Tafsirs List > Tafsir


< >

ٱللَّهُ نُورُ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلأَرْضِ مَثَلُ نُورِهِ كَمِشْكَاةٍ فِيهَا مِصْبَاحٌ ٱلْمِصْبَاحُ فِي زُجَاجَةٍ ٱلزُّجَاجَةُ كَأَنَّهَا كَوْكَبٌ دُرِّيٌّ يُوقَدُ مِن شَجَرَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ زَيْتُونَةٍ لاَّ شَرْقِيَّةٍ وَلاَ غَرْبِيَّةٍ يَكَادُ زَيْتُهَا يُضِيۤءُ وَلَوْ لَمْ تَمْسَسْهُ نَارٌ نُّورٌ عَلَىٰ نُورٍ يَهْدِي ٱللَّهُ لِنُورِهِ مَن يَشَآءُ وَيَضْرِبُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ وَٱللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلَيِمٌ
-An-Nûr ( النور )

Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

Allah then mentioned the honour and blessings that He had bestowed upon the believers, saying: (Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth) He is the guide of the dwellers of the heaves and earth. Guidance from Allah is of two types: clarification and making things known; it is also said that the verse means: Allah is the embellisher of the heavens by means of the stars and the embellisher of the earth by means of plants and water; it is also said that this means: Allah enlightens the hearts of the believers among the dwellers of the heavens and the earth. (The similitude of His light) the light of the believers; it is also said that this means: the light of Allah in the heart of the believer (is as a niche wherein is a lamp. The lamp is in a glass) made of gems. (The glass is as it were a shining star) one of the following five planets: Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn. All these planets are luminous. ((This lamp is) kindled from a blessed tree) from the oil of a blessed tree, (an olive neither of the East nor of the West) in an open space, not touched by the shade of the East nor by the shade of the West; it is also said that this means: in a location which is untouched by the sun when it rises and when it sets, (whose oil) the oil of the tree (would almost glow forth (of itself)) from behind its rind (though no fire touched it. Light upon light) the lamp emits light and the glass emits light and the oil emits light, (Allah guideth unto His light) Allah honours with knowledge; it is also said that this means: Allah honours with His religion (whom He will) whoever deserves it; it is also said that the verse means: the likeness of the light of Muhammad in the loins of his forefathers is like this, up to Allah's saying (… kindled from a blessed tree). He says: the light of Muhammad in Abraham was an upright religion (olive tree), and Abraham was neither Jew nor Christian (neither of the East nor of the West), the works of Abraham would almost glow forth in the loins of his forefathers like this (would almost glow forth (of itself)), up until Allah's saying (kindled from a blessed tree) He says: as if it is the light of Muhammad (pbuh) and if Abraham was not a prophet, he would still have this light (though no fire touched it); it is also said that the latter passage means: Had Allah not honoured Abraham, he would not have had this light; it is also said: if Allah had not honoured His believing servant with this light, he would not have had it. (And Allah speaketh to mankind in allegories) in this way does Allah show to people the trait of knowledge, (for Allah is knower of all things) regarding the honour He bestows upon His servants. Allah struck this similitude of knowledge and clarified its benefit and its praiseworthiness in order that they give thanks to it. Allah says here that just as one uses a lamp to find his way in the dark, so is the light of knowledge used for one's guidance; and just as one uses the stars and planets to find one's way in the darkness of the seas and land, one also uses the light of knowledge for guidance in the darkness of disbelief and idolatry; and just as the oil of a lamp is taken from the blessed olive tree, so too is knowledge from Allah, Exalted is He, for His servant; and just as the olive tree is neither from the East nor from the West, so too is the believer an upright Muslim, neither Jew nor Christian; and just as the oil of the olive tree would almost glow forth of itself even when no fire touches it, so too the faith of the believer is praiseworthy even when there are no virtuous works to accompany it; and just as the niche and the glass and the lamp are light upon light, so too is knowledge light, and the heart of the believer is light and his chest is light and his incoming is light and his outgoing is light: light upon light; and Allah honours with this light whomever He wills. Such is Allah's description of knowledge.

Tafsir Ibn 'Abbas, trans. Mokrane Guezzou
© 2021 Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, Amman, Jordan (http://www.aalalbayt.org) ® All Rights Reserved
Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of research or private study, or criticism or review, this work may not be reproduced, stored or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of the Great Tafsirs Project, Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought (aalalbayt@aalalbayt.org)