Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah
Question: Assalamu alaykum
I keep reading about miraculous events happening in the support of Christianity. It seems that every time Christians are down miraculous interventions come into play and they are saved. The first crusade, Joan of Arc are examples of this. My faith is wavering because of this. What can I do?
Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. Jazakum Allah khayr for your question. There is no need to be afraid for asking such questions. One must clear doubts in order to grow firmer in the religion.
Basis of religion
The basis of religion is Divine revelation and not the temporal events of this world or historical interpretations, no matter how extraordinary the events may seem to one. To doubt one’s faith in Islam because of historical accounts is like equating the eternal facts of the Qur’an with the information found in history books and current news reports.
When one views their faith through world events, their faith is open to misgivings, but when one views world events through faith, faith is reinforced.
Win or lose, miracle or fraud, none of these temporal events have any bearing on the statement ‘There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger’.
To prefer Christianity over Islam because of the events described in the question necessarily means one rejects the Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad as the final revelation and Messenger. It also entails acceptance of every other point of Christian belief, the most objectionable being the concept of the Trinity.
History books are man-written, not divine revelation, and they often function as political spin doctors in literary form.
The American Historian Carl Becker stated, ‘All historical writing, even the most honest, is unconsciously subjective, since every age is bound, in spite of itself, to make the dead perform whatever tricks it finds necessary for its own peace of mind.’ [The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth Century Philosophers]
What this means is that history can be written (or re-written), and often embellished, according to the purpose it needs to serve. In other words, used as propaganda, whether for good or bad motives.
Christian historians may well claim that such events were inspired by supernatural phenomena, but they do not constitute as facts.
Time does not allow us to counter argue all the examples mentioned in the question, however, without exception, all of the examples are certainly open for critique. Critical analysis of not only historical events is needed, but also of those who recorded such events.
Even if one accepted such phenomena, we may say that if it was before Islam, such as the ‘vision’ of Constantine on the eve of the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, then it does not have any bearing on Islamic history, and if after Islam, then we have the words of Allah Most High, ‘He gives victory to whom He wills, and He is the Exalted in Might, the Merciful.’ [30:5].
Alexander the Great ruled a vast empire, yet he was an idol worshipper. The Anti-Christ will be given power over much of the earth and perform supernatural phenomena, yet he is the enemy of all believers.
Allah Most High has not made worldly victories or miraculous visions as the benchmark for validity of religion. Victory in this world does not equal victory in the next world. Nor do apparent or even real miracles prove anything. Who knows what Allah intends for that person through such vision or feats? In truth, scholars place little emphasis on miracles and visions.
When reading History, it is important not to focus on singular events alone, but rather, as time unfolded, to observe what transpired in the long term.
You mentioned Joan of Arc and the Hundred Years’ War, and the vision of the Crusaders at Antioch. Even if we limit our understanding to history books, and even if the singular events were true, what does history tell us of the final outcome of these wars? Who were the ultimate victors? What happened to these people in the very end?
We should also remember, that for us, mankind’s history is not yet finished. In regards God, there is no such thing as history, for time and sequence of events do not exist for the One who created Time. Therefore, all that we require is the promise of Allah.
Miracles and Victories at the hands of Muslims
There were countless numbers of miracles performed, and victories won, in Islamic history and after the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).
One only needs to read the biographies of the Rightly Guided Caliphs, the lives of the great Companions and about many other expeditions, miraculous happenings, as well the unparalleled military strategists and courageous warriors that we find throughout Islamic History. Not all miracles have to be supernatural and obvious. Khalid bin Walid, Nusayba bint ka’ab, and Salahuddin al Ayyubi among others maybe particular of interest to you.
Throughout history, and to this very day, miracles happen to the saints of Allah, whether one knows about them or not, and are far more profound than simply the winning of wars and occupation of lands.
I recommend that you turn your attentions to reading Islamic History. Reading general history is very beneficial, however one must only do so if one is able to read widely, critically, and has the ability to cross-reference, as well as a firm footing in their own faith.
Until then, it would be better to take a break from reading such books. Most importantly, I would urge you to increase your daily reading of the Qur’an and its meaning.
May Allah give you firm faith in Islam and guide you to what is pleasing to Him.
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah
Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.