The Life of This World is but Chattel of Deception #47
April 22, 2021
The Light of God
The name of God in Arabic is “Allah” which can be translated literally as the “Creator”. The word has no gender and does not accept a plural form. The word Allah describes the essence of God, which is so sublime and transcendent that it escapes the ability of the human mind to comprehend. That is why when we call God by other names, they reflect His attributes without going into His essence.
The Quran offers 99 names for God such as: The Source of Mercy, the Merciful, the Creator, the Lord King, the All Knowing, the All Powerful, the Peace, the All Encompassing and so on to reflect those attributes.
The Jews also use names for God aside from the tetragram designation of “YHWH” which refers to God in His existence prior to His creating the universe. It used to be considered sacrilegious for Jews to even mention the letters except on some very religious occasions. However, just like Muslims, they have other designation for Him such as Elohim (the Powerful) Zebaoth or Jehovah Zebaoth (the Lord of Hosts), and El Shaddi (God Almighty) and others used to reflect a certain need or situation.
With this introduction, I would like to share with the readers one verse in the Quran that talks about one of the attributes of God as being the light of the heavens and the earth.
From the Quran:
“God is the light of the heavens and the earth
The similitude of His light is like a niche
Within it is a lamp
The lamp is in glass
The glass is as if it were a shining star
The lamp is fueled from an olive tree
Not belonging to the East or the West
Whose oil is near glowing though
No flame touches
Light upon light
God guides into His light whom He will
And so, God set similitudes to mankind
To guide them and He is
The Knower of Everything.
To fully understand those verses, let us contemplate what is meant by God being the light of the heavens and earth. Light could be taken literally or metaphorically as the source light to see by or to be guided by. But in either case, for the mind to absorb the magnitude of this light, the Quran tried to simplify it by breaking it into smaller elements such as a niche, a lamp and a tree to show us that even at those smaller minute elements, the light emitted is still akin to a bright star.
Sadly, that even though God has sent down so many messengers — some of whom we know and some we don’t know — many don’t want to see the light.