“Or their deeds may be likened to darkness upon an abysmal sea, covered by a billow, above which is a billow, above which is clouds, creating darkness piled one upon another; when he puts forth his hand, he is scarcely able to see it. He to whom Allah assigns no light, he will have no light.”
(Al-Qur’ān – 24:40)
The parable of ‘darkness upon an abysmal sea’ portrays the state of all unbelievers and hypocrites including those who do good deeds primarily for show and ostentation. What is common to them is that they spend their whole life in total ignorance even though they may have been regarded as the most outstanding scholars and specialists in their fields. They are like a person who is entrapped in a place and overwhelmed with darkness, a place devoid of even a single ray of light. Such a person tends to entertain the illusion that knowledge consists in manufacturing atomic and hydrogen bombs, making supersonic aeroplanes and vehicles for inter-stellar travel. But true knowledge is something quite different, something of which they have no idea. If the true concept of knowledge is remembered and used as a yardstick, then these so-called experts will have to be reckoned as ignoramuses. On the other hand, if an unlettered villager knows the truth, he will be deemed as truly knowledgeable.
The thrust here is that since there is no light in the universe save the Light of God, and everything becomes visible by God’s Light alone, anyone who remains deprived of this light will have no light whatsoever.