Nay; I swear by the moon, (32) And the night when it departs, (33) And the daybreak when it shines; (34) Surely it is one of the gravest (35) A warning to mortals, (36) To him among you who wishes to go forward or fall behind.


‎كَلَّا وَالْقَمَرِ ﴿٣٢﴾ وَاللَّيْلِ إِذْ أَدْبَرَ ﴿٣٣﴾ وَالصُّبْحِ إِذَا أَسْفَرَ ﴿٣٤﴾ إِنَّهَا لَإِحْدَى الْكُبَرِ ﴿٣٥﴾ نَذِيرًا لِّلْبَشَرِ ﴿٣٦﴾ لِمَن شَاءَ مِنكُمْ أَن يَتَقَدَّمَ أَوْ يَتَأَخَّرَ ﴿٣٧﴾


Nature is often referred to in the Holy Quran in conjunction with a reminder of our mental capacities of comprehension and critical thinking.   There is a constant message that if we want to get closer to God, to understand our purpose in life, to find answers, then nature is a helpful tool.


In these verses from Surat Al-Muddathir, nature is mentioned in conjunction with our power to make decisions and be responsible for the consequences of our choices.  Here, God swears by the moon.  This glorious creation with its inescapable majestical glow.  But even this beauty eventually is overpowered and overtaken by day light; the light of reason and truth.

The calm and mysterious attractiveness of the night disappears upon the inescapable arrival of daylight with its sharp bright light and clarity.

We may choose to close our curtains and cover our eyes in our attempt to remain in the dark, tripping over barriers, making avoidable mistakes, falling behind in our journey towards the truth… but then who is to blame for our choice to remain in the dark but our own self.

Reading these verses, I made an effort to wake up and witness the blood moon on Saturday morning.  We gathered as a family and stood at the balcony gazing at an orange dot in the sky.  We prayed the special “miracle” prayers that are obligatory on such occasions.  We took photos and wondered in awe at this beauty.  But then it was getting difficult to see the orange dot… and it gradually disappeared in the morning light.  It’s an inescapable reality – the morning light.  There is no way you can hold on to that orange illusion.  It’s gone with the night.

But then why do we continue to close our eyes to the light of God prefering the comfortable coziness of the darkness of ignorance? Why do we let go of opportunities to spiritually rise and instead dive into the illusion of permanent and eternal earthly life? Why do we avoid nature in every aspect of our lives, with synthetic grass on school grounds, homes that have tiny gardens, shopping centres that are massive air conditioned mini cities, and offices that are lined up with partitions and computers? What happens when we forget to connect with nature and the art of pondering? What happens when we don’t notice anymore the blood moon, the ants and the bees, and we forget how to plant trees?

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