Surah Bani Israel show that people asked for a miracle from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and he did not comply with that demand

 Q: Apparently verses 90, 91 and 924 of Surah Bani Israel show that people asked for a miracle from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and he did not comply with that demand. Opponents present them to prove that he did not possess miracles. Please reply to this objection and also narrate the circumstances of revelation of these verses.

A: Logically it is necessary that one who claims to be a messenger of God (and if he has the virtues for messengership mentioned elsewhere earlier) to have a miracle. It means that he must have something, which is extraordinary so that it may prove the veracity of his claim. It is so, because if he is a false claimant, Allah would never allow him to do anything extraordinary or unusual. Of course, only one miracle is sufficient for the confinnation of this high post. It is against logic to say that he should bring miracles demanded by everyone. Rather such compliance is undesirable, because if he brings about whatever everyone asks for, it would disrupt the management of this universe and upset the maintenance of the affair of this world which the Almighty Allah has made, according to His strategies, dependent upon causes and reasons. In other words, the prophets were not raised to disrupt the organization of the universe, they were raised to cleanse hearts and to call the people to the Lord Creator.

We may also say that most probabl y those who demanded such silly things never wanted to put faith in truth. On the contrary they only needed material benefits or intended to mock the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). In such circumstances, complying with their demands would have been illogical and against wisdom.

We also say that sometimes they may ask for a thing, which is illogical and it is obvious that the illogical is prohibited. And a miracle is to be against the ordinary, and never against logic.

After this preamble, we can say that the polytheists who demanded miracle from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) had in fact asked for extraordinary things as mentioned in these verses.

Firstly, their demand was never to get confirmation or proof of the Prophet's messengership in order to bring faith, because they had always been bent on harming the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) even after observing hundreds of splendid signs. Such manifestation did not increase in them anything but hatred.

Had they really wanted to know the truth, only one miracle would have sufficed; especially the miraculous Quran. Even after seeing the miracle of the splitting of moon, they said: This is magic. Summarily, their aim after demanding such miracles was never to believe and to put faith in the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). They only intended to mock him and hence such demands were not worth paying attention to.

Secondly, some of their demands were absurd and against logic, which included seeing Almighty Allah and angels; that is, they said: We will not believe in what you say, until you make us see Allah and His angels with our eyes:

أَوْ تَأْتِيَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْمَلَائِكَةِ قَبِيلًا

"...or bring Allah and the angels face to face (with us). "(Al-Israa, 17:92)

And since, seeing Almighty Allah is impossible because He is not a body and is free from physicality, He says in reply:

قُلْ سُبْحَانَ رَبِّي

"Say: Glory be to my Lord ...” (Al-Israa, 17:93)

Some of their demands were against divine wisdom in the affairs of the universe and creation. They said: We will not believe you unless you lift up the mountains of Mecca and make the ground plain and make streams to flow, which should never dry up:

وَقَالُوا لَنْ نُؤْمِنَ لَكَ حَتَّىٰ تَفْجُرَ لَنَا مِنَ الْأَرْضِ يَنْبُوعًا

"And they say: We will by no means believe in you until you cause a fountain to gush forth from the earth for us…” (Al-lsraa, 17:90)

Some of their demands were childish, based on ignorance and seeking excuse and quarrels, which were based on their enmity, grudge and obstinacy. They said:

رًاأَوْ تَكُونَ لَكَ جَنَّةٌ مِنْ نَخِيلٍ وَعِنَبٍ فَتُفَجِّرَ الْأَنْهَارَ خِلَالَهَا تَفْجِي

"Or you should have a garden of palms and grapes in the

midst of which you should cause rivers to flow forth, gushing out."(Al-Isra, 17:91)

أَوْ تُسْقِطَ السَّمَاءَ كَمَا زَعَمْتَ عَلَيْنَا كِسَفً

"Or you should cause the heaven to come down upon us in pieces as you think ..."

(Al-Israa, 17:92)

أَوْ يَكُونَ لَكَ بَيْتٌ مِنْ زُخْرُفٍ

"Or you should have a house of gold ...” (Al-lsraa, 17:93)

أَوْ يَكُونَ لَكَ بَيْتٌ مِنْ زُخْرُفٍ

"...or you should ascend into heaven, and we will not believe in your ascending until you bring down to us a book which we may read.” (Al-Israa, 17:93)

It is not hidden from any sensible person that none of these demands are logical and worth being attended to, especially in view of their enmity, hatred and obstinacy.

Thirdly, we say that one of the reasons for not meeting such foolish demands is that it has always been full of hidden wisdom of Almighty Allah that whenever a community demanded an extraordinary miracle and when He also showed it to them and when even thereafter they did not put faith in the messenger, they were destroyed in an instant punishment.

The people of Prophet Salih (a.s.) demanded that a special kind of she-camel should come out of the mountain; but even after seeing the desired miracle they did not believe in His prophethood, on the contrary their hatred and enmity doubled; then the Almighty Allah destroyed all of them.

No doubt the polytheists of Mecca also were like people of Salih (a.s.) and that even after seeing what they had demanded they were certainly not going to believe in what the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said and their hatred would have multiplied and they would also have been destroyed. God's strategy did not call for their total destruction, especially from the aspect that most of their descendants were to become Muslims. There is a hint in this verse about this demand:

وَمَا مَنَعَنَا أَنْ نُرْسِلَ بِالْآيَاتِ إِلَّا أَنْ كَذَّبَ بِهَا الْأَوَّلُونَ

"And nothing could have hindered Us that We should send signs except that the ancients rejected them..." (Al-Israa, 17:59)

Meaning: Nothing prevented us from acceding to the improvised demands of the Quraish, but the fact that the people before them had made such demands and We had shown the same to them through Our Messengers. But they rejected them, gave them a lie and then We annihilated them. If We bring about what they are demanding by way of miracles, We know that they would not believe.Then chastisement must be sent down on them. But from the begi nning We have decided that We wou ld not annihilate them because of the nobility of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) or due to the fact that We would bring out true believers from their progeny.

Or the meaning of the holy verse is that We do not send improvised signs as We do know that they would not believe. So such sending of signs would be useless.

It is clear from the above explanation that the argument of deniers is wrong, whereby they say that according to the verse the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) did not possess miracles. The fact is that the Holy Quran repeatedly asserts that messengers of Allah did have miracles:

لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا رُسُلَنَا بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ

"Certainly We sent Our apostles with clear arguments..." (Al- Had id, 57:25)

On the contrary, it even provides details of some such miracles. How can they say that the Last Prophet did not have miracles? Almighty Allah Himself has described the Holy Quran as His miracle and also challenges that even if all jinns and men join together, they would not be able to bring even a single chapter like that of the Holy Quran.

There also are many continuous narrations mentioning several other miracles shown by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). Some of them are mentioned in the Holy Quran. Now then do the opponents dare say that the Holy Quran denies the miracles by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.)? For example, here are brief descriptions of some miracles of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) in Quran:

I - One of the miracles of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) is ascension to the heavens (Meraj) wherein Allah raised the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) one night from Mecca to Masjid Aqsa and from there to heavens. He says in the beginning of Surah Bani Israel :

سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ ىالْأَقْصَ

"Glory be to Him Who made His servant to go on a night from the Sacred Mosque to the remote mosque ..." (Al- Israa, 17:l)

And the end of ascension is described in Surah Najm. 5

2- Another miracle is splitting of the Moon, which was demanded by the polytheists of Mecca who said: As magic is not effective in the sky, if you show us the splitting of moon, we would believe in your messengership. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) hinted at the moon with his holy finger whereby the moon split into two and thereafter he again pointed his finger to it and it rejoined. So it is mentioned in Surah Qamar:

اقْتَرَبَتِ السَّاعَةُ وَانْشَقَّ الْقَمَرُ

"The hour drew nigh and the moon did rend asunder. (Al-Qamar, 54: 1)

3- Yet another miracle of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) is h is throwing a handful of sand on the army of infidels whereby Allah made it to hit the eyes and noses of the entire army of deniers in such a way that they were totally defeated in that war between truth and falsehood. It is mentioned in Surah Anfal:

وَمَا رَمَيْتَ إِذْ رَمَيْتَ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ رَمَىٰ

"...and you did not smite when you smote (the enemy), but it was Allah Who smote ..."

(Al- An fal, ( 8:17)

4- One more of the miracles of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) was blowing of a hard wind during the Battle of Ahzab. The Almighty Allah made that wind so severe and cold that it uprooted their tents and extinguished their fires and made them unable to stay there, so they were compelled to flee. Almighty Allah also sent a number of angels to assist the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). It is mentioned in Surah Ahzab that:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اذْكُرُوا نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ جَاءَتْكُمْ جُنُودٌ فَأَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ رِيحًا وَجُنُودًا لَمْ تَرَوْهَا ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرًا

"O you who believe! Call to mind the favor of Allah to you when there came down upon you hosts, so We sent against them a strong wind and hosts, that you saw not...”

(Al- Ahzab, 33:9)

So also, in the Battle of Hunain, when the Muslim army was defeated and took to flight, Almighty Allah sent some angels to help the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). He gave peace of mind to believers and defeated and overpowered the deniers. It is mentioned in Surah Baraat:

وَيَوْمَ حُنَيْنٍ لَقَدْ نَصَرَكُمُ اللَّهُ فِي مَوَاطِنَ كَثِيرَةٍ ۙ

"Certainly Allah helped you in many battlefields and on the day of (battle of) Hunain...” (At-Taubah, 9:25)

5- Also among the miracles granted to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and mentioned in Quran, is giving advance information of unknown events which proved true afterwards. There are many such miracles, but we mention only some of them here. Their details are available in books of Quranic exegesis. For example the holy verse:

سَيُهْزَمُ الْجَمْعُ وَيُوَلُّونَ الدُّبُرَ

"Soon shall the hosts be routed, and they shall turn (their) backs. " (Al-Qamar, 54:45)

. . .which predicted the defeat and flight of the denier army and which was proved true during the Battle of Badr. It is mentioned:

سَأُلْقِي فِي قُلُوبِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا الرُّعْبَ فَاضْرِبُوا فَوْقَ الْأَعْنَاقِ

"I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads ..” (Al-Anfal, 8:12)

Then He predicted the victory of Khyber and so also of the conquests, all of which proved totally true. Accordingly, it is mentioned in Surah Fath:

وَعَدَكُمُ اللَّهُ مَغَانِمَ كَثِيرَةً

"Allah promised you many acquisitions...” (Al-Fath, 48:20)

Also in Surah Kauthar the prediction of continuation of progeny of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and discontinuation of progeny of his taunters is given and so did it happen. The late scholar, Fakhrul Islam, (r.a.), in his Bayanul Haqq (Vol. 1), has quoted thirty instances of such prophecies given in the Holy Quran and twenty prophecies of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) about things known to none except Almigh ty Allah and mentioned in the Holy

Quran (desirous readers may refer to this book). Allamah Majlisi (r.a.) in Vol. 2 of Hayatul Qulub has also collected a number of such news items, which can be seen by those who want to.

It is mentioned in Volume 2 of Aneesul Aalaam (Pg. 245) that there are eight instances of such advance news in the Gospels. It is mentioned therein that His Eminence, Isa Masih (a.s.) was asked to produce some improvised signs and His Eminence, did not pay attention to those demands. One of such instances quoted in the said book is verse II , chapter 8 in the Book of Marks:

The Farisis came out and began to argue with him (His Eminence, Masih) and as a trial they asked him to produce miracles from the sky and he sighed from his heart saying: For what this group is asking such signs? I have already told you that no sign will be shown to this group.