The Qurʾān

Āyat al-Nūr — the Light Verse (Qurʾān 24:35)

glass vessel

Allāh is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His light is like a niche within which is a lamp, the lamp is within glass, the glass as if it were a pearly [white] star lit from [the oil of] a blessed olive tree, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil would almost glow even if untouched by fire. Light upon light. Allāh guides to His light whom He wills. And Allāh presents examples for the people, and Allāh is Knowing of all things.

ALA-LC romanization

اللَّـهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ
Allāhu nūru al-samāwāti wa-al-arḍ
mathalu nūrihī ka-mishkātīn fīhā miṣbāḥ
al-miṣbāḥu fī zujājah
al-zujājatu kānnahā kawkabun durrīyun yūqadu min shajaratin mubārakatin zaytūnatin lā sharqīyatin wa-lā gharbīyatin yakādu zaytuhā yuḍīʾu wa-law lam tamsas′hu nār
nūrun ʿalā nūr
yahdī Allāhu linūrihi man yashāʾu
wa-yaḍribu Allāhu al-amthāla li-al-nāsi
wa-Allāhu bikulli shayʾin ʿalīm

English translation

Allāh is the Light of the heavens and the earth.
The metaphor of Allāh’s light is like this:
Imagine in the wall a small hollow, designed to hold an oil lamp.
This lamp is behind a pane of glass (in a glass), shining like a star.
What fuels it is the oil of a blessed olive tree, which is found neither in the East nor in the West.
It’s almost as if the oil of this tree were glowing of itself, even before the match touches it,
After which the result — light upon light!
Allāh guides to this light who Allāh wants.
Allāh provides such metaphors to human beings,
And Allāh has deeper knowledge of all things.

Allāh is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His light is like a niche within which is a lamp, the lamp is within glass, the glass as if it were a pearly [white] star lit from [the oil of] a blessed olive tree, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil would almost glow even if untouched by fire. Light upon light. Allāh guides to His light whom He wills. And Allāh presents examples for the people, and Allāh is Knowing of all things.