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David Emery

Was Neil Armstrong the First Muslim on the Moon?

By September 16, 2006

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"Wait a minute," you're probably saying to yourself, "I didn't even know Neil Armstrong was a Muslim."

Well, he wasn't, and isn't. But, as Slate's Explainer reminded us recently, there is a longstanding urban legend in the Islamic community to the effect that astronaut Armstrong heard the words "Allahu akbar" ("God is great") when he first set foot on the moon, and immediately converted to Islam.

Never happened, says Armstrong.

He never said "Good luck, Mr. Gorsky," either. But you knew that.

Further reading:
Why Do Muslims Say 'God Is Great'? - Slate
How Neil Armstrong 'Became' a Muslim - Answering Islam

(Image credit: NASA)


May 2, 2010 at 2:54 am


October 8, 2011 at 9:51 pm
(2) precious mae maldan says:

that’s true

October 27, 2011 at 10:20 am
(3) Wanna says:

Of course, that’s one of the miracle of Allah

May 5, 2010 at 1:16 pm
(4) Bette says:

If theists cared about evidence, there’d be no theists (see the first answer).

July 29, 2010 at 3:06 am
(5) FreeMind says:

@ Zahid and Bette: It’s amazing how the laws that govern simple logic completely elude you. This alone must be truth to the existence of a Higher Being.

May 3, 2011 at 11:15 am
(6) bell says:

Neal arm strong said him self that he is a Muslim

September 17, 2011 at 6:20 am
(7) Goesain says:

Neil Armstrong indeed did hear the words, Alluhu Akbar _ Allah (God) is great. Ofcourse, the West, as we know them to be against Islam, will try their utmost to make sure the world hears the opposite story… I am a proud Muslim and Islam is the perfect way of living.

December 5, 2011 at 2:46 pm
(8) Ummu says:

Muslim..nt muslim..azan..no azan..hmm,i knw we muslims want so much to believe he is a muslim,but think about it…if it is yes,why should we boast,that victory is for mankind nt only for certain people..if it is no,the world would make muslims look ridiculous,claiming the untrue..so,keep it down when it concerns a personal life of others..

March 21, 2012 at 9:22 am
(9) kris says:

Ummm, that being space, how can he ‘hear’ things?

May 18, 2012 at 2:57 pm
(10) AQSA AFSAR says:




July 27, 2012 at 5:29 am
(11) saho says:

I dont belive that he had heard somthing…..if he heard does it mean that god is arab..haha so the arab have created everything…..seek knowledge till you find the truth dont make stories in your mind

August 25, 2012 at 11:42 pm
(12) Lord Blackadder says:

Wow, the fail. It is strong here.

Armstrong was a Deist. He did not subscribe to organised religion. If any of you took two minutes to look at say, oh, Wikipedia, you would know this. But I guess you don’t want your fantasies shattered…

August 26, 2012 at 2:28 am
(13) Attila says:

Armstrong can’t have heard the words ‘Allahu Akbar’ on the moon as he never went to the moon at all. It was all a fake.

August 26, 2012 at 7:35 am
(14) Angela_K says:

The religious, as usual, trying to justify their preposterous beliefs ascribe comments never made by said person.

August 26, 2012 at 8:19 am
(15) sailor1031 says:

“Ummm, that being space, how can he ‘hear’ things?”

When the voices are only inside your own head you can hear anything you want to hear, no soundwaves needed. You can make up a whole lot of stuff that way.

August 26, 2012 at 11:00 am
(16) GOUSE INAMDAR says:

when i heard news about”niel armstrong” heard sound of azaan in the moon the i am definitly said he was converted into islam religion, bcoz islam is a clean religion compare to others religion, i am very proud to myself that i am being a muslim, and i will try to maintain our effort to expand islam religion in the various parts of the world

August 26, 2012 at 10:40 pm
(17) Steve says:

I hear the allah akhbar every day.
Am I a muslim hahah

August 27, 2012 at 5:59 am
(18) Lawrence Mora says:

May the God of Jacob, Moses, and Abraham continue to bless Israel now forever and destroy their sworn enemies…

August 27, 2012 at 8:06 am
(19) Simon says:

“May the God of Jacob, Moses, and Abraham continue to bless Israel now forever and destroy their sworn enemies…” that would be the God of Jews, Christians and Muslims. Same God…different understanding

August 27, 2012 at 10:37 pm
(20) I'am muslim says:

let the people say anything, you multiply worship and devoted to allah that day at the end of the day we can get the heaven allah

August 30, 2012 at 6:11 am
(21) Mohammad Zuhair says:

Guys don’t fight.

If Neil Armstrong is a Muslim then is ok. (for believers)

If he is not a Muslim then its ok too. (for unbelievers)

Because Allah is Above ALL.

Allah is one and a unique being.

Allah is Eternal.

The Allah does not take or give birth.

And there is none comparable to the Allah.

Allah is the creator of everything.

Allah give us only one religion that is islam.

August 30, 2012 at 6:12 am
(22) Mohammad Zuhair says:

At last some question to believers ,unbelievers ,scientists and all human beings……..

who makes the earth floating on the space , where earth never run away from its orbit?
(who make this system !)

who makes the sun rises from the east and set it to west?
(who make this system !)

who makes the day start, who makes the night start?
(who make this system !)

Who? you. who ? me.

Answer is NO.

Then who…May be god, gods or a top scientist or scientists.

Confused ?! (i will give the ANSWER).

If there is at-list two gods then they claim their rights.

like 1st god could say now i want night fall and 2nd god could say no now i want day , a sun rise. then they will fight for their rights and cause ciaos in the universe. they could destroy sun ,moon , earth , every living being in this planet.

but that is not happening. sun ,moon ,earth is ok.

May be because there is only one god. who rules the universe.

Logically its true.

Well Allah is one , Allah is the top-scientist.

Because Allah creates every thing in this universe.

I give u the answer.

Scientist generally believe in god, Allah what ever u can say….

Because Allah give them knowledge little more, so that is why they fill proud of them selves , for their logical thinking they think this is possible and this is impossible.

Tell them to build a floating earth as big as this one with solar system. (they will cry in their heart for their Failure)

For their pride allah make them blind, so they can not see. though they have eyes.

For 40 , 50 or may be 70 years of Research ,experience they did some outstanding job.

but Allah is out their for may be million, billions, Zillions of years ; Allah’s Research ,experience and achievements are unreachable for us.

Though they don’t believe.

They don’t believe in Allah.

what ever, Neil Armstrong is no more with us.
We should pray for the departed soul.

September 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Ok all you Muslims that want to stick your head in the sand when truth is beating you smartly about the head and shoulders, please pay attention. I spent 39 months in Iraq. I heard call to prayer daily and alas I never converted. I asked a friend of mine, an Iraqi who works as an Army Interpreter and devout Muslim, about this thing and why it was such a big deal. He told me the moon is pretty sacred to the religion and alot of Muslims don’t want the first steps taken on the moon to be those of an infidel. I can see why that would be a problem seeing how some of you guys feel about them. Not to mention the whole rampant killing thing that I’ve seen with my own 2 eyes (those of you who claim Islam is a “clean” religion are certainly not keeping up in your current events or history for that matter). Let me bottom line this for you. Neil Armstrong wasn’t Muslim, Christian, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist or any other religion organized or otherwise. He was just a man, albeit a GREAT man, but a man non the less. Those of you who attempt to paint him in a way that makes him look agreeable to your own line of thinking dishonor his memory and bring great shame upon yourselves. Not to mention making “The followers of Allah look like screaming Ignoramus’s” ( quoting my terp friend there). Do the memory Of Neil Armstrong, your religion, us and yourselves a favor and just shut up and get over it. I’m sure Neil Armstrong has figured out who or what the real God is by now, if there be one. Oh look hes doing that exploring thing again.

God Speed Neil Armstrong.

You were a world Hero.


September 12, 2012 at 8:22 am
(24) Zara says:

This is all so ridiculous…only God knws what Neil Armstrong heard/saw and bringing him up is just nonsense. May he rest in peace.

Now about Islam.. Which means to SUBMIT or SURRENDER…is the most reasonable, simple, pure and peaceful religion in this world…the belief that there is only ONE God. La ilaaha illalah.

We don’t just think the moon is sacred (we dont worship the moon) but we think everything ….the moon…the sun….the planets…..stars….earth….n beyond ( things we have never seen, or beings or animals that r unknown to many of us today). The mountains, seas, EVERYTHING is precious because they are all creation of the one GOD.

The Quran was never ever altered. It beautifully tells you about how we should live n our purpose of life. What our beloved prophets did may peace be upon all of them.
Where will we be after we r dead? You think thats it? So all the oppressed pple…all the innocent poor people in this world…some who dont even live long enough to see much of life will just die n thats it???? No judgement?

You cannot say bad things about a religion just by looking at the wrong people or moreover looking at muslims the wrong way. There is good n bad allover this world. Read the book urself before saying anything offensive. May God guide you. Allahuakbar! ( God is great)

November 3, 2012 at 2:37 pm
(25) shakeela jameel says:

i dont understand why the non muslims have to put our religion down? ok fine u dont believe in it u dont have to each person is responsible for themselves their actions and more so what they believe wat their beliefs are why dont you look instead what is going on in the world most of the victims are muslims! why are they the main targets? why do u people need to step in to take control over everything? because the only thing u want to do is take control over everything u talk about religion and attack islam especially islam only why?? because u some where in ur minds and hearts feel threateand by this religion only there must be some reason all these soldiers in muslim countries why u dont talk about wat u do and who the victims really are u all are out there with america pumping ur behinds with weapons and cash and wat do u get disfigured and amputated but they dont care for u they just using u for their bigger mission u are nothing more than plastic figure soldiers for them just to use u to kill as many muslims as possible! ! who cares if neil armstrong was or wasnt muslim just taking away him doesnt make islam weaker guys open ur eyes to wats really happening in the world now not just the muslims but every religion is being used againt each other the “big guys” dont giv a damn wat religion u are or if u live or die as long as they have control!

November 23, 2012 at 6:05 am
(26) playboy says:


Hitler killed millions and he’s catholic converted to islam before the world war.

Bush sent his troops to Afghan and Iraq killing millions, he’s a masons / christian converted to islam before the war. Identity of troops remains unknown.

Terrorist it is!

February 1, 2013 at 3:50 pm
(27) Razaul says:

may armstrong didnt heard azaan on the moon , may he didnt converted to Islam but it really doesnt matters to we muslims we really dont believes in miracles and our Imaan are not dependent on miracle we listen to our always living leader Prophet MUHAMMAD who really taughted us the way to live life peacefully and let us know about Amighty ALLAH PAK who created the whole universe our Imaan are not dependent on armstrong’s statement neither any miracle, if really we followers of Islam had believed in miracles then we must have worshiped some pakhandi babas who shows miracles by kaala jaadus or some magicians rather offering NAMAAZ in Bargag of ALLAH PAK

February 24, 2013 at 3:47 am
(28) Ateeq says:

Ithink it is the greatest miracle of god

July 31, 2013 at 7:06 am
(29) Farooq Shah says:

Neil Armstrong never heard of anything on moon. Some Muslims whose intelligence quotient is seriously below normal, however, think so. Scientifically, the sounds requires a medium to travel and it doesn’t take an Einestein’s intellect to know that there’s no medium available on moon.
As for Allah’s miracles, if these morons believe so then Allah wouldn’t require Armstrong to make His presence felt. Isn’t He present in every object — small or big.

August 23, 2013 at 11:10 pm
(30) Neek al quran says:

Khol khara, al quran ibn sharmootah! Why are muslims such liars? Indeed, islam means submit! Submit to the manipulative imams and never dare to question or to think rationally. What Neil Armstrong heard was
Oos kut maslami ibn shaitan!

For this, NEEK AL Q’URAN, muhammad al naghal

October 17, 2013 at 12:40 pm
(31) Nadeem says:

As a muslim, it is embarrassing to see my fellow muslims argue about something like this. If we spent more time in the practice and study if our way if life, there would be no argument because it doesn’t matter. Really, are we so insecure that we need to draft heroes . I am a convert and there’s no question about what I am. Trust me if someone truly converts to Islam, there will be no question. None. Unless we as Muslims have clear evidence, we should keep our mouths shut. One of the rules of converting to Islam is to make the declaration of the unity of God and the prophethood of Muhammad in front of witnesses. Need I say more.

December 29, 2013 at 2:26 pm
(32) husssin says:

Asalamualaiekum, if u go to history, the kuffar of Macca, say,s to Mohammad,if u r TRUE n your Allah is TRUE, then cut the moon,every one knows it,we Muslims know every thing,mo need to listen ur comments, on islam.I,don,t know what armstrong,advocates, and no need to know,because we Muslims know everything, you all non muslims need to know,

January 4, 2014 at 3:16 am
(33) dainul abid tv says:

Iam sure that neil armstrong became muslim.we see after the death of throw him to sea.

January 25, 2014 at 9:00 am
(34) She'sAParker says:

Whether he became Muslim or not, we can’t ever really know, can we? Media changes things. Internet tells us he converted to Muslim and yet, internet tells us that no, he didn’t.

Unless you go up to Neil Armstrong and ask him: “Oh hey, congrats on being the first man to walk on the moon! You’re great! By the way, is it true that you converted to Muslim after hearing the Azaan?”, you’ll never know.

And you don’t get ‘technically’ with Islam, because Islam doesn’t depend on ‘technical’ or ‘science’. Islam came before Science. In our Qura’an (our holy book), it had been mentioned about how babies are formed and created in the womb of the mother. And THAT was hundreds of years ago -before science!

Muslims are not terrorists. It’s the ones who take their faith to the extreme and turn our religion into a weapon who are terrorists. Muslims are wrong to say the ‘West’ are evil because not everyone is against Islam. And again, other non-muslims are wrong to so badly disrespect our religion and say that every one who is a Muslim is evil.

All you muslims and non-muslims out there, please stop fighting because this is not right and it brings out the bad blood between religions. It is wrong and sinful!

Muslims are not liars. Our Qura’an is our guidance just as the Bible is the guidance for Christians.

February 14, 2014 at 9:43 am
(35) anisha says:

really god is great. It is a miracle!!!

March 29, 2014 at 8:33 pm
(36) Aleyna says:

I used to think that he heard the adhan but was silenced. I dunno I guess I was hoping he did. And the other rumour I heard was mecca and medina look so bright and luminous from the moon. Cant confirm if any of it is the truth though. As fascinating as this all is, Why does it matter really, we all live we all die. And to our creator is our return. Live in this world as a traveler. Your final and permanent destination is the hereafter. Just make sure its not hell.

March 29, 2014 at 8:57 pm
(37) Aleyna says:

have u heard the news? Us soldiers becoming seriously mentally unstable?
U havent? Thats cause this news is kept hush hush.
just to let u know u soldiers are held accountable by the most just judge of all. The creator.
There’s only 2roads at the end of the day. The truth, or falsehood. No guesses for what road ur on. Murderer. U soldiers or no less ted bundy.
And why u praying for neil armstrong? What makes u think God will listen to ur prayers especially? Look at ur sins first and ur denial of god. May god deny u too. In all aspects for as long as u deny god. and this goes for anyone else who rejects their creator. May the almighty reject you too. Ameen!

April 30, 2014 at 1:34 am
(38) faisal says:

Guyz it really doesnt matters whether mr. armstrong heard the azaan or whether he accepted islam or not…It really doesnt gives islam any benefit…However great an individual is he/she can never add brightness to islam by accepting islam…If anyone can benefit by accepting islam is the individual who accepts this great religion…My humble request to all the non-muslims and to all the people who criticise islam is dat plz read an authentic copy of quran in any language u understand thoroughly before commenting on islam.May allah give everyone the hidaayat to accept islam.And protect every human being from committing such a great sin of denial of the existence of ALLAH.Because believe it or not everyone has to face the judgementday..And only ur gud deeds can protect u dat day…

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