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al-lahu
ٱللَّهُ
Allah
nūru
نُورُ
(is the) Light
l-samāwāti
ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ
(of) the heavens
wal-arḍi
وَٱلْأَرْضِۚ
and the earth.
mathalu
مَثَلُ
(The) example
nūrihi
نُورِهِۦ
(of) His Light
kamish'katin
كَمِشْكَوٰةٍ
(is) like a niche
fīhā
فِيهَا
in it
miṣ'bāḥun
مِصْبَاحٌۖ
(is) a lamp;
l-miṣ'bāḥu
ٱلْمِصْبَاحُ
the lamp
فِى
(is) in
zujājatin
زُجَاجَةٍۖ
a glass,
l-zujājatu
ٱلزُّجَاجَةُ
the glass
ka-annahā
كَأَنَّهَا
as if it were
kawkabun
كَوْكَبٌ
a star
durriyyun
دُرِّىٌّ
brilliant
yūqadu
يُوقَدُ
(which) is lit
min
مِن
from
shajaratin
شَجَرَةٍ
a tree
mubārakatin
مُّبَٰرَكَةٍ
blessed -
zaytūnatin
زَيْتُونَةٍ
an olive,
لَّا
not
sharqiyyatin
شَرْقِيَّةٍ
(of the) east
walā
وَلَا
and not
gharbiyyatin
غَرْبِيَّةٍ
(of the) west,
yakādu
يَكَادُ
would almost
zaytuhā
زَيْتُهَا
its oil
yuḍīu
يُضِىٓءُ
glow,
walaw
وَلَوْ
even if
lam
لَمْ
not
tamsashu
تَمْسَسْهُ
touched it
nārun
نَارٌۚ
fire.
nūrun
نُّورٌ
Light
ʿalā
عَلَىٰ
upon
nūrin
نُورٍۗ
Light.
yahdī
يَهْدِى
Allah guides
l-lahu
ٱللَّهُ
Allah guides
linūrihi
لِنُورِهِۦ
to His Light
man
مَن
whom
yashāu
يَشَآءُۚ
He wills.
wayaḍribu
وَيَضْرِبُ
And Allah sets forth
l-lahu
ٱللَّهُ
Allah guides
l-amthāla
ٱلْأَمْثَٰلَ
the examples
lilnnāsi
لِلنَّاسِۗ
for the mankind.
wal-lahu
وَٱللَّهُ
And Allah
bikulli
بِكُلِّ
of every
shayin
شَىْءٍ
thing
ʿalīmun
عَلِيمٌ
(is) All-Knower.

Allaahu noorus samaawaati wal ard; masalu noorihee kamishkaatin feehaa misbaah; almisbaahu fee zujaajatin azzujaajatu ka annahaa kawkabun durriyyuny yooqadu min shajaratim mubaarakatin zaitoonatil laa shariqiyyatinw wa laa gharbiyyatiny yakaadu zaituhaa yudeee'u wa law alm tamsashu naar; noorun 'alaa noor; yahdil laahu linoorihee mai yashaaa'; wa yadribul laahul amsaala linnaas; wallaahu bikulli shai'in Aleem

Sahih International:

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.

1 A. J. Arberry

God is the Light of the heavens and the earth; the likeness of His Light is as a niche wherein is a lamp (the lamp in a glass, the glass as it were a glittering star) kindled from a Blessed Tree, an olive that is neither of the East nor of the West whose oil wellnigh would shine, even if no fire touched it; Light upon Light; (God guides to His Light whom He will.) (And God strikes similitudes for men, and God has knowledge of everything.)

2 Abdul Haleem

God is the Light of the heavens and earth. His Light is like this: there is a niche, and in it a lamp, the lamp inside a glass, a glass like a glittering star, fuelled from a blessed olive tree from neither east nor west, whose oil almost gives light even when no fire touches it- light upon light- God guides whoever He will to his Light; God draws such comparisons for people; God has full knowledge of everything-

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth: the likeness of His light is as a niche wherein is a lamp; the lamp is in glass; the glass is as though it were a star brilliant; lit from a tree blest, an olive, neither in the east nor in the west; well-nigh its oil would glow forth even though fire touch it not. light upon light. Allah guideth unto His light whomsoever He will: And Allah propoundeth similitudes for mankind: verily Allah is of everything the Knower.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The Parable of His Light is as if there were a Niche and within it a Lamp; the Lamp enclosed in Glass; the glass as it were a brilliant star; Lit from a blessed Tree, an Olive, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil is well-nigh luminous, though fire scarce touched it; Light upon Light! Allah doth guide whom He will to His Light; Allah doth set forth Parables for men; and Allah doth know all things.

5 Abul Ala Maududi

Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth: His light (in the universe) may be likened (to the light of) a lamp in a niche: the lamp is in a glass shade: the glass shade is like a glittering star and lamp is lit with the olive oil of a blessed tree which is neither eastern nor western: its oil is (so fine) as if it were going to shine forth by itself though no fire touched it (as though all the means of increasing) light upon light (were provided); Allah guides to His light whomever He wills. He cites parables to make the Message clear to the people; He has perfect knowledge of everything.

6 Ahmed Ali

God is the light of the heavens and the earth. The semblance of His light is that of a niche in which is a lamp, the flame within a glass, the glass a glittering star as it were, lit with the oil of a blessed tree, the olive, neither of the East nor of the West, whose oil appears to light up even though fire touches it not, -- light upon light. God guides to His light whom He will. So does God advance precepts of wisdom for men, for God has knowledge of everything.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth; the example of His light is like a niche in which is a lamp; the lamp is in a glass; the glass is as if it were a star shining like a pearl, kindled by the blessed olive tree, neither of the east nor of the west – it is close that the oil itself get ablaze although the fire does not touch it; light upon light; Allah guides towards His light whomever He wills; and Allah illustrates examples for mankind; and Allah knows everything. (The Holy Prophet is a light from Allah)

8 Ali Quli Qarai

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 glittering star—lit from a blessed olive tree, neither eastern nor western, whose oil almost lights up, though fire should not touch it. Light upon light. Allah guides to His Light whomever He wishes. Allah draws parables for mankind, and Allah has knowledge of all things.

9 Ali Ünal

God is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His Light is like a niche wherein is a lamp; the lamp is in a crystal, and the crystal shining as if a pearl-like radiant star, lit from the oil of a blessed olive tree that is neither of the east nor of the west. The oil would almost give light of itself though no fire touches it: light upon light. God guides to His Light whom He wills. God strikes parables for people. God has full knowledge of all things.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

Allâh is the Extensive Light of the heavens and the earth. His light can be compared to a (lustrous) pillar on which a lamp is put. The lamp is inside a crystal globe. The globe of glass is as if it were a glittering star. It (- the lamp) is lit by (the oil of) a blessed olive tree which belongs neither to the east nor to the west (rather welds the whole world in its fold). Its oil is likely to glow forth of itself even if no fire touch it. This (lamp) is a combination of many lights over and over. Allâh guides towards His light whoever desires (to be enlightened). And Allâh sets forth excellent parables for the people, and Allâh alone has full knowledge of every thing.

11 English Literal

God (is) the skies`/space`s and the earth`s/Planet Earth`s light, His light`s example/proverb (is) as/like a niche in it a light/lamp, the light/lamp (is) in a clear and transparent glass container , the clear and transparent glass container is as though it (is) a pearly/luminous star/planet, (it) is being ignited/lit from a blessed tree, an olive not eastern and not western, its oil is about to/almost to lighten/illuminate, and even if fire did not touch it. Light on/over light, God guides to His light whom He wills/wants , and God gives the examples/proverbs to the people, and God (is) with every thing knowledgeable.

12 Faridul Haque

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth; the example of His light is like a niche in which is a lamp; the lamp is in a glass; the glass is as if it were a star shining like a pearl, kindled by the blessed olive tree, neither of the east nor of the west – it is close that the oil itself get ablaze although the fire does not touch it; light upon light; Allah guides towards His light whomever He wills; and Allah illustrates examples for mankind; and Allah knows everything. (The Holy Prophet is a light from Allah)

13 Hamid S. Aziz

Now have We sent down to you clear revelations, and the example of those who have passed away before you, and as an admonition to those who fear (avoid) evil.

14 Hilali & Khan

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The parable of His Light is as (if there were) a niche and within it a lamp, the lamp is in glass, the glass as it were a brilliant star, lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east (i.e. neither it gets sun-rays only in the morning) nor of the west (i.e. nor it gets sun-rays only in the afternoon, but it is exposed to the sun all day long), whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself), though no fire touched it. Light upon Light! Allah guides to His Light whom He wills. And Allah sets forth parables for mankind, and Allah is All-Knower of everything.

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

And certainly We have sent to you clear messages and a description of those who passed away before you, and an admonition to those who guard against evil.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth; a likeness of His light is as a niche in which is a lamp, the lamp is in a glass, (and) the glass is as it were a brightly shining star, lit from a blessed olive-tree, neither eastern nor western, the oil whereof almost gives light though fire touch it not-- light upon light-- Allah guides to His light whom He pleases, and Allah sets forth parables for men, and Allah is Cognizant of all things.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The similitude of His light is as a niche wherein is a lamp. The lamp is in a glass. The glass is as it were a shining star. (This lamp is) kindled from a blessed tree, an olive neither of the East nor of the West, whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself) though no fire touched it. Light upon light. Allah guideth unto His light whom He will. And Allah speaketh to mankind in allegories, for Allah is Knower of all things.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

God is the light of the heavens and the earth. A metaphor for His light is a niche in which there is a lamp placed in a glass. The glass is like a shining star which is lit from a blessed olive tree that is neither eastern nor western. Its oil almost lights up even though it has not been touched by the fire. It is light upon light. God guides to His light whomever He wants. God uses various metaphors. He has the knowledge of all things.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

Allah is the Lighter of the heavens and the earth. The example of His Light is like a tube, in which there is a wick. The wick is in a lamp and the lamp is as a glittering planet kindled from a Blessed Tree, an olive that is neither of the East nor of the West. Its oil would almost shine forth though no fire touched it. Light upon light; Allah guides to His Light whom He will. Allah strikes parables for people. Allah has knowledge of all things.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The parable of His Light is as a niche and within it a lamp: the lamp is in a glass, the glass as it were a star Durriyyun, lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil would almost glow forth, though no fire touched it. Light upon Light! Allah guides to His Light whom He wills. And Allah sets forth parables for mankind, and Allah is All-Knower of everything.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

God is the light of the heavens and the earth. His light may be compared to a niche containing a lamp, the lamp inside a crystal of star-like brilliance lit from a blessed olive tree, neither of the east nor of the west. The [luminous] oil is as if ready to burn without even touching it. Light upon light; God guides to His light whom He will. God draws such comparisons for mankind; God has full knowledge of everything.

22 Talal Itani

God is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The allegory of His light is that of a pillar on which is a lamp. The lamp is within a glass. The glass is like a brilliant planet, fueled by a blessed tree, an olive tree, neither eastern nor western. Its oil would almost illuminate, even if no fire has touched it. Light upon Light. God guides to His light whomever He wills. God thus cites the parables for the people. God is cognizant of everything.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

God is the Light of the heavens and the earth, in other words, He illumines both of them with the sun and the moon. The likeness of His Light, that is, the description of it [as it resides] in the heart of a believer, is as a niche wherein is a lamp. The lamp is in a glass -- this [glass] is the [case for the] lantern and the misbh is the torch, that is, the wick that is lit; al-mishkt is a recess that does not penetrate [to the other side], in other words, the tube inside the lantern, the glass, with the light inside it [is], as it were a glittering star, that is, a light-giving [star] (read dirr'un or durr'un, derived from al-dar`, `to repel', because it repels darkness; or read durriyyun, derived from al-durr, `pearls') kindled, is this lamp (read past tense tawaqqada; a variant reading has the imperfect tense of awqada, in the passive voice; yqadu; another reading has tqadu, in which case the reference is to al-zujja, `the glass') from, the oil of, a Blessed Tree, an olive neither of the east nor of the west, but in between the two, so that no harmful cold or heat affects it; whose oil would almost glow forth [of itself], though no fire touched it, because of [the extent of] its purity. Light, by Him, upon light, by fire; the light of God is His guidance of the believer, light upon the light of faith. God guides to His Light, that is, [to] the religion of Islam, whom He will. And God strikes, He illustrates, similitudes for men, by approximating [such similitudes] to their comprehension, so that they might take heed and believe; and God is Knower of all things, including [knowledge of] how to strike similitudes.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

The Parable of the Light of Allah

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said;

اللَّهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالاَْرْضِ

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth.

means, the Guide of the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth.

Ibn Jurayj reported that Mujahid and Ibn Abbas said concerning the Ayah;
اللَّهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالاَْرْضِ
(Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth).

"He is controlling their affairs and their stars and sun and moon."

As-Suddi said concerning the Ayah;
اللَّهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالاَْرْضِ
(Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth).

"by His Light the heavens and earth are illuminated."

In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said;

"When the Messenger of Allah got up to pray at night, he would say;

اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ الْحَمْدُ أَنْتَ قَيِّمُ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالاَْرْضِ وَمَنْ فِيهِنَّ وَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ أَنْتَ نُورُ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالاَْرْضِ وَمَنْ فِيهِنَّ

O Allah,

to You be praise, You are the Sustainer of heaven and earth and whoever is in them.

To You be praise, You are the Light of the heavens and the earth and whoever is in them.

It was narrated that Ibn Mas`ud said,

"There is no night or day with your Lord; the Light of the Throne comes from the Light of His Face."

مَثَلُ نُورِهِ

The parable of His Light,

There are two views concerning the meaning of the pronoun (His).

The first is that it refers to Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, meaning that the parable of His guidance in the heart of the believer is
كَمِشْكَاةٍ
(as a niche).

This was the view of Ibn Abbas.

The second view is that the pronoun refers to the believer, which is indicated by the context of the words and implies that the parable of the light in the heart of the believer is as a niche. So the heart of the believer and what he is naturally inclined to of guidance and what he learns of the Qur'an which is in accordance with his natural inclinations are, as Allah says;

أَفَمَن كَانَ عَلَى بَيِّنَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّهِ وَيَتْلُوهُ شَاهِدٌ مِّنْهُ

Can they who rely on a clear proof from their Lord, and whom a witness from Him recites it (can they be equal with the disbelievers). (11;17)
The heart of the believer in its purity and clarity is likened to a lamp in transparent and jewel-like glass, and the Qur'an and Shariah by which it is guided are likened to good, pure, shining oil in which there is no impurity or deviation.

كَمِشْكَاةٍ

as (if there were) a niche,

Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Muhammad bin Ka`b and others said,

"This refers to the position of the wick in the lamp."

This is well-known, and hence Allah then says;

فِيهَا مِصْبَاحٌ

and within it a lamp.

This is the flame that burns brightly.

Or it was said that the niche is a niche in the house.

This is the parable given by Allah of obedience towards Him. Allah calls obedience to Him as light, then He calls it by other numerous names as well.

Ubayy bin Ka`b said,

"The lamp is the light, and this refers to the Qur'an and the faith that is in his heart."

As-Suddi said,

"It is the lamp."

الْمِصْبَاحُ فِي زُجَاجَةٍ

the lamp is in a glass,

means, this light is shining in a clear glass.

Ubayy bin Ka`b and others said,

"This is the likeness of the heart of the believer."

الزُّجَاجَةُ كَأَنَّهَا كَوْكَبٌ دُرِّيٌّ

the glass as it were a star Durriyyun,

Some authorities recite the word Durriyyun with a Dammah on the Dal and without a Hamzah,

which means pearls, i.e., as if it were a star made of pearls (Durr).

Others recite it as Dirri'un or Durri'un, with a Kasrah on the Dal, or Dammah on the Dal, and with a Hamzah at the end,

which means reflection (Dir'), because if something is shone on the star it becomes brighter than at any other time.

The Arabs call the stars they do not know Darari.

Ubayy bin Ka`b said;

a shining star.

Qatadah said;

"Huge, bright and clear."

يُوقَدُ مِن شَجَرَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ

lit from a blessed tree,

means, it is derived from olive oil, from a blessed tree.

زَيْتُونِةٍ

an olive,

This refers to the blessed tree mentioned previously.

لاَّا شَرْقِيَّةٍ وَلَا غَرْبِيَّةٍ

neither of the east nor of the west,

means, it is not in the eastern part of the land so that it does not get any sun in the first part of the day, nor is it in the western part of the land so that it is shaded from the sun before sunset, but it is in a central position where it gets sun from the beginning of the day until the end, so its oil is good and pure and shining.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn Abbas commented on;
زَيْتُونِةٍ

لاَّا شَرْقِيَّةٍ وَلَا غَرْبِيَّةٍ
(an olive, neither of the east nor of the west),

"This is a tree in the desert which is not shaded by any other tree or mountain or cave, nothing covers it, and this is best for its oil."

Mujahid commented on;
لاَّا شَرْقِيَّةٍ وَلَا غَرْبِيَّةٍ
(neither of the east nor of the west) saying;

"It is not in the east where it will get no sun when the sun sets, nor is it in the west where it will get no sun when the sun rises, but it is in a position where it will get sun both at sunrise and sunset."

Sa`id bin Jubayr commented;

زَيْتُونِةٍ

لاَّا شَرْقِيَّةٍ وَلَا غَرْبِيَّةٍ

يَكَادُ زَيْتُهَا يُضِيءُ


an olive, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself),

"This is the best kind of oil. When the sun rises it reaches the tree from the east and when it sets it reaches it from the west, so the sun reaches it morning and evening, so it is not counted as being in the east or in the west."

يَكَادُ زَيْتُهَا يُضِيءُ وَلَوْ لَمْ تَمْسَسْهُ نَارٌ

whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself), though no fire touched it.

Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said;

(this means) because the oil itself is shining.

نُّورٌ عَلَى نُورٍ

Light upon Light!

Al-Awfi narrated from Ibn Abbas that this meant the faith and deeds of a person.

As-Suddi said;
نُّورٌ عَلَى نُورٍ
(Light upon Light!),

"Light of the fire and the light of the oil;when they are combined they give light, and neither of them can give light without the other.

Similarly the light of the Qur'an and the light of faith give light when they are combined, and neither can do so without the other."

يَهْدِي اللَّهُ لِنُورِهِ مَن يَشَاء

Allah guides to His Light whom He wills.

means, Allah shows the way to the ones whom He chooses, as it says in the Hadith recorded by Imam Ahmad from Abdullah bin Amr, who said,

"I heard the Messenger of Allah say;

إِنَّ اللهَ تَعَالَى خَلَقَ خَلْقَهُ فِي ظُلْمَةٍ ثُمَّ أَلْقَى عَلَيْهِمْ مِنْ نُورِهِ يَوْمَيِذٍ فَمَنْ أَصَابَ مِنْ نُورِهِ يَوْمَيِذٍ اهْتَدَى وَمَنْ أَخْطَأَ ضَلَّ فَلِذَلِكَ أَقُولُ جَفَّ الْقَلَمُ عَلَى عِلْمِ اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ

Allah created His creation in darkness, then on the same day He sent His Light upon them. Whoever was touched by His Light on that day will be guided and whoever was missed will be led astray. Hence I say;the pens have dried in accordance with the knowledge of Allah, may He be glorified."

وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الاَْمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ



And Allah sets forth parables for mankind, and Allah is All-Knower of everything.

Having mentioned this parable of the Light of His guidance in the heart of the believer, Allah ends this Ayah with the words;
وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الاَْمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ
(And Allah sets forth parables for mankind, and Allah is All-Knower of everything).

meaning, He knows best who deserves to be guided and who deserves to be led astray.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri said,

"The Messenger of Allah said;

الْقُلُوبُ أَرْبَعَةٌ

قَلْبٌ أَجْرَدُ فِيهِ مِثْلُ السِّرَاجِ يُزْهِرُ

وَقَلْبٌ أَغْلَفُ مَرْبُوطٌ عَلَى غِلَفِهِ

وَقَلْبٌ مَنْكُوسٌ

وَقَلْبٌ مُصْفَحٌ

فَأَمَّا الْقَلْبُ الاْأَجْرَدُ فَقَلْبُ الْمُوْمِنِ سِرَاجُهُ فِيهِ نُورُهُ




وَأَمَّا الْقَلْبُ الاْأَغْلَفُ فَقَلْبُ الْكَافِرِ

وَأَمَّا الْقَلْبُ الْمَنْكُوسُ فَقَلْبُ الْمُنَافِقِ عَرَفَ ثُمَّ أَنْكَرَ

وَأَمَّا الْقَلْبُ الْمُصْفَحُ فَقَلْبٌ فِيهِ إِيمَانٌ وَنِفَاقٌ وَمَثَلُ الاْأِيمَانِ فِيهِ كَمَثَلِ الْبَقْلَةِ يُمِدُّهَا الْمَاءُ الطَّيِّبُ وَمَثَلُ النِّفَاقِ فِيهِ كَمَثَلِ الْقَرْحَةِ يُمِدُّهَا الدَّمُ وَالْقَيْحُ فَأَيُّ الْمدَّتَيْنِ غَلَبَتْ عَلَى الاْأُخْرَى غَلَبَتْ عَلَيْهِ

Hearts are of four kinds;

the heart that is clear like a shining lamp;

the heart that is covered and tied up;

the heart that is upside-down; and

the heart that is clad in armor.

- As for the clear heart, it is the heart of the believer in which is a lamp filled with light;

- as for the covered heart, this is the heart of the disbeliever;

- as for the upside-down heart, this is the heart of the hypocrite, who recognizes then denies;

- as for the armor-clad heart, this is the heart in which there is both faith and hypocrisy. The parable of the faith in it is that of legume, a sprout that is irrigated with good water, and the likeness of the hypocrisy in it is that of sores that are fed by blood and pus. Whichever of the two prevails is the characteristic that will dominate.

Its chain of narrators is good (Jayyid) although they (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) did not record it.