Friday, December 28, 2007

the moon | sign and symbolism in Quran

Quran, the Final Testament revealed to mankind by the opening of the heart of the holy Prophet Muhammad is rich in mystical symbolism and metaphors that time and time call attention to different manifest signs present in nature. Signs in the external world are harbingers of the mysteries and realities of the spiritual world. The cosmos and our perceivable common realities are full of rich symbols and signs and the Quran use symbolism of our perceived physical world to draw attention to what is beyond and within.

The moon as a sign and meditative object can be found on number of places in the Quran. Among its many exoteric and esoteric significances, the metaphor draw attention to: man's journey in stages (whether it signifies also rebirth, evolution through reincarnation of soul - is another philosophical area and Quran do tell us that not all the mysteries of the soul is made explicit, only God has its fullest knowledge, which keeps the possibility of rebirth open); enlightenment of the soul; acknowledgment that moon has no light of its own, but sun is the lamp and to Divinely ordained celestial laws etc. Below are few of the selective verses of the Quran (beginning with the name of the chapters) that use metaphors using moon, often with the mentioning of sun with it.

Bismi Allah ir Rahman ir Rahim | Invoking the name of Divine, the Infinitely Merciful, the Infinitely Compassionate

Al-Inshiqaq | Splitting Open

So I do call to witness the ruddy glow of Sunset;
and the Night and all that it enshroud;
and the moon when it grows full.
you shall most certainly enter one state after another. (84:16-19)

Ash-Shams | The Sun

Witness the Sun and its brilliance; and the moon as it follows the sun. and the day when it reveals it. and the night when it draws a veil over it. And the cosmos and Him Who made it. And the earth and Him Who extended it.
And the soul and Him Who made it perfect, and its enlightenment as to its realization of right and wrong.
Truly the one will indeed be successful who purifies it,
and the one will fail who corrupts it! (91:1-10)

Al-Muddaththir | The cloaked one

Nay, verily: By the moon, and by the night as it withdraweth; and by the Dawn as it shineth forth. (74:32-35)

Nooh | Noah

And indeed God has created you through in diverse grades:
Do you not see how God has created the seven stations ~ one above another? And made the moon a light therein, and made the sun as a lamp? (71:14-16)

Ar-Rahman | The Boundlessly Merciful

The sun and the moon follow courses (exactly) mapped out. (55:5)

Fussilat | Explained in detail

Among Divine Signs are the Night and the Day, and the Sun and the Moon. Do not prostrate to the sun and the moon, but prostrate to God, Who created them, if it is Him you wish to serve. (41:37)

Az-Zumar | The troops

He created the heavens and the earth in true (proportions): He makes the Night overlap the Day, and the Day overlap the Night: He has subjected the sun and the moon (to His law): Each one follows a course for a time appointed. Is not He the Exalted in Power - He Who is ever forgiving? (39:5)

YA-SEEN | The mystical words Ya Seen

And a Sign for them is the Night: We withdraw therefrom the Day, and behold they are plunged in darkness; And the sun runs his course for a period determined for it; that is the decree of (Him), the Exalted in Might, the All-Knowing. And the moon, God ordained for it stages till it becomes again as an old dry palm branch. Neither is it permitted to the sun to catch up the moon, nor can the night outstrip the day: Each (just) float along in (its own) orbit (according to Law). (36:40)

Fatir | The Originator

He merges night into day, and day into night, and He has made subservient the sun and the moon to service; each one follows its course to a term appointed; such is God, your Lord, His is the kingdom; and those whom you may call upon besides Him do not control a straw. (35:13)

image credit: lunar eclipse

. Metaphors in Quran
. Symbolism and allegory in the Quran
. A cosmos full of signs and symbols
. Meditation on full moon and self-realization Pin It Now!