Muhammad the Prophet of Mercy


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  • Muhammad the Prophet of Mercy



  • 6. Turn Mount As-Safa into
    gold for us
    to believe you!

    The disbelievers shut their ears
    against all guidance and hinged their belief in the Prophet r
    on a material miracle. Ibn ‘Abbas t
    narrated:

    The chiefs of Quraish
    said to the Prophet
    r, O Muhammad! If you will not accept any of the offers we made
    you, surely you know that none of the people have a smaller town, scarcer
    water, or harder living than us. Ask your Lord Who sent you with that message
    to move these mountains that narrowed our living away from us and to stretch
    out our town and cause rivers like those of Syria and Iraq to gush
    forth within it for us. And to resurrect our dead forefathers – and let Qusai
    bin Kilab be one of them, for he was a truthful sheikh – to ask them about what
    you say if it is true or false. If they affirm what you say and you fulfill
    what we have asked of you, we shall believe you and acknowledge your status in
    the Sight of Allah, and that He has sent you as a Messenger, as you say
    .

    He r
    said, Not with this I am
    sent to you. I have brought you the Message from Allah with which He has sent
    me. I have conveyed the Message with which I am sent to you. If you accept it,
    there will be goodness for you in the life of this world and the hereafter. But
    if you return it to me rejected, I shall show patience with the Decree of Allah
    (Exalted be He) until Allah judges between me and you
    .

    They said, If
    you do not fulfill this for us, then seek for yourself. Ask your Lord to send
    an angel with you who affirms what you say, and answers us back on your behalf.
    Ask Him to make for you gardens, palaces, and rivers of gold and silver so you
    will be in no need of what we see you wanting; for you go to the markets and
    seek a livelihood as we do. We can thus acknowledge your superiority and rank
    in the Sight of your Lord, if you are a Messenger as you claim
    .

    He r
    said, I will not do
    this. I am not the one who asks this from his Lord. I am not sent to you with
    this. Allah has sent me as a giver of glad tidings and a warner. If you accept
    what I have come to you with, there will be goodness for you in the life of
    this world and the hereafter. But if you return it to me rejected, I shall show
    patience with the Decree of Allah (Exalted be He) until Allah judges between me
    and you
    .1

    The only thing that would convince the Arabs of Makkah to
    believe was to see a miracle that instantly turned land into sea or a desert
    into gardens. This alone could persuade them:

    (And
    they say, “We will not believe you until you break open a spring from the
    ground for us. Or (until) you have a garden of date palms and grapes and make
    rivers gush forth within them in force and abundance. Or you make the heavens
    fall upon us in fragments as you have claimed, or you bring Allah and the
    angels before (us) face to face. Or you have a house of gold or you ascend into
    the sky. And (even then), we will not believe in your ascension until you bring
    down to us a book we may read.” Say, “Exalted is my Lord! Am I anything but a
    human messenger?”
    )2

    Nothing of what they demanded was hard or difficult for Divine
    Power. (If We willed, We could send down to them from the
    heaven a sign for which their necks would remain humbled
    .)3

    But Divine Wisdom insisted on elevating the human mind, which
    they cheapened. This Supreme Power has not given mankind a mind capable of
    miracles – when cared for and paid attention to – to have this gift wasted and
    instead fulfill the wishes of some ignorant people who stultified themselves
    and their minds, and refused to listen to reason and instinct while asking for
    material miracles in order to believe their Prophet.4

    Miracles that supported past Messages did not prevent denial of
    and disbelief in them; therefore, there is no use in sending more. (And
    nothing stops Us from sending signs but that the people of old denied them
    .)5

    Most of the past nations, in spite of the miraculous signs sent
    to them, did not respond to the truth or to the Call of the Messengers, not
    because of insufficient evidence but, rather, because of obstinacy and
    impudence. Thus, torment came down upon them all, as dictated by the Law of
    Allah that never changes regarding the destruction of those who deny the signs.6 Allah U says: (Not
    one of the towns, of those that We destroyed, believed before them (though We
    sent them signs
    ).)7

    This is because when obduracy goes as far as inhibiting people
    from belief, even when they see a material, visible miracle it leaves them
    without any excuse or hope of reform. Thus, torment is justified against them.

    Time and again signs were sent, time and again people denied
    them, and time and again the deniers were destroyed; so why would these people
    believe because of a miracle sent to them, when they were no better than those
    destroyed?8 Allah U then poses the
    self-evident question:

    (Will they then believe?)9

    Therefore, a different course had to be pursued with humanity
    in the Last Message, a course that would compel people to respect the human mind
    for their own good and, more importantly, for the good of future generations.

    Allah gratified humanity in its childhood with all kinds of
    dazzling miracles until it became strong and mentally mature. He left it to use
    its mental gifts to recognize right from wrong, either for people to destroy
    themselves through disbelief in spite of clear evidence or rescue themselves
    through faith upon clear evidence.10

    That is what led to the decision that the greatest and lasting
    miracle of Prophet Muhammad r be the Ever-Glorious
    Qur’an. That is the challenge serving as evidence on which the Messenger r
    relied in his Call. (Is it not sufficient for them that We have sent
    down to you the Book (the Qur’an) which is recited to them? Verily, herein is
    mercy and a reminder (or an admonition) for a people who believe.
    )11

    Miracles of past Prophets were something other than the Message
    they preached. The healing gift of ‘Isa (Jesus r) was separate from the
    Gospel, and the stick of Musa (Moses r) was separate from the
    Torah. Allah U
    willed that the miracle supporting the Last Message be inseparable from its
    essence. Thus, the truths of the Message and the proofs of its truthfulness are
    in one Book.

    The Noble Qur’an – with the laws of moral, social, and
    political justice it contains and the ethics, virtues, and rectitude it
    implants – is the very Message of Islam and its miracle.

    The Noble Qur’an testifying to the prophethood of Muhammad r
    is not like the turning of Musa’s stick into a snake or ‘Isa bringing the dead
    to life, giving sight to those born blind, and healing the leper.

    Even though these acts only happened at the hands of prophets,
    and the populace responded to them, they are irrelative to the mission of a
    prophet or the aims of Revelation and Divine Law. As for the Noble Quran,
    it attests to prophethood and the truth of Islam the same as healing attests to
    medicine.12
    Thus, the human instinct naturally responds to the Divine Words, finding in
    them guidance and healing.

    Islam refuses to pressure the mind or the will to believe. It
    builds belief on absolute mental freedom and does not resort to miracles that
    compel the power of mind to instill certainty.

    Rather, Islam draws the mind to the wondrous signs of creation
    and the moral values that the Messages contain, and urges it to use its
    faculties to accept or reject belief.

    The Noble Qur’an directly addresses the mind, unchaining it
    from the fetters that have restrained it and restoring to it its natural
    position.13

    It opens the eyes and hearts of people so that they may
    contemplate the endless wonders of creation in the heavens, on the earth, and
    in themselves, all testifying to the One Almighty, All-Powerful God, and to the
    truthfulness of the Message of God’s Oneness:

    (Verily,
    in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night
    and day, and the ships which sail through the sea with that which benefits
    mankind, and the water (rain) which Allah sends down from the sky and makes the
    earth alive therewith after its death, and the moving (living) creatures of all
    kinds that He has scattered therein, and in the veering of winds and clouds
    which are held between the sky and the earth, are indeed Ayat (proofs,
    evidence, signs) for people who use reason.
    )14

    Certainly, these wondrous spectacles, when reflected upon with
    open eyes and a conscious heart as the Noble Qur’an urges, will cause a shiver
    to run through the body from the Mightiness of Allah’s Power.

    In each of them lies the miracle that inspires hearts and
    guides souls towards their Maker. True faith is formed by contemplating the
    signs in the universe after freeing the mind from the dullness of familiarity
    and inattention, and starting to watch the universe with new feelings,
    inquisitive looks, and a heart receptive to faith, walking the earth as a
    pioneer who has first landed on it, where every flash attracts the eyes, every
    sound draws the ears, and every move interests the senses, where the whole
    being is amazed by the successive marvels meeting the eyes, heart, and
    emotions… that is the miraculous work of the Noble Qur’an on souls15:

    (Do they not look at the camels, how they are created? And at the heaven,
    how it is raised? And at the mountains, how they are rooted and fixed firm? And
    at the earth, how it is spread out?
    )16

    (Do they not see the birds above them, spreading out their wings and
    folding them in? None upholds them except the Most Merciful (Allah). Verily, He
    is the All-Seer of everything.
    )17

    (Have they not looked at
    the heaven above them, how We have made it and adorned it, and there are no
    rifts in it? And the earth We have spread it out, and set thereon mountains
    standing firm, and have produced therein every kind of lovely growth (plants).

    )18

    (Say: “Behold all that is in the heavens and the earth,” but neither
    signs nor warners benefit those who believe not.
    )19

    (See you not that Allah
    has subjected for you whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the
    earth, and has completed and perfected His Graces upon you, (both) apparent and
    hidden?
    )20

    (Have they not seen how We drive water (rain clouds) to barren land, and
    therewith bring forth crops providing food for their cattle and themselves?
    Will they not then see?
    )21

    (Have they not traveled through the land, and have they hearts wherewith
    to understand and ears wherewith to hear? Verily, it is not the eyes that grow
    blind, but it is the hearts that are in the breasts that grow blind.
    )22

    (It is Allah Who has subjected to you the sea, that ships may sail
    through it by His Command, and that you may seek of His Bounty, and that you
    may be thankful, and has subjected to you all that is in the heavens and all
    that is in the earth. It is all as a favor and kindness from Him. Verily, in it
    are signs for a people who give thought.
    )23

    That is the living miracle of the
    Prophet of Islam
    r. As long as humans respect their minds,
    the value of this miracle shall persist. It shall
    persist as long as the mind remains the most precious commodity in life and as
    long as people use it to judge matters and guide humanity to the horizons of
    success and perfection.
    24


    1 Ibn Hisham, As-Sirah
    An-Nabawiyyah
    ,
    The Talk that Took Place
    between the Messenger
    of
    Allah
    r and the Chiefs of Quraish, vol. 1.

    2
    Translated
    meanings of Al-Isra’ 17: 90-93.

    3
    Translated
    meanings of Ash-Shu‘ara’ 26: 4.

    4 Adapted from Sheikh Muhammad Al-Ghazali, Aqidat
    Al-Muslim
    , chapter of Prophethoods, fifth edition, Dar Ad-Da‘wah.

    5 Translated meanings of Al-Isra’ 17: 59.

    6 Adapted from Sayyid Qutb, In the Shade of the Qur’an,
    interpretation of Surat Al-Anbiya’ [21: 5],
    thirty-sixth edition,
    Dar Al-Shorouk.

    7 Translated meanings of Al-Anbiya’ 21: 6.

    8 Sayyid Qutb, In the Shade
    of the Qur’an,
    Surat
    Al-Anbiya’ [21: 6].

    9 Translated
    meanings of
    Al-Anbiya’ 21: 6.

    10 Adapted from Sheikh Muhammad Al-Ghazali, Aqidat
    Al-Muslim
    , chapter of Prophethoods, fifth edition, Dar Ad-Da
    wah.

    11
    Translated meanings of
    Al-‘Ankabut 29: 51.

    12 Sheikh Muhammad Al-Ghazali, Aqidat Al-Muslim,
    chapter of Prophethoods, fifth edition, Dar Ad-Da
    wah.

    13 Adapted from Sheikh Muhammad Al-Ghazali, Aqidat
    Al-Muslim
    , chapter of Prophethoods, fifth edition, Dar Ad-Da
    wah.

    14
    Translated meanings
    of Al-Baqarah 2: 164.

    15 Adapted from Sayyid Qutb, In
    the Shade of the Qur’an
    , interpretation of Surat Al-Baqarah [2: 164],
    thirty-sixth
    edition, Dar Al-Shorouk.

    16 Translated meanings of Al-Ghashiyah 88: 17-20.

    17 Translated meanings of
    Al-Mulk
    67: 19
    .

    18
    Translated meanings of Qaf 50: 6-7.

    19 Translated meanings of Yunus 10: 101.

    20
    Translated meanings of Luqman 31: 20.

    21 Translated meanings of As-Sajdah 32: 27.

    22 Translated meanings of Al-Hajj 22: 46.

    23
    Translated meanings of
    Al-Jathiyah 45: 12-13.

    24 Adapted from Sheikh
    Muhammad Al-Ghazali, Aqidat Al-Muslim, chapter of Prophethoods, fifth
    edition, Dar Ad-Da
    wah.

     

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