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DID MUHAMMAD PERFORM MIRACLES?

Article By: MIRIAM AGNES YUSUF
Non-fiction



MANY SINCERE MUSLIMS BELIEVE THAT MUHAMMAD PERFORMED MANY MIRACLES. BUT WHAT DOES THE QURAN ACTUALLY TEACH? IT IS VITAL FOR MUSLIMS TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THE QURAN ACTUALLY TEACHES.


Submitted:Mar 21, 2013    Reads: 93    Comments: 1    Likes: 0   


DID MUHAMMAD PERFORM MIRACLES?

The Qur'an is the only book in Islam for which divine inspiration has been explicitly recognized by Muslims. Nonetheless, the Qur'an proves that Muhammad performed no verifiable supernatural miracles apart from the inspiration that he received. The miracle claims for Muhammad do not occur in the Qur'an but in the Hadith (Islamic Tradition). This is a serious contradiction because if Muhammad did perform miracles, they would have been recorded in the Qur'an. Instead, there are more than twenty Qur'anic passages that show that whenever Muhammad was asked by his skeptics to perform a miracle, he either stayed silent or said that he could not do so because he was a human being like any other, with no function except to preach and to warn. The most explicit of this acknowledgment is found in the following Qur'anic verses.

Surah 17:90-93: They say: "We shall not believe in thee, until thou cause a spring to gush forth for us from the earth, Or thou have a garden of date-palms and grapes, and cause rivers to gush forth therein abundantly; "Or thou cause the sky to fall in pieces, as thou sayest (will happen), against us; or thou bring God and the angels before (us) face to face: "Or thou have a house adorned with gold, or thou mount a ladder right into the skies. No, we shall not even believe in thy mounting until thou send down to us a book that we could read." Say: "Glory to my Lord! Am I aught but a man, - an apostle?" (Yusuf Ali)

They said, "We will not believe you unless you cause a spring to gush out of the ground. "Or unless you own a garden of date palms and grapes, with rivers running through it. "Or unless you cause masses from the sky, as you claimed, to fall on us. Or unless you bring God and the angels before our eyes. "Or unless you own a luxurious mansion, or unless you climb into the sky. Even if you do climb, we will not believe unless you bring a book that we can read." Say, "Glory be to my Lord. Am I any more than a human messenger?" (Khalifa)

The following Surahs also shows that no miraculous works was granted to Muhammad by Allah. And like the rest of the people, he had no knowledge of the unknown:

Surah 10:20: They (unbelievers) say, "Why has his Lord not given him some miracles to (support his claim of being His Messenger)?" Say "(The knowledge) of the unseen certainly belongs to God. Wait and I too shall be waiting with you. (M. Sarwar)

And they say: Why is not a sign sent to him from his Lord? Say: The unseen is only for Allah; therefore wait -- surely I too, with you am of those who wait. (Shakir)

Surah 67:25-26: And they say: When (will) this promise (be fulfilled), if ye are truthful? Say: The knowledge (thereof is only with Allah and I am only a plain warner. (Shakir)

And in addition, the following Qur'anic verses specifically prove that a warner is not qualified to perform miracles:

Surah 13:7: The unbelievers say, "Why has God not sent him, (Muhammad), some miracles." (Muhammad), you are only a warner. For every nation there is a guide. (M. Sarwar)

Surah 29:50: And they say: Why are not signs sent down upon him from his Lord? Say: The signs are only with Allah, and I am only a plain warner. (Shakir)

The above Qur'anic verses indicate that performing miracles is not one of the functions of Muhammad. But Muhammad's contemporaries demanded proof because he had acknowledged the display of miracles by past prophets and was comparing himself to Moses and Jesus. So when he claimed to speak in God's name, they wanted divine assurance.

Surah 21:5: They have said, "It, (the Qur'an), is only the result of some confused dreams. He is only a poet. He should show us some miracles, as the ancient Prophets had done." (M. Sarwar)

Even though the Qur'an was revealed in their language, the Quraysh polytheists were not impressed. However, they had sworn that if any of the miracles which they were demanding of Muhammad should occur, they would then believe in his message.

Surah 6:109: And they swear by Allah with the strongest of their oaths, that if a sign came to them they would most certainly believe in it. Say: Signs are only with Allah; and what should make you know that when it comes they will not believe? (Shakir)

Their persistence in demanding miracles, and their sworn promises that in the event of one they would believe, gradually engendered hopes in the depths of Muhammad's inner soul that Allah would certainly send a miraculous confirmation of his prophethood which would awe every objector into belief. But none came. And doubts began to set in into Muhammad's heart.

These conclusions are not mere conjectures or hypotheses since they are substantiated by other Qur'anic passages which show that Muhammad experienced a mood of uncertainty when no sign from Allah came to confirm his mission. The most explicit passage is stated in the following Qur'anic verses:

Surah 10:94-95: If thou wert in doubt as to what We have revealed unto thee, then ask those who have been reading the Book from before thee: the Truth hath indeed come to thee from thy Lord: so be in no wise of those in doubt. Nor be of those who reject the signs of Allah, or thou shalt be of those who perish. (Yusuf Ali)

And if thou (Muhammad) art in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto thee, then question those who read the Scripture (that was) before thee. Verily the Truth from thy Lord hath come unto thee. So be not thou of the waverers. And be not thou of those who deny the revelations of Allah, for then wert thou of the losers. (Pickthall)

It can be seen that Muhammad underwent a sort of inner spiritual crisis when he lost hope of a miracle. And Allah found it necessary to reproof him:

Surah 11:12: Then, it may be that you will give up part of what is revealed to you and your breast will become straitened by it because they say: Why has not a treasure been sent down upon him or an angel come with him? You are only a warner; and Allah is custodian over all things. (Shakir)

You may feel the inclination to leave aside a part of what is revealed to you and you may be distressed because they say, 'Why has no treasure been sent down to him, why has no angel come with him?' But you are only to give warning. God is the guardian of all things. (W. Khan)

Muhammad incurs a rebuke from Allah:

Surah 6:35: And if their turning away is hard on you, then if you can seek an opening (to go down) into the earth or a ladder (to ascend up) to heaven so that you should bring them a sign and if Allah had pleased He would certainly have gathered them all on guidance, therefore be not of the ignorant. (Shakir)

Muslims who attribute phenomenal status to Muhammad and believe that Allah has set him on a higher plane of knowledge should seriously consider the following Qur'anic verses. Muhammad was commanded by Allah to declare:

Surah 7:188: Say: I do not control any benefit or harm for my own soul except as Allah please; and had I known the unseen I would have had much of good and no evil would have touched me; I am nothing but a warner and the giver of good news to a people who believe. (Shakir)

Despite the absence of any Qur'anic attributions of supernatural power to Muhammad, after his death, pious Muslim miracle-mongers began to say that he had performed all sorts of miraculous marvels. The greater the distance in time and space, the more the mass of fiction grew. Even though some of Islam's scholars knew it to be implausible and considered it to be unreliable, they remained silent.

As seen in the above Qur'anic verses, Muhammad denied any possession of supernatural powers. If he actually performed the miracles attributed to him by miracle-mongers in the Hadiths, then how are we to understand all the above verses that deny such occurrences? It is incredible that none of the miracle-mongers asked why no miracles to authenticate the Prophet's calling ever occurred. Nor did they ask why the Prophet remained illiterate. Imagine the advantage that Muhammad would have had if he was miraculously blessed to become literate. He could have written down the Qur'an with his own blessed hand instead of hiring scribes. [1] Most noteworthy of all is the fact that even Muslim scholars, who read the Qur'an and who knew Arabic well enough to understand its meanings, remained captive to these delusions which directly conflicted with explicit Qur'anic texts.

For example, Qadi 'Iyad, (1088 C.E.-1149 C.E.), an Andalusian judge, theologian, and genealogist, wrote a book in praise of Muhammad. He stated that whenever the Prophet passed a place, the stones and trees would walk up and say, "Peace be upon you, O Apostle of God!"

Muslims will only too readily conclude that such miracles did take place. But how do they then reconcile their claim with the Qur'anic verses which testify that no miracles occurred when the Quraysh polytheists refused to believe without one? The sort of miracle that those Qurayshites demanded of Muhammad was relatively minor. They only wanted Muhammad to make water flow from a rock or to turn a stone into gold. If stones uttered greetings to Muhammad, why did a stone strike him on the mouth and injure him at the battle of Uhud? [2] Maybe this particular stone was an infidel. And if in reality trees were to walk up to Muhammad and greet him, would not the unbelievers look at him in awe and immediately accept him as a prophet? Instead, Muhammad's contemporaries who knew him actually called him names such as these:

Surah 15:6: "And they say: O thou unto whom the Reminder is revealed, lo! Thou art indeed a madman!" (Pickthall)

Surah 37:36: And said: Shall we forsake our gods for a mad poet? (Pickthall)

Surah 44:14: Yet they turn away from him and say: "Tutored (by others), a man possessed." (Yusuf Ali)

Let us now carefully analyze the following Qur'anic verses.

Surah 29:50-51: And they say: Why are not signs sent down upon him from his Lord? Say: The signs are only with Allah, and I am only a plain warner. Is it not enough for them that We have revealed to you the Book which is recited to them? Most surely there is mercy in this and a reminder for a people who believe. (Shakir) [3]

Surah 29:51: "Is it not enough for them that We have sent down unto thee the Scripture which is read unto them?" (Pickthall)

The above Qur'anic verses give us another reason as to why Allah did not empower Muhammad with the ability to perform miracles. Instead of miracles, Muhammad is given the Qur'an. And Allah asks rhetorically, "Is it not enough?" Any claim that Muhammad performed miracles would now imply that the Qur'an is indeed inadequate. It also means that Allah is wrong in his conclusion concerning the sufficiency of the Qur'an for the accomplishment of the task assigned to Muhammad. This Qur'anic verse sounds the death knell for any Muslim who claims that Muhammad performed miracles. Muhammad presents the Qur'an as his only miracle. This one miracle he claimed was sufficient to prove his prophethood. [4] If Muhammad needed to provide a miracle in addition to the Qur'an then this only serves to falsify his own statement regarding the Qur'an's sufficiency. In view of this fact, it is really ironical that each time Muslims attribute miracles to Muhammad, it only proves that Allah lied in the Qur'an.

Surah 13:43:"They who disbelieve say: Thou art no messenger of Allah. Say: Allah, and whosoever hath knowledge of the Scripture, is sufficient witness between me and you." (Pickthall)

(Muhammad), the unbelievers say, "You are not a Messenger." Say, "God and those who have the knowledge of the Book are sufficient witness (to my prophethood)." (Sarwar)

Notice that miraculous acts are not included as witnesses to validate Muhammad's prophethood. Had Muhammad performed miracles, they would stand as a strong testimony to his prophethood. However, had Muhammad actually performed miracles as claimed by Muslims today, then this would only prove the Qur'an to be erroneous because it denies the performance of any miracle by him. On the other hand if the Qur'an is right and Muhammad did not perform any miracle, then, how can Muslims be sure that he was sent by God? In contrast, notice how the Qur'an itself testifies that Jesus' prophethood was authenticated by the miraculous works that he performed with the backing of God. The Qur'an records the strong testimony of Jesus:

Surah 3:49: I heal the blind and the leprous, and bring the dead to life with Allah's permission and I inform you of what you should eat and what you should store in your houses; most surely there is a sign in this for you, if you are believers. (Shakir)

Let us now analyze the claim that the Qur'an is a miracle. This claim must be analyzed objectively. For a miracle to be truly miraculous, it should be accepted as a miracle by any individual or by any national group. For example, when a dead man is raised, this is considered as a miracle in Europe, Africa, Asia or in any place on earth. Both the Bible and the Qur'an records the miracles of Jesus. He cleansed the lepers, raised the dead, healed the sick, cast out demons and performed many other powerful works. This is the definition of a true miracle. It does not need any interpretation, translation, education, explanation or above the average intelligence to say this is a miracle.

Now, try giving the Qur'an to a man who does not know Arabic, and say, "This is a miracle." What do you think would be his response? We can almost say with certainty that his response would be something like this:

What miracle? "Are you kidding me? I don't understand this language. I don't understand Arabic. How could this be a miracle? It might be a miracle for you, but not for me."

Today, about 80% of mankind cannot see the Qur'an as anything remotely close to the meaning of the word miracle. For the remaining 20% who are Muslims, most of them have never read the Qur'an or understood it. And today, doubts about the Qur'an are slowly being expressed by a growing number of intellectuals who read the book with understanding. This is not surprising because when they study the Qur'an in a language they could understand, they realized it contains many errors and morally unacceptable teachings. Consider for example, the following Qur'anic verses:

Surah 43:10: "(Allah) has made for you the earth (like a bed) spread out."

And

Surah 15:19: "And the earth We have spread out (like a carpet)."

Do you not agree that it is only natural for doubts to set in when you read verses such as these? Now, if you go to the Bible book of Isaiah you will find the following truth recorded in it:

Isaiah 40:22: "There is One who is dwelling above the circle of the earth."

The Bible book of Isaiah was written around 700 years before Christ and it indicates clearly that planet earth is a circle. Muhammad, who came 600 years after Christ, said in the Qur'an that the planet earth is flat as a bed. Is this the "miracle" of the Qur'an?

What about moral teachings? How does the Qur'an measure-up in the field of moral teachings? Can it, at least, be considered miraculous in this area? Though there are numerous morally unacceptable teachings in the Qur'an, but we will consider only two such teachings to prove our point.

Surah 33:50: O PROPHET! Behold, We have made lawful to thee thy wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowers, as well as those whom thy right hand has come to possess from among the captives of war whom God has bestowed upon thee. (M. Asad)

O Prophet! surely We have made lawful to you your wives whom you have given their dowries, and those whom your right hand possesses out of those whom Allah has given to you as prisoners of war. (Shakir)

This verse is only for Muhammad. Allah made it lawful for Muhammad to indulge in sexual relationship with his wives and the female captives of war. Notice too, that it is Allah who provides the slave girls to his prophet. To put it simply, the author of the Qur'an is acting like a pimp.

And the following commandment is given to the rest of the Muslim men.

Surah 4:24: And all married women (are forbidden unto you) save those (captives) whom your right hands possess. It is a decree of Allah for you. (Pickthall)

Also forbidden are married women, except those who have passed into your hands as prisoners of war. This is a commandment of God to you. (W. Khan)

This means while a Muslim is prohibited from engaging in extramarital sex with married women, there is an exception to this rule if the married woman is a captive or a slave. Under such circumstances, a Muslim man can have sex with married captives or slave girls in his possession.

Can a book containing immoral teachings such as these be considered as a miracle? If Muslims are looking for a "Clear Sign" or "evidence of the Truth" or "sufficient miracle for a Clear Evidence of the truth" they should look for it elsewhere. They should look for it in the Holy Bible. This advice comes from none other than Allah. Note how Allah testified to this fact:

Surah 20:133: They say: "Why does he not bring us a sign from his Lord?" Has not a Clear Sign come to them of all that was in the former Books of revelation? (Yusuf Ali)

They have said, "Why has he, (Muhammad), not brought some miracle from his Lord?" Have they not received the previously revealed heavenly Books as the evidence of the Truth? (Sarwar)

And they say: "If only he brought us a miracle from his Lord!" Has there not come to them as a sufficient miracle a Clear Evidence of the truth in what is to be found in the former Scriptures? (Ali Ünal)

The "former Books of revelation" are none other than the Torah and the Gospel. The Qur'an is thus confirming the fact that "Clear Sign" or "evidence for the Truth" or "sufficient miracle for a Clear Evidence of the truth" can be found in the Holy Bible.

To believe that Muhammad performed miracles, would amount to a rejection of the teachings of the Qur'an. This is because Allah very explicitly stated in the Qur'an that he would refrain from sending any signs or miracles.

Surah 17:59: "And We refrain from sending the Signs, only because the men of former generations treated them as false: We sent the she-camel to the Thamud to open their eyes, but they treated her wrongfully: We only send the Signs by way of terror and warning from evil." (Yusuf Ali)

Nothing prevents Us from sending miraculous signs, except the fact that previous peoples denied them. We gave the people of Thamud the she-camel as a clear sign, yet they maltreated it. We send signs only to give warning. (Abdel Haleem)

This Qur'anic verse is one of the clearest proofs that Muhammad did absolutely no miracles whatsoever. The text says that Allah refrained from providing miracles, which would make no sense at all if Muhammad did indeed perform signs and wonders. Allah has also indicated within these verses the reasons for not sending miracles. He finds it futile to provide miracles because people in the past did not believe them.

It's hard to imagine how Muslims could put faith in these lame excuses of Allah. Allah is in effect saying: "We don't do miracles any more because the people of Thamud killed our she-camel." Why does Allah hold back miracles on the account of the misbehavior of a few people? Is it fair to use them to represent and judge all future individuals? Without miracles, the only way Muhammad could make his impotent god appear legitimate and powerful is by ascribing prior miracles, which is recorded in the Holy Bible, to him. This was an incredibly cunning plan.

According to the above Qur'anic verse, Allah now sends signs only 'by way of terror'. In other words, he now wants to terrorize the unbelievers. Even this is an exercise in futility because in the very next verse Allah admits that terrorizing the unbelievers only hardens them:

Surah 17:60: "We put terror and warning into them, but it only increases their inordinate transgression!" (Yusuf Ali)

It is interesting to note that Allah did not send a sign, even in the way of terror, when the Qurayshites themselves asked to be terrorized by causing the sky to fall on them as Muhammad claimed would happen to them?

Surah 17:92: "Or thou cause the sky to fall in pieces, as thou sayest will happen, against us;" (Yusuf Ali)

Nothing happened. Let us now analyze Surah 17:59 once again but this time to prove a different point altogether. To prove that Allah is a liar and the Qur'an is a lie.

As we have seen that in Surah 17:59 Allah states that he now "refrain from sending the Signs (miracles) because the men of former generations treated them as false: We sent the she-camel to the Thamud to open their eyes, but they treated her wrongfully."

According to Surah 7:73, 75, 77, the prophet Salih was with the people of Thamud during this tragic episode:

To the Thamud people We sent Salih, one of their own brethren: He said: "O my people! Worship Allah: ye have no other god but Him. Now hath come unto you a clear Sign from your Lord! This she-camel of Allah is a Sign unto you: So leave her to graze in Allah's earth, and let her come to no harm, or ye shall be seized with a grievous punishment.

The leaders of the arrogant party among his people said to those who were reckoned powerless - those among them who believed: "know ye indeed that Salih is a messenger from his Lord?" They said: "We do indeed believe in the revelation which hath been sent through him."

Then they ham-strung the she-camel, and insolently defied the order of their Lord, saying: "O Salih! Bring about thy threats, if thou art a messenger of Allah!" (Yusuf Ali)

In which period of time the prophet Salih was sent to the people of Thamud is not mentioned in the Qur'an, but we can safely say that he must have preceded Jesus Christ. This is because according to Islamic theology there were no prophets or apostles between the time of Jesus and Muhammad. [5] This means that Allah must have stopped sending miracles long before Christ set foot on earth. If that is the case, who then is the source behind the powerful works performed by Jesus Christ. This proves that Allah cannot be the God who empowered Jesus but Jehovah, the God whom true Christians worship. [6] This also puts into question the source behind the inspiration of the Qur'an.

Now, how are Muslims going to reconcile Allah's statement to the effect that he stopped sending miracles after the people of Thamud killed his miraculous she-camel with his claims in the Qur'an that he performed a number of miracles through Jesus Christ?

It has always been the practice of Allah to declare whatever he thought was necessary to deceive people. Whenever he wanted to make an impact on his audience with his pretentious awesome power, he talked about the miracles, which he supposedly brought about in the distant past. But when the people of Muhammad's time demanded that he prove that he was capable of causing miracles, he put them off by lying to them: "I have stopped sending miracles, as people in the past did not believe in them."

This chameleon-like, deceitful conduct on the part of Allah makes him not only untrustworthy but it also proves that he is a great liar and manipulator. He lied shamelessly to deceive mankind. When put to the test, he resorted to threats.

Even though the Qur'an shows that some of the Israelites did not believe in the miracles performed by Moses, this unresponsiveness did not stop God from empowering many of his future prophets with the power to perform miracles. The most profound of this can be seen by the miracles performed by Jesus who appeared to a much later generation.

Surah 2:87: "We gave Jesus the son of Mary Clear (Signs) and strengthened him with the holy spirit." (Yusuf Ali)

If prior to Muhammad's time, unresponsiveness on the part of an earlier generation did not stop God from providing miracles to later generations, why should it be an excuse now? To say that miracles are not necessary because previous generations did not believe in them is not a valid reason. Even if a great majority chooses not to believe, miracles still served to prove that the prophets sent to speak in God's name were divinely sanctioned. It authenticated their prophethood. This was true in the case of both Moses and Jesus.

Additionally, sincere ones did respond. Moved by the miracles, they repented and turned to serving God. Does not Muhammad's powerlessness to perform miracles put into question the authenticity of his prophethood? And do not Allah's excuses for not providing miracles put into question his godship? Contrary to the reason Allah gave for not sending miracles, the Qur'an itself testifies that miracles performed by past prophets, such as Moses, did cause people to believe and even turned people back to God.

Surah 7:113-122: "So there came the sorcerers to Pharaoh: They said, "of course we shall have a suitable reward if we win!" Pharaoh said: "Yea and more, - for ye shall in that case be raised to posts nearest to my person." They said: "O Moses! Wilt thou throw first, or shall we have the first throw?" Said Moses: "Throw you first." So when they threw, they bewitched the eyes of the people, and struck terror into them: for they showed a great feat of magic. We put it into Moses' mind by inspiration: "Throw now thy rod": and Behold! It swallows up straight away all the falsehoods which they fake! Thus truth was confirmed, and all that they did was made of no effect. So the great ones were vanquished there and then, and were made to look small. But the sorcerers fell down prostrate in adoration. Saying: "We believe in the Lord of the Worlds, - "The Lord of Moses and Aaron." (Yusuf Ali)

Even under threat of death by crucifixion at the hands of Pharaoh, the repentant sorcerers replied:

Surah 7:125: "For us, we are but sent back unto our Lord." (Yusuf Ali)

The great majority of the Meccans wanted a miracle from Muhammad to convince them before they would think of becoming Muslims. And Allah acknowledged this fact when he came up with an excuse that they would not believe even if he sent down angels or let the dead speak to them. Years later, when the sword of Muhammad began to glitter in the hot Arabian desert, the Meccans professed the Islamic faith and "entered Allah's religion in troops"

Surah 110:2: And thou seest mankind entering the religion of Allah in troops. (Pickthall)

Thus, the only miracle displayed by Muhammad to win believers was the sword of Allah.

Although the next following segment of our discussion will involve the subject of predestination, it is nevertheless closely associated to the topic under consideration.

Instead of sending signs (miracles), Allah said:

Surah 6:109-111: The unbelievers solemnly swear by God that if they were to be shown some miracle, they would certainly believe. Muhammad, tell them, "Only with God are all the miracles." Even if a miracle was to take place, they still would not believe. We will turn their hearts and vision away from a miracle; they did not have faith in miracles at the first time, and We will leave them blind in their rebellion. Had We sent the angels to them, made the dead speak to them, and resurrected all things before their very eyes, they still would not believe unless God willed it to be so. But, in fact, most of them ignore the evidence. (Sarwar)

They swear by God with their most solemn oaths that if a miraculous sign came to them they would believe in it. Say Prophet, 'Signs are in the power of God alone.' What will make you believers realize that even if a sign came to them they still would not believe? We would make their hearts and their eyes turn away, just as they did not believe the first time, and leave them to flounder in their obstinacy. Even if We sent the angels down to them, and the dead spoke to them, and We gathered all things right in front of them, they still would not believe, unless God so willed, but most of them are ignorant of this. (Abdel Haleem)

Allah the Merciful stated that he would turn the hearts and the vision of the polytheists away from a miracle because they had disbelieved in the miracles which he had previously sent down. Since Allah did not perform any signs or miracles to the contemporaries of Muhammad, the statement that "they did not have faith in miracles at the first time" may refer to the Qur'an itself. Surah 8:31 strongly supports this conclusion:

When Our Signs are rehearsed to them, they say: "We have heard this before: if we wished, we could say words like these: these are nothing but tales of the ancients." (Yusuf Ali)

If this is the grounds for not sending miracles, then Allah's reason is not valid. The polytheists were refusing to believe in Muhammad or in the Qur'an because they wanted a proof similar to the proofs brought by Jesus, Moses and other prophets whose miracles are cited in the Qur'an itself. As there were neither healings, walking on water, parting seas, raising people from the dead, feeding multitudes nor fulfilled prophecies, like the exacting and detailed predictions that Biblical prophets spoke to demonstrate their divine authority, how could they entrust their lives and their entire eternal future solely on the words of this lone illiterate man?

Let us continue in our analysis of Surah 6:111:

"And though We should send down the angels unto them, and the dead should speak unto them, and We should gather against them all things in array, they would not believe unless Allah so willed. Howbeit, most of them are ignorant." (Pickthall)

Even if We did send unto them angels, and the dead did speak unto them, and

We gathered together all things before their very eyes; they are not the ones to believe, unless it is in Allah's plan. But most of them ignore the truth (Yusuf Ali)

Allah states that the polytheists would not believe even if angels were sent to them and dead men came to life and spoke to them. The polytheists had been asking Muhammad to prove his case by bringing angels from heaven to earth or by resurrecting a dead man as Jesus had done. Why should miracle demanders disbelieve after the occurrence of the very miracles they requested?

However, more damaging is Allah's statement that "they would not believe unless Allah so willed." This statement prompts the question whether Allah is causing mischief by depriving people of the ability to see the truth. Such being the case, we can certainly ask the following questions. "If these people's unbelief and persistence in polytheism had already been preordained, what useful purpose had been served by Allah's appointment of a man to preach to them and guide them to the right path? Is it not an exercise in futility? Is it not hypocritical? [7]

The inescapable conclusion is that these people were not going to believe because Allah did not wish them to believe. And this is confirmed by the clear statement, "We would make their hearts and their eyes turn away." (Surah 6:110).

And in the very same Surah it is stated:

Surah 6:107: "Had He willed they would not have been idolaters. We have not appointed you their guardian, nor are you their pleader." (Samira)

"Had Allah willed, they had not been idolatrous. We have not set thee as a keeper over them, nor art thou responsible for them." (Pickthall)

"If it had been Allah's plan, they would not have taken false gods but We made thee not one to watch over their doings, nor art thou set over them to dispose of their affairs." (Yusuf Ali)

Allah must therefore have willed that they should be polytheists/idolatrous. Surely, humble creatures cannot change Allah's will. Not even Muhammad could dissuade from polytheism those whose polytheism was caused by Allah's will. The idolaters in question were not to blame. By practicing polytheism they are in fact living in harmony with Allah's will for them. They are actually "obedient" to his will for them. Why, then, were they threatened with eternal damnation? If the divine will is the prerequisite of a people's religious belief, then there should be no need for appointments of prophets. Another explanation for the lack of a miracle is given in Surah 6:37:

And they say: Why has not a sign been sent down to him from his Lord? Say: Surely Allah is able to send down a sign, but most of them do not know. (Shakir)

The deniers were asking for a miracle and were told that God is able to cause miracles. God's ability to provide miracles was not an issue for the polytheists; it was because they acknowledged this ability that they were making their demand. They only wanted to know that Muhammad, like other Biblical prophets mentioned in the Qur'an, had divine backing. The verse also states that, "most of them do not know." What was it that they did not know? They must have known that God is omnipotent and is able to send a sign; otherwise they would not have demanded a miracle.

Allah the merciful also declared in Surah 32:13:

"If We had so willed, We could certainly have brought every soul its true guidance: but the Word from Me will come true, "I will fill Hell with Jinns and men all together." (Yusuf Ali)

As can be noted from the above Qur'anic verse, Allah is not going to provide guidance for everyone. What is utterly damaging is Allah's statement that had he wanted, he could have provided guidance to all mankind but instead it is his will (pleasure) to fill "Hell" with Jinn and men. Thus, instead of guidance, Allah threatens those whom he chose not to guide with destruction in this life and severe punishment in the hereafter. Instead of such severity, would not a miracle have been better? A loving God would have made divine guidance available to everyone and then only judge an individual on the basis of his or her response to that guidance.

Given below are further examples of Qur'anic verses which make human error and righteousness dependent on Allah's will. According to Islamic theology, all our actions and decisions and even our final destinations are predetermined by Allah. And they are predestined even before we are born. [8] As such, miracles serve no purpose in Islam. In other words, with or without miracles, mankind's fate is sealed.

Surah 4:88: "Seek ye to guide him whom Allah hath sent astray? He whom Allah sendeth astray, for him thou O Muhammad canst not find a road." (Pickthall)

Surah 5:44: "He whom Allah doometh unto sin, thou by thine efforts wilt avail him naught against Allah. Those are they for whom the Will of Allah is that He cleanse not their hearts. Theirs in the world will be ignominy, and in the Hereafter an awful doom;" (Pickthall)

Surah 14:4: "Then Allah sendeth whom He will astray, and guideth whom He will. He is the Mighty, the Wise." (Pickthall)

Surah 39:23: "And him whom Allah sendeth astray, for him there is no guide." (Pickthall)

These verses show that according to Islamic theology, prophets will be unable to change or influence an individual whom Allah had predestined/preordained/predetermined to err. This makes nonsense of the necessity of prophets or the need for any inspired holy books. This also means that no amount of miracles will be able to alter the predestined course of an individual who is doomed to the Islamic "Hell". As such, miracles make no sense in Islam.

In Surah 15:39 we find Satan (Iblis) saying to Allah:

"Lord, because you have caused me to go astray, I shall make earthly things attractive to (people) and mislead all of them." (Sarwar)

The verb used in Allah's causing Satan to go astray is the same verb that is used in Satan's causing mankind to go astray. Christians would regard it as blasphemy to think of their God as having similar traits with that of Satan. The true God's cardinal qualities are govern by his holy nature. It is unthinkable for the Holy of Holies to act in this manner. James 1:13 correctly states:

"For with evil things God cannot be tried nor does he himself try anyone."

Thus, Allah cannot be the same God as revealed in the Holy Bible - the One who is identified as Jehovah. Jehovah God created man as a free moral agent with the freedom to choose. [9] And as the Almighty, he performed many miracles through Moses and Jesus to authenticate their divine mission. He gave no excuses.

Because of the profound teachings and miracles performed by the greatest prophet of all, Jesus Christ, true Christianity spread to the entire inhabited earth without the need of a sword. Jesus stated, "Those who take the sword will perish by the sword." (See Matthew 26:52)

In contrast, when the spiritual message of the Meccan Surahs proved ineffective, the only recourse that Muhammad could find was the sword. After thirteen years of preaching in Mecca, no more than seventy or eighty people believed in him. But all that changed in Medina. With the support of the men of the sword, Islam became powerful. Carnal replaced spiritual. The sword of the spirit became the sword of the flesh. "Kill them wherever you find them," became the commanding call of Allah and Muhammad (See Surah 2:191).

With neither miracles to authenticate his calling nor spiritual truths to reach the heart, the religion of Muhammad survived by inspiring fear and by the threat of the Islamic sword.

Jehovah and Allah, Christ and Muhammad, Christianity and Islam, the Bible and the Qur'an, Miracles and Miracle-less are opposites.

NOTES

[1] Abdullah b. Sa'd had for some time been one of the scribes employed at Medina to write down the revelations. On a number of occasions he had, with the Prophet's consent, changed the closing words of verses. For example, when the Prophet had said "And God is mighty and wise" (aziz, hakim), Abdullah b. Sa'd suggested writing down "knowing and wise" (alim, hakim), and the Prophet answered that there was no objection. Having observed a succession of changes of this type, Abdullah renounced Islam on the ground that the revelations, if from God, could not be changed at the prompting of a scribe such as himself. After his apostasy he went to Mecca and joined the Quraishites. (Dashti, 23 Years, A Study of the prophetic career of Muhammad [Allen and Unwin, London, 1985], p. 98;)

[2] [i] Ishaq: 380: "The enemy got at the Apostle who was hit with a stone so that he fell on his side and one of his teeth was smashed, his face scored, and his lip injured."

[ii] Tabari VII: 124: "Abd Manat came and threw a stone at Muhammad, breaking his nose and his lateral incisor, splitting his face open, and stunning him. His Companions dispersed and abandoned him, some of them going to Medina and some climbing up Uhud and standing there. The Messenger cried out to his men, 'To me. To me."

[3] [i] Regarding this verse, the late Sunni scholar Muhammad Asad candidly admitted: This highly elliptic sentence has a fundamental bearing on the purport of the Qur'an as a whole. In many places the Qur'an stresses the fact that the Prophet Muhammad, despite his being the last and greatest of God's apostles, was not empowered to perform miracles similar to those with which the earlier prophets are said to have reinforced their verbal messages. His only miracle was and is the Qur'an itself - a message perfect in its lucidity and ethical comprehensiveness, destined for all times and all stages of human development, addressed not merely to the feelings but also to the minds of men, open to everyone, whatever his race or social environment, and bound to remain unchanged forever… (Asad, Message of the Qur'an [Dar Al-Andalus Limited 3 Library Ramp, Gibraltar rpt. 1993], p. 427, fn. 71; emphasis added)

[ii] Sahih Bukhari Volume 9, Book 92, Number 379: Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "There was no prophet among the prophets but was given miracles because of which people had security or had belief, but what I was given was the Divine Inspiration which Allah revealed to me. So I hope that my followers will be more than those of any other prophet on the Day of Resurrection."

This admission by Muhammad shows clearly that he did not perform any miracles, which is contrary to all the lies that were created about him by his followers after his death.

[4] Splitting of the moon. Surah 54:1-2 is used by many Muslims to prove that Muhammad could do miracles. It reads: "The Hour (of judgment) is nigh, and the moon is cleft asunder: But if they see a sign they turn away And say, "This is (but) transient magic"'. Take note of the fact that Muhammad is not mentioned in this passage. Secondly, if it is a miracle then it contradicts other passages in the Qur'an. Thirdly, had a miracle of this magnitude actually taken place it is impossible that unbelievers would have asked for a sign later on. Additionally Muslim scholars believe that the "hour (of judgment)" refers to the end times.

[5] Sahih Muslim, Book 030, Hadith Number 5836: Abu Huraira reported many ahadith from Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and one is that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: I am most close to Jesus, son of Mary, among the whole of mankind in this worldly life and the next life. They said: Allah's Messenger how is it? Thereupon he said: Prophets are brothers in faith, having different mothers. Their religion is, however, one and there is no Apostle between us (between I and Jesus Christ).

[6] Psalms 83:18: "That people may know that you, whose name is Jehovah, You alone are the Most High over all the earth."

[7] Sahih Muslim, Book 033, Number 6406: Abu al-Aswad reported that 'Imran b Husain asked him: What is your view, what the people do today in the world, and strive for, is it something decreed for them or preordained for them or will their fate in the Hereafter be determined by the fact that their Prophets brought them teaching which they did not act upon? I said: Of course, it is something which is predetermined for them and preordained for them. He (further) said: Then, would it not be an injustice (to punish them)? I felt greatly disturbed because of that, and said: Everything is created by Allah and lies in His Power. He would not be questioned as to what He does, but they would be questioned; thereupon he said to me: May Allah have mercy upon you, I did not mean to ask you but for testing your intelligence. Two men of the tribe of Muzaina came to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and said: Allah's Messenger, what is your opinion that the people do in the world and strive for, is something decreed for them; something preordained for them and will their fate in the Hereafter be determined by the fact that their Prophets brought them teachings which they did not act upon. And thus they became deserving of punishment? Thereupon, he said: Of course, it happens as it is decreed by Destiny and preordained for them, and this view is confirmed by this verse of the Book of Allah, the Exalted and Glorious: "Consider the soul and Him Who made it perfect, then breathed into it its sin and its piety" (Surah 91:8 [Original Arabic]).

[8] [i] Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 55, Number 550: "The Prophet said, 'Allah has appointed an angel in the womb, and the angel says, "Lord, a drop of semen discharge. Lord, a clot, Lord, a piece of flesh." And then, if Allah wishes to complete the child's creation, the angel will say. Lord, male or a female? Lord, wretched or blessed in religion? What will his livelihood be? What will his age be?" The angel writes all this while the child is in the womb of its mother.'"

Bukhari: Volume 6, Book 60, Number 473: "While we were in a funeral procession, Allah's Apostle said, 'Every created soul has his place written for him either in Paradise or in Hell. They have a happy or miserable fate predestined for them.' A man said, 'Apostle! Shall we depend upon what is written and give up doing deeds? For whoever is destined to be fortunate, will join the fortunate and whoever is destined to be miserable will go to Hell.'"

[ii] Surah 3:154: "Say: 'Even if you had remained in your houses, those ordained to be slaughtered would have gone forth to the places where they were to slain."

[9] Deuteronomy 30:19: "…I have put life and death before you, the blessing and the malediction, and you must choose life that you may keep living."





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