Light is of Four Kinds

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

In the “Gardens of Exegesis,” Shaykh al-Islam, Shaykh Ibrahim Niyas (q.s.) commented on the following ayat.

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth.  The Parable of His Light is as if there were a niche and within it, a lamp: the lamp enclosed in glass: the glass as it were a brilliant star: Lit from a Blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil is well-nigh luminous, though fire scarce touched it: Light upon Light!  Allah doth Guide whom He Will to His Light: Allah doth Set Forth parables for men: and Allah doth Know all things. (Surah an-Nur:35)

He said that the Light is of four kinds: Light which Causes physical things to become manifest, though it does not see them; like the light of the sun and what resembles it; light which uncovers physical things and sees them, like the light of sight; and light which uncovers hidden things and understands them, like the light of intelligence.

Light that brings forth existence from non-existence and that is the Light of Allah (s.w.t.).  When the Light of God enters into a non-existent thing, it begins to exist.  Then light is existence and darkness is non-existence.  The non-existent thing is not seen by anyone.  Allah (s.w.t.) is the Light of the heavens and the earth.  The exegete, Shaykh Jalal ad-Din al-Mahalli (r.a.) said, “It means the One Who Illuminated them both with the sun and the moon.”  But the tafsir is deeper than that.  “He is their Light” means “He is their existence.”


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