Surah Nur >> Currently viewing Surah Nur Ayat 40 (24:40)

Surah Nur Ayat 40 in Arabic Text

أَوْ كَظُلُمَـٰتٍۢ فِى بَحْرٍۢ لُّجِّىٍّۢ يَغْشَىٰهُ مَوْجٌۭ مِّن فَوْقِهِۦ مَوْجٌۭ مِّن فَوْقِهِۦ سَحَابٌۭ ۚ ظُلُمَـٰتٌۢ بَعْضُهَا فَوْقَ بَعْضٍ إِذَآ أَخْرَجَ يَدَهُۥ لَمْ يَكَدْ يَرَىٰهَا ۗ وَمَن لَّمْ يَجْعَلِ ٱللَّهُ لَهُۥ نُورًۭا فَمَا لَهُۥ مِن نُّورٍ
Aw kazulumaatin fee bahril lujjiyyiny yaghshaahu mawjun min fawqihee mawjun min fawqihee sahaab; zulumatun ba’duhaa fawqa ba’din izaaa akhraja yadahoo lam yakad yaraahaa wa man lam yaj’alil laahu lahoo nooran famaa lahoo min noor (section 5)

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 40

Sahih International
Or [they are] like darknesses within an unfathomable sea which is covered by waves, upon which are waves, over which are clouds – darknesses, some of them upon others. When one puts out his hand [therein], he can hardly see it. And he to whom Allah has not granted light – for him there is no light.

Yusuf Ali
Or (the Unbelievers’ state) is like the depths of darkness in a vast deep ocean, overwhelmed with billow topped by billow, topped by (dark) clouds: depths of darkness, one above another: if a man stretches out his hands, he can hardly see it! for any to whom Allah giveth not light, there is no light!

Abul Ala Maududi
Or (their efforts may be likened to those of a man trying to swim in) a deep dark ocean, covered with billows, one over the other, and above it a cloud: darkness upon darkness: so much so that if he stretches out his hand, he cannot see it. There is no light for the one whom Allah does not give light.

Muhsin Khan
Or [the state of a disbeliever] is like the darkness in a vast deep sea, overwhelmed with a great wave topped by a great wave, topped by dark clouds, darkness, one above another, if a man stretches out his hand, he can hardly see it! And he for whom Allah has not appointed light, for him there is no light.

Pickthall
Or as darkness on a vast, abysmal sea. There covereth him a wave, above which is a wave, above which is a cloud. Layer upon layer of darkness. When he holdeth out his hand he scarce can see it. And he for whom Allah hath not appointed light, for him there is no light.

Dr. Ghali
Or (they are) as darkness (es) in a tumultuous sea (vast and deep) enveloped by waves above which are waves, upon which are clouds: darknesses above each other, (Some of them “are” above some “others”) when he brings out his hand, he could almost not see it. And for whomever Allah makes no light, then in no way (can) he have light.

Abdel Haleem
Or like shadows in a deep sea covered by wave upon wave, with clouds above- layer upon layer of darkness- if he holds out his hand, he is scarcely able to see it. The one to whom God gives no light has no light at all.

Quran 24 Verse 40 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Nur ayat 40, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(24:40) Or its similitude is that of depths of darkness upon an abysmal sea, covered by a billow, above which is a billow, above which is cloud, creating darkness piled one upon another; when he puts forth his hand, he would scarcely see it.[72] He to whom Allah assigns no light, he will have no light.[73]


72. This parable describes the condition of all the disbelievers and the hypocrites including those who perform good deeds for ostentation. It is being stated that such people are passing their life in a state of absolute and complete ignorance, whether they are the most learned people in the world and leaders in their respective fields of learning. They are like the man who is lost in complete darkness where no ray of light can reach him. They think that knowledge merely consists in producing atom bombs, hydrogen bombs, supersonic planes and moon rockets, or in attaining excellence in economics and finance and law and philosophy. But they little understand that real knowledge is something entirely different and they have no idea of it. Thus considered they are just ignorant, and an illiterate peasant who has gained some acquaintance of the divine truth is wiser than them.

73. Here is stated the real object of the discourse which began with: Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. When in fact there is no light in the universe except the Light of Allah and all manifestation of reality is due to that Light, where from can the one whom Allah does not give light have light? There exists no other source of light from where he can receive a ray.

Ibn-Kathir

The tafsir of Surah An-Nur verse 40 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Nur ayat 39 which provides the complete commentary from verse 39 through 40.

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