Be the thread!
Olive oil is full of energy. It almost lights on its own. Dipping a little tiny worthless thread in it, surrounding the thread with pure glass, and putting the final product in a niche will produce real light.
The oil won’t light on its own although it almost does.
The glass protects the burning thread from being extinguished by a little blow of air. It will make sure the light spreads beautifully and uniformly.
Putting the glass on the floor may cause light to be blocked by obstacles or the lamp to be broken by people kicking it. Putting it in the niche allows its light to bypass obstacles and protects it from damage.
The Qur’an (olive oil) is full of guidance. It almost guides people on its own. When we (threads) dip ourselves in it we will light. If we let this light go out through our character (glass), it will help people see this light and benefit from it. We need to take shield by some little rules and guidelines even if tough and tight (niche). We will hereby protect the product (the lamp) and hence the light.
Without that, the Qur’an will continue to be full of light and will continue to ‘almost’ guide. We will continue to be worthless tiny threads. Most unfortunately, the world will continue to be waiting for light.
Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The parable of His Light is as if there were a Niche and within it a Lamp: the Lamp enclosed in Glass; the glass as it were a brilliant star: lit from a blessed Tree, an Olive, neither of the East nor of the West, whose Oil is well-nigh luminous, though fire scarce touched it: Light upon Light! Allah doth guide whom He will to His Light: Allah doth set forth Parables for men: and Allah doth know all things.
(Lit is such a light) in houses, which Allah hath permitted to be raised to honour; for the celebration, in them, of His name: in them is He glorified in the mornings and in the evenings, (again and again)
By men whom neither traffic nor merchandise can divert from the Remembrance of Allah, nor from regular Prayer, nor from the practice of regular Charity: their (only) fear is for the Day when hearts and eyes will be transformed (in a world wholly new)