¡ Praise be to God, Who created the heavens and the earth, and made darkness and light. Yet those who do not believe ascribe equals to their Lord!
1 This sūrah opens with a reference to God as Creator of the heavens and the earth and of darkness and light. Invoking the heavens and the earth and darkness and light highlights both the duality of the created world in relation to God’s Oneness and the totality of His creative Power. That the Makkans ascribe equals to their Lord is thus made to seem absurd in the face of their own recognition of His all-encompassing creative Power. Some early commentators noted the similarity of this opening verse to the opening section of the Torah (Genesis 1:1-5), with its reference to God’s creation of the heavens and the earth and separation of light from darkness (Ṭ). As throughout the Quran, the word for light (nūr) is singular, but darkness is rendered in the plural (ẓulumāt), implying that although there are multiple kinds of darkness, light is one, just as there are multiple kinds of falsehood, but Truth is ultimately one (R, Z; see also 5:16c), even if there are degrees of light, and on the level of the created order there can be said to be multiple truths.