The Miracle Of Human Mind

The caliph once sent a Jewish scholar to debate with Imam ‘Ali ibn Musa Ar-Ridha (peace be upon him). The Jew said to him, “How can you accept Muhammad as the Messenger of God when he showed no miracles?”

The Imam replied, “The greatest miracle of God is the human mind. It allows ideas to be thought through and reasoned out. Man must accept God through reason, not through miracles.”

At first glance it might seem as though this story confirms that the Prophet showed no miracles, while history proves that he performed many remarkable actions that can only be accomplished through Allah’s power and will. We know of the moon splitting, rocks, trees, and other inanimate objects testifying to Allah’s Oneness and the Prophet’s Message, and angels coming to the aid of the Muslim army in a time of need; however, these events were not enacted to prove Muhammad’s prophethood to anyone. If they were, then not a single person would have disbelieved. Abu Jahl, the Prophet’s arch enemy, witnessed some of these miraculous occurrences with his own eyes, yet he died in disbelief. He had developed compound ignorance.

“That is because they hate what Allah has revealed; so He has made their deeds fruitless.” (Qur‘an 47:9)

The Jew in the above story was looking for some other worldly phenomena that would have proved Prophet Muhammad’s message and turned him into a believing Muslim. But the reality is that, even if Imam Ridha himself had made a tree speak to the man and profess the declarations of faith (shahadatain), that man still would not have believed. If he could not arrive at belief through the miracle of his own intellect, after obviously having studied Islam thoroughly enough to debate with a Muslim, nothing could turn his heart.

“Allah hath set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing, and on their eyes is a veil; great is the penalty they (incur).” (Qur‘an 2:7).

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