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2. Ismaili Beliefs, Prayers and Practices

Hazar Imam’s “Noor” Demystified

Ismalism is based on the belief that Aga Khan possesses ‘noor’ of Allah (light of God) which is sole reason that Ismailis worship him in their Jamatkhanas (or Ismaili Centers) and believe he is all-powerful and possesses attributes that Allah alone is entitled to possess. Lets look this concept of noor on basis of Qur’an and hadith.

The word ‘noor’ in Arabic literally means ‘light’. Allah is not noor; rather, noor is a creation of Allah. The Qur’an states that Allah is an ineffable reality and human language cannot produce an adequate parable; therefore, there is no example of what Allah is like. We also know that angels are made of light and man is made out of clay (see Qur’an 6:2 and 15:26]. Angels do not possess the nature of human beings and do not have the free will to choose between obedience and disobedience. The Qur’an says in 66:6 about the angels:

“…they do not disobey Allah’s commands that they receive; they do precisely what they are commanded”

Hence, the Creator (Allah) and the creation (light) cannot be one and the same. If Allah is not noor, what then is the guiding light that is frequently mentioned in the Quran? Here are the instances when light or noor is mentioned in the Qur’an:

Praise be to Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, and made the darkness and the light. Yet those who reject Faith hold (others) as equal, with their Guardian-Lord.
[Holy Qur’an 06:01]

“Surely We revealed the Taurat in which was guidance and light.”
[Holy Qur’an 05:44]

“and We gave him (Isa) the Injeel in which was guidance and light.”
[Holy Qur’an 05:46]

Allah is the guardian of those who believe. He brings them out of the darkness into the light; and (as to) those who disbelieve, their guardians are Taghoots who take them out of the light into the darkness; they are the inmates of the fire, in it they shall abide.
[Holy Qur’an 2:257]

“And thus did We reveal to you an inspired book (Quran) by Our command. You did not know what the Book was, nor (what) the faith (was), but We made it a light, guiding thereby whom We please of Our servants; and most surely you show the way to the right path.
[Holy Qur’an 42:52]

When the word ‘noor’ is read in-context above, it is evident that it is a word used by the Qur’an to either denote guidance, true knowledge or Emaan (as opposed to the darkness of Kufr).

The explanation of noor is given by the Qur’an in Surah an-Noor, Chapter 24:35:

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His light is like a niche within which is a lamp, the lamp is within glass, the glass as if it were a pearly [white] star lit from [the oil of] a blessed olive tree, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil would almost glow even if untouched by fire. Light upon light. Allah guides to His light whom He wills. And Allah presents examples for the people, and Allah is Knowing of all things.

Noor has also been used as a parable to describe the omnipresence of Allah and the fact that He is the source of all guidance, the parable is light (guidance), without an outside source. Therefore, this means that Allah is the ultimate source of all guidance. This does not mean that He is physically made of light, because as we see above, He has actually created light. Notice in that 24:35, Allah Himself goes on to say: “The example/parable/likeness/similitude of His Light”. The verse itself explains that Allah is defining His presence using human language, and also making the concept understandable to us.

Ismailis who blindly follow their Aga Khan’s propagated beliefs tend to rely more on the sayings and sermons (waez) of their missionaries, rather than reading the Quran for themselves. This is why they have taken 24:35 literally, claiming that Allah Himself or some of His creations among humans such as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) or Ali (ra) or other pious people are made of noor.

Ismailies extended the concept of Ali (ra) being noor to their Imams, who are supposed to be divine as well. In their enthusiasm for the person of Ali (ra), they have elevated him and his descendants to a position above that of Muhammad (pbuh). Ismailis gave Ali (ra) and their Imams a near-divine status. The origins of this concept lie in ancient Persian paganism as explained here:

“The Shias, however, gradually evolved ideas that seemed even closer to Christian incarnation (regarding the divinity of Ali and the Imams). They (Shias) were drawing on ancient Persian tradition of a chosen god-begotten family which transmitted the divine glory from one generation to another.”
[Karen Armstrong, ‘A History of God’, page 189]

To make the discussion even more interesting and to add to your knowledge, let me also copy the Nicene Creed, the official creed of Christians as decreed by Emperor Constantine in 325 AD, so you can see the similarities between the Christian Trinity and what is now alleged about Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) being noor:

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father [the only-begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God,] Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father;

By whom all things were made [both in heaven and on earth];
Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man;

He suffered, and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven;

From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

And in the Holy Ghost.

The continuum of Ismailism is the transfer of baatini (esoteric or hidden) knowledge from one Imam to the other Imam starting with Ali (ra), and is dependent on this single hadith (which is not authentic):

It is related that Jabir ibn Abdullah said to the Prophet: “O Messenger of Allah, may my father and mother be sacrificed for you, tell me of the first thing Allah created before all things.”
He said: “O Jabir, the first thing Allah created was the light of your Prophet from His light, and that light remained (lit. “turned”) in the midst of His Power for as long as He wished and there was not, at that time, a Tablet or a Pen or a Paradise or a Fire or an Angel or a Heaven or an Earth. And when Allah wished to create creation, he divided that Light into four parts and from the first made the Pen, from the second the Tablet, from the third the Throne, [and from the fourth everything else].”

It is illogical for educated and intellectual men to believe that an entire religion can be constructed based on one hadith and entire Qur’an revealed by Allah to his Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and thousands other ahadith which are clear explanation of Qur’an, can be ignored and left aside.

Ismailis says that Ali (ra) possessed this noor and became the Imam and Aga Khan is the current possessor of that noor. The question is, that where does this hadith speak about transfer of noor? Ismailies say that the noor was transferred from generation-to-generation, but Ali (ra) was the cousin of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). How come Ali (ra) can have that noor? Is there any mention of worshipping that noor and giving him the full authority to define religious beliefs and practices? If this noor was the basis of Islam, then why didn’t Allah reveal such a statement in the Qur’an and why didn’t the Prophet (pbuh) mention such a fact in any of his ahadith? Allah had clearly revealed everything which was to be revealed and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) declared this in his last sermon.

To conclude, Allah is a reality that cannot be described and we should refrain from attaching physical attributes to Him. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was a man, who was special because he was chosen by Allah to perfect the message of Islam. The Ismaili belief based on noor cannot be substantiated from neither the Qur’an, nor any hadith.

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Discussion

10 thoughts on “Hazar Imam’s “Noor” Demystified

  1. It was such a waste of my time. I thought there is something new but these verses are already commented by Hakim Nasir Khusraw and it make more sense than your bulshit. Good luck.

    Like

    Posted by Yannick Ellemberg | November 27, 2014, 9:02 pm
  2. Well, why didn’t you saw hadees in which it is clearly stated that prophet muhammed and mowla ali are made from same noor.If noor is misconception then why prophet muhammed said that he is from imam hussain and imam hussain is from him. Noor doesn’t have only one meaning , its other meaning is energy. We can say Allah is energy as of scientific reason that energy can neither be created nor be destroyed. and so on. This is really worst researched article ever before. Noor was never a misconception and will never be.

    Like

    Posted by richa | December 24, 2014, 5:14 pm
    • Please bring forward this hadees of prophet s.a.w. and hazrat ali r.a. were made from same noor from authentic reference with proper sanad i.e. chain of narrator.Also please bring reference to second hadees and even if that hadees is true it cannot be cannot under any circumstances be taken as evidence to support prove or derive any belief that clearly contradicts quran and techings of prophet s.a.w.,but it literal meaning as clearly evidence is to show closeness of relation between the two in arabic language.Now when we have islam based on quran and hadees we do not need this scientific confusion to be introduce in religion which is a very illogical approach.Noor is not misconception but its real meaning is ignore and it is exaggerated by agakhan to brainwashed massess

      Liked by 1 person

      Posted by missionarykhoja | December 25, 2014, 6:50 am
      • Well, There are references of the existence of noor in imam as well as prophet as the same.
        I am giving you the links.. verify it:

        http://al-huda.al-khoei.org/news/126/ARTICLE/1066/2005-04-30.html
        http://www.abuturab.org/first.html
        http://www.al-islam.org/life-muhammad-prophet-sayyid-saeed-akhtar-rizvi/creation

        references are:

        Al Muhibb al Tabari narrates this tradition on the authority of Salman from the Prophet in al Riyad al Nadirah, ii, 163:

        Ahmad ibn Hanbal in al Fada’il;

        Sibt ibn al Jawzi in Tadhkirat Alآ¬khawass, 46;

        Abu Hatim Muhammad ibn Idris al Razi in Zayn al Fata fi tafsir Surat Hal ata, MS.;

        Abd Allah ibn Ahmad ibn Hanbal in Zawaid manaqib Amir al Muminin, MS.,
        Al-Qastalani (in Al Mawahibu’l-Ladunniyah, vol. 1, pp. 5, 9, 10)
        Bihar ul Anwar, V27 p199 h27.

        Now Agakhan always claimed that he is the holder of the noor and direct descendent of Prophet Muhammad.Noor which was present in prophet and imam ali. Noor concept never contradicts with koran.

        Like

        Posted by richa | December 25, 2014, 4:50 pm
        • Richa,
          Not even ONE of the presumed “references” (or rather, hyperlinks) which you have posted (or rather, “pasted”) are from the Quran or from the Hadith. Is al-khoei.org a reference from the Quran? Is abuturab.org a reference from the Quran? Or is al-islam.org a reference from the Quran? The article above has numerous references from the Quran, while you are quoting a Shia source. Shame on Ismailis that they don’t even have a decent Nizari Ismaili source to refer to. Moreover, you have quoted Al Muhaibb al-Tabari, Fada’il of Ahmad bin Hanbal and Bihar ul Anwar. What are these? Sihah Sitta? NO. Quran? NO.

          Even the Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Hussain Najafi has said that the concept that Ahl-ul-Bayt were created from noor is an innovation and this concept was injected by Shaykh Ahmed Ehsayi who deceived common Shia with his corrupted beliefs. Go and get your facts straight before you start quoting Itha’ashriyaah sources. Ismailis are not a branch of Twelver Shia. Even the Twelver Shia reject Nizari Ismailis not only as a branch of Twelver Shia, but they reject them from the fold of Islam altogether. Here is the Twelver Shia fatwa on Ismailis by their GRAND AYATOLLAH:

          https://insideismailism.wordpress.com/2014/05/07/ruling-najafi/

          So now why don’t you go and ask your Waezeen, go and ask even your Hazir Imam to come up with a Quranic reference as a rebuttal to this article. Allah will never enable you to do so.

          Like

          Posted by Akbar Khoja | February 11, 2015, 9:10 pm
        • Richa,
          Not even ONE of the presumed “references” (or rather, hyperlinks) which you have posted (or rather, “pasted”) are from the Quran or from the Hadith. Is al-khoei.org a reference from the Quran? Is abuturab.org a reference from the Quran? Or is al-islam.org a reference from the Quran? The article above has numerous references from the Quran, while you are quoting a Shia source. Shame on Ismailis that they don’t even have a decent Nizari Ismaili source to refer to. Moreover, you have quoted Al Muhaibb al-Tabari, Fada’il of Ahmad bin Hanbal and Bihar ul Anwar. What are these? Sihah Sitta? NO. Quran? NO.

          Even the Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Hussain Najafi has said that the concept that Ahl-ul-Bayt were created from noor is an innovation and this concept was injected by Shaykh Ahmed Ehsayi who deceived common Shia with his corrupted beliefs. Go and get your facts straight before you start quoting Itha’ashriyaah sources. Ismailis are not a branch of Twelver Shia. Even the Twelver Shia reject Nizari Ismailis not only as a branch of Twelver Shia, but they reject them from the fold of Islam altogether. Here is the Twelver Shia fatwa on Ismailis by their GRAND AYATOLLAH:

          https://insideismailism.wordpress.com/2014/05/07/ruling-najafi/

          So now why don’t you go and ask your Waezeen, go and ask even your Hazir Imam to come up with a Quranic reference as a rebuttal to this article. Allah will never enable you to do so.

          Like

          Posted by Akbar Ali Khoja | February 12, 2015, 5:11 pm
        • It doesn’t contradict if the nur is assumed to be Allah’s but its not.

          If it was Allah’s then it would never contradict Qur’an

          1. 5 Times pray minimum in a day to Allah (20:130 Qur’an)

          2. Fasting in Ramadan (2:183-185)

          3. Tawaf / Hajj /Umrah / Safa and Marwa – never heard in farmans thus not made compulsory in ismailsm, Qur’an says you should.

          2:125, 2:158,2:189,2:196-197,2:198-201,2:203

          4. No prayer shall involve anyone except Allah (72:18)
          7:197, 4:48

          5. Wali / helper are those who perform salah and bow down
          Those who don’t bow down belong to hell. (Qur’an)
          6. Qur’an 4:59 Ulil Amr doesn’t have absolute authority

          7. “Nay, Allah is your Mawla..” (QUR’AN 3:150)

          8. There are many people who claim to have nur of Prophet
          nurmuhammad.com
          Eg: syed nur mohammad al badwani

          Therefore who ever contradicts with Teachings of Quran and Rasul is therefore a fake imam

          “And We made them Imams who call to the fire, and on the day of resurrection they shall not be assisted.”
          (سورة القصص, Al-Qasas, Chapter #28, Verse#41)

          Liked by 1 person

          Posted by Wasif | August 5, 2015, 10:45 pm
  3. Leave all rubbish talks and say me that have u ever being attend didar in your life or not …. Probably you have not i think so bcause if so then you will not talk all these non sense….

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Renish khoja | September 8, 2015, 6:57 am
    • You are not the first one to call Aga Khan or his Noor as rubbish, but… yes, I have attended Didar and that was the event which led me to Islam. I was told a dozen stories about how Mowla Bapa heard everything you speak with him at the Didar and he glances at you and all that crap. When I saw him, I saw nothing but a white man asserting his supremacy over brown, formerly-Hindu, Asians. I can show you hundreds of thousands of white Muslims, but can you show me a White Aga Khani?

      Like

      Posted by Akbar Khoja | September 9, 2015, 6:14 am

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