prophets are in effect evidence for his prophethood, and all their miracles are in effect a miracle of his.
The Fifth Matter
This elucidates the page of the Age of Bliss, especially the question of the Arabian Peninsula. It also consists of four points:
The First: If you study the world you will see that to extirpate customs and habits is difficult in the extreme even if they are unimportant, or characteristics even if they are insignificant, among people even if few, or a group even if wretched, for a king even if he is powerful with resolution even if great, over a long time and expending much effort. So how about a person who is not a ruler yet succeeded in a short time with little effort proportionately to what was achieved, in extirpating customs and morals that were totally ingrained and had been practised since time immemorial, and in their place planting morals and habits in the hearts of a people who were exceedingly numerous and were utterly attached to and bigoted in their customs? Wouldn’t you look on him as a wonder and marvel?
The Second Point: A state or government is a corporate body (shakhṣ ma‘nawī); it takes form gradually like a growing child. And its conquest of former states, whose laws have become a very part of their people’s natures, takes time. So wasn’t it extraordinary that Muhammad (Upon whom be peace) founded a mighty state [almost] instantaneously, equipped to progress to the highest degree, comprising eternal, lofty fundamental principles, and which conquered powerful states at once, and perpetuated its rule not only outwardly and physically but also inwardly and spiritually?
The Third Point: It is possible to dominate outwardly and superficially through compulsion and force, but to conquer minds and affect spirits by instilling in them one’s refinement, and to hold sway over people’s dispositions while perpetuating one’s domination of their consciences must surely be extraordinary; it can only be the outstanding characteristic of prophethood.
The Fourth Point: To direct and guide public opinion by means of the subterfuges of intimidation and enticement, and fear and threat, has only a partial, superficial, and temporary effect and in time blocks up the path to rational thinking. So if a person penetrates to the very depths of people’s hearts with his guidance, excites their finest emotions, reveals their potentialities, awakens their highest morals, discloses their hidden talents, makes the essence of their humanity well forth, and makes manifest their value as