A Special Article

• The Miracle of the Splitting of the Moon Between Reports, Intellect, and Modern Science (First issue)

By: The Research Team - 2012-09-10

During the beginning of the Islamic da`wah, and when the leaders of disbelief tried to prevent Allah’s religion in every possible means, the people of Makkah asked the Prophet to show them a sign pointing to his truthfulness and prophethood.  Allah’s Messenger r showed them the moon split in two halves, with each half on a mountain.  However, the disbelievers remained constant in their error and tried to interpret this miracle to be something else and thus, said that it is mere magic.  Allah has sent down clear verses about this miraculous happening, so that generations, one after another, will read it in the most Truthful Book, and establish the truthfulness of Allah’s Messenger r.

            Allah said, “The Hour has drawn near, and the moon has been cleft asunder (the people of Makkah requested Prophet Muhammad SAW to show them a miracle, so he showed them the splitting of the moon). And if they see a sign, they turn away, and say: ‘This is continuous magic.’ They belied (the Verses of Allah, this Quran), and followed their own lusts. And every matter will be settled (according to the kind of deeds (for the doer of good deeds, his deeds will take him to Paradise, and similarly evil deeds will take their doers to Hell)). And indeed there has come to them news (in this Quran) wherein there is (enough warning) to check (them from evil), Perfect wisdom (this Quran), but (the preaching of)warners benefit them not.” (54:1-5)

This miracle has been narrated and recorded in the most trustworthy book after Allah’s Book, the Sahihain, and the collections of hadeeth.

            Anas bin Malik reported that the people of Makkah asked Allah’s Messenger r to show them a sign, so he showed them the moon split in two halves, until Mount Hira’ could be seen in between them. (Collected by al-Bukhari, 4867, and Muslim, 2802)

            `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said t, “The moon split when we were with the Prophet r in Mina, and the Prophet r said, ‘Witness this.’  A group of people then headed towards the mountain.” (Collected by al-Bukhari, 3869, and Muslim, 2800)

            `Abdullah bin `Abbas t said, “The moon split during the time of Allah’s Messenger r.” (Collected by al-Bukhari, 3638, and Muslim, 2803)

            `Abdullah bin `Umar t said in explaining Allah’s Statement, “The Hour has drawn near, and the moon has been cleft asunder.” (54:1)

            “That happened during the time of Allah’s Messenger r, and it was split into two; one was in front the mountain and the other was behind.  The Prophet r said, ‘O Allah, witness.” (Collected by Muslim)

            The ahadeeth of the splitting of the moon have been narrated by a large group of the Sahabah, such as `Ali bin Abi Talib, Jubair bin Mut`im, and Huthaifah bin al-Yaman y, which is why these ahadeeth are of the level of tawatur (meaning they have been narrated by so many narrators from the Prophet, and so on throughout the chain of narration that there is no chance of it being a lie).  The scholars of hadeeth, such as Shaikh al-Islam Ibn Taimiyyah, al-Hafidh Ibn Kathir, al-Hafidh Ibn Hajar, Imam Ibn `Abd al-Barr, al-Munawi, at-Taj Ibn as-Subki, al-Kitani, and al-Aslusi, have testified to this meaning of the word.

            This miracle reached the level that there is consensus among the scholars of its really happening.  Al-Hafidh Ibn Kathir said in, Al-Bidayah wa an-Nihayah, 3/118, “Muslims have reached a consensus that the moon split during the time of the Prophet, and there are numerous mutawatirahadeeth which have been narrated through many different chains of transmission, which all act as cutting evidence to whoever gathers and looks into them.”

            This consensus stands on the following:

  1. The agreement of the scholars of hadeeth on the moon splitting.  Al-Hafidh Ibn Kathir said in, Tafsir al-Qur’an al-`Adhim, 4/280, “The moon splitting is something agreed on among the scholars.  It did, indeed, happen during the time of the Prophet r, and it was one of the spectacularmiracles.”
  2. The agreement of the mufassirin (those who explain the Qur’an) and the historians specialized in the biography of the Prophet r.  They have all agreed that this happened during the time of the Prophet r and explained the beginning of Surat al-Qamar (54:1-5) with the authentic mutawatir ahadeeth.  Al-Hafidh Ibn Hajar said in, Al-Amali, “The scholars of tafsir and the (seerah) biography of the Prophet have agreed that it happened.”

After this clarification, this issue is not considered among those that are differed in, because it is agreed on in the Qur’an, the mutawatirahadeeth, and an indisputable consensus.

            However, there is no harm in mentioning and refuting some of the objections and doubts about this issue, because refuting these doubts is a way to establish and prove this miracle, using analogy, and a way for hearts to accept it.

            First: The Doubts of the Philosophers

            They said that had this really happened, how is it that the general masses did not witness it? It is not recorded in history, no poet has mentioned it, none has become Muslim because of it, and it is not used as proof against atheists.

            The answer to these claims is from a number of standpoints which are summarized here:

  1. Disbelievers who rejected this sign are debating whether or not Islam is true in the first place.  If Islam is true, then it is not permissible to reject what has been affirmed in the Qur’an, Sunnah, and consensus.
  2. If they still have doubts, we will couple them with those among the Muslims who also have doubts, and refute them as follows.
  1. Anyone who believes in the splitting and breaking of the heavens on the Day of Resurrection, must also believe that this is one of Prophet Muhammad’s miracles.
  2. This is because the moon is something created, and Allah does what He wishes to it.

Their statement that if it had really happened, the whole world would have seen it, is refuted from the following points:

  1. This miracle happened during nighttime, where most people are asleep with their doors closed, and very few are watching and observing the sky.  However, even with the fact that many were asleep, the disbelievers of Makkah asked the travelers and caravans if they saw the moon split, and they were told that they did.  `Abdullah bin Mas`ud t said, “The moon split during the time of Allah’s Messenger r, and Quraish said, ‘This is the magic of Ibn Abi Kabshah (meaning, Prophet Muhammad r), so wait until some travelers arrive, because surely Muhammad is unable to cast a spell on all people.’  When the travelers arrived and were asked, they said, ‘Yes, we saw it.’  Then Allah I sent down, “The Hour has drawn near, and the moon has been cleft asunder. And if they see a sign, they turn away, and say: ‘This is continuous magic.’” (54:1-2) (This was collected authentically by Abu Dawud, at-Tayalisi, 2447, at-Tabari in his, Tafsir, 27/50, al-Wahidi in, Asbab an-Nuzul, pg. 268, Abu Nu`ai in, Dala’il an-Nubuwwah, pgs. 235-236, and al-Baihaqi in, Dala’il an-Nubuwwah, 2/266)
  2. The splitting of the moon happened for the people of Makkah, during their challenge to the Prophet r, and others were not ready, or prepared, during the night to witness this miracle.
  3. There is a possibility that on that night the moon was able to be sighted from some parts of the world but, not from others, just as an eclipse appears to some but not to others, or that it appeared to some, before it appears to others.  This is scientifically proven. The moon does not appear to the whole world at once, due to the difference in night and day.  So, those who were awake during daytime, meaning half of the world, how would they have been able to see the moon?
  4. Most of its residents of the town where the miracle happened were disbelievers, who believed that this miracle was magic, and were fanaticalin trying to extinguish Allah’s Light verbally.  How is it then that they would help Islam by spreading the news? Rather, they would keep it hidden, just as they did with other miracles.
  5. The Qur’an has informed us about this miracle and the Companions of Allah’s Messenger relayed it to us.  If indeed it was a lie, then some of the hypocrites would have appeared and voiced the fact that it was a lie, in order to belie Allah’s Messenger.  That is why if it was narrated, and there is none who denied that it happened, then that is a proof that it is true.
  6. The timing that the splitting of the moon took was not long, so that many people can claim that they were watching at that specific time.

Their statement that the general masses did not record that in history is refuted from a number of standpoints:

  1. This statement is built on the previous statement, that if it happened the whole world would have seen it, and we have already refuted that claim, so whatever is built on it is also rejected.
  2. This negation is based on the lack of knowledge, and the lack of knowledge about something does not mean that thing is not present.
  3. Information has been confirmed which shows that the Indians knew about the splitting of the moon, and that one of their kings accepted Islam due to it.
  4. In the free encyclopedia, Wikipedia, the following appears, “The people of Malibar mention that one of their kings witnessed the splitting of the moon, and travelled to Makkah to embrace Islam.”  In the book Kayr al-Walaba’i authored by a German historian, he mentions two Indian kings who traveled to Makkah at separate times, just as the resources mention two distinct names, one being Chakrawati Farmas and the other Cheraman Perumal. Actually, the first masjid in India is named after the latter, and it is called ‘Cheraman Masjid.’
  5. The “Son of Mary” Islamic website published some correspondence which show that there is an Indian manuscript located in the London Library, and they mentioned its number (IO ISLAMIC 2807 Pages 81 veroso 104). It is mentioned, therein, that King Chakrawati entered Islam because of the splitting of the moon.
  6. There is mention in some resources that some Muslims in China still record in their history books the time the moon split. There is even a “Moon Castle” which was called this, due to it being finished on the date the moon split.

Their statement that no disbeliever accepted Islam do to its splitting is rejected from a number of standpoints:

  1. There is no connection between the presence of a miracle and the acceptance of Islam of disbelievers, but rather most reject miracles and ignore them. As Allah said about this miracle, “And if they see a sign, they turn away, and say: ‘This is continuous magic.’” [54:2]
  2. If disbelievers came to the correct belief on the condition that a miracle be accepted, then there would not be any disbelievers on the face of the earth today.  That is because every prophet had miracles which showed that he was truthful, and which are used to attract people to his faith.  Al-Bukhari and Muslim collected a hadeeth from Abu Hurairah who said, “The Prophet said, ‘There is not a prophet except that he had miracles whereby the people believe in him.  I have been given revelation from Allah which He reveals to me, and I hope that I will have the most followers on the Day of Resurrection.
  3. Therefore, if belief were a condition for the acceptance of miracles, we would have to reject the prophethood of all prophets who would have no followers on the Day of Resurrection.

            Second: Refuting the Allegations of Taha Husain, and the Arab Christians

            Taha Husain alleged that the splitting of the moon in the Qur’an was taken from a pre-Islamic poem written by Imru’u al-Qais. Arab Christians and Jewish Zionists have used his statement extensively.  It has reached the point that Abba Eban, the former Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs, said in his book, Al-Maseer– showing his pride of Taha Husain, “We were both called [as speakers to the Moroccan Convention], and it was a very warm meeting between him and I... Dr. Taha did not negate the poetic verses or stand for them despite, his long writings about this issue.”

            Taha Husain is someone who contradicts himself often, and often does not know what is coming out of his mouth.  He also is one that repeats the doubts of his professors that were hateful Orientalists:

  • Taha Husain alleges that the poetry of Imru’u al-Qais in specific, and the pre-Islamic poetry, in general, was forged after Islam, and were merely claimed to be from before Islam.  If this is correct, then how could the Qur’an have been influenced by forged lines of poetry which were not even written during the time the Qur’an was being revealed?
  • The lines attributed to Imru’u al-Qais are forged and have no source, except what al-Munawi said in, Faidh al-Qadir Sharh al-Jami` as-Saghir, wherein he mentioned that they are attributed to him in his biography of Imru’u al-Qais.  However, these lines of poetry are not mentioned in the poetical collection of Imru’u al-Qais’ poems.  This can be reviewed if one were to review the collection of pre-Islamic poems; no trace of these lines of poetry can be found.

            NASA and the Splitting of the Moon

            Professor `Abd ad-Da’im al-Kuhail wrote on his website, “Is it true that NASA discovered that the moon had been split in two pieces?  Is there proof of the phenomena of the splitting of the moon? What does science say? Has an explanation of the cracks on the moon’s surface been found? Are there scholars who really spoke about the splitting of the moon?

            One who ponders the moon’s surface will notice that it is filled with these cracks, and they are very long, and are covered by moon dust and dirt.  It is possible that if scientists removed the layers of dust from the moon’s surface, the crack that proves that the moon was split would become apparent.

            Scientists from NASA have discovered a crack in the moon which extends hundreds of kilometers, then they discovered many smaller cracks on the moon’s surface, and till today, they do not know the reason behind these cracks.  Some scientists believe that they are the result of molten lava outflow, but this is only a theory.

            There are a large number of cracks on the moon’s surface, and some of these cracks appear to be joints welded together, as if we have a mineral surface which was once split then welded back together.

            All that was said by the scientists from NASA about these cracks is that, “Rilles are Still a Topic of Research.”

            This means that rills (defined as “a fissure or narrow channel on the moon’s surface”by Oxford Dictionary) are still a topic of research.  In reality, the rills has puzzled researchers to this day, and no explanation has been found yet.  All the theories presented do not agree with the pictures that have been gathered.  It looks as if a skilled welder welded the split pieces of the moon together.  That is what the pictures show.

            Scientists say that these cracks have no similitude on earth, because they are long, unknown to us, and contradict the physics theories we know.  So, what is the secret of these rills’ presence? How did they form, and when? What are the laws which allow such a happening to take place? All of these questions need to be researched and answered.

            During the space mission carried out by NASA, a large number of photos of these rills became accessible to scientists, and these photos confused and baffled many researchers in the world. They have not found a logical or scientific explanation, up until today, of them.There are many photos which prove the presence of tracks which appear to be the results of a metallic welding.  Researchers have become baffled by these cracks, and some suggested that there is molten lava which flowed millions of years ago, just as what happens on earth.  However, this idea was rejected immediately, because the lava which flows on earth is not similar in appearance to this lava. Furthermore, there is no proof of wreckage or collapsing like earth.  The rills have fine edges as if they are fine and sharp pieces.

            Scientists say that all of these proposals and theories have failed to explain the rills and how they formed.  Some scientists believe that these “welded edges” were formed due to molten lava gathering in the moon’s crevices.  However, there is a profound difference between gathered lava on earth and these apparent crevices on the moon’s surface; those on the moon are smooth and sleek, and look as if they were created by a professional.

            The photos provided by NASA remind me with the subject, “Electric Welding Engineering” which we used to learn.  We used to connect two different pieces of metal using an electric welding machine.  The connection between the two pieces of metal looked very similar to these connections on the moon’s surface.  However, the difference is that on the moon, the connection extends for hundreds of kilometers!

            One new study suggests an electric nature to these connections, due to the similarity between them and connections as a result of electric welding. The flowage of lava on the earth’s surface usually creates a crater, like that of a volcano; however, it is different on the moon.  These channels and connections are extremely long, and are of a constant appearance and width throughout its length; the same cannot be said about the earth, period.

            The lunar channels and cracks appear as if they have been drawn and molded by a professional, they glide smoothly, its bottom is even, its floor is sturdy, and they are not similar to geospheric (earthly) undulations, or the undulations present on any known planet.

Scientists say that these rills are still the topic of research and study, but they are confusing, and there is no scientific explanation of them up until now.  Furthermore, we also discernthat there is no evidence of lava flowing from the moon’s core.

            A report published by the American Geophysical Union in 1970, affirms that the way these rills were formed contradict all common theories.  One important explanation is one suggested by the engineer Ralph Juergens, in that, there was a violent electric shock, similar to a lightning bolt, that was due to an unknown celestial influence. He suggests that an electric charge from outer-space came neared the moon and caused something similar to lightning bolts which in turn formed these cracks, then successively welded them, just as metals are welded by an electric welding device.

            Some specialists say that these cracks were covered with molten lava which cooled later on.  This photo shows a large channel containing precise rippleswhich look like a bolt of lightning.  This shows that there was some sort electrical trace, such as lightning, on the moon.  It could be that a very strong lightning bolt struck the moon which caused it to split, and then it reconnected.  This, of course, is a mere theory.

            Someone may say, how can the moon split into two with every piece in a different direction, what caused that? And why did the moon not fall down? They will also say that this contradicts the laws of physics, gravity, and cosmology.  That is why in summary, there are miracles which cannot be explained by science, miracles Allah gave exclusively to His Prophets.  An example is that of the staff that turned into a snake with Prophet Musa, the miracle of giving life to the dead of Prophet `Isa, and like the miracle of the throne of the Queen of Sheba being brought forth in a split second … these miracles cannot be explained by science and are a means to testing the faith of a believer.

            We, the believers, testify that these miracles are completely true, as our Sayyid Ibrahim said, “He said: ‘Nay, your Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, Who created them and of that I am one of the witnesses.’” (21:56) This is even though Ibrahim did not witness the heavens and earth being created, but the intellect and logic says that Allah is the one who created this cosmos from nothingness.

            Brothers and sisters in Allah’s Sake! Whatever the reason behind these cracks, and whatever the nature of its formation, the scientists never doubted their presence. They are concrete evidence proving a split on the moon’s surface.  It is enough to know that Allah alluded to it saying, “The Hour has drawn near, and the moon has been cleft asunder.” (54:1)

There is no doubt that science will prove this miracle someday, so that this miracle will be one which proves the truthfulness of this religion.

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