Al-Mashriqayn Wa Al-Maghibayn

Question

What is the significance of two easts and two wests as indicated in Surah al-Rahman?


Answer

In al-Rahman (verse 17) the words mashriqayn (literally two easts) and maghribayn (literally two wests) have been used to connote nothing but the east and the west. It does not mean that there are two or more easts and two or more wests. Some commentators held that "two easts" have been used to refer to the east in the summer and east in the winter. We believe it is not a very convincing explanation. The Qur'an has also used the term mashaariq (plural easts). Whereas the plural form has been used to refer to the expansion of the east the dual form has been used to cover the two far ends of the east and the west.

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