How would you answer those who deny miracles by saying, “Did the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) have miracles but we are not aware of them”?

The Details of the Question

- How would you answer those who claim by showing some verses that the Prophet (pbuh) was not given any miracles?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Question:

Some friends of Ahl as-Sunnah keep saying that the Prophet Muhammad had miracles. Did the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) have miracles but we are not aware of them? Why are those miracles not included in the Quran? What does ALLAH say about the Prophet Muhammad’s miracles?

Answer:
It will be useful to give each answer under each verse in order to show the true meanings and aims of the verses. Therefore, we will try to make explanations in the form of questions and answers.

Question:
Al-Anam 35: “If their spurning is hard on thy mind, yet if thou wert able to seek a tunnel in the ground or a ladder to the skies and bring them a sign,- (what good?). If it were Allah’s will, He could gather them together unto true guidance: so be not thou amongst those who are swayed by ignorance (and impatience)! “

(Allah tells the Prophet Muhammad not to be ignorant; He says, I do not give you miracles; create a miracle yourself if you can.)

Answer:
- It is emphasized - in summary – in the verse above that it is not possible for a prophet to show a miracle on his own when he wishes without the help of Allah. Can there be anything more natural, reasonable and correct than it? There is no evidence in the verse that the Prophet will not be given any miracles. With the verse, the Prophet is consoled in the face of the denying ignorant people who asked nonsensical things sarcastically from him from time to time. He is asked not to feel sorry due to their words. The consolation is strengthened with the following statement: “If it were Allah’s will, He could gather them together unto true guidance”. (Tabari, Ibn Juzay, the interpretation of the verse in question).

The phrase “be not thou amongst those who are swayed by ignorance (and impatience)” in the verse means do not act impatiently like ignorant people in cases when patience is necessary. (see Tabari, Mawardi, the interpretation of the verse in question)

The following statement in the previous verse, which is related to the verse in question, is the clearest evidence of it:

“Rejected were the apostles before thee: with patience and constancy they bore their rejection and their wrongs.”

Allah means the following in the verse: “Like the other prophets, it is not something that you can do to show a miracle on your own. You are not held responsible because of it. It is a test. The door is opened for the mind in the test but man’s free will is not removed so that everybody will make their choice based on their free will and mind. Therefore, do not upset yourself in vain. “

The verse has nothing to do with asking for miracles. It is natural for a prophet to ask for miracles and it is a prerequisite of prophethood to show miracles. Therefore, it is not possible in terms of religion and mind to attribute ignorance to a prophet who asks for a miracle.  

Question:
Al-Anam 37. “They say: ‘Why is not a sign sent down to him from his Lord?’ Say: ‘(Allah) hath certainly power to send down a sign: but most of them understand not.’”

(As it is understood from verse 37 of the chapter of al-Anam, the Prophet Muhammad did not bring any miracles. Therefore, the unbelievers said, “Why is not a sign sent down to him from his Lord?”)

Answer:
As it is known, the reason why a verse was sent down is generally very important in understanding a verse. The verse in question is one of the verses whose reason to be sent down is known. According to what scholars state, the statement “Why is not a sign sent down to him from his Lord?” in the verse is related to the following verses in the chapter of al-Furqan:

“And they say: ‘What sort of an apostle is this, who eats food, and walks through the streets? Why has not an angel been sent down to him to give admonition with him? Or (Why) has not a treasure been bestowed on him, or why has he (not) a garden for enjoyment?’ The wicked say: ‘Ye follow none other than a man bewitched.’(al-Furqan, 25/7-8)

That verse in question indicates their sarcastic requests and answers them with the following statement: “Say: ‘(Allah) hath certainly power to send down a sign.'“ (Tabari, the interpretation of the verse in question)

Thus, their requests were not fulfilled because they were not regarded reasonable and it was not regarded appropriate by divine wisdom to reward their sarcastic and spoiled attitudes with a miracle. There is no statement in the verse indicating that the Prophet (pbuh) will not be given any miracles. As a matter of fact, the phrase “but most of them understand not” at the end of the verse indicates that they do not know such wisdom.  

Question:
Yunus 20. “They say: ‘Why is not a sign sent down to him from his Lord?’ Say: ‘The Unseen is only for Allah (to know), then wait ye: I too will wait with you.’”

Answer:
An answer given to deniers is in question in the verse above. As some scholars like Zamakhshari state, the miracles given to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) are much more than the ones given to other prophets. The people of Makkah saw the miracle of the splitting of the moon called “inshiqaq al-qamar” but they made a new offer; although there was a miracle like the Quran, which challenged and refuted them, they insisted on seeing another miracle they offered, which showed their insincerity and spoiled obstinacy regarding the issue and that they had no intention of believing. Instead of giving them a harsh answer that they deserved, Allah, who knew about their insincere and unserious attitudes very well, stated that it was an issue of ghayb belonging to Allah and that He could do it any time He wished; thus, He did not dishearten them and did not put His messenger in a difficult situation. (cf. Zamakhshari, Ibn Kathir, the interpretation of the verse in question)

There is no statement indicating that the Prophet will not be given a miracle in the verse. On the contrary, there is a sign that miracles can be given. Allah’s advice to the Prophet to be patient is an evidence for it.   

Question:
ar-Rad 7. “And the Unbelievers say: ‘Why is not a sign sent down to him from his Lord?’ But thou art truly a warner, and to every people a guide.”

Answer:
As it is the case in the previous verses, there are statements indicating a sarcastic attitude, a stubborn unbelief and a spoiled and ignorant insistence in the verse above.

“And the Unbelievers say: Why is not a sign sent down to him from his Lord?' But thou art truly a warner, and to every people a guide.”

There is no statement about other miracles not being given to the Prophet (pbuh) in the verse above. The following issues are emphasized to console the Prophet in the face of the unserious offers that express nothing but obstinacy like “transform Safa hill into gold” and the offer in the verse “O Allah if this is indeed the Truth from Thee, rain down on us a shower of stones form the sky, or send us a grievous penalty” (al-Anfal, 8/32):

“You are only a warner; you cannot force people to believe. It is not among your duties to give guidance. It belongs to Allah. Therefore, do not feel sad due to the attitudes of the insincere deniers who insist on denial. You have no responsibility regarding the issue.” (cf. Ibn Kathir, Qurtubi, the interpretation of the verse in question)

Question:
Ar-Rad 27. “The Unbelievers say: ‘Why is not a sign sent down to him from his Lord?’ Say: ‘Truly Allah leaveth, to stray, whom He will; But He guideth to Himself those who turn to Him in penitence’”

Answer:
That offer is one of the unserious offers of the stubborn unbelievers. According to what Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal reports from Ibn Abbas, Makkan polytheists said to the Prophet, “Transform Safa hill into gold for us; make nice rivers flow for us; make the mountains around us move and make gardens of pearls and coral instead of them.” Thereupon, Allah said to His Prophet, “I will give them what they want if you wish but if they still do not believe, I will eliminate all of them. I will not give them what they want if you wish and leave the door of mercy and repentance open for them.” The Prophet (pbuh) said he preferred the door of mercy and repentance being left open.” (Ibn Hanbal, 1/242; Ibn Kathir, the interpretation of the verse in question) 

Consequently, Allah did not give them what they wanted but left the door of mercy and repentance open for them. After a while - especially after the conquest of Makkah – almost all of the polytheists believed and were saved from elimination.

Thus, the sarcastic offers of some people in terms of their stubbornness are mentioned in such verses; their nonsensical offers full of delusions are rejected and answers are given to them. There is no statement about not giving any miracles to the Prophet in them.  

Question:
Al-Anbiya 5. Nay’ they say, ‘(these are) medleys of dream! - Nay, He forged it! - Nay, He is (but) a poet! Let him then bring us a Sign like the ones that were sent to (Prophets) of old!’”

Answer:
Attention is attracted to the stubborn and irrational insistence of the deniers about unbelief in the verse above. For instance, they make different judgments - which show their ignorance - about the Quran, which is a treasure of miracles. They say, “Sometimes it is a magic, sometimes the words of a poet, sometimes the words of a soothsayer and sometimes a fabricated tale.” This indecision of theirs shows that they themselves do not believe in the wrong things they attribute to the Prophet and that they are away from displaying a determined attitude regarding the issue.

Their inconsistent delusions are indicated as follows in the Quran (cf. Ibn Kathir, the interpretation of the verse in question):

“See what similes they strike for thee: but they have gone astray, and never can they find a way.” (al-Isra, 17/48);

“And they say: ‘What sort of an apostle is this, who eats food, and walks through the streets? Why has not an angel been sent down to him to give admonition with him? Or (Why) has not a treasure been bestowed on him, or why has he (not) a garden for enjoyment?’ The wicked say: ‘Ye follow none other than a man bewitched.’ See what kinds of comparisons they make for thee! But they have gone astray, and never a way will they be able to find!(al-Furqan, 25/7-9)

What can be the significance of showing the miracles that they want to those people, who view the Quran, the miraculous book, stubbornly and biasedly with their nonsensical words? It does not seem possible for those people who do not accept the Quran, which is a miracle in various ways and which is before their eyes, to accept other miracles. There remain two alternatives: They will be shown those miracles and they will be eliminated totally in accordance with the principle of Allah valid for the previous nations. The verse coming immediately after the verse in question describes it clearly:  

“(As to those) before them, not one of the populations which We destroyed believed: will these believe?” (al-Anbiya, 21/6)

Or, their offers will not be accepted and the door of repentance and mercy will be left open for them - for the sake of the Prophet (pbuh) – and they will be given opportunity to become believers. Allah preferred the second alternative with His infinite mercy. (cf. Ibn Ashur, the interpretation of the verse in question)

Question:
Ar-Rad 38. “And it was never the part of an apostle to bring a sign except as Allah permitted (or commanded).”

(The verse is very clear.)

Answer:
The meaning of the verse above is really clear: No prophet can show a miracle without the permission of Allah. That meaning has no ambiguous aspect. However, to make a judgment from the verse that the Prophet was not given miracles is really something dark.

Question:
Al-Ankabut 50. “Ye they say: ‘Why are not Signs sent down to him from his Lord?’ Say: ‘The signs are indeed with Allah and I am indeed a clear Warner.’”

(See how the Prophet Muhammad answers those who expect miracles from him. He does not say, “I am the best prophet and these are my miracles” as Ahl as-Sunnah claims.)

Answer:
What is meant by the signs/miracles in the verse above is Safa hill being transformed into gold and similar nonsense - as it was mentioned above - or the miracles related to senses shown by previous prophets like the Staff of Hz. Musa (Moses). (Mawardi, the interpretation of the verse in question)

It is indicated in the expressions in the verse above that miracles can take place with the creation of Allah and that no prophet can show a miracle without the permission of Allah as it is mentioned in the previous verses.

The meaning “I am not given miracles” can never be deduced from the statement “and I am indeed a clear Warner” in the verse above. On the contrary, its meaning is as follows:

“It belongs to Allah to create miracles through my hand. It is not my duty and I am not held responsible for it. I have no such authority. I will be held responsible for only one thing: to convey the book of Allah to people and to warn clearly those who do not believe in His Messenger. The Quran is enough for that warning. How can a person who does not believe in a visible miraculous book like the Quran believe in other miracles?”

However, it is emphasized in the following verse of the chapter of al-Anam that to warn people is the common characteristic of all prophets:

“We send the apostles only to give good news and to warn: so those who believe and mend (their lives),- upon them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. But those who reject our signs,- them shall punishment touch, for that they ceased not from transgressing.” (al-Anam, 6/48-49)

Anyone who looks at verses 50 and 51 of the chapter of al-Ankabut together will know that what we say is true:  

“They say: ‘Why are not Signs sent down to him from his Lord?’ Say: ‘The signs are indeed with Allah. and I am indeed a clear Warner.’ And is it not enough for them that we have sent down to thee the Book which is rehearsed to them? Verily, in it is Mercy and a Reminder to those who believe.” (al-Ankabut, 29/50-51)

Question:
Let us keep looking at how the Prophet Muhammad answered those who wanted miracles from him:

“Say: ‘I tell you not that with me are the treasures of Allah, nor do I know what is hidden, nor do I tell you I am an angel. I but follow what is revealed to me.’” (al-Anam, 6/50)

Answer

“Say: ‘I tell you not that with me are the treasures of Allah, nor do I know what is hidden, nor do I tell you I am an angel. I but follow what is revealed to me.’ Say: ‘Can the blind be held equal to the seeing?’ Will ye then consider not?’(al-Anam, 6/50)

Can it be anything as natural as mentioning the human characteristics of the Prophet, who is a human being, in the verse above? In which one of the sentences above is there a sign showing that the Prophet (pbuh) will not be given any miracles? God forbid! There is nothing like that whatsoever!

Question:
Why did the Quran, which includes the miracles of other prophets, not include the miracles of the Prophet Muhammad if he had any? Let alone miracles, the Prophet Muhammad REGARDS HIMSELF HELPLESS SINCE HE HAS NO MIRACLES. The people who insistently claim that the Prophet Muhammad is the loftiest and most superior prophet who was bestowed upon miracles first need to deny the verses above and several other similar verses and then declare the Prophet Muhammad as the loftiest prophet.

Answer:
The person who uses such bad and inappropriate expressions for the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) describes the other party as “Ahl as-Sunnah”; thus, he means he belongs to one of the heretic groups. However, his last statements are inappropriate and it does not fit any believer to utter them.  

To sum up;

- If one looks at the verses carefully, he will see that the sarcastic offers of the deniers who want to make things difficult are generally answered in the verses in question. They are reminded that some deniers were shown the miracles that they wanted but that they still did not believe; it is indicated that it is not in accordance with divine wisdom to repeat the same things that were experienced in history.  

- Books of history and siyar (biography of the Prophet) witness more than one thousand miracles of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

- As a book that shows the miraculousness of the book of the universe, the Quran brings to the forefront spiritual, rational, universal and ontological miracles rather than local, material and emotional miracles. For, the miracles of Hz. Isa (Jesus) and Hz. Musa related to the senses are temporary and specific; it is not possible for those who want to believe by seeing miracles to see those miracles again. For example, it is not possible for a person to see the staff of Hz. Musa or the incident of Hz. Isa’s reviving the dead. However, scientific and rational miracles that are always valid are necessary for the Quran, which is the divine book that is valid up to the Day of Judgment, so that its messages will be effective.   

The issue necessitates a profound foundation; therefore, we regard what we have written so far enough and give some examples of the miracles of the Prophet (pbuh) related to senses mentioned in the Quran:

a.  As all sound hadith sources and books of history and siyar mention unanimously, the Prophet picked a handful of pebbles during the Battle of Badr and threw them at the enemy by saying, “May their faces be humiliated”; that handful of soil/pebbles entered the eyes of the enemy soldiers, caused them to escape and to be defeated.  

“It is not ye who slew them; it was Allah. when thou threwest (a handful of dust).” (al-Anfal, 8/17)

That fact is indicated in the verse above.

b. Once, the Prophet (pbuh) said something secret to one of his wives and warned her not to tell anyone about it. However, she told another wife of the Prophet about it. Having been informed about it through revelation, the Prophet (pbuh) reproached her due to telling the secret to someone else. When his wife asked him how he found out about it, the Prophet (pbuh) said, “Allah, who knows and is well-acquainted with everything, told me about it.”

“When the Prophet disclosed a matter in confidence to one of his consorts, and she then divulged it (to another), and Allah made it known to him, he confirmed part thereof and repudiated a part. Then when he told her thereof, she said, ‘Who told thee this?’ He said, ‘He told me Who knows and is well-acquainted (with all things).’” (at-Tahrim, 66/3)

c. The incident of the splitting of the moon is mentioned in hadiths, history sources as well as the Quran.

“The Hour (of Judgment) is nigh, and the moon is cleft asunder. But if they see a Sign, they turn away, and say, ‘This is (but) transient magic.’ (al-Qamar, 54/1-2)

It is underlined in the verses above that the moon was cleft asunder, that the unbelievers could not deny it and that they regarded it as magic.

d. It is emphasized in the first verse of the chapter of al-Isra that the Prophet (pbuh) went to Quds (Jerusalem) from Makkah and that he visited Masjid al-Aqsa one night in a very short period of time. The details of the incident are narrated in hadith and siyar sources and it is stated that he returned to Makkah on the same night and that his bed was still warm when he returned.  

Although he had never been to Quds before, the Prophet (pbuh) answered the questions that he was asked about Masjid al-Aqsa correctly and gave them some other information about it, proving the trueness of his journey.  

e. It is clearly stated in chapter of al-Fath - which was sent down two years before the conquest of Makkah - in the Quran that Makkah will be conquered and it is emphasized that the dream of the Prophet (pbuh) regarding the issue is confirmed. Indeed, Makkah was conquered two years later.  

- All of those incidents mentioned in the Quran are miracles - in the form of news about senses and ghayb (unknown/unseen) - shown by the Prophet. Those miracles are indicated in the Quran (pbuh).

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