Can Allah’s luminosity be understood by examples? Will you give information about luminosity, angels, which are luminous beings, and the incident of Miraj (Ascension), whose essence is light

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

2.1.6-Theology and Luminosity

            In quantum mechanics, the presence of subatomic particles in more than one place at the same time, and assuming opposite characters caused confusion and the serious oppositions of physicists at first; similarly, in the theology of the modern age, in which critical reasoning replaced submission, concepts that are contrary to classical physics like the presence of Allah everywhere although He is nowhere and Allah doing many different things in many different places have been questioned and have been denied by a group because they were contrary to the mind and science. Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, who is a modern age theologian, easily solved those complicated matters, which the mind has difficulty in accepting, in his works called the Risale-i Nur Collection, using the concepts of light and luminosity and the analogy of the sun that he labels as half-luminous effectively and making it a stepladder for the mind.  

            Badiuzzaman Said Nursi divides beings into three groups based on their reflections on the mirror: dense, material luminous (or half-luminous) and luminous. The reflections of the dense material things like the chair, table and even man on the mirror are outside those things and they are dead. For instance, a man is alive; he breathes, sees, talks, rejoices and fears; however, his image on the mirror has no qualities other than its outward appearance.

The perfume smells nice but its reflection on the mirror does not smell. If a person enters into a gallery of mirrors, there appear a thousand people but only that person is alive; the others are all dead. 

Time and space are not in question for luminous beings; and their reflections or images are the same as their originals. However, the degree of the sameness of the reflection is limited to the ability of the mirror.

            The reflections, that is, the images of the half-luminous things made of matter are not the same as their originals but they are not different either. Although the nature of the original and the image is different, the image has many characteristics of the original. Badiuzzaman Said Nursi gives the sun as an example of the material luminous things:

For example, the sun entered the world, and displayed its reflection in all mirrors. In each of the reflections is present light and the seven colors in light, which are like the sun’s qualities. Let us suppose the sun possessed consciousness, and its heat was pure power; its light, pure knowledge; and its seven colors, the seven attributes, then the single sun would be present in all mirrors at one moment, and would be able to make each a throne for itself and a sort of telephone. One mirror would not be an obstacle to another. It would be able to meet with all of us by means of our mirrors. While we are distant from it, it would be closer to us than ourselves.”1

The images of angels, which are luminous and living creatures, are both alive and the same as angels. Therefore, Azrail (the angel of death) can be in thousands of places at the same time and can do different things with different faces in each place although he is a single angel.

That is, the sun that is reflected on a huge mirror that is placed outside so that it will see a house that does not receive the sunlight directly and the sun gives the house heat, light and the seven colors just like the sun itself. That is, the sun on the mirror has the image and many characteristics of the sun in sky. Therefore, the half-luminous sun, which is present in thousands of places from a small piece of glass to vast seas at the same time, is a perfect example to explain luminosity, unity and oneness. The reflections on all shining things belong to the same sun that surrounds everywhere (unity) and every reflection shows differences based on the characteristics of the place that it is reflected on (oneness).

Time and space are not in question for luminous beings; and their reflections or images are the same as their originals. However, the degree of the sameness of the reflection is limited to the ability of the mirror. For instance, the images of angels, which are luminous and living creatures, are both alive and the same as angels. Therefore, Azrail (the angel of death) can be in thousands of places at the same time and can do different things with different faces in each place although he is a single angel. It is famous that some blessed people who assumed luminosity could be in more than one place at the same time or could go to a distant place and come back in a moment.

The incident of Mi’raj (Ascension) is not something to wonder for a Being whose essence is light and is a symbol of luminosity. As a matter of fact, the following is stated in a verse:

Glory to (Allah) Who did take His Servant for Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque whose precincts We did bless― in order that We might show him some of Our Signs.”2

Many verses in the Quran regarding creation like,

“Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is the Guardian and Disposer of all affairs. To Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth.”3

“Verily, when He intends a thing, His command is "Be" and it is! So glory to Him in Whose hands is the dominion of all things.”4

“Say: ‘Allah is the Creator of all things: He is the One, the Supreme and Irresistible.’”5

“Not a leaf doth fall but with His knowledge.”6

“Say: He is Allah the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute”can only be explained by the concept of luminosity and the fact that Allah is Nur and that He is the source of all nurs.

As a matter of fact, questions like the following ones are frequently asked:

O people of Unity! You say, ‘Say: He is God, the One and Only. God, the Eternally Besought One. That the Creator of the universe is one, He is single, He is eternally besought by all creatures. And that the Creator of everything is He. That He is one in essence and at the same time the reins of everything are directly in His hand, the key to everything is in His grasp; one thing cannot be an obstacle to another. And you say that at the same instant He has total disposal over all things and all their states. How can such a far-fetched fact be believed? How can a single individual be in innumerable places and do innumerable things at the same time with no difficulty?”7

A satisfactory answer to questions like the ones above and similar ones is the luminosity of Allah; and it can be made reasonable for the mind through the example of the sun:

For example, although the sun is a particular and a single individual, it becomes like a universal by means of shining objects. It reflects its image, a sun like itself, in all shining objects, drops of water, and fragments of glass on the face of the earth, according to their capacity. The sun’s heat, light, and the seven colors in its light, a sort of likeness of the essential sun, is found in all shining physical objects.Let us suppose the sun had knowledge and consciousness, then every mirror would be like a sort of dwelling-place or seat or chair for it, it would be in contact with everything in person. It would be able to communicate with all conscious creatures by means of mirrors, with the pupil of every eye, even, each of which would be like a telephone. One thing would not be an obstacle to another. Communicating with one thing would not be a barrier to communicating with another. While being present everywhere, it would be present nowhere.If the sun, which is like a material, partial, and inanimate mirror to only the Divine Name of Light out of innumerable Names, can therefore display universal activity in an unlimited number of places while being a single individual, should the All-Glorious One, with the oneness of His Essence, be unable to perform innumerable actions at the same time?”8

Those who did not understand the mystery of luminosity and the luminosity of Allah had to invent gods of goodness and evil and imagine the sky as the battlefield of gods. The reason why those who study science cannot accept the concept of God that is present at all times and everywhere with all of His attributes although He is nowhere is the fact that they are unaware of luminosity. The same scientists had to attribute the production of the hygienic egg, which is a wonder of biotechnology, to the chicken, which did not know what it was doing which ate any food that it found, and produced the egg in a dark environment without using its feet and eyes; and they had to ignore the fact that the matter in the egg turned to a chick, which is a zenith of art and a miracle of creation, in 21 days without the intervention of a hand or a tool all by itself; and they regarded it as a normal event. When they could not find a reasonable and logical explanation, they referred everything to the black box of evolution and thought they settled the issue.

In fact, if it is examined thoroughly, it will be seen that ‘evolution’, which is claimed to have done everything everywhere, has to have the quality of divinity equipped with knowledge, will, power and wisdom, and the quality of luminosity in order to do the things attributed to it.

Since the concept of luminosity is not understood well in the Christian world, gaps were formed in the understanding that the Creator of the universe has an eye that sees everything and has a power that can do anything; and ways leading to polytheism were opened. 

            Badiuzzaman Said Nursi concretizes the luminosity taking place in the creation by giving the example of a tree and its fruits in the 32nd Word. Acting upon this observation, he generalizes it through induction:

This tree has at least ten thousand fruits and each fruit has at least a hundred winged seeds. At one instant of time, the ten thousand fruits and million seeds display altogether one art and creativity. While the center of the laws of the tree’s formation is present in its roots and trunk, through a manifestation of Divine will and a condensing of the Dominical command, which may be described as particular, individuated, and a knot of life, they are also present at the ends of all its branches, within every fruit and every seed. No part of any member of the tree is lacking them, they are not obstacles to one another; the tree is formed through them.

And that single manifestation of will and that law issuing from a command are not transmitted and radiated like light, heat, and air. For they leave no trace nor may any hint of them be perceived in the long distances and various beings between the places they go. If the fact that they are present in each fruit and seed had occurred through their being transmitted and radiated, some trace or hint of them would be perceived. Rather, they are present in each of those places without being fragmented or radiated. Those universal and general actions are not incompatible with His Oneness and individuality. It may even be said that while the manifestation of will, and the law and knot of life are present in each of the places, they are present in none of them. It is as if the law has as many eyes and ears as there are fruits and seeds of the majestic tree.

Indeed, each part of the tree is like a center of the senses of the law, so that their long intermediaries are not a veil and do not form a barrier. Rather, like telephone wires, they are a means of facilitating and bringing things closer. The farthest is like the nearest.

Since, as is clear from observation, through a single partial manifestation of an attribute of the Single and Eternally Besought One like will, millions of events occur in millions of places without intermediary, it is necessary to be certain, with complete certainty, that the All-Glorious One can have total disposal over the tree of the universe, together with all its parts and particles, through the manifestation of His power and will.”9

Badiuzzaman Said Nursi continues by making the acts of luminosity seen in the sun, trees and beings withspirit stepladders and makes people look upward; then, he puts before the eye of the mind the divine luminous sun in a chain of logic concisely and in a way to dazzle the eyes:

“Impotent and subjugated creatures like the sun, and half-luminous creatures like spirit-beings, which are restricted by matter, and the laws issuing from a command and the manifestations of will which are the knot of life and center of direction of this plane tree, these in turn being like its light and spirit, while being in one place and being particulars identifiable as single, according to the mystery of luminosity, they are clearly present in numerous places and in numerous events. And while being particulars restricted by matter, it is as though they take on an absolute universality. And in the space of one second they may demonstrably do a great number of things through the power of choice. You see for yourself and you will not be able to deny it.

The Single and Most Pure and Holy Essence, Whose attributes are all-comprehending and functions, universal, is far beyond and exalted above matter, and is utterly remote and free from any restriction and the darkness of density. All these lights and luminous beings are but obscure shadows of His Sacred Names; and all existence and life and the World of Spirits, the Intermediate Realm, and the World of Similitudes, semi-transparent mirrors reflecting His beauty.

What being can be hidden in the face of His Oneness, which is within the manifestation of His attributes and actions, which in turn are evident through His universal will, absolute power, and all-embracing knowledge? What matter can be difficult for Him? What place can be concealed from Him? What object can remain distant from Him? What individual can draw close to Him without acquiring universality? Can anything at all be hidden from Him? Can any matter at all be an obstacle to another? Can any place at all be empty of His presence?

Ibn al-Abbas (May God be pleased with him) said: "There is an immaterial eye that sees and ear that hears in every being." Is this not so? Are the chains of beings not each like a wire or vein for the swift flowing of His commands and laws? Are obstacles and difficulties not means and intermediaries in His disposal of beings? Are causes and intermediaries not merely an apparent veil?

While He is present nowhere, is He not present everywhere? Does He need at all to be located in a place or situation? Can the veils of distance, smallness, and the degrees of existence be obstacles to His proximity, power of disposal, and witnessing?

Moreover, could the qualities pertaining to material, contingent, dense, numerous, restricted, and limited beings, and the states of change, transformation, division, and occupying space, which are their particular and confined necessary consequences, in any way touch the Most Pure and Holy Essence Who is far beyond matter, is Necessarily Existent, the Light of Lights, and is Single, One, and is free from any restriction or limitation and exalted above and pure of any fault or deficiency? Could impotence in any way be fitting for Him? Could any defect approach the skirt of His splendor and glory?10

Badiuzzaman Said Nursi first diagnoses the realities reflected on the beings through careful observations like a proficient scientist and virtually separates it with tweezers and proceeds to the source of this law, whose tip he has discovered, because the reality becomes perfect and generalized if its source is reached. For instance, the half-luminous sun is virtually closer to us than our pupils and it encompasses us with its heat, light and colors but we observe that we are far from the sun due to our dense body, which is limited by the laws of physics; it makes us see the reality that ‘when two things are very far away from each other, one of them can be very close to the other’ and enables us to examine the differences between those two things, which opens the way to understand luminosity.


The attribute of luminosity is the property that is dominant in all levels in subatomic world, and in living beings, especially in humans in the supra-atomic world.

            Quantum mechanics or theory, which started to be established in 1920s and which abolished the sovereignty of Newton mechanics in the subatomic world establishing its own rule unquestionably, invalidated many accepted things related to matter and affected our understanding of beings profoundly. The first victim of Quantum mechanics was the understanding that everything consisted of matter and that everything could be explained by deterministic laws of physics. A big gap has formed with emergence of quantum reality and the collapse of the understanding of time-space, which was known as the strongest ground of science, as a result of the confirmation of the existence of subatomic particles in more than one place at the same time and the fact that they communicated much faster than the speed of light (or rather timelessly), which was thought to be impossible to exceed, through careful measurements and observations; and this gap has not been filled yet. The prominent physicists, who were thought to understand everything in the past, turned out to understand nothing. The efforts to explain the new phenomenon that emerged through some utopian theories like parallel universes, which did not satisfy anybody, were nothing but mind exercises.

            In fact, Quantum mechanics shows even to the blind eyes that timelessness and spacelessness, that is, to be present in more than one place at the same time and to be able to go everywhere at the same time, is a reality that cannot be denied. While deterministic Newton laws, which imprison luminosity, and hence density dominate in the supra-atomic world, matter becomes subtle in the subatomic world and luminosity starts to dominate apparently.  

Through the concept of luminosity and the analogy of the sun, which is a half-luminous being, many issues that baffle the mind in theology and that cannot be accepted by the mind conditioned by the deterministic philosophy can be settled easily. Therefore, the concept of luminosity must be included as an indispensable concept in both natural sciences and social sciences. The groundless fears that science and religion will approach each other and that very bad things will happen if luminosity is accepted must be abandoned. For the happiness of humanity, it is necessary for these two big institutions that play important roles in the life of human beings to stop old disagreements and denying each other, to make peace and to support each other. The positive atmosphere that will be formed will contribute to the development of both institutions.


1. a) Nursi, B. S. Sözler. p. 232. b)
2. a) Nursi, B. S. Sözler. p. 230-235, b)
3. az-Zumar, 62-63.
4. Yasin, 82-83.
5. ar-Ra’d,16.
6. al-An’am, 59.
7. al-Ikhlas,1-2.
8. Nursi, B. S. Sözler. 32. Söz
9. a) Nursi, B. S. Sözler. p. 757.    b)
10. a) Nursi, B. S. Sözler. p. 752-756. *at least.
11. a) Nursi, B. S. Sözler. p. 752. b)

Questions on Islam

In order to make a comment, please login or register