This story was first published on September 7, 2010
Chain message claims to present photographic evidence that the moon was once split in two thereby supposedly giving scientific support to Islamic stories of a miracle once performed by the Prophet Muhammad in which he split the moon into two parts.
The photograph included in the message does not show evidence of a split moon. Instead, the image shows an indentation on the moon’s surface known as a rille. There are many rilles spread across the surface of the moon of varying lengths. None go all the way around the moon as suggested in the message. The claim in the message that a “belt of rocks” goes from the surface of the moon to its centre is untrue.
Subject: MIRACLE. Moon Split
Miracle of Prophet Muhammad
The split of Moon ‘Proved by Scientists’ Moon Split
This picture shows the location of the “Rocky Belt” which shows the moon was once split. The unbelievers of Makkah said to the prophet that if you are truly a prophet split the moon and if you do we shall believe. It was a full moon that night…
And so the prophet prayed to Allah to grant him this miracle, and the moon was split. half was seen over Mount. Saffa, and the other half was seen over Mount. Kaikaan.
The people said that the prophet has placed a spell on us, however if he played trick on us, then he cant play trick on all the people in the world! Abu Jahl then said: “let us wait until the people of Albadiah come, and if they saw the moon split, then it is true, if not then we all know it was a trick of magic. When the people of Albadiah came they said that they too saw the moon split, and the disbelievers said “oh, how powerful Mohammad’s magic is!” Then Allah revealed Surat al Qamar: “The hour has come near and the moon has split, and when they see a sign, they turn and say ‘this is a continuous magic’ and they disbelieved abd followed their desires…”
This took place in the days of the prophet Muhammad in Makkad.
In one of Dr. Zaghlool Al-Najaar’s seminars, in one of the British universities said: “The miracle of the splitting of the moon has been proven recently”… “One of the british brothers who is very concerned about the state of Islam “Dawood Musa” who is the new chairman of the British Muslims party said “While he was searching for a religion, a friend gave him a copy of the Quran translated in english. he opened it & came across surat Al-Qamar & read “The hour has come & the moon has split”, looking at this he said ‘The moon has split?! he then stopped reading & did not open it again.
Then one day while watching a program on the BBC, the broadcaster was talking with 3 American scientists, & the broadcaster was blaming America for spending billions of dollars on space projects, in a time where millions of people are suffering from poverty.The scientists were trying to explain why it is important to go into space exploration. Soon the scientists came to discuss the most expensive trip tp the moon, which costed about $100 billion, so the broadcaster asked them “So to put the American flag on the moon you spent this much money?!”
The scientists stated that this much money was spent because they were trying to study the internal structure of the moon to see what similarities it has with the Earth, & they said that they were surprised to find a ‘Belt of Rocks’ that goes from the surface of the moon right to the inner depths.
Being quite surprised, they gave this information to their geologists, who were also surprised, as they concluded that this couldn’t be unless the moon was once split & resealed. The rocks on the belt are a result of the impact during the time that 2 halves of the moon recombined.
Watching this brother Dawood Mussa jumped off his seat screaming “This is Muhammad’s miracle which occurred more than 1400 years ago, & now the Americans are spending billions of dollars to prove it to the Muslims. He then said “This must surely be a true religion, & so, where once Surat Al-Qamar was a cause for him disbelieving in Islam, it was now the reason for him embracing Islam…
Please don’t break this chain, send it to all u know
According to this message, which has circulated widely via email, blogs, forums, and social networks, an accompanying photograph of the moon’s surface verifies Islamic stories of a miracle once performed by the Prophet Muhammad in which the moon was split in two.
According to Islamic tradition, Muhammad is said to have split the moon in two as a means of demonstrating his claim to Prophethood to a gathering of doubters. The photograph touted as evidence supporting the occurrence of this miracle shows a long indentation on the moon’s surface.
The message suggests that this “split” shows the line where the moon was cut in two and then later rejoined. The message further claims that not only does this apparent split go all the way around the surface of the moon, but that scientists have identified a corresponding “belt of rocks” that goes from the surface right down to the moon’s centre.
However, the claims in the message are untrue and the photograph certainly does not depict a split that goes all the way around the moon. In fact, the photograph shows a completely natural formation known as a “rille”. Rilles of various types appear in many locations around the moon. The particular rille shown in this photograph is known as Rima Ariadaeus. The photograph, which was taken by crew aboard Apollo 10 in 1969, was featured as the Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) on October 29, 2002.
And, although Rima Ariadaeus rille is a long one – the rille is several hundred kilometres in length – it certainly does not stretch all the way around the moon as suggested in the message. Given that the moon has a circumference of around 10,864 kilometres, even the lengthy Rima Ariadaeus rille covers only a tiny fraction of the moon’s surface. The image below shows Rima Ariadaeus from a much higher viewpoint. The relatively insignificant length of the rille in comparison to the moon in its entirety is clearly apparent. It is far less than the gigantic moon-wide “split” described in the message.
Image courtesy: Jörg Wein
Moreover, rilles of various lengths, widths and shapes are frequent on the moon. The following photograph shows other rilles located near the Aristarchus Plateau:
Image courtesy: NASA
The claim in the message that scientists have identified a “belt of rocks” that goes from the surface to the moon’s centre is also untrue. There are no credible scientific references whatsoever to support the existence of such a belt of rocks. In fact, the moon, like Earth, is made up of three interior zones – crust, mantle, and core. While the composition and structure of these zones are quite different from those that make up the Earth, scientific studies of the moon’s interior structure have certainly not identified any distinctive belt of rocks that crosses all three zones as suggested in this message.
Thus, neither the image nor the text that accompanies it provide any proof whatsoever that the moon was once split in two and then rejoined. A person’s belief in the literal truth of the ancient miracles that embody his or her religious or cultural heritage is largely a matter of his or her personal faith and worldview. However, it is clearly dishonest and unethical to deliberately and knowingly put forward completely unrelated and out of context material such as this rille photograph as evidence that such miracles actually took place.