The extreme stubbornness of the unbelievers there at that time is well-known and is recorded in history. And yet, when the All-Wise Qur’an announced this event to the whole world through saying:
And the moon is split,
not one of those unbelievers, who denied the Qur’an, spoke up to give the lie to this verse; that is, not one of them denied the event it was announcing. If the event had not been considered as a definite fact by the unbelievers at that time, they would have taken the verse as a pretext, denied it in a most fearsome manner, and tried to attack and overthrow Muhammad’s (PBUH) claim to prophethood. However, the biographies of the Prophet and histories mentioning the event relate nothing to suggest that the unbelievers denied it. The only thing that history relates is, as the verse:
And [they] say, “This is evident magic,”
points out, the unbelievers who saw the event declared it to be magic, and said that if the caravans in other places had seen it, it was true, otherwise he had bewitched them. The caravans arriving the following morning from the Yemen and other places announced that they had seen such a happening. So the unbelievers then said of the Pride of All the Worlds (PBUH) that, God forbid, the magic of Abu Talib’s orphan had affected the heavens.1
The majority of the most illustrious scholars, like Sa’d al-Din Taftazani, declared that like the Prophet had satisfied the thirst of a whole army with water flowing from his fingers, and the whole congregation had heard a dry wooden post against which Muhammad (PBUH) had leant while delivering the sermon weep on being separated from him, the Splitting of the Moon, too, was mutawatir,2 that is, had been transmitted by numerous authorities. That is to say, these events had been passed down from group to group forming such a vast congregation that a conspiracy to lie would have been impossible. Like the appearance of the famous Haley’s Comet a thousand years ago had been unanimously reported, and the existence of the island of Ceylon was certain due to unanimous reports, although we had not seen it.
And so, it is unreasonable to foster baseless doubts in such certain,
Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari, vii, 145; Bayhaqi, Dala’il al-Nubuwwa, ii, 266, 268.
Bukhari, ii, 251; v, 62; vi, 178; al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak, ii, 472; Suyuti, Nazm al-Mutanathir fi’l-Hadith al-Mutawatir, 135; Bayhaqi, Dala’il, i, 279-81.