Every phenomenon needs a producer. The chain of producers continues till we reach a producer independent and All–powerful. The whole universe is moving and marching forward. This movement must have a goal.
These are clear signs of the existence of Allah. They tell us about Him, but not in words. That is why what clear signs say may not be intelligible to many and may not be convincing to them.
We advise such people to look directly for the eloquent signs which talk to us in our own language. These eloquent signs are the prophets. For those who are convinced of their prophethood after enough study, the prophets automatically become the natural and eloquent signs of the existence of Allah.
As every prophet claims to have contact with Allah by means of revelation and says that he has been appointed by Him to guide the people, we should, in the first instance, look at what they say as a claim and that is a big and extraordinary claim which cannot be accepted easily on its face value.
There have been many who claimed to be prophets, but when later they faced hardship, they openly confessed to be false pretenders. Hence when we find a person claiming to be a prophet we should carefully scrutinize his claim and should accept it only when it is fully proved. Anyhow, once we have acknowledged the claim of a person to be a prophet, we automatically have to acknowledge the existence of Allah.
The most natural way of scrutinizing such a claim is to study the life of the claimant and to see what sort of a man he is. How far was he reliable during the period prior to his claim? Is he an impostor who wants to impose himself upon the people or a self–seeker who has chosen this convenient way to acquire wealth and honor? Or is he a man of integrity whose character is above suspicion?
It is also to be seen how sensible and sagacious the claimant is. He should not be a simpleton who may be misled by others or a visionary who may be carried by his own fantasy into the belief that he is a prophet. He should be a man endowed not only with commonsense, but also with the wonderful power of leadership and a natural ability to perform great deeds.
Normally, most of us know closely one or more persons in whose integrity and purity we have full confidence. This confidence develops as the result of a close study of their life and character for a long time. There may be people who personally have not met such persons, but they are convinced of their uprightness and reliability after an all–round inquiry.
Special signs of Prophets
The claim of the prophets to have contact with an immaterial and imperceptible source by means of revelation being of an extraordinary nature, some people who admit the integrity, uprightness, sincerity and sagacity of such claimants, still have doubts about their prophethood.
These people demand some special signs to prove the contact of a prophet with the immaterial source. They expect a prophet to do things which it is not possible for a human being to do and which cannot be explained away by natural and normal reasons.
In other words they wish them to work a miracle. One or more miracles provide complete satisfaction which cannot be achieved by any other means. Anyhow there are some people who regard the miracles as mere jugglery and are not satisfied with them by any means. In view of all these aspects, we once more emphasize that the best way to identify a prophet is, for those who can do so, to study his personality, his antecedents, his aims and his accomplishments.
Such an all–round study is the best way to ascertain whether a claimant is really a prophet who is favored with Divine revelation or a genius who has pretended to be a prophet or just a mere juggler who has made such a claim for self–aggrandizement only, or an abnormal person suffering from delusions.
In any case, all that a prophet claims is that he is a human being like other human beings, he eats and drinks like them and leads a normal human life. But he has experienced a big change in himself – a sudden transition, or in the words of the prophets themselves, they have been endowed with a Divine gift. A prophet knows well that this transition has come from Allah and that all the extraordinary excellence found in him and his teachings is due to this transition or Divine gift.
If you study carefully from the authentic sources the life–history of the Prophet of Islam, from his birth to his prophethood and from that time to his death, you will find a clear example of this transition, which in itself is an eloquent sign of the existence of Allah.
The following sources are used to prepare the above article.
1. Dr. M. H. Behishti, Dr. M. J. Bahonar, Philosophy of Islam, Islamic Seminary Publications (1984)