Appropriate Miracles for Each People and Era: Ibn Kathir

The great scholar and historian al-haafidh Abu’l-Fidaa’ Ismaa’eel ibn Kathir wrote the following point of benefit in his tafsir under his discussion of some of the miracles of ‘Eesaa ibn Maryam (Jesus the son of Mary):

قال كثير من العلماء : بعث الله كل نبي من الأنبياء بمعجزة تناسب أهل زمانه ، فكان الغالب على زمان موسى ، عليه السلام ، السحر وتعظيم السحرة . فبعثه الله بمعجزة بهرت الأبصار وحيرت كل سحار ، فلما استيقنوا أنها من عند العظيم الجبار انقادوا للإسلام ، وصاروا من الأبرار .  ـ

Many of the scholars have said: Allah sent each one of the prophets with miracles which were befitting the people of their time. So what was predominant during the time of Moosaa (‘alaihi al-salaam) was sorcery and magnification of magicians, so Allah sent Moosaa with miracles which dazzled the sight and confounded every magician, so when they [the magicians] became certain that this was from al-‘Atheem al-Jabbaar (The Magnificent and Mighty), then they conformed to al-Islaam and they become amongst the most pious of people.

وأما عيسى ، عليه السلام ، فبعث في زمن الأطباء وأصحاب علم الطبيعة ، فجاءهم من الآيات بما لا سبيل لأحد إليه ، إلا أن يكون مؤيدا من الذي شرع الشريعة . فمن أين للطبيب قدرة على إحياء الجماد ، أو على مداواة الأكمه والأبرص ، وبعث من هو في قبره رهين إلى يوم التناد ؟ ـ

As for ‘Eesaa (‘alaihi al-salaam), then he was sent during an era of doctors and people studying the natural world, so he came to them with ayaat (signs, miracles) which no one could produce unless if he were aided by the One who legislated the divine legislation. For does the doctor have any power to give life to that which is inanimate, or to heal the blind or the leper, or to bring forth the one who was made subject unto the grave until the Day of Summoning?

وكذلك محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم بعثه [ الله ] في زمن الفصحاء والبلغاء ونحارير الشعراء ، فأتاهم بكتاب من الله ، عز وجل ، لو اجتمعت الإنس والجن على أن يأتوا بمثله ، أو بعشر سور من مثله ، أو بسورة من مثله لم يستطيعوا أبدا ، ولو كان بعضهم لبعض ظهيرا ، وما ذاك إلا لأن كلام الرب لا يشبهه كلام الخلق أبدا . ـ

And likewise with Muhammad (ﷺ) – Allah sent him during an era of articulate and eloquent speakers and excellent poets. So he came to them with a Book from Allah which even if mankind and Jinn-kind were to work together to bring about the likes of it, or even ten surahs like it, or even one surah like it – then would never be able to do that, even if there were aiding one another. And that is due to no other reason than that it is the Speech of the Lord which no speech of the creation will ever be able to resemble.

[Tafsir ibn Kathir 2/46]

See also: Tafsir al-Sa’di on the objective of revealing the Qur’an and its benefits

See also: The Prophet Muhammad is the fulfillment of Ibrahim’s du’a : Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

See also: The story of ‘Eesaa, his mother, Zakariyyah and Yahya – Imam al-Sa’di

See also: And even if they see all the signs, they will not believe in them: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

See also: The Qur’an, the Tawrah and the Injeel: Tafsir ibn Kathir

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6 thoughts on “Appropriate Miracles for Each People and Era: Ibn Kathir

  1. Pingback: The story of ‘Eesaa, his mother, Zakariyyah and Yahya – Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: Tafsir al-Sa’di on the objective of revealing the Qur’an and its benefits | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: The Nine Signs given to Moosaa: Tafsir al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

  4. Pingback: The Prophet clarified much of what the Ahl al-Kitaab used to conceal: Tafsir al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

  5. Pingback: The Qur’an, the Tawrah and the Injeel: Tafsir ibn Kathir | Tulayhah

  6. Pingback: The Quraish’s Demand for a Sign: Tafsir al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

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