Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

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(616 words)

The absence of light (q.v.). In the Qurʾān, darkness is almost always evoked within the semantic field of the term unbelief ( kufr, see belief and unbelief ) as a metaphorical expression descriptive of the spiritual state of the unbeliever ( kāfir). It is expressed by the word ẓulumāt (the plural of ẓulma/ẓuluma) attested 23 times in the text. The fourth verbal form, which means to become or to make dark ( aẓlama, q 2:20) and its active participle muẓlim ( q 10:27; cf. 36:37), account for the only other qurʾānic references to darkness. Finally, the elative form (aẓlam), where it occurs, is n…

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Karamustafa, Ahmet T., “Darkness”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 06 August 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQSIM_00103>

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