Saturday, 26 December 2015

Whose moonlight...?

Moon over Florida.
"Look, Shafi, look! The moon," I called to my 4-year-old nephew as we stepped outdoors on Christmas Eve.

The light poured through a dark web of branches and leaves, and I twisted and turned to see all of the moon.

"Shalikum, moon," my little nephew said, meaning, Assalamualaikum, moon. Peace to you in the name of God, moon.

I thought of the many on social media who had been excited about the Christmas moon, and the news saying it was rare, and for a short while, I too had bought their thrill and had believed it was indeed a Christmas moon.

I got to thinking how Guyanese-American Muslims were posting on FB, and emailing, Christmas messages of peace and love, seeming unaware that on Christmas Eve, the Muslims in Guyana were celebrating the birthday of the prophet of Islam. A journalist in Guyana, Romel Roopnarine, remarked on FB that the birthdays of Muhammed (peace be upon him) and of Jesus (peace be upon him) were being celebrated one day after the other.

And I thought about the moon being full on the night of Youman Nabi, the birthday of Muhammed (peace), which coincided with Christmas Eve this year...I'm not sure how often this has happened before as his birth date changes year to year on our calendar, being calculated according to the lunar calendar. 

"How could anyone say it's a Christmas moon?" I asked myself.  "Whose moon can it be? How can anyone stake claim when it was created for all? What drives us to always stake ownership, to grab, to clutch?"

In the darkness of my room that night, the realisation came to me that this moon which has sailed across centuries, shining on heroes and cowards alike, long-gone and living today; the same moon that has lit upon peace and war; drought and flood and grief and joy, on this night, was showing us the link between two brothers, separated by eras but united by light.