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Did Prophet Muhammad
Split the Moon?!
Examining the Scientific Proofs
And Historical Records
Dr. Hussein Mhanna
The Holy Quran says…
The Hour has come near, and the moon has
split [in two].
Story behind the verse
• It was a full night of the month of thul-hijjah,
when a group of people of Mecca came to
the Prophet and asked him to show them a
miracle in the sky. Since they did not believe
in him as a prophet of God, they had thought
that all the previous miracles he showed
them were nothing but sorcery and magic.
Thinking that his sorcery could not be
performed in the sky, they asked him to split
And so he did…
• “If you are a true prophet,” they said, “split the
moon into 2 halves!”
• He said: “Would you then believe if I did it?”
• They replied: “Yes!”
• So he pointed to the moon with his finger, and
by the will of Allah, the moon split into 2
halves, that they could see one half appearing
above the mount of “Qubais”, and the other
above “Qaiqa’an”. (Mountains in Mecca)
Did they believe?!
• He said to them: “Bear witness, bear witness!”
• Some of them said: “His magic continues!”
• Others said: “If his magic has fallen upon us, it
couldn’t have affected people elsewhere, lets
wait for travelers to come and we’ll ask them.”
• When travelers from Syria and Yemen came to
Mecca, they narrated that they also witnessed
the splitting of the moon that night!
A well-known story
• The story is an established fact in numerous
books of hadith and history and was
narrated by multiple narrators and different
• The first 2 verses of Sura 54 of the Quran
record this event as well as the denial of the
people who witnessed it and claimed that it
was “A continuous sorcery” / “Passing
A Fair Question
• It is fair to ask: If the crack of the moon into
2 halves actually happened, can we find any
geologic evidence of it nowadays?
Muslim Researchers say yes
• According to some Muslim researchers,
there are proofs of the splitting of the moon
in pictures of the moon taken by NASA’s
What does science say?
• The surface of the moon is replete with long
channels or grooves that continue to create
unsolved puzzles and contradictions for
geologists. Every traditional theory, when
tested against the photographic evidence,
• Planetary scientists often say that it was
formed by molten lava, and they draw
comparisons to lava channels in Hawaii. But
the differences between the two are so
profound as to render such comparisons
• Over comparatively short distances and times,
rivers of lava produce obstructing cooled material
and overflow their banks to produce layers of oozing
material that freezes in place and whose source is
obvious. They repeatedly change course, and
undercut the surface along the walls of new
pathways, leaving in their wake a vivid display of
their erratic behavior.
• Hadley reveals no such behavior, retaining
consistent width over great distances, with parallel
sides, while lava rivers show just the reverse.
• Hadley reveals no explicit overflow or outflow.
• It is just an empty channel that, enigmatically, grows
more narrow as it meanders across a relatively flat
Collapsed Lava Tube?
• Many have suggested that Hadley is a “collapsed lava tube”,
something much different from an empty surface channel of
lava. As flowing lava cools, it will begin to develop a crust, and
eventually a stationary “roof” may form over it.
• A lava tube has the advantage that it enables lava to retain its
heat as it flows underground, thereby covering greater distance
and collecting less debris from surface cooling.
• The flowing lava can produce relatively continuous and smooth
walls, while a surface channel of lava, because it is continually
creating its own obstructions by cooling, with subsequent
overflow, will typically meander chaotically across its own
• Hadley does not show this appearance at all.
Rubble from collapsed roof
section in Barker Cave
Barker Cave, Australia
(David B. J. Thomae)
• On Earth we know that the collapse of lava tube roofs is
not uncommon, and the area collapsed will be a rubble-
filled depression. When the European Space Agency’s
Smart 1 spacecraft took an image of Hadley, the popular
science website Universe Today reported that Hadley is
“probably a collapsed lava tube”.
• But no lava tube on Earth comes close to such
dimensions, and that is only the beginning of the
problem. The rubble left from a collapsed lava roof is
impossible to miss. And we’ve seen enough of Hadley in
high resolution to categorically exclude the lava tube
interpretation. As shown by the close-up of a section of
Hadley), there is no rubble, no collapsed roof. Hadley is
an empty, sharply-cut channel. Whatever once lay within
the cavernous depths of Hadley is no longer there.
A close-up look at a
section of Hadley Rille
Hadley Rille on the moon, a long meandering
channel, spans some 125 klm (75 miles)
Electrical Discharge / Lightning?
• One explanation of Hadley and other lunar rilles has
yet to be considered by planetary scientists. It is the
one explanation that does not produce
contradictions, or conflict in any way with what we
see on the moon. Engineer Ralph Juergens, who
investigated a new approach to sinuous rilles,
suggested in 1974 that they are the effects of
• Engineer Ralph Juergens showed in the early 1970′s
that it is a typical scar caused by a massive lightning
This 40 foot rille was torn out by
lightning. The more tortuous path of the
narrow lightning stroke can be seen as a
groove in the bottom of the trench.
Credit: National Geographic, June 1950.
This is a section of a
prominent lunar rille,
Schröter's Valley, which
also shows the tortuous
path of the lightning along
the floor of the wider
• First discovered over 200 years ago with a small
telescope, rilles (rhymes with pills) appear all over
• Three types of rilles are now recognized: sinuous
rilles, which have many meandering curves, arcuate
rilles which form sweeping arcs, and straight rilles.
• Long rilles such as Ariadaeus Rille extend for
hundreds of kilometers. Sinuous rilles are now
thought to be remnants of ancient lava flows, but the
origins of arcuate and linear rilles are:
still a topic of research.
The origin of lunar
sinuous rilles remains
proposed are lava
channels and lava
tubes, but fracture
control is decidedly
apparent in some
More from NASA
• In many places the lunar surface is broken and a portion is
downdropped, forming trenchlike features known as straight
rimae or rilles. Some of these rilles are large enough (tens of
kilometers across) to be visible on Earth based photographs;
others are so small (a few meters across) that they are barely
visible on the highest resolution orbital pictures.
• Some of these trenches cut across the surrounding plains,
uplands, and craters and may record preferred directions of
breakage of the lunar crust caused by internal stresses (the so
called lunar grid). Others ring crater floors and may be related
to uplift of the floor caused by crustal readjustment after impact.
A few contain low rimmed dark halo craters that are interpreted
to be volcanic vents. Many trenches are curvilinear; some appear
to be transitional between straight rilles and sinuous rilles.
A picture frequently used as proof
• Islamic websites rely on a few pictures as
proofs of the splitting of the moon.
• But there’s a picture that you will always
find in any article about the event.
• Some websites also claim that the split
extends across the length of the moon!
• Lets see the picture…
What’s the truth about this picture?
• The picture was taken by the Apollo 10 crew in 1969
during their historic approach to only 14-kilometers
above the lunar surface.
• That structure in the picture is one of many linear
rilles on the moon called “Ariadaeus Rille”.
• It extends for 300 km and not across the length of
the moon as some websites claim!
• It shows no trace of associated volcanism; it is,
therefore, considered to be the end member of the
sequence, where only pure faulting is involved.
Ariadaeus Rille: was photographed by the Apollo
10 crew in 1969 during their historic approach to
only 14-kilometers above the lunar surface.
Another picture of Ariadaeus Rille taken by
Apollo 10 crew in 1969
Location of Rima Ariadaeus, between Mare Tranquillitatis
and Mare Vaporum; 133 by 4 km.
• As you can see from the pictures the rille
usually referred to as the scar of the split
that happened as a miracle of the Prophet
(s), show clearly that it’s a relatively small
scar on the face of the moon and doesn’t
extend across the length of the moon as one
• Does that mean the split never happened?!
• Does that disprove the miracle that the
Prophet showed to the people of Mecca?!
• Even though the pictures can not be used as
a strong evidence of the miracle that
happened in the 7th century A.D. yet there’s
still no conclusive explanations to the origin
of the structures in question.
Keep in mind
• The Holy Quran is a miracle by itself, and a
book full of all sorts of miracles.
• Muslims however need to be very careful in
their attempts to explain scientific miracles
of the Quran in a way that doesn’t cause
harm to the credibility of the holy book.
• There is absolutely no need to exaggerate
certain evidence to make them fit some facts
mentioned in the Quran.
• Until recently, a lot of the scientific facts in the Quran
were in contradiction with the scientific theories at
• Yet this never meant that science was right and the
Quran was wrong.
• In many cases new discoveries proved the old
theories wrong and the Quran right, (like the
expansion of the universe for ex.)
• In other cases, our interpretation of the Quranic
verses was wrong.
• Either way, as a Muslim, the Quran’s credibility is
above any doubt.
Is that all?!
• If the travelers coming from Syria and
Yemen witnessed the splitting on their way
back to Mecca, what about the rest of the
• Is there any record of the event in any non-
Islamic history books?!
• …not only was the rabbit a new
addition to the home of the moon
goddess, but also the cosmic tree was
new. Being held up to the mirror, the
rabbit is shown where it was then
located, not how was it born. In
agreement with two midwifes, it shows
that the palace of the moon is being
shaken by a quake
• This “quake” or catastrophe is well
recorded worldwide, even in Peru…
• The rabbit replaced the monkey as a recorder of the time and became a
very important figure with the same split face of the moon…he then
becomes the official recorder of time
• At the top of page 139 in the 1997 Maya Hieroglyphic Forum, the dot and
bar numbers have been inserted as corrections for the tops of the other
columns (missing in V and K's works). On the basis of the number
sequences, the date of the first (and, what I am surmising, was the
original change) is 22.214.171.124.0 or the Gregorian date of 9 February 623
Indians saw the miracle too!
• On a moon-lit night the Indian king (Cheraman Perumal – royal
title) Chakrawati Farmas while walking on the rooftop of his
palace along with the queen saw the moon suddenly splitting
into two halves.
• Later he came to know through the Arab traders that a prophet
called Muhammad had wrought a miracle on that fateful night
and sundered the moon before a crowd of dazed spectators.
• Impressed by this new messenger of God in Arabia, the king set
out for the holy land after dividing his kingdom and assigning
various territories to local chieftains to ensure smooth
• In Arabia he met the Prophet and embraced Islam.
• The king, who took a Muslim name, Tajuddin, died on his way
back to India and was buried on the shore of the Arabian Sea at
Salala in the Sultanate of Oman.
• It is said that he had earlier written letters to the local rulers of
Malabar and sent it through his ministers along with Malik bin
Dinar, a companion of the Prophet.
• In the letters he had asked them to "receive the bearers of the
letters and treat them well and help them to construct mosques
at Kodungallur and elsewhere".
• The rulers of Kerala honoured the letters and permitted Malik
Bin Dinar and his fellow Arab traders to build mosques in Kerala.
• The mosque built in the early 7th century at Kodungallur, known
as Cheraman Malik Masjid, still exists with its original structure
and is said to be the oldest mosque in the sub-continent.
• It is named after both Cheraman Perumal and Malik bin Dinar.
• The incident relating to King Chakrawati Farmas is documented
in an old manuscript in the India Office Library, London, which
has reference number: Arabic, 2807, 152-173.
• It was quoted in the book "Muhammad Rasulullah," by M.
"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 (S.A.W.) at Makkah, and learning on inquiry that there
was a prediction of the coming of a Messenger of God from
Arabia (Detail given bellow), he appointed his son as regent and
set out to meet him. He embraced Islam at the hand of the Holy
Prophet (S.A.W.), 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.“
• The old manuscript in the 'India Office Library' contains several
other details about King Chakrawati Farmas and his travel.
The arrival of the Indian king in Hadith
A tradition of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) has also
been reported from one of the companions, Abu
Saeed al Kaudri, regarding the arrival of
"A king from India presented the Messenger of
Allah (S.A.W.) with a bottle of pickle that had
ginger in it. The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) distributed
it among his companions. I also received a piece
to eat ".
(Hakim reports in 'Al Musthadrak)
• Current scientific data gives some clues about cracks on the
surface of the moon, however they cannot yet be used as
conclusive evidence of its splitting in the past.
• We might be able to scientifically prove someday that the
moon did split in the time of the Prophet (pbuh&hp)
• On the other hand, science might also come to conclusive
evidence that the moon never split the way it was told in
the Quran. What then?!
• Of course as a Muslim, I don’t need to wait and see
scientific evidence to believe that the splitting actually
happened. If the Quran says it happened, that’s enough for
me to believe.
It was a miracle after all!
• We need to keep in mind that the splitting was a
miracle performed by the Prophet (pbuh&hp). And a
miracle usually defies known laws of physics. Which
means that the splitting and rejoining could have
happened outside the laws of physics, which could
mean that we might never find any scientific
evidence of them.
• Just like science could never explain the miraculous
pregnancy of Lady Mariam (pbuh) and the birth of
Prophet Jesus (pbuh), science may not be able to
explain the miraculous splitting of the moon by
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh&hp).