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Some of the Miracles in the Life of Our Prophet (saas)

There were many miracles in our Prophet's (saas) life, such as the Qur'an (the greatest miracle), his excellent moral character, and his actions and sayings. He proclaimed the Qur'an as a guide to the right path and reached all of his people, from the least civilized Bedouins to highly civilized people. This was also one of Allah's miracles. He communicated the morality of Islam most effectively. Through him, people who used to bury their daughters alive turned into merciful and compassionate human beings, and people who used to worship idols made with their own hands came to believe in the oneness of Allah.

Many of these miracles are related in the Qur'an and the hadiths. Among them the following:

His ascension into heavens (Mi`raj)

Sidrat al-Muntaha: The border at which the knowledge of created things ends and which it cannot pass.

The Qubbat al-Sakhra (Dome of the Rock), built on the Hajar Muallaq stone

The Prophet Muhammad's (saas) ascension is one of the greatest miracles. Surat al-Isra' and Surat al-Najm relate his miraculous night journey to the Masjid al-Aqsa and his ascension to the "lote tree of the utmost boundary" (sidrat al-muntaha).

In Arabic, isra' means "night journey" or "night walk." In the first verse of Surat al-Isra', Almighty Allah tells us of our dear Prophet's miraculous journey:

Glory be to Him Who took His servant on a journey by night from the Masjid al-Haram to the Masjid al-Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, in order to show him some of Our Signs. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing. (Surat al-Isra': 1)

The word aqsa means "far" or "farthest." The Masjid al-Haram is located in Mecca; the Masjid al-Aqsa is located in Jerusalem. The distance between them is about 1,235 kilometres (767 miles). Our Prophet (saas) was transported from Mecca to Jerusalem. The great Islamic scholar Ibn Kathir says that at least twenty-five Companions heard the story from our Prophet (saas) but that this number could have been as high as forty-five. The accounts reported by Anas ibn Malik, Abu Hurayrah, Abu Sa`id al-Khudri, Malik ibn Sa'sa, Abu Zarr al-Ghaffari, Abdullah ibn Abbas, Abdullah ibn Mas`ud, and Umm Hani are considered the most reliable. According to them, while our Prophet (saas) was sleeping in his niece's (Umm Hani Abi Talib) house, Gabriel appeared to him, put him on a horse called Buraq, and took him to the Masjid al-Aqsa, where he ascended. The hadiths contain a great deal of detailed information about what he saw during this event, such as his conversations with earlier prophets and his glimpses of Paradise and Hell.

 

Those are Allah's Signs that We recite to you with truth. You are indeed one of the messengers.
(Surat al-Baqarah: 252)

The Hajar Muallaq: The sacred stone upon which our Prophet (saas) stepped when he ascended to Mi'raj.

According to Islamic texts, the Meccan unbelievers doubted this miracle because of their weak intellects and so tried to find out if his words were true. Due to this unseemly attitude, the Lord humiliated them and turned their ridicule against them:

They asked: "Will you describe the Masjid al-Aqsa to us?" Some of them had been there and seen it. The Prophet (saas) related: "I began describing the mosque. In describing some places, I fell into doubt. At this, the mosque was brought and placed in front of the house of 'Iqal or 'Aqil. I looked at it and began describing it." After the Prophet's address they exclaimed: "As for the description, by Allah, he was correct!" 22

Above: Our Prophet's (saas) miraculous journey was from the al-Haram al-Sharif in Mecca to the Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem

He also said:

"I remember being in al-Hijr, and the Qurayshis were asking me about my Night Journey. They asked me things about Bayt al-Maqdis of which I was not sure ... Then Allah raised it up for me to see, and there was nothing they asked me about that I could not tell them."23

Before this event, the Prophet Muhammad (saas) had never gone to the Masjid al-Aqsa, so it was a great miracle and mercy from Allah that he could answer all of these questions. This miracle increased the believers' enthusiasm and eagerness and strengthened their bond with our Prophet (saas); some of the unbelievers, however, persisted in their rebellion. They went to Abu Bakr and, after making groundless accusations about our Prophet (saas), asked if he believed this story and if he would continue to believe in our Prophet (saas). He replied: "If he said it, then I believe him, yes." For his loyalty, our Prophet (saas) gave him the title al-Siddiq (the Faithful).

The hadiths also tell us that our Prophet (saas) gave them one more miraculous sign that they could not deny:

They asked him: "What is your proof?" The Prophet replied: "I encountered a caravan belonging to Quraysh. It was at such-and-such a place. The caravan was frightened by us and changed course. There was a black and a white sack on one camel in the caravan; that particular camel cried out and then collapsed." When the caravan returned, they asked what had happened and were told of the events, just as the Prophet (saas) had said. 24

 

Say: "If you love Allah, then follow me and Allah will love you and forgive your sins. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful."
(Surah Al 'Imran: 31)

External view of the Qubbat al-Sakhra (Dome of the Rock).

Both his description of the Masjid al-Aqsa and of the caravan were great miracles of Allah's mercy. Allah informs us in the Qur'an of some of the verses about his ascent to the "lote tree of the final limit":

He saw him again another time by the Lote-tree of the Final Limit, beside which is the Garden of Refuge, when that which covered the Lote-tree covered it. His eye did not waver, nor did he look away. He saw some of the Greatest Signs of his Lord. (Surat al-Najm: 13-18)

The land on which the Qubbat al-Sakhra and the Masjid al-Aqsa stand is sacred to all Muslims

This great miracle is an important proof from the Lord to the unbelievers. Every single miracle that the Lord allowed our Prophet (saas) to perform was created by Allah's will; none of them depended upon a cause. And, they all strengthened the believers' faith.

Qaba

Our Prophet (saas) split the Moon in two

Another miracle occurred when our Prophet (saas) split the Moon in two. Allah mentions this extraordinary event in the Qur'an, and many hadiths tell us about it:

The Hour has drawn near and the Moon has split. If they see a Sign, they turn away, exclaiming: "There is no end to this witchcraft!" They have denied the truth and followed their whims and desires. But everything has its time. (Surat al-Qamar: 1-3)

The splitting of the Moon (wa inshaqqa al-qamar) consists of the words "splitting" and "Moon." "Splitting" comes from the basic Arabic root meaning "to divide, gum, the appearance of a plant after the soil has been ploughed." In this sense, it means "to be divided, to be cut into pieces, to be separated." The Encyclopaedia of Seerah contains a compilation of all of the related hadiths. In summary, they say:

It was an evening on the 14th day of the lunar month, five years before the hijra (immigration) to Madinah. At that time, the new-born Moon was divided in two. One part went toward a hill opposite; the second part in the other direction. It was only a second. Then the two parts of the Moon joined up again. At that time, the Prophet (saas) was in Mina. He addressed those who were there, saying: "Look and witness!" The unbelievers suggested that he had bewitched them, for which reason their eyes had not seen accurately. Others present there said: "Muhammad (saas) could have bewitched us, but not those not here. Wait a little, and let's ask those who come this way if they saw such an occurrence." Those coming from outside agreed that they had witnessed this. (Afzalur Rahman, Encyclopaedia of Seerah, 164.)

 

The Hour has drawn near, and the Moon has split.
(Surat al-Qamar: 1)

This story is included in the works of such great hadith scholars as Imam al-Bukhari, Muslim, al-Tirmidhi, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Abu Dawud, al-Hakim, al-Bayhaqi, and Abu Nu`aym.25 Some of these hadiths are as follows:

Abdullah ibn Mas`ud (said): We were with the Messenger of Allah at Mina when the Moon was split in two. One part was behind the mountain and the other one was on this side of the mountain. He said to us: "Bear witness to this." 26

Abdullah ibn Mas`ud reported that the Moon was split in two parts during the Messenger of Allah's lifetime. The mountain covered one of its parts and one part of it was above the mountain, and he said: "Bear witness to this." 27

During the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah, the Moon was split in two; one part remained over the mountain, and the other part went beyond the mountain. On that, he said: "Witness this miracle."28

The hadiths state that this miracle occurred in Mecca. They also relate that the Meccans wanted him to perform this miracle:

The people of Mecca asked the Messenger of Allah to show them signs (miracles), and he showed them the splitting of the Moon twice.29

According to the story, the Prophet Muhammad (saas) did as they asked, but they continued to deny the truth of his message and embrace Islam:

If they see a Sign they turn away, saying: "There is no end to this witchcraft!" They have denied the truth and followed their whims and desires. But everything has its time. (Surat al-Qamar: 2-3)

The unbelievers could say nothing in the face of such a great miracle and accused our Prophet (saas) of bewitching them. After they saw the Moon split with their own eyes, they should have realized that he was a true prophet. But because of their arrogance, desires, and passions, they did not accept the Qur'an. This attitude is common among all unbelievers. No matter what miracle they witness, they say:

Our eyesight is befuddled! Or, rather, we have been put under a spell! (Surat al-Hijr: 15)

Bediuzzaman Said Nursi mentions the splitting of the Moon in his The Letters. He relates that many Companions witnessed it and that the unbelievers were rendered totally powerless in the face of this event:

Among his greatest miracles, a certain and mutawatir one, is the splitting of the Moon. This miracle was related through various channels, to the degree of tawatur and by the foremost Companions, among them Ibn Mas`ud, Ibn Abbas, Ibn Umar, Ali, Anas, and Hudhayfa (ra). Moreover, Allah stated in the Qur'an this supreme miracle to the whole world: "The Hour has drawn near and the Moon has split." (Surat al-Qamar: 1).

Even the stubborn unbelievers could not deny this verse; all they could say was: "It is magic!" Thus, even the unbelievers were certain that it had occurred. 30

Bediuzzaman says that one of reasons behind our Prophet's (saas) miracles was to expose the difference between a tyrant like Abu Jahl and a good man like Abu Bakr. In his The Letters, he says:

Miracles take place in order to prove the claim of prophethood and to convince deniers, but not to force them to believe. This miracle was needed to convince those who had already heard of the prophethood of Muhammad. To let it be seen from other parts of the world, or to demonstrate it in an undeniably obvious way, therefore, would have been contrary both to the wisdom of the All-Wise Creator and to the purpose of humanity's function in the universe, which is to open the way for the mind without disabling the free will. If the All-Wise Creator had, in accordance with the whims of materialist philosophers, left the Moon in the same condition for a few hours to show it to the entire world, and if this fact had thereby been recorded by all historians, it would have been treated among other astronomical incidents, without being restricted to the messengership of Muhammad and without being considered a proof of his prophethood. Or, it would have been such an obvious miracle that it would have forced minds to believe and deprived them of free will. As a consequence, coal and diamonds (or Abu Jahl and Abu Bakr) would have been the same and the purpose of humanity's function in the universe would have been lost... 31

Like all other bodies and beings in the universe, the Moon lies in the Lord's power; it can be seen if He wills and how He wills it to be seen. As Allah informs in the Qur'an, whatever He commands to happen happens:

His command when He desires a thing is just to say to it, "Be!" and it is. (Surah Ya Sin: 82)

All this shows that Allah has placed His Messenger, the Prophet Muhammad (saas), above all other human beings; revealed His last holy book to him, and, in His mercy, empowered him to perform miracles to soften people's hearts as a way of bringing them to faith. Some people have embraced Islam to save their lives in the next world; others have lost their eternal life by persisting in their rebellion. The words that Allah spoke to our Prophet (saas) have always turned out to be true.

 

Say: "Obey Allah and the Messenger." Then if they turn away, Allah does not love the unbelievers.
(Surah Al 'Imran: 32)

 

Footnotes

22. Imam Ahmad, Musnad

23. Ibn Kathir, Tafsir of Qur'an with Hadiths (Istanbul: Cagri Publications, 1996), 9:4623.

24. Ibid., 4615.

25. Ilyas Celebi, Itikadi Açıdan Uzak ve Yakın Gelecekle İlgili Haberler, Kitabevi, Istanbul, March 1996, 161

26. Muslim

27. Muslim

28. Al-Bukhari

29. Muslim

30. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur Collection, "The Letters: The Nineteenth Letter, Seventeenth Sign," www.risale-inur.com.tr/rnk/eng/letters/19letter.html.

31. Ibid.

 

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