This post is refutation of the following article by Ali Sina. Moon Light – which Sina wrote as part of his review of a debate held between Dr. Zakir Naik and Dr. William Campbell. The orignal debate is here:

This discussion is regarding:

“Dr. Naik insists that the Quran makes it clear that the light of the Moon is borrowed light and to prove that, he claims ‘nur’ means reflection. This is not a fallacy but a blatant lie.”

Sina states as his conclusion:

“Nur is a common day to day word. Every Muslim whether Arab or not knows that nur means light and not borrowed light. But when it comes to defending Islam and protecting it from being ridiculed, they remain silent and go along with the lie. All these Muslims in the hall listening to Dr. Nailk’s charade felt that it is their religious duty to take part in this taqiyah and not object when someone lies for the glory of Islam. This comes so natural to Muslims that they do it subconsciously. They think they are fooling others. In reality they are fooling themselves.”

The word ‘Nur’ does mean light. However, it is not necessary that 1400 years ago the word had the exact similar connotations as today.

For example:

Consider the English word: ‘Mouse’. Primarily, the word means a small furry animal, but, the word also refers to an electronic device in computing. Consider the word ‘Car’ – it refers to an automobile. Yet, the word used to mean: “two-wheeled Celtic war chariot”. Nowadays the word exclusively means an automobile.

Rather than conducting some research to verify this, Sina, it appears, assumed that Dr. Naik was “blatantly lying” and hence his comments above.

Meaning of the word ‘Noor’

The classical Arabic dictioanry Taj Al-Aroos states:

{النُّور، بالضمّ: الضَّوْءُ أيَّاً كَانَ، أَو شُعاعُه وسُطوعُه، كَذَا فِي المُحكَم، وَقَالَ الزَّمَخْشَرِيّ: الضياءُ أشدّ من النُّور، قَالَ تَعَالَى: جَعَلَ الشمسَ ضِياءً والقمرَ نُوراً} وَقيل: الضِّياءُ ذاتِيٌّ،! والنُّورُ عَرَضِيٌّ، كَمَا حقَّقه

The word "Dhiya'a" is of more intense meaning than the word "Noor". As the Almighty said: He made the sun "Dhiya'a" and the moon "noor". And it is said: The word "Dhiya'a" is 'Essential' and the word "Noor" is 'Accidental'.

The word “ذاتِيٌّ” means Essential, Intrinsic, Autonomous, etc. Whereas the word “عَرَضِيٌّ” meaning ‘Accidental’ is understood, in philosophical terminology, as:

“Any entity or event contingent upon the existence of something else.” [*]

[*] Hans Wehr [Page 604] and


There is enough evidence to show that interpretation of the word ‘Noor’ to mean ‘reflected light’ was not dreamed up by Naik but has its basis in Classical Arabic and Quranic Exegesis.

As it will be repeatedly shown throughout this site – Sina does not have adequate knowledge of Islam. His standard of scholarship is extremely poor and such “mistakes” are rather common for him. Some understanding of Arabic and checking his sources might go a long way to correct all such errors, rather than just relying on the usual anti-Islamic websites.


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