Miracle of Prophet Mohammed – Moon Splitting
During the Meccan era the infidels of Quraish asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) to show them a sign to prove the authenticity of his Prophethood, whereupon Allah split the moon into two halves. The Holy Qur’an mentioned that and recorded it in the Verse: “The hour drew nigh and the moon was rent in twain.” (Quran 54: 1)
If such an event had not occurred, the Muslims would have had suspicions about their religion and would have deserted it. The infidels would have said that Muhammad had told a lie for the moon had not split and that they had not seen any such thing. But what had happened increased the faith of the faithful, and the infidels were perplexed before the miracle that they could not interpret except as continuous magic. Allah (SWT) says: “The hour drew nigh and the moon was rent in twain. And if they behold a portent they turn away and say: prolonged magic. They denied (the Truth) and followed their own lusts. Yet everything will come to a decision.” (Quran 54: 1)
Historical documentation of the splitting of the moon:
Historical documentation of the splitting of the moon
The Indian history has recorded the name of one of their kings, Chakrawati Farmas, who is claimed to have witnessed the event of the splitting of the moon. An Indian historical manuscript [The Indian manuscript is kept in the India Office Library, London, which has reference number: Arabic, 2807, 152-173. It is quoted in the book “Muhammad Rasulullah,” by M. Hamidullah (2)] reports that: “There is a very old tradition in Malabar, South-West Coast of India, that Chakrawati Farmas, one of their kings had observed the splitting of the moon, the celebrated miracle of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) at Mecca, and learning, on inquiry, that there was a prediction of the coming of a Messenger of God from Arabia, he appointed his son as regent and set out to meet him. He embraced Islam at the hand of the Prophet, and when returning home, at the direction of the Prophet, he died at the port of Zafar. This information is in an Indian manuscript kept in the “India Office Library”, which contains several other details about King Chakrawati Farmas.
The Indian king that visited the Prophet (peace be upon him) is mentioned in the Books of Hadith. In al-Hakim’s Mustadrak it is reported that Abu Sa’id al-Khudri said: “Then the King of India gave Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) a gift, a bottle of pickle that had ginger in it. The Holy Prophet distributed it among his Companions. I also received a piece of it to eat.”
It is known that the king became a Companion through meeting the Messenger (peace be upon him) and believing in him and dying as such.
Islamic references preserve the story of this Companion, who came from India. Imam Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani has mentioned him in al-Isabah and in Lisan al-Mizan. He says that his name was (Sirbanak), the name he is known by among the Arabs.
Related article (The Moon Cleft Asunder)
1. “Prolonged” means strong and intensive overriding all kinds of sorcery, as al-Shawkani says. There are other interpretations also.
2. The Indian manuscript is kept in the India Office Library, London, which has reference number: Arabic, 2807, 152-173. It is quoted in the book “Muhammad Rasulullah,” by M. Hamidullah.
3. Mustadrak al-Hakim/ kitab al-‘At’imah, Vol. 4, p. 150.
4. Al-Iasabah, Vol. 3, p. 279; Lisan al-Mizan, vol. 3, p. 10
Entering Mecca’s Grand Mosque (al-Masjid al-Haram)
In the sixth year after the Prophet was forced to migrate from Mecca to Medina, he saw himself visiting Mecca and performing pilgrimage in a vision mentioned in the Quran:
“Certainly has God showed to His Messenger the vision (i.e. dream) in truth. You will surely enter al-Haramm mosque, if God wills, in safety, with your heads shaved and [hair] shortened, not fearing [anyone]. He knew what you did not know and has arranged before that a conquest near [at hand].” (Quran 48:27)
God made three promises:
(a) Muhammad would enter into Mecca’s Grand Mosque.
(b) Muhammad would enter in a state of security.
(c) Muhammad and his companions would get to perform pilgrimage and fulfill its rituals.
Ignoring the hostility of Meccans, Prophet Muhammad gathered his companions and embarked on a peaceful journey to Mecca. But the Meccans continued to be hostile and he was forced to return to Medina. The vision remained unfulfilled; however, an important treaty was signed between the Prophet and the Meccans, which would prove of great significance. It is due to this treaty that Muhammad performed a peaceful pilgrimage with his companions the very next year. The vision had found its fulfillment.
The Quranic Prophecy; ‘The Unbelievers Will Lose’
Muslims were subject to severe persecution in Mecca at the hand of pagans. At one time they were boycotted for three years, and the perpetual shortage of food sometimes bordered on famine. Any talk of victory was unimaginable. Despite all odds, God prophesized in Mecca:
“[The pagans’] assembly will be defeated, and they shall turn their backs [in flight]!.” (Quran 54:45)
The Arabic verb yuhzamu is preceded by sa (an Arabic prefix denoting the future tense), making it a distinct prophecy awaiting fulfillment in future. And so it was in the holy month of Ramadan, two years after the Prophet’s migration from Mecca to Medina that the Meccans were defeated in the Battle of Badr and forced to retreat. Umar, the second caliph of the Muslims after the Prophet, used to say that they did not know how the Quranic prophecy would be fulfilled until they themselves witnessed it coming true at the famous battle of Badr! (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)
The Quranic Prophecy; ‘Believers Will Get Political Authority’
Despite severe oppression at the hands of Meccans, Muslims were given good news fromGod:
“God has promised those who have believed among you and done righteous deeds that He will surely grant them succession [to authority] upon the earth just as He granted it to those before them and that He will surely establish [therein] their religion which He has preferred for them and that He will surely substitute for them, after their fear, security, [for] they worship Me, not associating anything with Me. But whoever disbelieves after that – then those are the defiantly disobedient.” (Quran 24:55)
How such a promise from Almighty God would be fulfilled to the oppressed, brutalized Muslims in Mecca was impossible to imagine at the time it was made. It was fulfilled, nevertheless. Indeed, God made Muslims secure and gave them political sway in a matter of years.
“And Our word [decree] has already preceded for Our slaves, the messengers, [that] indeed, they would be those given victory.” (Quran 37:171-172)
At first, the Muslims established their own state, by the invitation of the people of Medina, when God commanded they migrate there from Mecca. Then, within the lifetime of the Prophet, that state expanded to hold sway over the whole of the Arabian Peninsula, from the Gulf of Aqaba and the Arabian Gulf to the Arabian Sea in the south, including the place from whence the Muslims had been driven out (Mecca itself). This decree was ongoing, for the expansion of the Muslim political and religious dominion did not stop at the Arabian Peninsula. History gives a living testimony that the Muslims addressed by these verses ruled the lands of the former Persian and Roman empires, an expansion that amazed and won admiration of world historians. In the words of Encyclopedia Britannica:
“Within 12 years after Muhammad’s death, the armies of Islam took possession of Syria, Iraq, Persia, Armenia, Egypt, and Cyrenaica (in modern Libya).”
The Quran’s Prophecy Regarding the Hypocrites and the Tribe of Banu Nadhir
God says in the Quran:
“Surely, if they are expelled, never will they (hypocrites) go out with them, and if they are attacked, they will never help them. And if they do help them, they (hypocrites) will turn their backs, so they will not be victorious.” (Quran 59:12)
(For) indeed if they are driven out they go not out with them, and indeed if they are attacked they help them not, and indeed if they had helped them they would have turned and fled, and then they would not have been victorious.
“Have you not observed how those who are hypocrites, tell their brothers (i.e. associates) among the People of the Scripture who disbelieved, ‘If you are expelled, we will surely also leave with you, and we will never anyone against you; and if you are attacked (i.e. by the Muslim militia), we will surely aid you.’ But God bears witness that they are liars. If they (i.e. the Jews) are expelled, they (i.e. the hypocrites) will not leave with them, and if they are fought, they will not aid them. And [even] if they were to aid them, they will surely turn their backs; then they will not be aided.” (Quran 59:11-12)
The prophecy was fulfilled when the Banu Nadhir were expelled in August 625 CE from Medina; the hypocrites did not accompany them or come to their aid.
The Quranic Prophecies concerning Future Confrontations
“They will not harm you except for [some] annoyance. And if they fight you, they will show you their backs (i.e., flee); then they will not be aided.” (Quran 3:111)
“And if those (Meccans) who disbelieve were to fight you, they would certainly turn their backs (i.e., flee). Then they would not find a protector or a helper.” (Quran 48:22)
Historically, after these verses were revealed, the unbelievers in the Arabian Peninsula were never able to withstand the Muslims again.
We see from the prophecies discussed in these articles that the claim many detractors of Muhammad’s Prophethood are utterly unfounded. They have based their criticism on the challenge to show that what Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, foretold, if anything, and what came true of his foretelling. Demonstrably, he did prophesize, with God’s guidance, and demonstrably, what he was directed to tell us did actually occur. Therefore, by the criterion of the detractors, Muhammad was the Messenger of God, and the last of the prophets to be sent, by both his statements in the Sunnah (narrations from his life) and the word of the Quran.
 Some of the rites of Hajj.
 See ‘Mercy For the Worlds,’ by Qazi Suliman Mansoorpuri, vol.1, p. 212 and ‘Madinan Society At The Time Of The Prophet,’ by Dr. Akram Diya al Umari, vol. 2, p. 139.
 ‘Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources’ by Martin Lings, p. 89.
 ‘Mercy For the Worlds,’ by Qazi Suliman Mansoorpuri, vol. 3 p. 299 ‘Madinan Society At The Time Of The Prophet,’ by Dr. Akram Diya al Umari, vol. 2, p. 37.
 “arts, Islamic.” Encyclopædia Britannica from Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service. (http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-13813)
 ‘Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources’ by Martin Lings, p. 204. ‘Mercy For the Worlds,’ by Qazi Suliman Mansoorpuri, vol. 3 p. 302.
 ‘Risala Khatim al-Nabiyeen Muhammad,’ by Dr. Thamir Ghisyan.
 You may say in your heart, ‘How will we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’ When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him. (The Bible, New American Standard Version, Deuteronomy 18:21-22)
Splitting of the Moon
One of the times when God performed miracles at the hand of the Prophet was when the Meccans demanded to see a miracle from Muhammad to show his truthfulness. God split the moon in two separate halves and then re-joined them. The Quran recorded the event:
“The Last Hour draws near, and the moon is split asunder!” (Quran 54:1)
Prophet Muhammad would recite these verses of the Quran in large congregations of the weekly Friday prayer and the bi-annual Eed prayers. Had the event never occurred, Muslims themselves would have doubted their religion and many would have left it! The Meccans would have said, ‘Hey, your prophet is a liar, the moon never split, and we never saw it split!’ Instead, the believers grew stronger in their faith and the only explanation the Meccans could come up with was, ‘passing magic!’
“The Last Hour draws near, and the moon is split asunder! And if they see a sign (miracle), they turn away and say, ‘Passing magic!’- for they are bent on giving it the lie, being always wont to follow their own desires.” (Quran 54:1-3)
The splitting of the moon is confirmed through eye-witness testimony transmitted through an unbroken chain of reliable scholars so many that is it impossible that it could be false (hadith mutawatir).
A skeptic might ask, do we have any independent historical evidence to suggest the moon was ever split? After all, people around the world should have seen this marvelous event and recorded it.
The answer to this question is twofold.
First, people around the world could not have seen it as it would have been daytime, late night, or early morning many parts of the world. The following table will give the reader some idea of corresponding world times to 9:00 pm Mecca time:
|Rio de Janeiro
Also, it is not likely that a large number of people in lands close by would be observing the moon at the exact same time. They had no reason to. Even if some one did, it does not necessarily mean people believed him and kept a written record of it, especially when many civilizations at that time did not preserve their own history in writing.
Second, we actually have an independent, and quite amazing, historical corroboration of the event from an Indian king of that time.
Kerala is a state of India. The state stretches for 360 miles (580 kilometers) along the Malabar Coast on the southwestern side of the Indian peninsula. King Chakrawati Farmas of Malabar was a Chera king, Cheraman perumal of Kodungallure. He is recorded to have seen the moon split. The incident is documented in a manuscript kept at the India Office Library, London, reference number: Arabic, 2807, 152-173. A group of Muslim merchant’s passing by Malabar on their way to China spoke to the king about how God had supported the Arabian prophet with the miracle of splitting of the moon. The shocked king said he had seen it with his own eyes as well, deputized his son, and left for Arabia to meet the Prophet in person. The Malabari king met the Prophet, bore the two testimonies of faith, learned the basics of faith, but passed away on his way back and was buried in the port city of Zafar, Yemen.
It is said that the contingent was led by a Muslim, Malik bin Dinar, and continued to Kodungallure, the Chera capital, and built the first, and India’s oldest, mosque in the area in 629 CE which exists today.
A pre-renovation picture of the Cheraman Juma Masjid, India’s oldest mosque dating back to 629 CE. Image courtesy of www.islamicvoice.com.
The news of his accepting Islam reached Kerala where people accepted Islam. The people of Lakshadweep and the Moplas (Mapillais) from the Calicut province of Kerala are converts from those days.
Cheraman Juma Masjid, named after India’s first Muslim convert, Cheraman perumal Chakrawati Farmas, after renovation. Image courtesy of www.indianholiday.com.
The Indian sighting and the meeting of the Indian king with Prophet Muhammad is also reported by Muslim sources. The famous Muslim historian, Ibn Kahtir, mentions the splitting of the moon was reported in parts of India. Also, the books of hadith have documented the arrival of the Indian king and his meeting the Prophet. Abu Sa’id al-Khudri, a companion of Prophet Muhammad, states:
“The Indian king gifted the Prophet with a jar of ginger. The companions ate it piece by piece. I took a bite as well.”
The king was thus considered a ‘companion’ – a term used for a person who met the Prophet and died as a Muslim – his name registered in the mega-compendiums chronicling the Prophet’s companions.
Night Journey and Ascent to Heaven
A few months before the migration from Mecca to Medina, God took Muhammad in one night from the Grand Mosque in Mecca to al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, a month’s journey of 1230 Km for a caravan. From Jerusalem, he ascended to the heavens, passing the boundaries of the physical universe to be in divine presence, meet God, and witness the Great Signs (al-Ayat ul-Kubra). His truth became apparent in two ways. First, ‘the Prophet described the caravans he had overtaken on the way home and said where they were and about when they might be expected to arrive in Mecca; and each arrived as predicted, and the details were as he had described.’ Second, he was never known to have been to Jerusalem, yet he described al-Aqsa Mosque to skeptics like an eye-witness.
The mystical journey is mentioned in the Quran:
“Exalted is He who took His Servant [Prophet Muhammad] by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al-Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing.” (Quran 17:1)
“So will you dispute with him over what he saw? And he certainly saw him in another descent at the Lote Tree of the Utmost Boundary – near it is the Garden of Refuge (Paradise) – when there covered the Lote Tree that which covered (it). The sight (of the Prophet) did not swerve, nor did it transgress (its limit). He certainly saw of the greatest signs of his Lord.” (Quran 53:12-18)
The event is also confirmed through eye-witness testimony transmitted through the ages with an unbroken chain of reliable scholars (hadith mutawatir).
Entrance of Al-Aqsa Mosque from where Muhammad ascended the heavens. Picture courtesy of Thekra A. Sabri.
 See ‘Nadhm al-Mutanathira min al-Hadith al-Mutawatir,’ by al-Kattani p. 215.
 “Kerala.” Encyclopædia Britannica from Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service. (http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9111226)
 It is quoted in the book “Muhammad Rasulullah,” by Muhammad Hamidullah: “There is a very old tradition in Malabar, South-West Coast of India, that Chakrawati Farmas, one of their kings, had observed the splitting of the moon, the celebrated miracle of the Holy Prophet at Mecca, and learning on inquiry that there was a prediction of the coming of a Messenger of God from Arabia, he appointed his son as regent and set out to meet him. He embraced Islam at the hand of the Prophet, and when returning home, at the direction of the Prophet, died at the port of Zafar, Yemen, where the tomb of the “Indian king” was piously visited for many centuries.”
 ‘Zafar: biblical Sephar , classical Sapphar, or Saphar ancient Arabian site located southwest of Yarim in southern Yemen. It was the capital of the Himyarites, a tribe that ruled much of southern Arabia from about 115 BC to about AD 525. Up until the Persian conquest (c. AD 575), Zafar was one of the most important and celebrated towns in southern Arabia—a fact attested to not only by Arab geographers and historians but also by Greek and Roman authors. After the extinction of the Himyar kingdom and the rise of Islam, Zafar gradually fell into decay.’ “Zafar.” Encyclopædia Britannica from Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service. (http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9078191)
 ‘Al-Bidaya wal-Nihaya,’ by Ibn Kathir, vol 3, p. 130.
 Reported by Hakim in ‘Mustadrik’ vol 4, p. 150. Hakim comments, ‘I have not memorized any other report stating the Prophet ate ginger.’
 ‘Al-Isaba’ by Ibn Hajr, vol 3. p. 279 and ‘Lisan ul-Mizan’ by Imam al-Dhahabi, vol. 3 p. 10 under the name ‘Sarbanak,’ the name with which the Arabs knew him.
 ‘Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources’ by Martin Lings, p. 103.
 Forty five companions of the Prophet transmitted the reports on his Night Journey and the Heavenly Ascent. See the works of hadith masters: ‘Azhar al-Mutanathira fi al-Ahadith al-Mutawatira’ by al-Suyuti p. 263 and ‘Nadhm al-Mutanathira min al-Hadith al-Mutawatir,’ by al-Kattani p. 207.
The attributes of the universe which have hitherto been discovered by science point to the existence of God. Science leads us to the conclusion that the universe has a Creator and this Creator is perfect in might, wisdom and knowledge. It is religion that shows us the way in knowing God. It is therefore possible to say that science is a method we use to better see and investigate the realities addressed by religion. Nevertheless, today, some of the scientists who step forth in the name of science take an entirely different stand. In their view, scientific discoveries do not imply the creation of God. They have, on the contrary, projected an atheistic understanding of science by saying that it is not possible to reach God through scientific data: they claim that science and religion are two clashing notions.
As a matter of fact, this atheistic understanding of science is quite recent. Until a few centuries ago, science and religion were never thought to clash with each other, and science was accepted as a method of proving the existence of God. The so-called atheistic understanding of science flourished only after the materialist and positivist philosophies swept through the world of science in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Particularly after Charles Darwin postulated the theory of evolution in 1859, circles holding a materialistic world view started to ideologically defend this theory, which they looked upon as an alternative to religion. The theory of evolution argued that the universe was not created by a creator but came into being by chance. As a result, it was asserted that religion was in conflict with science. The British researchers Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln said on this issue:
For Isaac Newton, a century and a half before Darwin, science was not separate from religion but, on the contrary, an aspect of religion, and ultimately subservient to it. … But the science of Darwin’s time became precisely that, divorcing itself from the context in which it had previously existed and establishing itself as a rival absolute, an alternative repository of meaning. As a result, religion and science were no longer working in concert, but rather stood opposed to each other, and humanity was increasingly forced to choose between them. (Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, Henry Lincoln, “The Messianic Legacy”, Gorgi Books, London: 1991, p. 177-178.)
As we stated before, the so-called split between science and religion was totally ideological. Some scientists, who earnestly believed in materialism, conditioned themselves to prove that the universe had no creator and they devised various theories in this context. The theory of evolution was the most famous and the most important of them. In the field of astronomy as well certain theories were developed such as the “steady-state theory” or the “chaos theory”. However, all of these theories that denied creation were demolished by science itself, as we have clearly shown in other articles.
Today, scientists who still keep to these theories and insist on denying all things religious, are dogmatic and bigoted people, who have conditioned themselves not to believe in God. The famous English zoologist and evolutionist D.M.S. Watson confesses to this dogmatism as he explains why he and his colleagues accept the theory of evolution: “If so, it will present a parallel to the theory of evolution itself, a theory universally accepted, not because it can be proved by logically coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible.” (D.M.S. Watson, “Adaptation”, Nature, no. 124, p. 233)
What Watson means by “special creation” is God’s creation. As acknowledged, this scientist finds this “unacceptable”. But why does he? Is it because science says so? Actually it does not. On the contrary, science proves the truth of creation. The only reason why Watson looks upon this fact as unacceptable is because he has conditioned himself to deny the existence of God. All other evolutionists take the same stand.
Evolutionists rely not on science but on materialist philosophy and they distort science to make it agree with this philosophy. A geneticist, and an outspoken evolutionist from Harvard University, Richard Lewontin, confesses to this truth:
It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, so we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. (Richard Levontin, The Demon-Haunted World, The New York Review of Books, January, 9, 1997, p. 28)
On the other hand, today, just as in history, there are, as opposed to this dogmatic materialist group, scientists who confirm God’s existence, and regard science as a way of knowing Him. Some trends developing in the USA such as “Creationism” or “Intelligent Design” prove by scientific evidence that all living things were created by God.
The Qur’an Leads the Way to Science.
Scientific observation introduces man to the mysteries of creation, and ultimately, to God’s eternal knowledge, wisdom and power. As stated by Albert Einstein, “science without religion is lame”, which is to say, that science, unguided by religion, cannot proceed correctly, but rather, wastes much time in achieving results, and worse, is often inconclusive. Islam is a religion of reason that encourages science. Watch this film to see how the Qur’an leads the way to science by calling on people to reflect upon and examine the signs of creation around them.
Dr Zaghloul Mohammad Al Najjar is an Egyptian scholar and a prominent figure in scientific miraculousness in the Quran, He had been chosen the Dubai International Holy Quran Award’s (DIHQA) Islamic Personality of 2006.
He has a PhD from Wales University in geology, specialising in micropalaeontology. He has worked in a variety of Universities around the world and currently is a Professor at King Saud University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The Topic: The Scientific Precision of the Qur’an
Prof Zaghloul Al-Najjar speaks to an audience regarding the scientific facts revealed in the Qur’an at Lecture Theatre, University Hospital of Wales Cardiff. 2nd Feb, 1999.