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Review of Adem Yakup's _Miracles of the Prophet_


MIRACLES OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD
SALLA ALLAHU `ALAYHI WA-SALLAM

By Adem Yakup. Translated by Ron Evans. Edited by Abdassamad Clarke.

London: Ta-Ha Publishers, 2006. Pp. 88. ISBN1-842000-78-0 (PB).


Originally written in Turkish, Adem Yakups _Miracles of the Prophet

Muhammad_, upon him blessings and peace, is another product of the

well-moneyed Haroon Yahya school of vulgarisation one of several in

their newfound collaboration with Ta-Ha Publishers printed on marbled

paper with home-made typesetting but a glossy cover representing the

splitting of the moon. It has ten chapters including an introduction and

a conclusion, entitled the miracles Allah granted to the Prophet prior

to Prophethood, the miracle of the Revelation, the miracle of the

Quran, the miracle of the Prophet Muhammads noble character, some

miracles in the Prophets life, the efficacy of the Prophets

prayers, Allahs miraculous protection of the Prophet and the

knowledge of the unseen given to our Prophet, the latter being the

longest with 17 pages, while the rest vary between five and 10. Its

sources appear to be a Turkish abridgment of Imam al-Suyutis

_al-Khasais al-Kubra_, the _Shifa_ of Qadi `Iyad, a 1998 Prophetic

biography by a Salih Suruc among other modern Turkish sources and a

generous helping of Internet websites.


At 88 pages and C5 format, Yakups book is much too slim to fulfill the

promise of its title but would have offered good reading for pre-teens

and young adults (10-16 years) if only its English had been brought up

to par. The first thing with which the revelation began for the

Messenger of Allah (upon him blessings and peace) was correct dreams in

sleep, reads the Revelation chapter, instead of truthful dreams or

dreams that came true; Be firm, O Uhud!, the Prophet, upon him

blessings and peace, is translated as saying in the chapter on the

knowledge of the unseen, for on you there are *no more than a Prophet*

[!], a Siddiq, and two martyrs, instead of there is no less or there

is none other than a Prophet, etc.; and the chapter on the Prophets

noble character mentions that he was an untaught prophet when the

correct one-word translation of ummi would be unlettered,

unschooled, but hardly untaught since the Quran states that Allah

Most High taught him and, by His order, the angel Gibril taught the

Prophet as well. It doesnt help that the book also sources the latter

infelicitous translation to a Turkish edition of Afzalur Rahmans

_Encyclopaedia of Seerah_ and the Indian edition of Fazlul Karims

massacre of _Ihya `Ulum al-Din_.


Related offerings in English from Egypt and the Subcontinent are

floating around the book market, such as _Book of Evidences: The

Miracles of the Prophet_ (P.B.U.H.) (a rendering of the section on

miracles from Ibn Kathirs Sira) by a Ali Mwinyi Mziwa, and there is a

Mufti Saiful Islams booklet by the name of _Miracles of the Holy

Prophet_ as well as a Abdul Munim Hashmis _Miracles of the Prophets_.

However, there is still no presentable work on the topic in English.


Even in Arabic, contemporary Prophetological literature has been

notoriously poor on the aspect of the Prophets miracles due to the

scientistic preoccupations of the age which gave us Muhammad Haykals

_Life of Muhammad_ and Muhammad Yusuf Alis Quranic translation. The aim

then was to show Westerners that Islam is a modern religion, devoid of

what they misconceived as resembling the hagiographical fictions of

other faiths. The Schuonian Perennialists quite similarly, though at the

opposite extreme of materialism, try to eviscerate those

breach-of-natural-law _mu`jizat_, or stunning miracles, of their

literal meaning by poeticising and symbologising them an undercurrent

observable in Lings _Life of Muhammad_, for example. I remember

watching William Chittick in his Stony Brook office tell a bemused

Muslim student how all the great religions tell wonderful, didactic

myths about their founders. I ran after the student to check that he

was, of course, aware such chit-chat necessitated an Uhud-size grain of

salt.


The legacy of such preoccupations undoubetdly lingers among Anglophone

publishers and readers alike, perhaps ensuring that the two most

exhaustive hadith collections ever compiled on the Prophets miracles,

Imam al-Bayhaqis seven-volume _Dalail al-Nubuwwa_ and Qadi Yusuf

al-Nabhanis 900-page, tiny-lettered _Hujjatullah `ala al-`Alamin

bi-Mu`jizat Sayyid al-Mursalin_ (The Great Divine Proof in the Stunning

Miracles of the Liegelord of Messengers) remain, to this day,

untranslated.


Many Muslims are still brought up to think that the Prophet Allah

bless him and give him peace didnt perform any miracles except

bringing the Quran, in blissful ignorance of the mention of other

miracles in the Quran itself [such as] the Night Journey, the splitting of the

moon, the blinding of the entire pagan army with a handful of dust and

the vision of Allah Most High to name some. At least, Yakups book may

help in the ongoing education of many post-modern Muslims that there

are, indeed, many great Prophetic miracles besides the Magnificent

Quran, such as those mentioned above as well as the speaking of the

trees and the multiplication of food and water. But it will fail to

impress upon them that the rest of the authentically related miracles

are beyond count.


GF Haddad

May 2007

 

 

 

vs.1.1


2007-05-31

 



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