Surah al-Qamar: Splitting of the Moon

The Hour has come near, and the moon has split (in two).

Surah al-Qamar, Ayah 1

Surah al-Qamar provides an insight into one of the greatest miracles during the Prophet’s (saw) life. It is an entirely Makkan surah. The surah starts by warning the Makkan disbelievers about their stubbornness and arrogance which they harbored against the Prophet’s (saw) call to Islam. The miracle addressed in the surah is the splitting of the Moon.

About 5 years prior to the Prophet’s (saw) hijrah to Madinah, during the midst of his preaching, this miracle occurred. The background of this story begins with the Quraishi disbelievers challenging the Prophet (saw). Amongst the disbelievers were Walid ibn Mughirah and Abu Jahl. The disbelievers challenged the Prophet (saw) 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 Quayqian.”

To this challenge, our beloved Prophet (saw) asked, “If I do it, will you become Muslims?” The disbelievers had dug their own trap and had agreed to the Prophet’s (saw) bet against them. A couple nights later, the Prophet (saw) knew the miracle was about to occur, and so he called the disbelievers together in Makkah for them to witness the sight. Allah (swt) had responded to the challenge of the Quraish by splitting the Moon, with one half over Mount Abu Qubais and the other half over Mount Quayqian. This however, was still not enough for the disbelievers. They accused the Prophet (saw) of magic and sorcery. They said he had cast a spell over the sky causing visual illusions to occur.

And if they see a miracle, they turn away and say, “Passing magic.”

And they denied and followed their inclinations. But for every matter is a (time of) settlement.

Surah al-Qamar, Ayah 2 and 3

The splitting of the Moon is simply a manifest proof of the truth that the system of the Universe is not eternal or immortal. Allah (swt) can easily disrupt the balance by throwing the planets out of orbit, or by making the galaxies collide with each other, or in this case, splitting the Moon. All of this has been mentioned in the Qur’an. It should be noted, that the splitting of the Moon was also recorded as being one of the signs of the Day of Judgment.

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