When Muhammad claimed to receive revelations about the unseen, no one could confirm or deny it since people never saw Gabriel. However, when any historical incident happened during the life of Muhammad, then many people became DIRECT eye-witnesses to that historical event, and they also narrated that incident further. However, the problem for Muslims was that many of those incidents were exposing Muhammad and Islam and proving them to be false. 

Subsequent generations of Islamic apologists took two approaches to control the damage:

  1. Firstly, they fabricated hundreds of thousands of false Ahadith to counter genuine incidents. 
  2. Secondly, they created Ilm-ul-Hadith (Science of Hadith), which should serve as a TOOL to declare any incident as WEAK and UNRELIABLE which exposed Muhammad/Islam.

It is impossible to prove these Ahadith as a fabrication as all hadith transmitters were Muslims. However, we are fortunate that contradictions in these fabrications sometimes expose them as lies.

The incident of the moon splitting

Numerous authentic and widely transmitted (Mutawatir) Ahadith assert the occurrence of the moon splitting incident.

Ibn Kathir writes in the commentary of verse 54:1 (link):

قد كان هذا في زمان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، كما ورد ذلك في الأحاديث المتواترة بالأسانيد الصحيحة 

The incident of the splitting of the moon occured during the time of Allah's Messenger, according to Mutawatir traditions which have Sahih (authentic) chains of transmission. 

The incident is as under:

The people of Mecca asked Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) to show them a miracle. So he showed them the moon split in two halves between which they saw the Hira' mountain.


These are undoubtedly fabricated traditions and falsehoods propagated by Muslim transmitters of Ahadith.

Fortunately, the Quran itself documents the persistent demand of the Pagans/Jews, who repeatedly asked Muhammad/Allah to provide any sign or miracle as evidence of Muhammad's prophethood. However, Muhammad/Allah failed to produce a single sign or miracle. Instead of demonstrating any miraculous signs, the Quran offered various EXCUSES for Muhammad's inability to do so. These Quranic Excuses included:

  1. Muhammad's inability to perform miracles while he is only a human.
  2. Allah's decision not to send miracles to Muhammad at this time, as previous nations had rejected the miracles of earlier prophets.
  3. Allah does not show any miracle to the pagans as He has already DECIDED that the pagans would not get guidance. 
  4. Muhammad's refusal to perform miracles for the Jews due to the sins of their forefathers.
  5. The absence of the predicted miracle of the sky falling on the Meccans, is attributed to Muhammad's presence among them and Allah didn't want Muhammad to be hurt due to any divine punishment.

Dear Reader, please contemplate these questions:

  1. If the people of Mecca indeed saw the splitting of the moon, why then they were demanding Muhammad to bring a miracle as proof of his prophethood?
  2. And why didn't Allah/Muhammad not simply refer to the incident of the splitting of the moon as proof of Muhammad's prophethood?"

However, the Quran consistently offered numerous explanations without ever using the alleged incident of the moon splitting to address the pagans' challenge to provide a miracle. Not only the Quran, but the entire Hadith literature is also devoid of any instance where Muhammad used this alleged miracle of splitting the moon in response to the pagans' demand for a miracle.

Let us see the details about these Quranic Excuses here to understand it.


The 1st Quranic Excuse: Muhammad cannot show a Miracle while he is only a human

This incident occurred in Mecca. Muhammad used to threaten the Meccans, warning them to believe in his prophethood or face the consequences, claiming that his Allah would make the sky fall upon them in fragments. 

Quran 17:90-93: And they (the polytheists of Quraish) say, "...  Or you make the sky fall upon us in fragments AS YOU HAVE (previously) CLAIMED ...

Actually, the pagan Meccans not only accepted this challenge by Muhammad but also extended it and asked Muhammad to show other miracles too and they would believe in his prophethood. 

However, Muhammad/Allah failed to deliver on this promise.

Therefore, Muhammad was forced to come up with an EXCUSE for his failure to fulfil his promise and show any miracle. And he made the following excuse:

Quran 17:90-93:

And they (the polytheists of Quraish) say, "We will not believe you until you break open for us from the ground a spring. Or [until] you have a garden of palm trees and grapes and make rivers gush forth within them in force [and abundance] Or you make the sky fall upon us in fragments as you have (previously) claimed or you bring Allah and the angels before [us] Or you have a house of ornament [i.e., gold] or you ascend into the sky. And [even then], we will not believe in your ascension until you bring down to us a book we may read."  Say: "Glory to my Lord. (I cannot do it while) I am only man and a messenger." 

The writer of the Quran (i.e., Muhammad himself) attempted to justify his failure to perform miracles by claiming that he was merely a messenger and could not perform miracles.

However, the pagan Meccans had issued this challenge not only to Muhammad but also to Muhammad's god (i.e., Allah was already automatically included in this challenge). They believed that if Allah truly existed, He should have demonstrated a miracle to them.

Moreover, it was Muhammad/Allah who promised that the sky would fall upon them if they didn't believe in Muhammad's prophethood. Yet, both Muhammad and his Allah failed to fulfill their promise.

Furthermore, if Muhammad's lack of miracles was due to his role as a mere messenger, why did previous prophets demonstrate miracles to validate their prophethood? For instance:

  • Jesus spoke as an infant in the cradle, gave life to birds made of clay, Cured the blind and the leper and gave life to the dead by God’s permission (Quran 5:110 and 3:49).
  • Moses received nine miracles, including his staff transforming into a dragon, his hand becoming radiant, the plague of locusts/lice, the swarm of frogs, and the parting of the sea for the Children of Israel (Quran 17:101).
  • Solomon comprehended the language of animals and birds and controlled jinn and winds (Quran 27:16-17, 34:12-13),
  • while Joseph interpreted dreams and predicted future events (Quran 12:46-47, 40:51-52).

And the Meccans were correct in their demand. Even the Quran mentioned their argument:

Quran 21:5: So let him bring us a sign just as the previous [messengers] were sent [with miracles]."

So, if the earlier prophets were able to demonstrate miracles despite being humans, why then Muhammad could not?

And then the Quran claims that Allah does not change his PRACTICE (i.e. Sunnah):

Quran 17:77: This has been Our Way with the Messengers whom We sent before you. You will find no change in our Practice (i.e. the Sunnah of Allah).

Quran 48:23: [This is] the established practice of Allah which has occurred before. And never will you find in the Practice of Allah any change.

Quran 35:43: But you will never find in the practice of Allah any change, and you will never find in the practice of Allah any alteration.

The Quran presents a contradiction regarding the expectation of miracles from prophets. In one instance, it suggests that prophets are not required to display miracles as evidence of their prophethood, yet in another, it describes earlier prophets performing miracles to prove their legitimacy. This raises a question: Why did earlier prophets show miracles to disbelievers, but Muhammad and his Allah refused to do so?

The answer lies in the fact that the Quran recounts fictional tales of earlier prophets' miracles, which cannot be verified since they took place in the distant past. Conversely, when it came to Muhammad and his Allah, they were expected to perform miracles in real-time, right before the very eyes of the Kuffar Meccans who challenged them. However, they failed to deliver on these expectations.


This Excuse in the Quranic Verse also challenges those so-called Sahih Islamic Traditions (Ahadith) which claim that Muhammad showed Meccans the miracle of the splitting of the moon. Had Muhammad really split the moon, then he would have presented it to the Kuffar Meccans as proof of his prophethood. 


The 2nd Quranic Excuse: Allah would not send a miracle to Muhammad this time while nations of earlier prophets denied the miracles of earlier prophets

This incident also happened in Mecca.  

Quran 17:58-59:

وَإِن مِّن قَرْيَةٍ إِلَّا نَحْنُ مُهْلِكُوهَا قَبْلَ يَوْمِ ٱلْقِيَٰمَةِ أَوْ مُعَذِّبُوهَا عَذَابًا شَدِيدًا ۚ كَانَ ذَٰلِكَ فِى ٱلْكِتَٰبِ مَسْطُورًا وَمَا مَنَعَنَآ أَن نُّرْسِلَ بِٱلْءَايَٰتِ إِلَّآ أَن كَذَّبَ بِهَا ٱلْأَوَّلُونَ ۚ

There is not a population but We shall destroy it before the Day of Judgment or punish it with a dreadful Penalty: that is written in the (eternal) Record. And We REFRAIN from sending the signs (now in front of Kuffar Meccans), only because the men of former generations treated them as false.

Meccans repeatedly asked Muhammad for a miracle, but he always offered new excuses for not delivering one. Earlier Muhammad claimed he could not perform any miracle while he was only a human being. But that excuse was shaky as the challenge was not limited to Muhammad only, but his god (i.e. Allah) was also automatically included in that challenge. 

Thus, Muhammad was forced to change his excuse. This time, he came up with a new excuse that Allah had ceased sending new miracles/signs since earlier people rejected them.

In simpler terms, Allah's practice (i.e. Sunnah of Allah ) supposedly changed when earlier people denied the signs. However, this contradicts the Quranic CLAIM that Allah's Sunnah never changes.

As they say, where there's a contradiction, there's a lie.

Furthermore, it's worth noting that there's also a flaw in Verse 58:

Quran 17:58:

There is not a population but We shall destroy it before the Day of Judgment or punish it with a dreadful Penalty: that is written in the (eternal) Record.

Muhammad recounted various tales in the Quran about ancient prophets like Thamud, 'Aad and Saleh etc., describing how their communities were destroyed by Allah. Muhammad presumed that nobody could fact-check his accounts by journeying into the past. However, he made a critical error.

The problem lies in the fact that, according to the Quran, Jesus also performed miracles in front of the Jews and Romans. He spoke as an infant in the cradle, gave life to birds made of clay, cured the blind and the leper, and even brought the dead back to life, all by God's permission (Quran 5:110 and 3:49). Yet, neither the Jews nor the Romans believed in him. Despite this, neither the Jews nor the Romans of Jesus's era were destroyed (which again goes against the Quranic Promise of Destruction).

The incident of Jesus took place in the recent past, making it feasible to verify its authenticity through historical records. Thus, this claim in the Quran has been exposed as a lie.


The 3rd Excuse: Muhammad shouldn't ask Allah for a Miracle while Allah had misguided the Pagans

Furthermore, the previous two excuses naturally failed to satisfy people regarding Muhammad's/Allah's inability to show any miracle. They continued to ask Muhammad to bring a miracle as proof of his prophethood. To deflect their demand, Muhammad introduced another excuse:

  • He (Muhammad) cannot ask Allah for any miracle because Allah does not want the pagans to be guided.
  • And if he (Muhammad) persists in asking Allah for a miracle, then Allah will punish him, and he (Muhammad) will be among the ignorant.

Quran 6:35:

وَإِن كَانَ كَبُرَ عَلَيْكَ إِعْرَاضُهُمْ فَإِنِ ٱسْتَطَعْتَ أَن تَبْتَغِىَ نَفَقًا فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ أَوْ سُلَّمًا فِى ٱلسَّمَآءِ فَتَأْتِيَهُم بِـَٔايَةٍ ۚ وَلَوْ شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ لَجَمَعَهُمْ عَلَى ٱلْهُدَىٰ ۚ فَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ ٱلْجَٰهِلِينَ

If you (O Muhammad) find rejection by the unbelievers so unbearable, then seek a tunnel into the ground or a ladder into the sky in order to bring them a SIGN, but [remember that], had God willed it, He would have guided all of them. Do not be among the ignorant (by asking a SIGN from Allah).

Once more, this verse serves as evidence that no miracle was shown to the Meccan disbelievers by Muhammad/Allah. 


The 4th Quranic Excuse: Muhammad will not show the miracle to the Jews while their forefathers sinned

This incident happened just after Muhammad's migration to Medina when he had to prove his prophethood to the Jews of Medina. 

The Bible contains several passages that highlight the phenomenon of divine acceptance of a person's sacrificial offering through the appearance of a mysterious fire that consumes the offering. These instances can be found in verses such as Judges 6:20-21, 13:19-20, and 2 Chronicles 7:1-2.

Actually, Muhammad had already made a mistake, and he had also previously confirmed this method of the miracle of fire in the Quran 5:27, in the story of Adam and his sons, where a fire appeared and consumed the offering of one son who sacrificed a sheep.

Quran 5:27:

Recite to them the truth of the story of the two sons of Adam. Behold! they each presented a sacrifice (to Allah): It was accepted from one, but not from the other.

Tafsir Tabari, under verse 5:27 (link):

It was narrated from as-Suddi, in his narration from Abu Maalik and from Abu Saalih from Ibn ‘Abbaas, and from Murrah from Ibn Mas‘ood, and from some of the companions of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him): ... Habeel (Abel) offered a fat lamb as his offering, while Qabeel (Cain) presented a sheaf of corn but secretly took out and consumed a large portion of the corn. Subsequently, fire descended from the heavens and consumed Habeel's offering, while Qabeel's offering remained untouched and unaccepted. In response, Qabeel became enraged and threatened to kill Habeel, vowing that he would not allow him to marry his sister.

Grade: Sahih (Albani)

Consequently, when Muhammad asserted his prophethood, the Jews asked him to provide proof through the manifestation of a miracle, specifically the fire consuming his offering.

Muhammad found himself unable to dismiss this demand outright, as he already acknowledged it in the story of Adam in the Quran.

However, Muhammad resorted to a different approach, offering a new excuse. He accepted the validity of the miracle involving the fire accepting the offering, but he refused to showcase this miracle. He justified his inability to show this miracle by accusing the Jews of Medina that their forefathers sinned by killing previous prophets

Quran 3:183:

They (the Jews) said: "Allah took our promise not to believe in any messenger unless He showed us a sacrifice consumed by Fire (From heaven)." Say: "There came to you messengers before me, with clear Signs and even with what ye ask for: why then did ye slay them, if ye speak the truth?"

However, this excuse by the writer of the Quran does not hold up under scrutiny for several reasons.

Firstly, it is unjust to punish individuals for the sins of their ancestors. In this case, the writer of the Quran is essentially claiming to hold the Jews of his time accountable for the actions of their forefathers. This contradicts the concept of divine justice, which does not attribute guilt based on lineage.

Secondly, the Jews of Muhammad's era maintained a strong belief in their own holy scriptures, which also indicated that the proof of prophethood involved successfully passing the miracle test. It is understandable that they would request the same evidence from Muhammad and, upon his failure to provide it, reject his claims. This rejection cannot be seen as their fault, as they were simply following the principles outlined in their own religious texts.

Ironically, when the Jewish holy books seemingly predicted the arrival of Muhammad (according to Muslim claims), Muhammad expected the Jews to adhere to their own scriptures. However, when those same holy books instructed them to seek the miracle of fire as a validation of prophethood, Muhammad wanted them to abandon that requirement. This double standard raises questions about consistency and fairness.

Thirdly, the writer of the Quran contradicts his own claims within the text. The Quran repeatedly asserts that the practices of Allah remain unchanging. Yet, in this instance, Muhammad is deviating from that principle by rejecting the miracle of fire as a valid proof of prophethood.

Quran 48:23: [This is] the established way of Allah which has occurred before. And never will you find in the practice of Allah any change.

Quran 35:43:  But you will never find in the practice of Allah any change, and you will never find in the practice of Allah any alteration.

Since Muhammad was unable to perform the miracle of fire in front of the Jews, a sudden shift occurred in the ways of Allah to accommodate his inability to demonstrate miracles.

Fourthly, it is worth noting that compared to the ancestors of the Jews, the ancestors of the pagan Meccans (Mushrikeen) did not have a history of killing prophets. However, Muhammad didn't show any miracle to them too by making other excuses. 

Muhammad got so much exposure in this incident, that despite all his struggles to make the Jews of Medina happy in the beginning (by adopting many Biblical laws in Islamic Sharia), not even 10 Jews of Medina believed in him and converted to Islam;

Sahih Bukhari, 3941:

The Prophet said: "Had only ten Jews believe me, all the Jews would definitely have believed me." 


The 5th Quranic Excuse: The Miracle of the Sky Falling on the Meccans Did Not Occur due to Muhammad's Presence Among Them

This incident happened later in Medina after Muhammad had also failed to show the miracle of fire to the Jews.

Quran 8:32

And when they [Meccans] said, "O Allah, if this should be the truth from You, then rain down upon us stones from the sky or bring us a painful punishment." But Allah did not punish them while you, [O Muhammad], was among them, and Allah would not punish them while they sought forgiveness.

This verse was revealed in Medina after the Battle of Badr (in the 2nd Hijri Year), in which Muhammad got victory against the Meccan pagans. 

Is it not strange and ridiculous that AFTER MANY MANY YEARS, Allah remembered to tell the reason why He didn't let the sky fall on Meccan pagans? During the 13 years of the Meccan life of Muhammad, the pagans were constantly demanding and challenging Muhammad/Allah to fulfil their promise, but Allah uttered not a single word. 

Two more pertinent questions arise from this narrative:

  • Firstly, why did Allah not choose to punish the Meccans with the miracle of the falling sky during Muhammad's absence or just after his migration to Medina? Due to no divine punishment, the Meccan pagans succeeded in waging wars against Muhammad, even killing many Muslims and even breaking the teeth of Muhammad in the Battle of Uhud. But despite breaking the teeth of Muhammad, and despite Muhammad's absence among them, still no sky fell on them. 
  • Secondly, the Meccans did not solely request the miracle of punishment; rather, they sought any miraculous manifestation (even without any punishment), similar to those experienced by the previous prophets, that could substantiate Muhammad's claim to prophethood. 

 Please see the following verse again where they are also asking Muhammad for any miracle (even without punishment), and they were ready to believe in his prophethood. 

Quran 17:90-93:

And they (the polytheists of Quraish) say, "We will not believe you until (1) you break open for us from the ground a spring. (2) Or [until] you have a garden of palm trees and grapes and make rivers gush forth within them in force [and abundance] Or you make the SKY FALL UPON US IN FRAGMENTS AS YOU HAVE CLAIMED (3) or you bring Allah and the angels before [us] (4) Or you have a house of ornament [i.e., gold] (5) or you ascend into the sky. And [even then], we will not believe in your ascension until you bring down to us a book we may read."  Say: "Glory to my Lord. (I cannot do it while) I am only man and a messenger." 

Thus, Muhammad along with his Allah failed to show even any simple miracle without any punishment, as it happened in the cases of previous prophets. 

Islamic Excuse: The incident of the splitting of the moon is also present in the Quran

Islamic preachers assert that the following verse of the Quran confirms that the miracle of moon splitting indeed happened.

The Quran confirms that the moon splitting incident indeed happened.
Quran 54:1  
ٱقۡتَرَبَتِ ٱلسَّاعَةُ وَٱنشَقَّ ٱلۡقَمَرُ
The Hour (of Judgment) is nigh, and the moon is cleft asunder (Translation by Yusuf Ali)
The grammar that is used for وَٱنشَقَّ (cleft asunder) is "perfect verb فعل ماض"  (See the CorpusQuran Website for grammar) which means this incident has already happened in the past. 

And we respond to this claim as under:

Firstly: The verse talks about the splitting of the moon in the FUTURE

The correct understanding of this verse is:

  • This verse does not tell about any 'past' incident where the moon has already been split. 
  • But this verse is figuratively talking about the 'FUTURE', where the Hour WILL come.
  • And when the hour will come, only at that time the moon will also split. 
  • And the moon will not split into TWO EQUAL parts (as it allegedly happened according to Ahadith), but it will split into MANY parts (i.e. in the sense of total destruction). 

Muslim translator  M. A. S. Abdel Haleem  wrote in the footnote of this verse (link):

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.

There are traditional Muslim Scholars, who also mentioned the same:

Al-Raghib al-Isfahani, Al-Mawardi and Al-Zamakhshari in their commentaries, in addition to mentioning the miracle, also note that the second half of verse 54:1 can be read as "and the moon will be cleaved", referring to one of the signs of the Islamic end of times.

For example, look at this verse, where the same grammar of "perfect verb فعل ماض"  is used (please see the same CorpusQuran Website for grammar):

Quran 55:37:

فَإِذَا ٱنشَقَّتِ ٱلسَّمَآءُ

When the sky is rent asunder (Translation by Yusuf Ali)

We can see that the sky has not been asunder in the past, but the Quran is telling about a future event in this verse. 


Secondly: The moon will not split into Two Equal parts, but into MANY parts

Islamic literature claims that Muhammad split the moon into two equal parts. 

However, the word وَٱنشَقَّ does not mean here "splitting into TWO Equal Parts", but it is used in the meaning of "Total Destruction"  i.e. to "split asunder/cleft asunder into MANY Parts".

For example:

Quran 55:37:
فَإِذَا ٱنشَقَّتِ ٱلسَّمَآءُ
And when the heaven splitteth asunder

This does not mean that heaven will split asunder into TWO Equal Parts, but it means total destruction. Similarly:

Quran 50:44:
یَوۡمَ تَشَقَّقُ الۡاَرۡضُ
On the day when the earth splitteth asunder from them

Again, this does not mean that the Earth will split into Two Equal Parts, but it means total destruction.

Islamic Excuse: 3000 Ahadith about different miracles of the Prophet cannot be wrong

An Islamic apologist wrote:

Dismissing Hadith entirely in order to formulate your thesis is the set up of a strawman because you're not working within the full framework of religious texts that are followed by the religious community. Thus, your argument can only validly work against Hadith Rejectors/Quranists, not against mainstream Islam. Per mainstream Islam, there are more than enough Hadith that demonstrate that Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) did miracles, some of which are indeed touched upon in the Qur'an [e.g., the moon splitting, night journey and ascension].

Our Response:

There existed no witness of the alleged miracle of night journey and ascension, and thus Muhammad never presented it as proof in front of the Pagans/Jews. 

Only Muslims regard the science of hadith as reliable. Therefore, using it as evidence in this discussion is entirely futile unless you can prove the reliability of the science of hadith.

There are numerous so-called Sahih (authentic) and Ahadith that claim the occurrence of the incident of the splitting of the moon, such as those found in:

However, all of them are contradicted by the Quranic verses themselves, which assert that Allah had ceased sending signs/miracles to the disbelievers of Muhammad's era, as earlier disbelieving nations failed to heed signs/miracles (Quran 17:58-59).

Quran 17:58-59:

وَإِن مِّن قَرْيَةٍ إِلَّا نَحْنُ مُهْلِكُوهَا قَبْلَ يَوْمِ ٱلْقِيَٰمَةِ أَوْ مُعَذِّبُوهَا عَذَابًا شَدِيدًا ۚ كَانَ ذَٰلِكَ فِى ٱلْكِتَٰبِ مَسْطُورًا وَمَا مَنَعَنَآ أَن نُّرْسِلَ بِٱلْءَايَٰتِ إِلَّآ أَن كَذَّبَ بِهَا ٱلْأَوَّلُونَ ۚ

There is not a population but We shall destroy it before the Day of Judgment or punish it with a dreadful Penalty: that is written in the (eternal) Record. And We REFRAIN from sending the signs (now in front of Kuffar Meccans), only because the men of former generations treated them as false. (Translated by Yusuf Ali)

Thus, Muhammad himself never presented this so-called splitting of the moon as a miracle of his prophethood, despite constant demands from the Meccans to demonstrate any miracle.

This serves as sufficient evidence that no such incident of moon splitting by Muhammad ever occurred, and all those numerous so-called Sahih (and Mutawatir) Ahadith regarding that incident are nothing more than fabrications by Muslims.

Therefore, Ahadith can never be relied upon, as Muslim transmitters of hadith were engaging in the fabrication of Ahadith.

If these numerous Sahih (and Mutawatir) Ahadith are proven to be fabrications in the case of the splitting of the moon, then what assurance is there that other 3000 Ahadith concerning other miracles are not fabrications as well?