Is al-Lawh al-Mahfooz created, and if the answer is yes, then how can the Qur’an be in it, when the Qur’an is not created? There is a hadith which says “I seek refuge in the light of Your Countenance by which darkness is illuminated.” Does this mean that the light that we see comes from the light of Allah? Does this mean that the attributes of Allah are immanent in His creation?
Praise be to Allah.
Al-Lawh al-Mahfooz is created, like all other created things. Everything other than Allah is created, such as the Throne, the Kursiy and the Lawh.
This is something obvious, and there is no confusion about it, and no scholarly difference concerning it at all. Everything other than Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, is created by Him, may He be glorified, and exists after having been non-existent: al-Lawh al-Mahfooz, the Pen, the Throne, and everything in the heavens and on the earth, and everything in the earth and below the ground, and everything in the entire universe is created by Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.
There is nothing confusing about the Qur’an being written in al-Lawh al-Mahfooz which is created, for we all write the Qur’an on pages which are also created.
We utter words and write them on paper, but the attribute of speech and words that we possess does not reside in the paper; rather our attributes exist in us.
Light is one of the attributes of Allah, may He be exalted, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): “And the earth will shine with the light of its Lord, and the record [of deeds] will be placed, and the prophets and the witnesses will be brought, and it will be judged between them in truth, and they will not be wronged” [az-Zumar 39:69]. This will happen on the Day of Resurrection.
With regard to this world, the light that we see is created; it is the light of the sun and moon, and other created things.
On the Day of Resurrection, it cannot be said that the attributes of Allah will be immanent on earth; rather His attribute exist in Him, like His knowledge, His hearing, His seeing, His creating, His will and His words.
In this world, the light that we see is the light of the sun and moon, which are very far away from us, but no one says that the sun or the moon are immanent in us, or that the attribute of the sun or moon are immanent in us. The attribute exists in the one to whom it belongs, but there is the effect of the attribute and what results from it.
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said in an-Nooniyyah, p. 212:
Light (Noor) is one of His names too, and one of His attributes, may He be glorified.
His veil is light; if He were to lift His veil, the light of His countenance would burn the entire universe.
And on the Day of Resurrection, when He comes to judge between people, His light will shine upon the earth.
And he (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The texts state that the Lord is called an-Noor (Light), and that He has light that is attributed to Him, and that He is the light of the heavens and the earth, and that His veil is light. These are four types of light.
Regarding the first type, it is said of Him, may He be glorified, in general terms, so He is al-Noor al-Haadi (the Guiding Light).
The second type is attributed to Him, just as His life, His hearing, His seeing, His glory, His might and His knowledge are attributed to Him, for sometimes it is attributed to His Countenance, and sometimes it is attributed to His Essence…
Regarding the third type, His light is connected to the heavens and the earth, as in the verse (interpretation of the meaning): “Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth” [an-Noor 24:35].
An example of the fourth type is the words, “His veil is light.”
All light that is attributed to Him is mentioned in one of these four ways.
End quote from Mukhtasar as-Sawaa’iq, p. 423.
Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: I would like you to explain the verse in which Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth” [an-Noor 24:35].
He replied: What the verse means, according to the scholars, is that Allah, may He be glorified, illuminates them, so all the light that exists in the heavens and on earth, and will exist on the Day of Resurrection, all comes from His light, may He be glorified.
Light is of two types, the first of which is created light, which is the light that exists in this world and the hereafter, and in Paradise, and among people now, namely the light of the moon, sun and stars, and also the light of electricity and fire – all of that is created, and is part of the creation of Allah, may He be glorified and exalted.
The second type of light is not created; rather it is one of the divine attributes. Allah, may He be glorified and praised for all His attributes, is the Creator, and everything other than Him is created. So the light of His Countenance and the light of His Essence, may He be glorified and exalted, are both not created; rather that is one of His attributes, may He be glorified and exalted.
This great light is one of His attributes, may He be glorified, and it is not created; rather it is one of the divine attributes, like His hearing, His seeing, His hand and His foot, and other glorious divine attributes.
This is the truth that Ahl as-Sunnah believe in. End quote from Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa (6/54).
With regard to the hadith “I seek refuge in the light of Your Countenance by which darkness is illuminated”, it is a da‘eef (weak) hadith. For information on its weakness, please see: Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth ad-Da‘eefah by al-Albaani (6/486).
And Allah knows best.