Examples of the Prophet’s miracles related to his effective increase in food
• As related by Anas ibn Malik
, Abu Talha, on seeing God’s Messenger hungry, invited him to a meal. The Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, came with a crowd of people. Abu Talha had only one loaf of rye bread at home. Umm Sulaym, Abu Talha’s wife, spread some butter on it. The Messenger prayed for abundance, and since there was not enough space for all the people, they ate of the bread ten by ten and left satisfied. They were about seventy to eighty people.1
• As another example, ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi Bakr relates that
they, one hundred and thirty Companions, were in the company of God’s Messenger during an expedition. The Messenger asked them whether they had something to eat. One of them had about one or two sacks of flour . Dough was prepared to make bread and a sheep was bought from a polytheist who happened to pass by with his flock. They roasted the liver of the sheep, which the Messenger divided among those present, giving each a piece of it, and put aside the share of those who were not present there then. They cooked the meat in two bowls and everyone ate of it. After they finished eating all satisfied, the meat was still as if no one had eaten of it at all.2
There are many other examples of this kind of miracle
. They were all transmitted through various—sometimes as many as sixteen—channels. Most of them took place in the presence of large assemblies and were narrated by many persons of truth and good repute.
Examples of the Prophet’s miracles concerning water
• The Companions were left without water in a place called Zarwa. They were going to do wudu’ (ritual ablution) but they could not find enough water. God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, ordered them to bring a bowl of water. He dipped his hands into the bowl and water began to run from his fingers like a fountain. Anas ibn Malik says that on that day they were three hundred people.3
Anas relates this incident on behalf of three hundred persons. Is it at all conceivable that those three hundred people would not have confirmed him, if they thought him to be truthful, or otherwise contradicted him?
• As a second example
, during the campaign of Hudaybiya, the Companions complained to God’s Messenger about the lack of water. The Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, took an arrow out of his arrow-bag and ordered them to put it in the well of Samad. When they did that, the water of the well began to gush. During the campaign, all of the Companions drank from it and did wudu’ with it.4
There are many examples of the Prophet’s miracles concerning water. They were related by numerous Companions and transmitted through various reliable channels.
Examples of the miracles of the healing of ill and wounded people
Authentic books of Tradition, including primarily Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih al-Muslim, report:
• During the Battle of Khaybar, God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, asked where ‘Ali was. ‘He is suffering from sore eyes’, the Companions answered. He sent for him. ‘Ali came and the Messenger applied his healing saliva to his eyes. At the same moment the pain ceased and ‘Ali’s eyes became better than before. 5
• ‘Uthman ibn Hunayf relates:
A blind man came to God’s Messenger and requested him to pray to God to recover his eyes. The Messenger said: “If you desire, I’ll not pray—being blind may be better for your afterlife—or I’ll pray.” The man chose to be relieved of blindness and the Messenger told him: “Go and do an ablution. Then pray two rak‘as and say: ‘O God! Surely my appeal is to You and I turn toward You through the Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of mercy: O Muhammad, surely I turn toward God through you, that He uncover my sight. O God, make him my intercessor.’” The man did what the Messenger told him and his sight was restored.6
There are many more examples concerning this kind of miracle God’s Messenger worked, all of which are recorded in books of Tradition.
The testimony of animals to Muhammad’s Prophethood
The animal kingdom recognized God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, and became the means for him to work miracles. Although there are many examples, we will mention here only a few that have become well-known and agreed on by exacting authorities.
• During the Hijra, when God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, took shelter from the pursuit of unbelievers in the cave of Thawr, two pigeons stood guard at the entrance like two sentries, and a spider, like a doorkeeper, covered the entrance of the cave with a thick web. As Ubayy in Khalaf, one of the chieftains of the Quraysh, was examining the cave, his friends suggested that they should enter, but he answered: ‘There is a web here, which seems to have been spun before the birth of Muhammad.’ The others added: ‘Would those pigeons, standing there, still be there if someone were in the cave?’7
• As another example, Jabir relates:
I was with God’s Messenger during a military campaign. When my camel became exhausted and left behind, God’s Messenger prodded it slightly. This made the camel so fast that I had to pull on the reins to make it slower so that I could listen to the Messenger, but Iwas unable to [slow it down].8
• Anas ibn Malik reports:
After the conquest of Khaybar, a Jewish woman offered God’s Messenger a roasted sheep. God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, ate a piece of it but, according to the narration of Abu Dawud, stopped eating and said: This sheep says that it is poisonous. Then he turned to the woman and asked her why she offered him a poisonous sheep. When the woman replied that she wanted to kill him, the Messenger responded: God will not let you attack and annoy me.9
• ‘A’isha reports:
We had in our house a kind of pigeon. When God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, was at home, it would stay quiet, but as soon as he left home, it would continually pace to and fro.10
• Anas ibn Malik relates:
God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, was the comeliest and the most generous and courageous of people. One night the people of Madina heard some voices and set out to investigate in fear. On their way, they saw a man coming towards them, who appeared to be God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings. He said to them: There is nothing to be distressed about. He had mounted Abu Talha’s horse and himself investigated the matter before anybody else. He turned to Abu Talha and said: I found your horse fast and comfortable. Whereas, that horse had been a very slow one. After that night, no other horse could race against it. 11
Examples of the Prophet’s miracles concerning inanimate objects
• Jabir ibn Samura reports:
God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, once said: “Prior to my Prophethood, a rock in Makka used to offer me greetings. I still recognize it.”12
• ‘Abullah ibn Mas‘ud reports:
We could hear food glorifying God while we were eating with God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings.13
• Traditionists unanimously report from Anas, Abu Hurayra, ‘Uthman and Sa‘id ibn Zayd, who said
God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, climbed up Mount Uhud, accompanied by Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthman. The Mountain, either in awe of them or because of its joy, trembled. God’s Messenger ordered it: Be still, O Uhud, for on you there is a Prophet, a truthful one, and two martyrs.14
• It is established through authentic narrations from ‘Ali, Jabir and ‘A‘isha Siddiqa that rocks and mountains would say to God’s Messenger, ‘Peace be upon you, O Messenger of God!’ ‘Ali says: ’Whenever we went for a walk in the suburbs of Makka in the early times of his Prophethood, trees and rocks we encountered would say, ‘Peace be upon you, O Messenger of God!’15
The Prophet’s protection as a miracle
• As related through various channels, during the military campaign of Ghatfan and Anmar, a courageous chieftain named Ghowras unexpectedly appeared at the side of God’s Messenger, who was lying under a tree. Ghowras unsheathed his sword and asked God’s Messenger, ‘Who will save you from me now?’ God will, the Messenger replied. “God!” Then he prayed: “O God, suffice me against him in any way You will.”16
At that moment, Ghowras was knocked down and his sword slipped from his hand. God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, took the sword and asked him: Now, who will save you from me?
Ghowras began to tremble and entreated God’s Messenger to spare his life. ‘You are a noble, forgiving one; only forgiveness is expected of you,’ he pleaded. God’s Messenger forgave him, and when Ghowras returned to his tribe, he said to them: ‘I have just come from the best of mankind.’
• Abu Hurayra relates:
Abu Jahl once asked those near him: ‘Does Muhammad still rub his face against earth [i.e. make prostration]?’
– Yes, he does, they answered.
Abu Jahl added:
– By Lat and ‘Uzza, if I see him doing that again, I will tread on his neck or bury his face with soil.’
A short while later God’s Messenger came and set out to pray. When he was in prostration, Abu Jahl approached him but suddenly turned back in fear and amazement, trying to protect himself with his hands. When asked why he had done so, he answered: ‘Truly, between him and me is a trench filled with fire, and something horrible and some wings.’
God’s Messenger commented on the event: “If he had approached me, the angels would have torn him to pieces.”17
God promised to guard him against people:
O Messenger! Make known whatever is revealed unto you from your Lord, for if you do it not, you will not have conveyed His Message. God will protect you from people. Surely, God guides not the unbelieving folk
. (al-Ma’ida, 5.67)
The acceptance of the Prophet’s prayers
• The authorities of Hadith (Tradition) including, notably, Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim, unanimously report that whenever God’s Messenger prayed for rain, his prayer was immediately accepted by God. There were even times when the rain unexpectedly began before he had lowered his hands while on the pulpit. As mentioned in books of Tradition and the Prophet’s biography, when his army ran out of water, clouds would appear to give them water. Even in his childhood, his grandfather ‘Abd al-Muttalib would go with him to pray for rain, and rain would come out of God’s love for him. This fact became famous through a poem of ‘Abd al-Muttalib’s. After the Prophet’s death, once ‘Umar took ‘Abbas as a means to pray for rain, saying, ‘O God, this is the uncle of Your beloved Prophet. Give us rain for his sake.’ Thereafter it rained.18
• As was reported by Anas ibn Malik
, while one Friday God’s Messenger was giving a sermon, a man came into the mosque and said to him: ‘O Messenger of God! There is drought. Please pray to God to send us rain.’ The Messenger prayed and it rained until the next Friday.
The rain continued for one week. The next Friday, while God’s Messenger was on the pulpit again giving sermon, a man stood up and said: ‘O Messenger of God! Please pray to God to avert rain from us.’ The Messenger prayed: “O God! Send the rain onto the places around us, not onto us.” Anas, the reporter of the event, says: “By God, I saw the clouds scatter and rain fall onto other places, the people of Madina being not under rain.”19
• ‘Adbullah ibn ‘Umar relates:
When the number of the Companions was about forty, God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, prayed: “O God! Give strength to Islam with which of those two, namely ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab and ‘Amr ibn al-Hisham, is more pleasing to You.” The next morning, ‘Umar came to the Messenger and accepted Islam.20
• ‘Adbullah ibn ‘Abbas reports:
God’s Messenger was in the toilet when once I carried water to where he would do wudu’. When he came out, he asked who had put the water there. ‘I did,’ I answered. Whereupon he prayed: “O God, make him profoundly knowledgeable in religion and teach him the meaning of the Qur’an.” 21
It is because of this prayer of the Messenger for Ibn ‘Abbas that Ibn ‘Abbas would later be called with the titles of the ‘Profound Scholar of the Umma’ and the ‘Interpreter of the Qur’an’. When he was still a young man, ‘Umar included him in his consultative assembly which consisted of the high-ranking scholars and elders of the Companions.
• Anas ibn Malik relates:
My mother took me to God’s Messenger and said:
– O Messenger of God! This is my son Anas. Let him serve you. Please pray for him.
The Messenger prayed: “O God! Give abundance to his wealth and offspring.” 22
Anas remarked in his old age, swearing by God: “You see the abundance of my wealth, and the children and grand-children I have number about one hundred.”
• Abu Hurayra
once complained to God’s Messenger about forgetfulness. The Messenger told him to spread out a piece of cloth on the ground. Then he made some movements as if he were filling his hands with some invisible things and emptying them out on the piece of cloth. After repeating this three or four times, he told Abu Hurayra to pick it up. Through the mysterious effect of these actions of the Messenger, Abu Hurayra, as he himself later stated swearing by God, never forgot anything again. This is also among the well-known events related to the Companions.23
The Prophet met with angels and jinn and spoke to them
• ‘Umar reports:
We were sitting with God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, when a man appeared beside us. He had dark black hair and was wearing a white robe. There were no signs of traveling upon him. He sat before the Messenger and, touching his knees to the Messenger’s, asked him about faith, Islam, perfection of virtue (ihsan) and the Last Day. After the interview, the man left and disappeared. God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, turned to me and asked who that man was. ‘God and His Messenger know better’, I answered. The Messenger concluded: “He was Gabriel. He came to teach you your religion.”24
• Sa‘d ibn Abi Waqqas relates:
At the Battle of Uhud, I saw two men dressed in white at each side of God’s Messenger, fighting for his sake. I had never seen them before, nor have I seen them since. (Sa‘d meant that they were two archangels, Gabriel and Michael.)25
• Rifa‘a ibn Rafi‘ reports:
Gabriel asked God’s Messenger what was their opinion of the Companions who participated in the Battle of Badr. The Messenger answered like this: “We consider them among the most virtuous of Muslims.” Gabriel responded: “So do we; we consider the angels who were present there among the most virtuous of angels.”26
• In his Musnad, Ahmad ibn Hanbal reports from ‘Adbullah ibn Mas’ud that
God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, invited jinn to accept Islam and taught them of the Qur’an. 27
The appearance of invisible objects and realms to the Prophet
• ‘A’isha Siddiqa reports:
One day the sun was eclipsed. God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, performed the prayer of eclipse and then explained:
Surely, the sun and the moon are two of God’s signs. When you witness an eclipse, pray until it ends. By God, in this place where I have performed the prayer I have seen everything promised to me. When you saw me move forward during the prayer, I did that to take a cluster of grapes which appeared to me from Paradise. Again, by God, when you saw me move backward, I did that because I saw Hell roaring with its parts piling one upon another.28
• ‘Adbullah ibn ‘Abbas relates:
God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, passed by two graves and said: “Heed what I will tell you: Those lying in those graves are suffering torments. They are suffering torments because of two grave sins. One of them used to backbite and slander others everywhere. The other was not careful [about guarding himself] against urine-stains.”29
The testimony of trees to Muhammad’s Prophethood
• Jabir ibn ‘Adbullah reports
We were walking with God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings. We went down a wide valley. The Messenger searched for a place to relieve himself. When he saw that there was not a single covered place, he went to the two trees he had caught sight of by the valley. He pulled one of them by one of its branches, next to the other tree. The tree was like an obedient camel being pulled by its reins. He addressed them: Join together over me by God’s leave! The trees joined together and formed a screen. 30
• ‘Adbullah ibn ‘Umar reports:
God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, used to lean against a pole called the ‘date-palm trunk’ when delivering a sermon. Later a pulpit was built and when the Prophet started giving his sermons from it, the pole moaned because of its separation from him. The Messenger climbed down and stroked it. The pole stopped moaning.31
• ‘Abu Sa’id al-Khudri relates:
God’s Messenger gave Qatada ibn Nu‘man a stick on a dark night, saying: “This stick will light up your surroundings as far as seven meters. When you get home, you will see a black shadow. Without giving it respite to tell you anything, strike it with this stick. Qatada did what God’s Messenger told him to.32
. Bukhari, Ayman, 22; Muslim, Ashriba, 142.
. Bukhari, At‘ima, 6; Muslim, Ashriba, 175.
. Nasa’i, 1.60; Bukhari, 4.233; Muslim, Hadith No. 2279.
. Bukhari, Shurut, 15.
Bukhari, Fada’l al-Sahaba, 9; Muslim, Fada’il al-Sahaba, 34.
6. Tirmidhi, Da‘awat, 119; I. Hanbal, 4.138; I. Maja, Iqama, 189.
. I. Hanbal, Musnad, 1.348.
. Bukhari, Nikah, 10.22.
Muslim, Salam, 45; Abu Dawud, Diyat, 6.
. I. Hanbal, Musnad, 4.112.
. Bukhari, Adab, 39; Muslim, Fada’il, 48; I. Hanbal, 3.147.
. Muslim, Fada’il, 2; Darimi, Muqaddima.
. Bukhari, Manaqib, 25; I. Hanbal, Musnad, 1.460.
. Muslim, Fada’il, 50.
. Tirmidhi, Hadith No. 3630; Hakim, 2.607.
. Bukhari, Maghazi, 31, 33; Muslim, Fada’il, 13.
. Muslim, Sifat al-Munafiqin, 38.
. Bukhari, 2.35; Bayhaqi, Sunan, 6.147.
. Bukhari, Istisqa’, 7; Muslim, Istisqa’, 1.
. Bukhari, Istisqa’, 7; Muslim, Istisqa’, 1.
. Bukhari, ‘Ilm, 17; Muslim, Fada’il, 137.
. Muslim, Fada’il, 143.
Muslim, Fada’il, 159.
. Bukhari, Iman, 37.
. Bukhari, Maghazi, 18; Muslim, Fada’il, 46–7.
. Bukhari, Maghazi, 11.
. Musnad, 1.455.
. Bukhari, Abwab ‘amal fi l-Salat, 2; Muslim, Kusuf, 3.
. Bukhari, Adab, 46; Muslim, Tahara, 3.
. Muslim, Zuhd, 74.
. Bukhari, Manaqib, 25; Tirmidhi, Manaqib, 6; Nasa’i, Jumu‘a, 17.
. I. Hanbal, Musnad, 3.65