“ As soon as Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon, he heard the Moslem call of Ezan (call to prayer) as ‘Allah-hu-akber’ then, he said: ‘the real religion in the whole world is only Islam and immediately he became Moslem!” (From Message Board).
"When Neil Armstrong and co. walked on the moon, they heard sounds in a strange language they did not understand. ‘When Neil Armstrong went to Egypt, he heard the adhan, and said, “it was spacey something similar I heard while I was on the moon". Egyptian Friend told him that, it was the sound of Azaan (call for Muslim prayer). And Neil Armstrong immediately became Muslim because of this experience.” (From Wikislam).
Among the many rumors circulating in the Islamic world, the claim that Neil Armstrong, the famous Astronaut, has become a Muslim seems to be one that will never die.
Here are more posts from the newsgroups on the topic:
Salam, I heard that when he went to the moon he heard the Athan (call for prayer), so he heard it again on earth and he became a Muslim, I read an article that he lives in Lebanon now (my country) and his neighbors say he doesn't talk to anyone... He could have been so famous the second man on the moon is still famous now, but Neil decided to live like this. Alah aalam (god knows). If anyone else knows about him I’d like to know more. Wassalam.
Asalam-alaikum, what I've heard (some time ago, in this group) is that Neil Armstrong went to Egypt, heard the adhan, said it was spacey" in an interview. And somehow, that got turned into a rather nice story about how he heard some strange sound when he was up in space, eventually found out that it was the adhan, and became Muslim because of the experience. Salam.
The rumors were so strong at the time, that the official statement had to be released. The following statement was authorized by Mr. Armstrong, speaking on his behalf.
NEIL A. ARMSTRONG
LEBANON, OHIO 45036
July 14, 1983
Mr. Phil Parshall Director
Asian Research Center
Fellowship 29524 Bobrich
Livonia, Michigan 48152
Dear Mr. Parshall:
Mr. Armstrong has asked me to reply to your letter and to thank you for the courtesy of your inquiry.
The reports of his conversion to Islam and of hearing the voice of Adzan on the moon and elsewhere are all untrue.
Several publications in Malaysia, Indonesia and other countries have published these reports without verification. We apologize for any inconvenience that this incompetent journalism may have caused you.
Subsequently, Mr. Armstrong agreed to participate in a telephone interview, reiterating his reaction to these stories. I am enclosing copies of the United States State Department's communications prior to and after that interview.
Vivian White, Administrative Aide
Furthermore, a following statement by the US State Department sent to all embassies and consulates in the Islamic world:
P 04085 0Z MAR 83 ZEX
FM SECSTATE WASHD C
TO ALL DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR POSTS PRIORITY
UNCLAS STATE 056309
FOLLOWING REPEAT SENT ACTION ALL EAST ASIAN AND
PACIFIC DIPLOMATIC POSTS DTD MAR 02.
QUOTE: UNCLAS STATE 056309
E.O. 12356: N/A
TAGS: PREL, PGOV, US, ID
SUBJECT: ALLEGED CONVERSION OF NEIL ARMSTRONG TO ISLAM
REF: JAKARTA 3281 AND 2374
1. FORMER ASTRONAUT NEIL ARMSTRONG, NOW IN PRIVATE BUSINESS, HAS BEEN THE SUBJECT OF PRESS REPORTS IN EGYPT, MALAYSIA AND INDONESIA (AND PERHAPS ELSEWHERE) ALLEGING HIS CONVERSION TO ISLAM DURING HIS LANDING ONTHE MOON IN 1969. AS A RESULT OF SUCH REPORTS, ARMSTRONG HAS RECEIVED COMMUNICATIONS FROM INDIVIDUALS AND RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS, AND A FEELER FROM AT LEAST ONE GOVERNMENT, ABOUT HIS POSSIBLE PARTICIPATION IN ISLAMIC ACTIVITIES.
2. WHILE STRESSING HIS STRONG DESIRE NOT TO OFFEND ANYONE OR SHOW DISRESPECT FOR ANY RELIGION, ARMSTRONG HAS ADVISED DEPARTMENT THAT REPORTS OF HIS CONVERSION TO ISLAM ARE INACCURATE.
3. IF POST RECEIVE QUERIES ON THIS MATTER, ARMSTRONG REQUESTS THAT THEY POLITELY BUT FIRMLY INFORM QUERYING PARTY THAT HE HAS NOT CONVERTED TO ISLAM AND HAS NO CURRENT PLANS OR DESIRE TO TRAVEL OVERSEAS TO PARTICIPATE IN ISLAMIC RELIGOUS ACTIVITIES.
This rumor perhaps was first started sometimes in early 1980’s and since then, this rumor was surfacing every other month or so on the Islamic newsgroup, making more colorful fake stories to make it more convincing to ordinary Muslims all over the world. This wishful mullahs spread this rumor to compensate the tremendous insult they felt first, when an American “Kafir” set his feet on the moon and has made the “Pabitra Cha’nd” A’pabitra (impure) . After a brief period of their insult/injury because of this unimaginable (at least by Muslims) episode, these wishful mullahs made-up this rumor simply to boast/rejuvenate Islam and to keep ‘Darma Bebosha’ alive.
Strangely enough, this rumor still goes round and round in the Islamic world, over a decade after it has been denied over and over again. Not only in mouth to mouth propaganda but it is even spread by Muslim radio stations. But the modern version of this hoax has more details and is more convincing for people.
Here is how the current version of the rumor looks:
Armstrong and his two fellow astronauts, Aldrin and Collins, saw an object on the Moon’s horizon, which looked like an open book, and then they heard some mysterious “music.” They reported this back to Earth. At first, no one on Earth believed them: how could there be a book on the Moon and music in airless space? But the “music” was also heard on Earth over the radio transmission, and the “book” was photographed.
It is believed that the book the astronauts saw on the Moon is the prototype of the earthly Koran that exists in the heavens.
But all this information was classified.
In February 1983, fourteen years after his flight to the Moon, Astronaut Neil Armstrong went to Egypt to participate in a scientific conference. During the meeting, the azan sounded. Armstrong, sitting in the presidium, went pale and asked: “What is that music?” Surprised by the astronaut’s behavior, the conference participants explained that it was the Muslim call to prayer. “That voice. That’s what I heard when I first stepped on the Moon, hearing it is giving me goose bumps!… O Allah! I found You not on Earth, but on the Moon!… I stepped onto the Moon without praying, but now I will pray, you can consider me a Muslim.” So the first person to walk on the Moon, American astronaut Neil Armstrong, became a Muslim.
Later a NASA employee, who recorded all the conversations between the spaceship and Earth during the astronauts’ time on the Moon, declassified this information by allowing the public to listen to the tape.
The same website goes into full details:
Astronaut Aldrin: “We can see some object that looks like an open book. Right above the Sea of Tranquility (Mare Tranquillitatis).”
Astronaut Armstrong: “It looks like two rings, or to be more exact, like an open book.”
Astronaut Collins: “I changed the position of the sextant, now we can clearly see that it is shaped like a book.”
Observation from Earth: “What are you talking about, how can there be a book on the Moon?”
The voices were recorded on tape. The next day the book disappeared, however some external interference constantly jammed the radio transmission, a sound kept breaking in similar to the siren of a fire engine.
Collins: “Earth, can you hear me, get rid of the interference, that siren, or I’ll go deaf…”
Earth: “That sound is not coming from Earth, it’s coming from without, are you sure there isn’t another ship there besides yours?”
Armstrong: “And now some music has started, Earth, are you going to get rid of the music or not?”
Earth: “Everything here is in working order. The music is coming from you.”
Aldrin: “What nonsense! Can we agree or not? That music is coming from you!”
* * *
The next day, Armstrong went onto the Moon again. “The Eagle has landed!” he said with emotion. A person was walking on the Moon for the first time. Suddenly the sound like a siren was heard again. But this time (this is all recorded on tape), the following words were heard: “RABBI-EL ARDZ-DINI ENDAHU-IZA-KUN-ALIM.”
Earth: “Hey, who’s talking?”
Armstrong was walking on the Moon at this time. Again the sound of music was heard: “Ashgadu ala illaga illallag.” (I testify – there is no God but Allah.)
Earth: “UFOs again? What were the words in that music?”
Collins: “Ashan mahatma rasamballa…,” something like that. Sounds like Indian…”
Armstrong: “I heard it (the Arabian prayer presented above. – Ed.) to the end. It somehow makes you feel good. I think it’s from African radio stations…”
Aldrin: “I changed the frequency, the same sound again. It’s coming from the Moon. It’s not a radio wave. It’s something hard to believe.”
Earth: “What, have you all gone crazy up there? How can there be sound in airless space?” Collins: “So what is it then? UFOs?”
Armstrong: “Can UFOs be shaped like books?”
Earth: “A strange indisposition. Or some space wave? It’s obvious that the voices, sounds, are all figments of your imagination?”
Armstrong: “You can’t take pictures of figments! You can’t record an imaginary voice on tape!”
Earth: “Alright, but how can sound spread in airless space?”
Sometime later, the astronauts returned to Earth. The cassettes were listened to again. In the meantime, consultations were held with Al-Baz, NASA’s executive secretary. He gave an explanation of the “music” heard on the Moon, declaring it to be a holy saying in Arabic.
Much time passed, and Warden, an Apollo 16 astronaut, heard the same “saying.”
What is more, while photographing the Earth in infrared rays, he picked up something akin to the aura of our planet, which looks like the Arabic inscription of the Creator’s name – Allah.
This photograph, which was published in “National Geographic,” has traveled around the whole world.
Sources and Additional Information: