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The Simple Miracles of Islam
A Miracle We Can All Meet in Real Time
While none of us has seen or can ever see any of the great supernatural miracles of the past — for example the parting of the sea by Prophet Moses, the splitting of the moon by Prophet Muhammad or the raising of the dead by Prophet Jesus, may God bless them all — there is one miracle that all of us can and do see, touch and feel in our own time, regardless of where we may be living or what we may be doing.
We can see it in what is called real time — even as that miracle unfolds in our own time and place, right in front of our own eyes, and right in our own hands.
And that miracle is the Qur’an. And everything associated with the Qur’an — all of which is also a miracle. Just as every passage from the Qur’an is a miracle all by itself.
That is why the Qur’an refers to its passages as Aayaat — signs or miracles — each in its own individual right. Mind you, it is the Qur’an itself using that expression to refer to its passages and not some well-intentioned outside agency.
A Miracle in Every Aayat of the Qur’an
Aayaat of course is plural for Aayah!
It is that same miracle-word that some of our rather careless translators, blindly following Biblical traditions, tend to call “verses.” And the whole English-speaking Muslim Ummat equally blindly follows them in this rather naïve “versification” of the divine signs and miracles (Aayats) of Allah in the Qur’an.
Otherwise, an Aayah means a sign or a miracle — or a marker. That is what it has always meant and that is what it will always mean. In any language.
That is why the Qur’an is not just one single miracle, but rather a whole universe of miracles that lie scattered throughout the pages and passages of the Qur’an.
A Quick Panorama of Qur’an’s Miracles
Here is a quick panorama of some of the miracles of the Qur’an — those in the Qur’an as well as those associated with the Qur’an. Only some and not all of them, mind you.
- The way God Almighty chose an Unlettered Man to teach the Qur’an to the world.
- The way that Unlettered Man was born and brought up in an Unlettered Culture among an Unlettered People.
- The way the Qur’an then charged that Unlettered Man to go and be a teacher to not only those same Unlettered People but also to the whole world.
- Building of a whole new nation, one man and one woman at a time, based on the teachings of the Qur’an.
- Making women, for the first time in history, full stakeholders in practically every aspect of that new nation and new culture under God’s direct supervision and authority.
- The content, pace and duration of the revelation of the Qur’an, perfectly dovetailing the needs of a new and growing community faced by all kinds of challenges.
- The way the language of the Qur’an differs so markedly from the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam’s own daily language. So much so that to this day there are those who can easily distinguish the words of the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, in the Hadith from the divine words of the Qur’an, even though both sets of words issued from the same blessed mouth.
- The way the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, read out the Qur’an to the Companions.
- The way the Companions memorized parts or all of the Qur’an.
- The way everyone — man, woman and child — recited the Qur’an in the Salaah (“prayers”) everyday.
Some More of Qur’an’s Miracles
Here are some more miracles associated with the Qur’an:
- The way the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, led the Companions in daily Salaat reciting long passages from the Qur’an.
- The way the Companions read, recited and used the Qur’an in their daily lives outside their Salaat or prayer routines.
- The way many people among the Companions memorized the Qur’an in its entirety.
- The way the generation of the Followers of the Companions did the same thing.
- The way the generation of the Followers of the Followers of the Companions continued to recite the Qur’an in their daily Salaat in the same way.
- The way the Qur’an has been recited continuously and nonstop, in an unbroken chain of succession, by every generation of Muslims throughout the world until our present time 1400 years later.
- The way the present generation of Muslims recites the Qur’an in their daily Salaat in exactly the same way as the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, and the Companions and their Followers did it nearly 1400 years ago.
Even More Miracles of the Qur’an
Here are some more miracles of the Qur’an. Just keep on counting.
- The sheer beauty, majesty and power of the language and diction of the Qur’an.
- The melody, rhythm and cadences of the sound of reciting the Qur’an..
- The construction of the various passages of the Qur’an.
- The meaning of selected parts of the Qur’an.
- The entire content of the Qur’an.
- The themes and topics of the Qur’an.
- The approaches and arguments and logic of the Qur’an.
- The teachings of the Qur’an.
- And all kinds of other miracles that you can’t even count and most people don’t even know exist in the Qur’an.
The Miraculous Salaah: Made in the Qur’an
All over the world, Muslims know what Salaat is. Urdu and Farsi folks call it Namaaz. English speakers call it “prayers,” an expression I have some trouble with. For, Salaat is more — much, much more — than prayer as the world understands and uses that expression.
Salaat — one unit of it — involves standing upright; it involves sitting with your knees folded under you; it involves prostrating in a fetal position; it involves bending, rising, bending deeper and rising again; it involves turning your head symmetrically 45°-90° degrees, first to your right and then to your left in the same way — and a few other things.
And every Muslim does it all, in every Salaat, in every part of the world. And Muslims have done it without stop, and without change, for the past 1400 years — since Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, taught them how to do it personally.
I don’t think any non-Muslim speaker of the English tongue has any clue as to any of these things when he or she says the word “prayer.” Therefore, Muslims do themselves and Islam — and the world — a great disservice when they continue to refer to this amazing divine institution of Salaah as prayer.
Covering Up the Light of Allah’s Book
Persistently referring to Salaah as prayer may have the unfortunate effect of covering up from the eyes of the world the light of what God Almighty has revealed in his book for its guidance and what he sent down as a standing miracle and, therefore, an open and timeless invitation to all of humanity to come to Islam.
And the miracle of miracles is that this Salaat — I don’t know how many people fully realize or appreciate this — is made in the Qur’an, practically every bit of it.
Isn’t it miracle enough that this Qur’an comes down, hand-to-hand, and generation after generation, for 1400 years, the way Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, himself taught and practiced it? And the way the Companions practiced and taught it to their Followers thereafter — right down to our times and us?
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