THE STRUCTURAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE SUN, THE
MOON AND THE STARS
We built seven firm layers above you. We installed
a blazing lamp. (Qur'an, 78:12-13)
we know, the only source of light in the Solar System is the Sun.
With advances in technology, astronomers discovered that the Moon
was not a source of light but that it merely reflects the light
reaching it from the Sun. The expression "lamp" in the above verse
is a translation of the Arabic word "sirajan," which most
perfectly describes the Sun, the source of light and heat.
In the Qur'an Allah employs different words when referring to such
celestial bodies as the Moon, the Sun and the stars. This is how
the differences between the structures of the Sun and Moon are expressed
in the Qur'an:
Do you not see how He created seven heavens in
layers, and placed the moon as a light in them and made the sun
a blazing lamp? (Qur'an, 71:15-16)
the above verse, the word "light" is used for the Moon ("nooran"
in Arabic) and the word "lamp" for the Sun ("sirajan" in
Arabic.) The word used for the Moon refers to a light-reflecting,
bright, motionless body. The word used for the Sun refers to a celestial
body which is always burning, a constant source of heat and light.
On the other hand, the word "star" comes from the Arabic root "nejeme,"
meaning "appearing, emerging, visible." As in the verse below, stars
are also referred to by the word "thaqib," which is used
for that which shines and pierces the darkness with light: self-consuming
It is the star that pierces through darkness!
We now know that the Moon does not emit its own light but reflects
that reaching it from the Sun. We also know that the Sun and stars
do emit their own light. These facts were revealed in the Qur'an
in an age when mankind simply did not have the means to make scientific
discoveries of their own accord. It was an age when peoples' knowledge
of celestial bodies was severely restricted, to say the least. This
further emphasises the miraculous nature of the book of Islam.