Explanation: the Creation of the Prophet (s) from Allah’s Light

Shaykh Gibril Fouad Haddad

Contents

by Shaykh Ahmad Sukayrij

(translated by Shaykh Gibril Fouad Haddad)

al-Shatahat al-Sukayrijiyya (p. 55-57).

قال العلّامة أبو العباس أحمد سُكَيرِج رحمه الله في شرح النور المحمدي آخر كتاب الشَطَحَات السُكَيْرِجِيَّة:

حَدِيثُ بِأَبِي أَنْتَ وَأُمِّي أَخْبِرْنِي عَنْ أَيِّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقَهُ اللهُ تَعَالَى قَبْلَ الأَشْيَاءِ، قَالَ يَا جَابِرُ إِنَّ اللهَ خَلَقَ

قَبْلَ الأَشْيَاءِ نُورَ نَبِيِّكَ مِنْ نُورِهِ يَذْكُرُهُ أَصْحَابُ المَوَالِيدِ وَقَدْ ذَكَرَهُ الْقَسْطَلَّانِي فِي المَوَاهِبِ اللَّدُنِّيَّةِ وَرَاوِيهِ عَبْدَ الرَّزَّاقِ، وَمِنْ طَرِيقِهِ عُرِفَتْ رِوَايَتُهُ؛ كَمَا يَذْكُرُ أَصْحَابُ المَوالِيدِ حَدِيثَ أَنَّ اللهَ قَبَضَ قَبْضَةً مِنْ نُورِهِ فَقَالَ لَهـَا كُونِي مُحَمَّداً فَكَانَتْ إلخ [لا يوجد، وذكره صاحب نزهة

Shaykh Ahmad Sukayrij (1878-1944)

المجالس في باب مولد

المصطفى ﷺ]،وَالمَعْنَى أَنَّ اللهَ قَبَضَ قَبْضَةً مِنَ النُّورِ المُضَافِ لَهُ. وَ(مِنْ) فِي قَولِهِ (مِنْ نُورِهِ) لِلْبَيَانِ، فَكَأَنَّهُ يَقُولُ: نُورُ نَبِيِّهِ الَّذِي هُوَ نُورُهُ، وَقَبْضَةٌ هِيَ نُورُهُ، عَلَى قَاعِدَةِ تَفْسِيرِ مِنْ البَيَانِيَّةِ عِنْدَ النُّحَاةِ. وَنُورُ سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ ﷺ هُوَ أَصْلُ الْأَنْوَارِ، وَهُوَ الَّذِي تُقْتَبَسُ مِنْهُ فِي سَائِرِ الْأَنْوَارِ وَالْأَطْوَارِ. فَالنُّورُ مَخْلُوقٌ. وَبَعْضُ الْعَارِفِينَ جَعَلَ الضَّمِيرَ مِنْ (نُورِهِ) يَعُودُ عَلَى (نَبِيِّكَ) مِنْ قَوْلِهِ (نُورِ نَبِيِّكَ) فَفِيهِ نَوْعُ اسْتِخْدَامٍ فَكَأَنَّهُ يَقُولُ: خُلِقَ نُورُ نَبِيِّكَ مِنْ نُورِ نَبِيِّكَ، بِمَعْنَى أَنَّ نُورَ النَّبِيِّ ﷺ خُلِقَتْ مِنْهُ ذَاتُ النَّبِيِّ ﷺ وَرُوحُهُ وَجَمِيعُ أَحْوَالِهِ، فَنُورُهُ ﷺ مِنْهُ وُجِدَ ﷺ وَوُجِدَ مِنْهُ كُلُّ مَخْلُوقٍ.

أَمَّا نُورُ الذَّاتِ الْعَلِيَّة فَهُوَ قَدِيمٌ غَيْرُ حَادِثٍ، وَنُورُهُ تَعَالَى غَيْرُ مُتَكَيِّفٍ وَلَا مُتَجَزِّئٍ، وَالنُّورُ فِي حَقِّهِ تَعَالَى بِمَعْنَى مُنَوِّرُ كَمَا فُسِّرَ بِهِ قَوْلُهُ تَعَالَى اللَّهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ أَيْ مُنَوِّرُهُمَا فَلَا يُمْكِنُ الْأَخْذُ مِنَ الذَّاتِ – تَعَالَى مَولَانَا عَنِ التَّجَزُّئِ فِي الذَّاتِ وَالصِّفَاتِ وَالْأَفْعَالِ! وَبِعِبَارَةٍ أخرى: إِنَّ اللهَ خَلَقَ نُورَ نَبِيِّكَ مِنْ نُورِ خَلْقِهِ، فَكَانَ ذَٰلِكَ النُّورُ هُوَ نُورُ نَبِيِّكَ، فَلَا شَيْءَ قَبْلَهُ مِنَ المَخْلُوقَاتِ، بَلْ مِنْهُ تَكَوَّنَتِ المُكَوَّنَاتُ وَالْكَائِنَاتُ، وَكُلُّ مَا دَخَلَ فِي دَائِرَةِ الإِمْكَانِ فَمِنْهُ، وَاقْتِبَاسُ كُلِّ مُتَكَوِّنٍ مِنْهُ كَيْفَ مَا كَانَ.

وَرَأَيْتُ نَفْسِي أَتَذَاكَرُ مَعَ بَعْضِ أَشْيَاخِنَا الْعَارِفِينَ بِاللهِ، وَهُوَ الشَّيْخُ أَبُو الْقَاسِمِ سَيِّدِي مُحَمَّدُ فَتْحَا بْنُ قَاسِمٍ القَادِرِيُّ، إِلَى أَنْ سَأَلْتُهُ عَنْ كَيْفِيَّةِ تَكْوِينِ الخَلْقِ مِنَ النُّورِ المُحَمَّدِيِّ وَاقْتِبَاسِ الْأَنْوَارِ مِنْ نُورِهِ ﷺ عَلَى اخْتِلَافِ أَطْوَارِ الخَلْقِ وَأَدْوَارِهِمْ وَتَقَلُّبَاتِهِمْ مِنْ نَشْأَةِ الخَلْقِ إِلَى الْفَنَاءِ الجِسْمَانِيِّ إِلَى النَّعِيمِ المُقِيمِ وَغَيْرِهِ مِنْ مَحْمُودٍ وَمَذْمُومٍ وَسَعَادَةٍ وَشَقَاوَةٍ وَمَوْتٍ وَحَيَاةٍ وَحَيَوَانٍ وَجَمَادٍ وَنَبَاتٍ وَغَيْرِ ذَٰلِكَ، فَقَالَ لِي فِي ذَٰلِكَ المَشْهَدِ: إِنَّ اللهَ سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى لَمـَّا خَلَقَ سَائِرَ الْعَوَالِمِ كَانَتِ الْأَكْوَانُ وَالمُكَوَّنَاتُ مِمَّا قُدِّرَ أَنْ يَكُونَ عَلَى تَرْتِيبِ وُجُودِهَا وَفَنَائِهَا مُنْطَوِيَةً تَحْتَ دَائِرَةِ الفَلَكِ المُحِيطِ بِالْكُلِّ، وَالْفَلَكُ تَحْتَهُ دَوَائِرُ إِلَى آخِرِ مَوْجُودٍ كَالْكُرَةِ، بَلْ كَدَوَائِرِ الْبَصَلَةِ، دَائِرَةٌ تَحْتَ دَائِرَةٍ، وَفِيهَا ثُقُبٌ خَرَقَتْ جَمِيعَ الدَّوَائِرِ، بِحَيْثُ يَنْفُذُ النُّورُ مِنَ الثَّقْبَةِ لِخَارِجِ الْكُرَةِ مِنْ سَائِرِ الْجِهَاتِ، وَطَبَقَاتُ الْكُرَةِ بِعَدَدِ الْقُرُونِ وَالسِّنِينَ وَالشُّهُورِ وَالْأَيَّامِ وَالسَّوَابِعِ وَالدَّقَائِقِ إِلَى أَقَلِّ مِنْ طَرْفَةِ عَيْنٍ، فَلَمَّا أَرَادَ اللهُ إِمْدَادَ الْكُلِّ مِنَ النُّورِ المُحَمَّدِيِّ وَإِيجَادَهُ عَلَى وَفْقِ مُرَادِهِ، خَلَقَ النُّورَ المُحَمَّدِيَّ، فَقَابَلَتْهُ مِنْ ظِلِّهِ: تِلْكَ الْكُرَةُ – دَائِرَةُ الْفَلَكِ المُحِيطِ – وَلَوْلَاهُ مَا ظَهَرَتْ. فَانْتَشَرَ النُّورُ عَلَى الْكُرَةِ، وَنَفَذَ مِنْ سَائِرِ الثُقُبِ لِلْخَارِجِ، ثُمَّ أَمَرَ الحَقُّ الْفَلَكَ بِالدَّوَرَانِ وَبِدَوَرَانِ كُلِّ دَائِرَةٍ تَحْتَهُ بِتَرْتِيبٍ بَدِيعٍ بِتَدْبِيرِ الْبَدِيعِ الحَكِيمِ، فَصَارَتِ الثُقُبُ يُصَادِمُ بَعْضُهَا بَعْضاً، وَالنُّورُ مُنْبَسِطٌ عَلَيْهَا، فَتَارَةً يَجِدُ مَنْفَذاً لِلْخَارِجِ مِنَ الثَقْبِ المُصَادِفِ لِماَ هُوَ أَعْلَى، وَتَارَةً يُحْجَبُ الثَقْبُ مَا وَالَاهُ مِمَّا لَيْسَ بِمَثْقُوبٍ، فَيُحْجَبُ النُّورُ عَمَّا تَحْتَ الثَقْبِ. فَمَنْ أَشْرَقَ النُّورُ عَلَيْهِ فَهُوَ فِي سَعَادَةٍ وَنُورٍ، وَمَا حُجِبَ عَنِ النُّورِ فَهُوَ فِي شَقَاوَةٍ وَظَلَامٍ. وَبِذَٰلِكَ ظَهَرَ الإِيمَانُ وَالْكُفْرُ وَمَا يُؤَدِّي إِلَيْهِمَا فِي السِّرِّ وَالْعَلَنِ فِي كُلِّ زَمَنٍ إِلَى مَا شَاءَ اللهُ. وَالْكُلُّ آخِذٌ مِنْهُ عَلَى قَدَرِ مَا قُدِّرَ لَهُ، فَكَانَ الجَمِيعُ مِنْهُ وَمُقْتَبِساً مِنْهُ طَبْقَ مَا تَرَى….

وَاتَّضَحَ بِحَمْدِ اللهِ أَنَّ ضَمِيرَ (نُورِهِ) رَاجِعٌ لِلنُّورِ المُحَمَّدِيِّ مِنْ بَابِ الإِسْتِخْدَامِ، وَهُوَ نَوْعٌ مِنْ أَنْوَاعِ الْبَدِيعِ عِنْدَ عُلَمَاءِ الفَنِّ، لَا يُقَالُ أَنَّ النُّورَ هُنَا نَفْسُ النُّورِ الْأَوَّلِ مِنْ قَوْلِهِ (نُورُ نَبِيِّكَ) فَيَقْتَضِي تَكْوِينُ الشَّيْءِ مِنْ نَفْسِهِ، لِأَنَّا نَقُولُ (مِنْ) مِنْ قَوْلِهِ (مِنْ نُورِهِ) بَيَانِيَّةٌ، وَالمَعْنَى: عَلَيْهَا نُورُ نَبِيِّكَ الَّذِي هُوَ نُورُهُ، وَلَيْسَتْ بِتَبْعِيضِيَّةٍ. وَلَكَ أَنْ تَجْعَلَ الضَّمِيرَ عَائِداً إِلَى الحَقِّ سُبْحَانَهُ، وَالنُّورُ مَخْلُوقٌ، مَنْسُوبٌ لِلْحَقِّ عَلَى حَدِّ هَذَا خَلْقُ اللَّهِ الآية. لقمان. فَهُوَ مُضَافٌ لِلْحَقِّ، وَذَٰلِكَ النُّورُ المَخْلُوقُ هُوَ نُورُ نَبِيِّكَ لَا غَيْرُ.

فَإِنْ قِيلَ: المَخْلُوقُ لَا بُدَّ لَهُ مِنْ زَمَانٍ وَمَكَانٍ، فَيَقْتَضِي كَوْنُهُمَا مَعَهُ أَوْ قَبْلَهُ، مَعَ أَنَّهُ هُوَ أَوَّلُ الْأَشْيَاءِ، فَكَيْفَ الحَالُ؟ فَنَقُولُ: الزَّمَانُ وَالمَكَانُ هُمَا مِنْ جُمْلَةِ ظِلِّهِ، وَلَوْلَاهُ مَا تَكَوَّنَا، وَقَدْ شَاهَدَ ﷺ ذَٰلِكَ مِنْهُ مُتَكَوِّناً، وَرَآهُ مُتَحَرِّكاً بِتَحَرُّكِ دَوَرَانِ الْفَلَكِ المُحِيطِ فِي ذَٰلِكَ المَشْهَدِ. وَبِهِ تُفْهَمُ مُخَاطَبَتُهُ بِقَوْلِهِ تَعَالَى فِي مَقَامِ المِنَّةِ: أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى رَبِّكَ كَيْفَ مَدَّ الظِّلَّ وَلَوْ شَاء لَجَعَلَهُ سَاكِنًا ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَا الشَّمْسَ عَلَيْهِ دَلِيلًا الفرقان. فَقَدْ خَاطَبَ الحَقُّ سُبْحَانَهُ نَبِيَّهُ فِي هَذِهِ الآيَةِ بِمَا آنَسَهُ بِهِ فِي مَقَامِ جَمْعِ الرُّوحِ بِالْجِسْمِ، كَالذِّكْرِ لَهُ لِماَ شَاهَدَهُ حَالَ تَجَرُّدِ الرُّوحِ الْكَرِيمِ، فَإِنَّ النُّورَ المُحَمَّدِيَّ عِنْدَ وُجُودِهِ كَانَ يَعْقِلُ وَيَفْهَمُ عَنِ الْحَقِّ، وَقَدْ نُبِّئَ فِي ذَٰلِكَ المِخْدَعِ الَّذِي انْفَرَدَ فِيهِ بِرَبِّهِ قَبْلَ خَلْقِ شَيْءٍ مِنَ الْأَشْيَاءِ لَا آدَمَ وَلَا غَيْرِهِ، وَقَدْ رَمَزَ لِذَٰلِكَ فِي حَدِيثِ: كُنْتُ نَبِيّاً وَآدَمُ بَيْنَ الرُّوحِ وَالجَسَدِ، وَقَدْ شَاهَدَ ﷺ رَبَّهُ بِالتَّجَلِّي الَّذِي تَجَلَّى بِهِ عَلَى ظِلِّهِ الْكَرِيمِ، فَمَدَّهُ، فَكَانَ مِنْهُ كُلُّ شَيْءٍ فَكَأَنَّهُ تَعَالَى يَقُولُ: أَلَمْ تَنْظُرْ يَا مُحَمَّدُ إِلَى رَبِّكَ كَيْفَ مَدَّ الظِّلَّ، فَهُوَ تَقْرِيرٌ لِماَ رَآهُ، فَقَدْ شَاهَدَ رَبَّهُ وَشَاهَدَ كَيْفِيَّةَ مَدِّهِ لِلظِّلِّ الَّذِي هُوَ كُلُّ الْخَلَائِقِ فَجَمَعَ ﷺ مِنَ الجِنْسَيْنِ وَهُمَا رُؤْيَةُ الحَقِّ وَرُؤْيَةُ الخَلْقِ عَلَى وَفْقِ مَا قُدِّرَ لَهُ فِي ذَٰلِكَ المَشْهَدِ الَّذِي لَمْ يُشَاهِدْهُ غَيْرُهُ فَعَرَفَ حَقِيقَتَهُ بِمَا لَمْ يَعْرِفْهَا بِهِ غَيْرُهُ فَقَالَ لَا يَعْرِفُنِي حَقِيقَةً غَيْرُ رَبِّي [لم أجده] فَهُوَ الْحِجَابُ الْأَعْظَمُ المُشَارُ لَهُ بِقَولِ ابْنِ مَشِيشٍ: وَاجْعَلِ الحِجَابَ الْأَعْظَمَ حَيَاةَ رُوحِي الخ. اﻫ. بتصرّف يسير.

Shaykh Ahmad Sukayrij al-Tijani (rahimahullah) said:

The hadith of Jabir, “‘My father and mother be sacrificed for you, tell me the first thing Allah created before anything else,’ he replied: ‘O Jabir, truly the first thing Allah created before anything else was my light, from His light,’” is mentioned by those who celebrate mawlid. Al-Qastallani cited it in al-Mawahib al-Ladunniyya and said it was narrated by `Abd al-Razzaq and this is how we know of it. Likewise those who celebrate mawlid mention the report that “Allah grasped a handful of His Light and said to it ‘Be Muhammad,’” etc. [It is nowhere to be found in the hadith sources. Al-Sufuri mentions it in Nuzhat al-Majalis, chapter of the Prophet's birth.]

The meaning is that Allah grasped a handful of the light that is related to Him (udifat ilayh), and min (from) in the phrase min nurih (from his light) is explicative (lil-bayan). It is as if he were saying: “the light of His Prophet that is His own light,” and “a Divine Handful (qabda) that is His own light,” by defining min as explicative the way grammarians do. The Light of our liegelord Muhammad is the origin of all lights, from which all of them are extracted in all their stages; so the light is created. One of the gnostics said the possessive adjective “his” in “his light” goes back to “your Prophet” in the phrase “the light of your Prophet” so it is a kind of double usage (istikhdam) [“Istikhdam is to mention a term that has two meanings, whereby the first meaning is meant by the term itself, then the second meaning is meant through its pronoun, as in {And let any of you that witness the month fast it} (2:185), where the month means the new moon, and it means the duration of time.” Karam al-Bustani, al-Bayan (Beirut: Maktabat Sadir, n.d.) pp. 86-87], as if he were saying: the light of your Prophet was created from the light of your Prophet, in the sense that out of that light the essence of the Prophet, his spirit, and all his states were created. So from his light he came into existence, and from it all created things came into existence.

As for the Light of the Divine Essence it is pre-eternal and unoriginated in time, and the Light of Allah Most High cannot be described with a modality nor is it divisible. Moreover, nur (light) with respect to Him is in the sense of munawwir (enlightener), as mentioned in the exegeses for {Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth} (24:35), meaning the giver of light to the heavens and the earth. So it is impossible to take something from the Essence – exalted is our Lord from any divisibility in His Essence, His Attributes, or His Acts! In other words: Allah has created the light of your Prophet from the light of His creation, and that very light was the light of your Prophet. So there is nothing before it in all creation, rather, everything created and all creatures were formed out of it. Everything that belongs to the realm of possibilities is from it; and the extraction of every existent thing in creation is from it no matter what.

I saw a vision of myself discussing this with one of our gnostic masters, Shaykh Abu al-Qasim Muhammad Fatha b. Qasim al-Qadiri. I asked him of the modality of the formation of creation out of the Muhammadan Light and the extraction of lights from his Light, according to the various stages, phases, and evolutions of creation, from coming into being to physical demise to everlasting bliss and other aspects whether glorious or ignoble, blessedness and damnation, life and death, animals, inanimate objects, plants, and other than that. He said to me in that vision:

Truly Allah Most High when He created the universes, all the worlds and creatures that had been decreed to exist were folded up, in the order of their creation and extinction, within an all-encompassing sphere (tahta da’irat al-falak al-muhit bil-kull) that contains other spherical layers and so to the last existent thing, like a globe or an onion. In it there are holes that pierce through all the layers so that light passes through each hole and out of the globe on all sides. The layers of the globe are to the number of centuries, years, months, days, weeks, and minutes, down to a fraction of the glimpse of an eye. When Allah desired to supply everything with the Muhammadan Light and bring it all into existence as He wished, He created the Muhammadan Light. That globe – the all-encompassing sphere – faced its shadow, and without that Light it would not have appeared. The light spread within the globe and pierced out through all the holes. Then Allah Most High commanded the sphere to turn, and He commanded every layer under it to turn, in a wondrous arrangement devised by the All-Wise and Incomparable Originator. The holes now hit one another and so did the light that circulated through them; either that light found an exit through the hole that coincides with whatever is above it, or, on the contrary, the hole is blocked from what comes next to it when the latter is not pierced. In the latter scenario, light is blocked from exiting from that hole. Whoever light shines upon is in bliss and light, and whoever is blocked from light is in misery and darkness. This is how faith and unbelief appear, as well as everything that leads to either of them secretly or openly, in every period of time until whenever Allah wishes. All take from that light to the extent decreed for them; so all is from him and deriving its light from him as you can see. …

By the grace of Allah it is clear, then, that the possessive adjective “his” in “his light” refers to the Muhammadan Light as a figure of double usage (istikhdam), a rhetorical trope used by its experts. It should not, however, be said that the light here is the same as the first light in the phrase “the light of your Prophet,” which would result in the creation of a thing out of itself. What we say is that in the phrase min nurih (from his Light), min (from) is explicative (bayaniyya) and thus means: “the light of your Prophet of which he himself is the light” (nuru Nabiyyika al-ladhi huwa nuruh). It is certainly not partitive (tab`idiyya). You can also say that the possessive adjective “his” refers to Allah Most High, the light being created but related to Allah in the same way as in the verse {This is the Creation of Allah} (31:11). So it is annexed (mudaf) to Allah, and that created light is the light of your Prophet and nothing else.

If it is asked: anything being created must have a time and a place, which presupposes that those are either with it or before it, although in this case he is the first thing created; how can that be? We say: time and place are part and parcel of his shadow, without which they would not have been formed. The Prophet witnessed that being formed of him, and saw it in motion through the motion of the revolving all-encompassing sphere in that vision. In this way do we understand his being addressed in the Station of Divine Munificence: {Have you not seen how your Lord has stretched the shadow, and if He willed He could have made it still, then We have made the sun its pilot?} (25:45). Allah addressed His Prophet in that verse through what is familiar to him in the Station of the joining of the spirit with the body, as a reminder for him of what he had witnessed when he was all spirit. For the Muhammadan Light, as soon as it existed, possessed reason and understood whatever Allah showed it. He was certainly made a Prophet in that Chamber where he was absolutely alone with his Lord before the creation of anything whatsoever, whether Adam or other than him, as he alluded in his hadith: “I was a Prophet when Adam was still between spirit and body” [al-Tirmidhi, Sunan, (Manaqib, fadl al-Nabi, hasan sahih gharib) and al-Tahawi, Sharh Mushkil al-Aathaar (15:231 §5976) from Abu Hurayra; Ahmad in his Musnad (34:202 §20596), al-Hakim, Mustadrak (2:608-609), al-Tabarani, al-Mu`jam al-Kabir (20:353 §833-834), and others, from Maysarat al-Fajr; al-Tabarani, al-Mu`jam al-Awsat (4:272 §4175) and al-Mu`jam al-Kabir (12:92 §12571) from Ibn `Abbas; and Ibn Sa`d, Tabaqat (1:123) from Abu al-Jad`a’], when he had witnessed His Lord with the manifestation that He bestowed upon his noble shadow, then He stretched it, so that everything came out of it. It is as if Allah is saying “Have you not seen, O Muhammad, how your Lord stretched the shadow?” as a confirmation for what he had seen. For he had witnessed his Lord and he had witnessed the modality in which He stretched the shadow that consists in all creatures. So the Prophet gathered up both kinds [of witnessing], namely, the sight of Allah and the sight of creatures, according to what was apportioned to him in that view which no one witnessed beside him. He came to know his own reality in a way none other than him has ever been able to know, hence he said: “None knows me truly but my Lord” (la ya`rifuni haqiqatan ghayru Rabbi) [I could not find it]. Thus he is the Greatest Veil alluded to in the saying of Ibn Mashish, “and make the Greatest Veil the very life of my soul.”

Peace and Blessings upon the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions


© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America

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