The Shari’ah describes the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) as a light as well as a human being to whom God Almighty sent the revelation. This means that he was a human being who possessed special attributes of perfection that fit him as the greatest and best of all prophets and messengers. Thus, there is no contradiction between Prophet Muhammad being from both light and a human being.
The Quran and Sunnah describe the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) as a light.
– “A light has now come to you from God, and a scripture making things clear” (Quran 5: 15).
– “And one who invites to God, by His permission, and an illuminating lamp. (Quran 33: 15).
Al-Nasai’ and al-Tabarani reported that the Companions (may God be pleased with them) used to say that the face of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) was [bright] like the moon.
– The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) said, “When my mother conceived me, she saw a light that illuminated the palaces of Bosra in Syria” (IbnHisham in al-Sira and al-Tabari in his History).
– The Companions (may God be pleased with them) said that when the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) first entered Medina, he illuminated everything in it, and when he died the light disappeared (Ahmed, al-Tirmidhi, ibnMajah and ibn Hibban).
There are likewise Prophetic and non-Prophetic traditions proving that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was physically and spiritually a light in himself and luminous (i.e. provides things around him with light).
• There is no contradiction between Prophet’s Muhammad being a light and a human. We must admit that the Prophet’s light was physical and this comes in conformity with the principles of creed. At the same time, it is impermissible to deny that he (peace and blessings be upon him) was a human being because it contradicts what is clearly revealed in the Quran. God Almighty says, “Say, “I am only a man like you, to whom has been revealed that your god is one God” (Quran 18: 110).
Thus, we have to ascribe to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) what God Almighty ascribed to him i.e. to admit that he (peace and blessings be upon him) was and still is an illuminating light and a human being as well.
The hadith in which the Prophet said, “Oh Jabir! The first thing God created was the light of your Prophet” is classified by scholars of hadith as weak and unauthentic.
– There is nothing mentioned in the Shari’ah that denies that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) was the first of lights God created. However, it is known that the pen and the Throne were the first lights created regardless of whichever comes first. Imam al-‘Ajluni said in Kashf al-Khafa’: “It is said that the first lights God created was my light [the Prophet’s] together with the rest of lights. It is narrated in Ahkam ibn al-Qattan through ibn Marzouk on behalf of ‘Ali ibn Hussein who narrated through his father who narrated through his grandfather that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “I was a light in the hands of my Lord fourteen thousands years before He created Adam.”
– The luminary and Maliki scholar, al-Dardeer explained the hadith, “Oh Jabir! The first thing God created was the light of your Prophet” in al-Sharh al-Saghir and said, “The light of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is the source of all lights and objects as he said to Jabir (may God be pleased with him): “The first light God created from His light was the light of your Prophet.” This means that the Prophet’s light is the intermediary in all creatures.”
– God created multiple realms that include the ‘alam al-shahadah (the visible realm), alam al-ghayb (the unseen), al-arwah (the souls), al-jinn (the the jinns), and al-mala`ikah (the angels).
– God Almighty created all lights and the Prophet’s light may be the first of which the rest of lights spread among humans in ‘alam al-arwah.
– If the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was the first light created by God, this means that his light is derived from God Who described Himself as Light, “God is the Light of the heavens and the earth” (Quran 24: 35). This means that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was not created from the light of another creature, but it was God Almighty Who created him and there is a difference between the Creator and the creature.
And God Almighty knows best.