While commenting on the word ‘pairs’ as used in the verse, some commentators have stated that Allah has made many things to exist in a manner that one is a match for the other. Hence, among humans, animals and the botanical/vegetation kingdom, the concept of male and female exist among them. Thus, the word ‘pairs’ in this respect, refers to the understanding that Allah Has created males and females among human beings, the animals, birds, reptiles and insects, and Has also created the same in the plant kingdom.
Scholars have also explained that ‘pairs’ also refer to contrasting things which Allah has created. Hence, from among that which exists in this world, many things fall into the category of being pairs. For example, night and day, light and darkness, cold and hot, land and water, sadness and happiness, health and sickness, big and small, tall and short etc. are all referred to as being ‘pairs’.
In brief, all things that exist in the world have been created by Allah. Allah’s great power, control and might are clearly evident from the fact that He has made all things of different types and species so that man may benefit from His favours and bounties.
SuraYaseen goes further in verse 37 and states:
- And a sign for them is the night, We withdraw therefrom the day, and behold, they are in darkness.
This is another verse which provides sufficient evidence for man to recognize Allah’s absolute and Divine power and control over the universe. In the verse, Allah explains that man should ponder and look at the night to see what takes place with it. The verse states, ‘And a sign for them is the night’. It means that by looking carefully at the alternation of the night and the day, one will understand that Allah Alone is in full control of time. Allah says that He withdraws therefrom the day, and behold, they are in darkness. It means that when Allah extracts the light of the day, the darkness of the night appears which is known as ‘night’.
While commenting on this, the scholars have stated that, ‘In the verse, there is an indication to the fact that the real and original state is that of darkness, and light is temporary. When the sun sets, the day is stripped from the night and the light goes away. With this, the real state becomes apparent, which is darkness’. (Safwah At Tafaseer vol.13 pg. 52)
The author of Ma’ariful Quran has also indicated to this and said, ‘Allah Ta’ala has, in this similitude (of the verse), pointed out that the real element in this world is darkness. Light is transitory, for it spreads over the earth through planets and stars. In a pre-determined system, at a fixed time, this light that spreads over the darkness of the world is removed from on top. What remains is darkness. This, in common parlance is called night’. (Ma’ariful Quran vol.7 pg. 386).
SuraYaseen goes further in verse 38 and states:
- And the sun runs on its fixed course for a term (appointed). That is the Decree of the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing.
In this verse, another proof and evidence of Allah’s power and capability is mentioned. The verse explains that Allah has not only created the luminous celestial body known as the sun, and created in it the ability to produce heat and light to the earth, but He has also taken full control over its movements and has appointed a fixed course for it. As a result, the sun does not exceed, cross or stray from the orbit and motion which Allah has fixed for it in space. It also cannot advance nor can it delay the timings which Allah has fixed for it in its rising, setting and movements while in orbit.
Some commentators have translated the verse as, ‘And the sun travels towards its destination’, and others have stated, ‘And the sun proceeds to its resting place’. In all these translations, the statements ‘run on its fixed course for a term appointed’, ‘travels towards its destination’ and ‘proceeds to its resting place’ all give a clear indication that while in its orbit, the sun moves in a pattern which carries it or is carrying it to its destination, resting place or the fixed course/appointed term that Allah has decreed for it.
With respect to what the destination/resting place/ fixed course of the sun is, some commentators have stated that it is the annual pattern that the sun follows in its orbit. Some have mentioned that the sun traverses a certain limit in the west, and after this, it goes to another limit in the east. Each limit is referred to as a destination. Some other commentators have stated that the destination refers to the position of the sun as it reaches each of the twelve zodiac stars and moves to the other. (Anwarul Bayaan vol.4 pg. 331 Darul Ishaat Karachi 2005)
While commenting on this verse, the great exegete, Kalbi (A.R) has stated, ‘The meaning is that the sun proceeds to its furthest point in setting, then it returns to its closest point. Its destination therefore, is the furthest point it goes to after which it cannot go, but returns to where it started’. (Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 29 Mataba Rasheediya Queta Pakistan)
While explaining its resting place/destination, the great companion, Abdullah bin Abbas (R.A) stated, ‘When the sun sets and reaches a station which it cannot go beyond, it goes to rest beneath the Arsh until it rises’. (Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 29 Maktaba Rasheediya Queta Pakistan)
The above explanation shows that the resting place/destination of the sun is beneath the Arsh of Allah. This has been accepted by many commentators and is based upon authentic and sound traditions of the Prophet (S.A). In this regard, it is narrated that Abu Dharr (R.A) said, ‘I asked the Messenger of Allah (S.A) about the statement of Allah, ‘And the sun travels towards its destination’. The Prophet (S.A) said, ‘The destination of the sun is beneath the Arsh’. (Sahih Muslim)
It is also narrated from Abu Dharr (R.A) that the Prophet (S.A) once said to the companions, ‘Do you know where the sun goes?’ They said, ‘Allah and His Messenger know best’. He (the Prophet) said, ‘Verily the sun proceeds until it goes to its destination beneath the Arsh. It then prostrates (making sajdah) and remains prostrating to Allah until it is said, ‘Rise and return to where you came from. It then returns and rises in the morning from the place of its rising. The sun then continues in this manner to run its course and the people are not be disturbed about anything. This occurs until the sun goes to its resting place/destination beneath the Arsh and it shall be said to it, ‘Rise from your setting place’. It will then rise from the west’. The Prophet (S.A) then said, ‘Do you know when this will occur? It will take place at a time when…(he then recited the verse of the Quran which said, ‘The Day that some of the signs of your Lord would come, no good will it do to a person to believe then, if he believed not before, nor earned good through his faith’.( Sura An’am verse 158) (Sahih Muslim; Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 28; Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol.5 pg. 282).
In the narration of Bukhari, it is stated that the Prophet (S.A) once said to Abu Dharr (R.A) when the sun had set, ‘Do you know where the sun goes?’ Abu Dharr (R.A) said, ‘I said, Allah and His Messenger know best’. The Prophet (S.A) then said, ‘It travels until it prostrates beneath the Arsh. It then seeks permission (to rise) and permission is granted to it. Soon it shall prostrate, but it shall not be accepted from it. It shall seek permission (to rise) but permission will not be granted. It shall be said ‘Return to where you have come from’. The sun will then rise from the west. It is about this, Allah says, ‘The sun travels towards its destination’. (Sahih Al Buhari – Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 28; Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol.5 pg. 282)
Some scholars of the Holy Quran have also stated that ‘destination’ in the verse refers to a ‘fixed time’ that has been ordained for the sun to travel and orbit. This ‘fixed time’ (term appointed) as mentioned by these scholars refers to the Day of Judgement. It means that the Day of Judgement will be the limit of the sun’s movements and travels. At that time, the sun will no longer be able to move on its course. It would be still, and shall come to an end just as everything in the world will come to an end. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol.5 pg. 282 Dar Al Kitab Al Arabiyah Beirut 2013).
From the above explanations, it becomes clear that the Sun is not immovable and motionless, instead, it continues to be in motion. The verse states, ‘The sun runs on its fixed course for a term appointed’. The verse establishes the fact that the sun moves on a course which Allah has fixed for it. This verse clearly refutes the theory which states that the sun has no movement at all.