Fifth Section, which is the Fifth Booklet: About the verse of the Quran “Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth.” (an-Nur, 24:35.).

The Fifth Section,
which is the Fifth Treatise

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth.1

While in a state of spirituality during the month of Ramadan, I perceived one light of the many luminous mysteries of this light-filled verse; I saw it as though from afar. It was like this:

I had a vision of the heart and imagination which afforded me the conviction that, as in the famous supplication of Uvays al-Qarani,

O Allah! You are our Sustainer, for we are mere slaves; we are powerless to sustain and raise ourselves. That is to say, the One Who sustains us is You! And it is You Who is the Creator, for we are creatures, we are being made! And it is You Who is the Provider, for we are in need of provision, we have no power!,

all living creatures are offering supplications to Almighty Allah, and that what illuminates each of the eighteen thousand worlds is a Divine Name. It was like this:

I saw that within this world are thousands of worlds enwrapped in veil after veil, one within the other like a rose-bud of numerous petals. As one veil was unfolded, I saw another world. It was as the verse following the Light Verse depicts,

Or [the unbelievers’ state] is like the depths of darkness in a vast deep ocean, overwhelmed with billow topped with billow, topped by [dark] clouds; depths of darkness, one above the other; if a man stretches out his hand, he can hardly see it; for any to whom Allah gives not light, there is no light;2

it appeared to me in a darkness, desolation, and terrible blackness. Suddenly, the manifestation of a Divine Name appeared like a refulgent light, illuminating it. Whichever veil was folded back before the mind, another world appeared. But while appearing dark due to heedlessness, a Divine Name would be manifested like the sun, filling the world with light from top to bottom. And so on. This journey of the heart and imagination continued for a long time. In short:

When I saw the animal world, the endless needs and acute hunger of the animals together with their weakness and impotence showed it to me as most dark and grievous. Then suddenly the Name of Most Merciful rose in the sign (that is, meaning) of Provider like a shining sun, gilding that world from top to bottom with the radiance of its mercy.

Then within the animal world, I saw another world in which young and offspring were struggling in weakness, helplessness, and need within a grievous darkness that would fill anyone with pity. Suddenly the Name of All-Compassionate rose in the sign of clemency, illuminating that world in so beautiful and sweet a fashion that it transformed the complaint, pity, and tears of sorrow into joy, happiness, and tears of pleasurable thanks.

Then a further veil was lifted, as though revealing a cinema screen, and the world of man appeared to me. I saw that world to be so dark, so oppressive, so terrible that I cried out in my anguish. “Alas!” I cried. For I saw that men had desires and hopes that stretched to eternity, and thoughts and imaginings that encompassed the universe, and a disposition and abilities that most earnestly yearned for eternity and everlasting happiness and Paradise, and wants and needs directed towards endless goals and aims. Yet despite this, they were weak and impotent, and exposed to the attacks of innumerable calamities and enemies; they lived tumultuous lives for a brief span with the greatest hardship and difficulties. Amid the continuous tribulations of decline and separation, the most grievous state for the heart, they were looking towards the grave, which for the heedless and neglectful appears as the door to everlasting darkness; singly and in groups, they were being cast into that dark well.

The moment I saw this world in the midst of the darkness, my heart, spirit, and mind, and all my human faculties, indeed, all the particles of my being, were ready to weep and cry out in pain. But suddenly, Almighty Allah’s Name of All-Just rose in the sign of All-Wise, and the Name of Most Merciful in the sign of Munificent, the Name of All-Compassionate in the sign of (that is, in the meaning of) All-Forgiving, the Name of Resurrector in the sign of Inheritor, the Name of Giver of Life in the sign of Bountiful, and the Name of Sustainer rose in the sign of Owner. They gilded and filled with light many worlds within the world of humanity. Opening up windows onto the luminous world of the hereafter, they scattered lights over the dark human world.

Then another, vast, veil was folded back and the world of the earth appeared. Philosophy’s dark laws of science showed a terrifying world to the imagination. The situation of wretched human kind journeying through infinite space on the aged earth appeared to me, which covers in one year a distance of twenty-five thousand years moving seventy times faster than a cannon-ball, and whose inside is in a state of upheaval, ever ready to split up and disintegrate. My head started spinning and my eyes darkened. Then suddenly the Names of Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, All-Powerful, All-Knowing, Sustainer, Allah, Sustainer of the Heavens and the Earth, and Subduer of the Sun and Moon rose in the signs of Mercy, Tremendousness, and Dominicality. They illuminated that world so that I saw the globe of the earth to be a safe liner, well-ordered, subjugated, perfect, and agreeable, all decked out for voyages of pleasure and trade.

I n S h o r t : Each of the thousand and one Divine Names turned towards the universe appeared like a sun, illuminating a world and the worlds within that world, and with respect to Divine Oneness, within the manifestation of each of them the manifestations of the rest of the Names appeared to a degree. Then my heart saw a different light behind all the darknesses, and felt an appetite for travel. It wanted to mount the imagination and rise to the heavens. At that point, a further, most extensive, veil was folded back, and my heart entered the world of the heavens. It saw that the stars, which appeared as twinkling smiles, larger than the earth, were spinning and journeying faster than the earth one within the other. If one of them had confused its motion, it would clash with another causing such an explosion that the universe would have exploded causing the whole world to scatter. They were scattering fire, not light, and were regarding me, not with smiles, but with savagery. I saw the heavens within endless, all-enveloping, empty, awesome, terrifying darkness. I was sorry a thousand times over that I had come. Suddenly the Names of Sustainer of the Heavens and the Earth and Sustainer of the Angels and Spirits appeared with their manifestations in the sign of He has subjected the sun and the moon,3 and, And We adorned the lower heaven with lights.4 The stars, which in accordance with the former meaning had collapsed into darkness, each received a flash from that mighty light and lit up that world of the heavens like shining electric lamps. The heavens too, which had been supposed to be empty and uninhabited, filled with angels and spirit beings. I saw that the suns and moons, which were in motion like an army of the Monarch of Pre-Eternity and Post-Eternity -one of His innumerable armies- were with their lofty manoeuvres displaying the majesty and magnificent dominicality of that All-Glorious Sultan. I declared with all my strength, and had it been possible with all the particles of my being, and if they had listened to me with the tongues of all creatures:

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 by 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 will.5

I recited this verse in the name of all creatures. Then I returned, descended to the earth, and awoke. “All praise be to Allah for the light of belief and the Qur’an,” I said.

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1. Qur’an, 24:35.
2. Qur’an, 24:40.
3. Qur’an, 13:2, etc.
4. Qur’an, 41:12.
5. Qur'an, 24:25

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