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We know that the creation around us from the green veins of a leaf to the stars that light the sky points to the divine. Allah has adorned our world with signs that hold subtle and profound messages for people of reflection and intellect.

Throughout his book he alludes, with varying explicitness, to these signs, one of the most frequent being the turning of night and day, the covering of light by darkness, and vice versa. These signs point to a creator, and often time symbolize his traits.

This ayah in Surah Zumar is a fitting example:

يُكَوِّرُ اللَّيْلَ عَلَى النَّهَارِ وَيُكَوِّرُ النَّهَارَ عَلَى اللَّيْلِ وَسَخَّرَ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ كُلٌّ يَجْرِي لِأَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى أَلَا هُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفَّارُ

He makes the night cover the day and makes the day cover the night, and He has made the sun and the moon subservient; each one runs on to an assigned term; now surely He is the Mighty, the great Forgiver.

Allah describes how he causes the day to cover the night and the night to cover the day as a sign of his glory. He adds to the mention of this sign by relating it directly to his relevant qualities, the mighty, and the forgiving.

The reason why his might is mentioned here is evident, but what about his forgiveness? Why would Allah mention that quality in specific relation to his control over the day and night?

The word غفار, which means forgiver, comes from the root غ ف ر, which means to cover. Just as Allah literally covers the night with the day, he also covers our sins.

When we see the night and the day gracefully passing over each other, we should remember Allah’s power to forgive, and it should serve as a persistent reminder to to never despair in his mercy.