Main Article Content


This article aims to provide an alternative scientific interpretation for verse 35 in Surat An-Nur. This verse addresses the very famous simile in the Quran which describes the light of Allah. In this verse Allah mentioned that ꞌAllah (is the) light (of) the heavens and the earth. (The) example (of) His Light (is) like a niche in it (is) a lamp; the lamp (is) in a glass, the glass as if it were a star brilliant (which) is lit from a tree blessed - an olive, not (of the) east and not (of the) west, would almost its oil glow, even if not touched it fireꞌ [1]Despite all the most commentators who have addressed this verse singled the olive tree as the blessed tree, the intended tree still has one characteristic  that is enigmatic. Regarding this characteristic ꞌnot east and not westꞌ, all previous interpretations directed this characteristic to the compass directions. But they did not give any logical and acceptable justification. Dealing with this verse with another linguistic concept, particularly with three words in the verse ꞌzaytūnatin, sharqiyyatin, and gharbiyyatinꞌ can change the story of the intended blessed tree. The first word in the Arabic language could be considered as an adjective for exaggeration meaning a high oil producer rather than the genus olive. More interestingly, this word has been mentioned as an indefinite noun without ꞌAlꞌ which makes the noun definite when it is used as a prefix; therefore, in this case, it is not specific to olive but it could refer to any tree producing high amount of oil. The second word ꞌsharqiyyatinꞌ comes from the verb ꞌsharekꞌ, which in Arabic means, particularly for dates, that they became reddish in color as a sign of maturity. The third word ꞌgharbiyyatinꞌ derives its meaning from the verb ꞌgharbꞌ which means it became black. When these new meanings are applied to the verse, the first word will now mean any tree with high oil production. The other two words, will mean reddish and black colors of the fruit not the east and west directions. These two characteristics could be considered to be distinguishable features for palm oil tree not for olive trees. In this paper two additional evidences supporting this idea have been addressed. Therefore, the palm oil tree, particularly the subspecies nigrescens could be a potential candidate for the blessed tree in the Quran.


[1]  ꞌٱللَّهُ نُورُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَ ٰتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِۚ مَثَلُ نُورِهِۦ كَمِشۡكَوٰةࣲ فِیهَا مِصۡبَاحٌۖ ٱلۡمِصۡبَاحُ فِی زُجَاجَةٍۖ ٱلزُّجَاجَةُ كَأَنَّهَا كَوۡكَبࣱ دُرِّیࣱّ یُوقَدُ مِن شَجَرَةࣲ مُّبَـٰرَكَةࣲ زَیۡتُونَةࣲ لَّا شَرۡقِیَّةࣲ وَلَا غَرۡبِیَّةࣲ یَكَادُ زَیۡتُهَا یُضِیۤءُ وَلَوۡ لَمۡ تَمۡسَسۡهُ نَارࣱࣱۚꞌ (النور– 35)

Article Details