Sufi Ashari Maturidis say Allah refers to the prophet Mohammed as a light (noor) that has come with the Quran in surah Maidah 5:15. Allah said, “O people of the book! Indeed Our Messenger has come to you making clear to you most of what you hid of the Book and forgiving much; Indeed, there has come to you a light and a clear Book from God” (Maidah 5:15)
The Sufi Ashari Maturidis have misunderstood what is meant by the words ‘there has come to you a light’. These words refer to the prophet Mohammed but they do not mean he is literal a light from Allah and a human together.
These words refer to the prophet being the light of the message as he brought with him the message of Islam which by the will of Allah he brought the Arabs (the world and the jinn) out the darkness of kufr (disbelieve) and into the light of Islam. Through his efforts to spread Islam Allah guided and is still guiding whom he willed/wills from among mankind and jinn.
Also these words refer to the prophet as being the light of the guidance and not only the light of the message, because he was sent by Allah as light of guidance to guide to mankind and the jinn to the straight path through following his Sunnah. But the prophet also brought with him a book (the Quran) which contained the message of Allah (Islam) in it. This book contained in it the light of guidance for those who followed him as the Quran is Allahs speech for mankind and jinn to read, reflect, live by, explain, memorise and spread to all of mankind and the jinn.
So the prophet is referred to as the light of guidance as he was the one who the Quran was revealed to, he explained it, taught how to recite it and how to read it properly, he showed us how to respect it, told us the reward for following it and the punishment for completely rejecting it or when a person neglects the commands in it by sinning or by falling short in fulfilling the obligations Allah has demanded in the Quran, but most importantly of all the prophet showed mankind and the jinn how to implement the Quran in a persons daily life.
It is important to remember that light of the message and the light of guidance are from Allah only.
The following verse after the one above explains and proves that when Allah referred to the prophet as a light, he (Allah) only meant that he is the light of guidance and the message. In the next verse Allah says, “Allah guides all those who seek his pleasure to ways of peace and he brings them out of darkness (of kufr) by his permission unto light (believing in and living according to the Quran) and guides them to a straight path (following the prophet).” Surah Maidah 5:16
Ibn Jareer Tabaree in his tafsir of surah Maiadah 5:15 he said, “That is, ‘light’ refers to ‘Muhammad’ because people are guided by him as they would be with light, this is according to Qatadah (taabiee) and Al-Zajjaj selected it. And it is also said that it means ‘the Quran’ as that makes clear truth from falsehood – according to Abi Ali Al-Jaba’ee but the first opinion is preferred.
Imam al-Qurtubi in hs tafsir of the same verse said, “That is (the light referred to in the verse is) ‘a radiance’. It is said to be ‘Islam’ and it is (also) said to be ‘Mohammad’ according to al-Zajjaaj.” He also said “He (Prophet Mohammed) brings them (mankind and jinn) out of the darkness’s of kufr and ignorance to the noor (light) of Islam and guidance”.
Ibn Jawzi commented on Allahs saying (there has come to you a light from Allah), Qatadah said ‘The meaning of Nur is: The Prophet Mohammad and others say it is Islam (and third saying is it refers to) Kitab al mubeen that is the Quran.’”
Fakhr ud din Al-Razi said about the verse “There are these opinions: First is that ‘light’ symbolizes ‘Mohammad’ and ‘the book’ symbolizes ‘the Quran’; the second is that ‘light’ symbolizes ‘Islam’ and ‘the book’ symbolizes ‘the Quran’; the third is that ‘light’ and ‘the book’ both refer to ‘the Quran’.”
Therefore any Muslim who has readied the above will understand that surah Maidah 5:15 does not refer to the prophet Mohammed as a literal light from Allah. The verse refers to the Quran, Islam and the prophet Mohammed as all being lights of guidance.
The Standing Committee for Academic Research and the Issuing of Fatwas have stated, “The Prophet has noor (light) which is the light of the message and guidance from Allah, through which Allah guides whomsoever he will of his slaves. No doubt the light of the message and of guidance comes from Allah.” Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 1/310.