Moonlight Direct Light?

Genesis 1:14-19—”This verse incorrectly says that the moon is a light, whereas it is actually only a reflection of the sun”

This argument is ridiculous, for one might as well criticize modern people for using the term “moonlight.” All the Scriptures use phenomenological terminology to describe creation—the Qur’ān also called the moon a “light” (71:15-16). The Hebrew word “light” (מאור, mâ’ôr ) covers both direct and reflected light (Proverbs 15:30). Ezekiel 32:7-8 and Matthew 24:29 hint that the moon’s light is dependent on the sun’s primary light.

Some fanciful interpretations say the word used here for light ( nūr ) means “reflected light,” but this utterly denigrates God’s special title “An-Nūr,” making him out to be merely passive reflected light (God forbid!).

Scholars believe that the casual terms “light” is used for the sun and moon in the Torah to minimize their significance in a pagan age when neighboring nations worshipped sun, moon and stars.

The Qur’ān also contains a seemingly unscientific description of the moon, for it says that there are seven layered heavens, with the lowest one containing the stars1 (though we now know that stars are found all throughout the cosmos). However Surah Nūh 71:15-16 places the moon in the middle of these seven heavens, which puts it much farther away than the nearest stars in the lowest heavens. This is not said to condemn the Qur’ān , but just to illustrate how the critic can find similar problems in both scriptures.


  • Surah Fussilat 41:12


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