Mircea Eliade "From Primitives to Zen":
ALLAH IS LIGHT


('Qur'an,' XXIV 33-44)



Now We have sent down to you signs
making all clear, and an example
of those who passed away before you,
and an admonition for the godfearing.

God is the Light of the heavens and the earth;
the likeness of His Light is as a niche
wherein is a lamp
(the lamp is a glass
the glass as it were a glittering star)
kindled from a Blessed Tree,
an olive that is neither of the East nor of the West
whose oil wellnigh would shine, even if no fire touched it;
Light upon Light;
(God guides to His Light whom He will.)
(And God strikes similitudes for men,
and God has knowledge of everything.)
in temples God has allowed to be raised up,
and His name to be commemorated therein;
therein glorifying Him, in the mornings and the evenings,
are men whom neither commerce nor trafficking
diverts from the remembrance of God
and to perform the prayer, and to pay the alms,
fearing a day when hearts and eyes shall be turned about,
that God may recompense them for their fairest works
and give them increase of His bounty;
and God provides whomsoever He will, without reckoning.
And as for the unbelievers,
their works are as a mirage in a spacious plain
which the man athirst supposes to be water
till, when he comes to it, he finds it is nothing;
there indeed he finds God,
and He pays him his account in full; (And God is swift
at the reckoning.)
or they are as shadows upon a sea obscure
covered by a billow
above which is a billow
above which are clouds,
shadows piled one upon another;
when he puts forth his hand, wellnigh he cannot see it.
And to whomsoever God assigns no light,
no light has he.
Hast thou not seen how that whatsoever is in the heavens
and in the earth extols God,
and the birds spreading their wings?
Each-He knows its prayer and its extolling; and God knows
the things they do.
To God belongs the Kingdom of the heavens and the earth,
and to Him is the homecoming.
Hast thou not seen how God drives the clouds, then composes them,
then converts them into a mass,
then thou seest the rain issuing out of the midst of them?
And He sends down out of heaven mountains, wherein is hail,
so that He smites whom He will with it, and turns it aside
from whom He will;
wellnigh the gleam of His lightning snatches away at the sight.
God turns about the day and the night;
surely in that is a lesson for those who have eyes.
God has created every beast of water,
And some of them go upon their bellies,
and some of them go upon two feet,
and some of them go upon four,
God creates whatever He will; God is powerful
over everything.


Translation by A. J. Arberry

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