Muslims believe that while Muhammad was in Mecca, Allah split the Moon as a miracle to the Meccans. This claim is made in the Quran.
Surah 54 of the Quran is called “The Moon.” It starts by saying:
The hour drew nigh and the moon did rend asunder
And if they see a miracle they turn aside and say: Transient magic.
And they call (it) a lie, and follow their low desires; and every affair has its appointed term.
The great Muslim scholar Maududi explains:
The amazing and wonderful phenomenon of the splitting of the Moon was a manifest sign of the truth that the Resurrection, of which the Holy Prophet was giving them the news, could take place and that it had approached near at hand. The great sphere of the Moon had split into two distinct parts in front of their very eyes. The two parts had separated and receded so much apart from each other that to the on-lookers one part had appeared on one side of the mountain and the other on the other side of it. Then, in an instant the two had rejoined.
However, there are several problems with this story.
The main problem is that it contradicts the Quran itself. In various places Muhammad admitted that he could not perform miracles. When asked for miracles his response was:
Glory be to my Lord; am I aught but a mortal messenger? Q. 17: 93
In another place he put the following words in the mouth of Allah:
And those who disbelieve say: Why has not a sign been sent down upon him from his Lord? You are only a warner. Q. 13: 07
Muhammad insisted that even though other prophets had miracles, his only miracle is the Quran. So when Muslims claim that Muhammad performed miracles, they are going against the Quran itself. (See the article Did Muhammad Perform Miracles?)
The other problem with this claim is that this astronomical phenomenon should have been observed, not just in Mecca, but all over the world. Many nations have recorded even eclipses, why there is no mention of such a thing that for sure would have been the most amazing phenomenon?
Moiz Amjad, one scholar that answers questions for Understanding-Islam.com says, “I have not yet come across any historical accounts of other nations, which refer to the incident.” He thinks this is “a sign of the promised hour.”
Curiously the same site contradicts itself and claims that in fact a certain king of India observed the splitting of the Moon and he sent his son to Mecca who converted to Islam and upon returning he died in Yemen.
This story is of course another hoax. There is no mention of an Indian converting to Islam during the life of Muhammad in any version of Sira. One ridiculous fabrication was the claim that the astronauts who landed on the Moon heard the adhan (Muslim call to prayer) being chanted there. Muslims have based their entire faith on these fairy tales.
First of all there is no record that any King of India ever visited Muhammad.
Secondly the splitting of Moon should have been observed by everyone all over the world and not just by one king.
Thirdly, assuming that this Indian king saw the Moon splitting, how could he interpret this cosmic phenomenon as the sign that there has appeared a new prophet in Mecca? Muslims claim that Indian scriptures contain predictions about the coming of a messenger from Arabia. This is bull. There is no mention of Muhammad in any sacred book of any religion.
Note that the verses of the Quran and several hadiths that narrate this story do not claim that this so called miracle was performed by Muhammad. They say that people saw the Moon in two sides of the mount Hira and Muhammad said this is a sign from Allah to convince you that I am a prophet. Many Muslims are convinced that this phenomenon has indeed happened. They are shown these close-up pictures of the Moon taken by Apollo 10 as evidence.
These are called Lunar Rilles. Rilles are long and deep gorges resembling canyons. A rille is typically several kilometers wide and hundreds of kilometers in length. Similar formations are found on a number of planets in the solar system, including Mars, Venus, and on a number of moons.
How these rilles are formed is still subject of study. Theories include erosion at some point in the stellar body’s history, collapsed lava tubes, and tectonic activity/stresses.
There are three types of rilles on the lunar surface:
Sinuous rilles meander in a curved path like a river, and are commonly thought to be the remains of collapsed lava tubes or extinct lava flows. They usually begin at an extinct volcano, then meander and sometimes split as they are followed across the surface.
Arcuate rilles have a smooth curve and are found on the edges of the dark lunar maria. They are believed to form when the lava flows that created a mare cools, contracts, and sinks.
Straight rilles follow long, linear paths and are believed to be grabens. That is, a section of the crust that has sunk between two parallel faults. These can be readily identified when they pass through craters or mountain ranges.
Rilles can be found all over the lunar surface and they do not form a belt and therefore do not in anyway support the claim of Muslims that the Moon had been split asunder. Here are a few pictures that should dismiss this Islamic wishful thinking. To understand how rilles scar the surface of the Moon, we have to take a look at pictures showing the moon from farther up.
The following rilles are found on Mars and Venus and Europa the moon of Jupiter.
Martian and Venetian rilles
Assuming this story is not a lie, as many of Muhammad’s claims, it must have been an optical illusion. I found a similar tale from two people who saying they saw two moons in the sky. These observers, however, are wiser than Muhammad and have tried to explain the phenomenon in rational way. Our ignorant prophet pretender, assumed that the Moon had actually split and that it was a miracle. This only shows that this man was an idiot with zero understanding and intellect.Two moons spotted over Syracuse
Posted by Frederic Pierce January 23, 2008 11:26AM
“While working years ago with WAVES (Western Area Volunteer Emergency Service) out of the Fairmount area, we were returning in the ambulance after having delivered a patient to Community General Hospital . It was dark except for a large moon evident in the southeast. When nearing the intersection of Onondaga Road (NYS 173) and Howlett Hill Road we noted a replication of the moon to the northwest, a ‘wrong’ place. Now we had two moons, the wrong one being in the direction of Fairmount and/or Onondaga Lake .
“I speculate the following. There was an apparent cloud bank to the northwest (the sky was clear where we were) and the night was still, no wind. It appeared that perhaps the lake surface was acting as a mirror, reflecting the image of the moon to the lower surface of the cloud bank, thus making it visible to us.”
That sounds good to me, although I couldn’t find any references of double moon illusions like that through Google. The closest thing I found was a 2003 e-mail about Mars being so close to earth that it appears to be a second moon. The e-mail keeps getting re-circulated to seem recent and has been discredited by Snopes.
Any amateur astronomers or meteorologists out there have an insight?
There is an interesting video on Youtube that tells a story of a four men who claim they saw a UFO that resembled the moon.
Could it be that what Muhammad and the Meccans saw was actually a UFO?
Although I have no explanation for this phenomenon, what is clear, is that moon did not split 1400 years ago nor at any time. The fact that Muhammad thought so split only proves his ignorance.