Let me tell you what happens when you procrastinate. You see, I have this habit of delaying the preparation of the Friday talk until Thursday night. Come Thursday night and I often delay it further, until Friday morning. I then prepare the talk after the fajr salaah. That is exactly what I did last night. However, when I awoke this morning, lo and behold, there were no lights! “What am I going to do?” I thought aloud, “I have a bayaan to prepare.” Suddenly a thought crossed my mind. ‘If there are no lights, why not speak about light?’ Certainly, I was not thinking of the lights that hang from our ceilings, the lights that we switch on after nightfall. I was thinking of:
اللَّهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ
“Allah is the creator of the noor of the skies and the earth.”
Yes, I was thinking of the noor of Allah, the creator of all noor in the skies, the earth and in-between. Do you want to see a glimpse of Allah’s noor? Well, you cannot do so in the worldly life, but you can listen to the story of Nabi Moosa (as). He had an intense desire to see Allah. Thus, he prayed to Allah:
رَبِّ أَرِنِي أَنظُرْ إِلَيْكَ
“O Rabb, Show me yourself so that I may see you.”
“You will not be able to see me (in the worldly life),” said Allah, “but look at the mountain”. Allah then told him that he would expose a little of His noor to the mountain.
فَإِنِ اسْتَقَرَّ مَكَانَهُ فَسَوْفَ تَرَانِي
“If it remains in place, you will see me.”
Allah then exposed a little of His noor, equivalent to a fingertip, to the mountain. The intensity of His noor caused the mountain to crush to pieces and Nabi Moosa (as) fainted.
وَأَشْرَقَتِ الْأَرْضُ بِنُورِ رَبِّهَا
At the time of the resurrection, when mankind will emerge from their graves, “the earth will be lit with the noor of its Rabb”.
The Noor of Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam
Having touched on the noor of Allah, let us now touch on the noor of Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam.
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ شَاهِدًا وَمُبَشِّرًا وَنَذِيرًا وَدَاعِيًا إِلَى اللَّهِ بِإِذْنِهِ وَسِرَاجًا مُنِيرًا
“O Nabi, we sent you as a witness, a giver of glad-tidings and warning, a caller to Allah and a radiant siraaj.”
The reason why I did not translate the word siraaj is that it could be translated as sun or lamp. Choosing to translate it as sun, Suyooti explains that Allah Ta’aala is comparing Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam to the sun because both are used to find the way. While the sun guides us to a worldly path, Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam guides us to the path of Allah. In his footnotes on the above, Saawi (ra) refers to the fact that physical and spiritual light is gained from Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam. (Should I have said light and noor?) Now can you imagine the strength of his noor if others gain noor from him?
Somebody asked Baraa bin ‘Aazib (ra) if Rasulullah’s sallallahu alaihi wasallam blessed face used to shine like a sword. “No,” he replied, “His face used to shine like the moon.”
Jaabir bin Samurah (ra) narrated, “I saw Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam on a moonlit night. He was wearing red clothes. I continued shifting my gaze between him and the moon until I concluded that, in my opinion, he was more handsome than the moon.”
Abu Hurayrah narrated, “I never saw anything more handsome than Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam. It seemed like the sun was in his face.”
Commenting on the hadith of Baraa bin ‘Aazib (ra), Abdur Ra’oof Munaawi (ra) says that just as the face of Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam has more noor than the sun, the noor of his heart supersedes the sun and the moon. “If Allah has to expose the noor of his heart, the light of the sun and the moon will fade. There is no comparison between their light and the light of Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam’s heart. Both of them are overshadowed due to eclipses and both set on a regular basis. On the contrary, the noor of the hearts of the Ambiyaa are neither overshadowed due to eclipse nor do they ever set.”
The Noor of the Mu’min
اللَّهُ وَلِيُّ الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا يُخْرِجُهُمْ مِنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ
“Allah is the friend of those who believe. He removes them from darkness to noor.”
When we speak of the awliyaa (friends of Allah), our thoughts immediately dart to certain august personalities in our history; Sayyiduna Abdul Qadir Jilaani, Khwaajah Mu’eenud-Deen Chisti and Khwaajah Nizaamud-Deen (ra). Indeed, they were friends of Allah. However, there are variant levels of friendship with Allah. The Ambiyaa, the Sahaabah, the above personalities and thousands of others were all Allah’s friends. Nevertheless, no matter how pious a non-Sahaabi may be, he can never reach the level of a single Sahaabi. Likewise, no Sahaabi can ever equal a single Nabi. Yet all of them are Allah’s friends. Accordingly, this aayah informs us that every Mu’min (Believer) is Allah’s friend. Hence, we should avoid trampling the rights of fellow Muslims, irrespective of the circumstances. Remember the hadith in which Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam said that Allah says, “I announce war on the person who harbours enmity for a friend of mine”. Who has the strength to ‘fight’ Allah? The other thing we learn from this aayah is that every Mu’min has noor, the noor of imaan. Should we not be grateful and do everything within our means to preserve and enhance this noor?
Those who live with this noor and leave the world with it will be resurrected with it. Thus, Allah describes the Day of Qiyaamah as:
يَوْمَ تَرَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَسْعَى نُورُهُمْ بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَبِأَيْمَانِهِمْ بُشْرَاكُمُ الْيَوْمَ جَنَّاتٌ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا ذَلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ
“The day when you will see male and female believers in such a condition that their noor will be in front of them and on their sides and it will be proclaimed to them: Your glad-tidings today are that of gardens beneath which rivers flow and in which they will abide forever. That is magnificent success.”
يَوْمَ لا يُخْزِي اللَّهُ النَّبِيَّ وَالَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا مَعَهُ نُورُهُمْ يَسْعَى بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَبِأَيْمَانِهِمْ
يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا أَتْمِمْ لَنَا نُورَنَا
“The day when Allah will not disgrace the Nabi and those who brought imaan with him, their imaan will be in front of them and on their sides and they will say: O our Rabb, complete our noor for us.”
Why will they say, “O our Rabb, complete our noor for us”? In order to answer this question, we have to see what Allah says about the noor of the munaafiq (hypocrite).
The Noor of the Munaafiq
You are probably thinking, ‘Can the munaafiq even have any noor?’ The answer is that in essence he is a non-believer and therefore does not deserve any noor. In fact, he has absolutely no noor in the worldly life. The noor we are referring to will be in the Hereafter.
يَوْمَ يَقُولُ الْمُنَافِقُونَ وَالْمُنَافِقَاتُ لِلَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا انْظُرُونَا نَقْتَبِسْ مِنْ نُورِكُمْ قِيلَ ارْجِعُوا وَرَاءَكُمْ فَالْتَمِسُوا نُورًا فَضُرِبَ بَيْنَهُمْ بِسُورٍ لَهُ بَابٌ بَاطِنُهُ فِيهِ الرَّحْمَةُ وَظَاهِرُهُ مِنْ قِبَلِهِ الْعَذَابُ
This aayah is also a description of the Day of Qiyaamah. It means that on that day the male and female hypocrites will tell the Believers, “Look at us so that we may take some of your noor”. “Go back,” they will be told, “and look for noor behind you”. They will turn backwards only to be blocked by the sudden appearance of a wall. Beyond the wall will be mercy but on their side of the wall will be punishment.
Explaining this aayah, Ibn ‘Abbaas (ra) said, “Initially (when the people will leave their graves), they will be in darkness. Allah will then give them noor. The Mu’min will see it and walk in its direction. Thus, it would be his ‘guide’ to Jannah. When the hypocrites will see that the Believers are going forward, they will follow them. However, Allah will then blow out the noor of the hypocrites. This is when the hypocrites will beseech the Believers saying: Look at us so that we may take some of your noor . . .” The darkness of the hypocrite at that moment is alluded to in the aayah:
أَوْ كَظُلُمَاتٍ فِي بَحْرٍ لُّجِّيٍّ يَغْشَاهُ مَوْجٌ مِّن فَوْقِهِ مَوْجٌ مِّن فَوْقِهِ سَحَابٌ ظُلُمَاتٌ بَعْضُهَا فَوْقَ بَعْضٍ إِذَا أَخْرَجَ يَدَهُ لَمْ يَكَدْ يَرَاهَا وَمَن لَّمْ يَجْعَلِ اللَّهُ لَهُ نُورًا فَمَا لَهُ مِن نُّورٍ
“Shades of darkness of the deep sea that is covered by a wave over which there is another wave above that there are clouds. Shades of darkness, some of which are denser than the others. If he (the person in such darkness removes his hand), he will hardly see it. There is no noor for the person whom Allah does not give any noor.”
Skeptics may object that this is deception. No, it is not deception – it is the punishment for deception.
إِنَّ الْمُنَافِقِينَ يُخَادِعُونَ اللَّهَ وَهُوَ خَادِعُهُمْ
“The hypocrites deceive Allah and He will deceive them.”
Nobody can deceive Allah. Furthermore, Allah never deceives anybody; it is beyond His status and purity. Thus, the meaning of the aayah is that the hypocrites behave as if they can deceive Allah. However, He will punish them for their evil behaviour.
Anyway, seeing the hypocrites lose their noor, the Mu’mineen will fear suffering the same fate as them. Thus, they will implore Allah:
أَتْمِمْ لَنَا نُورَنَا
“Complete our noor for us.”
Allah has blessed us with the noor of imaan. It is imperative that we show our gratitude to Him by treasuring, preserving and enhancing it. This could be achieved by:
o Conformity to Allah Ta’aala’s commands
o Adherence to the sunnah
o Abstention from sin
o Abundance of dhikr and du’aa
o Engagement in tableegh and da’wah
o Sitting in the company of the pious
We terminate with two ahaadith of Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam.
1. “Give glad tidings of complete noor on the Day of Qiyaamah to those who walk in darkness to the masaajid.”
2. “No servant says لا إله إلا الله one hundred times (daily) except that Allah will resurrect him on the Day of Qiyaamah in such a condition that his face will shine like the full moon.”
3. “The one who sends a hundred salawaat to me on Fridays will come on the Day of Qiyaamah with so much noor that it will suffice for the entire creation if divided among them.”
O Allah, bless us with complete noor on the Day of Qiyaamah, aameen.
و آخر دعوانا أن الحمد لله رب العالمين
Abu Hudhaifa Muhammed Karolia
6 Dhil Hajj 1434 / 12 October 2013