Wonders of Qur'an
Things that Allah used as symbols for Tauhid (Divine Oneness)
By Fakhred-din Rāzi
established a likeness between the Iman (Faith) and the Fire: Their
similitude is the likeness of those who lit a fire…[2:17] and again:
And from what they lit a fire… [Thunder:17]. And in these allegories
there are two Ishārat (Hints):
1. When the gold is thrown into fire, the impurities are burnt away and
what is left is the pure essence. And as such is the Day of Judgment
i.e. when the sinner is placed upon the fire the wrong doings are burnt
away, and all remains is his Iman (Faith).
2. Indeed the fire burns all things and such is the similitude of the
Iman (Faith), if Iman's light become intense it shall burn away all
that which is not the Mahab-bat (Divine
Love) within the heart: Say Allah then
forsake them drowning within their (worldly falsehood) play [Al-Ana'am:
'The similitude of Hu's Light'
[The Light:35]. And the reason for this simile is that of the 'Idāfah
(Annexation) of Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) to Hu's Nafs (Divine Self),
for number of reasons:
'Idāfah (Annexation) of Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) to Hu's
Self) indicates that Allah values it highly, and that is because
this is a priceless jewel of an essence, highly valued, and yet
its/Ma'refat's owner is totally ignorant of its value, and the Satan is
a devious and tricky, meaning to snatch something of the person's
Ma'refat, and coming between the person and this Ma'refat (Divine
Gnosis) as a blockage. However Allah, due to Hu's infinite Mercy,
placed the Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) under Hu's full protection, so that
the Satan's greed and desire to reach it is cut off!
And the proof for the latter: 'Ineed you (Satan) have no control/power
over My Slaves' [Hijr:42]. And the fact of Allah's 'Idāfah
(Annexation) of the Ma'reaft (Divine Gnosis) to Hu's
Self) guarantees the lack of access of Satan to it: And by Your
(Allah) Greatness I shall seduce them all except Your chosen slaves'
[Sad: 82-83]. And again here is the 'Idāfa (Annexation) of the Iman
(Faith) to Hu's Nafs (Divine Self):
The similitude of Hu's Light
[Light:35], that completely leaves Satan in despair to reach to this
Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis).
2. Whatsoever that the slave finds within is from Al-Haqq (The Absolute
Truth & Reality, Allah), and
that is due to the fact that all/life has been obtained through his
formation and creation by Allah, and when the slave reaches the Daraja
(Gradation, Level) where he observes this Hāla (Momentary Sate
of the heart) only then his Hāla is perfected, as it is said about
this matter: Whatsoever is with him it is from Us, and whatsoever with
us is from Hu.
So therefore the Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) that is with us (the human
beings), beyond any doubt is an 'Idāfah (Annexation) to Hu's Nafs (Divine Self):
The similitude of Hu's Light
3. When an object is designated for the use of 'Idāfah (Annexation) to Allah, this
association causes the nobility of the object, such as Allah said: Do
purify My House (Haram) [Hajj:26], or 'This is the she-camel of Allah'
[Al-A'raf:73] or 'And when Allah's slave stood up' [Jinn:19]. Similarly
the association of Ma'reaft (Divine Gnosis) to Allah indicates the
nobility of Ma'refat.
Q: What is the wisdom behind the resemblance between the light of
Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) and the light of a lamp: The similitude of Hu's Light is
that of a Niche/Alcove
within it a lamp
A: The answer could be several: If a house is well lit then the thieve
dares not to enter since he may be discovered easily, and such is the
heart that once within has the lamp
of Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) the Satan does not dare to enter due to the
fear of exposure. Or the lamp
within a house aids the owner to find his things, similarly the lamp
of Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) guides the owner to enter the path of
obedience and worship. Or when there is a lamp within a house the light
of the lamp
can shine upon the owner as well as the guests, and yet the benefit of
the light of the owner is not diminished due to the sharing with the
guests, such is the case with the heart: The lamp
of Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) benefits the owner of the heart as well as
the people around him without the diminish of any benefit to the owner.
And when the lamp is on the window's ledge it lights the inside as well
as the outside of the house meaning the lamp
of Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) lights the heart as well as the eyes, the
ears and the tongue. And thus manifests the obeisance even within the
limbs of the body. As was an Ishārat (Hint) by
the Prophet: O my Lord place Light
within my heart, Light within my ears, Light within my eyes, Light
within my bones, Light within my brain…’.
Or when there is a lamp within the house the owner is relaxed and
happy, and yet when the light is out he is most anxious and worried,
similarly as long as there is the lamp
of Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) lighting the heart, the owner is pleased
and relaxed and if, seeking refuge to Allah, this
light is out the person becomes sorrowful and melancholy: 'And when
Allah wishes to guide someone, opens his heart (meaning the light
shines in) for Islam, and when (Hu)
wills to misguide someone makes his heart constricted and distressed as
though he is gliding to climb to the sky' [Al-An'am:125] (Dara: When
the person aboard a spacecraft is heading towards the orbit, feels the
G-force pressure and constriction of the lift off, that is the person
when he jets away from Allah's Light to
And finally, even though the mass of the lamp is negligible, however
its light spread in all directions, such is the light of the Ma'refat
(Divine Gnosis) spreads out of the heart to all directions: And for Allah is the
east and the west and no matter which way you turn your face, there is
the Face of
Allah' [Al-An'am:125]. Specially from the point of the bird's eye
view: The good speech glides upwards Towards Hu
Q: What is the difference between the sun and the lamp
of Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis)?
A: There are several reasons: Opaque clouds can block the light of the
sun, but in the case of the Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) even the seven
heavens cannot block its light. The sun is absent during certain times
e.g. the night, however the Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) is never absent,
day or the night, indeed in the night Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) is more
pronounced: Indeed the emergence of the night is most suited (for
receiving the light) and most persistent for reciting Qur'an
[Al-Mazammil:6] or 'Praise to Al-Ladhi (That Which)
slave voyage in the evening… [Al-Isra:1] or 'The Night of the Power is
better than one thousand months' [Al-Qadr:3].
The sun rays cease: When the sun loses its light [Takwir:1], however
the Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) does not cease.
The sun can be uncovered (say by the clouds or eclipse), but the
Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) cannot. (Dara: The sun is subject to covering
and uncovering, blocking unblocking, but the Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis)
is not subject to any such transient states i.e. there was no time that
this Ma'refat was not within you, and there was no time that you did
not have access to it. There was no time that you were ignorant of this
Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) e.g. there was a time that you did not know
about the story of Moses parting the Red Sea, so prior to someone
informing you about it you were ignorant of this knowledge! However the
Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) about the Tauhid (Divine Oneness)
has no point of time were you were ignorant of it. To extend the
concept further, the knowledge about Moses parting the sea is a
transient knowledge, however the Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) is not
transient or temporal and indeed it is independent of passage of time.
The secondary knowledge of commandments and religious laws is subject
to change by the passage of time but the fundamental primary Divine
Knowledge about the Tauhid (Divine Oneness)
is independent of the passage of the time and the human condition.)
The sun tans and darkens objects, the Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) whitens
objects. (Dara: The sun helps in oxidization or helps in the withering
of the objects, however the Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) always rejuvenates
and renews all objects into freshens of existence.)
The sun burns, the Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) saves from the fire.
The sun rays many benefit or harm, however the Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis)
only benefits and has no harm indeed.
The sun benefits only this world, however the Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis)
benefits both this world and the world after.
The sun is the ornament beautifying for the people of this earth,
however the Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) is the ornament beautifying for
the dwellers of the heavens.
The sun is aloft and above the earth and shines down on the people, the
Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) is deep down in the heart of the believer,
however it shines up!
By the sun the Wujud (Existence) of
the creation is uncovered (from darkness), by the Ma'refat (Divine
Gnosis) the Wujud (Existence) of the Creator is uncovered. And the
proof for this: Imam Ali was asked 'have you seen your Lord?' and he
replied: I do not worship the Lord that I did not see! (Dara: Imam Ali
is not referring to the optical viewing of the Lord, rather he is
referring to the effulgence of the Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) of the
The sun shines on the friend and the foe, however the Ma'refat (Divine
Gnosis) only shines upon the Wali (Close friends of Allah).
The power of the sun rules in this world, and the power of the Ma'refat
(Divine Gnosis) rules in the other world.
The sun is the lamp for the creation and the Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis)
is the lamp
of Al-Haqq (The Absolute Reality & Truth, Allah). (Dara:
Razi here does not use the Name Allah, instead uses the name Al-Haqq to
indicate that if the person views by the light of the Ma'refat (Divine
Gnosis) the person would see the true reality of all objects in the
universe and no falsehood is viewed.)
The sun is ablaze by the fuel from the reservoirs of cosmos, however
the Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) is ablaze by the fuel from the reservoirs
of the Malik (The
The sun/stars are signposts that guide anyone on the earth, however the
Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) is a Karāmat (Concealed blessing within the
person). (Dara: A public signpost on the street corner is a guide for
any eyes to see, but the Karāmat is a blessing of a signpost that is
concealed from the public and only few eyes can see.)
The sun/stars are localities where the creation looks at, the Ma'refat
(Divine Gnosis) is the locality where the Creator of the universe(s)
looks at: Indeed Allah
does not behold your faces or your belongings, however beholds your
hearts and your deeds, said the Prophet peace be upon him.
Q: What is the difference between a lamp
and Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis)?
A: The worldly lamp's light is immixed with the darkness of smoke and
other intermittents, however the lamp
of Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) has a pure light that is not immixed with
any darkness or causes for darkness. The lamp burns itself and benefits
others, while the lamp
of the Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) burns the sins, refreshes the Sirr (Divine
Observatory) and enlightens the bosom (heart).
The lamp fades and faints under the sunlight, but the lamp
of Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) and Tauhid (Divine Oneness)
fades the sunlight.
The lamp has no sense of loyalty it might burn both the person who lit
it as well as the person that never touched it, however the lamp
of Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) has loyalty i.e. it shall never burn his
owner, as a matter of fact it saves its owner from burning.
Q: What is the wisdom behind symbolizing the Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis)
by the lantern?
A: Indeed the lantern can be put off by the wind as does the Ma'refat
(Divine Gnosis) by the winds of the lusts and doubts. The lantern would
not burn without fuel and the Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) will not last
without the conformation and adaptation to the will of Allah. The
lantern for sure has to be take care of by a caretaker e.g. cleaning or
adding fuel, however Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) has only Allah's
generosity and mercy as the caretaker.
Q: What is the wisdom behind symbolizing the heart by the glass?
A: Although the gold and silver are highly priced they are opaque and
dense i.e. they veil the light, but the glass though it is low priced
it is pure and elegant and do not block the light, its inside can be
seen from the outside and vice-a-versa, that is why Allah used such
similitude for the removing of the veils, not for placing the veils. If
a glass container breaks there is no way to fix it except by throwing
the glass shards into the fire and melting them, similarly the heart
that is corrupted cannot be fixed unless by being thrown in the fire:
And all of you come close to it (Hell Fire), and it is a must!
Indeed the owner of gold and silver fears not their breaking apart i.e.
being reduced in price due to the breaking up, however the owner of the
glass container fears and worries since if it breaks it loses its
value. And it befits the believer to be as worried like that of the
owner of the glass container, not as the owner of the gold or silver.
Allah did use
this similitude since the light from the glass is far more beautiful
and perfect than that of the reflection of the gold and silver.
Q: What is the wisdom behind the symbolizing the blazing star?
A: There is guidance for night travelers by means of the stars: And
there are signposts by means of the start for them to be guided
[Bee:16], and ornament for the dwellers of the heaven: Indeed we have
adorned the sky of the world with the ornaments of the stars [Safat:6],
and such is the heart of the believer that like unto the stars guides
the owner to towards the goodness, and also the promenade for the
dwellers of the heaven, since it has been said: The Ma'refat (Divine
Gnosis) of the 'Arif (Divine Cognoscente) lights for the dwellers of
the heaven as do the stars for the people of the earth.
The devils have no power over the stars, rather the stars burn up the
devils: And place them as missiles for the devils [Al-Mulk:5] and such
is the heart of the believer no way the devils can find a way towards
it, rather the light and of his heart and faith burns up the
Q: What is the wisdom behind symbolizing the heart by the start and by
the sun or the moon?
A: The star is covered up and hidden during the day and seen only in
the night, 'Arif (Divine Cognoscente) is hidden during the day, and
once the dusk arrives he appears for servitude and supplications (to Allah). (Dara: Night
is not the lack of the light, it is a spiritual manifold covering
the human beings on this earth, that signifies closeness of Allah to
their hearts. What is possible in the night, acquisition of knowledge
and the affection of Allah is not available during the daytime.)
The star is the ornament of the sky, and the heart is the ornament of
the 'Arif (Divine Cognoscente).
The star is the lantern/lamp of the sky: And indeed we have adorned the
sky of this universe with lanterns/lamps' [Al-Mulk:5]. And the heart is
the lantern/lamp: Such like a nice/alcove within a lantern/lamp'
Q: Is in the symbolizing of the Iman (Faith) with burning-lamp,
glad tidings for the people of Faith?
A: The sun is like a burning-lamp that Allah lit for
the purposes of burning itself to death, on the contrary the Ma'refat
(Divine Gnosis) is a burning-lamp
that the more it burns the longer it lasts, and how is it possible that
Satan can extinguish this burning-lamp?
The sun orbiting the sky abolishes the darkness within your house, and
the Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) in your heart abolishes the darkness of
The person lighting a burning-lamp is responsible for its maintenance,
and indeed Allah
lit the burning-lamp
of Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) within the heart: Wrote/Decreed Iman
(Faith) in their hearts [Mujadila:22]. Beyond any doubts, Allah's Mercy
is made necessary for proving the maintenance, prolonging and
preserving the Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis): We have sent down the Dhikr
(Qur'an) and we are responsible for its preservation [Hijr:9]
If the Zoroastrians light a fire they would never desire to extinguish
it, and how could the Malik (The King)
Sanctified) light a fire and wishing for it to be put off? (Dara:
People often despair thinking that their sins extinguish the light
within them, and Razi says no! The Ma'refat is always burning like a
bright sun inside our hearts, however we are able to veil it with our Nafs and
so on. It is never Allah's wish to
distinguish this blazing star within the human heart.)
symbolized the Iman (Faith) by the dust: And the good earth bears
vegetation by its Lord's permission [A'raf:58]
The soil harbors a trust i.e. once a seed placed within, far larger
number of seeds produced from the soil: From every blossom one hundred
And if something dirty thrown on the dust, it is absorbed and purified.
Such is the earth of the Iman (Faith) that if the shameful disbelief
and sins thrown on it, in return sprouts out the fruits of Allah's
forgiveness, mercy and satisfaction: For those Allah turns their sins
into goodly things [Furan:17].
sends down water from the skies, and the channels flow, each according
to its measure: But the torrent bears away to foam that mounts up to
the surface. Even so, from that (ore) which they heat in the fire, to
make ornaments or utensils therewith, there is a scum likewise. Thus Allah (by
parables) does show forth Truth and Falsehood. For the scum disappears
like froth cast out; while that which is for the good of mankind
remains on the earth. Thus Allah does set
forth parables’ [Ra'd:17], the bubbles on top of the water is the
disbelief and the Iman (Faith) is the water.
Water washes off the impurities from the garments: And We sent down
from the sky water that is pure [Furqan:48] or 'And do cleanse your
garment' [Muddathir:4]. And such is the Iman (Faith) that removes the
impurities of disbelief and sins from the heart: Islam cuts off what
was before (of sins), said the Prophet peace be upon him.
has called the water sent down from the sky as mercy: And Hu
(is) Al-Ladhi (That Which)
sends the winds as the harbinger of Hu's
mercy [A'raf:57], and called Qur'an mercy as well: The guidance and the
mercy for believers [Yunus:57] or 'Decreed/wrote Iman (Faith) in their
hearts' [Mujadila:22]. Beyond any doubt Allah
symbolized Iman (Faith) and Qur'an as water, through the above paradigm.
Qu'ran as the Blest: 'And this is the Blest Dhikr (Qur'an) that We have
sent down' [Anbia:50] and again said about the water: And We sent down
from the sky Blest water [Quf:9]. And again beyond any doubt Allah
symbolized Qur'an by water.
sends down the rain from the sky no one can halt it, similarly when
Allah sent down no one can stop its revealing: And it is a benevolent
book; no falsehood can come to it, from before and after it
No one can count the droplets of the rain, as the secrets of the
meanings of the Qur'an are countless as well. As the rain showers upon
the earth, drop by drop and finally forming large rapids and later
forming large seas, the Qur'an was revealed bit-by-bit and yet finally
formed a large sea.
If the rain falls from the sky all at once, it shall demolish all on
the earth, similarly if the Qur'an is sent all at once shall destroy
the minds by misleading them lost: If We have sent down this Qur'an on
a mountain you would have seen it humbled cracked from the fear of Allah
And as Allah
revives the dead earth by the falling of the rain, similarly the hearts
are revived by the Qur'an: We revived the one that was dead [An'am:122].
The rain that falls from the sky needs no other earthly water sources,
similarly the Qur'an needs no other books or knowledge(s).
Indeed a person who does not know how to swim if immersed in water
shall drown, similarly the person who does not know if he talks about
Qur'an shall also be destroyed as well.
Once the rain falls the famine is over, similarly with Qur'an once sent
down, the famine of spirituality is over and there is abundant and
varied food for souls and that is how the Tauhid (Divine Oneness)
Finally as the water extinguishes the fire, the Qur'an distinguishes
the hell fire for the believing heart.
'Grasp tight at the rope of Allah, everyone
[3:103]. As the human being grasps at the rope not to slip and fall
down a high climb, human being grasps at the rope of Qur'an not to fall
into the lowliness of humanity but instead to climb towards the
loftiness of Allah's Glory and Greatness.
When a blind person needs to go from one point to another, the
stretched rope between the two places can help him not to get lost. And
as such is the human intellect upon the voyage of Tauhid (Divine Oneness)
and Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis) by gasping at the rope of Qur'an.
Shajarat Zaitun (Olive
'And the tree that sprouts from the Mount Sinai that produces the oil
and tincture for eaters [Believers:20]:
symbolized Iman (Faith) with this olive tree, since this tree mostly
grows in purified land, similarly the tree of Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis)
sprouts in purified heart.
2. As from the olive tree grows the fruits that produce the blessed
oil, similarly from the tree within the believer's heart grows the
blessed nutrient oils of Iman (Faith) and Ma'refat (Divine Gnosis).
© 2006-2002, Dara
O. Shayda, Ahmad Bukhari