July 2014: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Ramadan 1435

Volume 30 No 7

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Submitters Perspective

Monthly Bulletin of the International Community of Submitters Published by Masjid Tucson

Journeying Towards The Light

Stand on the top of a hill and watch the sunrise. Listen to the response of the world. What do you see? What do you hear? Birds start singing and your heart starts singing as well. Harmoniously, flowers open and lean towards the sun. You can almost see them smiling. The same thing is true when we bask in the light of God. The power of this light is captured and brought home to me in this elegantly phrased passage from the Quran: 

“GOD is the light of the heavens and the earth. The allegory of His light is that of a concave mirror behind a lamp that is placed inside a glass container. The glass container is like a bright, pearl-like star. The fuel thereof is supplied from a blessed oil-producing tree, that is neither eastern, nor western. Its oil is almost self-radiating; needs no fire to ignite it. Light upon light. GOD guides to His light whomever He wills. GOD thus cites the parables for the people. GOD is fully aware of all things. (God's guidance is found) in houses exalted by GOD, for His name is commemorated therein. Glorifying Him therein, day and night—”(24:35-36). 

Not only is this a profound piece of writing, but the passage reinforces the importance of God as the Light by its many references to light: 

The first sentence summarizes the glory and power of God. God is the Light of the heavens and the earth. Without light there is no life. Without God there is no life. The two are intrinsically linked. When a teacher explains a difficult concept to her students she often uses stories or allegories to shed light. Similarly, this passage includes a powerful allegory linking the Light of God to the light of a concave mirror behind a lamp placed inside a glass container. The next reference to that light is the description of the glass container. It is like a bright, pearl-like star. The light from the stars can help defeat the darkness of night. These same stars guided ancient mariners in the midst of a dark, violent ocean.

Just as the blessed (olive) tree produces fuel for the physical light to illuminate humans' homes and paths, so God produces the spiritual fuel that we need to light our path. The tree is neither eastern nor western. Similarly, the light is neither eastern nor western.  Light is everywhere just as God is everywhere.

The oil is almost self-radiating, needs no fire to ignite. God’s light and guidance does not need an external source to ignite it. Because the soul was created

by God, the Light of God brings it alive. The enlightened soul longs to be in the presence of God (66:8); and it is therefore ready to receive that Light (57:12,19). As a flower turns to  face the sun, so does the soul of a believer turn towards the Light of God. Those who turn away from this Light lose their soul and their way in darkness.

It can be difficult for our souls to focus on staying in the Light of God because there are many distractions that call people to darkness. Satan comes from every direction, each time using a different trick to deceive people yet letting them think that they are doing what is asked of them (7:3). Such a deceived soul will end up “… in total darkness from which he can never exit. The works of the disbelievers are thus adorned in their eyes” (6:122).

Night will always come but so will the dawn. Temptation will always come but God is always with those who seek Him. “Imploring Him is the only legitimate supplication, while the idols they implore beside Him, cannot ever respond. Thus, they are like those who stretch their hands to the water, but nothing reaches their mouths. The supplications of the disbelievers are in vain” (13:14).

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