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In Surah Qamar, verse 1, the Qur’an declares:
اِقْتَرَبَتِ السَّاعَۃُ وَ انۡشَقَّ الْقَمَرُ ﴿۱﴾
“The Hour came near and the moon was split.”
There is no doubt that as much as the splitting of the moon is accepted as one of the greatest miracles of the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam, it is also one of the major signs of the Day of Judgement when the entire universe will be topsy turvy.
The unique method adopted by the disbelievers to stop the spread of Islam!
When the disbelievers in Makkah Shareef became disheartened and began to feel that they would never stop the spread of Islam because the more they tried to stop it, the more it spread, so they finally decided to bring in a third party.
Abu Jahl decided to write a special letter to a person named Habeeb bin Malik who was the Governor of Syria at the time and a very close friend of Abu Jahl. His correspondence among other things mentioned that, “When we speak to Muhammad using different testimony, he has always defeated us. Presently, your religion and the religion of your forefathers has become weak and lame. Therefore, before this religion spreads even further, it is better that you come and meet him. …”
The purpose of calling Habeeb was twofold. Firstly, he was a powerful person in a powerful position and secondly, he was also well known as a Hakeem (healer). Since the disbelievers were convinced that the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam had become insane (Ma’zallah), therefore Habeeb would be able to heal him. However, little did they realise that it was Allah azza wajal who was bringing Habeeb to be healed!
Habeeb arrived in Makkah Shareef with twelve of his companions. The disbelievers in Makkah Shareef gave him a very warm welcome. He then asked, “Where is this ill person. What and how does he speak?”
Abu Jahl replied, “His name is Muhammad and he was born in Makkah. He is also my nephew. For nearly forty years we have accepted him as the truthful and the honest, (in other words, “Ameen” and “Saadiq”). However, at this moment he is calling himself a Prophet.”
Habeeb then requested that he be shown this new Prophet as quickly as possible. However, Abu Jahl replied, “Do not be in a hurry. There are many that have approached him before, but they have not returned to us! They have left our ranks and joined the folds of this Muhammad. They also keep saying
دونوں عالم میں تمہیں مقصود گر آرام ہے
ان کا دامن تھام لو جن کا محمد نام ہے
Doono aalim me tumheh maqsud gar araam heh
Un ka daaman thaam lo jin ka naam Muhammad heh
If your intention is peace and tranquillity in both worlds
Then hold tightly to that blessed being whose name is Muhammad.”
Habeeb then began to ponder deeply on what type of “ill” person he was dealing with.
He asked them to bring the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam to him. He declared he will place his hand on the hand of the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam and be able to diagnose the illness.
Abu Jahl replied, “Before you ‘Umar bin Khattab also placed his hand in his hand and never returned. Now, he has become an ardent follower of this Muhammad and has become like a messenger of death to us. He has abandoned his family and his clan and even though we have explained to him on many occasions, yet, he is not prepared to listen to us.”
Habeeb then declared, “If that is the case, then I will not hold his hand, I will merely look him in the eye and be able to diagnose his illness. Depending on the colour which I see, I will be able to fathom his illness”.
Abu Jahl replied, “At first, Bilal also looked into his eyes and today he is willing to lay on the hot burning sand and be patient with whatever punishment is given to him.”
Hearing this, Habeeb became even more confused. He then declared, “Fine! I will not look him in the eye. I will not touch his hand. Nevertheless, allow me to listen to his words because previous to this (I have also cured people) by merely listening to their words.”
In alarm, Abu Jahl then remarked, “O Habeeb! If you do not believe us, ask the Banu Hashim.”
Some members of the Banu Hashim then declared, “Yes, we know him as the truthful from a young age. When he reached the age of forty, he started to insult our gods. He started to propagate a new religion which was not preached by our elders.”
It was then decided that the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam be brought to them. A pact was also made that when they saw him approaching, no one would stand up in respect nor would anyone greet him. (This story of not standing up for “Salaami” is a very ancient story. We now know that they are merely following the tradition of their elders and the founder of this behaviour and movement was Abu Jahl himself!)
Nonetheless, as the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam approached them wearing a black turban and a green hat on his right was Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddique Radi Allahu ‘Anhu and behind him, his blessed wife, Sayyidah Khatijah Radi Allahu ‘Anha, they became so over awed, that all of them abruptly stood up with respect. The first person to do this was Abu Jahl. (Some ‘Ulama are of the opinion that he was made to stand by the Angels who picked him up by holding his ear). Even today, some people stand out of respect and love while others are forced by circumstances. The conversation then began.
Habeeb then asked, “O Muhammad! You are aware that Prophets have performed miracles. Do you have any miracle?”
The Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam replied, “What is it that you wish for?” (In other words, ask whatever you wish for).
Habeeb replied, “My wish is that you first make the sun set and then make the moon rise. You then break this moon into two pieces and bring these pieces to earth and then return them to the sky and when it is in the sky, it must glow again.”
When the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam heard this, he displayed no apprehension at all and calmly asked Habeeb, “If I do this, will you bring faith of me?”
He replied, “Yes, I will but on condition also that you reveal what is in my heart”.
The Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam then went to the mount of Abu Qubais. He performed two rak’ah of Salaah while the disbelievers were all the time looking at the moon. They did not notice that the face of the person performing Salaah was even brighter than the moon! The disbelievers were also convinced that this would never happen. However, the blessed Ashaab were convinced that besides the moon, even if the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam wanted to split the heavens, he could do so.
Suddenly, Jibra’eel Ameen arrived with twelve thousand Angels and after presenting the Divine Greeting to the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam, he also presented the Divine Message of Almighty azza wajal which was, “O My beloved! Do not fear or feel sad! I am also with you”. (Therefore, merely indicate with your finger). The Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam then pointed his finger and the sun immediately set. Then the moon arose as bright as can be and spread its glow everywhere.
There was no physical strength displayed by the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam at this moment. It was merely the pointing of one of his blessed fingers. Yet, the miracle of this was that something which was thousands of miles away, began to move with his instruction and not only that, it split into two halves. If this is the power of his one single blessed finger, what must be the power of his entire blessed being?
Habeeb, who was watching all of this, suddenly realised that if this person was able to make the sun set and also break the moon into two pieces, surely this would be person to follow if one desires the meet the Divine Creator azza wajal. While he was thinking of this, hundreds of miles away, his young daughter was being cured! Her paralysis had been cured and this was the secret which he had hidden in his heart. In fact, while this miracle was taking place, he declared, “And my other request?” The Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam answered, “Yes, yes, your daughter who is completely disabled, my Creator azza wajal has also cured her as well.”
Habeeb accepts Islam!
After seeing this miracle and hearing the good news about his daughter from the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam, Habeeb turned to the people of Makkah and declared, “O people of Makkah! There is no disbelief after Imaan. Remember that I have brought faith on Allah azza wajal and His Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam.”
When Habeeb returned home, he was even more surprised. While he was still standing at the door, his daughter came to greet him all the while reciting the Kalimah! Her father asked, “How were you cured and who taught you the Kalimah?” She replied, “Someone came in my dream and informed me that my father has brought Imaan on Islam, and therefore if I wanted to be healed of this paralysis, I should also accept Islam. I then accepted Islam and I was immediately cured as you are now witnessing.”
The Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallamwas at two places at one time!
This incident also proves what while the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam was performing this miracle in Makkah, at the same time, he was also making this young girl read the Kalimah hundreds of miles away. This is clear proof of being “Haazir and Naazir”. (The above description of this miracle was presented by Imam Hafiz Abu Na’eem Ahmed bin Abdullah Isfahani Alaihir Rahmah in his “Dalaa ilun Nubuwah.”.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Mas’ud Radi Allahu ‘Anhu narrates that, “The moon was split and I saw the two halves myself.”
Sayyidi A’la Hadrat Imam Ahmed Raza Radi Allahu ‘Anhuquite beautifully puts this in his words:
سورج الٹے پاؤں پلٹے چاند اشارے سے ہو چاک
اندھے نجدی دیکھ لے قدرت رسول اللہ کی
“Suraj ulteh, pa’o palteh, chand ishaareh seh ho chaak,
andheh najdi, dek leh qudrat Rasoolulah ki”
“The sun went opposite, retreating its step while the moon split with a mere indication
Blind Najdis, look at the power of Rasoolullah Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam”
There are various reports about the background for this miracle. Some report that this was performed at the request of certain elders of the Quraish who were also ardent enemies of Islam. Some reports suggest that it was performed at the request of certain Jews who wanted to see a miracle performed by the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam.
Some reports suggest that one part of the moon was seen on the top of the mount of Abu Qubais and the other half was seen on the top of the mount of Qa’ee’qa’aan. Some reports also suggest that one part was seen in Mina and one half in Safa. In other words, the disbelievers wanted to see them as far apart as possible.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Abbas Radi Allahu ‘Anhuma narrates that news reached the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam that a few Jews wanted to see a miracle so that they could accept Islam. He then asked Allah azza wajal to show them a miracle and this is how the moon was split into two halves. They also saw one part in Mina and one part in Safa. This moment remained as long as the time between Asr and sunset. Everyone saw this and then the moon set. Thereafter, they began to claim that it was merely magic.
In Surah Qamar, verse 2, Allah azza wajal declares:
وَ اِنۡ یَّرَوْا اٰیَۃً یُّعْرِضُوۡا وَ یَقُوۡلُوۡا سِحْرٌ مُّسْتَمِرٌّ ﴿۲﴾
“And if they see any sign, they turn (away) their faces and say this is perpetual magic.”
The entire world saw this miracle!
When this miracle occurred, many of the Quraish claimed that this was sheer magic and refused to believe it. They also began to say that it only occurred in Makkah and nowhere else. However, when people began to arrive from the outside and also claimed to have seen this miracle, suddenly, there was no room for excuse from the Quraish.
Even a non-conformists like Sulayman Nadwi has reported that recently in certain ancient Sanskrit material it was found that there is evidence of this miracle actually being recorded by people in India at that time. These were astronomers of that period that recorded the movement of stars and other celestial objects. He also writes that a person who the leader (Raja) of an area in India called Maala Baar also saw this miracle with his own eyes.
In reality, there are so many reports about this miracle that it has become difficult for the enemies of real Islam to actually refute it. Allama Aloosi Alaihir Rahmah in his “Tafseer Ruhul Ma’ani” states that, “There are numerous reports about this incident.”
Imam Taajudeen Subki Alaihir Rahmah in his “Sharah Mukhtasar” writes that, “In my opinion, this incident of the splitting of the moon is absolutely authentic. In the Qur’an, there is clear testimony. This has been presented in the ‘Sahih Bukhari’ and ‘Sahih Muslim’ through various sources. Therefore, what doubt can there be in its authenticity?”
As we have seen, in the “Bukhari Shareef”, this has been reported by Hadrat Anas Radi Allahu ‘Anhu and by Hadrat Abdullah ibn Abbas Radi Allahu ‘Anhuma. In the “Sahih Muslim” and “Sahih Tirmidhi”, it has been reported by Hadrat Abdullah ibn ‘Umar Radi Allahu ‘Anhuma. In the “Baihaqi Shareef,” it has been narrated by Hadrat Abdullah ibn Masud Radi Allahu ‘Anhu and Hadrat Jubair bin Mut’am Radi Allahu ‘Anhu.
In two hundred Hijri, even a king in Hindustan accepted Islam when he saw proof of this miracle. (Taarikhe Farishta)
Today, if scientists are going to the moon as they claim, what miracle is this when the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam could call it to earth and even instruct it to obey him! No matter how much science claims as its proof, it will never go as far as what real Islam can prove. If certain Muslims believe that going to the moon is a miracle of today, how can they refute the splitting of this moon hundreds of years ago?
What is science but an ever changing thought process! It can never be stable as Islam. Years ago, it was said that one should eat a potato and throw the peel away. Now it is said that one should eat the peel also because it contains certain important vitamins. We wonder, perhaps in a few years, they could say that we should throw the potato away and only eat the peel!