Blood Moon

Tonight I went out to see a blood moon.

On the night of Sunday September 28th, 2015, there would be a supermoon lunar eclipse that would be visible for exactly an hour and twelve minutes. The resulting visual to be seen would be a moon thirty percent larger than normal, bathed in a blood red color. Hence the name ‘blood moon.’

That was curious in it of itself, since those two combinations of phenomena would not occur for quite a while, namely until 2033, and the next total lunar eclipse wouldn’t happen until 2018. But even rarer was the fact that I stepped out of my cozy apartment in Henderson to view this occurrence.

In hindsight I should’ve known better, since I live in an environment extremely unsuitable for gazing at the cosmos but it was a spur-of-the-moment kind of decision. After sitting for five straight hours in my chair on my laptop – don’t look at me like that, we all have those moments – doing absolutely nothing of importance, I figured I’d haul myself outside and do something useful.

I walked down to the field outside Loree Hall, dressed in a lazy hoodie and sweatpants. Yellow and white streetlights glared on my glasses until I reached the dark spot right in the middle of that field. And there I looked.

I looked futilely for a moon that I could not see, no matter how hard I tried. Clouds hid that beautiful moon away from me, smog thick in the air. ‘Round and ‘round I turned, from every vantage point I tried, but those lights foiled my attempts, their pollution seeping so far into my safe dark spot. Perhaps even with the most advanced technology there was no way to experience that moon from there. After a few minutes, I gave up.

But I learned something that night. That moon was Allah: an entity who is All-Present, even when you cannot see Him with your own eyes. The walk I walked is the journey you take to become closer to Him. The clouds covering your sight are but trials to overcome so that the smog from your eyes can be lifted to see the Most Merciful.

And in the end of it all, you will see that He was there all along.

Leading you unconsciously.

Whether you could see Him or not.

Sometimes life’s obstacles overwhelm you. You need to know when to take a break and go somewhere secluded to unwind. To go to a clearer place to see that incredible moon, to a place isolated from anyone else so that you can see that moon with nothing to obstruct our view. Just you and the moon.

Just you and Allah.


–Hira Shahbaz


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