The Meaning Of The Verse "And the Moon, We Have Measured For It Mansions..."
Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid
I am very interested in Islam. I have since 1994
started to read the Qur'an and the Prophets Hadiths
(pbuh)since early this year and I have found great
spiritual fulfillment in Islam. I will (Insha Allah)
soon be receiving Namaaz lessons as I plan on
embracing Islam. I am not sure of the meaning of a
particular verse in the Qur'an from Surah Ya-Sin and I
hope that you can be of help.
And the moon, We have measured for it mansions (to
traverse) till it returns like the old dried curved
date stalk (36:39)
I will appreciate your help. May Allah guide, protect
and bless you for all the help you have given to so
many people across the world by answering our
questions and ending our dilemmas.
Praise be to Allaah.
First of all, let me congratulate you for reaching a
conviction that Islam is true and that it is the only
religion which meets the needs of man's soul and fills
it with tranquillity and joy. From the way in which
you phrased your question, it is clear that what you
have read about Islam has had an effect on you, so
much so that if you had not stated that you are Hindu,
we would have thought you were Muslim.
The most important thing I want to say to you is to
advise you to hasten to enter Islam, and do it sooner
rather than later. Once a person is convinced of the
truth, what reason is there to delay embracing Islam?
There is another point which also needs to made clear.
Some of those who want to enter Islam delay doing so
until they have learnt some practical aspects of this
faith, such as how to pray and so on, because they
think that they are not fit to enter the religion
until they have learnt some of its teachings. This is
not correct; once the truth is clear to a person, it
is his duty to follow it and enter Islam straight
away. Then he can learn about the Qur'an and Sunnah
and broaden his understanding of Islam. The Muslim is
required to take learning and practice step by step,
as much as he is able to, because no one knows when he
or she will die. If a person meets Allaah (dies) with
a religion other than Islaam, he will be one of the
doomed. Furthermore, a person will not be rewarded and
no hasanaat will be recorded for him until after he
has entered Islaam, so he will lose a lot of benefits
if he delays his Islaam; time wasted can never be
Now let us go back to your question, which has to do
with the thirty-ninth aayah of Soorah Yaa-Seen.
In this aayah, Allaah says (interpretation of the
meaning): "And the moon, We have measured for it
mansions (to traverse)" [Yaa-Seen 36:39], i.e., We
have made it progress through stages by which the
passing of months can be measured, just as night and
day are known from the sun.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meanings):
"They ask you about the new moons. Say: These are
signs to mark fixed periods of time for mankind and
for the pilgrimage . . ." [al-Baqarah 2:189]
"It is He Who made the sun a shining thing and the
moon as a light , and measured out its (their) stages,
that you might know the number of their years and the
reckoning. . ." [Yoonus 10:5]
Allaah has given the sun its own light and has given
the moon a (reflection) of light, and has made their
courses different, so that the sun rises every day and
sets at the end of of the day with one unchanging kind
of light, but the positions of its rising and setting
vary from summer to winter, because of which the days
may be long and the nights short, then the days become
short and the nights long. The sun is dominant in the
day, so it is the heavenly body of the daytime.
As for the moon, Allaah has measured for it mansions
or stages, so that on the first night of the month it
rises as a faint crescent, giving little light, then
its light increases in stages and its position gets
higher each night. Every time its position is higher,
it has more light, even though it is a reflection of
the sun's light, until its light becomes complete, on
the fourteenth of the month, when it is a full moon.
Then it starts to decrease until, at the end of the
month, it "returns like the old dried curved date
Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with him, said:
"This is the stalk of a bunch of dates." Mujaahid
said: "It is a dried stalk." Ibn ‘Abbaas meant: the
stalk of a bunch of dates when it becomes old, dry and
bent. (Reference: Tafsir Ibn Katheer).
This likening of the moon at the end of the month to
an old dried curved date stalk is a beautiful example
of eloquence, by choosing a simile from the
environment of the first listeners.
And Allaah knows best.
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid