Light and Darkness In Quran

The topic of “Light and Darkness” has been discussed in great details in holy Quran. Among many others, the meanings include the concept of angelic and evil forces. Though bestowed for the guidance of mankind, the Quran deals with many subjects belonging to the super-sensory realm, such as faith in one God, Angels, Doomsday and Resurrection, Heaven and Hell. To endow its followers with deep-rooted conviction, it presents its message in a pictographic manner. This is the assertion of Quranic scholars. In this article, an attempt has been made to present an overview of the Quranic imagery of light and darkness.

Quranic concept of Light and Darkness

See they not that We have made the Night for them to rest in and the Day to give them light? Verily in this are Signs for any people that believe!  (27:86)

He is the One Who sends to His servant manifest signs that He may lead you from the depths of Darkness into the Light and verily Allah is to you most kind and Merciful.(57:9)

LD-7

Fig- Our very life source is light

The above verses of the Quran present a contrast between light and darkness that touches a chord deep in human psyche. Man’s first experience of life is from the darkness of the womb to the light of his earthly existence. The alternation of day and night regulates all activities of life for him. Our very life source is light that reaches us from the sun. Deprived of light, life itself would perish. Utter darkness would become the darkness of death.

Though bestowed for the guidance of mankind, the Quran deals with many subjects belonging to the super-sensory realm, such as faith in one God, Angels, Doomsday and Resurrection, Heaven and Hell. To endow its followers with deep-rooted conviction,


Light is synonymous with life: literally and figuratively. Literally, as already discussed, life is dependent on the light and heat of the sun; figuratively, as it also stands for faith, guidance, hope, bliss, happiness and righteousness. In the Quran, there are many verses that employ images of light and darkness. The present article attempts to present an overview of such imagery.

Images of Light and Darkness in the Quran

What are the different images of light and darkness in the Quran? The word most frequently employed for light in Quran is “nūr” (generally translated as “light”). For darkness, generally “zulumāt” is used (translated as “darkness/darknesses”) which is the plural of “zulmat”. Its root is “z-l-m” which is also that for “zulm” i.e. “wrong-doing” and “injustice”.  As explained above, the Quran always uses the plural for darkness i.e. “zulumāt” and singular for light i.e. “nūr”. The Encyclopaedic Index of the Quran defines “zulumāt” i.e. darkness as (1) Opposite of light (2) Opposite of Guidance.

The Quran refers to light and darkness as amongst the first things to be created:

Praise be to Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, and made the darkness and the light. Yet those who reject faith hold [others] as equal, with their Guardian-Lord.(6:1)

It is interesting to note that darkness is defined chiefly as the absence of light in most languages. In the Quran, darkness is either due to the absence of light or guidance. Mention has been made of the darkness of the womb-(39:6). as well as darkness of the earth, (6:59)..The faces of disbelievers on the Day of Judgement would be dark-(3:106).They would be deprived of the light of Allah’s mercy- (57:13).

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Harun Yahya

Now writing under the pen-name of HARUN YAHYA, he was born in Ankara in 1956. Having completed his primary and secondary education in Ankara, he studied arts at Istanbul's Mimar Sinan University and philosophy at Istanbul University. Since the 1980s, he has published many books on political, scientific, and faith-related issues. Harun Yahya is well-known as the author of important works disclosing the imposture of evolutionists, their invalid claims, and the dark liaisons between Darwinism and such bloody ideologies as fascism and communism.

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