Channel: Nouman Ali Khan
Often in the Quran Allah teaches us profound lessons through beautiful parables. In this khutbah, Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan digs deep into two such analogies in Surah An-Nur by contrasting light with darkness. He begins by explaining the many meanings of the word light (nur) when it is used in the Quran: light sometimes refers to Allah, to guidance or to the Quran itself. Like a lamp in a niche inside a house, the light of faith and sincerity to Allah not only lives inside our hearts but also emanates from us to illuminate our path on the Day of Judgment.
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minella. But I mean, in these few minutes that I have with you, I'd like to share with you two parables from suta notes. So to notice the 24th surah of the Quran, many times some of the very difficult lessons and very profound lessons of the Quran, Allah teaches by way of giving an example. And oftentimes when you just read a translation of that example, it's kind of hard to make sense of what is being said. So what I'm going to try to do is give you a little bit of background, and set the stage to help us better understand these beautiful parables. Not only are they beautiful, I think they're quite scary as well. And this is a place in the Quran, we're actually two things have
been contrast in light and darkness. So I want to talk to you a little bit first about the notion of light in the Quran in what refers to as light. One of the first things we learn is Allah Himself calls himself light Allah who knows somehow it will have allies the light of the skies in the earth. Another place you'll find the usage of the term light in the Quran is it's actually used as a synonym, as an alternative term for guidance itself. That light and guidance are actually considered the same, just like somebody in the darkness is the same as saying somebody misguided. The equate the opposite is also true, somebody in the light, or somebody has light is actually to say that
somebody has guidance. It's also important to note that this light Allah describes exists inside the hearts of people. It's inside the hearts of people. And the analogy of light in the Quran is like, a house at nighttime with an indent or a niche inside the wall with a lamp inside it. And that's, you know, in the old days, Denise used to look like an arch, right. And it's actually similar to the way that the rib cage is shaped. And the lamp in that example, is actually a parallel for the heart itself. And so a lit up lamp is like, a lit apart, whose glass has to be clean and all of that. But in any case, just the point I was trying to make first and foremost is that the idea of light, in
the spiritual sense is something that lives inside our hearts. The reason that analogy is important is because light doesn't stay inside, light goes outside, right. So if somebody if there's a lamp, its benefit is not only limited to the lamp itself, it illuminates its surroundings, doesn't it. And so if somebody has true guidance inside of their heart, and a true faith inside of their heart, they're not only going to be the ones that benefit everybody around them, is also going to be illuminated as a result. And as a matter of fact, light only truly gets appreciated when you're in the dark. In other words, our faith and our Eman is only really put to the test. And really its
benefit comes out when we are surrounded by difficult circumstances when we're surrounded by misguidance. And often believers, you know, feel, you know, if we only lived in better times, if only we lived in the time of the Prophet salallahu alaihe salam or, you know, we're living in such dark times, etc. That's that notion entirely is silly. All prophets, all prophets were a minority. The believers were have always been a minority. And the majority of people around them are dark in the darkness. And so when you say I wish I was living in those times, you're not wishing for anything much different, maybe even wishing for something much tougher. Right? So that's the first
thing I wanted to get out of the way. The second thing I want to talk to you guys about when it comes to this, this idea of light is it's not just something figurative. In other words, obviously, if you open up somebody's chest, you're not going to see light inside. But actually a day is coming when you will. On the Day of Resurrection, Allah actually turns our faith into real actual light. And we all have to take a walk on Judgement day after our judgments are done. We have to take a walk towards our final destinations, either heaven or hell. And there are people who had faith with them, which is neutron Yes, avena at him will be a money him there are two kinds of light that are going
to aid us on that day. When there's complete darkness. The light is going to be coming out of our chests, and there's another light that's going to be coming out of our right hands. That's what the Quran describes on a couple of occasions. That light is supposed to help you navigate through this difficult path. So you and I can make it to the gates of heaven. That's the point
It, okay. Now why are there two kinds of light, one of those lights has to do with your sincerity to Allah and the genuineness of your faith that's inside of your heart only you know that the world knows that nobody else can check it. The other light, as I mentioned, comes from your right hand. And that light is actually a representation of the things you and I did in this life. If you had good deeds to do, if you did good works, then those words are going to get converted into light on that day. So you've got these couple of torches on on judgment day that are helping you navigate, that are helping you move forward, right. And at the end of the day, all of this conversation is,
it's only got one purpose, you and I want to stand up on that day, and we want to have some light on our hands, we want to be able to access that light so we can make our way to genma. Our messenger Elisa to Salaam would describe that that light on Judgement Day that we're going to be raised with is not all the same for everybody. It's all the same. There are some people who barely have enough light, they can barely see their feet as they walk. That's how much light they have. There are those who have so much light that they can see from it's as though that you can see from one city to the next one. That's how much light you have. And that depends on the strength and the purity of our
faith and the strength of the deeds we left behind, doesn't it. And so that's the reason the parable of light is important. This was not the subject of my head. But I just wanted to set the stage Allah wanted us to understand the concept of light, and how we have to preserve that light in ourselves. And we have to ensure that that investment is maintained and not killed. Before we make it before a long Judgement Day. Right now you will notice it, but on that day, everybody's going to be wishing they have it. Now, this parable that these two parables that I wanted to share with these examples that I wanted to share with you are actually not about light. There are about darkness. there at the
end the truth, the two tragic cases of people who are not going to have light or who don't take advantage of the light that they have. And so I'll go through them one by one. Allah describes when Latina cafaro armello home Casa Robin Beatty, item Sabu bomb Anima Allah says, as the as for those who have disbelieved, which can also be translated those who've buried away, meaning bury their light away. That's one of the other ways you can think of the word gopher. Anyway, those who have denied and have been ungrateful and have buried their light away, what about them? Well, they are like somebody traveling in the middle of the day in a desert.
And they see a sourabh which means a mirage. So a man is thirsty, a woman is thirsty, lost in the desert, and they're trying to find a place to survive. And of course, in the hot sun, you start seeing waves where there are no waves, things get a little watery, looking into this sense, and that's a mirage. And because you're dying of thirst, you think that's worth something. And so yes, Amanullah the desperately thirsty one runs towards that water thinking that it's water had that either Ada who, until the point where he reaches it, let me adjust who Shay and he found nothing there. It was just said it was a false image. For what for who he sobre la la who said he is up. So
Allah and he will only find a la there. He was looking for water. And Elon makes a strange turn in the example he says instead of finding water there, he will find his master there. For whatever the law is done for his Saba, he'll find a law there. And Allah will complete his account there. Allah will give him what he deserves, will law who said he earned his job. And Allah is quick in taking the audit alleges, quick and taking account of all the things you and I did. That's the first example. I haven't explained it yet. I just wanted you to know what it is first. Now the quickly the second example. Oh, another example. And this is going to be almost the opposite scene. First time
we were in the in the desert. Now we're going to be in the ocean. He says Cthulhu math and fieberbrunn. It's like layers on top of layers on top of layers of darkness out at sea. So we're not talking about the daytime. Now. We're talking about the nighttime. In the first example, it was clearly daytime because you don't see a mirage at night. You only see it in the day. And now you're out at sea, and you're covered in layers of darkness. And then he says
fievel lomatium thebarton yo, Luigi and Luigi means an ocean that is not merciful. That won't let up. Like the waves are getting violent and you're hoping it was just one bad wave and then things are going to calm down. But no, the waves keep getting worse and worse and worse. Until yo Shah who Mojo menfolk. Yep, Mojo, wave overtakes him. A wave is so huge out in the middle of sea, that it crushes whatever vessel he's in whatever boat or you know ship that he's in. It's now underwater. And then menfolk emerge. On top of that wave that's already slammed you into the water is another wave.
Throwing you deeper inside, menfolk is a hub. And on top of that there are thunderstorm clouds. In other words, when the clouds are there, that's an indication a storm is coming, right people that are experienced that being out at sea, they can see the clouds and know we got to get ready things are about to get ugly. So Allah says that the waves are relentless, and the storms not letting up either. And this person, whoever they were, that poor soul is being now drowned into into the depths of the sea, in the middle of the darkness. And at the end of that parable, what does he say? rajala Yoda hula musica de la, you're all the way at the bottom of the sea. You can't even try and get up.
You try to get up another wave comes and slams you down. That's the problem. You could try to swim your way up. But there's another wave on top. And so he says he's so much lost in the dark that when he takes his hand out, let me Acadia high. It's almost as if he can't even see his own hand.
Woman Lamia jalila, hula hoop neuron Pamela human nor whoever Allah didn't give light to how can they have any light? Whoever Allah didn't furnish any light? How could they have any light? So these, like I said in the beginning, these examples can be confusing. You might say, what does he mean by all of this, but I first wanted to kind of paint the scene for you these two parables, these two examples, and what they what they mean in brief translation. Now let's try to dig a little deeper and appreciate what's being said. Basically, in both of these cases, a person is not seeing what they're supposed to one person's in the middle of day, it's bright outside. And yet they see
things that aren't there, they see a mirage, don't they? Which is as good as being blind. You might as well be in the dark, because it's not there, what you see isn't there. And in the other case, somebody in the dark, it's there, they're at sea, there's not even moonlight because it's covered by the clouds. There's these waves, you're blind in another way they are these are both sides of blindness. But why why give two different sides of blindness, because Allah is describing that on Judgment a people are going to come before him that are the unfortunate cases are going to be of two kinds. There are going to be two kinds of unfortunate cases. So here's what I'd like for you to pay
extra attention to understand what is going on in these parables. There are people who assume that they are in light.
There are people that are like that person out in the desert, surrounded by light, you can't get brighter than the desert in the daytime. You know, so there are people that are in a good environment. They act religiously, they look religious, they talk religious, their family's religious, their communities, religious, they're involved in the religious sense. They're involved at the masjid, they're, you know, so everything around them, they're not they're not, they're not drinking alcohol, they're not in the party scene. They're not at the club. They're not they're not in that scene. They're in, in a religious setting. They're in a spiritual setting, they're
surrounded by light.
And a lot of times, we assume that people like that are straight one way ticket to heaven. They're good, they made it, they've got no issues. But unfortunately, even when you're surrounded by that much light, you know what happens sometimes, you start becoming delusional. You start thinking that the appearance of looking religious, the words that you use that some make you sound like you're religious, the outside of your being being committed to the faith, you look like you're pretty enlightened, doesn't actually say anything about what's going on on the inside. There could be two very different realities. We have unfortunately, in in the Muslim world, this is something a lot
comments exhaustively on in the Quran, I'll just oversimplified for now, basically, what happens is you have people that look very spiritual, very enlightened, very religious, very committed to the faith on the outside. And they commit to those things that make them look that way. So clothing becomes very important. Appearance becomes very important. You know, pronouncing certain utterances becomes very important. All the things that other people can perceive become important. But there's something going on inside of you like greed, like jealousy, like pride, you know, like anger, like hatred. You don't you can't see somebody else succeed. It bothers you. You don't feel even a little
bit of sympathy when you're being ruthless to children in the family. You don't consider the people whose rights you're taking away because it's all personal. Nobody's gonna find out. You don't see it because it's not in front of people. So it doesn't matter. What is in front of people needs to look pristine. And what's going on inside is ugly. It's dark, and these people assume that because they're doing good things, they're volunteering. They even grew out of beard to put the hijab on. They even memorize some Quran. They worked on their teeth.
means all the outside stuff is pretty good. They start assuming also that Allah is going to really reward me for all of this I'm doing pretty good. As opposed to this other person who can't even recite the Fatiha as opposed to that other person who can't even do this X, Y or Z, they don't even pray in the masjid, or whatever else, you start comparing yourself thinking you're doing pretty good because you're, you're in the light. And that, by the way, that sense of superiority is probably the worst of all of the other vices I mentioned. When you start thinking and I start thinking that I stand in a better place than another human being before Allah, that pride is actually the a replica
of the pride of the devil. Why? Why did he say I'm superior? You know, the the sense of superiority, you know, tilaka, Darwin, Akira, the jalahalli, Latina, LA, you redo gnaraloo and film or de la facade. And when archaebacteria mattina, being asked to move all of you forward, so move forward as much as you can. Allah says that next home that he built heaven,
He made it for people who don't want to feel superior in this earth. They don't have a desire for Alou. They don't want to make themselves feel or give the impression that somebody else is little compared to them, lesser compared to them, they don't, they don't want that. And there are sometimes among us, maybe ourselves, because of our religious knowledge, because of our religious position. Because of our religious perception of others, we do start thinking we're better than somebody else, we still do become condescending towards others. This is the first example people who actually think they're in light, and they're doing good, but you're like a person in desert in the desert, you're
gonna die of dehydration. And when you get there, what you think is water, meaning you think you're gonna go to heaven, and be replenished for all the deeds you did. All you find there is Allah who says, actually, you did everything else on the outside, but there was no light inside of you.
That you don't get anything here, Allah is going to quickly take your account, you and I have to become people of introspection, are you know whether or not people praise You and me means nothing. As a matter of fact, whether or not people criticize you and me also means nothing. You have to be able to ask yourself, if, if Allah was to ask me right now what I'm doing is right or wrong? Am I able to answer him? Am I doing right by Allah, because he's, he's the only one I'm going to be meeting at the end of that, that journey. On the other side of it, there's another darkness, there's another failed, you know, scenario. One of them was people who thought they're doing good, and they
get there and they find nothing. But the other one is a completely different scenario. And the other one is a scenario of someone that I mentioned in the dark, and then they're even pushed into more darkness, and then more darkness, and there's just keep keep going deeper and deeper. This is actually someone who's not in a good environment.
This is someone who's not involved with anybody. They're not even around people who have strong faith. As a matter of fact, all the friends, they have made them even a worse person. They instill even worse habits in them. And the environments they put themselves in the situations they put themselves in, are pure evil, they're pure darkness, but they're addictive. Also, they keep going to that stuff, they go to those environments, they go to those friends, you know, they go to those dark places. And they can't even help themselves go back over and over and over and over again.
Whether that ended they form all forms of addictions, addictions to certain kinds of behavior, they form addictions to substances, you know, and they can't let go of that that entire scene. And what does the law describe as these waves are coming and slamming you down, and you're all the way in the depths of the darkness. The powerful thing here in this parable, is a liar actually gave hope to those people, too. He didn't say when he's at the bottom of the sea, he can't even see his hand. He said he could almost not see his hand, right? Your hand is a representation of what you do.
Even in the depths of darkness, you could still kind of sorta see your hand. You know what that means? You still have some sense that this is wrong. What I'm doing is wrong. I shouldn't be doing this. I know better. I know I need to change. I'm humiliated by what I'm doing. I'm giving into my something inside me. That's very animal. I'm giving into something inside me that overtakes me and I lose my connection with Allah. I and every time I dive in, that connection gets hurt more and more and more and more, but it every time it gets hurt, there's less and less light, but there's still a tiny bit of light left inside you. That still lets you see. You know to help you understand this
part better. Our eyes are useless without light. If there are no lights sound inside this room, and there are no windows and there's absolutely no light. We are completely blind. Your eyes can be functioning perfectly, but there's no point you're blind anyway because you are in the darkness. A lot.
As describing here, when you're in the bottom of the sea, when you're way down there, clearly there's no there's no source of light is there.
I mean, it's already dark, it's already night, there are already clouds in the sky and you're way deep down inside in the middle of the night, there should be zero light, you shouldn't say I can almost see my hand, you should not be able to see your hand at all. The point is, you shouldn't be able to see your hand at all. But a lie is saying there's some light somewhere.
The question then arises, where does that light that's actually the light a lot put inside you. And a lot put inside me inside of our hearts. He put it there. It's not some outside light, it's inside you. And it's using that and it's being dimmed away. It's weakened. It's been covered by a lot of darkness. But it's still enough for you to see somewhat that you're doing something wrong. They're still hoping that that light Allah does not let die. Imagine back in the day. What is light at nighttime, how do you have a light, you have a lamp, you have a candle. That's how lights used to work. Once you take that candle underwater, what's going to happen immediately, it's going to blow
out there's not going to be any source of light. But somehow this source of light in the depths of the ocean is protected. Even though it's in such a bad environment, it's still protected. It's been weakened, but it hasn't been suffocated. It didn't blow out. It didn't get washed away. That's the light that a love protected inside you and inside of me, no matter how far gone you think you are and how far gone I think I am. Mistakes happen. Sins happen. You know crimes against a lot happen. You know, our our hearts go in bad place in dark directions. Our hands go in dark directions. We made me made mistakes, but allows mercy. What does he say at the end? Well, my Lamia Allahu Allahu
neuron from Allah who may know? And for somebody who Allah wouldn't have provided them light. Where would they have gotten light from? How could they have gotten any light if allotted and provided? What is the lesson here? Can you imagine where can light possibly come from in the middle of the ocean at the bottom? Where would it come from? Where do you think that light came from? If not from me, Allah is telling you and me, we give up on him. He doesn't give up on us. We let him go. He doesn't let us go. He keeps the hope alive. He lets us that the ability for you to even feel bad somewhat, you drown that voice out. You hear it and you say no, I don't want to listen to this, I'm
already in line to get into into the club. I'm like the third person left before the entry. And now my conscience is kicking in and saying you need to turn around and go, you shouldn't be doing this. That voice inside you is that little bit of light left. And you could suffocate at that time too. And then next time too, and then next time too. But there's a limit. And that's what I wanted to finally share with you. There is actually a limit. It's not limitless. It's not like a low will keep your light alive at any cost. A level mentioned people who are dead already.
They're dead already. They have no light left inside them. Allah will mentioned people whose hearts have turned into stone.
That is not the end. If your heart is stone. That means if there's light inside it, it can't get out. Right, it's dead. There's no way it can get out. Those what happens to those people. When they when they suffocate themselves knowingly they suffocate the light inside of themselves. What happens to them Allah says was a and Allahumma shaytani r Milan. That's the last thing I want to share with you. When that happens. How do you know that's happened to you? You will know that's happened to you, when those things that are evil, that even though they're attractive, and they're tempting, and you're drawn to them,
there's still some part of you that feels bad, right? When that's gone, and it only looks beautiful. you justify to yourself, not only is forget that it's you know, it's one thing to say, I know it's bad. I know, I messed up, but I still do it. I need to stop. That's one thing. That means you still have some light left. At least you recognize that it's what bad. But when the light is completely gone, then it's a an Allahumma shaytani Amala home, you don't see it as bad anymore. Now that's amazing. What do you mean, it's bad? We're having a good time. What do you mean is bad? You don't want me to live my life? What do you mean is bad? That's awesome. That's like the reason we're
Your definition changes, you're no longer guilty. You don't even feel bad. You're actually now glorifying the sin that you're engaged in. You're glorifying the darkness that's become beautiful to you. And that's when instead of the definition of beauty and ugliness coming from Allah, based on the light that he gave you. Now those definitions come to you from Shabbat. That's that now that's a lost cause. That's that beyond hope, you know, and I pray Allah never lets us fall into that. You know, sometimes there may be you and I may be doing something evil. And there is something called a defense mechanism, right? We just kicks in somebody
calls you out on it or your own conscience calls you out on it, and you start rationalizing it to yourself. No, no, no, it's not that bad. I mean, it's messed up, but it's not that messed up. I mean, come on. I wasn't, I was in a tough situation. What do you expect me to do? we justify to ourselves, right? But deep down inside, you also know that you're lying to yourself. At least, you know, you're just trying to cope with having to live with the decision you've made, or the sin that you're engaged in. But you're not you don't even believe your own argument. Actually. You don't even believe it yourself. That is at the end of the day, the most precious thing Allah gave us is that
light. You know what? I told you that's the last thing since I have a minute I'll throw one last thing and you know what the Quran is called in the Koran for amin Bella, He will surely when nude and Lady Angela, believe in Allah and His messenger and the light that we sent down. Locals, the court on light. It's not an accident. He calls it light. Because my engagement with buzzwords, that's a lot of talking to me. It's not just a book. It's not just something I recite, it's a lot of talking to me. When Allah talks to me, then that light inside me gets stronger.
Because that's that itself is light. Those words themselves are light from Allah as origin, my Eman will come will be restored my faith, my vision for what is right and wrong will be restored again. When I keep coming back to Allah zbook. Then keep coming back to Allah zbook. But that coming back to Allah zbook cannot be artificial. It can't just be that I recited and I put it down. It can't just be that I read a translation to argue with my friends about what this verse means or that verse means. It can't be for that. It has to be a law I need like for myself, give me light in your words. That's the that's the humble, you know, begging attitude of a slave with which I must come to the
word of Allah. You know, even the word of Allah Subhana Allah, it's the word that's supposed to make me humble. Today, you and I approach it as something as a tool for argument. You know, or we study it as something interesting. We study it as a casual pastime. We don't think of it as a lifeline. We don't think of it this is me, this is a lot of talking to me. This is a lot of giving me value, addressing me a letter what he calls rissalah to be letters from my master, literally messages letters from my master, like you know, when somebody writes you a personal note, and you're like, wow, they took the time. That's a lot to you in the Quran.
And if you can develop that, then that light will not become weak, Allah will not let it become weak. So we should connect us deeply our hearts with the Quran and maintain that source of light for us. May Allah azza wa jal strengthen the light in our hearts no matter how weak it's become. May Allah azzawajal also not make us delusional into thinking that the outwardly deeds that we do are going to compensate for the vices we carry inside of our hearts and allow all of us to cleanse our hearts to the best of our ability. barakallahu li walakum phylloquinone Hakim when a friend any er can be iottie
hamdu lillahi wa Salatu was Salam O Allah Abadi Latina Safa who Susana Allah Allah Mohammed bin Mohammed Al amin alihi wa sahbihi yaku azzawajal
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