Rafed English

Light and Darkness

The Quran declares that we categorically have two worlds: the Seen; and, the Unseen. When light projects on material objects, man's naked eyes can see them. It is probably for this reason that Allah breathed His spirit (or essence which can be construed as an invisible light) into the clay upon Adam's creation. Reasonably, the Prophet set a requirement for the Moon sighting: witnessing the Crescent by the naked eyes. Thus witnessing becomes a source of certainty - not the speculative computational models.

Distinguishing different kinds of light, the Quran calls the Sun as Siraj (i.e. a lamp which usually generates the light that is familiar to us). The Moon, on the other hand, is called Noor - which is a mere indication of the reflected light on its surface to the planet Earth. Remember the dependency of the Moon's light on the Sun's.

"And for the moon We have appointed mansions till she return like an old shrivelled palm-leaf.." Quran (36:39)

In this verse, Allah says that He is the One Who has predestined the Moon's (monthly) stations, changing it from a full Moon until it looks like an old arch of a palm-tree leaf. Removing the barrier between the two worlds and demonstrating His control of everything in existence, Allah also states that He manages the affairs on Earth from the Heaven, in a day which is equivalent to 1000 years of that you count (enumerate).

Ironically, the Quran had spoken about the relativity (theory) some 1200 years before the birth of Albert Einstein. Historically, the Arabs used to use the units of time to indicate to long distances travelled. Here, if you substitute the 1000 years by the intended distance travelled by the Moon as it revolves around the Earth 12,000 times and divide that distance by 1 day converted to seconds, you get:

Speed of light = distance travelled by the Moon in 1000 years/(24x3600) = 299748 Km/s.

This speed of light was adopted in a Scientific Conference in Paris, in 1984.

Similar to the concept of minor, middle, and major resurrections, here I submit: Physics (realm of the Physical world); and, Metaphysics I, Metaphysics II to refer to two worlds in the Unseen. The Physical world, for being material in nature, is being experienced by the majority of the children of Adam. For man's ignorance about the other worlds (which are spiritual in nature), very many generations of human beings do not know what they have missed.

Seeing is believing, the adage goes. But with what eyes? True: the naked eyes only see the material objects. For investigating tiny particulate matters (or distant heavenly planets), the scientists have utilized powerful microscopes. High resolution cameras can picture even the nuclei of living and pathological cells. One is not sure where to place the lie detectors, when the occupants of the Oval office lie with impunity.

After the recent technological breakthroughs, we started believing many things which we can not normally see by our naked eyes. Wireless communication was a dream a few decades ago. The Quran talks about Joseph's dream in seeing the Sun, the Moon, and 11 stars bowing down to him. A dream which came true a few decades later, as the Quran reports.

Other points in Metaphysics I can be derived from Joseph's chapter and other chapters in the Quran. Here, I only state the strong sense of smelling of Israel (Jacob - Joseph's father) and recovering his sight after throwing Joseph's shirt on his face.

To the materialistic Children of Israel who out of envy threw their half-brother Joseph in a deep well and caused too much anguish for their old father, Jacob said:

"I expose my distress and anguish only unto Allah, and I know from Allah that which ye know not." Quran (12:86)

"Then, when the bearer of glad tidings came, he laid it on his face and he became a seer once more.. He said: Said I not unto you that I know from Allah that which ye know not?" Quran (12:96)

The Quran exhorts mankind to believe in the Day of Judgment. This day is equivalent to 50,000 Earthy years! Once again, Allah's words can be viewed on three levels: lower (worldly, for the majority to understand); higher (Metaphysics I, for the prophets to know); and, Superior (Metaphysics II, for the Imams to relate to).

This categorization is an oversimplification to express spiritual experiences in layman's language. In other words, a tiny object loses its gross material nature when it moves at the speed of light. Thus, we can examine the various kinds of waves, including the electromagnetic waves which constitute the rays of light. This light is visible to our eyes.

Examination of subatomic particular reactions leads to the measurement of: Alpha particles; Beta particles; and, Gamma Rays - which are invisible electromagnetic waves. Mass-energy balance leads to other emissions. Co-60 has been used for sterilization by Gamma radiation. Dentists normally use X-Ray machines for diagnoses.. Hospitals utilize Ultrasound detectors to discover the foetus's gender. Lately, with the heightened security concerns, new detectors were developed for detecting explosives from 25m distance.

Why then the majority of the human beings do not believe in the Creator Who describes Himself in such a lower, worldly vocabulary:

"Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The similitude of His light is as a niche wherein is a lamp. The lamp is in a glass. The glass is as it were a shining star. (This lamp is) kindled from a blessed tree, an olive neither of the East nor of the West, whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself) though no fire touched it. Light upon light. Allah guideth unto His light whom He will. And Allah speaketh to mankind in allegories, for Allah is Knower of all things." Quran (24:35)

In the physical world, darkness occurs when layers of material prevent the penetration of rays of light. A good example is what marine biologists experience in deep seas. When Yonus (Joanna) angrily left his town, he suddenly found himself in three layers of darkness: the night; the deep sea; and, the whale's belly.

The Quran presents another interesting case, which is indicative towards Allah as the Creator:

He created you from one being, then from that (being) He made its mate; and He hath provided for you of cattle eight kinds. He created you in the wombs of your mothers, creation after creation, in a threefold gloom. Such is Allah, your Lord. His is the Sovereignty. There is no Allah save Him. How then are ye turned away? Quran (39:6)

In the spiritual world, it is man's heart which receives the rays of guidance from Allah. Upon sinning, this heart will be covered with layers of what looks like "rusts" - which are impermeable to any spiritual enlightenment. The Quran calls the hearts of those who insistently indulge in sins, without considering repentance, as being "sealed." According to the Prophet, only constant, sincere repentance can remove such rusts.

In the first chapter of the Quran, there is an interesting analogy between the physical darkness and the spiritual one.

As discussed somewhere else6, the (written) Quran is the lower word of Allah - it is only a silent book. Recitation of Allah's words brings humility to the believers' hearts and makes them ready to receive the guidance. The rightful Imam is the light of Allah who guides the pious towards the straight path. For knowing the intended meanings of Allah's final revelation, the Imam's light pierces through every darkness to dispel it.

The Quran encourages every Muslim to become a Mo'min - a true believer. Then by responding to the call "Oh you who believe," the believers are perhaps moved to become pious - Mutaqeen. Only the latter group can find guidance from the Quran. Believing in the Unseen constitutes an integral part of the belief of the latter group, as the Quran declares in its very first chapter. Imam Mahdi is part of the Unseen. His path is therefore the Straight Path.

The interconnection between the Quran and the Imam is inseparable. One leads to the other. Without being an infallible, already-guided, the Mahdi can not provide any guidance to others. His occultation is just part of the Unseen world. His presence in the hearts of the pious looks like the shinning Sun which is being obscured by little clouds.

Adapted from the book: "Universality of the Mahdi's Mission" by: "Mahdawiat.com"

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