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The Miracles of the Quran

Unchallenging Miracles

The miracle of the birth of Jesus was not one to challenge the mistaken beliefs of a particular people. Rather, its purpose was to stand as a testimony to God's infinite might.

Another miracle, the purpose of which was not to challenge but to show The Almighty incomparable power and control over the lows of nature, was His parting of the Red Sea for Moses. The followers of Moses had been trapped between the soldiers of Pharaoh and the sea and were facing certain destruction. But at this moment, when all natural indications pointed to their inevitable doom, Moses still maintained his faith in The Almighty's power to intervene. Praying for divine intervention, he then faced his followers and urged them not to despair or lose faith in God's providence saying:

"Nay, verily! For lo! My Lord is with me. He will guide me." (Qur'an al-Shu'ara 26:62)

With this appeal, Moses actually surrendered the whole affair to The Almighty's supreme will. This was at a moment when human efforts to avoid annihilation was useless. Answering his appeal, God inspired him to strike the water with his staff:

"Smite the sea with your staff. And it parted..." (Qur'an al-Shu'ara 26:63)

The miracle defies all the known laws of physics which govern liquids. The sea's parting by Moses' smiting of its surface cannot be explained in terms of physics. The only possible explanation for this miracle is in terms of the absolute power of the Almighty, Who can simply "say unto a thing 'Be', and it is".

In contemplating these miraculous events which are, indeed, acts of The Almighty, one often finds that the natural pattern that had been interrupted to allow the miracle, returns to normality. Thus the fire that was commanded to be as coolness and as peace to Abraham regained its heat following the miracle's accomplishment. Likewise did the parted sea return to normal after Moses and his followers had safely crossed it.

The miracle of the Qur'an, being God's speech, draws its everlasting validity and vitality from the eternal attributes of God Himself.

A second remarkable feature of God's miracles with which He supported His messengers, or used as portents of His supremacy over creation, is that His agents were always from among the weakest and most humble of His creatures on earth. Having selected them, He then provided them with the power to perform miracles which baffled and bewildered the minds of those who witnessed them.

Because these tangible miracles were performed only once, their impact was greatest on eye-witnesses. For those who had not seen them, they were matters of hearsay which had they not been affirmed in the Qur'an would have possibly been dismissed.

It is sometimes said that scientific advancements might allow man to duplicate such supernatural phenomena as miracles. This assumption is indicative of man's conceit and skeptical nature. Divine miracles will continue to challenge mankind until the Day of Resurrection. No other mortal being could ever smite the sea with a rod and cause it to part, as Moses did.

While arrogant people may contend that modern medicine is capable of curing leprosy and restoring sight to the blind, nevertheless none could achieve these cures by simply touching the one inflicted as Jesus did. Still others may argue that nowadays one can fly to Makkah and back more than once in a day. But Muhammad (PBUH) on his Night Journey was not transported to Jerusalem in a plane, and no one apart from him has been able to levitate unaided by mechanical means. Despite man's tremendous advancements in space exploration no one has yet been able to depict the first heaven, let alone that found beyond.

This power was exhibited in the miracle performed by the small birds during the attack on the Ka'bah by Abraha's army with its elephant. The enormity of this miracle was so confusing and perplexing to the intellect that it engendered some doubt in the minds of some later believers who read about it in the Qur'an. Some scientists found it too difficult to understand and tried to account for the destruction of the elephant and Abraha's army by hypothesizing that the birds might have been carriers of infectious diseased that caused the death of the marauding army.

All this is but mere conjecture, because as we have said earlier, there were eye-witnesses on the day of the incursion, and they would certainly have ridiculed Muhammad (SAW) if the revelation he imparted to them had been false.

God bestowed the same divine power upon Moses, enabling him to part the sea. It was likewise bestowed upon Jesus enabling him to cure the leper and the blind and revive the dead. He gave Abraham the power to revivify when He commanded him to cut a bird in pieces, put each piece on a separate hill top, the call the bird back. When it heard his call it came to him. We must, however, understand that all that Abraham did was to call the bird and that it was God Who permitted the miracle to happen. What does all this imply? The analogy is true as far as all human interaction is concerned. We should not wonder when we witness an oppressor being overcome by a weak or helpless person, or when the defiant are broken down by natural causes. It is a reminder to all of us that God never slumbers and that His divine justice, thought it may come late, never fails to be implemented.


The Islamic Bulletin
P.O. Box 410186, San Francisco, CA 94141-0186

June / July 1992
Dul-Hijjah 1412
Note from the Editors
Letters to the Editor
Italy turns to Islam
The Hajj
Dietary Laws
Quranic Miracles
Qur'an and Science
The Kid's Corner
Why I Embraced Islam
Women in Islam
The Prophet Ishaq (Isaac)
Stories of the Sahabah
Teachings of the Prophet