أَوْ كَظُلُمَـٰتٍ فِى بَحْرٍ لُّجِّىٍّ يَغْشَىٰهُ مَوْجٌ مِّن فَوْقِهِۦ مَوْجٌ مِّن فَوْقِهِۦ سَحَابٌ ۚ ظُلُمَـٰتٌۢ بَعْضُهَا فَوْقَ بَعْضٍ إِذَآ أَخْرَجَ يَدَهُۥ لَمْ يَكَدْ يَرَىٰهَا ۗ وَمَن لَّمْ يَجْعَلِ ٱللَّهُ لَهُۥ نُورًا فَمَا لَهُۥ مِن نُّورٍ
Asad Quran Translation
Or [else, their deeds60
are] like the depths of darkness upon an abysmal sea, made yet more dark by wave billowing over wave, with [black] clouds above it all: depths of darkness, layer upon layer61
[so that] when one holds up his hand, he can hardly see it: for he to whom God gives no light, no light whatever has he!
I.e., their bad deeds, as contrasted with their good deeds, which in the preceding verse have been likened to a mirage.
Lit., "one above another".
Malik Quran Translation
Or another parable of unbelievers' efforts is that of person trying to swim in a bottomless ocean overwhelmed with billows, one over the other, overcast with dark clouds - layers of utter darkness one above another - so much so that if he stretches out his hand, he can hardly see it. The one to whom Allah does not give light, will have no light!
Yusuf Ali Quran Translation
Or (the Unbelievers' state) is like the depths of darkness in a vast deep ocean overwhelmed with billow topped by billow topped by (dark) clouds: depths of darkness one above another: if a man stretches out his hand he can hardly see it! for any to whom Allah giveth not light there is no light! 3013 3014 3015
What a graphic picture of darkness in the depths of the Ocean, wave upon wave, and on top of all, dense dark clouds! There is so little light even in ordinary depths of the Ocean that fishes which live there lose their eyes as useless organs.
A contrast to "Light upon Light" in xxiv. 35 above.
The true source of Light in the world of Reatity is Allah, and anyone who cuts himself off from that Light is in utter darkness indeed, for it is the negation of the only true light, and not merely relative darkness, like that which we see, say, in the shadows of moonlight.
Mustafa Khattab Quran Translation
Or ˹their deeds are˺ like the darkness in a deep sea, covered by waves upon waves,1
topped by ˹dark˺ clouds. Darkness upon darkness! If one stretches out their hand, they can hardly see it. And whoever Allah does not bless with light will have no light!
This is another scientific fact mentioned in the Quran: the existence of underwater waves, like layers.
Piktal Quran Translation
Or as darkness on a vast, abysmal sea. There covereth him a wave, above which is a wave, above which is a cloud. Layer upon layer of darkness. When he holdeth out his hand he scarce can see it. And he for whom Allah hath not appointed light, for him there is no light.
Aw kathulumatin fee bahrin lujjiyyin yaghshahu mawjun min fawqihi mawjun min fawqihi sahabun thulumatun baAAduha fawqa baAAdin itha akhraja yadahu lam yakad yaraha waman lam yajAAali Allahu lahu nooran fama lahu min noorin