What does Nur al-Muhammadi (Light of Muhammad) mean?
Submitted by on Mon, 08/11/2010 - 15:05
Dear Brother / Sister,
“Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth” (an-Nur, 35)
Light is the opposite of all kinds of darkness.
Ilm (knowledge) is light; it eliminates the darkness of ignorance.
Guidance is a different light; aberration disappears when it comes.
Belief is also light; it destroys the darkness of unbelief.
Each light eliminates a type of darkness and shows a reality.
Before this realm was created, everything was in the darkness of absence. God Almighty ended the darkness with His grace and benevolence; and He created the first creature that would be the nucleus for all beings. That creature was the light of Muhammad.
It is necessary to study the hadith, “The first thing Allah created is my light.” because we often see and hear some wrong interpretations and groundless objections regarding it.
As it is known, all of the traits of living beings are recorded in their genetic codes. That recording is a divine program written by the pen of destiny. You cannot find the shape of the tree, the hardness of the trunk, the greenness of the leaf, the taste of the fruit in the code in the seed. All of those traits are recorded in the DNA in the form of base order, but that program is neither hard nor soft, neither green nor red. They are all present in the form of a plan and program in the code, but it is in vain to try to find all of the traits of the tree exactly in that code. A person who thinks that all of the creatures were created from the light of Muhammad without taking that point into consideration will try to establish a similarity between the light of Muhammad and stars, forests and seas; and he is mistaken.
The plans that we make are like that, too; aren’t they? All of the parts of a house are present in the plan but you cannot cook in the kitchen in the plan.
“Just as among the Names there is a Greatest Name, so too among the impresses of those Names there is a greatest impress, and that is man” (Sözler: Words ) The greatest name contains all of the names; similarly, man, who is the greatest impress, contain the names that are manifest in the whole realm of beings. Based on the rule, “when something is mentioned in the absolute form, it denotes perfection”, when man is mentioned, Hazrat Muahammad (pbuh), who is the most advanced individual of the realm of humanity and who is the sun of the sky of prophethood, comes to mind.
All of the divine names were manifested in the light of Muhammad first. For instance, he has the manifestation of the name al-Muhyi (the Giver of Life) and he has life. All of the lives to be created in the other phases are all the manifestations of this name, which became manifest in him first. That luminous life is the beginning point and seed of all lives. However, it is obvious that it will be wrong to establish a relationship between all kinds of life and the clean and perfect spirit of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh).
Another example: to preserve is a divine deed.
The name al-Hafiz (the Preserver) is also manifest in the light of Muhammad and then it became like a seed for the “preserved tablet”, “nuclei”, “eggs”, “sperms”, and finally ”memories”.
“Wisdom requires that the tree of creation also, be formed from a seed. And such a seed that contains the essentials and principles of other worlds besides the corporeal world.” (Sözler: Words)
According to Muhyiddin Arabi, who is the founder of Wahdah al-Wujud (Oneness of Being) school, all of the forms of the beings to be created until the eternity were present in the knowledge of Allah in the form of, so to speak, a luminous nucleus. Muhyiddin Arabi names this first level of appearance that contained all of the forms of the beings concisely using phrases like “haqiqah al-muhammadiyya” (the reality of Muhammad), “alam al-wahda” (the realm of the unicity), “wujud al-ijmali” (the concise being) and “nur al-Muhammadi” (the light of Muhammad).
Accordingly, the light of Muhammad is the common name of all of the forms of the beings, and they were transferred to the circle of power from the circle of knowledge.
Imam Rabbani states the following:
“As for the sentence that I wrote meaning ‘improvement took place from the reality of Muhammad’, what is meant by the reality is the shadow of that reality; they said, “It is the summary of the knowledge” for that reality and used the term “wahda” (unicity).”(Mektubat v. 2)
The realm of the unicity is one of the four names that Muhyiddin Arabi gave to the first phase of appearance.
As it is known, wahda means oneness and kathra means multitude. In the nucleus, there exists oneness; and multitude came into being from that oneness. Tens of branches, hundreds of fruit, thousands of leaves express multitude; and this realm of multitude is born out of oneness. The sky in which endless stars are present, the earth in which endless living beings live, the realm of angels whose number is unknown to us and many more beings express multitude and all of them came into being from the realm of the unicity, from the light of Muhammad.
An important clue from Risale-i Nur Collection: after different interpretations of the verse: “the heavens and the earth were joined together (as one unit of Creation), before We clove them asunder” are presented, the following meaning is added:
“There is one more phase of the mentioned verse behind the phases regarding the ordinary levels: the kneaded matter that was created from the light of Muhammad indicates that the planets and the sun were separated from the dough of that light.” Mesnevî-i nuriye
As it is understood from those expressions, the realm was created phase by phase from the light of Muhammad, which is the creation nucleus of the light of Muhammad. The creation of the physical world, skies and the earth took place based on that rule. A “kneaded matter” was created from that light and that essential dough; that coded creature was used as a base for the creation of our globe.
In the continuation of the hadith: “The first thing Allah created is my light”, the phases of the creation is expressed as, pen, tablet, throne, angels, which are the carriers of the throne, chair, other angels, skies, earth... respectively. Maybe in the phases before the creation of the skies and the earth, the creation took place directly from the light of Muhammad; and in this phase, an essential matter was created from the light of Muhammad, and this nucleus was used as a base for the creation of the skies and the earth. In this world of wisdom, in which everything is attributed to a cause, it is highly appropriate for the divine wisdom that the beginning of this visible realm was determined like that.
It should not be found strange that matter was created from light. As a matter of fact, what we name as matter is actually known to be condensed energy. The fact that atom is transferred to energy when it is smashed shows that power and strength are present in the foundation. They are not condensed or material; they are fine and luminous.
The hadith: “Angels were created out of light and jinn were created out of smoky flame” informs us that jinn were not directly created out of light of Muhammad but in a different way or in a different phase.
According to the verse that means: “there not a thing but celebrates His praise”, everything knows Allah, praises and glorifies Him. It is understood from the fact that the nucleus being both in the first essence of the universe and in its being apparent in the visible realm is called “the light of Muhammad that the furthest level in knowing Allah, praising and glorifying Him belongs to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). He is aware of the furthest level of all of the divine names. The real aim of the creation of the universe is him. All of the worshipping performed by other beings, the knowledge acquired by them, and the love enjoyed by them are like a shadow in comparison to him.
“Also, the Divine effulgence which the Most Noble Prophet (pbuh), who manifested the Greatest Name, received in a single verse, may have been as much as the whole effulgence one of the other Prophets received.” Sözler: Words
That is, the loftiness, brightness and transparency of the light of Muhammad in the first creation overshadowed all of the other things, and that nucleus being was called the light of Muhammad.
Author: Alaaddin Basar (Prof.Dr.)
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Questions on Islam
- What is the reason why Allah mentions the Prophet Hz. Muhammad as "Habibullah" (Beloved of Allah)? Is this phrase used in the Quran and hadiths?
- Is it true that the Prophet was transferred into His mother’s womb on the night of Raghaib?
- Was the light (nur) of our prophet created before lawh al-mahfuz (the preserved tablet) was created, or was it the light of our prophet that was created first?
- It is stated in the Quran that first the earth and then the sky was created; however, in another verse, it is stated that first the sky and then the earth was created. How should we understand it?
- Sama (Sky)
- Could you please explain the notion of Tawhid (Oneness)?
- What is the wisdom behind the creation of the earth and the skies in six days? What are those six days like? Are they different from our days?
- Al-Bari (The Maker, The Producer, The Maker from Nothing)
- How should we understand the incident of Hz. Adam (pbuh) being taught the names of things, which is a means of superiority to angels? What is meant by those names taught to Hz. Adam?