The True Mehdi Issue 04 - September | Page 6

THE ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVE ON THE MOON IMAM MEHDI: THE ONE OF THE MOON Why does this monotheistic religion attach so much importance to the Moon? Surely, you will see your Lord just as you see this Moon and you will have no difficulty in seeing Him. — PROPHET MOHAMMAD — W hile Christianity and Judaism also declare that there is one God, Islam has perhaps emphasised the oneness of God the most out of all the Abrahamic religions. This is because Islam was founded in Mecca, a city which was the holy centre for Arab paganism. 360 idols had been housed in the Kaaba before Prophet Mohammad had 359 of them demolished 3 . Due to the nature of the society Islam was introduced in, it was a priority for Prophet Mohammad to underline the monotheistic aspect of Islam to early Muslims. Muslims were instructed to worship only God and were told that he is the sole creator of the universe. It is interesting to see how Islam, a religion that rejects Arab pagan traditions, views the Moon, given that the Moon featured prominently in Arab paganism. In fact, the Moon is so significant in Islam that it has come to be a de facto symbol of the religion. Many Islamic countries such as Libya and Pakistan depict the crescent Moon and a star on their flags. Even Michel de Nostradamus, in his predictions for the future, would often use the crescent Moon as a metaphor for Muslims. The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, meaning that all the important dates and holidays in Islam are determined according to the Moon’s cycle. Celebrations such as the Eid ul Fitr, Eid ul Adha and Rabi ul Awwal (Prophet Mohammad’s birthday) depend on the lunar cycle. The beginning of the holy month of Ramadan is determined by whether or not the crescent of the New Moon is seen over the city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. There is an entire chapter in the Koran which is dedicated to the Moon. A famous Prophetic Tradition directs Muslims to pray to the Moon for protection of their faith. [AT-TIRMIDHI NUMBER 3451; SAHI IBN HIBBAN NUMBER 888] Laila tul Qadr (The Night of Power) is a special night that can fall on any of the odd-numbered days of the last ten days of Ramadan. It is so important that the Koran declares its blessings to be greater than 1000 month’s sincere worship. [KORAN 97:1-5] Since there is no fixed date for Laila tul Qadr besides it being in the last ten days of Ramadan, it is essential for Muslims to correctly calculate the Moon’s position in order to avail the spiritual benefits of Laila tul Qadr. The Koran also declares that the Moon is a sign from God. [KORAN 41:37] In addition, the sacred text indicates that the Moon will be vital in humanity’s recognition of the Messianic figure, Imam Mehdi, during the last era. When Prophet Mohammad and the Muslims conquered Mecca, he had all the idols in the Kaaba destroyed except the Holy Black Stone, which is seen in Islam as a sacred object; it is crucial in the T H E T R U E M pilgrimage E H D I • I S of S U Hajj. E 04 • SEPT 2017 T he Muslim faith holds that a Messianic figure will come during the twilight phase of the world, known by the title of Imam Mehdi 4 . Directly translated, Imam Mehdi means, ‘The One of the Moon.’ According to a tradition of Prophet Mohammad, ‘[Imam Mehdi] will appear at the end of time and fill the world with justice after it has been filled with injustice and oppression.’ [BIHAR-AL-ANWAR, VOL. 51 P.76] Imam Mehdi would come in an era where people had forgotten the core teachings of their religions; tyranny and injustice would be widespread. He would come to restore peace and establish the Religion of God (divine love) on Earth by conferring onto humanity God’s personal name. [KORAN 110:1-3; KORAN 5:54; RAJHUL MUTALIB] Fittingly, one of the major signs pertaining to Imam Mehdi is his image becoming visible on the surface of the Moon. Imam Jafar Sadiq, a prominent and venerated descendant of Prophet Mohammad, said, ‘Imam Mehdi’s face will shine on the Moon.’ [AL- GHAYBA] The Koran also declares that in the end times, the secret of the Moon would sprout out 5 . [KORAN 54:1] It also foretells of a time when God would manifest his signs in the horizons and in the beings of people until they accept the truth. [KORAN 41:53] 4 A common misnomer for Imam Mehdi is Imam Mahdi, which means ‘Guided One’. Imam Mehdi, however, is the original title. This verse of the Koran is often incorrectly linked to an alleged miracle performed by Prophet Mohammad, whereby he split the Moon into two. However, the verb tenses used in this verse suggest that the time for the secret of the Moon to ‘erupt’ would be in the future. 5 Tifl-e-Noori & THE MOON (BODY OF GOD’ S LIGHT ) According to Islamic Sufi beliefs, God grants the elite of his elite saints auxiliary spirits from his personal being. Muslim Sufis believe the Holy Spirit (Jussa-e-Taufiq-e-Ilahi) given to Jesus Christ was one of such entities. From one of the categories of divine sub-spirits is the Tifl-e-Noori, a spirit believed to have been formed from God’s ancient light. Sufis believe that before the Primordial Day when the souls were assembled before God, God wanted to see how beautiful he was. When this thought crossed his mind, a manifestation appeared in front of God which was the embodiment of his beauty; this came to be known as Aks-e-Awal (The Divine Reflection). When God saw The Divine Reflection, he moved in ecstasy seven times. Each time he moved, beads of light fell from him, forming seven different bodies of his light. These are what Sufis refer to as Tifl-e-Noori. Those who are granted the Tifl-e-Noori are known as Sultan ul Fuqra (Kings of Spiritual Poverty). The Tifl-e-Noori in Sufi traditions are represented in the esoteric realm as the Moon, while the Holy Spirit is represented by the Sun. According to Sultan Haq Bahoo, ‘Every Tifl-e-Noori of a Sultan ul Fuqra is an image of God.’ [ROUHI SHAREEF] It is understood by Sufis that Imam Mehdi would be in possession of a Tifl- e-Noori. Therefore it is no surprise that, in relation to Imam Mehdi’s image on the Moon, Prophet Mohammad said, ‘Surely, you will see your Lord just a s you see this Moon and you will have no difficulty in seeing Him. You shall not be harmed by seeing him.’ [NARRATED JARIR, HADITH NUMBER 531: VOLUME 9, BOOK 93, AL- BUKHARI; SAHIH MUSLIM] Learn about the Primordial Day and how the predestined fates of human beings were decided in His Divine Eminence Gohar Shahi’s book, The Religion of God (Divine Love). 6 3 6 THE TRUE MEHDI • ISSUE 04 • SEPT 2017 7