The word “sun” (shems) is used in the Quran 33 times with all its derivatives. A total of 32 of those are used with the “al” prefix (which is the equivalent of “the” in Arabic) and the remaining one is used in its plain form: “shems.” (This exceptional form is used in the 76th sura “The Human,” 13th verse, which gives an explanation for heaven: “They relax therein on luxurious furnishings. They suffer neither the heat of sun, nor any cold.”)

In terms of angular diameter of the sun, interestingly enough, we come face to face with the numbers of 32 and 33. “Angular diameter” shows an object’s dimension with respect to a certain location in an angular form. The angular dimension increases as an object gets closer or gets bigger and decreases as an object moves away or gets smaller. The sun’s angular diameter when it is farthest to our earth is 31.6 (the rounding-up of this number is 32) and when it is closest it is 32.7 (with a rounding-up of 33).

Life on earth depends on the size of the sun and its distance from our earth. If the sun was bigger or closer to the earth, our planet would be too hot and life would not be possible. In both these scenarios, the angular dimension would have been bigger. If the sun was smaller or was farther away, our world would be too cold for life, so the angular dimension would have been smaller. The angular dimension is interesting because it represents the critical adjustments between the earth and the sun which are very important for life on earth with one criterion.

The word Number of occurrences
Sun (with all the derivatives) 33
The highest: sun’s angular diameter 33


The word Number of occurrences
Sun (with prefix) 32
The lowest: the sun’s angular diameter 32

The list of the occurrences of the word “sun” (with all the derivatives) is given below.

No Verse
1. 2:258
2. 6:78
3. 6:96
4. 7:54
5. 10:5
6. 12:4
7. 13:2
8. 14:33
9. 16:12
10. 17:78
11. 18:17
12. 18:86
13. 18:90
14. 20:130
15. 21:33
16. 22:18
17. 25:45
18. 27:24
19. 29:61
20. 31:29
21. 35:13
22. 36:38
23. 36:40
24. 39:5
25. 41:37
26. 41:37
27. 50:39
28. 55:5
29. 71:16
30. 75:9
31. 76:13
32. 81:1
33. 91:1

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