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The Miracle:
The miracle is an extraordinary act. It is not a usual event that happens in everyday life or to everyone. Miracles are only for prophets and are always in agreement with what they say. So, no one can do anything that is equal or similar to a miracle to discredit a prophet. Examples of miracles are: the flowing of water from between the fingers of Prophet Muhammad; and transforming the staff of Prophet Musa into a giant snake.

So a strange matter that is not extraordinary is not considered a miracle, such as the flying of an airplane. Also, an extraordinary matter that is not accompanied by a claim of Prophethood is not considered a miracle. Examples are the extraordinary matters that occur to highly righteous Muslims (Waliyys). These extraordinary matters are called Karamahs.

Also what an opposing party can imitate is not a miracle, such as magic, because it can be imitated by opposing magic.

The miracle is of two types:
One type occurs after the suggestion of the people whom the prophet is calling to Islam.
The other type occurs without the suggestion of the people.

An example of the first type is what happened with Prophet Salih, peace be upon him. Upon his people’s suggestion, he brought a camel and its child out of a rock.  

An example of the second type is what happened to Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, when the tree trunk longed for him. Al-Bukhariyy related that the Prophet used to give the speech of Jumu^ah while leaning on a palm tree. One of the Ansar suggested: “O Prophet of Allah, why don’t we make a mimbar for you?” He said: “As you wish.” They built a mimbar for him. When it was the next Friday, the Prophet climbed onto the mimbar but the tree trunk started moaning, longing for him like a child. The Prophet came down and hugged it. This comforted the trunk.

Whenever he mentioned this miracle, Al-Hasan used to say: “O Muslim people, the wood longed for the Prophet because it missed him. You are more worthy of missing him.”  

The Karamah: The karamah is an extraordinary matter that occurs on the hands of a Muslim waliyy who does all the obligations, refrains from all sins, and does many recommended matters. This is what differentiates the karamah from magic and tricks. A karamah occurred for our Lady Maryam, the mother of Prophet ^Isa (Jesus). Whenever Prophet Zakariyya (her sister’s husband) visited her, he would find that she had the fruit of the summer in the winter and the fruit of the winter in the summer.  

Allah, ta^ala, said in the Qur’an:  
كُلَّمَا دَخَلَ عَلَيْهَا زَكَرِيَّا الْمِحْرَابَ وَجَدَ عِندَهَا رِزْقاً قَالَ يَا مَرْيَمُ أَنَّى لَكِ هَـذَا قَالَتْ هُوَ مِنْ عِندِ اللّهِ

Kullama dakhala ^alayha Zakariyyal-mihraba wajada ^indaha rizqa. Qala ya Maryamu anna laki hadha qalat huwa min ^indillah.

Ayah 37 of Suratu Al ^Imran means: {Whenever Zakariyya entered the place where Maryam prayed, he would find fruit there [i.e., the summer fruits during the winter and vice versa]. He asked her how she got it. She replied that this was Allah’s endowment. Allah gives whomever He willed whatever quantity He willed.}