Doctrine of the Prophetic Miracles
Adopted from the book : "The Faith of Shi'a Islam" by : Allamah Muhammad Ridha al-Muzaffar"
We believe that when Allah appoints someone as a leader and a messenger for His creatures, He must point him out to them. In the perfection of His Grace and Bounty, He must give His Prophet some evidence and a testimony for His Messenger to show the people, and this must be of a kind that is only within the capability of the Creator of all beings and provider for all creatures, and beyond the ability of man. This evidence He hands through His Messenger, so that He may introduce him to humanity, and this evidence we call a miracle. It is also necessary that the prophet should manifest his miracle to people when he calls them to his prophecy, and similarly it should be clear (i.e. all people should know that is beyond the ability of man), and such that all men of knowledge and all the experts of his time are unable to perform anything like it, much less the ordinary people. Also, the miracle must coincide with the time of his claim to prophecy so as to constitute evidence of his calling.
When the men of knowledge and the experts are unable to repeat the miracle, people can understand that it is beyond human ability and that it is 'supernatural', and thus that the prophet, is above mankind. Consequently, when such a prophet brings his miracle and calls people to his prophecy, it is incumbent upon all to accept his call, believe in his message, and obey his command; but some shall believe and some shall deny him.
We therefore see that the miracles of each prophet are in accordance with the important arts and sciences of his time. For example, the miracle of Musa (A.S) was a rod which swallowed up the lies of te magicians, for magic was the most popular art of his time. His rod destroyed what the magicians had done, and they understood that it was beyond their ability and their skill, and humanly impossible, and that science and art were worthless in comparison with it. Also the miracle of Isa (A.S) was his curing of those born blind and leprous and his restoring to life the dead, because he lived in times when medical science was well thought of among the people, and scientists and physicians held high esteem in society. But all their science could not equal his miracle.
The miracle of our prophet, Muhammad (S.A), is the glorious Qur'an, which silenced by its eloquence and fluency all those who were eloquent, at a time when rhetoric was the art of the day and orators were held in high esteem. The Qur'an humiliated and astonished them, warning them that they were unable to produce anything like it, and they surrounded to it. The occasion for their inability was when the Qur'an challenged them to produce ten comparable surahs, but they could not; then it challenged them to produce one such surah,and they could not. We know that they failed the challenge to produce a surah like those contained in the Qur'an, and we know that they took refuge in fighting with the sword instead of the tongue. We understand that the Qur'an is a miracle and that Muhammad (S.A) brought it with him calling the people to his message. So we know that he is Allah's messenger, and that he brought the truth.
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