Dr. Mostafa al-Badawi: The Prophet (s.a.w.) Miraculously Provided Water

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Dr. Mostafa al-Badawi said, Ziyad ibn al-Harits (r.a.) recounted how, as they were travelling with the Prophet (s.a.w.), morning found them without water.

“Any water?” the Prophet (s.a.w.) asked him.

“Only a little that will not suffice you, O Messenger of Allah!” he replied.

“Put it in a vessel and bring it!” he said.  He put his hand in the water and they saw water gushing from between two of his fingers.  He said, “Call my companions, whoever needs water!”  He called them and they came and each took what he needed.

They said, “O Messenger of Allah, we have a well that suffices us with water during the winter, and we gather around it.  But in the summer the water becomes scarce and we have to scatter to the surroundings wells.  However, now that we are Muslims, everyone around us is an enemy.  So, pray to Allah for our well so that its water may suffice us, so that we remain gathered around it.”

The Prophet (s.a.w.) asked for seven pebbles, rubbed them between his fingers, prayed to Allah (s.w.t.), then said, “Go with these pebbles, when you reach the well throw them in one by one, invoking the Name of Allah!”  They did and the well remained so full of water that they never saw its bottom again.  This was recorded by Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.), Imam Abu Nu’aym (r.a.), and Imam as-Suyuthi (q.s.).

Anas ibn Malik (r.a.) said, “I once saw the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.), when it was time for ‘aswr prayer and people looked for water for their ablutions and found none.  The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) was brought some water.  He put his hand in the vessel and told the people to make their ablutions from it.  I watched the water gushing from under his fingers while people made their ablutions, until the last one of them had done!”

And in another version of the same incident, he said, “I reckoned between sixty and eighty men, I watched water gushing from between his fingers.”  This is in Swahih Muslim.

Anas (r.a.) recounted another similar incident thus, “Once when the Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.) and his companions were at az-Zawra’, and az-Zawra’ is in Madina, near the market and the mosque, he called for a cup partly filled with water, put his hand in it and water started gushing from between his fingers so that all his companions made their ablutions.”

“How many were they, O Abu Hamzah?” he was asked.

“They were about three hundred,” he replied.  This is also in Swahih Muslim.

Mu’adz ibn Jabal (r.a.) said, “We went out with the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) in the year of the Tabuk expedition.  He joined his prayers so that he prayed zhuhr and ‘aswr together and maghrib and ‘isha’ together.  One day, when he had thus delayed the prayer, he came out, prayed zhuhr and ‘aswr together, then went in, then came out again, prayed maghrib and ‘isha’ together, then said, ‘Tomorrow, Allah Willing, you will come upon the spring of Tabuk.  You will reach it only by mid-morning.  He who reaches it let him not touch any of its water until I arrive.’  When we reached it, two men were already there and in the spring, there was little water.  The Messenger of Allah asked them, ‘Have you touched any of its water?’

‘Yes!’ they said.  He rebuked them and spoke to them as Allah Willed him to speak, then we scooped out little water by little in our palms until some was collected in something.  Then, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) washed his hands and face in it, then returned it into the spring, at which it gushed forth with profuse water, so that the people all took their fill.  ‘O Mu’adz,’ he said, ‘if your life be prolonged, you will see this place full of gardens!’”  This is found in Swahih Muslim.

ibn ‘Abbas (r.a.) said, “Morning came upon the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) and there was no water.  ‘Is there any water?’ he asked.

They said, ‘No!’

‘Is there a water skin?’ he asked, so they brought one and placed if before the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.).  He placed both hands on it, then spread his fingers and water gushed, as with Moses’ staff, from the fingers of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.).  He said, ‘O Bilal!  Call the people to their ablutions!’  They came and did their ablutions from between the fingers of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.), except ibn Mas’ud, who was more intent on drinking.  Having made their ablutions, they prayed swubh, then he sat for the people and asked, ‘O people, whose faith is the most wondrous?’

‘The angels,’ they replied.

‘How can the angels not believe, when they can witness the matter?’ he said.

‘The prophets, O Messenger of Allah!’ they said.

‘How can the prophets not believe,’ he said, ‘when Revelation alights upon them from Heaven?’

‘Your companions then, O Messenger of Allah!’

‘How can my companions not believe,’ he said, ‘when they are witnessing what they are witnessing?  But the most wondrous in faith are people who will come after me, who have faith in me even though they have not seen me, who believe me even though they have not seen me.  They are my brothers!’”

ibn Mas’ud (r.a.), being one of the earliest Muslims and one of the most knowledgeable, realised what an opportunity it was to drink this most blessed water, to purify himself inwardly with it.  This is from Majma’ az-Zawa’id.

al-Bara’ ibn ‘Aazib (r.a.) said, “We were on an expedition with the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.).  We came upon a well where the water was scarce.  Six of us descended into it.  A bucket was sent down to us, while the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) stood at the rim of the well.  We filled half or two thirds of it, then it was pulled up to the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.).  He put his hand into it, saying whatever Allah Willed him to say, then the bucket was sent back to us with the water in it.”  They poured the water in the well and the water began rising.  “I saw the last one of us being dragged out in a hurry for fear of him drowning.  Then it flowed like a river.”  This is from Majma’ az-Zawa’id.

Anas ibn Malik (r.a.) said that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) sent a force against the pagans which included Abu Bakr (r.a.), ‘Umar (r.a.) and many other people.  He said to them, “March diligently, for between you and the pagans is water; if they outstrip you to this water people will suffer hardship, you will be severely thirsty and so will your animals.”

The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.), together with eight men, remained behind.  He said to his companions, “Shall we sleep part of the night, then rejoin the people?”

“Yes, O Messenger of Allah!” they replied.  They laid down and were awakened only by the heat of the sun.

He said to them, “Rise and attend to your needs!”  When they returned, he asked, “Does any of you have water?”

One of them said, “A small skin with a little water, O Messenger of Allah.”

“Bring it!” he said.

He brought it and the Prophet (s.a.w.) passed both his palms over it, prayed for barakah, then said to his companions, “Come here and make your ablutions!”  He poured water for them until they had done, then one of them gave the adzan, then the iqamah, and the Prophet (s.a.w.) led them in prayer.  Then he said to the owner of the skin, “Look after your skin, it will be of consequence!”  He climbed on his mount then asked, “How do you think they have fared?”

“Allah and His Messenger know best,” they replied, “but they have Abu Bakr and ‘Umar with them and they will counsel them.”  The pagans, however, reached the water before the Muslims and the latter became extremely thirsty, and so did their animals.

When the Prophet (s.a.w.) arrived, he asked, “Where is the owner of the skin?”

“Here he is, O Messenger of Allah!” they replied.  He took the skin in which a little water had remained and said, “Come here and drink!”  He went on pouring water for them until they all drank, gave their animals, and filled every skin and cup they had.  This is from Majma’ az-Zawa’id.


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