Allah-SWT is the Light of the heavens and earth. Light denotes something which is not only manifest and radiant by itself but also illuminates and manifests other things. Here it means that the Real Being is Allah-SWT Who-SWT is manifested through each and every thing, and illuminates all other objects. The metaphor of 'Light' that denotes an object is not applicable to His-SWT Being. Rather it signifies the light that is endowed by Him-SWT , for the real Owner of light and radiance is Allah-SWT . The likeness of His-SWT endowment of light may be compared to an illuminated lamp placed in a niche, covered in a glass which is pellucid and as bright as the stars. The lamp is lit with clear and precious oil extracted from the blessed olive tree. Olive oil besides being the most illuminating and nourishing is also the best liniment. Moreover, it is characteristic of olive oil to bum without fumes. But the greatest of its merits is that Allah-SWT has made it very auspicious. This oil is derived from a tree so located that there is no barrier between it and the sun from morning to evening. The finest oil has been derived from the most superior tree, so fine and pure as to exude light, as if it would illuminate without even igniting and once it is ignited it would dissipate radiance.
The Light of Muhammad-SW
The best example of this metaphor is the purest heart of the Holy Prophet-SW and his blessed light. It is naturally so pious, so pellucid and luminous that even before his formal raising many of its virtues were manifested, and many miraculous events took place as portents of his exaltation and Prophet Hood. A detailed account of these wonders may be seen in the Commentaries of the Quran and the Books on the life the Holy Prophet-SW. His-SW blessed nature was such that he-SW was readily inclined towards obedience well before receiving a Divine Command and the society benefited from him even before his formal raising. And once raised, it was as if a lamp inside a beautiful glass, placed in an elevated niche and provided the most superior oil was turned into a beacon light that illuminated the globe, rather the entire universe.
The Light Of A Believer
The same simile can be used for a believer who has the natural light endowed by Allah-SWT . There is an inborn capability in him to become radiant. So when he is blessed with the light of faith it is as if this lamp has been ignited. Now he is not only personally enlightened but also becomes a source of enlightenment for the entire mankind; a source of guidance and welfare, divorcing the darkness of evil and dissipating the light of faith, justice and equality. Once such souls find an accomplished Shaikh their passions flare up, their hearts are illuminated like the sun and they become the guiding lights for mankind.
Company Of A Shaikh
This indeed is the Islamic Tasawwuf in its pristine purity that the lamps placed inside the bosoms of the Muslims are lit with the Light of Prophet hood and lined up along the path of mankind. A Sufi himself must be the best example of adherence to Shari'ah and must exert all his efforts towards its implementation. Allah-SWT declares that He-SWT blesses whoever He-SWT pleases with this wealth, yet people pass away in deprivation.
The Inborn Light Is Lost Due To Evil Deeds
Quran repeatedly declares that Allah-SWT guides everyone who seeks guidance. This is because every human being enjoys the inborn capacity to seek guidance and is duly equipped with the light of nature. According to the Holy Prophet-SW every child is born on nature. It is his parents who convert him into a Jew a Christian or a Zoroastrian. In other words, the curse of human misconduct, the misdeeds of parents, and the adverse influences of the society put together overturn his niche, smash the glass, and break the lamp into fragments spilling the oil away. In other words, the inherent capacity to seek guidance is lost. The effect of this evil reflects in the future generations. So for them, whose inherent light is extinguished, there is no guidance. Allah-SWT reveals these similes to expound things so that mankind may take heed, for He-SWT enjoys the Most Comprehensive Knowledge of everything.
Masaajid And Spiritual Centres Of The Aulia
And where to find persons with illuminated bosoms and hearts as radiant as lamps? They can be seen in houses wherein Allah-SWT's Commands are executed. Allah-SWT Commands the construction of such houses as well as their glorification and respect. The construction of magnificent masaajid, the decor and beautification thereof dates back to the era of the Companions-RAU and the Tab’ain-RUA namely Hadhrat ‘Usman-RAU’ and ‘Umar bin Abdul Aziz-RUA respectively. There are certain etiquettes that must be observed inside a masjid so as to uphold its reverence and dignity. The Holy Prophet-SW has clearly explained that the masaajid must be kept clean and nobody should enter therein with any impurity. No substance, oil etc with a repugnant odour must be used inside the masjid. The worshippers mouths should not carry the foul smell of onion or garlic, tobacco, cigarette or hubble-bubble. A person suffering from a disease with foul smell must not enter the masjid. There must be no noise or disruption made inside nor should worldly matters be discussed there. The masaajid should be beautifully built and diligently respected. And Allah-SWT's Zikr must be practised in plenty, which includes all forms of Zikr, Practical, Lisani as well as Qalbi.
The Chambers For Zikr Allah-SWT
The small chambers built specially for Allah-SWT's Zikr will also command the same respect, and the same rules will apply as for the masaajid. Similarly the institutions promoting religious education also deserve due respect. Although these institutions are not at par with the masaajid or the gatherings of Zikr, yet these are custodians of a special grandeur. In the masaajid Allah-SWT's Zikr must be practised morning and evening, which means around the clock, and His-SWT Praises and glorification must continue simultaneously.
Those who remember Allah-SWT are not diverted from His-SWT Zikr, worship and obedience and from spending in His-SWT Cause by their business, mundane benefits or other personal matters. Despite remembering Him-SWT constantly, they fear His-SWT Annoyance and keep in view the extremities of the Day when hearts of even the most mighty shall overturn, and the eyes will stand petrified. But hoping that their good deeds shall be rewarded well on that Day they constantly strive in His-SWT Cause. They also expect that Allah-SWT will multiply their reward with His-SWT Munificence as it is typical of His-SWT Grace to bless whom He-SWT pleases in magnitude beyond measure.
Two Types Of Infidels
And then there are those who lost their inherent light, and darkened their hearts by evil deeds and unlawful food to an extent that they could not even be rekindled by the light of Prophet Hood. They were thus lost into the darkness, and turned non believers. Of these some do believe in Allah-SWT , in Akhirah and the Requital but in their own way. For instance, the contemporary Jews and the Christians, who practise their religion in accordance with the innovations they have concocted and still hope to be rewarded on the Day of Reckoning. They can best be compared to the person who traversing through a desert mistakes the shining sand to be an overflowing river and keeps on moving in its direction. But when he gets there he discovers that it was only a mirage of which he could avail naught. The deeds they assume to be meritorious would turn out to be the opposite and consequently wasted. They will have to account for their misconduct before Allah-SWT and will be punished accordingly, for Allah-SWT is Swift at Reckoning.
The second type of non believers are those who do not believe in the Akhirah, Requital and Allah-SWT at all. They can best be compared to a person caught up in a deep ocean of darkness. Waves upon waves add to its darkness, while the darkness of the night is superimposed. Not only is it dark all around, but the hovering clouds overhead rule out any remote possibility of sighting a star even obscurely. So in such a multilayered darkness where one hand cannot locate the other, how can a person hope to be guided? He has indeed perished into the dungeons of denial because of his persistent disobedience to Allah-SWT . And remember that the Light of Guidance is only given by Him-SWT and whoever is not so blessed will not get even a ray.