14
Aug
07

Quranic Day & Night


By Brother Joe (e-mail: Joe28@iname.com)

What is the Quranic day? What is the Quranic daytime? What is the Quranic night? This article answers these three questions as follow.

The Quranic day starts at dawn the same day and ends at dawn the following one. The Quranic Friday starts then from Friday dawn and ends Saturday dawn.
The Quranic daytime starts at dawn (the first twilight) and ends at dusk (the last twilight)
The Quranic night (or nighttime) starts at sunset and ends at sunrise. This article is divided into two parts. The first part proves the first statement. The second part proves the second and third statements altogether.
Part 1

The Quranic Day

Basically, there are two understanding of the Quranic day.

The first understanding states that a Quranic day starts from dawn the same day and ends at dawn the following one. For instance, a Quranic Friday starts from Friday dawn and ends Saturday dawn.
The second understanding states that a Quranic day is like the Jewish one. It starts at sunset the day before and ends at sunset the same day. In this case, the Quranic Friday starts then Thursday at sunset and ends Friday at sunset. The whole argument of this second approach is this. Each time God speaks in Quran about daytime and night, He always begins with night first. Therefore, a Quranic day must start with night first.
I do not agree with this second approach, and I agree with the first one. The Quranic day starts at dawn the same day and ends at dawn the following one. This is the closest understanding to Quran. So, let’s look at what Quran says about this matter.

In English, the word day can express two meanings. It could mean the 24-hour day or it could mean daytime, depending on the context. Unlike English, Arabic has two different words for these two different meanings. <yawm> is the 24-hour day, <nahar> is daytime. In Quran, God uses both words. Here is an example of the use of <nahar>. I will use in this article “daytime” to mean <nahar>.

91:3-4, “The daytime that reveals. The night that covers.”

In this example, God is talking about daytime <nahar> before night. We have seen that the whole second approach’s argument is that God talks always about night before daytime. Here we have a counter example. This approach, then, does not hold water anymore.

Let’s prove now that, Quranicly, daytime comes first before night; which will lead us to the conclusion that the 24-hour day or simply day starts with daytime and ends with night. For that purpose I’ll use, God willing, two arguments.

When God talks about night and daytime as turning one after another, merging one into another, rolling one over another, He always starts with night first and daytime second. For instance, God merges night into daytime first. Daytime must be there before night in order this merging process to take place.

36:40, “The sun is never to catch up with the moon, nor does the night precede the daytime…”

Nowhere in Quran God says that the daytime should not precede night. Therefore, this verse is clear evidence that daytime is before night.
These two arguments prove that the Quranic daytime is always before the Quranic night. Aya 69:7 confirms this understanding.

69:7, “He (God) unleashed it upon them for seven nights and eight days, violently…”

With a day starting with daytime first and then night, we end up with the correct count. But if a day were night first, we would end up with only seven days instead!

In conclusion to this first part, the Quranic day starts with daytime and ends with night.

Reminder About The Jewish Day

Bible Genesis 1 1:5,

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. And God called the LIGHT DAY, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one DAY.”

From those first verses of the bible, the day for the Jews starts clearly with night first and ends with daytime. Darkness was before lightness. It is not so according to Quran. 24:35, “God is the light of the heavens and the earth…” Since God was there before anything else, therefore lightness was before darkness.

Part 2

The Quranic Daytime and Night

Often we assume that the daytime is the lighted part of the day; and the night or nighttime is the darkened part of the day. That’s why it is very important here to notice that nowhere in Quran, the Quranic daytime is described as lighted; and nowhere in Quran either, the Quranic night is described as dark. The only thing it is stated is that the complete darkness of a day, when there is any, belongs to night.

10:27, “…Their faces will seem like covered with pieces from the depth of the darkness of night…”

So, Quranicly, what is daytime and what is night (or nighttime)? I use two ways, way A, the shortest one, and way B, the longest one, to prove the same conclusion.

A- The Shortest Way

2:187, “Permitted for you is sexual intercourse with your wives during the night of fasting…You may eat and drink until the white thread (of light) becomes distinguishable from the black thread at dawn. Then, you shall fast until the night…”

God defines specifically here when daytime starts. The starting point of daytime is when the white thread (of light) becomes distinguishable from the black thread (of darkness) at dawn. Similarly, night starts when the black thread (of darkness) becomes distinguishable from the white thread at sunset. Using the same logic, daytime ends when with the last white thread (of lightness) at dusk. Similarly, night ends with the last black thread (of darkness) at sunrise.

That’s how we shall fast from dawn to sunset as it is commanded in 2:187 above, since night starts at sunset.

In conclusion, daytime starts at dawn and stops at dusk; while night starts at sunset and ends at sunrise.

B- The Longest Way

The second way to prove the same thing is to break down the 24-hour day in four parts:

From dawn to sunrise(Lightness taking slowly over darkness)
From sunrise to sunset(Complete lightness)
From sunset to dusk(Darkness taking slowly over lightness)
From dusk to dawn(Complete darkness)
Let’s start with the easiest parts, the second one and the fourth one.

No one argues that from sunrise to sunset, which is complete lightness, belongs to daytime.

10:67, “He is the One who rendered the night for your rest, and rendered the daytime (for you) to see…”

No one argues either that from dusk to dawn, which is complete darkness, belongs to night.

36:37, “Another sign for them is the night: we remove the daytime there from, whereupon they are in darkness.” Also 17:12 confirms both statements.

17:12, “We made the night and the daytime two signs. We erase the night’s sign and We made the daytime’s sign (for you) to see, that you may seek provisions from your Lord therein…”

From sunrise to sunset, the second part of this 24-hour day, belongs to daytime. From dusk to dawn, the fourth part of this 24-hour day, belongs to night.

Let’s see now the less obvious parts, the first and the third of this 24-hour day.

The question here is this. From dawn to sunrise (about an hour and half in some regions that may vary during the year) belongs to which one, daytime or night? The same question goes for the time (about the same an hour and half in those regions) between sunset and dusk. I’ll use, God willing, the following arguments to prove that from dawn to sunrise and from sunset to dusk belong to both, daytime and night.

In many verses, God talks about night merging into daytime and daytime merging into night. For instance,

3:27, “You merge the night into the daytime, and merge the daytime into the night…”

In order this merging process to take place twice a day, Quranic daytime and night must have then two portions of lightness combined with darkness in them. Here how it works.

Since at its beginning God merges daytime into night, its first part must not be completely lighted. It must have some darkness in it. This is exactly the time between dawn and sunrise. From dawn to sunrise, the first part of this 24-hour day, belongs then to night and daytime. This is the first portion in common between daytime and night.

Since at its beginning God merges night into daytime, its first part must not be completely dark. It must have some lightness in it. This is exactly the time between sunset and dusk. From sunset to dusk, the third part of this 24-hour day, belongs then to daytime and night. This is the second portion in common between daytime and night.

On the other hand, from dawn to sunrise, it is lightness that takes over darkness. Since lightness is the characteristic of daytime, this is the starting of daytime. This approximate an hour and half of time belongs to daytime and night. Similarly, from sunset to dusk, it is darkness that takes over lightness. Since darkness is the characteristic of night, this is when night starts. This approximate an hour and half must belong to night and daytime.

Using the arguments above in this longest way B, we proved that from dawn to sunrise, the first part of this 24-hour day, and from sunset to dusk, the third part of this 24-hour day, belong to both daytime and night.

So far we have proved that Quranicly:

1. From dawn to sunrise belongs to daytime and night.

2. From sunrise to sunset belongs to daytime.

3. From sunset to dusk belongs to night and daytime.

4. From dusk to dawn belongs to night

In conclusion for this second and longest way B, we proved that there is strong Quranic evidence to believe that:

1. The Quranic daytime starts at dawn and ends at dusk.

2. The Quranic night starts at sunset and ends at sunrise

This is exactly the same conclusion as the one of the shortest way A.

Quranic Beautiful Descriptions

Besides God describing night and daytime as turning one after another, merging one into another, rolling one over another, He uses other beautiful descriptions such as the following ones.

17:12, “We made the night and the daytime two signs. We erase the night’s <aya> sign and We made the daytime’s <aya> sign (for you) to see, that you may seek provisions from your Lord therein…”

God contrasts here clearly night and daytime as two mutually exclusive signs for us. Yet 25:62 describes night and daytime as alternating/generating one another.

25:62, “And He is the one who designed the night and daytime to alternate/generating one another; a sufficient proof for those who wish to take heed, or to be appreciative.”

It is not the only time God uses such descriptions.

22:55, “And for those who disbelieve, they will continue to harbor doubts, until the Hour comes to them suddenly, or the retribution of a sterile day comes to them.”

The Hour implies that its day will be the last day for all the people. But a sterile day implies it will be the last day for those people only. The same thing happened to ‘Aad. Their wind was the last one for them only.

51:41, “In ‘Aad (there is a lesson). We sent upon them sterile wind.”

Another beautiful description is this.

36:37, “Another sign for them is the night: we peel/skin off the daytime there from, whereupon they are in darkness.”

Nowhere in Quran God says the same thing about night. Rather, He describes night as covering or enshrouding daytime.

7:54, “…He makes night to cover/enshroud daytime, as it purses it gradually…”

Nowhere He gives the same description for daytime. Here is an explanation of this phenomenon.

Lightness is confined only to the very thin layer of the air, the atmosphere, that is dense enough to disperse light on the part of the earth facing the sun; hence the use of peel/skin off daytime from night like a skin off an animal. At sunrise in an airless earth, we would go from complete darkness to complete lightness instantaneously. Due to the dispersion of light in the air, we see before the sun has risen. Darkness, when there is any, is the characteristic of night. It is also the property of the universe around us, hence the use of night as to “cover/enshroud” daytime.

All those beautiful descriptions prove once more that Quran is the word of God to Whom we should prostrate continuously.

Conclusion

We have seen in the first part of this article that Quranicly, the day (24-hour day) begins with daytime and ends with night. The second part of this article proves that daytime is from dawn to dusk; while night is from sunset to sunrise. Since daytime starts at dawn and night ends at the following dawn, the day is then from dawn the same day to dawn the following one.

In conclusion of this article we have then:

1. The Quranic day starts at dawn the same day and ends at dawn the following one.

2. The Quranic Friday will start then from Friday dawn and will end at Saturday dawn.

3. The Quranic daytime is from dawn at the first twilight to dusk at the last twilight.

4. The Quranic night starts at sunset and ends at sunrise.

“…Be You glorified, we have no knowledge, except what You have taught us. You are the Omniscient, the Wise.” 24:19

Appendix

Here you are some statistics about the apparition of <layl> and <nahar> in Quran. Brother Abu Jamil did the original work that I am merely summarizing here.

There are 42 ayat in which both <layl> or night and <nahar> or daytime appear (singular forms without suffixes). The word <layl> appears a total of 48 times, and <nahar> appears 49 times, for a total of 97 occurrences of one or the other term in the 42 ayat.

<<Here is my comment. It is interesting that <nahar> is mentioned only one more time. I think we have here another confirmation of the fact that daytime is before night. God knows best.>>

The comparison between “night” and “daytime” is often made simply in terms of their mutual alternation, using the term <ikhtilaafun> (2:164, 3:190, 10:6, 23:80, 45:5) or <khilfatan> (25:62). This shows that night and daytime alternate, but it says nothing about whether they overlap in doing so.

Five ayat depict the relationship between <layl> and <nahar> using the term <walaja fii>, “to penetrate into” (3:27, 22:61, 31:29, 35:13, and 57:6). Yusuf Ali most often translates this as “merge into.” This clearly denotes a Margin in which day and night overlap. To denote their mutual exclusivity, the Quran could have depicted the relationship between night and daytime as a “cutting off” of one by the other, or perhaps in terms of the night’s “putting out” the day as one does a candle and the daytime’s being “lit” the following morning. Nevertheless, despite the fact that daytime is often used to symbolize “enlightenment” in the sense of “knowing,” which can indeed warrant a candle metaphor, God has chosen to depict the relationship between night and daytime as one in which one “penetrates” or “merges into” the other.

Two ayat depict the relationship in terms of a veil (7:54, 13:3). While we can conservatively assume that this “veiling” (the verb is <ghashiya>) involves the covering of day with something opaque, it nevertheless depicts a gradual covering rather than an outright interruption. Insofar as a veil is less than opaque, something of what it intends to cover remains seen, in fact. The gradual covering of daytime by night is aptly illustrated with this metaphor. If there were no overlap, this metaphor would not be accurate.

One aya describes a “tilling” of the daytime and night (24:44). This is quite interesting, because it both depicts daytime and night as being in perpetual opposition (on opposite sides of the planet), given that <qallaba> also means

“to turn upside down” and “to rotate,” and gently overtaking one another in the sense that soil is turned over.

Another aya likens the beginning of night as a time during which the daytime is “extracted” from it (36:37). The term used is, surprisingly, <salakha>, which refers to inducing an animal (e.g., in agriculture) to release its waste. That is, when night falls, daytime must still be “released” from it, and so it is, gradually. This period corresponds to twilight.

Lastly, one aya describes the night and daytime as “winding (or being wrapped/rotated/rolled)” over each other (39:5), as one wraps a turban. The term is <kawwara ‘ala>. Again, rather than depicting the alternation of night and daytime as a sequence of events in which one phenomenon simply supplants or interrupts the other, it is depicted as a gentle overlaying of one by the other in eternal succession.

In light of these ayat, in particular the term <walaja fii> that occurs in five of them, it seems clear that the Quran has defined night and daytime as overlapping phenomena.

Regarding the relative frequency of <nahar> and <layl> among these ayat in which both appear, it is interesting that <nahar> should appear just once more than <layl>. Verse 36:37 (which uses the term <salakha>) speaks of “extracting” the daytime from the night, as it were, a process that would correspond to the period of twilight. However, we do not find night being “extracted” from day anywhere. Instead, night “covers” (or “veils”) daytime. Aya 36:37 is evidently showing that a part of daytime continues past nightfall, but we do not find anywhere that a part of night might continue past daybreak. This would correspond to the notion that “night” covers the period from sunset to sunrise, while “daytime” extends itself into the night at both ends, i.e. during both periods of twilight.

If night is defined in this way, then it constitutes just about half of all time that passes on earth, on average. (Actually, refraction causes the sun to be “up” a few minutes prior to theoretical sunrise [if there were no atmosphere], and to be “down” a few minutes after theoretical sunset, so night does not quite cover half the time on the planet.) Meanwhile, if daytime is acknowledged to “penetrate” into night at both ends, in the form of twilight, then daytime constitutes a little over 60% of the average time on the planet. While this is not quite reflected in any mathematically precise way in the ratio of 49/48, it is interesting that the Quran should have offered this ratio, as though to tell us that daytime is indeed longer than nighttime.

The total occurrences of <layl> (singular forms without suffixes) is 79 in the Quran, while the total occurrences of <nahar> (singular forms without suffixes) is 57. It is obvious that this same phenomenon does not hold when one looks at the entire Quran, rather than just the ayat in which both terms appear simultaneously. Meanwhile, if the above ratio (49/48) is taken as a literal representation of the relative lengths of daytime—including twilight–and nighttime, average twilight would only last a half hour; in reality, its minimum duration is about an hour and a quarter.

 

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Quranic Day & Night”


  1. 1 sukran
    August 18, 2007 at 5:04 am

    Great article! Thank you for the details I could have never found in any source before…

  2. 2 Lukman Abubakar
    July 21, 2014 at 11:06 am

    A well thought -out article.
    Wish you could send a copy to my mail -luqmanabubakar @gmail.com


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Stefan Rosty Founded TruthBooth22.04.07

  • 468,119 hitz

“Virtual Insanity”

That's not nature's way Well that's what they said yesterday There's nothing left to do but pray I think it's time I found a new religion Waoh - it's so insane To synthesize another strain There's something in these Futures that we have to be told. JAMIROQUAI

RSS Genuine Islam

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

trashcontentz (by day)

August 2007
M T W T F S S
« Jul   Sep »
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

trashcontentz (by month)

Bookmarks

RSS RationalReality.com

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Selves and Others

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS المؤلف: احمد صبحي منصور


%d bloggers like this: