بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

نحمده ونصلى على رسوله الكريم

THE CONCEPT OF THE MUHAMMADAN LIGHT IN MALAY-ISLAMIC DISCOURSE IN THE CONTEXT OF SUNNI SACRED NARRATIVE: AN EARLY OBSERVATION*

BY

MUHAMMAD ‘UTHMAN EL-MUHAMMADY

God willing, this note will deal with the concept of the Muhammadan Light (“Nur Muhammad”) as explained in a number of Malay-Islamic works of Nur al-Din al-Raniri, Zain al-‘Abidin al-Fatani, Nawawi al-Bantani (in Arabic), and a number of others . These explanations will be seen in the context of the Sunni sources like Qur’anic exegesis and the Prophetic traditions. The intention is to locate the sources of the discourse in the Sunni narrative in the light of the intention of the hadith ‘al-din al-nasihah” as explained, among others, by Imam al-Nawawi rh. It is hoped that the inclination to label such a discourse as deviationist or not authentic under the influence of the so-called ‘Salafi’ inclination will be tempered by a sense of moderation in the light of Sunni integrated intellectual narrative. This is also something which is demanded by the Prophetic nature which is not merely “bashar” in the ordinary sense. Positive criticisms are forthcoming and welcomed by the writer who sees himself not as an expert in this field.

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*The present writer is grateful to Ence Aman Hj Hassan of the Pustakan Aman Press of Kota Bharu and also Ence ‘Abd al-‘Aziz bin Hj Hassan and their staff –jazakumullahu khairan kathira-for giving permission to the writer to avail himself of the works in their library while preparing for this essay. The present writer is also aware of the fact that the data from Qur’anic exegesis, hadith, shama’il and khasa’is al-nubuwwah or dala’il al-nubuwwah , another category of Sunni narrative, must be taken into consideration.Then there is another aspect to the subject, namely the aspect of the narrative in the form of”stories” which may contain some difficulties. However, the ‘adab’ towards the scholars have to be respected. I am grateful to our friend Zaidi Mohd Hassan for his views.

The present writer is currently Very Distinguished Academic Fellow of ISTAC IIUM

The Text of Shaikh Nur al-Din al-Raniri rh

Shaikh Nur al-Din al-Raniri rh has written on this topic of the Muhammadan Light in his work Bad’ Khalq al-Samawat wa al-Ard which is printed in the margin of the work Taj al-Muluk (n.d.) (1)Among the sources mentioned therein is the oft-cited sacred tradition which means ” I was a sacred treasure , and I loved to be known, so I created the world so that I will be known” or “so that they will know Me” (2)Another tradition is cited which is to the effect :“Truly Aallah created the spirit of The Prophet from His essence and He created the whole universe from the Spirit of Muhammad (Ruh Muhammad”.(3). This means that He created the Spirit of the Prophet s.a.w. from non-existence into existence from His Own Presence, not in the sense that the Spirit of the Prophet is created from a part of the essence of God. Another tradition is also cited to the effect “I (the Prophet (s.a.w.) is from Allah , and the believers are from me” (4).This means, as explained by the author himself, that the Prophet is the first creation created by God and the believers are created by Him from him (that is from his light) (5). He also cited another tradition to the effect :“I (Allah) created all things because of you (O Muhammad) and I created you because of Me” (ibid.10). He also cited the tradition to the effect :”Had it not been for you I would not have created the spheres”.(6) Another tradition is also cited to the effect :”I have created the Prophet whereas Adam was between water and clay”. (7)

Other traditions cited by Shakik Nur al-Din rh are the following which are to the effect :”The earliest thing created by Allah is the intellect” (8) ; “The earliest thing created by Allah is the Heavenly Pen (al-Qalam)”(9); “The earliest thing creaqted by Allah are the spirits”(10); then he explains that the intellect, the heavenly Pen, and the spirits are from the Muhammadan Light (Nur Muhammad) as is clear from another tradition cited by him to the effect :”The earliest thing created by Allah is my light” (11) .Also cited is the tradition to the effect :The earliest thing created by Allah is my spirit”(12)

According to Shaikh Nur al-Din, Allah created the Light of Muhammad from the Light of His Ahadiah.He has cited this based on the statement in the text of al-Manzum which is to the effect “The Attributes of Divine Majesty and Divine Beauty have come together, so Divine Beauty has got the upper hand on Divine Majesty, so God created from the two [from His Will-uem] the Spirit of Muhammad, from non-existence into existence.(13).We have to observe that all that which was created are the creations of Allah , not that they are continuous with the Divine Essence, otherwise there will be two eternal entities, and this is polytheism.

Shaikh Nur al-Din says that after Allah has created the Muhammadan Light or the Muhammadan Spirit, He looks at it [with Divine Compassion –uem] , with love , so the Light feels bashful, and it sweats, from its sweat are created the spirits of the prophets , the saints, and the believers who are pious, and from the spirits of the pious believers are created the spirits of the believers who are wrong-doers, and from the spirits of the believers who are wrong-doers are created the spirits of the unbelievers.(14)

He states that from the spirit of mankind is created the spirits of the angels, and from the spirits of the angels are created the spirits of the jinns, from them the spirits of satans, from them the spirit of the animals, amnd from them the spirit of the plant kingdom, some of them having degrees [in the scale of being-uem] above that of the others; and from these plants there emerge elements, namely the atmosphere, fire, water, and the wind (ibid.13). Then he mentions that Allah looks at it with the look of Majesty, then it melts, and becomes water, , some of it becoming fire, then there emerges smoke going into the atmosphere, and from this Allah created the seven heavens.After this there is some remainder, and from it Allah created the sun, the moon, and the stars, and so on.(15)

He cites another famous narration to the effect that Allah created a Tree with four branches, named the Tree of Certainty,then He created the Light of Muhammad in the form of a Peacock, and He placed it on the Tree.The Peacock blessed the Infinite Glory of God for seventy-thousand years.When the Peacock sees that it has so beautiful feathers and other beautiful features, it falls down in prostration five times, that becoming the five daily prayers for the Muhammadan community.

He also cites the narration about God making a lamp from the red ‘aqiq (16) .

The “Kashf al-Ghaibiyyah” oleh Zain al-‘Abidin al-Fatani rh:

Among the popular Jawi texts on this topic is the work b Shaikh Zain al-‘Abidin al-Fatani, by the title of “Kashf al-Ghaibiyyah” (lit.”The Unveiling of the Unseen”. .

The Kashf al-Ghaibiyyahis based on the original Arabic of “Daqa’iq alAkhbar fi Dhikr al-Jannah wa al-Nar” written by Imam ‘Abd al-Rahim bin Ahmad al-Qadhi, and the work “Durar al-Hisan” by Imam al-Suyuti, and the Mashariq al-Anwar” by Shaikh Hasan al-‘Adawi by Shaikh Zain al-‘Abidin al-Fatani rh (Maktabah wa Matba’ah dar al-Ma’arif, Pulau Pinang , t.t.)

This work was composed in the year 130 A.H. On page 3 and the following pages there is the first Chapter about the creation of the greatest Spirit (al-Ruh al-A’zam) , namely the Light of Muhammad salla’Llahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. He states:

Truly there has come the narration that Allah the most High created a Tree

With four branches, and He called it the Tree of the Muttaqin (The Tree

Of the Pious Ones), and in one narration it is The Tree of Certainty (Sha-

Jarah al-Yaqin); then He created the Light of Muhammad in a veil of a very

White Diamond, like the form of a Peacock, and He placed it on that Tree

, and that Light blessed the Infinite Majesty of God for seventy-thousand

years, then He created a Mirror of Bashfulness and placed it in front of the

Light, when the Peacock sees it, and observes its beautiful appearance

full of ornamentation, it becomes bashful in front of the Divine Presence,

and it sweats in six droplets, from the droplets Allah created, the first,

the spirit of Abu Bakar, Allah be pleased with him, from the second

droplet Allah created the spirit of Umar God be pleased with him, and from

the third droplet, He created the spirit of ‘Uthman , and from the fourth

droplet He created the spirit of Ali God be pleased with him, from the

fifth droplet the rose tree and from the sixth droplet the paddy.(17)

Then the narration goes on to mention how the Muhammadan Light prostrated five times, thereby making the five obl,igatory prostrations , hence the obligation of the five daily canonical prayers on Muhammad and his Community. Then the Light becomes bashful and sweats; from the sweat of its nose Allah created the angels, from the sewat of its face, God created the Throne, The Footstool, the Preserved Tablet, the Heavenly Pen, the sun, the moon, the veil, the stars, and things in the heavens.From the sweat of its breast God created the Prophets, the Messengers, the religious scholars, the martyrs, and the pious ones.From the sweat of its back God created the Heavenly Frequented Fane, the Bait al-Maqdis, and all the locations of mosques in the whole world. (18)

There is the mention of other aspects of the creation from the sweat.

From the sweat of its eye-brows are created the believers, men and women from the Muhammadan Community. From the sweat of its ears are created the souls of the Jews and the Christians and the Magians, then the heretics, the unbelievers, those who reject the Truth, and the hypocrites.From the sweat of its feet are created the earth from the east to the West and all that it contains.(19)

Then Allah commands the Light to look in front, in its front there is light, in its right and left there is light. They are Abu Bakar, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman and ‘Ali. Then the light blesses the Infinite Majesty of Allah for seventy-thousand years.

The writer of the work states that : the light of the prophets is created from the Light of Muhammad s.a.w.; it means the souls of the prophets are created from the sweat of the Muhammadan Spirit, and the souls of the Communities of the various prophets are from the sweat of the souls of the respective prophets.

Then there is the narration to the effect that Allah created a lamp from red ‘aqiq , its inside can be seen from the outside, then the Muhammadan Form as is in this world is created by God, and placed in that Lamp, and he stands therein praying, as he can be seen praying in this world.Then the souls of all prophets and others go around the lamp of the Muhammadan light s.a.w. , blessing the Infinite Majesty of God, celebrating His oneness, for one hundred thousand years.Then Allah commands all the souls to see the light.Those who see it at the head will be caliphs among mankind; those who see it at the forehead will become just rulers; those who see it at the eyes will become the memorizers of the sacred Speech of God; those who see it at the eye brows will become painters; those who see at the ears will become those who listen and accept [good teachings and lessons]; those seeing the cheeks will be intelligent doers of good; those seeing the mouth will be the great ones among the kings and rulers. Those seeing the nose will be judges, physicians and perfumers.Those seeing the mouth will be those who fast.And son on; those seeing certain parts of the body will be possessing certain qualities in their earthly existence. For example those seeing the breast will be scholars, noble and those capable of sound disciplined judgment in their life (20). Those not seeing anything will claim divinity like the case of the Pharaoh and those like him (21).

He cites the sacred tradition oft-quoted: ( كنت كنزا مخفيا فأحببت أن أعرف فخلقت الخلق لاعرف ) : I am a sacred treasure and I love to be known so I created the universe aso that I am known [by My creation] (22)..

He also cites the tradition of the Prophet s.a.w.:

( أول ما خلق الله تعالى نورى وفى رواية روحى):

The earliest created by God the most High is my light. In one narration it is mentioned :my spirit (ruhi).

The writer of the work comments: The whole world is created by God the Infinitely Exalted because of (“daripada sebab”) the light of Muhammad s.a.w. as already mentioned .Then he mentions the sacred tradition :

( (خلقت الاشياء لاجلك وخلقتك لاجلى

I created all things because of you (O Muhammad) and I created you for Me.That means The Light of Muhammad is created without intermediary (23).

Through this well known work the concept of the Muhammadan Light is spread among Muslims of this region through the medium of the jawi text.

The following chapter is about the creation of Adam on him be peace. (p. 6 ff).

The ‘ al-Kaukab al-Durri fi al-Nur al-Muhammadi‘ by Shaikh Muhammad bin Isma’il Daud al-Fatani rh:

This text is recently published by the Khazanah al-Faththaniyyah , Kuala Lumpur,2001. This is composed by its author in 1304 A.H. in Makkah. It deals with the Muhammadan Light from page 2 to page 7. The contents are from the narration of Ka’b al-Akhbar , the same data as found in the previous text Kash al-Ghaibiyyah of Shaikh Zain al-‘Abidin al-Fatani.

Among the data: Allah takes a Grasp of light from His Light , He commands It to become Muhammad, so it becomes Muhammad; then it becomes a pillar of Light, it prostrates towards Allah.Then that Light is divided into four: the first part becomes the Preserved Tablet, the second becomes Heavenly Pen, command is given to the Pen to write, up to the communities of the prophets, those who are obedient and those who are disobedient, with the consequences. Then there is the mention about those seeing the Light at the various parts possessing various attributes. All creatures are created from this light. This ends with the mention of the creation praying in the image of the letters of the name Ahmad or Muhammad; the standing is the equivalent of alif, the bowing down is equivalent to the letter ha’, the prostration is like the letter mim, and the sitting down is like the letter dal. It is also mentioned that the creation is made in the image of the name Muhammad , the head is like the mim, the two hands like the ha’, the stomach like the mim, the two feet like the dal..

The “Daqa’iq al-Akhbar fi Dhikr al-Jannah wa al-Nar” translated into Malay by Shaikh Ahmad ibn Muhammad Yunus Langka:

This text is translated by him in 1312 A.H. in Makkah ; previously it was published by the Dar Ihya’ al-Kutub al-‘Arabiyyah , Egypt.Then it was published by the Maktabah wa Matba’ah al-Ma’arif of Pulau Pinang, undated.

This work deals with the Light of Muhammad s.a.w as the origin of all the creation, as elucidated in the work of Zain al-‘Abidin al-Fatani in his Kash al-Ghaibiyyah which has made this text as one of its sources, as mentioned in its introduction.The first chapter has the same contents as what is in the translation of the text.

The Madarij al-Su’ud oleh Nawawi al-Bantani rh

This work Maqdarij al-Su’ud ila ‘ktisa’ al-Burud , in Arabic, is the commentary of the famous text Maulid al-Barzanji .In giving the commentary upon the statement in the al-Barzanji text (24) :

That is: ‘All praise is for Allah Who has opened (the whole of) existence with The Light of Muhammad (al-Nur al-Muhammadi) which flows in everything determined by Divine Pre-Measurement from God the Exalted before creating the heavens and the earth for fifty thousand years…:

Then Shaikh Nawawi al-Bantani rh says, citing the narration of Ka’b al-Akhbar , may Allah be pleased with him: “When Allah wants to create all the creation and to spread out the earth and put up the heavens, He takes a Grasp of the His Light and gives the command : You become Muhammad, and so it becomes as a pillar of light shining brilliantly, until it comes to the veil of darkness; then it falls in prostration, while saying : All praise be for Allah.Then Allah commands: Because of this I created you, and name you Muhammad [the One Praised], from you I begin the creation and [with you] I complete the seal of the messengers; then Allah the Most High divides the light into four parts, from the first part He created the Preserved Tablet, from the second the heavenly Pen, then Allah commands the Pen: You write, then the Pen …for a thousand years because of the awe towards the Divine Command; then the Pen says: What shall I write?God says: You write : ‘There is no deity except Allah and Muhammad is the envoy of Allah’ So the pen writes what is commanded’ then it becomes directed to the Knowledge of God among the creation; then it writes about the children of Adam as to those who are obedient to God and they are brought into Paradise and those who are disobedient and they are brought into Hell.

Then (it writes) about the Community of Nuh , those who are obedient to God who are brought into Paradise, and those who are disobedient and brought into Hell…

The text goes on with the mention of the Communities of Prophet Ibrahim…Musa, …of ‘Isa…, up to the Community of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. Then when the Heavenly Pen wants to write about those who are disobedient among the Community of Muhammad who are to be placed in Hell, Voice is heard from The Most High: ‘ O Pen, be appropriate in your conduct, then the Pen breaks because of the awe towards the Divine…This is followed by the mention of the third part of the light being made into the Throne,and the fourth part being subdivided again into four, from the first part is made the in tellect, from the second is created gnosis, from the third the light of the Throne, and the light of the eye, the light of the daylight, and all these lights are from the Light of Muhammad.

Then the fourth part is placed under the Throne until Allah has created Adam, a.s., then Allah placed the light in his back, and the angels are made to prostrate towards him [as a mark of respect] then he is placed in Paradise, while the angels are in rows behind him looking at the Muhammadan Light. When Adam on him be peace asks why are the angels standing behind him in rows, Allah answers : they are looking at the light of His beloved one Muhammad who is the seal of the messengers and the prophets.Then when Adam requested that the light be placed in front, it is placed on his forehead. So the angels face him in front of him. Then Adam requested that it be placed on his forefinger so that he can look at it; the light becomes all the more resplendent. Then it is mentioned that the light is transferred to Hawwa’ , then to Shith, and so on. Then the light is transferred from one pure womb to another, until it is placed in the loins of ‘Abdullah the father of the Prophet s.a.w., then finally he is brought forth into the world through the womb of his mother Aminah. (25).

The Muhammadan Light in the “Sejarah Melayu”

In the famous work in Malay Classical Literature the Sejarah Melayu or the Sulalatus-Salatin (Shellabear edition, Penerbit fajar Bakti, Kuala Lumpur, 1989 p.1 aqnd the Yayasan Karyawan Edition , Kuala Lumpur, 2001 p. ) it is stated in relation to this Muhammadan Light in the introduction:

Al-hamdulillahi ‘Lladhi la ilaha illah huwa , wa kana fil-azali wa la shai’a ma’ahu. Segala puji-pujian bagi Allah Tuhan yang tiada Tuhan hanya Ia, dan adalah ia pada azal , tiada suatu juapun sertaNya.Wa huwa ‘l-Abadiyyu ‘s-Samadiyyu wa la shay’a ba’daHu.Thumma khalaqa’l-khala’iqa wa la hajata lahu.dan Ialah Tuhan Yang Abadi , laqgi senantiasa adaNya, dan tiada suatu juapun kemudianNya; maka dijadikanNya sekelian makhluk, dan tiada hajat baginya.. Walamma arada izhara RububiyyatiHi fa khalaqa nura habibiHi ; wa min dhalika’l-Nuri khalaqal-anbiya’a wa rafa’a rutbatahu.Maka tatkala ia hendak menyatakan ketahuannya , maka dijadikan Nur kekasihNya , dan daripada nur itulah dijadikan segala anbiya’ , dan diperangkatkan martabatnya. Wa’stafa minhum Adama liyuzhira Nurahu falidhalika sajadal-mala’ikatu kulluhum lahu.Daripada anbiya’ itu nabi Allah Adam supaya menyatakan nur kekasihNya; maka dari kerana itulah sujud sekelian malaikat akan dia…

All praise is for Allah , there is no god but He, and He is pre-Eternal , there is nothig with Him; He is the Eternal, Always Existing, there is nothing after Him, He created all creation, and He has no nedd for them.Then when He He wants to manifest His Divine Lordship , He created the Light of His Beloved, and from it He created all the prophets, and He raised its status. From the prophets He chose Adam to manifest the light of His beloved, and because of it [of the existence of the light in Adam-uem] the angels fell prostrate before him….

In the above quotation there are a number of statements in this important text:

-when Allah wants to manifest His Lordship He creates the light of His beloved one

-the light is then created

-from that light the prophets are created

-that light is raised in its degree of excellence among the created

-from that light is chosen Adam to carry that l.ight within him

-becxause of the existence of the resplendent Muhammadan light in him the angels prostrated to him

Discussion Concerning the Sources of the Concept of The Primordial Muhammadan Light In Sunni Sacred Narrative:

Among the sources of the concept of the Muhammadan Light in Sunni sacred narrative are the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

In the Qur’an there is the mention of the “nur” (light) in the verse which means: “Truly there has come to you :Light and a Book manifest” (5.15).In the tafsir al-Jalalain by al-Suyuti rh it is stated that the “nur” or light is “the Messenger of Allah” s.a.w.. The verse is as follows:

.”قَدْ جَاءَكُمْ مِنْ اللَّه نُور” هُوَ النَّبِيّ صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَوَكِتَاب” قُرْآنمُبِين” بَيِّن ظَاهِر

In the “tafsir of al-Qurtubi” it is stated :

قَدْ جَاءَكُمْ مِنْ اللَّه نُور ” أَيْ ضِيَاء ; قِيلَ : الْإِسْلَام , وَقِيلَ : مُحَمَّد عَلَيْهِ السَّلَام ; عَنْ الزَّجَّاج .

There has come to from Allah light , it is said that it is Islam,and it is also said that it is Muhammad s.a.w. , from al-zajjaj. And the book is the Qur’an.

In the “Tafsir al-Tabari” “nur” :there has come to you o the people of trhe Taurat and the Injil Light from Allah, that is the ‘Nur’ or Light is Muhammad s.a.w. through him the truth of Islam is illuminated and througfh him polytheism is abolished. The sentence is :

قَدْ جَاءَكُمْ يَا أَهْل التَّوْرَاة وَالْإِنْجِيل مِنْ اللَّه نُور , يَعْنِي بِالنُّورِ مُحَمَّد صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ , الَّذِي أَنَارَ اللَّه بِهِ الْحَقّ , وَأَظْهَرَ بِهِ الْإِسْلَام , وَمَحَقَ بِهِ الشِّرْك

In the “Tafsir ibn Kathir” concerning the verse (5.15) it is stated:

قَدْ جَاءَكُمْ مِنْ اللَّهِ نُورٌ وَكِتَابٌ مُبِينٌيَقُول تَعَالَى مُخْبِرًا عَنْ نَفْسِهِ الْكَرِيمَةِ أَنَّهُ قَدْ أَرْسَلَ رَسُوله مُحَمَّدًا بِالْهُدَى وَدِين الْحَقّ إِلَى جَمِيع أَهْل الْأَرْض

There has come to you from Allah light and a Book manifest, Allah gives news from Himself about Him sending His Messenger Muhammad with guidance and the religion of Truth to all mankind .

Then in the Qur’an in verse 119 of Surah al-Shu’ara’ concerning the statement :

وَتَقَلُّبَكَ فِي السَّاجِدِينَ And about your movement among those who prostrate themselves it is stated:

قَالَ مُجَاهِد وَقَتَادَة : فِي الْمُصَلِّينَ . وَقَالَ اِبْن عَبَّاس : أَيْ فِي أَصْلَاب الْآبَاء , آدَم وَنُوح وَإِبْرَاهِيم حَتَّى أَخْرَجَهُ نَبِيًّا . وَقَالَ عِكْرِمَة : يَرَاك قَائِمًا وَرَاكِعًا وَسَاجِدًا ; وَقَالَهُ اِبْن عَبَّاس أَيْضًا

That is:Mujahid and Qatadah says: among those who perform their prayers. Ibn ‘Abbas rd says: that is in the loins of [his ] ancestors, Adam, Nuh and Ibrahim until God brings him forth as a prophet [through the womb of his mother Aminah ].’Ikrimah says: He sees you standing, bowing down and prostrating. Ibn ‘Abbas also says this.

It is to be noted that in the view of Ibn ‘Abbas there is the interpretation that the Prophet is understood to have been transferred in the generations from Adam in the loins and wombs of pious personalities until his emergence in Arabia in his prophetic history to perform his function as is clear from the Sirah.

In the “Tafsir Ibn Kathir” in relation to the verse above, there is the statement:

وَتَقَلُّبَكَ فِي السَّاجِدِينَ

وَقَوْله تَعَالَى ” وَتَقَلُّبك فِي السَّاجِدِينَ ” قَالَ قَتَادَة ” الَّذِي يَرَاك حِين تَقُوم وَتَقَلُّبك فِي السَّاجِدِينَ ” قَالَ فِي الصَّلَاة يَرَاك وَحْدك وَيَرَاك فِي الْجَمْع وَهَذَا قَوْل عِكْرِمَة وَعَطَاء الْخُرَاسَانِيّ وَالْحَسَن الْبَصْرِيّ وَقَالَ مُجَاهِد كَانَ رَسُول اللَّه صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَرَى مِنْ خَلْفه كَمَا يَرَى مِنْ أَمَامه وَيَشْهَد لِهَذَا مَا صَحَّ فِي الْحَدِيث ” سَوُّوا صُفُوفكُمْ فَإِنِّي أَرَاكُمْ مِنْ وَرَاء ظَهْرِي ” وَرَوَى الْبَزَّار وَابْن أَبِي حَاتِم مِنْ طَرِيقَيْنِ عَنْ اِبْن عَبَّاس أَنَّهُ قَالَ فِي هَذِهِ الْآيَة يَعْنِي تَقَلُّبه مِنْ صُلْب نَبِيّ إِلَى صُلْب نَبِيّ حَتَّى أَخْرَجَهُ نَبِيًّا .

The statement of Allah the Most High: “And your movement among those who prostrate themselves” Qatadah says: He Who sees you when you stand and your movement among those who prostrate themselves” in their prayers. He sees you alone and in congregation.This is the view of ‘Ikrimah and ‘Ata’ al-Khurasani and also Hasan al-Basri.

Mujahid says: The messenger of Allah s.a.w. is used to seeing what is behind him just as he sees in front of him.And that which can be witness for this is what is sound in the tradition meaning ‘You straighten tour rows truly I see you behind me’.And al-Bazzar and ibn Abi Hatim narrate from two ways on the authority of ibn ‘Abbas that he is of the opinion that concerning this verse the Prophet moves from the loins of one prophet to that of another until he is brought from [by God] as a prophet [in this world].

In the Tafsir Ruh al-ma’ani of al-Alusi rh,(died. 1170 A.H.)concerning the interpretation of the verse 5.15 it is stated:

{ قَدْ جَاءكُمْ مّنَ ٱللَّهِ نُورٌ } عظيم وهو نور الأنوار والنبـي المختار صلى الله عليه وسلم، وإلى هذا ذهب قتادة واختاره الزجاج، وقال أبو علي الجبائي: عنى بالنور القرآن لكشفه وإظهاره طرق الهدى واليقين واقتصر على ذلك الزمخشري، وعليه فالعطف في قوله تعالى: { وَكِتَـٰبٌ مُّبِينٌ } لتنزيل المغايرة بالعنوان منزلة المغايرة بالذات، وأما على الأول: فهو ظاهر، وقال الطيبـي: إنه أوفق لتكرير قوله سبحانه: { قَدْ جَاءكُمُ } بغير عاطف فعلق به أولاً وصف الرسول والثاني: وصف الكتاب، وأحسن منه ما سلكه الراغب حيث قال: بين في الآية الأولى والثانية النعم الثلاث التي خص بها العباد النبوة والعقل والكتاب، وذكر في الآية الثالثة ثلاثة أحكام يرجع كل واحد إلى نعمة مما تقدم فـ

(26)ندي أن يراد بالنور والكتاب المبين النبـي صلى الله عليه وسلم، والعطف عليه كالعطف على ما قاله الجبائي، ولا شك في صحة إطلاق كل عليه عليه الصلاة والسلام، ولعلك تتوقف في قبوله من باب العبارة فليكن ذلك من باب الإشارة،(27)

[Concerning the explanation of the verse meaning : ‘There has come to you from Allah light and an Book’ ]… a great light (‘azim) , he is light of all lights (nur al-anwar) , the chosen prophet s.a.w. .And Qatadah is of this view , and also (the well. Known linguist holds this same view) al-zajjaj…And this is not far [from the truth] in my view bcause the clear Book is[also] nabi s.a.w. and the ‘ataf (the conjunction ‘and’) on it said by al-Jubba’I [that is to al-Jubba’I the Mu’tazilite the nur and the book both refer to the Qur’an][hence for Alusi , both refer to the Prophet s.a.w], and there is no doubt in the matter that the mention of each one the two is meant the prophet s.a.w., and if there is hesitation to accept it from the point of view of expression then let that be acceptable to you from the point of view of indication.(28)

In relation with the verse to the effect :”And We have not sent you (O Muhammad) except as a mercy to the worlds”, al-Alusi mentions in his ‘tafsir'(29):

وكونه صلى الله عليه وسلم رحمة للجميع باعتبار أنه عليه الصلاة والسلام واسطة الفيض الإلهي على الممكنات على حسب القوابل، ولذا كان نوره صلى الله عليه وسلم أول المخلوقات، ففي الخبرأول ما خلق الله تعالى نور نبيك با جابر ” وجاء ” الله تعالى المعطي وأنا القاسم ” (30)

(All these are after taking into consideration the reality of the Prophet as a mediator [wasilah] from the overflowing of the Divine Mercy [al-faid al-Ilahi] on all the creatures since the beginning; because of this his light is the first thing creaqted by God ; in the tradition there is the saying ‘The first thing created by God is the light of your Prophet O Jabir’ and the tradition ‘Allah Most High is the Bestower ,and I am the Distributer (Allah ta’ala al-Muti’ wa ana al-Qasim)’

Then al-Alusi cites the opinion of Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jauziyyah in his Miftah al-sa’adah about prophethood and its cosmic function:

وفي مفتاح السعادة لابن القيم أنه لولا النبوات لم يكن في العالم علم نافع البتة ولا عمل صالح ولا صلاح في معيشة ولا قوام لمملكة ولكان الناس بمنزلة البهائم والسباع العادية والكلاب الضارب التي يعدو بعضها على بعض، وكل خير في العالم فمن آثار النبوة وكل شر وقع في العالم أو سيقع فبسبب خفاء آثار النبوة ودروسها فالعالم جسد روحه النبوة ولا قيام للجسد بدون روحه، ولهذا إذا انكسفت شمس النبوة من العالم ولم يبق في الأرض شيء من آثارها البتة انشقت سماؤه وانتشرت كواكبه وكورت شمسه وخسف قمره ونسفت جباله وزلزلت أرضه وأهلك من عليها فلا قيام للعالم إلا بآثار النبوة أهـ؛

“In the ‘Miftah al-Sa’adah’ by ibn al-Qayyim [it is stated]:Had it not been because of prophethood, then there would be nothing at all in this world of useful knowledge, or good act, and real welfare in human life , and there is no foundation for government, and mankind will be in the position like animals and beasts of prey and dogs causing harm, some being at enmity with others.

Every thing which is good in this world is from the effects of prophethood, and every evil thing happening in it or which is to happen are all because of the effects of the overshadowing of the effects of prophecy and its studies.Then the world is like a body and prophecy is like its soul, and there is no body [alive and well] without the soul giving it life. Hence, [when there are no more the effects of prophecy and its studies] when the sun of prophecy is eclipsed in this world, then there will remain no more of its impact, and then the skies will be rent asunder, its stars will be scattered, its sun will be folded up, its moon will be no more, its hills will be flattened, its earth will be convulsed, and the creatures therein will be destroyed, and there is no more support for the universe except through the effects of prophecy. (31)

In the same context, in relation to the meaning of the verse “your movements among those who prostrate” (al-Shu’ara’.217-219) , apart from the explanation that the Prophet moves among the believers who perform their prayers, performing his mission of spreading the faith, and other like duties, the writer of the Ruh al-Ma’ani states(32):

From ibn Jubair : the meaning is that ‘they aqre the prophets’ and ‘seeing your movements just as the movements of those other than you from among the prophets in spreading what is commanded of them, as what you can see, ‘ and ‘those who prostrate themselves’ are the prophets, then there is narrated by one group [of scholars] among them al-Tabanari, al-Bazzar and Abu Nu’aim on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas , that he –God be pleased with him- interpreted ‘your movements among those who prostrate themselves’ as to mean the movements of the Prophet [in the form of the Light of Muhammad] in the loins [of the prophets] until his mother delivered him-on him be blessings and peace. – …’(33)

In the Tafsir al-Wajiz fi Tafsir al-Qur’an al-‘Aziz by Imam Abul-Hasan ‘Ali Ahmad al-Wahidi (d.468 A.H.) concerning the verse “There has come to you from Allah light and a Book manifest” , it is stated that ‘light’ (nur) is the Prophet s.a.w. and the Book manifest is the Qur’an.(34).

In the Tafsir al-Munir li Ma’alim al-tanzil al-Musamma Mirah Labid li Kashfi Ma’na Qur’an Majid by Shaikh Nawawi al-Bantani rh , on the margin of which is the Tafsir al-Wahidi , it is stated (35):

The verse to the effect :There has come (…from God to you light)that is the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad s.a.w. and a Book manifest, namely the Qur’an…

In the same tafsir in relation to the explanation of the verse to the effect :and your movements among thoise who prostrate themselves; that is Allah sees your movements in prayer in your standing and your bowing down and sujud and your staying with them who pray and you becoming their imam.It is said that He sees you moving in the loins of the believers men and women,from Adam and Hawwa until Abdullah and Aminah, all the ancestors of the Prophet are not guilty of polytheism as long as the Muhammadan light is in them, and when the Muhammadan light moves out from them, among the men and women, to another person, then it is possible that that person worships that which is other than Allah, and Azar (the father of Ibrahim) did not worship idols except after the Light was transferred to Ibrahim, before its transfer (to Ibrahim) he did not worship iidols…(36)

In the Tafsir Tafsir Al-Durr al-Manthur fi Tafsir al-Ma’thur of Imam al-Suyuti rh volume V page 98 concerning the verse to the effect :Your movements among those who prostrate themselves, there is the mention of the following narration:

(Apart from the mention of the Prophet being with the believers , and he following the rules of the religion in all matters, he praying with them in congregation, and he being able to see them from behind him) there is the narration from ibn Abi Hatim and ibn Marduyah on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas namely :The Prophet s.a.w. continuously moves in the loins of the prophets until his mother gives birth to him .And it is brought out in the narration by ibn Marduyah from ibn ‘Abbas he said :’ I asked the Messenger s.a.w , by my father who will be a ransom to you O Prophet, where were you when Adam was in paradise? The Messenger smiled until his canine teeth become clear.He replied: ‘Truly I was in his loins and when he comes down to the earth I was in his loins, I was in the boat of Nuh, I was thrown in the fire , I was in the loins of my father Ibrahim, and my father and mother are not smeared by the enormity of adultery, and I continuously move in the loins of the chaste into the wombs of the pure (until he is born to his mother Aminah) (37)

In the Tafsir al-Sawi,(38) there is found an explanation about the Muhammadan Light. He says:

There has come to you from Allah light and a Book manifest (namely the Light of the Prophet s.a.w.)- the Prophet is called ‘nur’, light, because he is light which illuminates the heart (basirah) and guides it to the path of truth, and also because he himself is the origin of all and every light, the sensible light and also the light of figurative meaning’

In the Tafsir al-Nasafi-bi Hamish Tafsir al-Khazin(39) there is an explanation:

Nur, is Muhammad ‘alaihis-salam because he brings the light of guidance, just as he is called a lamp bringing forth light.

The same explanation is found in the Tafsir al-Khazin vol. I page 725 concerning the nur in 5:15.

In the tafsir al-Asas fi al-Tafsir by Sa’id Hawwa (40) concerning the ‘nur’ in 5.15 there is the explanation from Allah is nur, nur here is Muhammad salla’Llahu ‘alaihi wa sallam because he affects true guidance and he brings an excellent example to be followed.

In the same tafsir (41) in relation to the verse to the effect “and your movements among those who prostrate themselves” [al-Syu’ara’ 217-219] that is you moving from the loins of one prophet to another until finally he is born as a prophet [born to his mother] (This is apart from the explanation about the Prophet praying together with the believers in congregation and him living in accordance with the rules of the religion in the society together with them)..

Now we can discuss the position of the Muhammadan Light in the Tradition of the Prophet s.a.w.

Traditions Concerning the Nur:

Among the traditions which can be examined are the following:

In the work Kashf al-Khafa’ wa Muzil al-Ilbas ‘Amman Ishtahara min al-Ahadith ‘Ala Alsinatin-Nas’ of al-‘Ajluni (died.1162 A.H.):

(827 – أول ما خلق اللهُ نورُ نبِيكِ يا جابر الحديث

رواه عبد الرزاق بسنده عن جابر بن عبد الله بلفظ قال قلت‏:‏ يا رسول الله، بأبي أنت وأمي، أخبرني عن أول شيء خلقه الله قبل الأشياء‏.‏ قال‏:‏ يا جابر، إن الله تعالى خلق قبل الأشياء نور نبيك من نوره، فجعل ذلك النور يدور بالقُدرة حيث شاء الله، ولم يكن في ذلك الوقت لوح ولا قلم ولا جنة ولا نار ولا ملك ولا سماء ولا أرض ولا شمس ولا قمر ولا جِنِّيٌ ولا إنسي، فلما أراد الله أن يخلق الخلق قسم ذلك النور أربعة أجزاء‏:‏ فخلق من الجزء الأول القلم، ومن الثاني اللوح، ومن الثالث العرش، ثم قسم الجزء الرابع أربعة أجزاء، فخلق من الجزء الأول حَمَلَة العرش، ومن الثاني الكرسي، ومن الثالث باقي الملائكة، ثم قسم الجزء الرابع أربعة أجزاء‏:‏ فخلق من الأول السماوات، ومن الثاني الأرضين، ومن الثالث الجنة والنار، ثم قسم الرابع أربعة أجزاء، فخلق من الأول نور أبصار المؤمنين، ومن الثاني نور قلوبهم وهى المعرفة بالله، ومن الثالث نور إنسهم وهو التوحيد لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله‏.‏ الحديث‏.‏ كذا في المواهب‏.‏(

Meaning: “The first thing created by Allah is the light of your prophet O Jabir”This is related by ‘Abd al-Razzaq with his sanad being from Juabir bin ‘Abd Allah with the wording: He said: I said, O Messenger of Allah, may my father and mother be ransom for you, tell me about the earliest thing created by Allah before everything else. The Messenger replied: O Jabir, truly Allah created before anything else the Light of your Prophet, from His Light, then he created that light to turn round and round, with the power willed by Him, while at that instant there is no (Preserved) Tablet, no Heavenly Pen, no Paradise, and Hell, no angels, the heavens , the earth, the sun , the moon, the jinns and mankind. Then God divided that Light into four parts, from the first part He created the Heavenly Pen, from the second He created the (Preserved) Tablet, from the third He created the Throne, then He divided the fourth part into four parts .From the first part He created the angels bearing the Throne, from the second the Footstool, from the third the remainder of the angels, then He divided the fourth part into four.From the first He created the heavens, from the second the earths, from the third Paradise and Hell, then He divided the fourth part into four. From the first He created the light of the vision of the believers; from the second he created the light of their hearts, namely the gnosis of God; from the third He created the light of their intimacy, that is tauhid (or the Oneness of God), there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Envoy of Allah. Thus from the ‘Mawahib ‘ of al-Qastallani).

The narration goes on:

وقال فيها أيضا‏:‏ واختُلِف هل القلم أول المخلوقات بعد النور المحمدي أم لا‏؟‏ فقال الحافظ أبو يعلى الهمداني‏:‏ الأصح أن العرش قبل القلم، لِما ثبت في الصحيح عن ابن عمر قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم‏:‏ قدر الله مقادير الخلق قبل أن يخلق السماوات والأرض بخمسين ألف سنة، وكان عرشه على الماء، فهذا صريح في أن التقدير وقع بعد خلق العرش، والتقدير وقع عند أول خلق القلم، …> عبادة بن الصامت مرفوعا ‏”‏أول ما خلق الله القلم، فقال له أكتب، فقال رب وما أكتب‏؟‏ قال أكتب مقادير كل شيء‏”‏ رواه أحمد والترمذي وصححه‏.‏

He explains about the issue: There is difference of views [about the matter] among men of learning.Is the heavenly Pen the first of the creation after the Muhammadan Light or not? Al-hafiz Abu Ya’la al-Hamadani is of the view: The most sound view is that the ‘Arsh is before the Heavenly Pen, because this is established in sound narration on the authority of ibn ‘Umar.He said: The Messenger of Allah said: Allah determined the decrees[ of the] creation before creating the heavens and the earth by fifty thousand years, and His Throne was upon water. It is clear that the decree is after the creation of the Throne. And the determination of the decree is at the first instant of the creation of the Heavenly Pen…Then on the authority of ‘Ubadah bin al-Samit: marfu’, ‘The earliest thing created by God is the Heavenly Pen, and He commanded it ‘Write’ The Pen said: O Lord what shall I write?He replied : Write the decrees of all the creatures.’ Related by Ahmad and al-Tirmidhi, al-Tirmidhi saying it a sound tradition.

The narration goes on with the following:

وروى أحمد والترمذي وصححه أيضا من حديث أبي رزين العقيلي مرفوعا‏:‏ إن الماء خلق قبل العرش

وروى السدي بأسانيد متعددة إن الله لم يخلق شيئا مما خلق قبل الماء، فيجمع بينه وبين ما قبله بأن أولية القلم بالنسبة إلى ما عدا النور النبوي المحمدي والماء والعرش انتهى

And Ahmad and Tirmidhi narrated it, the latter saying it as sound tradition, from the tradition of Abu Razin al-‘Uqaili, marfu’, : “Truly water is created before the Throne”.

And al-Sindi related with a number of sanads, that “Allah has not created anything before creating water”; and combining this with the previous one can be done by taking the position that the primacy of the creation of the Pen is in relation to what is other than the Muhammadan Light, water and the Throne.

Concerning the creation of the Heavenly Pen, there is the narration:

824 أول ما خلق الله القلم‏.‏

رواه أحمد والترمذي وصححه عن عبادة بن الصامت مرفوعا بزيادة فقال له أكتب، قال رب وما أكتب‏؟‏ قال أكتب مقادير كل شيء،

The first thing created by Allah is the Heavenly Pen“.Ahmad related it, and Tirmidhi pronounces it as sound, on the authority of ‘Ubadah bin al-Samit, marfu’ with the addition: ‘He said to it, Write! It said: O Lord what shall I write? He replied: Write the decree of all things.

The narration goes on :

قال ابن حجر في الفتاوى الحديثية قد ورد أي هذا الحديث بل صح من طرق، وفي رواية إن الله خلق العرش فاستوى عليه، ثم خلق القلم فأمره أن يجري بإذنه، فقال يا رب بم أجري‏؟‏ قال بما أنا خالق وكائن في خلقي من قطر أو نبات أو نفس أو أثر أو رزق أو أجل، فجرى القلم بما هو كائن إلى يوم القيامة، ورجاله ثقات إلا الضحاك بن مزاحم فوثقه ابن حبان وقال لم يسمع من ابن عباس، وضعفه جماعة، وجاء عن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما موقوفا عليه‏:‏ إن أول شيء خلقه الله القلم، فأمره أن يكتب كل شيء ورجاله ثقات،

وفي رواية لابن عساكر مرفوعة إن أول شيء خلقه الله القلم، ثم خلق النون، وهي الدواة، ثم قال له اكتب ما يكون أو ما هو كائن الحديث

Ibn Hajar says in his al-Fatawi al-Hadithah: It has come to be narrated [namely this tradition] that it is sound from a number of ways [of transmission].In one narration : Truly Allah has created the Throne, then He is established on it [in Power and authority], then He created the Heavenly Pen, then He commanded it to flow in accordance with His Permission, then it asks: O Lord with what I shall flow? He replied: With all that of which I am the Creator, that which is in my creation, from the rain, vegetation, or soul, or effect, or sustenance, or term of life, then the Pen flows with what is to exist until the Day of Judgment. His narrators are trustworthy except al-Dahhak bin Muzahim, but ibn Hibban says he is trustworthy.And he said: He has not heard from ibn ‘Abbas, and a group of scholars considers him weak. There has come a narration on the authority of ibn ‘Abbas God be pleased with both of them, mauquf on him [to the effect that] The first thing God created is the pen, then He created the ink-pot (nun), it is the ink. Then He said to it: Write what will be in existence or what exists-tradition.:

The narration goes on:

وروى ابن جرير أنه صلى الله عليه وسلم قال ‏{‏ن ‏(‏في الأصل ‏(‏نون‏)‏ مكان ‏(‏ن‏)‏‏)‏ والقلم وما يسطرون‏}‏ قال لوح من نور، وقلم من نور، يجري بما هو كائن إلى يوم القيامة انتهى

It is related by ibn Jarir that the messenger s.a.w. says: Nun. In the origin it is ‘nun’ in place of ‘letter nun’ by the pen and what they write, he said: The Tablet is from nur, the pen is from nur, it flows with what is in existence until the day of Judgment.

And in the narration of ibn ‘Asakir, marfu’, : the earliest thing created by God is the Pen, then “Nun” the Ink –pot, then He says’Write what exists and will exist’.

In the same text there is the narration as follows:.

وفى النجم روى الحكيم الترمذي عن أبي هريرة أن أول شيء خلق الله القلم، ثم خلق النون وهي الدواة، ثم قال له أكتب، قال وما أكتب، قال أكتب ما كان وما هو كائن إلى يوم القيامة وذلك قوله تعالى ‏{‏ن والقلم وما يسطرون‏}‏ ثم ختم على فم القلم فلم ينطق ولا ينطق إلى يوم القيامة، ثم خلق الله العقل، فقال وعزتي وجلالي لأكْمِلَنَّكَ فيمَن أحببتُ، ولأنْقُصَنَّكَ<صفحة 309> فيمن أبغضت، وقال اللقاني ‏(‏في الأصل ‏(‏اللاقاني‏)‏‏)‏ في شرح جوهرته‏:‏ القلم جسم نوراني خلقه الله، وأمره بِكَتْبِ ما كان وما يكون إلى يوم القيامة، وتمسك عن الجزم بتعيين حقيقته، وفي بعض الآثار أول شيء خلقه الله القلم، وأمره أن يكتب كل شيء، وفي بعضها إن الله خلق اليراع، وهو القصب ثم خلق منه القلم، وفي رواية أول شيء كتبه القلم أنا التواب أتوب على من تاب انتهى‏.‏

In the ‘al-Najm’ , al-Hakim al-Tirmidhi has narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah : that the first thing God created was the pen, then the ink-container, it is the ink, then He commanded: Write, It said : What shall I write? He said: Write what was, what is and will be until the Day of Judgment; that is [in relation to the commentary of] the statement of Allah the Most High: “Nun.By the Pen and what they write. “Then He placed a seal on the mouth of the Pen and the Pen does not utter anything and it shall not utter until the Day of Judgment.Then God created the intellect.He said: By my Majesty and Power, I will truly perfect you in any person whom I love. And I will decrease you in the person with whom I am in anger.Al-Laqqani says (in the original al-Laqani)) in the commentary of his ‘Jauharah’ : ‘The Pen is a body of spiritual light (jism nurani) created by God, and He commanded it to write what has existed, and what exists and will exist until the day of Judgment.And he refrains from determining its reality , and in some narration of hadith about the creation of first thing, created by God is the Pen,and He commanded it to write about everything, and in some narration : Truly God created the Yara’ (like al-Qalam) or ‘al-Qasab, and from it He created the Pen….’ (42)

In the work “Nazm al-Mutanathir min al-Hadith al-Mutawatir” by Imam Muhammad bin Ja’far al-Kattani rh,in the chapter ‘kitab al-iman up to kitab al-manaqib’, no.194 under the caption of the tradition :”awwalu ma khalaqa’Llah”, there is found the explanation as follows:

194-  أول ما خلق اللّه

ذكر الأمير في مبحث الوجود من حواشيه على جوهرة اللقاني أنها متواترة‏.‏

‏(‏قلت‏)‏ ورد في بعض الأحاديث أن أول ما خلق اللّه ‏(‏1‏)‏ النور المحمدي وفي بعضها ‏(‏2‏)‏ العرش في بعضها ‏(‏3‏)‏ البراع أي القصب وصح حديث أول ما خلق اللّه ‏(‏4‏)‏ القلم وفي غيره أول ما خلق اللّه ‏(‏5‏)‏ اللوح المحفوظ وجاء بأسانيد متعددة ‏(‏6‏)‏ أن الماء لم يخلق قبله شيء وفي بعض الأخبار ‏(‏7‏)‏ أن أول مخلوق الروح وفي بعضها ‏(‏8‏)‏ العقل إلا أن حديث العقل فيه كلام لأئمة الحديث بعضهم يقول هو موضوع وبعضهم ضعيف فقط*

وأجيب عن التعارض الواقع فيها بأن أولية النور المحمدي حقيقية وغيره إضافية نسبية وأن كل واحد خلق قبل ما هو من جنسه فالعرش

Al-Amir in the discussion about existence from his marginal notes on the Jauharah of al-Laqqani states that the narrations are ‘mutawatir’ in nature.

(I said) [says al-‘Ajluni]: In some traditions ‘truly the earliest thing created by God (1) is the Muhammadan Light, in some others it is(2) the Throne, in some others it is (3) the Yaqra’ (like the Pen), that is the Qasab (from which Pen is made-uem). It is sound narration that ‘the first thing created by God is (4) The Pen, and in other narration ‘the first thing created by God’ is (5) the Preserved Tablet, and then there are a number of isnads [mentioning] (6) that it is water, and God has not created anything before it, and in some traditions (7) truly the first thing created by God is Spirit (al-Ruh), and in some others it is (8) the intellect, except that in the tradition about the intellect , in connection with it, some of the imams of hadith hold the view that it is fabricated, and some others just say that it is weak only.

I would like to say [in resolving the issue of] the contradiction in the matter:that the primacy of the Muhammadan Light is in reality, and the primacy of the other things [the water, intellect, the Pen, Throne etc] are in relation to others [not in reality] and everything belonging to its kind being created the first is the Throne. So the Throne is created first before gross bodies ; the intellect being the first of the subtle bodies; yara’ is the first from among the vegetable nature (nabatiah), and Allah is Most Knowing. (43).

In the work “Al-Mawahib al-Ladunniyyah bil-Minah al-Muhammadiyyah” (2 volumes), by Shaikh Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Abu Bakr al-Khatib al-Qastallani (died.923 A.H.) , in the first volume page 5 he states:

Know O reader of sound mind and having qualities of perfection and com pleteness – may Allah grant me and you His taufiq -with the guidance to the Path of Truth that truly when there occurs The Divine Will to create the creation and determine their sustenance, He manifested the reality of Muhammad from the lights of Samadiyyah in the Presence of the Ahadiyyah, then He created all the worlds, all of them, the upper and the lower realms, in the form of His Determinations as existing in pre-eternity in His Will and Divine Knowledge, then He makes known about his prophethood and the good tidings of his messengership, while Adam was in non-existence, as stated that Adam was in between soul and body.

Then there poured forth from him- blessings and peace be upon him- all the various spirits, there emerged the Exalted Assembly with the manifestation in the most majestic way, and for them there is the sweetest of way, and he is – peace and blessings be upon him- the most exalted kind, over all the other creation, He is The Greatest father for all that exists and mankind (all together).

Then when the time is complete for him to be in the inner name, in relation to the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him (to) exist in the physical form,and [for the] spirit to combine with the body, then the determination of time is transferred to the external name, then Muhammad –peace and blessings be upon him- is manifested with his total physical body and spirit, even though he is the latest to appear physically , and you know his value, namely, he is the treasure of the secret and the locus of the occurance of the Command; then the command cannot come through except through him; goodness does not come except from him…Narration of the tradition of the Prophet from Imam Muslim in his ‘sahih’, from the narration of ‘Abd Allah bin ‘Umar from the Messenger s.a.w. that he said: ‘Truly Allah has determined the decrees of all the creatures before He created the heavens and the earth for fifty thousand year, and the Throne was upon water.”

…From ‘Irbad bin Sariyah from the Prophet s.a.w. “Truly I was in the Presence of Allah as the seal of the Prophets – whereas Adam was stretched out in his earthly body [not yet alive with the breathing of the spirit in him]’.narrated by Imam Ahmad and al-Baihaqi, also al-Hakim, to al-Hakim it is sound narration.

Further he states : From Maisarah al-Dabbi, he said: ‘I asked: O Messenger of Allah, when did you become prophet? He replied: ‘When Adam was between soul and body’. This is the wording in the narration of Ahmad and al-Bukhari in his ‘Tarikh’, and Abu Nu’aim in his “al-Hilyah”.Al-Hakim says it is sound (sahih).

After mentioning a number of traditions concerning the topic of the existence of Muhammad before his earthly appearance, Qastallani gives explanations about the meanings of the traditions cited.

He states::

It can be supposed that the tradition (about Muhammad being a prophet while Adam was still in between body and soul) together with the narration of al- Irbad bin Sariyah about the fact of being prophet is obligatory and established for him, then this appears on the physical plain [in history]. Truly writing (‘al-kitabah’) is used in relation to something which obligatory , like the verse ‘ fasting has been made obligatory upon you (lit.’it has been written [as obligatory] upon you) and the usage in ‘Allah has made obligatory (lit.Allah has written) that I will truly be victorious ‘ And in the tradition of Abu Hurairah (it is stated) that they (the Companions) asked: When was prophethood made obligatory on you? The Prophet s.a.w. replied : (At the time when ) Adam was still in between soul and body’.Related by al-Tirmidhi , he says it is hasan sahih.

Then al-Qastallani mentions the tradition in ‘Amali ibn Sahal al-Qattan’ from Sahal ibn Salih al-Hamadhani he said: I asked Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn ‘Ali how Prophet Muhammad became prophet coming before other prophets whereas he is the last to have been sent. He replied: ‘Truly Allah the Most High –when He took the children of Adam from their progeny from their backs, making them witnesses for themselves, Am I not your Lord? ‘ and Prophet Muhammad [then in the realm of spirits] was the first to have replied :’Yes’ because of that he becomes the foremost among the prophets while he is the last [historically] to be sent [in world history]. If you say that ‘prophecy’ is a quality which must be present in a person so qualified, then how come he has that quality only when he was forty years old, then how is that the attribute is there already whereas he is still not yet in existence? Then the explanation which can be given is the one found in Imam al-Ghazali in his ‘Kitab al-Nafkh wa al-Taswiyah’ concerning this matter and concerning the the tradition :’I am the earliest prophet from the point of creation and the last from the point of being sent [in history]’, [namely], the meaning of creating (al-khalq) here is determining and not bringing into being (‘al-taqdir duna al-ijad); so the messenger before his mother giving birth to him was not in existence as a creation of Allah, but he existed in the form of objective goals and aspects of perfection (‘al-ghayat wa al-kamalat’) which precede in the decree which follows suit in existence [in history later when the time comes-uem].this is meaning of the statement: [of the wise ones]: ‘The first point of thought is the last point in action’and the last point in action is the first point in thought’ (‘awwalu al-fikrah akhir al-‘amal, wa akhir al-‘amal awwal al-fikrah).

In giving the explanations on this issue the scholar mentions the point of the the engineer who has the concept and the image (surah) of the building to be built in his mind, in perfect form (dar kamilah); that is in existence in the ‘taqdir’ or determination, and that is what will exist subsequently as a result of the action done. The complete building is the earliest in the determination (taqdir) and that is the last in terms of its physical existence. That is the analogy about the Prophet- ‘I am a prophet’ indicating what is expressed , namely the prophet in the determination ( or taqdir) , and that is the last to exist physically. Hence, that is the analogy about the Prophet s.a.w. ‘I am a prophet’ , namely in the determination before the perfecting of the creation of Adam, because Adam is not created except for bringing out from him his progeny, Muhammad s.a.w.

Then he goes on to explain : namely that this reality cannot be understood except by knowing that the house or the building has two modes of existence (lit. two existences), one its existence in the mind of the engineer and his brain, and he sees the shape and form of the house outside of the mind in the essences (a’yan) and the existence in the mind is the cause for the existence outside the mind, which can be seen by the eyes, and that must come first.Hence- you should know, that God has determined the taqdir , then He brings into existence [those determined] in accordance with the decree…(44).

After this he cites traditions about the early creation of the Muhammadan Light and how other things are brought into being from it..(45)

As for the position of ‘Abd al-Razzaq rh as a source for the tradition on the Muhammadan Light being the source of all creation, there seems to be no issue worthy of note.This is , among others, clear from the authority granted by al-Bukhari to his narration.Al-Bukhari has taken from him 120 narrations and Imam Muslim has taken 400 .(46)

Concerning ‘Abd al-Razzaq, there is an observation about him in the work

Al-Risalah al-Mustatrafah li Bayan Mashhur Kutub al-Sunnah al-Musharrafah, by Maulana al-Imam al-Sayyid Muhammad Ja’far al-Kattani (Maktab al-Kulliyat al-Azhariyyah-Qahiran, undated) on page 13 namely that the: Musannaf Abi Bakr ‘Abd al-Razzaq bin Humam bin Nafi’ al-Himyari died in the year 211 of the Hijrah is smaller than the Musannaf ibn Abi Shaibah,arranged in accordance with the books and chapters [on the sub jects concerned]. And the Jami’ ‘Abd al-Razzaq apart from the ‘Musannaf’ is a well. known and large jami’ work and most of his traditions are brought out by the two shaiks (Bukhari dan Muslim) and the four imams of traditions. This author accepts ‘Abd al-Razzaq as a good authority in hadith.

Concerning the position of ‘Abd al-Razzaq bin Humam bin Nafi’ al-Himyari this seems to be clear, among others, from the confidence given by al-Suyuti in his text of the tafsir Al-Durr al-Manthur .In volume one of the work he cites the narration of ‘Abd al-Razzaq in the first fifty pages of the work at least fourteen times. Among these on page 42 :it is related by ‘Abd al-Razzaq, ‘Abd bin Himaid, ibn Jarir, and ibn Abi Hatim and Abu Shaikh in ‘al-‘azamah’ from Mujahid about the saying [of Allah]: to the effect:’He created what is in the earth for you all ‘ and ‘He has subjected to you all that is in the earth…

On page 43 : And it is related by ‘Abd al-Razzaq , ibn Abi Hatim from Sufyan al-Thauri , he said: under the earth is rock…

In the same page: And Waki’ , ‘Abd al-Razzaq, ‘Abd bin Humaid , ibn al-Mundhir and ibn ‘Asakir has related from ibn ‘Abbas , he said: Truly Allah has brought Adam out of Paradise…

On page 52 : ‘Abd al-Razzaq,. Ibn al-Mundhir, ibn Marduwah and al-Baihaqi in the ‘al-Asma’ was-Sifat’ has related together with ibn ‘Asakir from ibn ‘Abbas

That he said: ‘Allah has created Adam from from the outer crust of the earth (adim al-ard) on Friday after ‘Asar, and named him Adam, then he had a covenant with him, then he forgot it, hence he is called ‘insan’ (from the verb ‘nasiya’, to forget-uem)…

On page 39:And ‘Abd al-Razzaq, ‘Abd bin Humaid, and ibn Jarir related from Qatadah, concerning the saying of Allah (to the effect):’ And for them there will be wives pure’ he said: ‘Allah has purified them from urine and stool…

And so on all of which indicate the position of ‘Abd al-Razzaq as a source for accepting traditions in a trustworthy manner.

In the text al-Shifa’ of Qadi ‘Iyad rh there is found explanation from ibn ‘Abbas rd that the Prophet s.a.w. was present in the Divine Presence in his spirit before He created Adam for two thousand years, his light blessing the infinite Majesty of God just like the angels, from him [his light] is created Adam a.s.

When Adam was created the [Muhammadan light] was placed in his loins.The Prophet said: Then Allah brought me down to the earth, in Adam’s loins, then I was made to be in the loins of Nuh, Ibrahim, and continuously Allah has made me move in the loins of the noble ones and the wombs of pure women , until He brought me forth through my parents to the world, and they are untouched in the slightest by shameful deeds.The poem of ibn ‘Abbas praising the Prophet and his virtues bears testimony to the soundness of the narrative.(47).

In connection with the explanation of the meaning of the verse :‘And [He] knows about your movements among those who prostrate themselves” , ibn ‘Abbas says that this means : from one prophet to another prophet until I brought you out as a prophet (at the time you were sent)”(48) .

In relation to the explanation of the verse to the effect Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth , Ka’b al-Akhbar and ibn Jubair hold the view that the meaning of the second light , namely, the similitude of his light , is Muhammad s.a.w. . So the similitude of his light is the Light of Muhammad s.a.w..He is placed in the loins of the Prophets just like a niche ( ka mishkat), its attribute is such, and the lamp (al-misbah) is his heart, the glass (al-zujajah) is his breast , namely it is like a star because of what it contains, consisting of faith and wisdom, being lighted from the blessed tree, namely the Light of Ibrahim on him be peace, it is like a blessed tree; its oil almost burns like fire, namely the prophethood of Muhammad …is clear to mankind even before his speech, like oil …(49). :

Concerning the light of the Prophet s.a.w. in the Shifa’ there is a statement (50)

Among these are the emergance of the signs during the birth of the Prophet s.a.w. and what has been told by his mother and what has been seen of the wonders of the moment; how he raised his head during the birth, his face looking at the heavens, and what was seen by the mother of the light coming out during that birth; also what was observed by Umm ‘Uthman ibn al-‘As about the coming down of the stars and the emergance of light at birth which made nothing perseptible except that light only, and then the remarks of al-Shafa Umm ‘Abd al-Rahman bin ‘Auf : When the Messenger s.a.w. was born…the Messenger … he heard the voice: ‘Allah gives mercy to thee and the whole of the East and the West was illuminated for me until I could see the palaces of Rum”(51).

Then in the work al-Madkhal of ibn al-Hajj there are a number of narrations concerning the light of the Prophet s.a.w. Among these there is the narration :

It is related by Imam ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Siqilli rahimahullahu ta’ala in the work ‘al-Dalalat’ by him, with the wording: ‘Truly Allah has not created a creation more beloved to Him than this community; and there is nothing more noble than His prophet s.a.w., then other prophets after him, then the truthful ones, then the chosen saints.And (in relation to ) this truly Allah has created the Light of Muhammad s.a.w. before creating Adam by two thousand years, creating it in the form of a pillar in front of the Throne, and it blesses the infinite majesty of God and sanctifies Him.Then He created Adam on him be peace from that Light of Muhammad s.a.w. and He created from that light of Adam the light of the prophets on them blessings and peace.(52).

Further in the al-Madkhal II.29 there is the narration:

Al-Faqih al-Khatib Abu al-Rabi’ gives the indication in his work ‘Shifa’ al-Sudur’ to a number of matters which are of immense importance; among these is the narration , namely, that when Allah the Most Wise wanted to create the essence of the Prophet s.a.w. which is blessed, He ordered Jibril on him be peace to descend to the earth, and bring with him earth which is going to be the heart of the earth, with its glory and light…(until the narration about the creation of the Light of Muhammad and the Light of Muhammad shines at the back of Adam, the angels stand behind Adam to see the light of Muhammad s.a.w….Then Adam asked so that the light is placed where he himself can see it, so God placed it where Adam could see it, with the indication of the ‘la ilaha illa’Llah Muhammadun Rasulullah’ and in the prayer (by looking at his forefinger)…then the light is placed on Adam’s forehead it looks like the sun in its orbit or the moon in the night of its fullness (53).

In the same text is mentioned the narration about the first thing created by God being the Light of Muhammad and from it is created all other things.,

Concerning the Light of Muhammad narrations can also be found in the work entitled Hujjatu’Llah ‘alal-‘Alamin fi Mu’jizati Sayyidil-Mursalin by Syaikh Yusuf al-Nabhani.(54) He says :

Nobility and excellence (‘karamah’ and’ fadilah’) has not been grant ed among them [among the prophets] except the same is granted to him salla’Llahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.Adam on him be peace has been granted a boon from God, namely He is created by the [Creative] Hands of God , and so Allah granted His Boon to Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him by opening for him his breast, and taking him close to His Divine Self, making his breast for Him, placing in it faith and wisdom, and the prophetic morals; so the boon for Adam was the creation of existence (wujud) and for the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. the grant of the prophetic morals, even as the creation of Adam was for the creation of the Prophet in his loins; so our prophet Muhammad s.a.w. is the objective and Adam on him be peace is the means for that, and the objective has precedence over the means.As for the prostration of the angels for Adam on him be peace , says Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, in his commentary of the Qur’an : the angels are commanded to prostrate themselves because of the presence of the Muhammadan light on his forehead.

In the al-Mustadrak of al-Hakim rh there are a number of narrations concerning the light of the Prophet s.a.w.Among these are the following :

(It is related to us) by ‘Ali bin Hamshad al-‘Adl by imla’ , Harun bin ‘Abbas al-Hashimi has related to us , Jundul bin Waliq has related to us (and so on reaching up to al-‘Abbas rd) that the Prophet said: Allah has revealed to ‘Isa on him be peace , O ‘Isa, have faith in Muhammad and command anybody from among your community who happens to come across him to have faith in him, and had it not been for Muhammad I would not have created Adam, and had it not been for Muhammad I would not have created Paradise, Hell; I created the Throne on water, then it shook, so ‘la ilaha illa’Lllah Muhammadun Rasulullah ‘ was written on it, so it became calm.

(Al-Hakim says this hadith is sound) and it is not related by Bukhari and Muslim)(55)

From Maysarah al-Fakhr, he says that he asked the Messenger of Allah, “O Messenger of Allah, when were you a prophet?” He replied: “While Adam was still in between soul and body”(56)

From Maysarah al-Fakhr also, he says, that he had asked the Messenger of Allah when he was a prophet.He replied : “When Adam was still between soul and body.” (57)

From ‘al-Irbad bin Sariyah he says: I heard the Messenger of Allah s.a.w. saying”Truly I was in the Presence of God in the early part of the Book as the seal of the Prophets, while Adam was stretched in his body , I will inform you abou the interpretation of this, (I am) the prayer of my father Ibrahim , the glad tidings of my brother ‘Isa to his community, and I am the vision of my mother , which she saw light coming out from her body [during my birth] illuminating clearly for her the castles of Syria”(58)

Concerning the matter there is narration from Khalid bin Ma’dan , from a number of the Companions of the Prophet s.a.w. that is they asked him about himself. Tell us about yourself .He replied: I am the prayer of my father Ibrahim , the glad tidings of ‘Isa [to his community about my coming in future], and my mother saw at my birth light coming out from her, illuminatingt clearly for her Busra, and Busra is in Syria. Al-Hakim says that Khalid bin Ma’dan is from among the best of the Tabi’in, and he was the friend of Mu’adh bin Jabal(59).

In the text entitled Jam’ al-Wasa’il fi Sharh al-Shama’il (lit-Tirmidhi) of Mulla ‘Ali bin Sultan Muhammad al-Qari rh (died in1014 H.) there are a number of explanations about the matter.Among them are the following:

Concerning the statement in the Shama’il of Tirmidhi that people seeing the Prophet without having known of him previously feeling so awed by him , to Mulla ‘Ali Qari this is in reference to his majesty and dignity, he says: because there in him the attribute of majesty and with it the the awsomeness of the personality coming from the Divine Presence, and being outpouring from the celestial realm (sifah al-jalal wa ‘alaihi al-haibah al-ilahiyyah wal-fuyud al-samawiyyah)(60).

And in the same text there is the statement concerning ‘shama’il’, namely he is more beautiful than the moon-ahsan minal-qamar-The writer explains this in this way: concerning him emerging on the horizons (in the world of the sensible) and the world of souls (of men) with the additional perfection in the tangible and intellectual form, in fact, in reality every light is created from his light (ma’a ziyadah al-kamalat al-suwariyyah wal-ma’nawiyyah, bal fil-haqiqah kullu nurin khuliqa min nurih).

And in relation to the meaning of the verse to the effect:Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth, and the analogy of his light – that is the Light of Muhammad-the nur of his countenance s.a.w., the real, in essence, is inseparable from him even for a moment day and night, whereas the light of the moon is acquired, borrowed [from the sun] sometimes decreasing and sometimes overshadowed [by something else](61)

In the explanations of al-Munawi rh concerning the Prophet s.a.w. being more beautiful than the moon as clear from the text Shama’il al-Tirmidhi , it is stated: That is his countenance to every person; and in the narration of ibn al-Jauzi and others and also Jabir, ‘in my eyes’ as sunstitute for ‘to me’ (‘indi’) ; in the narration of Abu Nu’aim from Abu Bakr , his countenance is like the circle around the moon (‘daratul-qamar’) and in the narration of Darimi from Rabi’ bint al-Mu’awwidh she says:When I saw him I saw the sun rising in its glory.In the narration of al-Mubarak and ibn al-Jauzi from ibn ‘Abbas[it is mentioned that] he has no shadow (lam yakun lahu zill), and he did not stand in the sun except his light overcomes the light of the sun, as is clear from Baijuri (62)

Also in the explanations of al-Munawi in relation to the statement: just like light coming out from in between his teeth, it is stated: it is unnecessary to add (‘like’) (‘ka’) like that which is done by the commentator (of the Shama’il) , how can that be so, [this is] because (what comes out from in between his teeth) is the light of the sensible (the physical light , not light in the abstract, intellectual sense) and he says if that is not physical light how come the wording is ‘ru’iya”: being seen [so]. This means that the light is not ma’nawi or abstract [but really physical light].(63)

In relation to the statement in the Shama’il : when the Prophet s.a.w. came to Madinah (everything) became illuminated, Mulla ‘Ali Qari says: every part of the city of Madinah became illuminated with the sensible light or physical light discernable with the physical eyes-or it can also mean that light in the abstract because by the entry of the Prophet then the light of guidance in general and through it various kinds of darkness are lifted, with the linguistic indication showing excessiveness of meaning (al-mubalaghah), in which, on that day, everything in this world takes its light from Madinah.Or the illumination is figurative indicating the extreme joy for the inhabitants of the city – together with them not caring (in the situation) for those at enmity with them . The author also mentions the opinion of al-Tibbi who sees it as physical light [emanating from the light of Muhammad in the Prophet s.a.w.-uem]..(64)

In the commentary of al-Munawi on the passage in Shama’il of Tirmidhi it is stated: The most sound view [al-asahh] is that every part of the city of Madinah became illuminated by the light in reality (not as figurative usage only) not tajrid (not in the abstract) , how can it otherwise, when he himself in essence in totality is light (‘wa qad kanat dhatuhu kullaha nuran’) , and Allah the Most High has said: [to the effect] : There has come to from God light and a Book Manifest’ and he is light, illuminating the whole cosmos, and he is a lamp giving light . (65)

In the al-Mawahib al-ladunniyyah –Hashiah Shama’ilal-Tirmidi of Shaikh Ibrahim al-Bajuri (d.1276 A.H.) there are illuminating comments too. In relation to the passage :those who see him badihah (without seeing him before) will feel extremely awed by him- that is seeing him before observing his so exalted morals and his so precious life , will feel extremely awed by him, this is because there is in him the attribute of majesty and awsomeness which emanate from the awsomeness of the Divine Himself (sifat al-Jalal al-rabbaniyyah ) (lima ‘alaihi minal-haibah al-ilahiyyah).

Then he cites the view of ibn al-Qayyim about the matter: namely: The difference between the sense of majesty and conceit (in a person) is this: that majesty is the many effects in the heart of the person because of his sense of the awsomeness of God (bi’azamati al-Rabb) and love for Him, as well as a sense of His Divine Majesty.When the heart of a person is full with such experience, then there will descend into him the feeling of serenity (al-sakinah), and he is invested with the attire of majesty; and (because of this) his speech becomes as it were light,his knowledge is light, and if he is silent, there is that majesty in him, and grandeur (al-waqar) and when he speaks he attracts the hearts of men, and their attention.

As for conceit or arrogance, it is the effect of so many influences in the heart, of ignorance, injustice, conceit, or self-vanity.When the heart of a person is full with such experience, there will depart from him sense of servitude [to God] and there will descend on him darkness, anger, him going about among men with arrogance, his relations with them full of arrogance, not initiating the greeting of peace, … (66)

In the same text (p.19) concerning the statement of the ‘shama’il’ to the effect :The Propeht’s contenance was full of light like the the moon on the night of the full-moon-lailat al-badr- the night of its fullness, because the Prophet obliterated the darkness of disbelief, just as the moon obliterates the darkness of the night; and truly there has come the narration about the Prophet being like the sun by looking at the sun in its glory and light, and the illumination with light is also available in that he is like both [the sun and the moon] seeing the fact that the Prophet s.a.w. combining in himself every aspect of perfection, and that analogy is just to facilitate the understanding, otherwise there is nothing which is analogous which can portray his attributes.

In the same text (p.24) in relation to the statement of Jabir that he saw the Messenger of Allah s.a.w. on the night of the full moon—and I looked at him and to me he is more beautiful than the moon (ahsan minal-qamar).Al-Bajuri says:

That is so for anyone looking at the Messenger s.a.w. Only that the Messenger is more beautiful because his light dominates over the light of the moon (li’anna dau’ahu yaghlibu ‘ala dau’I al-qamar), in fact it dominates over the light of the sun (bal wa ‘ala dau’I al-shamsi); in fact in one narration of ibn Mubarak and ibn al-Jauzi he had no shadow, and when he stood in the light of the sun, his light dominates over that of the sun, and when he stood in the light of the lamp, his light dominates over that of the lamp.

Concerning the light coming out from in between his teeth, al-Baijuri explains that as meaning sensible physical light and not merely in the abstract, because the verb ru’iya refers to actual seeing with the eyes (67)

Concerning the statement of the city of Madinah illuminated by light with the arrival of the Prophet s.a.w. the writer understands this as meaning discernable physical light apart from the figurative implication of it. (ibid. p..196).

In relation to the tradition with strong sanad in Tirmidhi of God bestowing His light on the creation and some being touched by it while some others are not touched by it , the text is as follows:

حَدَّثَنَا ‏ ‏الْحَسَنُ بْنُ عَرَفَةَ ‏ ‏حَدَّثَنَا ‏ ‏إِسْمَعِيلُ بْنُ عَيَّاشٍ ‏ ‏عَنْ ‏ ‏يَحْيَى بْنِ أَبِي عَمْرٍو السَّيْبَانِيِّ ‏ ‏عَنْ ‏ ‏عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ الدَّيْلَمِيِّ ‏ ‏قَال سَمِعْتُ ‏ ‏عَبْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ عَمْرٍو ‏ ‏يَقُولُ
‏سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ‏ ‏صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ‏ ‏يَقُولُ ‏ ‏إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ خَلَقَ خَلْقَهُ فِي ظُلْمَةٍ

فَأَلْقَى عَلَيْهِمْ مِنْ نُورِهِ فَمَنْ أَصَابَهُ مِنْ ذَلِكَ النُّورِ اهْتَدَى وَمَنْ أَخْطَأَهُ ضَلَّ فَلِذَلِكَ أَقُولُ جَفَّ الْقَلَمُ عَلَى عِلْمِ اللَّهِ
‏قَالَ ‏ ‏أَبُو عِيسَى ‏ ‏هَذَا ‏ ‏حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ

It is related to us by al-Hasan bin ‘Arafah, Isma’il bin ‘Iyash related to us from Yahya bin Abi ‘Amr al-Shaibani, from ‘Abd Allah bin al-Dailami, he said: I heard ‘Abd Allah bin ‘Amru saying: I heard the Messenger of Allah saying: Truly Allah has created all creation in darkness, then He throws on them His Light, whoever is touched by it will get guidance, and whoever is not touched by the Light is misguided.With this I say: The Pen has dried concerning the Knowledge of God. Abu ‘isa (Tirmidhi) says: hadith hasan. (68)

This tradition concerns the Divine decree and the degrees of the creation getting the light from God in their life and religion .With this can be understood that the life of the believer is founded on the reality of His Light, and the Prophet s.a.w. is a believer being the first in getting this light, and he is the most predominant person in the matter of this light, and the more so he himself is being from light.Thus the Prophet is the first of the creation getting this light even more predominant than the angels and others among the creation.

In the nwork entitled Al-Anwar al-Muhammadiyyah min al-Mawahib al-laduniyyah by Shaikh Yusuf bin Ismai’l al-Nabhani (Dar al-Fikr, undated)(69) useful informations are found concerning the Light of Muhammad. Among them are the following:

The first objective (in the work ‘Al-Anwar al-Muhammadiyyah…) : Then know that when the Divine Will has determined the creation of His creation [the universe] He manifested the Muhammadan Reality from His Lights (with His Power and Divine Willing-uem) , then He created from [that light] all the worlds, the upper and the lower realms all together,then He proclaimed the prophethood of the Prophet while Adam was in non-existence,except in the state as said by him s.a.w. [him being] in between soul and body [not yet having physical existence in the world of the sensible], then from him [as the Muhammadan light-uem] there poured forth the spirits, and he is the of the highest being over all other kinds, and he is the greatest father (al-abb al-akbar) for all that exists (li jami’ al-maujudat) ; and when the cycle of time becomes complete with the Name of the Hidden in relation to him s .a.w. (to be transferred) to the existence of the body in combination with the spirit, then the determination of time is transferred to that of the Name of the Manifest, [at that instant-uem] there emerged Muhammad s.a.w. with the totality [of his person and reality] , with the body and spirit altogether.The meaning of [all] this is found ) in the (narration) of Sahih Muslim , that is he said: ‘Truly Allah the Most High has determined the Decree of all creation (maqadir al-khalq) before the creation of the heavens and the earth by fifty thousand years (symbolizing extremely immense span of time beyond the calculation of man-uem) and the Throne was upon water. And included into the total of that which has been determined [in that manner] is the fact that Prophet Muhammad is the seal of all the prophets (khatam al-nabiyyin) .[So in relation to such category of reality there are narrations like the one ] from ‘Irbad bin Sariyah from the Prophet s.a.w. that he said: ‘I was in the Presence of God as the seal of the prophets while Adam was stretched in his body, without the breathing in of the spirit in him.’ And in the narration of Maysarah al-Dabbi (there is the tradition) he said: ‘I asked him: O Messenger of Allah, when were you a prophet?’ He replied: ‘When Adam was in between soul and body’).

In the ‘Sahih of Muslim’ from the Prophet s.a.w. that he said: Truly Allah azzawa jalla has determined the Decree of all creation before the creation of the heavens and earth for fifty thousand years and the Throne was on water, and included into this totality written in the Mother of the Book is that Muhammad is the seal of the prophets.(70)

And from al-‘Irbad bin Sariyah from the Prophet s.a.w. that he said; Truly I was in the Presence of Allah as the seal of the prophets while Adam was stretched in his body before the breathing in of the spirit in him.(ibid.pp.9-10).

The traditions cited indicate the position and reality of the Prophet salla’Llahu ‘alaihi wa sallam .And Imam al-Suyuti (d.911 A.H.) deals with such traditions(71) in his Al-Hawi lil-Fatawi (Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1421/2000 ) in volume 2 pp.136 ff. He writes , among others, as follows:

The traditions from ‘Umar bin al-Khattab , Anas, Jabir, ibn ‘Abbas , ibn ‘Umar, Abid-Darda’, Abu Hurairah and others [narrate] that the Prophet salla’llahu ‘alaihi wa sallam has informed that his [name] is written on the Throne and on every heaven, on every door of paradise, on the leaves in the garden of Paradise, [in the formula] ‘La ilaha illa’Llah Muhammadun Rasulullah’.And such name is not written in the kingdom of the invisible except that it is above the name of all the other prophets [and that is for no other reason than that] so as to make the angels witness it, and [so that they come to know] the position of him being sent to them [apart from the fact that he is sent to humanity].

And ibn ‘Asakir has related the narration from Ka’b al-Akhbar that Adam has given the counsel to his son Shith saying: Every time you mention the name of Allah then you mention also the name of Muhammad; truly I saw his name written on the pillar of the Throne, whereas I was in between soul and body, then I glanced to see tjhat there is no place in the heavens except the name of Muhammad is written therein.And I did not see in Pradise a Palace and Room except the name of Muhammad is written therein, and I saw his name written on the necks of the damsels of paradise…(pp.136-137 of al-Hawi).

Imam al-Suyuti goes on to make the following remarks:

Imam al-Subki has stated in the chapter in his book that the Prophet s.a.w. was sent to all the prophets –Adam and the succeeding prophets , and that the Prophet is prophet and messenger to all of them, and therefore this can be deduced from the tradition that he was prophet while Adam was [still] in between soul and body, and the hadith ‘I was sent to all mankind ‘ (bu’ithtu ilannas kaffatan) ‘ He said [that is Subki] ; Because of this Allah has taken a covenant from all the prophets for Prophet Muhammad , just as in the saying of God ‘And Allah has taken a covenant …will you acknowledge and take covcenant with Me , they said: We acknowledge , He said: Bear witness, I am together with you as Witness’ (Ali ‘Imrah.81). [Imam Suyuti says] :Tradition is related by ibn Abi Hatim from al-Suddi about this verse , saying: No prophet is sent since Adam except Allah has taken a covenant from him so that he will have faith in Muhammad.And ibn ‘Asakir has related a tradition from ibn ‘Abbas saying: Continuously Allah has given primacy and precedence to Muhammad s.a.w. in relation to Adam and the prophets after him…(72)

And al-Hakim has related the tradition from ibn ‘Abbas saying: Allah has revealed to ‘Isa ; ‘You have faith in Muhammad and command whoever meets him of your community to have faith ini him , and had it not been for Muhammad I would not have created Adam,Paradise, and Hell’.

Al-Subki says: We know from sound tradition about his resulting perfection- for our Prophet s.a.w. from the Presence of God ,before Adam was created and God has bestowed on him prophethood from that time [at the time when Adam was non-existent], then Allah took a covenant from all the prophets making them promise that they will have faith in Muhammad, informing that he has precedance over them and he is foremost among them, and that he is a prophet and messenger to all of them, and in them making the covenant there is the meaning of istikhlaf [namely that they all are acting under the name of Muhammad as his khalifah in their times] , because of this there is therein [in the statement of the covenant] the lam al-qasam –the lam of making covenant- ‘latu’minunna bihi’ and wa latansurunnahu’ [meaning that you will really have faith in him and will really help him when the time comes] (73)

Then Imam Suyuti mentions the excellence of the Prophet, how the covenant is taken for him, how the other prophets became his followers in prayer on the night of the Isra’ and Mi’raj, then how in the heavens he had his two wazirs Jibril and Mika’il, and in the earth he had his two wazirs, Abu bakar and ‘Umar, based on the tradition related by ibn al-Mundhir , ibn Abi Hatim, al-Tabarani, ibn Marduyah, and Abu Nu’aim in the ‘al-Dala’il’.

At this stage the present writer would like to mention the important note of Dr GF Haddad in his article “The Light of Muhammad”(74)

Among those scholars mentioned by him who discuss the concept of the Light of Muhammad are:

Qadi ‘Iyad famed for his important kitab al-Shifa,

Imam al-Suyuti in his Tafsir Jalalain

Firuzabadi in Tanwir al-Miqbasnya or Tafsir ibn ‘Abbas

Imam Fakhru’d-Din al-Razi , the reviver of the 6th century of the Hijrah,with his ‘Tafsir Mafatih al-Ghaib’

Qadi al-Baidawi with his Tafsir al-Baidawi

Al-Baghwi with his Ma’alim al-Tanzil

The writer of Tafsir Abi Su’ud with his explanations

Al-Tabari with his Tafsir at-Tabari

The author of Tafsir al-Khazin with his explanations .

Al-Nasafi with his Tafsir al-Madarik

Al-Sawi with his commentary on the al-Jalalain

Al-Alusi with his Ruh al-Ma’ani

Ismail Haqqi with his commentary on the Tafsir Ruh al-Ma’ani

Al-Qari with his Sharah al-Shifa

Suyuti with his al-Riyad al-Aniqa

Ibn Kathir with his Tafsir

Qadi ‘Iyad with his al-Shifa

Al-Nisaburi with his Ghara’ib al-Qur’an

Al-Zarqani with his Sharah al-Mawahib al-Laduniyyah

Ibn Hajar with his al-Isabah

Tirmidhi with his Sunan

Baihaqi with his Dala’il al-Nubuwwah

Ibn Hajar Haitami with his D ala’il al-Nubuwwah

Bukhari, Muslim and Imam Ahmad with compilations of the hadith with descriptions of the Prophet s.a.w..

Al-Hakim with his al-Mustadrak

Ibn Kathir with his Tafsir and Maulid Rasul Allah

Ibn Ishaq with his Sirah

Dhahabi with his Mizan al-I’tidal

Al-Tabari with his al-Riyad al-Nadira

Al-Shahrastani with his al-Milal wan-Nihal

‘Abd al-Haq al-Dihlawi with his Madarij al-Nubuwwahnya ( Persian)

“Abd al-Hayy al-Lucknowi with his al-Athar al-marfu’ fi al-akhbar al-maudu’a

‘Abd al-Razzaq with his Musnad

‘Abidin (Ahmad al-Shami) died.1320 H. with his commentary on the poem by ibn Hajar al-Haitami al-Ni’matul-Kubra ‘alal-‘Alamin

Al-‘Ajluni (Isma’il bin Muhammad, d.1162) with his Kashf al-Khafa

Bakri (Sayyid Abu al-hasan Ahmad ibn ‘Abd Allah d.in 3rd century H) with his al-Anwar fi Maulid al-Nabi Muhammad salla’Llahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.

Diyarbakri (Husain bin Muhammad, died 966 A.H..) who begins his work Tarikh al-Khamis fi Ahwal Anfasi Nafisa with the words : All praise is for Allah Who has created the Light of His Prophet before everything else…”

Fasi (Muhammad ibn Ahmad died.1052 H.) with his work Matali’ al-Masarrat

Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani died .561 A.H. with his work Sirr al-Asrar fi Ma Yuhtahu ilaihi al-Abrar (hal.12-14 edisi Lahore) who says : Who gives the evidence that the prophet is the source of all that exists, and Allah knows Best..

Haqqi (Ismail , died in.1137 A.H.) citing traditions in his tafsir Ruh al-Bayan

Ibn Hajar al-Haitami (d..974 A.H>) with his Fatawa Hadithiyyah

Shaikh Ismail al-Dihlawi (d.1246 H>) with his tract Yek Rauzah in which he says: As indicated by narration: The first thing created by Allah is my Light.

Sulaiman al-Jamal (died.1204 A.H) who cites traditions concerning the Light of Muhammad as the first thing created by God, in his commentary of the poem of al-Busiri , in the work entitled al-Futuhat al-Ahmadiyyah bi al-Minah al-Muhammadiyyah.

‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jili in the Namus al-A’zam wa al.-Qamus al-Aqdam fi Ma’rifat Qadar al-Bani sallka’lahu ‘alaihi wa sallam mentions traditions about nur Muhammad.

Kharputi (‘Umar bin Ahmad, died .1299 A.H. ) in his commentary on al-Busiri mentions the Light of Muhammad..

Maliki al-Hasani (Muhammad ibn ‘Alawi ) mentions in his commentary of the work by al-Qari Hasyiyah Al-Maurid al-Rawi fi Maulid al-Nabi.On page 40 he says:“Sanad Jabir is sound without controversy, but scholars have different views about the text, because of its speciality; Baihaqi also cites the tradition with a number of variations”.

The above are among the several texts mentioned by him in the article.

Conclusion:

From the presentation of the sources of the narrations above based on the writings of the mufasasirin and the traditionists and others who are imams in their field, a number of conclusions can be drawn. Among them: that Prophet Muhammafd s.a.w. has his reality before the creation of the cosmic order, and his light was created before the creation of everything else.His light was the first created by Allah, as His beloved.This is also the source for the creation of everything in the cosmic order with all its levels and hierarchy, with the upper and lower realms, the sensible and that which is immediately above the sensible.He is the first in terms of creation but the last in terms of physical appearance in sacred history, raised with soul and body among the prophets.

His existence as a prophet and messenger is known by all the previous prophets and messengers in the whole of sacred history , among the evidences of which can be mentioned the sound narrations of the Isra’ and Mi’raj, so many of which are cited in the ‘Tafsir ‘ of ibn Kathir in relation to the commentary of the early verses of Surah Bani Isra’il.He

There seems to be no necessity for anyone to have the inclination to suggest that the scholars of tafsir, hadith, sirah and shama’il and others have discussed that reality about the Prophetic light based on their borrowing of the idea from any external sources; there seems to be no evidence that ‘borrowing’ has taken place, unless objective reasearch can prove otherwise, and not just based on the inclination to jump at the idea of borrowing with the slightest seemed similarity between certain things. Established and authoritative Sunni sources are clear about this.This is clear also from the fact that the prophets and messengers have entered into a primordial covenant with God to have faith in him and help him in his struggle, and in fact they perform their various prophetic functions as representing him in their various ‘worlds’, The reality of his existence as light in the generations of prophets in sacred history is accepted by authoritative Sunni scholars in Islamic intellectual tradition.

If this appears unlikely from the rational pointn of view of the modernist mentality, then we can cite many things which are unlikely in that sense, thinking in the ‘ordinary’ way, for instance the quantum theory about the universe not being solid in any way but in reality in the form of waves or particles, indeterminate in nature, but this is acceptable to the authorities in quantum physics.What appears as solid is only sensation of the seeing with the eyes. Then, again, thinking in the ‘ordinary’ way will not make anyone accept e=mc2; but to the authorities in the field this is very clear and evident with the backing of research and scrutiny as well as calculation of the forces involved in the process and the system. Or just look at the human seed in the womb which after nine months and ten days becoming a baby, alive, and later speaking and so on. This is the ‘sunnah’ of God. From here we can go to the reality of the Muhammadan Light mentioned in sacred narrative of our Tradition. The first example relates to the ‘sunnah’ of God in terms of sub-atomic level, the second in relation to the same in Relativity, and the third His ‘sunnah’ in relation to emergance of the cosmic manifestation with its various levels in the scale of being.

If it is suggested that such an idea is contradictory to the reality of the human make-up, from the elements of the earth, even the prophet in terms of the physical body, then in response it can be stated that in the cosmic perspective even the elements of the earth are finally reductable to pure energy or light, as is clear from quantum theory, or pure energy, then to us this is the Muhammadan Light. It is the Muhammadan light manifested at its level in the form of the elements of the earth, transmuted into the elements of the human body, in which is the spiritual substance of the spirit. And this is no contradiction to the reality that is.

In this order of ideas, the light of the Prophet is not only a ,manner of speaking, in the figurative and as analogy, but even more, it is in reality light, going beyond all other lights, from it are created other lights and other things and beings and essences.

If at present people talk about the universe from the point of view of the electron, proton, neutron, quarks, photon, black holes and others, including the discussion on the ultimate nature being in terms of particles or waves, or pure energy, for us, the ultimate ground of all these is the ‘light’ or ‘nur’ of the Prophet s.a.w. As for the other things, if they are sound from the scientific and objective points of view, in accordance with the established principles of knowledge, then they are acceptable. If we say that present-day physicist may speak of the world as ultimately from ‘pure energy’ or whatever that may be, the reality of which is difficulkt to be grasped by the lay-man, say just like what is discussed by Frithjof Capra in The Tao of Physics; for us that may not pose a problem.We can still relate that to the concept of the light of the Prophet as the ground of all existence, either material or the non-material as our Tradition tells us.

If it comes to any one’s mind that this view about the Light of Muhammad smacks of pantheism, then the response to this is that this should not arise at all, because pantheism is a school of philosophy which developed in the West in the 19th century and it has no connection whatsoever with sacred teachings of any order. It teaches the philosophical position that everything is God, whereas this concept of the Muhammadan Light does not take that position. It teaches that before the creation of the cosmic order and its details God first created the Light of Muhammad which becomes the source of creating other things in the cosmic order.It does not teach that everything is God.Neither does it teach that every thing is Muhammad in that literal horizontal sense. It teaches that Muhammad is the light and from that light other things are created.

It is possible that our mind will reflect, that, if the Prophet is really that Light, then why should he pray for light in his night prayer, in the formula “Allahumma’j’al li nuran…” until the end of the famous prayer, so that Allah gives him light in his heart, tongue, on his right, left, front and back, above and below him? Possibly, in this order of ideas we can reflect on what has been said by Imam al-Ghazali rd concerning the Prophet s.a.w. asking for forgiveness from Allah for so many times a day, whereas he is already sinless, and forgiven beforehand what is going to be done in the future apart from being forgiven of his past.

Al-Ghazali rd says that even though he is sinless (ma’sum) he asks for forgiveness; this is because he is continuously ascending on the path of perfection, and because of the ascent he sees the previous state as imperfect compared to the present one, so he asks for forgiveness; and because of that he ascends further on the path of perfection and so on continuously. In the same way, the present writer feels that the Prophet sees his present state in terms of spiritual luminosity (“nuraniyyah”) is less than what it should be in terms of spiritual perfection, so he prays for more light even though he himself is light, because of course, the ultimate light is God, ‘al-Nur”, so he asks for the “nur” from the “al-Nur”.

These are the remarks of this humble writer citing narrations from the sources of the sacred narrative – from this grand narrative of Sunni intellectuality- so as to show that the reality of the Muhammadan Light mentioned in the writings of some traditional scholars in the Malay World have their substance and backing in classical sacred scholarship, and not in anyway a borrowing, it seems, from any outside sources, to make up for any thing missing in their narrative. May Allah make us benefit from this scholarship, amin. Wallahu a’lam.

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Notes:

(1)See the writer’s “Kosmologi para Fuqaha & Ulama Sufiah Dalam pemikiran Melayu” in Kosmologi Melayu, edited by Yaacob Harun, Akademi Pengajian Melayu, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, 2001, pp 10-22.

(2)in the chapter Khalq al-samawat waq al-ard p.10.

(3) p.10.

(4)ibid.10

(5)ibid. 10

(6) ibid.11

(7)ibid.11

(8) ibid.11

(9) ibid.11

(10) ibid.11

(11) ibid.11

(12) ibid.11.

.(13) Bab bad’ Khalq al-samawat wa al-Ard.12

.(14) ibid.13.

.(15) ibid.13.

(16) ibid. p.15 .

.(17) The Kash al-Ghaibiyyah p.3

(18)ibid.pp.3-4.

.(19) ibid.p.4.

(20)ibid. p.5

(21)ibid.p.5.

22)ibid.p.6

(23)p.6

(24)Surabaya, undated, and Singapore, undated.

(25) Shaikh Nawawi al-Bantani, Madarij al-Su’ud p.3 .

(26)Cf.http://www.altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp

(27) cf with http://www.altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?Page=2&Size=1

.(28) volume III.369.

(29)volume IX.hal.99-100

(30)cf http://www.altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?Page=2&Size=1

(31) Ruh al-Ma’anivol.IX, p..100).

(32) vol. X.135

(33)ibid.X.135

.(34)al-Wahidi al-Nisaburi, Tafsir al-Wajiz vol.II.p.196.

,(35) vol.II.p.196

(36)ibid. II.119

(37)al-Durr al-Manthur, 5,p. 98.

(38) Tafsir al-Sawi, hashiyah al-‘Allamah al-Sawi ‘ala al-Jalalain, volume I p.275

(39) Tafsir al-Nasafi-bi Hamish Tafsir al-Khazin volume I page 477

(40) In al-Asas fi al-tafsir by Sa’id Hawwavol. III, page 1349

(41) volume VII page 3970

(42)al-‘Ajluni, in “Kashf al-Khafa’ wa Muzil al-Ilbas…”, http://www.alelman.com/Islamlib/viewchp.asp?BID=143&CID=22#s1)

(43). From Nazm al-Mutanathir min al-hadith al-Mutawatir”, from the book of faith until the book of the manaqib, -491 in http://www.al-eman.com/Islamlib/viewchp.asp?BID=144&CID=10#s7 )

(44)In al-Mawahib al-Laduniyyah, vol.I p.7).

(45)Al-Mawahib al-laduniyyah,juz I ppl 7 ff

(46)See for example GF Haddad, “Light of the Full Moon” in http://www.abc.se/~m9783/fiqhi/fiqha_e30.html).

(47)(Kitab al-Shifa by Qadi ‘Iyad, I, p.83).

48) Qadi ‘Iyad. Al-Shifa’. I.15-16.

(49)al-Shifa. I.p.17-18. :

(50)Al-Shifa.I.366

(51) ibid

(52)(al-Madkhal of Ibn al-Hajj.II.28).

(53)al-madkhal of ibn al-Hajj II.30

(54)Hujjatu’Llah ‘alal-‘Alamin fi Mu’jizati Sayyidil-Mursalin by Syaikh Yusuf al-Nabhani. P.15.

(55)al-Mustadrak al-Hakim II.614-615.

(56) (al-Mustadrak.II.608-609. Sound narration according to al-Hakim..

(57)Sound tradition according to al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak.II.609).

(58)Sound tradition according to al-Hakim in the al-Mustadrak.II.600.

( 59)al-Mustadrak.II.600

(60).Jam’ al-wasa’il.p..28

(61) Jam’a al-wasa’il Sharah al-Shama’il of Tirmidhi, p.47.

(62)Sharah al-Muhaddith al-Shaikh al-Munawi to the Shama’il of Tirmidhi, I.p.47).

(63) ibid. I.55-56.

(64) Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari, Sharah al-Shama’il al-Tirmidhi, II.209.

(65)Sharah al-Munawi on the al-Shama’il of Tirmidhi, on the margin syharah Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari, II.55.

(66)from al-Mawahib al-Laduniyyah –hashiyah al-Shaikh Ibrahim al-Bajuri ‘ala al-Shama’il al-Muhammadiyyah lit-Tirmidhi-p..16).

(67)ibid.p.27.:

(68)(http://www.hadith.al-islam.com/Display/Displayasp?Doc=2&ID=41787&SearchText…)

(69)Al-Anwar al-Muhammadiyyah min al-Mawahib al-laduniyyah by Shaikh Yusuf bin Ismai’l al-Nabhani (Dar al-Fikr, undated).p.9.

.(70)ibid.p.9

(71)Imam al-Suyuti in his Al-Hawi lil-Fatawi (Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1421/2000 ) in volume 2 pp.136 ff.

(72)ibid.II.137

(73)ibid.II 137…

(74) Dr Haddad in http://www.abc.se/~m9783/nurn_e.html and in the article “The First Thing that Allah created was my nur” in http://www.abc.sel/~m9783/fiqhi/fiqha_e30.html;

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ABSTRACT:

The aim of this notice is to locate and estimate the sources of the Sunni sacred narrative about the position of the Prophet s.a.w. and the concept of his Light as the source for the creation of the cosmic order. In this context, then the discourse about the Light of the Prophet and his metahistorical status in Sunni understanding of the cosmic order and its formation as understood in Malay-Islamic texts in the Malay World would appear to be within the legitimate ambiance of the Sunni narrative, and therefore intellectually and spiritually legitimate. Wallahu a’lam.

-Muhammad ‘Uthman El-Muhammady

Very Distinguished Academic Fellow of ISTAC International Islamic University Malaysia. 28th Ramadan 1425/ 11th November 2004.

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Short Bibliography.

Ahmad ibn Muhammad Yunus Langka, Syaikh, Daqa’iq al-Akhbar fi Dhikr al-Jannah wa al-Nar, ( Malay version), Dar Ihya’ al-Kutub al-‘Arabiyyah, Mesir,undated.

Al-Alusi, Shihab al-Din, Ruh al-ma’ani, Ihya’ al-Turah al-‘Arabi, undated., Beirut, 16 volumes.

Al-Baijuri, Shaikh Ibrahim bin Muhammad, Al-Mawahib al-Ladunikyyah, hashiyah ‘ala Aql-Shama’il al-Muhammadiyyah, Mustafa al-babi al-Halabi, Kahirah, 1375/1956.

Al-Bantani, Shaikh Muhammad Nawawi,Madarij al-Su’ud, Surabaya-Singapura, undated

Al-Fatani, Shaikh Muhammad bin Isma’il Daud, Kitab al-Kaukab al-Durri fi al-Nur al-Muhammadi,

Khazanah Fathaniyah, Kuala Lumpur, 2001.

Al-Fatani, Shaikh Zain al-‘Abidin, Kash al-Ghaibiyyah, Dar al-ma’arif, Pulau Pinang, undated.

Ibn Kathir, Tafsir al-Qur’an al-‘Azim, dar al-Fikr, Beirut, undated, 4 volumes.

Al-Kattani, Maulana Ja’far al-Hasani al-Idrisi, Nazm al-Mutanathir min al-hadith al-Mutawatir, dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, Lubnan, Beirut, 1403/1983.

Al-Risalah al-Mustatrafah li Bayan Mashhur Kutub al-Sunnah al-Musharrafah,, Maktab al-Kulliyat al-Azhariyyah-Qahiran, undated

Al-Munawi, Shaikh ‘Abd al-Rauf, di tepi Jam’ al-Wasa’il fi Sharh al-Shama’il oleh al-Qari, Kahiran, undated, 2 volumes.

Al-Nabhani, Yusuf bin Isma’il, al-Anwar al-Muhammadiyyah min al-Mawahib al-Laduniyyah, Dar al-Fikr, undated

—,Hujjatu’Llah ‘alal-‘Alamin fi Mu’jizat Sayyidil-Mursalin, Dar al-Fikr, undated.

Al-Nasafi, Tafsir al-Nasafi, di tepi tafsir al-Khazin, Dar al-Kutub al-‘Arabiyyah al-Kubra, Kahirah, undated, 4 volumes.

Qadi ‘Iyad, al-Shifa bi Ta’rif Huquq al-Mustafa, Dar al-Fikr , Beirut,undated., 2 volumes.

Al-Qari, Mulla ‘Ali, Sharah al-Shifa li Qadi ‘Iyad, Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, undated. 2 volumes.

—, Jam’ al-Wasa’il fi Sharh al-Shama’il, Mustafa al-babi al-Halabi, Kahirah, t.t. 2 volumes

Al-Qastallani, Ahmad bin Muhammad al-Khatib, al-Mawahib al-laduniyyah, Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, undated, 2 volumes

Al-Raniri. Shaikh Nur al-Din, Bad’ Khalq as-Samawat wa al-Ard, on the margin of Taj al-Muluk, undated.

Said Hawwa, al-Asas fi al-Tafsir, Dar al-Salam, Beirut, 1405/1985, 11 volumes.

Al-Razi, Fakhr al-Din, Al-Tafsir al-Kabir, Dar al-Fikr, Beirut, 1398/1978, 8 volumes.

Al-Sawi, Tafsir al-Sawi, Hashiyah al-Allamah Shaikh Ahmad al-Sawi al-maliki, Dar al-Fikr, Beirut, 1977/1397 , 4 volumes.

Al-Suyuti, al-Imam jalal al-Din, al-Durr al-Manthur, dar al-ma’rifah, Beirut, tanpa tarikh, dalam 6 volumes.

—, al-Hawi lil-Fatawi, Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1421/2000, 2 volumes.

Al-Tabari, Abu Ja’far Muhammad bin Jarir, Tafsir al-Tabari, dar al-Fikr, Beirut, 1398/1978, Dar al-Fikr, Beirut, 10 volumes

Al-Zarqani, al-‘Allamah, Sharh ‘ala al-Mawahib al-laduniyyah, Dar al-ma’rifah, Beirut, 1393/1973, 4 volumes.

Appendix

As an Appendix this writer would like to place on record the paper on the “Light of the Prophet” by the ex-Rector of Al-Azhar, Dr Ahmad ‘Umar Hashim of Egypt tabled by him in the conference on Sufism in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, on 12th August 2004, under the auspices of the Negeri Sembilan Mufti Department, containing the same fundamentals and several details on this important topic in Islamic concept of the cosmic order and its relation with the Prophetic Light, hence in agreement with the present paper.

Among the contents are, in short:

-mention of the nur appearing when the Prophet was born to his mother, illuminating the palaces of Busra in Syria, so that his mother could see them on p.4 of theArabic paper

-citing the hadith of Jabir about the first creation of Allah being the Light of the Prophet p.8 of the Arabic version of the paper

-discussion about what is after the creation of the Prophetic light is it the Pen or the Throne on p8 of the paper

-recording the experience of the late Shaikh ‘Abd al-Halim Mahmud rh about the light in relation to the Prophet s.a.w. in relation to recitation of a certain formula of blessing on the Prophet. on p.10.

– the citation of lines from al-Busiri about the Prophetic light on p.12.

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