Becoming Invisible

One Account, One Miracle

Becoming Invisible

Mawlana Imran Akhtar Attari Madani

“Dear children, you were both well when you went to school this morning. However, you have been coughing ever since you returned. Did you eat anything at school that may have caused it?” Grandfather asked Suhyab and Khubayb, hearing them coughing.

Suhayb replied, “Grandfather, we ate boiled eggs at school, which mother had given us. However, we started coughing in the van on the way back. In fact, other children were coughing too.”

“Grandfather, there was also a lot of traffic on the way back. Black fumes coming from the exhaust of a bus filled our van,” remarked Khubayb.

Grandfather responded, “This means that the coughing is a result of air pollution. Many things pollute the air, but in cities with heavy traffic, exhaust fumes from vehicles with faulty vehicle engines and low-grade fuel are the main cause of pollution. This results in headaches, dizziness, sneezing, coughing and many illnesses.”

“My daughter has woken up! Come here and sit next to me,” Grandfather lovingly exclaimed upon seeing Umm Habibah approaching, rubbing her eyes. She came and sat next to Grandfather, leaning against his arm.

Khubayb asked, “Grandfather! How do fumes pollute the air when they disappear so quickly?”

“My dear son, they do not disappear, rather they are still present but just not visible to us,” responded Grandfather.

“How is that, Grandfather?” enquired Umm Habibah immediately, unable to hold back having heard about the fumes not being visible.

Grandfather answered, “O daughter, there are many things that are present but hidden from our sight, such as dissolved sugar or salt in tea, juice, milk, water and food. The same applies to air, for example.”

“Is that the same for us, Grandfather? Can a human disappear? Can I?” exclaimed Umm Habibah.

Fondly stroking her head, Grandfather smiled and responded, “No, my daughter, normal humans cannot. However, our beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم disappeared from the view of others several times as a miracle.”

“You have told us many miracles, but I do not remember one like this. Grandfather, please tell us about this miracle about vanishing,” pleaded Umm Habibah.

Grandfather responded, “Okay, listen. Sayyidatuna Asmāˈ رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ عَنْهَا states, ‘When Allah Almighty revealed Surah al-Lahab [in which Abu Lahab and his wife were condemned], the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was in al-Masjid al-arām in those days, and Sayyidunā Abū Bakr رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ was with him. Abū Lahab’s wife, al-Awrāˈ bint arb approached, howling with rage, carrying a rock.

When Sayyidunā Abū Bakr َضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ saw her, he said, “O Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم! Abū Lahab’s wife is approaching. I worry about her seeing you. She has an evil tongue.”

The beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم responded, “She will never see me.”

She stood and spoke with disrespect, “O Abū Bakr! Your master spoke badly about me.”’”

Grandfather then said, “In one narration it is mentioned that the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم told Sayyidunā Abū Bakr َضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ to ask her: ‘Do you not see anyone else with me?’ When he asked this, she began to say, ‘O Abū Bakr! Do you joke with me? There is no one else here.’ Then, she left grumbling.”[1]

Smiling, all three children said, “سُـبْحٰـنَ الـلّٰــه!”

“You mentioned a little earlier that the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was invisible to those in front of him a few times, which was a miracle. Is there any other account like this?” asked Khubayb.

“Yes. Another interesting account is when Abū Jahal, Walīd b. al-Mughīrah and some other disbelievers from his clan decided to try and مَعاذَ الـلّٰـه kill the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم and were on the lookout for an opportunity. Once, when the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was standing in prayer, these people heard the sound of his recitation, so they sent Walīd to carry out their evil plan. When he reached there, he could hear the beloved Prophet’s صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم voice but could not see him anywhere. So, he returned to his friends and informed them.” Grandfather smiled broadly as he mentioned the last points.

سُـبْحٰـنَ الـلّٰــه!  That was a very interesting account, Grandfather!” remarked Suhayb, smiling.

Grandfather said, “The account is not yet complete! Even more fascinating than this is that Abū Jahal then went there with his other friends. They too could only hear the voice of the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم but could not see him. They went towards the direction of the voice, but when they arrived there, it appeared that the voice was coming from behind them. They turned and followed the voice, but when they reached there, the voice appeared to be coming from the place they had previously been standing at moments ago. They kept pursuing the voice, but they could not find the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. Who can harm the one whom Allah Almighty protects! Humiliated, those people then left that place.”[2]

[1] Khasā'is al-Kubrā, vol. 1, p. 213

[2] Dalā'il al-Nubuwwah li al-Bayhaqī, vol. 2, p. 197




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