¡ By the morning brightness,
* and by the night when still,
1-2 In addition to some interpretations given in the introduction, the morning brightness (al-ḍuḥā) is understood here as a specific reference to the morning (ḍuḥā)
on which God spoke to Moses, and the night as a specific reference to the Night Journey and Ascension (see 17:1c; introduction to Sūrah 53; Q, Sh); others say al-ḍuḥā refers to the hour at which the sorcerers who opposed Moses recognized the truth of his message and fell prostrate (see 20:59; Sh). According to al-Shawkānī, when al-ḍuḥā precedes the mention of night, as in this context, it refers to the entire day. It is also said that al-ḍuḥā is the light of the Garden and the night is the darkness of the Fire (Sh), for the Fire of Hell is said to be without light; or that al-ḍuḥā is the light within the hearts of those who know God (al-ʿārifūn) and that the night is the blackness of the hearts of the disbelievers. When still is said to refer to the darkness as it extends over the day
(Sh). V. 2 is also interpreted to mean, “The night as it approaches” or “The night as it leaves” (Sh, Ṭ).