The Miracles concerning mountains, rocks and lifeless creatures

In this section we will narrate some of the miracles of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) concerning lifeless creatures such as mountains and rocks.

The Foods that Glorify God

The great scholar of the Maghrib, Qadi Iyad, in his Shifa’ al-Sharif, with a celebrated chain of authorities, and great imams like Bukhari, report through an authentic narration:

Ibn Mas‘ud, the Prophet’s servant narrates:

“While eating together with God’s Noble Messenger (pbuh), we used to hear the food glorifying God.” (1)

The Stones that glorify in his palm

This is being narrated from accurate books of Hadith. “Anas, the Prophet’s servant, said: “We were together with God’s Messenger (PBUH) when he took up a handful of small stones and they began to praise God in his blessed palm. Then, he put them in Abu Bakr the Veracious’s hand and again they glorified God.” (2) In his line of transmission, Abu Dharr al-Ghifari says: “Then, he put them into ‘Umar’s hand, and again they glorified God. Then, he took them and put them on the ground, and they were silent. Then, he again took them, and put them in ‘Uthman’s hand, where again they began to glorify God.” Abu Dharr and Anas relate: “He put them in our hands and they were silent.” (3)

The Stones that welcome the prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

It is established through a sound narration from ‘Ali, Jabir, and ‘A’isha al-Siddiqa:

“Rocks and mountains would say to God’s Messenger (PBUH), ‘Peace be upon you, O Messenger of God!’”

In ‘Ali’s chain of narration, it says:

“Whenever we went around in the environs of Makkah in the early of days of his prophethood, the trees and rocks we encountered would declare: ‘Peace be upon you, O Messenger of God!’” (4)

While in his chain of transmission, Jabir says:

“Whenever the Noble Messenger came across rocks and trees, they would prostrate before him, that is, demonstrating obedience to him, they would declare: ‘Peace be upon you, O Messenger of God!’” (5)

In one of Jabir’s narrations, the Messenger said: “I know a rock that salutes me.” (6) Some said that he intended the Black Stone of the Ka‘ba.

In her line of transmission, ‘A’isha said: “God’s Messenger said: ‘When Gabriel brought me the message, I would never pass by a rock or a tree without it saying, ‘Peace be upon you, O Messenger of God!’”(7)

The House that joined in the prayer by saying Amen

Reported through an authentic narration from ‘Abbas: “God’s Messenger (PBUH) covered ‘Abbas and his four sons (‘Abd Allah, ‘Ubayd Allah, Fadl, and Qusam) with a piece of cloth called “mula’at”, praying: ‘O my Sustainer! This is my uncle; protect through me these his sons and veil them from the Fire, as I veil them with this cloth!’ (8) The roof, door, and the walls of the house joined in the prayer at once, saying, “Amen! Amen!” (9)

The Trembling of Uhud

Accurate books, notably Bukhari, Ibn Hibban, Abu Dawud, and Tirmidhi, unanimously report from Anas, (10) Abu Hurayra, (11) ‘Uthman Dhi’n-Nurayn, (12) and Sa‘d b. Zayd, (13) from among the ten promised Paradise:

“God’s Noble Messenger (PBUH) climbed Mount Uhud together with Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, ‘Umar al-Faruq, and ‘Uthman Dhi’n-Nurayn. Either due to their awesomeness, or out of its own joy and happiness, the mountain began to tremble and stir. God’s Messenger said:

‘Steady! For upon you are a prophet, a veracious one (siddiq), and two martyrs!’

This tradition is giving news from the Unseen that ‘Umar and ‘Uthman were going to be martyred.

The Fear of Mount Thabir, the call of Hira

As a supplement to this tradition, it is narrated that when God’s Noble Messenger (PBUH) migrated from Makkah pursued by the unbelievers, they climbed the mountain called Thubir. The mountain said: “Leave me, O Messenger of God! I am afraid that God will punish me if they strike you on me.” Then Mount Hira called to him: “Come to me, O Messenger of God!” (14)

As can be understood from this example, these vast mountains are each an individual servant of God; each glorifies and praises Him; each is charged with duties. They recognized and loved God’s Messenger; they are not without purpose or owner.

The Trembling Pulpit

Reported through an authentic narration from ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Umar:

“While delivering the sermon from the pulpit, God’s Messenger (PBUH) recited the verse: “No just estimate have they made of God, such as is due to Him: on the Day of Judgement the whole earth will be but His handful, and the heavens will be rolled up in His right hand” (15) and said: ‘God the Compeller is exalting Himself and saying: I am the Compeller! I am the Compeller! I am the Mighty! I am the Most High!’ As he said this, the pulpit so trembled and shook that we were frightened it would cause God’s Messenger to fall.” (16)

The Falling of Idols

It is reported through an authentic narration from Ibn ‘Abbas, (17) known as ‘the Scholar of the Muslim Community’ and ‘Interpreter of the Qur’an,’ and Ibn Mas‘ud, the servant of the Prophet and one of the great scholars of the Companions, (18) that they said:

“On the conquest of Makkah, there were three hundred and sixty idols around the Ka‘ba, fixed with lead to the stone. That day, the Noble Prophet (PBUH) pointed to each of the idols in turn with a stick he was holding curved like a bow, saying, “The Truth has arrived and falsehood has perished; indeed, falsehood is ever bound to perish.” (19) Whichever one he pointed to, it fell down. If he pointed to the face of the idol, it fell backwards; otherwise, it fell on its face. Thus, they all toppled over and fell to the ground. (20)

The Observation of Bahira, the Monk

This is the famous story of the well-known monk Bahira. Before the beginning of his prophethood, God’s Noble Messenger (PBUH) was travelling towards Damascus to trade together with his uncle Abu Talib and some of the Quraysh. They rested when they came near the church of Bahira the monk. Bahira, who was a hermit and did not mix with people, suddenly came out. He saw Muhammad the Trustworthy (PBUH) among the caravan, and said: “He is the Lord of the World; he will be a prophet.” The Quraysh asked: “How do you know?” The holy monk replied: “I saw a small cloud over the caravan as you were coming. When you sat down, the cloud moved toward him and cast its shadow over him. I also saw trees and rocks prostrate themselves before him, which they do only before prophets.” (21)

* * *

When these miracles come together, they form a chain so strong that no doubt can break it or shake it. Taken as a whole, this sort of miracle, that is, the speaking of inanimate beings in order to testify to his prophethood, expresses the same certainty as ‘consensus in meaning.’ Each example receives strength greater than its own from the strength of the whole. Yes, a slender pole becomes strong on coming together with stout poles. On becoming a soldier and joining the army, a weak, powerless man becomes so strong he may challenge a thousand men.

The Stone Thrown at the Enemy

“And when you threw, it was not you who threw; it was rather God that threw.” (22) This is an incident that refers to the verse above during the Battle of Badr:

God’s Noble Messenger (PBUH) took up a handful of earth and small stones and threw them at the army of the unbelievers, saying: “May your faces be deformed!” Just as these words entered the ears of all of them despite being a single phrase, so too the handful of earth entered the eyes of each one of the unbelievers. Each became preoccupied with his eyes, and although on the attack, the army suddenly turned tail and fled. (23)

Also during the Battle of Hunayn, the authorities on Hadith and foremost Imam Muslim report that like at the Battle of Badr, he again threw a handful of earth while the unbelievers were staging a fierce attack. Saying: “May your faces be deformed!”, the handful of earth struck the faces of each of them, with God’s leave, the same as words of the phrase entered the ears of each. Busy with their eyes, they retreated and fled. (24)

Since this extraordinary event at Badr and Hunayn is not within man’s power and ordinary causes, the Qur’an of Miraculous Exposition states, “When you threw, it was not you who threw; it was rather God that threw.” (25) That is, “The event was outside human power. It occurred, not through human ability, but in an extraordinary manner, through Divine power.”

Assassination Attempt of a Jew

The accurate books and foremost Bukhari and Muslim narrate that during the Khaybar expedition, a Jewess roasted a goat, filling it with a very strong poison. She then sent it to God’s Messenger (PBUH). The Companions had begun to eat it, when the Prophet suddenly said: “Withdraw your hands! It tells me it is poisoned!” Everyone pulled back his hand. But Bishr b. al-Bara’ had eaten a single morsel and died from the effect of the severe poison.

The Noble Messenger sent for the Jewess called Zaynab and asked her why she had done it. The inauspicious woman said: “I considered that if you were a prophet, it would not harm you; and if you were a king, I would save the people from you.” (26) According to some narrations, the Prophet did not have her put to death, but left her to Bishr’s family to be killed. (27)

A few points demonstrating aspects of the miraculousness in this extraordinary incident: According to one narration, some of the Companions also heard the goat speaking. (28)

According to another narration, God’s Messenger (PBUH) said: “Say, Bismillah, then eat; the poison will not affect you.” Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani does not accept this narration, but others do. (29)

The treacherous Jews wanted to deal a sudden blow at God’s Messenger (pbuh) and his close Companions, but being informed about this from the Unseen, the Prophet’s warning proved true, and their plot was uncovered and brought to naught. And when Muhammad (PBUH), from whom the Companions never heard an untrue statement, said: “This goat tells me that..., ” everyone believed him with conviction as sure as if they themselves had heard the goat. (30)

***

We are going to narrate three instances of another miracle which resembles ‘the Shining Hand’ and ‘Staff’ of Moses:

The Shining Staff

Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal, explaining and authenticating a narration from Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri, reports:

“One dark and stormy night, the Noble Messenger (PBUH) gave Qatada b. al-Nu‘man a staff, saying: ‘This staff will light up ten yards all around you. You will see a dark shadow when you arrive at your house; it is Satan. Throw him out of the house and drive him away!’ Qatada took the staff and set off. It cast a light like Moses’ shining hand. He came to his house, where he saw the shadowy figure, and he drove it away.” (31)

The staff that transforms into a sword in the battle of Badr

While fighting the idolaters during the great Battle of Badr, itself a source of wonders, ‘Ukkasha b. Muhassin al-Asadi had his sword broken. God’s Noble Messenger (PBUH) gave him a stout staff in place of it, saying: “Fight with this!” Suddenly, with God’s leave, the staff became a long white sword, and he fought with it. He carried the sword on his person for the rest of his life until he fell as a martyr during the Battle of al-Yamama. (32) This incident is certain, because throughout his life he carried the sword with pride and it became famous with the name of ‘Succour.’ Thus, two proofs of this incident are ‘Ukkasha’s pride, and the sword’s name, ‘Succour’ and its widespread fame.

The staff that transforms into a sword in the battle of Uhud

It is narrated by authorities on Hadith like Ibn ‘Abd al- Barr, (33) a celebrated scholar known as ‘the Scholar of the Age,’ that

At the Battle of Uhud a cousin of the God’s Messenger (PBUH), ‘Abd Allah b. Jahsh’s sword was broken. God’s Prophet gave him a staff which became a sword in his hand. He fought with it, and after the battle that product of a miracle remained a sword. (34) In his Siyar, the well-known Ibn Sayyid al-Nas reports that some time later ‘Abd Allah sold the sword to a man called Bugha’ al-Turki (35)

Thus, these two swords were each miracles like the Staff of Moses. But while no aspect of miraculousness remained in his staff after Moses’ death, these swords remained unchanged.

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[1]Bukhari, Manaqib: 25; Tirmidhi, Manaqib: 6 (tahqiq: Ibrahim A’wad) no. 3633; Musnad, 1:460; Qadi Iyad, ash-Shifa, 1:306; Ali al-Qari, Sharhu’sh-Shifa, 1:627; Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa’n-Nihaya, 6:97-98, 133.
[2]Qadi Iyad, ash-Shifa, 1:306; Khafaji, Sharhu’sh-Shifa, 3:70; Ali al-Qari, Sharhu’sh-Shifa, 1:627.
[3]Qadi Iyad, ash-Shifa, 1:306; al-Haythami, Majma’u’z-Zawaid, 5:179, 8:298-299; Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa’n-Nihaya, 6:132-133.
[4]Tirmidhi, Manaqib: 6; Darimi, Muqaddima: 4; al-Haythami, Majma’u’z-Zawaid, 8:260;u, 2:607; Ali al-Qari, Sharhu’sh-Shifa, 1:628.
[5]Qadi Iyad, ash-Shifa, 1:307; Khafaji, Sharhu’sh-Shifa, 3:71.
[6]Müslim, Fadail: 2; Tirmidhi, Manaqib: 5; Musnad, 5:89, 95, 105; Ibn Hibban, Sahih, 8:139.
[7]Qadi Iyad, ash-Shifa, 1:307; Khafaji, Sharhu’sh-Shifa, 3:71; al-Haythami, Majma’u’z-Zawaid, 8:259.
[8]Bayhaqi, Dalailu’n-Nubuwwa, 6:71
[9]Qadi Iyad, ash-Shifa, 1:608; Ali al-Qari, Sharhu’sh-Shifa, 1:628; al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak, 2:309; al-Haythami, Majma’u’z-Zawaid, 9:269-270.
[10]bk. Bukhari, Fadailu’l-Ashab: 5, 6, 7; Tirmidhi, Manaqib: 19, no. 3697; Abu Dawud, Sunnah: 9 (Bab: fi’l-Khulafa).
[11]Muslim, Fadailu’s-Sahaba: 6 (no. 2417); Tirmidhi, Manaqib: 19.
[12]Tirmidhi, Manaqib: 19.
[13]Tirmidhi, Manaqib: 19; al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak, 3:450.
[14]Qadi Iyad, ash-Shifa, 1:308; Khafaji, Sharhu’sh-Shifa, 3:75.
[15]az-Zumar, 39/67.
[16]Muslim, Sifatu’l-Qiyama: 19-26; Musnad, 2:88; al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak, 2:252; Qadi Iyad, ash-Shifa, 1:308; Khafaji, Sharhu’sh-Shifa, 3:75; Ali al-Qari, Sharhu’sh-Shifa, 1:630; Ibn Hibban, Sahih, 9:214.
[17]Muslim, Jihad: 87, no. 1781.
[18]Bukhari, Maghazi: 48, Mazalim: 32, Tafsira’l-Qur’an: 12; Tirmidhi, Tafsiru’l-Qur’an: 18 (Bab: Suratu Bani Israil); Ibn Hibban, Sahih, no. 1702.
[19]al-Isra, 17/81.
[20] al-Haythami, Majma’u’z-Zawaid wa Manbau’l-Fawaid, 6:176 (from Hz. Ibn Mas’ud).
[21]Qadi Iyad, ash-Shifa, 1:308; Ali al-Qari, Sharhu’sh-Shifa, 1:631; Tirmidhi, Manaqib: 3 (Bab, Majaa fi Bad’i’n-Nubuwwa); al-Mubarakfuri, Tuhfatu’l-Ahwazi, no: 3699; al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak, 2:615; Ibn Hisham, Siratu’n-Nabi,p. 115.
[22]al-Anfal, 6/17.
[23] al-Haythami, Majma’u’z-Zawaid, 6:84.
[24]Muslim, Jihad: 76, 81 (Bab: Ghazwat-u Hunayn); Darimi, Siyar: 15 (Bab: Shahati’l-Wujuh); Musnad, 5:286.
[25]al-Anfal , 6/17.
[26]From Hz. Abu Huryara: Bukhari, Tib: 55, Jizya: 7, Maghazi: 41; Abu Dawud, Diyat: 6, no: 4509, 4511, 1512; Darimi, Muqaddima: 11; Musnad, 2:451 From Hz. Anas: Muslim, no: 2992; Bukhari, al-Hiba: 28; Abu Dawud, Diyat: 6, no: 4508. From Hz. Jabir Ibn Abdullah: Darimi, Muqaddima: 11; Abu Dawud, Diyat: 6, no. 4510, 4511. For ways of narration about the poisonous goat, see Abu Dawud, Diyat: 6.
[27]al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak, 3:219, 4:109; Bayhaqi, Dalailu’n-Nubuwwa: 6:256, 264; Ibnu’l-Qayyim, Zadu’l-Ma’ad, 3:336.
[28] see the hadith of  Jabir: at-Tabrizi, Mishqatu’l-Masabih, no. 5931, Abu Dawud, Diyat: 6; Darimi, Muqaddima: 11; al-Jizri, Jamiu’l-Usul, 8888, al-Haythami, Majma’u’z-Zawaid, 8:295-296.
[29]Qadi Iyad, ash-Shifa, 1:317-319; Ali al-Qari, Sharhu’sh-Shifa, 1:645.
[30] Abu Dawud, Diyat, 6; Darimi, Muqaddima, 11; Majma’u’z-Zawaid, 8:295-296; Bayhaqi, Dalailu’n-Nubuwwa, 4:262.
[31]Musnad, 3:65; as-Sa’ati, al-Fathu’r-Rabbani, 22:66-67; al-Haythami, Majma’u’z-Zawaid, 2:166-167; al-Hindi, Kanzu’l-Ummal, 12:376; Qadi Iyad, ash-Shifa, 1:3323; Ali al-Qari, Sharhu’sh-Shifa, 1:671; al-Asqalani, al-Isaba, no. 7076.
[32]Qadi Iyad, ash-Shifa, 1:333; Ali al-Qari, Sharhu’sh-Shifa, 1:671; Khafaji, Sharhu’sh-Shifa, 3:156; Ibn Hisham, Siratu’n-Nabi, 1:637; Ibnu’l-Qayyim, Zadu’l-Maad (tahqiq: Arnawud), 3:186.
[33]Qadi Iyad, ash-Shifa, 1:333; Khafaji, Sharhu’sh-Shifa, 3:157; Ibn Sayyidi’n-Nas, Uyunu’l-Athar, 2:20; al-Asqalani, al-Isaba, no. 4583.
[34]Ibn Abdi’l-Barr, al-Istiab, 2:274 (next to Isaba); Ibn Hajar, al-Isaba, 2:287; Ibn Sayyidi’n-Nas, Uyunu’l-Athar, 2:32; Abdurrazzaq, al-Musannaf, 11:279.
[35] Ibn Sayyidi’n-Nas, 2:32; Abdurrazzaq, al-Musannaf, 11:279.

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