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Home News Miracles in Islam

Miracles in Islam

Amna Anwaar  .  Monday October 30, 2017
 . Knowledge

We often find ourselves questioning whether miracles are real or are they just a subjective interpretation of an experience? How can we ever be sure? Well, if any of these questions have ever popped up in your head, perhaps this article might help you understand some things better.

A miracle is also known as ‘mu‘jizah’ in the Arabic language. In Islam, a miracle is an extraordinary occurrence that is beyond the common laws of nature or any laws, for that matter, pertaining to this world. It is an act brought about through direct intervention by Allah (SWT) Himself. The term mu’jizah originates from the basic word ‘ajz’, which has the literal meaning of something that incapacitates and is out of the ordinary. According to Islamic thought, miracles can only happen by the permission of Allah (SWT) and it is one of His extraordinary signs through which He supported His beloved Messengers and Prophets who were sent on earth to spread His message.

All the Messengers who were appointed by Allah (SWT) and granted Prophethood were just human beings – not Gods or even demi-Gods – and were sent down for the sole purpose of directing mankind. Every Prophet was a role model for mankind, in terms of their impeccable character, righteous actions, their strong and unyielding faith and their dedication to Allah’s (SWT) cause. Hence, in order to succeed in their missions, Allah (SWT) bestowed them with miracles – which served as the Prophet’s means of validation of the truthfulness of their word. Given that the purpose of the miracle was to get people to believe in the power of Allah (SWT) and in the fact that nothing can happen without His permission, it was pertinent that the nature of the miracle would, in essence, surpass even the most advanced level of knowledge present at that particular time in history. Therefore, Allah (SWT) made sure His miracles were attuned for the population they were being sent for, i.e. the miracle itself was customized as such that the people would be able to understand it, integrate it and believe in it. Let us look into the example of Prophet Musa (AS). During his Prophethood, the society was ridden with witchcraft and sorcery, hence, Prophet Musa’s (AS) miracles were of similar nature; the turning of his walking stick into a snake which swallowed all the false entities of the Pharaoh’s magicians. The magicians, who were well versed in deception and illusion, understood at once that Prophet Musa’s (AS) actions could be nothing but a miracle and once they realized it, the magicians fell down in prostration for they could not disregard the truth of Allah’s (SWT) power.

“They said, "O Moses, either you throw [your staff], or we will be the ones to throw [first]. He said, "Throw," and when they threw, they bewitched the eyes of the people and struck terror into them, and they presented a great [feat of] magic. And We inspired to Moses, "Throw your staff," and at once it devoured what they were falsifying. So the truth was established, and abolished was what they were doing. And Pharaoh and his people were overcome right there and became debased. And the magicians fell down in prostration [to Allah].” (Quran 7:115-120)

Here, it becomes pertinent to note that a miracle cannot be equated with magic/witchcraft, nor can it be equated with karamah.

Firstly, a miracle is something stupendously out of the ordinary and something that defies all worldly laws and it only occurs by the Will of Allah (SWT). It results in nothing but goodness and it cannot be undone or reversed. Witchcraft, on the other hand, is carried out according to the forbidden laws learned by the one who practices witchcraft. It only causes harm and destruction. However, magic can be reversed with the help of the Holy Quran.

Secondly, karamah is something extraordinary that comes about by the Will of Allah (SWT) but it happens at the hand of a beloved servant of Allah (SWT) who is deeply righteous and is deeply loved by Him. It is meant for someone who is close to Allah (SWT) and is not a Prophet. It is believed that karamah can only occur for a person who lives his/her life in full accordance to the Sharia’h and Islamic teachings. The karamah may be in the form of knowledge, power, miraculous incidents etc. Just as the mu’jizah is something meant for the entire world to witness and to benefit from, the karamah is something which only benefits the person it is meant for – it is something personal. The karamah itself may just be a test for the individual; some souls are blessed through it but for some, it may become the cause of their downfall. An example of the karamah being bestowed on a believer can be given in reference to Maryam (AS), the mother of Isa (AS):

“So her Lord accepted her with good acceptance and caused her to grow in a good manner and put her in the care of Zechariah. Every time Zechariah entered upon her in the prayer chamber, he found with her provision. He said, "O Mary, from where is this [coming] to you?" She said, "It is from Allah. Indeed, Allah provides for whom He wills without account." (Quran 3:37)

However, the biggest miracle of all is the Holy book of Allah (SWT), the Holy Quran itself. It is a testament to the ultimate truth, the Oneness of Allah (SWT) and it serves as an eternal example of Allah’s (SWT) power, authority, and wisdom. It is unparalleled and there is no book which can ever compare to its perfection. It is, indeed, a living miracle bestowed by Allah’s (SWT) on our beloved Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and it remains, to this day and will remain till the end of time, the biggest miracle of all.

Narrated by Abu Huraira: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Every Prophet was given miracles because of which people believed, but what I have been given, is Divine Inspiration which Allah has revealed to me. So I hope that my followers will outnumber the followers of the other Prophets on the Day of Resurrection." (Bukhari 4981)

Miracles exist and they are real. They are not superficial pieces of imagination – they have been occurring since the start of time and they stand as a testament to the power of Allah (SWT). To deny His miracles and the miracles sent down through His Messengers is to deny Him.

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