Priority: b, Quality: b

Shaqq al-Qamar

From WikiShia
(Redirected from Splitting of the moon)
Jump to: navigation, search

Shaqq al-Qamar (Arabic: شَقُّ القَمَر), or the splitting of the moon, was a miracle by the Prophet Muhammad (s). According to Islamic sources, the Prophet (s) pointed his finger to the moon, and then the moon was split into two parts. The miracle occurred in the early years after Bi'tha. Some objections have been raised about whether the story is true, and some Muslim scholars have tried to reply to these objections.

The Story

According to al-Shaykh al-Tusi, Muslims had consensus over the occurrence of Shaqq al-Qamar, and since denials appeared years later, they do not undermine the validity of the consensus.[1] However, there are disagreements in hadiths with regard to details and how the event took place. According to hadiths, the Prophet (s) split the moon into two parts as a miracle, and then returned it to the original state. This part of the story is agreed upon by Islamic sources.[2]

According to the majority of Shiite and Sunni exegetes, the first verses of the Qur'an 54 were revealed about the splitting of the moon,

The Hour has drawn near and the moon is split. If they see a sign, they turn away, and say, 'An incessant magic!'

Qur'an 54: 1-2

Accounts of the Shaqq al-Qamar miracle can be found in historical, hadith, and exegetical sources. The story appears in historical sources, such as al-Bidaya wa l-nihaya,[3] al-Fitan,[4] al-Khara'ij wa l-jara'ih,[5] and Miqrizi's Imta' al-asma'.[6] Qadi Abd al-Rahman al-Iji takes hadiths of Shaqq al-Qamar to be mutawatir.[7]

In Sunni sources of hadiths, the story of Shaqq al-Qamar is cited from six people, Anas b. Malik,[8] Jubayr b. Mut'im,[9] Hudhayfa b. Yaman,[10] Ibn Abbas,[11] Abd Allah b. Umar,[12] and Ibn Mas'ud.[13]

There are two hadiths concerning Shaqq al-Qamar in Shiite sources of hadiths and Qur'anic exegesis;

  1. Al-Shaykh al-Tusi in his al-Amali[14]
  2. Tafsir al-Qummi[15]

Time of Occurrence

The miracle took place in the early years after the Bi'tha in Mecca. Allama Tabataba'i maintains that it took place on the night of Dhu l-Hajja 14, 5 AH/May 6, 627.[16]

Polytheists' Motivation for the Request

Polytheists asked the Prophet (s) to split the moon because they believed that magic could only act on earthly phenomena. Thus, they asked the Prophet (s) to do something on heavenly objects to prove that he was not a magician.[17]

Muslim Scholars' Views

Muslim scholars have adopted two approaches to Shaqq al-Qamar. The majority of Shiite and Sunni exegetes of the Qur'an acknowledge that the event did take place and take the first three verses of Sura al-Qamar (Qur'an 54) to concern the miracle of Shaqq al-Qamar.[18] With slight differences, the story appears in Shiite and Sunni books. Many scholars believe that there is consensus,[19] tawatur,[20] or istifada[21] with regard to the story.

The second approach, adopted by people such as Hasan al-Basri, Ata' Khurasani, and Balkhi is that the first verses of Sura al-Qamar are concerned with events happening prior to the resurrection, or indications of the hour.[22]

Questions and Objections

The story has been challenged in different respects, such as the following,

  • The first objection: According to Ptolemaic cosmology, it is impossible for heavenly spheres to split from or join each other.:
The answer is that, on modern cosmology, this is not impossible. Moreover, the genesis of the Solar System and the appearance of meteorites constitute evidence against such a claim.[23]
  • The second objection: If such a thing has happened, why is it not reported in independent historical sources?:
Muslim scholars tried to reply to this objection in various ways. For example, the event took place at night when many people were asleep, Arabs were not interested in the observation of the sky at the time, and other similar replies.[24]

The Alleged Observation of the Splitting of the Moon in NASA Research

In recent years, a story went viral on the internet claiming that images taken of the moon by Apollo show that there was a fissure on the surface of the moon, known as Rima Ariadaeus. Zaghlul al-Najjar published a book in 2004, in which he reproduced one of the images. The claim was later denied by NASA scientists. They believe that there is no evidence that the moon was split into two and then reassembled at any point in the past. Moreover, Rima Ariadaeus is a young phenomenon.

See Also

Notes

  1. Ṭūsī, al-Tibyān, vol. 9, p. 443.
  2. Ṭūsī, al-Tibyān, vol. 9, p. 443.
  3. Ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya, vol. 3, p. 146; vol. 6, p. 82.
  4. Mirwazī, al-Fitan, p. 367.
  5. Rāwandī, al-Kharāʾij wa l-jarāʾiḥ, vol. 1, p. 31.
  6. Maqrizī, Imtāʿ al-asmāʾ, vol. 5, p. 25.
  7. Ījī, al-Mawāqif, vol. 8, p. 256.
  8. Ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya, vol. 3, p. 146; Bukhārī, Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, vol. 3, p. 146.
  9. Ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya, vol. 3, p. 146; Ḥākim al-Niyshābūrī, al-Mustadrak, vol. 2, p. 513.
  10. Ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya, vol. 3, p. 146.
  11. Ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya, vol. 3, p. 146.
  12. Ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya, vol. 3, p. 146; Ḥākim al-Niyshābūrī, al-Mustadrak, vol. 2, p. 511.
  13. Ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya, vol. 3, p. 146; Ḥākim al-Niyshābūrī, al-Mustadrak, vol. 2, p. 512.
  14. Ṭūsī, al-Amālī, p. 341.
  15. Qummī, Tafsīr al-Qummī, vol. 2, p. 341.
  16. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 19, p. 65.
  17. Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 17, p. 355.
  18. Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 9, p. 282; Fakhr al-Rāzī, Mafātīḥ al-ghayb, vol. 29, p. 337.
  19. Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 9, p. 310.
  20. Ālūsī, Rūḥ al-maʿānī, vol. 14, p. 74.
  21. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 19, p. 60.
  22. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 19, p. 56.
  23. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 23, p. 13-17.
  24. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 19, p. 64-65.

References

  • Ālūsī, Maḥmūd b. ʿAbd Allāh al-. Rūḥ al-maʿānī fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān al-ʿaẓīm. Edited by ʿAlī ʿAbd al-Bārī ʿAṭīyya. Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmīyya, 1415 AH.
  • Bukhārī, Muḥammad b. Ismāʿīl al-. Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī. Istanbul: al-Maktaba al-Islāmīyya li-l-Nashr wa l-Tawzīʿ, [n.d].
  • Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī, Muḥammad b. ʿUmar al-. Mafātīḥ al-ghayb. Third edition. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, 1420 AH.
  • Ḥākim al-Niyshābūrī, Muḥammad b. ʿAbd Allāh al-. Al-Mustadrak ʿalā l-ṣaḥīḥayn. Edited by Muṣṭafā ʿAbd al-Qādir ʿAṭāʾ. Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmīyya, 1411 AH.
  • Ibn Kathīr, Ismāʿīl b. ʿUmar. Al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya. Edited by ʿAlī Shīrī. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, 1408 AH.
  • Ījī, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Aḥmad al-. Al-Mawāqif. Qom: al-Sharīf al-Raḍī, [n.d].
  • Majlisī, Muḥammad Bāqir al-. Biḥār al-anwār. Second edition. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, 1403 AH.
  • Makārim Shīrāzī, Nāṣir. Tafsīr-i nimūna. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, 1374 Sh.
  • Maqrizī, Aḥmad b. ʿAlī. Imtāʿ al-asmāʾ. Edited by Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Ḥamīd al-Namīsī. Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmīyya, 1420 AH.
  • Mirwazī, Naʿīm b. Ḥammād al-. Al-Fitan. Edited by Suhayl Zakār. Beirut: Dār al-Fikr, 1414 AH.
  • Qummī, ʿAlī b. Ibrāhīm al-. Tafsīr al-Qummī. Fourth edition. Qom: Dār al-Kitāb, 1367 Sh.
  • Rāwandī, Quṭb al-Dīn Saʿīd b. Hibat Allah al-. Al-Kharāʾij wa l-jarāʾiḥ. Qom: Muʾassisat al-Imām al-Mahdī, 1409 AH.
  • Ṭabāṭabāyī, Mūhammad Ḥusayn al-. Al-Mīzān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Second edition. Beirut: Muʾassisat al-Aʿlamī li-l-Maṭbūʿāt, 1974.
  • Ṭabrisī, Faḍl b. al-Ḥasan al-. Majmaʿ al-bayān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Beirut: Muʾassisat al-Aʿlamī li-l-Maṭbūʿāt, 1415 AH.
  • Ṭūsī, Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-. Al-Tibyān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Edited by Aḥmad Qaṣīr al-ʿĀmilī. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, [n.d].
  • Ṭūsī, Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-. Al-Amālī. Qom: Dār al-Thiqāfa, 1414 AH.