Can Muslims Perform Miracles?

10 August, 2020
Q Do miracles happen to Muslims according to Islam?

Answer

Short Answer:

  • The answer is: NO. Muslims cannot perform miracles. However, there is another term given to what righteous and pious Muslims can do. It is karamah
  • Karamah (honor) is an extraordinary thing that Allah causes to happen at the hands of the awliya’ (close friends of Allah).
  • Unlike the miracle, the karamah is not to challenge people. One whom Allah chooses to perform a karamah should conceal it. He should not tell people about it.
  • Karamah is not a goal that people should seek. A righteous Muslim offers the acts of worship sincerely to Allah not to be gifted with a karamah

………….

Salam dear questioner,

If I get you well, you are asking: can Muslims perform miracles?

I will base my answer on this understanding.

What is a Miracle?

According to Merriam Webster dictionary, a miracle is an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs.

According to the Islamic theology, a miracle is an extraordinary sign with which Allah supports the Prophets and Messengers in their mission to guide people to His path. The purpose of each Prophet’s miracle was to challenge his people and prove his prophethood. 

Therefore, Muslims believe that Prophets and Messengers only can perform miracles. The miracle of each Prophet was according to what his people excelled. 

Is a Miracle a Super Power?

Muslims believe that Allah did not give anyone any special or super power which he can use whenever and however he wishes. Muslims believe also that all humans are weak and they are always in need of Allah. We read in the Quran what means:

*{Say, ‘O Prophet,’ “How can you worship besides Allah those who can neither harm nor benefit you? And Allah ˹alone˺ is the All-Hearing, All-Knowing.”}* (Quran 5:76)

*{Say, “I hold not for myself [the power of] benefit or harm, except what Allah has willed. And if I knew the unseen, I could have acquired much wealth, and no harm would have touched me. I am not except a warner and a bringer of good tidings to a people who believe.” }* (Quran 7:188)

All the miracles of the Prophet were not applicable to all times except the Quran which is the miracle of the Prophet to Muhammad (peace be upon him). The Quran is for all times and places. Specialists continue to discover many of its literary or scientific miracles till today.   

Can Muslims Perform Miracles?

The answer is: NO. Muslims cannot perform miracles. However, there is another term given to what righteous and pious Muslims can do. It is karamah

Karamah (honor) is an extraordinary thing that Allah causes to happen at the hands of the awliya’ (close friends of Allah). We read in the Quran what means: 

*{There will certainly be no fear for the close servants of Allah, nor will they grieve. ‘They are’ those who are faithful and are mindful ‘of Him’. For them is good news in this worldly life and the Hereafter. There is no change in the promise of Allah. That is ‘truly’ the ultimate triumph.} (Quran 10:62-64)

About how to get close to Allah, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: 

“Allah the Exalted has said: ‘I will declare war against him who shows hostility to a pious worshipper of Mine. And the most beloved thing with which My slave comes nearer to Me is what I have enjoined upon him; and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing nawafil (prayer or doing extra deeds besides what is obligatory) till I love him. When I love him I become his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks (something) from Me, I give him, and if he asks My Protection (refuge), I protect him”. (Al-Bukhari)

Unlike the miracle, the karamah is not to challenge people. One whom Allah chooses to perform a karamah should conceal it. He should not tell people about it. Karamah is not a goal that people should seek. A righteous Muslim offers the acts of worship sincerely to Allah not to be gifted with a karamah

Caution

Imam At-Tahawi said, “We believe in the karamahs that occur and are authenticated by the narrations of those who are trustworthy.”

When we deal with the issue of karamah, we have to be cautious. We should believe in the sound narrations and story of those karamahs reported by saints or awliyas. There are stories that include major shirk

Karamah: A Gift and a Test

As Karamah can be a gift, it can be a test. It is a gift if the one at whose hands a karamah happens thanks Allah and acknowledges his weakness and need for Allah’s support all the time. However, if he feels self-admired and uses karamah to harm others, then it is a test. 

Examples of Karamahs Performed by Righteous Muslims

We read in the books of biographies many stories of the karamahs that happened to many companions, followers and Muslims of later generations. 

When Abbas ibn Bishr and Usayd ibn Hudayr left the Prophet there was light for each of them at the end of his whip. 

When Umm Ayman set out to migrate to Madinah and became extremely thirsty. She heard a sound above her and lifted her head, and she saw a bucket of water; she drank from it then it was taken away again.

During the Battle of Badr, the sword of Ukkashah ibn Muhsin broke. The Prophet handed him a piece of wood which turned into a sword in his hands and he fought with it.

Imran ibn Husyan used to hear the greeting of the Angels.

Umar ibn Al-Khattab warned the Muslim army fighting the Romans while he was delivering the Friday sermon in Madinah. 

Qays ibn Abi Hazim said: I saw Khalid ibn al-Waleed (may Allah be pleased with him) in Herah. Some poison was brought to him and he said: What is this? They said: Poison that kills in a very short time. He said: Bismillah (in the name of Allah), then he swallowed it and nothing bad happened to him. (Al-Bidayah wal-Nihayah, 6:38)

Nafi` ibn Abi Nu`aym said: When Abu Ja`far Yazeed ibn al-Qa`qa` al-Qari’ was washed after he died, they looked at the area between his throat and chest and saw that it looked like a page of the Quran. He said: None of those who were present doubted that it was the light of the Quran. (Tahdhib al-Kamal, 33:201)

A Piece of Advice

Muslims should busy themselves with doing good deeds and getting close to Allah to gain His satisfaction. The issue of karamah is left to Allah alone. It is a a favor and a grace which Allah grants whom He wants and when He wants.  

And Allah knows best.

I hope this helps.

Salam and please keep in touch.

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