Moon Light is Reflected Light


Does the Qur’an reveal that the moon has reflected light while the sun is a source of light?

Sura 71:15-16, states:

See ye not how Allah has created the seven heavens one above another,

and made the moon a light (noor) in their midst,

and made the sun as a lamp (siraaj)?

The moon is called a light (Arabic: noor) and the sun a lamp (siraaj). Some Muslims claim that since the Qur’an uses different words speaking about the light of the sun and the light of the moon, it reveals that the sun is a source of light, while the moon only reflects light.

This claim is made on the two web sites listed at the end of this article, implied very strongly by Shabir Ally in his booklet Science in the Qur’an, and stated by Dr. Zakir Naik in his video Is the Qur’an God’s Word? To support this Dr. Naik quotes Sura Al-Furqan 25:61 which says,

Blessed is He Who made constellations in the skies,

And placed therein a lamp (siraaj)

And a moon which has reflected light.

(Yusuf Ali says, “a Moon giving light”)

Then Dr. Naik goes on to say, “The Arabic word for moon is ‘qamar’ and the light described there is ‘muneer’ which is borrowed light, or ‘noor’ which is a reflection of light.”

Not only is this claimed to be a statement in keeping with scientific insight, it is claimed to be scientifically miraculous since this was supposedly only discovered relatively recently.

It is correct that the moon does not emit its own light but only reflects the light of the sun. But this was known already at least a thousand years before Muhammad, for example to the ancient Greek astronomers, and can hardly be called miraculous knowledge.

For example when Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) discussed the shape of the earth. One of his arguments to prove the earth’s sphericity was the fact that during a lunar eclipse, as the moon enters or emerges from the earth’s shadow, the shape of the shadow seen on the moon is always round. Only a spherical object always produces a round shadow. If the earth were a disk, for example, there would be some occasions when the sunlight would be striking the disk edge on, and the shadow on the moon would be a line.

It is clear from this information that Aristotle understood that the light coming from the moon was reflected light.

Why would the Qur’an just use different nouns, calling the moon “a light” and the sun “a lamp”, to show this truth? If the author of the Qur’an wanted to convey this meaning, why does Allah not state it clearly? Why does it not say: “And the moon, its light is only a reflection from the light of the sun”? The words for “light” and “sun” are used many times in the Qur’an and there is an Arabic word for reflection (in`ikaas).

If we insist on scientific miracles, then we have the right to look for and expect scientific language and accuracy. So let us look at this in some more detail.

Do the Quranic words themselves support this claim?

muneer

The word “muneer” is used 6 times in the Qur’an. Four times, Suras 3:184; 22:8, 31:20, and 35:35 it is the phrase “kitab al-muneer” which Yusuf Ali translates as “a book of enlightenment” and Pickthall uses “the scripture giving light”. Clearly this indicates a book which is radiating the light of knowledge. We already looked at Sura 25:61 where “qamar al-muneer” is translated as “a moon giving light”. The sixth verse will be discussed below.

Thus we find that the Qur’an never says that the moon is not a light, and it never says that the moon reflects light. In fact, the Qur’an uses exactly the wrong language from a scientific point of view. It says in Suras 71:16 and 10:5 that Allah “made the moon a light” . However, in other verses the Qur’an says that Allah is a “noor”, a light. Look at Sura An-Noor 24:35, one of the most beautiful passages in the Qur’an. It reads:

Allah is the Light (noor) of the heavens and the earth.

The Parable of His Light (noor) is as if there were a Niche

and within it a Lamp (misbah): the Lamp (misbah) enclosed in Glass:

the glass as it were a brilliant star:

Lit from a blessed Tree, an Olive,

neither of the east nor of the west,

whose oil is well-nigh luminous,

though fire scarce touched it: Light (noor) upon Light (noor)!

God does guide whom He will to His Light (noor):

God does set forth Parables for men: and God does know all things.

siraaj

Concerning the word “siraaj”, in Suras 71:15-16 and 26:61 it is simply “lamp” referring to the sun. In Sura 78:13 “siraajan wahhajan” means “a dazzling lamp”, again indicating the sun.

If you continue to insist that “noor” (used for the moon) means borrowed or reflected light, in comparison to the word (siraaj = lamp) used for the sun, consider the following verses.

In Sura 24:35 we read that “Allah is the light (noor) of the heavens and the earth.” If “noor” means reflected light, what is the source of this light (siraaj) which Allah is only a reflection of?

Think about it. Why is Allah called “noor” and not “siraaj”? Who? What is the “siraaj”?

Well the Qur’an tells us who the “siraaj” is, but the answer will shock you. In Sura 33:45-46 we find:

O Prophet! Truly We have sent thee as a Witness,

a Bearer of Glad Tidings and a Warner

and as one who invites to Allah’s (Grace) by His leave

and as a lamp spreading light.

“And as a lamp spreading light” in Arabic is “wa siraajan muneeran”.

Linguistically, this is the end of the discussion. Here “siraaj” and the adjective “muneer” are used together for the same shining object. It is ridiculous to try to maintain that “muneer” implies reflection rather than its own brilliance.

And spiritually, if you insist that the Arabic words “noor” and “muneer” imply “reflected light, then based on the use of these words in the Qur’an, Muhammad is like the sun, and Allah is like the moon.

Do Muslims really want to say that Muhammad is the source of light, and Allah is only his reflection.

Why are these so called scientific claims made which no Muslim can support if he makes a serious study of his own Qur’an? It makes honest discussion very difficult.

Brought to you by in courtesy of Answering – Islam.

9 thoughts on “Moon Light is Reflected Light

  1. Nice try, Raj, but you failed.

    1) Yes, this was known in the time of the Prophet but not in his place. Remember that the Arabs knew about depths of scientific knowledge after the revelation of Qur’an. I mean that Arab science is post-Qur’an, not pre-Qur’an.

    2) When you use ‘siraj’ and munir’ in relation to one another then it’ll give the meaning Dr. Zakir Naik is trying to show you all. ‘Siraj’ or ‘Zia’ mean light and when ‘nur’ or ‘munir’ are used in relation to any of the first two words then this meaning can be derived that the moon depends of the light of the sun.

  2. “Linguistically, this is the end of the discussion. Here “siraaj” and the adjective “muneer” are used together for the same shining object. It is ridiculous to try to maintain that “muneer” implies reflection rather than its own brilliance.”

    Do you ever think!

    Here the difference IS clear. . . .

    Something can reflect light and be light itself!

    – – –

    “Do Muslims really want to say that Muhammad is the source of light, and Allah is only his reflection.”

    Nope – that he is reflection of light of Allah . . . and transmitter of light too.

  3. “Why are these so called scientific claims made which no Muslim can support if he makes a serious study of his own Qur’an? It makes honest discussion very difficult.”

    Yes – because you copy from each other. The same material is found on other anti-Islamic websites.

    The pretence here is that you – YOU have some sort of authority either on Science or on Quran. When you don’t.

    You don’t know much about the Quran or Science.

    You have SIMPLY ready other anti-Islamic websites . . . . hence you copy their material and thinking.

    This is called being “brainwashed”.

    So – how is one able to have an honest discussion with you?

    – – –

    You have NOTHING original to add. Other than copy and paste . . .

    Your motivation is hate. Of Islam and Muslims.

    – – –

    This is why I have shown – you are UNABLE to answer.

  4. the great thing about Quran, if it copies science of the past. Certainly it copies the correct concept or version of science. Confirmed in modern era.

    But if we take a look at Bible regarding its moonlight. We can deduce that it is simply copying the wrong science. or more towards metaphorical tale

    Isaiah 30:26

    Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.

    Isa 13:10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and THE MOON SHALL NOT CAUSE her light to shine.

    • Dear Submitter,

      In your above comment you said, “the great thing about Quran, if it copies science of the past. Certainly it copies the correct concept or version of science. Confirmed in modern era.”

      Yes it is true that Quran copies fables and tales from past. This is already proven by number of scholars that Quran is not an original work of any God, but a its sources are ancient Jewish-Christian tales, mixed with some Pagan and Parsee’s rituals. But it is absolutely wrong to say it copies correct concept of science. No, it does not. I can show you dozen of pseudo-scientific verses in Quran.

      Next you said, “But if we take a look at Bible regarding its moonlight. We can deduce that it is simply copying the wrong science. or more towards metaphorical tale”

      I don’t want to argue whether Biblical science are correct or wrong, this topic you can debate on any missionary sites. Even if it is wrong, it hardly matters to me. But yes I can show you that even the author of Quran repeats the same blunder. You should read the article above for that. Quran goes further and says Allah created starts as a missile to kill devil, I don’t find it scientific, lets see how you reply:-

      And verily We have beautified the world’s heaven with stars/lamps, and We have made them missiles for the devils, and for them We have prepared the doom of flame. Quran 67:5

      It also says Moon has its own light, read this verse:-

      And hath made the moon a light therein, and made the sun a lamp? Qur’an 71:16

      It also says Moon was once split in two parts, how any one can find it scientific:-

      The hour drew nigh and the moon was rent in twain.
      Qur’an 54:1

      Lets see how you defend these pseudo-scientific verses of QUran.

      Regards

      • “This is already proven by number of scholars that Quran is not an original work of any God, but a its sources are ancient Jewish-Christian tales, mixed with some Pagan and Parsee’s rituals. ”

        Such as . . .name them? As you have not given any names . . . or proven your point. It is easy to dismiss.

        – – –

        ” No, it does not. I can show you dozen of pseudo-scientific verses in Quran.”

        Then why didn’t you?

        – – –

        These are same arguments – you find over and over and over . . .

        One blog copies from another . . . and etc.

        These have ALL been answered. See for example. . . .Sina.

        He did the same thing . . . When exposed – now he sits cowering from me.

        – – –

        “Quran goes further and says Allah created starts as a missile to kill devil, I don’t find it scientific”

        Hang on . . . what is unscientific about it? What is iscience?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science

        Science does NOT concern itself with answering questions such as the one posed above.

        – – –

        “It also says Moon has its own light, read this verse:-”

        Where . . . ? No it does NOT. This is an out and out lie.

        وجعل القمر فيهن نورا وجعل الشمس سراجا

        And made the moon therein a light and made the sun a burning lamp?

        This simply states – the Moon is a light. That is it. Interestingly . . . calling the Sun a burning lamp – would indicate the opposite. That the moon isn’t a indpendent light. As the author chose to seperate the two.

        – – –

        “It also says Moon was once split in two parts, how any one can find it scientific:-”

        WHAT! Really?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon

        Do you even know what the moon is?

        You do know that the Moon, a natural satellite of Earth, was formed by impact of an another body.

        Hence it is PERFECTLY scientific that the moon can be split.

        And for a God – who created the universe – an easy feat!

        – – –

        “Lets see how you defend these pseudo-scientific verses of QUran.”

        Doh! Back to you . . .

      • Hi Raj, Allah’s power and His Ways are mysterious. Allah has created crystal clear lenses in our eyes from the like cells He has made enamel the toughest material. Allah is great!! How come there are thousands of rocks flying by just outside our atmosphere, we taste too, one small one falling on a Russian mountain recently? Where do they come from? What drives them?

        “The hour drew nigh and the moon was rent in twain.Qur’an” 54:1

        The above is a mystery for you to solve too because according to Muslims they do not question Allah, the Creator and it is believed as true in whatsoever form, that is metaphorically or otherwise. Quran is for the believers only and the non believers have no right of questioning Allah because they do not believe!!

        If Tsunami happened then the splitting of the moon as an illusion could have happened literally for the sake of your argument!!

        Regards

        Plum

  5. Pingback: Modern Science & Quranic Miracles « The False Prophet

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