Interpretation of verse 29:50
Fatwa No: 357541

  • Fatwa Date:22-8-2017 - Thul-Qi'dah 30, 1438
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Question

An atheist asked a Muslim a question. He said that if the hadiths say that Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, performed miracles, then why does Surah Al-Ankaboot verse number 50 say that Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, did not do so? An atheist said that this verse contradicts the hadiths. Please, can you explain this? Thank you very much indeed.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

In verse no. 50 of Soorah Al-‘Ankaboot, Allah, the Exalted, says (what means): {But they say: "Why are not signs sent down to him from his Lord?" Say: "The signs are only with Allah, and I am only a clear warner."} [Quran 29:50]

There is no contradiction between this verse and the established fact that the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was aided by many miracles. The verse does not negate the existence of those miracles; rather, it underlines that miracles are not to be asked of the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and that they are from Allah, the Exalted, and He makes them happen whenever He wills and however He wills. The Mushriks (polytheists) used to ask the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, for specific miracles such as causing a spring to gush forth from the earth for them or having a house of gold for himself etc. As-Sa‘di commented on this verse, saying:

"Those unjust people who disbelieved in the Messenger and his divine message rejected his call and suggested that he brings forth specific miracles (of their own choice) proving his truthfulness, such as their statement (which means): {And they say: We will not believe you until you break open for us from the ground a spring...} [Quran 17:90] Specifying which miracles should take place is neither their choice nor the choice of the Messenger, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. This is exclusively decided by Allah... This is why Allah, the Exalted, said (what means): {Say: The signs are only with Allah...}; meaning that if Allah wills, He will cause them to happen or stop them from happening. {...and I am only a clear warner.}; meaning that his rank does not go beyond this rank of warning."

Allah knows best.

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