Lunar Names of Days

In ibn Kathir’s tafsir of verse verse 39 of surat Yasin, we find a listing of lunar names of days in a month according to the stages of the moon phase.

وَالْقَمَرَ قَدَّرْنَاهُ مَنَازِلَ حَتَّىٰ عَادَ كَالْعُرْجُونِ الْقَدِيمِ – 36:39

As for the moon, We have ordained ˹precise˺ phases for it, until it ends up like an old, curved palm stalk.

The Arabs have a name for each set of three nights in a month, according to the phases of the moon.

– They call the first three nights Ghurar;

– the next three nights Nufal;

– the next three nights Tusa` (nine) — because the last of them is the ninth.

– The next three nights are called `Ushar (ten) — because the first of them is the tenth.

– The next three nights are called Al-Bid (white) — because of the light of the moon which shines brightly throughout these three nights.

– The next three nights are called Dura`, the plural of Dar`a’, because on the first of them the night is dark from the moon rising late. Dar`a’ refers to the black sheep, i.e., the one whose head is black;

– the next three nights Zulam;

– then Hanadis,

– then Da’adi;

– then Mihaq, because of the absence of moonlight at the beginning of the month.

Abu Ubayd did not recognize the names Tusa` and `Ushar, in the book Gharib Al-Musannaf.

(Ibn Kathir, verse 36:39)


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