The Physical Miracles of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ: Proofs of Prophethood Series (Updated)
Published: March 8, 2019 • Updated: September 14, 2023
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ
In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Updated: September 13, 2023
September 13, 2023 Substantial revisions have been made to this paper in order to align with our newly published e-book The Final Prophet: Proofs for the Prophethood of Muhammad.
For more on this topic, see Proofs of Prophethood
The possibility of miracles
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The demonstrability of miracles
If this [inconsistency] was the case with the miracles of these two messengers, alongside how long ago that was, and how fragmented their nations became in the world, and the eventual disappearance of their miracles, then what should be assumed regarding the prophethood of Muhammad ﷺ and his miracles and signs when they were more recent, exceeded one thousand in number, were transmitted by the most pure and honorable individuals ever, and when this transmission was conveyed by tawātur (abundant concurrence) one century after another?
Specific miracles of the Prophet ﷺ
This collectively confers necessary knowledge (certainty) that a great number of supernatural events occurred at his hands ﷺ, in the same manner that someone can conclusively assert the generosity of Ḥātim [al-Ṭā’ī] and the courage of ‘Alī, even if the individual reports on this are only speculative due to their being reported through āḥād chains. However, it should be noted that many of the Prophet’s miracles became well-known and widespread, were narrated by huge groups of people (mutawātir), and consequently conferred certainty by the scholars of transmission, biographical verification, and testimony authentication—even if those unfamiliar with these disciplines did not reach this degree of confidence regarding them. In fact, if someone were to claim that most of these incidents (even the non-mutawātir) were definitively established, this would not be far-fetched because it is undeniable how accurately these narrators usually related these accounts in every layer of transmission. Furthermore, it is not documented from the Companions [of the Prophet ﷺ] or those after them a single conflicting report that challenges these accounts, and this silence necessitates approval since they are collectively above turning a blind eye to falsehood. And hypothetically, had they denied one another’s reports on these miracles, this would only be due to doubting the reliability of the narrator, or accusing him of lying, poor memory, or senility. As for the content of the narration itself, nobody ever criticized it.
The moon splitting
The Hour has come near, and the moon has split [in two]. And if they see any miracle, they turn away and say, “Passing magic.” And they denied and followed their desires—and every matter will be settled.
When the moon split, it never left the sky, rather it cleaved once the Prophet ﷺ gestured to it and became two pieces. It only proceeded to hover behind Mount Ḥirā’, setting the mountain between itself and its counterpart, as described by Ibn Mas‘ūd (rA) who reports witnessing this himself.
The moon splitting was a grand sign to which no other prophet’s miracle could compare, for it was something that appeared in the distant sky that was contrary to every naturally existing phenomenon which this world is comprised of. It therefore falls beyond what anyone can hope to achieve through trickery, making its proof value even more evident.
The night journey
Glory be to the One Who took His servant [Muhammad] by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque whose surroundings We have blessed, so that We might show him of Our signs. Indeed, He Alone is the All-Hearing, All-Seeing.
Al-Burāq not being described as a huge horse or something fancier stresses the point that it was not about this particular creature; it was about the will of God. Just as God said about the legions of angels He sends to support the believers, “And Allah made it not except as [a sign of] good tidings for you and to reassure your hearts thereby. And victory is not except from Allah, the Exalted in Might, the Wise.”God created the laws of physics, and it is only rational that He is not bound by them. The inclusion of al-Burāq in the story made it more memorable. It was also meant to be familiar for the comfort and assurance of the rider, blessings and peace be upon him.
A tree weeping
I was present with the Prophet ﷺ in a circle, and in his hands were pebbles, and everyone in the circle could hear their tasbīḥ. He then passed them to Abū Bakr, and they made tasbīḥ with Abū Bakr [as well]; everyone in the circle could hear their tasbīḥ. He then passed them back to the Prophet ﷺ and they made tasbīḥ in his hand again. He then passed them to ‘Umar, and they made tasbīḥ in his hand, and everyone in the circle could hear their tasbīh. The Prophet ﷺ then passed them to ‘Uthmān ibn ‘Affān, and they made tasbīh in his hand. He then passed them to us, and they did not make tasbīḥ with any one of us.
Increasing the water supply
We used to consider miracles as Allah’s Blessings, but you people consider them to be threatening. We were once with the Messenger of Allah ﷺ on a journey, and our water ran short. He said, “Bring me the remaining water.” The people presented him a vessel containing water, in which he then placed his hands and said, “Come get the blessed purification water, and all blessings are from Allah.” I saw the water flowing from between the fingers of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ. Indeed, we used to also hear the food glorifying Allah as it was being eaten [by him].
Increasing the food supply
We once set out on an expedition with Allah’s Messenger ﷺ and faced great hardship, and decided to slaughter some of our riding animals [for food]. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ ordered us to pool our food rations, so we spread a sheet and leather where everyone’s rations were collected. I stretched myself to assess how much that was, and it was only the area a small goat could sit on. We were fourteen hundred people, and we each ate to our satisfaction and then filled our bags with provisions. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ then said, “Is there any water for performing ablution?” A man came forward with a small container that held very little water, which the Prophet ﷺ emptied into a wider basin. From that amount, all thoroughly performed their ablution. Eight individuals later came and said, “Is there any water left to perform ablution?” Allah’s Messenger ﷺ replied, “The ablution water is finished.”
When a Companion narrates something this incredible and cites as evidence personally attending it himself along with the other Companions, who hear his narration and claim or hear about it, and do not denounce him, that further confirms it and necessitates sure knowledge about the truth of his words.
So I sought the Prophet’s ﷺ help with his creditors so that they would reduce his debt. He ﷺ requested this from them, but they refused, so the Prophet ﷺ said to me, “Go divide your dates according to their kinds; set the ‘Ajwa dates on one side and the ‘Idhq Ibn Zayd on another side. Then notify me.” I did so, then notified the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. He came, sat down, then said, “Measure for the people (creditors).” I measured out their amounts until I had repaid them all that they were owed, and my dates remained as if nothing had decreased from them.” When ‘Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb (rA) was informed of this miraculous surplus, he said, “Once the Messenger of Allah ﷺ walked into the garden, I knew it would become blessed.”
There were 130 of us with the Prophet ﷺ, and he said to us, “Does any one of you have food with him?” One man had about a sā‘ of food, and so that was mixed.Then a tall pagan man with disheveled hair came by driving some sheep. The Prophet said to him, “Selling or gifting?” He said, “Selling.” He purchased a sheep from him, it was cooked, and the Prophet ﷺ ordered that the liver be roasted as well. By Allah, there was not a single person from the 130 except that the Prophet ﷺ cut for him a piece of its liver; those who were present were given, and those absent were stowed for. It was made into two dishes which they all ate from, and we had our fill, and yet the two dishes remained, and we loaded them onto a camel.
We were digging on the Day of the Trench when a huge solid boulder hindered us. They came to the Prophet ﷺ and complained to him about this boulder, and he said, “I am coming.” He then stood, stones tied to his stomach, as we had not tasted food in three days, and took the sledgehammer and struck the boulder until it became a dust mound. I said, “O Messenger of Allah, would you permit me to visit my home?” I went and said to my wife, “I saw on the Prophet ﷺ something that one cannot bear (i.e., the stones he had fastened from hunger). Do you have anything?” She said, “I have some wheat and a small goat.” I slaughtered the small goat, ground the wheat, then placed the meat in a clay pot. Before I left, my wife said, “Do not humiliate me in front of the Prophet ﷺ and those with him.” I went to the Prophet ﷺ and whispered to him, “I have a little food, so you come, O Messenger of Allah, along with a man or two.” He said, “How much is it?” I informed him, so he said, “That is plenty and good!” Then, he ﷺ said, “O People of the Trench! Stand [all of you]; Jābir has prepared a banquet for you. Let us go.” The Muhājirīn and Anṣār stood, and the Prophet ﷺ said to me, “Tell her not to pull the pot, nor the bread from the oven, until I come.” When I entered upon my wife and informed her of the army behind me, she said, “What is with you?!” I said, “I did what you said!” She said, “Did he ask you?” I said, “Yes.” The dough was brought out to the Prophet ﷺ, and he spat in it and prayed for blessings, then reached for the pot and did the same. Then, he tore the bread and placed it inside the pot and served ample bread and meat to each Companion. There were 1,000 people and, by Allah, each of them ate until they stopped [of their own accord] and left, and our pot was still full and our bread still plenty. In the end, he ﷺ said to us, “Eat from this, or gift it, for the people [of Madinah] have been struck with hunger.”
Abū Talḥah said to Umm Sulaym, “I heard the voice of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ reflecting weakness, and I could recognize hunger in it. Do you have anything?” She said, “Yes.” She pulled out several wheat loaves, wrapped them in her veil, then tucked them under my arm and wrapped me with the remaining part of the veil. She sent me to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and, upon reaching the mosque, I found people with him. I stood beside them, until the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said to me, “Did Abū Talḥah send you?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “With food?” I said, “Yes.” The Messenger of Allah ﷺ then said to the people, “Let us go.” They took off, and I took off in front of them until I reached Abū Talḥah and informed him. Abū Talḥah said, “O Umm Sulaym, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ has come, accompanied by many people, and we have nothing to feed them.” She said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.” Upon arrival, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “O Umm Sulaym, what do you have?” She presented that same bread, which the Prophet ﷺ took and shredded, and then Umm Sulaym emptied her jar of shortening (butter) over it as a condiment. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ then supplicated over it for however long he wished before saying, “Permit ten [to enter].” They were permitted entrance and ate to their fill before leaving. Then he said, “Permit ten.” They too were permitted entrance and ate to their fill before leaving. Then he said, “Permit ten.” Everyone ate in this fashion, until they all had their fill, and there were seventy or eighty men in total.
As the Prophet ﷺ was once delivering a Friday sermon, a man rose and said, “O Messenger of Allah, the horses and sheep have perished! Will you not invoke Allah to bless us with rain?” The Prophet ﷺ lifted his hands and supplicated at a time when the sky was as clear as glass. Suddenly wind blew, driving together the clouds and causing heavy rain. We exited the mosque wading through flowing water till we reached our homes. It kept raining until the following Friday, when the same man—or another man—stood up and said, “O Messenger of Allah ﷺ, the houses have almost collapsed; please ask Allah to withhold the rain!” Hearing that, the Prophet ﷺ smiled and said, “O Allah, [let it rain] around us and not upon us.”I looked to the clouds and found them separating into a crown-like formation around Madinah.
I left hopeful due to the prayer of the Prophet ﷺ and returned home to find the door partially open and could hear water splashing inside. When my mother heard my footsteps, she said, “Stay where you are, O Abū Hurayrah.” After putting on her clothes, she instructed me to enter. When I entered, she said, “I testify that none is worthy of worship but Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is His servant and messenger.” I returned to the Prophet ﷺ weeping with joy, just as an hour earlier I had gone weeping in sadness, and said, “Great news, O Messenger of Allah! Allah has answered your prayer and guided the mother of Abū Hurayrah to Islam.” He praised Allah and thanked Him, and then I said, “O Messenger of Allah, pray that Allah make my mother and I beloved to His believing slaves, and make them beloved to us.” He ﷺ obliged, and there has not since been a believing slave who hears of me, or sees me, except that he loves me.”
I once placed water for the Prophet ﷺ upon him entering the lavatory, so that he could perform his ablution. He ﷺ asked, “Who placed this?” They informed him that I had placed it, so he said, “O Allah, grant him a deep understanding of the religion, and teach him to interpret [the Qur’an].”
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ once visited us at home when nobody was there but myself, my mother (Umm Sulaym), and her sister (Umm Ḥarām). My mother said to him, “O Messenger of Allah, this is your little servant (Anas); invoke Allah’s blessings upon him.” He ﷺ supplicated that I be afforded every good, and this is what he said to conclude his supplication: “O Allah, increase him in his wealth and progeny, and bless him in what you grant him.” By Allah, my wealth has certainly become abundant, and my children and grandchildren [combined] certainly surpass a hundred today.
It is known that when Allah accustoms someone to having their prayers answered, this only happens in conjunction with righteousness and religiosity. When someone claims prophethood, they are either the most pious person—in that case they are truthful—or the most wicked person—in that case they are lying. But when Allah accustoms them to answering their supplications, then it must be that they are not wicked but instead pious. Even if the claim of prophethood was accompanied by nothing but righteousness [from the claimant] without miracles, it would necessitate him being a genuine prophet, for such a person cannot be someone who deliberately lies, nor can he be a deluded person who assumes that he is a prophet.
Say [O Prophet], “I advise you with just one thing: that you take a stand for the sake of God—individually or in pairs—then reflect. Your companion (Muhammad) surely has no traces of insanity; he is but a warner to you before the coming of a severe punishment.”