The Quranic Word Series: Noor

Today’s Quranic Word of the Day is Noor = نُور

The word noor means light and illumination. It is one of the attributes of Allah subhaanahu wa ta’ala as He is the light and the only source of light. Allah says:

وَأَشْرَقَتِ الْأَرْضُ بِنُورِ رَبِّهَا وَوُضِعَ الْكِتَابُ وَجِيءَ بِالنَّبِيِّينَ وَالشُّهَدَاءِ وَقُضِيَ بَيْنَهُم بِالْحَقِّ وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ

[Quran 39:69]

And the earth will shine with the light of its Lord, and the record [of deeds] will be placed, and the prophets and the witnesses will be brought, and it will be judged between them in truth, and they will not be wronged.

When the Prophet ﷺ was asked about his night journey to the heaven whether he saw his Lord, he responded:

“وعَنْ أَبِي ذَرٍّ قَالَ سَأَلْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: هَلْ رَأَيْتَ رَبَّكَ قَالَ “نُورٌ أَنَّى أراه

[Sahih Muslim]

It was narrated that Abu Dharr said: “I asked the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), ‘Did you see your Lord?’ He said, ‘He is veiled by Light, how could I see Him?”

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The Quran’s Usage of the Word Noor

The word noor has been used in the Quran to mean seven different things.

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1. Al-Islam and Al-Iman


Allah SWT uses light and darkness to represent guidance from Him and misguidance. He described Islam and Iman as light in the Quran because the one who has them is upon the guidance from Allah, which is light.

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Allah says regarding the disbelievers:

يُرِيدُونَ لِيُطْفِئُوا نُورَ اللَّهِ بِأَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَاللَّهُ مُتِمُّ نُورِهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْكَافِرُونَ

[Quran 61:8]

They want to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will perfect His light, although the disbelievers dislike it.

When a person is surrounded by light, everything is clear to him. He can see what is good or bad and whether or not he is on the right path. When a person is in darkness, he cannot see anything. This means he doesn’t know if he is in a state of safety or danger and would be unaware if he is heading down a path that leads to his destruction. May Allah save us from that, Ameen. 

Allah says:

أَوَمَن كَانَ مَيْتًا فَأَحْيَيْنَاهُ وَجَعَلْنَا لَهُ نُورًا يَمْشِي بِهِ فِي النَّاسِ كَمَن مَّثَلُهُ فِي الظُّلُمَاتِ لَيْسَ بِخَارِجٍ مِّنْهَا ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ زُيِّنَ لِلْكَافِرِينَ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

[Quran 6:122]

And is one who was dead and We gave him life and made for him light by which to walk among the people like one who is in darkness, never to emerge therefrom? Thus it has been made pleasing to the disbelievers that which they were doing.

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2. Guidance


This is the light that only belongs to Allah. (i.e. His guidance).  He alone gives light and makes the right path clear and reveals to anyone He wishes. It is one of the attributes of Allah.

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Allah says:

اللَّهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۚ مَثَلُ نُورِهِ كَمِشْكَاةٍ فِيهَا مِصْبَاحٌ ۖ الْمِصْبَاحُ فِي زُجَاجَةٍ ۖ الزُّجَاجَةُ كَأَنَّهَا كَوْكَبٌ دُرِّيٌّ يُوقَدُ مِن شَجَرَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ زَيْتُونَةٍ لَّا شَرْقِيَّةٍ وَلَا غَرْبِيَّةٍ يَكَادُ زَيْتُهَا يُضِيءُ وَلَوْ لَمْ تَمْسَسْهُ نَارٌ ۚ نُّورٌ عَلَىٰ نُورٍ ۗ يَهْدِي اللَّهُ لِنُورِهِ مَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الْأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

[Quran 24:35]

Allah 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 a 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. Allah guides to His Light whom He wills. And Allah presents examples for the people, and Allah is Knowing of all things.

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3. The Prophet ﷺ


Allah describes our noble Prophet Muhammad ﷺ as the noor (the light) in the Quran because he came to illuminate the world with the light given to him by Allah.

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Allah says:

يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ قَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولُنَا يُبَيِّنُ لَكُمْ كَثِيرًا مِّمَّا كُنتُمْ تُخْفُونَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَيَعْفُو عَن كَثِيرٍ ۚ قَدْ جَاءَكُم مِّنَ اللَّهِ نُورٌ وَكِتَابٌ مُّبِينٌ

[Quran 5:15]

O People of the Scripture, there has come to you Our Messenger making clear to you much of what you used to conceal of the Scripture and overlooking much. There has come to you from Allah a light and a clear Book.

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4. The Illumination of the Day


This is the light that Allah SWT gave to the sun for us to see during the day by the might of Allah.

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Allah says:

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَجَعَلَ الظُّلُمَاتِ وَالنُّورَ ۖ ثُمَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِرَبِّهِمْ يَعْدِلُونَ

[Quran 6:1]

[All] praise is [due] to Allah, who created the heavens and the earth and made the darkness and the light. Then those who disbelieve equate [others] with their Lord.

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5. The Illumination of the Moon


From among the lights is the light of the moon. Though reflected from the sun, this light is totally different from that of the sun. The sun brings the bright daylight with heat that warms the earth, and when it sets, the day turns to night. In the night sky, Allah has given the moon a unique light that shines and beautifies the heavens.

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Allah says:

تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ فِي السَّمَاءِ بُرُوجًا وَجَعَلَ فِيهَا سِرَاجًا وَقَمَرًا مُّنِيرًا

[Quran 25:61]

Blessed is He who has placed in the sky great stars and placed therein a [burning] lamp and luminous moon.

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6. The Illumination of the Believers on the Siraat


Those who were believers during their time in this world will be given light on the Day of Resurrection. As for the unbelievers, there will be no light for them. The light for the believers will be according to their faith and good deeds.

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As reported in the Tafseer by Ibn Kathir:

“They will pass over the Siraat according to their deeds. Some of them will have a light as large as a mountain, some as a date tree, some as big as a man in the standing position. The least among them has a light as big as his index finger, it is lit at times and extinguished at other times.”

[Ibn Abi Hatim and Ibn Jarir]

When they arrive at the Siraat—the bridge that passes across Hell and leads to Paradise—the light of the hypocrites will be extinguished and the believers will say, “O our Lord! Perfect is our light for us.”

Allah says:

يَوْمَ تَرَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَسْعَىٰ نُورُهُم بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَبِأَيْمَانِهِم بُشْرَاكُمُ الْيَوْمَ جَنَّاتٌ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ

[Quran 57:12]

On the Day you see the believing men and believing women, their light proceeding before them and on their right, [it will be said], “Your good tidings today are [of] gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein you will abide eternally.” That is what is the great attainment.

يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ تُوبُوٓاْ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ تَوۡبَةٗ نَّصُوحًا عَسَىٰ رَبُّكُمۡ أَن يُكَفِّرَ عَنكُمۡ سَيِّـَٔاتِكُمۡ وَيُدۡخِلَكُمۡ جَنَّٰتٖ تَجۡرِي مِن تَحۡتِهَا ٱلۡأَنۡهَٰرُ يَوۡمَ لَا يُخۡزِي ٱللَّهُ ٱلنَّبِيَّ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَعَهُۥۖ نُورُهُمۡ يَسۡعَىٰ بَيۡنَ أَيۡدِيهِمۡ وَبِأَيۡمَٰنِهِمۡ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَآ أَتۡمِمۡ لَنَا نُورَنَا وَٱغۡفِرۡ لَنَآۖ إِنَّكَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيۡءٖ قَدِيرٞ

[Quran 66:8]

O you who have believed, repent to Allah with sincere repentance. Perhaps your Lord will remove from you your misdeeds and admit you into gardens beneath which rivers flow [on] the Day when Allah will not disgrace the Prophet and those who believed with him. Their light will proceed before them and on their right; they will say, “Our Lord, perfect for us our light and forgive us. Indeed, You are over all things competent.”

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7. The Quran


Allah ﷻ describes the Quran as An-Noor (the light) because it was sent down to move the world from darkness into the light.

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Allah says:

فَآمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَالنُّورِ الَّذِي أَنزَلْنَا ۚ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ

[Quran 64:8]

So believe in Allah and His Messenger and the light [i.e., the Quran] which We have sent down. And Allah is Aware of what you do.

So let the Quran bring light to your life and guide you to success by striving to understand and follow what is in it.

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Seek the Light of Allah

Let us strive hard in following the light of Allah and supplicate to Him to give us light the way the Prophet ﷺ used to do whenever he set out to the masjid. He would say:

اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْ فِي قَلْبِي نُوراً، وَفِي لِسَانِي نُوراً، وَفِي سَمْعِي نُوراً، وَفِي بَصَرِي نُوراً، وَمِن تَحْتِي نُوراً، وَعَن يَمِينِي نُوراً، وَعَنْ شِمَالِي نُوراً، وَمِن أَمَامِي نُوراً، وَمِنْ خَلْفِي نُوراً، وَاجْعَلْ فِي نَفْسِي نُوراً، وَأَعْظِمْ لِي نُوراً، وَعَظِّمْ لِي نُوراً، وِاجْعَلْ لِي نُوراً، وَاجْعَلْنِي نُوراً، اللَّهُمَّ أَعْطِنِي نُوراً، وَاجْعَلْ فِي عَصَبِي نُوراً، وَفِي لَحْمِي نُوراً، وَفِي دَمِي نُوراً، وَفِي شَعْرِي نُوراً، وَفِي بَشَرِي نُوراً

[Al-Bukhari]

O Allah, place light in my heart, and on my tongue light, and in my ears light and in my sight light, and above me light, and below me light, and to my right light, and to my left light, and before me light and behind me light. Place in my soul light. Magnify for me light, and amplify for me light. Make for me light and make me a light. O Allah, grant me light, and place light in my nerves, and in my body light and in my blood light and in my hair light and in my skin light.

As Salaamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barkaatuhu.

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Conjugations of Noor (نُور) found in the Quran

مُنِير
Luminous

نُور
Light


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Discover More Quranic Arabic Words

Was it enlightening to learn about the seven different types of نُور mentioned in the Quran?

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