Creation of the Light of Muhammad

“Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth,” means He is the Creator of everything other than Himself. Whatever is other than Allāh (swt)s called mā siwa-Allāh. Allāh created everything: the Pen, heavens, earth, Paradise, Angels, universes, galaxies, stars, planets and the smallest objects. “And the similitude to His light,” is given by Allāh as an example for us to understand as, “a niche wherein is a lamp.” Mishkāt is usually translated as niche, but in fact it is a bundle like those in which garlic comes, tied together. “Mathalu nūrihi ka mishkātin,” can be translated, “the example of His light is like a bundle.” Within the bundle there is a misbāh. Misbāh comes from sabah, meaning an instrument that produces light, as in His saying to the Prophet Lūt (as):

أَلَيْسَ الصُّبْحُ بِقَرِيبٍ

Is not the light of dawn near? (Hūd 11:81)

K‘a`b al-Āhbar (r) makes the entire verse refer to Muhammad (s)―it is a metaphor of the light of Muhammad. The Messenger of Allāh (s) is the niche, the lamp is prophethood, the glass is his heart, the blessed tree is the revelation and the angels who brought it, the oil are the proofs and evidence which contain the revelation.[5] True scholars and awlīyā’say that this verse refers to the Prophet (s). ‘`Alī al-Qārī in commenting upon the Prophet’s title:

سِرَاجاً مُّنِيراً

a Lamp spreading Light,(al-Ahzāb 33:46)

said:

Muhammad… is a tremendous light and the source of all lights, he is also a book that gathers up and makes clear all the secrets… sirājan munīran means a luminous sun, because of His saying:

تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ فِي السَّمَاء بُرُوجاً وَجَعَلَ فِيهَا سِرَاجاً وَقَمَراً مُّنِيراً

He hath placed therein a great lamp and a moon giving light (al-Furqān 25:61).

There is in this verse an indication that the sun is the highest of the material lights and that other lights are outpourings from it: similarly the Prophet is the highest of the spiritual lights and other lights are derived from him by virtue of his mediating connection and pivotal rank in the overall sphere of creation. This is also inferred from the tradition, “The first thing Allāh created is my light.”[6]

Allāh (swt)s giving an example of His Light―not of His Essence. Allāh here is not describing Himself; for nothing can describe His Essence. Rather, He is describing one of His Attributes―an-Nūr―a name that reveals His Light. Here the light of the Prophet (s), which was the source of creation, the source of the light of the heavens and earth, is compared to a lighted bundle holding an instrument that gives light and that light is the Prophet (s). “The lamp is in a glass.” That light is contained inside the form of glass. “The glass is as it were a shining star.” That is not ordinary glass. Rather it is like a star created from ad-durr, a very expensive gem, or lu’lu’, which is a type of pearl. This description is used to accentuate the greatness of that light. He said, “the lamp is in a glass,” the lamp is shining in the glass, and “the glass is as it were a shining star.” It means that the light within has not yet emerged.

Still, that reality of the Prophet, the haqīqat al-Muhammadīyya, illumined, pearl-like, a veritable constellation glowing, “as if it were a shining star” remains within. That light of the Prophet (s) is the light of Muhammadun rasūlullah. That is al-haqīqat ul-Muhammadīyya, the Muhammadan Reality, whose internal character signifies that it reflects the Heart of the Essence, since the Prophet’s heart moves without restriction in the orbit of the ninety-nine Names and Attributes. He has been blessed by being adorned by the ninety-nine Names inside of which is a glowing pearl not yet come forth. So the Muhammadan Reality has never appeared―it is still hidden and it is not emerging. But what is manifested in this life is Muhammadun rasūlullāh. Thus Lā ilāha ill-Allāh in the testimony of faith, represents the Creator and Muhammadun rasūlullāh symbolizes the entirety of creation.

Al-Khātib Abū al-Rab‘i` Muhammad ibn al-Layth in his book Shifā’ al-sudūr says:

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