Light Upon Light

When I was a kid, I would participate in an annual Ramadan Quran Contest at my local mosque. One year the chosen chapter for my age group was a chapter entitled, “Nur” (the Arabic word for light). It quickly became my favorite chapter of the Quran. I cannot remember if I placed in the competition but I remember the joy I had when I read the verse that introduced to me to the phrase, “Light Upon Light.” Light upon Light is a concept of God’s presence all around us. The verse is:

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Which translates to:

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His light is like a niche within which is a lamp, the lamp is within glass, the glass as if it were a pearly [white] star lit from [the oil of] a blessed olive tree, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil would almost glow even if untouched by fire. Light upon light. Allah guides to His light whom He wills. And Allah presents examples for the people, and Allah is Knowing of all things. [Source]

I love this verse and I would recite to myself over and over again throughout my life. The soothing concept of God’s presence helped me get through some very tough times.

So what better of an idea to start out my cross stitch patterns than my favorite verse? Also, it is a perfect example of how beautifully Fatimah and I work together. Because she showed me different styles of writing Nur in Arabic and I went off a style she demonstrated for me.

In this pattern Noor is written in kufi block calligraphy and repeated in geometric harmony. It omits the word “upon” because the idea is the word Nur repeated over each other demonstrates the word “upon.” Nur flows upon and upon Nur in this pattern.

What I love about this design is that it is so versatile. Above I made it into a lovely bookmark by using pre-punched cardboard. I bought a set of 8 at Joann’s for $3.99.

But you really can do anything with the design!



In the bookmark I only expanded upon the original Noor once but it can go as many times as you want. I made a necklace style version to show y’all.  The golden Noor really stands out on black backgrounds but since Noor means light, rainbow colors are perfect. You can use a different color on the ROY G BIV spectrum and expand out like in the necklace or you can make a column of light upon light blocks for a small frame or large bookmark.

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I am personally a fan of using pearl cotton thread on 18 count Aida cloth because of how much it pops out. And you don’t need to backstitch! (if you have not noticed I kinda hate backstitching haha)

It’s probably possible to make the pattern bigger by doubling up evenly. Shoot me a message if you want a bigger pattern but for now the patterns can be purchased on Craftsy or Etsy!


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