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Selamun aleikum,

to the Arabic speakers, what exactly does the word مَنَازِلَ mean, especially in the context of this verse:

And the moon – We have determined for it phases (مَنَازِل), until it returns [appearing] like the old date stalk.(Yasin, Verse 39, Sahih International)

I looked up the meaning of this word online. I could only found that it means: house, home, resident, dwelling, domicile etc.. Does it also mean „phases“, „station“ and „stages“, as translated in some translations. There are also some translators, who translates it as „mansions“.

What does it mean in this context?

It would be great, if someone answers.

Allah knows best.

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The word "مَنَازِل" in its simplest form means "a place of descending" referring to a dwelling where travelers got off their rides and stayed for a rest. It can also mean house or mansion.

In this verse, Allah says "We have made the moon [have] dwellings." And this is referring to the fact that, in the 29 days of the month, the moon has 29 different places where it rises from or descends into. Every phase has a different "dwelling," and every dwelling corresponds to a different phase.

This is because the phases of the moon are caused by its position relative to the Earth and Sun, and that position also dictates where it rises from in the sky.

This system of phases was made by Allah for us to be able to count the time of months and years.

Allah says in another verse of the Quran using the same phrase:

It is He who made the sun a shining light and the moon a derived light and determined for it phases ("مَنَازِل") - that you may know the number of years and account [of time]. [...] (10:5)

The translator probably chose to translate it as "phases" as an explanation rather than a literal translation.

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  • Thanks, for the quick response.👍
    – user40519
    Oct 17 '20 at 23:41

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