;
Among the Signs of the Might and Power of Allah are the Night and Day, and the Sun and Moon
﴿ يُغۡشِى ٱلَّيۡلَ ٱلنَّہَارَ يَطۡلُبُهُ ۥ حَثِيثً۬ا

(He brings the night as a cover over the day, seeking it rapidly) (7:54). Allah says here:

﴿ وَءَايَةٌ۬ لَّهُمُ ٱلَّيۡلُ نَسۡلَخُ مِنۡهُ ٱلنَّہَارَ

(And a sign for them is the night. We withdraw therefrom the day,) meaning, `We take it away from it, so it goes away and the night comes.' Allah says:

﴿ فَإِذَا هُم مُّظۡلِمُونَ

(and behold, they are in darkness.) As it says in the Hadith:

« إِذَا أَقْبَلَ اللَّيْلُ مِنْ ههُنَا، وَأَدْبَرَ النَّهَارُ مِنْ ههُنَا، وَغَرَبَتِ الشَّمْسُ، فَقَدْ أَفْطَرَ الصَّائِم »

(When the night comes from here, and the day departs from here, and the sun has set, then the fasting person should break his fast.) This is the apparent meaning of the Ayah. Allah's saying:

﴿ وَٱلشَّمۡسُ تَجۡرِى لِمُسۡتَقَرٍّ۬ لَّهَا‌ۚ ذَٲلِكَ تَقۡدِيرُ ٱلۡعَزِيزِ ٱلۡعَلِيمِ

(And the sun runs on its fixed course for a term (appointed). That is the decree of the Almighty, the All-Knowing) There are two views over the meaning of the phrase

﴿ لِمُسۡتَقَرٍّ۬ لَّهَا‌ۚ

(on its fixed course for a term (appointed). ) (The first view) is that it refers to its fixed course of location, which is beneath the Throne, beyond the earth in that direction. Wherever it goes, it is beneath the Throne, it and all of creation, because the Throne is the roof of creation and it is not a sphere as many astronomers claim. Rather it is a dome supported by legs or pillars, carried by the angels, and it is above the universe, above the heads of people. When the sun is at its zenith at noon, it is in its closest position to Throne, and when it runs in its fourth orbit at the opposite point to its zenith, at midnight, it is in its furthest position from the Throne. At that point it prostrates and asks for permission to rise, as mentioned in the Hadiths. Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "I was with the Prophet in the Masjid at sunset, and he said:

« يَا أَبَا ذَرَ، أَتَدْرِي أَيْنَ تَغْرُبُ الشَّمْسُ؟ »

(O Abu Dharr! Do you know where the sun sets) I said, `Allah and His Messenger know best.' He said:

« فَإِنَّهَا تَذْهَبُ حَتْى تَسْجُدَ تَحْتَ الْعَرْشِ، فَذَلِكَ قَوْلُهُ تَعَالَى:
﴿ وَٱلشَّمۡسُ تَجۡرِى لِمُسۡتَقَرٍّ۬ لَّهَا‌ۚ ذَٲلِكَ تَقۡدِيرُ ٱلۡعَزِيزِ ٱلۡعَلِيمِ

(It goes and prostrates beneath the Throne, and that is what Allah says: (And the sun runs on its fixed course for a term. That is the decree of the Almighty, the All-Knowing.))'' It was also reported that Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "I asked the Messenger of Allah about the Ayah:

﴿ وَٱلشَّمۡسُ تَجۡرِى لِمُسۡتَقَرٍّ۬ لَّهَا‌ۚ

(And the sun runs on its fixed course for a term. ) He said:

« مُسْتَقَرُّهَا تَحْتَ الْعَرْش »

(Its fixed course is beneath the Throne.)'' (The second view) is that this refers to when the sun's appointed time comes to an end, which will be on the Day of Resurrection, when its fixed course will be abolished, it will come to a halt and it will be rolled up. This world will come to an end, and that will be the end of its appointed time. This is the fixed course of its time. Qatadah said:

﴿ لِمُسۡتَقَرٍّ۬ لَّهَا‌ۚ

(on its fixed course for a term (appointed).) means, "It has an appointed time and it will not go beyond that.'' It was also said that this means, it keeps moving in its summer orbit for a certain time, and it does not exceed that, then it moves to its winter orbit for a certain time, and it does not exceed that. This was narrated from `Abdullah bin `Amr, may Allah be pleased with him. Ibn Mas`ud and Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them, recited this Ayah as: (وَالشَّمْسُ تَجْرِي لَامُسْتَقَرَّ لَهَا) (And the sun runs with no fixed course for a term,) meaning that it has no destination and it does not settle in one place, rather it keeps moving night and day, never slowing down or stopping, as in the Ayah:

﴿ وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمُ ٱلشَّمۡسَ وَٱلۡقَمَرَ دَآٮِٕبَيۡنِ‌ۖ

(And He has made the sun and the moon, both constantly pursuing their courses, to be of service to you) (14:33). which means, they will never slow down or stop, until the Day of Resurrection.

﴿ ذَٲلِكَ تَقۡدِيرُ ٱلۡعَزِيزِ

(That is the decree of the Almighty,) means, which none can oppose or prevent.

﴿ ٱلۡعَلِيمُ

(the All-Knowing.) Who knows every movement and every cessation of movement, Who has decreed that and Who has set it in motion following a pattern in which there are no differences or inversions, as Allah says:

﴿ فَالِقُ ٱلۡإِصۡبَاحِ وَجَعَلَ ٱلَّيۡلَ سَكَنً۬ا وَٱلشَّمۡسَ وَٱلۡقَمَرَ حُسۡبَانً۬ا‌ۚ ذَٲلِكَ تَقۡدِيرُ ٱلۡعَزِيزِ ٱلۡعَلِيمِ

((He is the) Cleaver of the daybreak. He has appointed the night for resting, and the sun and the moon for reckoning. Such is the measuring of the Almighty, the All-Knowing.) (6:96) And this is how this Ayah ends:

﴿ ذَٲلِكَ تَقۡدِيرُ ٱلۡعَزِيزِ ٱلۡعَلِيمِ

(That is the decree of the Almighty, the All-Knowing.) Then Allah says:

﴿ وَٱلۡقَمَرَ قَدَّرۡنَـٰهُ مَنَازِلَ

(And the moon, We have decreed for it stages,) meaning, `We have caused it to run in a different orbit, from which passing of the months can be deduced, just as night and day are known from the sun.' This is like the Ayah:

﴿ يَسۡـَٔلُونَكَ عَنِ ٱلۡأَهِلَّةِ‌ۖ قُلۡ هِىَ مَوَٲقِيتُ لِلنَّاسِ وَٱلۡحَجِّ‌ۗ

(They ask you about the crescent moons. Say: "These are signs to mark fixed periods of time for mankind and for the pilgrimage (Hajj). '') (2:189),

﴿ هُوَ ٱلَّذِى جَعَلَ ٱلشَّمۡسَ ضِيَآءً۬ وَٱلۡقَمَرَ نُورً۬ا وَقَدَّرَهُ ۥ مَنَازِلَ لِتَعۡلَمُواْ عَدَدَ ٱلسِّنِينَ وَٱلۡحِسَابَ‌ۚ

(It is He Who made the sun a shining thing and the moon as a light and measured out for it stages that you might know the number of years and the reckoning) (10:5), and

﴿ وَجَعَلۡنَا ٱلَّيۡلَ وَٱلنَّہَارَ ءَايَتَيۡنِ‌ۖ فَمَحَوۡنَآ ءَايَةَ ٱلَّيۡلِ وَجَعَلۡنَآ ءَايَةَ ٱلنَّہَارِ مُبۡصِرَةً۬ لِّتَبۡتَغُواْ فَضۡلاً۬ مِّن رَّبِّكُمۡ وَلِتَعۡلَمُواْ عَدَدَ ٱلسِّنِينَ وَٱلۡحِسَابَ‌ۚ وَڪُلَّ شَىۡءٍ۬ فَصَّلۡنَـٰهُ تَفۡصِيلاً۬

(And We have appointed the night and the day as two Ayat (signs). Then, We have obliterated the sign of the night while We have made the sign of the day illuminating, that you may seek bounty from your Lord, and that you may know the number of the years and the reckoning. And We have explained everything with full explanation.) (17:12) So, He has given the sun its own light, and the moon its (reflection of) light, and has given each its own orbit. So the sun rises each day and sets at the end of the day, giving one kind of light all the time, but it moves, rising and setting at different points in the summer and winter, thus making the days and nights longer or shorter alternatively according to the season. Its authority is in the daytime, for it is the heavenly body that dominates the day. As for the moon, Allah has decreed that it should pass through different phases. At the beginning of the month, the moon appears small when it rises. It gives off little light, then on the second night its light increases and it rises to a higher position, and the higher it rises the more light it gives -- even though it is reflected from the sun -- until it becomes full on the fourteenth night of the month. Then it starts to wane until the end of the month, until it appears like the old dried curved date stalk. Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "This is the original stem (which connects the bunch of dates to the tree).'' The Arabs have a name for each set of three nights in a month, according to the phases of the moon. They call the first three nights Ghurar; the next three nights Nufal; the next three nights Tusa` (nine) -- because the last of them is the ninth. The next three nights are called `Ushar (ten) -- because the first of them is the tenth. The next three nights are called Al-Bid (white) -- because of the light of the moon which shines brightly throughout these three nights. The next three nights are called Dura`, the plural of Dar`a', because on the first of them the night is dark from the moon rising late. Dar`a' refers to the black sheep, i.e., the one whose head is black; the next three nights Zulam; then Hanadis, then Da'adi; then Mihaq, because of the absence of moonlight at the beginning of the month. Abu `Ubayd did not recognize the names Tusa` and `Ushar, in the book Gharib Al-Musannaf.

﴿ لَا ٱلشَّمۡسُ يَنۢبَغِى لَهَآ أَن تُدۡرِكَ ٱلۡقَمَرَ

(It is not for the sun to overtake the moon,) Mujahid said, "Each of them has a limit which it does not transgress or fall short of. When the time of one comes, the other goes away, and when the time for one to prevail comes, the time of the other ceases.'' `Ikrimah said concerning the Ayah,

﴿ لَا ٱلشَّمۡسُ يَنۢبَغِى لَهَآ أَن تُدۡرِكَ ٱلۡقَمَرَ

(It is not for the sun to overtake the moon,) this means that each of them has its time when it prevails. So it is not appropriate for the sun to rise at night.

﴿ وَلَا ٱلَّيۡلُ سَابِقُ ٱلنَّہَارِ‌ۚ

(nor does the night outstrip the day.) means, after night has passed, it is not right for another night to come until it has been day. The authority of the sun is during the day and the authority of the moon is at night. Ad-Dahhak said, "The night does not depart from here until the day comes from here -- and he pointed to the east.'' Mujahid said:

﴿ وَلَا ٱلَّيۡلُ سَابِقُ ٱلنَّہَارِ‌ۚ

(nor does the night outstrip the day.) "They seek one another rapidly.'' The meaning is that there is no gap between night and day; each of them follows the other with no interval, because they have been subjugated and are both constantly pursuing one another.

﴿ وَكُلٌّ۬ فِى فَلَكٍ۬ يَسۡبَحُونَ

(They all float, each in an orbit.) means, night and day, the sun and the moon, all of them are floating, i.e., revolving, in their orbits in the heaven. This was the view of Ibn `Abbas, `Ikrimah, Ad-Dahhak, Al-Hasan, Qatadah and `Ata' Al-Khurasani. Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) and others among the Salaf said, "In an orbit like the arc of a spinning wheel.''

﴿ وَءَايَةٌ۬ لَّهُمۡ أَنَّا حَمَلۡنَا ذُرِّيَّتَہُمۡ فِى ٱلۡفُلۡكِ ٱلۡمَشۡحُونِ وَخَلَقۡنَا لَهُم مِّن مِّثۡلِهِۦ مَا يَرۡكَبُونَ وَإِن نَّشَأۡ نُغۡرِقۡهُمۡ فَلَا صَرِيخَ لَهُمۡ وَلَا هُمۡ يُنقَذُونَ إِلَّا رَحۡمَةً۬ مِّنَّا وَمَتَـٰعًا إِلَىٰ حِينٍ۬

(41. And an Ayah for them is that We bore their offspring in the laden ship.) (42. And We have created for them of the like thereunto, on which they ride.) (43. And if We will, We shall drown them, and there will be no shout for them, nor will they be saved.) (44. Unless it be a mercy from Us, and as an enjoyment for a while.)

Among the Signs of Allah is that He carried Them in the laden Ship

Allah tells us: another sign for them of His might and power is that He has subjugated the sea to carry ships, including -- most significantly -- the ship of Nuh (peace be upon him) in which Allah saved him and the believers, apart from whom none of the descendants of Adam were left on the face of the earth. Allah says:

﴿ وَءَايَةٌ۬ لَّهُمۡ أَنَّا حَمَلۡنَا ذُرِّيَّتَہُمۡ

(And an Ayah for them is that We bore their offspring) means, their forefathers,

﴿ فِى ٱلۡفُلۡكِ ٱلۡمَشۡحُونِ

(in the laden ship.) means, in the ship which was filled with luggage and animals, in which Allah commanded him to put two of every kind. Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "Laden means filled.'' This was also the view of Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ash-Sha`bi, Qatadah and As-Suddi. Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah and Ibn Zayd said, "This was the ship of Nuh peace be upon him.''

﴿ وَخَلَقۡنَا لَهُم مِّن مِّثۡلِهِۦ مَا يَرۡكَبُونَ

(And We have created for them of the like thereunto, on which they ride.) Al-`Awfi said, narrating from Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) "This means the camel, for it is the ship of the land on which they carry goods and on which they ride. '' Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "Do you know what the Ayah:

﴿ وَخَلَقۡنَا لَهُم مِّن مِّثۡلِهِۦ مَا يَرۡكَبُونَ

(And We have created for them of the like thereunto, on which they ride.) refers to'' We said, "No.'' He said, "This refers to the ships which were made after the ship of Nuh (peace be upon him) which was similar to it.'' This was also the view of Abu Malik, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, Abu Salih and As-Suddi, that the Ayah

﴿ وَخَلَقۡنَا لَهُم مِّن مِّثۡلِهِۦ مَا يَرۡكَبُونَ

(And We have created for them of the like thereunto, on which they ride.) refers to ships.

﴿ وَإِن نَّشَأۡ نُغۡرِقۡهُمۡ

(And if We will, We shall drown them,) means, those who are on board the ships.

﴿ فَلَا صَرِيخَ لَهُمۡ

(and there will be no shout for them) means, there will be no one to save them from their predicament.

﴿ وَلَا هُمۡ يُنقَذُونَ

(nor will they be saved. ) means, from what has befallen them.

﴿ إِلَّا رَحۡمَةً۬ مِّنَّا

(Unless it be a mercy from Us,) means, `but by Our mercy We make it easy for you to travel on land and sea, and We keep you safe until an appointed time.' Allah says:

﴿ وَمَتَـٰعًا إِلَىٰ حِينٍ۬

(and as an enjoyment for a while.) meaning, until a time that is known to Allah, may He be glorified and exalted.

﴿ وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ ٱتَّقُواْ مَا بَيۡنَ أَيۡدِيكُمۡ وَمَا خَلۡفَكُمۡ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تُرۡحَمُونَ وَمَا تَأۡتِيہِم مِّنۡ ءَايَةٍ۬ مِّنۡ ءَايَـٰتِ رَبِّہِمۡ إِلَّا كَانُواْ عَنۡہَا مُعۡرِضِينَ وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمۡ أَنفِقُواْ مِمَّا رَزَقَكُمُ ٱللَّهُ قَالَ ٱلَّذِينَ ڪَفَرُواْ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ أَنُطۡعِمُ مَن لَّوۡ يَشَآءُ ٱللَّهُ أَطۡعَمَهُ ۥۤ إِنۡ أَنتُمۡ إِلَّا فِى ضَلَـٰلٍ۬ مُّبِينٍ۬

(45. And when it is said to them: "Beware of that which is before you, and that which is behind you, in order that you may receive mercy.'') (46. And never came an Ayah from among the Ayat of their Lord to them, but they did turn away from it.) (47. And when it is said to them: "Spend of that with which Allah has provided you,'' those who disbelieve say to those who believe: "Shall we feed those whom, if Allah willed, He would have fed You are only in a plain error.'')

The Misguidance of the Idolators

Allah tells us how the idolaters persisted in their misguidance and in not paying attention to the sins that they had committed in the past or what was to happen to them in the future, on the Day of Resurrection.

﴿ وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ ٱتَّقُواْ مَا بَيۡنَ أَيۡدِيكُمۡ وَمَا خَلۡفَكُمۡ

(And when it is said to them: "Fear of that which is before you, and that which is behind you...'') Mujahid said, "This refers to sins.'' Others said it is the opposite.

﴿ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تُرۡحَمُونَ

(in order that you may receive mercy.) means, `so that, if you fear such things Allah will have mercy on you and will save you from His punishment.' The wording implies that they would not respond. Rather that they would turn away and ignore that, as Allah says:

﴿ وَمَا تَأۡتِيهِم مِّنۡ ءَايَةٍ۬ مِّنۡ ءَايَـٰتِ رَبِّہِمۡ

(And never came an Ayah from among the Ayat of their Lord to them,) meaning, signs of Tawhid and the truth of the Messengers,

﴿ إِلَّا كَانُواْ عَنۡہَا مُعۡرِضِينَ

(but they did turn away from it,) means, they did not accept it or benefit from it.

﴿ وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمۡ أَنفِقُواْ مِمَّا رَزَقَكُمُ ٱللَّهُ

(And when it is said to them: "Spend of that with which Allah has provided you,'') means, when they are told to spend of that which Allah has provided to them on the poor and needy among the Muslims,

﴿ قَالَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ

(those who disbelieve say to those who believe) means, about the believers who are poor, i.e., they say to those believers who tell them to spend on the needy,

﴿ أَنُطۡعِمُ مَن لَّوۡ يَشَآءُ ٱللَّهُ أَطۡعَمَهُ ۥۤ

(Shall we feed those whom, if Allah willed, He (Himself) would have fed) meaning, `those whom you are telling us to spend on, if Allah had wanted to, He would have made them independent and fed them from His provision, so we are in accordance with the will of Allah with regard to them.

﴿ إِنۡ أَنتُمۡ إِلَّا فِى ضَلَـٰلٍ۬ مُّبِينٍ۬

(You are only in a plain error.) means, `by telling us to do that.'

﴿ وَيَقُولُونَ مَتَىٰ هَـٰذَا ٱلۡوَعۡدُ إِن كُنتُمۡ صَـٰدِقِينَ مَا يَنظُرُونَ إِلَّا صَيۡحَةً۬ وَٲحِدَةً۬ تَأۡخُذُهُمۡ وَهُمۡ يَخِصِّمُونَ فَلَا يَسۡتَطِيعُونَ تَوۡصِيَةً۬ وَلَآ إِلَىٰٓ أَهۡلِهِمۡ يَرۡجِعُونَ

(48. And they say: "When will this promise be fulfilled, if you are truthful'') (49. They await only but a single Sayhah which will seize them while they are disputing!) (50. Then they will not be able to make bequest, nor they will return to their family.)

The Disbelievers thought that the Day of Resurrection would never come to pass

Allah tells us how the disbelievers thought that the Day of Resurrection would never come to pass, as they said:

﴿ مَتَىٰ هَـٰذَا ٱلۡوَعۡدُ

("When will this promise be fulfilled...'')

﴿ يَسۡتَعۡجِلُ بِہَا ٱلَّذِينَ لَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ بِہَا‌ۖ

(Those who believe not therein seek to hasten it) (42:18). Allah says:

﴿ مَا يَنظُرُونَ إِلَّا صَيۡحَةً۬ وَٲحِدَةً۬ تَأۡخُذُهُمۡ وَهُمۡ يَخِصِّمُونَ

(They await only but a single Sayhah which will seize them while they are disputing!) meaning, they are only waiting for a single shout which -- and Allah knows best -- will be the trumpet blast of terror when the Trumpet will be blown while the people are in their marketplaces and places of work, arguing and disputing as they usually do. While in this state, Allah will command Israfil to blow into the Trumpet, so he will sound a long note and there will be no one left on the face of the earth except he will tilt his head to listen to the sound coming from heaven. Then the people who are alive will be driven to the gathering place by a fire which will surround them on all sides. Allah says:

﴿ فَلَا يَسۡتَطِيعُونَ تَوۡصِيَةً۬

(Then they will not be able to make bequest,) meaning, with regard to their possessions, because the matter is more serious than that,

﴿ وَلَآ إِلَىٰٓ أَهۡلِهِمۡ يَرۡجِعُونَ

(nor they will return to their family.) Numerous Hadiths and reports have been narrated about this, which we have mentioned elsewhere. After this there will be the Trumpet blast which will cause everyone who is alive to die, besides the One Who is Ever Living, Eternal. Then after that the trumpet blast of the resurrection will be sounded.

﴿ وَنُفِخَ فِى ٱلصُّورِ فَإِذَا هُم مِّنَ ٱلۡأَجۡدَاثِ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمۡ يَنسِلُونَ قَالُواْ يَـٰوَيۡلَنَا مَنۢ بَعَثَنَا مِن مَّرۡقَدِنَاۜ‌ۗ هَـٰذَا مَا وَعَدَ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنُ وَصَدَقَ ٱلۡمُرۡسَلُونَ إِن ڪَانَتۡ إِلَّا صَيۡحَةً۬ وَٲحِدَةً۬ فَإِذَا هُمۡ جَمِيعٌ۬ لَّدَيۡنَا مُحۡضَرُونَ فَٱلۡيَوۡمَ لَا تُظۡلَمُ نَفۡسٌ۬ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا وَلَا تُجۡزَوۡنَ إِلَّا مَا ڪُنتُمۡ تَعۡمَلُونَ

(51. And the Trumpet will be blown and behold from the graves they will come out quickly to their Lord.) (52. They will say: "Woe to us! Who has raised us up from our place of sleep.'' (It will be said to them): "This is what the Most Gracious had promised, and the Messengers spoke truth!'') (53. It will be but a single Sayhah, so behold they will all be brought up before Us!) (54. This Day, none will be wronged in anything, nor will you be requited anything except that which you used to do.)