05 Nov Seventh sign.Part1
We will give in this Sign a few examples from among the Prophet’s (PBUH) miracles that relate to his effecting increase in food and that are definite to the degree of ‘consensus in meaning.’ But before going into the subject, some introductory comments will be appropriate.
I n t r o d u c t i o n
Each of the following examples of miracles is narrated, as authentic, through various sometimes as many as sixteen chains of transmission. Most of them occurred in the presence of large assemblies, and were narrated by many truthful persons of good repute from among those present. For example, from among seventy men who partook of four handfuls of food and were filled, one relates the incident, and the others do not contradict him. Their silence thus indicates their confirmation. For if in that era of truth and truthfulness the Companions, who were lovers of the truth and earnest and honest, had witnessed even the tiniest lie, they would have rejected and denied it. But the incidents we will be citing were narrated by many, and the others who witnessed them remained silent. Thus, each of these incidents has the certainty of ‘consensus in meaning.’
Furthermore, books of both history and the Prophet’s biography testify that, next to the preservation of the Qur’an and its verses, the Companions worked with all their strength to preserve the deeds and words of God’s Most Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace), and especially those relating to the injunctions of the Shari‘a and to miracles, paying extreme attention to their accuracy.
They never neglected even the tiniest aspect of his conduct, actions, and states. This and the fact that they recorded them is testified to by books of Hadith.In addition, in the Era of Bliss, they wrote down and recorded very many of the Hadiths concerning the injunctions of the Law and his miracles. The ‘Seven ‘Abd Allah’s’ in particular recorded them in writing. And especially ‘Abd Allah b. al-‘Abbas, known as ‘the Interpreter of the Qur’an,’ and ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Amr b. al-‘As some thirty to forty years later, and the thousands of exacting scholars of the generation that followed the Companions recorded the Hadiths and miracles in writing. And still later, chiefly the four great interpreters of the Law and thousands of exacting scholars of Hadith related them and preserved them in writing. Then two hundred years after the Hijra, foremost Bukhari and Muslim and the six accepted books of tradition, undertook the duty of their preservation.
Many severe critics such as Ibn al-Jawzi emerged who identified false reports which had been produced by deniers, the unthinking, the ignorant, or those who had recalled them wrongly. Later, learned and exacting scholars like Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, who seventy times was honoured in a waking state by the presence and conversation of God’s Noble Messenger (PBUH), differentiated the diamonds of authentic traditions from other sayings and fabrications.Thus, the incidents and miracles we shall speak of, have come down to us through numerous, perhaps uncountable, strong and trustworthy hands, and have reached us in sound condition.All praise be to God, this is from the bounty of my Lord.It is for this reason that one’s mind should be freed from the notion that these incidents have been distorted or confused in any way in being passed down all the way from that time to the present.The First Example of definite miracles concerning the Prophet’s increase of food through his blessing.
The six accurate books of tradition, Bukhari and Muslim included, unanimously relate that during the feast on the occasion of the Prophet’s (PBUH) marriage to Zaynab, Anas’s mother, Umm Sulaym, prepared a dish by frying two handfuls of dates in oil and sent it with Anas to the Prophet. The Noble Prophet told him: “Go and invite so-and-so [naming some persons], and also invite whomever you encounter on your way.” Anas invited those named and those he met. About three hundred Companions came and filled the Prophet’s room and anteroom. Then the Prophet said: “Make circles of ten.” He placed his blessed hand on that little amount of food, uttered supplications, and told them to help themselves. All of them ate and was fully satisfied. Afterwards the Prophet asked Anas to remove the food. Anas later related: “I could not tell if there was more of it when I set it down, or when I removed it.”
S e c o n d E x a m p l e : Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, the Prophet’s host, relates that when the Noble Prophet (Upon whom be blessings and peace) honoured his house, he had prepared a meal for two, which would suffice the Prophet and Abu Bakr. But the Prophet told him: “Invite thirty men from among the distinguished Ansar!” Abu Ayyub said: “Thirty men came and ate. He then said: ‘Invite sixty men,’ which I did, and they also came and ate. The Prophet said again: ‘Invite seventy more.’ I invited them; they came, and when they finished eating, there was still food left in the bowls. All who came embraced Islam and took the oath of allegiance after witnessing this miracle. One hundred and eighty men ate the food of two men.”
T h i r d E x a m p l e : It is reported through many chains of transmission from ‘Umar b. al-Khattab, Abu Hurayra, Salama b. Akwa‘, Abu ‘Amrat al-Ansari and others that on one expedition, the army went hungry. They referred themselves to the Noble Prophet (Upon whom be blessings and peace), and he told them:
“Gather whatever food is left in your saddle-bags.” Everyone brought a few pieces of dates and put them on a mat. The most they could put together was four handfuls. Salama related: “I estimated it amounted to the size of a sitting goat.” Then the Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) announced: “Everyone bring his dish!” They pressed forward, and no one in the whole army remained with an empty dish, all the dishes were filled. There was even some left over. One of the Companions later said: “I realized from the way that increase was obtained that if the whole world had come, the food still would have been sufficient.”
F o u r t h E x a m p l e : As recorded in all of the Six Books including Bukhari and Muslim, ‘Abd al-Rahman b. Abu Bakr al-Siddiq relates: “We, one hundred and thirty Companions, were with the Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) on an expedition. Dough was prepared to the amount of about four handfuls, a goat was slaughtered and cooked, and its liver and kidneys were roasted. I swear by God that from that roasted meat [liver and kidneys] God’s Messenger gave a small piece to each and put the cooked meat into two large bowls. After we had all eaten until we were filled there was still some left over, which I loaded onto a camel.”