THE MYSTICAL VERSE OF THE LIGHT

One of the most mystical verses of the Quran which has been much discussed by commentators is the ‘Verse of the Light’. It is the 35th verse of the surah (chapter) titled ‘Noor’, also spelt ‘Nur’, where ‘noor’ is the Arabic word for light. It is one of the reasons why people look to buy online Surah Noor art or search for best Surah Noor art.

Following is the English translation of the verse (taken from Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s translation and commentary):

‘Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The Parable of His Light is as if there were a Niche and within it a Lamp: the Lamp enclosed in Glass: the glass as it were a brilliant star: Lit from a blessed Tree, an Olive, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil is well-nigh luminous, though fire scarce touched it: Light upon Light! Allah doth guide whom He will to His Light: Allah doth set forth Parables for men: and Allah doth know all things.’

MYSTICAL

The metaphorical verse is very deep and its meaning difficult to comprehend, as it uses analogies and compels us to use the most of our pondering abilities.

According to the commentary (tafsir) by Maududi: “Light is something which makes things visible; which is itself manifest and helps make other things manifest. The human mind conceives light in this very sense. Absence of light is termed darkness, invisibility and obscurity. On the other hand, when there is visibility and things become exposed to view, man says there is light. Allah has been called `Light’ in this basic sense, and not in the sense of a beam of light which travels at the speed of 186,000 miles per second and stimulates the optic nerve through the retina. This conception of light has nothing to do with the reality of the meaning for which human mind has coined this word.”

The Verse of the Light is a key passage that several Sufis and Muslim philosophers cite for esoteric readings of the Quran. The verse was pondered over much by al-Ghazali whose interpretations of this verse, as well as the nature of divine Light is detailed in his masterpiece Mishkat al-Anwar (the “Niche of Lights”).

Since the verse is quite long, many people remember the first line of the verse, ‘Allah if the Light of the Heavens and the Earth’.

Thoughit’s not among the verses most popularly sought after for in the world of Islamic wall art, those with a deep reading of the Holy Quran do ask for this verse to be written in a calligraphic style so that they can frame it for their walls. Some specialist Islamic wall art stores do offer the verse written in beautiful and stylish calligraphic font for those looking to buy online Surah Noor art or searching for best Surah Noor art. Indeed, there is no dearth of Quranic verses which one can take inspiration from and indeed frame them too as a constant reminder.

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