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
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
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
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.”
“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
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.