Did Muhammad Perform any Miracles?
20 Nov, 2005
- Muslims love Muhammad to the extent that they want to dress like him, speak the same language that he spoke, behave the way he behaved and eat the food that he ate. This is not an indication of the greatness of Muhammad but the unconditional, fanatical and blind faith of his believers. Followers of all cults eulogize and adulate their leader as a divine being. This is no indication that their leaders were really superior beings. Humans need heroes and fabricate them. Often when these heroes die they assume a mythological status much bigger than life. That is when their human nature and defects are hidden form the eyes of their adulators.
Muslims have not seen Muhammad. They rely entirely on second hand stories about their prophet. Those stories idolize him beyond human reason. Many of those Hadithes are forged, exaggerated by ruffians and are baseless. See for examples the following Hadith that says Muhammad split the moon.
Sahih Bukhari Volume 5, Book 58, Number 208
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
The people of Mecca asked Allah's Apostle to show them a miracle. So he showed them the moon split in two halves between which they saw the Hiram' mountain.
Also Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 56, Number 830 ,831, 832
Or this one that claims he made water out of nothing.
Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 4, Number 170
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
I saw Allah's Apostle when the 'Asr prayer was due and the people searched for water to perform ablution but they could not find it. Later on (a pot full of) water for ablution was brought to Allah's Apostle . He put his hand in that pot and ordered the people to perform ablution from it. I saw the water springing out from underneath his fingers till all of them performed the ablution (it was one of the miracles of the Prophet).
Or multiplied the bread. Sahih Bukhari Volume 5, Book 59, Number 428
Of course when challenged by skeptics, Muhammad repeatedly denied being able to perform any miracle. He admitted that although other prophets before him were given the power of performing miracles, his only miracle is Quran.
Sahih Bukhari Volume 9, Book 92, Number 379
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "There was no prophet among the prophets but was given miracles because of which people had security or had belief, but what I was given was the Divine Inspiration which Allah revealed to me. So I hope that my followers will be more than those of any other prophet on the Day of Resurrection."
There are many verses in Quran that reaffirm this last Hadith, proving that Muhammad never performed any miracle and found it useless. In the following verse Muhammad is acknowledging that other prophets before him came with miracles or clear signs but still people rejected them, highlighting the futility of miracles as the proof of his revelation.
Q. 03: 138
They (also) said: "Allah took our promise not to believe in an messenger unless He showed us a sacrifice consumed by Fire (From heaven)." Say: "There came to you messengers before me, with clear Signs and even with what ye ask for: why then did ye slay them, if ye speak the truth?" if you are truthful?
All along, the unbelievers asked Muhammad to perform a miracle so that they could believe. All they got in response was,
Q. 17: 90
They say: "We shall not believe in thee, until thou cause a spring to gush forth for us from the earth,
And he would reply:
Q. 17: 93
Say: "Glory to my Lord! Am I aught but a man,- a messenger?"
People doubted Muhammad because they saw nothing extraordinary or miraculous in him.
Q. 17: 94
And naught prevented mankind from believing when the guidance came unto them save that they said: Hath Allah sent a mortal as (His) messenger?
Q. 25: 7
And they say: "What sort of a messenger is this, who eats food, and walks through the streets? Why has not an angel been sent down to him to give admonition with him?
Q. 25: 8
"Or (Why) has not a treasure been bestowed on him, or why has he (not) a garden for enjoyment?" The wicked say: "Ye follow none other than a man bewitched."
But Muhammad kept telling them that he is just an ordinary man not an angel, meaning people should not expect miracles from him!
Q. 17: 95
Say: Had there been in the earth angels walking about as settlers, We would certainly have sent down to them from the heaven an angel as a messenger.
The common sense dictates that no one would deny and call a man who performs such mighty miracles like splitting the moon, as believed by all the Muslims a mad man or possessed. But the people who knew him actually called him by these names.
Q. 15: 06
They say: "O thou to whom the Message is being revealed! truly thou art mad (or possessed)!.
No one would demand him miracles if he had already performed one
Q. 15: 07
Why do you not bring to us the angels if you are of the truthful ones?
But Muhammad responded
Q. 15: 08
We send not the angels down except for just cause: if they came (to the ungodly), behold! no respite would they have!
The Quraishites kept asking for a sign or a miracle to believe and Muhammad kept saying that he is only a warner.
Q. 13: 07
“And the Unbelievers say: "Why is not a sign sent down to him from his Lord?" But thou art truly a warner, and to every people a guide.”
There are many more ayat that tell the same story. People asking miracles and him saying I am just a man, just like you, only a warner. A clear proof that Muhammad never performed any miracles is in this verse where it says that people rejected even other messengers who came with miracles and clear signs, meaning miracles are not helpful.
Q. 3: 184
Then if they reject thee, so were rejected messengers before thee, who came with Clear Signs, Books of dark prophecies, and the Book of Enlightenment.
In the above verses Muhammad is denying any supernatural power. If he could perform the miracles attributed to him in those Ahadith, what is the meaning of these verses? In the following verse he clearly rejects miracles as the proof of prophethood comparing them to witchcrafts.
Their hearts toying
as with trifles. The wrong-doers conceal their private counsels,
(saying), "Is this (one) more than a man like yourselves? Will ye go
to witchcraft with your eyes open?"
He was right! What is the use of miracles anyway? Miracles may be a proof for those who witness them, but mean nothing to others. Muhammad was right in emphasizing that the real miracle is his message or the Quran, because that is what really counts. Although this is a valid principle, Quran is no miracle at all. It is a book full of errors and inconsistencies.
I do not see Muhammad as a superior human being for two reasons.
a) Many of Ahadith and verses from Quran, if right, reveal him as an angry, ruthless, unforgiving, deceitful, and impious man. Acts like looting merchant caravans, killing those who decide to have their own faith and not follow him, cursing his enemies, treating women as second class citizens and calling them deficient in intelligence, assassinating cowardly his opponents like a common gangster, and many more acts like these are not precisely spiritual characteristics that I seek in a man I would like to follow and emulate. His deeds are far from the deeds of an "honored messenger" as he claimed to be in Q. 69:40
b) Today's modern Muslims, especially those whose standard of ethics is colored by western/humanistic precepts of right and wrong try to distance themselves from those hadithes that depict Muhammad as a ruthless immoral and unethical gangster. They deny the validity of those hadithes and all what shows Muhammad in a negative light. However, if those hadithes and verses are forged, then the whole validity of Islam crumbles and there is no reason for anyone to believe in a mythological figure whose real life and words is not known.
Ali Sina is the editor of Faithfreedom.org. He is has contributed in 'Beyond Jihad - Critical Voices from Inside Islam'. His latest book is Understanding Muhammad: The Psychobiography of Allah’s Prophet.