Thursday, May 21, 2009


Islamic view of miracles

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Al-Qurʾān - (القرآن)
Quran Kareem
Miracle in the Qur'an can be defined as a supernatural intervention in the life of human beings.[1] According to this definition, miracles are present "in a threefold sense: in sacred history, in connection with the Islamic prophet Muhammad himself and in relation to revelation."[1] The Qur'an does not use the technical Arabic word for miracle (Muʿd̲j̲iza) literally meaning "that by means of which [the Prophet] confounds, overwhelms, his opponents". It rather uses the term Ayah (literally meaning sign).[2] The term Ayah is used in the Qur'an in the above mentioned threefold sense: it refers to the "verses" of the Qur'an (believed to be the divine speech in human language; presented by Muhammad as his chief miracle); as well as to miracles of it and the signs (particularly those of creation).[1][2]
In order to defend the possibility of miracles and God's omnipotence against the encroachment of the independent secondary causes, medieval Muslim theologians rejected the idea of cause and effect in essence, but accepted it as something that facilitates humankind's investigation and comprehension of natural processes. They argued that the nature was composed of uniform atoms that were "re-created" at every instant by God. Thus if the soil was to fall, God would have to create and re-create the accident of heaviness for as long as the soil was to fall. For Muslim theologians, the laws of nature were only the customary sequence of apparent causes: customs of God.[3]



A systematic definition of miracles performed by apostles can be found in the work of the Muslim scholar al-Īd̲j̲ī Mawāḳif, historian A.J. Wensinck states.[2] The main purpose of miracle is to prove the sincerity of the apostle and has to satisfy the following conditions:[2]
  1. It must be performed by God
  2. "It must be contrary to the usual course of things"
  3. It should be impossible to contradict it
  4. "It must happen at the hands of him who claims to be an apostle
  5. "It must be in conformity with his announcement of it, and the miracle itself must not be a disavowal of his claim"
  6. "It must follow on his claim"[2]

Splitting of the moon

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Muḥammad - (محمد)
Last Islamic Prophet
The splitting of the moon (Arabic: انشقاق القمر‎) was a miracle attributed to the prophet Muhammad,[1] derived from the Qur'anic verse 54:1-2, and mentioned by Muslim traditions such as the Asbab al-nuzul (context of revelation). Some Muslim commentators interpret the event as a literal split in the moon, while others identify it as an optical illusion. Some assert that the verse refers to something that will happen at the day of judgement, not to a miracle performed by the prophet.
Early traditions supporting a literal interpretation are transmitted on the authority of companions of Muhammad such as Ibn Abbas, Anas bin Malik, Abdullah bin Masud and others.[2][3] According to the Indian Muslim scholar Abdullah Yusuf Ali, the moon will split again when the day of judgment approaches. He says that the verse may also have an allegorical meaning, i.e. the matter has become clear as the moon.[4][5] The Qur'anic verse 54:1-2 was part of the debate between medieval Muslim theologians and Muslim philosophers over the issue of the inviolability of heavenly bodies. Philosophers held that the heavenly bodies could not be pierced because unlike the terrestrial matter, they were not composed of the four fundamental elements of earth, air, fire, and water.[5] Some other rationalistic Muslim thinkers had difficulties accepting any preternatural event, and sometimes argued that only an appearance of the split of the moon had happened.[4]
The narrative was used by some later Muslims to convince others of the prophethood of Muhammad.[4] It has also inspired many Muslim poets, especially in India.[6]


The Qur'an and Islamic tradition

Verse 54:1-2 of the Qur'an reads:
بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيم اقْتَرَبَتِ السَّاعَةُ وَانشَقَّ الْقَمَرُ وَإِن يَرَوْا آيَةً يُعْرِضُوا وَيَقُولُوا سِحْرٌ مُّسْتَمِرٌّ
Translation: The hour drew nigh and the moon did rend asunder. And if they see a miracle they turn aside and say: Transient magic.
Early traditions and stories explain this verse as a miracle performed by God during the life of Muhammad in order to convince Quraysh of his prophethood.[7][8] Virtually all Muslim commentators accept the authenticity of those traditions. The following verse 54:2, "But if they see a Sign, they turn away, and say, 'This is (but) transient magic'" is taken in the support of this view.[8] The classical commentator Ibn Kathir provides a list of the early traditions mentioning the incident: A tradition transmitted on the authority of Anas bin Malik states that Muhammad split the moon after the pagan Meccans asked for a miracle. Another tradition from Malik transmitted through other chains of narrations, mentions that the mount Nur was visible between the two parts of the moon (Mount Nur is located in Hijaz. Muslims believe that Muhammad received his first revelations from God in a cave on this mountain, Cave Hira'). A tradition narrated on the authority of Jubayr ibn Mut'im with a single chain of transmission says that the two parts of the moon stood on two mountains. This tradition further states that the Meccan responded by saying "Muhammad has taken us by his magic...If he was able to take us by magic, he will not be able to do so with all people." Traditions transmitted on the authority of Ibn Abbas briefly mention the incident and do not provide much details.[2] Traditions transmitted on the authority of Abdullah bin Masud describe the incident as follows:[2][9]
We were along with God's Messenger at Mina, that moon was split up into two. One of its parts was behind the mountain and the other one was on this side of the mountain. God's Messenger said to us: Bear witness to this 039:6725
Al-Zamakhshari, a famous commentator of the Qur'an, acknowledged the splitting of the moon as one of Muhammad's miracles. But he also suggested that the splitting might take place only on the day of judgment.[5] The Muslim scholar Yusuf Ali provides three different interpretations of the verse. He holds that perhaps all three are applicable to the verse: Moon once appeared cleft asunder at the time of Muhammad in order to convince the unbelievers. It will split again when the day of judgment approaches (here the prophetic past tense is taken to indicate the future). Yusuf Ali connects this incident with the disruption of the solar system mentioned in 75:8-9. Lastly, he says that the verses can be metaphorical, meaning that the matter has become clear as the moon.[10]
Dissenting commentators who do not accept the miracle narration such as Hasan al-Basri (d. 110 H.) and 'Ata al-Khurasani (d. 135 H.) believe that the verse only refers to the splitting of the moon at the day of judgment.[4][8][11] Likewise, M. A. S. Abdel Haleem writes:
The Arabic uses the past tense, as if that Day were already here, to help the reader/listener imagine how it will be. Some traditional commentators hold the view that this describes an actual event at the time of the Prophet, but it clearly refers to the end of the world.[12]
Some Muslim scholars postulate and believe that a (now known) Astronomical event must have happened at that time, which made it appear to the observers as if the moon had been split in two, because the phenomenon was seen at least in India as well.[13] One of the possible lunar events could be a large asteroid hitting the moon, and the plume and debri from the strike blocking enough lunar view to make it appear as if the Moon had split in two. A second possibility could be a celestial body passing between Earth and the Moon and blocking some part of lunar surface for short time. Moreover, in the light of the verse that was revealed at that time, the word "Saa'at" also means spiritual revolution, so the event also symbolized the end of the Pagan Arab culture and religions which used Moon as their symbol or worshipped moon gods. Though a few other Muslim thinkers had difficulties accepting this event and other preternatural events and, according to Annemarie Schimmel, sometimes tried to "de-mythologize" it.[4][5] For example, Shah Waliullah of Delhi (d. 1762) said that the event "may have been a kind of hallucination, or perhaps caused by a smoke, by the swooping down of a star, a cloud, or an eclipse of the sun or the moon which might be given the impression that the moon was actually split in two."[4]
The Islamic scholar Al-Ghazali wrote the following about the splitting of the moon; "As for the splitting of the moon, it was a nighttime sign that occurred while people were asleep and unaware. It only occurred for a moment and so it was only witnessed by those of Quraysh with whom the Prophet (S) and whom he directed to look at it. Furthermore, only a piece of it broke off from it, and then it returned whole in a moment. How many times will a star fall or an earthquake or frightening matters like wind or lightning strike occur at night and only select individuals will realize it. Furthermore, this will only be know to the one who was told to look at it and then it split after his being told and after the challenge. As for the one who did not know of that and his eyes happened to see it, he might think a delusion that quickly disappeared, or a star that was beneath the moon and then the moon cleared it, or a fragment of a cloud that covered up a piece of the moon. For this reason, it was not extensively reported (lam yatawātar naqluh)."

In later Islam

The narrative was used by some later Muslims to convince others of the prophethood of Muhammad. Annemarie Schimmel for example quotes the following from Muslim scholar Qadi Iyad who lived in Ceuta in Spain:[4]
It has not been said of any people on the earth that the moon was observed that night such that it could be stated that it was not split. Even if this had been reported from many different places, so that one would have to exclude the possibility that all agreed upon a lie, yet, we would not accept this as proof to the contrary, for the moon is not seen in the same way by different people.... An eclipse is visible in one country but not in the other one; in one place it is total, in the other one only partial.
Western historians such as A.J. Wensinck and Denis Gril, reject the historicity of the miracle arguing that the Qur'an itself denies miracles, in their traditional sense, in connection with Muhammad.[6][14]

Debate over the inviolability of heavenly bodies

Muhammad Splits the Moon. Anonymous 16th-century watercolor from a Falnama, a Persian book of prophecy. Muhammad is the veiled figure on the right.
The Qur'anic verse 54:1-2 was part of the debate between medieval Muslim theologians and Muslims philosophers over the issue of the inviolability of heavenly bodies. The philosophers held that nature was composed of four fundamental elements: earth, air, fire, and water. Philosophers however held that the composition of heavenly bodies were different. This belief was based on the observation that the motion of heavenly bodies, unlike that of terrestrial bodies, was circular and without any beginnings or ends. This appearance of eternity in the heavenly bodies, led the philosophers to conclude that the heavens were inviolable. Theologians on the other hand proposed their own conception of the terrestrial matter: the nature was composed of uniform atoms that were re-created at every instant by God (the latter idea was added to defend God's omnipotence against the encroachment of the independent secondary causes). According to this conception, the heavenly bodies were essentially the same as the terrestrial bodies, and thus could be pierced.[5]
In order to deal with implication of the traditional understanding of the Qur'anic verse 54:1-2, philosophers argued that the verse should be interpreted metaphorically (e.g. the verse could have referred to a partial lunar eclipse in which then earth obscured part of the moon).[5]


This tradition has inspired many Muslim poets, especially in India.[6] In poetical language Muhammad is sometimes equated with the sun or the morning light. As such, part of a poem from Sana'i, a renowned early twelfth century Persian Sufi poet, reads: "the sun should split the moon in two".[4] Jalal ad-Din Rumi, a renowned Persian-writing poet and mystic, in one of his poems conveys the idea that to be split by the Muhammad's finger is the greatest bliss the lowly moon can hope for and a devoted believers splits the moon with Muhammad's finger.[4] Elaborating on this idea, Abd ar-Rahman Jami, one of the classical poets and mystics of Persia, plays with the shapes and numerical values of Arabic letters in a complicated way: The full moon, Jami says, resembles the Arabic letter for a circular m with the numerical value 40. When Muhammad split the moon, it became like two crescent-shaped n's (the Arabic letter for "n") whose numerical value is 50 each. This would mean that, thanks for the miracle, the value of moon had increased.[4]
In another place Rumi, according to Schimmel, alludes to two miracles attributed to Muhammad in tradition, i.e. the splitting of the moon (which shows the futility of man's scientific approach to nature), and the other that Muhammad being an illiterate:[4]

Modern hoax

NASA photograph of a scar on the surface of the 

moon alleged to be evidence of a healed split


Apollo mission photographs of the Rima Ariadaeus revealed a rift line across the surface of the moon. In 2007, Dr. Zaghloul El Najjar used these photos to circulate a hoax, further propagated by news services such as Jafariya News,[15] claiming that NASA had proven that the Moon had split.[16][17] NASA scientists have stated that no evidence exists that Moon was split into two or more parts any time in the past. NASA scientist Brad Bailey commented, "My recommendation is to not believe everything you read on the internet. Peer-reviewed papers are the only scientifically valid sources of information out there. No current scientific evidence reports that the Moon was split into two (or more) parts and then reassembled at any point in the past."[18]

See also

Cheraman Perumal (Tamil: சேரமான் பெருமாள்; Malayalam:ചേരമാൻ പെരുമാൾ; Arabic: رضي الله عنه) is the royal title used by the rulers of the Chera dynasty in southern India.[1]

Cheraman legend

Cheraman Perumal Juma Masjid, believed by Muslims to have been built upon the request of an unknown Chera dynasty ruler and probably the first Mosque in India
Cheraman Perumal Juma Masjid, believed by Muslims to have been built upon the request of an unknown Chera dynasty ruler and probably the first Mosque in India
A legend tells of the mysterious disappearance and conversion to Islam of the last Cheraman Perumal. It was after the Portuguese' arrival that middle eastern travellers like Sheikh Zainuddin spoke of the legend:
'On a moon-lit night the king 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 governance. In Arabia he met Mohammed and embraced Islam in the presence of Abu Bakr Siddique, who later became the first caliph. Cheraman, who took a Muslim name, Tajuddin, died on his way back to India and was buried on the shore of the Arabian Sea at Salalah 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 Muhammad. 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."[2] Another mosque built during this period was the Malik Dinar Mosque.
William Logan[3] accepted the story as authentic but changed the date of conversion from 345 AD to 825 AD. The Perumal, however, could not have met Muhammad (570–632 AD) either in 825 AD or in 345 AD. The mosque at Kodungallur, purportedly built on the instruction of the last Perumal in 629 AD exhibits the style of middle Chola architecture and a team of historians who studied its foundation safely placed it in the 12th century.[4] The mosque at Madayi, one of ten believed to have built at the instruction of the last Perumal, had a plaque attributing its foundation to Hegira 518 i.e., 1124 AD.[3][5]
Some have argued[who?]that it is not Rama Varma Kulashekhara but Bhaskara Ravi Varma who is the protagonist of this legend. However, the life of Bhaskara Ravi Varma is well documented and there is no report of his having left his empire. Another school of thought believes that he converted to Buddhism or Jainism and there is yet another version according to which Perumal converted to Christianity, went on a pilgrimage to Mylapore, died there and is buried beside the tomb of St. Thomas, the Apostle.[6] Prof. A. Sreedhara Menon concluded that the legend of Rama Varama Kulashekhara's conversion originated as a figment of imagination or as a case of mistaken identity and continued to be reproduced without critical examination.[7][8]
Keralolpathi a book written in the 17th century Kerala, talks about a Cheraman Vadakkan Perumal of Tulunadu origin who established a dynasty who started practicing Matriarchy at Valarpattanam (Valapattanam Kannur). This Tulu Cheraman Perumal alias Kulasekhara was the brother of Tulunadu King Kaviraja Singhan (Kavi Alupendra 1110 to 1160 C.E.) of the Alupas Pandyan Kingdom of Tulunadu. Keralolpathi says that under the orders of Krishnaraya from Aryapura the brother of Tulu king Kaviraja singha invaded Kerala with a army of three hundred and fifty thousand strong Nair army under the leadership of Padamala Nair with the help of Arabs. The Kulasekhara dynasty (Second Cheras) of Tamils, was shifted to Venad following this Tulu invasion which happened at 1102 AD.Though this Tulu Cheraman Vadakkan Perumal according to Keralolpathi was the overlord of all Kerala and Tulunadu for a brief period he faced opposition from Kerala so he sought the help of Arabs. Cheraman Vadakkan Perumal established a Matriarchal dynasty at Kannur by marrying a women of Vellala community from north, i.e. Tulunadus Bunt (community)/Nairs whose descendents were the Kolathiri Kings. Karipathu Kovilakathu Udayavarman Kolathiri, a son of Cheraman Vadakkan Perumla Kulasekhara was crowned the first king of Kolathiri dynasty at Madayi Kotta.Thus after 1200 the Tamils under Rama Varma Kulashekhara Kulasekhara dynasty (Second Cheras) were forced to move to Venad by the Tulu invaders under Kulasekhara alias Cheraman Vadakkan Perumal of the Tulunadus Alupas Pandyan Kingdom in 1102 AD.Keralolpathy mentions the mixture of Tamil Vellalas who mixed with the Nairs, sub castes of Tulunadus Bunt (community) i.e. Nayara Menava Kuruba and Samantha.Keralolpathy mentions Sudra 944 Vellala-Nair Illams which supported this Tulu Cheraman Perumal.The Cheraman Vadakkan Perumal who suspected his General Padamala Nair ordered him to be executed after the false allegations of one of his queens. In his death bed the Padamala Nair advised Kulasekhara to seek the help of Arabs. However the Cheraman Perumal title belongs to the Tamils of Chera Dynasty and not to the invaders from Tulunadu as claimed by the Keralolpathi.[9] Keralolpathi explains the presence of sub castes of Tulu Bunt (community) including Nayara Menava Kuruba and Samantha Kshatriya along with some Tulu Pandyan princes after the 12th century who practised Matriarchy unlike earlier Tamils. ‘’’Tajuddeen Cheraman Perumal (رضي الله عنه)’’’, Arabic تاج الدّين جيرمان برمال was the ruler of southern Indian kingdom of Perumal dynasty. He is the first swahaba (the disciple of Muhammed) to accept the Islamic thoughts and he paved path for the arrival and propagation of Islamic thoughts in Indian subcontinent. He wrote letter to his family members to provide enough land to construct the masjids in Kerala.[10]

Malik Deenar Research Congress

Malk Deenar Research Congress is a historical research center based within the history department at the Academy and promotes historical researches among the Muslim community in India.[11] The Congress is focused on the historical researches among the Muslim community in India and it was named after Sayyiduna Malik Deenar, the first follower of Muhammed, came to India to propagate Islam in the Indian Subcontinent.[12] MDRC promotes seven Full-time research fellows who are working on a Bachelor Degree of Islamic and Contemporary Studies, provided by Darul Huda Islamic University[13] at Malik Deenar Islamic Academy, Kasaragod.[14] Suhail Hidaya Hudawi is the Director of Research Congress. Malik Deenar Great Juma Masjid Committee provides the financial assistance for the congress.[15]

          Crack on moon confirms 

By: Mohamed Ali
NEW YORK, United States: Recent scientific research has confirmed the miracle of Prophet Muhammad Al-Mostafa (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) regarding “moon splitting”.

It has been proved through a picture captured by NASA which was published throughout the world.

The photo from NASA using Apollo 10 and Apollo 11 shows a clear indication (a line) that the Moon was split in past.

The report, spread on scientific foundations in different global parts, said that the picture which illustrates splitting of moon confirms that the moon was split into two halves during its geological age. The report said the scientists were unable to give any scientific explanation for happening of ‘moon splitting’ as any such splitting was never happened to any heavenly body prior to what happened to the moon. The geologists assert that it is impossible that such a line appears save the moon was split into two halves and then it was rejoined.

This miracle of the Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) is mentioned in the beginning of Sura Al-Qamar (the moon) about the split of the moon [54:1] ‘The Hour has drawn near, and the moon has been cleft asunder (the people of Makkah requested Prophet Muhammad to show them a miracle, so he showed them the splitting of the moon)’.

The crew of Apollo 11: Commander Neil A. Armstrong, Command Module
pilot Michael Collins, Lunar Module pilot Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr.
May 1, 1969. (NASA photo ID S69-31739)
The miracle existed at that time for the people of Quraiesh when they challenged the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) to show them a miracle, or a proof that he is the Messenger of Allah.

The challenge was to split the moon in to two pieces when it is full.

As was related by Adbullah ibn Mas‘ud, while they were in Mina one night, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) split the moon into two by a gesture of his index finger. 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. Then, the Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) turned to us and said: ‘Be witnesses!’

The amazing and wonderful phenomenon of the splitting of the Moon when it was full 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.

This was a manifest proof of the truth that the system of the Universe was neither eternal nor immortal it could be disrupted. David Mosa Pidcook (leader on British Muslim Party) said: It was shown in BBC a program where there was a debate between three experts.

The discussion was about if the amount of money paid by NASA to send a human to land on the surface of the moon to study the inner structure of the moon was worth it or not?? The American government authorized a budget of $100, 000, 000, 000 (one hundred thousand million dollar) for this project. One of the discoveries of that project was that there is a layer of material that splits the moon into two halves and the only explanation to this discovery that the moon was split at some times in its history and rejoined!!! 

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