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Miracles, Myths, Mistakes and MattersSee Title Page and List of Contents

See: Project Rebuttal: What the West needs to know about Islam

Refuting the gross distortion and misrepresentation of the Quran, the Prophet Muhammad and Islam, made by the critics of Islam

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October 19th, 2014

Section I — Miracles

“…miracle is: that what appears impossible to man is possible for God.”[1]

7:203. When you do not produce a miracle [Arabic: biāyatin[2] – a Sign] that they demand, they say, “Why not ask God for it?” Say, "I simply follow and convey what is revealed to me from my Lord." These verses are the enlightening miracle from your Lord, the guidance and grace for those who accept them. [emphasis added]

7:204. When the Qur’an is read, listen to it with full attention [to comprehend it], and listen to it silently, that you may receive mercy [of a miraculous and blissful understanding and deeper insight].[3]

Miracles as commonly understood are based upon ‘supernatural’ events that allegedly were witnessed by everyone else and oddly not reported by the actual performer of that miracle. It is the ‘supernatural’ aspect of an alleged miracle which is usually put forth as the basis of truth and an implied argument for existence of God as if God is bereft of a primary proof and needs secondary proofs for His existence.

… what miracle can be more wonderful than human thought? If human thought cannot satisfy persons of the existence of God, how can any miracle?[4]

The God of Islam does not need ‘supernatural’ miracles to prove His existence. Miracles can only prove a physical aspect but He is non-physical. On the contrary, the logic in Qur’ân is a manifest proof of Him. Such a God is experienced through human thought, contemplation and seeking. On a physical and moral plane He is experienced in our own persons and in our daily lives by observing His attributes at play in the world we live in:

51:20. There are signs on the earth for the people of knowledge and assured faith.

51:21. And (you have signs) in your own persons. Have you no eyes to perceive[5]

One common theme in all such reported miracles is that they defy the laws of physics as if physics is ungodly and is supposed to disprove God. The proponents of miracles in their advocacy forget that laws of physical universe are made by none other than God Himself. Under Unity of creation, all moral, spiritual and physical laws are in perfect harmony free of any mutual conflict. To justify the miracles, the proponents fail to realize that the alleged miracles could only happen if their God broke His own laws willy-nilly, a laughable preposition. The proponents of miracles will also agree that breaking of law is commonly called as kufr, and the breaker a kafir, be it by breaking the physical law of gravity by jumping from a height and breaking one’s leg or indulging in a moral turpitude. Does God break his own Laws? Not so:

10:64. …There is no changing the words of Allâh; …[6]

Even though human understanding of laws of physics is still evolving, but such an emerging awareness is incremental where each newer theory is based upon the previously validated laws. A phenomenon does not have to be ‘supernatural’ to be called a miracle; rather the miracle is the outcome of an otherwise non-plausible set of events surrounding the occurrence of that miracle. Miraculous outcomes as laid out in Qur’ân are the outcome of the loggerhead questions in which moral laws trump the physical laws. For example, every law known to man governing physical strength, organizational numbers, economic assets, logistics and resources, social pressures and political alliances, which are needed for success of any system, they were one and all working against Prophet Muhammad. His message had not the remotest chance to succeed, but it did. Now that is a miracle. Just like a physicist who discovers (not creates) laws of physics by experimentation, so does a prophet brings to fore the moral laws by actually living them and history reports the manifestation of those laws which by any secular analysis are miracles. These miracles of prophets are not a transient awe of and illusionist but remain as a working model of virtuous success expected to be repeated in one’s own struggles because the moral and spiritual laws are not the sole prerogative of a prophet rather they exist for the whole mankind.

Whether the supposed ‘supernatural’ events happened or not are not the focus of discussion in this book. Everything and every event in the universe in natural, but is only ‘supernatural’ to the mind of the novice and ignorant. What this book tries to refute are the physics defying details of those events, evidence of which is not found in Qur’ân. Whereas, Qur’ân is full of miracles of ‘extraordinary’ events that otherwise were not possible in the historical context of their occurrence. Miracles in Qur’ân are not physics defying but definitely history setting for their impact that we see in survival of Noah; escape of Abraham from his persecutions; destruction of the pharaoh and exodus of Moses, Aaron and Israelites from Egypt; survival of Jonah from a drowning death; disappearance of Jesus, a convicted man from the midst of Roman Empire; Kaaba remaining intact despite the onslaught on it by a mighty army with elephants and success of Prophet Muhammad despite all odds, to name a few.

The key to understanding miracles from within Qur’ân is for the readers to remove from their minds the historical hearsay. Instead of finding from within Qur’ân the ‘supernatural’ rather one must seek the ‘extraordinary’ events that it brings to light as an example of survival of its truth both in the past and for the reader in the present. It is this assurance of ‘extraordinary’ which gives basis for message of Qur’ân and the principles and laws that it defines which must be used for future course of one’s life individually and for the society collectively. The miraculous end result despite all odds of one standing for the cause of truth, honesty, bravery, patience, perseverance, chastity, equity, equality, charity, morality and justice are at times nothing short of a miracle that otherwise might defy the ordinary rationale and a jaded view that is influenced and enticed by power and the might of the transgressing forces in the society.

“Even today these miracles happen in the sense that, not necessarily an individual, but the cause of truth is always rescued by Allah from destruction by its opponents.”[7]

Qur’ân even rejects the notion of Miracles or supernatural ‘signs’ as a means to convince the non-contemplating skeptic:

6:109. And they swear by Allâh their most solemn oaths that if there comes to them a (particular) sign they would invariably believe in it. Say, `'(Not to speak of a single sign) there are indeed many signs with Allâh, but what is there to assure you that when that (sign) comes, even then, they will not believe.'

6:110. We shall confound their hearts and their eyes, since they did not believe in it (-God's signs) in the first instance, and We shall leave them alone wandering blindly in their transgression.

6:111. Even if We should send down the angels to them, and the dead should speak to them, and even if We should bring all things together face to face (to them), they would not believe unless Allâh had (enforced) His will. The thing is that most of them persist in ignorance. [8]

Objectively, the ‘supernatural’ miracles attributed to Qur’ân have their roots from outside of the Qur’ân. Qur’ân is then erroneously used as a validation of the commonly pervading myths in the minds. Vain efforts are made to justify mythology from Qur’ân. This slippage is usually the outcome in interpreting of references in Qur’ân to some event in history, but the soothsayers instead of using the linguistics of Qur’ân for the ‘extraordinary’ instead seek it for the ‘supernatural’ reasons. This folly is mostly due to lack of understanding of the use of metaphor in the Book. This misunderstanding shall be removed by various examples in the chapters that follow in current section.

[1] 'Ahmadiyya view of miracles in the Quran' – Reply to an objection, by Dr. Zahid Aziz., The Light & Islamic Review. July–September 2003, Volume 80, Number 3.
[2] Âyatun – Sign; Apparent sign; Mark; Indication; Message; Evidence; Proof, Miracle; Communication; Verse of the Holy Qur’ân (as each of which is a miracle); Previous revelation; Monument; Lofty building that should acquire renown as a sign of greatness. It properly signifies any apparent thing inseparable from a thing not equally apparent so that when one perceives the former, he perceives the other which he cannot perceive by itself, e.g."The party came out with their whole company." Dictionary of The Holy Quran, (c) 2010, Abdul Mannan Omar, p. 38.
[3] Al-Araaf – The Height of Discernment: Shabbir Ahmed.
[4] 'Muhammad The Sign of God' by Shaikh M. H. Kidwai, Islamic Review & Muslim India, p. 521, Vol. V, No. 12, December 1917, The Mosque, Woking, Surrey, England.
[5] Al-Dhâriyât – The Scatters: Nooruddin
[6] Yûnus – Jonah: Nooruddin
[7] 'Ahmadiyya view of miracles in the Quran' – Reply to an objection, by Dr. Zahid Aziz., The Light & Islamic Review. July–September 2003, Volume 80, Number 3.
[8] Al-Anam – The Cattle: Nooruddin

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