The First Thing That Allah Created Was My Nur
We do not have the entire Musnad of `Abd al-Razzaq in our hands.
volumes presently published are not the entire work.
Below is a repost of some old material on the question.
[The original question was:]
I'm looking for this hadith: " Awwalu ma khalaqallahu nuri" (The first
thing that Allah created was my nur)
Then author of Kashful Khifa quotes Al-Mawahib and says it's in Musannaf
Abdur Razzaq but the muhaqqiq of Mawahib says it's not there and this
hadith is mawdu`. He also says that sheikh Abdullah Ghumari wrote a
risalah saying it's mawdu` and Allamah Suyuti in Al-Hawi lil Fatawi says
it's not established.
LIGHT OF THE FULL MOON
by GF Haddad
"Hadith of Jabir"
It is related that Jabir ibn `Abd Allah said to the Prophet ﷺ : "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]."
The judgments on this narration vary greatly among the scholars. Their
words are listed below under the alphabetical listing of their names.
`Abd al-Haqq al-Dihlawi (d. 1052) the Indian hadith scholar cites it as
evidence in Madarij al-nubuwwa (in Persian, 2:2 of the Maktaba al-nuriyya
edition in Sakhore) and says it is is sahih (sound and authentic).
`Abd al-Hayy al-Lucknawi (d. 1304) the Indian hadith scholar cites it in
his al-Athar al-marfu`a fi al-akhbar al-mawdu`a (p. 33-34 of the Lahore
edition) and says: "The primacy (awwaliyya) of the Muhammadan light
(al-nur al-muhammadi) is established from the narration of `Abd al-Razzaq,
as well as its definite priority over all created things."
`Abd al-Razzaq (d. 211) narrates it in his Musannaf according to
Qastallani in al-Mawahib al-laduniyya (1:55) and Zarqani in his Sharh
al-mawahib (1:56 of the Matba`a al-`amira edition in Cairo). There is no
doubt as to the reliability of `Abd al-Razzaq as a narrator. Bukhari took
120 narrations from him, Muslim 400.
`Abidin (Ahmad al-Shami d. 1320), the son of the Hanafi scholar Ibn
`Abidin, cites the hadith as evidence in his commentary on Ibn Hajar
al-Haytami's poem al-Ni`mat al-kubra `ala al-`alamin. Nabahani cites it in
his Jawahir al-bihar (3:354).
`Ajluni (Isma`il ibn Muhammad d. 1162) in his Kashf al-khafa' (1:265 of
the Maktabat al-Ghazali edition in Beirut) narrates the hadith in its
entirety from Qastallani in his Mawahib.
Alusi (al-Sayyid Mahmud) in his commentary of Qur'an entitled Ruh
al-ma`ani (17:105 of the Beirut edition) said: "The Prophet's being a
mercy to all is linked to the fact that he is the intermediary of the
divine outpouring over all contingencies [i.e. all created things without
exception], from the very beginnings (wasitat al-fayd al-ilahi `ala
al-mumkinat `ala hasab al-qawabil), and that is why his light was the
first of all things created, as stated in the report that "The first thing
Allah created was the light of your Prophet, O Jabir," and also cited is:
"Allah is the Giver and I am the Distributor." [See al-Qasim #261.] The
Sufis -- may Allah sanctify their secrets -- have more to say on that
chapter." Alusi also cites the hadith of Jabir as evidence in another
passage of Ruh al-ma`ani (8:71).
Bakri (Sayyid Abu al-Hasan Ahmad ibn `Abd Allah, d. 3rd c.) in his book
al-Anwar fi mawlid al-nabi Muhammad `alayhi al-salat wa al-salam ﷺ (p. 5 of
the Najaf edition) cites the following hadith from `Ali: "Allah was and
there was nothing with Him, and the first thing which He created was the
light of His Beloved, before He created water, or the Throne, or the
Footstool, or the Tablet, or the Pen, or Paradise, or the Fire, or the
Veils and the Clouds, or Adam and Eve, by four thousand years."
Bayhaqi (d. 458) narrates it with a different wording in Dala'il
al-nubuwwa according to Zarqani in his Sharh al-mawahib (1:56 of the
Matba`a al-`amira in Cairo) and Diyarbakri in Tarikh al-khamis (1:20).
Diyarbakri (Husayn ibn Muhammad d. 966): He begins his 1,000-page history
entitled Tarikh al-khamis fi ahwal anfasi nafis with the words: "Praise be
to Allah Who created the Light of His Prophet before everything else,"
which is enough to disprove al-Ghumari's exaggerated claim that "anyone
who reads it will be convinced that the hadith is a lie." Then Diyarbakri
cites the hadith as evidence (1:19 of the Mu'assasat Sha`ban edition in
Fasi (Muhammad ibn Ahmad d. 1052) cites it as evidence in Matali`
al-masarrat (p. 210, 221 of the Matba`a al-taziyya edition) and says:
"These narrations indicate his primacy (awwaliyya) and priority over all
other creations, and also the fact that he is their cause (sabab)."
Ghumari (`Abd Allah) in his Irshad al-talib al-najib ila ma fi al-mawlid
al-nabawi min al-akadhib (p. 9-12 of the Dar al-furqan edition),
commenting on Suyuti's words (quoted below) whereby the hadith has no
reliable chain: "This shows great laxity on the part of Suyuti, which I
thought him to be above. First, the hadith is not present in `Abd
al-Razzaq's Musannaf, nor in any of the books of hadith. Secondly : the
hadith has no chain of transmission to begin with. Thirdly: he has not
mentioned the rest of the hadith. It is mentioned in Diyarbakri's Tarikh,
and anyone who reads it will be convinced that the hadith is a lie about
the Messenger of Allah." This exaggerated conclusion is disproved by the
fact that Diyarbarkri himself does not consider it a lie since he cites
the hadith in the first words of his book.
Gilani (Shaykh `Abd al-Qadir, d. 561) in his book Sirr al-asrar fi ma
yahtaju ilayh al-abrar (p. 12-14 of the Lahore edition) said: "Know that
since Allah first created the soul of Muhammad ﷺ from the light of His beauty, as He said: I created Muhammad from
the light of My Face, and as the Prophet said: The first thing Allah
created is my soul, and the first thing Allah created is the Pen, and the
first thing Allah created is the intellect -- what is meant by all this is
one and the same thing, and that is the haqiqa muhammadiyya. However, it
was named a light because it is completely purified from darkness, as
Allah said: There has come to you from Allah a Light and a manifest Book.
It was also named an intellect because it is the cause for the
transmission of knowledge, and the pen is its medium in the world of
letters. The Muhammadan soul (al-ruh al-muhammadiyya) is therefore the
quintessence of all created things and the first of them and their origin,
as the Prophet said: I am from Allah and the believers are from me, and
Allah created all souls from me in the spiritual world and He did so in
the best form. It is the name of the totality of mankind in that
primordial world, and after its creation by four thousand years, Allah
created the Throne from the light of Muhammad himself ﷺ, and from it the rest of creation." This book has now been
translated by Shaykh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi as The Secret of Secrets
(Cambridge: Islamic Texts Society, 1994).
Halabi (`Ali ibn Burhan al-Din, d. 1044) cites it as evidence in his Sira
(1:31 of the Maktaba Islamiyya edition in Beirut) and then states: "It
provides evidence that he is the root of everything that exists (in
creation) and Allah knows best."
Haqqi (Isma`il, d. 1137) cites it as evidence in his Tafsir entitled Ruh
al-bayan and says: "Know, O person of understanding, that the first thing
Allah created is the light of your Prophet... and he is the cause for the
existence of everything that was brought to existence, and the mercy from
Allah upon all creatures... and without him the higher and the lower
worlds would not have been created." Yusuf al-Nabahani mentions it in his
Jawahir al-bihar (p. 1125).
Haytami (Ahmad ibn Hajar d. 974) states in his Fatawa hadithiyya (p. 247
of the Baba edition in Cairo) that `Abd al-Razzaq narrated it, and cites
it in his poem on the Prophet's birth entitled al-Ni`mat al-kubra `ala
al-`alamin (p. 3).
Ibn al-Hajj al-Abdari (Muhammad ibn Muhammad d. 736) in his book
al-Madkhal (2:34 of the Dar al-kitab al-`arabi in Beirut) cites it from
al-Khatib Abu al-Rabi` Muhammad ibn al-Layth's book Shifa' al-sudur in
which the latter says: "The first thing Allah created is the light of
Muhammad ﷺ, and that light came and prostrated
before Allah. Allah divided it into four parts and created from the first
part the Throne, from the second the Pen, from the third the Tablet, and
then similarly He subdivided the fourth part into parts and created the
rest of creation. Therefore the light of the Throne is from the light of
Muhammad ﷺ, the light of the Pen is from the light of Muhammad ﷺ, the
light of the Tablet is from the light of Muhammad ﷺ, the light of day, the
light of knowledge, the light of the sun and the moon, and the light of
vision and sight are all from the light of Muhammad ﷺ."
Isma`il al-Dihlawi (Shah Muhammad, d. 1246), one of the leaders of the
Wahhabi-influenced Deobandi school in the Indo-Pakistani Subcontinent in
one of his booklets entitled Yek rawzah (p. 11 of the Maltan edition)
says: "As indicated by the narration: The first thing Allah created was my
Jamal (Sulayman d. 1204) cites it as evidence in his commentary on Busiri
entitled al-Futuhat al-ahmadiyya bi al-minah al-muhammadiyya (p. 6 of the
Hijazi edition in Cairo).
Gangowhi (Rashid Ahmad) a leader of the Wahhabi-influenced Deobandi school
of India and Pakistan in his Fatawa rashidiyya (p. 157 of the Karachi
edition) said that the hadith was "not found in the authentic collections,
but Shaykh `Abd al-Haqq (al-Dihlawi) cited it on the basis that it had
some grounding of authenticity." Actually Shaykh `Abd al-Haqq not only
cited it but he said it was sound (sahih).
Jili (`Abd al-Karim, b. 766) in his Namus al-a`zam wa al-qamus al-aqdam fi
ma`rifat qadar al-bani ﷺ cites it as evidence.
Nabahani relates it in his Jawahir al-bihar (see below).
Kharputi (`Umar ibn Ahmad, d. 1299) in his commentary on Busiri entitled
Sharh qasidat al-burda (p. 73 of the Karachi edition).
Maliki al-Hasani (Muhammad ibn `Alawi) in his commentary on `Ali
al-Qari's book of the Mawlid entitled Hashiyat al-Mawrid al-rawi fi
al-mawlid al-nabawi (p. 40) said: "The chain of Jabir is sound without
contest, but the scholars have differed concerning the text of the hadith
due to its peculiarity. Bayhaqi also narrated the hadith with some
differences." Then he quoted several narrations establishing the light of
Nabahani (Yusuf ibn Isma`il) cites it as evidence in al-Anwar
al-muhammadiyya (p. 13), in his Jawahir al-bihar (p. 1125 or 4:220 of the
Baba edition in Cairo), and in his Hujjat Allah `ala al-`alamin (p. 28).
Nabulusi (`Abd al-Ghani d. 1143) says in his Hadiqa al-nadiyya (2:375 of
the Maktaba al-nuriyya edition in Faysalabad): "The Prophet is the
universal leader of all, and how could he not be when all things were
created out of his light as has been stated in the sound hadith."
Nisaburi (Nizamuddin ibn Hasan, d. 728) cites it as evidence in
elucidation of the verse: "And I was ordered to be the first of the
Muslims" (39:12) in his Tafsir entitled Ghara'ib al-Qur'an (8:66 of the
Baba edition in Cairo).
Qari (Mulla `Ali ibn Sultan, d. 1014) cites it in full in his book
al-Mawlid al-rawi fi al-mawlid al-nabawi (p. 40), edited by Sayyid
Muhammad `Alawi al-Maliki. He also said in his Sharh al-Shifa, in
commenting upon the Prophet's title "as a Lamp spreading Light" (33: 46):
"Muhammad... is a tremendous light and the source of all lights, he is
also a book that gathers up and makes clear all the secrets... sirajan
muniran means a luminous sun, because of His saying: "He hath placed
therein a great lamp and a moon giving light" (25:61). There is in this
verse an indication that the sun is the highest of the material lights and
that other lights are outpourings from it: similarly the Prophet is the
highest of the spiritual lights and other lights are derived from him by
virtue of his mediating connection and pivotal rank in the overall sphere
of creation. This is also inferred from the tradition: "The first thing
Allah created is my light."" (Sharh al-Shifa 1:505)
Qastallani (Ahmad ibn Muhammad, d. 923) narrates it in his al-Mawahib
al-laduniyya (1:55 of the edition accompanied by Zarqani's commentary).
Rifa`i (Yusuf al-Sayyid Hashim) cites it as evidence in Adillat ahl
al-sunna wa al-jama`a al-musamma al-radd al-muhkam al-mani` (p. 22): `Abd
al-Razzaq narrated it.
Suyuti in al-Hawi li al-fatawi, in the explanation of Surat
al-Muddaththir: "It has no reliable chain"; and in Takhrij ahadith sharh
al-mawaqif: "I did not find it in that wording."
Thanwi (Ashraf `Ali), a leader of the Wahhabi-influenced Deobandi school
in the Indian Subcontinent, in his book Nashr al-tib (in Urdu, p. 6 and
215 of the Lahore edition) cites it as evidence on the authority of `Abd
al-Razzaq, and relies upon it.
Zarqani in Sharh al-mawahib cites it (1:56 of the Matba`a al-`amira
edition in Cairo) and refers it to `Abd al-Razzaq's narration in his
Zahir (Ihsan Ilahi), a leader of the Wahhabi-influenced Deobandi school
and declared enemy of the Barelwi school of Ahl al-Sunna in Lahore, India,
in his book Hadiyyat al-mahdi (p. 56 of the Sialkut edition) says: "Allah
began His creation with the Muhammadan light (al-nur al-muhammadi), then
He created the Throne over the water, then He created the wind, then He
created the Nun and the Pen and the Tablet, then He created the Intellect.
The Muhammadan Light is therefore a primary substance for the creation of
the heavens and the earth and what is in them... As for what has come to
us in the hadith: The first thing which Allah created is the Pen; and: The
first thing which Allah created is the Intellect: what is meant by it is a
Blessings and peace on the Prophet Muhammad, the Light of the Full Moon in
its beauty, and upon his Family and Companions. ﷺ
GF Haddad ©
The Light of the Prophet