Assalam Walaikum & Hello ladies!
When Joanna and Safira from Turning Point Academy contacted me a few weeks ago about the open day, and asked me to talk about my favourite part of the Qu’ran I knew immediately which one I would be talking about. I prepared this talk which I am sharing with you now.
“My favourite Ayat is a verse or ayat taken from the chapter- or surat- An Nur, meaning the surat of light.
This Chapter is often source of reflection as it contains guidance on many subject matters, such as modesty, punishment of sins and family laws and rulings.
It’s the 24th Surah in the Qu’ran and it contains 64 ayats.
The general consensus amongst scholars is that this chapter was revealed shortly before the battle of the trenches, in the year 5 AH.
Anyway, my favourite verse from the whole of this chapter and actually from the whole of the Quran is the 35th of the chapter and called Ayat-An-Nur- the light verse.
Here is a link to a Youtube video of the verse
Bismillah Irahman Iraheem
Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth.
The parable of His Light is a niche wherein is a lamp—
the lamp is in a glass, the glass as it were a pearly(white) star—
lit from (the oil of) a blessed olive tree,
neither eastern nor western,
whose oil almost glows,
though fire should not touch it.
Light upon light.
Allah guides to His Light whomever He wishes.
Allah presents examples for mankind,
and Allah has knowledge of all things.
There are many reasons why this is my favourite verse.
Firstly, I think it evoked an echo of the idea of divinity I grew up believing in. The content and the style of this Ayat seemed familiar to me. Before converting to Islam, I was a Christian, first Catholic then sort of Protestant. But from a very young age, I had faith. A faith in God, which I always visualised as a light.
To a certain extent, it may be due to the history of art I had been accustomed too, which represented God and the Divine as a bright light. But mostly, this was a feeling that I had deep down in my heart, this notion of God as light. He is light. That was what I believed.
In my late teenage years, I started writing my own prayers and sometimes even worship songs for a friend of mine who had a christian band . All of those prayers and songs reffered to being kept into God’s light, being guided to God light …
It was a notion that I really related too.
So, I can remember the exact moment I read this ayat for the first time. It was shortly after my conversion, and I had decided to sit and read the Qu’ran, letting my fingers ‘randomly’ pick a page to read from. I say randomly in inverted comas, because I think most of you know here, that when you have faith, you realise that nothing ever happens at random.
So anyway, I opened the Qu’ran at Surat An Nur and my eyes fell immediately on those words. Let me tell you, I was in absolute awe! It was a moment of illumination for me. For those who were here last week, and who hear Lauren Booth talking about her conversion, she used the expression ‘ sitting in a beam of light’ at the moment she realised the existence of God… Well that was exactly how I felt, I was almost hearing a choir of Angels in my ears and my eyes were like – open as wide as you can imagine. I can remember gasping and my husband asking if there was something wrong with me, so I read out the chapter to him and he smiled. Alhamdulillah.
It felt to me like I had struck Gold! It felt like all my life, I had had this prayer in my heart which I was trying to put into words, and that it materialised itself before me, written in the Quran thousands of years before I was even born – a prayer that was dear to my heart.
The other thing which I felt was beautiful about this verse was its poetic and allegorical style. It painted a really visual impression of God’s powers, while still admitting that it was nowhere near what we humans could ever compare it too.
It uses the words, star light, blessed olive tree, an oil which glows without any heat, an illuminated glass. It is announced as a parable, we know that we are nowhere near the truth of what Allah’s power may look like, but with the use of those words, we know it is something of incomparable beauty.
Now, let’s just think about the concept behind the words. The first concept we grasp here is Light.
What would the world be without light?
Without Light, there would be nothing. Light is the source of life. Day light brings nutrition to the ground we walk on, to the plants we use to feed ourselves, clothe ourselves and build our homes. So what better way to describe God, than by a Light- but brighter and more powerful than any light we will ever know. God created light, and therefore there was a creation, our creation. God is the reason behind creation. God, is life. Shubannahlah
What else does this Ayat evoke? Stars, and star light. Stars, throughout the years, have reflected light to guide us humans, when the sun was set and there was no way to know which way to go.
Our ancestor would look up to the sky, draw maps from the stars which they could see, and therefore were able to carry on with their journeys in the dark.
When all else was darkness, the stars shone to guide them. What do we humans have, when we feel lost and in darkness?
Faith. That’s right, having God in our hearts can guide us out of any darkness. And Islam in particular has created a map for us to follow. A guide to a better life. Do you know what I’m talking about? The Qu’ran. Subhannalah
Guidance is exactly what the Qu’ran is all about, and this is so beautifully represented in Surat- An- Nur, the Surat of Guidance.
Well I hope I haven’t lost you now- no pun intended, this all made sense to me as I was writing my thoughts down.
I’m getting close to the end of my little bit now.
I just wanted to elaborate on one more phrase.
‘ Allah guides to his light whom he wills’
Alhamdulillah, what a blessing to have been chosen and guided into his light. I can’t begin to express my gratitude. Out of all the places I could be, out of all the things one could be doing, good or bad, with all the ignorance which leads so many people away from God, I am here. Sharing and gaining knowledge and peace with some amazing sisters, with my best friend, with my new friends sharing what I love about my faith, Islam.
I feel truly blessed.