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Sufi Metaphysics of Light and Color | God's Primitive Palette


ALLAHU Nur as samawati wa al Ard

Allah is the Fundamental, Incomparable Light of both the Unseen and the Seen Realm

Allah is the Pure, Primordial Light of both the Heavens and the Earth

Allah is the Essential, Impregnated Light of both the Soul and the Body

~ Message of the Quran

One of the 99 Names of Allah is ‘Nur’ meaning Light. The absolute or pure Light which is Allah, cannot be perceived directly by created beings. Moses asked if could see Allah, but Allah did not show himself directly to Moses, instead He appeared to him via the burning bush.

The flames of the burning bush were yellow, which is the first colour in which light appears to created beings, like the rays of the sun. In order to be perceived, Allah created the universe, where light can appear against the darkness.

The three fundamental colours are red, black and white. In the Qur'an, Surah Fatir verse 27 Allah the Most Glorious One, says “among the mountains are streaks white and red, of varying colours and (others) very black”.

Colorful mountains located in the province of Gansu, China - in Zhangye Danxia, formed naturally over millions of years.

A meteorite goes through three stages: it is bright white in space, burning red as it enters the atmosphere, and charred black when it comes to earth. Black, white and red also mark the three alchemical stages of nigredo, albido, and rubedo. Red contains all of the other colours in potential form. One of the Spanish words for red is ‘colorado’ which just means ‘coloured’.

The physical primary colours are blue, red and yellow. Green is not considered a physical primary colour because it is composed of blue an yellow. However, from the point of view of perception, green is a basic component of our perceptual field, as in the RGB screen palette. Hashim believes that the ambiguity of green’s status is no accident, indicating its status as the liminal colour, demarcating the physical and spiritual worlds.

Hakim’s research into the Sufi chakra system (latifa) of the Ishraqiya school bears this out (see Henry Corbin, ‘The Man of Light in Iranian Sufism’).

Chakras/ Subtle Spiritual Centers in Human Body

In Sufism, the seven chakras are each associated with a colour and a prophet.

The chakra at the anus is associated with the black of the ‘materia prima’ or ‘negredo’ and is associated with Adam, the first of the Divine Messenger, upon him be peace, who was fashioned from clay (in Quran this is also referred as black, thick essence of mineral).

The navel chakra is associated with the blue of water and the emotions and is associated with Divine Messenger Noah, upon him be peace.

The chakra at the solar plexus is associated with the colour yellow and the Prophet David, upon him be peace. It is where the spirit enters us, as recognised in the Chinese and Japanese notions of ‘Dantian’ and ‘Hara’. Divine Messenger David was renowned for receiving divine inspiration which caused him to sing the Psalms.

The heart chakra is associated with the colour red and the prophet Abraham, upon him be peace. The expansive heart chakra experiences emotions such as love and vulnerability.

The throat chakra is associated with black light and the Divine Messenger Isa or Jesus, upon him be peace,  who represents the divine word or logos and the power of miraculous speech.

The 3rd eye chakra is associated with white light and the Divine Messenger Mousa or Moses, upon him be peace, who wanted to see the pure Light of Allah.

The crown chakra is the mountain of emeralds, associated with the colour green and the Divine Messenger and Last of Prophets Muhammad. The crown chakra is where our personal soul (nafs) and the transpersonal spirit (ruh) meet. It is where the spiritual realm transcends the physical body. Green shows this juncture or transition. Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be with him, guides the way to the divine and is the summit of all the prophets.

Though the absolute Light of Allah cannot exist in the created world, our eyes are lifted to behold Allah’s Beauty via the green nur of Muhammad, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam.

by Mohammed Ibrahim, published on Sufis Without Borders Yahoo Group, Dec 4, 2013

Based on Hashim Cabrera's  Sufi metaphysics of light and colour in his book ‘Ishraq’, available for free download in Spanish via Webislam

The first day of creation
all the elements in their primary purity.

Mountain peaks reaching the sky
jagged naked rocks untamed and ruthless
not mellowed yet by rains and winds of time,
burned to all shades of red, brown and black;
by the sun's naked fire…
and the endless yellow dunes
reflecting the golden rays
land graced sparingly by rare green of an oasis.

Air so pristine that at night you can touch the stars
hanging in the endless open space.
And the mother of waters, the sea…
behold: hidden
beneath the azure mirror of the pristine water's surface
the secret of creation: God's private palette
where all the colors of the rainbow and beyond
and shapes of unimaginable diversity and beauty
not yet revealed to the world
float effortlessly in Gardens of Paradise...

Oh, Beloved Nature Reserve of the Almighty!
a dream within a dream.
home of my Heart.

~ Hakim Sinai

Before light there was Light -
invisible, previsible.
Moses asked to see the Light
but how could he see with eyes?
Light beyond light,
Light beyond eyes.

Light's mercy was to create shadow
so that we might see light -
a pale, obscure, wavering reflection.

Light's mercy was to create eyes
so that we might see yellow, red and blue.
Light's mercy was to create green
so that we might see Beauty.

~ Ibrahim, published on Sufis Without Borders on Dec 4, 2013

Sucklings don't see
the white of the milk
they avidly suckle...

Nor do they see
the black of the sh*t
that comes out of them...

May their soul never see
the red of the blood
spilling out from their veins...

Just the yellow of the Sun!
Just the blue of the Sky!!
Just the green of the Garden!!!

~ Musnawira, published on Sufis Without Borders on Dec 4, 2013

# Related:
* The Metaphysics of Refraction in Sufi Philosophy: Ibn Arabi, Suhrawardi, and Mulla Sadra Shirazi
* Divine Light in Plotinus and Al-Suhrawardi by Algis Uzdavinys


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Technology of the Heart: Sufi Metaphysics of Light and Color | God's Primitive Palette
Sufi Metaphysics of Light and Color | God's Primitive Palette
Sufi Metaphysics of Light and Color and understanding Light as Divine Attribute.
Technology of the Heart
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