AN-NUR - The Light

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Allah is the Light of the heavens and Earth. The metaphor of His Light is that of a niche in which is a lamp, the lamp inside a glass, the glass like a brilliant star, lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east nor of the west, its oil all but giving off light even if no fire touches it. Light upon Light. Allah guides to His Light whoever He wills, makes metaphors for mankind, and has knowledge of all things. In houses that Allah has permitted to be built and in which His name is remembered, there are men who proclaim His glory morning and evening. ( Surat an-Nur, 24:35-36)

Allah, the Light of the heavens and Earth, manifests this attribute upon people. As a blessing, He illuminates His servants who believe in Him, recognize and appreciate His greatness, turn to Islam (the only just religion), and live by its morality:

Is he whose breast is opened to Islam, and who is therefore illuminated by his Lord…? Woe to those whose hearts are hardened against the remembrance of Allah! Such people are clearly misguided. ( Surat az-Zumar, 39:22)

For the unbelievers, however, there is not a single source of “illumination.” Moreover, they cannot find a way out of the darkness in which they exist. Allah describes this darkness in the following terms:

Or they are like the darkness of a fathomless sea that is covered by waves above, which are waves above which are clouds, layers of darkness, one upon the other. If he puts out his hand, he can scarcely see it. Those to whom Allah gives no light, they have no light. ( Surat an-Nur, 24:40)

While Allah leaves unbelievers in this darkness, He guides His faithful servants to the light. The following verse reveals that these two groups are mirror opposites and believers are absolutely superior, for:

Is someone who was dead and whom We brought to life, supplying him with a light by which to walk among people, the same as someone who is in utter darkness, unable to emerge from it? That is how what they were doing is made to seem attractive to the unbelievers. ( Surat al-An‘am, 6:122)

Allah sends down warnings to believers in order to guide them to the light. His Messengers and the just Books that they bring are all sources of “light.” Those who comply with the divine message attain the true path and are illuminated. The Qur'an proclaims:

O Prophet! We have sent you as a witness, a bringer of good news, a warner, a caller to Allah by His permission, and a light-giving lamp. ( Surat al-Ahzab, 33:45-46)

He sends down Clear Signs to His servant to bring you out of the darkness to the light. Allah is All-Gentle with you, Most Merciful. ( Surat al-Hadid, 57:9)

O People of the Book! Our Messenger has come to you, making clear to you much of the Book that you have kept concealed, and passing over a lot. A Light has come to you from Allah, and a Clear Book. By it, Allah guides those who follow what pleases Him to the ways of peace. He will bring them from the darkness to the light by His permission, and guide them to a straight path. ( Surat al-Ma'ida, 5:15-16)

Allah's true servants will live happily until they die, and will be recognized by their light. Unbelievers, on the other hand, will remain in infinite darkness in the Hereafter as well, and will ask believers for some of their light. As the Qur'an states:

On the Day you see the men and women of the believers, with their light streaming out in front of them, and to their right: “Good news for you today of gardens with rivers flowing under them, remaining in them timelessly, forever. That is the Great Victory.” That Day, the men and women of the hypocrites will say to those who believe: “Wait for us so that we can borrow some of your light.” They will be told: “Go back and look for light!” And a wall will be erected between them with a gate in it, on the inside of which there will be mercy but before whose exterior lies punishment. ( Surat al-Hadid, 57:12-13)

Allah is the Protector of those who believe. He brings them out of the darkness and into the light. But those who are unbelievers have false deities as protectors. They take them from the light into the darkness. Those are the Companions of the Fire, remaining in it timelessly, forever. ( Surat al-Baqara, 2:257)

He calls down blessing upon you, as do His angels, to bring you out of the darkness and into the light. He is Most Merciful to the believers. ( Surat al-Ahzab, 33:43)

And Earth will shine with the Pure Light of its Lord, the Book will be put in place, the Prophets and witnesses will be brought, and it will be decided between them with the truth. They will not be wronged. ( Surat az-Zumar, 39:69)

Those who believe in Allah and His Messengers—such people are the truly sincere—and the martyrs who are with their Lord will receive their wages and their light. But those who are unbelievers and deny Our Signs will be Companions of the Blazing Fire. ( Surat al-Hadid, 57:19)

O You who believe! Have fear [and awareness] of Allah and faith in His Messenger. He will give you a double portion of His mercy, grant you a Light by which to walk, and forgive you. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. ( Surat al-Hadid, 57:28)

Prophet Muhammad (saas) advises believers to say the following in their prayers:

“Allahumma: Put light in my heart, light in my tongue, light in my sight, light in my hearing, light on my right, light on my left, light above me, light beneath me, light in front of me, and light behind me. Put light in my soul, and give me great light.” (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)

2009-08-19 11:38:49

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