Intro
MGA copied Sir Syed’s entire playbook when it came to denying miracles and the unlimited abilities of Allah.  It was Sir Syed who first wrote that Esa (as) was dead and never returning, he also wrote that the concept of the “Mahdi” was totally false and nothing more than Muslims exaggerating about their greatness.  Ahmadi’s are known to waffle on this subject and many more.  Normally, Ahmadi’s reject all miracles and give them a “rational-explanation”, totally downgrading their status as miracles.  MGA had the famous incident of the red drops appearing out of thin air, this was boasted by MGA as a total miracle with divine help.  However, this was in the 1886 era and MGA hadn’t totally rejected miracles as of yet.  In fact, in 1886, in MGA’s book, “Surma chashma Arya”, MGA defended the physicality of the splitting of the moon by saying that all the laws of Allah are unknown, this was another written debate that MGA had, the very first argument made by the hindus was the falsity of the splitting of the moon argument, MGA defended the common Muslim position, which was that it was a physical miracle, he did the same in terms of the miraculous Birth of Jesus also, he also defended the fire-incident that was related about Abraham, MGA also called that a physical miracle.  MGA waited til 1891, then, he rejected the physicality of the Miraaj, and many other miracles that were divinely ordained.  In terms of the splitting of the moon, it comes from the Quran, Chapter 54:1-2.  It is also mentioned in many Sahih hadiths.  In 1892, in Ainah Kamalate Islam, MGA again concurred that Muhammad (saw) did in fact pray for miracles and had many, the splitting of the moon is mentioned, however, at this juncture, MGA and his team didn’t go into detail, they also mentioned how Muhammad (saw) was able to feed many and hydrate many from a simple cup or bucket (see the reference in the below).  It seems that MGA was publicly lying, he rejected all miracles, however, in 1892, he was paying lip service, just like he did on the topic of prophethood.  In Malfuzat, Volume-1, MGA is recorded 4-5 times confirming that the splitting of the moon and other miracles were physical, just not understood by humans yet, MGA even admonished people who counter-argued that this miracle was simply a type of Lunar Eclipse (see page 137). After MGA died, in Braheen-e-Ahmadiyya Volume-5, MGA’s team of writers dismissed the physicality of the splitting of the moon and called it a type of lunar eclipse.

1886, Surmah Chasma Aryah
In this book of MGA, he discusses the splitting of the moon, see pages 14-17.  For a better reference, see the ROR of February 2006:

“”””We wish to point out that the miracle of the splitting of the moon is not an event that the Muslims put forth as proof of the truth of Islam and as a principal argument in support of the truth of the Holy Qur’an. Out of thousands of internal and external miracles and signs, this was also a natural sign which is supported by historical proof. If overlooking clear proofs we are to suppose that this miracle has not been established, and if we are to interpret the relevant verse of the Holy Quran as the Christians or the followers of nature, or those who repudiate external events interpret it it would do no harm to Islam.  The truth is that the Word of God has wholly relieved the Muslims of the need of relying upon other miracles. It is not only a miracle in itself, but on account of its blessings and lights, it produces m i r a c l e s .

The Holy Qur’an comprises in itself such perfect qualities that it is in no need of extraordinary
miracles. The presence of external miracles adds nothing to it and their absence would disclose no defect in it. The beauty of the Qur’an is not decked out with the ornaments of external miracles. It comprises in itself thousands of strange and wonderful miracles
which can be witnessed by the people of every age. It is not necessary to refer only to the past.
The Qur’an is such a beautiful beloved that everything derives ornamentation from it and it is not dependent upon anything else for its own ornamentation.

Those who object to the miracle of the splitting of the moon have only one instrument to make, and even that a broken one, that the splitting of the moon is contrary to the law of nature. The
followers of the law of nature contend that it is obvious that so far as a man can find by the
exercise of his reason there is nothing apart from nature in the law of nature, that is to say, the
observation of the universe indicates that everything material and non-material by which we are
surrounded is part of a wonderful system for its existence and continuance and for its eff e c t .
This system is inherent in everything and never departs from anything. Whatever nature has designed will happen without fail in the same way.

We accept all that, but does it prove that Divine methods are their law are limited to that which
is our observation and experience no more? To believe that Divine Power is unlimited is of the
essence of the Divine system; it ensures that the door of intellectual progress should always remain open. Then what a mistake it is to put forward the proposition that whatever is beyond our understanding or observation is outside the law of nature! When we confess that the laws of nature are unending and unlimited, it should be our attitude that we should not reject every new thing because it is beyond our reason. We should assess the matter on its proof or lack of proof. If it is proved we should enter it in the list of the laws of nature, and if it is not proved we should confine ourselves to affirming that it is not proved. We would not be entitled to say that it is outside the law of nature. To hold anything as being beyond the law of nature, it is necessary that we should encompass all Divine laws which are eternal as within a circle and our intellect should fully comprehend all that God’s Power has revealed from the beginning up to now and that He will reveal through Eternity….

We believe that the Powers ofGod Almighty are unlimited, then it would be madness to hope to
encompass all His Powers. For if they can be confined within the measure of our observation, then how would they be unlimited and unending? In such case, we are not only confronted with the difficulty that our finite and incomplete experience should comprehend all the Powers of the
Eternal God, but there would arise a much greater difficulty that by limiting His Powers He Himself would also be limited and we would be affirming that we have discovered all the reality of God Almighty and that we have arrived at its depth and bottom.  Such an assumption would be
disrespectful and destructive of faith and would amount to a total denial of God. (Surmah Chashm Arya, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 2, pp. 60-65).  

1886
Surmah Chashma Arya is nothing more than the written debate that MGA had with Murlinder at his own house in Qadian with some Hindus.  The Hindus attacked the miracle of the splitting of the moon and MGA defended the orthodox Islamic position.  MGA never changed this belief until he died.  After MGA died, it was downgraded as a lunar eclipse of sorts (see BA5).

1890
“””Let it be known that the miracles of Prophets are of two kinds: (1) Those that are purely heavenly phenomena, in which human design and reason play no part, such as the miracle of the splitting of the moon, a miracle of our lord and master, the Holy Prophetsa. God manifested this miracle through His infinite power to manifest the majesty of His true and perfect Prophetsa. (2) Miracles of wisdom. These are manifested with the help of the extraordinary wisdom that only comes from Divine revelation. An example of this is the miracle of Solomon referred to in the verse

A palace paved smooth with slabs of glass.—Al-Naml, 27:45

which was witnessed by Queen Sheba and she was consequently blessed with faith.”””
[Izala-e-Auham, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 3, pp. 253-254, footnote](See Also Essence of Islam, Vol. 5, page 32).  

1891-1892
In MGA’s book, “Three Questions by a Christian and their Answers”, he again confirms that the splitting of the moon which was referred to in 54: 1-3, really happened, MGA even refers his readers to his book, Surma Chashma Arya (See pages 30-34).

 

1892, MGA comments on the miracle of the splitting of the moon
“”””When a person arrives at this exalted stage of meeting with God, he sometimes performs acts which appear to be beyond human power and have the colour of Divine Power. For instance, during the battle of Badr, the Holy Prophet [peace and blessings of Allah be on him] threw a handful of gravel at the opposing force not accompanied by any prayer, but with his own spiritual power, which affected the opposing force in such an extraordinary manner that everyone’s eyes were struck by the gravel and they were rendered sightless and began to run around in confusion and helplessness. This miracle is referred to in the verse:

al-Anfal, 8:18

When you threw the handful of pebbles, it was not you who did throw, but it was Allah Who threw;

Meaning that it was Divine Power that was working behind the scene and it did that which was not within human power. 

In the same way, another miracle of the Holy Prophet [peace and blessings of Allah be on him] which was the splitting of the moon, was displayed by Divine Power. It was not accompanied by any prayer as it happened merely by his pointing at the moon with his finger which was filled with Divine power. There are many other miracles which the Holy Prophet [peace and blessings of Allah be on him] worked purely with his power and which were not accompanied by any prayer. On many occasions, he multiplied water so much by dipping his fingers into a cup of water that the whole host and their camels and horses drank of it and yet the original quantity of the water was not diminished. On many occasions, by putting his hand upon three or four loaves of bread, he satisfied the hunger of thousands. On some occasions, he blessed a small quantity of milk with his lips and a company of people drank from it and were filled. On some
occasions, by adding his saliva into a well of brackish water, he rendered it sweet. On some occasions, he healed severely wounded people of their injuries by placing his hands upon them. On some occasions, he replaced the eyeballs of people which had fallen out in consequence of some injury received in battle and healed them with the blessings of his hand. In this way, he did many other things by his personal power behind which worked Divine Power.

If the Brahmus and the philosophers and the followers of nature of today refuse to accept these miracles, they are to be excused for they cannot recognize the station at which a human being is endowed with Divine power by way of reflection. If they laugh at these things they are also to be excused for they have not progressed beyond their childish condition and have not reached any degree of spiritual maturity. Their condition is far from perfect and they are happy that they should die in that imperfect condition.

But one pities the Christians, who having heard of some similar, but of a lower degree of, events in the life of Jesus, put them forward as an argument in support of the divinity of Jesus and allege that the reviving of the dead by Jesus and the healing of paralytics and lepers by him was by his own power and not by any prayer, and that this is proof that he was truly the son of God and even God himself. It is a pity that they are unaware that if a human being could become God by performing such exploits then our lord and master, the Holy Prophet
[peace and blessings of Allah be on him] was much more entitled to such divinity for he performed mightier miracles than were displayed by Jesus. Not only did the Holy Prophet [peace and blessings of Allah be on him] work these extraordinary miracles himself, but left a legacy of a long series of them among his followers till the Day of Judgement, which has been in evidence always in all ages and will continue to be in evidence till the end of the world. The impress of Divine power which has been experienced by holy souls among the Muslims is difficult to match from among other people. Then what folly is it to believe in someone as God or as the son of God, on account of these extraordinary events. If a man can become God by performing such exploits, there would be no end to the number of gods!”””
[A’ina-e-Kamalat-e-Islam, Ruhani Khaza’in, Vol. 5, pp. 65-67] 
(via Essence of Islam, Vol. 1, pages 274-276)

 

1891-1899, Malfuzat, vol. 1, p. 72, Via Essence of Islam, Vol. 5, page 28
Remember, Malfuzat wasn’t published until the 1960’s.  This seems to be from a portion of the book which represents 1891-1899.

“””The truth of the matter is that God Almighty does not do anything against the laws of nature. What He does is that He creates the causes, whether we know of them or not, and these are always present. Hence, miracles, such as splitting of the moon and

Turn cold, O Fire, and be a source of peace.—Al-Anbiya’, 21:70. (This verse refers to the miracle whereby the fire became cold when Abrahamas was thrown into it.)

are also no exceptions. Rather, they too resulted from some very subtle and hidden means,
and were based on true and factual science. Shortsighted people and those who are enamoured of dark philosophy cannot comprehend these things.””””

1904, in Maulvi Noorudin’s famous self biography entitled, Nur ud Din
On page 146 of this book, as quoted and translated by Zafrullah Khan, Noorudin wrote that he never believed that the fire mentioned in 21:70 was simply the fire of opposition.  However, MGA seems to have disagreed and still believed it to be a physical phenomenon.

Oct. 1908, Braheen e Ahmadiyya vol. 5 (BA5)
In BA5, MGA and his team of writers calls the splitting of the moon as a type of lunar eclipse (see pages 106-107).  Thus, after MGA died, the editing work began.

1917, Muhammad Ali denies the physicality of the splitting of the moon
In Muhammad Ali’s famous 1917 edition of this Commentary on the Quran, he opines that this event was really a lunar eclipse of sorts, thus copying the answer from BA5.

1920, Mirza Bashir Ahmad’s biography on the life of Muhammad
In this era, Mirza Bashir Ahmad seems to have been co-editing the ROR.  In the Urdu version of the ROR, he began writing a biography of Muhammad under the title, ‘Our Master”.  When he reached the topic of the splitting of the moon, he totally rejected the physicality of it and claimed it simply appeared as such to those Muslims and non-Muslims who saw it (see page 233-237).  This book was translated into english via the English ROR of 2010 and then published as a book.

The 5-volume commentary of the Quran
The Qadiani branch claims that it was only meant to appear as split, it was never physically split (see page 2523).

Muhammad Ali and the Lahori branch denied the physicality of the splitting of the moon in 1917
In Muhammad Ali’s famous commentary of 1917, he totally denied the physicality of the splitting of the moon (see 54:1-3).

Zamakhshari
Al-Zamakhshari, a commentator of the Qur’an, acknowledged the splitting of the moon as one of Muhammad’s miracles. But he also suggested that the splitting might take place only on the day of judgment.[4]

Ibn Kathir

The classical commentator Ibn Kathir provides a list of the early traditions mentioning the incident: A tradition transmitted on the authority of Anas bin Malik states that Muhammad split the moon after the pagan Meccans asked for a miracle. Another tradition from Malik transmitted through other chains of narrations, mentions that the mount Nur was visible between the two parts of the moon (Mount Nur is located in Hijaz. Muslims believe that Muhammad received his first revelations from God in a cave on this mountain, Cave Hira’). A tradition narrated on the authority of Jubayr ibn Mut’im with a single chain of transmission says that the two parts of the moon stood on two mountains. This tradition further states that the Meccan responded by saying “Muhammad has taken us by his magic… If he was able to take us by magic, he will not be able to do so with all people.” Traditions transmitted on the authority of Ibn Abbas briefly mention the incident and do not provide much details.[2] Traditions transmitted on the authority of Abdullah bin Masud describe the incident as follows:[2][11]

We were along with God’s Messenger at Mina, that moon was split up into two. One of its parts was behind the mountain and the other one was on this side of the mountain. God’s Messenger said to us: Bear witness to this 039:6725

The narrative was used by some later Muslims to convince others of the prophethood of Muhammad. Annemarie Schimmel for example quotes the following from Muslim scholar Qadi Iyad who worked in the 12th century:[6]

It has not been said of any people on the earth that the moon was observed that night such that it could be stated that it was not split. Even if this had been reported from many different places, so that one would have to exclude the possibility that all agreed upon a lie, yet, we would not accept this as proof to the contrary, for the moon is not seen in the same way by different people… An eclipse is visible in one country but not in the other one; in one place it is total, in the other one only partial.

 

Links and Related Essays

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/09/11/sir-syed-was-the-first-muslim-in-india-to-ever-say-that-all-hadith-on-the-mahdi-were-weak-mga-copied/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/10/27/sir-syeds-view-on-esa-as/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/?s=red+drops

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/07/22/mirza-ghulam-ahmad-denied-the-physicality-of-the-miraaj-in-1890-in-izala-auham/

http://www.qtafsir.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1675&Itemid=110

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Splitting_of_the_moon

https://www.alislam.org/quran/view/?page=2523&region=E1

https://www.alislam.org/library/books/Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya-Part-5.pdf

http://www.thecult.info/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=816&p=7137&hilit=splitting#p7137

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/03/20/mirza-ghulam-ahmads-first-debate-1886-a-written-debate-with-murlidhar/

http://www.aaiil.org/text/hq/comm/muhammadalienglishholyquran1917/muhammadalienglishholyquran1917.shtml

https://www.alislam.org/library/books/Essence-5.pdf

https://www.alislam.org/library/books/3-Questions-by-a-Christian.pdf

https://www.alislam.org/library/books/Malfuzat-1.pdf

http://www.reviewofreligions.org/5399/the-life-character-of-the-seal-of-the-prophetssaw-part-14/

http://www.aaiil.org/text/hq/comm/muhammadalienglishholyquran1917/muhammadalienglishholyquran1917.shtml

http://www.reviewofreligions.org/wp-content/pdf-downloads/RR200602.pdf

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2017/09/29/maulana-nur-ud-din-wrote-a-book-entitled-nur-ud-din-1904-mga-was-born-in-1839/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2016/11/01/was-mga-unsure-in-terms-of-the-miraculous-birth-of-esa-as/

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