Creation of the Light of Muhammad

The first thing Allāh created is the light of Muhammad (s) and that light came and prostrated before Allāh. Allāh divided it into four parts and created from the first part the Throne, from the second the Pen, from the third the Tablet, and then similarly He subdivided the fourth part into parts and created the rest of creation. Therefore the light of the Throne is from the light of the Prophet (s), the light of the Pen is from the light of the Prophet (s), the light of the Tablet is from the light of the Prophet (s), the light of day, the light of knowledge, the light of the sun and the moon, and the light of vision and sight are all from the light of the Prophet (s). [7]

عن ابن عباس: إنّ قريشا (في بعض النسخ: روحه يعني الرسول صلى الله عليه) كانت نورا بين يدي الله تعالى قبل ان يخلق آدم بألفي عام. يسبّح ذلك النور، و تسبّح الملائكة بتسبيحه، فلما خلق الله آدم ألقى ذلك النور في صلبه (ابن أبي عمر العدني في مسنده)

Ibn `‘Abbās (r) said: Verily the spirit of the Prophet (s) was a light in front of Allāh two thousand years before he created Adam. That light glorified Him and the angels joined in its glorification. When Allāh created Adam, he cast that light into his loins.[8]

`‘Alī ibn al-Husayn (r) related from his father (r), who related from his grandfather said that the Prophet (s) said: I was a light in front of my Lord for fourteen thousand years before He created Adam.[9] It is this light, which was sent to this earth, which became manifest when the Prophet was born.

Al-Qurtubī says: “Kindled from a blessed tree, an olive,” can be taken to refer to the Prophets, in which case Adam would be the blessed tree, or Ibrahim because Allāh called him “blessed.” It is that blessed familial tree from which its most blessed fruit, our master Prophet Muhammad (s) was born.

Imām as-Suyūtī said in al-Riyād al-aniqa: Ibn Jubayr (r) and K‘a`b al-Āhbar (r) said, “What is meant by the second light [in “light upon light”] is the Prophet (s) because he is the Messenger and the Expositor and the Conveyor from Allāh of what is enlightening and manifest.” K‘a`b, referring to “whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself) though no fire touched it” said, “Its oil well nigh would shine because the Prophet well nigh would be known to the people even if he did not say that he was a Prophet, just as that oil would send forth light without a fire.” In that regard the Prophet (s) said, “The night I was delivered my mother saw a light that lit the castles of Damascus so that she could see them.”[10]

The light of the Prophet (s) is the source of the light of all believers, for while all things were created from his light, the believers were created in a special way. Al-Qurtubī relates in Jam‘ li-ahkām al-qur’ān from Anas (r) who said that the Prophet (s) said:

Allāh created me from light and He created Abū Bakr from my light, and He created ‘`Umar and ‘`A’isha from the light of Abū Bakr, and He created the male believers of my community from the light of `‘Umar and He created the female believers of my community from the light of ‘`A’isha, Whoever does not love me or love Abū Bakr, `‘Umar and ‘`A’isha has no light.

[1]Literally: “turned”

[2] ‘Abd al-Razzāq (d. 211) narrates it in his Musannaf. Bayhaqī (d. 458) narrates it with a different wording in Dalā’il al-nubūwwa according to Zurqāni in his Sharh al-mawāhib (1:56 of the Matbā‘a al-‘amira in Cairo) and Diyārbakrī in Tārīkh al-khāmis (1:20).

[3] See Ibn Sa‘d Tabaqāt (Leiden: 1909) voll. I/1, page 96; Cf. Tabarī, Tafsīr, (Cairo: 1323 AH) vol. xxi, page 79.

[4]Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qādir Jilānī, Sirr al-asrār fi mā yahtāju ilayh al-abrār p. 12-14 of the Lahore edition. This book has now been translated by Shaykh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi as The Secret of Secrets (Cambridge: Islamic Texts Society, 1994).

[5] Al-Qurtubī:Jam’ li-ahkām al-qur’ān

[6] Sharh al-shifā’ (1:505).

[7] Cited in Ibn al-Hajj al-Abdarī’s (Muhammad ibn Muhammad d. 736) book al-Madkhalfrom 2:34 of the edition published by Dar al-kitāb al-‘arabī, Beirut.

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