05 Nov Fifteenth Sign.Part1
Just as rocks, trees, the moon and the sun recognized him and affirmed his prophethood by each demonstrating a miracle, so too, animals, the dead, the jinn, and the angels recognized that blessed being and affirmed his prophethood. For by each of those species of beings displaying a number of miracles, they demonstrated that they recognized him and proclaimed their affirmation of his prophethood. This Fifteenth Sign contains three Branches.
The animal realm recognized God’s Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) and displayed his miracles. There are numerous examples of this Branch. Here as examples, we shall mention only those which are well-known and definite to the degree of ‘consensus in meaning,’ or have been accepted by authoritative scholars, or have been deemed acceptable by the Muslim community.
The First Incident: This is well-known to the degree of ‘consensus in meaning,’ and concerns the two pigeons coming and waiting at the entrance to the cave of Hira, where God’s Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) and Abu Bakr the Veracious hid from the pursuing unbelievers, and the spider veiling the entrance with a thick web, like a curtain holder. Ubayy b. Khalaf, one of the leaders of the Quraysh whom God’s Messenger killed with his own hand at the Battle of Badr, looked at the cave. When his companions suggested that they enter, he replied: “Why should we? I see a large spider’s web which appears to have been there since before Muhammad was born. And look, those two pigeons are there. Would they remain there if there was someone in the cave?”
In an instance similar to this, a blessed pigeon cast a shadow over the head of God’s Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) during the conquest of Makkah, which was related by Imam Jalil b. Wahab.
Also according to a sound narration, ‘A’isha al-Siddiqa relates: “We had a bird in our house called a dajin, similar to a pigeon. When God’s Messenger was present it would stay quiet, but as soon as he left the house, the bird would start hopping to and fro without stopping.” Thus, the bird was obedient to the Messenger, remaining quiet in his presence.
The Second Incident: This is the extraordinary story of the wolf, which has been narrated through a number of chains of transmission from some well-known Companions and about which is ‘consensus in meaning.’ In short, Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri, Salama b. al-Akwa‘, Ibn Abi Wahab, and Abu Hurayra, and Uhban, a shepherd who was involved in another event, relate through numerous chains of transmission: “A wolf seized a goat and the shepherd saved it from the wolf. The wolf exclaimed: ‘Don’t you fear God? You have deprived me of my sustenance!’ The shepherd muttered to himself:
‘How strange! Can wolves speak?’ The wolf said to him: ‘You’re the strange one, for beyond the hill is someone calling you to Paradise. He is a Messenger of God, yet you do not recognize him!’” Although all the lines of transmission agree on the wolf’s speech, in his report, which has a strong line, Abu Hurayra says: “The shepherd said to the wolf: ‘I am going to see him, but who will look after my goats?’ The wolf replied: ‘I’ll look after them.’ So the shepherd handed over the herd to the wolf and went to see the Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace), believed in him, and returned to his herd. The shepherd found the wolf; not a goat had been lost. So he slaughtered one for the wolf, for it had become his teacher.”
According to one chain of transmission, one of the chiefs of Quraysh, Abu Sufyan, and Safwan saw a wolf pursuing a gazelle into the enclosure of the Ka‘ba. As it returned, the wolf spoke, telling of the prophethood of Muhammad (PBUH). They were astonished. Abu Sufyan said to Safwan: ‘Don’t let’s tell anyone of this; I’m frightened everyone will join him and Makkah will be emptied.’
In Short: The story of the wolf gives one complete conviction, and is as certain as those unanimous reports about which there is ‘consensus in meaning.’
The Third Incident: This is the narrative of the camel, which was unanimously related through some five or six chains of transmission by famous Companions such as Abu Hurayra, Tha‘laba b. Malik, Jabir b. ‘Abd Allah, ‘Abd Allah b. Ja‘far, and ‘Abd Allah b. Abi Awfa, who are at the start of the chains. A camel approached God’s Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace), prostrated itself before him as if saluting him, and spoke. According to a number of lines of transmission, the camel had been angered in a garden, and become wild, attacking anyone who approached it. When God’s Messenger appeared, it came to him, prostrated as a sign of respect, and knelt down. The Messenger put a bridle on it, and the camel said to him: “They made me do the heaviest work and now they want to slaughter me. That’s why I went wild.” The Messenger asked its owner if this was true. “Yes,” he replied.
Also, God’s Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) had a camel called ‘Adba’. After he died, out of its grief, the camel neither ate nor drank, till it died. A number of important authorities including Abu Ishaq Isfara’ini related that it spoke with the Prophet about a certain story. In another instance, in an authentic narration, Jabir b. ‘Abd Allah’s camel became exhausted on a journey and could no longer continue. God’s Messenger gave it a slight prod. Such joy and nimbleness did the camel receive from that prod of the Prophet that due to its speed it could not be caught up with, nor could its reins be seized.
The Fourth Incident: The authorities on Hadith and foremost Bukhari report that it was rumoured one night that the enemy was attacking outside Madinah. Brave horsemen went out to investigate. On the way they saw someone coming. They looked and saw that it was the Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace). He told them there was nothing. He had mounted Abu Talha’s famous horse, as his sacred courage impelled him to, and had gone before everyone else to investigate, then returned. He told Abu Talha: “Your horse is extremely swift and unfaltering.” Whereas previously it had been extremely slow. After that night, there was no horse to compete with it. On another occasion, as related in an authentic narration, while on a journey at the time for prayer, the Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) told his horse to stop. It stopped, and until he had finished praying the horse did not make the slightest movement.
The Fifth Incident: Safina, the servant of the Noble Prophet (Upon whom be blessings and peace), was commanded by him to go to the Governor of Yemen, Mu‘adh b. Jabal. He set off and on the way encountered a lion. Safina said to it: “I am the servant of God’s Messenger!” Upon which the lion made a sound as if saying something, and left without molesting him. According to another narration, Safina lost his way when returning, and met with a lion. Not only did the lion not molest him, it showed him the way.
Also, it is narrated from ‘Umar that he said: “A beduin came to the Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace). He was holding a lizard. He said: ‘If this reptile testifies to you, I shall believe in you; otherwise I will not.’ God’s Messenger asked the lizard, and it testified to his messengership most eloquently.”
Also, the Mother of Believers, Umm Salama relates: “A gazelle spoke with the Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace), and testified to his messenger ship.”
Thus, there are numerous examples similar to these. We described a few that are famous and certain. And to those who do not recognize and obey the Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace), we say this: O man! Take a lesson from these! The lion and the wolf recognized and obeyed him; you, then, should try not to fall lower than an animal!