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.


  1. Thank you for reading, Child. I appreciate :-)

  2. The moon was there long before we had evolved into humans. It will be there long after we cease to exist. Ownership is such a shallow illusion.

    I spent my 2nd year of university in Canada on a student exchange programme. Separated by 3,000 miles from my girlfriend (now wife), we would often look up at the moon and take comfort in the fact the other could be looking at the same moon at the same time. It would help to make us feel connected :)

  3. Kim, I've just read this to my sister. "That's so sweet," she said, nodding to all you've written here.

    I wish you and Maggie many moons together.

    Even if it's night in one country and day at the same time in another, the moon connects long-distance love