How did the incident of splitting of the moon, one of the most important miracles of the Prophet (pbuh), take place?

The Details of the Question

How did the incident of splitting of the moon, one of the most important miracles of the Prophet (pbuh), take place?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Despite the fact that polytheists witnessed all sorts of miracles that confirmed our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) cause, they continued their denial and stubbornness; they did not accept his truth. They were only deceiving themselves and other people by desiring to find faults with and belittling every miracle they saw as well as attempting to make these miracles seem small and simple. From time to time, they would make seemingly impossible requests, with the intention of troubling our Holy Prophet (PBUH).They would say, “If you truly are an appointed prophet of Allah, then do this-and-this and show this-and-that so that we can see.”

Their intention was not to testify to truth when making these requests; it was to cause difficulty for our Holy Prophet (PBUH). Nonetheless, Allah never left His Beloved Messenger (PBUH) in a quandary and never ceased protecting and assisting him.

One day, a group from among the leading figures that included Abu Jahl and Walid bin Mughira came to our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and said,

“If you truly are a Prophet that has been appointed by Allah, then split the moon in half. Let it be in such a way that one half will appear over the Mount Abu Qubais and the other half will be seen over Mount Quayqan.”

“If I am able to do this then will you become Muslims?” asked our Holy Prophet (PBUH) to which they replied,

“Yes we will.”

It is a prophet’s duty to request to show a miracle in order to prove the truth and justness of his cause whereas Allah is the One Who creates this miracle.

It was a full moon, meaning that it was on the 14th night, when the moon is in its most beautiful state. The Master of the Universe (PBUH), who acted in accordance with the will and orders of Allah, pointed towards the moon with his index finger. This prophetic indication sufficed to split the moon in half in such a way that one half stood over Mount Abu Qubais and the other half was seen over Mount Quayqan just as the polytheists had wanted.

Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) shouted, “Bear witness! Bear witness!” to the crowd that was present. 1

The polytheists did not forgo their stubbornness in the face of such a conspicuous miracle. They further tried to deceive and comfort themselves by making a groundless misinterpretation, “This is one of the spells of Abu Kabsha’s Son.” 2

Of course, they could not deny an incident that happened right before their eyes. Since they were unable to deny it, they were obliged to say that it was a “spell”!

Those Who Came From the Surroundings Reported the Same Circumstance

The polytheists, who called one of our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) conspicuous miracles a spell so as to disaffirm his cause, spoke with one another:

“If Muhammad cast a spell, then it could not have covered the entire world! Let us ask the wayfarers who came from the surrounding areas if they saw what we saw.” 3

They asked those who came from the surrounding areas. They admitted that they had seen same thing. Despite all this, the polytheists whose souls and hearts had decayed from the filth of disbelief did not believe although they had promised to become believers. They did not go to the source of eternal happiness and instead said,

“Abu Talib’s orphan affected the sky with his spell!” 4

Upon the denial of this bright miracle of the Prophet by the polytheists, Allah Almighty stated that it took place and that they insisted on being unbelievers and liars as follows:

“The hour (of Judgment) is nigh, and the moon is cleft asunder. But if they see a Sign, they turn away, and say: 'This is (but) transient magic.' They reject (the warning) and follow their (own) lusts but every matter has its appointed time.” 5


1 Muslim, Sahih, V. 8, p. 132; Tirmidhi, Sunan, V. 5, p. 397; Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, V. 1, p. 447.
2 Ibn Kathir, Tafsir, V. 4, p. 262.
3 Tirmidhi, ibid, V. 5, p. 398; Qadi Iyad, ash-Shifa, V. 1, p. 238; Ibn Kathir, Tefsir, V. 4, p. 262.
4 Qadi Iyad, ibid, V. 1, p. 238.
5 al-Qamar, 1-3.

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