سورة النور   

Surah Name: An-Noor Meaning: The Light

  • Revealed at Makkah
  • Its basic theme is the guarding of one's shame. The violation of chastity and modesty has been declared as heinous and a punishable crime.
  • Islam authorizes a Qadhi (judge) to adjudge after carefully evaluating eye witness accounts. The circumstantial evidence, the plea of guilty or not guilty by the accused must be duly taken into account. Punishment aims at reforming the society, as well as the criminal, and when awarded by a Qadhi is termed as T'azir. However, there are four aspects in which a Qadhi cannot alter the punishment prescribed by Shari'ah. He can only evaluate the available evidence and decide whether the crime was committed or not. Allah-SWT Himself has prescribed the punishment, termed as Hudud. These crimes are; (1) theft (2) accusing chaste women (3) drinking alcohol and (4) adultery.

    All these crimes are so heinous that wherever committed, the society is divested of peace and tranquillity. It fails to flourish even in the worldly sense, and is ruined from the religious point of view as it loses the very belief in Allah-SWT ’s Greatness. The use of inebriating drinks and adultery in the Western society present great lessons of admonition, including complete deterioration of the sanctity of relationships. There remains no importance of lineage, nor any concept of modesty and honour. The children of Adam are living a life below the moral standards of animals while the very fibre of relationships, both worldly and religious, has frayed. A society stripped of modesty, chastity and sanctity of relationships can, by no stretch of imagination, be termed as a human society. It is only an outward facade of superiority which the West puts up for the world; otherwise they are hollow and feeble inside. Despite employing all its military power, America returned from Vietnam in humiliation. Russia invaded and occupied Afghanistan but was destroyed in her war with the Mujahidin. Forty countries jointly attacked Iraq but could not cause it harm equal to what America, Britain and France incurred in turn. They only use threats and deceit to control the world. If only the Muslim of today would waken and take to Jihad, with Allah-SWT's Grace, these nations would soon realise their worth. They are societies plagued by alcohol and adultery, and are a loathsome burden on the earth. So Islam has enjoined preventive measures to fight these evil forces.

  • Total Number of Rukū / Sections 9
  • Total Number of Āyāt / Parts 64
  • Sūrah / Chapter number 24
  • Rukū / Section 5 contains Āyāt / Parts 6
  • Siparah/ Volume 18


اللَّهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ مَثَلُ نُورِهِ كَمِشْكَاةٍ فِيهَا مِصْبَاحٌ الْمِصْبَاحُ فِي زُجَاجَةٍ الزُّجَاجَةُ كَأَنَّهَا كَوْكَبٌ دُرِّيٌّ يُوقَدُ مِن شَجَرَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ زَيْتُونِةٍ لَّا شَرْقِيَّةٍ وَلَا غَرْبِيَّةٍ يَكَادُ زَيْتُهَا يُضِيءُ وَلَوْ لَمْ تَمْسَسْهُ نَارٌ نُّورٌ عَلَى نُورٍ يَهْدِي اللَّهُ لِنُورِهِ مَن يَشَاء وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الْأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

Allahu nooru a(l)ssamawati wa(a)lardi mathalu noorihi kamishkatin feeha misbahun almisbahu fee zujajatin a(l)zzujajatu kaannaha kawkabun durriyyun yooqadu min shajaratin mubarakatin zaytoonatin la sharqiyyatin wala gharbiyyatin yakadu zaytuha yudeeo walaw lam tamsashu narun noorun AAala noorin yahdee Allahu linoorihi man yashao wayadribu Allahu alamthala li(l)nnasi wa(A)llahu bikulli shayin AAaleem(un)

Allah-SWT is the Light of the heavens and the earth; the likeness of His-SWT Light is as a niche wherein is a lamp; the lamp is in glass, the glass is as though it is a star brilliant; lit from a tree blessed, an olive, neither of the East nor of West, its very oil will shine forth, even though no fire touched it. Light upon Light Allah-SWT guides unto His-SWT Light whom He-SWT Will Allah-SWT propounds similitude for mankind, and verily Allah-SWT is the Knower of everything.


فِي بُيُوتٍ أَذِنَ اللَّهُ أَن تُرْفَعَ وَيُذْكَرَ فِيهَا اسْمُهُ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ فِيهَا بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالْآصَالِ

Fee buyootin athina Allahu an turfaAAa wayuthkara feeha ismuhu yusabbihu lahu feeha bi(a)lghuduwwi wa(a)lasal(i)

They worship in houses which Allah-SWT has bidden to be exalted and His-SWT Name to be remembered therein, they hallow Him-SWT therein in mornings and evenings.


رِجَالٌ لَّا تُلْهِيهِمْ تِجَارَةٌ وَلَا بَيْعٌ عَن ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَإِقَامِ الصَّلَاةِ وَإِيتَاء الزَّكَاةِ يَخَافُونَ يَوْمًا تَتَقَلَّبُ فِيهِ الْقُلُوبُ وَالْأَبْصَارُ

Rijalun la tulheehim tijaratun wala bayAAun AAan thikri Allahi waiqami a(l)ssalati waeetai a(l)zzakati yakhafoona yawman tataqallabu feehi alquloobu wa(a)labsar(u)

Men whom neither trade nor business diverts from the remembrance of Allah-SWT and the establishment of the Salat and the payment of Zakat, in awe of a Day whereon heart and sights will be upset.


لِيَجْزِيَهُمُ اللَّهُ أَحْسَنَ مَا عَمِلُوا وَيَزِيدَهُم مِّن فَضْلِهِ وَاللَّهُ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَاء بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

Liyajziyahumu Allahu ahsana ma AAamiloo wayazeedahum min fadlihi wa(A)llahu yarzuqu man yashao bighayri hisab(in)

That Allah-SWT may recompense them the best for what they worked and may increase to them of His-SWT Grace, And Allah-SWT propounds for whom He-SWT Will without measure.


وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَعْمَالُهُمْ كَسَرَابٍ بِقِيعَةٍ يَحْسَبُهُ الظَّمْآنُ مَاء حَتَّى إِذَا جَاءهُ لَمْ يَجِدْهُ شَيْئًا وَوَجَدَ اللَّهَ عِندَهُ فَوَفَّاهُ حِسَابَهُ وَاللَّهُ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ

Wa(a)llatheena kafaroo aAAmaluhum kasarabin biqeeAAatin yahsabuhu a(l)ththamanu maan hatta itha jaahu lam yajidhu shayan wawajada Allaha AAindahu fawaffahu hisabahu wa(A)llahu sareeAAu alhisab(i)

And those who disbelieve their works are like a mirage in a desert which the thirsty deems to be water until when he comes thereto, he finds nothing, and finds Allah-SWT with himself, and He-SWT pays him his account in full; and Allah-SWT is Swift in reckoning.


أَوْ كَظُلُمَاتٍ فِي بَحْرٍ لُّجِّيٍّ يَغْشَاهُ مَوْجٌ مِّن فَوْقِهِ مَوْجٌ مِّن فَوْقِهِ سَحَابٌ ظُلُمَاتٌ بَعْضُهَا فَوْقَ بَعْضٍ إِذَا أَخْرَجَ يَدَهُ لَمْ يَكَدْ يَرَاهَا وَمَن لَّمْ يَجْعَلِ اللَّهُ لَهُ نُورًا فَمَا لَهُ مِن نُّورٍ

Aw kathulumatin fee bahrin lujjiyyin yaghshahu mawjun min fawqihi mawjun min fawqihi sahabun thulumatun baAAduha fawqa baAAdin itha akhraja yadahu lam yakad yaraha waman lam yajAAali Allahu lahu nooran fama lahu min nor(in)

Or, like darkness in a bottomless sea, there covers him a wave from above it, a wave overcast with a cloud; layers upon layers of darkness. When he puts out his hand he can scarcely see it. And to whom Allah-SWT does not appoint a light his shall be no light.


In The Name of Allah-SWT the Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

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 Tabain-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.