Posted by: mjaga | December 12, 2011

Light upon Light

Qur’aanic Verse 24.35:

24.35

Transliteration:

35. Allah is Light of the heavens and the earth. His Light is as if there were a niche, inside the niche, a lamp and the lamp, inside a glass. The glass, as it were, a bright star, fuelled by a blessed tree of olive, neither of east nor of west, oil of which would glow forth even when no fire touched it! Light over light! Allah guides to His Light whom He wills. And Allah makes use of similitudes for mankind. And Allah is aware of everything! 9 to 13

Translation:

35. Allah is Light of the heavens and the earth. His Light is as if there were a niche, inside the niche, a lamp and the lamp, inside a glass. The glass, as it were, a bright star, fuelled by a blessed tree of olive, neither of east nor of west, oil of which would glow forth even when no fire touched it! Light over light! Allah guides to His Light whom He wills. And Allah makes use of similitudes for mankind. And Allah is aware of everything! 9 to 13 

Study Note:

9. “And there is none comparable unto Him.” [Q: 112.4] So Allah makes use of similitudes or parables to convey to mankind some ideas about His absolutely unique Being. Similitudes, in terms of things mankind knows of. At the time the verse was revealed, over 1400 years ago, people had niches in the walls of their houses. They placed lamps there. The white-washed wall in the background acted as reflector to give comparatively better light to a room on a dark night. They used olive oil as a fuel for the lamp.

10. But no lamp then could be kindled without an external source of fire. And there was no source of energy, available to mankind then, that could be made to glow forth on its own. Allah therefore said that the source of His Light was unlike anything known to human beings then (“neither of east nor of west”). But in similitudes, references are made to things that are known to people. Why then did Allah make references to things unknown, in the similitude He gave?

11. The All-knowing Allah fashioned His last Book of Guidance in such a way that it would be valid for all future generations till the Last Day. HE knew beforehand then, of the generations that would be given the knowledge of a source of energy – a fuel – that would glow by itself, ‘even when no fire touched it’! No marks for guesssing that electricity is such a source of energy.

12. It is the electric current that makes the electric bulb glow, without fire (as people, at the time the Qur’aan was revealed, knew of it) ‘touching’ it. The reflector has replaced the old-time niche for the modern-day ‘focus’ light. And the fluorescent material of the glass cover, for the electric lamp, glows in addtion, producing the effect so aptly described as noorun alaa noor (light over light) in the divinely given similitude.

13. It is thus abundantly apparent that the similitude given in verse 24.35 was meant for people raised on this earth after the discovery of electricity, rather than for people living at the time of revelation of the Qur’aan. By giving the similitude much before its time, the Almighty and All-knowing Allah has foretold the use of electricity, by future generations, for generation of brighter light.

 The study notes above are extracted from my book In Qur’aanic Light

============================================

The above is an extract from Qur’aanic Studies Manzil IV, which will soon, inshaAllah, be published on Amazon Kindle. Manzil IMabzil II & Manzil III of the series are already published.

Mohammad Shafi


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Responses

  1. As salaamu ‘alaikum Uncle,

    Hope all is well. I enjoyed your article, particularly applying Noor to modern electricity. Here is something I hope you take a look at.

    http://shamsuddinwaheed.blogspot.com/2008/01/divine-illumination-examination-of-ayah.html

    wasssalam
    S.Waheed

    • JazakAllah

      Wassalaam, Mohammad Shafi


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