‘Light upon Light, Allah guides to His Light whom He wills’.
The concept of light in Islam is
a phenomenon which has been explained in many ways. Light is Nur, and is the source of energy and the nucleus of life itself. Allah (swt) has created everything with
a share of light and even described His own self as being Light;
is the Light of the heavens and the earth’. (24:35)
Allah (swt) uses the concept of light throughout
His noble word; Al’Quran and has called
the Glorious Qur’an a ‘manifest light’
(4:174). The meaning of light in many Islamic terms when used aside from its physical description, is one of guidance. If we are to imagine or try
to define the meaning or measure the expression of ‘guidance’ then it must be that of ‘Light’. In
Arabic the statement ‘Noor-e-Hudaa’ means the Light of guidance. Many of the expressions when discussing Nur, are in fact referring to guidance and this is why the final Messenger
of Allah (swt); Prophet Muhammad (salla lahu alayhi Wasallam) has been given the title of the ‘lamp that gives light’.
one who invites to Allah and as a lamp spreading light’. (33:46)
Rasulullah (salla lahu alayhi wa’
ale hi wasallam) brought with him a magnificent light that still shines centuries after his departure. This light was the
guidance he brought, which was not only the Qur’anic revelations that were revealed into his heart but also the wisdom
of his teachings and path – sunnah. Prophet
Muhammad (salla lahu alayhi wa’ ale hi wasallam) was born a Prophet and even though he received the revelations from
the age of forty, his early life was one of perfection. This is why the people of Makkah called him Al Amin – the trustworthy and he was free from any errors and mistakes. The beloved Prophet (saw) always
had divine guidance even before he received the divine revelations in Mount Hira.
The light of the beloved Prophet (saw) was also apparent in his physical beauty, which was incomparable to any other. There
are numerous hadith that discuss his tremendous beauty, which had a glow that could be seen and felt. One hadith discusses
that his blessed wife; Hasrat Aisha (ra) dropped something in the room and there was no candle therefore Hasrat Aisha (ra)
was struggling to find the object in pitch darkness. Then suddenly the room lit up and Hasrat Aisha looked up and saw that
Rasulullah (saw) had entered the room bringing with him his illumination that removed the darkness. The light – Nur which accompanied the best of creation – Rasulullah (saw) was his guidance and the physical glow of
the day you shall see the believing men and the believing women – their light running forward before them and by their
right hands’. (57:12)
The believers have also been described
in Al’Qur’an as having the ‘Light’. This light is the Nur of guidance and piety. The above verse explains that the believers will come on the day
of judgement with their own light. The following verse in Surah
57 explains that the hypocrites will ask the believers to lend them their light.
The qualities of piety and modesty can often be seen in the face of the believing men and women. The rank of a worshipper
and a person fearing Allah (swt) has a different kind of glow and shine. Many great scholars like Sayyid Sheikh Muhammad al Yaqoubi, have a tremendous presence and their faces have this glow. When looking at
faces filled with Nur, you often find you lower your eyes out of respect and awe.
The modest and pious sisters in Islam who cover themselves are rewarded with a natural beauty, which is not dependant on make
up or any other type of cosmetics. The faces of the believing women have a glow, which reflects their purity and piety and
upon seeing them you will lower the gaze. This is because the beauty of Nur-e-huda
is pure and a reward from Allah (swt). The attraction of actors and singers is based on falsehood as they spend their
wealth on cosmetics in an attempt to become attractive to others and this is really a deception..
The light of guidance shines bright within
the true believers and Allah (swt) rewards his followers by a physical presence that becomes apparent to others. Even the
non-believers are attracted to this glow but are unable to recognize this Nur or
understand the source of it. There are many non-Muslims who have discussed that they were attracted to pious Muslims and their
appearance, manners and language and this led them towards the guidance of lslam. These pious Muslims and especially the scholars
live their lives preserving the sunnah of that Lamp that gives Light, the best of all creation; Rasulullah (salla lahu alayhi Wasallam).
Allah (swt) has preserved His most brilliant lamp for the whole of mankind, may all of us recognize and commit ourselves to
follow the light until our own light is extinguished.