Could you please explain the meaning of An-Nur (The Light)?

The Details of the Question
Could you please explain the meaning of An-Nur (The Light)?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,


One who is seen and makes other beings seen, too.”

(Imam Ghazali)

One who enlightens and lights up the universe.”

God is the Light of the heavens and the earth.” (an-Nur, 24:35) 

One of Allah’s attributions is “The Light (an-Nur)” and also all of His other names are luminous. Expressions of “goodness and nur (light)” are used to define “existence” and expressions of “evil and darkness” are used to define “non-existence”. In this sense, it can be said that everything that manages to exist getting rid of non-existence has got a manifestation of the name “an-Nur”.

In the Quran, the following is stated, “God is the Light of the heavens and the earth.” (an-Nur, 24:35)

Allah who let the heavens and the earth have the light of existence has given a greater share to stars by giving them more of light of existence.

And He let the light of life shine on the earth, which largely surpasses the light of heavens.

He made human beings, amongst other creatures, more luminous and more elevated than heavens by blessing them with the lights of faith and knowledge.

Existence is light and non-existence is darkness; similarly, knowledge is light and ignorance is darkness.

It is said that “Faith is both light and power” in Nur Collection. Light enables things to be seen; similarly, the light of faith enables believers to realize and find the truths.

Through this light, human beings know their Creator and His blessed names and attributions. It is through this light that they know about angels, realm of the dead, the Day of Resurrection, Heaven and Hell.

Manifestation of the name “an-Nur” in the realm of humankind is emphasized through the following Quranic verse:

God is the Protector of those who have faith: from the depths of darkness He will lead them forth into light.” (al-Baqara, 2:257)

As the darkness is made plural with “the depths of darkness”, it is declared that those who have faith are saved from not only the darkness of unbelief but also a lot more ones such as the darkness of ignorance and darkness of immorality and it is declared that they reached light.

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) likens sins to “dark/black stain” in one of his honorable hadiths. He states that a dark/black stain grows in a believer’s heart when he sins. As sins are dark stains, it is understood that good deeds which are the opposite of sins are light. In this sense, a repentance which sweeps sins away is also light. According to this, a believer’s duty is to make efforts in order to improve his faith from imitation to investigation, to avoid unbelief and shirk (polytheism) which cause that light to die out, to refrain from all sins which taint that light and try to make his heart more luminous and prosperous by increasing his good deeds.

Alaaddin Başar (Prof. Dr.)

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