بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Tafsir 24:35: “Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His light is like a niche within which is a lamp, the lamp is within glass, the glass as if it were a pearly [white] star lit from [the oil of] a blessed olive tree, [it’s Olive is] neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil would almost glow even if untouched by fire. Light upon light. Allah guides to His light whom He wills. And Allah presents examples for the people, and Allah is Knowing of all things”. [Qur’an 24:35]
The verse of light is a similitude for how Allah guides mankind to know him through the unseen world (the unseen part of the Universe), He ends the example He gave mankind in this verse with this exact statement, “Allah guides to His light whom He wills”, and the unseen world (Ghayb) is the Quantum Universe, made from subatomic particles.
This understanding is clearly indicated by many scholars like Imam al Ghazali, Imam Ibn Arabi and Imam Suyuti (among others) all of whom said that our imagination, the images we see in our mind is ghayb and it is made from matter, the imagination is what we see in our mind and because the word imagination is synonymous with unreal we think it is not real, but the image itself is made up of particles like light and so the scholars understood this was the ghayb, unseen world and that it was made from matter.
Imam al Ghazali even went as far as to say that Angels are made from the same light our own intellect is made from, something indicated by Ahadith regarding their creation at the ﬁrst moments of the Universe, so in this is another clear example of how the unseen world (ghayb) is the quantum universe, and the verse of light explains this clearly through everything that it mentions, and speciﬁcally by what Allah chose to end the verse with.
In literal terms Allah begins the verse of light (24:35) by saying He is the literal light of the heavens and the earth, meaning this is something tangible, He then strikes a similitude for how He is the Light of the Universe, the similitude though is not in relation to His “existence”, as the prophet (saws) termed, only the “light of His splendor” that represents him and from which all creation is made, our minds can not comprehend him and there is nothing like him.
The prophet (saws) said regarding the literal light of Allah, “Allah hath Seventy Thousand Veils of Light and Darkness: were He to withdraw their curtain, then would the splendors of His Aspect surely consume everyone who apprehended Him with his sight” (Imam al Ghazali, Mishqat al Anwar), some ahadith read seven hundred veils others read seventy thousand veils.
Light in the verse of Light is a simile for subatomic particles, each particle is created from even smaller particles, hence the number of veils refers to a subatomic depth in space.
It is signiﬁcant that Darkness is mentioned along with Light as a veil of Allah, usually darkness, even the darkness of space, is perceived as a color and not a substance or veil, hence this Hadith is saying the dark matter and energy of space is also a veil of Allah.
Allah created what is within the Universe from what he termed Light in the Quran and this is stated in many narration’s, but Light in the context of the verse of Light is a simile for all quantum particles because light itself is one of the only visible quantum particles in the Universe.
In relation to what Allah revealed of himself in the Universe, the heart of Man is the only thing that can encompass the qualities of Allah because it is the part of us that senses the quantum world around us, we can see this through it’s physiology and it’s role in the nervous system of the body, hence Allah said in the Quran, that when the veils upon man’s inner vision are removed on the day of judgment, “Some faces that Day shall be Nadirah (shining and radiant), looking at their Lord” (75:22-23), the Hearts will be allowed to see Him.
The heart can perceive the qualities of things, and the quality of anything is a summation of it’s nature, the way it is, the heart encompasses what it looks at in terms of qualities we can perceive, understand and feel, this inﬂuences man’s inner vision (his imagination) because mans heart through emotions inﬂuences mans mind and what he perceives of things.
Allah said the example of his light in the Universe is like a niche, a crevasse or something similar to a hole in the middle of a wall. In this hole is a lamp, the lamp is in glass, the glass is like a pearly white star, lit from the blessed oil of a blessed olive tree, the fruit of this tree is neither of the east or of the west, and it is fueling itself, whose oil would almost glow even if untouched by ﬁre. This light has a depth and it is light upon light, through this reality in creation Allah guides whom He wills, and Allah presents examples for people, and Allah is Knowing of all things.
The Prophet (saws) said, “Indeed, there is an external meaning and an internal meaning to the Qur’an, a scope and a point.” `Ali, pointing to his breast, said, “Indeed, herein lies abundant knowledge; would that there were some to (comprehend and) transmit it.” The Prophet also said, “We prophets were ordered to communicate with everyone according to his ability to understand.”, and “Indeed, knowledge has a branch which resembles a hidden thing; no one grasps it except those who know Allah.” He also said, “If you only knew what I know, you would laugh a little and weep much.”
It is signiﬁcant that Allah ends the verse by saying, “and Allah presents examples for the people, and Allah is Knowing of all things” here Allah is directly connecting the example He just set with His knowing of all things in existence, this is a rule in the Tafsir (exegesis) of the Quran, that any two things mentioned together are connected, Allah often uses descriptive imagery to convey an idea followed by a statement regarding it’s signiﬁcance or the nature of it’s existence, in other words the example He just set in the verse of light relates to knowing all things in existence becouse all things in existence are made from particles, and particles are Allah’s light before they take on form physically with atoms.
The verse of Light is the literal representation of the quantum world and the manner by which subatomic particles are created. Physics has discovered that this Universe is made up of small particles called atom’s and these atoms are made up of even smaller particles and they in turn are made up of even smaller particle’s and this goes on and on. Physics has also discovered that each of these particles exists in different ﬁelds spread out through space at each level (or subatomic depth), layered one upon the other, a more accurate description would be to say the ﬁelds are within each other spread throughout space since we are going deeper into the subatomic world. There are also forces, very similar to gravity, acting at each depth of these particles, they act upon them to bring them together forcing them to make up the larger particle’s until we reach the Atom, once matter forms solids, gas’s and liquids that is when the force of Gravity inﬂuences them.
This is how something small makes up something larger and eventually in this hierarchy atoms come together to make molecules and molecules and compounds come together to make up the world around us, but before this occurs particles are called Light in the Quran because that is the most descriptive and accurate image of them for a people living 1400 years ago.
Allah’s Light has always been understood as a simile, and in fact he begins the verse of Light by saying “the example of His light is like a niche”, hence his light is structured like a niche in which is a lamp so from the start we know we are reading about an example of something tangible that exists in the Universe.
So Allah is teaching us his light isn’t simply what we know about light by observing it, that it simply shines and allows us to see, He is saying there is an inner structure to it, and this verse describes that inner structure. His light has an inner structure that is like a niche in which is a lamp, the light or particle is like a lamp that is in a glass, and it shines like a pearly white star in the night sky.
From here Allah tells us what it is made of, it is lit from a blessed tree, the tree just like a family tree tells us about the genealogy of a person, is a simile for the hierarchy of particles in the Universe, the lamp is lit by Oil that fuels it, the tree is like an Olive tree that produces oil that lights the Lamp (the machinery of the universe). Olive oil comes from Olives hence Ibn Abbas (ra) and Imam Suyuti (among others) both said the words “neither of the east or of the west” refers to the trees Olive, the fruit it bears. Allah is then telling us He isn’t talking about literal fruit, but rather the example of something (the fruit) that this Hierarchy (tree) produces, from which it’s oil (the forces of the Universes) come from which fuel the Lamp, and this is the simile for His light.
Allah goes on to say the Oil would glow even if it isn’t touched by ﬁre, meaning this isn’t normal oil that glows or burns because of ﬁre, it glows or burns by itself, because this is how the Universe is created to work. Allah is again reinforcing the point, that He isn’t talking about normal Oil but a simile for oil from which we would know it’s meaning by understanding it’s role. Real oil allows the lamp to burn creating the light hence the oil from the blessed tree allows the Light to glow or fuel the reactions in the Universe creating the particles.
Allah then tells us the example for this Light is “Light upon Light”, showing us it’s complexity because a normal lamp is not light upon light, it is simply the light coming from the ﬁre that is burning, so the light or particles have depth in space. Allah then says He guides to His light whom he wills, this proclamation is connected to the example of the Universe because Allah in His next words encapsulates and concludes the entire verse with the words “Allah presents examples for the people, and Allah is Knowing of all things” hence Allah guiding people to his light is part of the simile for His light in the universe, then the verse ends.
In Summation: The verse begins by asserting that “Allah is the Light of the heavens (the Universe) and the earth” – The simile of the Particle is Light, both are quantum substances. Allah then says “the example of his light is like a niche”, light is the particle existing in the ﬁeld around it, this is like a sea of similar particles together, physics has discovered that particles in space only become a “solid” particle, or round, only when they interact with something, normally though they are spread out in space all together like a sea wave.A niche is like a crevasse in the middle of a wall, and the wall is the similitude of the ﬁeld that particles exists in, spread out in space as if a wall.
“Within which is a lamp”, the particle itself,“the lamp is within glass“, the particle creating its own outer shell or ﬁeld as it spins, or becomes a round particle when it interacts with something.
“The glass as if it were a pearly [white] star“, it’s shine is caused by its excitation that causes it to react to other things around it, as well as want to make up larger particles in the universe.
“Lit from the blessed oil”, particles are created (Lit) from the fundamental forces (Oil) of the Universe, “of a blessed olive tree” the simile for the tree is like a family tree, it is the hierarchy of particles and essentially the Universe itself.
The Olive, (particle), of the Tree “is neither of the east or of the west”, the fruit the tree bears, is the source for the Oil (ibn Abbas), this is the process by which the Hierarchy of particles create larger particles, as the verse explains the fruit is not from any direction we know the east or the west they are created from the depths of subatomic space. The smaller particles create the force’s (similar to gravity) that cause larger particles to come together in a hierarchy of particles until we reach Atom’s.
“Whose oil would almost glow even if unattached by ﬁre”, the forces don’t have a source causing them to react (glow or burn) like normal ﬁre or anything else we know.
The reaction comes from the way the Universe is created (the Tree) and it’s expansion, which causes or drives the reaction’s, basically the movement and expansion of the Universe creates what is in the Universe. The particle has depth in space, and it is like “light upon light” layered on top of or within each other, each particle created from smaller particles in an ongoing hierarchy. Through this reality of space “Allah guides to His light whom He wills”, through this blessed Tree Allah guides man to Him.
As Man’s consciousness and imagination is a state of matter, like a solid or liquid is made from matter, it to is made of quantum particles, it is born from the very same laws that govern this Universe and Allah guides man through it to Himself, “Those who strive hard in Us, We shall most surely guide them in our Ways” (29:69), this is the signiﬁcance of the verse of light to the nature of man and how Allah guides him, this is why Allah mentioned this at the end of the verse He was saying man is guided to him through the quantum universe and this is what that Universe looks like. “Allah presents examples for the people and Allah is Knowing of all things”, this is the simile of the Universe, how it works and how Allah guides man through his own self and physiology, Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth that we should connect our self to. Allah said “Consider the human self, and how it is formed in accordance with what it is meant to be, And inspired it (with) what is wrong for it and (what is) right for it. To a happy state shall indeed attain he who causes this [self] to grow in purity (Zakaha), and truly lost is he who buries it [in darkness].” (91:7-10)
The fact this similitude for the Universe exists in the Quran is mentioned by Allah elsewhere, “We have explained in detail in this Qur’an, for the beneﬁt of mankind, every kind of similitude: but man is, in most things, contentious” (18:54)
[This was taken from my book “The Light Of Allah In The Heavens and The Earth”, the tafsir was written according to the theme and context of each verse.]