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Due too the difficulties involved in communcation and transportation, the early prophets were sent only to the people among whom they were raised up. Thus the miracles which they brought were particularly suited to the areas of knowledge in which their people excelled in order for the miracles to have the maximum effect on them.[162] For example, Prophet Musa (Moses) may Allaah’s peace be on him, was raised up among the Egyptians who were noted for their mastery of the occult arts, sorcery and magic. Hence, Allaah gave him the miracle of being able to place his hand in his cloak and extract it shining brilliantly. And when sorcerers and magicians were gathered to challenge Prophet Musa and the staffs which they had cast had appeared to the auidence as snakes, Allaah turned Prophet Musa’s staff into a real snake which shallowed up the optical illusions of his opponents. That defeat was sufficient proof for the magicians and sorcerers who knew that no human being had the power to change the nature of a stick as Musa had apparently done. They fell on their faces in submission and sincere belief in the God of Musa, in spite of the threats of torture and death uttered by their master, the Pharaoh. Another example, is that of Prophet ‘Isa, who was chosen by Allaah from among the Jews. The Jews were especially noted for their exceptional abilities revered for their seemingly magical ability to mend bones, heal wounds and cure the sick. Thus,-Allaah favored Prophet ‘Isa with the miraculous ability to make the blind see, the lame walk and bring the dead back to life. These abilities were clearly beyond those of the Jewish doctors of that day and they knew well that no mere man could do them. Yet, Allaah gave prophet ‘Isa an even more dazzling miracle; he was able to mold birds out of clay, breathe on them and they would fly away.

Since the Prophet Muhammad was to be the last of the prophets sent not only to a particular people but to all of mankind, he was given a miracle which not only amazed the people among whom he was raised but which would challenge and amaze the human mind until the last days of this world. The Prophet Muhammad (r), like the other prophets before him was given a number of other miracles whose effects were basically limited to the people of his time; for example, the splitting of the moon at his tribe’s request for a sign, the outpouring of water from his hands on one occasion when he and his companions were short of water and the phenomenon of peoples and rocks giving Salaams to him, (i.e. greeting him with the phrase: “Salaam ‘Alaykum, peace be on you”) just to mention a few. However, the miracle of Prophet Muhammad (r) which was consistent with Allaah’s aid to the prophets before him was a literary miracle.

The Arabs had very little in the way of unique skills or accumulated knowledge but they took great pride in their oratory and literary skills. Yearly contests were held in fairs like that of ‘Ukkaz in which many lines of speeches and poetry were recited from memory. Their language had reached its peak of development, and eloquence was considered the highest quality a man could posses. In fact, the ten most famous poems were so revered that they were etched in gold and hung in the Ka‘bah for solemn adoration. Consequently, Allaah revealed to His last prophet a book beginning in parts with unintelligible letters like “Alif Lam Mim” or “Qaf” or “Nun” tantalizing the Arab mind as if to say “from these letters which you combine to form your daily conversation as well as great works or prose and poetry is formed a book whose shortest chapter does not exceed three lines yet you can not imitate it no matter how hard you try!” Thus his standing miracle was none other than Qur’an itself. The Prophet (r) himself stated, “All Prophets were given something which would cause people to believe in them. What I have been given is none other than a revelation (the Qur’an) which Allaah has revealed to me. So I hope that I will have more followers than the rest of them on the Day of Judgment.”[163]

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