Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sufi Song: Noorun-ala-Noor - Light upon Light

Noorun ala-Noor: Painting by Sadiq Alam

Chaaron taraf, chaaron taraf

Noor-un-ala, Noor-un-ala,
Noor-un-ala-Noor

yeh barkh-e-Tajalli
andheron ko cheerti

yahaan bhi Tu,
wahaan bhi Tu

yeh roshni,
kya roshni!

Tere siwa koi hai
ke poochhoon?

andheron se poochha to chup ho gaye,
chup ho gaye

ujaalon se poochha to sharmaa gaye,
sharmaa gaye

parindon se poochha, kahaan parwaaz hai?
khamoshi se poochha, kahaan aawaaz hai?

phoolon se, patton se, rangon se
aayi sadaa
"charon taraf, charon taraf
Noor-un-ala, Noor-un-ala,
Noor-un-ala-Noor."

uthaayi chilman
to dekha jalwa Tera
badhaaya kadam
to manzil Teri, manzil Teri
uthaayi nazar
to Soorat Teri, Soorat Teri

bhanwarein ki gun-gun mein
kangan ki khan-khan mein
aashiq ke tan-man mein
birhan ke nainan mein
gaanon mein, sargam mein,
taanon mein sargam mein -
"bas Tu hai, Tu hi Tu
Noor-un-ala, Noor-un-ala,
Noor-un-ala-Noor."

dil ki deewaanagi
mann ki aawaaragi Tu

Door leke chal tu, kuch pooch na tu,
kuch pooch na tu

zindagi ek raaz thi, ek raaz hai
ek raaz hai

jaankar hoga kya...jaankar hoga kya?
kisne hai jaana?

koi kahe mohabbat,
koi ibaadat
deewaanagi kahe, chaahe junoon
chahat hi, mere adaaaaaaa...

Noor-un-ala, Noor-un-ala,
Noor-un-ala-Noor
In four directions, in all directions

Light upon Light, Light upon Light,
upon Light is Light

This Majestic Light of Divine Epiphany
penetrates every darkness

You are here, You are also there
for You are everywhere

This Effulgence,
Oh what Magnificent Splendor this is!

Who else is there but You - that
I may ask (about this Glorious Light)?

When I asked darkness, no reply was received
and it kept quiet

When I asked a lamp, she grew shy
her shyness turned to silence

I asked a bird, where to is the flight?
I asked quietness, from where comes voice?

From flowers, from every leaf and colors
came a voice:
"Everywhere is
Light upon Light, Light upon Light
upon Light is Light."

Upon lifting the veils
saw I Your Magnificent Beauty
Upon forwarding my steps
reached I Your Station
Upon lifting my glance
beheld I Your Countenance

In the buzzing of the bees,
In the melody of the ornaments,
in the heartbeat of the lovers enamored,
in the eyes of the lovers separated,
in every song, in every melody,
in every beat, in every tune -
"there is none but You, Only You
Light upon Light, Light upon Light
upon Light is Light."

Heart's bewilderment is You
Spirit's perplexity is You

Take all questions away, don't ask anything
never ask anything

Life was always a mystery, still is a mystery
Life ever remains a mystery

What would happen if you knew,
Who else has known the true mysteries of life?

Someone calls it Love,
others call it Devotion or Adoration
whether they call it craze or madness
Love for You is mine...

Light upon Light, Light upon Light,
upon Light is Light

Album: Sufiaana - Sufi Euphoria (CD2)

Singers : Murtaza Khan & Qadir Khan


The above song is a popular Hindi Song that is based on the Sufic idea of Light Divine. The phrase "Noor-un-ala-Noor" is from the Quran, part of a very well known verse known as Ayat an-Nur (Verse of the Light) used to point towards the indescribable Divine Light.

Perhaps more than any other, this single ayat suggests only mystical interpretations, as the metaphor is completely coherent, but it does not surrender an obvious meaning. Hence it was and remains a key Qur'anic passage to many Sufis and Muslim Philosophers into the present day, who argue for esoteric readings of the Qur'an.


Divine Light may be compared to a niche 
wherein is a lamp 
the lamp in 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 would almost shine forth 
though no fire touches it
Light upon Light 
- LIGHT SURA (QUR'AN 24:35


Allahu Nurus Samawati wal Ard. 
.. Nurun ala Nur. 
God is The Light of all planes of existence: 
both terrestrial and celestial, 
- heaven and earth, 
- body and soul. 

The luminous candle of His Holy Personal Name, 'Allah' suspends in the globe of the heart of a gnostic by the tree of his material body. Light upon Light, Light of Lights.
- Non-linear translation of Quranic verses from Chapter of Light (an-Noor)


 Some Inner Interpretation of the Verse / Tafsir 24:35

Hasan al-Basrī said, ‘He intended by this the heart of the believer and the luminescence (diyā) of professing the divine oneness (tawhīd), for the hearts of the prophets are far too brilliant in their light to be described in terms of the likeness of these lights. He said, ‘The similitude of the light of the Qurʾān is a lamp (misbāh), a lamp whose candle (sirāj) is gnosis (ma'rifa), whose wick (fatīl) is the religious obligations, whose oil (duhn) is sincerity (ikhlās) and whose light (nūr) is the light of [spiritual] attainment. Whenever the sincerity increases in purity, the lamp increases in brightness; and whenever the religious obligations increase in [inner] realisation (haqīqa), the lamp increases in light (nūr).- from Tafsir al-Tustari of the Light Verses

Allah then mentioned the honour and blessings that He had bestowed upon the believers, saying: (Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth) He is the guide of the dwellers of the heaves and earth. Guidance from Allah is of two types: clarification and making things known; it is also said that the verse means: Allah is the embellisher of the heavens by means of the stars and the embellisher of the earth by means of plants and water; it is also said that this means: Allah enlightens the hearts of the believers among the dwellers of the heavens and the earth. (The similitude of His light) the light of the believers; it is also said that this means: the light of Allah in the heart of the believer (is as a niche wherein is a lamp. The lamp is in a glass) made of gems. (The glass is as it were a shining star) ... (This lamp is kindled from a blessed tree) from the oil of a blessed tree, (an olive neither of the East nor of the West) in an open space, not touched by the shade of the East nor by the shade of the West; it is also said that this means: in a location which is untouched by the sun when it rises and when it sets, (whose oil) the oil of the tree (would almost glow forth (of itself)) from behind its rind (though no fire touched it. Light upon light) the lamp emits light and the glass emits light and the oil emits light, (Allah guideth unto His light) Allah honours with knowledge; it is also said that this means: Allah honours with His religion (whom He will) whoever deserves it; it is also said that the verse means: the likeness of the light of Muhammad in the loins of his forefathers is like this, up to Allah's saying (… kindled from a blessed tree).

He says: the light of Muhammad in Abraham was an upright religion (olive tree), and Abraham was neither Jew nor Christian (neither of the East nor of the West), the works of Abraham would almost glow forth in the loins of his forefathers like this (would almost glow forth (of itself)), up until Allah's saying (kindled from a blessed tree) He says: as if it is the light of Muhammad and if Abraham was not a prophet, he would still have this light (though no fire touched it); it is also said that the latter passage means: Had Allah not honoured Abraham, he would not have had this light; it is also said: if Allah had not honoured His believing servant with this light, he would not have had it.- Tafsir ibn Abbas, Light verses 24:35


[+] Download the song as mp3 via Facebook page of Technology of the Heart: http://www.facebook.com/TechnologyofHeart

* Ishraqiya | Suhrawardi's Philosophy of Illumination
* Theophanies and Lights in the Thought of Ibn 'Arabi
* The Sufi Meditation of the Heart by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

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