Chapter 11     Chapter 13


page 96

CHAPTER XII:

THE SUBJECT OF MIRACLES



In vivid terms, the Qur'an distinguishes between believers and non-believers, the sighted and the blind, the pure-hearted and the evil, the hearing and the deaf. When Muhammad states that the "blind and the seeing are not equal", He is referring to spiritual sight. Those who are not blind those who see recognize the "Sun of Reality" immediately, finding no fundamental difference in the different Revelations of God.
They to whom we gave the Scriptures before It, do in It believe.
And when it is recited to them they say, "We believe in it, for it is the truth from our Lord. We were Muslims before it came. "
(Surih XXVIII, "The Story", vv. 52-3) [28:52-53]

Thus, the spiritually sighted who were recipients of a Book revealed prior to the Qur'an declared their belief in the Qur'an and confirmed that they were Muslims before it was revealed, and continued to be Muslims in the light of its Revelation. The Qur'an describes the spiritually blind thus:
...Hearts have they with which they understand not, and eyes have they with which they see not, and ears have they with which they hearken not. They are like the brutes: Yea, they go more astray: these are the heedless,
(Surih VII, "Al Araf", v. 178) [7:178]

What can convince such people and open their eyes to the Light of Truth, clear their ears to the chanting of the Nightingale of Truth or expose their hearts to the Dripping Rain of Truth?


page 97
And though we had sent down the angels to them, and the dead had spoken to them, and we had gathered all things about them in tribes, they had not believed, unless God had willed it! but most of them do not know it.
(Surih VI, "Cattle", v. 111) [6:111]

As a last resort, non-believers ask for miracles:
And they say, "By no means will we believe on thee till thou cause forth-gushing rivers to gush forth in its midst;
Or thou make the heaven to fall on us, as thou hast given out, in pieces; or thou bring God and the angels to vouch for thee;
Or thou have a house of gold; or thou mount up into Heaven; nor will we believe in thy mounting up, till thou send down to us a book which we may read. " Say: Praise be to my Lord! Am I more than a man, an apostle?"1
(Surih XVII, "The Night Journey", vv. 92-5)

While God confirms that the revelation of miracles was within the power of the Apostles, people failed to believe in them and were chastised:
Nothing hindered us from sending thee with the power of working miracles, except that the peoples of old treated them as lies. We gave to Themoud the she- camel before their very eyes, yet they maltreated her!2 We send not a prophet with miracles but to strike terror.
(Surih XVII, "The Night Journey", v. 61) [17:61]



  1. The Bab's quotation of these verses can be found in Selections from the writings of the Bab, pp. 121-2. Mirza Abu'l-Fadl cites the verses in The Baha'i Proofs, pp. 269-70 and Miracles and Metaphors, p. 108, in the latter stating of 1:95 that the Prophet's words "deny that there is any link or relation between his station as messenger and the ability to perform what was suggested. However, they do not deny the ability itself ... ".
  2. See also Qur'an 7:73-5, 11:68, 26:157, 54:27 and 81:4 and Kitab-i-Iqan; pp 9-10; where Baha'u'llah refers to Salih's appearance among the tribe of Thamud, an ancient people of Northern Arabia, and their rejection of His teachings. In Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 103, Baha'u'llah states: "Consider the she-camel Though but a beast, yet hath the All-Merciful exalted her to so high a station that the tongues of the earth made mention of her and celebrated her praise.... "



page 98

Baha'u'llah explains in His commentary on the Surih of the Sun that Thamud were a people to whom God sent His Apostle Salih,, whom they rejected after He had called upon them to be righteous. He confirms that they disobeyed the ordinances of God until they "hamstrung the She-Camel", an image also used in the Surih of Hud. The Qur'anic verses describe how God had sent this people a She-Camel and requested that it be left to graze freely, but the people disobeyed and hamstrung her. God's wrath was subsequently brought upon them and they were destroyed. The True Miracle is the Book That the true miracle of a Revelation from God is the Book which He sent down is stated and restated in the Sacred Scriptures. The Qur'an, for example, describes the deniers and non-believers who insisted upon a demonstration of miracles on the part of the Prophet, as in its depiction of those who denied Moses and called Him a "magician" or "sorcerer".3 Regarding Him, the Qur'an states:
And when our signs were wrought in their very sight, they said, "This is plain magic."4
(Surih XXVII, "The Ant", v. 13) [27:13]



  1. The Qur'an retells the story of Moses seven times.
  2. See Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 227, where He refers to the rejection of His Revelation by the infidels, who used the same words "It is but plain magic", as did previous generations.



page 99

and further:
And when Moses came to him with our demonstrative signs they said, "This is naught but magical device. We never heard the like among our sires of old."
(Surih XXVIII, "The Story", v. 36) [28:36]

Clearly, a reminder is given in the Qur'an that miracles are never a convincing factor for those who doubt or disbelieve, but are a cause of greater stubbornness. When the Prophet Muhammad declared His Mission and was confronted with the same request, God revealed to Him:
Yet when the truth came to them from our very presence, they said, "Unless the like powers be given to him that were given to Moses.... " But did they not disbelieve in what of old was given to Moses? They said, "Two works of sorcery have helped each other;" and they said, "We disbelieve them both. "
(Surih XXVIII, "The Story", v. 48) [28:48]

And in response to this attitude, God further revealed:
Say: Bring them a Book from before God which shall be a better guide than these, that I may follow it; if ye speak the truth.5
(Surih XXVIII, "The Story", v. 49) [28:49]



  1. Cited by Mirza Abu'l-Fadl in essays in Miracles and Metaphors, pp. 126, 156 and 170. His first reference to the verse is in argument that "the Prophet Muhammad presented the Holy Book itself as evidence for the authenticity of his assertions because of the light, guidance, and mercy God had reposited therein. He refused to perform miracles...". In the second reference, the verse is cited in connection with an argument concerning rhetoric, in which he notes that God did not say: "Then bring a Book from God that is more eloquent than these or excels them in its rhetoric". Lastly, he notes that "Before the revelation of the Qur'an these nations worshipped fire and idols; they did not know of Moses or of Jesus or the other prophets. These great nations found guidance, believed, and surrendered themselves because of the first Muslims.

    These Muslims were created by Islam, and Islam was legislated and founded by the Prophet. Finally, Muhammad became a prophet only because the glorious Qur'an was revealed to him." Verse 49 was revealed in response to "haughty deniers". In The Bab, p. 87, Balyuzi draws a parallel between 28:49 and Haji Mirza Siyyid Muhammad's quoting of the Bab as saying "My proof is My Book let him who can, produce the like of these verses.



page 100

The true miracle, therefore, is the revealed Book. It is the irrefutable proof. It is the ill at heart who insist upon miracles. In verse 133 of Surih Ta. Ha. it was revealed:
But they say, "If he come not to us with a sign from his Lord...!"6

and, in answer, God admonishes the doubting hearts:
But have not clear proofs for the Koran come to them, in what is in the Books of old?

That is, have the eyes of those who ask for miracles been so blinded as not to perceive in the Qur'an the explanation of the subjects in the Torah and the Evangel hitherto not understood by the wisest and most knowledgeable amongst them? Or is there a more convincing miracle than a Book that would repeat the course followed by the earlier nations and give new spiritual life to dead souls?
... What is right will he enjoin them, and forbid them what is wrong, and will allow them healthful viands and prohibit the impure, and will ease them of their burden, and of the yokes which were upon them; ...
(Surih VII, "Al-Araf", v. 156) [7:156]



  1. Mirza Abu'l-Fadl makes reference to this verse in discussions of "signs" found on p. 100 of Miracles and Metaphors and on pp. 185-6 of The Baha'i Proofs.



page 101

In the Bukhari-Qastallani commentary, in a chapter entitled Attachment to the Book and to the Tradition, is recorded the following tradition attributed to the Prophet:

There is no Prophet among the Prophets but was given of miracles similar to those in which I believe or upon which people believed. But what I was given was an inspiration inspired by the Almighty God unto me. I hope to be thus in the forefront of the followers on the Day of Resurrection.

The commentary further explains that that "upon which people believed" refers to that which is enough for people to believe, that Muhammad's miracle is indeed the Word of the Lord of all Worlds because it is the pride of all miracles, the most sublime in station and the greatest in status. Thus, the greatest miracle of the Prophet Muhammad is the Qur'an.

Chapter 11     Chapter 13


Books
Home ][ Sacred Writings ][ Bulletin board
Primary sources ][ Secondary sources ][ Resources
Links ][ Personal pages ][ Other sites
 

Google distinguishes accents, e.g. "Babi" and "Bábí"
return different results. See more search tips.