By Sheikh Mansour Leghaei
The Characteristics of Miracles
1. Miracles are well beyond man’s power of any age, they cannot be reproduced by anyone else and can be distinguished from natural occurrence or even marvelous events.
2. Miracles are the acts of the Prophets but cannot happen without the Providence, Will and the Might of God. For this reason the emphasis is always given in the Quran that they can only occur ‘With the Permission of God’, or by ‘His revelation’.
And certainly We sent messengers before you and gave them wives and children, and it is not in (the power of) an messenger to bring a sign except by Allah’s permission (13:38)
Similarly, in the Bible miracles are called ‘the Finger of God [Exodus, VIII, 19 Luke XI, 20]. Thus, miracles are the manifestation of God’s power.
3. Prophets are capable of performing miracles due to the divine knowledge they enjoy2, which provides them with ‘The Power of Changing’ (Welayatul-Tasarrof?)
Their occurrence is not irrational.
5. They are not contrary to the principles of divine religion. Thus, converting water to wine cannot be accepted as a miracle of a prophet.
6. The dignity of miracles: Miracles are positive and are blessings. Miracles never produce any disorder, discord or any element which is wicked, ridiculous, useless or meaningless. Hence, they are not on the same plane with mere wonders, tricks, works of ingenuity or magic. For instance, no Prophet destroys a forest miraculously, nor would he ever cause any harm in showing his miracle.