And for the moon We have determined phases until it finally becomes like an old date stalk.” (Verse 39)” (Surah 36 – Yaseen – Ayah 39)

We see the moon in these phases, as it is born a thin crescent then grows every day until it takes its shape as a full moon before it begins to decrease until it looks like an old date stalk. If we observe the moon night after night, we will appreciate this remarkable way of expression, particularly the use of the word ‘old’. In the early and final nights of its cycle, the moon has a crescent shape, but whereas it reflects freshness and vigour in the early days, it rises in the latter part of its cycle as if it is weighed down by a heavy burden and looks worried and pale; the same paleness as an old date stalk. Hence, the inspiring Qur’ānic description.

Observing the moon night after night gives us fresh, rich and profound feelings. Furthermore, we perceive that it is all the work of the able hand that combines beauty with majesty while operating an accurate celestial system. We feel all this whether we know why the moon has such phases or not: it is sufficient to observe the moon for our hearts to overflow with feelings and for our minds to be deep in reflection.

Text and Photo by Syed Akbar Hassan. Shot was taken at Noida, Sector 137 (UP)

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