The world was flooded yet the ark of Nuh عليه السلام survived. Today the world is flooded with darkness yet the ark of Sunnah is here for us to survive.
Ibrahim عليه السلام was thrown into a raging gigantic fire that could be seen and its heat felt from miles yet, the fire didn’t harm him. Rather it comforted him.
Musa عليه السلام was in the tightest of situation. Pharaoh and his army was advancing from the back and the raging expanse of the red sea in the front. The Red Sea parts to make way for him. What became a path of safety for him and his followers became a death warrant for Pharaoh and his followers.
The sun stopped in its tracks so Yusha عليه السلام could conquer Bait Al Maqdis.
Isa عليه السلام himself is a walking miracle. He was given the ability to cure the blind and dead. Sad that today most of those who claim to follow him are blinded to his true teachings and the hearts have died. He was further raised to the Heavens very much alive away from any kind of harm.
At the end, we reach our very own Prophet ﷺ.
Blessed were his ﷺ hands that Allah made water flow in abundance and food to multiply so the thirst was quenched and hunger could be satisfied.
Blessed was his ﷺ tongue on which Allah revealed His revelation to quench the thirst of souls and the hunger for guidance satisfied.
His ﷺ saliva was cure, his ﷺ sweat greater than any perfume.
By the permission of Allah, the very moon Moon split at his ﷺ pointing and storms engulfed enemies at his ﷺ throw.
People were sarcastic at him ﷺ travelling from Makkah to Jerusalem in a Night.
Wait till they hear that he ﷺ traveled from Palestine to the Heavens in all its might.
Sorry for getting a bit spoken-word types there but reading the Seerah just pumps you up. An interesting point to note here is that Imam Shafi’i رحمه الله said, “For every miracle Allah gave to the other Prophets, He gave Prophet Muhammad a similar or a greater miracle”. Just goes to show the immense status of our Nabi ﷺ, Imam of the Prophets.
I would like to raise 2 points today with regards to these miracles:
1. Tawakkul (Complete Reliance ONLY on Allah)
Do you see any kind of pattern emerge when we read about the miracles of the Prophets? In the tightest of situations what always helped, and what was always the go to answer for all the Prophets throughout was their utmost and complete reliance on Allah. It didn’t matter what the people said or what impossible force stood in their way, they went on with their task for the sake of Allah. This does not mean that they never felt scared, anxious or even depressed.
Read Surah ad-Duha and your heart will warm up as though its filled directly from the spring of alKauthar. Rather what helped all these Prophets and their righteous companions again and again was the mindset that no matter what, Allah’s power is greater than all. Whatever Allah has decreed will come to pass and NO ONE can change it. Anything and everything is at the command of Allah He says “Be and it is”. The impossible becomes possible, rather nothing is impossible for Allah.
ALL of this being said, we must focus on the crux of the matter. Allah says in Surah Yunus:
قُل لَّا أَمْلِكُ لِنَفْسِي ضَرًّا وَلَا نَفْعًا إِلَّا مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ أَجَلٌ إِذَا جَاءَ أَجَلُهُمْ فَلَا يَسْتَأْخِرُونَ سَاعَةً وَلَا يَسْتَقْدِمُونَ
“Say, “I possess not for myself any harm or benefit except what Allah should will. For every nation is a [specified] term. When their time has come, then they will not remain behind an hour, nor will they precede [it].”” [Surah Yunus, Ayah 49].
Allah also says in Surah al An’aam:
قُل لَّا أَقُولُ لَكُمْ عِندِي خَزَائِنُ اللَّهِ وَلَا أَعْلَمُ الْغَيْبَ وَلَا أَقُولُ لَكُمْ إِنِّي مَلَكٌ إِنْ أَتَّبِعُ إِلَّا مَا يُوحَىٰ إِلَيَّ قُلْ هَلْ يَسْتَوِي الْأَعْمَىٰ وَالْبَصِيرُ أَفَلَا تَتَفَكَّرُونَ
Say, [O Muhammad], “I do not tell you that I have the depositories [containing the provision] of Allah or that I know the unseen, nor do I tell you that I am an angel. I only follow what is revealed to me.” Say, “Is the blind equivalent to the seeing? Then will you not give thought?” [Surah al-An‘aam, Ayah 50].
2. How Do We Benefit?
The Prophets of Allah were given many miracles of which a few are mentioned above. We further read that the close friends of Allah (His true servants) are also given miracles, but of a lower degree.
The difference here is that a miracle is called a Mu’jizah which is exclusive to Prophets. The Arabic word for miracle is mu’jizah meaning something unique that cannot be resisted. The miracles granted to the prophets were not only unique, they were also pertinent and understandable to the people to whom they were sent. When they saw a miracle they knew that it could not have been performed by an ordinary man.
Karamah – (plural: karamat) on the other hand is the lower degree miracle that is brought about at the hands of a believer who obeys Allah. A karamah usually only benefits the one to whom it is given. This is something that we can all aspire to reach. Some scholars even say that we can make dua to Allah specifically so he grants us the ability to reach this level.
A side note but something really important is that today we have many people duping Muslims and doing things claiming them to be karamah. A simple litmus solution is to see the person. Why? Because such miracles occur at the hand of a true believer, who is the best of people in knowledge, deeds and attitude, whereas witchcraft and its likes occurs at the hands of the practitioner of witchcraft, who is the worst of people in knowledge, deeds and attitude. If this so called miracle is doing or asking for anything to be done which contradicts the Shariah, then its not a karamah. Run very very far away from such people.
So many stories and anecdotes are narrated by the scholars in their books. However we must bear in mind that many of the stories that have been narrated in this regard may not be sound, so it is essential to verify reports of this nature before taking them seriously or quoting them.
It was narrated that Qays ibn Abi Haazim said: I saw Khalid ibn al-Waleed رضي الله عنه in Heerah. Some poison was brought to him and he said: What is this? They said: Poison that kills in a very short time. He said: Bismillah, then he swallowed it and nothing bad happened to him.
[Sharh Usool I‘tiqaad Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa‘ah, 6/498; al-Bidaayah wa’n-Nihaayah, 6/382]
(DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME)
There are many such stories in the books of the scholars that deal with biographies and stories of the salaf, such as az-Zuhd by Imam Ahmad رحمه الله, Hilyat al-Awliya’ by Abu Na‘eem al-Asbahaani رحمه الله, Siyar A‘laam an-Nubala’ by Imam adh-Dhahabi رحمه الله, al-Bidaayah wa’n-Nihaayah by Imam Ibn Katheer رحمه الله, and many others. But some of these stories are not authentic and some are exaggerated, especially the stories told by the Sufis in their books about their sheikhs.
Having read about so so many of these incidents, be it as kids or even today the thought, “Man I wish I could do something like that too” would have crossed our minds atleast once. Right? What if I said we can do something like that. Interesting?
Sheikhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah رحمه الله had a really deep statement:
أعظم الكرامة لزوم الاستقامة
The greatest of the saintly miracles is to be given the grace to be upright on the straight path. Upon loving obedience to Allah. There is no honour that Allah bestows on any of His slaves that can match the honour of helping him to do that which He loves and which pleases Him, and to do more of that which will bring him closer to Him and raise him in status.
If you focus on the last word there – Istiqamah – That is the KEY. Our beloved Prophet ﷺ told us, “Say: ‘I believe in Allah’, and then stand firm and steadfast.” [Muslim]
The literal meaning of Istiqamah is to go straight into the right direction, acting rightly, allowing no deviation. It is derived from the stem “Qiyyam”, which implies the continuity of doing something, following up with it and making sure that it is done in the right way and there is neither deviation nor swerving. So basically fulfill obligations, to avoid prohibitions and not give into sinful desires.
According to Imam Ibn Qayyim رحمه الله, there are 5 conditions to achieve Istiqamah:
- The act should be done for the sake of Allah alone.
- It should be done on the basis of knowledge.
- Performing worship should be in the same manner that it has been commanded.
- To do it in the best way possible.
- Restricting oneself to what is lawful while performing those deeds.
Allah revealed to our Nabi ﷺ
فَاسْتَقِمْ كَمَا أُمِرْتَ وَمَن تَابَ مَعَكَ وَلَا تَطْغَوْا إِنَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ
So remain on a right course as you have been commanded, [you] and those who have turned back with you [to Allah ], and do not transgress. Indeed, He is Seeing of what you do. [Surah Hud, Ayah 112]
Ibn Abbas رضي الله عنه said that this verse was the hardest and most difficult verse of the Quran on the Prophet ﷺ. Being steadfast is not something we can achieve overnight, it takes time to reach there. We will fail and make mistakes for we are human, but at the end even that struggle is worth it because Allah is the Best of Judges and Sees All our efforts. Just ponder on the fact that we recite Surah al-Fatihah at least seventeen times each day seeking continuous guidance to the straight path from Allah.
Further more coming closer to Allah is a source of increasing one in provision. Not just here but also in the hereafter. Allah says in the Quran:
Coming closer to Allah is a source of increasing one in provision. Not just here but also in the hereafter. Allah says in the Quran:
وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَجًا وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ وَمَن يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بَالِغُ أَمْرِهِ قَدْ جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدْرًا
And whoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him – He will make for him a way out (of every difficulty). And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent. [Surah al-Talaq, Ayah 2-3]
Similarly, sin brings poverty. A person may be deprived of provision because of sins that he commits. Nothing brings provision like doing acts of obedience and avoiding sins. Imam Ibn al-Qayyim رحمه الله said, “The things that spoil and cancel out good deeds are too many to list. What matters is not the deed; what matters is protecting the deed from that which would spoil it and cancel it out.” [Al-Wabil al-Sayyib (p.20)]
We have all read about the Battle of Badr and how Allah sent down an army to help the believers against a force more than triple their numbers. Our teacher, Sheikh Sajid Umar حفظه الله during an explanation of the Names of Allah emphasized that even TODAY, if we were to have our intentions sincere and work solely to please Allah, then no matter what gigantic problem obstructs our path – Allah will send down His (angels) help us.
We have a crazy amount of potential that we can achieve. It does not do to just read about these incidents and miracles and treat them as mere stories. No, they have been narrated to us for a reason. We can achieve something similar even today. Lets not brush it apart that oh only they can do it because they were so great, legends and what not. We can also attain the great favours from the never-diminishing bounty of Allah. All that matters is complete servitude to Allah. Aim higher, work harder and have utmost faith in Allah. Mountains will turn to dust. He who turns to Allah – Allah will aid him for Allah doesn’t like that his slave raises his hands for help and is left empty handed.
Today the world is flooded with darkness yet the ark of Sunnah is here for us to survive.
Today the fire of ignorance is raging hot but the words of Allah are here to comfort us.
How little has Allah asked from us and in return offers Jannah.
Have complete faith in Allah and He will split all your problems asunder.
Never declare anyone to be lost for eternity when Allah can give birth to guidance in his heart.
The Sun and the Moon illuminate us with their light. The words of Allah illuminate our hearts with light.
Time to ponder on the immense bounty and blessings from Allah.
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