Apart from the greatest miracle given to him, the Qur’ān, the Prophet performed many physical miracles witnessed by his contemporaries numbering in hundreds, and in some cases thousands. The miracle reports have reached us by a reliable and strong methods of transmission unmatched in world history – the hadith. It is as if the miracles were performed in front of our eyes. These miracles were witnessed by thousands of believers and skeptics, following which portions of the Qur’ān were revealed mentioning the supernatural events.
The Qur’ān made some miracles eternal by etching them in the conscious of the believers. The ancient detractors would simply remain silent when these verses were recited. Through these events, the believers grew more certain of the truth of Prophet Muhammad and the Qur’ān.
The Prophet Muhammad, through prayer or invoking blessings from God, was seen bringing milk to the udders of dry sheep, transforming camels virtually too weary to walk into the fastest and most energetic of the bunch, transforming a stick of wood into a sword for soldier whose sword had broken [Ukashah ibn Mihsan at the Battle of Badr] and feeding and watering the masses from miniscule quantities. Scores of hungry poor were fed from a bowl of milk which appeared sufficient for only one. An entire army numbering more than a thousand were fed from a measure of flour and pot of meat so small as to be thought sufficient for only ten persons at the ‘Battle of the Trench,’ after which the flour and the meat seemed undiminished. So much was left over that a gift of food was made to the neighbour of the house in which the meal was prepared. Another army of 1,400, headed for the Battle of Tabuk, was fed from a few handfuls of mixed foodstuffs, over which the Prophet invoked blessings and the increase was sufficient to fill not only the stomachs of the army, but their depleted saddlebags as well.
Evil spirits [Jinn] were exorcised, the broken leg of Abdullah ibn Ateeq and the war-wounded leg of Salama ibn Aqwa were healed on the spot [each on separate occasions], the bleeding wound of al-Harith ibn Aws cauterized and healed instantly, the poisonous sting of Abu Bakr’s foot quieted and the vision of a blind man restored. On a separate occasion, Qatadah ibn an-Nu’man was wounded, in the Battle of Badr, so severely that his eye prolapsed into his cheek. His companions wanted to cut off the remaining attachments, but the Prophet supplicated over the eye, replaced it and from that day on Qatadah could not tell which was the injured eye and which was not.
When called to wrestle Rukanah, an unbeaten champion, the Prophet won miraculously. Merely touching Rukanah on the shoulder, he fell down, defeated. In rematch, the miracle was repeated. A third challenge brought the same result.
When asked to call for rain, he did and rain fell. When requested to feed the people his supplications brought sustenance, from where, the people did not know. When interceding as a healer, wounds and injuries disappeared.
In short, the prayers and supplications of the Prophet brought relief and blessings to the believers and yet, whether being stoned on Ta’if, starved at Makkah, beaten in front of the Ka’bah, or humiliated amidst his tribe and loved ones, the Prophet’s example appears to have been one of facing personal trials, of which there was an abundance, by relying upon internal patience to calling for divine intervention.
Splitting of the Moon: A Miracle
“The Hour has come near, and the moon has split [in two]. And if they see a sign
[i.e., miracle], they turn away and say, “Passing magic.”
During the time of the Prophet, the pagans of Makkah had asked Prophet Muhammad for a miracle. In response, the Prophet split the moon, one part remaining over the mountain and the other part disappearing behind it [the mountain]. However, the pagans said, ‘Muhammad has enchanted us, but he cannot bewitch the world; so let us wait for people to come from the neighbouring parts of the land and hear what they have to say.’
A skeptic might ask, do we have any independent historical evidence to suggest the moon was ever split? After all, people around the world should have seen this marvellous event and recorded it. The answer to this question is twofold.
First, people around the world could not have seen it as it would have been daytime, late night, or early morning many parts of the world. The following table will give the reader some idea of corresponding world times to 9:00 pm Makkah time:
Rio de Janeiro
Also, it is not likely that a large number of people in lands close by would be observing the moon at the exact same time. They had no reason to. Even if someone did, it does not necessarily mean people believed him and kept a written record of it, especially when many civilisations at that time did not preserve their own history in writing.
Second, we actually have an independent, and quite amazing, historical corroboration of the event from an Indian king of that time.
Kerala is a state of India. The state stretches for 360 miles along the Malabar Coast on the southwestern side of the Indian peninsula. King Chakrawati Farmas of Malabar was a Chera king, Cheraman perumal of Kodungallure. He is recorded to have seen the moon split. The incident is documented in a manuscript kept at the India Office Library, London, reference number: Arabic, 2807, 152-173.
A group of Muslim merchant’s passing by Malabar on their way to China spoke to the king about how God had supported the Arabian prophet with the miracle of the splitting of the moon. The shocked king said he had seen it with his own eyes as well, deputised his son, and left for Arabia to meet the Prophet in person.
The Malabari king met the Prophet, and bore the two testimonies of faith, learned the basics of faith, but passed away on his way back and was buried in the port city of Zafar, Yemen.
It is said that the contingent, led by a Muslim, Malik bin Dinar, continued to Kodungallure, the Chera capital, and built the first, and India’s oldest, mosque in the area in 629 C.E. which exists today. The news of his accepting Islam reached Kerala where people accepted Islam. The people of Lakshadweep and the Moplas [Mapillais] from the Calicut province of Kerala are converts from those days. The king was also considered a ‘companion’ – a term used for a person who met the Prophet and died as a Muslim – his name registered in the mega-compendiums chronicling the Prophet’s companions. Abu Sa’id al-Khudri, a companion of Prophet Muhammad, states: “The Indian king gifted the Prophet with a jar of ginger. The companions ate it piece by piece. I took a bite as well.”
A pre-renovation picture of the Cheraman
Juma Masjid, India’s oldest mosque dating
back to 629 C.E.
Moon Split – Visible Today
Dr. Zaghloul El-Naggar, professor of earth science and geology, recalls, ‘[firstly] the Indian and Chinese calendars have recorded the incident of the splitting of the moon…. While I was giving a lecture at the Faculty of Medicine at Cardiff University, in Wales, a Muslim asked me a question about the verses....about the splitting of the moon, and whether it is considered as one of the scientific signs which are mentioned in the Qur’ān and whether there is any scientific evidence discovered to explain this incident. My answer was that this incident is considered one of the most tangible miracles, which took place to support the Prophet when he was challenged by the polytheists and disbelievers of Quraysh, showing them this miracle to prove that he is a Messenger of God. Anyway, miracles take place as unusual incidents that break all regular laws of nature. Therefore, conventional science is unable to explain how miracles take place, and if they were not mentioned in the Qur’ān and in the Sunnah of the Prophet we would not have been obliged to believe in them…When I finished my speech, a British man from the audience…asked to add something to my answer.
He said: “It is these verses, at the beginning of sūrah al-Qamar that made me embrace Islam in the late seventies.” This occurred while he was doing extensive research in comparative religion, and one of the Muslims gave him a copy of translation of the meanings of the Qur’ān. When he opened this copy for the first time, he came across Surat al-Qamar, and he read the verses at the beginning of the sūrah, and could not believe that the moon had split into two distinct parts and they were rejoined, so he closed the copy of the translation and kept it aside.’
In 1978, the British man was destined by God’s Will to watch a program on BBC, where the host was talking with three American space scientists and accusing the USA of over spending and wasting millions of dollars on space projects while millions of people were in a state of poverty here on Earth. The scientist responded, “We were studying the moon surface to examine the extent of similarities with the Earth’s surface...we were astonished to find a belt of melted rocks that cuts across the surface and deep into the core of the moon. This information was promptly given to our geologists, where they were shocked by their findings and stated that this phenomenon could never happen unless the moon at one time was split and brought back together and the surface rocky belt is the resulting collision at the moment of this occurrence.”
A rocky streak [gap] is clearly shown across
the moon surface
He went on to say, “When I heard this, I jumped off my chair , and said this is a miracle which took place fourteen hundred years ago to support Muhammad and the Qur’ān narrates it in such a detailed way. After this long period and during the age of science and technology, God employs people (non-Muslims) who spent all this money for nothing but to prove that this miracle had actually happened. Then, I said to myself, this must be the true religion, and I went back to the translation of the meanings of the Qur’ān, reading it eagerly. It was these verses at the opening of sūrah al-Qamar that lie behind my…[conversion] to Islam.”
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