16. Justified by Miracles?

The Koran does not relate any miracle performed by Muḥammad (~), but for the Muslim, the Koran is itself its own miracle. How? The Koranic text seems to proclaim itself inimitable (for example in the Sura “The heifer” 2, 23). In the course of the centuries, many have contested this affirmation by producing versified texts (it’s easy in Arabic) and making them pass for verses of the Koran. Today, it is not insisted that the Koran is inimitable (and written in perfect Arabic, which is far from being the case). Rather it is underlined that the Koran possesses in itself the totality of science. One would have to think then that Westerners have secretly studied the Koran and that they have drawn from it their knowledge. The question of justification by miracles isn’t a marginal one.

According to the sura “The Family of Imran,” ‘Issa declares: “I have come to you with a sign of your Lord: I will, for you, create in clay a form like a bird. I breathe on it, and he is a ‘bird,’ with the permission of God. I heal the blind and the leper; I resuscitate the dead, with the permission of God. I tell you what you eat and what you hide in your homes. There is truly here a Sign for you, if you are believers” (s. 3, 45-49). The miracle of the bird is an imaginative story which was very popular among the Arabs of the time (it is known to us by an apocryphal book [1], and the other healings mentioned by the Koran, which are more serious, are attested by the Gospels. The sura “The Table” recognizes that the works of ‘Issa (Jesus) are proofs for what he says and teaches: “And you healed by My permission, the one born blind and the leper. And by My permission, you made the dead live again. I protected you against the Children of Israel while you brought them the proofs(s. 5, 110).

The miracles of Jesus (‘Issa) are a call to faith, or else they are refused with “bad faith.” This is why Jesus speaks thus about the judgment, reproaching those among the Jews who do not believe in him: “How can you believe, who receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” (John 5, 44). What prevents these Jews from welcoming Al-Massih is a lack in them of something that is present in God who reveals Himself. Jesus says: “you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe him whom he has sent” (John 5, 38). And again: “I know that you have not the burning love of God within you” (John 5, 42). Also, Revelation doubles itself into a judgment for those who reject it: “Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father: it is Moses who accuses you, on whom you set your hope” (John 5, 45). Jesus explains that his miracles attest to the fact that he is the one sent by God. He says: “the works which the Father has granted me to accomplish, these very works which I am doing, bear me witness that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness to me” (John 5, 36-37).

Lying prodigies exist and Jesus has announced the coming of false Messiahs and false prophets who will do these things (Matthew 24, 24). But the miracles of Jesus are real signs and they conduct to God.

The Gospel specifies that the blind man who was cured was expelled when he declared that Jesus came from God (John 9, 34). But Jesus found him again and asked him: “Do you believe in the Son of man?” According to the prophet Daniel, the Son of Man was the one who would come on the clouds of Heaven to judge the nations. The healed blind man replied to Jesus: “Lord, I believe”; and he worshiped him.” (John 9, 38).


[1] “Thomas the Israelite” (a Gnostic text).

Sacre coeur