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Man and Miracles

By

Dr. Arafat K. El-Ashi

Muslim World League - Canada Office


"Man" here refers to the human race and "miracles" are wonderful happenings that are beyond the known laws of nature according to one dictionary. In this sense miracles can either be real wonders or ordinary events that are made to appear as miracles. Here we want to discuss the former.

As a matter of fact, life is full of miracles, not only this but life itself is a miracle. If this is the case why do most people lose sight of this? Maybe because they need an eye-opener, or this maybe due to being accustomed to miracles in our life. What we are trying here is to remove these barriers so that people can feel the presence of miracles in their lives.

Modern science intentionally or unintentionally avoids discussing this issue. It only examines things as they are, and never asks why they take place this way. Thus this area is left for religions. They try to answer certain categorical questions that affect our existence as human beings on this earth like the question of miracles. The Bible is full of miracles that really bewilder and confound the reader as they bewildered and confounded the witnesses.

It became a fashion these days that some hosts of religious TV shows claim that they practice miracles. They ask people to believe that Jesus Christ is their Lord and God. They strike them on the forehead and after a little while, the sick person is claimed to be miraculously cured of his illness. How can we judge these actions?

First of all, we must remember that when Jesus Christ cured people of their illnesses he did ask them to believe in God and not in his own power of healing. He always confirmed to his people that the miracles he practiced are not his own but God's. How then can we attribute these miracles to the one who always asserted that he could do what he did by the leave and with the permission of God. Hence whoever claims for himself anything different must surely be one of the liars.

Allow me now to introduce Islam's concept of miracles. It may be asked, however, why should we bother ourselves with this issue? In what way or ways does it affect our life? Miracles, in fact, are at the core of our human existence. It means a lot to understand and examine their truth.

According to Islam miracles can be divided into three categories:

  1. past

  2. present and

  3. future miracles.

According to the Qur'an, the Holy Book for Muslims, the creation of Adam, the father of humanity, was an outstanding miracle of the past. Miracles also took place at the hands of prophets to prove the truth of their messages to their people. These two types of miracles are naturally miracles of the past. We are only told about them and can only be impressed by them if we believe in what we are told. This is a common ground for all revealed religions i.e. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

What Islam adds, however, is to draw our attention to the present miracles that surround us. The Qur'an does this in order to prove the truth of past as well as future miracles. Let us now q_quote from the Qur'an in order to prove what we say.

About the creation of Adam and Eve, the Qur'an says:

 

"Behold, your Lord said to the angels: I am creating man from clay; when I fashion him and breathe into him of my spirit, then fall down in obedience unto him. The angels thus prostrated themselves, all of them together, not so Iblis. He was haughty and became one of those who reject Faith."

38:71-74

 
 

"O Adam, We said: Verily this is an enemy to you and your wife. Let him not get you both out of the Garden lest you should Land in misery..."

20:117

 
 

"But Satan whispered evil to him. He said: O Adam! Shall I lead you to the Tree of Eternity, and to a kingdom that never decays? As a result they both (Adam and Eve) ate of (it's fruit), and so their nakedness appeared to them. They began to sew together for their covering leaves from the Garden. Thus did Adam disobey His Lord, and allowed himself to be seduced. But His Lord chose him (for His Grace) He turned to him and gave him guidance."

20:120-122

 

The Qur'an, however, does not impose on us this miracle of the creation of the father and mother of humanity without Proving it. First of all, it reminds us that this miracle has been practiced by God Almighty who says to anything Be and it is.

Thus when the Qur'an tries to prove the miracle of the creation of Jesus Christ peace be with him from his virgin mother Mary, it says:

 

"The similitude of Jesus before God is as that of Adam. He created him from dust, then said to him Be and he was."

3:59

 

To prove the past miracles, God draws our attention to the present ones. The Qur'an says:

 

"And God created you from dust, then from a sperm drop, then He made you in pairs. No female conceives or lays down (her burden) but with His knowledge."

35:11

 

Let us contemplate the logic of the Qur'an concerning creation. In the same chapter verse 28, we read:

 

"Don't you see that God sends down rain from the sky? With it we then bring out produce of various colours, and in the mountains are tracts white and red, of various shades of colour, and black intense in hue; and so among men and crawling creatures and cattle, are they of various colours as well. It is only the knowledgeable among God's slaves who truly fear God, the Exalted in Might, the oft-Forgiving."

35:27-28

 

The Qur'an, again, is unique in drawing our attention to the present miracles around us. It says:

 

"Don't you see that God merges night into day and He merges day into night; that He has subjected the sun, and the moon; each running its course a term appointed; and that God is well-acquainted with all that you do."

31:29

 

Again in chapter 30 verse 48, we read:

 

"It is God who sends the winds, which raise clouds, then does He spread them in the sky as He wills, and breaks them into fragments, until you see rain drops issue from their midst then when He has made them reach such of His servants as He wills, behold, they do rejoice."

30:48

 

The Qur'an also refers to other past miracles i.e. those given to previous messengers of God. To Noah, for instance God gave the Flood by which all disbelievers were wiped out. To Abraham, God made fire peace and tranquility and deprived it of its power of burning. To Moses, God gave the gaff by which he could open a path in to middle of the sea and reach to safety he and his followers while his opponents perished by drowning. To Jesus Christ, God gave the power to heal the blind, the leper and restore the dead to life.

It is true that test and many other miracles have been mentioned in both the Qur'an and the Bible; but the Qur'an shows us the way to accept those past miracles. In chapter 30 we read the following:

 

"So give glory to God when you reach evening and when you rise in the morning. To Him is due all praise in the heavens and the earth and in the late afternoon and when you reach noon. it is He who brings out the living from the dead and brings out the dead from the living; and Who gives life to earth after it is dead and thus will you be brought back (from the dead)."

30:17-19

"Among His signs (miracles) is that He created you from dust and then you are men scattered far and wide. And among His signs is this: that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them: and He has put love and mercy between you. Verily in that are signs for those who reflect..."

30:20-21

"And among His signs is the night, a time for you to sleep, and the day to seek His bounty."

30:23

 

To prove future miracles the Qur'an uses the most acceptable logic. Here is one example:

 

"O mankind! if you have a doubt concerning the Resurrection (consider) that We created you out of dust, then out of sperm, then out of leech-like clot, then out of a morsel of flesh, partly formed and partly unformed, in order that We may manifest Our power to you; and We cause whom We will to stay in the wombs for an appointed term, then do we bring you out as infants, then foster you so that you may reach your age of full strength; and some of you are called to die, and some are sent back to the feeblest old age, so that they know nothing after having known much and you see the earth barren and lifeless, but when We pour down rain on it, it is stirred to life and swells, and it puts forth every kind of beautiful growth (in pairs).

Even so, because God is the Reality; it is He who gives life to the dead, and it is He who has power over all things; and verity the Hour will come: there can be no doubt about it, and that God will raise up all who are in the graves."

22:5-7

 

Let me now cite two situations referred to in the Qur'an. Abraham, the father of all three revealed religions, was the son of Azar who used to be an idol-maker and worshiper.

 

"Abraham said to his father Azar: Why do you take idols for gods? I see you and your people in manifest error.

Hence we showed Abraham the sovereignty and laws of heavens and earth, so that he might have certitude. When night covered him over he saw a planet. He exclaimed: This is my Lord; but when (the planet) set he said: I don't love those that set. When he saw the moon rising in splendour, he exclaimed: This is my Lord, but when it again set he said: Unless my Lord guide me, I shall surely be among those who go astray.

Then when he saw the sun rising in splendour he exclaimed: This is my Lord. This is greater; but when it set also he said: O my people! I am indeed free from your guilt of ascribing partners with God. For me, I have set my face firmly and truly towards Him who created heavens and earth and never shall I be one of the polytheists."

6:74-79

 

The other situation is between Abraham again and the dictator of his time who claimed to have the power of life and death. The Qur'an says:

 

"Bethink you of him who had an argument with Abraham about his Lord, because Allah had given him the kingdom; how, when Abraham said: My Lord is He who gives life and causes death, he answered: I give life and cause death. Abraham said: Lo! Allah causes the sun to rise in the East, so do you cause it to come up from the West. Thus was the disbeliever abashed. And Allah guides not wrongdoing folk"

2:258

 

To conclude, miracles in the Qur'an have one aim i.e. to guide man to his Creator who is the source of all miracles.

 

This Page Last Updated 25/11/2009 3:58:10 p.m.