Divine attribute of Al Nur (The Light)
Summary of Friday Sermon delivered by Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad at, the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community December 4 th, 2009
Huzur Aqdas began by reciting verse 258 of Surah Al Baqarah and gave a discourse on the Divine attribute of Al Nur (The Light) in his Friday sermon today. The translation of the verse is:
‘Allah is the friend of those who believe: He brings them out of every kind of darkness into light. And those who disbelieve, their friends are the transgressors who bring them out of light into every kind of darkness. These are the inmates of the Fire; therein shall they abide.’ (2:258)
Huzur said according to lexicon Nur is one of the Divine attributes and is that Being through Whose light a physically blind person sees and a person who has gone astray finds guidance from wisdom that is bestowed by Him. It is that Being Who is apparent and through Whom all things are manifested. His Being is apparent in Himself and makes things evident for others.
It is stated in the explanation of part of verse 36 of Surah Al Nur, ‘Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth…’ that it is God alone Who guides those in the heavens and in the earth. Nur is the light which is capable of being spread and helps in the sighting of things, it is of two kinds: worldly and of the Hereafter.
The worldly Nur is also twofold; one that is perceived through insight and can be found in the light of God. In explaining the meanings lexicon refers to some Quranic verses: ‘…There has come to you indeed from Allah a Light and a clear Book. (5:16) as well as: ‘…We gave him life and made for him a light whereby he walks among men, be like him whose condition is that he is in utter darkness whence he cannot come forth?...’ (6:123).
Reciting verse 36 of Surah Al Nur:
‘Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The similitude of His light is as a lustrous niche, wherein is a lamp. The lamp is in a glass. The glass is as it were a glittering star. It is lit from a blessed tree — an olive — neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil would well-nigh glow forth even though fire touched it not. Light upon light! Allah guides to His light whomsoever He will. And Allah sets forth parables to men, and Allah knows all things full well. (24:36)
Huzur said he had explained this verse in light of the writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) a short while ago but it was with reference to a different subject-matter. He said today he would present a summary of the writings. Huzur said some may think that the light the above verse mentions is limited to the person of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). Doubtless, the light of God is dominant over everything. The first aspect the verse declares is that because God is the Light of the heavens and the earth, everything gets beneficence from His light, indeed can only get beneficence from it. He dispenses the light as He wills. How is it that God is the Light? It is because it is He Who created the heavens and the earth and He alone gives the light, whether it is physical light or spiritual. As it is stated in the Holy Qur’an: ‘Allah is He Who created the heavens and the earth …’ (14:33).
Huzur said the true Light is God which can be perceived in everything by those with insight. However, one who is devoid of spiritual sight cannot see it. A believer is firm on the belief that the universe that can be sighted as well as the universe that cannot be sighted is created by God. In order to give an understanding of this Light God sends His chosen people who spread the nur, which comes down from the heavens, in the world.
Huzur said verse 24:36 elucidates such nur. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) set the most excellent example and highest standard of nur, one which will continue till the Day of Judgement and which was established as a reflection of the Light of God. He spread this nur in his life time and it continues to spread today. The verse 24:36 describes this nur as a niche, an elevated place, which is the breast of the Prophet. Within the niche is a lamp and this lamp is Divine revelation.
The lamp is within a globe of glass and this glass is the heart of the Prophet, which is sparklingly clean and free from any blemish. This glass is as resplendent and illuminating as a star; indeed just as the internal light of the Prophet’s heart most liberally spread externally. This lamp is alight with the blessed olive tree and this tree is a simile for the person of the Prophet, which will be established till the Day of Judgement because it was him alone who was declared as the perfect man and there can be none other like him till the Day of Judgement. The reference in the verse of nur belonging neither to the east nor to the west signifies the teaching of Islam which does not incline to any one side. Neither to Communism nor Socialism nor Capitalism, rather, it is a teaching of moderation which establishes human rights and world peace.
The reference to
‘whose oil would well-nigh glow forth’ signifies that exquisite wisdom of the Prophet and all his lofty morals. Light upon light connotes that when God poured forth His Light, i.e. revelation on the perfect man, it created a peerless nur in the spiritual world.
True nur is only through the Shariah that was revealed to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be on him) and from his blessed model. It is this teaching alone that is the nur that can bring about the beneficence of the Nur of God.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) elucidated it thus:
‘That light of high degree that was bestowed on perfect man was not in angels, was not in stars, was not in the moon, was not in the sun, was not in the oceans and the rivers, was not in rubies or emeralds, or sapphires, or pearls; in short, it was not in any earthly or heavenly object. It was only in perfect man whose highest and loftiest and most perfect example was our lord and master, the Chief of the Prophets, the Chief of all living ones, Muhammad, the chosen one, peace be on him. That light was bestowed on this man and, according to their ranks, upon all those who bore the same colour to some degree.... This dignity was found in its highest and most perfect form in our lord and master and our guide, the immaculate Prophet, the righteous one, testified to by the righteous, Muhammad, the chosen one, peace be on him.’(Ayenae Kamalat-e-Islam, Ruhani Khazain (London, 1984), Vol.5, pp. 160-162).
The lofty station of nur that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was granted was from the Light of God and he conveyed it onto his Companions and established excellent morals among them so much so that he likened them to stars. The blessed Companions partook of a measure of God’s Light to such an extent that they attained the honour of [the salutation] of raziAllah unho (may Allah be pleased with them). The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has written that the Companions were so absorbed in the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) that his nur transferred onto them through their complete obedience of him and it annihilated all else but God from their hearts. A Hadith relates, ‘my Companions have Allah and Allah alone in their hearts.’
Huzur said God did not cease dispensing this nur, rather the nur that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) received from God is an ever-continuing fountain of beneficence as the Islamic Shariah will continue till the Day of Judgement. In this age, through his ardent and true love of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) God sent the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) with the nur of spirituality that descends from heavens.
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote that he did not know what act of his had attracted Divine bestowment. He said he was only aware of his natural inclination towards God which was borne out of compelling sincerity. He once dreamed that an elderly esteemed person signalled to him to replicate the Sunnah of Prophets of God and keep fasts. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) decided to fast without letting everyone know, so he moved to the outwardly room of the house. He also ate in that room and would distribute most of his food among orphans and would eat very little himself. Through the wonders of such fasting, exquisite visions were disclosed to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) where he had meetings with past Prophets of God and high-ranking saints. Once in full wakefulness he saw the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and his grandsons, Hadhrat Ali and Hadhrat Fatima (may Allah be pleased with them both). He also experienced Divine lights metaphorically appear in a most beautiful manner. He saw columns of lights in red, green and brilliant white reaching up the heavens, seeing them gave him a pleasure and ecstasy of such a degree that he said he could not articulate it. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) explained that some of the light [of the columns] came from his heart and some came from the heavens and together the lights formed the shape of a column. Huzur said this blessing was bestowed on the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) because of his perfect obedience of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be on him).
The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) also wrote, ‘once [I] had a revelation the meanings of which were that the higher angels are in commotion. That is, the will of God is aroused to revive faith. However, the appointment of the ‘one who will bestow life to the dead’ revivalist has not yet been revealed to the higher angels. That is the reason why there is conflict. At that moment I saw in dream that people are looking around for a revivalist and a person comes in front of this humble person and signals to him that this is the man who loves the Prophet of God and the meanings of these words were that the highest condition of this office is love of Prophet and that is certainly verified in this person.’
Huzur said after the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) the reflection of God’s Light was the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and this was in complete subordination of his master. The spiritual knowledge and cognisance of the revelations that was sent to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) were disclosed to the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) so that he could tell the world. Indeed, he did not desire renown, but when God’s Light fell on him, the renown followed suit so that he could spread the message in the world. God revealed to him, ‘You have proceeded from Him and He has chosen you out of the whole world. You are the light of the world. You are God's dignity and He will not forsake you…O Ye people, the light of God has come to you, so do not reject it.’ (Tadhkirah 2007 edition, pp. 379-280).
Huzur said not only God filled the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) with the nur that was first sent down 1,400 years ago, He also granted him the station to spread this nur. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote that no one knew him and God compelled him out of his solitude and told him that He would bestow honour and renown to him all over the world. It is the way of God that when He adorns someone with nur, He manifests it to the world. When the worldly light has the capacity to spread, how can the light of God stay hidden?
If one connects with the special people of God He illuminates one’s heart even if one’s ‘niche’ is small and one’s ‘glass globe’ is small. Yet one who is connected will be able to further spread the nur. When the true light of God reaches believers and blesses them, it invariably goes on to bless others. In order to maximise our chances to partake of this blessing we should try and adopt the blessed model of the beloved of God in complete obedience.
Indeed God declared it thus: ‘Say, ‘If you love Allah, follow me: then will Allah love you…’ (3:32). It was such love that the Companions had for the Holy Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be on him) that also illumined them and it was the same love that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) had for the Prophet in this age which gave him the honour of spreading the light in the world. If one claims to love God and the Prophet then it is essential for them to follow the Promised Messiah for this is the commandment of God and His Prophet. It is because of this connection that our Community is linked to Khilafat and is being blessed with the nur of which the greatest measure was given to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and in this age his ardent devotee and servant revived it.
The peace of this world is also associated with the Promised Messiah who fulfilled the statement [of the Prophet] that he would call the world to love, affection and peace, will establish the dues of God and will illuminate the world with God’s light and will be a source of the peace of the world. It was predicted that in his age there would be an end to wars. In light of this, the eternal succession of Khilafat is going to going to carry it onwards. Hadhrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said that three aspects are required to disperse nur: Divinity, Prophethood and Khilafat and as long as believers keep faith and do good works the progression of this nur will continue.
May God so enable us that we continue to be blessed with this nur and are never deprived of it. If the Muslims, our brothers, understood this reality the others would not dare to create the furore that they time and again raise against Islam. There is strength in unity and for this the Promised Messiah was sent. Recently uproar has been raised in Switzerland against minarets. Their churches also have spires, what harm do minarets bring? In any case, uproar has been raised; it is part of the anti-Islamic stance and appears to be a substantial conspiracy, further demands will be made.
May God, with His grace, protect us from all evil. We should pray that God makes each conspiracy of the enemies of Islam fail and be unsuccessful.