The hour drew nigh and the moon was cleft asunder. And if they behold a sign they turn away and call (it): magic incessant. They denied (the Truth) and follow there own lusts. Yet everything has its appointed time, (Qur’an, 54/1-3)
Expounding in the indecent when the moon was split, Ibn Khatir said: “Certainly it had occurred in the life time of Prophet (peace be upon him) has reported under a chain of authoritative traditions. The Muslim scholars are unanimous that splitting of the moon occurred during the Prophet’s lifespan and it was one of his magnificent miracles.
Anas bin Malik narrated that the people of Makkah asked Allah’s apostle (peace be upon him) to show them a miracle so he showed them the moon cleft into two halves between which they saw the mount Hira. (Al-Bukhari)
Ibn Abbas narrated that the people of Makkah came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and they said: “Do you have any such miracle that we may know that you are the Apostle of Allah informed them of the aforesaid message. They came out. The night moon was split was the 14th (Lunar) night. The moon was cleft in two halves one part was on Safa and the other was Marwah. They rubbed their eyes and saw again and again. Then they said: O Muhammad! It is nothing but magic. So Allah revealed: The Hour drew nigh, and the moon was cleft asunder and if they behold a sign they turn away and call (it) magic incessant. (Abu Noami)
Abdullah bin Masud narrated that the moon was split in the lifetime of the Prophet of Alah (peace be upon him). When I occurred, the Qureysh said: this is the magic of son of Abu Kabsha (i.e. the Prophet). They also said: Inquire form the coming travellers; no doubt, Muhammad cannot spellbind all the people. The travellers came. They confirmed it (i.e. the splitting of the moon). (Al-Bidaya wa Al-Nihaya Vol. 3.p.121)
Abdullah bin Abbas narrated that the polytheists came together to Allah’s Apostle (peace be upon him) and said: if you are true, then split the moon in two halves, the one half should be on (the Mount) Abu Qubais and the other on (the Mount) Qaiqan, and it was a full moon night. The Apostle of Allah prayed his lord to do what they had demanded. The moon was split in two, one part went to the (the Mount) Qaiqan. The Apostle of Allah said: You all be witness. (Abu Noaim)
Fact about Moon Splitting
The non-Muslims, mostly orientalists and Wester scholars, not only deny the miracles of the Prophet but even the miracles of Prophet but even the miracles of the Quran.
The Islamic polity is unanimous that anyone who denies any verse of the Quran or interpolates in any of its verses against the established Sunnah is outside the fold of Islam.
The Quran speaking of this miracle used past tense and said: Iqtarabat (drew nigh), Alsa’a (the hour), Inshaqqa (was cleft asunder or was rent), Al-Qamar (the moon). That is to say that the hour drew nigh and the moon was cleft asunder, or as Pickthall translated: “the hour drew nigh and the moon was rent in twain…”
Al-Khazin the famous commentator said: “To take the meaning of the verse, ‘The moon will split on Doomsday’ this contention is null and void. It is incorrect and the commentators are unanimously opposed to it. Because Allah stated it (i.e. this event) in the past tense and the past tense is destitute of constructing the meaning of future.”
“The authenticated traditions have been reported on the occurrence of this great miracle which has dully been substantiated by the strong testimony of the Qur’an and a believer can never doubt into it.” He further stated.
The Qur’an said: The hour drew nigh, i.e. the Doomsday drew near. It is true that as the time passes the Doomsday draws near. The Prophet (peace be upon him) has informed us of various signs of the hour. We find these signs duly stated in the books of traditions. Among them is the advent of the Prophet (peace be upon him) as he said:
“I and the Hour are sent like this, and he raised his fore-finger and the mid-finger.” (Ahmad)
Imam Razi said: “It means ‘there is no Prophet after me, Lo! My era is extended up to the Doomsday, i.e. my era and the Hour are conjoined like these two fingers” (Al-Tafsir Al Kabir, Ch. Al-Qmar)
Inshaqqa (the moon was split) is the same as Inqatala i.e. the man was murdered. The past tense can never be used in future. The Qur’an declared that the splitting of the moon was among the signs of the Doomsday. The orientalists say that one thousand four hundred years have passed to the splitting of the moon but the hour has not com yet. Allah knows when the Hour will come He informed us that it is close:
Lo! they behold it (Hour) a far- off while We behold it nigh. (70:6-7)
By our measure of years, we take the Hour to be far away, but to Allah it is close. Secondly the reckoning begins right one goes in his grave. Either it is converted into Hell or Heaven, it is according to his deeds.
Confirming to the splitting of the moon, the Qur’an further said: and if they behold a sign they turn away and call (it): magic incessant.
In the aforesaid verse the Qur’an very clearly stating the refusal of Qureysh. When they saw the moon did split, they turned away and a chain of successive traditions confirms to their refusals dubbing it magic.
Magic is an art of using some occult force of mature; it means supernatural knowledge gained through the aid of evil spirits for producing effects beyond the natural human power.
Magicians by power of his magic can shape a chair into a lion but when the spell breaks the chair, will reappear i.e. the magician cannot change or destroy the matter.
The miracle of Moses staff was also dubbed as magic but those block head could not see that Moses staff changing into a serpent swallowed about eighty thousand ropes, which were advancing towards Moses in the shape of snakes and sticks and it did not leave any mark of that matter i.e. ropes. That was the reason that:
The magicians fell down prostrates Crying we believe in the Lord of the worlds: The Lord of Moses and Aaron.
They knew if Moses had been a sorcerer, he would have broken their spell and turned the snakes and stick into ropes. But when they observed by their own eyes, the destruction of the matter, they knew God the Supreme, the Omnipotent only could destroy the matter that is why they stuck to the faith even when they were put into the jaws of death and they told the Pharaoh:
And you take Vengeance on us only because we believed in the signs of our Lord when they came to us. Our Lord! Pour out on us patience and cause us die as Muslims. (7/26)
A magician can cast a spell upon the people before him and can make them to see and effect, which seems beyond the human power. It was the reason Qureysh said: Ask from the travellers, no doubt! Muhammad cannot spellbind all the people (see tradition above). But what the people of Makkah saw was far beyond the magic, an undeniable reality, therefore, the travellers who came to Makkah that night also confirmed the splitting of the moon.
It was also said that the caravans moved during the day and not in the night the entire country is mostly desert and hot region. In those days, the caravans moved only in the nights. Since it had always been a Holy place, the people came here all the year round.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to recite the chapters ‘Qaf’, and ‘The Moon’ from the Qurian in big congregations like Eid and Friday, so that people who were not present at the time of the miracle of splitting of the moon should hear it and know that when the moon could be made to split, the sun with its spacious light will also be folded up. It is, therefore, the Qur’an mentioned splitting of the moon among the signs of the Hour.
Ibn Khatir writes: Islamic polity is unanimous on the occurrence of splitting of the moon that it occurred during the life time of Allah’s Apostle (peace be upon him). It stands proved with successive traditions carrying different chain of narrations (Al-Bidaya wa Al-Nihaya. Vol.3.p.118)
The denouncers of this miracle said they could not get any reference to the splitting of the moon in the books if history. They detailed answer to it can be found in Tarjuman al Sunnah (Vol.4.pp. 165, 166). It has also printed the map showing day and night at that hour in the world. It was almost midnight in India. In the 7th century, King Bhoj of India has said to have sighted the splitting of the moon, which finds mentioned in Tafsir Haqqani. Ibn Khatir also mentioned this report in his work Al-Bidaya wa Al-Nihaya without naming the King, and said: This event was recorded in the history of some part of India and that was written in history as the night of splitting of the moon. (Vol.3.p.120). this means the report of Raja Bhoj had become so famous in those days that it travelled to Damascus where Ibn-Khatir jotted it down in his famous and most reliable history book.
The few narrations talking of the moon splitting say that a part of it went to Safa and other to Marwah or one part went to one side of Mount Hira and the other to the other side, or one went to a side of mountain and the other behind it. All these reports are correct.
Since this took place at the request of Qureysh, hence everybody at Makkah was aware of its occurrence. The narrators reported their observation from the point they were watching the moon. Those who were standing on the Mount Kaba they saw a part going to Safa and the other one to Marwah. And those who watched from Qubais Mountain they saw a part going to one side of the Mount Hira and the other to the other. Those who saw from Mina they saw a piece going to Qubais Mountain and the other to Qaiqan Mountain.
The Prophet’calling the people to be witness was because Qureysh had demanded this. So that they might be witness to His true Prophethood as also believe on the occurrence of Doomsday. When the moon could be made to split, similarly when the Hour comes, the entire universe will be destroyed as mentioned in the Qur’an.
Few denouncers of the miracle say that splitting or conjoining of the heavenly bodies is rationally impossible. However, the scholars of astrophysics has accepted the death of the stars and sun confirming to what the Qur’an has already said: When the sun (with its spacious light) is folded up. When the stars fall losing their luster (81-1, 2). Muhammad (peace be upon him) only pointed from his finger to the moon and Allah rent it in twain, and he brought them together to conjoin with moon’s power of gravitation as a magnet clings with another magnet.
We will show them Our signs in the universe and in their own selves, until it becomes manifest to them that this (the Qur’an) is the Truth. (Qur’an, 41:53)