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Comments on the article entitled “Flaws in the Ahmadiyya Eclipse Theory” by Dr. David McNaughton

Saleh Mohammed Alladin

March 16, 2006

"For our Mahdi (Spiritual Reformer) there are two signs which have never appeared before since the creation of the heavens and the earth, namely the moon will be eclipsed on the first night in Ramadhan (i.e. on the first of the nights on which a lunar eclipse can occur) and the sun will be eclipsed on the middle day (i.e. on the middle one of the days on which a solar eclipse can occur). And these signs have not appeared since God created the heavens and the earth." (Hadith Dar-e-Qutni, Vol. 1, p 188)

In the literature of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, the dates of the lunar and solar eclipses have been taken as 13, 14, 15 and 27, 28, 29 respectively of the Islamic calendar. Dr. Naughton has pointed out that lunar eclipses occur on the 13th, 14th and 15th and solar eclipses on 28th and 29th. Only under special circumstances, a solar eclipse can occur on the 27th of the Islamic month. Also, under special circumstances, a lunar eclipse can occur on the 12th. Hence the dates of the eclipses should be taken as 13, 14, 15 and 28, 29 or as 12, 13, 14, 15 and 27, 28, 29.

Perhaps the author is the first person to point out that it is possible to observe a lunar eclipse on the 12th. On the other hand, it seems to be well known from observational records that a solar eclipse can occur on the 27th. I present two examples taken from important books wherein 27th is considered as one of the dates for the solar eclipse.

Nawab Siddeeq Hasan Khan writes in his book Hujajal Kirana (in Persian, published in 1271 Hijri) on page 344 that according to astronomers a lunar eclipse does not take place on any date other than 13, 14 and 15; and in the same way a solar eclipse does not take place on any date other than 27, 28 and 29.

Professor F. Richard Stephenson, who has devoted considerable effort in the study of ancient records of eclipses writes in his book, Historical Eclipses and Earths Rotation (Cambridge University Press 1997) on page 436 as follows:

In the Islamic calendar lunar eclipses consistently take place on or about the 14th day of the month and solar eclipses around the 28th day.

Hence, considering the dates as 13,14 and 15 for the lunar eclipse and 27, 28 and 29 for the solar eclipse for interpreting the prophecy in 1894, at the time of the claimant, is quite reasonable. The purpose of the prophecy is to help to recognize the Promised Divine Reformer and the prophecy has served the purpose very well.

It may also be noted that Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (peace be upon him) claimed on the basis of Divine revelation, which he received, that the prophecy has been fulfilled in his person. He also declared on oath that he is the Promised Messiah and Mahdi.

For a detailed discussion of the fulfillment of the prophecy, please see my article entitled “The Advent of the Promised Messiah as Vindicated by the Signs of the Lunar and Solar Eclipses” in the Review of Religions, Vol. 84, No. 11, November 1989, pages 3 to 24. Answers to some of the objections have been given in my article “The Truth about Eclipses” published in the Review of Religions, Vol. 94, No’s 5 & 6, May & June 1999.

May Almighty God guide mankind to the right path.

Saleh Mohammed Alladin
Retired Professor of Astronomy,
Osmania University, Hyderabad, India