Monday, November 10, 2008

In the Dark of Night

Recently, a friend and I couldn’t seem to sleep, so we just hung out in the corridor chatting about various stuff. I then glanced at the sky and commented on how dark the sky was tonight. My friend said that the moon isn’t showing herself tonight, which led us to remember the bits of science taught to us during primary school – the one about how the earth spins on its axis for 24 hrs (1 day), and how one complete orbit around the sun takes 365 days (1 year).

Then I remembered a lesson I learnt in my Arabic class which discussed verses 3 – 10 of Surah Yunus in the Holy Qur’an. Verse 5 mentions that Allah created the sun and the moon to move in its own orbit so that we (as the slaves of Allah) will know how to count the months and the years. So my Ustaz told us that the Roman calendar (tahun Masihi) is based on the sun and consists of 365 days a year, while the Hijriyah calendar is based on the moon and has 354 days in a year. That means that if we follow the Hijriyah calendar, we’d actually be older than we are now since it has fewer days in a year compared to the Roman calendar. Slight shudder there.

Another fascinating thing which my Ustaz pointed out to us in Verse 5 is the way Allah described the sun and the moon - Allah has created the sun to radiate and the moon to glow. However, I find that the Malay translation of that particular verse is more apt and easier to understand, believe it or not. Dia-lah yang menjadikan matahari bersinar dan bulan bercahaya. The significance of Allah’s usage of the word dhiya’ (which means ‘to radiate’) in describing the sun is because the sun emits light – bersinar. On the other hand, the word nuur is used to describe the moon because nuur means cahaya. In this case, the word cahaya means ‘light’, but in the sense that when the moon catches the light from the sun, it shines because it is reflecting the light from the sun. Of course, you will recall from your primary school science that this is because the moon doesn’t emit or radiate its own light – rather, it reflects the light from the sun (and thus, bulan bercahaya).

The shining sun

The glowing moon

It’s really beautiful and amazing actually the way Allah has paired and suited the perfect adjectives to describe His creations. Even I had to refer to a number of dictionaries and Qur’anic translations while writing this post. But then again, it shows that although we human beings are gifted with ‘aqal (mind), our knowledge will never, ever surpass Allah’s knowledge, unless He wills it to happen.

**Please correct me if there are any mistakes...Thank you.


bubu said...

Salam wbt.

Aha, I do agree with ur friend there. Finally, a post, the long-awaited one. Ur fingers must've got fatter as u you didn't type (blog) much right? (Nod) Yah, I tot so, hehe.

I tot bersinar and bercahaya are two different words with the same meaning, (bak kata pak arab, makna wahid). Interesting. Syukran jazilan ya ustazah. (dgn nada yg slalu buat kat kelas skolah rendah, lol)

Little Bookworm said...

Dear Bubu,

if I'd known you were checking up on me, I'd have posted some random posts like this one. Hehe. It was typed before our midsem break actually, but I forgot all about it. Thanx for still reading though. ;-) FYI, my fingers are still as slim as ever due to the amount of writing I did for the exams. Haha. BTW, if you know of any websites which give good tips on writing articles, do let me know. Em...have you read Muse raya edition?? Huhu..........

bubu said...

Lol, have I read? I edited the freakin' final version. Congrats on the article's improvement. Looking forward for the future ones. Best of luck and better start planning :) Believe me, it REALLY helps.

Little Bookworm said...

Ohh...heh heh (sheepish laugh). Didn't know u edited the freakin final version. Thank did mean my article rite psl "an improvement" tu?? :-P Btw Sham, do u have a blog?? Gimme the add if you do!!

bubu said...

I did. Not nemore :) Funny tho u asked that, I guess it was expected because of the nature of my "comments", lol.

“A good book is the best of friends, the same today and forever.”
- Martin Tupper