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Whenever we look up to the night sky, we can’t help but turn our attention to the moon — especially when it’s bright and full. Whether it’s a blue moon, harvest moon, snow moon, supermoon, or wolf moon, the size and radiance of the full moon can’t help but leave us in awe.
So, it is no wonder that the full moon is often depicted as magical in literature and movies, and even has spiritual meaning and symbolism in many faiths and religions.
The Baha’i writings say:
By the terms “sun” and “moon,” mentioned in the writings of the Prophets of God, is not meant solely the sun and moon of the visible universe. Nay rather, manifold are the meanings they have intended for these terms. In every instance they have attached to them a particular significance.
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Indeed, the moon has spiritual meaning in Baha’i prayers and throughout the Baha’i writings.
The Spiritual Meaning of the Moon in Baha’i Prayers
Since Baha’is believe that God has sent many prophets throughout the ages in His one unfolding message to humanity, Baha’is honor the truth and wisdom of all religions. In some of the Baha’i prayers, the radiance of the moon is used to symbolize the enlightenment that the many prophets of God brought to this world.
For example, in a prayer, it says:
Whither are gone the resplendent Suns? Whereunto have departed those shining Moons and sparkling Stars?
Baha’u’llah, the prophet and founder of the Baha’i Faith, wrote “that the terms ‘sun,’ ‘moon,’ and ‘stars’ primarily signify the Prophets of God, the saints, and their companions, those Luminaries, the light of Whose knowledge hath shed illumination upon the worlds of the visible and the invisible.”
And just like the physical moon starts to disappear from our sight as the sunlight starts to grow, so does “the luminary of earthly knowledge, of wisdom, and understanding vanish into nothingness when brought face to face with the resplendent glories of the Sun of Truth, the Day-star of divine enlightenment” – of these prophets. Because how can our human intelligences ever compare to the knowledge of our Creator?
The Spiritual Symbolism of the Moon in Baha’i Texts
Verily, the religion of God is like unto heaven; fasting is its sun, and obligatory prayer is its moon. In truth, they are the pillars of religion whereby the righteous are distinguished from those who transgress His commandments.
Just like the sun and the moon sustain life as we know it on Earth, Baha’is believe that prayer and fasting are two pillars that sustain religion because they are essential for helping us spiritually grow and develop and become closer to God.
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The moon could not provide a bright light to our night sky without the illumination it gets from the sun. By comparing fasting to the sun and obligatory prayer to the moon, Baha’u’llah also means that “Fasting is illumination, [and] prayer is light.”
Of course, these are just a few of the many spiritual meanings of the moon in the Baha’i writings. Because it’s one of the most noticeable lights in our sky, it’s no wonder that it’s often used to symbolize nearness to God and divine enlightenment. As the Baha’i writings say:
This is the century of the Manifestation, the age of the Sun of the Horizons and the beautiful springtime of His Holiness the Eternal One!
The earth is in motion and growth; the mountains, hills and prairies are green and pleasant; the bounty is overflowing; the mercy universal; the rain is descending from the cloud of mercy; the brilliant Sun is shining; the full moon is ornamenting the horizon of ether; the great ocean-tide is flooding every little stream; the gifts are successive; the favors consecutive; and the refreshing breeze is blowing, wafting the fragrant perfume of the blossoms. Boundless treasure is in the hand of the King of Kings! Lift the hem of thy garment in order to receive it.