his hands in Dua, the clouds gathered in the sky and the rain began to pour forth. The rain carried on pouring ceaselessly until the following Friday. Then somebody complained to him (SAWS) that the rainfall had blocked all the roads. He (SAWS) made Dua again, causing the sky to clear up immediately. (Sahih al-Bukhari: 1029)
The Prophet (SAWS) used to stand by a tree or a date-palm (trunk) on Friday. An Ansari woman or man said, "O Allah's Messenger (SAWS)! Shall we make a pulpit for you?" He (SAWS) replied, "If you wish." So they made a pulpit for him and when it was Friday, he proceeded towards the pulpit (for delivering the Sermon). The date-palm cried like a child! The Prophet (SAWS) descended (from the pulpit) and embraced it while it continued moaning like a child being quietened. The Prophet (SAWS) said, "It was crying for (missing) what it used to hear of religious knowledge given near it." (Sahih al-Bukhari: 3584)
On the day of Badr, the Prophet (SAWS) pointed out the places where various Mushrikeen would fall after being slain, taking their names. Each one of them fell on exactly the same place that he (SAWS) had predicted. (Sahih Muslim: 1779)
In the battle of Trench, while digging the trench, the companions (RA) came across a massive rock. They informed the Prophet (SAWS), "Here is a rock appearing across the trench." The Prophet (SAWS) came down, took the spade and struck the rock and it became like sand. (Sahih al-Bukhari: 4101)
At the time of digging the Trench, Jabir (RA) realized the hunger of Allah’s Messenger (SAWS). When he invited him (SAWS) for food, he (SAWS) called one thousand companions digging the trench. For food, there were few barley breads and a kid. One thousand companions ate to his fill from it and the food was left over as well. Then the Prophet (SAWS) said: “Eat and present to others as the people are struck with hunger.” (Sahih al-Bukhari: 4101)
There were 1,400 people on the day of Al-Hudaibiyya (Treaty). There was a well at Al-Hudaibiyya. Its water was drawn out not leaving even a single drop. The Prophet (SAWS) 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. Following a short while, the companions drew water from the well and quenched their thirst, and even their riding animals drank water to their satisfaction. (Sahih al-Bukhari: 3577)
"Once, the time of the Salah became due. The people whose houses were close to the mosque went to their houses to perform ablution; while the others remained (sitting there). A stone pot containing water was brought to the Prophet (SAWS), who wanted to put his hand in it; but it was too small for him to spread his hand in it and so he had to bring his fingers together before putting his hand in the pot. Then all the people performed the ablution (with that water)." There were eighty men. (Sahih al-Bukhari: 3575)
After the conquest of Makkah, when the Prophet (SAWS) merely pointed at the idols in the vicinity of the Holy Ka’bah without even touching them and they all toppled over face down. At that time, the following verse was on his lips: (Translation) “Truth has come and falsehood has vanished. Falsehood is surely bound to vanish.” (Sahih al-Bukhari: 4287)
In the battle of Hunain, Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) flung a fistful of sand at the enemy forces, through which Allah the Exalted caused their downfall. By their own account, some of the disbelievers were quoted as saying: “The sand filled each one of our eyes.” Allah the Almighty revealed the following verse regarding this incident: (Translation) “So, it is not you who killed them, but in fact Allah killed them. And you did not throw when you threw, but Allah did throw.” (Al-Anfal: 17)
In Kheibar, a Jewish woman gave the Prophet (SAWS) a roasted sheep that she had poisoned. Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) ate from it, as did the people. He (SAWS) said: 'Lift up your hands (stop eating), for it has told me that it is poisoned.' (Sunan Abu Dawood: 4512)
Once Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) climbed on Mount Uhud with Abu Bakr (RA), Umar (RA) and Uthman (RA) and the mountain began to shake. He (SAWS) addressed the mountain saying: “Be calm, today there is a prophet, a Siddiq and two Shaheeds (Martyrs) on you.” (Sahih al-Bukhari: 3675)
Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) had said regarding Hasan (RA), “This son of mine is a Sayyid (leader). I’m hopeful that Allah will bring peace between two big factions of the Muslims through him. It came true in 6 months after the death of Ali (RA) as the supporters of Ali (RA) and Mua’awiyah (RA) made peace through him (RA). (Sahih al-Bukhari: 3629)
On the day of the battle of Khaibar, Ali (RA) was suffering from eye trouble. Allah's Messenger (SAWS) spat in his eye and invoked good upon him. Ali (RA) was cured as if he never had any trouble. (Sahih al-Bukhari: 4210)
Qatadah bin Nu’maan (RA)’s eye fell out of its socket. Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) placed it back into its socket and it became even better than the other eye. (Seerah Ibn Ishaq: 1/328)
Father of Jabir (RA) had died leaving unpaid debts. And he had nothing except the yield of his date-palms; and their yield for many years wouldn’t have covered his debts. On the request, the Prophet (SAWS) reached the farm, went round one of the heaps of dates, 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. (Sahih al-Bukhari: 3580)
A non-Muslim embraced Islam and he forsook it latter on. Then he used to say: “Muhammad (SAWS) knows nothing; but what I have written for him.” Then he died. His people buried him several times; but the earth had rejected his body and it was lying on the ground. (Sahih al-Bukhari: 3617)
A man was eating with his left hand in the presence of Allah’s Messenger (SAWS). He (SAWS) said: "Eat with your right hand." He replied: "I cannot." He (SAWS) said: "May you never be able to." For nothing was preventing him from doing so; but arrogance. Then he could never raise it to his mouth again. (Sahih Muslim: 2021)
A Bedouin came to Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) and said: 'How shall I know that you are a Prophet?' He (SAWS) said: 'If I were to call this date cluster from this palm tree, would you bear witness that I am the Messenger of Allah?' So Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) called it and they started to fall from the tree, until they fell towards him (SAWS) then he said: 'Go back' and it went back. So, the Bedouin accepted Islam. (Sunan Tirmidhi: 3628)
The Number of Miracles:
Following the aforesaid miracles and signs of Allah’s Messenger (SAWS), it seems appropriate to mention here about its number as the conclusion. Some scholars have tried their level best to count it. Allamah Ibn Hajar Asqalani (1372-1448) writes: “Imam Nawawi mentioned in the Muqaddamah of Sharh Muslim that the miracles of the Prophet (SAWS) are more than 1200. Imam Bayhaqi says in Al-Madkhal, it reaches 1000. Imam al-Zahidi said that it is about 1000. Some Ulama say that it is about 3000.” (Fath al-Bari, 6/582-583) The fact is that there are many miracles and signs of Allah’s Messenger (SAWS). They are beyond counting; because his each and every word, deed, condition etc. is like a miracle as it is supernatural. The human power alone can never perform such an act without the will of Allah. ****
Moon Rays Trust School, Zambia, Africa
By M. Burhanuddin Qasmi
One of our student groups from Markazul Ma’arif Education and Research Centre (MMERC), Mumbai is on a 40-day trip at Shrivardhan, a township in Raigad district of Konkan region in Maharashtra state of India. We went to meet them on 3rd day of Eidul Adha (15 Sept. 2016). Shrivardhan is 200 kms. from Mumbai, the capital city of Maharashtra and the financial capital of India.
Our students, who are all graduates and in the 22 - 25 age group, enthusiastically informed me saying, "Sir, there is a masjid named Sharie Masjid, local elders say it was built during the caliphate of Hazrat Umar (ra) in 15 Hijri i.e. around 636 CE and they also say there are graves of Sahaba - companions of Prophet Mohammad (saws) in this township – Shrivardhan!”.
I replied “Yes, they are right, Islam reached here in 15 Hijri and there might be graves of Sahaba (ra) in this locality”. I also informed them that I had done a study in the year 2004 following my visit to one of the oldest and India's first masjid, the Cheraman Jama Masjid, in Kodungalloor, Kerala. I visited the area following the historic tsunami in 2004 with relief goods from Markazul Ma'arif (NGO) and Jamiat Ulama-e Hind.
It was inscribed on the masjid's stone marker, that it was built in the life time of Prophet Mohammad (saws) in 9 Hijra or 629 CE. That curved year on the stone marker inside the masjid and its architectural design made me do a deeper study about the origin of Islam in India, where I found that Arabs used to frequently visit India through Malabar, Konkan, present Daman and Diu and Gujarat on the shores of the Arabian sea in the pre-Islam and post-Islam era, as traders.
They stayed and even did married with the locals. Some never returned back to Arabia. Some have their progeny till date in these coastal areas of India.
When the Arabs embraced Islam, they took their new faith with them to all the places where they visited for business. Therefore, it is right that Islam reached India with Malik bin Dinar (ra) in 9 Hijri (628/29 CE) itself via Malabar Coast. And later gradually Muslim Arabs visited other Indian coastal areas in succeeding years. Thus Islam reached here by 15 Hijri year when Hazrat Umar (ra) was the Caliph in Madinah.
Kodungalloor was the capital of the ancient kings of Kerala and from 622-628 CE (Hijra 2 to 9) the ruler of the realm was a great savant called Cheraman Perumal Bhaskara Ravi Varma. It is recorded that he accepted Islam and visited Madinah. On his way back through Yemen his ship sank and he died. This is one of the major incidents in the early history of Indian Islam.
Following my study in 2004 I have compiled an article "Origin of Muslims in India" which was published by some newspapers and magazines in India and abroad. The same can be Googled till date for reference by interested readers.
So I informed my young scholars that the local scholars and elders are right. Islam reached the shore of Konkan in the very early days of this new religion and history records it that there are graves of Sahaba (ra) in Konkan, say present Shrivardhan, but unfortunately no historian could say with certainty which grave is of a Sahabi of Prophet Mohammad (saws) and what's its exact location in Konkan.
I also expressed my interest and said to them, 'So let's go and visit the Masjid-e Sharie where locals say there are graves of Sahaba of Prophet of Islam (saws)”. We walked through the narrow streets from Shrivardhan Jama Masjid and visited the graveyard in the vicinity of the small but very prominent Masjid-e Sharie. The masjid is built just on the bank of a small track on the Arabian Sea. The look and the surrounding scene is of course magnificent and very cooling for the eyes.
M. Burhanuddin Qasmi is Editor of Eastern Crescent and Director of Markazul Ma’arif Education and Research Centre, Mumbai, India.
Source: Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, September 26, 2016