As-Salam-u-Alaikum I am newly converted to Islam, to understand the Quran better I used the tafsir of ibn Kathir as a guide. In verses 25:61 tafsir say

(and a moon giving light.) means, shining and illuminated by the light of something else, different from the light of the sun

But at verses 36:37-40

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

Edit:My Question, Why tafsir gives two different Explanation about moonlight.

is there something I am missing? and what is the meaning of nur which is used in 10:5? Sorry if the Question is not proper, I just want to know what is truth.

Peace be unto you and so may the mercy of Allah and his blessings

  • 1
    Your question is unclear, we can not guess what you are talking about rather you need to properly elaborate the perceived problem. Nur simply means light, see islam.stackexchange.com/a/47537/20218.
    – UmH
    Nov 2, 2021 at 7:09
  • what exactly is the question?. and the two verses you have mentioned doesn't contradict in anyway. and the verse 5 in surah younus, nur is used in reference to the moon indicating a reflected light whereas in the same verse another word is used in reference to the sun, indicating a shining light. please add more clarity to your question. Nov 2, 2021 at 7:21
  • Sorry, My Q is at verse25:61 tafsir explain it light different from sun but at 36:37-40 it explain light from sun, why two different type of Explanation?
    – Polar Star
    Nov 2, 2021 at 11:44
  • I am not my father, but I come from my father. The moon's light is different from the sun's light, but it comes from the sun's light.
    – The Z
    Nov 2, 2021 at 20:04

1 Answer 1


We must acknowledge that Ibn Kathir was a great scholar, but still a normal human person. His Tafsir is valuable but it need not be perfect.

From our present knowledge, we know that his comment to 36:37-40 is correct and his comment on 25:61 isn't.

the Verse 25:61 is

Blessed is He who placed constellations in the sky, and placed in it a lamp, and an illuminating moon.

The verese says that the moon is illuminating the earth, which is correct, and does not specify whether the moon is illuminating the earth through reflection or by his own light.

The passage 36:37-40 says:

Another sign for them is the night: We strip the day out of it—and they are in darkness. And the sun runs towards its destination. Such is the design of the Almighty, the All-Knowing. And the moon: We have disposed it in phases, until it returns like the old twig. (The sun is not to overtake the moon, nor is the night to outpace the day. Each floats in an orbit.

The passage speaks about the phases of the moon. The phenomenon had been decribed scientifically by the time ibn Kathir was living (he lived 250 years after ibn Rusht who already had knowledge of this, and his scriptures were not undisputed but well-known by later Scolars). Perhaps he remembered this when explaining the phases.

Take-away: A good tafsir is a good hint if you want to understand the Quran but the author is not all-knowing and free of errors. Only God is.

  • Where I can read about ibn Rusht? Is wiki good sources?Any good book?
    – Polar Star
    Nov 3, 2021 at 5:43
  • ςPolarStar The best online library reference of works by ibn Rushd I found is muslimphilosophy.org/rushd
    – Jeschu
    Nov 7, 2021 at 19:08

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