His Predictions Prove Muhammad’s Prophethood
Normally, no one can know exactly what will take place in the future, even a few minutes later. Scientists are not certain about even natural events, which take place according to ‘deterministic’ laws; they state that they cannot say with certainty that the world will be in the same state as it is now. Sociologists and historians have spoken about historical laws that they have claimed to be based on historical events or the flow of history but history has contradicted almost all of them including historians and those who favor some notion of continual progress in history like Marx, Weber, Fichte, Hegel, Herder, and others.
The knowledge of the future is only with God Almighty. However, He may favor whomever He pleases with some part of this knowledge. If a man is convinced about the news he gives concerning the future, he can only be a Messenger of God.
The Messenger Muhammad made numerous predictions about the future, and history has not contradicted them. Like the information he gave about the past, his predictions are also to be found in the Holy Book and in books of Tradition.
An example of the news the Holy Book gives concerning the future
The triumph of the Byzantines over the Persians
The Byzantine and Persian Empires were the superpowers of the time. It was during the years when the few believers were severely persecuted in Mecca that the Persians utterly defeated the Byzantines. They had sweeping victories and conquered Aleppo, Antioch, and the chief Syrian provinces, including Damascus. Jerusalem fell to their arms in 614-615. The Christians were massacred and their churches burnt. The Persian flood of conquest went on to Egypt and reached as far as Tripoli in North Africa. Another Persian army ravaged Asia Minor and reached right up to the gates of Constantinople. The Meccan pagans rejoiced greatly and redoubled their taunts and persecution against the Messenger whose Message was a renewal of the Message of Jesus preached in Palestine. The following Holy Book’s verses, which were revealed just at that time, gave certain tidings of a very near victory of the Romans over the Persians:
“Alif Lam Mim. The Romans have been defeated in a land close by, but they, after their defeat, will be victorious, within nine 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 (30:1-5).”
No one at that time could make such a prediction. But the Messenger conveyed these Divine Revelations to his followers. They confirmed him without hesitation and Abu Bakr bet the Meccan polytheists that the Romans would be victorious in nine years. Heraclitus, the Roman Emperor attacked the Persians initially by sea in 622 (the year of the Hijra), and after decisive battles and three successive campaigns, put them to rout in a few years. His victories happened at the same time as the believers won the victory of Badr over the Meccan polytheists. Thus the verses above contained two predictions, both of which came true in nine years.
Examples of the Messenger’s predictions, which exist in books of Tradition
The Messenger foretold that Fatima would join him first of all after his death
1. Before his death, the Messenger called his daughter Fatima to his bedside and informed her that she would be the first among his family to join him after his death. Fatima joined her father, the pride of mankind, six months later.
The Messenger predicted the Mongol invasion
2. The Messenger predicted the Mongol invasion, saying:
“The Hour will not come before you fight against a people with red faces, small, slant eyes and flat noses. They wear hairy leather boots.”
The Messenger predicted the conquest of many important cities
3. According to authentic narrations, the Messenger gave his community the glad tidings that they would conquer Damascus, Jerusalem, Iraq, Persia, Istanbul (Constantinople) and Cyprus, and that the religion of Islam would reach as far as the remotest corners of the world in the east and west.
The Messenger predicted the forms of government after him
4. The Messenger declared:
“This affair began with Messengerhood and as a mercy; then it will be mercy and Caliphate; afterwards it will change into a cruel monarchy, and finally into an iniquity and tyranny.” He also prophesied: “Surely, the Caliphate after me will last thirty years; afterwards it will a cruel monarchy.”
Whatever the noble Messenger predicted came true.
The Messenger predicted the caliphate and martyrdom of Uthman
5. According to an authentic narration, the Messenger declared:
“Uthman will be killed while reading the Holy Book. God will dress him in a shirt but they will desire to remove it from him.”
By this saying, he meant that Uthman would become Caliph but his deposition would be sought, and finally he would be martyred while reading the Holy Book. This happened exactly as he predicted.
The Messenger predicted the appearance of Mukhtar and Hajjaj
6. According to an authentic narration, the Messenger declared:
“From the tribe of Thaqif will appear a liar who claims Messengerhood and a blood-thirsty tyrant.”
By this, he gave tidings of the notorious Mukhtar, who claimed Messengerhood, and the criminal Hajjaj, who killed tens of thousands of people.
The Messenger predicted the conquest of Istanbul
7. Again, according to an authentic narration, the Messenger declared:
“Surely, Constantinople (Istanbul) will be conquered (by my community); how blessed the commander who will conquer it, and how blessed his army.”
He thus foretold the conquest of Istanbul by Muslims, and indicated the high spiritual rank of Sultan Mehmed, the Conqueror, and the virtuousness of his army. What he foretold took place centuries later.
His prophecies about advances in science and technology
The predictions God’s Messenger made number about 300, the great majority of which have already come true, with the rest waiting for their due time to come true. Some of his predictions are, interestingly enough, about advances in science and technology. For example, as recorded in authentic books of Tradition like Sahih al-Muslim and Sunan al-Tirmidhi, he foretold that pomegranate would suffice for as many as twenty people, with its rind providing shade for those who ate it. He also prophesied that the wheat produced in so small an area as a house balcony would be enough for the annual consumption of a family. By these predictions, he indicated the great advances mankind would realize in genetic engineering.
In his predictions, the Messenger never used the expressions like ‘I think, I guess’ or ‘It may be’ or ‘It will probably happen’, which express doubt. Instead, he spoke with certainty as if he were watching the past and future on a TV screen. This means that either he had a very keen and far sight penetrating the past and future at the same time, which is impossible for a mortal one, or he was a Messenger taught by the Knower of All Things, the One for Whom all time and space is but a single point.
By M. Fethullah Gülen