Recently on websites and in chat rooms it has become common to see topics and posts that contain pictures and audio or video clips that show miracles, such as a fountain coming out of the sand in the desert, or the name of Allah on the skin of a goat, or clouds forming the name of Allah, or a girl who was transformed into an animal. Most of these things are not true and are fabricated but these things are very widespread. What is the ruling on such things?.
Praise be to Allaah.
The signs of Allah in this universe are many; every atom in it testifies to His greatness and majesty, and affirms His Oneness.
Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
HaMeem. (These letters are one of the miracles of the Quran and none but Allah (Alone) knows their meanings).
The revelation of the Book (this Quran) is from Allah, the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.
Verily, in the heavens and the earth are signs for the believers.
And in your creation, and what He scattered (through the earth) of moving (living) creatures are signs for people who have Faith with certainty.
And in the alternation of night and day, and the provision (rain) that Allah sends down from the sky, and revives therewith the earth after its death, and in the turning about of the winds (i.e. sometimes towards the east or north, and sometimes towards the south or west etc., sometimes bringing glad tidings of rain etc., and sometimes bringing the torment), are signs for a people who understand.
These are the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, revelations, etc.) of Allah, which We recite to you (O Muhammad SAW) with truth. Then in which speech after Allah and His Ayat will they believe?
[al-Jaathiyah 45:1-6] .
This is a call to ponder and think about dozens of verses in the Holy Qur'an that encourage us to look at the visible signs and to think about them so as to increase in faith and certainty about the Creator and believe in His Oneness, may He be glorified.
What these signs have in common is that they are visible to all people. The earth, the sky, the sun, the moon, the animals, rain, one's own self and so on are all signs that may be seen and known by all humans. Each and every individual can understand their greatness and realise that they point to the Lord and Creator. Even though the scientist may know things that ordinary people do not know about these things, they are visible to all and each person may learn from them according to his own level of understanding.
But with regard to what has become widespread nowadays of talking about miracles of nature, including those mentioned by the questioner, as far as Allah's power is concerned, Allah, may He be exalted, has power over all things, such as causing His name to appear on the skin of a goat or on an egg, or transforming some people into animals.
In fact we believe that such transformations will happen, as the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) told us. At-Tirmidhi (2212) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: Among this ummah, people will be swallowed up in the earth, transformed into monkeys and pigs, and pelted with stones. A man among the Muslims said, O Messenger of Allaah, when will that be? He said: When singing-girls and musical instruments become widespread and wine is drunk.
Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh at-Tirmidhi.
This is as far as the might and power of Allah, may He be exalted, are concerned. But as for whether these miracles happened or not, most of what is in circulation nowadays of such things cannot be verified or proven. Most of what people are passing around to one another of these things is no more than chit-chat in their gatherings and images on discussion boards and in chat rooms, the source or author of which is not known. Does the Muslim need such stories to prove the soundness of his religion and belief?!
Is there a shortage of evidence based on common sense and certainty, so that one has to resort to these rumours?!
The correct attitude towards these reports is to refrain from judgement. So we do not believe them, because of the possibility that they may be false, and we do not disbelieve them, because of the possibility that they may be true, so long as we have no clear evidence to prove whether they are true or false. If such evidence comes along then we may be certain in that case.
The wise Muslim - who is aware of the guidelines on verifying news and drawing conclusions from it - should not hasten to believe in them, let alone spread them and call people to glorify Allah in amazement.
But what has happened is the opposite of that; many people believed in these stories and they started spreading them and talking about them in their gatherings, and passing them around on their mobile phones and in e-mails, then suddenly a few days later they are surprised when it turns out that it was a fabrication spread by some of those who are zealous for Islam - in ignorance and naivety - or by some hateful heretics - in mockery and scorn. This has caused confusion for many people. And Allah is the One Whose help we seek.
What we object to is hastening to believe these things and regarding them as miracles and challenges, telling everybody about them, and making such stories a phenomenon without end. Every day there is a new story; the matter has reached such a level of foolishness that no one of sound mind could believe in these things. We see that in the story of the lion's roar in which some people - by a huge stretch of the imagination - hear the name of Allah. Much worse than that is what is happening in one country where people have started to touch a tree on the trunk of which the name of Allah appeared, seeking barakah (blessing) and healing from it. Then upon investigation it turns out that it had been carved by someone who wanted to mislead the people.
The Muslims should refrain from propagating such rumours that may cause people to go astray.
We ask Allah to help us understand our religion.
And Allah knows best.