- Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
God: The Light of the Universe
We have been told in the Quran that ‘God is the light of the heavens and the earth.’ (24:35) That is, all the light in the entire universe emanates from God’s Being. If the Almighty did not create light, it could not be derived from any other source.
If there were no sun, the earth would be surrounded in darkness. But our Lord has spread throughout His domain countless extremely bright moving bodies to shed light continuously on all parts of the universe. In the absence of this all-encompassing order, the universe would be reduced to a dreadful abyss.
Here we speak of material light. But the same is true of intellectual and spiritual light. All the inhabitants of this earth are in need of a guiding light to enable them to think rationally and to find the spiritual sustenance, which will fill their hearts with divine wisdom and inspiration. The source of this intellectual and spiritual light is God and God alone. It cannot be obtained from any other source.
When man truly and sincerely believes in one God, he establishes a link with Him on a spiritual level. His whole being is subsequently illumined by this spiritual attachment. He begins to find God in His remembrances. He begins to find God reflected in the tears that well up in his eyes. God is so instilled in his thoughts and feelings, it is as if he has come very close to Him, as if he is leading his life in the shadow of the Almighty’s blessing.
Idolatry has been described in the Quran as “an abominable sin” or zulm (31:13). Zulm means the placing of something in the wrong situation. That is, idolatry (associating something with God) is totally alien to the universe. In this world, believing in idolatry and practicing idolatry are completely out of place.
Only one God is the Creator of this world. He alone is its Lord and Sustainer. He is possessed with all power. That being so, believing in something other than God, or associating anything with the godhead, amounts to according the status of an actual reality to a self concocted supposition. This presupposes the existence of something, which has no existence at all.
The idolatrous way of thinking is the greatest of all evils. One whose mind thinks along idolatrous lines, in whose heart idolatrous thoughts are nurtured, has as it were, opted for something baseless and unreal. The universe with its whole existence refutes it.
Idolatrous beliefs and concepts can never provide intellectual nourishment to their adherents. They will not flood them with that spiritual light without which the whole of human existence is rendered meaningless.