Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Surah Al Baqarah (2:60) – Miracles and Religion

وَإِذِ اسْتَسْقَى مُوسَى لِقَوْمِهِ فَقُلْنَا اضْرِب بِّعَصَاكَ الْحَجَرَ فَانفَجَرَتْ مِنْهُ اثْنَتَا عَشْرَةَ عَيْناً قَدْ عَلِمَ كُلُّ أُنَاسٍ مَّشْرَبَهُمْ كُلُواْ وَاشْرَبُواْ مِن رِّزْقِ اللَّهِ وَلاَ تَعْثَوْاْ فِي الأَرْضِ مُفْسِدِينَ


 

And when Musa prayed for drink for his people, We said: Strike the rock with your staff So there gushed from it twelve springs; each tribe knew its drinking place: Eat and drink of the provisions of Allah and do not act corruptly in the land, making mischief

M Shakir's Qur'an Translation


 

Similar Ayats:

Same incident is also mentioned in Surah Aa'raf 7:160


 

Emergence of twelve springs from a rock when struck with a staff is something not easily understood by a human mind. For a believer this belief is enough to make him contented that Hazrat Musa was the prophet of ALLAH and ALLAH bestowed upon him this blessing. This happened because of ALLAH's command and not due to Hazrat Musa's own effort. In addition, in the similar fashion ALLAH gives such miracles to his prophets so that the people recognize them from the signs.

For those who criticize the concept of miracles:


 

Point no 1

Miracles are the work of God. All those religions who believe in God, for them it is not difficult to understand that God can make such supernatural activities happen whenever they like.

Point no 2

If we don't understand something that doesn't necessarily mean it's wrong. People trying to prove the Qur'an wrong on net and through other means, start long debates on such ayats, here is a point to ponder. As we do not have any proof to prove this incident right except the Qur'an and our faith, similarly they do not have anything that proves this wrong.

Point no 3

No matter which religion of the world we pick up, we will see in their literature miracles of some sort. Then why do these people make it a controversial point when the Qur'an mentions such miracles.

The miraculous virgin birth of Hazrat Isa (Jesus) is a basic part of the Christian belief and is mentioned in various places in the bible. See (Matthew 1:18-25). Furthermore, Bible says, "Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD had commanded. He raised his staff in the presence of Pharaoh and his officials and struck the water of the Nile, and all the water was changed into blood. The fish in the Nile died, and the river smelled so bad that the Egyptians could not drink its water. Blood was everywhere in Egypt."
(Book of Exodus)This is not something which science can explain and hence it is a miracle which is a supernatural happening involving the hand of GOD.

In Buddhism, in the Puranas ("ancient tales"), a vast and very popular collection of sectarian scriptures composed and edited between the second and seventeenth centuries C.E. the miracles of Lord Krishna are included.

It is not hard to prove that miracles are a part of every religion.

Point no 4

Verily miracles are those which are against the normal ' scientific laws'. Webster dictionary defines miracle as "something wonderful; a wonder, a marvelous thing, something which seems to go beyond the known laws of nature and is held to be the act of a supernatural being; a supernatural event." Encarta dictionary says:" an event that appears to be contrary to the laws of nature and is regarded as an act of God". God who made these scientific laws it is not difficult for HIM to change these laws under special circumstances to show HIS signs to people. Some scientist-theologians like Polkinghorne suggest that miracles are not violations of the laws of nature but "exploration of a new regime of physical experience". (Faith, Science and Understanding p59) In addition, miracles are much different from magic. Magic can be repeated whenever required but miracles are in hand of no human being and hence cannot be repeated unless if God wants.

Point no 5

Allah gives such miracles to his messengers so people can identify that they are the messengers of God. Miracles of Hazrat Isa and many other messengers have been mentioned in the Holy Quran as well as in the bible. People of Quraish demanded a miracle from the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) even. People expect the messengers of Allah to be somewhat different.

Like the non-believers of Makkah said

"And they say: What is the matter with this Messenger that he eats food and goes about in the markets; why has not an angel been sent down to him, so that he should have been a Warner with him?"

(Surah Furqan 25:7)

Here the people of Makkah are demanding something supernatural, a miracle just to confirm that Hazrat Muhammad is a prophet.

Point no 6

If we read, a book and we are sure that 99% of the things in the book are correct and we do not have any knowledge of the remaining one percent. Then we have no other choice except to take that as true too.

These points make it clear that relating miracles is not an error at all. Still some people deny the truth after seeing it even. For them the Qur'an says

Therefore do remind, surely reminding does profit

(Surah Aa'la 87:9)


 

Nature of Miracles:-

When we go through the Qur'an or even the Bible, or any other religious scripture of the world we see various miracles related of different prophets. Why didn't Prophet Muhammad present any clear-cut miracle? See ALLAH's method. He shows HIS most clear signs to the Prophet. Like the incident of Hazrat Musa on the mountain of Tur and the incident of Hazrat Muhammad in Ghar-e-Hira. These are clear signs. Then the Prophet's have to transfer this conviction and this believe to others. In previous times people believed in supernatural activities much more than we do. People thought of ailments due to demons. People believed in bad omens and stuff. In that time ALLAH showed miracles like splitting up of the sea into two parts, fire getting cold etc. For them it was not such a big thing as it would have been in the present world. However, the Prophet Muhammad's time was a time somewhat of beginning of modern knowledge and philosophy. Therefore, ALLAH sent down Qur'an as the miracle. This life is a test. We have to find out the miracles of ALLAH. If ALLAH shows clear, vivid signs to everyone then where's the test.

Answer to atheists:-

Many adherents of monotheistic religions assert that miracles, if established, are logical proof of the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient, and benevolent god .Atheists criticize the concept of miracles and bring up few points against it.


 

1-While the existence of miracles may imply the existence of a supernatural miracle worker, that supernatural miracle worker need not be an omnipotent, omniscient, and all-benevolent god; it could be any supernatural being. That is, it only proves that gods might exist, not that there is a monotheistic god.

ANSWER: God does bring up miracles to show his signs to the people. A supernatural activity can only be attributed to a supernatural being. Nothing happens by itself. In the materialistic world people look for the reason behind anything. When all 'logical happenings' are due to some reason, how can a supernatural activity (a miracle) happen by itself? So now we agree that there is some Supernatural being. However, one question remains that is there one supernatural being or are there many of them? As the atheists criticize that miracle not necessarily, point to one God. The answer to this is given in the Holy Quran that if there were more than one God then they would surely fight amongst themselves. There is one head of state, one head of all organizations. If there were more than one head in an organization, than they would surely fight among themselves. Similarly, existing of more than one God is illogical. Seeing the symmetry in the universe we come to know that there is one God. The physicists have determined accurately the mass, charge, spin, etc of the proton and the electron, the diameter of the proton, the distance between the proton and the electron. The proton to electron mass ratio is 1837. That is one proton is equal to 1837 electrons. When the hydrogen found on any planet in the solar system or in our sun is analyzed, we find it to be identical to that found on the earth. Our sun is one of the 200 billion stars in our Galaxy called the Milky Way Galaxy. The hydrogen in any star in the Milky Way Galaxy is identical to that found on earth. There are about 200 billion Galaxies in the Universe. The nearest Galaxy is the Andromeda Galaxy. The properties of Hydrogen in any Galaxy are identical to that found on Earth. What is the conclusion? The Creator of earth, solar system, stars, galaxies, is the one. Had they been more than one God, they would have been very much frequent in showing their miracles and proving to the people that whom their Real God is. Hence we would have had a miracle every second.

Further Reading: See Ibrahim B. Syed's article "Scientific evidence on oneness of Allah (SWT)"

2-Some argue that miracles, if established, are evidence that a perfect god does not exist, as such a being would not want to, or need to, violate his own laws of nature.

ANSWER: Undoubtedly God made the physical laws but he is proving that there is no restriction on him by any of the laws he made. He is beyond all laws. There are no laws governing his activities. He does what he wants. He created the laws so that people can spend an easy life. Imagine if the friction of the earth changed every day how much difficulty would you have in walking. If there were no laws governing this universes the life on earth would have been so difficult that we cannot imagine. All our machines would be handicapped and would work only for a limited period. Therefore, these laws are for us not for the Lord as for the Lord he shows to the people that there are no laws restricting his activities. He can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. What seems supernatural to us is perfectly natural to the God.


 

See the complete list of Scientific Miracles in Surah Baqarah here


 

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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are just punching a straw man. A real atheist, would bring up other flaws in your argument.

First of all, a miracle that cannot be verified does not constitute any sort of proof. Anyone can write a book and mention miracles that may or may not have happened. So, from the point of view of the author of the book, nothing can be achieved by mentioning these "miracles".

Second, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Religion makes extraordinary claims, and fails to provide *any* proof.

Why didn't the Prophet show any miracles? I have a better answer: It's easy to mention miracles in the past, and actually hard to fake one. If you read the Quran carefully, you'll realize that the Prophet was challenged many times and made excuses to not meet those challenges. He refused to make a sacrifice by fire. He was challenged to call god to strike the unbelievers, and it didn't happen. Quran admits these things. It's pretty clear that he was just a cunning con artist, no different from Jesus.

islam said...

Here you go brother you urself answered your querry...as you claim that Quran has mentioned places abt prophet muhammad was unable to do certain things. Tell me if Quran was not from God and from the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him then why would he himself mention his faults in the Book??? imagine a man mentioning his own faults where as he is claiming to be the prophet?? wont he mention all praises about himself rather ?

this infact is a clear proof that Quran is a book of the CREATOR with all truths and blesisngs for mankind and PROPHET MUHAMMAD is HIS Messenger.

Muhammad Awais Tahir said...

1- I think you’ve raised all those questions that have already been answered in the above passage. You’ve just given your ‘views’ with no real proof.


2- What do you mean by a ‘real’ atheist? What is the difference b/w a real and unreal atheist? While discussing this topic with an ‘atheist’ I’d first convince him on the existence of God (Allah) and then I’d proceed with the topic of miracles. Its better to discuss the existence of the one who performs the miracles and then come to the topic of miracles.


3- I never said that miracles constitute some sort of proof. The fact of the matter is that miracles become a ‘proof’ for those in front of whom those miracles happen. You’ve failed to understand that whatever I present here is not necessarily a ‘claimed’ miracle. Few posts are just in reply to the points raised by few people to the Holy Quran. Lot has been said against ‘miracles’ by those who don’t believe in God, and this post is in reply to them.


4- The reason these miracles are mentioned is very clear. God is telling the people the he is not bounded by the physical laws that he himself created. God is not bounded by any sort of limitation. He is the one who has all knowledge.


5- You will not be able to find ‘direct’ proofs for everything with your limited knowledge and limited capabilities. You cannot even view the complete electromagnetic spectrum with your naked eye, you cannot even hear all sounds, and you expect you’ll know everything ‘directly’ through your five senses and handicapped intellect?


6- There are so many ‘signs’ for you all around. A sane person would reach the right conclusion when he analyzes those signs. The biggest sign is the holy Quran itself. Its miraculous nature is the biggest sign. It’s unique literary genre, its inimitability, the scientific facts mentioned, the prophecies that came true, the way it sees the smallest particles and big universes without any telescope and microscope fourteen centuries back, the way it mentions historical facts that happened centuries before it and the way modern archeology proves it. All this and many more make it a big miracle.


7- There is a difference b/w miracle and ‘muajza’ (Arabic terminology). Both of them are used interchangeably by people but there is a difference b/w them. Any activity that falls beyond the normal scientific laws is termed as miracle. Muajza is that miracle which is shown by any Prophet as a sign of his Prophethood by the will of Allah SWT on demand of the people. It is something which makes people ‘aajiz (helpless). It is something that humbles the people. So, Prophet SAW in that sense showed no ‘miracle’ on demand but his life was full of miracles. There are books written on the miracles he performed by the will of Allah SWT. Ofcourse, you’d not find those mentioned in the Holy Quran but you will find them in the books of Ahadith (Prophetic Narrations). The only miracle that he showed on demand was the Holy Quran. And you can never comprehend this muajza (miracle) fully until you understand the Arabic language. I admit I never clarified the difference b/w the two terminologies earlier but I’ll do it now, in sha Allah, before I publish my book. Thankyou for helping me any how.

Anonymous said...

Those who argue about the Signs of God without any authority coming to them do something hateful in the sight of God and in the sight of the people who believe. That is how God seals up the heart of every arrogant oppressor. (Qur'an, 40:35)

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