Answering Islam Email Dialogs

Topic: Prophecies in the Qur'an?

Received: 17 December 2004

Subject: Question On Surah 54:1

Dear Answering-Islam,

I am a Christian, but i wanted to ask a question.

This site claims Surah 54:1 was a prophecy that was fulfilled. It states:

"When did the first prophecy come to pass?

To answer that, one must keep the prophecy in mind: “The moon has split.” This is 
a metaphor. Parts of the moon have left its surface. They no longer are part of the moon. 
So, the prophecy does not refer to the landing on the moon or to the first step made by 
Neil Armstrong but to the fact that Armstrong and Aldrin collected 21 kilograms of lunar 
rocks to bring them back to earth. The prophecy was fulfilled at the very moment the 
Astronauts left the moon in the lunar module containing 21 kilograms of rocks that had 
belonged to the moon.

Harun Yahya also states about this verse that:

"The word "split" used in this verse is the Arabic shaqqa, which in Arabic it has various meanings. In some commentaries on the Qur'an, the meaning "split" is preferred. But shaqqa in Arabic can also mean "ploughing" or "digging" the earth."

"However, since the Qur'an is a book which addresses all times it is also possible that it is referring to the landing on the moon in our own age."

My question is, can you refute the following claims?:

"The moment of the fulfillment is confirmed by the hour of departure. The Lunar Module
left the lunar surface at 17:
54: 1 (Universal Time) or 1: 54: 1 (EDT) and as you have
seen it above, verse [54:1] is the verse that deals with the prophesy.

So, the prophecy described in verse [54:1] was fulfilled on 21 July 1969 at 17: 54: 1
(Universal Time) (1: 54: 1 EDT) when the lunar module left the moon carrying 21 
kilograms of lunar rocks.

"So, nobody can deny that verse [54:1] refers to the fact that Neil Armstrong and Aldrin 
left the moon with parts of the moon.

Hope you can help and hope i haven't asked too much.

Our answer:

No you haven't asked too much.

If Muslims must use such a "prophecy" to prove the Qur'an's validity... it only shows how desperate they are. All that the article you pasted into your email proves is that Islam is desperate to come up with some element of fulfilled prophecy in the Qur'an--so it can be like the Bible. So some Muslims are working hard to come up with something... anything. But they come up empty, and are unable to answer the challenge from God Himself:

"Present your case," says the LORD. "Bring forth your strong reasons," says the King of Jacob. "Let them bring forth and show us what will happen; Let them show the former things, what they were, That we may consider them, And know the latter end of them; Or declare to us things to come. 23 Show the things that are to come hereafter, That we may know that you are gods... Indeed you are nothing, And your work is nothing; He who chooses you is an abomination." (Isaiah 41:21-24)

To illustrate the folly of the article below... Let's suppose the US astronauts had taken 21 kilos of dirt from earth to the moon... would the Muslim world (or anybody for that matter) agree that they had "split" the earth? Then why can such an act of transporting a sack of dirt apply to the moon? What the astronauts did would be like removing one grain of sand from all of the world's beaches. Would that constitute a "splitting" the beaches??? Besides, I thought "the splitting of the moon" was supposed to be Muhammad's special miracle, not Neil Armstrong's! Like I said... someone is desperate! Furthermore, the verse numbers in the Qur'an were added long after the Qur'an was first penned. And they are not even the same in all Qur'ans... To imply some kind of inspiration or miracle connected with the verse numbers only displays more ignorance... Whew! Enough time spent on such vanity!

And to think that I receive comments from Muslims who claim that we Christians are "stretching" or "forcing" the evidence of fulfilled prophecy in the Bible!!?? What does the proverb say... "Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones!"? Praise God, the Bible contains hundreds and hundreds of specific, verifiable, real prophecies which history shows to have been precisely fulfilled. (I'd be glad to send you a list of some). Especially in the history of Jesus, but also concerning cities, nations, peoples and events. The fulfillments lie on the surface, requiring no great knowledge or ingenuity. The only "ingenuity" required is on the part of those who try to hide it.

Enough said.

For a clear Gospel to Muslims,


Additional comments by the webeditor: In an apparent attempt to bolster its "authority", the above quoted webpage refers to "universal time". This is an obvious smoke screen for several reasons. Note that the difference between universal time and EDT is only in the hours which are not even used, i.e. universal time is completely irrelevant to the argument. The only reason to introduce the term is to impress.

More importantly, given that the Allah of the Qur'an does not even accept the solar year, but instead commands his followers to live with a very akward lunar calendar, how do the Muslim authors know that Allah's "Islamic time" is in agreement with "universal time" which was defined by "infidels"? Universal time, and the earlier notion from which it was derived, Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), depends on the absolutely arbitrary decision of putting the line of zero degrees longitude at a certain location in Greenwich, London (hardly an Islamically relevant place). In contrast to the speed of light or the length of the solar year which are based on God's created order (i.e. these are numbers given to us by God), "universal time" is based on an arbitrary human definition. [For more about the concept of universal time, see: Universal Time, A Few Facts Concerning GMT, UT, and the RGO.]

Now, if the Muslims had put the time-defining line of zero degrees longitude through the Kaaba, the geographic focal point of Islam, and then derived their "Islamic time" from that, this would at least have made some sense religiously. But even then, there is simply nothing in the text from which this above proposed interpretation can be derived.

Another issue is that the Muslim author of the above quoted article has made the minute and the second to be the most important features, neither the date nor the hour. On what basis? Can they show that the Qur'an or hadith even recognize the concept of minutes and seconds?

When talking about minutes and seconds ... The Muslim author claims fulfillment at the time of the ship's departure from the moon. But, since the Qur'anic reference is to splitting, wouldn't the fulfillment more appropriately be at the time when they actually dug to get the rocks out of the moon? After all, the ground was "split" then rather than with the ship's departure. [You can see the page where "Submission" referenced the data from here.]

Finally, as mentioned briefly in our answer above, not all editions of the Qur'an have the same verse numbering. Some count the Basmallah as verse 1 in every surah, others only in the first surah, apart from the fact that the whole numbering system is only a later addition and did not exist in the time of Muhammad. How can any Muslim say with certainty which numbering system is the one preferred by Allah?

All these points show the utterly arbitrary nature of these kinds of manipulations which cannot be accepted as responsible interpretations of a text. They are nothing more than tricks, manipulation, and propaganda produced to impress the gullible and to make Islam look scientific and miraculous by any means. If Islam were from God, it would not be in need of such silly games in order to be convincing.

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