04 Apr An Noor-The light
Who am I? What is the purpose of my creation? Why was I created?
These are all questions that a human being is innately made to ponder. Our purpose in this world is only to worship Allah, gain His pleasure and ultimately attain paradise. To gain our Lord’s pleasure, it is important to understand who He is. However, due to humankind’s feeble mind, we are unable to fully grasp the truest degree of Allah’s grace, mercy and majesty as He
is beyond our intellect, beyond our comprehension. But Allah, did not leave us stranded in the dark. Allah bestowed upon us many blessed names-names that aid us in our endeavour towards knowing Him, supplicating to Him and marvelling over Him.
From amongst these names is Al-Noor النور Al-Noor النور is derived from the root letters ر و ن which appears 194 times in the Quran.
The word noor consists of four sets of meanings:
1. To give light orto illuminate.
2. To make something visible, to reveal or toclarify
3. To be flaming, blazing and apparent
4. To enlighten or to give advice.
One small word, composed of only three letters is capable of denoting a vast number of meanings. When invoked, all four meanings are invoked allowing our du’aa to be answered in the most perfect manner.
Light upon Light
Allah describes Himself in surah An-Noor “Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. His light is like a niche in which there is a lamp, the lamp is in a glass, the glass is like a shining star, lit from (the oil of) a blessed olive tree, (located) neither to the east nor the west, whose oil would almost glow, even without being touched by fire. Light upon light! Allah guides whoever He wills to His light. And Allah sets forth parables for humanity. And Allah is all knowing in regards to everything.”Quran 24:35
Through the hadith of Abu Bakr, it connotates the following meaning: “If He withdraws it (the veil), the splendour of his countenance would consume his creations so far as his sight reaches” which shows that Allah’s veil is light. This seeing of Allah’s light and the lifting of His veil will be the ultimate reward in Jannah through which other bounties will be rendered insignificant compared to this honour. However, the disbelievers will be despaired from such. We can see this through surah Mutaffifeen wherein it says ‘But this Day (the Day of Judgement),those who believe will laugh at the disbelievers( as retribution for how those people laughed at them) On thrones, looking. Are not the disbelievers paid for what they used to do.
‘On thrones, looking’ meaning, looking at Allah as a reward for bearing through the false claims that they were misguided whilst they were not misguided at all. Rather, they were the close Awliya’ of Allah, who will be looking at their Lord in the place of His honour. ‘Concerning Allah’s statement, Are not the disbelievers paid for what they used to do’ meaning, `will the disbelievers be recompensed for their mockery and belittlement against the believers, or not’ which means that they will surely be paid in full, completely.
Also, another account we can see in regards to the majestic light of Allah being shown is when Musa (peace be upon him) had asked to see Allah to strengthen his iman and certainty. Musa asked :”My lord, show me yourself so i may see you” To which Allah replied:” You will not be able to see me but look towards the mountains.” So when Allah made apparent the tiniest bit of His noor, the mountain crumbled to tiny pieces and Musa, who could also not bare the impact ended falling unconscious. When he awoke, he said “Glory be to you, I turn towards you and i am the first of the believers” Quran 7:143. In these few occasions we are shown how powerful the light of Allah is, and how it is beyond anything human mind is capable of processing and that only in the hereafter will we be able to grasp the its excellence as Allah will make our bodies such that it will be able to bear it.
The light that guides
In regards to the verse of surah nur ,the first part of the verse, ‘Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth’ is in regards to how Allah bestowed light upon His creation. The light that is eminated from the sun and the moon, the light that is bestowed in every believer’s heart are all included in this verse.
The physical light is that which can be perceived by the human eye, such as the light of the stars, sun and the moon in whose regard Allah says, “It is He who made the sun shining and the moon a light”. The words to depict light are used with two different words here to denote that the light of the moon is primarily coming from the sun and the moon reflects that light. This light that is coming from the sun is created by Allah through a chemical reaction inside the atom. The chemical reaction produces light waves that spread in the vast universe.
The spiritual light is the likes of the light that is spiritually embedded within people. The Qur’an is also described to be a nur in the spiritual sense to make things clear. It helps you know your Lord, the universe, the reality of life, and the reality of ones self. It helps us distinguish the truth from falsehood. Allah says in the Qur’an “There has come to you from Allah a Light and a clear Book” Qur’an 5:15. This verse shows that the Qur’an is in fact a light for the humankind so whoever follows it will gain benefit from that light. This light and guidance from the Qur’an is only logical due to the fact that these are the words of Allah, His sifah. Therefore, through constant remembrance of our Lord through the Noble Qur’an, we are able to get indescribable comfort and security indirectly from Allah (discuss how this is logical as it is a sifah of Allah.
Whereas, the spiritual light is the light embedded in every believer’s heart to guide them, to which Allah uses the niche as an example as mentioned in Surah Nur. The niche is a parable for the chest of the believer whilst the lamp placed in the niche is the likes of the heart being placed in the chest. The olive oil connotates the example of the guidance that is placed upon the believer who is innately capable to accept the truth. The olive oil which is neither from the west nor east and it is coming from an open plane, where it receives sunshine both morning and evening; its oil gives a bright light, unlike the oil of the olive tree from only the east or the west which produces a weaker light. So as this olive oil burns with the flames of the fire, it ignites a very bright light and similarly, when the noor of guidance is placed on the heart of a believer and it is joined to the message of Allah and the truth, the light within a believer shines brighter.
“Allah guides to his light whom He wills”. Allah is showing through this that Allah gives his light to guide whomsoever he wishes and how his light is a guide for those who seek guidance, like how the sailors are able to find there way through the seas, through the stars and the darkness of the night.
Due to the fact that Allah’s name An-Noor appears more that forty times in the quran, some scholars are of the opinion that it is the greatest of all of Allah’s beautiful divine names, whilst others have said Ar-Rahman is and some others have said Rabbul-‘Aalameen is.
Despite the difference of opinion, it does not change the fact that each are beautiful attributes of Allah and require contemplation and reflection. Therefore, once your turn to Allah, with full conviction to his names He will surely answer to you.
“Say, Call upon Allah or call upon the most merciful. Whichever (name) you call, to Him belong the best names” Quran 17:110
“Allah has the most beautiful names, So call Him by them” Quran 7:180
We should make a habit of making du’aa by asking Allah to perfect our light.
May Allah swt light our lives with His Noor.