Die Spaltung des Mondes in der modernen Koranexegese und im Internet

Translated title of the contribution: The Splitting of the Moon in Modern Qur'anic Exegesis and on the Internet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores the scope of interpretation in the contemporary exegesis of
the Qurʾān and the underlying trends in modern Islam that influence this exegesis.
It focuses on one Qurʾānic verse - Q 54:1 - and investigates the differences and
similarities between the contemporary exegesis of this verse and the classical
exegetical tradition as well as the possible influence of an author’s regional, professional and confessional background on his interpretation. In classical
exegesis, Q 54:1 (iqtarabati l-sāʿatu wa-nshaqqa l-qamaru) is mostly interpreted as referring to the splitting of the moon, a miracle allegedly granted to Muḥammad, but usually the classical exegetes also discuss the - equally possible - eschatological and metaphorical readings of the verse. In contrast, modern exegetes mostly confine themselves to discussing only one interpretation, but they differ radically in their conclusions and thus add a number of new - and sometimes rather bizarre - interpretations to those known from the classical tradition. While some exegetes try to minimize the miraculous aspect of the verse and offer alternative readings - historical, eschatological, metaphorical, or symbolical - others explicitly defend a miraculous reading of the text and try to adduce new arguments for this interpretation. The article draws attention to regional and confessional differences in the interpretation and shows the importance of non-scholarly exegetes and the Internet in assessing how verses from the Qurʾān are understood by Muslims today.
Translated title of the contributionThe Splitting of the Moon in Modern Qur'anic Exegesis and on the Internet
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)60-116
Number of pages57
JournalDie Welt des Islams
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Qur'anic exegesis
  • Islam and Internet
  • Miracles in the Qur'an
  • Arab World
  • Turkey
  • South Asia
  • Islam in the United States
  • Islam in Europe


Dive into the research topics of 'The Splitting of the Moon in Modern Qur'anic Exegesis and on the Internet'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this