6.5 Arguments and Objections
The enemies of Islam began to take active and orderly steps in opposition. The Arabs were poets by nature, never so moved as by a good poem, so they gave their poets money and set them upon Mohamed to insinuate that he was a liar, crazy, or bewitched. Mohamed did not answer them as he was too busy explaining what had been revealed to him to take any notice of them, but Muslims who were poets, men who had hearts as well as the gift of poetry, answered with such convincing arguments that they silenced them.
They reverted to another trick. They said that if Mohamed was truly a prophet, let him change AI-Safa to gold for them, or let the earth gush out into springs of water, or let him bring forth the angels for them to see, or let a book from heaven be sent down for them, or (joking further at his expense) let him tell them which merchandise would rise in price and which would be scarce.
The Koran bid him to tell them.
"Exalted be my Lord, am I anything but a man, a messenger." (17:93)
In other words, I am only a man, I cannot do miracles, and those belong to Allah alone. They were demanding a miracle, but Allah in His wisdom denied them this single proof. A miracle meant breaking the laws of nature. This was easy for Him who had created all the laws of nature, yet He forbore for three reasons mentioned in the Koran.
The first was that when prophets had been sent to earlier peoples, and after they had performed, by the will of Allah, miracles, they were deified after their death and worshipped alongside with Allah, the One. Much superstition and erroneous beliefs had been the result.
The second was that in earlier times when people had demanded a miracle, and Allah gave them what they asked, many would still not believe. They had promised to believe, if only they would get a certain sign and when they were given the sign they had asked for and still did not believe, the judgment passed upon them was destruction. In the Arabian Peninsula itself there were the ruins of several civilizations who had suffered such a fate. When Allah wants to spare a people, He does not give them a miracle.
The third reason was that if people would only observe the world around them, they would see hundreds of the tokens of Allah's power and wisdom. The whole of creation is coordinated in a most perfect and orderly design; to those who believe this is a greater sign than any instance of breaking the laws of nature. The Koran says:
"In the creation of the heavens and the earth, the alternation of night and day, the boats that sail the seas bringing benefit to man, the water Allah sends down from the sky to give life to the earth after its death, and the dissemination of every species upon it, the distribution of the winds, the clouds ordained between the sky and earth, there are tokens to those who reason." (2:164)