Jan 15, 2010

The Light of Muhammad By Prof. Shahul Hameed

What is the real meaning of nur Muhammad (the light of the prophet) in our modern view?

The expression "the light of Muhammad" can have only one meaning, which is the message of Islam that he conveyed to the world. With the Book of Allah in his hand, he set out to lead humanity to the light of truth. This is the figurative meaning of the expression, "light of Muhammad"; and apart from it, we are not authorized to attribute any supernatural meaning to it.

There is an unauthentic saying that has spread among certain sections of Muslims to the effect that Allah has said to Muhammad that; but for Muhammad, He would not have created the whole universe!!! It is also alleged as an explanation of this that Allah created “the light of Muhammad” first, and then only, He created the heavens and the earth!!

This saying contradicts the wisdom and goal of the creation of mankind. God has explicitly stated that, in the Qur’an by saying what means,

*{And I have not created the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me.}* (Adh-Dhariyat 51:56)

Thus, fulfilling worshiping and acting as a vicegerent, who fulfills the heavenly will on this earth, is the real reason behind the creation of mankind. This would only be fulfilled, to the very end, by applying the divine law to all aspects of life and considering this fulfillment as a goal in itself.

The first and the foremost source of our knowledge, which tells us about the creation of the heavens and earth is the Holy Qur’an. Then, the second source is its explanation by the Prophet . The idea of Allah creating the universe, after creating Muhammad , is contrary to all those verses in the Holy Qur’an that deal with original creation. Allah says in the Qur'an what means,

*{And when your Lord said to the angels, I am going to place in the earth a viceroy, they said: What! wilt Thou place in it such as shall make mischief in it and shed blood, and we celebrate Thy praise and extol Thy holiness? He said: Surely I know what you do not know.}* (Al-Baqarah 2:30)

Here we read how Allah meant to create the first man, Adam , who is the forefather of all humans, including Muhammad . Nothing is mentioned in the Qur’an about the alleged "light of Muhammad". And, we cannot expect the prophet to say something that does not agree with the Qur’an.

Besides, the alleged saying of the prophet in this regard can only be used for attributing a status to the prophet, which only serves to deify him! This goes clearly against Islam and its notion of transcendence of God and humanity of prophets - with no status in between. In Islam, divinity and humanity are two separate natures; they never dissolve or mingle into one another.

That is why Islam holds a firm position in the case of Jesus. It is a position against his deification, the trinity notion and the incarnation position Christians hold to. Also, remember; Allah commands that we do not make any special distinction among His prophets. Think of the supplication the prophet has taught us, which we repeat in every single prayer:

Allah-umma salli `ala Muhammad wa-`ala aali Muhammad, kama sallayta `ala Ibrahim wa-`ala aali Ibraheem. Innaka hameedun majeed. Wa-baarek `ala Muhammad wa-`ala aali Muhammad, kama baarakta `ala Ibrahim wa-`ala aali Ibrahim. Innaka hameedun majeed.

This prayer or supplication means:

O Allah, send grace and mercy on Muhammad , and on the family and true followers of Muhammad just as you sent grace and mercy on Ibrahim (Abraham) and on the family and true followers of Ibrahim. Surely, You are Praiseworthy and Great. O Allah, send blessings on Muhammad and on the family and true followers of Muhammad just as you sent blessings on Ibrahim and on the family and true followers of Ibrahim. Surely, You are Praiseworthy and Great.

This prayer indicates the status of both Ibrahim and Muhammad (peace be upon them both). So, it shows that the alleged super status of Muhammad is not but a claim.

No matter how much we love the prophet, we should never put him in a position that was not granted to him by Allah, because definitely Allahu akbar - God remains The Greatest - with no match and nothing to be compared to Him. Only Allah is The True Light of heavens and earth.

Allah says in the Qur'an what means,

*{Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth; a likeness of His light is as a niche in which is a lamp, the lamp is in a glass, [and] the glass is as it were a brightly shining star, lit from a blessed olive-tree, neither eastern nor western, the oil whereof almost gives light though fire touch it not -- light upon light -- Allah guides to His light whom He pleases, and Allah sets forth parables for men, and Allah is Cognizant of all things.}* (An-Nur 24:35)

Salam.



Professor Shahul Hameed is a consultant to the Reading Islam Website. He also held the position of the President of the Kerala Islamic Mission, Calicut, India. He is the author of three books on Islam published in the Malayalam language. His books are on comparative religion, the status of women, and science and human values.

Fully copy from Question & answer segment from: http://www.readingislam.com/servlet/

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