CHAPTER I - Quantum Physics and the Muhammadan Light

“O Mankind! A clear truth has come to you from your Lord.
And We have sent down towards you such a Bright Light
that shows you the right path.”

Holy Quran
The Women 4:174

I – Spiritual Reality of Light

1 – Introduction to Quantum Physics

Quantum physics is a relativity new scientific field that attempts to explain the behavior of infinitely small particles like electrons, protons and neutrons.  It is also called quantum mechanics.  The need for quantum physics comes from the fact that the classical laws of physics begin to deteriorate at small scales.

One of the most essential aspects of quantum physics is the dual properties of light.  The quantum theory of light states that light exhibits a dual nature: it has both wave and particle properties.  What are waves and particles?

  • Particles are finite, concrete little packages (electrons for instance).  They are localized and thus only exist at a specific location that may be identified through x, y and z coordinates.
  • Waves are delocalized entities that carry energy but no mass.

According to classical physics, light is an electromagnetic wave traveling at a constant speed c = 299,792,458 m/s, known as the speed of light.  Therefore, classical physicists believed that light carried no mass.

In 1905 Einstein proved that light also comes in “discrete packages” which he called photons.  Einstein’s experiment, now called the Photoelectric Effect, was revolutionary.  It proved that light can be quantized in energy packets called quanta (plural of quantum).  Below are two figures representing the two properties of light.

In the Holy Name of God, the All-Compassionate, the All-Merciful,
With peace and blessings upon His Prophet Muhammad SAW
upon his holy family, and upon his blessed Companions.
Bridging the Gap between Spirituality and Science
2 – Spiritual Reality of the Quantum Nature of Light

a – The Dual Nature of Light and the Two Faces of the Prophet (SAW)

According to modern scientists, light is made up of discrete energy packages called photons.  Below is a detailed representation of a single photon.


A photon has several key characteristics:

  • It acts both as a wave and a particle (wave-particle duality).
  • It is in constant motion and moves at the speed of light.
  • It has zero mass.
  • It carries energy.
  • It can interact with other particles such as electrons.
  • It is responsible for all electromagnetic phenomena

The photon is the carrier of all forms of light.  These include visible light, infrared light, microwaves, ultraviolet light, radio waves, gamma rays, X-rays and even radio waves.

With its wave-particle duality, the photon is a scientific manifestation of the Prophet   who is known for having two faces: one face that is with creation and another one that is with the Creator.  This assertion is verified by the saying:

“I have one face with the Creator and I have one face with creation.”
Hadith related by Shaykh Kabbani History and Guidebook of the Saints of the Golden Chain”.

This important saying is at the basis of the second postulate, which states that light is the only possible link between the frame of the Absolute and that of relativity.  Indeed, since the Prophet   is able to witness the events appearing both on God’s side and on creation’s, he is at a pivotal station that connects creation with its Creator. 

According to the 3rd postulate, light must exhibit the same characteristics as the Prophet (SAW) because it represents him in the realm of our universe.  Thus, the dual nature or dual face of the photon is a manifestation of the dual face of the Prophet  .

The external body of the photon represents the physical body of the Prophet (SAW)  while its inner energy represents his prophetic soul.

b- Spirituality is Energy

In our universe spirituality is manifested by the photon’s internal energy because it represents the prophetic soul which is the source of all spiritual lights.  Similarly, matter is manifested by the photon’s external body because it represents the physical body of the Prophet(SAW).
Spirituality is an entity that is free of mass and full of pure energy.  It is present at all levels of creation and in every part of the universe.  This spirituality is manifested in science as the photon’s internal energy E according to the equation:

where h is Planck's constant, c is the speed of light and λ the wavelength of light.

The inverse relationship between the wavelength of light and the energy of a photon means that light consisting of high energy photons (such as "blue" light) has a short wavelength.  Similarly, light consisting of low energy photons (such as "red" light) has a long wavelength.

3 – Wisdom in the Pattern of Discoveries Light’s Nature

Before the beginning of the 19th century, light was believed to be made up of particles.  This particle theory was popularized by Newton who was one of its most famous supporters and inventors.  However, in 1801, Thomas Young (1773-1829) successfully proved that light exhibits a wave nature and, by the end of the 19th century, the wave concept of light was widely accepted.  The 20th century’s scientific discoveries brought us a new understanding of light as Einstein proved that light exhibits both particle and wave properties.

According to the 3rd postulate all physical actions are reflections of spiritual actions.  Thus, there must be a hidden wisdom behind the pattern of discoveries of the properties of light (first particle, then wave and then dual properties).  Spiritually speaking, the particle nature of light is related to the reality of Prophet Moses (as) because his message addresses the physical and external aspects of life.  Indeed, Moses (as) laid the foundation of the rules pertaining to our material lives through his Ten Commandments. Similarly, the wave nature of light is related to the reality of Prophet Jesus Christ (as) because his message addresses the spiritual aspect of life.  Jesus taught us the inner values of life such as forgiveness, love and peace.  Finally, the dual particle/wave nature of light is related to the reality of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) because his message addresses both the physical and spiritual dimensions of life as he was sent to perfect Moses’ and Jesus Christ’s missions and to embody them through his seal.

Thus, the wisdom behind the pattern of appearance of the properties of light lies in the fact that it mirrors the pattern of appearances of the prophetic passages of the three most important prophets.  Indeed, the prophetic message of Moses (as) appeared first and then followed Jesus Christ’s while Prophet Muhammad’s appeared last.

It is worth noting that while the understanding of light changed throughout the centuries, its intrinsic nature did not.  According to the 3rd postulate, this is in perfect harmony with the nature of the prophetic light which inhabited all prophets. This light appeared in each prophet with different characteristics in order to fit their time and to accommodate the understanding of their communities, just like light appeared through what seemed like different properties throughout the centuries.

As light is one in its essence, so is the prophetic light.  Indeed according to Muslim beliefs, all prophets are spiritual brothers who share the same prophetic light.  This is one of the meanings of the Prophet’s sayings:

“I am the nearest of all the people to the son of Mary, and all the prophets are paternal brothers,
and there has been no prophet between me and him (i.e. Jesus Christ).”
Salih Bukhari, Vol 4, Book 55, Number 651
Narrated by Abu Huraira


“Both in this world and in the Hereafter,
I am the nearest of all the people to Jesus, the son of Mary.
The prophets are paternal brothers;
Their mothers are different, but their religion is One.”
Salih Bukharir, Vol 4, Book 55, Number 652
Narrated by Abu Huraira

The universal prophetic light that appeared in every prophet bears different names.  It is sometimes referred to as the Adamic Light for it is the light that gave life to the first man.  Some faiths refer to it as the Abrahimic Light in reference to the monotheistic religions the three greatest prophets created.  Christian call it the Light of Jesus Christ and Muslims the Muhammadan Light.

4 – The Velocity of Light and the Prophet’s Spiritual Rank

Science proved that the speed of light, which is equal to 299,792,458 meters per second (or 186,000 miles/second), is constant in the entire universe.  The speed of light is the speed with which all electromagnetic waves propagate in a vacuum.  It is constant because it is independent of the relative velocity between the source and the observer.

Mateen Siddiqui and Ziad Sidawi, two of Shaykh Kabbani’s students, explain the constant nature of light in the following terms:

“It is universally accepted, though incredible to comprehend, that light speed is constant for all observers regardless of their speed or direction.  Einstein explained that as an object increased in speed, approaching the speed of light, its physical length decreases, its mass increases.  And thus we find a black hole has infinite mass but no size. 
As the object approaches the speed of light, time slows but the speed of light remains constant.  So if he is traveling at 185,999 miles/second, still light is speeding past him at 186,000 miles/second.  He will never “break the light barrier”;  one cannot even approach it.  If, however, he reaches the speed of light, time stops completely.”
Siddiqui and Sidawi.  Excerpt from a spiritual discourse.

According to the 3rd postulate, the constancy of the speed of light in the universe is a manifestation of the constant presence of the Prophet (SAW).  Indeed, according to Islamic beliefs, the Prophet (SAW) is always present as a witness to creation.  While the latter is subject to event variation because of its inconsistent nature, the Prophet (SAW) remains still, constantly watching and observing creation.  Similarly, light remains constant to all travelers, regardless of how fast they are traveling.

An interesting scientific fact about the constant nature of the velocity of light is that at large velocities, the physical laws are bent in order to accommodate the constancy of the velocity of light.  In other words, physical realities become distorted so that the speed of light may remain constant.  This phenomenon is known in science as the Lorentz Transformation.

The Wikipedia encyclopedia explains the Lorentz Transformation phenomenon as follows:

“Observers traveling at large velocities will find distances and times are distorted (“dilated”) in accordance with the Lorentz Transforms.  However, the transforms distort times and distances in such a way that the speed of light remains constant.  [Thus], under the Lorentz Transformations, the speed of light is the same in all reference frames, as postulated by special relativity.
The Wikipedia Encyclopedia.

The time dilation and length contraction phenomena are discussed in the 5th chapter (Cosmology and the Notion of Eternity).

Next: II - Secrets from E=mc2