Why did the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) not always want miracles? If he had wished, miracles could always have happened.

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Miracle means for a prophet to be allowed by Allah to do some things that people cannot do in order to prove their prophethood. Allah allows miracles in order to support and confirm His prophets when necessary. Miracles happened in the lives of all prophets. Therefore, it is like a divine law.

There are three kinds of miracles:

The first one is spiritual (mental) miracle: The greatest and perfect example of it is the Quran. This miracle will continue forever; it is timeless. Scholars of rhetoric have proved that the Quran is a miracle based on definite evidences.

The second one is material miracle: Those miracles are material miracles that are based on time and place and that are not continuous. Those miracles occurred when they were necessary or after certain obligatory states. Those miracles occurred in the lives of prophets a lot. Hadith scholars narrated about one thousand miracles as a result of definite investigation.

For instance, about a thousand miracles like the splitting of the moon, Miraj (Ascension), water gushing forth from the fingers of the prophet, feeding a lot of people with a little food were conveyed to us through definite chains of narrators.

The third one is miracle of giving information about the things to happen in the future: They are related to the news given by the Prophet about the things to happen in the future. For instance, the news about the end of time, Day of Judgment and similar hadiths are examples of it.

"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)." (al-An’am, 6/35)

It is stated in the verse above that miracles are not compelling and clear enough to make people believe unavoidably.

On the other hand, we, Muslims, learn about our personal lifestyle as well as our social life from the Prophet; we will do as he did. It was necessary for the Prophet to do those things in his life and live as a human being so that we would imitate him. If his life had been full of miracles, he would not have served as a model for us and we would not have taken him as an example.

Yes, if he had wanted, he would have buried all polytheists like Qarun (Croesus) with the permission of Allah; he would not have suffered hunger and any troubles; he would have lived in the world as if he were in Paradise. However, in that case, he would not be an imam and model for his ummah.

Due to this secret, he showed miracles from time to time in order to make people approve his cause, to persuade the unbelievers, to motivate the believers and when it was necessary. At other times, he obeyed the laws of Allah in the universe imposed by Him more than everybody else did as he obeyed Allah’s orders and prohibitions.

He ate, drank, felt hungry and sad, got ill, got married, slept, got tired, etc. like all human beings. When the Companions wrapped a stone around their stomachs not to feel the pain of hunger, he wrapped two stones. He put on his armor when he fought against the enemy. He ordered his Companions to take shelter in the war; he got wounded and suffered.

Every state and deed of the Prophet were evidences for his truthfulness and prophethood but not all of his states and deeds need to be extraordinary and miraculous. For, Allah sent him as a human being so that he would be a model to his ummah in all aspects and would be a guide and leader that will enable the community to attain happiness both in the world and the hereafter 

On the other hand, the world is a place of testing and experience; therefore, things would not be very clear to force everybody to believe. The door is open for the mind in the hall of testing and the will of the mind is not removed.

If everything were to shown by miracles, human will would be of no use. Abu Jahl would have believed like Abu Bakr. Testing and offer would be useless; coal and diamond would be in the same level.

We should try to make his life our life.

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