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Light Upon Light – The Angels See Stars on the Earth

نُّورٌ عَلَىٰ نُورٍ

Light upon light…” [24:35]

When we gaze at the night sky we see stars shining brightly each one glistening, so beautiful to the eye.

Scholars have said that in the heavens are angels who look down at the earth, and find huge, bright stars, (كوكب) scattered in different places. What are these stars they see? These stars are the people on the earth who have the most beautiful light, the light of emaan glowing in their hearts.

And we know this because of the awe – inspiring ayah in the Qur’an, where Allah says:

اللَّهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۚ مَثَلُ نُورِهِ كَمِشْكَاةٍ فِيهَا مِصْبَاحٌ ۖ الْمِصْبَاحُ فِي زُجَاجَةٍ ۖ الزُّجَاجَةُ كَأَنَّهَا كَوْكَبٌ دُرِّيٌّ يُوقَدُ مِن شَجَرَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ زَيْتُونَةٍ لَّا شَرْقِيَّةٍ وَلَا غَرْبِيَّةٍ يَكَادُ زَيْتُهَا يُضِيءُ وَلَوْ لَمْ تَمْسَسْهُ نَارٌ ۚ نُّورٌ عَلَىٰ نُورٍ ۗ يَهْدِي اللَّهُ لِنُورِهِ مَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الْأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

“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*, 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.” [24:35]

So how can we understand this parable? Imagine, your body is a house. Your rib cage is a niche. Within the niche is a lamp – your heart, within your heart is your soul – the pearl white star which is lit by the Qur’an; the most blessed gift sent down to mankind.

This light does not rise and does not set, it does not extinguish, or disappear then reappear, rather it emanates continuously.

This is the example of the heart of a believer.

May Allah grant us all this light upon light and fill our hearts with imaan so we are like shining stars to the angels looking down from above, ameen.


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