In the rich tapestry of divine revelations, miracles stand as celestial beacons, each intricately crafted to illuminate the unique path of its messenger. Today, our exploration delves into the extraordinary, focusing on miracles that echo through time, with a particular emphasis on the miracle of the Quran during the era of Prophet Muhammad.
Embark on a captivating journey through narratives where the supernatural transcends the ordinary, challenging norms, and revealing the boundless might of Allah. From the prostration of magicians to the linguistic brilliance defying comprehension, these miracles weave an enchanting tale. Join us as we unravel the threads of divine wonders, with a special spotlight on the profound impact and eternal significance of the miracle of the Quran.
What is a Miracle?
The Quran, revealed as Allah’s speech to His chosen Prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him, poses a challenge to both humanity and jinn. This challenge, however, is not extended to the angels, as they lack free will, obediently following Allah’s commands. The Quran becomes a challenge for those endowed with freedom of choice and the mental capacity to discern right from wrong.
A miracle, in essence, is a divine act that goes beyond universal norms and laws. Allah bestows these miracles upon His messengers and apostles to persuade people of the truth embedded in their messages. With this celestial assistance, ordinary laws and natural occurrences yield in such a profound way that any attempt at rational explanation is rendered futile.
Recognizing that challenges to perform miracles would inevitably be posed to His messengers, Allah grants them the power to defy these norms. Examples include Abraham withstanding the burning fire, Jesus restoring sight to the blind and raising the dead, and Moses parting the Red Sea. The miracle of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) lies in the Quran itself.
The distinction between Allah’s miracles and other supernatural events lies in the challenge these miracles pose to the strengths of the specific audience to whom a messenger is sent. A genuine miracle defies all natural laws established by Allah, which can only be violated or suspended by His will.
The Specificity of Divine Miracles
Each messenger’s miracle serves as a direct challenge to the unique traits of the specific groups of people to whom they are sent. The effectiveness of a miracle hinges on its ability to leave a lasting impact on its witnesses. To achieve this, it must be intricately connected to an area of knowledge in which the intended audience excels.
For instance, if a messenger is sent to a community excelling in medicine, sorcery, or philology, the miracle should directly address these fields. Only by doing so can a miracle fulfill its purpose, a principle observed in all divine miracles performed by the messengers and prophets of Allah.
Divine miracles extend beyond the challenges they pose to the immediate witnesses. They are also crafted to instill in people the capacity to perceive them as signs of Allah’s dominion over all things in the universe. This is exemplified in miracles such as Allah’s protection of Abraham from the burning fire and the rescue of infant Moses from drowning in the Nile. In both instances, the laws of nature were suspended through Allah’s will, neutralizing their physical properties.
Ibrahim’s miracle, specifically, was designed to confront idolaters seeking revenge by burning him alive after he insulted their idols. This act served as a challenge to Abraham’s God and a demonstration of the futility of the idols’ power, acting as a warning to those tempted to defy them.
Divine Wisdom in Ibrahim’s Ordeal
One might question why Allah allowed His servant Abraham to undergo such a harrowing experience instead of inspiring him to escape his tormentors. The reasoning becomes clear when we delve into the intricate dynamics at play. If Allah had intervened earlier to aid Ibrahim’s escape, the idolaters might have perpetuated their belief in the superiority of their idols over Allah’s power. Simultaneously, they would have clung to the misconception that Abraham was incapable of evading their idols’ wrath.
Ibrahim’s ordeal by fire was crucial for the miracle to unfold and demonstrate the falsehood of the idols to the idolaters. Any heavenly assistance before he was thrust into the fire would have diminished the full impact of the miracle. Allah orchestrated the entire act to ensure the idolaters comprehended the magnitude of the miracle. When Abraham was cast into the flames, Allah suspended the fire’s nature, allowing him to stand unharmed within the inferno, challenging the idolaters.
The purpose of this miracle wasn’t merely to save Abraham from his fate. If Allah had desired Abraham’s rescue, He would not have permitted the idolaters to capture him. Instead, Allah wanted them to witness Abraham standing untouched in the burning fire, defying their idols. This demonstration proved that the idols were powerless against the apostle who dared to insult them. In the Quran, Allah states, “We said: O fire, be coolness and peace for Ibrahim.”
“قُلْنَا يَا نَارُ كُونِي بَرْدًا وَسَلَامًا عَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ”
Parallels with Moses’ Miracle
Drawing a parallel to Ibrahim’s miracle is the rescue of Moses from the Nile. Here, Moses’ mother, inspired by Allah, chose to abandon him on the river to spare him from certain death at the hands of Pharaoh. This decision, seemingly counterintuitive for a mother, had a purpose. Allah intended the infant Moses to be surrounded by dangers to showcase His providence and power.
Obstructing the natural course of action revealed to believers and non-believers alike that even in the face of danger and death, safety and life could be found if it aligned with Allah’s will. This juxtaposition of peril and divine protection underscored the profound message of Allah’s omnipotence amidst life’s uncertainties.
The Prostration of the Magicians
In the narrative of divine miracles, each messenger tailored their wonders to resonate with the predominant knowledge of their people. Moses, sent to a community excelling in magic, presented a miracle of a magical nature. The magicians, astutely recognizing the supernatural origin of Moses’ act, were among the first to believe in him and in Allah. Overwhelmed by the authenticity of the miracle, they prostrated in acknowledgment of the Lord of the Worlds, the Lord of Moses and Aaron
وَأُلۡقِيَ ٱلسَّحَرَةُ سَٰجِدِينَ (120) قَالُوٓاْ ءَامَنَّا بِرَبِّ ٱلۡعَٰلَمِينَ (121) رَبِّ مُوسَىٰ وَهَٰرُونَ (122)
The magicians’ expertise in magic allowed them to discern between mere artifice and a divine miracle. Their swift declaration of faith in the God of Moses and Aaron showcased the transformative power of divine revelation. Even the Pharaoh’s promises of wealth and the impending torture for their failure to defeat Moses faded in comparison to the true God’s might and faith. Through such miracles, vehement antagonists instantly converted into faithful believers, willing to relinquish worldly wealth and power.
Similarly, Jesus tailored his miracles to challenge the medical expertise of his people.Healing the blind, curing lepers, reviving the dead – these acts went beyond human knowledge, emphasizing the divine nature of Jesus’ message.
Quranic Miracles in the Era of Prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him
In the era of the Prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him, where linguistic mastery was paramount, the Quran’s miraculous features centered on its literary inimitability. Astonishingly, Muhammad, despite being illiterate, received the Quran in a language unmatched by the Arabs. The failure of the Arabs to match its linguistic prowess led to accusations of sorcery and insanity against Muhammad.
The Quran’s miraculous nature transcends linguistic inimitability. It is replete with signs challenging mankind for eternity. One remarkable feature lies in the ever-expanding meanings within its verses, accommodating even the latest scientific discoveries.
A true miracle, as demonstrated by the Quran, can transcend natural laws without necessarily challenging mankind. Instead, Allah showcases His dominion over the universe, emphasizing man’s incapacity to comprehend such occurrences in causal terms. The true believer should attribute unexplainable events to the will of Allah, embracing the divine mysteries woven into the fabric of existence.