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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.

Contents

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,