When I look up at the moon at night, it looks like a source of its own light just like the sun. surah 71:16 expresses this observation as:

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

The [reflected] has been added and isn't part of the surah, so I'm looking for a surah that contains the word reflected or something similar to it.

2 Answers 2


The Quran does not explicitly say that the moon is lit by reflected sunlight. Also see related answer.


The answer of this question is yes the Qur'an describes the moon as a corpus that is lit, but no it doesn't explicitly say it is lit by reflected sunlight.

There are a couple of verses that describe the "light" or kind of lightening or illumination of the sun and the moon.

  • It is He who made the sun a shining light and the moon a derived light and determined for it phases - ... (10:5)

  • And made the moon therein a [reflected] light and made the sun a burning lamp? (71:16)

and a rather indirectly in:

  • And constructed above you seven strong [heavens] (12) And made [therein] a burning lamp (78:12-13)

In these verses the attribute or example of the moon was that of a النور (an-Nur) which refers in Arabic to anything that is opposed to darkness (ضدّ الظُّلمة ) and anything that makes things visible (Source: معجم المعاني الجامع - ما يُبَيِّن الأشْياءَ ويُرِي الأبْصَارَ حقيقتها ).
While the sun has been named الضياء (a-Dyaa' coming from ad-Daw'u الضوء which is a synonym of an-Nur at least when we don't want to be too specific ) and السراج (as-Siraj) which actually is an oil lamp (that gives light). Note that the term ad-Diya' refers toa source of light or something that gives light!

Here a statement from the dictionary قاموس المعجم الوسيط

الضَّوْءُ : النُّورُ . وهما مُتَرَادِفانِ ، أَو الضوءُ أَقوى وأَسطعُ من النورِ ، أَو الضوء لما بالذاتِ كضوءِ الشمس والنارِ ، والنورُ لما بالعَرَضِ والاكتساب من جسم آخر

Ad-Daw'u: an-Nur and they are synonyms or ad-Daw'(u) is stronger and brighter than an-Nur or ad-Daw'(u) refers to anything that gives a light byitself like the sun and the fire while an-Nur appears as giving light or reflects it from another source (corpus).

The Qur'an therefore makes a distinction between sun and moon saying the sun is a source of light while the moon is a corpus that appears as giving light or reflects light, but it does not say that the reflected light actually is sunlight.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .