The definition of a ‘miracle’ (I‘jaaz and Mu‘jizah)


Dr. Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Musleh

The definition of a ‘miracle’ (I‘jaaz and Mu‘jizah) Language and terminology

And to what extent the term conforms to the meanings in the Qur’an Ibn Manthoor states: It is said ‘ajaza ya‘jazu (to be unable) to do something’ when one fails or is too weak to do so. Mu‘jizah is one of the Mu‘jizaat (miracles) of the prophets, peace be upon them. [Maqaayees Al-Lughah, Ibn Faaris]

Ibn Hajar states:

Mu‘jizah is a nominal agent (Ism Faa‘il) for I‘jaaz (or inability). It is named so because of their inability to refute it. The [letter] haa’ [at the end, i.e. -ah] is for emphasis or [it indicates] that it is an adjective for an unpronounced noun.

The terminology of Mu‘jizah: It is a supernatural occurrence associated with a challenge that cannot be opposed. [Fat-h Al-Baari 6/582]

I‘jaaz Al-Qur’an is a reference to the people’s inability to come up with something like one of the Qur’an’s Soorahs, despite the intensity of the people’s enmity and repulsion to it. [See previous reference] Scientific miracles (I‘jaaz‘Ilmi): How the Qur’an and Prophetic Sunnah relate facts corroborated by empirical science that could not have been realized using human means at the time of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.


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