We will certainly help Our Messengers and those who have belief both in the life of the world and on the Day the witnesses appear.
(Surah Ghafir: 51)
Throughout history, Allah sent messengers to all peoples, showing them how to live a good life in this world and the next. We are told in the Qur'an that this is a wonderful grace and mercy for all believers:
Allah showed great kindness to the believers when He sent a messenger to them from among themselves to recite His signs to them, purify them, and teach them the Book and Wisdom, even though before that they were clearly misguided. (Surah Al 'Imran: 164)
We have only sent you as a mercy to all the worlds. (Surat al-Anbiya': 107)
These messengers were a grace to their communities, for they showed their people the right path, helped them leave the darkness of unbelief and enter into the light of belief, and proclaimed the commands of our Lord, Who created the universe from nothing. They told people that they could have contentment, peace, and security only by living a good religious life. However, Allah also reveals that "...most people have no faith" (Surat al-Ra'd: 1). Thus, few people embraced faith and appreciated what a great mercy these messengers were for them.
As revealed in the Qur'an, they sincerely desired that people should come to faith: "But most people, for all your eagerness, are not believers" (Surah Yusuf: 103). They called their people to truth so that they could receive blessings in both worlds and live good and happy lives. They asked no reward for this. Due to their sincere fear of and respect for Allah and their superior moral character, the messengers dedicated their honorable lives to this goal. All of the ensuing difficulties and trials only increased their faith and dedication. With Allah's help and support, they became examples of courage; with His permission, they always prevailed. Our Lord says:
Allah has written: "I will be victorious, I and My messengers." Allah is Most Strong, Almighty. (Surat al-Mujadalah: 21)
In return for their devotion, faithfulness, patience, sincerity, and trust in Him, Allah imparted a sense of security and contentment to their hearts, gave them material and spiritual strength, and destroyed the unbelivers' traps:
We will certainly help Our messengers and those who believe both in the life of this world and on the Day the witnesses appear. (Surah Ghafir: 51)
O Messenger, transmit what has been sent down to you from your Lord. If you do not, you will not have transmitted His message. Allah will protect you from people. Allah does not guide the unbelievers. (Surat al-Ma'idah: 67)
Allah tells us that He defended our Prophet (saas) against all of the unbelievers' traps:
… when the unbelievers were plotting against you to imprison, kill, or expel you: They were plotting and Allah was planning, but Allah is the Best of Planners. (Surat al-Anfal: 30)
We learn from several verses that Allah protected His messengers in every adversity and anxiety and from every trap. He increased His blessings upon them, provided an escape from every difficulty, increased their courage and strength, lightened their burdens, and strengthened their resolve by reminding them of His mercy.
Our Lord supported some of His messengers by allowing them to perform miracles. These great blessings from Allah had a strong effect on people, strengthened the believers' resolve and faith, and caused many unbelievers to embrace Islam.
The Miracles Granted to the Messengers
Allah enabled His messengers to perform miracles to protect them from the unbelievers' and the hypocrites' traps, to bring people to faith, and for other reasons. In the Qur'an He gives a detailed account of the messengers' lives, the miracles He sent to support their message, and the miracles He allowed them to perform. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saas) and the Prophet Moses (as), the Prophet Abraham (as) and the Prophet Jesus (as) were all blessed messengers to whom Allah granted miracles.
For example, the trap set for the Prophet Abraham (as) was foiled by a miracle:
We said: "Fire, be coolness and peace for Abraham!" (Surat al-Anbiya': 69)
As a result, the unbelievers' trap was destroyed. We will now relate some other miracles.
The miracles that 'the Prophet Jesus (as) showed his people:
Remember when Allah said: " O Jesus, son of Maryam, remember My blessing to you and to your mother when I reinforced you with the Purest Spirit so that you could speak to people in the cradle and when you were fully grown; and when I taught you the Book and Wisdom, and the Torah and the Gospel; and when you created a bird-shape out of clay by My permission, and then breathed into it and it became a bird by My permission; and [when you] healed the blind and the leper by My permission; and when you brought forth the dead by My permission; and when I held back the tribe of Israel from you, when you brought them the Clear Signs and the unbelievers among them said: 'This is nothing but downright magic.'" (Surat al-Ma'idah: 110)
... as a messenger to the tribe of Israel, the Prophet Jesus (as) saying: "I have brought you a sign from your Lord. I will create the shape of a bird out of clay for you, breathe into it, and it will be a bird, by Allah's permission. I will heal the blind and the leper, and bring the dead to life, by Allah's permission. I will tell you what you eat and what you store up in your homes. There is a sign for you in that if you are believers." (Surah Al 'Imran: 49)
The Prophet Moses's (as) staff turned into a snake and swallowed those produced by Pharaoh's magicians:
He [Pharaoh] said: "If you have come with a clear sign produce it, if you are telling the truth." So he [Moses] threw down his staff and there it was, unmistakably a snake. (Surat al-A'raf: 106-107)
Throw down what is in your right hand [O Moses]. It will swallow up their handiwork, which is just a magician's trick. Magicians do not prosper wherever they go. (Surah Ta Ha: 69)
The Prophet Moses (as) struck the sea with his staff and its waters parted:
And when the two hosts came into sight of one another, Moses's companions exclaimed: "We will surely be overtaken!" Moses said: "Never! My Lord is with me and will guide me." So We revealed to Moses: "Strike the sea with your staff." And it split in two, each part like a towering cliff. And We brought the others right up to it. We rescued Moses and all those who were with him, and then drowned the rest. (Surat al-Shu'ara': 61-66)
The birds that the Prophet Abraham (as) cut into pieces came back to him alive:
When Abraham said: "My Lord, show me how You bring the dead to life." He asked: "Do you not then have belief?" Abraham replied: "Indeed I do! But so that my heart may be at peace." He said: "Take four birds and train them to yourself. Then put a part of them on each mountain and call to them; they will come rushing to you. Know that Allah is Almighty, All-Wise." (Surat al-Baqara: 260)
The Prophet Jonah's (as) was miraculously saved after being swallowed by a whale:
Yunus was one of the Messengers. When he ran away to the fully laden ship and cast lots and lost, then the fish devoured him and he was to blame. Had he not been a person who glorified Allah, he would have remained inside its belly until the Day of Resurrection. So We cast him up onto the beach and he was sick. (Surat al-Saffat: 139-145)
The Prophet Zechariah. (as) was told he would have a child in his old age
Then and there Zechariah called on his Lord: "O Lord, grant me by Your favor an upright child. You are the Hearer of Prayer." The angel called out to him while he was standing in prayer in the upper room: "Allah gives you the good news of John, who will come to confirm a Word from Allah, and will be a leader and a celibate, a prophet and one of the just." He asked: "My Lord, how can I possibly have a son when I have reached old age and my wife is barren?" He replied: "It will be so. Allah does whatever He wills." (Surah Al 'Imran: 38-40)
Many other miracles are informed in the Qur'an, all of which happen by the will of Allah Who rules the universe and has infinite power. Every miracle happens at Allah's command and in the way He wills:
We sent messengers before you and gave them wives and children. Nor was any messenger able to bring a sign except by Allah's permission. There is a prescribed limit to every term. (Surat ar-Ra'd: 38)
In Surat al-Ma'idah, it is reveaed that the Prophet Jesus (as) performed miracles by Allah's permission:
Remember when Allah said: "O 'Jesus, son of Maryam, remember My blessing to you and to your mother when I reinforced you with the Purest Spirit so that you could speak to people in the cradle and when you were fully grown; and when I taught you the Book and Wisdom, and the Torah and the Gospel; and when you created a bird-shape out of clay by My permission, and then breathed into it and it became a bird by My permission; and healed the blind and the leper by My permission; and when you brought forth the dead by My permission; and when I held back the tribe of Israel from you, when you brought them the clear signs and the unbelievers among them said: 'This is nothing but downright magic.'" (Surat al-Ma'ida: 110)
All of the messengers were blessed individuals who submitted themselves to Allah. They had good moral characters and were examples to the world. Like everyone else, they were helpless and needy in Allah's sight. Allah, Who created the universe from nothing, has absolute power and governance over all things, both living and inanimate. The universe and all creatures in the heavens and on Earth belong to Him, for He, the Lord of the universe, created them all. Everything moves at His command and exists at His pleasure.
Allah feeds all living creatures, provides them with many blessings, brings forth plants and creates their seasons, and brings darkness in the evening and makes the sun a brilliant light. He created all human beings who have ever lived and who are yet to live; all animate and inanimate things owe their existence to Him, and every creature needs Him. He has honored some individuals by choosing them to be His messengers. They also stand in need of Him, act at His command, and perform their miracles only by His will.
We are told in Surat al-Anbiya' of Allah's infinite power:
Everyone in the heavens and on Earth belongs to Him. Those in His presence do not consider themselves too great to worship Him and do not grow tired of it. They glorify Him night and day, never flagging. Or have they taken deities out of the soil who can bring the dead to life? If there had been any deities besides Allah in heaven or Earth, they would both be ruined. Glory be to Allah, Lord of the Throne, beyond what they describe! He will not be questioned about what He does, but they will be questioned. Or have they taken other deities besides Him? Say: "Produce your proof. This is the message of those with me and the message of those before me." But most of them do not know the truth, so they turn away. (Surat al-Anbiya': 19-24)
This book informs the reader about some of the Prophet Muhammad's (saas) miracles. Allah made this blessed individual an example to all people due to his goodness and deep faith, and his every word and action. With Allah's permission, he performed miracles throughout his life, some of which were witnessed only by the Companions and others of which were seen by great numbers of unbelievers.
An account of some of these miracles has come down to us in the Qur'an; we know of others through the hadiths and the various writings of Islamic scholars. We intend to show the miraculous aspects of this blessed person who was sent as a mercy to the world and to invite our readers to take the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (saas) as their guide.