As the month of Ramadhaan comes to an end, I am reminded of a conversation over coffee with a dear friend and she was telling me about where she drew her Divinity from, “The Moon,” she had said.


We went on to discuss how nations had always worshipped the moon and for centuries women were guided by it as their natural point of healing. On the moon, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, author of Women Who Run with the Wolves, writes on Facebook, “The Mother Moon tonight in the Northern Hemisphere is truly like a candle lit that moves across the sky, and her mirrors, her many billions of tiny black mirrors do not waver, but hold true. Showing us a fire so large that were the sun the size of an orange, the earth would be a dot… and Mother Moon– she reflects the mammoth to the minuscule in terms of light. She reflects only 8-12% of sun’s light, and yet is bright enough to mark the edges of ravines, shoulders of women, baby’s eyelashes in sleep, the silver glints in hair of old men, warning away from treacherous drop offs…What wonder she is. Protectress, gentle sleep keeper, pathfinder, beauty of creatures and human beings.” My friend reminds me that as women, we are tethered to the moon, through an umbilical cord comprised of feminine energy, constantly in a state of change.


The notion of the moon and its changing energies has always been an intrinsic part of Islamic belief. We follow the Lunar calendar, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is known to have miraculously split the moon once, our Blessed Month of Ramadhaan is based on the searching of the moon and Allah, the Quraan has named a Chapter after it, Al-Qamar, The Moon. The Quraan oft mentions the moon’s significance. Here I recall a verse from the Chapter Yunus (Jonah):

It is Allah who appointed the sun to give Radiance,

And the moon to give light,

Assigning its Phases

So you would know the number of years

And the reckoning of time.

Allah did not create these things except with truth.

Allah makes the signs clear for people who know. (10:5)


As the month of Ramadhaan ends, it is important for us, as Muslims, to witness the sighting of the moon. Just as Allah has sent to us the opening of the month, so does Allah close it with the sighting of the moon. Depending on where we are, geographically, the moon might be visible to some and others may not be able to physically witness it. However, whether we are able to see the moon or not, the “mentioning” of the full moon is the much awaited process Muslims participate in toward the end of the fasting month. The month of Ramadhaan is a rather spiritual and auspicious month for Muslims, where they undergo great spiritual-chivalry and momentous inner-work around consciousness and detachment of worldly affairs.


But growing up, the notion of the moon and its significance in the religion was not a celebrated part of Ramadhaan. Moon-Gazing was not a ritual and neither was the anticipation of the moon to signify the end of the Fast and the welcoming of the Eid, the day of celebration. This view had changed after I had lived in Cape Town for a short while. Every year, Muslims gather at a landmark and more often than not, it is at the mesmerising promenade at Sea Point, where Muslims stand shoulder to shoulder, possibly breaking their fast for the last night, bearing witness to the sunset in anticipation of the moon’s revelation.

In an interview, a representative from the Crescent Observers Society in the Cape (Hilal), the moon sighting has been a tradition in the Cape for more than 300 years. He mentions that the moon has its own character, it will come out or it will remain hidden, that is the mystery of the moon. It is only with the naked eye, that one can seek it out.


According to Shaykh Hamza Yusuf in Purification of the Heart (2012):

“Witnessing the new moon is seeing emergence, as it is known in Philosophy. The crescent suddenly emerges in the sky seemingly out of nothing. The reason the moon is not visible at first is because the sunlight is too strong. But as sunset progresses, the light diminishes on the horizon and the sunlight against the crescent itself becomes distinguished from the surrounding crimson sky. So what we actually see of the moon us the sun’s light reflected against the lunar silver. In fact, anything we see in creation is due to reflected light. And all light comes from God.” He mentions that the word Hilal, which means crescent, is actually related to the word Istihlal, which means birth.


This is what Ramadhaan is really- a process of life and death. We enter it with all of our pain, grief and sin and just as the moon succumbs to change, so do we. We are reminded of our lives when we witness the moon because we are reminded of time. To reflect back. Islam is about the processes and movement of everything in the world. It is the hyper-consciousness that we are in a constant state of change as is the Moon, the Sun, the planets…etc. According to Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri in The Story of Creation in the Quran (2013), “The Quran prescribes a path of cautious awareness and constant referencing to the remembrance of God and higher consciousness. People on this path emerge from darkness to light, until they realise that the entire universe is permeated by a sacred light that is beyond the boundaries of understanding by the human mind.” It is important, as my friend and I spoke that day, for us to acknowledge the moon, not just in Ramadhaan, but as a reminder of consciousness. For the women, it is the energy of her Wild energy alignment that she may drink from in her ocean of consciousness. We are always being called to respond to the Earth and to the Moon. We do so when we make wudhu and if no water is to be found, we must touch sand in order to touch the sky.

I end with the words of Shaykh Abdalqadir As-Sufi,

“From one Ramadhaan to the next, you must be aware that you have changed inwardly. Everything is in change. Everything is in movement. Nothing moves faster than the atom. So if that is the case, what is happening in your heart?”


May we all witness the full moon this Ramadhaan with the naked eye.