Surah Al Nur in the main deals with the important subject of man's relationship within his inner family ,wife or wives and servants within his inner household .Women's modesty and mode of dressing . The Surah opens up on the all important issues of innuedoes and slander of sexual in nature .Hudud for 'zina' to the uninitiated Western mind would appear horrendous but categorically where do you find 4 pairs of 'eyes' belonging to people of high repute before a suspect could ever be sentenced . The borders and rules are there but in spirit Islam respect privacy and at the end of the day you cannot run anywhere because 'Allah is All Seeing' . No use for slander and dissension .
To me Surah Al Nur is full of beautiful expressions and allegory and for people whose language is Arabic , this must be a beautiful Surah rich with beautiful expressions , even in old English one can sense that :
'Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth .The similitude of this light is as a niche wherein is a lamp .The lampis in a glass .The glass is as it were a Shining Star . [This lamp is] kindled from a blessed tree ,an olive neither of the East or the West ,where oil would almost glow forth [of itself] though no fire touch it .Light upon Light .Allah guideth upon this light who He will .And Allah setteth forth for mankind similitudes ,for Allah is knower of all things . [This lamp is found] in the houses which Allah hath allowed to be exalted and that His name shall be remembered therein .Therein do offer praise to Him at morn and evening . '
Mashaallah , subhanaallah how beautiful it can be ! And move on to Verse 40 for comparision :
'Or in the darkness on a vast abysmal sea .There covered him a wave ,above which is a wave above which is a cloud .Layer upon layer of darkness .When he holdeth out his hand he scarsely can see it . And he for whom Allah hath not appointed light ,for him therein no light . '
Reminded me of my very own frantic feeling several years back when I was separated by swift underwater current while night scuba diving out in the open sea off Tioman , Terenggannu .' ....darkness on a vast abysmal sea .Waves upon waves never ending above which dark star-less cloud . Layer and layer of darkness'
Dr Nik Howk