certifired_img

Books and Documents

Islamic Ideology (29 Sep 2016 NewAgeIslam.Com)



An Exposition of the Verse of Light (Ayat al-Nur)



By Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

29 September 2016  

اللَّهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ مَثَلُ نُورِهِ كَمِشْكَاةٍ فِيهَا مِصْبَاحٌ الْمِصْبَاحُ فِي زُجَاجَةٍ الزُّجَاجَةُ كَأَنَّهَا كَوْكَبٌ دُرِّيٌّ يُوقَدُ مِن شَجَرَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ زَيْتُونِةٍ لَّا شَرْقِيَّةٍ وَلَا غَرْبِيَّةٍ يَكَادُ زَيْتُهَا يُضِيءُ وَلَوْ لَمْ تَمْسَسْهُ نَارٌ نُّورٌ عَلَى نُورٍ يَهْدِي اللَّهُ لِنُورِهِ مَن يَشَاءُ وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الْأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

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 guides to His light whom He pleases, and Allah sets forth parables for men, and Allah is Cognizant of all things. (al-Nur, 24/35)

One of the most beautiful and commented verses of the Qur’an is the verse of light (Ayat al-Nur), which exegetes, mystics and philosophers have all discussed, and about which they have offered opinions according to their understanding.

The method of communicating something indescribable using the insufficient vocabulary of the language is by the use of allegory, metaphor and simile; the verse above also falls under the category of allegory. However, there is another verse of the Quran which tells us what the metaphors used in the verse mean.

Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth;        

Light is another word for knowledge since it illuminates the reality around us and makes it known to us.

This Ayat or verse occurs in Surah Nur or The Light which has 14 sections, and each section deals with some aspect of the law or the moral way of living. The connection of the Ayat with the moral way of living is unmistakable. Besides, the main objective of the Book is to show mankind the straight path and to complete the Deen or give the complete way of living which is the moral way of living. This is covered in more detail in my article:

Science and Religion

The following Ayat explains the meaning of the metaphors used in the Ayat al-Nur

(10:37) This Qur´an is not such as can be produced by other than Allah; on the contrary it is a confirmation of (revelations) that went before it, and a fuller explanation of the Book - wherein there is no doubt - from the Lord of the worlds.

The Deen-e Islam expounded in the Quran can be seen as both a confirmation and fuller explanation of what could arguably be the very first moral principle given by God to mankind.

 “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”

It is easy to see that the very first moral principle is self-luminous and has guided mankind to transition from the stage of living like a savage to civilization. No civilization was possible without this moral principle. The self-luminous olive oil from a sacred tree is the metaphor used for it.

يَكَادُ زَيْتُهَا يُضِيءُ وَلَوْ لَمْ تَمْسَسْهُ نَارٌ

whose oil is well-nigh luminous, though fire scarce touched it

The unparalleled excellence with which the Quran teaches us the moral way of living is at several levels. The first level is the moral principle itself which is self-luminous and Allah compares it with the olive oil from a blessed tree neither of the east nor the west which clearly means that the source of the self-luminous moral principle is Divine and not from this earth either from the east or the west.

 The second level is the use of imagery created with words and using the most effective devices of the psychology of influence such as priming and through reinforcement by repeating the message but in different ways and in different contexts to make the point clear and beyond doubt. The second level of light is when the already self-luminous olive oil is lighted up and flares up throwing light on every aspect of man’s relationship with the rest of the Universe. This is the detailed exposition of the first self-luminous moral principle covered in my article:

Deen-e-Islam or the Moral Way of Living in Islam

A likeness of His light is as a niche in which is a lamp, the lamp is in a glass, (and) the glass is as it were a brightly shining star,

Now, what could the glass that encloses and protects the flame, as mentioned in the verse, possibly denote? The function of the glass is to keep the flame steady and constant to enable seeing things clearly and without strain or distortion. It should achieve this without absorbing any light. The glass must be crystal clear without a blemish and like a shining star. This is the function played by language and refers to the linguistic excellence of the Quran. Use of language helps in communicating as well as preserving and protecting the knowledge. The linguistic excellence helps clear communication and prevents distortions. The Book has often been described as Kitabum Mubeen or a Book that makes things clear and a Book without crookedness. The third level of excellence is therefore the linguistic perfection which clothes/covers this light and is likened to the glass which itself is brilliant like the star.

 All of these are within the framework (niche) of a complete and self-sufficient system of belief in a God who is the Creator, Sustainer, Helper, Law Giver, the source of all power, the Wise, the Aware, the Knower, the Just, the Merciful, the one who Rewards, the Forgiver, the Lord of the Day of Judgment and with many more attributes. 

نُّورٌ عَلَى نُورٍ

Light upon light

 The meaning of light upon light is now crystal clear – the self- luminous moral principle made clearer by the manner in which it is elucidated in the Quran and enhanced, protected and preserved by the linguistic excellence. The Quran sheds light on many truths but specially on the complete way of living a moral life and the source of this knowledge/light is Allah Himself. The excellence is best described by the Quran itself.

Why does God not compare his light to the Sun but to a lamp? Because the light of a lamp is available only to those who seek the light and not to everyone like the light of the sun. The Light of God only illuminates the hearts of the seekers of His light. It is not for those who prefer to remain in darkness and those who shun the light of God.

The closer a person is to the source of light, the more he is able to benefit from its luminance.

(24:36) (Lit is such a Light) in houses, which Allah hath permitted to be raised to honour; for the celebration, in them, of His name: In them is He glorified in the mornings and in the evenings, (again and again),-

(37) By men whom neither traffic nor merchandise can divert from the Remembrance of Allah, nor from regular Prayer, nor from the practice of regular Charity: Their (only) fear is for the Day when hearts and eyes will be transformed (in a world wholly new),-

(38) That Allah may reward them according to the best of their deeds, and add even more for them out of His Grace: for Allah doth provide for those whom He will, without measure.

 Ayat 24:35 is the most commented because of its beauty, rich imagery and mysticism. The meaning appears to have however remained a mystery because the scholars could not see what now appears obvious after this discussion. The pre-Islamic society was also a civilization and many of the moral principles were already known and thought to be “common sense” little realizing their origin in previous revelations. Imam Ghazali has written a treatise on this ayat. He likens the niche to the rib cage and the glass to the human heart and the light to spiritual knowledge from Allah. This explanation is problematic in several ways.

The beginning of the verse, the ending of the verse and every simile/metaphor in between refer to only things that are perfect or divine and not to what is imperfect or to man at all. Words of perfection are never used to describe a human being. A human heart is not perfect transparent glass or the best protection of divine knowledge. There is no human being who is perfect and without human frailties. This analogy has not been used by the Quran even when speaking about the heart of any of the prophets let alone using it for lesser mortals. The Prophet (pbuh) himself hid in his heart what Allah made manifest (33:37). The analogy of the perfect glass for the human heart that hides nothing fails right here.

 In the Quran, the heart is made stronger by reading the Quran and not cleaner. It hides secrets which is the opposite of revealing everything. A person may bring a sound heart (Qalb in Saleem) or may have a disease (Marz) in his heart. Prophet David is advised not follow the lusts of his heart (38:26). Hearts are soft or hard like rocks but never like glass let alone perfectly clean and transparent glass.

يَهْدِي اللَّهُ لِنُورِهِ مَن يَشَاءُ وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الْأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

Allah does guide whom He will to His Light: Allah does set forth Parables for men: and Allah does know all things. May Allah guide us all to His Light!

And Allah knows best.

Naseer Ahmed is an Engineering graduate from IIT Kanpur and is an independent IT consultant after having served in both the Public and Private sector in responsible positions for over three decades. He is a frequent contributor to NewAgeIslam.com

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-ideology/naseer-ahmed,-new-age-islam/an-exposition-of-the-verse-of-light-(ayat-al-nur)/d/108710

New Age IslamIslam OnlineIslamic WebsiteAfrican Muslim NewsArab World NewsSouth Asia NewsIndian Muslim NewsWorld Muslim NewsWomen in IslamIslamic FeminismArab WomenWomen In ArabIslamophobia in AmericaMuslim Women in WestIslam Women and Feminism

 




TOTAL COMMENTS:-   17


  • Naseersaab says, "It is your arguments that are hackneyed "Couldn't man not say on his own it is wrong to steal?" There is no evidence that he did and there is evidence that the scriptures said it."
    If you really believe that man could not on his own say that it is wrong to steal and that he required the scriptures to teach him that, I don't think you will get any authority or any scripture to agree with you. 

    You also said, "The scriptures also do not teach what man can learn on his own. The scriptures also claim that what is sent as guidance could not have been sent by other than Allah."

    No scripture says that. You misread our scriptures. By "guidance" they mean that we could not have known about the nature of God, his powers, the Day of Judgement, Heaven, Hell, Adam and Eve without the scriptures. The scriptures do not however say we could not distinguish between right and wrong on our own.

    And you add, "What you said is immaterial and irrelevant."

    I had said that man could have easily generated these moral principles on his own, and you totally ignored that in your reply. It means that you are either dishonest or so grandiose that what others say does not matter to you.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 10/5/2016 1:26:39 PM



  • GM Sb says: Naseersaab says, "Nobody ever said that these laws were not sent down earlier."

     This is a deceptive reply to what I had said. What I had said was,

     What you said is immaterial and irrelevant. "Nobody ever said that these laws were not sent down earlier." applies to me. I never claimed that the 10 commandments were original and therefore your argument is uncalled for and irrelevant. Civilization did not start with Moses or even Abraham and therefore many of the laws/principles will be found in earlier civilizations. Deception is your way not mine. I have no need for it.


    By Naseer Ahmed - 10/5/2016 2:16:20 AM



  • GM Sb,

    It is your arguments that are hackneyed "Couldn't man not say on his own it is wrong to steal?"

    There is no evidence that he did and there is evidence that the scriptures said it. The scriptures also do not teach what man can learn on his own. The scriptures also claim that what is sent as guidance could not have been sent by other than Allah.

    You argue that the Golden Principle could have been thought of independently by people in different corners of the world but you cannot accept the claim of the Quran that prophets were sent to every civilization with the same message!

    And you have no evidence from the 3000 year history of philosophy that man has produced even one moral principle.

    You deny the obvious truth.

    All the verses quoted are from a single surah 41. It contains an improved version of the Golden Rule. It confirms that the same was sent to all previous prophets and the warning is in the future that we will show our signs in every part of the world. The fact that the Golden rule is common to every civilization could not have been known in the 7th century and this is known to mankind only as a result of recent scholarship. The prediction has come true. What more signs do you need?

    I am not damning you. I am only concerned that you should go down as a persistent, willful and deliberate rejecter of the truth.

    It was open to you anytime during the discussion to withdraw by saying "Although I have no evidence to falsify your theses, I still feel that ......"

    However, you chose to take the path of denial without evidence and heaping ridicule on me. You have shown a complete lack of honesty through the entire discussion. I have not damned you and nobody can damn you but it is  only you who can damn yourself or save yourself  from being damned.


    By Naseer Ahmed - 10/5/2016 1:56:30 AM



  • Naseersaab quotes 41: 5, "They say: "Our hearts are under veils, (concealed) from that to which thou dost invite us, and in our ears in a deafness, and between us and thee is a screen: so do thou (what thou wilt); for us, we shall do (what we will!)" 40. Those who pervert the Truth in Our Signs are not hidden from Us. Which is better?- he that is cast into the Fire, or he that comes safe through, on the Day of Judgment? Do what ye will: verily He seeth (clearly) all that ye do."


    If one loses an argument, one can always find something in the Quran to damn one's opponent! These are not the ways of a true scholar, Naseersaab!


    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 10/4/2016 2:26:33 PM



  • Naseersaab says, "Nobody ever said that these laws were not sent down earlier."

    This is a deceptive reply to what I had said. What I had said was, " There is no reason to think that the moral principles of the Ten Commandments or the Sermon on the Mount were not known and articulated by men long before Moses and Jesus pronounced them with thundering effect." I clearly said "ARTICULATED BY MEN"! Please don't play such tricks.

    He again comes up with his hackneyed argument, "find a person who does not show the influence of religion by talking of soul, heaven, god etc, who has come up with a moral principle that is original. . .", which I have answered several times. If a person talks of soul, heaven or God, it does not mean all his words of wisdom came from above. Europe and Asia have been steeped in religion for the past 2,000 years, so every bit of art, poetry, architecture, pre-Galileo science and sundry axioms and aphorisms all have a religious tinge. That does not mean they were not produced by the human mind.

    You say, "The journey has led me to discover the meaning of ayat AL Nur."

    Al Nur is a beautiful ayat, but since you are reading in it what no one else is reading, you must stop and ask yourself  whether you are in error. "Allah guides to His light whom He wills," refers to man's knowing and accepting Allah, and has nothing to do with what we are talking about.

    You said, "What GM Sb is saying effectively, is that what is in the scriptures could have been produced by man." This is a mischievous way of putting what I had said. Let me make it simple for you. Was it not possible for man to say on his own, "It is wrong to kill another human being", or "It is wrong to steal your neighbor's cow," long befor these words came down from above to Moses or whoever else before Moses who had divine inspiration?

    Please be a little skeptical of any new insights that dawn on you. Don't let your mind read what it wants to read in different ayats.


    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 10/4/2016 2:20:08 PM



  • According to the Quran, every nation on the earth was sent a Prophet for their guidance.

    And for every Ummah (a community or a nation), there is a Messenger; (10:47)

    And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (Qur'ân 16:36)

    "And there is not a people but a warner has gone among them." (35:24)

    Of some messengers We have already told thee the story; of others We have not; (4:164)

    And, indeed We have sent Messengers before you (O Muhammad(P)); of some of them We have related to you their story and of some We have not related to you their story, (40:78)

     

    Surah 41 (The Signs of God)

    Expanded version of the Golden Rule:

    34. Nor can goodness and Evil be equal. Repel (Evil) with what is better: Then will he between whom and thee was hatred become as it were thy friend and intimate!

    35. And no one will be granted such goodness except those who exercise patience and self-restraint,- none but persons of the greatest good fortune.

    36. And if (at any time) an incitement to discord is made to thee by the Evil One, seek refuge in Allah. He is the One Who hears and knows all things.

    Confirmation that the same message was given to the apostles before

    43. Nothing is said to thee that was not said to the apostles before thee: that thy lord has at his Command (all) forgiveness as well as a most Grievous Penalty.

    52. Say: "See ye if the (Revelation) is (really) from Allah, and yet do ye reject it? Who is more astray than one who is in a schism far (from any purpose)?"

    Schism: a split or division between strongly opposed sections or parties, caused by differences in opinion or belief.

    The sign that the same message was delivered to all people

    53. Soon will We show them our Signs in the (furthest) regions (of the earth), and in their own souls, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth. Is it not enough that thy Lord doth witness all things?

    We do find the Golden Rule in the furthest regions of the earth both geographically and in time from the earliest civilization.

     

    The scholars also attribute the Golden rule to religions:

    The golden rule, "Do to others as you would have others do to you," is widely assumed to have a single meaning, shared by virtually all the world's religions. (Jeffrey Wattles)

    Interestingly Jeffrey Wattles calls it "the principle of the practice of the family of God."

    And yet GM Sb says: If the same precept is expressed by wise men in different countries and at different times, it does not necessarily mean that what they are saying comes from divine origin. It means they are expressing a universal sentiment felt by all those who try to co-exist in groups. That applies to Confucius's dictum, "Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself."

    From the same Sura

    41: 5. They say: "Our hearts are under veils, (concealed) from that to which thou dost invite us, and in our ears in a deafness, and between us and thee is a screen: so do thou (what thou wilt); for us, we shall do (what we will!)"

    40. Those who pervert the Truth in Our Signs are not hidden from Us. Which is better?- he that is cast into the Fire, or he that comes safe through, on the Day of Judgment? Do what ye will: verily He seeth (clearly) all that ye do.

     Allah knows best.


    By Naseer Ahmed - 10/4/2016 9:29:09 AM



  • The next challenge before me is to find a moral principle that would link menstruation with purity aspect. Science may help to create a new source of blood bank for the hospitals.

    By Manzurul Haque - 10/4/2016 6:54:24 AM



  • GM Sb indulges in straw man arguments:

    He says : “There is no reason to think that the moral principles of the Ten Commandments or the Sermon on the Mount were not known and articulated by men long before Moses and Jesus pronounced them with thundering effect.”

     Nobody ever said that these laws were not sent down earlier. As a matter of fact, I have said earlier that Atenism has at least 3 of the 10 commandments. The fact however is that all of these are from religion. The Quran does not say that it is a confirmation of revelations sent only to the prophets from the Abrahmic tradition. On the contrary, it says that prophets were sent to every nation all through the ages and clearly says that only a few of these prophets are mentioned in the Quran.

     He says: The fact that many moral principles have been articulated and sanctified by religions does not mean that this is the exclusive province of religions.

     If we can find a person who does not show the influence of religion by talking of soul, heaven, god etc, who has come up with a moral principle that is original, then I have no problem agreeing with him. However, he keeps on arguing without evidence. My journey of discovery started from philosophy and found confirmation in the Quran. As a matter of fact, this argument was first stated by me in my article of March 2013 “Religion as a Civilizing Influencethree and a half years ago. At that time, I had not made any connection with the finding with any verse from the Quran.

     The journey has lead me to discover the meaning of ayat AL Nur. The fact that my explanation fits the verse perfectly, and all earlier explanations are falsified by verse 24:36 according to which the Light is external to man since: “(Lit is such a Light) in houses, which Allah hath permitted to be raised to honour; for the celebration, in them, of His name: In them is He glorified in the mornings and in the evenings, (again and again)”, and such houses are described as-“monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundant measure” (22:40).

     The universality of ayat Al Nur, and the source of all scriptures as of Divine origin and beyond what man can produce is what the Quran is saying clearly. The meanings of the components of the lamp giving out the Divine Light are also clear. This Light shines in places of worship where the scriptures are recited in prayers, read, taught, studied and discussed abundantly.

     What GM Sb is saying effectively, is that what is in the scriptures could have been produced by man. He says this without any evidence, and as a matter of fact, with evidence to the contrary. He is not alone in saying this, and the entire Western academic discipline backs him up. For them religion is only a human construct. In effect he is saying that ayat 10:37 and 24:35 are empty claims.

     A person bent on denial, and bent on arguing in circles, can go on doing so till eternity and so I must part ways with such persons and say “To you be your way and to me mine and Peace” 


    By Naseer Ahmed - 10/4/2016 2:57:59 AM



  • many durable religious moral principles are neither durable, moral or even principles. they are just religious.

    morality in itself is a utilitarian thing. the proof of its utilitarian nature is that (wo)man is able to change, modify or even completely scrap certain "moral" principles.

    we have scrapped laws against blasphemy, apostasy, and consensual sex between adults (both hetero and homosexual). and when we see that some countries still have laws against homosexuality is proof that they are not universal. that we changed them is proof that they are ephemeral or non-durable.

    no moral principle is absolute.

    thou shalt not kill - is not an absolute universal, durable and unchangeable. we are allowed to kill in self defense. we are allowed to kill for food.

    thou shalt not steal is conditional. a hungry man might steal food.

    morals having to do with "good and bad" change with our ideas of good and bad. what were considered good previously are considered bad today. untouchability was supposed to be good in the past. today it is considered a cognizable offence.

    the ethical question of right and wrong is a little more durable. but not much.

    in so far as all religions perpetuate a binary concept of "purity" and "impurity", they promote a hatred and vilification of religious others. this is immoral, but common to most religions.

    religions uniformly have legislated an impurity aspect to menstruation. if this is divinely inspired, then god who created menstrual bleeding, seems to be unsure what to do. it took men and women to correct the misconception god has regarding menstruation.

    By hats off! - 10/3/2016 9:41:50 PM



  • Naseersaab,

    Man's ability to be a rocket scientist and a moral human being flows from the same growth in his brain which enabled him to learn and to adapt so well to his surroundings. Making distinctions between utilitarian and moral advances is arbitrary and self-motivated in this discussion. The fact that many moral principles have been articulated and sanctified by religions does not mean that this is the exclusive province of religions. There is no reason to think that the moral principles of the Ten Commandments or the Sermon on the Mount were not known and articulated by men long before Moses and Jesus pronounced them with thundering effect.

    The verses that you quote from the Quran refer to believing in one God, worshipping one God, believing in His power and grandeur and knowing the consequences of denying Him. They should not be interpreted as claiming morality as the exclusive prerogative of religions. No religion claims such monopoly.


    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 10/3/2016 2:10:53 PM



  • GM Sb, God did not teach us rocket science because God gave man the inclination to pursue all utilitarian disciplines on his own. We excel in every utilitarian field.

     Man is the only creation capable of making moral choices. Man can override his instinct, emotions, utilitarian considerations to do what is right. No other creation has such freedom or ability to make moral choices. They are slaves of their instinct and emotions and limited ability to see through reason what is good for them in the immediate context.

     God has also put utilitarian value into every moral principle to a limited extent to enable man to understand its value and appreciate the transcendent value or necessity of the principle regardless of what his instinct, emotions and reason based on utilitarian conditions demand. It is rising above all other considerations to make a choice that is moral that makes man a creation worthy of the Angels and the Jinns to prostrate before him.

     Moral principles are divine from the Divinity and what raises man above every other creation to a level where it is appropriate for the rest of the creation to prostrate before him.

     It is not given to man to become moral on his own leave alone discovering the moral principles. That is why the Quran says repeatedly that Allah guides whom He wills and allows to go astray whom He wills.

     (7:146) Those who behave arrogantly on the earth in defiance of right - them will I turn away from My signs: Even if they see all the signs, they will not believe in them; and if they see the way of right conduct, they will not adopt it as the way; but if they see the way of error, that is the way they will adopt. For they have rejected our signs, and failed to take warning from them.

     (7:175) Relate to them the story of the man to whom We sent Our signs, but he passed them by: so Satan followed him up, and he went astray.(176) If it had been Our will, We should have elevated him with Our signs; but he inclined to the earth, and followed his own vain desires. His similitude is that of a dog: if you attack him, he lolls out his tongue, or if you leave him alone, he (still) lolls out his tongue. That is the similitude of those who reject Our signs; So relate the story; perchance they may reflect.

     (8:23) If Allah had found in them any good. He would indeed have made them listen: (As it is), if He had made them listen, they would but have turned back and declined (Faith).

     (11:34) "Of no profit will be my counsel to you, much as I desire to give you (good) counsel, if it be that Allah willeth to leave you astray: He is your Lord! and to Him will ye return!"

     (12:103) Yet no faith will the greater part of mankind have, however ardently thou dost desire it.

      (17:94) What kept men back from belief when Guidance came to them, was nothing but this: they said, "Has Allah sent a man (like us) to be (His) Messenger?"

     If you read the verses about righteousness, it is righteousness alone that makes one man superior to another and not whether he is follower of Muhammad, Christian, Jew, Sabian, Buddhist, Zoroastrian etc ( I avoided using Muslim because Muslim covers all people who are righteous). However, unless a person orients himself to the Giver of the moral code, there is no motivation to be moral but simply the motivation to do what is dictated by “practical ethics”. If man was capable of becoming righteous on his own, there was no need of any religion. If revelations were not necessary for man, there would have been no revelations. If man was capable of discovering moral principles on his own and becoming moral, there would have been no need for God to send prophets and reveal Books of scriptures.

     Man only shows a great capacity to regress from what is moral even though he keeps the Book of revelations with him and even reads it. That is why every religion has become a source of immorality as well. The ayat Al Nur cannot apply to any human being and not even to the prophets. In any case the verse following 24:35 makes it clear that the Light is external to man and is found in mosques, monasteries, churches, synagogues etc and not in the hearts or minds of men. Every single element of what produces Allah’s Light for man to perceive the higher truths is perfect or divine. Past scholars could not fathom its meaning but felt compelled to comment because of the obvious beauty and mysticism of the verse.

     This series has been a journey of discovery for me. It started several years ago when I discovered while studying philosophy relating to ethics and morality that philosophy has not produced a single moral principle and this was not because this was not tried or attempted.  I had then not related this to any verse from the Quran and in fact my earlier articles make no reference to the Quran. It is only in my recent series that I related it to the Quran and at first, I saw my challenge different from the challenge in the Quran. It was only while writing the article “Science and Religion” that I saw that the challenge was essentially the same and also included the other elements of excellence of the manner in which the message is communicated and the language. The challenge could be on each of these elements separately or together. What is capable of being compared was however based only on the objective element. The meaning of Ayat An Nur became clear to me only while writing the article “deen-e-Islam”. Anybody can see how well the meaning fits the verse and how inappropriate all other explanations appear. Allah however had made the meaning clear by giving us 10:37. Once explained, in hindsight, everything becomes clear but the correct meaning escaped us for a thousand years. What contributed to its discovery is also the constant questioning which made me write one article after another finally leading to discovering the meaning of this ayat. Strange are the ways of Allah! He strengthens the belief of one person by the same process with which others are misled!

     I would never have understood the meaning of several verses of the Quran but for the interactions on this website - the characteristics of people “who will not believe” no matter what evidence is provided. It is not doubting and questioning that is bad but closing our eyes and ears to all evidence because of a predisposition to believe otherwise irrespective of the evidence.


    By Naseer Ahmed - 10/3/2016 3:06:10 AM



  • Naseersaab,
    The fact that the Quran could have been created only by Allah does not mean all moral precepts were created by Allah, except in the figurative sense that since human brain was created by Allah, so all products of the human brain should be credited to Allah.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 10/2/2016 1:24:00 PM



  • GM Sb, This is what the Quran says:

    (10:37) This Qur´an is not such as can be produced by other than Allah; on the contrary it is a confirmation of (revelations) that went before it, and a fuller explanation of the Book - wherein there is no doubt - from the Lord of the worlds.

    From the above, it is clear that the Quran is mainly:

    1.    Confirmation of revelations that came before

    2.    Fuller explanation of what came before.

    So you will find whatever you find in the Quran in earlier scriptures also. You will find them in the religion of the earliest civilization also since the Quran also confirms that guidance has been provided all through the ages to all nations/civilizations.

    The Quran and the scriptures contain what cannot be produced by other than Allah as per the cited verse and these contain among other things moral principles. The fact is that the main objective of the Book is to give us the moral way of living.

    This understanding has been confirmed by reviewing the complete history of philosophy to see if philosophy has given us any useful and durable moral principle that is original or not derived from pre-existing moral principles from religion. You have also tried to find something but drew a blank.

    Beyond this, Allah knows best and may He help us to become among those who brings out the truth and support it and not among those who utter a lie or reject the truth when it comes to us.

    (39:32) who, then, doth more wrong than one who utters a lie concerning Allah, and rejects the Truth (Bil-ṣid'qi) when it comes to him; is there not in Hell an abode for blasphemers?

    (33) And he who brings the Truth (Bil-ṣid'qi) and he who confirms (wa Saddaqa) (and supports) it - such are the men who do right.

    (34) They shall have all that they wish for, in the presence of their Lord: such is the reward of those who do good:

    (35) So that Allah will turn off from them (even) the worst in their deeds and give them their reward according to the best of what they have done.


    By Naseer Ahmed - 10/2/2016 3:57:55 AM



  • Naseersaab, Try to briefly answer the points raised instead of referring me to the articles that you have written. Where does the Quran say that morality can be derived only from religions?

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 10/1/2016 2:10:14 PM



  • The Quran does make a claim and what that claim means has been explained in my article "Science and Religion". The rhyme and reason to believe is also covered in the same article.

     GM Sb is just engaged in persistent denial without evidence, and inspite of all evidence which supports what I have said.

     The meaning of Ayat Al Nur was not known to me although it intrigued me and I had read several commentaries on the same including Imam Ghazali's. I had found all of them unconvincing. While writing my article on Deen-e-Islam and explaining the three levels of excellence of the moral way of living in Islam, it struck me that I was actually describing the ayat Al Nur. Anybody can see that the meaning has slowly dawned on me and each subsequent version is an improvement on the previous one starting from the article on Deen-e-Islam. Being such an important ayat, it deserved a separate article.

     I have covered what others have said on this ayat in my comment and also briefly in the article. The beginning of morality in Islam is belief in Allah and His revelations through the medium of Angel and prophets after which only can come the guidance on the moral way of living. 


    By Naseer Ahmed - 10/1/2016 3:27:23 AM



Compose Your Comments here:
Name
Email (Not to be published)
Comments
Fill the text
 
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the articles and comments are the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect that of NewAgeIslam.com.

Content