I first heard of this verse in a webinar with Mizznina and Ustaz Mizi Wahid about istiqamah. How is it related? I’ll get to that in a bit. This verse is called ayat al-Nur, verse of light. Rightfully so, as it describes Allah’s light.
In this verse, Allah gave a parable of His light, where He said:
“The example of His light is like a niche within which is a lamp…”Qur’an, Surah An-Nur, verse 35
From this part above, we can understand two things.
The Light of Allah Itself
Allah likens His light to that of a niche with a lamp. A niche is a hole in a wall, like a indent and arched. So when the light hits it, the whole room will be lit up. Allah also mentions that that lamp is lit with the oil of a blessed olive tree that is either eastern nor western and is a metaphor to describe perfection and brilliance of the lamp. It would require the most pure of oils and most refined to give off a good, strong light. So why does Allah make this comparison? It’s because it is what our human minds can comprehend, or relate to. Personally I thought that this highlighted another layer of Allah’s mercy and love, in wanting for us to be able to understand it.
When I heard of the tafseer for this, I immediate thought the light of Allah is indeed very much like the verse describes. When we have Allah present in our lives, we feel a certain sense of calm that even when the world seems to be a dark place in that moment, we still have Allah’s light and it radiates to every corner. And that brings me to the second point.
The Light of Allah in Our Hearts
In his lecture, Ust. Nouman compared the metaphor to our hearts. The rib cage is like a niche, and the heart is the lamp. He described our ruh (and in Sh Yasir’s lecture, our iman) as the light that Allah has put in every heart and referenced to the olive oil that Allah says is neither eastern nor western, signifying it has it’s own illumination already. This light, when it meets with the light of revelation and guidance would result in the entire entity of human being to be lit up. Allah calls that nurun ala nur, light upon light. Subhanallah, how amazing! It gave me goosebumps when I listened to the lectures.
In order for the light to meet the lamp that is our heart, must be clean. Could you imagine if the lamp was dirty? It wouldn’t be easy for light to pass through. It’s such a great reminder to us to constantly seek to cleanse and purify our hearts in order to receive light (guidance and Qu’ran). Sh. Yasir also mentioned that pure hearts will always find Islam and therefore he urges us to practice Islam in its totality.
Istiqamah means to be consistent. Now that we know all about the amazing nur that Allah has blessed us with, would we want to lose it? Make Allah’s love and light your motivation to continue your ibadahs. It’s worth remembering that Allah will give guidance to those who works hard towards it.
In the talk that I attended (mentioned above), Ust. Mizi Wahid mentioned to purify our hearts from unwanted things like ego, envy, and the likes. I finally understood the importance of doing this in order to maintain istiqamah.
Here are some tips to maintain istiqamah:
- Start with fardhu prayers. Consistently try to pray on time. After that, work towards understanding what you are reading. This will help you to attain khusyuk. Perfect your salah and wudhu’.
- Develop a deeper sense of humility – would you fidget a lot when meeting with someone respected? This is how you measure khusyuk.
- Plan your day around salah, everything else will then fall into place
- Purify your heart – get rid of ego, envy and unwanted ill feelings Avoid arguments and have husnuzon billah.
May we always be surrounded by Allah’s light and may we be a means of Allah’s light to others. Ameen.