05 Nov Eighth Sign.Part1
This section relates miracles which were manifested in connection with water.
It is known that when such events as take place among groups of people are related individually and not contradicted by others, this indicates the veracity of the reports. For by virtue of his very nature, man is inclined to call a lie a lie. In particular if the people in question were the Companions who were more intolerant of lies than anyone else, if the incidents concerned God’s Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace), and if the narrator was a renowned Companion, then certainly the narrator gives his report on behalf of all who witnessed the incident. However, each of the miracles involving water that we will cite below was transmitted through many channels, entrusted by many Companions to thousands of precise scholars of the following generation, who in turn passed them down, authentically, to the great interpreters of the Law of the second century. They too received them with complete seriousness and reverence, accepted them, then handed them down to the exacting scholars of succeeding centuries. Thus the traditions have reached our times, passing through thousands of strong, reliable hands. Moreover, the texts of Hadiths written down in the Era of Bliss, the era of the Prophet, were handed down in accurate form till they reached the brilliant scholars of the science of Hadith like Bukhari and Muslim. And they, through punctilious examination and classification, collected together those of the Hadiths that were undoubtedly authentic, and presented and taught them to us. May God reward them abundantly!
Thus, the flowing of water from the fingers of God’s Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) and many men drinking from it has the certainty of consensus. It is impossible that the gathering who narrated it would have agreed on a lie. The miracle is most definite. Moreover, it was repeated three times in the presence of three vast assemblies. A great many accurate scholars, primarily, Bukhari, Muslim, Imam Malik, Imam Shu‘ayb, and Imam Qatada, recorded from definitely authenticated narrations from a great many of the well-known Companions, primarily, the Prophet’s servants, Anas, Jabir, and Ibn Mas‘ud how abundant water had flowed from his fingers and the army drunk from it. From numerous narrations of this kind of miracle, we will cite here only nine examples.
F i r s t E x a m p l e : Accurate books of tradition, in particular Bukhari and Muslim, report from an authentic narration from Anas: “About three hundred of us were together with God’s Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) in the place named Zawra’. He ordered us to perform the ablution for the afternoon prayer, but we could find no water. He then told us to bring a little water, which we did, and he dipped his auspicious hands into it. I saw water flow from his fingers like a fountain. His three hundred men performed the ablution with the water and drank from it.”
Anas relates this incident in the name of three hundred men. Is it possible that those three hundred people did not in effect assent to it, or in the event of their not assenting to it, not deny it?
S e c o n d E x a m p l e : As narrated in accurate books, and foremost Bukhari and Muslim, Jabir b. ‘Abd Allah al-Ansari said: “We fifteen hundred people were thirsty during the Hudaybiyya expedition. The Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) performed the ablutions from a leather water-bag called a qirba, then he dipped his hand into it. Then I saw that water was flowing from his fingers like a spring. Fifteen hundred men drank from it and filled their water-bags.” Once, Salim b. Abi’l-Ja‘d asked Jabir: “How many of you were there?” He replied: “The water would have been enough even if there had been a hundred thousand people, but we were fifteen hundred.”
Thus, the narrators of this clear miracle in effect number fifteen hundred, for it is man’s nature to reject lies. As for the Companions of the Prophet, who sacrificed their tribes and peoples, their fathers and mothers, their lives and all they possessed for the sake of truth and veracity, they could not have remained silent in the face of a lie, especially in the light of the warning given by the tradition, “Whoever knowingly tells a lie concerning me should prepare for a seat in Hell-fire.” Since they remained silent concerning this report, they accepted it, in effect joined Jabir, and confirmed him.
T h i r d E x a m p l e : Again as related in the accurate books of Hadith and foremost Bukhari and Muslim, Jabir reported: “During the Buwat expedition, the Noble Prophet (Upon whom be blessings and peace) commanded: ‘Call for the ablutions!’ They said there was no water. He said, ‘Find a small amount!’ We brought a very small amount. He held his hand over the water while reciting something I could not hear, and then commanded: ‘Bring the caravan’s big trough!’ They brought it to me and I placed it before God’s Messenger. He put his hands in the trough and spread his fingers. I poured that very small amount of water onto his blessed hands, and I saw that abundant water was flowing from his blessed fingers and filling the trough. Then I summoned those who needed water. When they had all performed the ablutions with the water and drunk from it, I told the Noble Messenger that there was no one else. He lifted his hands, leaving the trough full to the brim.”
Thus, this clear miracle of Muhammad (PBUH) has the certainty of ‘consensus in meaning,’ for since Jabir was most prominent in the matter, he had the right to recount it and proclaim it in everybody else’s name. Ibn Mas‘ud relates exactly the same thing in his narration: “I saw water flowing from the fingers of God’s Messenger as from a spring.”
If a truthful, well-known group of Companions composed of Anas, Jabir, and Ibn Mas‘ud said: “We have seen it,” is it possible that they should not have seen it? Now combine these three examples and see how powerful and manifest a miracle it was, and how, if the three chains of transmission are combined, it proves the flowing of water from his fingers like ‘true consensus.’ Indeed, even Moses’ making water flow from twelve different places in a rock cannot be equated with the water flowing from Muhammad’s ten fingers, for water may gush out of rock -examples are to be found among ordinary events- but there is no equivalent of, no parallel for, water flowing in abundance, like from the Spring of Kawthar, from flesh and bone.