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October 9, 2004

The Real Light is God

First of all, I just saw the hit counter on the bottom of the page. 10,000 hits and counting… I’m pretty honored that so many people have found it worth their time to visit my site to learn something, be part of controversy, or watch robot dance videos. Anyway, I don’t have much to post about this week, seeing as how I’m trying to cram for midterms. However, while studying dermatopathology (ie, diseases of the skin) something came to mind that I thought would be of interest.

The Proof of Islam, the Mujaddid of the Fifth Century, the great Imam Abû Hâmid Muhammad b. Muhammad al-Ghazâlî writes in the “Mishkât al-Anwar” (The Niche of Lights):

“The Real Light is Allah; and the name “light” is otherwise only predicated metaphorically and conveys no real meaning.”

Skin color is caused by the action of specialized cells called melanocytes that package melanin (skin pigment) into melanosomes (think of this as UPS packaging) that migrate into the outer skin layer and deposit into cells known as keratinocytes. Wow, I have no life if I’m talking about this kind of stuff. Hopefully I haven’t lost anyone yet. Anyway, the bottom line is that it’s the melanin that gives skin color; melanin absorbs all light and reflects back a certain wavelength (corresponding to a certain color) that we see as color with our eyes. The same is true for any color that we see with any object; the object absorbs the entire spectrum of light and reflects back a certain wavelength that we see as color. Green leaves on a tree absorb all light and reflect back the green wavelength (about 510 nm).  White is when all of it is reflected back; black is when all the light is absorbed and none is reflected back.

Therefore, all of creation absorbs the Light of God, which is the quintessential and most pristine form of light. God is the Light of the heavens and earth. After absorbing all of God’s light, everything in creation reflects back a certain color that it was meant to reflect as a charity to the rest of creation. In other words, all of creation benefits from the Light of God and then reflects back a portion of that light to benefit others. Some reflect more light than others and therefore benefit creation more; others reflect none at all and are symbols of those who receiving the favors of Allah and not benefiting others from these favors. This is perhaps why the Prophet is referred to as a moon, because the moon in and of itself does not generate any light, but rather reflects the light of the sun to illuminate the world at nighttime, when it would normally be shrouded in darkness.

This got me thinking that perhaps there’s a meaning even in colors and why certain things are colored in a certain way. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the sky is blue and leaves are green because God colored them for a reason: to benefit the rest of creation, and the Qur’an tells us, rhetorically, and who is more excellent than God in coloring?. And since I need to get back to studying, I only have time to jot down my thoughts on why the word akhdar (green), comprised of alif, kha, dhaad, and ra is so meaningful:


Alif: it symbolizes the selfness of God and His unity; more specifically for this case, as Ibn Ata’illah said, it is derived from the word ulfah, which means good company, because the alif unites and is in agreement with all of the other letters of the alphabet. Just like trees which are in agreement and harmony with all of nature; the alif standing too, is like the trees standing and yearning for Allah, which also starts with alif, interestingly enough.


Khâ: it is said to represent the element of earth (which trees grow in) and is the symbolization of eternal good (khayr dâ’im). The greenness of trees is a symbolization of all that is good and in balance with nature.


Dhâd: it symbolizes to disclose or make clear, since this letter is the most unique letter in the Arabic language and is the letter that is most audibly and visibly understood when heard or spoken. The greenness of trees discloses the beauty of creation and green leaves “make clear” the air (by regenerating oxygen from the carbon dioxide we exhale). This is perhaps why dhâd is said to be related to the element of air in the Science of Letters.


Râ: it symbolizes a part or message; it is also a letter that when you say it, it echoes or reverberates, just as the greenness of trees is a part of the Message of God for humanity to look at and reflect in, and just as the greenness of trees echoes and reverberates every year when the leaves regenerate themselves in the spring and prepare to benefit the rest of creation for another year.


Anyway, maybe I oughta sit down after exams and go through all the other colors. For now, the main points are:


  1. Imam al-Ghazâlî is the MAN, because he essentially talked about this reflection of light hundreds of years before modern physics. Yet another proof for why he is the Proof of Islam and why anyone who bashes on him is a (derogatory word here).
  2. All of creation reflects that wavelength of light that Allah has chosen for it. We too have to acknowledge that we are receiving the full spectrum of God’s Light, and must decide which wavelength we wish to reflect and therefore benefit creation. I think any color is fine except for black—which reflects no light at all. (this perhaps might be why the derogatory term for African-Americans as “blacks” is offensive on a metaphysical level as well)
  3. I need a life. Why the hell am I ruminating about this when I have exams.
  4. If you found any entertainment or education in this, make du’a for my exams.
  5. Thanks for the 10,000 hits.


From → Uncategorized

  1. Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,
    What an eloquent, sensible, and articulate post; I was most impressed. And your mention of the spectrum of light and wavelength got me thinking of the whole “are my blue jeans your blue jeans” theory. The way you worded and tied in the colors and wavelength with their relevance to the light of God was really moving. It really got me to think of something I hadn’t realized before. I’m glad I stopped by your site to check for an update because I knew the post would be pretty productive. I didn’t really understand your concern in all the food posts before, but they were pretty entertaining to read… At least your site opens doors to some type of realization or thought that hadn’t come across me before, unlike what I’ve lately seen on Xanga, such as “like wow, like oh like I’m so like tired today and like wow and like so bored.” Some just make me sick. Anyway. And the symbolisms for the Arabic alphabet were real nice to know. I never knew they had all these deep, hidden symbolisms. You should post some others when you get the chance. And the answer to your point #3 in your post is that you want to make people think, and you want to share with us what you know. I’m sure a lot of people appreciate that. About #4, sure I’ll make du’aa for you to do well on your midterms. #5, I’m sure I’m a part of that, so you’re welcome. Mind if I subscribe to your site?
    P.S. Wow, studying dermatopathology. Fun fun! And yeah, I get into the whole skin pigmentation explanation with my friends, and they just look at me askance. And yes, you DO have a life if you’re “talking about all this kind of stuff.” What a lengthy comment, sorry.

  2. thanks for the comments and the du’as.
    sure, by all means, subscribe and join us in this chaos known as my xanga.

  3. you’re pretty cool kr. thanks for the thought provoking post. wafaqaka Allah! Allahu yaftah 3laika.

  4. You are a pointy eared squirrel…

  5. Alif is for Allah…

  6. Anonymous permalink

    wow KR, it looks like your xanga is working as planned…the chics are starting to like you…after numerious anit-woman bashings.
    So answer me this, considering KR needs a wife and his xanga is the only portal to meeting chics, whcih xanga chic suits him best?

  7. i didn’t leave props for saud bc of the sex post, you reject. i left it because he (unlike some people) actually deserves eprops…just for being a good person (and also bc he wanted some eprops lol).

  8. id rather not have eprops from you anyway. you giving me eprops would be like george bush applauding my xanga.
    so there.

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