Light upon light – The verse of light and the heart of the believer

Light upon light - The verse of light and the heart of the believer

“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 brilliant 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. [Surah Al-Nur 24:35]

Allah gives light to the heaven and earth

This famous ayah containing the phrase ‘Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth’ is called the Ayah of Nur (the verse of light).

This is the ayah of Nur in surat An Nur.

There has been plenty of discussion on this ayah alone.

The heart of the believer reflects the light of Allah

There are a few explanations for this. The common one is that this is the example of the heart of the believer and the niche is where the heart resides. Allah’s light is reflected by the heart.  

Allah Almighty says this glass is like a brilliant star because of the light reflecting from the heart due to its sensitivity and brilliance. The glass is radiant, pure and clear.

The source of light is as if it has been lit by the oil of olive tree, which is neither in the east or the west. This means that it is located in a central position where it receives light from all sides, not just the east or west. It is healthy and thriving. The best tree in the best position in the best location receiving the best light and all this is beaming on the heart of the believer through the revelation which Allah Almighty sent to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him).

Light upon light

Nurun ala nur (light upon light) is the light coming to the heart of the believer and the light of the fitrah which Allah created in the believer, which is the innate purity in each and every human. These  twin lights shine in the heart of the believer.

Allah Almighty guides whomsoever He wills

Allah is the Light. He illuminates our hearts, our minds, and our life. The light shows you the way, clears the darkness from around you, shows you where to walk safely and gives you clear vision.

Those who seek guidance will be guided by Allah Almighty. There is no doubt about this.

Those who reject guidance will not be guided. Whatever proof is put before them, they will reject it. Allah Almighty gives the example of the niche, and olive oil and lamp for believers to reflect upon, because we are familiar with them. And so that we can appreciate the light He has sent us so that we can be thankful for Allah’s light.

Light brings relief

When we are struggling, and see a glimmer of relief, we talk about the light at the end of the tunnel, as we are looking forward to getting out of the tunnel of darkness and heading into the light, which is a metaphor for our difficulties being resolved.  The moment we see daylight we feel energised and positive and happy. We feel ready to get on with our day. So the first and the foremost thing you should do when you see the first light in the day is to start with the tasbeeh and dhikr of Allah Almighty and show gratitude and thankfulness to Allah Almighty that He has given us life after death, and remember that we will return to Allah Almighty. 

The light from Allah Almighty goes with us even in our grave. Those who are the people of light in this dunya, will have light in the akhirah and light in their graves. How do we get this light? Through the guidance which Allah Almighty has sent through the Quran. His words are the light in our life. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said As Salat un Noor:

الصَّلَاةُ نُورٌ

Salah is light. [Muslim]

If you want to increase this light in this life, be regular in your salah. Salah will enlighten your heart, will enlighten your life. It will give you special connection with Allah Almighty – the provider of light.

Dua for light

In his Farewell Sermon, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), during his Hajj, standing on plains of Arafah, he made many long supplications and one of these was the supplication for divine light which is one of my favourite supplications.

“O Allah, place light in my heart, light in my tongue, light in my hearing, light in my sight, light behind me, light in front of me, light on my right, light on my left, light above me and light below me; place light in my sinew, in my flesh, in my blood, in my hair and in my skin; place light in my soul and make light abundant for me; make me light and grant me light.”

( وَعَنْ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ { أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم صَلَّى فَجَعَلَ يَقُولُ فِي صَلَاتِهِ أَوْ فِي سُجُودِهِ :

اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْ فِي قَلْبِي نُورًا , وَفِي سَمْعِي نُورًا , وَفِي بَصَرِي نُورًا , وَعَنْ يَمِينِي نُورًا , وَعَنْ شِمَالِي نُورًا , وَأَمَامِي نُورًا , وَخَلْفِي نُورًا , وَفَوْقِي نُورًا , وَتَحْتِي نُورًا , وَاجْعَلْ لِي نُورًا أَوْ قَالَ : وَاجْعَلْنِي نُورًا } . مُخْتَصَرٌ مِنْ مُسْلِمٍ )

When the Prophet (peace be on him) arrived in Taif, he encountered rejection and animosity and he was humiliated and injured, so he made this dua, asking Allah to support him in his moment of utter weakness.

اللهمَّ إليك أشكو ضَعْفَ قوَّتي، وقلةَ حيلتي، وهواني على الناسِ، يا أرحَمَ الراحمِينَ، أنت رَبُّ المستضعَفِينَ، وأنت ربِّي، إلى مَن تَكِلُني؟ إلى بعيدٍ يَتجهَّمُني، أو إلى عدوٍّ ملَّكْتَهُ أمري؟! إن لم يكُنْ بك غضَبٌ عليَّ فلا أُبالي، غيرَ أن عافيتَك هي أوسَعُ لي، أعُوذُ بنورِ وجهِك الذي أشرَقتْ له الظُّلماتُ، وصلَح عليه أمرُ الدُّنيا والآخرةِ، أن يَحِلَّ عليَّ غضَبُك، أو أن يَنزِلَ بي سخَطُك، لك العُتْبى حتى ترضى، ولا حولَ ولا قوَّةَ إلا بك.

O Allah to You I complain of my weakness and lack of resources, and my humiliation before mankind. You are the most merciful of those who show mercy. You are the Lord of the weak and You are my Lord. To whom do You entrust me? To someone distant that attacks me! Or to an enemy that You gave him control over my affairs? If you are not angry with me then I do not care, but Your protection is much better and more ample for me. I seek protection in the light of Your face, which illuminates the darkness, and through which all affairs in this life and in the Hereafter become right, may it never be that I should incur Your wrath, or that You should be displeased with me. I will appeal to You till You are pleased with me. There is no power, and there is no way except through You.

We ask Him to keep this light in our hearts and in the hearts of our offspring and our loved ones. Ameen.

Shaykh Haytham Tamim – Ramadan day 10

How to bring the light of Allah in your heart

Do support us with your duas and donations and enable us to continue spreading free content through our regular blogs, live sessions and videos.


Shaykh Haytham Tamim is the founder and main teacher of the Utrujj Foundation. He has provided a leading vision for Islamic learning in the UK, which has influenced the way Islamic knowledge is disseminated. He has orchestrated the design and delivery of over 200 unique courses since Utrujj started in 2001. His extensive expertise spans over 30 years across the main Islamic jurisprudence schools of thought. He has studied with some of the foremost scholars in their expertise; he holds some of the highest Ijazahs (certificates) in Quran, Hadith (the Prophetic traditions) and Fiqh (Islamic rulings). His own gift for teaching was evident when he gave his first sermon to a large audience at the age of 17 and went on to serve as a senior lecturer of Islamic transactions and comparative jurisprudence at the Islamic University of Beirut (Shariah College). He has continued to teach; travelling around the UK, Europe and wider afield, and won the 2015 BISCA award (British Imams & Scholars Contributions & Achievements Awards) for Outstanding Contribution to Education and Teaching.