First Radiance: This is its giving news of the Unseen. It consists of three ‘Glistens’.
The First Glisten is its telling about the past, one part of the Unseen. Indeed, the All-Wise Qur’an mentions through the tongue of one whom everyone agreed was both unlettered and trustworthy the important events and significant facts concerning the prophets from the time of Adam till the Era of Bliss in a way which, confirmed by scriptures like the Torah and the Bible, tells of them with the greatest power and seriousness. It concurs with the points on which the former Books were agreed, and decides between them on the points over which they differed, pointing out the truth of the matter. That is to say, the Qur’an’s view which penetrates the Unseen sees the events of the past in a way over and above all the previous scriptures, and pronounces them right and confirms them in the matters on which they are agreed, and acts as arbiter between them, correcting in matters about which they are at variance.
However, the facts the Qur’an relates about the events of the past are not things that could have been learnt through the exercise of reason that they were communicated by it; they were rather transmitted knowledge, dependent on the heavens, on revelation. And as for transmitted knowledge, it is the domain of those who know how to read and write, and these were revealed to one known by friend and foe alike as knowing neither how to read nor how to write, and as being trustworthy; someone described as unlettered.
Also, the Qur’an tells of those past events as though it had actually seen them. For it takes the spirit and vital point of a lengthy event, and makes them the introduction to its aim. That is to say, the summaries and extracts which the Qur’an contains show that it sees all the past together with all its events. For just as someone who is an expert in some science or craft shows his skill and proficiency through some succinct words or a concise statement, so the summaries and spirits of events mentioned in the Qur’an show that the one who said them comprehends all the events and sees them, and, if one may say so, relates them with extraordinary skill.
The Second Glisten is its giving news of the future, which is another part of the Unseen. There are many sorts of this. The first sort is particular, and special to the saints and those seek the truth through illumination. For example, Muhyiddin al-’Arabi discovered numerous instances of the Qur’an’s giving news of the Unseen in the Sura,
Alif. Lam. Mim. * The Roman Empire has been defeated.1
And Imam-i Rabbani saw many signs of the events of the Unseen and the