The moon, an object of fascination and mystery, has been the subject of much exploration and study throughout history. From its presence in literature and art to its importance in religious and cultural traditions, the moon has captured the curiosity of people all over the world.
The Holy Quran highlights the grandness of the moon in Surah Al-Shams wherein it underscores the importance of the sun and the moon, and suggests that they have an unworldly purpose. The role of the moon in regulating the tides and the natural world is also mentioned in this passage.
Moreover, the moon is mentioned at numerous places in the Holy Quran as an example of Allah’s light, suggesting that Allah guides those who seek His guidance towards the truth. The moon is also cited as a symbol of reward that awaits those who follow Allah’s teachings. The moon’s significance in Islam is closely tied to its importance in the natural world, as well as its role as a symbol of Allah’s power and mercy.
From ancient mythologies to modern poetry and prose, the moon has been used as a symbol of time, night, dreams, beauty, mystery, emotions, spirituality and inspiration. In Hindu mythology, the moon is connected with the god Chandra, who is said to represent peace, tranquillity and creativity.
Carl Sandburg’s famous short poem Moonset offers a new look at the moon… “The moon’s good-by ends pictures/The west is empty/ All else is empty/ No moon-talk at all now/Only dark listening to dark.” Sandburg describes the moon as a “silence” that is “dark listening to dark” as it sinks below the horizon. It uses the moon to create a serene atmosphere. The ability of the moon to evoke a sense of timelessness and nostalgia validates its enduring significance in human culture and imagination.
For inspiring painters, sculptors and photographers, the moon has been an admired subject of art for centuries. Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night and Claude Monet’s Impression Sunrise are the masterpieces that have captured the changing phases and luminous glow of the moon brilliantly.
Mysterious and fascinating for centuries, the scientists have studied the moon’s geology, composition and impact on Earth’s tides. Galileo Galilei’s early telescopic observations to the historic landing of humans on the moon in 1969 manifests the scientific inquiry and exploration of the moon.
Influencing the song composers, the moon has also been a popular subject in music to create works that represent its beauty and attraction. From Yeh Chand Sa Roshan Chehra (Kashmir Ki Kali) to Cat Stevens Moon Shadow, the moon has been a source of imagination for musicians across genres.
The luminous glows and changing phases of the moon have stirred our curiosity while its symbolic significance has inspired our creativity and philosophical inquiry. Whether we gaze up at it in wonder or explore its mysteries through science and art, the moon remains a timeless inspiration for us all.
Notwithstanding, the light of the moon has been used by humans for centuries to navigate and explore the world around us and remains an important part of our shared heritage. Without the moon, our world would be a much darker and more dangerous place.
And then, human beings have undeniably left their mark on the moon, both physically and spiritually. Humans have visited the moon several times and polluted it with various artefacts and debris including spacecraft, rovers, and even human waste disturbing its natural environment. In the spiritual domain, the moon has been politicised to the hilt, dragged into trivial controversies.
More so, the moon has been used as a symbol of false pride and power. During the Cold War, the moon was the subject of a fierce space race between the United States and the Soviet Union, with both countries seeking to exhibit their technological superiority by landing on the moon. Today, the moon has once again become a subject of political and commercial interest, with various countries and private companies contending for control and exploitation of its resources.
Wonder what the moon must be thinking about us! Human activities ranging from political to commercial factors have defiled the moon in all aspects. It is time to recognize and address these issues to ensure that our exploration and manoeuvring of the moon is responsible, sustainable and respectful of its natural, symbolic and spiritual significance.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK