back index next

If we add to all this the fact that the Arabs were in the habit of undertaking many hardships, such as war, in order to achieve their aims — yet that they did not oppose the Qur’an, although there was no [apparent] reason for them not to do so — then it becomes certain that [the real reason they did not oppose it was because] they were incapable of such ofposi-tion. They were a people of proud and arrogant nature, yet the Prophet called upon them to abandon their religions: to relinquish their high status, dissociate themselves from their own forefathers, fathers and sons, and even to fight against anyone who opposed the new faith, even if he were to be one of their closest relations. They would have known that through successful opposition to the Qur’an all this would vanish, and be nullified. What greater reason would there have been, then, to attempt such opposition? Instead, they resorted to war, wasting their wealth and composing pol-emical poetry, when all this availed them nothing. Thus, had opposition been possible for them they would have surely hastened to it, if for no other reason but that it would have been far easier than the other hardships which they under-took. It would have, moreover, been far less costly than any of the other things they did.
As for the argument which states that the abandonment of opposition was because of the miraculous nature of the Qur’an, it may be objected that the Prophet was more elo-quent than all the men of his time, and that only through this was he able to achieve what they could not. It may be further objected that he was active for too short a time for them to present any opposition. If, however, both of these objections could be refuted, then it would have to be concluded that this inability was unnatural, and hence was itself a miraculous phenomenon. It may be argued in refutation of the first objection that for any opposition to be effective, the two opposing parties must have similar abilities of eloquence


Since the Arabs did not even come close to the eloquence of the Qur’ăfl, then the accepted norms were indeed miracu-lously suspended. It is not possible for the less eloquent to imitate or closely approximate him who is more eloquent in all his speech. I.t is, however, possible for the less eloquent to approximate him who is more eloquent in some of his speech. This is usually the case. It is for this reason that later poets have equalled those of ancient times, and may have excelled them in some respects. If the Qur’an challenged the Arabs to produce the like of one of its shorter sürahs, although it is more eloquent than they, that does not mean that they could not have equalled it in so small a portion. Moreover, it was not the case that the Prophet himself was of greater eloquence in his speech than others of his people. Had he been of greater eloquence, while this special quality belonged only to the Qur’ăn, and had the Qur’an been his speech, then all his words should have been of eloquence equal to the Qur’an.
The invalidity of the second objection, namely that the Prophet was active for only a short time and that therefore if they too were able to labor for an equal period of time they would have been able to imitate the Qur’an, can be easily demonstrated. If, however, it can be proven that inability is itself a miraculous phenomenon, then one of two possibilities must follow — either that the Qur’ăn itself was a miracle in its eloquence which they could not match, or that Allah, the Exalted, Himself turned them away from imitating the Qur’an, and had He not turned them away, they would have done so. Either of these two possibilities would not invalidate Muhammad’s claim to prophethood. This is because Allah would not vouchsafe a liar, or miracu-lously suspend natural custom for a man of falsehood.
Were we to reproduce all that has been written on this subject — the arguments and counter arguments — this book would have become too long. What we have here presented 8~ACO~5 OF LIGHT
Should be sufficient to COflvjflce those who are Possessed of understanding * * *


As for
the clear miracles other than the Qur’ăn which
prove without a doubt the f Muh
these are many. We have here~roPhethood o .ammad, given the texts dealing with
them and eliminated chaiiis of transmission because these miracles are Well~known to both the (Sunni) majority and (Shi’1) minority, and b the Muslim community has generally accepted
It is related on the Without question
Faithful (‘All) that he flty of the Commander of the aid. “~ was with the Prophet when
the notables of Quraysh Came to him and said: ‘0 Muham..
mad, you have SUrely made grave claims which were never made by Your forefathers or anyone else of your clan. We shall, therefore, test YOU With a request and if you can ful-fill it, we shall know that You are a prophet and messenger. But if you cannot, then We Shall k~0
and a liar.’ He anSwered. ‘What ~, w that you are a magician you wish to ask of me?’
They said: ‘We ask that you Call that tree so that it uproots itself and comes and stand5 before you.’ He said: ‘Allah has Power over all things. If lie doe8 this for you, would you have faith, and Witness to the truth?’ ‘Yes’, they answered. ‘I shall then show you What YOU ask for’, he replied, ‘even though I know that ~‘ou shall not turn to the good. Some of YOU will be thrown in the well (qaltb) and others will gather parties (ahzdb)’s
agaj~5~ us’. Then he exclaimed:
‘0 tree, if YOU truly have faith in AllAh and the Last Day and know that I am the Messeng~~ of Allah, then uproot yourself and come and stalld before me, by Allah’s per-mission.’ By Him who Sent Muhammad with the truth (continued ‘All) it did uproot itself and came to him with a soft buzzin’~ Sound and a thunderous noise like the sound


of the flapping of the wings of many birds. Thus it came, and stood before the Messenger of Allah with its branches spread out. It placed its highest branch lightly upon his head, placing others on my shoulders, as I stood at his right hand. When the people saw this, they said with haughty arrogance, ‘Order now that only half of it come to you and the other half remain in its place.’ He commanded the tree, and only half of it came to him, with haste and great noise, so that it nearly wrapped itself around the Messenger of Allah. Still remaining in their rejection of faith and stubborn-ness, they exclaimed: ‘Command this half, that it return to the other half.’ He commanded it and it returned. Then I exclaimed: ‘There is no god but Allah, and I am the first of those who accept faith in you, 0 Messenger of Allah, and the first to testify that the tree did what it did by Allah’s command, and in proof of your prophethood and in rever-ence of your word.’ But the people said: ‘No, but you are a liar and a skillful magician! Would any other believe in you except this man?’ By this, they meant me.”
Still another miracle was the water gushing out from between the Prophet’s fingers. One day the people accom-panying him on a journey ran out of water. They complained that they were near death from thirst. He said: “My Lord is with me; in Him do I trust.” He then called for ajug into which he poured a little water, not enough to satisfy even a weakling. He then placed his hand in the jug and the water gushed out from between his fingers. A cryer went out and called the people, who then gathered in the thousands. They drank, watered their flocks and filled their water-skins. All the while the Prophet was exclaiming: “I bear witness that I in truth am the Messenger of Allah.”
Another one of his miracles was the longing of a dry palm branch for him. At the beginning, the Prophet used to stand leaning on a thick palm branch when he spoke to

back index next