Creation of the Light of Muhammad

When the Prophet (s) says, “The first thing that Allāh created is my light,” and from it whatever else Allāh has created as mentioned in the hadith above. Indeed, Allāh (swt) has favored everyone by creating them from the light of the Prophet (s). This follows from Allāh’s saying, “We have sent you (O Prophet) not but as a mercy to humanity (or the worlds).” For from the Light of the Prophet (s), Allāh made the Pen, the Tablet, the Throne, then everything else in material existence. The Prophet (s) said, “That light turned in the midst of His Power for as long as He wished.” Allāh caused that light to turn (yadurr) around the Essence of the Divine Attribute of Power―Allāh’s Ocean of Power―just as people circumambulate around the Ka`‘ba, and just as electrons turn around the nucleus of the atom.

If the essence of all creation comes from the Divine Light, then all existence is the result of the Mercy of Allāh (swt). Indeed, this follows as a matter of logical necessity because there is no grantor of mercy (rahmān) except there also exists a marhūm―something which receives mercy. In short, nothing that exists escapes being an object of Divine Mercy. Mercy is the ocean in which all creation swims. The Ocean of Power is from the Essence―no one knows the reality of this, not even the Prophet (s). This, of course, is the meaning of, Allāhu wahdahu lā sharīka lah―Allāh (swt) is One with no partner and,

لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ البَصِيرُ

There is nothing whatever like unto Him, and He is the One that hears and sees (all things), (ash-Shūra 42:11) and,

سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ

Glory to Allah. (He is free) from the (sort of) things they attribute to Him! (al-Muminūn 23:91)

Here Allāh (swt) names the Divine Essence. Allāh (swt) revealed what He wished of the knowledge of His Attributes, Names and Acts to the Prophet (s), but knowledge of His Absolute Essence He did not show to anyone. Thus, He says, “there is nothing whatever like unto Him, and He is the One that hears and sees (all things),” asserting the unknowability of His Essence but at the same time affirming His Attributes, some of which knowledge of Himself He, in His Bounty, revealed to humankind through the agency of His Prophet (s) . According to the hadith transmitted on the authority of Ibn ‘`Abbās (r), the Muhammadan Light goes from prophet to prophet (min nabīyyin ila nabīyyin) until the moment when Allāh (swt) causes it to emerge (akhraja) as the historical Prophet Muhammad.[3]

In explaining this tremendous aspect of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (s), Shaykh `‘Abd al-Qādir Jilānī, (d. 561) in his book Sirr al-asrār fi mā yahtāju ilayh al-abrār said:

Know that since Allāh first created the soul of Muhammad (s) from the light of His beauty, as He said: I created Muhammad from the light of My Face, and as the Prophet said: The first thing Allāh created is my soul, and the first thing Allāh created is the Pen, and the first thing Allāh created is the Intellect – what is meant by all this is one and the same thing, and that is the haqīqa muhammadīyya. However, it was named a light because it is completely purified from darkness, as Allāh said, “There has come to you from Allah a Light and a manifest Book.”

It was also named “an intellect” because it is the cause for the transmission of knowledge, and the pen is its medium in the world of letters. The Muhammadan soul (al-rūh al-muhammadīyya) is therefore the quintessence of all created things and the first of them and their origin, as the Prophet said: I am from Allāh and the believers are from me, and Allāh created all souls from me in the spiritual world and He did so in the best form. It is the name of the totality of mankind in that primordial world, and after its creation by four thousand years, Allāh created the Throne from the light of Muhammad himself, and from it the rest of creation.[4]

However, what Allāh (swt) created and gave to the Prophet (s) at that time no one knows. He said:

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