The Heart of the Believer has the Light of Allah Cast on it.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

قال رَسُولَ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- يَقُولُ :« إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَلَقَ خَلْقَهُ فِى ظُلْمَةٍ ثُمَّ أَلْقَى عَلَيْهِمْ مِنْ نُورِهِ فَمَنْ أَصَابَهُ مِنْ ذَلِكَ النُّورِ اهْتَدَى وَمَنْ أَخْطَأَهُ ضَلَّ فَلِذَلِكَ أَقُولُ جَفَّ الْقَلَمُ عَلَى عِلْمِ اللَّهِ »

Allah created His creation in darkness, then He casts  His light upon them, so whoever is touched by that light is guided and whoever is not goes astray. It is for this reason that I say the pens have dried with Allah’s knowledge.”[1]

Benefits of this Subject

  • This hadeeth shows that the heart of the believer has the Allah’s light cast in it. There is also evidence of this found in the Quran. Allah said : Is he whose breast Allah has opened to Islam, so that he is in light from His Lord (as he who is non-Muslim)? So, woe to those whose hearts are hardened against remembrance of Allah! They are in plain error!”[Az-Zumar 22] Allah casts the light in the heart of the believer and expands his chest to accept guidance. This is for those people whom Allah intends to guide. This guidance is from His bounty and goodness, and as for those whom He wishes to forsake then they won’t accept the truth. llah said: “And whomsoever Allah wills to guide, He opens his breast to Islam, and whomsoever He wills to send astray, He makes his breast closed and constricted, as if he is climbing up to the sky. Thus Allah puts the wrath on those who believe not.”[ Al-Anam 125][2]
  • Allah created His creation in darkness…”This refers to the Jinn and mankind, because the Angels were created from light free from the darkness of the inner nature, which leans towards evil desires and falls into the negligence about the unseen World.
  • Darkness…”  The soul’s nature which is inclined to lust and misguided desires.
  • “He cast His light…”  Allah covers the person’s heart with light. This light is created by Allah, so any person remaining firm upon  the path of guidance and clarity is due to the light Allah place over his heart. This is similar to Allah’s words, “ So, when I have fashioned him completely and breathed into him(Adam) the soul which I created for him.”[3]
  • “So Whoever is touched by that light…”   This infers any part of Allah’s light. It’s been said that the light here in this hadith refers to the light of Iman, obedience, doing good deeds and having knowledge about Islam. Other people have said the light being spoken about here are the proof and evidence of Allah’s existence along with the Quran and its warnings. Therefore, if it wasn’t for those things then the people would remain in the darkness of misguidance and ignorance. Lastly, another group of people have stated that Allah’s light means a person has the ability to benefit from His Signs to establish the proof of His existence, and His attributes for Islam through Allah granting him success to do so. Hence whoever Allah wills guidance for acknowledges Allah’s proofs and contemplates over Allah’s signs and understands them correctly. This is the one who has been given the light and saved from the darkness, thus he’s guided.

On the other hand the one whom Allah hasn’t willed to be guided is blind from Allah’s signs and has been prevented from the light. For that reason, he remains in the darkness of his evil soul wandering about confused. Allah has described him in the verse. “ Is he who was dead (without faith by ignorance and disbelief ) and we gave him life (by knowledge and faith) and set for him a light.” {6:122)  

Be certain that guidance and misguidance both are by Allah’s will and Qadr. Being touched with Allah’s light applies to the time of a person’s birth and at the time of puberty, so he’s given the success to follow Allah’s commands.  Plainly put, this hadith proves that a person is created on his state and his darkness is only removed when Allah casts the light of guidance on him.

Some people misconstrue and think this hadith goes against the fact that a person is created with his natural disposition at the time of his birth. In reality there isn’t any contradiction here in this hadeeth as proven, and that hadeeth refers to person having the ability to be guided if he reflects over Allah’s signs correctly, even though he has darkness of his inner nature. What’s more is this hadeeth only proves that guidance is by Allah’s will and Him granting a person the ability receive the light of direction in his heart. Allah’s will is inseparable from the guidance of a person. Whomever Allah wills to be guided is and receives the light of faith as it’s been placed in his natural disposition and whoever isn’t destined to be guided then he isn’t granted the ability from Allah to accept His light. Thus, he remains is the darkness of misguidance and wanders about astray, as placed in his soul and in his physical actions. There isn’t any contradiction between the two hadith.

  • “ and whoever is not he goes astray…” Whoever doesn’t have the light placed in his heart, then he goes astray and away from the truth.
  • “For that reason…” a person doesn’t change due to what’s been decreed for him in faith, disbelief, obedience and sin.
  • “That I say the pens have dried.” Everything is recorded. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) here is saying what has been written and decreed doesn’t change. These words, “have dried”, indirectly indicate when a pen writes on paper the ink is wet then it dries.
  • “with Allah’s knowledge.”  Based on His wisdom. What Allah has decreed must take place, thus His knowledge includes how the thing will occur, are going to happen and the way it’s been decreed. [4]

[1] At-Tirmithi(2642) graded as

[2] Al-Bayyanul Tasdeed bi Sharhi Al-Arba-oon fi Dala’ilt Tawheed, Sh Abdul Aziz Ar-Rajhi

[3] Al-Hijr :29

[4] Faydul Qadir sharh Jam’Is Sagheer , by Imam An-Munawi

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