Is night a cover or is the word cover used only figuratively?

The Details of the Question

- Allah states the following in verse 54 of chapter 7:
“Your Guardian-Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six days, and is firmly established on the throne (of authority): He draweth the night as a veil o'er the day, each seeking the other in rapid succession: He created the sun, the moon, and the stars, (all) governed by laws under His command. Is it not His to create and to govern? Blessed be Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds!”
- Allah stays in the verse that He covers the night with the day, that is, the night is a veil, but now we know according to modern scientific knowledge that night is the darkness of space only due to the rotation of the earth. How is this verse related to modern knowledge?
- Please explain to me the night’s being mentioned as a veil in the verse; or are these words only used in a figurative sense?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The translation of the verse is as follows:

“Your Guardian-Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six days, and is firmly established on the throne (of authority): He draweth the night as a veil o'er the day, each seeking the other in rapid succession: He created the sun, the moon, and the stars, (all) governed by laws under His command. Is it not His to create and to govern? Blessed be Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds! ­(al-Araf, 7/54 )

In the verse, as a cosmological proof of Allah’s establishing on the Throne, that is, being exalted and predominant in the entire universe, with a clear expression: “He draws the night as a veil over the day, each seeking the other in rapid succession”, and by indication that He makes the day cover the night and that He makes the Sun, the Moon and the stars submit to His command.

Thus, it is shown that the rotation of the world and the succession of night and day, the formation and changes in the Sun, the Moon and the stars, and the laws called “laws of nature” do not stem from the essence of nature, contrary to what is suggested in determinist theories but that they are the works of Allah’s flawless knowledge, will, power and wisdom because “both creation and governing belong to Him alone.”

As for the issue in the question:

The following is stated in the chapter of ash-Shams: “By the Day as it shows up (the Sun's) glory; By the Night as it conceals it.” (ash-Shams, 91/3, 4)

Almighty Allah clearly informs us in the verse that what covers, veils and masks the Sun is layl, that is, night.

That is to say, night occurs as a result of the Sun’s veiling.

In that case Allah covers the night over the day can be said both in the chapter of al- Araf and the chapter of ash-Shams.

To sum up, we can understand that the night is formed by veiling, covering and masking the day.

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