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Prophecies by Muhammad (sallalahu alaihi wa sallam)
It has long been recognised that a sure sign of Prophethood is the ability of a person to accurately and consistently predict future events. The knowledge of future events is passed onto Prophets by God Almighty (Allah), who has full knowledge of the past and future. A false prophet, on the other hand, does not receive revelation from God and is unable to make such accurate prophecies. The Bible makes reference to this:
"When a prophet speaks in the Name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word which the Lord has not spoken, the prophet has spoken it presumptuously, you need not be afraid of him." [Bible, Deuteronomy 18:21-22]
Because of this, very often Christians ask us if Muhammad (sallalahu alaihi wa sallam [s.a.w.]) made any prophecies, which have come true. In response to this question, Muslims often provide a few examples without providing enough details. This may be because there are so many prophecies scattered in various ahadith (sayings and actions of Muhammad s.a.w.) that it is difficult for the general Muslim to collate all this information and provide a complete answer to the question of prophecies.
Since this information is not available in one place, we will try to compile details regarding the many prophesies of Muhammad (s.a.w) on this website. If you have additional information regarding Muhammad’s prophecies, we would be pleased to receive this and add it to the website but please ensure that you provide references to back up your claims.
Such amazing information will insh’allah (god-willing) provide convincing evidence that Muhammad (s.a.w.) is a genuine prophet who was sent to call humanity back to worship of the one and true God (Allah) – the same message that was taught by all previous prophets.
Muhammad (s.a.w.) was the last of the Prophets sent by God and thus he foretold many events that would happen in the future. Some of them relate to specific individuals, some to groups, others with the financial, moral and religious situation of the people after him, some deal with upcoming battles and trials, and others concern false prophets, the second coming of Jesus (peace be upon him) and many other issues. A considerable number happened during his lifetime, some a few years after his death, some centuries after him, and some are foretold to occur close to the Final Day. Several of these prophecies are recorded as the Words of God in the Quran and others as sayings of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) in the compilations of hadeeths like Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Musnad of Ahmad, Sunan Abu Dawood, Hakim, Tirmidhi, and Ibn Maja.
Let’s look at a few of these prophecies, starting with those mentioned in the Quran.
Prophecies from the Quran
1. The Victory of the Romans over the Persians
An example of a prophecy mentioned in the Quran is the triumph of the Romans (also known as the Byzantines) over the Persians. Interestingly, the prophesy was predicted to occur within 3 to 9 years of the date when these verses were revealed to Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.).
The Byzantine and Persian Empires were the two super-powers at that time, and had long been warring with each other to expand their territories. The Persians were particularly successful under the greatest of their emperors, Chosroes II, who had begun his campaign against the Romans early in the 7th century CE. They swept across the Byzantium Empire, and within 30 years reduced the Roman defenses to shambles, having conquered the best part of Syria, Palestine, Egypt and all of the area below the empire’s capital, Constantinople (now called Istanbul). The latter campaigns were conducted during the reign of the Roman emperor, Heraclius, who being more of a man of the pleasantries of the palace than the battlefields helplessly watched the destruction of his empire. The greatest blow occurred when the Persians seized Jerusalem in 614-615 CE, carrying away the relics of the holy city. It was during the years when the few Muslims were severely persecuted in Makkah that this occurred. The Makkan pagans rejoiced greatly, and redoubled their taunts and persecution against the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) whose Message was a renewal of the Message of Jesus (Isa, peace be upon him). It was at this juncture that Muhammad (s.a.w.), during his fourth or fifth year of prophethood, received the following astonishing prophetic revelation:
"The Romans have been defeated in the lowest (or nearest) land, but they, after their defeat, will be victorious, within bedd’ (3 to 9) years. God’s is the command in the former case and in the latter, and on that day believers will rejoice, with the help of God. He helps to victory whom He wills. He is the All-Mighty, the All-Compassionate." [Quran, al-Rum, 30:1-5]
No one at that time could have made such a prediction. However, when the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) conveyed these Divine verses to his followers, they did not hesitate in accepting such an improbable prophesy. In reference to this prediction, the famous English historian, Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) wrote in his historical 18th century work, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, “At the time when the prediction is said to have been delivered, no prophecy could have been more distant from its accomplishment, since the first 12 years of Heraclius announced the approaching dissolution of the empire” [Vol 5, page 75, London, 1911]. But then something happened—Heraclius changed. Taking on the role of a heroic leader and borrowing all the gold that the churches could lend him, he set sail quietly into the Mediterranean Sea with a small band of soldiers. Landing at the shores of Syria, he defeated the Persian forces sent to intercept him. His troops marched on with victory after victory as far as the royal cities of Casbin and Ispahan, which had never been approached by a Roman emperor before. There, he faced the largest Persian army ever. Although he knew nothing of the prophecy foretold by Muhammad (s.a.w.), Heraclius addressed his commanders in prophetic terms: “Do not be terrified by the multitude of your enemies. With the aid of Heaven, one Roman may triumph over a thousand barbarians”. In 622 CE, the Romans were victorious with the decisive battle of Ninevah.
In 7 years, Heraclius liberated all of the provinces that had been lost in 30 years, and the prophesy came true. Strangely, Heraclius returned to his life of pleasure forcing Gibbon to state: “Of the characters conspicuous in history, that of Heraclius is one of the most extraordinary and inconsistent. In the first and last years of a long reign, the emperor appears to be the slave of sloth, pleasure, and superstition, the careless and impotent spectator of public calamities”. Indeed, it was as if Heraclius had woken up from the life of laziness and luxury just to fulfill the prophecy of the Quran!
This happened at the same time as the believers won the victory of Badr over the Makkan polytheists. The Muslims rejoiced not only at their victory in Badr but also at the victory of the Christian believers in God over the disbelieving Persians. Thus the Quranic verses above contained two predictions, both of which came true within 9 years.
Prophecies in Hadith (sayings of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.)
A book authored by Shaikh 'Umar al-Ashqar on signs before the Last Hour, relates some hadith (narrations) from Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) about prophecies he made.
A fire in Hijaz (Arabia) that lights up the necks of the camels in Busra
Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said, "The Hour will not be established until a fire comes out from the earth of Hijaz that lights up the necks of the camels of Busra." [Sahih Muslim no. 2902 in Kitab-ul-fitan].
Busra according to an-Nawawi (Commentary on Sahih Muslim, Vol. 18 p.30) is a city known to be in Syria (Sham) that is three stations in journey between Damascus and itself. This is one of those great signs that has been truthfully reported by trustworthy sources to have already taken place just as the Messenger of Allah had informed. It happened 640 years after Muhammad (s.a.w.)'s prophesy!
Ibn Kathir talks about this in his history book as one of the events of the year 654 (1260 CE). He said, "In it was the appearance of the fire from the earth of Hijaz that lighted up the necks of the camels in Busra, just as the report tells us about that in Bukhari and Muslim (muttafaq 'alaihi). The great scholar (shaikh, imam, allamah and hafiz) Shihab-ud-Din Abu Shamah al-Maqdisi elaborates on the statement in his book "Adh-Dhayl wa Sharhuhu" and presents a widely-reported narration (mutawatir) from many books about this fire in Hijaz that has been definitely witnessed in Damascus; how it emerged and related matters."
Abu Shamah lived during the time it happened. He clearly and precisely talks about the dates and how eyewitnesses reliably informed him about it. They were in their houses that night and it was as if every single home had a lamp (lighting it up). He mentions detailed reports about it from quite a number of sources. A great light appeared in Medina on Thursday night on the 3rd of Jumada al-Akhirah in the year 654 (13th century). Then there was a massive earthquake that shook the earth, trees and the houses right down to their roofs and doors. This happened repeatedly until Friday and then a huge fire appeared in the Harrah near Quraizah. People saw it from their homes in town as if the fire was with them. Its flames were higher than three pillars (lighthouses) put together. Its fire flowed towards the Shadh valley like water and blocked it and other paths and highways. Many people were afraid that they would be overcome by it. It (the lava) flowed east. From its centre large boulders or fire came out that consumed rocks. It was like a specimen of what Allah told us in His book, the Quran:
"Indeed it throws about sparks (huge) as Forts, As if there were (a string of) yellow camels (marching swiftly)." [Chapter al-Mursalaat, Verse 32-33]
Abu Shamah described from these sources how the eruption spread across the land and was visible from far away. The main part of it was like a huge red mountain. The fire appeared from the east of Medina about a half-day's journey away. It exploded from the earth and rivers of fire flowed from it that were four miles wide and four farsakh long. People were completely at a loss as to what they should do. At first the lava was red and then congealed into black masses. The sun and the moon were obscured and darkness prevailed.
Some talked about this in light of the result of sinfulness and oppression and the need to come closer to Allah through obedience. Others mentioned how people repented en masse and were put off from eating and drinking.
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