Sunday, November 1, 2009 at 12:29 AM

Title: Mikraj
Medium: Photography
Photographer: Johan Ishak
Time/Date: 6:00 pm, {Date not recorded}, 1999
Place of creation: Marangaroo, Perth

USTRALIA offers you the luxury of space. With its dessert like continent, the sky seems like a huge screen and the land sprawl with little highland to obstruct the magnificent work of nature when the sun completes its semi-circle journey. The best of "Sky" I've ever seen was in Australia, be it plain blue, the marching of clouds or sunset. It was reported in various journals that Australia has an extraordinary clear sky predominantly due to the huge hole in the ozone layer above it - possibly caused by thousands of years of natural forest fires.

I must also share with you a spectacular sighting of mine in the desert of Perth, Australia. Lying on the Earth looking into the sky at night, I once saw a faint stripe of tiny stars across the sky revealing an arm of the Milkyway visible from a planet (Earth) that is within another arm of the galaxy. How cool is that? This has to beat the sighting of Halley's Comet (which I witnessed sometime back in the early 80's).

So I decided to take photos of the Australian Sky - as attached. These 2 images were taken from the open land of Marangaroo, Perth.

The first image simply shows multiple layers of colours merely produced by nature's very own dusk. I have also used this photo in my blogspot for the poem "PETALA MASA", which simply means "Multilayers of Time" in Malay: Mutilayers of colours as a result of time (i.e. Dusk). This snapshot reveals:

1. BLACK (trees blocking the sunlight)
2. YELLOW (evening sun dispersing light at the eve of setting),
3. ORANGE (reflection of sunlight on the clouds)
4. BROWN/REDDISH (upper side of clouds absorbing dusk-light)
5. BLUE (day light not willing to surrender to dusk)
6. WHITE (spotted clouds shielded from the sunset)
7. INDIGO (arrival of darkness as light disappears)

The second image reminds me of a burning Phoenix spreading its wings across the sky with the effects of the sunset giving a fire-like texture on the group of clouds that spread like the wings of an eagle.

The multiple layers of colours are symbolic of a journey required to reach the heavens and the "Phoenix" simply represents magical touch to such a journey; both divine in its own way. This is consistent with at least 1 biblical text on the subject "ascending to the heavens": In the Quran, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), once travelled from Jerusalem (Al-Aqsa) to the heavens to meet God Almighty. In his odyssey, he went through multiple layers of sky (If I am not mistaken, 7 layers) with the aid of a glowing creature with wings (like a Phoenix perhaps?). This journey is called "Mikraj" (Arabic for Ascending).


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