Miracles on healing the sick and wounded



THIRTEENTH SIGN: Another type of miracle, a mutawatir one with various examples, is the Prophet’s healing of the sick and wounded with his breath. In their entirety, such miracles are mutawatir in meaning. Certain incidents also have the certainty of tawatur in meaning. The rest should be regarded as authentic according to the scientific principles of Tradition, although their narration depends on only one chain of transmission, because they are related and verified by discerning leaders of this science. Out of many relevant examples, we cite only a few:

FIRST EXAMPLE: Qadi ‘Iyad reports in his Shifa’, through numerous channels and a chain of exalted narrators from Sa‘d ibn Abi Waqqas, a servant and military commander of God’s Messenger, commander-in-chief of the army that conquered Persia during ‘Umar’s caliphate, and one of the ten Companions promised Paradise during their life. He said: “I was beside God’s Messenger during the Battle of Uhud. He shot arrows at the unbelievers until his bow was broken, after which he began to give his arrows to me. Each time he gave me a featherless arrow, he ordered me to shoot it, which I did. And it flew like one with feathers, piercing an unbeliever’s body. In the meantime, Qatada ibn Nu‘man was hit and one of his eyeballs protruded. God’s Messenger used his hand to replace the eyeball in its socket. The eye healed at once, as if nothing had happened, and became even better than the other one.”170

This incident became so well-known that when one of Qatada’s grandsons met Caliph ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, he presented himself with the following poetical statement:

I am the son of the person

whose eye protruded over his cheek,

But was wonderfully restored by the hand of Mustafa;

Then it became as it had been before; it was

The most beautiful of eyes,

and most wonderful was its restoration.


During the Battle of Yawm Dhiqarad, an arrow hit Abu Qatada’s face. God’s Messenger wiped the injured man’s face, and Abu Qatada said: “I never felt the pain, nor did the wound fester.”171

SECOND EXAMPLE: Authentic books of Tradition, primarily Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, report: ‘Ali, who was suffering greatly from sore eyes, was appointed standard-bearer during the Battle of Khyber. The pain ceased when God’s Messenger applied his healing saliva to ‘Ali’s eyes, and his eyes became much better. The next morning, ‘Ali joined the battle and, pulling up the citadel’s heavy iron gate and using it as a shield, conquered the stronghold of Khaybar.172 In the same battle, Salama ibn Akwa’s leg wound was healed when God’s Messenger breathed upon it.173

THIRD EXAMPLE: The Prophet’s biographers, including al-Nasa’i, relate that ‘Uthman ibn Hunayf said: “Pray for my eyes to open.” God’s Messenger told him to perform ablution, pray two rak‘ats, and then say: “O God, my appeal is to You, and I turn toward You through Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet of mercy. O Muhammad, I turn toward God through you, that He uncover my sight. O God, make him my intercessor.” He went to do as he was told. When he returned, we saw that his eyes had been opened already.174

FOURTH EXAMPLE: Ibn Wahb, a great Tradition authority, reports: When Mu‘awwidh ibn ‘Afra, one of the 14 martyrs of the Battle of Badr, fought with Abu Jahl, the accursed Abu Jahl cut off one of his hands. Mu‘awwidh took his severed hand to God’s Messenger. The Messenger stuck the amputated hand onto Mu‘awwidh’s wrist and applied his saliva to it. It healed at once, and Mu‘awwidh returned to the battle and fought until he was martyred.175 Ibn Wahb reports that during the same battle, Hubayb ibn Yasaf received such a sword blow on the shoulder that it seemed that his shoulder had been split in two. God’s Messenger held the parts together, breathed on them, and the wounded shoulder healed.176

Although these two Traditions are reported by only one Companion, their occurrence can be regarded as certain, since they happened during a battle that was itself a source of miracles, were verified by such a great authority as Ibn Wahb, and similar incidents also are reported. In fact, nearly 1,000 examples established through authentic narrations indicate that the Messenger healed wounds.

QUESTION: You qualify many of these Traditions as mutawatir, whereas we are hearing most of them for the first time. How could a mutawatir Tradition remain unknown for so long?

ANSWER: Many mutawatir facts are obvious to religious scholars and unknown to others. Many Traditions that are mutawatir to Traditionists may not be regarded by others as even individually reported ones. Axioms or theories in any branch of science are evident only to the authorities of that branch, and others must rely on the authorities or enter that branch to make their own observations. All incidents we have cited so far are regarded as mutawatir by Traditionists, scholars of the Sharia, methodologists, and scholars of many other branches of knowledge, as having the certainty of tawatur either in actual wording or in meaning. If the uneducated are unaware of them and if those who blind themselves to the truth do not know them, it is their own fault.

FIFTH EXAMPLE: Imam Baghawi reports and verifies that during the Battle of the Trench, an unbeliever broke ‘Ali ibn al-Hakam’s leg. When God’s Messenger stroked it, the leg was healed instantly. The soldier continued to fight without even dismounting from his horse.177

SIXTH EXAMPLE: Traditionists, primarily Imam Bayhaqi, relate that once Imam ‘Ali was very sick. As he was alone and groaning out a prayer for his cure, God’s Messenger came in and asked God to heal him. He then told ‘Ali to get up, touching him with his foot. ‘Ali was healed at once and later said: “Since then I have never caught the same illness.”178

SEVENTH EXAMPLE: This is the famous story of Shurahbil al-Jufi. A tumor in his palm made it impossible for him to hold his sword and his horse’s reins. God’s Messenger wiped the tumor and massaged it until no sign of it remained.179

EIGHTH EXAMPLE: Six children were honored with the Prophet’s miracles. They are as follows:

Ibn Abi Shayba, a man of perfect character and profound research and a well-known Traditionist, reports: “A woman came to God’s Messenger with a retarded boy who could not speak. God’s Messenger rinsed his mouth with water, washed his hands, gave the water to the woman, and told her to have the boy drink it. After the boy had done so, he was cured completely and became so wise and intelligent that he was superior to even the most prudent person.”180

Ibn ‘Abbas reports that an insane child was brought to God’s Messenger.

The Messenger put his hand on the child’s chest, which caused the child suddenly to vomit a black object resembling a small cucumber. The child was cured instantly.181

Imam Bayhaqi and Nasa’i relate that a boiling saucepan fell on Muhammad ibn Khatib’s arm and entirely scalded it. God’s Messenger healed the boy by stroking the injured hand and applying his saliva.182

A mute boy came to God’s Messenger. When God’s Messenger asked him who he was, the boy said: “You are The Messenger,” and began to speak.183

Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, the leading scholar of his age and who was honored with conversation with God’s Messenger many times while awake, related and verified that a newly born baby from Yamama was brought to God’s Messenger. When the Messenger turned his face to him, the baby began to speak and said: “I bear witness that you are the Messenger.” God’s Messenger replied: “May God bless you.” After that, the baby never spoke during his infancy. He had been honored with this miracle and the prayer of “May God bless you,”184 and became famous with the title Mubarak al-Yamama (The Blessed One from Yamama).

An ill-natured boy interrupted God’s Messenger by passing before him while he was praying. God’s Messenger said: “O God, let him not leave any traces.” After this, the boy was punished for his bad behavior by becoming unable to walk.185

A shameless woman with the mind of a child once asked for a morsel of food which God’s Messenger was eating. He gave her one, but she responded: “I want the one in your mouth.” God’s Messenger gave it to her. After eating it, she became the shyest woman in Medina.186

Like these eight, there are perhaps 800 more examples of similar miracles, most of which are recorded in the books of Tradition and his biography. Since his hand was like a drugstore of Luqman, his saliva the life-giving water (elixir) of Khadr, and his breath the health-giving breath of Jesus, and since humanity is subject to disease, many people resorted to him. Sick, young, and insane people flocked to him and were cured.

Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Yamani (also known as Tawus), one of the greatest Tabi‘un scholars and one who made pilgrimage 40 times and performed the morning prayer with ablution of the night prayer for 40 years continuously, stated with certainty: “Whenever an insane person came to God’s Messenger, he or she was cured as soon as the Messenger put his hand on his or her chest. There were no exceptions.” As such a great authority, one who lived during the last phase of the Age of Happiness (the time of the Prophet and his four Rightly-Guided Caliphs) had such a definite conviction, it is unquestionable that the Prophet cured everyone who came to him. As this fact became known, we can assume that thousands of people appealed to him.

Said Nursi

170 Shifa’, 1:322, related by Ibn Ishaq, Tabarani, and Bayhaqi.

171 Shifa’, 1:322, related by Tirmidhi and Bayhaqi.

172 Bukhari, 4:58; Ibn Hanbal, 1:85; also related by Muslim and Tabarani.

173 Bukhari, 5:170; Shifa’, 1:323.

174 Al-Jami‘ al-Saghir, no. 1290, related by Nasa’i, Tirmidhi, Ibn Maja, Ibn Khuzayma, and Hakim.

175 Shifa’, 1:324; ‘Ali al-Qari, Sharh al-Shifa’, 1:656.

176 Shifa’, 1:324, related by Bayhaqi, Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Kathir, and Ibn Hajar.

177 Ibid., 1:323; Majma‘ al-Zawa’id, 6:143; Bayhaqi, 6:185.

178 Ibn Hanbal, 1:107; Shifa’, 1:323; Ibn Hibban, 9:47; Bayhaqi, 6:179.

179 Majma‘ al-Zawa’id, 8:298, related by Tabarani and Bayhaqi.

180 Ibn Maja, no. 3532; Hakim, 2:618; Bayhaqi, 6:82.

181 Ibn Hanbal, 4:172; Darimi, 1:11-12; also related by Bayhaqi and Tabarani.

182 Hakim, al-Mustadrak, 4:62-63; also related by Tabarani and Bayhaqi.

183 Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, 6:158, also related by Bayhaqi.

184 Shifa’, 1:319; Kanz al-‘Ummal, 4:379; Bayhaqi, 6:59.

185 Shifa’, 1:328; Bayhaqi, 5:243; also related by Ibn Hibban. [This incident should not be misunderstood. The Messenger must have discerned that the boy would cause great harm for both himself and the society and, in order to prevent this for the good of both the boy, especially with respect to his eternal life in the Hereafter, and the society, prayed against him. A similar significant incident is related in the Qur’an (18:74, 8 0-81) (Tr.)]

186 Majma‘ al-Zawa’id, 8:312; Shifa’, 1:325; related by Tabarani.