Was the Nūr of the Prophet ﷺ created first?
What was the first thing Allah created? Is the ḥadīth authentic that the first thing that Allah created was the Nūr of the Prophet ﷺ?
بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم
What did Allah create first?
The scholars have a difference of opinion regarding the first thing Allah created:
- The Pen – This is the view of Imam Ibn Jarīr (d. 310/923), Imam Ṭabarānī (d. 360/971) and Imam Ibn al-Jawzī (d. 597/1201).
- The ʿArsh (Throne) – Imam Abū al-ʿAlā al-Hamdānī (d. 569/1173-4) has attributed this view to the majority of scholars. Shaykh al-Islām Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728/1328) and his students Ḥāfiẓ Ibn al-Qayyim (d. 751/1350) and Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Kathīr (d. 774/1373) are inclined to this view.
- The Water – Imam Bayhaqī (d. 458/1066) and Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar (d. 852/1149) are inclined to this. They appear to suggest that water was created first, followed by the Throne and then the Pen.
- The ʿAql (brain) – Imam Gazālī (d. 505/1111) is inclined to this, however, the ḥadīth transmitted in this regard is not established.
- Light and darkness – This is transmitted from Imam Ibn Isḥāq (d. 150/767-8).
- Sukūn (immobility) and then Ḥarakah (motion) – This is the view of Imam Abū Bakr ibn al-ʿArabī (d. 543/1148).
- The nūr of the Prophet ﷺ and his soul – This is the view of Mullā ʿAlī al-Qārī (d. 1014/1605), ʿAllāmah Maḥmūd al-Ālūsī (d. 1270/1854) and ʿAllāmah Anwar Shāh Kashmīrī (d. 1352/1933). Mullā ʿAlī al-Qārī explains that this was followed by water, then the Throne and then the Pen.
The writer has outlined these seven views in al-ʿIqd al-Thamīn fī Ḥubb al-Nabī al-Amīn Ṣallāllāhu ʿalayhi wa Sallam and Irshād al-Qārī ilā Ikhtiyārāt Shaykhinā al-ʿAllāmah al-Muḥaddith Muḥammad Yūnus al-Jownfūrī. Of these, the first three views are the most prominent with established evidences.
Is the ḥadīth pertaining to the nūr of the Prophet ﷺ being created first authentic?
ʿAllāmah Qasṭalānī (d. 923/1517) mentions a ḥadīth in al-Mawāhib al-Ladunniyyah in which the Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said, “O Jābir, the first (thing) Allah created was the nūr of your prophet.” ʿAllāmah Qasṭalānī attributes this narration to ʿAbd al-Razzāq, which generally refers to Imam ʿAbd al-Razzāq (d. 211/827), the famous ḥadīth scholar. However, this narration does not exist in his Muṣannaf nor in other ḥadīth collections available to us. In fact, several scholars have indicated that the narration is fabricated. This is the view of Ḥāfiẓ Suyūṭī (d. 911/1505), Mawlānā Shiblī Nuʿmānī (d. 1332/1914), Shaykh Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad ibn al-Ṣiddīq al-Gumārī (d. 1380/1960), Shaykh ʿAbd Allah al-Gumārī (d. 1413/1993), Shaykh ʿAbd al-Fattāḥ Abū Guddah (d. 1417/1997) and our teacher muḥaddith al-ʿaṣr Shaykh Muḥammad Yūnus Jownpūrī (d. 1438/2017). Our teacher explains that many scholars regarded this an established narration as they relied upon what ʿAllāmah Qasṭalānī cited, adding that this cannot be relied upon. It is worth noting that Ḥāfiẓ Suyūṭī, who is generally lenient and has vast knowledge of ḥadīths, has also classified this narration as fabricated. The references have been outlined in the aforementioned works.
Finally, it is worth noting that this issue does not form part of our essential creed and there is therefore no need for this to become a means of division and friction.
Allah knows best
19 Muḥarram 1441 / 19 September 2019
Approved by: Mufti Shabbir Ahmad