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(Quran 55:17) Lord of the two Easts and Lord of the two Wests

What is the meaning of two east and two west in this ayah?

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This one of three or more verses in the qur'an that include a certain relativity:

Imam ibn Kathir simply interpreted it as follows:

((He is) the Lord of the two easts and the Lord of the two wests.)
meaning the sunrise of summer and winter and the sunset of summer and winter.

before quoting the single and plural form form:

Allah said in another Ayah,
(So, I swear by the Lord of all the points of sunrise and sunset in the east and the west.)(70:40),
referring to the different places from which the sun rises and then sets on people every day. Allah said in another Ayah,
(The Lord of the east and the west; none has the right to be worshipped but He. So take Him alone as a trustee.)(73:9),
referring to the different places of sunrise and sunset and the benefits that this variation brings to the created, mankind and Jinns, (Source: qtafsir)

The qur'an actually says that Allah is

  • the Lord of the east and west or better sunrise and sunset (73:9) referring to the observation in one single location from perspective as in each location has a sunrise and a sunset. But it might also simply refeer to the types "sunrise/Sunset" and/or "east/west".
  • the Lord of the two easts and two wests or better two sunrises and two sunsets if we compare two locations (55:17). As each of them has specific attributes of sunrise and sunset or even "different directions or locations" of relative east or/and west. This indeed could also be a difference between times like winter and summer.
  • the Lord of the easts and wests or better the sunrises and sunsets (70:40). Which is a more general comparison. And may refer to the differences between locations or between one day and another.
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The exact translation is "Lord of the two sunrises and Lord of the two sunsets." as translated at https://quran.com/55/17/

There are generally a few opinions and answers on this, some say it is has to do with the longest day of the year (summer) and the shortest day of the year (winter) and others say it has to do with where the sun sets in one part of the world, it is actually rising in another part of the world. See this for further information: http://www.englishtafsir.com/quran/55/index.html

  • Bro, I know Arabic, saw the English & Urdu translation by different Ulema but still not satisfied, thanks for your answer – Ali Adravi Jun 3 '18 at 9:09
  • If after a few attempts at reading various tafsirs you are still not satisfied it may be best to direct your attention to quran.com/3/7 which tells us not to be to persistent in trying to understand everything and to just believe – dqnet Jun 4 '18 at 11:55
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two Easts and two Wests are two hemispheres (i.e. southern and northern or eastern and western). Some have considered this verse to be an indication of the existence of one hemisphere. here is the page that I found this from https://www.al-islam.org/philosophy-islamic-laws-nasir-makarim-shirazi-jafar-subhani/question-35-where-are-two-easts-and-two

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Today, thanks to modern science, verse 55:17 “..Lord of the two easts and the two wests...” could be fairly easily explained. We are aware of the fact that any bar magnet’s poles orient towards earth’s magnetic North and South poles. However, it has been observed that the earth’s magnetic poles have flipped or reversed over it’s lifetime in the past and it is going to occur again in the future. Lately, it has been observed that the magnetic North pole is slowly shifting towards Siberia. Earlier, it has been predicted that the complete reversal or flip is going to occur again in the future. This event is slowly unfolding today. In addition, before the complete reversal or flip take place, earth’s magnetic poles are expected to align itself along the equator. In this situation, the current magnetic North and South poles would become “the new East and the new West” before the complete reversal of magnetic poles take place. This explains the concept of the two easts and the two wests. That’s how we could get a glimpse of the deeper Wisdom of our Lord, the Almighty- the Creator of the universe from that verse of the Holy Quran.

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