Among the most mystical ayatsof the Holy Quran whose meaning has been much pondered upon by commentators is the ‘Verse of the Light’. It is the 35th verse of the Surah Noor, also spelled as ‘Nur’, ‘noor’ being the Arabic word for light. It is one of the reasons why people want to decorate their walls with Surah Noor art and also likely look for Surah Noor art online. Mentioned below is the English translation of the Verse of Light(courtesy: Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s translation and tafsir):
‘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.’
The ayat is not easy to interpret for everyone, because of its use of metaphors, and compels us to ponder hard over its meaning.
Says Maududi: “Light is something which makes things visible; which is itself manifest and helps make other things manifest. The human mind conceives light in this very sense. The absence of light is termed darkness, invisibility, and obscurity. On the other hand, when there is visibility and things become exposed to view, the man says there is light. Allah has been called `Light’ in this basic sense, and not in the sense of a beam of light which travels at the speed of 186,000 miles per second and stimulates the optic nerve through the retina. This conception of light has nothing to do with the reality of the meaning for which the human mind has coined this word.” Many Sufis and Muslim philosophers cite the Verse of the Light as a key passage for esoteric readings of the Quran. Al-Ghazali’s interpretations of the ayat, as well as the nature of divine Light can be found in his masterpiece Mishkat al-Anwar (the “Niche of Lights”).
As the ayatis pretty long, many people remember just its first line: ‘Allah-o-Noorus-Samawaati-wal-Ardh’ (‘Allah is the Light of the Heavens and the Earth.’) It’s not among the verses most readily available in the world of Islamic wall art, but those with significant knowledge of the Holy Quran do ask for the Verse of Light to be written in a beautiful calligraphic font. They also probably look for Surah Noort art online. A framed piece of Surah Noor art can indeed add to the aesthetic appeal of a home. Some specialist Islamic wall art stores do offer the verse written in beautiful and stylish calligraphic font. Certainly, there is no dearth of Quranic ayatwhich can provide inspiration and which can be written and framed as a constant reminder as well.