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  1. The Eighth Word
  2.  
  3. In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
  4.  
  5. God, there is no god but He, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsistent.1
  6.  
  7. Verily, the religion before God is
  8.  
  9. If you want to understand this world, and man's spirit within the world, and the nature and value of religion within man, and how the world is a prison if there is no True Religion, and that without religion man becomes the most miserable of creatures, and that it is O God! and, There is no god but God that solve this world's talisman and deliver the human spirit from darkness, then listen to and consider this comparison:
  10.  
  11. Long ago, two brothers set off on a long journey. They continued on their way until the road forked. At the fork they saw a serious-looking man and asked him: "Which road is good?" He told them: "On the road to the right one is compelled to comply with the law and order, but within that hardship is security and happiness. However, on the left-hand road there is freedom and no restraint, but within its freedom lies danger and wretchedness. Now, the choice is yours!"
  12.  
  13. After listening to this, saying, I place my trust in God,3 the brother with a good character took the right road and conformed to the order and regulations. The other brother, who was immoral and a layabout, chose the road to the left just for the lack of restraint. With our imaginations, we shall follow this man in his situation, which was apparently easy but in reality burdensome.
  14.  
  15. Thus, this man went up hill and down dale until he found himself in a desolate wilderness. He suddenly heard a terrifying sound and saw that a great lion had come out of the forest and was about to attack him. He fled. He came across a waterless well sixty metres deep, and in his fear jumped into it. He fell half-way down it where his hands met a tree. He clung on to it. The tree, which was growing out of the walls of the well, had two roots. Two rats, one white and one black, were attacking and gnawing through them. He looked up and saw that the lion was waiting at the top of the well like a sentry. He looked down and saw a ghastly dragon. It raised its head and drew it close to his foot thirty metres above. Its mouth was as big as the mouth of the well. Then he looked at the well's walls and saw that stinging, poisonous vermin had gathered round him. He looked up at the mouth of the well and saw a fig-tree. But it was not an ordinary tree, it bore the fruit of many different trees, from walnuts to pomegranates.
  16.  
  17. Thus, through his lack of thought and foolishness, the man did not understand that this was not just some ordinary matter, these things were not here by chance, and that there were mysterious secrets concealed in these strange beings. And he did not grasp that there was someone very powerful directing them. Now, although his heart, spirit, and mind were secretly weeping and wailing at this grievous situation, his evil-commanding soul pretended that it was nothing; it closed its ears to the weeping of his heart and spirit, and deceiving itself, started to eat the tree's fruit as though it was in a garden. But some of the fruit were poisonous and harmful. Almighty God says in a Divine Hadith: "I am according to how my servants think of Me."
  18.  
  19. Thus, through his foolishness and lack of understanding, this unhappy man thought what he saw to be ordinary and the actual truth. And so that is the way he was treated, and is treated, and will be treated. He neither dies so that he is saved from it, nor does he live - he is in such torment. And so, we shall leave this ill-omened man in his torment and return, so that we may consider the situation of the other brother.
  20.  
  21. This fortunate and intelligent person went on his way, but he suffered no distress like his brother. For, due to his fine morals, he thought of good things, and imagined good things. Everything was friendly and familiar to him. And he did not suffer any difficulty and hardship like his brother, for he knew the order and followed it. He found it easy. He went on his way freely and in peace and security. Then he came across a garden in which were both lovely flowers and fruits, and, since it was not looked after, rotting and filthy things. His brother had also entered such a garden, but he had noticed and occupied himself with the filthy things and they had turned his stomach, so he had left it and moved on without being able to rest at all. But this man acted according to the rule, 'look on the good side of everything', and had paid no attention to the rotting things. He had benefited a lot from the good things, and taking a good rest, he had left and gone on his way.
  22.  
  23. Later, also like the first brother, he had entered a vast desert, and had suddenly heard the roar of a lion which was attacking him. He was frightened, but not as much as his brother. For, because of his good thoughts and positive attitude, he thought to himself: "This desert has a ruler, and it is possible that this lion is a servant under the ruler's command," and found consolation. But he still fled until he came across an empty well sixty metres deep. He threw himself into it. Like his brother, his hand clasped a tree half-way down and he remained suspended in the air. He looked and saw two animals gnawing through the tree's two roots. He looked up and saw the lion, and looked down and saw the dragon. Just like his brother he was seeing a most strange situation. He was terrified like him, but his terror was a thousand times less than his brother's. For his good morals had given him good thoughts, and good thoughts show the good side of everything. So, because of this, he thought like this:
  24.  
  25. "These strange happenings are connected to someone. Also it seems that they are acting in accordance with a command. In which case, these matters contain a talisman. Yes, they are turning at the command of a hidden ruler. Therefore, I am not alone; the hidden ruler is watching me, he is testing me, he is impelling me somewhere for some purpose, and inviting me there. A curiosity arising from this pleasant fear and these agreeable thoughts prompt me to say: I wonder who it is that is testing me, wants to make himself known, and is impelling me for some purpose on this strange road."
  26.  
  27. Then, love for the owner of the talisman arose out of the desire to know him, and from that love arose the desire to solve the talisman. And from that desire arose the will to acquire good qualities which would please and gratify the talisman's owner. Then he looked at the tree and saw it was a fig-tree, but it was bearing the fruits of thousands of trees. So then all his fear left him, for he understood that for certain the fig-tree was a list, an index, an exhibition. The hidden ruler must have attached samples of the fruits in the garden to the tree through a miracle and with a talisman, and must have adorned the tree in a way that would point to each of the foods he had prepared for his guests. For there is no other way a single tree could produce the fruits of thousands of different trees. Then he began to entreat that he would be inspired with the key to the talisman. He called out:
  28.  
  29. "O ruler of this place! I have fallen on your fortune and I take refuge with you. I am your servant and I want to please you. I am searching for you." After he had made this supplication, the walls of the well suddenly parted, and a door opened onto a wonderful, pleasant, quiet garden. Indeed, the dragon's mouth was transformed into the door, and both it and the lion took on the forms of two servants; they invited him to enter. The lion even became a docile horse for him.
  30.  
  31. And so, O my lazy soul! And O my imaginary friend! Come! Let us compare the position of these two brothers, so that we can see how good brings good and evil brings evil. Let us find out.
  32.  
  33. Look, the unhappy traveller on the left road is all the time trembling with fear waiting to enter the dragon's mouth, while the fortunate one is invited into a blooming, splendid garden full of fruit. And the unfortunate one's heart is being pounded by an awful terror and grievous fear, while the fortunate one is gazing at and observing strange things as a delightful lesson, with a pleasant fear and loving knowledge. Also the miserable one is suffering torments in desolation, despair, and loneliness, while the fortunate one is taking pleasure in hope, longing, and familiarity. Furthermore, the unfortunate one sees himself as a prisoner subject to the attacks of wild beasts, while the fortunate one is an honoured guest who is on friendly terms and enjoying himself with the strange servants of the generous host of whom he is the guest. Also the unhappy one is hastening his torments by indulging in fruits which are apparently delicious but in fact poisonous. For the fruits are samples; there is permission to taste them so as to seek the originals and become customers for them, but there is no permission to devour them like an animal. But the fortunate one tastes them and understands the matter; he postpones eating them and takes pleasure in waiting. Moreover, the unfortunate one is wronging himself. Through his lack of discernment, he is making a truth and a situation which are as clear and bright as daylight into a dark and oppressive fear, into a hellish delusion. He does not deserve pity, nor does he have the right to complain to anyone.
  34.  
  35. For example, if a person who is at a pleasant banquet in a beautiful garden in summer among his friends makes himself drunk through filthy intoxicants, then imagines himself hungry and naked in the middle of winter among wild animals and starts shouting out and crying, he does not deserve to be pitied; he is wronging himself, and he is insulting his friends by imagining them to be wild beasts. Thus, the unfortunate brother is like this. But the fortunate one sees the truth. And the truth is good. Through perceiving the beauty of the truth, the fortunate brother is being respectful towards the truth's owner. So he deserves his mercy. Thus, the meaning of the Qur'anic decree: "Know that evil is from yourself, and good is from God" becomes clear. If you make a comparison of other differences in the same way, you will understand that the evil-commanding soul of the first brother has prepared a sort of hell for him, while the good intention, good will, good character, and good thoughts of the other have allowed him to receive great bounty and happiness, and a shining virtue and prosperity.
  36.  
  37. O my soul! And O you who is listening to this story together with my soul! If you do not want to be the unfortunate brother and want to be the fortunate one, listen to the Qur'an, and obey its decrees, and adhere to them, and act according to them.
  38.  
  39. If you have understood the truths in this comparison, you will be able to make them correspond to the truths of religion, the world, man, and belief in God. I shall say the important ones, then you deduce the finer points yourself.
  40.  
  41. So, look! Of the two brothers, one is a believing spirit and a righteous heart. The other is an unbelieving spirit and a depraved heart. And of the two roads, the one to the right is the way of the Qur'an and belief in God, while the left one is the road of rebellion and denial. The garden on the road is man's fleeting social life in human society and human civilization where good and evil, and things good and bad and clean and dirty are found side by side. The sensible person is he who acts according to the rule: 'Take what is pleasant and clear, and leave what is distressing and turbid', and goes on his way with tranquillity of heart. As for the desert, it is the earth and this world. And the lion is death and the appointed hour. The well is man's body and the time of his life, while its sixty-metre depth points to the normal life-span of sixty years. And the tree is the period of life and the substance of life. The two animals, one white and one black, are night and day. And the dragon is the road to the Intermediate Realm and pavilion of the Hereafter, whose mouth is the grave. But for the believer, that mouth is a door opening from a prison onto a garden. And as for the poisonous vermin, they are the calamities of this world. But for the believer they are like gentle Divine warnings and favours of the Most Merciful One to prevent him slipping off into the sleep of heedlessness. The fruits on the tree are the bounties of this world which the Absolutely Generous One has made in the form of a list of the bounties of the Hereafter, and both as examples of them, and warnings, and samples inviting customers to the fruits of Paradise. And the tree producing numerous different fruits despite being a single tree is a sign to the seal of the Power of the Eternally Besought One, to the stamp of Divine Dominicality and Sovereignty. For 'to make everything from one thing', that is, to make all plants and fruits from earth, and create all animals from a fluid, and to create all the limbs and organs of animals from a simple food, together with 'making everything one thing', that is, arts like weaving a simple skin and making flesh particular to each animal from the great variety of foods that animals eat is an inimitable stamp and seal peculiar to the Ruler of Pre-Eternity and Post-Eternity, Who is the Single, Eternally-Besought One. For sure, to make one thing everything, and everything one thing is a sign, a mark peculiar to the Creator of all things and the One Powerful over all things.
  42.  
  43. And as for the talisman, it is the mystery of the wisdom in creation which is solved through the mystery of belief. And the key is There is no god but God , and, God, there is no god but He, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsistent. And the dragon's mouth being transformed into the door into the garden is a sign that, although for the people of misguidance and rebellion the grave is a door opening, in desolation and oblivion, onto a grave distressing as a dungeon and narrow as a dragon's stomach, for the people of the Qur'an and belief, it is a door which opens from the prison of this world onto the fields of immortality, from the arena of examination onto the gardens of Paradise, and from the hardships of life onto the Mercy of the All-Merciful One. The savage lion turning into a friendly servant and a docile mount is a sign that, although for the people of misguidance, death is a bitter, eternal parting from all their loved ones, and the expulsion from the deceptive paradise of this world and the entry in desolation and loneliness into the dungeon of the grave, for the people of guidance and the Qur'an, it is the means of joining all their old friends and beloved ones who have already departed for the next world, and the means of entering their true homeland and abode of everlasting happiness. It is an invitation to the meadows of Paradise from the prison of this world, and a time to receive the wage bestowed out of the generosity of the Most Merciful and Compassionate One for services rendered to Him, and a discharge from the hardship of the duties of life, and a rest from the drill and instruction of worship and examination.
  44.  
  45. In Short: Whoever makes this fleeting life his purpose and aim is in fact in Hell even if apparently in Paradise. And whoever is turned in all seriousness towards eternal life receives the happiness of both worlds. However difficult and distressing this world is for him, since he sees it as the waiting-room for Paradise, he endures it and offers thanks in patience...
  46.  
  47. O God! Appoint us among the people of happiness, safety, the Qur'an, and belief. Amen. O God! Grant peace and blessings to our Master Muhammed, and to his Family and Companions, to the number of all the letters of the Qur'an formed in all its words, represented with the permission of the Most Merciful One in the mirrors of the air waves on the recital of each of those words by all the Qur'an's reciters from its first revelation to the end of time, and have mercy on us and on our parents, and have mercy on all believing men and women to the number of those words, through Your mercy, O Most Merciful of the Merciful. Amen. And all praise be to God, the Sustainer of All the Worlds.
  48.  
  49. * * *www.nur.gen.tr  www.saidnur.com  www.nurpenceresi.com.tr www.3dmekanlar.com  www.nurris.com www.bediuzzaman.netThe Seventh Word
  50.  
  51. If you want to understand what valuable, difficulty-resolving talismans are the two parts of the phrase I believe in God and the Last Day , which open both the locked talisman of creation and the door of happiness for the human spirit, and what beneficial and curative two medicines are reliance on your Creator and taking refuge in Him through patience and entreaty, and supplicating your Provider through thanks, and what important, precious, shining tickets for the journey to eternity - and provisions for the Hereafter and lights for the grave - are listening to the Qur'an, obeying its commands, performing the prescribed prayers, and giving up serious sins, then listen and pay attention to this comparison:
  52.  
  53. One time a soldier fell into a most grievous situation in the field of battle and examination, and the round of profit and loss. It was as follows:
  54.  
  55. The soldier was wounded with two deep and terrible wounds on his right and left sides and behind him stood a huge lion as though waiting to attack him. And before him stood a gallows which was putting to death and annihilating all those he loved. It was awaiting him too. And besides this, he had a long journey in front of him: he was being exiled. As the unfortunate soldier pondered over his fearsome plight in despair, a kindly person shining with light like Khidr appeared. He said to him: "Do not despair. I shall give you two talismans and teach you them. If you use them properly, the lion will become a docile horse for you, and the gallows will turn into a swing for your pleasure and enjoyment. Also I shall give two medicines. If you follow the instructions, those two suppurating wounds will be transformed into two sweet-scented flowers called the Rose of Muhammed (PBUH). Also, I shall give you a ticket; with it, you will be able to make a year's journey in a day as though flying. If you do not believe me, experiment a bit, so that you can see it is true." The soldier did experiment a bit, and affirmed that it was true. Yes, I, that is, this unfortunate Said, affirm it too. For I experimented and saw it was absolutely true.
  56.  
  57. Some time later he suddenly saw a sly and debauched-looking man, cunning as the Devil, coming from the left bringing with him much ornamented finery, decorated pictures and fantasies, and many intoxicants. He stopped before the soldier, and said:
  58.  
  59. "Hey, come on, my friend! Let's go and drink and make merry. We can look at these pictures of beautiful girls, listen to the music, and eat this tasty food." Then he asked him: "What is it you are reciting under your breath?"
  60.  
  61. "A talisman", came the reply.
  62.  
  63. "Stop that incomprehensible nonsense! Let's not spoil our present fun!" And he asked a second question: "What is that you have in your hand?"
  64.  
  65. "Some medicine", the soldier replied.
  66.  
  67. "Throw it away! You are healthy, there is nothing wrong with you. It is the time of cheer." And he asked: "What is that piece of paper with five marks on it?"
  68.  
  69. "It is a ticket and a rations card."
  70.  
  71. "Oh, tear them up!", the man said. "What need do we have of a journey this beautiful spring?" He tried to persuade him with every sort of wile, and the poor soldier was even a bit persuaded. Yes, man can be deceived. I was deceived by just such cunning deceptions.
  72.  
  73. Suddenly from the right came a voice like thunder. "Beware!", it said. "Do not be deceived! Say to that trickster: 'If you have the means to kill the lion behind me, remove the gallows from before me, repulse the things wounding my right and my left, and prevent the journey in front of me, then come on and do so! Show that you can and let us see it! Then say, come on, let's go and enjoy ourselves. Otherwise be silent!' Speak in the same way as that Khidr-like God-inspired man."
  74.  
  75. And so, O my soul, which laughed in its youth and now weeps at its laughter! Know that the unfortunate soldier is you, and man. And the lion is the appointed hour. And as for the gallows, it is death, decline, and separation, through which, in the alternation of night and day, all friends bid farewell and are lost. And of the two wounds, one is man's infinite and troublesome impotence, while the other is his grievous and boundless poverty. And the exile and journey is the long journey of examination which passes from the world of spirits through the womb and childhood to old age; through the world and the grave and the intermediate realm, to the resurrection and the Bridge of Sirat. And as for the two talismans, they are belief in Almighty God and the Hereafter.
  76.  
  77. Indeed, through the second sacred talisman, death takes on the form of a mastered horse and steed to take believing man from the prison of this world to the gardens of Paradise and the presence of the Most Merciful One. It is because of this that the wise, who have seen death's reality, have loved it. They have wanted it before it came. And through the talisman of belief in God, the passage of time, which is decline and separation, death and decease and the gallows, takes on the form of the means to observe and contemplate with perfect pleasure the miracles of the All-Glorious Maker's various, multicoloured, ever-renewed embroideries, the wonders of His power, and the manifestations of His mercy. For sure, on mirrors that reflect the colours of the sun's light being changed and renewed, and the images of the cinema being changed, better, more beautiful scenes are formed.
  78.  
  79. And as for the two medicines, one is trusting in God and patience, and the other is relying on your Creator's power and having confidence in His wisdom. Is that the case? Indeed it is. What fear can a man have, who, through the certificate of his impotence, relies on a Monarch of the World with the power to command: Be! and it is.1 For in the face of the most awful calamity, he says: Verily, to God do we belong, and verily to Him is our return,2 and places his trust in his Most Compassionate Sustainer. Indeed, a person with knowledge of God takes pleasure from impotence, from fear of God. Yes, there is pleasure in fear. If a twelve-month baby was sufficiently intelligent and it was asked him: "What is most pleasurable and sweetest for you?", he might well say: "To realize my powerlessness and helplessness, and fearing my mother's gentle smack to at the same time take refuge in her tender breast." But the compassion of all mothers is but a flash of the manifestation of Divine Mercy. It is for this reason that the wise have found such pleasure in impotence and fear of God that they have vehemently declared themselves free of their own strength and power, and have taken refuge in God through their powerlessness. They have made powerlessness and fear an intercessor for themselves.
  80.  
  81. The second medicine is thanks and contentment, and entreaty and supplication, and relying on the mercy of the All-Compassionate Provider. Is that so? Yes, for how can poverty, want and need be painful and burdensome for a guest of an All-Generous and Munificent One Who makes the whole face of the earth a table of bounties and the spring a bunch of flowers, and Who places the flowers on the table and scatters them over it? Poverty and need take on the form of a pleasant appetite. The guest tries to increase his poverty in the same way he does his appetite. It is because of this that the wise have taken pride in want and poverty. But beware, do not misunderstand this! It means to be aware of one's poverty before God and to beseech Him, not to parade poverty before the people and assume the air of a beggar.
  82.  
  83. And as for the ticket and voucher, it is to perform the religious duties, and foremost the prescribed prayers, and to give up serious sins. Is that so? Yes, it is, for according to the consensus of those who observe and have knowledge of the unseen and those who uncover the mysteries of creation, the provisions, light, and steed for the long and dark road to post-eternity may only be obtained through complying with the commands of the Qur'an and avoiding what it prohibits. Science, philosophy, and art are worth nothing on that road. Their light reaches only as far as the door of the grave.
  84.  
  85. And so, O my lazy soul! How little and light and easy it is to perform the five daily prayers and give up the seven grievous sins! If you have the faculty of reason and it is not corrupted, understand how important and extensive are their results, fruits, and benefits! Say to the Devil and that man who were encouraging you to vice and dissipation: "If you have the means to kill death, and cause decline and transience to disappear from the world, and remove poverty and impotence from man, and close the door of the grave, then tell us and let us hear it! Otherwise, be silent! The Qur'an reads the universe in the vast mosque of creation. Let us listen to it. Let us be illuminated with that light. Let us act according to its guidance. And let us recite it constantly. Yes, the Qur'an is the word. That is what they say of it. It is the Qur'an which is the truth and comes from the Truth and says the truth and shows the truth and spreads luminous wisdom..."
  86.  
  87. Oh God! Illuminate our hearts with the light of belief and the Qur'an.
  88.  
  89. Oh God! Enrich us with the need of You and do not impoverish us with the lack of need of You. Make us free of our own strength and power, and cause us to take refuge in Your strength and power. And appoint us among those who place their trust in You, and do not entrust us to ourselves. And protect us with Your protection. And have mercy on us and have mercy on all believing men and women. And grant blessings and peace to our Master Muhammed, Your Servant and Prophet, Your Friend and Beloved, the Beauty of Your Dominion and the Sovereign of Your Art, the Essence of Your Favour and the Sun of Your Guidance, the Tongue of Your Proof and the Exemplar of Your Mercy, the Light of Your Creation and the Glory of Your Creatures, the Lamp of Your Unity in the Multiplicity of Your Creatures and the Discloser of the Talisman of Your Beings, the Herald of the Sovereignty of Your Dominicality and the Announcer of those things pleasing to You, the Proclaimer of the Treasuries of Your Names and the Instructor of Your Servants, the Interpreter of Your Signs and the Mirror of the Beauty of Your Dominicality, the Means of witnessing You and bearing witness to You, Your Beloved and Your Prophet whom You sent as a Mercy to All the Worlds, and to all his Family and Companions, and to his brothers among the prophets and messengers, and to Your angels and to the righteous among Your servants. AMEN.
  90.  
  91. * * *www.nur.gen.tr  www.saidnur.com  www.nurpenceresi.com.tr www.3dmekanlar.com  www.nurris.com www.bediuzzaman.netThe Sixth Word
  92.  
  93. In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
  94.  
  95. Verily God has purchased from the believers their persons and their property that Paradise might be theirs.
  96.  
  97. If you wish to understand how profitable a trade it is, and how honourable a rank, to sell one's person and property to God, to be His slave and His soldier, then listen to the following comparison.
  98.  
  99. Once a king entrusted each of two of his subjects with an estate, including all necessary workshops, machinery, horses, weapons and so forth. But since it was a tempestuous and war-ridden age, nothing enjoyed stability; it was destined either to disappear or to change. The king in his infinite mercy sent a most noble lieutenant to the two men and by means of a compassionate decree conveyed the following to them:
  100.  
  101. "Sell me the property you now hold in trust, so that I may keep it for you. Let it not be destroyed for no purpose. After the wars are over, I will return it to you in a better condition than before. I will regard the trust as your property, and pay you a high price for it. As for the machinery and the tools in the workshop, they will be used in my name and at my workbench. But the price and the fee for their use shall be increased a thousandfold. You will receive all the profit that accrues. You are indigent and resourceless, and unable to provide the cost of these great tasks. So let me assume the provision of all expenses and equipment, and give you all the income and the profit. You shall keep it until the time of demobilization. So see the five ways in which you shall profit! Now if you do not sell me the property, you can see that no one is able to preserve what he possesses, and you too will lose what you now hold. It will go for nothing, and you will lose the high price I offer. The delicate and precious tools and scales, the precious metals waiting to be used, will also lose all value. You will have the trouble and concern of administering and preserving, but at the same time be punished for betraying your trust. So see the five ways in which you may lose! Moreover, if you sell the property to me, you become my soldier and act in my name. Instead of a common prisoner or irregular soldier, you will be the free lieutenant of an exalted monarch."
  102.  
  103. After they had listened to this gracious decree, the more intelligent of the two men said:
  104.  
  105. "By all means, I am proud and happy to sell. I offer thanks a thousandfold."
  106.  
  107. But the other was arrogant, selfish and dissipated; his soul had become as proud as the Pharaoh. As if he was to stay eternally on that estate, he ignored the earthquakes and tumults of this world. He said:
  108.  
  109. "No! Who is the king? I won't sell my property, nor spoil my enjoyment."
  110.  
  111. After a short time, the first man reached so high a rank that everyone envied his state. He received the favour of the king, and lived happily in the king's own palace. The other by contrast fell into such a state that everyone pitied him, but also said he deserved it. For as a result of his error, his happiness and property departed, and he suffered punishment and torment.
  112.  
  113. O soul full of caprices! Look at the face of truth through the telescope of this parable. As for the king, he is the Monarch of Pre-Eternity and Post-Eternity, your Sustainer and Creator. The estates, machinery, tools and scales are your possessions while in life's fold; your body, spirit and heart within those possessions, and your outward and inward senses such as the eye and the tongue, intelligence and imagination. As for the most noble lieutenant, it is the Noble Messenger of God; and the most wise decree is the Wise Qur'an, which describes the trade we are discussing in this verse:
  114.  
  115. Verily God has purchased from the believers their persons and property that Paradise might be theirs.
  116.  
  117. The surging field of battle is the tempestuous surface of the world, which ceaselessly changes, dissolves and reforms and causes every man to think:
  118.  
  119. "Since everything will leave our hands, will perish and be lost, is there no way in which we can transform it into something eternal and preserve it?"
  120.  
  121. While engaged in these thoughts, he suddenly hears the heavenly voice of the Qur'an saying:
  122. web www.nur.gen.tr  www.saidnur.com  www.nurpenceresi.com.tr www.3dmekanlar.com  www.nurris.com www.bediuzzaman.net
  123. "Indeed there is, a beautiful and easy way which contains five profits within itself."
  124.  
  125. What is that way?
  126.  
  127. To sell the trust received back to its true owner. Such a sale yields profit fivefold.
  128.  
  129. The First Profit: Transient property becomes everlasting. For this waning life, when given to the Eternal and Self-Subsistent Lord of Glory and spent for His sake, will be transmuted into eternity. It will yield eternal fruits. The moments of one's life will apparently vanish and rot like kernels and seeds. But then the flowers of blessedness and auspiciousness will open and bloom in the realm of eternity, and each will also present a luminous and reassuring aspect in the Intermediate Realm.
  130.  
  131. The Second Profit: The high price of Paradise is given in exchange.
  132.  
  133. The Third Profit: The value of each limb and each sense is increased a thousandfold. The intelligence is, for example, like a tool. If you do not sell it to God Almighty, but rather employ it for the sake of the soul, it will become an ill-omened, noxious and debilitating tool that will burden your weak person with all the sad sorrows of the past and the terrifying fears of the future; it will descend to the rank of an inauspicious and destructive tool. It is for this reason that a sinful man will frequently resort to drunkenness or frivolous pleasure in order to escape the vexations and injuries of his intelligence. But if you sell your intelligence to its True Owner and employ it on His behalf, then the intelligence will become like the key to a talisman, unlocking the infinite treasures of Compassion and the vaults of wisdom that creation contains.
  134.  
  135. To take another example, the eye is one of the senses, a window through which the spirit looks out on this world. If you do not sell it to God Almighty, but rather employ it on behalf of the soul, by gazing upon a handful of transient, impermanent beauties and scenes, it will sink to the level of being a pander to lust and the concupiscent soul. But if you sell the eye to your All-Seeing Maker, and employ it on His behalf and within limits traced out by Him, then your eye will rise to the rank of a reader of the Great Book of Being, a witness to the miracles of Dominical art, a blessed bee sucking on the blossoms of Mercy in the garden of this globe.
  136.  
  137. Yet another example is that of the tongue and the sense of taste. If you do not sell it to your Wise Creator, but employ it instead on behalf of the soul and for the sake of the stomach, it sinks and declines to the level of a gatekeeper at the stable of the stomach, a watchman at its factory. But if you sell it to the Generous Provider, the the sense of taste contained in the tongue will raise to the rank of a skilled overseer at the treasuries of Divine compassion, a grateful inspector in the kitchens of God's eternal power.
  138.  
  139. So look well, O intelligence! See the difference between a tool of destruction and the key to all being! And look carefully, O eye! See the difference between an abominable pander and the learned overseer of the Divine library! And taste well, O tongue! See the difference between a stable doorkeeper or a factory watchman and the superintendent of the treasury of God's mercy!
  140.  
  141. Compare all other tools and limbs to these, and then you will understand that in truth the believer acquires a nature worthy of Paradise and the unbeliever a nature conforming to Hell. The reason for each of them attaining his respective value is that the believer, by virtue of his faith, uses the trust of his Creator on His behalf and within the limits traced out by Him, whereas the unbeliever betrays the trust and employs it for the sake of the concupiscent soul.
  142.  
  143. The Fourth Profit: Man is helpless and exposed to numerous misfortunes. He is indigent, and his needs are numerous. He is weak, and the burden of life is most heavy. If he does not rely on the Omnipotent One of Glory, place his trust in Him and confidently submit to Him, his conscience will always be troubled. Fruitless torments, pains and regrets will suffocate him and intoxicate him, or turn him into a beast.
  144.  
  145. The Fifth Profit: Those who have experienced sapiental knowledge and had unveiled to them the true nature of things, the elect who have witnessed the truth, are all agreed that the exalted reward for all the worship and glorification of God performed by your members and instruments will be given to you at the time of greatest need, in the form of the fruits of Paradise.
  146.  
  147. If you spurn this trade with its fivefold profit, in addition to being deprived of its profit, you will suffer fivefold loss.
  148.  
  149. The First Loss: The property and offspring to which you are so attached, the soul and its caprice that you worship, the youth and life with which you are infatuated, all will vanish and be lost; your hands will be empty. But they will leave behind them sin and pain, fastened on your neck like a yoke.
  150.  
  151. The Second Loss: You will suffer the penalty for betrayal of trust. For you will have wronged your own self by using the most precious tools on the most worthless objects.www.nur.gen.tr  www.saidnur.com  www.nurpenceresi.com.tr www.fgulen.com.tr  www.herkul.org www.3dmekanlar.com  www.nurris.com www.bediuzzaman.net
  152.  
  153. The Third Loss: By casting down all the precious faculties of man to a level much inferior to the animals, you will have insulted and transgressed against God's wisdom.
  154.  
  155. The Fourth Loss: In your weakness and poverty, you will have placed the heavy burden of life on your weak shoulders, and will constantly groan and lament beneath the blows of transience and separation.
  156.  
  157. The Fifth Loss: You will have clothed in an ugly form, fit to open the gates of Hell in front of you, the fair gifts of the Compassionate One such as the intelligence, the heart, the eye and the tongue, given to you to make preparation for the foundations of everlasting life and eternal happiness in the hereafter.
  158.  
  159. Now is it so difficult to sell the trust? Is it so burdensome that many people shun the transaction? By no means! It is not in the least burdensome. For the limits of the permissible are broad, and are quite adequate for man's desire; there is no need to trespass on the forbidden. The duties imposed by God are light and few in number. To be the slave and soldier of God is an indescribably pleasurable honour. One's duty is simply to act and embark on all things in God's name, like a soldier; to take and to give on God's behalf; to move and be still in accordance with His permission and law. If one falls short, then one should seek His forgiveness, say:
  160.  
  161. "O Lord! Forgive our faults, and accept us as Your slaves. Make us sure holders of Your trust until the time comes when it is taken from us. Amen!", and make petition unto Him.www.nur.gen.tr  www.saidnur.com  www.nurpenceresi.com.tr www.3dmekanlar.com  www.nurris.com www.bediuzzaman.netThe Second Word
  162.  
  163. In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
  164.  
  165. Those who believe in the Unseen. 1
  166.  
  167. If you want to understand what great happiness and bounty, what great pleasure and ease is to be found in belief in God, listen to this story which is in the form of a comparison:
  168.  
  169. One time, two men went on a journey for both pleasure and business. One set off in a selfish, inauspicious direction; the other on a godly, propitious way.
  170.  
  171. Since the selfish man was both conceited, self-centred, and pessimistic, he ended up in what seemed to him to be a most wicked country due to his pessimism. He looked around and everywhere saw the powerless and the unfortunate lamenting in the grasp and at the destruction of fearsome bullying tyrants. He saw the same grievous, painful situation in all the places he travelled. The whole country took on the form of a house of mourning. Apart from becoming drunk, he could find no way of not noticing this grievous and sombre situation. For everyone seemed to him to be an enemy and foreign. And all around he saw horrible corpses and despairing, weeping orphans. His conscience was in a state of torment.
  172.  
  173. The other man was godly, devout, fair-minded, and with fine morals so that the country he came to was most excellent in his view. This good man saw universal rejoicing in the land he had entered. Everywhere was a joyful festival, a place for the remembrance of God overflowing with rapture and happiness; everyone seemed to him a friend and relation. Throughout the country he saw the festive celebrations of a general discharge from duties accompanied by cries of good wishes and thanks. And he also heard the sound of a drum and band for the enlistment of soldiers with happy calls of "God is Most Great!" and "There is no god but God!" Rather than being grieved at the suffering of both himself and all the people like the first miserable man, this fortunate man was pleased and happy at both his own joy and that of all the inhabitants. Furthermore, he was able to do some profitable trade. He offered thanks to God.
  174.  
  175. After some while he returned and came across the other man. He understood his condition, and said to him: "You were out of your mind. The ugliness inside you must have been reflected on the outer world so that you imagined laughter to be weeping, and the discharge from duties to be sack and pillage. Come to your senses and purify your heart so that this calamitous veil is raised from your eyes and you can see the truth. For the country of an utterly just, compassionate, beneficent, powerful, order-loving, and kind king could not be in the way you imagined, nor could a country which demonstrated this number of clear signs of progress and achievement." The unhappy man later came to his senses and repented. He said, "Yes, I was crazy through drink. May God be pleased with you, you have saved me from a hellish state."
  176.  
  177. O my soul! Know that the first man represents an unbeliever, or someone depraved and heedless. In his view the world is a house of universal mourning. All living creature are orphans weeping at the blows of death and separation. Man and the animals are alone and without ties being ripped apart by the talons of the appointed hour. Mighty beings like the mountains and oceans are like horrendous, lifeless corpses. Many grievous, crushing, terrifying delusions like these arise from his unbelief and misguidance, and torment him.
  178.  
  179. As for the other man, he is a believer. He recognizes and affirms Almighty God. In his view this world is an abode where the Name of the All-Merciful One is constantly recited, a place of instruction for man and the animals, and a field of examination for man and jinn. All animal and human deaths are a demobilization. Those who have completed their duties of life depart from this transient world for another, happy and trouble-free, world so that place may be made for new officials to come and work. The birth of all animals and humans forms their enlistment into the army, their being taken under arms, and the start of their duties. Each living being is a joyful regular soldier, an honest, contented official. And all voices, either glorification of God and the recitation of His Names at the outset of their duties, and the thanks and rejoicing at their ceasing work, or the songs arising from their joy at working. In the view of the believer, all beings are the friendly servants, amicable officials, and agreeable books of his Most Generous Lord and All-Compassionate Owner. Very many more subtle, exalted, pleasurable, and sweet truths like these become manifest and appear from his belief.
  180.  
  181. That is to say, belief in God bears the seed of what is in effect a Tuba Tree of Paradise, while unbelief conceals the seed of a Zakkum Tree of Hell.
  182.  
  183. That means that safety and security are only to be found in Islam and belief. In which case, we should continually say, "Praise be to God for the religion of Islam and perfect belief."
  184.  
  185. * * *www.nur.gen.tr  www.saidnur.com  www.nurpenceresi.com.tr www.3dmekanlar.com  www.nurris.com www.bediuzzaman.netaThe Third Word
  186.  
  187. In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
  188.  
  189. O you people, worship....
  190.  
  191. If you want to understand what great profit and happiness lie in worship, and what great loss and ruin lie in vice and dissipation listen to and take heed of the following story which is in the form of a comparison:
  192.  
  193. One time, two soldiers received orders to proceed to a distant city. They set off and travelled together until the road forked. At the fork was a man who said to them, "The road on the right causes no loss at all, and nine out of ten of those who take it receive a high profit and experience great ease. While the road on the left provides no advantages, and nine out of ten of its travellers make a loss. But they are the same as regards distance. Only there is one difference: those who take the left-hand road, which has no rules and no one in authority, travel without baggage and arms. They feel an apparent lightness and deceptive ease. Whereas those travelling on the right-hand road, which is under military order, are compelled to carry a kit-bag full of nutritious rations four kilos or so in weight and a superb army rifle of about two kilos which will overpower and rout every enemy..."
  194.  
  195. After the two soldiers had listened to what this instructive man had to say, the fortunate one took the road to the right. He loaded the weight of ten kilos onto his back, but his heart and spirit were saved from thousands of kilos of fear and feeling obliged to others. As for the other, luckless, soldier, he left the army. He did not want to conform to the order, and he went off to the left. He was released from bearing a load of ten kilos, but his heart was constricted by thousands of kilos of indebtedness, and his spirit crushed by innumerable fears. He proceeded on his way both begging from everyone and trembling before every object and every event until he reached his destination. And there he was punished as a mutineer and a deserter.
  196.  
  197. As for the soldier who loved the order of the army, had guarded his kit-bag and rifle, and taken the right-hand road, he had gone on his way being obliged to no one, fearing no one, and with an easy heart and conscience until he reached the city he was seeking. There he received a reward worthy of an honourable soldier who had carried out his duty well.
  198.  
  199. And so, O rebellious soul, know that one of those two travellers represents those who submit to the Divine Law, while the other represents the rebellious and those who follow their own desires. The road is the road of life, which comes from the Spirit World, passes through the grave, and carries on to the Hereafter. As for the kit-bag and rifle, they are worship and fear of God. There is an apparent burden in worship, but there is an ease and lightness in its meaning that defies description. For in the prescribed prayers the worshipper declares, "I bear witness that there is no god but God." That is to say, since he is believing and saying, "There is no Creator and Provider other than Him. Harm and benefit are in His hand. He is both All-Wise; He does nothing in vain, and He is All-Compassionate; His bounty and mercy are abundant", he finds the door of a treasury of mercy in everything. And he knocks on it with his supplication. Moreover, he sees that everything is subjugated to the command of his own Sustainer, so he takes refuge in Him. He places his trust in Him and relies on Him, and is fortified against every disaster; his belief gives him complete confidence.
  200.  
  201. Indeed, like with every true virtue, the source of courage is belief in God, and worship. And like with every iniquity, the source of cowardice is misguidance.
  202.  
  203. In fact, for a worshipper with a truly illuminated heart, it is possible that even if the globe of the earth became a bomb and exploded, it would not frighten him. He would watch it with pleasurable wonder as a marvel of the Eternally Besoughted One's Power. But when a famous degenerate philosopher with a so-called enlightened mind but no heart saw a comet in the sky, he trembled on the ground, and exclaimed anxiously: "Isn't that comet going to hit the earth?" (On one occasion, America was quaking with fear at such a comet, and many people left their homes in the middle of the night.)
  204.  
  205. Yes, although man is in need of numberless things, his capital is as nothing, and although he is subject to endless calamities, his power too is as nothing. Simply, the extent of his capital and power is merely as far as his hand can reach. However, his hopes, desires, pains, and tribulations reach as far as the eye and the imagination can stretch. Anyone who is not totally blind can see and understand then what a great profit, happiness, and bounty for the human spirit, which is thus impotent and weak, and needy and wanting, are worship, affirmation of God's Unity, and reliance on God and submission to Him.
  206.  
  207. It is obvious that a safe way is preferable to a harmful way, even if the possibility of its safety is only one in ten. But on the way of worship, which our matter here, there is a nine out of ten possibility of it leading to a treasury of eternal happiness, as well as it being safe. While it is established by the testimony - which is at the degree of consensus - of innumerable experts and witnesses that besides being without benefit, and the dissolute even confess to this, the way of vice and dissipation ends in eternal misery. And according to the reports of those who have uncovered the mysteries of creation this is absolutely certain.
  208.  
  209. In Short: Like that of the Hereafter, happiness in this world too lies in worship and being a soldier for Almighty God. In which case, we should constantly say: "Praise be to God for obedience and success", and we should thank Him that we are Muslims...
  210.  
  211. * * *www.nur.gen.tr  www.saidnur.com  www.nurpenceresi.com.tr www.3dmekanlar.com  www.nurris.com www.bediuzzaman.netThe Fourth Word
  212.  
  213. In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
  214.  
  215. The prescribed prayers are the pillar of religion.
  216.  
  217. If you want to understand with the certainty that two plus two equals four just how valuable and important are the prescribed prayers, and with what little expense they are gained, and how crazy and harmful is the person who neglects them, pay attention to the following story which is in the form of a comparison:
  218.  
  219. One time, a mighty ruler gave each of two of his servants twenty-four gold pieces and sent them to settle on one of his rich, royal farms two months' distance away. "Use this money for your tickets", he commanded them, "and buy whatever is necessary for your house there with it. There is a station one day's distance from the farm. And there is both road-transport, and a railway, and boats, and aeroplanes. They can be benefited from according to your capital."
  220.  
  221. The two servants set off after receiving these instructions. One of them was fortunate so that he spent a small amount of money on the way to the station. And included in that expense was some business so profitable and pleasing to his master that his capital increased a thousandfold. As for the other servant, since he was luckless and a layabout, he spent twenty-three pieces of gold on the way to the station, wasting it on gambling and amusements. A single gold piece remained. His friend said to him: "Spend this last gold piece on a ticket so that you will not have to walk the long journey and starve. Moreover, our master is generous; perhaps he will take pity on you and forgive you your faults, and put you on an aeroplane as well. Then we shall reach where we are going to live in one day. Otherwise you will be compelled to walk alone and hungry across a desert which takes two months to cross." The most unintelligent person can understand how foolish, harmful, and senseless he would be if out of obstinacy he did not spend that single remaining gold piece on a ticket, which is like the key to a treasury, and instead spent it on vice for passing pleasure. Is that not so?
  222.  
  223. And so, O you who do not perform the prescribed prayers! And O my own soul, which does not like to pray! The ruler in the comparison is our Sustainer, our Creator. And of the two travelling servants, one represents the devout who perform their prayers with fervour, and the other, the heedless who neglect their prayers. The twenty-four pieces of gold are life in every twenty-four-hour day. And the royal domain is Paradise. As for the station, that is the grave. While the journey is man's passage to the grave, and on to the Resurrection, and the Hereafter. Men cover that long journey to different degrees according to their actions and the strength of their fear of God. Some of the truly devout have crossed a thousand-year distance in a day like lightening. And some have traversed a fifty-thousand-year distance in a day with the speed of imagination. The Qur'an of Mighty Stature alludes to this truth with two of its verses.
  224.  
  225. The ticket in the comparison represents the prescribed prayers. A single hour a day is sufficient for the five prayers together with taking the ablutions. So what a loss a person makes who spends twenty-three hours on this fleeting worldly life, and fails to spend one hour on the long life of the Hereafter; how he wrongs his own self; how unreasonably he behaves. For would not anyone who considers himself to be reasonable understand how contrary to reason and wisdom such a person's conduct is, and how far from reason he has become, if, thinking it reasonable, he gives half of his property to a lottery in which one thousand people are participating and the possibility of winning is one in a thousand, and does not give one twenty-fourth of it to an eternal treasury where the possibility of winning has been verified at ninety-nine out of a hundred?
  226.  
  227. Moreover, the spirit, the heart, and the mind find great ease in prayer. And it is not trying for the body. Furthermore, with the right intention, all the other acts of someone who performs the prescribed prayers become like worship. He can make over the whole capital of his life to the Hereafter in this way. He can make his transient life permanent in one respect...
  228.  
  229. * * *www.nur.gen.tr  www.saidnur.com  www.nurpenceresi.com.tr www.3dmekanlar.com  www.nurris.com www.bediuzzaman.netThe Fifth Word
  230.  
  231.  
  232. In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
  233.  
  234. Indeed, God is with those who fear Him and those who do good.
  235.  
  236. If you want to see what a truly human duty and what a natural, appropriate result of man's creation it is to perform the prescribed prayers and not to commit serious sins, listen to and take heed of the following comparison:
  237.  
  238. Once, at a time of general mobilization, two soldiers found themselves together in a regiment. One was well-trained and conscientious, the other, a raw recruit and self-centred. The conscientious soldier concentrated on training and the war, and did not give a thought to rations and provisions, for he knew that it was the State's duty to feed and equip him, treat him if he was ill, and even to put the food in his mouth if the need arose. He knew that his basic duty was to train and fight. But he would also attend to some of the rations and equipment as part of his work. He would boil up the saucepans, wash up the mess-tins, and bring them. If it was then asked him: "What are you doing?", he would reply: "I am doing fatigue duty for the State." He would not say: "I am working for my living."
  239.  
  240. The raw recruit, however, was fond of his stomach and paid no attention to training and the war. "That is the State's business. What is it to me?", he would say. He thought constantly of his livelihood, and pursuing it would leave the regiment and go to the market to do shopping. One day his well-trained friend said to him:
  241.  
  242. "Your basic duty is training and fighting, brother. You were brought here for that. Trust in the king; he will not let you go hungry. That is his duty. Anyway, you are powerless and wanting; you cannot feed yourself everywhere. And this is a time of mobilization and war; he will tell you that you are mutinous and will punish you. Yes, there are two duties which concern us. One is the king's duty: sometimes we do his fatigue duties and he feeds us for it. The other is our duty: that is training and fighting, and sometimes the king helps us with it."
  243.  
  244. Of course you will understand in what danger the layabout soldier would be if he did not pay attention to the striving, well-trained one.
  245.  
  246. And so, O my lazy soul! That turbulent place of war is this stormy worldly life. And the army divided into regiments, human society. And the regiment in the comparison is the community of Islam in this century. One of the two soldiers is a devout Muslim who knows the obligations of his religion and performs them, and struggles with Satan and his own soul in order to give up serious misdoings and not to commit sins. While the other is a degenerate wrongdoer who is so immersed in the struggle for livelihood that he casts aspersions on the True Provider, abandons his religious obligations , and commits any sins that come his way as he makes his living. As for the training and instruction, it is foremost the prescribed prayers and worship. And the war is the struggle against the soul and its desires, and against the satans among jinn and men, to deliver them from sin and bad morals, and save the heart and spirit from eternal perdition. And the first of the two duties is to give life and sustain it, while the other is to worship and beseech the Giver and Sustainer of life. It is to trust in Him and rely on Him.
  247.  
  248. Indeed, whoever made and bestowed life, which is a most brilliant miracle of the Eternally Besoughted One's art and a wonder of Dominical wisdom, is the one who maintains and perpetuates it through sustenance. It cannot be another. Do you want proof? The most impotent and stupid animals are the best nourished; like fish, and worms in fruit. And it is the most helpless and delicate creatures who have the choicest food; like infants and the young of all species.
  249.  
  250. For sure, it is enough to compare fish with foxes, newly born animals with wild beasts, and trees with animals in order to understand that licit food is obtained not through power and will, but through impotence and helplessness. That is to say, someone who gives up performing the prescribed prayers because of the struggle for livelihood resembles the soldier who abandoned his training and trench and went and begged in the market. But to seek ones rations from the kitchens of the All-Generous Provider's mercy after performing the prayers, and to go oneself so as not to be a burden on others is fine and manly. It too is a sort of worship.
  251.  
  252. Furthermore, man's nature and spiritual faculties show that he is created for worship. For in respect of the power and actions necessary for the life of this world, he cannot compete with the most inferior sparrow. While in respect of knowledge and need, and worship and supplication, which are necessary for spiritual life and the life of the Hereafter, he is like the monarch and commander of the animals.
  253.  
  254. And so, O my soul! If you make the life of this world the aim of your life and work constantly for that, you will become like the lowest sparrow. But if you make the life of the Hereafter your aim and end, and make this life the means of it and its tillage, and strive in accordance with it, then you will be like a mighty commander of the animals, and a petted and suppliant servant of Almighty God, and His honoured and respected guest.
  255.  
  256. Those are the two ways open to you! You can choose whichever you wish... So ask for guidance and success from the Most Compassionate of the Compassionate...
  257.  
  258. * * *The Twenty-Third Flashwww.nur.gen.tr  www.saidnur.com  www.nurpenceresi.com.tr www.3dmekanlar.com  www.nurris.com www.bediuzzaman.net
  259.  
  260. On Nature
  261.  
  262. [First written as the Sixteenth Note of the Seventeenth Flash, this part of the Risale-i Nur was later designated as the Twenty-Third Flash because of its importance. This treatise puts naturalistic atheism to death with no chance of reanimation, and totally shatters the foundation stones of unbelief.]
  263.  
  264. A Reminder
  265.  
  266. This treatise explains through Nine Impossibilities, themselves comprising at least ninety impossibilities, just how unreasonable, crude and superstitious is the reality of the way taken by those Naturalists who are atheists. Since these impossibilities have been explained in part in other sections of the Risale-i Nur, and to cut short the discussion here, some steps in the arguments have been skipped. It suddenly comes to mind, then, how is it that those famous and supposedly brilliant philosophers accepted such a blantantly obvious superstition, and continue to pursue that way. Well, the fact is they could not see its reality. And I am ready to explain in detail and prove through clear and decisive arguments to whoever doubts it that these crude, repugnant and unreasonable impossibilities are the necessary and unavoidable result of their way; in fact, the very gist of their creed.
  267.  
  268. In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
  269.  
  270. Their prophets said: “Is there any doubt about God, Creator of the heavens and the earth?”
  271.  
  272. By declaring through the use of a rhetorical question that there cannot and should not be any doubt about God Almighty, this verse clearly demonstrates the Divine existence and Unity.
  273.  
  274. A point to be mentioned before our discussion:
  275.  
  276. When I went to Ankara in 1922, the morale of the people of belief was extremely high as a result of the victory of the army of Islam over the Greeks. But I saw that an abominable current of atheism was treacherously trying to subvert, poison and destroy their minds. “O God!” I said, “this monster is going to harm the fundamentals of belief.” At that point, since the above-mentioned verse makes self-evidently plain God’s existence and Unity, I sought assistance from it and wrote a treatise in Arabic consisting of a proof taken from the All-Wise Qur’an that was powerful enough to disperse and destroy that atheistic current. I had it printed in Ankara at the Yeni Gün Press. But, alas, those who knew Arabic were few and those who considered it seriously were rare. Also, its argument was in an extremely concise and abbreviated form. As a result, the treatise did not have the effect it should have done and sadly, that current of atheism both swelled and gained strength. Now, I feel compelled to explain a part of the proof in Turkish. Since certain parts of it have been fully explained in other sections of the Risale-i Nur, it will be written in summary form here. Those numerous proofs in part unite in this proof; so each may be seen as an element of this proof.
  277.  
  278. Introduction
  279.  
  280. O man! You should be aware that there are certain phrases which are commonly used and imply unbelief. The believers also use them, but without realizing their implications. We shall explain three of the most important of them.
  281.  
  282. The First: “Causes create this.”
  283.  
  284. The Second: “It forms itself; it comes into existence and later ceases to exist.”
  285.  
  286. The Third: “It is natural; Nature necessitates and creates it.”
  287.  
  288. Indeed, since beings exist and this cannot be denied, and since each being comes into existence in a wise and artistic fashion, and since each is not outside time but is being continuously renewed, then, O falsifier of the truth, you are bound to say either that the causes in the world create beings, for example, this animal; that is to say, it comes into existence through the coming together of causes, or that it forms itself, or that its coming into existence is a requirement and necessary effect of Nature, or that it is created through the power of One All-Powerful and All-Glorious. Since reason can find no way apart from these four, if the first three are definitely proved to be impossible, invalid and absurd, the way of Divine Unity, which is the fourth way, will necessarily and self-evidently and without doubt or suspicion, be proved true.
  289.  
  290. THE FIRST WAY
  291. This to imagine that the formation and existence of things, creatures, occurs through the coming together of the causes in the universe. We shall mention only three of its numerous impossibilities.
  292.  
  293. First Impossibility
  294.  
  295. Imagine there is a pharmacy in which there are hundreds of jars and phials filled with quite different substances. A living potion and a living remedy are required from those medicaments. So we go to the pharmacy and see that they are to be found there in abundance, yet in great variety. We examine each of the potions and see that the ingredients have been taken in varying but precise amounts from each of the jars and phials, one ounce from this, three from that, seven from the next, and so on. If one ounce too much or too little had been taken, the potion would not have been living and would not have displayed its special quality. Next, we study the living remedy. Again, the ingredients have been taken from the jars in a particular measure so that if even the most minute amount too much or too little had been taken, the remedy would have lost its special property.
  296.  
  297. Now, although the jars number more than fifty, the ingredients have been taken from each according to measures and amounts that are all different. Is it in any way possible or probable that the phials and jars should have been knocked over by a strange coincidence or sudden gust of wind and that only the precise, though different, amounts that had been taken from each of them should have been spilt, and then arranged themselves and come together to form the remedy? Is there anything more superstitious, impossible and absurd than this? If an ass could speak, it would say: “I cannot accept this idea!”, and would gallop off!
  298.  
  299. Similarly, each living being may be likened to the living potion in the comparison, and each plant to a living remedy. For they are composed of matter that has been taken in most precise measure from truly numerous and truly various substances. If these are attributed to causes and the elements and it is claimed, “Causes created these,” it is unreasonable, impossible and absurd a hundred times over, just as it was to claim that the potion in the pharmacy came into existence through the phials being knocked over; by accident.
  300.  
  301. I n S h o r t : The vital substances in this vast pharmacy of the universe, which are measured on the scales of Divine Determining and Decree of the All-Wise and Pre-Eternal One, can only come into existence through a boundless wisdom, infinite knowledge and all-encompassing will. The unfortunate person who declares that they are the work of blind, deaf and innumerable elements and causes and natures, which stream like floods; and the foolish, delirious person who claims that that wondrous remedy poured itself out when the phials were knocked over and formed itself, are certainly unreasonable and nonsensical. Indeed, such denial and unbelief is a senseless absurdity.
  302.  
  303. Second Impossibility
  304.  
  305. If everything is not attributed to the All-Powerful and All-Glorious One, Who is the Single One of Unity, but is attributed to causes, it necessitates that many of the elements and causes present in the universe intervene in the being of every animate creature. Whereas that different and mutually opposing and conflicting causes should come together of their own accord in complete order, with the finest balance and in perfect concord in the being of a tiny creature, like a fly, is such an obvious impossibility that anyone with even an iota of consciousness would say: “This is impossible; it could not be!”
  306.  
  307. The tiny body of a fly is connected with most of the elements and causes in the universe; indeed, it is a summary of them. If it is not attributed to the Pre-Eternal and All-Powerful One, it is necessary for those material causes to be themselves present in the immediate vicinity of the fly; rather, for them all to enter into its tiny body; and even for them to enter each of the cells of its eyes, which are minute samples of its body. For if a cause is of a material nature, it is necessary for it to be present in the immediate vicinity of, and inside, its effect. And this necessitates accepting that the constituents and elements of the universe are physically present inside that minute cell, a place too small even for the tip of its antenna, and that they work there in harmony like a master.
  308.  
  309. A way such as this, then, shames even the most foolish of the Sophists.
  310.  
  311. Third Impossibility
  312.  
  313. It is an established rule that, “If a being has unity, it can only have issued from a single being, from one hand.” Particularly if it displays a comprehensive life within a perfect order and sensitive balance, it demonstrates self-evidently that it did not issue from numerous hands, which are the cause of conflict and confusion, but that it issued from a single hand that is All-Powerful and All-Wise. Therefore, to attribute a well-ordered and well-balanced being which has unity such as that to the jumbled hands of innumerable, lifeless, ignorant, aggressive, unconscious, chaotic, blind and deaf natural causes, the blindness and deafness of which increase with their coming together and intermingling among the ways of numberless possibilities, is as unreasonable as accepting innumerable impossibilities all at once. If we leave this impossibility aside and assume that material causes have effects, these effects can only occur through direct contact and touch. However, the contact of natural causes is with the exteriors of living beings. And yet we see that the interiors of such beings, where the hands of material causes can neither reach nor touch, are ten times more delicate, well-ordered and perfect as regards art than their exteriors. Therefore, although tiny animate creatures, on which the hands and organs of material causes can in no way be situated, indeed they cannot touch the creatures’ exteriors all at once even, are more strange and wonderful as regards their art and creation than the largest creatures, to attribute them to those lifeless, unknowing, crude, distant, vast, conflicting, deaf and blind causes can result only from a deafness and blindness compounded to the number of animate beings.
  314.  
  315. THE SECOND WAY
  316. This is expressed by the phrase “It forms itself.” It too involves many impossibilities and is absurd and impossible in many aspects. We shall explain three examples of these impossibilities.
  317.  
  318. First Impossibility
  319.  
  320. O you obstinate denier! Your egotism has made you so stupid that somehow you decide to accept a hundred impossibilities all at once. For you yourself are a being and not some simple substance that is inanimate and unchanging. You are like an extremely well-ordered machine that is constantly being renewed and a wonderful palace that is undergoing continuous change. Particles are working unceasingly in your body. Your body has a connection and mutual relations with the universe, in particular with regard to sustenance and the perpetuation of the species, and the particles that work within it are careful not to spoil that relationship nor to break the connection. In this cautious manner they set about their work, as though taking the whole universe into account. Seeing your relationships within it, they take up their positions accordingly. And you benefit with your external and inner senses in accordance with the wonderful positions that they take.
  321.  
  322. If you do not accept that the particles in your body are tiny officials in motion in accordance with the law of the Pre-Eternal and All-Powerful One, or that they are an army, or the nibs of the pen of Divine Determining, with each particle as the nib of a pen, or that they are points inscribed by the pen of Power with each particle being a point, then in every particle working in your eye there would have to be an eye such as could see every limb and part of your body as well as the entire universe, with which you are connected. In addition to this, you would have to ascribe to each particle an intelligence equivalent to that of a hundred geniuses, sufficient to know and recognize all your past and your future, and your forbears and descendents, the origins of all the elements of your being, and the sources of all your sustenance.
  323.  
  324. To attribute the knowledge and consciousness of a thousand Plato’s to a single particle of one such as you who does not possess even a particle’s worth of intelligence in matters of this kind is a crazy superstition a thousand times over!
  325.  
  326. Second Impossibility
  327.  
  328. Your being resembles a thousand-domed wondrous palace in which the stones stand together in suspension and without support. Indeed, your being is a thousand times more wonderful than such a palace, for the palace of your being is being renewed continuously in perfect order. Leaving aside your truly wonderful spirit, heart and other subtle faculties, each member of your body resembles a single-domed part of the palace. Like the stones of a dome, the particles stand together in perfect balance and order demonstrating the eye and the tongue, for example, each to be a wondrous building, extraordinary work of art, and miracle of power.
  329.  
  330. If these particles were not each officials dependent on the command of the master architect of the universe, then each particle would have to be both absolutely dominant over all the other particles in the body and absolutely subordinate to each of them; and both equal to each and, with regard to its dominant position, opposed; and both the origin and source of most of the attributes that pertain only to the Necessarily Existent One, and extremely restricted; and both in absolute form, and in the form of a perfectly ordered individual artefact that could only, through the mystery of unity, be the work of the Single One of Unity.
  331.  
  332. Anyone with even a particle of consciousness would understand what an obvious impossibility this is; to attribute such an artefact to those particles.
  333.  
  334. Third Impossibility
  335.  
  336. If your being is not “written’ by the pen of the Pre-Eternal and All-Powerful One, Who is the Single One of Unity, and is instead “printed’ by Nature and causes, there would have to be printing-blocks in Nature not only to the number of cells in your body, but to the number of their thousands of combinations, which are arranged in concentric circles. Because, for example, if this book which we hold in our hand is written, a single pen may write it relying on the knowledge of its writer. If, on the other hand, it is not written and is not attributed to its writer’s pen, and if it is said that it exists of its own accord or it is ascribed to Nature, then, as a printed book, it would be necessary for there to be a different iron pen of each letter so that it could be printed. In a printing-press there have to be pieces of type to the number of letters in the alphabet so the letters in the book come into existence by means of them; pens to the number of those letters being necessary in place of a single pen.
  337.  
  338. As may be seen, sometimes a whole page is written in a single large letter from among those letters with a small pen in fine script, in which case a thousand pens would be necessary for one letter. Rather, if it took the form of your body, with all its components one within the other in concentric circles, there would have to be printing-blocks in each circle, for each component, to the number of the combinations that they form.
  339.  
  340. Now, see, if you claim this, which involves a hundred impossibilities, to be possible, then again if they are not attributed to a single pen, for those well-ordered, artistic pieces of type, faultless printing-blocks and iron pens to be made, further pens, printing-blocks and letters to the same number as themselves would be necessary. And they too would have to have been made; and they too would have to have been well-ordered and artistically fashioned. And so on. It would carry on in succession ad infinitum.
  341.  
  342. There, you too understand! This way of thinking is such that it involves impossibilites and superstitions to the number of particles in your body. O denier of God! See this, and quit this way of misguidance!
  343.  
  344. THE THIRD WAY
  345. “ Nature necessitates it; Nature makes it.” This statement contains many impossibilities. We shall mention three of them by way of examples.
  346.  
  347. First Impossibility
  348.  
  349. If the art and creativity, which are discerning and wise, to be seen in beings and particularly in animate beings are not attributed to the pen of Divine Determining and Power of the Pre-Eternal Sun, and instead are attributed to Nature and force, which are blind, deaf and unthinking, it becomes necessary that Nature either should have present in everything machines and printing-presses for their creation, or should include in everything power and wisdom enough to create and administer the universe. The reason for this is as follows:
  350.  
  351. The sun’s manifestations and reflections appear in all small fragments of glass and droplets on the face of the earth. If those miniature, reflected imaginary suns are not ascribed to the sun in the sky, it is necessary to accept the external existence of an actual sun in every tiny fragment of glass smaller than a match-head, which possesses the sun’s qualities and which, though small in size, bears profound meaning; and therefore to accept actual suns to the number of pieces of glass.
  352.  
  353. In exactly the same way, if beings and animate creatures are not attributed directly to the manifestation of the Pre-Eternal Sun’s Names, it becomes necessary to accept that in each being, and especially animate beings, there lies a nature, a force, or quite simply a god that will sustain an infinite power and will, and knowledge and wisdom. Such an idea is the most absurd and superstitious of all the impossibilities in the universe. It demonstrates that a man who attributes the art of the Creator of the universe to imaginary, insignificant, unconscious Nature is without a doubt less conscious of the truth than an animal.
  354.  
  355. Second Impossibility
  356.  
  357. If beings, which are most well-ordered and well-measured, wise and artistically fashioned, are not ascribed to One Who is infinitely powerful and wise and instead are attributed to Nature, it becomes necessary for there to be present in every bit of soil as many factories and printing-presses as there are in Europe so that each bit of soil can be the means for the growth and formation of innumerable flowers and fruits, of which it is the place of origin and workshop. The seeds of flowers are sown in turn in a bowl of soil, which performs the duty of a flower-pot for them. An ability is apparent in the bowl of soil that will give shapes and forms which differ greatly from one another to all the flowers sown in it. If that ability is not attributed to the All-Glorious and All-Powerful One, such a situation could not occur without there being in the bowlful of soil immaterial, different and natural machines for each flower.
  358.  
  359. This is because the matter of which seeds, like sperm and eggs for example, consist is the same. That is, they consist of an orderless, formless, paste-like mixture of oxygen, hydrogen, carbon and nitrogen. Together with this, since air, water, heat and light also are each simple, unconscious and flow against everything in floods, the fact that the all-different forms of those flowers emerge from the soil in a most well-ordered and artistic fashion self-evidently and necessarily requires that there are present in the soil in the bowl immaterial, miniature printing-presses and factories to the number of presses and factories in Europe so that they could weave this great number of living fabrics and thousands of various embroidered textiles.
  360.  
  361. Thus, you can see how far the unbelieving thought of the Naturalists has deviated from the realm of reason. And although brainless pretenders who imagine Nature to be creator claim to be “men of science and reason,” see just how distant from reason and science is their thought, so that they have taken a superstition that is in no way possible, that is impossible, as a way for themselves. See this and laugh at them!
  362.  
  363. I f y o u a s k : If such extraordinary impossibilities and insurmountable difficulties occur when beings are attributed to Nature, how are those difficulties removed when they are attributed to the Single and Eternally Besought One? And how is the difficult impossibility transformed into that easy necessity?
  364.  
  365. T h e A n s w e r : We saw in the First Impossibility that the manifestation of the sun’s reflection displays its radiance and effect through miniature imaginary suns with complete ease and lack of trouble in everything from the minutest inanimate particle to the surface of the vastest ocean. If each particle’s relationship with the sun is severed, it then becomes necessary to accept that the external existence of an actual sun could subsist, with a difficulty at the level of impossibility, in each of those minute particles.
  366.  
  367. Similarly, if each being is ascribed directly to the Single and Eternally Besought One, everything necessary for each being can be conveyed to it through a connection and manifestation with an ease and facility that is at the level of necessity. If the connection is severed and each being reverts from its position as an official to being without duties, and is left to Nature and its own devices, it then becomes necessary to suppose that, with a hundred thousand difficulties and obstacles that reach the degree of impossibility, blind Nature possesses within it a power and wisdom with which to create and administer the universe so that it might bring into existence the wonderful machine of the being of an animate creature like a fly, which is a tiny index of the universe. This is impossible not just once but thousands of times over.
  368.  
  369. I n S h o r t : Just as it is impossible and precluded for the Necessarily Existent One to have any partner or like in respect of His Essence, so too is the interference of others in His dominicality and in His creation of beings impossible and precluded.
  370.  
  371. As for the difficulties involved in the Second Impossibility, as is proved in many parts of the Risale-i Nur, if all things are attributed to the Single One of Unity, all things become as easy and trouble-free as a single thing. Whereas if they are attributed to causes and Nature, a single thing becomes as difficult as all things. This has been demonstrated with numerous, decisive proofs and a summary of one of them is as follows.
  372.  
  373. If a man is connected to a king through being a soldier or an official, by reason of the strength of that connection, he may perform duties far exceeding his own individual strength. He may, on occasion, capture another king in the name of his own king. For he himself does not carry the equipment and sources of strength necessary to carry out the duties and work he performs, nor is he compelled to do so. By reason of the connection, the king’s treasuries, and the army, which is behind him and is his point of support, carry his equipment and sources of strength. That is to say, the duties he performs may be as grand as the business of a king, and as tremendous as the actions of an army.
  374.  
  375. Indeed, through being an official, an ant destroyed Pharaoh’s palace. Through the connection, a fly killed Nimrod off. And through the connection, the seed of a pine the size of a grain of wheat produces all the parts of a huge pine-tree.
  376.  
  377. Were the connection to be severed and the man discharged from his duties as an official, he would be compelled to carry the equipment and sources of strength necessary for his work himself. He would then only be able to perform duties in accordance with the sources of strength and ammunition that he was able to carry. Should he be required in this situation to carry out his duties with the extreme ease of the first situation, it would be necessary to load on his back the sources of an army’s strength and the arsenals and munitions factories of a king. Even clowns who invent stories and superstitions to make people laugh would be ashamed at this fanciful idea.
  378.  
  379. I n S h o r t : To attribute all beings to the Necessarily Existent One is so easy as to be necessary. While to attribute their creation to Nature is so difficult as to be impossible and outside the realm of reason.
  380.  
  381. Third Impossibility
  382.  
  383. The following two comparisons, which are included in other parts of the Risale-i Nur, explain this impossibility.
  384.  
  385. A wild savage entered a palace which had been built in an empty desert, and completed and adorned with all the fruits of civilization. He cast an eye over its interior and saw thousands of well-ordered and artistically fashioned objects. Because of his boorishness and lack of intelligence, he said: “No one from outside had a hand in this, one of the objects from inside must have made this palace together with all of its contents,” and started to investigate. However, whatever he looked at, even his untaught intelligence could not fathom out how it had made those things.
  386.  
  387. Later, he saw a notebook in which had been written the plan and programme of the palace’s construction, an index of its contents and the rules of its administration. For sure, the notebook too, which was without hand, eye, or implement, like the rest of the objects in the palace, was completely lacking the ability to construct and decorate the palace. But, since he saw that, in comparison with all the other things, the notebook was related to the whole palace by reason of its including all its theoretical laws, he was obliged to say: “There, it is this notebook that has organized, ordered and adorned this palace, and has fashioned all these objects and set them in their places.” He transformed his uncouthness into ludicrous jabber.
  388.  
  389. Thus, exactly like this comparison, a boor who subscribed to Naturalist thought, which denies God, entered the palace of the universe, which is infinitely more well-ordered, more perfect and everywhere full of miraculous instances of wisdom than the palace in the comparison. Not thinking that it was the work of art of the Necessarily Existent One, Who is outside the sphere of contingency, and shunning that idea, he saw a collection of the laws of Divine practice and an index of dominical art, which are like a slate for writing and erasing of Divine Determining in the sphere of contingency, and like a constantly changing notebook for the laws of the functioning of Divine power, and are extremely mistakenly and erroneously given the name “Nature’, and he said:
  390.  
  391. “These things require a cause and nothing else appears to have the relationship with everything like this notebook has. It is true that reason will in no way accept that this unseeing, unconscious and powerless notebook could carry out this creation, which is the work of an absolute dominicality and requires infinite power. But since I do not recognize the Eternal Maker, the most plausible explanation is to say the notebook made it, and makes it, so I shall say that.” To which we reply:
  392.  
  393. O you mistaken unfortunate! Your foolishness exceeds anything imaginable! Lift your head out of the swamp of Nature and look beyond yourself! See an All-Glorious Maker to Whom all beings from particles to planets testify with their different tongues and Whom they indicate with their fingers! Behold the manifestation of the Pre-Eternal Inscriber, Who fashions the palace and Who writes its programme in the notebook! Study His decree, listen to the Qur’an! Be delivered from your delirious raving!
  394.  
  395. Second Comparison: A rustic bumpkin entered the bounds of a splendid palace and saw there the uniform actions of an extremely orderly army carrying out its drill. He observed a battalion, a regiment and a division stand to attention, stand at ease and march, and open fire when commanded as though they were a single private. Since his rude, uncultured mind could not comprehend, so denied, that a commander had been given command by the country’s laws and by royal decree, he imagined that the soldiers were attached to one another with strings. He thought of what wonderful string it must be, and was amazed.
  396.  
  397. Later, he continued on his way till he came upon a magnificent mosque like Aya Sophia. He entered it at the time of Friday prayer and watched the congregation of Muslims rising, bowing, prostrating and sitting at the sound of man’s voice. Since he did not understand the Shari’a, which consists of a collection of immaterial, revealed laws, nor the immaterial rules proceeding from the Lawgiver’s command, he fancied the congregation to be bound to one another by physical string, and that this wonderful string had subjected them and was making them move like puppets. And, coming up with this idea, which is so ridiculous as to make the most ignorant roar with laughter, he went on his way.
  398.  
  399. Exactly like this comparison, an atheist who subscribed to materialist thought, which is denial and pure brutishness, entered the universe, which is a splendid barracks of the Monarch of Pre-Eternity and Post-Eternity for His innumerable forces, and a well-ordered mosque of that Pre-Eternal All-Worshipped One. He imagined the immaterial laws of the ordering of the universe, which proceed from the Pre-Eternal Monarch’s wisdom, each to have material and physical existence; and supposed the theoretical laws of the sovereignty of dominicality, and the rules and ordinances of the Greater Shari’a, the Shari’a of Creation, which are immaterial and exist only as knowledge, each to have external, material and physical existence. But to set up in place of Divine power those laws, which proceed from the Divine attributes of knowledge and speech and only exist as knowledge, and to attribute creation to them; then to attach the name “Nature’ to them, and to deem force, which is merely a manifestation of dominical power, to be an independent almighty possessor of power, is a thousand times more low-fallen ignorance than the ignorance in the comparison.
  400.  
  401. I n S h o r t : The imaginary and insubstantial thing that Naturalists call Nature, if it has an external reality, can at the very most be work of art; it cannot be the Artist. It is an embroidery, and cannot be the Embroiderer. It is a set of decrees; it cannot be the Issuer of the decrees. It is a body of the laws of creation, and cannot be the Lawgiver. It is but a created screen to the dignity of God, and cannot be the Creator. It is passive and created, and cannot be a Creative Maker. It is a law, not a power, and cannot possess power. It is the recipient, and cannot be the source.
  402.  
  403. T o C o n c l u d e : Since beings exist, and as was stated at the beginning of this treatise, reason cannot think of a way to explain the existence of beings apart from the four mentioned, three of which were each decisively proved through three clear Impossibilities to be invalid and absurd, then necessarily and self-evidently the way of Divine Unity, which is the fourth way, is proved in a conclusive manner. The fourth way, in accordance with the verse quoted at the beginning:
  404.  
  405. Is there any doubt about God, Creator of the heavens and the earth?
  406.  
  407. demonstrates clearly so that there can be no doubt or hesitation the Divinity of the Necessarily Existent One, and that all things issue directly from the hand of His power, and that the heavens and the earth are under His sway.
  408.  
  409. O you unfortunate worshipper of causes and Nature! Since the nature of each thing, like all things, is created, for it is full of art and is being constantly renewed, and, like the effect, the apparent cause of each thing is also created; and since for each thing to exist there is need for much equipment and many tools; there must exist a Possessor of Absolute Power Who creates the nature and brings the cause into existence. And that Absolutely Powerful One is in no need of impotent intermediaries to share in His dominicality and creation. God forbid! He creates cause and effect together directly. And in order to demonstrate His wisdom and the manifestation of His Names, by establishing an apparent causal relationship and connection through order and sequence, He makes causes and Nature a veil to the hand of His power so that the apparent faults, severities and defects in things should be ascribed to them, and in this way His dignity be preserved.
  410.  
  411. Is it easier for a watch-maker to make the cog-wheels of a clock, and then arrange them and put them in order to form the clock? Or is it easier for him to make a wonderful machine in each of the cog-wheels, and then leave the making of the clock to the lifeless hands of those machines? Is that not beyond the bounds of possibility? Come on, you judge with your unfair reason, and say!
  412.  
  413. And is it easier for a scribe to collect ink, pen and paper, and then using them proceed to write out a book himself? Or is it easier for him to create in the paper, pen and ink a writing-machine that requires more art and trouble than the book, and can be used only for that book, and then say to the unconscious machine: “Come on, you write it!”, and himself not interfere? Is that not a hundred times more difficult than writing it himself?
  414.  
  415. I f y o u s a y : Yes, it is a hundred times more difficult to create a machine that writes a book rather than writing it out oneself. But is it not in a way easier, because the machine is the means for producing numerous copies of the same book?
  416.  
  417. T h e A n s w e r : Through His limitless power, the Pre-Eternal Inscriber continuously renews the infinite manifestations of His Names so as to display them in ever-differing ways. And through this constant renewal, He creates the identities and special features in things in such a manner that no missive of the Eternally Besought One or dominical book can be the same as any other book. In any case, each will have different features in order to express different meanings.
  418.  
  419. If you have eyes, look at the human face: you will see that from the time of Adam until today, indeed, until post-eternity, together with the conformity of their essential organs, each face has a distinguishing mark in relation to all the other faces; this is a definite fact. Therefore, each face may be thought of as a different book. Only, for the artwork to be set out, different writing-sets, arrangements, and compositions are required. And in order to both collect and situate the materials, and to include everything necessary for the existence of each, a completely different workshop will be required.
  420.  
  421. Now, knowing it to be impossible, we thought of Nature as a printing-press. But apart from the composition and printing, which concern the printing-press, that is, setting up the type in a specific order, the substances that form an animate being’s body, the creation of which is a hundred times more difficult than that of the composition and ordering, must be created in specific proportions and particular order, brought from the furthest corners of the cosmos, and placed in the hands of the printing-press. But in order to do all these things, there is still need for the power and will of the Absolutely Powerful One, Who creates the printing-press. That is to say, this hypothesis of the printing-press is a totally meaningless superstition.
  422.  
  423. Thus, like these comparisons of the clock and the book, the All-Glorious Maker, Who is powerful over all things, has created causes, and so too does He create the effects. Through His wisdom, He ties the effect to the cause. Through His will, He has determined a manifestation of the Greater Shari’a, the Shari’a of Creation, which consists of the Divine laws concerning the ordering of all motion in the universe, and determined the nature of beings, which is only to be a mirror to that manifestation in things, and to be a reflection of it. And through His power, He has created the face of that nature which has received external existence, and has created things on that nature, and has mixed them one with the other.
  424.  
  425. Is it easier to accept this fact, which is the conclusion of innumerable most rational proofs—in fact, is one not compelled to accept it?—or is it easier to get the physical beings that you call causes and Nature, which are lifeless, unconscious, created, fashioned and simple, to provide the numberless tools and equipment necessary for the existence of each thing and to carry out those matters, which are performed wisely and discerningly? Is that not utterly beyond the bounds of possibility? We leave it to you to decide, with your unreasonable mind!
  426.  
  427. The unbelieving Nature-worshipper replied: “Since you are asking me to be fair and reasonable, I have to confess that the mistaken way I have followed up to now is both a compounded impossibility, and extremely harmful and ugly. Anyone with even a grain of consciousness would understand from your analyses above that to attribute the act of creation to causes and Nature is precluded and impossible. And that to attribute all things directly to the Necessarily Existent One is imperative and necessary. I say: “ALL PRAISE BE TO GOD FOR BELIEF,’ and I believe in Him. Only, I do have one doubt:
  428.  
  429. “I believe that Almighty God is the Creator, but what harm does it do to the sovereignty of His dominicality if some minor causes have a hand in the creation of insignificant matters and thereby gain for themselves a little praise and acclaim? Does it diminish His sovereignty in some way?”
  430.  
  431. T h e A n s w e r : As we have conclusively proved in other parts of the Risale-i Nur, the mark of rulership is that it rejects interference. The most insignficant ruler or official will not tolerate the interference of his own son, even, within the sphere of his rule. The fact that, despite being Caliph, certain devout Sultans had their innocent sons murdered on the unfounded apprehension that the sons would interfere in their rule demonstrates how fundamental is this “law of the rejection of interference’ in rulership. And the “law of prevention of participation,’ which the independence intrinsic to rulership necessitates, has shown its strength in the history of mankind through extraordinary upheavals whenever there have been two governors in a town or two kings in a country.
  432.  
  433. Thus, if the sense of rulership and sovereignty, which is a mere shadow in human beings, who are impotent and in need of assistance, rejects interference to this degree, prevents the intervention of others, does not accept participation in its sovereignty, and seeks to preserve the independence of its position so jealously, then, if you can, compare this with an All-Glorious One Whose absolute sovereignty is at the degree of dominicality, Whose absolute rulership at the degree of Divinity, absolute independence at the degree of Oneness, and absolute lack of need at the degree of absolute power, and understand what a necessary requirement and inevitable necessity of that rulership is this rejection of interference, prevention of participation, and repulsion of partners.
  434.  
  435. Concerning the second part of your doubt, you said: “If some of the worship of some insignificant beings is directed towards certain causes, what deficiency does this cause to the worship of all beings, from particles to planets, which is directed towards the Necessarily Existent One, the Absolute Object of All Worship?”
  436.  
  437. T h e A n s w e r : The All-Wise Creator of the universe made the universe like a tree with conscious beings as its most perfect fruit, and among conscious beings He made man its most comprehensive fruit. And man’s most important fruit, indeed the result of his creation, the aim of his nature, and the fruit of his life are his thanks and worship. Would that Absolute Sovereign and Independent Ruler, that Single One of Unity, Who creates the universe in order to make Himself known and loved, give away to others man, the fruit of the whole universe, and man’s thanks and worship, his most elevated fruit? Totally contrary to His wisdom, would He make vain and futile the result of creation and fruit of the universe? God forbid! Would He be content to give away the worship of creatures to others in a way that would deny His wisdom and His dominicality? And although He demonstrates through His actions that He wishes to make Himself known and loved to an unlimited degree, would he cause His most perfect creatures to forget Him by handing over to causes their thanks and gratitude, love and worship, and cause them to deny the exalted purposes in the universe?
  438.  
  439. O friend who has given up the worship of Nature! Now it is for you to say! To which he replied:
  440.  
  441. “All praise be to God, these two doubts of mine have now been resolved. And your two proofs concerning Divine Unity which demonstrate that the only True Object of Worship is He, and that nothing other than He is worthy of worship are so brilliant and powerful that to deny them would require as much arrogance as to deny the sun and the day.”
  442.  
  443. Conclusion
  444.  
  445. The person who gave up atheistic Naturalism and came to believe said: “All praise be to God, I no longer have any doubts, but there are still a few questions about which I am curious.”
  446.  
  447. FIRST QUESTION
  448.  
  449. “We hear many lazy people and those who neglect the five daily prayers ask: “What need has God Almighty of our worship that in the Qur’an He severely and insistently reproves those who give up worship and threatens them with such a fearsome punishment as Hell? How is it in keeping with the style of the Qur’an, which is moderate, mild and fair, to demonstrate the ultimate severity towards an insignificant, minor fault?”
  450.  
  451. T h e A n s w e r : God Almighty has no need of your worship, nor indeed of anything else. Rather, it is you who needs to worship, for in truth you are sick. And as we have proved in many parts of the Risale-i Nur, worship is a sort of remedy for your spiritual wounds. If someone who is ill responds to a compassionate doctor who insists on his taking medicines that are beneficial for his condition by saying: “What need do you have of it that you are insisting in this way?”, you can understand how absurd it would be.
  452.  
  453. As for the severe threats and fearsome punishments in the Qur’an concerning the giving up of worship, they may be likened to a king, who, in order to protect his subject’ rights, inflicts a severe punishment on an ordinary man in accordance with the degree that his crime infringes those rights.
  454.  
  455. In the same way, the man who gives up worship and ritual prayer is violating in a significant manner the rights of beings, who are like the subjects of the Monarch of Pre-Eternity and Post-Eternity, and is in fact acting unjustly towards them. For the perfections of beings are manifested through the glorification and worship performed by that aspect of them which is directed towards their Maker. The one who abandons worship does not and cannot see this worship. Indeed, he denies it. Furthermore, beings occupy an exalted position by reason of their worship and glorification, and each is a missive of the Eternally Besought One, and a mirror to the Names of its Sustainer. Since he reduces them from their high positions and considers them to be unimportant, lifeless, aimless, and without duties, he is insulting them, and denying and transgressing their perfections.
  456.  
  457. Indeed, everyone sees the world in his own mirror. God Almighty created man as a measure and scale for the universe. And from the world He gave a particular world to each person. This world He colours for him in accordance with his sincere beliefs. For example, a despairing, lamenting, weeping person sees beings as weeping and in despair, while a cheerful, optimistic, merry person sees the universe as joyful and smiling. A reflective man given to solemn worship and glorification discovers and sees to a degree the certain, truly existent worship and glorification of beings, while a person who abandons worship through either neglect or denial sees beings in a manner totally contrary and opposed to the reality of their perfections, thus transgressing their rights.
  458.  
  459. Furthermore, since the one who gives up prayer does not own himself, he wrongs his own soul, which is a slave of its True Owner. His Owner delivers awesome threats in order to protect His slave’s rights from his evil-commanding soul. Also, since he has given up worship, which is the result of his creation and the aim of his nature, it is like an act of aggression against Divine wisdom and dominical will, and he therefore receives punishment.
  460.  
  461. I n S h o r t : The abandoner of worship both wrongs his own soul, which is the slave and totally owned property of Almighty God, and wrongs and transgresses the rights of the perfections of the universe. Certainly, just as unbelief is an insult to beings, so is the abandonment of worship a denial of the universe’s perfections. And since it is an act of aggression against Divine wisdom, it is deserving of awesome threats, and severe punishment.
  462.  
  463. Thus, it is to express this deservedness and the above facts that the Qur’an of Miraculous Exposition chooses in a miraculous way that severe style, which, in complete conformity with the principles of eloquence, corresponds to the requirements of the situation.
  464.  
  465. SECOND QUESTION
  466.  
  467. The person who had given up Naturalism and come to believe next asked:
  468.  
  469. “It is indeed a vast truth that each being is dependent on Divine will and dominical power in every aspect; in all of its functions, qualities and actions. And by reason of this vastness, our narrow minds cannot comprehend it. However, the infinite abundance that we see around us, and the boundless ease in the creation and formation of things, and the infinite ease and facility in the way of unity, which was established through your proofs above, and the infinite ease that verses of the Qur’an like the following clearly demonstrate and expound,
  470.  
  471. Your creation and resurrection is as a single soul,
  472.  
  473. and,
  474.  
  475. The matter of the Hour shall be but as the twinkling of the eye, or even closer
  476.  
  477. show this mighty truth to be a matter that is most acceptable and rational. What is the wisdom and secret of this ease?”
  478.  
  479. T h e A n s w e r : This matter was elucidated in a most clear, decisive and convincing fashion in the explanation of,
  480.  
  481. And He is powerful over all things,
  482.  
  483. which forms the Tenth Phrase of the Twentieth Letter. In particular, it was demonstrated even more clearly in the Addendum to that Letter that when attributed to the Single Maker, all beings become as easy as a single being. If they are not attributed to that Single One of Unity, the creation of a single creature becomes as difficult as that of all beings, and a seed as problematical as a tree. When they are ascribed to their True Maker, the universe becomes as easy and trouble-free as a tree, a tree as easy as a seed, Paradise as easy as the spring, and the spring as easy as a flower. We shall now point out briefly one or two evidences that have been explained in detail in other parts of the Risale-i Nur out of the hundreds which explain the underlying reasons for and instances of wisdom in the conspicuous, boundless abundance and profusion of beings, the ease of the great number of individuals in each species, and the fact that well-ordered, artistically fashioned and valuable beings come into existence with immense speed and ease.
  484. The Second Word
  485.  
  486. In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
  487.  
  488. Those who believe in the Unseen. 1
  489.  
  490. If you want to understand what great happiness and bounty, what great pleasure and ease is to be found in belief in God, listen to this story which is in the form of a comparison:
  491.  
  492. One time, two men went on a journey for both pleasure and business. One set off in a selfish, inauspicious direction; the other on a godly, propitious way.
  493.  
  494. Since the selfish man was both conceited, self-centred, and pessimistic, he ended up in what seemed to him to be a most wicked country due to his pessimism. He looked around and everywhere saw the powerless and the unfortunate lamenting in the grasp and at the destruction of fearsome bullying tyrants. He saw the same grievous, painful situation in all the places he travelled. The whole country took on the form of a house of mourning. Apart from becoming drunk, he could find no way of not noticing this grievous and sombre situation. For everyone seemed to him to be an enemy and foreign. And all around he saw horrible corpses and despairing, weeping orphans. His conscience was in a state of torment.
  495.  
  496. The other man was godly, devout, fair-minded, and with fine morals so that the country he came to was most excellent in his view. This good man saw universal rejoicing in the land he had entered. Everywhere was a joyful festival, a place for the remembrance of God overflowing with rapture and happiness; everyone seemed to him a friend and relation. Throughout the country he saw the festive celebrations of a general discharge from duties accompanied by cries of good wishes and thanks. And he also heard the sound of a drum and band for the enlistment of soldiers with happy calls of "God is Most Great!" and "There is no god but God!" Rather than being grieved at the suffering of both himself and all the people like the first miserable man, this fortunate man was pleased and happy at both his own joy and that of all the inhabitants. Furthermore, he was able to do some profitable trade. He offered thanks to God.
  497.  
  498. After some while he returned and came across the other man. He understood his condition, and said to him: "You were out of your mind. The ugliness inside you must have been reflected on the outer world so that you imagined laughter to be weeping, and the discharge from duties to be sack and pillage. Come to your senses and purify your heart so that this calamitous veil is raised from your eyes and you can see the truth. For the country of an utterly just, compassionate, beneficent, powerful, order-loving, and kind king could not be in the way you imagined, nor could a country which demonstrated this number of clear signs of progress and achievement." The unhappy man later came to his senses and repented. He said, "Yes, I was crazy through drink. May God be pleased with you, you have saved me from a hellish state."
  499.  
  500. O my soul! Know that the first man represents an unbeliever, or someone depraved and heedless. In his view the world is a house of universal mourning. All living creature are orphans weeping at the blows of death and separation. Man and the animals are alone and without ties being ripped apart by the talons of the appointed hour. Mighty beings like the mountains and oceans are like horrendous, lifeless corpses. Many grievous, crushing, terrifying delusions like these arise from his unbelief and misguidance, and torment him.
  501.  
  502. As for the other man, he is a believer. He recognizes and affirms Almighty God. In his view this world is an abode where the Name of the All-Merciful One is constantly recited, a place of instruction for man and the animals, and a field of examination for man and jinn. All animal and human deaths are a demobilization. Those who have completed their duties of life depart from this transient world for another, happy and trouble-free, world so that place may be made for new officials to come and work. The birth of all animals and humans forms their enlistment into the army, their being taken under arms, and the start of their duties. Each living being is a joyful regular soldier, an honest, contented official. And all voices, either glorification of God and the recitation of His Names at the outset of their duties, and the thanks and rejoicing at their ceasing work, or the songs arising from their joy at working. In the view of the believer, all beings are the friendly servants, amicable officials, and agreeable books of his Most Generous Lord and All-Compassionate Owner. Very many more subtle, exalted, pleasurable, and sweet truths like these become manifest and appear from his belief.
  503.  
  504. That is to say, belief in God bears the seed of what is in effect a Tuba Tree of Paradise, while unbelief conceals the seed of a Zakkum Tree of Hell.
  505.  
  506. That means that safety and security are only to be found in Islam and belief. In which case, we should continually say, "Praise be to God for the religion of Islam and perfect belief."
  507.  
  508. * * *www.nur.gen.tr  www.saidnur.com  www.nurpenceresi.com.tr www.3dmekanlar.com  www.nurris.com www.bediuzzaman.netaThe Third Word
  509.  
  510. In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
  511.  
  512. O you people, worship....
  513.  
  514. If you want to understand what great profit and happiness lie in worship, and what great loss and ruin lie in vice and dissipation listen to and take heed of the following story which is in the form of a comparison:
  515.  
  516. One time, two soldiers received orders to proceed to a distant city. They set off and travelled together until the road forked. At the fork was a man who said to them, "The road on the right causes no loss at all, and nine out of ten of those who take it receive a high profit and experience great ease. While the road on the left provides no advantages, and nine out of ten of its travellers make a loss. But they are the same as regards distance. Only there is one difference: those who take the left-hand road, which has no rules and no one in authority, travel without baggage and arms. They feel an apparent lightness and deceptive ease. Whereas those travelling on the right-hand road, which is under military order, are compelled to carry a kit-bag full of nutritious rations four kilos or so in weight and a superb army rifle of about two kilos which will overpower and rout every enemy..."
  517.  
  518. After the two soldiers had listened to what this instructive man had to say, the fortunate one took the road to the right. He loaded the weight of ten kilos onto his back, but his heart and spirit were saved from thousands of kilos of fear and feeling obliged to others. As for the other, luckless, soldier, he left the army. He did not want to conform to the order, and he went off to the left. He was released from bearing a load of ten kilos, but his heart was constricted by thousands of kilos of indebtedness, and his spirit crushed by innumerable fears. He proceeded on his way both begging from everyone and trembling before every object and every event until he reached his destination. And there he was punished as a mutineer and a deserter.
  519.  
  520. As for the soldier who loved the order of the army, had guarded his kit-bag and rifle, and taken the right-hand road, he had gone on his way being obliged to no one, fearing no one, and with an easy heart and conscience until he reached the city he was seeking. There he received a reward worthy of an honourable soldier who had carried out his duty well.
  521.  
  522. And so, O rebellious soul, know that one of those two travellers represents those who submit to the Divine Law, while the other represents the rebellious and those who follow their own desires. The road is the road of life, which comes from the Spirit World, passes through the grave, and carries on to the Hereafter. As for the kit-bag and rifle, they are worship and fear of God. There is an apparent burden in worship, but there is an ease and lightness in its meaning that defies description. For in the prescribed prayers the worshipper declares, "I bear witness that there is no god but God." That is to say, since he is believing and saying, "There is no Creator and Provider other than Him. Harm and benefit are in His hand. He is both All-Wise; He does nothing in vain, and He is All-Compassionate; His bounty and mercy are abundant", he finds the door of a treasury of mercy in everything. And he knocks on it with his supplication. Moreover, he sees that everything is subjugated to the command of his own Sustainer, so he takes refuge in Him. He places his trust in Him and relies on Him, and is fortified against every disaster; his belief gives him complete confidence.
  523.  
  524. Indeed, like with every true virtue, the source of courage is belief in God, and worship. And like with every iniquity, the source of cowardice is misguidance.
  525.  
  526. In fact, for a worshipper with a truly illuminated heart, it is possible that even if the globe of the earth became a bomb and exploded, it would not frighten him. He would watch it with pleasurable wonder as a marvel of the Eternally Besoughted One's Power. But when a famous degenerate philosopher with a so-called enlightened mind but no heart saw a comet in the sky, he trembled on the ground, and exclaimed anxiously: "Isn't that comet going to hit the earth?" (On one occasion, America was quaking with fear at such a comet, and many people left their homes in the middle of the night.)
  527.  
  528. Yes, although man is in need of numberless things, his capital is as nothing, and although he is subject to endless calamities, his power too is as nothing. Simply, the extent of his capital and power is merely as far as his hand can reach. However, his hopes, desires, pains, and tribulations reach as far as the eye and the imagination can stretch. Anyone who is not totally blind can see and understand then what a great profit, happiness, and bounty for the human spirit, which is thus impotent and weak, and needy and wanting, are worship, affirmation of God's Unity, and reliance on God and submission to Him.
  529.  
  530. It is obvious that a safe way is preferable to a harmful way, even if the possibility of its safety is only one in ten. But on the way of worship, which our matter here, there is a nine out of ten possibility of it leading to a treasury of eternal happiness, as well as it being safe. While it is established by the testimony - which is at the degree of consensus - of innumerable experts and witnesses that besides being without benefit, and the dissolute even confess to this, the way of vice and dissipation ends in eternal misery. And according to the reports of those who have uncovered the mysteries of creation this is absolutely certain.
  531.  
  532. In Short: Like that of the Hereafter, happiness in this world too lies in worship and being a soldier for Almighty God. In which case, we should constantly say: "Praise be to God for obedience and success", and we should thank Him that we are Muslims...
  533.  
  534. * * *www.nur.gen.tr  www.saidnur.com  www.nurpenceresi.com.tr www.3dmekanlar.com  www.nurris.com www.bediuzzaman.netThe Fourth Word
  535.  
  536. In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
  537.  
  538. The prescribed prayers are the pillar of religion.
  539.  
  540. If you want to understand with the certainty that two plus two equals four just how valuable and important are the prescribed prayers, and with what little expense they are gained, and how crazy and harmful is the person who neglects them, pay attention to the following story which is in the form of a comparison:
  541.  
  542. One time, a mighty ruler gave each of two of his servants twenty-four gold pieces and sent them to settle on one of his rich, royal farms two months' distance away. "Use this money for your tickets", he commanded them, "and buy whatever is necessary for your house there with it. There is a station one day's distance from the farm. And there is both road-transport, and a railway, and boats, and aeroplanes. They can be benefited from according to your capital."
  543.  
  544. The two servants set off after receiving these instructions. One of them was fortunate so that he spent a small amount of money on the way to the station. And included in that expense was some business so profitable and pleasing to his master that his capital increased a thousandfold. As for the other servant, since he was luckless and a layabout, he spent twenty-three pieces of gold on the way to the station, wasting it on gambling and amusements. A single gold piece remained. His friend said to him: "Spend this last gold piece on a ticket so that you will not have to walk the long journey and starve. Moreover, our master is generous; perhaps he will take pity on you and forgive you your faults, and put you on an aeroplane as well. Then we shall reach where we are going to live in one day. Otherwise you will be compelled to walk alone and hungry across a desert which takes two months to cross." The most unintelligent person can understand how foolish, harmful, and senseless he would be if out of obstinacy he did not spend that single remaining gold piece on a ticket, which is like the key to a treasury, and instead spent it on vice for passing pleasure. Is that not so?
  545.  
  546. And so, O you who do not perform the prescribed prayers! And O my own soul, which does not like to pray! The ruler in the comparison is our Sustainer, our Creator. And of the two travelling servants, one represents the devout who perform their prayers with fervour, and the other, the heedless who neglect their prayers. The twenty-four pieces of gold are life in every twenty-four-hour day. And the royal domain is Paradise. As for the station, that is the grave. While the journey is man's passage to the grave, and on to the Resurrection, and the Hereafter. Men cover that long journey to different degrees according to their actions and the strength of their fear of God. Some of the truly devout have crossed a thousand-year distance in a day like lightening. And some have traversed a fifty-thousand-year distance in a day with the speed of imagination. The Qur'an of Mighty Stature alludes to this truth with two of its verses.
  547.  
  548. The ticket in the comparison represents the prescribed prayers. A single hour a day is sufficient for the five prayers together with taking the ablutions. So what a loss a person makes who spends twenty-three hours on this fleeting worldly life, and fails to spend one hour on the long life of the Hereafter; how he wrongs his own self; how unreasonably he behaves. For would not anyone who considers himself to be reasonable understand how contrary to reason and wisdom such a person's conduct is, and how far from reason he has become, if, thinking it reasonable, he gives half of his property to a lottery in which one thousand people are participating and the possibility of winning is one in a thousand, and does not give one twenty-fourth of it to an eternal treasury where the possibility of winning has been verified at ninety-nine out of a hundred?
  549.  
  550. Moreover, the spirit, the heart, and the mind find great ease in prayer. And it is not trying for the body. Furthermore, with the right intention, all the other acts of someone who performs the prescribed prayers become like worship. He can make over the whole capital of his life to the Hereafter in this way. He can make his transient life permanent in one respect...
  551.  
  552. * * *www.nur.gen.tr  www.saidnur.com  www.nurpenceresi.com.tr www.3dmekanlar.com  www.nurris.com www.bediuzzaman.netThe Fifth Word
  553.  
  554.  
  555. In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
  556.  
  557. Indeed, God is with those who fear Him and those who do good.
  558.  
  559. If you want to see what a truly human duty and what a natural, appropriate result of man's creation it is to perform the prescribed prayers and not to commit serious sins, listen to and take heed of the following comparison:
  560.  
  561. Once, at a time of general mobilization, two soldiers found themselves together in a regiment. One was well-trained and conscientious, the other, a raw recruit and self-centred. The conscientious soldier concentrated on training and the war, and did not give a thought to rations and provisions, for he knew that it was the State's duty to feed and equip him, treat him if he was ill, and even to put the food in his mouth if the need arose. He knew that his basic duty was to train and fight. But he would also attend to some of the rations and equipment as part of his work. He would boil up the saucepans, wash up the mess-tins, and bring them. If it was then asked him: "What are you doing?", he would reply: "I am doing fatigue duty for the State." He would not say: "I am working for my living."
  562.  
  563. The raw recruit, however, was fond of his stomach and paid no attention to training and the war. "That is the State's business. What is it to me?", he would say. He thought constantly of his livelihood, and pursuing it would leave the regiment and go to the market to do shopping. One day his well-trained friend said to him:
  564.  
  565. "Your basic duty is training and fighting, brother. You were brought here for that. Trust in the king; he will not let you go hungry. That is his duty. Anyway, you are powerless and wanting; you cannot feed yourself everywhere. And this is a time of mobilization and war; he will tell you that you are mutinous and will punish you. Yes, there are two duties which concern us. One is the king's duty: sometimes we do his fatigue duties and he feeds us for it. The other is our duty: that is training and fighting, and sometimes the king helps us with it."
  566.  
  567. Of course you will understand in what danger the layabout soldier would be if he did not pay attention to the striving, well-trained one.
  568.  
  569. And so, O my lazy soul! That turbulent place of war is this stormy worldly life. And the army divided into regiments, human society. And the regiment in the comparison is the community of Islam in this century. One of the two soldiers is a devout Muslim who knows the obligations of his religion and performs them, and struggles with Satan and his own soul in order to give up serious misdoings and not to commit sins. While the other is a degenerate wrongdoer who is so immersed in the struggle for livelihood that he casts aspersions on the True Provider, abandons his religious obligations , and commits any sins that come his way as he makes his living. As for the training and instruction, it is foremost the prescribed prayers and worship. And the war is the struggle against the soul and its desires, and against the satans among jinn and men, to deliver them from sin and bad morals, and save the heart and spirit from eternal perdition. And the first of the two duties is to give life and sustain it, while the other is to worship and beseech the Giver and Sustainer of life. It is to trust in Him and rely on Him.
  570.  
  571. Indeed, whoever made and bestowed life, which is a most brilliant miracle of the Eternally Besoughted One's art and a wonder of Dominical wisdom, is the one who maintains and perpetuates it through sustenance. It cannot be another. Do you want proof? The most impotent and stupid animals are the best nourished; like fish, and worms in fruit. And it is the most helpless and delicate creatures who have the choicest food; like infants and the young of all species.
  572.  
  573. For sure, it is enough to compare fish with foxes, newly born animals with wild beasts, and trees with animals in order to understand that licit food is obtained not through power and will, but through impotence and helplessness. That is to say, someone who gives up performing the prescribed prayers because of the struggle for livelihood resembles the soldier who abandoned his training and trench and went and begged in the market. But to seek ones rations from the kitchens of the All-Generous Provider's mercy after performing the prayers, and to go oneself so as not to be a burden on others is fine and manly. It too is a sort of worship.
  574.  
  575. Furthermore, man's nature and spiritual faculties show that he is created for worship. For in respect of the power and actions necessary for the life of this world, he cannot compete with the most inferior sparrow. While in respect of knowledge and need, and worship and supplication, which are necessary for spiritual life and the life of the Hereafter, he is like the monarch and commander of the animals.
  576.  
  577. And so, O my soul! If you make the life of this world the aim of your life and work constantly for that, you will become like the lowest sparrow. But if you make the life of the Hereafter your aim and end, and make this life the means of it and its tillage, and strive in accordance with it, then you will be like a mighty commander of the animals, and a petted and suppliant servant of Almighty God, and His honoured and respected guest.
  578.  
  579. Those are the two ways open to you! You can choose whichever you wish... So ask for guidance and success from the Most Compassionate of the Compassionate...
  580.  
  581. * * *
  582. For example, if the command of a hundred soldiers is given to one officer, it is a hundred times easier than if the command of one soldier is given to a hundred officers. And if to equip an army it is assigned to one headquarters, one law, one factory and the command of one king, it quite simply becomes as easy as equipping a single soldier. In the same way, if to equip one soldier it is referred to numerous headquarters, numerous factories and numerous commanders, it becomes as difficult as equipping an army. Because in order to equip a single soldier, it would require as many factories as are necessary for a whole army.
  583.  
  584. Again, since by reason of the mystery of unity, the vital necessities of a tree are provided through one root, one centre and according to one law, it produces thousands of fruits as easily as a single fruit. This is plain to see. If unity changes to multiplicity, and all the necessities vital for each fruit are provided from different places, to produce each fruit becomes as difficult as to produce the tree. And to produce a single seed, even, which is a sample and index of the tree, becomes as difficult as the tree. Because all the necessities vital for the tree’s life are necessary for the seed.
  585.  
  586. Thus, there are hundreds of examples like these which show that it is easier for thousands of beings to come into existence through unity than for a single being to come into existence through multiplicity and ascribing partners to God. Since this truth has been proved with absolute certainty in other parts of the Risale-i Nur, we refer you to those and here only explain a most important reason for this ease and facility from the point of view of Divine knowledge, Divine Determining, and dominical power. It is as follows:
  587.  
  588. You are a being. If you attribute yourself to the Pre-Eternal All-Powerful One, He creates you at a command through His infinite power out of nothing in an instant, like striking a match. If you do not do this and rather attribute yourself to physical causes and nature, then since you are a well-ordered summary, fruit, and miniature index and list of the universe, in order to make you, it would be necessary to sift with a fine sieve the universe and its elements, and to gather in precise measure from all the corners of the universe the substances of which your body is composed. For physical causes only gather and join together. It is confirmed by people of reason that they cannot create out of nothing what is not present in them. Since this is the case, they would be compelled to collect together the body of a tiny animate being from every corner of the cosmos.
  589.  
  590. Now understand what ease there is in unity, Divine Unity, and what difficulties lie in misguidance and attributing partners to God!
  591.  
  592. Secondly, there is an infinite ease also with regard to Divine knowledge. It is thus: Divine Determining is an aspect of Divine knowledge; it determines a measure for each being, which is like its particular and immaterial mould. And that determined measure is like a plan or model for the existence of each thing. When Divine power creates, it does so with extreme ease on that determined measure. If the thing is not attributed to the All-Powerful One of Glory, Who possesses all-embracing, infinite and pre-eternal knowledge, as was described above, not only thousands of difficulties appear, but hundreds of impossibilities. For if it was not for the determined measure which exists in Divine knowledge, thousands of material moulds with external existences would have to be employed in the body of even a tiny animate being.
  593.  
  594. So, understand one reason for the infinite ease in unity and the endless difficulties in misguidance and ascribing partners to God. And realize what a veracious, correct, and exalted truth is stated by the verse,
  595.  
  596. The matter of the Hour shall be but as the twinkling of the eye, or even closer.
  597. www.nur.gen.tr  www.saidnur.com  www.nurpenceresi.com.tr www.3dmekanlar.com  www.nurris.com www.bediuzzaman.netwww.nur.gen.tr  www.saidnur.com  www.nurpenceresi.com.tr www.3dmekanlar.com  www.nurris.com www.bediuzzaman.net
  598. THIRD QUESTION
  599.  
  600. The former enemy and now rightly-guided friend then asked: “Philosophers, who have made many advances these days, claim that nothing is created out of nothing, and nothing is annihilated and goes to nothing; there is only compostion and decomposition, and this makes the factory of the universe run. Is this correct?”
  601.  
  602. T h e A n s w e r : Since the most advanced philosophers who did not consider beings in the light of the Qur’an saw the formation and existence of beings by means of Nature and causes—in the manner proved above—to be so difficult as to be impossible, they diverged into two groups.
  603.  
  604. One group became Sophists; abdicating reason, which is exclusive to human beings, and falling lower than mindless beasts, they found it easier to deny the universe’s existence, and even their own existence, than to follow the way of misguidance, which claims that causes and Nature have the power to create. They therefore denied both themselves and the universe and descended into absolute ignorance.
  605.  
  606. The second group saw that in misguidance, according to which causes and Nature are creator, the creation of a fly or a seed, even, entails innumerable difficulties and requires a power unacceptable to reason. They were therefore compelled to deny the act of creation and to say: “Nothing can exist out of nothing.” And seeing total annihiliation also to be impossible, they declared: “What exists cannot go to nothing.” They fancied an imaginary situation in which combining and decomposition, gathering and dispersion, occur through the motion of particles and the winds of chance.
  607.  
  608. Now, see! Those who consider themselves to be the most intelligent are the most profoundly ignorant and stupid. And understand just how ludicrous, debased, and ignorant misguidance makes man, and take a lesson!
  609.  
  610. Indeed, a Pre-Eternal Power created the heavens and the earth in six days, every year creates four hundred thousand species simultaneously on the face of the earth, and in six weeks every spring constructs a living world more full of art and wisdom than the world itself. Thus, it is more foolish and ignorant than the Sophists, the first group above, to deny the act of creation and deem it unlikely that, like a chemical that when applied shows up invisible writing, Pre-Eternal Power should give external existence to beings, which, though externally non-existent, exist as knowledge, and whose plans and measures are determined in the realm of a Pre-Eternal Knowledge.
  611.  
  612. These unfortunates are absolutely impotent and have nothing at their disposal apart from the faculty of will. And although they are inflated like Pharaohs, they can neither annihilate anything nor create anything from nothing, even a minute particle. And so, although nothing comes into existence out of nothing at the hand of causes and Nature on which they rely, out of their stupidity they say: “Nothing comes from non-being, and nothing goes to non-being.” And they even extend this absurd and erroneous principle to the Absolutely All-Powerful One.
  613.  
  614. Indeed, the All-Powerful One of Glory has two ways of creating:
  615.  
  616. The First is through origination and invention. That is, He brings a being into existence out of nothing, out of non-existence, and creates everything necessary for it, also out of nothing, and places those necessities in its hand.
  617.  
  618. The Second is through composition, through art. That is, He forms certain beings out of the elements of the universe in order to demonstrate subtle instances of wisdom, like displaying the perfections of His wisdom and the manifestations of many of His Names. Through the law of Providing, he sends particles and matter, which are dependent on His command, to these beings and employs the particles in them.
  619.  
  620. Yes, the Absolutely All-Powerful One creates in two ways: He both originates, and He composes. To annihilate what exists and to make exist what does not exist is most simple and easy for Him. It is one of His constant and universal laws. The man, therefore, who says: “He cannot give existence to what does not exist” in the face of a power that in one spring makes exist out of nothing the forms and attributes of three hundred thousand animate creatures, and, besides their particles, all their conditions and states, such a man should himself be obliterated!
  621.  
  622.  
  623.  
  624. The person who gave up Nature and embraced the truth said: “Praise and thanks be to God Almighty to the number of particles in existence for I have attained to complete belief. I have been saved from delusion and misguidance. Not one of my doubts remains.
  625.  
  626. “ALL PRAISE BE TO GOD FOR THE RELIGION OF ISLAM, AND COMPLETE AND PERFECT BELIEF!”
  627.  
  628. All glory be unto You! We have no knowledge save that which You have taught us; indeed, You are All-Knowing, All-Wise.www.nur.gen.tr  www.saidnur.com  www.nurpenceresi.com.tr www.3dmekanlar.com  www.nurris.com www.bediuzzaman.net
  629.  
  630. * * *
  631. The Twenty-Third Word
  632.  
  633.  
  634.  
  635. [This Word contains Two Chapters]
  636.  
  637.  
  638.  
  639. In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
  640.  
  641. Indeed, We have created man on the most excellent of patterns, * Then sent him down to the lowest of the low, * Except those who believe and do good deeds.
  642.  
  643.  
  644.  
  645. First Chapter
  646.  
  647.  
  648.  
  649. We shall explain in Five Points only five of the virtues of belief out of thousands.
  650.  
  651.  
  652.  
  653. FIRST POINT
  654.  
  655. Through the light of belief, man rises to the highest of the high and acquires a value worthy of Paradise. And through the darkness of unbelief, he descends to the lowest of the low and falls to a position fit for Hell. For belief connects man to the All-Glorious Maker; it is a relation. Thus, man acquires value by virtue of the Divine art and inscriptions of the Dominical Names which become apparent in him through belief. Unbelief severs the relation, and due to that severance the Dominical art is concealed. His value then is only in respect to the matter of his physical being. And since this matter has only a transitory, passing, temporary animal life, its value is virtually nothing. We shall explain this mystery by means of a comparison:
  656.  
  657. For example: among man's arts, the value of the materials used and that of the art are entirely different. Sometimes they are equal, sometimes the material is more valuable, and sometimes it happens that five dollars' worth of art is to be found in material like iron worth five cents. Sometimes, even, an antique work of art is worth a million while the material of which it is composed is not worth five cents. And so, if such a work of art is taken to the antiques market and related to a brilliant and accomplished artist of former times, and announced mentioning the artist and that art, it may be sold for a million dollars. Whereas if it is taken to the scrap dealers, the only price received will be for the five cent's worth of iron.Thus, man is such an antique work of art of Almighty God. He is a most subtle and graceful miracle of His power whom He created to manifest all his Names and their inscriptions, in the form of a miniature specimen of the universe. If the light of belief enters his being, all the meaningful inscriptions on him may be read. As one who believes, he reads them consciously, and through that relation, he causes others to read them. That is to say, the Dominical art in man becomes apparent through meanings like, "I am the creature and artefact of the All-Glorious Maker. I manifest His mercy and munificence." That is, belief, which consists of being connected to the Maker, makes apparent all the works of art in man. Man's value is in accordance with that Dominical art, and by virtue of being a mirror to the Eternally Besought One. In this respect insignificant man becomes God's addressee and a guest of the Sustainer worthy of Paradise superior to all other creatures.However, should unbelief, which consists of the severance of the relation, enter man's being, then all those meaningful inscriptions of the Divine Names are plunged into darkness and cannot be read. For if the Maker is forgotten, the spiritual aspects which look to Him will not be comprehended, they will be as though reversed. The majority of those meaningful sublime arts and elevated inscriptions will be hidden. The remainder, those that may be seen with the eye, will be attributed to lowly causes, Nature, and chance, and will fall utterly from value. While each is a brilliant diamond, each becomes a piece of dull glass. His importance looks only to his animal, physical being. And as we said, the aim and fruit of his physical being is only to pass a brief and partial life as the most impotent, needy, and grieving of animals. Then it decays and departs. See how unbelief destroys human nature, and transforms it from diamonds into coal.
  658.  
  659.  
  660.  
  661. SECOND POINT
  662.  
  663. Just as belief is a light which illuminates man and makes legible all the missives of the Eternally Besoughted One inscribed upon him, so too it illuminates the universe, and delivers the past and the future from darkness. I shall explain this mystery with a comparison I saw during a vision, which concerns one meaning of the verse:
  664.  
  665. God is the Protector of those who believe; He leads them out of darkness into light.
  666.  
  667. It was like this:
  668.  
  669. I saw in a vision an awesome bridge built between two high mountains situated opposite one another. Beneath the bridge was a valley of great depth. I was on the bridge. A dense darkness had enveloped every part of the world. I looked to my right and saw a vast grave swathed in an unending dense gloom, that is, I imagined it. I looked to my left and as though saw violent storms and calamities gathering amid terrifying waves of blackness. I looked beneath the bridge and imagined I saw a profound abyss. I had a dim torch in the face of this terrifying darkness. I used it and could see a little with its light. A most horrific situation appeared to me. In fact, such awful dragons, lions, and monsters appeared around me and on the bridge in front of me that I exclaimed: "Oh! This torch brings me only trouble!", and I angrily cast it to the ground and broke it. Then on smashing it, the darkness suddenly dispersed as though I had turned on the switch for a huge electric lamp that lit up the whole world. Everywhere was filled with the lamp's light. It showed everything as it was in reality.
  670.  
  671. I saw that the bridge I had seen was a highway through a plain passing over even ground. The vast grave I had seen on my right I realized consisted from top to bottom of beautiful, verdant gardens and gatherings for worship, service, conversation, and the rememberance of God under the direction of luminous men. The precipices and peaks on my left which I had imagined to be tempestuous and stormy I now saw fleetingly to be a vast, lovely, and elevated place of feasting, recreation, and enjoyment behind mountains that were adorned and pleasant. And the creatures I had thought to be terrifying monsters and dragons, I saw were familiar domestic animals like camels, oxen, sheep, and goats. Declaring, "All praise be to God for the light of belief", I recited the verse,
  672.  
  673. God is the Protector of those who believe; He leads them out of darkness into light,
  674.  
  675. and I awoke from my vision.
  676.  
  677. And so, the two mountains were the beginning and end of life; that is, this world and the intermediate realm. The bridge was the road of life. To the right was the past, and to the left, the future. As for the small torch, it was the human ego, which is egotistical, relies on what it knows, and does not heed the heavenly revelation. The things imagined to be the monsters were the the events and strange creatures of the world.
  678.  
  679. Thus, one who relies on his ego, who falls into the darkness of heedlessness and is afflicted with the blackness of misguidance resembles my first state in the vision, which, like with the pocket-torch and due to deficient and misguided knowledge, saw the past in the form a huge grave amid darkness imbued with non-existence. It showed the future to be a stormy place of desolation bound to coincidence, and displayed events and beings which are each a submissive official of One All-Wise and All-Compassionate to be like monsters. Such a person as though manifests the verse,
  680.  
  681. And those who reject belief, their protectors are the evil ones; they lead them out of light into darkness.
  682.  
  683. But if such a man attains to Divine guidance and belief enters his heart, and if the tyranny of his soul is smashed and he heeds God's Book, he will resemble my second state in the vision. Then the universe will suddenly take on the colour of day and be filled with Divine light. The world will recite the verse,
  684.  
  685. God is the light of the heavens and the earth.
  686.  
  687. Then he will see with the eye of the heart that the past is not a vast grave, but where the groups of purified spirits who each century having performed their duties of worship under the leadership of a prophet or saint exclaim, "God is Most Great!" at completing the duties of their lives, and fly to elevated abodes, moving on to the past. He will look to the left and through the light of belief distinguish in the distance a feasting-place of the Most Merciful set up in palaces of bliss in the gardens of Paradise beyond the mountainous revolutions of the intermediate realm and the hereafter. And he will realize that the storms and earthquakes and tempestuous events are each submissive officials, and understand that they are the means for instances of wisdom which though apparently harsh are in fact most gentle, like the storms and rains of spring. He will even see death to be the introduction to eternal life, and the grave, the door to everlasting happiness. You can deduce further aspects for yourself. Apply the reality to the comparison!
  688.  
  689.  
  690.  
  691. THIRD POINT
  692.  
  693. Belief is both light and strength. Yes, one who obtains true belief may challenge the whole universe and be saved from the pressure of events in accordance with the strength of his belief. Saying, "I place my trust in God," he travels through the mountainous waves of events in the ship of life in complete safety. He entrusts all his burdens to the hand of power of the Absolutely Powerful One, voyages through the world in ease, then takes his rest in the intermediate realm. Later he may fly up to Paradise in order to enter eternal happiness. Otherwise, if he does not rely on God, rather than flying, the burdens of the world will drag him down to the lowest of the low. That is to say, belief necessitates affirmation of Divine Unity, affirmation of Divine Unity necessitates submission to God, submission to God necessitates reliance on God, and reliance on God necessarily leads to happiness in this world and the next. But do not misunderstand this, reliance on God is not to reject causes altogether; it is rather to know that causes are a veil to the hand of power and have recourse to them. Knowing that attempting causes is a sort of active prayer, it is to seek the effects only from Almighty God, recognize that the results are from Him alone, and to be thankful to Him.
  694.  
  695. Those who place their trust in God and those who do not, resemble the two men in this story:
  696.  
  697. One time two men loaded heavy burdens onto both their backs and heads, and buying tickets, boarded a large ship. As soon as they boarded it, one of them left his load on the deck, and sitting on it guarded it. The other, however, since he was both stupid and arrogant, did not put down his load. When he was told: "Leave that heavy load on the deck and be comfortable," he replied: "No, I won't put it down, it might get lost. I am strong, I'll guard my property by carrying it on my head and back." He was told again: "This reliable royal ship which is carrying you and us is stronger, it can protect it better than you. You may get giddy and fall into the sea together with your load. Anyway you will gradually lose your strength, and by degrees those loads will get heavier and your bent back and brainless head will not have the power to bear them. And if the Captain sees you in this state, he will either say that you are crazy and expel you from the ship, or he will think you are ungrateful, accusing our ship and jeering at us, and he will order you to be put into prison. Also you are making a fool of yourself in front of everyone. For the perceptive see that you are displaying weakness through your conceit, impotence through your pride, and abasement and hypocrisy through your pretence, and have thus made yourself a laughingstock in the eyes of the people. Everyone's laughing at you." Whereupon that unfortunate man came to his senses. He put down his load on the deck and sat on it. He said to the other: "Ah! May God be pleased with you. I've been saved from that difficulty, from prison, and from making a fool of myself."And so, O man who does not place his trust in God! You too come to your senses like that man and place your trust in Him, so that you may be delivered from begging before all the universe, trembling before every event, from pride, making a fool of yourself, misery in the hereafter, and the prison of the pressures of this world...
  698.  
  699. FOURTH POINT
  700.  
  701. Belief makes man into man, indeed, it makes man into a king. Since this is so, man's basic duty is belief and supplication. Unbelief makes man into an extremely impotent beast.Out of thousands of proofs of this matter, the differences in the ways animals and man come into the world are a clear indication and decisive proof. Yes, these differences show that humanity becomes humanity through belief. For when animals come into the world, they come complete in all points in accordance with their abilities as though having been perfected in another world; that is, they are sent. They learn all the conditions of their lives, their relationships with the universe, and the laws of life in either two hours or two days or two months, and become proficient in them. Animals like sparrows and bees acquire in twenty days the power to survive and proficiency in their actions that man only acquires in twenty years; that is, they are inspired with them. This means that the animals' fundamental duty is not to be perfected through learning and progress by acquiring knowledge, nor to seek help and offer supplications through displaying their impotence, but in accordance with their abilities to work and act. Their duty is active worship.
  702.  
  703. As for man, he needs to learn everything when he comes into the world; he is ignorant, and cannot even learn completely the conditions of life in twenty years. Indeed, he needs to go on learning till the end of his life. Also he is sent to the world in a most weak and impotent form, and can only rise to his feet in one or two years. Only in fifteen years can he distinguish between harm and benefit, and with the help of mankind's experience attract things advantageous to him and avoid others that are harmful. This means that man's innate duty is to be perfected through learning and to proclaim his worship of God and servitude to Him through supplication. That is to say, it is know the answers of the questions: "Through whose compassion is my life so wisely administered in this way? Through whose generosity am I so kindly raised? Through whose graciousness am I so delicately nurtured and ministered to?" It is to beseech and supplicate the Provider of Needs through the tongue of impotence and poverty; it is to seek from Him. It is to fly to the high station of worship and servitude to God on the wings of impotence and poverty.
  704.  
  705. This means that man came to this world to be perfected by means of knowledge and supplication. In regard to his nature and abilities everything is tied to knowledge. And the foundation, source, light, and spirit of all true knowledge is knowledge of God, and its essence and basis is belief in God.
  706.  
  707. Furthermore, since man is subject to endless tribulations and afflicted with innumerable enemies despite his boundless impotence, and suffers from endless needs and has innumerable desires despite his boundless poverty, after belief, his fundamental innate duty is supplication. As for supplication, it is the basis of worship of God and servitude to Him. In order to secure a desire or wish he cannot obtain, a child will either cry or ask for it, that is, he will supplicate through the tongue of his impotence either actively or verbally, and will be successful in securing it. In the same way, man is like a delicate, petted child in the world of all living creatures. He has to either weep at the Court of the Most Merciful and Compassionate One through his weakness and impotence, or supplicate through his poverty and need, so that the things he wants may be made subject to him, or he may offer thanks for their being made so. Otherwise like a silly child who creates a fuss over a fly, saying: "With my own strength I subjugate things it is not possible to subjugate and things a thousand times more powerful, and I make them obey me through my own ideas and measures," he displays ingratitude for the bounties. And just as this is contrary to man's innate nature, so too he makes himself deserving of severe punishment.
  708.  
  709.  
  710.  
  711. FIFTH POINT
  712.  
  713. Belief necessitates supplication as a certain means of securing needs, and just as human nature has an intense desire for it, so too Almighty God decrees,
  714.  
  715. Say, 'My Sustainer would not concern Himself with you but for your supplication,'
  716.  
  717. which has the meaning of: What importance would you have if you did not offer Me supplications? He also commands:
  718.  
  719. Call upon Me and I will answer you.
  720.  
  721. If you say: "We frequently offer supplications, but they are not accepted. But the verse is general, it states that every supplication is answered.
  722.  
  723. The Answer: To answer is one thing, to accept is something quite different. Every supplication is answered, but its being accepted and exactly what was sought being given is dependant on Almighty God's wisdom. For example, if a sick child calls the doctor, saying: "Doctor! Doctor!", and he replies: "Here I am, what do you want?", and the child says: "Give me that medicine!", the doctor will either give him exactly what he asks for or something better and more beneficial for him. Or knowing that it is harmful for his illness, he will give him nothing.
  724.  
  725. Thus, since Almighty God is all-present and all-seeing, He responds to the supplications of His servants. Through His presence and response, He transforms the desolation of loneliness and solitude into familiarity. But He does this, not in accordance with man's capricious and importunate demands, but in accordance with the requirements of Dominical wisdom; He gives either what is sought or what is better than it, or He gives nothing at all.Also, supplication is a form of worship and recognition of man's servitude to God. The fruits of this pertain to the hereafter. The aims pertaining to this world are the times of a particular sort of supplication and worship. For example, the prayers and supplications for rain are a form of worship. Drought is the time for such worship. Worship and supplications of this sort are not in order to bring rain. If they are performed with that intention alone they are not worthy of acceptance, for they are not sincere worship. Sunset is the time of the evening prayers. And eclipses of the sun and moon are the times of two particular prayers known as salat-i kusuf and salat-i khusuf. That is to say, with the veiling of the two luminous signs of the night and day, God's tremendousness is proclaimed, so Almighty God calls his servants to a sort of worship at those times. The prayers are not so that the sun and moon will be revealed (whose appearance and how long the eclipses will continue have anyway been reckoned by astronomers).
  726.  
  727. In just the same way, drought is the time for the prayers for rain. And the visitation of calamities and infliction of harmful things the times of certain supplications when man realizes his impotence and through his supplication and entreaty seeks refuge at the Court of One Possessing Absolute Power. Even if the calamities are not lifted despite many supplications, it may not be said that they were not accepted. It should rather be said that the time for the supplication is not yet over. If through His graciousness and munificence Almighty God removes the calamity, light upon light, then the time for that supplication is over and done with. That is to say, supplication has the meaning of worship and man's acknowledging his servitude to God.As for worship and servitude to God, it should be purely and sincerely for God's sake. Man should only proclaim his impotence and seek refuge with Him through supplication, he should not interfere in His Dominicality. He should leave the taking of measures to Him and rely on His wisdom. He should not accuse His Mercy. Indeed, what is in reality established by the Qur'an's clear verses is that just as all beings offer their own particular glorification and worship, so too what rises to the Divine Court from all the universe is supplication. This is either through the tongue of innate ability like the supplication of all plants and animals by which each, through this tongue, seeks a form from the Absolute Bestower and to display and manifest His Names. Or it is through the tongue of innate need. These are the supplications for all their essential needs Ğ beyond their power to obtain Ğ offered by all animate beings. Through this tongue, each animate being seeks certain things from the Absolutely Generous One for the continuance of its life, like a sort of sustenance. Or it is supplication through the tongue of exigency, through which all beings with spirits who find themselves in some plight or predicament make supplication and seek urgent refuge with an unknown protector; indeed, they turn to the All-Compassionate Sustainer. If there is nothing to prevent it, these three sorts of supplication are always accepted.The fourth sort of supplication is the most well-known; it is our supplication. This too is of two sorts: one is active and by disposition, and the other, verbal and with the heart. For example, having recourse to causes is an active prayer. To gather together causes is not in order to create the effect, but through the tongue of disposition to take up an acceptable position in order to seek the effect from Almighty God. To plough a field is to knock at the door of the treasury of mercy. Since this sort of active supplication is directed towards the Absolutely Generous One's Name and title, it is accepted in the great majority of cases.The second sort is to offer supplication with the tongue and the heart. It is to seek certain wishes which the hand cannot reach. The most important aspect, the most beautiful aim, the sweetest fruit of this is this: "The one who offers the supplications knows that there is Someone Who hears the wishes of his heart, Whose hand can reach all things, Who can bring about each of his desires, Who takes pity on his impotence, and answers his poverty."And so, O impotent, needy man! Do not neglect a means like supplication, which is the key to the treasury of mercy and to an inexhaustible strength. Cling to it! Rise to the highest peaks of humanity! Include in your supplications those of all the universe, like a king! Say, From You alone do we seek help,7 like a servant and deputy representing all the universe! Be on the Most Excellent Pattern of creation!
  728.  
  729.  
  730.  
  731. * * *
  732.  
  733.  
  734.  
  735.  
  736.  
  737. Second Chapter
  738.  
  739.  
  740.  
  741. INCLUDING FIVE REMARKS WITH RESPECT TO
  742.  
  743. MAN'S HAPPINESS AND MISERY
  744.  
  745.  
  746.  
  747. [Since man has been created on the most excellent of patterns and has been given most comprehensive abilities, he has been cast into an arena of trial and examination in which he may rise or fall to stations, ranks, and degrees from the lowest of the low to the highest of the high, from the earth to the Divine Throne, and from minute particles to the sun. He has been sent to this world as a miracle of Divine Power, the result of creation, and a wonder of Divine art before whom have been opened two roads leading either to infinite ascent or infinite descent. We shall explain the mystery of this awesome progress and decline of man's in Five Remarks.]
  748.  
  749.  
  750.  
  751. FIRST REMARK
  752.  
  753.  
  754.  
  755. Man stands in need of most of the varieties of beings in the universe and is connected to them. His needs spread through every part of the world, and his desires extend to eternity. Just as he wants a flower, so too he wants the spring. Just as he desires a garden, so does he also desire everlasting Paradise. Just as he longs to see a friend, so does he long to see the All-Beauteous One of Glory. Just as in order to visit one he loves who lives in another place, he is in need for his beloved's door to be opened to him, so too in order to visit the ninety-nine per cent of his friends who have travelled to the intermediate realm and so be saved from eternal separation, he needs to seek refuge at the court of an Absolutely Powerful One Who will close the door of this huge world and open the door of the hereafter, which is an exhibition of wonders, and remove this world and establish the hereafter in its place.Thus for man in this position the only True Object of Worship will be One in Whose hand are the reins of all things, with Whom are the treasuries of all things, Who sees all things, and is present everywhere, who is beyond space, exempt from impotence, free of fault, and far above all defect; an All-Powerful One of Glory, an All-Compassionate One of Beauty, an All-Wise One of Perfection.
  756.  
  757. And so, O man, if you are the slave of Him alone, you will earn a place superior to all creatures. But if you hold back from this servitude to Him, you will become an abased slave to impotent creatures. If you rely on your ego and own power and abandoning reliance on God and supplication, deviate into pride and boasting, then you will fall lower than an ant or bee in regard to goodness and creation, and become weaker than a spider or a fly. You will become heavier than a mountain in regard to evil and destruction, and more harmful than a pestilence.
  758.  
  759. Yes, O man! You have two aspects: one is that of creation, good, acts, and positivity. The other is the aspect of destruction, non-existence, evil, negativity, and passivity. In regard to the first aspect, you are lower than a bee or sparrow, and weaker than a spider or fly. Whereas in regard to the second aspect, you surpass the mountains, earth, and skies; you take on a burden before which they expressed their impotence and from which they shrank, and you assume a sphere more extensive and vaster than them. For when you create and do good, you are able to do so only to the extent of your own power and strength and to the degree your hand can reach. But when you commit evil and destruction, then your evil overwhelms and your destruction spreads.
  760.  
  761. For example, unbelief is an evil, a destruction, an absence of affirmation. But that single evil comprises insulting the whole universe, belittling all the Divine Names, and abusing all humanity. For these beings have elevated positions and important duties; they are Dominical missives, Divine mirrors, and Divine officials. But unbelief dismisses them from their rank of being mirrors, officials changed with duties, and bearing meanings, and reduces them to the level of futility and being the play-things of chance. And through the destruction of death and separation, it lowers them to the degree of being swiftly decaying ephemeral matter lacking all importance and value, to being nothing. And so too through denial it insults the Divine Names, the inscriptions, manifestations, and beauties of which are to be seen throughout the universe and in the mirrors of beings. And it casts down to a position more abased and weaker, more powerless and needy than the lowliest transient animal the one who holds the rank of God's vicegerent on earth, known as man, who is a well-composed ode of wisdom proclaiming the manifestations of the Sacred Divine Names, and a seed-like self-evident miracle of Divine Power containing all the members of an eternal tree, and who, with assuming the 'Greatest Trust', became higher than the earth, sky and mountains and gained superiority over the angels. It reduces him to the level of being a common sign-board lacking all meaning, confused, and swiftly decaying.
  762.  
  763.  
  764.  
  765. In Short: In regard to destruction and evil, the evil-commanding soul may commit infinite crimes, but concerning creativity and good, its power is extremely little and partial. Yes, a house may be destroyed in one day, while it cannot be built in a hundred. However, if the soul gives up egoism and seeks good and existence from Divine assistance, and if it foregoes evil and destruction and relying on the soul, and seeking forgiveness becomes a true slave of God's, then it will manifest the meaning of the verse,God will change their evil into good.
  766.  
  767. Its infinite capacity for evil will be transformed into an infinite capacity for good. It will acquire the value of the Most Excellent of Patterns and ascend to the highest of the high.
  768.  
  769. And so, O heedless man! Look at Almighty God's munificence and generosity! Although it would be justice to record one evil as a thousand and a single good deed as one or not at all, He records a single evil as one, and a single good deed as ten, and sometimes as seventy or seven hundred, or even sometimes as seven thousand. You will also understand from this Remark that to be sent to Hell, which is so dreadful, is retribution for the deed and pure justice, while to be sent to Paradise is pure generosity.
  770.  
  771. SECOND REMARKMan has two faces: one, concerning his ego, looks to the life of this world. The other, concerning worship and servitude to God, looks to eternal life. In respect to the first face he is a wretched creature whose capital consists only of the following: of will he has only a partial power of choice like a hair; of power, a weak ability to acquire; of life, a fast dying flame; of a life-span, a fleeting brief spell; and of being, a swiftly decaying small body. Together with this, he is one delicate, weak individual out of the innumerable individuals of the numberless varieties of beings dispersed through the levels of the universe.In respect to the second face and especially his impotence and poverty, which are turned towards worship, man has truly great breadth and vast importance. For the All-Wise Creator has included in man's nature an infinitely vast impotence and boundlessly huge poverty, so that he can be an extensive mirror containing the innumerable manifestations of an All-Powerful and Compassionate One Whose power is infinite, an All-Generous All-Rich One Whose wealth is boundless.Indeed, man resembles a seed. This seed has been given significant immaterial members by Divine Power and a subtle, valuable programme by Divine Determining, so that it may work beneath the ground, and emerging from that narrow world, enter the broad world of the air, and asking its Creator with the tongue of its disposition to be a tree, find a perfection worthy of it. If, due to bad temperament, the seed uses the immaterial members given it in attracting certain harmful substances under the ground, in a short time it will rot and decay in that narrow place without benefit. But if the seed conforms to the creational command of,God is the Splitter of the seed-grain and date-stone9and employs well those immaterial members, it will emerge from that narrow world, and through becoming a large fruit-bearing tree, its tiny particular reality and its spirit will take on the form of an extensive universal reality.In just the same way, significant members and valuable programmes have been deposited in man's nature by Divine Power and Determining. If man uses those immaterial members on the desires of his soul and on minor pleasures under the soil of worldly life in the narrow confines of this earthly world, he will decay and decompose in the midst of difficulties in a brief life in a constricted place like the rotted seed, and load the responsibility on his unfortunate spirit, then depart from this world.If, however, he nurtures the seed of his abilities with the water of Islam and light of belief under the soil of worship and servitude to God, conforms to the commands of the Qur'an, and turns his faculties towards their true aims, they will produce branches and buds in the World of Similitudes and the intermediate realm; he will be a seed of great value and a shining machine containing the members of an everlasting tree and permanent truth which will be the means to innumerable perfections and bounties in Paradise. And he will be a blessed and luminous fruit of the tree of the universe.Yes, true progress is to turn the faces of the heart, spirit, intellect, and even the imagination and other subtle faculties given to man towards eternal life and for each to be occupied with the particular duty of worship worthy of it. Progress is not as the people of misguidance imagine, to plunge into the life of this world in all its minute details and in order to taste every sort of pleasure, even the basest, make subject to the evil-commanding soul all the subtle faculties and the heart and intellect, and make them assist it; to do this is not progress, it is decline. I saw this fact in a vision which is described in the following comparison:I was entering a large town when I looked and saw it was full of large palaces. At the doors of some of these palaces was merrymaking like a brilliant theatre; it captured and held everyone's attention and was entertaining them. I looked carefully and saw that the lord of such a palace had come to the door; he was playing with a dog and assisting the merrymaking. The ladies were indulging in sweet conversation with ill-mannered youths. Grown-up girls were organizing the children's games. And the doorkeeper had taken the role of directing the others. I then realized that the inside of the huge palace was completely empty. Its refined duties all remained undone. The morals of its inhabitants had declined so that they had taken on these roles at the door.I passed on until I came to another large palace. I saw that there was a faithful dog stretched out at the door and a stern and taciturn doorkeeper; it had an undistinguished appearance. I was curious: why was the other the way it was and this palace like this? I went inside. Then I saw that the inside was very merry. Apartment over apartment, the people of the palace were busy with their different refined duties. The men in the first apartment were overseeing the administration and running of the palace. In the apartment over that, girls were teaching the children. Above that the ladies were occupied with fine arts and beautiful embroideries. And on the top floor, the lord was exchanging news with the king, and was busy with his own elevated duties in order to maintain the peoples' tranquillity and his own attainments and progress. They did not stop me since I was not visible to them, and I was able to wander around. Then I came out and looked around: everywhere in the town were these two sorts of palaces. I asked about this and they told me: "The palaces where there is merrymaking at the door and whose insides are empty belong to the foremost of the unbelievers and people of misguidance. The others belong to honourable Muslim notables." Then in one corner I came across a palace on which was written my name, SAID. I was curious. I looked more closely and I as though saw my image on it. Calling out in utter bewilderment, I came to my senses and awoke.And now I shall interpret this vision for you. May God cause good to come of it.The town was human social life and the city of man's civilization. Each of the palaces was a human being. The people of the palaces were the subtle faculties in man like the eyes, ears, heart, inner heart, spirit, intellect, and things like the soul and caprice, and powers of lust and anger. Each of man's faculties has a different duty of worship, and different pleasures and pains. The soul and caprice and powers of lust and anger are like the doorkeeper and the dog. Thus, to make the elevated subtle faculties subject to the soul and caprice and make them forget their fundamental duties is certainly decline and not progress. You can interpret the rest for yourself.THIRD REMARKIn regard to his acts and deeds and his labour man is a weak animal, an impotent creature. The extent of his power of disposal and ownership in this respect is so narrow that it is no greater than as far as his hand can reach. Domestic animals, even, the reins of which have been given to man, have each taken a share of his weakness, impotence, and laziness, so that if they are compared with their wild counterparts, a great difference is apparent. (Like domestic goats and cattle, and wild goats and cattle). But in regard to passivity, acceptance, supplication, and entreaty, man is an honoured traveller in this hostel of the world. He is the guest of One so generous that infinite treasuries of mercy have been opened to him and innumerable unique beings and servants subjugated to him. And a sphere so large has been prepared for this guest's recreation, amusement, and benefit that half its diameter is as long and broad as the imagination can stretch.And so if man relies on his ego, and making worldly life his goal, works for certain temporary pleasures within the struggle for livelihood, he becomes submerged within an extremely constricted sphere, then departs. All the members, systems, and faculties given him will testify against him at the resurrection and will bring a suit against him. Whereas if he knows himself to be a guest and spends the capital of his life within the sphere of permission of the Generous One of Whom he is the guest, he will strive for a long, eternal life within a broad sphere, then take his rest and ease. And later, he may rise to the highest of the high.Moreover, all the members and systems given to man will be happy with him and testify in favour of him in the hereafter. For sure, all the wonderful faculties given to men were not for this insignificant worldly life, but for an everlasting life of great significance. For if we compare man with the animals, we see that man is very rich in regard to faculties and members, a hundred times more so than the animals. But in the pleasures of worldly life and in animal life he falls a hundred times lower. For in each pleasure he receives is the trace of thousands of pains. The pains of the past and fears of the future and the pain at each pleasure's passing spoil the enjoyment to had from them, and leave a trace in the pleasure. But animals are not like that. They receive pleasure with no pains. They take enjoyment with no sorrow. Neither the sorrows of the past cause them suffering, nor the fears of the future distress them. They live peacefully, and offer thanks to their Creator.This means that if man, who is created on the most excellent of patterns, restricts his thought to the life of this world, he falls a hundred times lower than a creature like a sparrow, although he is higher than the animals. I explained this fact in another place by means of a comparison. It is related to this, so I shall repeat it here. It was like this:A man gave one of his servants ten pieces of gold and told him to have a suit of clothes made in a particular cloth. Then to a second one, he gave a thousand pieces of gold, and putting in the servantÕs pocket a note on which certain things were written, sent him to a market. The first servant bought an excellent suit of the finest cloth with the ten pieces of gold. While the second servant did not use his head, and looking at the first servant and not reading the account-note in his pocket, he gave the thousand pieces of gold to a shopkeeper and asked for a suit of clothes. The dishonest shopkeeper gave him a suit of the very worst-quality cloth. Then the wretched servant returned to his lord and received a severe reprimand and a terrible punishment.Thus, even the most unintelligent will understand that the thousand pieces of gold given the second servant were not to buy a suit of clothes, but for some important trade.In just the same way, each of the immaterial members and subtle faculties in man have expanded to a degree a hundred times greater than that of the animals. For example, consider faculties and members like man's eyes, which can discern all the degrees of beauty, and his sense of taste, which can distinguish all the varieties of the particular tastes of foods, and his mind, which can penetrate to all the subtlest points of reality, and his heart, which yearns for every sort of perfection, and then consider the extremely simple members of the animals which have developed only one or two degrees. There is just this difference, that in animals a member particular to some function and special to a particular species develops more. But this development is particular.The reason for man's wealth in regard to faculties is this: by reason of the mind and thought, man's senses and feelings have greatly developed and expanded. And numerous emotions have come into being because of the multiplicity of his needs. And his senses have become extremely diverse. And because of the comprehensiveness of his nature, desires have appeared turned towards numerous aims. And because he has numerous duties due to his nature, his members and faculties have expanded greatly. And since he has been created with a nature capable of performing every sort of worship, he has been given abilities which embrace the seeds of all perfections.Thus, this great wealth in faculties and abundant capital was certainly not given for procuring this temporary worldly life. Rather, man's fundamental duty is to perform his duties, which look to innumerable aims; and proclaim his impotence, poverty, and faults in the form of worship; and observing the glorifications of beings with a universal eye, to bear witness to them; and seeing the instances of the assistance of the Most Merciful One, to offer thanks; and gazing on the miracles of Dominical power in beings, to contemplate on them as objects from which lessons may be drawn.O man who worships this world, is the lover of worldly life, and is heedless of the meaning of 'the most excellent of patterns'! The Old Said saw the reality of worldly life in a vision. It transformed him into the New Said. You too listen to it in the form of a comparison:I saw that I was a traveller and was going on a long journey; that is to say, I was being sent. The one who was my lord gradually gave me some of the money from the sixty pieces of gold he had allotted me. I spent them, and came to a hostel where there were amusements of all kinds. In one night in that hostel I spent ten pieces of gold on gambling, amusements, and the enjoyment of fame. In the morning I had no money left. Moreover I had done no trade nor bought any goods for the place I was going. All that remained to me from the money were sins and pains, and from the amusements, wounds and sorrow. While in that sorry state, a man suddenly appeared. He said to me:"You have wasted all your capital and deserve punishment. You are going to your destination bankrupt and with your hands empty. But if you have any sense, the door of repentance is open. When you receive the fifteen pieces of gold that remain to you, keep half of them in reserve. That is, obtain the things necessary for you in the place where you are going."I looked, my soul did not agree to this.So he said: "A third, then."My soul still did not obey him.Then he said: "A quarter."My soul could not give up the habits to which it was addicted, so the man angrily turned his back on me and left.Suddenly, the scene changed. I was in a train in a tunnel, which was travelling fast as though downwards vertically. I took fright. But what could I do, there was no escape anywhere. Strangely, attractive flowers and enticing fruits appeared on both sides of the train. And I, like the foolish and inexperienced, looked at them and stretching out my hand, tried to pick them. But they were covered in thorns and tore at my hands when I touched them making them bleed. With the movement of the train, my hands were lacerated at being parted from them. They cost me much. Suddenly a porter on the train said:"Give me five cents and I shall give you as much of the flowers and fruits as you want. You are caused the loss of a hundred cents with your hands being torn, rather than five cents. Also there is a penalty; you cannot pick them without permission."In distress I put my head out of the window and looked ahead to see when the tunnel would end. I saw that in place of the tunnel's entrance were numerous holes. People were being thrown into them from the long train. I saw a hole opposite me. On either side of it was a gravestone. I looked in amazement. I saw that written on one of the gravestones was the name SAID. In my bewilderment and anxiety I exclaimed: "Alas!" Then suddenly I heard the voice of the man who had given me advice at the door of the hostel. He said:"Have you come to your senses?"I replied: "Yes, but it is too late now."So he said: "Repent and place your trust in God."I replied that I would. Then I awoke and saw myself as the New Said; the Old Said had disappeared.So, that was the vision. May God cause good to come of it! I shall interpret one or two parts of it, then you can interpret the rest for yourself.The journey was the journey which passes from the World of Spirits, through the mother's womb, youth, old age, the grave, the Intermediate Realm, the resurrection, and the Bridge of Sirat towards eternity. The sixty pieces of gold were the sixty years of life. I reckoned I saw the vision when I was forty-five years old. I had nothing to guarantee it, but a sincere student of the All-Wise Qur'an advised me to spend half of the fifteen that remained to me on the hereafter. The hostel for me was Istanbul. The train was time, and each year a carriage. As for the tunnel, it was the life of this world. The thorny flowers and fruits were illicit pleasures and forbidden amusements which cause pain while indulging in them on thinking of their passing, and on separation lacerate the heart, making it bleed. And they also cause a punishment to be inflicted. The porter on the train told me to give him five cents so that he would give me as many as I wanted.The meaning of this is as follows: the pleasures and enjoyment man receives through licit striving within the sphere of what is lawful are sufficient for him. No need remains to enter the unlawful. You may interpret the rest for yourself.
  772.  
  773. FOURTH REMARKMan resembles a delicate and petted child in the universe. There is a great strength in his weakness and great power in his impotence. For it is through the strength of his weakness and power of his impotence that beings have been subjected to him. If man understands his weakness and offers supplications verbally and by state and conduct, and recognizes his impotence and seeks help, since he has offered thanks by exhibiting them, he achieves his aims and his desires are subjugated to him in a way far exceeding what he could achieve with his own power. Only he sometimes wrongly attributes to his own power the attainment of a wish, that has been obtained for him through the supplications offered by the tongue of his disposition. For example, the strength in the weakness of a chick causes the mother hen to attack a lion. And its newly-born lion cub subjugates to itself that savage and hungry lioness, leaving the mother hungry and the cub full. See this strength in weakness and manifestation of Divine Mercy which are worthy of notice!Just as through crying or asking or looking unhappy, a child subjugates the strong to himself, and is so successful in getting what he wants that he could not obtain one thousandth of it with a thousand times his own strength. That is to say, since weakness and impotence excite compassion and a sense of protection towards him, the child can subjugate heroes to himself with his tiny finger. Now, should such a child with foolish conceit deny the compassion and accuse the protection saying: "I subjugate these with my own strength", of course he will receive a slap. In the same way, if, like Qarun, man says:I have been given it on account of the knowledge I have,10that is, "I gained this through my own knowledge and my own power" in a way that demonstrates ingratitude and denies his Creator's mercy and accuses His wisdom, he will of course deserve a punishing blow. This means that man's domination and human advances and the attainments of civilization, which are to be observed, have been made subject to him not through his attracting them or conquering them or through combat, but due to his weakness. He has been assisted because of his impotence. They have been bestowed on him due to his indigence. He has been inspired with them due to his ignorance. They have been given him due to his need. And the reason for his domination is not strength and the power of knowledge, but the compassion and clemency of the Sustainer and Divine mercy and wisdom: they have subjugated things to him. Yes, what clothes man, who is defeated by vermin like eyeless scorpions and legless snakes, in silk from a tiny worm and feeds him honey from a poisonous insect is not his own power, but the subjugation of the Sustainer and the bestowal of the Most Merciful, which are the fruits of his weakness.O man! Since the reality of the matter is thus, give up egotism and arrogance. With the tongue of seeking help proclaim your impotence and weakness at the Divine Court, and with the tongue of entreaty and supplication, your poverty and need. Show that you are His slave. Say:God is enough for us, for He is the Best Disposer of Affairs,11and rise in degree.Also, do not say: "I am nothing. What importance do I have that the universe should purposefully be made subject to me by an Absolutely All-Wise One, and universal thanks required of me?" Because for sure you are as though nothing with respect to your soul and form, but from the point of view of duty and rank, you are an observant spectator of this majestic universe, an eloquent, articulate tongue of these beings so full of wisdom, a discerning reader of this Book of the Universe, a supervisor of these creatures full of wonder at their glorifications, and like a foreman of these beings full of respect for their worship.Yes, O man! In regard to your vegetable physical being and animal soul, you are a deaf particle, a contemptible atom, a needy creature, a weak animal, who, tossed on the awesome waves of the flood of beings, is departing. But being perfected through the light of belief, which comprises the radiance of Divine love, and through the training of Islam, which is enlightened, in regard to humanity and servitude to God, you are a king, and a universal within particularity, and within your insignificance, a world, and within your contemptibility, a supervisor of such high rank and extensive sphere that you can say: "My Compassionate Sustainer has made the world a house for me, the sun and moon lamps for it, and the spring, a bunch of flowers for me, and summer, a table of bounties, and the animals, He has made my servants. And He has made plants the decorated furnishings of my house."To conclude: If you heed Satan and your soul, you will fall to the lowest of the low. But if you heed Truth and the Qur'an, you will rise to the highest of the high and become the Most Excellent Pattern of the universe.
  774.  
  775. FIFTH REMARKMan has been sent to this world as an official and guest, and has been given abilities of great significance. And he has been entrusted with important duties in accordance with those abilities. And in order to employ man in fulfilling those aims and duties, powerful encouragement and severe threats have been made. We shall here summarize the fundamentals of worship and of man's duties, which we have explained at length elsewhere, so that the mystery of 'the Most Excellent of Patterns' may be understood.On coming into the universe man has two aspects of worship and being a slave of God's. One is worship and contemplation in the absence of the Object of Worship. The other is worship and supplication in His presence and is addressing Him directly.First Aspect: It is to affirm submissively the sovereignty of Dominicality apparent in the universe and to observe its perfections and virtues in wonder.Then it is to proclaim and herald the unique arts which consist of the inscriptions of the Sacred Divine Names and to display them to others.Then it is to weigh on the scales of perception the jewels of the Dominical Names, which are each like a hidden treasure; it is to appreciatively affirm their value with the discerning heart.Then it is to study and ponder over in wonder the pages of beings and leaves of the earth and sky, which are like missives of the pen of power.Then through beholding admiringly the adornment and subtle arts in beings, it is to feel love for knowledge of their All-Beauteous Creator, and to yearn to ascend to the presence of their All-Perfect Maker and to receive His favours.Second Aspect: This is the station of presence and address wherein man passes from the work to the producer of the work and he sees that an All-Beauteous Maker wants to make himself known and acquainted through the miracles of His own art, and he responds with knowledge and belief.Then he sees that an All-Compassionate Sustainer wants to make himself loved through the fine fruits of His mercy. So through confining his love and worship to Him, he makes himself love Him.Then he sees that an All-Generous Bestower is nurturing him with the delights of bounties material and immaterial, and in return he offers Him thanks and praise with his actions, conduct, words, and as far as he can, with all his senses and faculties.Then he sees that an All-Beauteous and Glorious One is announcing His tremendousness and perfections, and glory and beauty in the mirrors of these beings, and is drawing attentive gazes to them. So in response he declares: "God is Most Great! Glory be to God!", and in humility prostrates with love and wonder.Then he sees that a Possessor of Absolute Riches is displaying His boundless wealth and treasuries amid an absolute munificence. So in response, exalting and praising Him, he entreats and asks for them, expressing his utter need.Then he sees that the All-Glorious Creator has made the face of the earth like an exhibition and displayed on it all His antique works of art. So in response he exclaims in appreciation: "What wonders God has willed!", and in admiration: "What blessings God has bestowed!", and in wonder: "Glory be to God!", and in astonishment: "God is Most Great!"Then he sees that in His palace of the universe a Single One of Unity has struck seals of Unity on all beings with His inimitable signature, and with His stamps, signets, and cyphers particular to Him; that He inscribes the signs of His Unity; and planting the banner of Unity in every region of the world, He proclaims His Dominicality. And he responds with assent, belief, submission, worship, and affirmation of His Unity.Thus, through worship and contemplation of this kind he becomes a true man. He shows that he is on the Most Excellent of Patterns. Through the auspiciousness of belief he becomes a reliable vicegerent of God's on earth worthy of bearing the Trust.O heedless man created on the Most Excellent of Patterns, who, through the misuse of his will is descending to the lowest of the low! Listen to me! In the heedlessness induced by the intoxication of youth I, like you, thought the world was fine and lovely. Then the moment I awoke in the morning of old age, I saw how ugly was the world's face that was not turned towards the hereafter, which I had previously imagined to be beautiful. To see this and how beautiful was its true face, which looks to the hereafter, you may refer to the two 'Signboards' in the Second Station of the Seventeenth Word, and see for yourself.The First Signboard depicts the reality of the world of the people of neglect, which long ago, like the people of misguidance, I saw through the veil of heedlessness, but without being intoxicated.The Second Signboard indicates the reality of the worlds of the people of guidance. I left it in the form it was written long ago. It resembles poetry, but it is not truly that...
  776.  
  777. Glory be unto You! We have no knowledge save that which You have taught us; indeed You are All-Knowing, All-Wise.O My Sustainer! Expand for me my breast * Make easy for me my affair * And loosen the knot on my tongue * That they may understand my words.13O God! Grant blessings to the subtle unitary Muhammedan essence, the Sun in the skies of mysteries and manifestation of lights, the centre of the orbit of Glory and the pole of the sphere of Beauty. O God! By his mystery in Your presence and by his journeying to You, succour my fear, and right my stumbling, and dispel my grief and my greed, and be mine, and take me from myself to Yourself, and bestow on me annihilation from myself, and do not make me captivated by my soul and veiled by my senses, and reveal to me all hidden secrets, O Ever-Living and Self-Subsistent One! O Ever-Living and Self-Subsistent One! O Ever-Living and Self-Subsistent One! And grant mercy to me and to my companions and to the people of belief and the Qur'an. Amen. O Most Merciful of the Merciful and Most Generous of the Generous! And the close of their prayer will be: All Praise be to God, the Sustainer of All the Worlds.* * *
  778.  
  779.  www.nur.gen.tr  www.saidnur.com  www.nurpenceresi.com.tr www.3dmekanlar.com  www.nurris.com www.bediuzzaman.net
  780. The Sixth Word
  781.  
  782. In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
  783.  
  784. Verily God has purchased from the believers their persons and their property that Paradise might be theirs.
  785.  
  786. If you wish to understand how profitable a trade it is, and how honourable a rank, to sell one's person and property to God, to be His slave and His soldier, then listen to the following comparison.
  787.  
  788. Once a king entrusted each of two of his subjects with an estate, including all necessary workshops, machinery, horses, weapons and so forth. But since it was a tempestuous and war-ridden age, nothing enjoyed stability; it was destined either to disappear or to change. The king in his infinite mercy sent a most noble lieutenant to the two men and by means of a compassionate decree conveyed the following to them:
  789.  
  790. "Sell me the property you now hold in trust, so that I may keep it for you. Let it not be destroyed for no purpose. After the wars are over, I will return it to you in a better condition than before. I will regard the trust as your property, and pay you a high price for it. As for the machinery and the tools in the workshop, they will be used in my name and at my workbench. But the price and the fee for their use shall be increased a thousandfold. You will receive all the profit that accrues. You are indigent and resourceless, and unable to provide the cost of these great tasks. So let me assume the provision of all expenses and equipment, and give you all the income and the profit. You shall keep it until the time of demobilization. So see the five ways in which you shall profit! Now if you do not sell me the property, you can see that no one is able to preserve what he possesses, and you too will lose what you now hold. It will go for nothing, and you will lose the high price I offer. The delicate and precious tools and scales, the precious metals waiting to be used, will also lose all value. You will have the trouble and concern of administering and preserving, but at the same time be punished for betraying your trust. So see the five ways in which you may lose! Moreover, if you sell the property to me, you become my soldier and act in my name. Instead of a common prisoner or irregular soldier, you will be the free lieutenant of an exalted monarch."
  791.  
  792. After they had listened to this gracious decree, the more intelligent of the two men said:
  793.  
  794. "By all means, I am proud and happy to sell. I offer thanks a thousandfold."
  795.  
  796. But the other was arrogant, selfish and dissipated; his soul had become as proud as the Pharaoh. As if he was to stay eternally on that estate, he ignored the earthquakes and tumults of this world. He said:
  797.  
  798. "No! Who is the king? I won't sell my property, nor spoil my enjoyment."
  799.  
  800. After a short time, the first man reached so high a rank that everyone envied his state. He received the favour of the king, and lived happily in the king's own palace. The other by contrast fell into such a state that everyone pitied him, but also said he deserved it. For as a result of his error, his happiness and property departed, and he suffered punishment and torment.
  801.  
  802. O soul full of caprices! Look at the face of truth through the telescope of this parable. As for the king, he is the Monarch of Pre-Eternity and Post-Eternity, your Sustainer and Creator. The estates, machinery, tools and scales are your possessions while in life's fold; your body, spirit and heart within those possessions, and your outward and inward senses such as the eye and the tongue, intelligence and imagination. As for the most noble lieutenant, it is the Noble Messenger of God; and the most wise decree is the Wise Qur'an, which describes the trade we are discussing in this verse:
  803.  
  804. Verily God has purchased from the believers their persons and property that Paradise might be theirs.
  805.  
  806. The surging field of battle is the tempestuous surface of the world, which ceaselessly changes, dissolves and reforms and causes every man to think:
  807.  
  808. "Since everything will leave our hands, will perish and be lost, is there no way in which we can transform it into something eternal and preserve it?"
  809.  
  810. While engaged in these thoughts, he suddenly hears the heavenly voice of the Qur'an saying:
  811. web www.nur.gen.tr  www.saidnur.com  www.nurpenceresi.com.tr www.fgulen.com.tr  www.herkul.org www.3dmekanlar.com  www.nurris.com www.bediuzzaman.net
  812. "Indeed there is, a beautiful and easy way which contains five profits within itself."
  813.  
  814. What is that way?
  815.  
  816. To sell the trust received back to its true owner. Such a sale yields profit fivefold.
  817.  
  818. The First Profit: Transient property becomes everlasting. For this waning life, when given to the Eternal and Self-Subsistent Lord of Glory and spent for His sake, will be transmuted into eternity. It will yield eternal fruits. The moments of one's life will apparently vanish and rot like kernels and seeds. But then the flowers of blessedness and auspiciousness will open and bloom in the realm of eternity, and each will also present a luminous and reassuring aspect in the Intermediate Realm.
  819.  
  820. The Second Profit: The high price of Paradise is given in exchange.
  821.  
  822. The Third Profit: The value of each limb and each sense is increased a thousandfold. The intelligence is, for example, like a tool. If you do not sell it to God Almighty, but rather employ it for the sake of the soul, it will become an ill-omened, noxious and debilitating tool that will burden your weak person with all the sad sorrows of the past and the terrifying fears of the future; it will descend to the rank of an inauspicious and destructive tool. It is for this reason that a sinful man will frequently resort to drunkenness or frivolous pleasure in order to escape the vexations and injuries of his intelligence. But if you sell your intelligence to its True Owner and employ it on His behalf, then the intelligence will become like the key to a talisman, unlocking the infinite treasures of Compassion and the vaults of wisdom that creation contains.
  823.  
  824. To take another example, the eye is one of the senses, a window through which the spirit looks out on this world. If you do not sell it to God Almighty, but rather employ it on behalf of the soul, by gazing upon a handful of transient, impermanent beauties and scenes, it will sink to the level of being a pander to lust and the concupiscent soul. But if you sell the eye to your All-Seeing Maker, and employ it on His behalf and within limits traced out by Him, then your eye will rise to the rank of a reader of the Great Book of Being, a witness to the miracles of Dominical art, a blessed bee sucking on the blossoms of Mercy in the garden of this globe.
  825.  
  826. Yet another example is that of the tongue and the sense of taste. If you do not sell it to your Wise Creator, but employ it instead on behalf of the soul and for the sake of the stomach, it sinks and declines to the level of a gatekeeper at the stable of the stomach, a watchman at its factory. But if you sell it to the Generous Provider, the the sense of taste contained in the tongue will raise to the rank of a skilled overseer at the treasuries of Divine compassion, a grateful inspector in the kitchens of God's eternal power.
  827.  
  828. So look well, O intelligence! See the difference between a tool of destruction and the key to all being! And look carefully, O eye! See the difference between an abominable pander and the learned overseer of the Divine library! And taste well, O tongue! See the difference between a stable doorkeeper or a factory watchman and the superintendent of the treasury of God's mercy!
  829.  
  830. Compare all other tools and limbs to these, and then you will understand that in truth the believer acquires a nature worthy of Paradise and the unbeliever a nature conforming to Hell. The reason for each of them attaining his respective value is that the believer, by virtue of his faith, uses the trust of his Creator on His behalf and within the limits traced out by Him, whereas the unbeliever betrays the trust and employs it for the sake of the concupiscent soul.
  831.  
  832. The Fourth Profit: Man is helpless and exposed to numerous misfortunes. He is indigent, and his needs are numerous. He is weak, and the burden of life is most heavy. If he does not rely on the Omnipotent One of Glory, place his trust in Him and confidently submit to Him, his conscience will always be troubled. Fruitless torments, pains and regrets will suffocate him and intoxicate him, or turn him into a beast.
  833.  
  834. The Fifth Profit: Those who have experienced sapiental knowledge and had unveiled to them the true nature of things, the elect who have witnessed the truth, are all agreed that the exalted reward for all the worship and glorification of God performed by your members and instruments will be given to you at the time of greatest need, in the form of the fruits of Paradise.
  835.  
  836. If you spurn this trade with its fivefold profit, in addition to being deprived of its profit, you will suffer fivefold loss.
  837.  
  838. The First Loss: The property and offspring to which you are so attached, the soul and its caprice that you worship, the youth and life with which you are infatuated, all will vanish and be lost; your hands will be empty. But they will leave behind them sin and pain, fastened on your neck like a yoke.
  839.  
  840. The Second Loss: You will suffer the penalty for betrayal of trust. For you will have wronged your own self by using the most precious tools on the most worthless objects.www.nur.gen.tr  www.saidnur.com  www.nurpenceresi.com.tr www.fgulen.com.tr  www.herkul.org www.3dmekanlar.com  www.nurris.com www.bediuzzaman.net
  841.  
  842. The Third Loss: By casting down all the precious faculties of man to a level much inferior to the animals, you will have insulted and transgressed against God's wisdom.
  843.  
  844. The Fourth Loss: In your weakness and poverty, you will have placed the heavy burden of life on your weak shoulders, and will constantly groan and lament beneath the blows of transience and separation.
  845.  
  846. The Fifth Loss: You will have clothed in an ugly form, fit to open the gates of Hell in front of you, the fair gifts of the Compassionate One such as the intelligence, the heart, the eye and the tongue, given to you to make preparation for the foundations of everlasting life and eternal happiness in the hereafter.
  847.  
  848. Now is it so difficult to sell the trust? Is it so burdensome that many people shun the transaction? By no means! It is not in the least burdensome. For the limits of the permissible are broad, and are quite adequate for man's desire; there is no need to trespass on the forbidden. The duties imposed by God are light and few in number. To be the slave and soldier of God is an indescribably pleasurable honour. One's duty is simply to act and embark on all things in God's name, like a soldier; to take and to give on God's behalf; to move and be still in accordance with His permission and law. If one falls short, then one should seek His forgiveness, say:
  849.  
  850. "O Lord! Forgive our faults, and accept us as Your slaves. Make us sure holders of Your trust until the time comes when it is taken from us. Amen!", and make petition unto Him.www.nur.gen.tr  www.saidnur.com  www.nurpenceresi.com.tr www.3dmekanlar.com  www.nurris.com www.bediuzzaman.netThe Seventh Word
  851.  
  852. If you want to understand what valuable, difficulty-resolving talismans are the two parts of the phrase I believe in God and the Last Day , which open both the locked talisman of creation and the door of happiness for the human spirit, and what beneficial and curative two medicines are reliance on your Creator and taking refuge in Him through patience and entreaty, and supplicating your Provider through thanks, and what important, precious, shining tickets for the journey to eternity - and provisions for the Hereafter and lights for the grave - are listening to the Qur'an, obeying its commands, performing the prescribed prayers, and giving up serious sins, then listen and pay attention to this comparison:
  853.  
  854. One time a soldier fell into a most grievous situation in the field of battle and examination, and the round of profit and loss. It was as follows:
  855.  
  856. The soldier was wounded with two deep and terrible wounds on his right and left sides and behind him stood a huge lion as though waiting to attack him. And before him stood a gallows which was putting to death and annihilating all those he loved. It was awaiting him too. And besides this, he had a long journey in front of him: he was being exiled. As the unfortunate soldier pondered over his fearsome plight in despair, a kindly person shining with light like Khidr appeared. He said to him: "Do not despair. I shall give you two talismans and teach you them. If you use them properly, the lion will become a docile horse for you, and the gallows will turn into a swing for your pleasure and enjoyment. Also I shall give two medicines. If you follow the instructions, those two suppurating wounds will be transformed into two sweet-scented flowers called the Rose of Muhammed (PBUH). Also, I shall give you a ticket; with it, you will be able to make a year's journey in a day as though flying. If you do not believe me, experiment a bit, so that you can see it is true." The soldier did experiment a bit, and affirmed that it was true. Yes, I, that is, this unfortunate Said, affirm it too. For I experimented and saw it was absolutely true.
  857.  
  858. Some time later he suddenly saw a sly and debauched-looking man, cunning as the Devil, coming from the left bringing with him much ornamented finery, decorated pictures and fantasies, and many intoxicants. He stopped before the soldier, and said:
  859.  
  860. "Hey, come on, my friend! Let's go and drink and make merry. We can look at these pictures of beautiful girls, listen to the music, and eat this tasty food." Then he asked him: "What is it you are reciting under your breath?"
  861.  
  862. "A talisman", came the reply.
  863.  
  864. "Stop that incomprehensible nonsense! Let's not spoil our present fun!" And he asked a second question: "What is that you have in your hand?"
  865.  
  866. "Some medicine", the soldier replied.
  867.  
  868. "Throw it away! You are healthy, there is nothing wrong with you. It is the time of cheer." And he asked: "What is that piece of paper with five marks on it?"
  869.  
  870. "It is a ticket and a rations card."
  871.  
  872. "Oh, tear them up!", the man said. "What need do we have of a journey this beautiful spring?" He tried to persuade him with every sort of wile, and the poor soldier was even a bit persuaded. Yes, man can be deceived. I was deceived by just such cunning deceptions.
  873.  
  874. Suddenly from the right came a voice like thunder. "Beware!", it said. "Do not be deceived! Say to that trickster: 'If you have the means to kill the lion behind me, remove the gallows from before me, repulse the things wounding my right and my left, and prevent the journey in front of me, then come on and do so! Show that you can and let us see it! Then say, come on, let's go and enjoy ourselves. Otherwise be silent!' Speak in the same way as that Khidr-like God-inspired man."
  875.  
  876. And so, O my soul, which laughed in its youth and now weeps at its laughter! Know that the unfortunate soldier is you, and man. And the lion is the appointed hour. And as for the gallows, it is death, decline, and separation, through which, in the alternation of night and day, all friends bid farewell and are lost. And of the two wounds, one is man's infinite and troublesome impotence, while the other is his grievous and boundless poverty. And the exile and journey is the long journey of examination which passes from the world of spirits through the womb and childhood to old age; through the world and the grave and the intermediate realm, to the resurrection and the Bridge of Sirat. And as for the two talismans, they are belief in Almighty God and the Hereafter.
  877.  
  878. Indeed, through the second sacred talisman, death takes on the form of a mastered horse and steed to take believing man from the prison of this world to the gardens of Paradise and the presence of the Most Merciful One. It is because of this that the wise, who have seen death's reality, have loved it. They have wanted it before it came. And through the talisman of belief in God, the passage of time, which is decline and separation, death and decease and the gallows, takes on the form of the means to observe and contemplate with perfect pleasure the miracles of the All-Glorious Maker's various, multicoloured, ever-renewed embroideries, the wonders of His power, and the manifestations of His mercy. For sure, on mirrors that reflect the colours of the sun's light being changed and renewed, and the images of the cinema being changed, better, more beautiful scenes are formed.
  879.  
  880. And as for the two medicines, one is trusting in God and patience, and the other is relying on your Creator's power and having confidence in His wisdom. Is that the case? Indeed it is. What fear can a man have, who, through the certificate of his impotence, relies on a Monarch of the World with the power to command: Be! and it is.1 For in the face of the most awful calamity, he says: Verily, to God do we belong, and verily to Him is our return,2 and places his trust in his Most Compassionate Sustainer. Indeed, a person with knowledge of God takes pleasure from impotence, from fear of God. Yes, there is pleasure in fear. If a twelve-month baby was sufficiently intelligent and it was asked him: "What is most pleasurable and sweetest for you?", he might well say: "To realize my powerlessness and helplessness, and fearing my mother's gentle smack to at the same time take refuge in her tender breast." But the compassion of all mothers is but a flash of the manifestation of Divine Mercy. It is for this reason that the wise have found such pleasure in impotence and fear of God that they have vehemently declared themselves free of their own strength and power, and have taken refuge in God through their powerlessness. They have made powerlessness and fear an intercessor for themselves.
  881.  
  882. The second medicine is thanks and contentment, and entreaty and supplication, and relying on the mercy of the All-Compassionate Provider. Is that so? Yes, for how can poverty, want and need be painful and burdensome for a guest of an All-Generous and Munificent One Who makes the whole face of the earth a table of bounties and the spring a bunch of flowers, and Who places the flowers on the table and scatters them over it? Poverty and need take on the form of a pleasant appetite. The guest tries to increase his poverty in the same way he does his appetite. It is because of this that the wise have taken pride in want and poverty. But beware, do not misunderstand this! It means to be aware of one's poverty before God and to beseech Him, not to parade poverty before the people and assume the air of a beggar.
  883.  
  884. And as for the ticket and voucher, it is to perform the religious duties, and foremost the prescribed prayers, and to give up serious sins. Is that so? Yes, it is, for according to the consensus of those who observe and have knowledge of the unseen and those who uncover the mysteries of creation, the provisions, light, and steed for the long and dark road to post-eternity may only be obtained through complying with the commands of the Qur'an and avoiding what it prohibits. Science, philosophy, and art are worth nothing on that road. Their light reaches only as far as the door of the grave.
  885.  
  886. And so, O my lazy soul! How little and light and easy it is to perform the five daily prayers and give up the seven grievous sins! If you have the faculty of reason and it is not corrupted, understand how important and extensive are their results, fruits, and benefits! Say to the Devil and that man who were encouraging you to vice and dissipation: "If you have the means to kill death, and cause decline and transience to disappear from the world, and remove poverty and impotence from man, and close the door of the grave, then tell us and let us hear it! Otherwise, be silent! The Qur'an reads the universe in the vast mosque of creation. Let us listen to it. Let us be illuminated with that light. Let us act according to its guidance. And let us recite it constantly. Yes, the Qur'an is the word. That is what they say of it. It is the Qur'an which is the truth and comes from the Truth and says the truth and shows the truth and spreads luminous wisdom..."
  887.  
  888. Oh God! Illuminate our hearts with the light of belief and the Qur'an.
  889.  
  890. Oh God! Enrich us with the need of You and do not impoverish us with the lack of need of You. Make us free of our own strength and power, and cause us to take refuge in Your strength and power. And appoint us among those who place their trust in You, and do not entrust us to ourselves. And protect us with Your protection. And have mercy on us and have mercy on all believing men and women. And grant blessings and peace to our Master Muhammed, Your Servant and Prophet, Your Friend and Beloved, the Beauty of Your Dominion and the Sovereign of Your Art, the Essence of Your Favour and the Sun of Your Guidance, the Tongue of Your Proof and the Exemplar of Your Mercy, the Light of Your Creation and the Glory of Your Creatures, the Lamp of Your Unity in the Multiplicity of Your Creatures and the Discloser of the Talisman of Your Beings, the Herald of the Sovereignty of Your Dominicality and the Announcer of those things pleasing to You, the Proclaimer of the Treasuries of Your Names and the Instructor of Your Servants, the Interpreter of Your Signs and the Mirror of the Beauty of Your Dominicality, the Means of witnessing You and bearing witness to You, Your Beloved and Your Prophet whom You sent as a Mercy to All the Worlds, and to all his Family and Companions, and to his brothers among the prophets and messengers, and to Your angels and to the righteous among Your servants. AMEN.
  891.  
  892. * * *The Eighth Word
  893.  
  894. In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
  895.  
  896. God, there is no god but He, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsistent.1
  897.  
  898. Verily, the religion before God is Islam.2
  899.  
  900. If you want to understand this world, and man's spirit within the world, and the nature and value of religion within man, and how the world is a prison if there is no True Religion, and that without religion man becomes the most miserable of creatures, and that it is O God! and, There is no god but God that solve this world's talisman and deliver the human spirit from darkness, then listen to and consider this comparison:
  901.  
  902. Long ago, two brothers set off on a long journey. They continued on their way until the road forked. At the fork they saw a serious-looking man and asked him: "Which road is good?" He told them: "On the road to the right one is compelled to comply with the law and order, but within that hardship is security and happiness. However, on the left-hand road there is freedom and no restraint, but within its freedom lies danger and wretchedness. Now, the choice is yours!"
  903.  
  904. After listening to this, saying, I place my trust in God,3 the brother with a good character took the right road and conformed to the order and regulations. The other brother, who was immoral and a layabout, chose the road to the left just for the lack of restraint. With our imaginations, we shall follow this man in his situation, which was apparently easy but in reality burdensome.
  905.  
  906. Thus, this man went up hill and down dale until he found himself in a desolate wilderness. He suddenly heard a terrifying sound and saw that a great lion had come out of the forest and was about to attack him. He fled. He came across a waterless well sixty metres deep, and in his fear jumped into it. He fell half-way down it where his hands met a tree. He clung on to it. The tree, which was growing out of the walls of the well, had two roots. Two rats, one white and one black, were attacking and gnawing through them. He looked up and saw that the lion was waiting at the top of the well like a sentry. He looked down and saw a ghastly dragon. It raised its head and drew it close to his foot thirty metres above. Its mouth was as big as the mouth of the well. Then he looked at the well's walls and saw that stinging, poisonous vermin had gathered round him. He looked up at the mouth of the well and saw a fig-tree. But it was not an ordinary tree, it bore the fruit of many different trees, from walnuts to pomegranates.
  907.  
  908. Thus, through his lack of thought and foolishness, the man did not understand that this was not just some ordinary matter, these things were not here by chance, and that there were mysterious secrets concealed in these strange beings. And he did not grasp that there was someone very powerful directing them. Now, although his heart, spirit, and mind were secretly weeping and wailing at this grievous situation, his evil-commanding soul pretended that it was nothing; it closed its ears to the weeping of his heart and spirit, and deceiving itself, started to eat the tree's fruit as though it was in a garden. But some of the fruit were poisonous and harmful. Almighty God says in a Divine Hadith: "I am according to how my servants think of Me."
  909.  
  910. Thus, through his foolishness and lack of understanding, this unhappy man thought what he saw to be ordinary and the actual truth. And so that is the way he was treated, and is treated, and will be treated. He neither dies so that he is saved from it, nor does he live - he is in such torment. And so, we shall leave this ill-omened man in his torment and return, so that we may consider the situation of the other brother.
  911.  
  912. This fortunate and intelligent person went on his way, but he suffered no distress like his brother. For, due to his fine morals, he thought of good things, and imagined good things. Everything was friendly and familiar to him. And he did not suffer any difficulty and hardship like his brother, for he knew the order and followed it. He found it easy. He went on his way freely and in peace and security. Then he came across a garden in which were both lovely flowers and fruits, and, since it was not looked after, rotting and filthy things. His brother had also entered such a garden, but he had noticed and occupied himself with the filthy things and they had turned his stomach, so he had left it and moved on without being able to rest at all. But this man acted according to the rule, 'look on the good side of everything', and had paid no attention to the rotting things. He had benefited a lot from the good things, and taking a good rest, he had left and gone on his way.
  913.  
  914. Later, also like the first brother, he had entered a vast desert, and had suddenly heard the roar of a lion which was attacking him. He was frightened, but not as much as his brother. For, because of his good thoughts and positive attitude, he thought to himself: "This desert has a ruler, and it is possible that this lion is a servant under the ruler's command," and found consolation. But he still fled until he came across an empty well sixty metres deep. He threw himself into it. Like his brother, his hand clasped a tree half-way down and he remained suspended in the air. He looked and saw two animals gnawing through the tree's two roots. He looked up and saw the lion, and looked down and saw the dragon. Just like his brother he was seeing a most strange situation. He was terrified like him, but his terror was a thousand times less than his brother's. For his good morals had given him good thoughts, and good thoughts show the good side of everything. So, because of this, he thought like this:
  915.  
  916. "These strange happenings are connected to someone. Also it seems that they are acting in accordance with a command. In which case, these matters contain a talisman. Yes, they are turning at the command of a hidden ruler. Therefore, I am not alone; the hidden ruler is watching me, he is testing me, he is impelling me somewhere for some purpose, and inviting me there. A curiosity arising from this pleasant fear and these agreeable thoughts prompt me to say: I wonder who it is that is testing me, wants to make himself known, and is impelling me for some purpose on this strange road."
  917.  
  918. Then, love for the owner of the talisman arose out of the desire to know him, and from that love arose the desire to solve the talisman. And from that desire arose the will to acquire good qualities which would please and gratify the talisman's owner. Then he looked at the tree and saw it was a fig-tree, but it was bearing the fruits of thousands of trees. So then all his fear left him, for he understood that for certain the fig-tree was a list, an index, an exhibition. The hidden ruler must have attached samples of the fruits in the garden to the tree through a miracle and with a talisman, and must have adorned the tree in a way that would point to each of the foods he had prepared for his guests. For there is no other way a single tree could produce the fruits of thousands of different trees. Then he began to entreat that he would be inspired with the key to the talisman. He called out:
  919.  
  920. "O ruler of this place! I have fallen on your fortune and I take refuge with you. I am your servant and I want to please you. I am searching for you." After he had made this supplication, the walls of the well suddenly parted, and a door opened onto a wonderful, pleasant, quiet garden. Indeed, the dragon's mouth was transformed into the door, and both it and the lion took on the forms of two servants; they invited him to enter. The lion even became a docile horse for him.
  921.  
  922. And so, O my lazy soul! And O my imaginary friend! Come! Let us compare the position of these two brothers, so that we can see how good brings good and evil brings evil. Let us find out.
  923.  
  924. Look, the unhappy traveller on the left road is all the time trembling with fear waiting to enter the dragon's mouth, while the fortunate one is invited into a blooming, splendid garden full of fruit. And the unfortunate one's heart is being pounded by an awful terror and grievous fear, while the fortunate one is gazing at and observing strange things as a delightful lesson, with a pleasant fear and loving knowledge. Also the miserable one is suffering torments in desolation, despair, and loneliness, while the fortunate one is taking pleasure in hope, longing, and familiarity. Furthermore, the unfortunate one sees himself as a prisoner subject to the attacks of wild beasts, while the fortunate one is an honoured guest who is on friendly terms and enjoying himself with the strange servants of the generous host of whom he is the guest. Also the unhappy one is hastening his torments by indulging in fruits which are apparently delicious but in fact poisonous. For the fruits are samples; there is permission to taste them so as to seek the originals and become customers for them, but there is no permission to devour them like an animal. But the fortunate one tastes them and understands the matter; he postpones eating them and takes pleasure in waiting. Moreover, the unfortunate one is wronging himself. Through his lack of discernment, he is making a truth and a situation which are as clear and bright as daylight into a dark and oppressive fear, into a hellish delusion. He does not deserve pity, nor does he have the right to complain to anyone.
  925.  
  926. For example, if a person who is at a pleasant banquet in a beautiful garden in summer among his friends makes himself drunk through filthy intoxicants, then imagines himself hungry and naked in the middle of winter among wild animals and starts shouting out and crying, he does not deserve to be pitied; he is wronging himself, and he is insulting his friends by imagining them to be wild beasts. Thus, the unfortunate brother is like this. But the fortunate one sees the truth. And the truth is good. Through perceiving the beauty of the truth, the fortunate brother is being respectful towards the truth's owner. So he deserves his mercy. Thus, the meaning of the Qur'anic decree: "Know that evil is from yourself, and good is from God" becomes clear. If you make a comparison of other differences in the same way, you will understand that the evil-commanding soul of the first brother has prepared a sort of hell for him, while the good intention, good will, good character, and good thoughts of the other have allowed him to receive great bounty and happiness, and a shining virtue and prosperity.
  927.  
  928. O my soul! And O you who is listening to this story together with my soul! If you do not want to be the unfortunate brother and want to be the fortunate one, listen to the Qur'an, and obey its decrees, and adhere to them, and act according to them.
  929.  
  930. If you have understood the truths in this comparison, you will be able to make them correspond to the truths of religion, the world, man, and belief in God. I shall say the important ones, then you deduce the finer points yourself.
  931.  
  932. So, look! Of the two brothers, one is a believing spirit and a righteous heart. The other is an unbelieving spirit and a depraved heart. And of the two roads, the one to the right is the way of the Qur'an and belief in God, while the left one is the road of rebellion and denial. The garden on the road is man's fleeting social life in human society and human civilization where good and evil, and things good and bad and clean and dirty are found side by side. The sensible person is he who acts according to the rule: 'Take what is pleasant and clear, and leave what is distressing and turbid', and goes on his way with tranquillity of heart. As for the desert, it is the earth and this world. And the lion is death and the appointed hour. The well is man's body and the time of his life, while its sixty-metre depth points to the normal life-span of sixty years. And the tree is the period of life and the substance of life. The two animals, one white and one black, are night and day. And the dragon is the road to the Intermediate Realm and pavilion of the Hereafter, whose mouth is the grave. But for the believer, that mouth is a door opening from a prison onto a garden. And as for the poisonous vermin, they are the calamities of this world. But for the believer they are like gentle Divine warnings and favours of the Most Merciful One to prevent him slipping off into the sleep of heedlessness. The fruits on the tree are the bounties of this world which the Absolutely Generous One has made in the form of a list of the bounties of the Hereafter, and both as examples of them, and warnings, and samples inviting customers to the fruits of Paradise. And the tree producing numerous different fruits despite being a single tree is a sign to the seal of the Power of the Eternally Besought One, to the stamp of Divine Dominicality and Sovereignty. For 'to make everything from one thing', that is, to make all plants and fruits from earth, and create all animals from a fluid, and to create all the limbs and organs of animals from a simple food, together with 'making everything one thing', that is, arts like weaving a simple skin and making flesh particular to each animal from the great variety of foods that animals eat is an inimitable stamp and seal peculiar to the Ruler of Pre-Eternity and Post-Eternity, Who is the Single, Eternally-Besought One. For sure, to make one thing everything, and everything one thing is a sign, a mark peculiar to the Creator of all things and the One Powerful over all things.
  933.  
  934. And as for the talisman, it is the mystery of the wisdom in creation which is solved through the mystery of belief. And the key is There is no god but God , and, God, there is no god but He, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsistent. And the dragon's mouth being transformed into the door into the garden is a sign that, although for the people of misguidance and rebellion the grave is a door opening, in desolation and oblivion, onto a grave distressing as a dungeon and narrow as a dragon's stomach, for the people of the Qur'an and belief, it is a door which opens from the prison of this world onto the fields of immortality, from the arena of examination onto the gardens of Paradise, and from the hardships of life onto the Mercy of the All-Merciful One. The savage lion turning into a friendly servant and a docile mount is a sign that, although for the people of misguidance, death is a bitter, eternal parting from all their loved ones, and the expulsion from the deceptive paradise of this world and the entry in desolation and loneliness into the dungeon of the grave, for the people of guidance and the Qur'an, it is the means of joining all their old friends and beloved ones who have already departed for the next world, and the means of entering their true homeland and abode of everlasting happiness. It is an invitation to the meadows of Paradise from the prison of this world, and a time to receive the wage bestowed out of the generosity of the Most Merciful and Compassionate One for services rendered to Him, and a discharge from the hardship of the duties of life, and a rest from the drill and instruction of worship and examination.
  935.  
  936. In Short: Whoever makes this fleeting life his purpose and aim is in fact in Hell even if apparently in Paradise. And whoever is turned in all seriousness towards eternal life receives the happiness of both worlds. However difficult and distressing this world is for him, since he sees it as the waiting-room for Paradise, he endures it and offers thanks in patience...
  937.  
  938. O God! Appoint us among the people of happiness, safety, the Qur'an, and belief. Amen. O God! Grant peace and blessings to our Master Muhammed, and to his Family and Companions, to the number of all the letters of the Qur'an formed in all its words, represented with the permission of the Most Merciful One in the mirrors of the air waves on the recital of each of those words by all the Qur'an's reciters from its first revelation to the end of time, and have mercy on us and on our parents, and have mercy on all believing men and women to the number of those words, through Your mercy, O Most Merciful of the Merciful. Amen. And all praise be to God, the Sustainer of All the Worlds.
  939.  
  940. * * *www.nur.gen.tr  www.saidnur.com  www.nurpenceresi.com.tr www.3dmekanlar.com  www.nurris.com www.bediuzzaman.netThe Tenth Word
  941.  
  942. Resurrection and
  943.  
  944. the Hereafter
  945.  
  946. NOTE
  947.  
  948. [The reasons for my writing these treatises in the form of metaphors, comparisons and stories are to facilitate comprehension and to show how rational, appropriate, well-founded and coherent are the truths of Islam. The meaning of the stories is contained in the truths that conclude them; each story is like an allusion pointing to its concluding truth. Therefore, they are not mere fictitious tales, but veritable truths.]
  949.  
  950. In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
  951.  
  952. Look, then, to the signs of God's mercy - how He restores life to the earth after its death - verily He it is Who quickens the dead, for He is powerful over all things.1
  953.  
  954. Brother, if you wish for a discussion of resurrection and the hereafter in simple and common language, in a straightforward style, then listen to the following comparison, together with my own soul.
  955.  
  956. Once two men were travelling through a land as beautiful as Paradise (by that land, we intend the world). Looking around them, they saw that everyone had left open the door of his home and his shop and was not paying attention to guarding it. Money and property were readily accessible, without anyone to claim them. One of the two travellers grasped hold of all that he fancied, stealing it and usurping it. Following his inclinations, he committed every kind of injustice and abomination. None of the people of that land moved to stop him. But his friend said to him:
  957.  
  958. "What are you doing? You will be punished, and I will be dragged into misfortune along with you. All this property belongs to the state. The people of this land, including even the children, are all soldiers or government servants. It is because they are at present civilians that they are not interfering with you. But the laws here are strict. The king has installed telephones everywhere and his agents are everywhere. Go quickly, and try to settle the matter."
  959.  
  960. But the empty-headed man said in his obstinacy: "No, it is not state property; it belongs instead to some endowment, and has no clear or obvious owner. Everyone can make use of it as he sees fit. I see no reason to deny myself the use of these fine things. I will not believe they belong to anyone unless I see him with my own eyes." He continued to speak in this way, with much philosophical sophistry, and an earnest discussion took place between them.
  961.  
  962. First the empty-headed man said: "Who is the king here? I can't see him," and then his friend replied:
  963.  
  964. "Every village must have its headman; every needle must have its manufacturer and craftsman. And, as you know, every letter must be written by someone. How, then, can it be that so extremely well-ordered a kingdom should have no ruler? And how can so much wealth have no owner, when every hour a train2 arrives filled with precious and artful gifts, as if coming from the realm of the unseen? And all the announcements and proclamations, all the seals and stamps, found on all those goods, all the coins and the flags waving in every corner of the kingdom - can they be without an owner? It seems you have studied foreign languages a little, and are unable to read this Islamic script. In addition, you refuse to ask those who are able to read it. Come now, let me read to you the king's supreme decree."
  965.  
  966. The empty-headed man then retorted:
  967.  
  968. "Well, let us suppose there is a king; what harm can he suffer from the minute use I am making of all his wealth? Will his treasury decrease on account of it? In any event, I can see nothing here resembling prison or punishment."
  969.  
  970. His friend replied: "This land that you see is a manoeuvering ground. It is, in addition, an exhibition of his wonderful royal arts. Then again it may be regarded as a temporary hospice, one devoid of foundations. Do you not see that every day one caravan arrives as another departs and vanishes? It is being constantly emptied and filled. Soon the whole land will be changed; its inhabitants will depart for another and more lasting realm. There everyone will be either rewarded or punished in accordance with his services."
  971.  
  972. That treacherous empty-headed one retorted rebelliously: "I don't believe it. Is it at all possible that a whole land should perish, and be transferred to another realm?"
  973.  
  974. His faithful friend then replied: "Since you are so obstinate and rebellious, come, let me demonstrate to you, with twelve out of the innumerable proofs available, that there is a Supreme Tribunal, a realm of reward and generosity and a realm of punishment and incarceration, and that just as this world is partially emptied every day, so too a day shall come when it will be totally emptied and destroyed.
  975.  
  976. o First Aspect: Is it at all possible that in any kingdom, and particularly so splendid a kingdom as this, there should be no reward for those who serve obediently and no punishment for those who rebel? Reward and punishment are virtually non-existent here; there must therefore be a Supreme Tribunal somewhere else.
  977.  
  978. o Second Aspect: Look at the organization and administration of this kingdom! See how everyone, including the poorest and the weakest, is provided with perfect and ornate sustenance. The best care is taken of the sick. Royal and delicious foods, dishes, jewel encrusted decorations, embroidered garments, splendid feasts - all are to be found here. See how everyone pays due attention to his duties, with the exception of empty-headed people such as yourself. No one transgresses his bounds by as much as an inch. The greatest of all men is engaged in modest and obedient service, with an attitude of fear and awe. The ruler of this kingdom must possess, then, great generosity and all-embracing compassion, as well as, at the same time, great dignity, exalted awesomeness and honour. Now generosity requires liberality; compassion cannot dispense with beneficence; and awesomeness and honour make it imperative that the discourteous be chastised. But not even a thousandth part of what that generosity and awesomeness require is to be seen in this realm. The oppressor retains his power, and the oppressed, his humiliation, as they both depart and migrate from this realm. Their affairs are, then, left to the same Supreme Tribunal of which we speak.
  979.  
  980. o Third Aspect: See with what lofty wisdom and ordering affairs are managed, and with what true justice and balance transactions are effected! Now a wise polity requires that those who seek refuge under the protecting wing of the state should receive favour, and justice demands that the rights of subjects be preserved, so that the splendour of the state should not suffer. But here in this land, not a thousandth part of the requirements of such wisdom and justice is fulfilled; for example, empty-headed people such as yourself usually leave this realm unpunished. So again we say, matters are postponed for the consideration of a Supreme Tribunal.
  981.  
  982. o Fourth Aspect: Look at these innumerable and peerless jewels that are displayed here, these unparalleled dishes laid out like a banquet! They demonstrate that the ruler of these lands is possessed of infinite generosity and an inexhaustible treasury. Now such generosity and such a treasury deserve and require a bounteous display that should be eternal and include all possible objects of desire. They further require that all who come as guests to partake of that display should be there eternally and not suffer the pain of death and separation. For just as the cessation of pain is pleasurable, so too is the cessation of pleasure painful! Look at these displays and the announcements concerning them! And listen to these heralds proclaiming the fine and delicate arts of a miracle-working monarch, and demonstrating his perfections! They are declaring his peerless and invisible beauty, and speaking of the subtle manifestations of his hidden beauteousness; he must be possessed, then, of a great and astounding invisible beauty and perfection. This flawless hidden perfection requires one who will appreciate and admire it, who will gaze on it exclaiming, Mashallah!, thus displaying it and making it known.
  983.  
  984. As for concealed and peerless beauty, it too requires to see and be seen, or rather to behold itself in two ways. The first consists of contemplating itself in different mirrors, and the second of contemplating itself by means of the contemplation of enraptured spectators and astounded admirers. Hidden beauty wishes, then, to see and be seen, to contemplate itself eternally and be contemplated without cease. It desires also permanent existence for those who gaze upon it in awe and rapture. For eternal beauty can never be content with a transient admirer; moreover, an admirer destined to perish without hope of return will find his love turning to enmity whenever he imagines his death, and his admiration and respect will yield to contempt. It is in man's nature to hate the unknown and the unaccustomed. Now everyone leaves the hospice of this realm very quickly and vanishes, having seen only a light or a shadow of the perfection and beauty for no more than a moment, without in any way being satiated. Hence, it is necessary that he should go towards an eternal realm where he will contemplate the Divine beauty and perfection.
  985.  
  986. o Fifth Aspect: See, it is evident from all these matters that that peerless Being is possessed of most great mercy. For he causes aid to be swiftly extended to every victim of misfortune, answers every question and petition; and mercifully fulfils even the lowliest need of his lowliest subject. If, for example, the foot of some herdsman's sheep should hurt, he either provides some medicine or sends a veterinarian.
  987.  
  988. Come now, let us go; there is a great meeting on that island. All the nobles of the land are assembled there. See, a most noble commander, bearing exalted decorations, is pronouncing a discourse, and requesting certain things from that compassionate monarch. All those present say: "Yes, we too desire the same," and affirm and assent to his words. Now listen to the words of that commander favoured by his monarch:
  989.  
  990. "O monarch that nurtures us with his bounty! Show us the source and origin of these examples and shadows you have shown us! Draw us nigh to your seat of rule; do not let us perish in these deserts! Take us into your presence and have mercy on us! Feed us there on the delicious bounty you have caused us to taste here! Do not torment us with desperation and banishment! Do not leave your yearning, thankful and obedient subjects to their own devices; do not cause them to be annihilated!" Do you not hear him thus supplicating? Is it at all possible that so merciful and powerful a monarch should totally fulfil the finest and highest aim of his most beloved and noble commander?
  991.  
  992. Moreover, the purpose of that commander is the purpose of all men, and its fulfilment is required by the pleasure, the compassion and the justice of the king, and it is a matter of ease for him, not difficulty, causing him less difficulty than the transient places of enjoyment contained in the hospice of the world. Having spent so much effort on these places of witnessing that will last only five or six days, and on the foundation of this kingdom, in order to demonstrate instances of his power, he will, without doubt, display at his seat of rule true treasures, perfections and skills in such a manner, and open before us such spectacles, that our intellects will be astonished.
  993.  
  994. Those sent to this field of trial will not, then, be left to their own devices; palaces of bliss or dungeons await them.
  995.  
  996. o Sixth Aspect: Come now, look! All these imposing railways, planes, machines, warehouses, exhibitions show that behind the veil an imposing monarch exists and governs.3
  997.  
  998. Such a monarch requires subjects worthy of himself. But now you see all his subjects gathered in a hospice for wayfarers, a hospice that is filled and emptied each day. It can also be said that his subjects are now gathered in a testing-ground for the sake of manoeuvers, and this ground also changes each hour. Again, we may say that all his subjects stay in an exhibition-hall for a few minutes to behold specimens of the monarch's beneficence, valuable products of his miraculous art. But the exhibition itself changes each moment. Now this situation and circumstance conclusively shows that beyond the hospice, the testing-ground, the exhibition, there are permanent palaces, lasting abodes, and gardens and treasuries full of the pure and elevated originals of the samples and shapes we see in this world. It is for the sake of these that we exert ourselves here. Here we labour, and there we receive our reward. A form and degree of felicity suited to everyone's capacity awaits us there.
  999.  
  1000. o Seventh Aspect: Come, let us walk a little, and see what is to be found among these civilized people. See, in every place, at every corner, photographers are sitting and taking pictures. Look, everywhere there are scribes sitting and writing things down. Everything is being recorded. They are registering the least significant of deeds, the most commonplace of events. Now look up at the tall mountain; there you see a supreme photographer installed, devoted to the service of the king;4 he is taking pictures of all that happens in the area. The king must, then, have issued this order; "Record all the transactions made and deeds performed in the kingdom." In other words, that exalted personage is having all events registered and photographically recorded. The precise record he is keeping must without doubt be for the sake of one day calling his subjects to account.
  1001.  
  1002. Now is it at all possible that an All-Wise and All-Preserving Being, who does not neglect the most banal doings of the lowest of his subjects, should not record the most significant deeds of the greatest among his subjects, should not call them to account, should not reward and punish them? After all, it is those foremost among his subjects that perform deeds offensive to his glory, contrary to his pride and unacceptable to his compassion, and those deeds remain unpunished in this world. It must be, therefore, that their judgement is postponed to a Supreme Court.
  1003.  
  1004. o Eighth Aspect: Come, let me read to you the decrees issued by that monarch. See, he repeatedly makes the following promises and dire threats: "I will take you from your present abode and bring you to the seat of my rule. There I shall bestow happiness on the obedient and imprison the disobedient. Destroying that temporary abode, I shall found a different realm containing eternal palaces and dungeons."
  1005.  
  1006. He can easily fulfil the promises that he makes, of such importance for his subjects. It is, moreover, incompatible with his pride and his power that he should break his promise. So look, o confused one! You assent to the claims of your mendacious imagination, your distraught intellect, your deceptive soul, but deny the words of a being who cannot be compelled in any fashion to break his promise, whose high stature does not admit any such faithlessness, and to whose truthfulness all visible deeds bear witness. Certainly you deserve a great punishment. You resemble a traveller who closes his eyes to the light of the sun and looks instead upon his own imagination. His fancy wishes to illuminate his awesomely dark path with the light of his brain, although it is no more than a glowworm. Once that monarch makes a promise, he will by all means fulfil it. Its fulfilment is most easy for him, and moreover most necessary for us and all things, as well as for him too and his kingdom.
  1007.  
  1008. There is therefore, a Supreme Court, and a lofty felicity.
  1009.  
  1010. o Ninth Aspect: Come now! Look at the heads of these offices and groups.5 Each has a private telephone to speak personally with the king. Sometimes too they go directly to his presence. See what they say and unanimously report, that the monarch has prepared a most magnificent and awesome place for reward and punishment. His promises are emphatic and his threats are most stern. His pride and dignity are such that he would in no way stoop to the abjectness inherent in the breaking of a promise. The bearers of this report, who are so numerous as to be universally accepted, further report with the strong unanimity of consensus that "the seat and headquarters of the lofty monarchy, some of whose traces are visible here, is in another realm far distant from here. The buildings existing in this testing-ground are but temporary, and will later be exchanged for eternal palaces. These places will change. For this magnificent and unfading monarchy, the splendour of which is apparent from its works, can in no way be founded or based on so transient, impermanent, unstable, insignificant, changing, defective and imperfect matters. It is based rather on matters worthy of it, eternal, stable, permanent and glorious."
  1011.  
  1012. There is, then, another realm, and of a certainty we shall go toward it.
  1013.  
  1014. o Tenth Aspect: Come, today is the vernal equinox.6 Certain changes will take place, and wondrous things will occur. On this fine spring day, let us go for a walk on the green plain adorned with beautiful flowers. See, other people are also coming toward it. There must be some magic at work, for buildings that were mere ruins have suddenly sprung up again here, and this once empty plain has become like a populous city. See, every hour it shows a different scene, just like a cinema screen, and takes on a different shape. But notice, too, that among these complex, swiftly changing and multifarious scenes perfect order exists, so that all things are put in their proper places. The imaginary scenes presented to us on the cinema screen cannot be as well-ordered as this, and millions of skilled magicians would be incapable of this artistry. This monarch whom we cannot see must, then, have performed even greater miracles.
  1015.  
  1016. O foolish one! You ask: "How can this vast kingdom be destroyed and reestablished somewhere else?"
  1017.  
  1018. You see that every hour numerous changes and revolutions occur, just like that transfer from one realm to another that your mind will not accept. From this gathering in and scattering forth it can be deduced that a certain purpose is concealed within these visible and swift joinings and separations, these compoundings and dissolvings. Ten years of effort would not be devoted to a joining together destined to last no longer than an hour. So these circumstances we witness cannot be ends in themselves; they are a kind of parable of something beyond themselves, an imitation of it. That exalted being brings them about in miraculous fashion, so that they take shape and then merge, and the result is preserved and recorded, in just the same way that every aspect of a manoeuver on the battleground is written down and recorded. This implies that proceedings at some great concourse and meeting will be based on what happens here. Further, the results of all that occurs here will be permanently displayed at some supreme exposition. All the transient and fluctuating phenomena we see here will yield the fruit of eternal and immutable form.
  1019.  
  1020. All the variations we observe in this world are then, for the sake of a supreme happiness, a lofty tribunal, for the sake of exalted aims as yet unknown to us.
  1021.  
  1022. o Eleventh Aspect: Come, o obstinate friend! Let us embark on a plane or a train travelling east or west, that is, to the past or the future. Let us see what miraculous works that being has accomplished in other places. Look, there are marvels on every hand like the dwellings, open spaces and exhibitions we see. But they all differ with respect to art and to form. Note well, however, what order betokening manifest wisdom, what indications of evident compassion, what signs of lofty justice, and what fruits of comprehensive mercy, are to be seen in these transient dwellings, these impermanent open spaces, these fleeting exhibitions. Anyone not totally devoid of insight will understand a certainty that no wisdom can be imagined more perfect than his, no providence more beauteous than his, no compassion more comprehensive than his, and no justice more glorious than his.
  1023.  
  1024. If, for the sake of argument, as you imagine, no permanent abodes, lofty places, fixed stations, lasting residences, or resident and contented population existed in the sphere of his kingdom; and if the truths of his wisdom, compassion, mercy and justice had no realm in which to manifest themselves fully (for this impermanent kingdom is no place for their full manifestation) - then we would be obliged to deny the wisdom we see, to deny the compassion we observe, to deny the mercy that is in front of our eyes, and to deny the justice the signs of which are evident. This would be as idiotic as denying the sun, the light of which we clearly see at midday. We would also have to regard the one from whom proceed all these wise measures we see, all these generous acts, all these merciful gifts, as a vile gambler or treacherous tyrant (God forbid!). This would be to turn truth on its head. And turning a truth into its opposite is impossible, according to the unanimous testimony of all rational beings, excepting only the idiot sophists who deny everything.
  1025.  
  1026. There is, then, a realm apart from the present one. In it, there is a supreme tribunal, a lofty place of justice, an exalted place of reward, where all this compassion, wisdom, mercy and justice will be made fully manifest.
  1027.  
  1028. o Twelfth Aspect: Come, let us return now. We will speak with the chiefs and officers of these various groups, and looking at their equipment will inquire whether that equipment has been given them only for the sake of subsisting for a brief period in that realm, or whether it has been given for the sake of obtaining a long life of bliss in another realm. Let us see. We cannot look at everyone and his equipment. But by way of example, let us look at the identity card and register of this officer. On his card, his rank, salary, duty, supplies and instructions are recorded. See, this rank has not been awarded him for just a few days; it may be given for a prolonged period. It says on his card: "You will receive so much salary on such-and-such a day from the treasury." But the date in question will not arrive for a long time to come, after this realm has been vacated. Similarly, the duty mentioned on his card has not been given for this temporary realm, but rather for the sake of earning a permanent felicity in the proximity of the king. Then, too, the supplies awarded him cannot be merely for the sake of subsisting in this hospice of a few days' duration; they can only be for the sake of a long and happy life. The instructions make it quite clear that he is destined for a different place, that he is working for another realm.
  1029.  
  1030. Now look at these registers. They contain instructions for the use and disposition of weapons and equipment. If there were no realm other than this, one exalted and eternal, that register with its categorical instructions and that identity card with its clear information, would both be quite meaningless. Further, that respected officer, that noble commander, that honoured chief, would fall to a degree lower than that of all men; he would be more wretched, luckless, abased, afflicted, indigent and weak than everyone. Apply the same principle to everything. Whatever you look upon bears witness that after this transient world another and eternal world exists.
  1031.  
  1032. O friend! This temporary world is like a field. It is a place of instruction, a market. Without doubt a supreme tribunal and ultimate happiness will succeed it. If you deny this, you will be obliged also to deny the identity cards of all the officers, their equipment and their orders; in fact, you will have to deny too all the order existing in the country, the existence of a government in it and all the measures that the government takes. Then you will no longer deserve the name of man or the appellation of conscious. You will be more of a fool than the sophists.
  1033.  
  1034. Beware, do not imagine that the proofs of the transfer of creation from one realm to another are restricted to these twelve. There are indications and proofs beyond counting and enumeration, all showing that this impermanent, changing kingdom will be transformed into a permanent and immutable realm. There are also innumerable signs and evidences that men will be taken from this temporary hospice and sent to the eternal seat of rule of all creation.
  1035.  
  1036. I will show one proof in particular that is stronger than all the twelve aspects taken together.
  1037.  
  1038. Come now, look, in the midst of the great assembly visible in the distance the same noble commander whom we previously saw on the island, adorned with numerous decorations, is making an announcement. Let us go and listen. See, that luminous and most noble commander is conveying a supreme edict, beautifully inscribed. He says:
  1039.  
  1040. "Prepare yourselves; you will go to another and permanent realm, a realm such that this one will appear as a dungeon by comparison. You will go to the seat of rule of our king, and there receive his compassion and his bounty, if you heed this edict well and obey it. But if you rebel and disobey it, you will be cast into awesome dungeons." Such is the message that he conveys. If you look at the decree, you will see that it bears such a miraculous seal that it cannot in any way be imitated. Everyone apart from idiots such as yourself knows of a certainty that the decree is from the king. Moreover, the noble commander bears such bright decorations that everyone except those blind like yourself understands full well that he is the veracious conveyer of the king's orders.
  1041.  
  1042. Is it at all possible that the teaching of transfer from one realm to another, challengingly conveyed by that noble commander in the supreme edict he has received, should at all be open to objection? No, it is not possible, unless we deny all that we have seen.
  1043.  
  1044. Now, o friend, it is your turn to speak. Say what you have to say.
  1045.  
  1046. "What should I say? What can be said to contradict all of this? Who can speak against the sun at midday? I say only: Praise be to God. A hundred thousand thanks that I have been saved from the dominance of fancy and vain imagination, and delivered from an eternal dungeon and prison. I have come to believe that there is an abode of felicity in the proximity of the monarch, separate from this confused and impermanent hospice."
  1047.  
  1048. Our comparison indicating the truth of resurrection and the hereafter is now complete. Now with God's grace, we will pass on to the most exalted truth. We shall set forth twelve interrelated Truths, corresponding to the twelve Aspects discussed above, as well as an Introduction.
  1049.  
  1050.  
  1051.  
  1052.  
  1053.  
  1054.  
  1055.  
  1056.  
  1057.  
  1058.  
  1059.  
  1060.  
  1061.  
  1062. Introduction
  1063.  
  1064. [By means of a few indications, we refer here to several matters explained elsewhere, that is, in the Twenty-Second, Nineteenth and Twenty-Sixth Words.]
  1065.  
  1066. o First Indication
  1067.  
  1068. The foolish man in the previous story and his trustworthy companion correspond to three other pairs:
  1069.  
  1070. The instinctual soul and the heart;
  1071.  
  1072. The students of philosophy and the pupils of the All-Wise Qur'an;
  1073.  
  1074. The people of unbelief and the Community of Islam.
  1075.  
  1076. The worst error and misguidance of the students of philosophy, the people of unbelief and the instinctual soul, lies in not recognizing God. Just as in the preceding story the trustworthy man said, "there can be no letter without a scribe, no law without a legislator," we too say the following:
  1077.  
  1078. A book, particularly one in each word of which a minute pen has inscribed another whole book, and in each letter of which a fine pen has traced a poem, cannot be without a writer; this would be entirely impossible. So too this cosmos cannot be without its inscriber; this is impossible to the utmost degree. For the cosmos is precisely such a book that each of its pages includes many other books, each of its words contains a book, and each of its letters contains a poem. The face of the earth is but a single page in the book of the cosmos. See how many books it contains. Every fruit is a letter, and every seed is a dot. In that dot is contained the index of the whole tree in its vastness. A book such as this can have been inscribed only by the mighty pen of a Possessor of Glory Who enjoys the attributes of splendour and beauty, and Who is the holder of infinite wisdom and power. Faith, then, follows inevitably on the observation of the world, unless one is drunk on misguidance.
  1079.  
  1080. Similarly, a house cannot arise without a builder, particularly a house adorned with miraculous works of art, wondrous designs, and amazing ornaments. As much art has been put into one of its stones as into a whole palace. No intelligence will accept that it could arise without a builder; definitely it needs a master architect. Moreover, within the building, veritable rooms take shape and change each hour with the utmost order and ease, just as if clothes were being changed, or as if scenes were passing across a cinema screen. We can say even that numerous little rooms are constantly being created in each of those scenes.
  1081.  
  1082. In like manner, the cosmos also requires an infinitely wise, all-knowing and all-powerful maker. For the magnificent cosmos is a palace that has the sun and the moon as its lamps and the stars as its candles; time is like a rope or ribbon hung within it, on to which the Glorious Creator each year threads a new world. And within the world that He thus threads on the string of time He places three hundred and sixty fresh and orderly forms. He changes them with the utmost orderliness and wisdom. He has made the face of the earth a bounteous spread that He adorns each spring with three hundred thousand species of creation, that He fills with innumerable kinds of generous gifts. This He does in such a fashion that they all stand apart from each other, quite separate and distinct, despite their being at the same time so close and intermingled. Is it possible to overlook the existence of the Maker of such a palace?
  1083.  
  1084. Again, to deny the existence of the sun, on a cloudless day at noon, when its traces are to be observed and its reflection is to be seen in every bubble on the surface of the ocean, in every shining object on dry land, and in every particle of snow - to make such a denial would be to rave like the deranged. For if one denied and refused to accept the existence of the single, unique sun, he would be compelled to accept the existence of a whole series of minor suns, each real and existent in its own right, as numerous as the drops and bubbles of the ocean, as countless as the particles of snow. It would be necessary to believe that each minute particle contains a huge sun, even though the particle is large enough only to contain itself. It would be an even greater sign of lunacy and misguidance to refuse one's assent to the attributes of perfection of the Glorious Creator, even while beholding the well-ordered cosmos that is constantly changing in wise and regular fashion, that is being ceaselessly renewed in disciplined manner. This, too, would be like the ravings of a lunatic, since it would then become necessary to believe and accept that absolute divinity is present in all things, even a particle. For every particle of air is somehow able to enter and work its effects upon every flower, fruit and leaf, and unless the particle be entrusted with this task by a Creator, it must know of itself the structure and form of all the objects it penetrates and affects. In other words, it must possess all-encompassing power and knowledge.
  1085.  
  1086. Every particle of soil is potentially capable of giving rise to all the different seeds that exist. If it is not acting under command, it must contain within itself equipment and instruments corresponding to all the various trees and plants in the world. Or, to put it differently, one must attribute to the particle such artistry and power that it is aware of the structure of each of them, knows the forms that each of them is caused to assume, and is capable of fashioning those forms. The same is true with respect to the particle and other realms of creation.
  1087.  
  1088. From this you can understand that in all things there are numerous and manifest proofs of God's Unity. To create all things from one thing, and to make all things into one thing, is a task possible only for the Creator of all things. Pay heed to the sublime declaration: "There is naught but proclaims His Glory with praise." For if one does not accept God, the One and Unique, one must accept gods as numerous as created beings.
  1089.  
  1090. o Second Indication
  1091.  
  1092. In our story, we made mention of a Most Noble Commander and said that whoever is not blind and sees his decorations and medals will understand that he acts in accordance with the commands of a monarch and is his favored servant. Now that Most Noble Commander is the Most Noble Messenger of God, may peace and blessings be upon him. The sacred Creator of so ornamented a cosmos must of necessity have a Noble Messenger, just as the sun must of necessity have light. For the sun cannot exist without giving light, and Divinity cannot be without showing itself through the sending of prophets. Is it at all possible that a beauty of utter perfection should not desire to manifest itself by means of one who will demonstrate and display it?
  1093.  
  1094. Is it at all possible that a perfection of beauteous artistry should not desire to make itself known by means of a herald that will draw men's gazes upon it?
  1095.  
  1096. Is it at all possible that the universal monarchy of all-embracing Dominicality should not desire to announce its unity and eternal besoughtedness throughout the different levels of multiplicity and particularity by means of an envoy possessing two aspects? By the two aspects, we mean that he is both the envoy of the realm of multiplicity to the Divine Court, by virtue of his universal worship, and also the messenger of the Divine Court to the realm of multiplicity, by virtue of his closeness to God and being entrusted with His message.
  1097.  
  1098. Is it at all possible that a possessor of infinite inherent beauty should not wish both to behold himself and to display to others, in numerous mirrors, the charms of his beauty and the allurements of his fairness? God's Messenger is His beloved, making himself beloved of Him by means of his worship and holding up a mirror to Him, and he is also the bearer of His message, making Him beloved of men and demonstrating to them the beauty of His Names.
  1099.  
  1100. Is it at all possible that the owner of treasuries full of wondrous miracles, rare and valuable items, should not wish and desire to display them to men's gaze by means of an expert jeweller, and eloquent describer, thereby revealing his hidden perfections?
  1101.  
  1102. Is it at all possible that the One Who manifests the perfection of all His Names in the cosmos by means of artful adornment for men to look upon, so that the cosmos comes to resemble a palace decorated with all kinds of wondrous and subtle art, should not also designate a teacher and a guide to the wonders of his creation?
  1103.  
  1104. Is it at all possible that the Lord of the cosmos should not solve, by means of a messenger, the complex talisman of the aim and purpose of all the changes that take place in the cosmos, and the riddle contained in the three difficult questions posed by all beings: "What is our origin? What is our destination? What is our purpose?"
  1105.  
  1106. Is it at all possible that the Glorious Maker Who makes Himself known to sentient beings by means of His fair creation, and Who makes himself loved by means of His precious bounties, should not also communicate to sentient beings, by means of a messenger, what His pleasure desires of them in exchange?
  1107.  
  1108. Is it at all possible that God should create mankind in a form predisposing it to suffer the consciousness of multiplicity but also containing the ability to engage in universal worship, without at the same time wishing to turn it away from multiplicity to unity, by means of a teacher and guide?
  1109.  
  1110. There are numerous other functions of prophethood, each of which is a decisive proof that Divinity necessarily implies prophethood.
  1111.  
  1112. Did anyone ever appear in the world more worthy and more in possession of the abovementioned qualities and functions than Muhammed, the Arabian Prophet, may peace and blessings be upon him? Has time ever shown us one more fitting and suited to the rank of messengerhood and the task of conveying God's message? No, by no means! He is the master of all messengers, the foremost of all prophets, the leader of all pure ones, the closest to God of all those who have drawn nigh unto Him, the most perfect of all creatures, the monarch of all guides to righteousness.
  1113.  
  1114. Quite apart from the countless indications of his prophethood deriving from more than a thousand miracles, such as the splitting of the moon and the flowing of water from his fingers, that all scholars unanimously confirm, the supreme miracle of the Glorious Qur'an - an ocean of truth and a book miraculous in forty different respects - is itself enough to demonstrate his prophethood as clearly as the sun. Since we discuss the forty different aspects of the Qur'an's miraculousness in other treatises, particularly the Twenty-Fifth Word, we curtail our discussion of the matter here.
  1115.  
  1116. o Third Indication
  1117.  
  1118. Let it not be thought that petty man is too insignificant for this vast world to be brought to an end and another realm to be unfolded simply for the sake of his being brought to account. For apparently petty man bears great importance as the master of all creatures, by virtue of the comprehensiveness of his disposition, as the herald of God's monarchy, and the manifester of universal worship. Also let nobody ask: "How can one earn eternal torment in the course of a very brief life?" For unbelief seeks to drag creation, something as valuable and exalted as a letter written by God, down to the depths of meaninglessness and purposelessness. It is an insult to all being, since it denies and rejects the manifestations and impresses of God's Sacred Names that are visible in all being, and it seeks to negate all the infinite proofs that demonstrate the veracity and truthfulness of God Almighty. Hence, unbelief is a crime of infinite proportions, deserving of infinite punishment.
  1119.  
  1120. o Fourth Indication
  1121.  
  1122. In the story, we saw by means of twelve aspects that a king who had one realm resembling a transient hospice must of a necessity have another realm, one eternal and permanent, manifesting his splendour and the sublimity of his power. In the same way, it is not at all possible that the Eternal Creator of the transient world should not create also an eternal realm. It is not possible that the Everlasting Maker of this fine but unstable cosmos, should not create another cosmos, permanent and lasting. It is not possible that the Wise, Powerful and Merciful Creator of this world, which is like an exhibition, or a testing-ground, or a field, should not create also a hereafter in which the purposes of this world shall be made manifest. Entry is to be had to this truth by means of twelve gates, and the twelve gates are to be unlocked by means of twelve other truths. We will begin with the shortest and simplest of them:
  1123.  
  1124. FIRST TRUTH
  1125.  
  1126. The Gate of Dominicality and Sovereignty,
  1127.  
  1128. the Manifestation of the Name of Sustainer
  1129.  
  1130. Is it at all possible that the Glory of God's Dominicality and His Divine Sovereignty should create a cosmos such as this, in order to display His perfections, with such lofty aims and elevated purposes, without establishing a reward for those believers who through faith and worship respond to these aims and purposes? Or that He should not punish those misguided ones who treat His purposes with rejection and scorn?
  1131.  
  1132. SECOND TRUTH
  1133.  
  1134. The Gate of Generosity and Mercy,
  1135.  
  1136. the Manifestation of the Names of Generous and Merciful
  1137.  
  1138. Is it at all possible that the Lord of this world, Who in His works demonstrates infinite generosity, infinite mercy, infinite splendour and infinite glory, should not give reward in a manner befitting His generosity and mercy, and not punish in a manner befitting His splendour and glory? If one looks at the disposition of affairs in this world, one sees that all animate beings - from the weakest and most powerless to the most powerful - are given some fitting form of sustenance.7 Indeed, the weakest and most powerless are given the best form of sustenance. This largesse and bounty is distributed with such lofty generosity that a hand of infinite generosity is manifestly at work.
  1139.  
  1140. For example, in the spring, all the trees are garbed in clothes as fine as silk, just like the Houris in Paradise; they are encrusted with flowers and fruits, as if with jewels, and caused to offer us numerous varieties of the choicest fruits, on branches delicately outstretched like the hands of a servant. Similarly, we are given wholesome and sweet honey to eat, from the hand of the bee with its sting; we are clothed in the finest and softest of clothes by means of an insect that has no hands; and within a small seed a great treasure of mercy is preserved for us. It is self-evident that all of this is the effect of a most beauteous generosity, a most delicate sense of mercy.
  1141.  
  1142. Then, too, the fact that, with the exception of man and certain wild animals, all things, from the sun, the moon and earth to the smallest of creatures, perform their functions with the utmost exactitude, do not overstep their bounds by an inch, and observe a universal obedience in a spirit of great awe - this shows that they act by the command of a Possessor of great glory and dignity. It is also apparent that the fashion in which all mothers, in the vegetable, animal and human realms, succour their weak and powerless infants with the delicate nurture of milk, in tender compassion, is a manifestation of God's all-embracing mercy.8
  1143.  
  1144. Since the master of this world has, then, such infinite generosity, mercy, splendour and glory, it follows that His infinite glory and splendour require the chastisement of the discourteous; that His infinite generosity requires infinite bounty, and His infinite mercy requires a bestowal of favour worthy of itself. Now in this transitory world and brief life, only a millionth part of all this, like one drop from the ocean, establishes and manifests itself. There must therefore be a realm of blessedness appropriate to that generosity and worthy of that mercy. One would otherwise have to deny the existence of the mercy that is visible to us, and this would be like denying the existence of the sun that fills every day with its light. For irrevocable death would transform compassion into disaster, love into affliction, blessing into vengeance, intellect into a tool of misery, and pleasure into pain, so that the very essence of God's mercy would vanish.
  1145.  
  1146. There must in addition be a realm of punishment appropriate to God's glory and dignity. For generally the oppressor leaves this world while still in possession of his might, and the oppressed while still subjected to humiliation. These matters are therefore deferred for the attention of a supreme tribunal; it is not that they are neglected. It sometimes happens too that punishment is enacted in this world. The torments suffered by disobedient and rebellious peoples in previous centuries show that man is not left to his own devices, and that he is always subject to the blows that God's splendour and majesty may choose to inflict on him.
  1147.  
  1148. Is it at all possible that man should have the most important duty in all of creation and be endowed with the most important capacities; that man's Sustainer should make Himself known to him with all His well-ordered works, and man should then fail to recognize Him in return by way of worship - or that God should make Himself beloved of men through the numerous adorned fruits of His mercy, and man should then fail to make himself beloved of God through worship - or that God should demonstrate His love and mercy to man through His variegated bounties and man should then fail to respect Him with thanks and with praise - is it at all possible that man should remain unpunished, left to his own devices, or that that powerful Possessor of splendour and glory should not make ready for him a realm of requital?
  1149.  
  1150. Is it at all possible, on the other hand, that He should not prepare a realm of reward and eternal bliss for those believers who respond to the Merciful and Compassionate One's making Himself known by recognizing Him in faith; to His making Himself beloved by loving Him in worship; and to His mercy by offering thanks and veneration?
  1151.  
  1152. THIRD TRUTH
  1153.  
  1154. The Gate of Wisdom and Justice,
  1155.  
  1156. the Manifestation of the Names of Wise and Just
  1157.  
  1158. Is it at all possible9 that the Lord of Glory, Who demonstrates His Dominical sovereignty in the wisdom and order, the justice and equilibrium that pervade all things, from the atom to the sun, should not bestow favour on those believers who seek refuge beneath the protective wing of His Dominicality, who believe in His Wisdom and Justice, and whose acts are for the purpose of worshipping Him?
  1159.  
  1160. Again, is it possible that He should not chastise those rude and discourteous men who disbelieve in His wisdom and justice, and rebel against Him in insolence? Now not even a thousandth part of that wisdom and justice is exercised with respect to man, in this transient world; it is rather deferred. Most of the people of misguidance leave this world unpunished, and most of the people of guidance leave it unrewarded. All things are, then, postponed for a supreme tribunal, an ultimate bliss.
  1161.  
  1162. Yes, it is apparent that the Being Who controls this world does so in accordance with an infinite wisdom. Do you require a proof? It is the preservation of interest and benefit in all things. Do you not see that numerous wise benefits are intended in all the limbs, bones and veins of man, even in the cells of his brain and in every particle of his body? Do you not see that from certain limbs wise benefits are to be had as numerous as the fruits of a tree? All of this shows that matters are done in accordance with infinite wisdom. The existence of the utmost regularity in the making of all things is a proof of the same truth.
  1163.  
  1164. The compression of the exact programme of development of a beautiful flower into a minute seed, the inscription on a small seed by the pen of destiny of the scroll of deeds of a tree, its life-history and list of equipment, show that a pen of utmost wisdom is at work.
  1165.  
  1166. The existence of a high degree of fine artistry in all things proves that there exists also the impress of an infinitely Wise Maker. Further, the inclusion within the minute body of man of an index of all being, of the keys to all the treasuries of mercy, and of the mirrors of all the Divine Names, demonstrates the existence of wisdom within that infinitely fine artistry. Now is it at all possible that the wisdom that thus permeates the workings of Dominicality should not wish eternally to favour those who seek refuge beneath the wing of Dominicality and who offer obedience in faith?
  1167.  
  1168. Do you wish for a proof that all things are done with justice and balance? The fact that all things are endowed with being, given shape and put in their appropriate place in accordance with precise equilibrium and in appropriate measure, shows that all matters are done in accordance with infinite justice and balance.
  1169.  
  1170. Similarly, the fact that all things are given their rights in accordance with their disposition, that they receive all the necessities of their being and all the requirements of life in the most fitting form - this too is the sign left by a hand of infinite justice.
  1171.  
  1172. Again, the fact that answer is always given to every petition and request made by the tongue of disposition, and of natural need or necessity, demonstrates the existence of infinite justice and wisdom.
  1173.  
  1174. Now is it at all possible that the justice and wisdom that hasten to relieve the pettiest need of the smallest of creation should fail to provide immortality, the greatest need of man, the greatest of creatures? That it should fail to respond to his greatest plea and cry for assistance? Or that it should not preserve the dignity of God's Dominicality by preserving the rights of His servants? Man, whose life is so brief, cannot experience the true essence of justice in this transient world; it is for this reason that matters are postponed for a supreme tribunal. For true justice requires that man, this apparently petty creature, should be rewarded and punished, not in accordance with his pettiness, but in accordance with the magnitude of his crime, the importance of his nature and the greatness of his function. Since this passing and transient world is far from manifesting such wisdom and justice for man, who is created for eternity, of necessity there will be an eternal Hell and everlasting Paradise of that Just and Awesome Possessor of Beauty, that Wise and Beauteous Possessor of Awe.
  1175.  
  1176. FOURTH TRUTH
  1177.  
  1178. The Gate of Generosity and Beauty,
  1179.  
  1180. the Manifestation of the Names of Generous and Beautiful
  1181.  
  1182. Is it at all possible that infinite generosity and liberality, inexhaustible riches, unending treasures, peerless and eternal beauty, flawless and everlasting perfection, should not require the existence of grateful supplicants, yearning spectators and astounded onlookers, all destined to stay an eternity in an abode of bliss, a place of repose? Yes, adorning the face of the world with all these objects of beauty, creating the moon and the sun as its lamps, filling the surface of the earth with the finest varieties of sustenance and thus making it a banquet of bounty, making fruit-trees into so many dishes, and renewing them several times each season - all this shows the existence of infinite generosity and liberality. Such unending liberality and generosity, such inexhaustible treasures of mercy, require the existence of an abode of repose, a place of bliss, that shall be everlasting and contain all desirable objects within it. They also require that those who enjoy such bliss should remain in that abode of repose eternally, without suffering the pain of cessation and separation. For just as the cessation of pain is a form of pleasure, so too the cessation of pleasure is a form of pain, one that such infinite generosity is unwilling to countenance. It requires, then, the existence both of an eternal paradise and of supplicants to abide in it eternally.
  1183.  
  1184. Infinite generosity and liberality desire to bestow infinite bounty and infinite kindness. The bestowal of infinite bounty and infinite kindness require in turn infinite gratitude. This necessitates the perpetual existence of those who receive all the kindness so that they can demonstrate their thanks and gratitude for that perpetual bestowal and constant bounty. A petty enjoyment, made bitter by cessation, and lasting for only a brief time, is not compatible with the requirements of generosity and liberality.
  1185.  
  1186. Look too at the different regions of the world, each like an exhibition where God's crafts are displayed. Pay attention to the Dominical proclamations in the hands of all the plants and animals on the face of the earth10 and listen to the prophets and the saints, the heralds of the beauties of Dominicality. They unanimously display the flawless perfections of the Glorious Maker by demonstrating His miraculous arts, and thus invite the gazes of men.
  1187.  
  1188. The Maker of this world has, then, most important, astounding and secret perfections. It is these He wishes to display by means of His miraculous arts. For secret, flawless perfection wishes to be manifested to those who will appreciate, admire and wonderingly gaze at it. Eternal perfection requires eternal manifestation. Such eternal manifestation in turn requires the perpetual existence of those who are to appreciate and admire it. The value of perfection will always sink in the view of its admirer if he is devoid of perpetual existence.11 Again, the beauteous, artistic, brilliant and adorned creatures that cover the face of the globe, bear witness to the fairness of a peerless, transcendent beauty, and indicate the subtle charms of an unparalleled, hidden pulchritude, just as sunlight bears witness to the sun.12 Each manifestation of that sacred, transcendent beauty, indicates the existence of countless hidden treasures in each of God's Names. Now so exalted, peerless and hidden a beauty, just as it desires to view its own fairness in a mirror and to behold the degrees and measures of its beauty in an animate reflection, desires also to become manifest, in order to look on its own beauty through the eyes of others. That is, it wishes to look at its own beauty in two ways; firstly, by beholding itself in mirrors of variegated colour; secondly, through the gaze of yearning witnesses to itself, of bewildered admirers of its beauty.
  1189.  
  1190. In short, beauty and fairness desire to see and be seen. Both of these require the existence of yearning witnesses and bewildered admirers. And since beauty and fairness are eternal and everlasting, their witnesses and admirers must have perpetual life. An eternal beauty can never be satisfied with transient admirers. An admirer condemned to irreversible separation will find his love turning to enmity once he conceives of separation. His admiration will yield to ridicule, his respect to contempt. For just as obstinate man is an enemy to what is unknown to him, so too he is opposed to all that lies beyond his reach, and love that is not infinite will respond to a beauty that deserves unending admiration with implicit enmity, hatred and rejection. From this we understand the profound reason for the unbeliever's enmity to God.
  1191.  
  1192. So endless generosity and liberality, peerless fairness and beauty, flawless perfection - all these require the existence of eternally grateful and longing supplicants and admirers. But we see in this hospice of the world that everyone quickly leaves and vanishes, having had only a taste of that generosity, enough to whet his appetite but not to satiate him, and having seen only a dim light coming from the perfection, or rather a faint shadow of its light, without in any way being fully satisfied. It follows, then, that men are going toward a place of eternal joy where all will be bestowed on them in full measure.
  1193.  
  1194. In short, just as this world, with all its creatures, decisively demonstrates the existence of the Glorious Maker, so too do His sacred attributes and Names indicate, show and logically require, the existence of the hereafter.
  1195.  
  1196. FIFTH TRUTH
  1197.  
  1198. The gate of Compassion and Muhammedan Worship,
  1199.  
  1200. the Manifestation of the Names of
  1201.  
  1202. Answerer of Prayer and Compassionate
  1203.  
  1204. Is it at all possible that a Lord possessing infinite compassion and mercy, Who most compassionately fulfils the smallest need of His lowliest creatures in the most unexpected fashion, Who heeds the muffled plea for help of His most obscure creature, and Who responds to all the petitions He hears, whether vocal or mute - is it at all possible that such a Lord should not pay heed to the greatest petition of the foremost among His servants, the most beloved among his creatures, that He should not hear and grant his most exalted prayer? The kindness and ease manifested in the feeding and nurturing of weak and young animals show that the Monarch of the cosmos exercises his Dominicality with infinite mercy.
  1205.  
  1206. Is it at all possible that a compassion merciful to this degree in the exercise of Dominicality should not accept the prayer of the most virtuous and beautiful of all creation?13 This truth is explained in the Nineteenth Word, but let us repeat our statement of the matter here:
  1207.  
  1208. O friend listening to these words together with my own soul! We said in the comparison that a meeting took place on a certain island, and a most noble commander delivered a speech there. In order to find out the truth indicated in the comparison, come, let us depart from this age, and in our mind and imagination travel to the Arabian Peninsula in the blessed age of the Prophet, in order to visit and watch him while he is performing his duties and engaging in worship. See, just as he is the means for the attainment of eternal bliss, by means of his messengerhood and guidance, so too he is the cause for the existence of that bliss and the means for the creation of Paradise, by means of his worship and prayer.
  1209.  
  1210. Now see! That being is praying for eternal bliss in such supreme supplication, with such sublime worship, that it is as if this island, or even the whole world, were praying and supplicating together with him. For the worship he performs contains within itself not only the worship of the community that follows him, but also that of all the other prophets, in its essential form, by virtue of the correspondence existing between him and them. Moreover, he performs his supreme prayer and offers his supplications in such a vast congregation that it is as if all luminous and perfect men, from the time of Adam down to the present, were following him in prayer and saying "amen" to his supplications!14 He is praying for so universal a need - immortality - that not merely the people of this earth, but also the inhabitants of the heavens and the entirety of creation are participating in his supplications and silently proclaiming, "yes, o Lord! Grant his prayer; we too desire it." He petitions for everlasting bliss with such touching sadness, in so yearning, so longing, and so pleading a fashion, that he causes the whole of the cosmos to weep and thus to share in his prayer.
  1211.  
  1212. See, he desires and prays for bliss, for such a purpose and goal that he elevates man and all creatures from captivity in the abysmal state of utter annihilation, from worthlessness, uselessness, and purposelessness to the apex of preciousness, eternity, exalted function, and the rank of being a script penned by God.
  1213.  
  1214. See, he makes his petition with such elevated plea for succour, makes his supplication with so sweet a request for mercy, that it is as if he caused all beings, the heavens and God's throne itself to listen, and to echo his prayer ecstatically with cries of "amen, o Lord, amen!"15
  1215.  
  1216. See, he requests bliss and eternity from a Being, One so All-Hearing, Generous and Powerful, so All-Seeing, Merciful and Knowledgeable that He sees, hears, accepts and takes pity upon the most secret wish, the slightest desire of the most obscure of his creatures, this, in observable form. He answers all pleas even if they are silently proffered. He bestows all things and answers all pleas in so wise, percipient and merciful a fashion that no doubt remains that all that nurturing and regulating can derive only from One All-Hearing and All-Seeing, One Generous and Merciful.
  1217.  
  1218. Let us listen to what the Pride of All Being is requesting, that source of honour for all of mankind, that one unique in all of creation, who bears on his back the burden of all men, who standing on this earth lifts up his hands towards God's throne and offers up a prayer which in its reality contains the essence of the worship of all of mankind. See, he is asking for eternal bliss for himself and for his community. He is asking for eternity and Paradise. He is making his plea together with all the Divine Sacred Names that display their beauty in the mirrors of all created being. You can see, indeed, that he is seeking intercession from those Names.
  1219.  
  1220. If there were not countless reasons and causes for the existence of the hereafter, a single prayer of that exalted being would be enough for the creation of Paradise, a task as easy for the power of the Merciful Creator as the creation of spring.16
  1221.  
  1222. Indeed, how could the creation of spring be difficult for the Possessor of Absolute Power Who each spring makes the face of the world into a plain of resurrection, and brings forth there a hundred thousand examples of resurrection? In just the same way that the messengerhood of the Prophet was the reason for the foundation of this realm of trial - the saying "were it not for thee, were it not for thee, I would not have created the spheres" being an indication of this - so too the worship he performed was the cause for the foundation of the abode of bliss.
  1223.  
  1224. Is it at all possible that the flawless perfection of artistry, the peerless beauty of Dominicality expressed in the order of the world and the comprehensive mercy that reduce all to bewilderment, should not answer his prayer, and thus tolerate an extreme form of ugliness, cruelty and disorder? Is it possible that it would listen to the most petty and insignificant desires and grant them, but dismiss significant and important desires as worthless, and fail to fulfil them? No, a thousand times no! Such beauty can never accept such ugliness and itself become ugly.17
  1225.  
  1226. So just as the Prophet opened the gates of this world with his messengerhood, he opens the gates of the hereafter with his worship.
  1227.  
  1228. May the blessings of the Compassionate One be upon him, to the extent of all that this world and paradise contain. O God, grant blessings and peace to Your servant and Messenger, that Beloved One who is the Master of both Realms, the Pride of all the Worlds, the source of life in both spheres, the means for the attainment of happiness here and in the hereafter, he who flies on two wings, who is the messenger to both men and jinn - to him, and to his Family, and all of his Companions, as well as his brethren from among the prophets and messengers. Amen.
  1229.  
  1230. SIXTH TRUTH
  1231.  
  1232. The Gate of Splendour and Eternity,
  1233.  
  1234. the Manifestation of the Names of Glorious and Eternal
  1235.  
  1236. Is it at all possible that the splendour of Dominicality that subdues and commands all beings, from suns and trees down to particles, just like obedient soldiers, should concentrate its entire attention on the wretched and transient beings that pass a temporary life in the hospice of this world, and not create an eternal and everlasting sphere of splendour, an unending manifestation of Dominicality? The display of Divine splendour in the changing of the seasons, the sublime motions of the planets in the heavens as if they were aeroplanes, the subjugation of all things and the creation of the earth as man's cradle and the sun as his lamp, vast transformations such as the reviving and adornment of the dead and dry globe - all of this shows that behind the veil a sublime Dominicality exists, that a splendid monarchy is at work.
  1237.  
  1238. Now such a Dominical kingdom requires subjects worthy of itself, as well as an appropriate mode of manifestation. But look at this hospice of the world, and you will see that the most significant class of its subjects, endowed with the most comprehensive of functions, are gathered together only temporarily and that, in the most wretched of states. The hospice fills and empties each day. All of the subjects stay only temporarily in this abode of trial for the sake of being tested in service. The abode itself changes each hour. Again, all of the monarch's subjects stay only for a few brief minutes in order to behold the samples of the precious bounty of the Glorious Maker, to look on His miraculous works of art in the exhibition of the world with the eye of a buyer. Then they disappear. The exhibition itself changes every minute. Whoever leaves it, never returns, and whoever comes to it, will ultimately depart.
  1239.  
  1240. Now this state and circumstance definitively shows that behind and beyond this hospice, this testing-ground, this exhibition, there are permanent palaces and eternal abodes that fully manifest and support God's everlasting sovereignty; there are gardens and treasurehouses full of the pure and exalted originals of the forms and copies we see in this world. If we strive here in this world, it is for the sake of what awaits us there. We work here, and are rewarded there. Bliss awaits everyone there, in accordance with his capacity, as long as he does not squander his share. Yes, it is impossible that such eternal kingship should concentrate exclusively on these wretched transient beings.
  1241.  
  1242. Consider this truth through the telescope of the following comparison. You are travelling along a road. You see a caravanserai ahead of you on the road, built by a great personage for people coming to visit him. Millions are spent on the decoration of the caravanserai so that guests should enjoy their one night's stay there, and for their instruction. But the guests see very little of those decorations, look at them for a very short time; briefly tasting the joys of what is offered them, they go on their way without being satiated. But each guest takes a photograph of the objects in the caravanserai by means of his special camera. Also, the servants of that great personage record with great care the conduct of all the guests and preserve the record. You see, too, that he destroys every day most of the valuable decorations, and replaces them with fresh decorations for the newly arriving guests. After seeing all this, will any doubt remain that the personage who has constructed this caravanserai on the road has permanent and exalted dwellings, inexhaustible and precious treasures, an uninterrupted flow of great generosity? By means of the generosity displayed in the caravanserai, he intends merely to whet the appetite of his guests for those things he keeps in his immediate presence; to awaken their desire for the gifts he has prepared for them. So too, if you look upon the state of the hospice of this world without falling into drunkenness, you will understand the following nine principles:
  1243.  
  1244. o First Principle: You will understand that this world does not exist for its own sake, any more than does the caravanserai. It is impossible that it should assume this shape by itself. Rather, it is a well constructed hospice, wisely designed to receive the caravan of beings that constantly arrive to alight before departing again.
  1245.  
  1246. o Second Principle: You will understand, too, that those living within this hospice are guests. They are invited by their Generous Sustainer to the Abode of Peace.
  1247.  
  1248. o Third Principle: You will understand, further, that the adornments of this world are not simply for the sake of enjoyment or admiration. For if they yield pleasure for a time, they cause pain for a longer time with their cessation. They give you a taste and whet your appetite, but never satiate you. For either the life of the pleasure is short, or your life is short, too brief for you to become satiated. These adornments of high value and brief duration must, then, be for the sake of instruction in wisdom,18 for arousing gratitude, and for encouraging men to seek out the perpetual originals of which they are copies. They are, then, for other exalted goals beyond themselves.
  1249.  
  1250. o Fourth Principle: You will understand also that the adornments of this world19 are like samples and forms of the blessings stored up in Paradise by the mercy of the Compassionate One for the people of faith.
  1251.  
  1252. o Fifth Principle: You will understand, too, that all of these transient objects have not been created for the sake of annihilation, in order to appear briefly and then vanish. The purpose for their creation is rather briefly to be assembled in existence and acquire the desired form, so that these may be noted, their images preserved, their meanings known, and their results recorded. This is so that, for example, everlasting spectacles might be wrought for the people of eternity, and that they might serve other purposes in the realm of eternity. You will understand that things have been created for eternity, not for annihilation; and as for apparent annihilation, it has the sense of a completion of duty and a release from service, for every transient thing advances to annihilation with one aspect, but remains eternally with numerous other aspects.
  1253.  
  1254. Look, for example, at the flower, a word of God's power; for a short time it smiles and looks at us, and then hides behind the veil of annihilation. It departs just like a word leaving your mouth. But it does so entrusting thousands of its fellows to men's ears. It leaves behind meanings in men's minds as numerous as those minds. The flower, too, expressing its meaning and thus fulfilling its function, goes and departs. But it goes leaving its apparent form in the memory of everything that sees it, its inner essence in every seed. It is as if each memory and seed were a camera to record the adornment of the flower, or a means for its perpetuation. If such be the case with an object at the simplest level of life, it can be readily understood how closely tied to eternity is man, the highest form of life and the possessor of an eternal soul. Again, from the fact that the laws - each resembling a spirit - according to which large flowering and fruit bearing plants are formed and the representations of their forms are preserved and perpetuated in most regular fashion in tiny seeds throughout tempestuous changes - from this fact it can be easily understood how closely tied and related to eternity is the spirit of man, which possesses an extremely exalted and comprehensive nature, and which although clothed in a body, is a conscious and luminous law issuing from the divine command.
  1255.  
  1256. o Sixth Principle: You will also understand that man has not been left to graze where he wills, with a halter loosely tied around his neck; on the contrary, the forms of all his deeds are recorded and registered, and the results of all his acts are preserved for the day when he shall be called to account.
  1257.  
  1258. o Seventh Principle: You will understand, further, that the destruction visited upon the beautiful creatures of summer and spring in the autumn is not for the sake of annihilation. Instead, it is a form of dismissal after the completion of service.20 It is also a form of emptying in order to clear a space for the new creation that is to come in the following spring, of preparing the ground and making ready for the beings that are to come and assume their functions. Finally, it is a form of Divine warning to conscious beings to awake from the neglect that causes them to forget their duties, from the drunken torpor that causes them to forget their obligation of offering thanks.
  1259.  
  1260. o Eighth Principle: You will understand this, too, that the eternal Maker of this transient world has another, everlasting world; it is to this that He urges and impels His servants.
  1261.  
  1262. o Ninth Principle: You will understand, also, that so Compassionate a Being will bestow upon His choice servants in that world such gifts as no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard, nor has their image crossed the heart of any man. In this we believe.
  1263.  
  1264. SEVENTH TRUTH
  1265.  
  1266. The Gate of Protection and Preservation,
  1267.  
  1268. the Manifestation of the Names of Preserver and Guardian
  1269.  
  1270. Is it at all possible that God's attribute of Preserver, which protects all things with the utmost order and balance, - things in the heavens and on the earth, on dry land and in the ocean, dry and wet, large and small, commonplace and exalted- and as it were, sifts their results by way of accounting - is it at all possible that this attribute should permit the deeds and acts of man, man who has been given the lofty disposition of humanity, the rank of God's supreme vicegerency, and the duty of bearing the Supreme Trust, not to be recorded, not to be passed through the sieve of accounting, not to be weighed in the balance of justice, not to be punished or rewarded fittingly, even though his acts and deeds closely pertain to God's universal Dominicality? No, it is not in any way possible!
  1271.  
  1272. Yes, the Being that administers this cosmos preserves all things in order and balance. Order and balance are the manifestation of knowledge and wisdom, of will and power. For we see that the substance of every created object is fashioned in well-ordered and symmetrical fashion. Not only is each of the forms it changes throughout its life well-ordered, but the totality of these forms is also marked by the same orderliness. We see, too, that the Glorious Preserver preserves many forms of all things the life of which comes to an end when they have performed their function and which depart from the manifest world, in the memories of men, that are like a kind of preserved tablet,* or in a form of archetypal mirror. He also writes and inscribes a brief history of their life in a seed, that is like the result and outcome of the whole. Thus He causes all things to be preserved in mirrors pertaining to both the outer and inner worlds. The memory of man, the fruit of the tree, the kernel of the fruit, the seed of the flower - all of these demonstrate the universality and comprehensiveness of the law of preservation.
  1273.  
  1274. Do you not see that all the flowers and fruits of the vast spring, the records of their deeds in appropriate form, the laws of their formation, and the images of their forms, are all inscribed into the finite space of a minute seed and are there preserved? The following spring, their record of deeds is set forth, in a form of accounting appropriate to them, and another vast world of spring is brought forth, with the utmost order and wisdom. This demonstrates with what powerful comprehensiveness God's attribute of Preserver exercises itself. Considering that the results of such transient, commonplace, impermanent and insignificant things are preserved, is it at all possible that men's deeds, that yield important fruit in the world of the unseen, the world of the hereafter, and the world of spirits, from the point of view of universal Dominicality, is it at all possible that they should not be guarded and preserved, should not be recorded as a matter of importance? No, by no means!
  1275.  
  1276. Yes, from this manifestation of God's attribute of Preserver it can be deduced that the Master of all creation devotes great care to the orderliness of all things that come to pass in His realm. He pays great attention to the function of sovereignty, and lavishes extreme care on the Dominicality of kingship. Thus He records, or causes to be recorded, the pettiest of happenings, the smallest of services, and preserves in numerous things the form of everything that happens in His realm. This attribute of Preserver indicates that an important register of deeds will be subjected to a precise examination and weighing: the records of men's deeds will stand revealed.
  1277.  
  1278. Now is it at all possible that man should be ennobled with the vicegerency of God and His Trust, that, as a witness to the universality of Dominicality, he should proclaim God's Unity in the realm of multiplicity, and thus act as a controller and witness by having some share in the glorification of God and worship of most beings - is it at all possible that he should do all of this and then go to his grave and sleep peacefully without ever being awakened? Without ever being asked concerning his deeds, small and great? That he should not go to the plain of resurrection and be tried at the Supreme Tribunal? No, by no means!
  1279.  
  1280. Or is it possible for man to flee and hide himself in annihilation, for him to enter the earth and conceal himself from that Powerful and Glorious One to Whose Power over all contingencies in the future,21 the occurrences of past time - each a miracle of His power - bear witness, and Who visibly creates winter and spring, that, taken together, resemble resurrection? Since man is not called to account and judged in fitting fashion while in this world, it follows that he must proceed to a Supreme Tribunal and a final felicity.
  1281.  
  1282. EIGHTH TRUTH
  1283.  
  1284. The Gate of Promise and Threat,
  1285.  
  1286. the Manifestation of the Names of Beautiful and Glorious.
  1287.  
  1288. Is it at all possible that the Maker of this world, the Possessor of Absolute Knowledge and Absolute Power, should not fulfil the oft-repeated promise and threat that has been proclaimed unanimously by all the Prophets and been witnessed in unison by all the veracious and the saints, and thus display weakness and ignorance? God forbid! All that is implied by His promise and threat is not at all difficult for His power to fulfil; it is extremely simple and easy. It is as easy for Him as bringing back next spring the countless beings of last spring, in part identically,22 in part in simile.23 It is our need, the need of everything, His own need and the need of His Dominical sovereignty, that He should fulfil His promise. For Him to break His promise would be contrary to the dignity of His power, and it would contradict the comprehensiveness of His knowledge. For the breaking of a promise can arise only from ignorance or impotence.
  1289.  
  1290. O denier! Do you know how foolish a crime you are committing with your unbelief and denial? Paying heed to your own lying fancy, your delirious intellect, your deceptive soul, you reject as a liar One Who in no way can be compelled to the breaking of His promise, Whose Glory and Stature can in no way admit the breaking of His word, and Whose truthfulness and veracity are attested by all visible matters and objects! Despite your infinite pettiness, you are committing a crime of infinitely great proportions. Without doubt you deserve great and eternal punishment. According to certain narrations, the fact that the teeth of some of the people of Hell will be as big as a mountain will serve as an indication of the magnitude of their crime. O denier, you are like a traveller who closes his eyes to the sunlight and looks instead at the fantasy in his own mind. His imagination wishes to illumine the awesome path in front of him with the light proceeding from his mind's lamp that in reality is no stronger than a glow-worm. Whatever has been promised by God Almighty, Whose veracious words are these beings we see and Whose truthful, eloquent signs are the processes of nature, He will of a surety fulfil. He will establish a Supreme Tribunal, and bestow an ultimate bliss.
  1291.  
  1292.  
  1293. NINTH TRUTH
  1294.  
  1295. The Gate of God's bestowal of life and death,
  1296.  
  1297. the Manifestation of the Names of Eternally Living
  1298.  
  1299. and Self-Subsistent, and Giver of Life and Giver of Death.
  1300.  
  1301. Is it at all possible that the One Who gives life to this vast dead and dry earth; Who in so doing demonstrates His power by deploying more than three hundred thousand different forms of creation, each of them as remarkable as man; Who further demonstrates in this deployment His all-embracing knowledge by the infinite distinctions and differentiations He makes in the complex intermingling of all of those forms; Who directs the gaze of all His slaves to everlasting bliss by promising them resurrection in all of His heavenly decrees; Who demonstrates the splendour of His Dominicality by causing all of His creation to collaborate with one another, to revolve within the circle of His command and His will, to aid one another and be submitted to Him; Who shows the importance He has given to man by creating him as the most comprehensive, the most precious and delicate, the most valued and valuable fruit on the tree of creation by addressing him without intermediary and subjugating all things to him; - is it at all possible that so Compassionate and Powerful a One, so Wise and All-Knowing a One, should not bring about resurrection; should not gather His creatures together or be unable to do so; should not restore man to life, or be unable to do so; should not be able to inaugurate His Supreme Court; should not be able to create Heaven and Hell? Nay, indeed, by no means is any of this possible.
  1302.  
  1303. Indeed, the Almighty Disposer of this world's affairs creates in every century, every year and every day, on the narrow and transient face of the globe, numerous signs, examples and indications of the Supreme Gathering and the Plain of Resurrection.
  1304.  
  1305. Thus in the gathering that takes place every spring we see that in the course of five or six days more than three hundred thousand different kinds of animal and plant are first gathered together and then dispersed. The roots of all the trees and plants, as well as some animals, are revived and restored exactly as they were. The other animals are recreated in a form so similar as to be almost identical. The seeds which appear, in their outward form, to be so close to each other, nonetheless, in the course of six days or six weeks, become distinct and differentiated from each other, and then with extreme speed, ease and facility, are brought to life in the utmost order and equilibrium. Is it at all possible that for the One Who does all of this anything should be difficult; that He should be unable to create the heavens and the earth in six days; that He should be unable to resurrect men with a single blast? No, by no means is it possible!
  1306.  
  1307. Let us suppose there were to be some gifted writer who could write out in a single hour the confused and obliterated letters of three hundred thousand books on a single sheet without any error, omission or defect, complete and in the best form. If someone were then to say to you that that writer could write out again from memory a book written by him that had fallen into the water and become obliterated, would you then say that he is unable, and would you not believe in his ability? Or think of some talented king who, in order to demonstrate his power or for the sake of providing a warning example, removes whole mountains with a single command, turns his realm upside down, and transforms the sea into dry land. Then you see that a great rock rolls down into a valley, so that the path is blocked for guests travelling to attend the king's reception and they are unable to pass. If someone should say to you: "that exalted one will remove or dissolve the stone, however great it may be, with a single command; he will not leave his guests stranded," would you then say that he will not remove the stone, or be unable to do so? Or if someone one day should gather together a great army, and you are then informed that he will summon its battalions together with a blast of the trumpet after they had dispersed to rest, and the battalions will form up in disciplined shape, would you respond by saying, "I don't believe it?" Were you to say any of these things your behaviour would truly be madness.
  1308.  
  1309. If you have understood these three parables, now look further and see how the Pre-Eternal Designer turns over in front of our eyes the white page of winter and opens the green pages of spring and summer. Then He inscribes on the page of the earth's surface, with the pen of Power and Destiny, in the most beautiful form, more than three hundred thousand species of creation. Not one encroaches upon another. He writes them all together, but none blocks the path of another. In their formation and shape, each is kept separate from the other without any confusion. There is no error in the writing. That Wise and Preserving One, Who preserves and inserts the spirit of a great tree in the smallest seed, no bigger than a dot - is it permissible even to ask how He preserves the spirits of those who die? That Powerful One Who causes the globe to revolve like a pebble in a sling - is it permissible even to ask how He will remove this globe from the path of His guests who are travelling to meet Him in the Hereafter?
  1310.  
  1311. Again, the One of Glorious Essence Who from non-being recruits anew and inscribes into His battalions, with the command of "Be, and behold it is," and with utmost discipline, the troops of all living things, the very particles of all of their bodies, and thus creates highly disciplined armies - is it permissible even to ask how He can make bodies submit to His discipline like a battalion, how He can gather together their mutually acquainted fundamental particles, and their component members?
  1312.  
  1313. You can, moreover, behold with your own eyes, the numerous designs made by God as signs, similes and indications of resurrection, designs placed by Him in every age and epoch of the world, in the alternation of day and night, even in the appearance and disappearance of clouds in the sky. If you imagine yourself to have been living a thousand years ago, and then compare with each other the two wings of time that are the past and the future, then you will behold similes of the gathering and indications of resurrection as numerous as the centuries and days. If, then, after witnessing so many similes and indications, you regard corporeal resurrection as improbable and rationally unacceptable, know your behaviour to be pure lunacy.
  1314.  
  1315. See what the Supreme Decree says concerning the truth we are discussing:
  1316.  
  1317. Look upon the signs of God's mercy, and see how He restores life to the earth after its death. Verily He it is Who shall bring to life the dead, and He is powerful over all things.24
  1318.  
  1319. In short: There is nothing that makes impossible the gathering of resurrection, and much that necessitates it. The glorious and eternal Dominicality, the almighty and all embracing Sovereignty of the One Who gives life and death to this vast and wondrous earth as if it were a mere animal; Who has made of this earth a pleasing cradle, a fine ship, for man and the animals; Who has made of the sun a lamp furnishing light and heat to the hostelry of the world; Who has made of the planets vehicles for the conveyance of His angels - the Dominicality and Sovereignty of such a One cannot rest upon and be restricted to the transitory, impermanent, unstable, insignificant, changeable, unlasting, deficient and imperfect affairs of this world. He must, therefore, have another realm, one worthy of Him, permanent, stable, immutable and glorious. Indeed, He does have another kingdom, and it is for the sake of this that He causes us to labour, and to this that He summons us. All those of illumined spirit who have penetrated from outer appearances to truth, and have been ennobled with proximity to the Divine Presence, all the spiritual poles endowed with luminous hearts, all the possessors of lucent intelligence, all bear witness that He will transfer us to that other kingdom. They inform us unanimously that He has prepared for us there reward and requittal, and relate that He is repeatedly giving us firm promises and stern warnings.
  1320.  
  1321. As for the breaking of a promise, it is baseless and utter humiliation. It cannot in any way be reconciled with the Glory of His Sanctity. Similarly, failure to fulfil a threat arises either from forgiveness or powerlessness. Now unbelief is extreme crime, and cannot be forgiven.25 The Absolutely Omnipotent One is exempt of and exalted above all powerlessness. Those who bring us their testimony and report, despite all the differences in their methods, temperaments and paths, are totally unanimous and agreed on this basic matter. By their number, they have the authority of unanimity. By their quality, they have the authority of learned consensus. By their rank, each one is a guiding star of mankind, the cherished eye of a people, the object of a nation's veneration. By their importance, each one is an expert and an authority in the matter. In any art or science, two experts are preferred to thousands of non-experts, and two positive affirmers are preferred to thousands of negators in the transmission of a report. For example, the testimony of two men affirming the sighting of the crescent moon at the beginning of Ramadan totally nullifies the negation of thousands of deniers.
  1322.  
  1323. In short: In the whole world there is no truer report, no firmer claim, no more apparent truth than this. The world is without doubt a field, and the resurrection a threshing-floor, a harvest. Paradise and Hell are each storehouses for the grain.
  1324.  
  1325. TENTH TRUTH
  1326.  
  1327. The Gate of Wisdom, Grace, Mercy and Justice;
  1328.  
  1329. the Manifestation of the Names of All-Wise,
  1330.  
  1331. Generous, Just and Merciful.
  1332.  
  1333. Is it at all possible that the Glorious Possessor of all Dominion in this impermanent hospice of the world, in this transient place of testing, in this unstable showplace of the earth so manifest a wisdom, so evident a grace, so overwhelming a justice, so comprehensive a mercy, - is it at all possible that in His realm, in the worlds of the outer and inner dimensions of things, there should not exist permanent abodes with eternal inhabitants, everlasting stations with immortal residents, and that as a result all the truths of wisdom, grace, mercy and justice that we now see should decline into nothingness.
  1334.  
  1335. Again, is it at all possible that that All-Wise Being should choose man, among all His creation, to receive direct and universal address from Him, should make him a comprehensive mirror to Himself, should permit him to taste, weigh, and become acquainted with, all the contents of His treasuries of mercy, should make Himself known to him with all His Names, should love him and make Himself beloved of him - that He should do all this and then fail to dispatch wretched man to that eternal realm, to invite him to that abode of permanent bliss and make him happy there?
  1336.  
  1337. Is it at all reasonable that He should impose on every being, even the seed, a task as heavy as a tree, mount in it instances of His wisdom as numerous as the flowers, and beneficial aspects as numerous as the fruits, but assign to that task, to those instances of His wisdom and those beneficial aspects, a purpose pertaining only to this world, one as small as a seed? That He should make that purpose nothing more than the life of this world, something less valuable than a grain of mustard-seed? That He should not make of beings seeds for the world of meaning and tillage for the realm of the hereafter, for them to yield there their true and worthy results? That He should permit such significant alternations to remain without purpose, to be empty and vain? That He should not turn their faces towards the world of meaning and the hereafter, so that they might there reveal their true purposes and fitting results?
  1338.  
  1339. Again, is it at all possible that by thus causing things to controvert their own nature He should present His own veracious Names, All-Wise, Generous, Just, Merciful, as being characterized by their opposites - God forbid! - that He should deny the true essences of all those beings that indicate His wisdom and generosity, His justice and mercy, that He should reject the testimony of all creatures, that He should negate the indications made by all things?
  1340.  
  1341. Can intelligence at all accept that God should impose on man and his senses duties as numerous as the hair on his head, but give him no more than an earthly reward, something no more valuable than a hair? That He should act meaninglessly, in a fashion contrary to His true justice and opposed to His true wisdom?
  1342.  
  1343. Again, is it at all possible that God Who proves and shows Himself to be a possessor of absolute wisdom, by attaching to every animate being, or even to every member like the tongue, indeed to every creature, instances of His wisdom and sources of benefit as numerous as the results and the fruits He has attached to a tree - is it at all possible that He should fail to bestow of Himself the greatest of all instances of His wisdom, the most significant of all sources of benefit, the most necessary of all results, that which makes His wisdom into wisdom, His blessings into blessings, His mercy into mercy, the source and aim of all of His wisdom, bounty, mercy and beneficence - eternity, the meeting with Him in the hereafter and everlasting bliss? Were He to abandon these, He would plunge all of His doings unto utter pointlessness and cause Himself to resemble a being who constructed a palace, each stone of which contained thousands of designs, in each corner of which thousands of adornments were to be found, and in each part of which thousands of precious household instruments and tools were provided, but failed to build a roof over it, so that everything rotted and was needlessly destroyed. No, by no means can this be true! From absolute goodness comes forth goodness, and from the Possessor of Absolute Beauty comes forth beauty. So too nothing devoid of purpose can emerge from the Possessor of Absolute Wisdom.
  1344.  
  1345. Whoever in his imagination embarks on the ship of history and sets sail for the past, will see dead stages, places, gatherings and worlds, as numerous as the years, and each like the stopping-place that is the world, the field of trial, the gathering of creation, that we now see. In form and quality they are different from each other, but they resemble each other with respect to their orderliness, their wondrousness and the fashion in which they display the power and wisdom of the Maker.
  1346.  
  1347. In those impermanent stopping-places, those transient fields, those fleeting gatherings, he will also see the orderly workings of so manifest a wisdom, the indications of so evident a beneficence, the signs of so imperious a justice, the fruits of so comprehensive a mercy, that he will know of a certainty - unless totally devoid of perception - that a more perfect wisdom that that which he beholds is inconceivable, that a beneficence more beauteous than that the signs of which he observes is impossible, that a justice more glorious than that the indications of which he sees cannot exist, and a mercy more comprehensive than that the fruits of which he sees is unimaginable.
  1348.  
  1349. If, to suppose the impossible, there were no permanent abodes, lofty mansions, everlasting stations and eternal abodes, with their eternal residents, God's joyous servants, in the realm of that Eternal Monarch Who disposes all affairs and Who constantly is changing the hospice and its inmates, then it would be necessary to reject the true essences of wisdom, justice, beneficence and compassion, those four powerful and universal spiritual elements that are like light, air, water and earth, and to deny their existence, even though they are as apparent as that of the external elements. For it is plain that this impermanent world and its contents cannot be a complete manifestation of their true essences. If there is no other place, somewhere else, where they can be manifested fully, it then becomes necessary, with a lunacy like that of the man who denies the existence of the sun even though he sees its light filling the day, to deny the wisdom that we can see in everything in front of our eyes; to deny the beneficence that we can observe in our own souls and in most other things; to deny the justice the signs of which appear so strongly;26 and to deny the compassion we see everywhere in operation. It follows in turn that we must regard as a foolish prankster, a treacherous tyrant, the one from whom proceed all the wise processes, the generous deeds and the merciful gifts we perceive in the universe. God forbid that this should be so; it is a totally impossible reversal of the truth. Even the foolish sophists, who denied the existence of everything and even that of their own selves, would not readily contemplate such a proposition.
  1350.  
  1351. In short: Considering the utter disparity between - on the one hand - this state of affairs which we see together with the universal fusions of life and the swift separations of death, the imposing gatherings and the rapid dispersions, the magnificent revolutions and the great manifestations, and - on the other hand - the petty fruits we see briefly attained in this transient world, the temporary and insignificant purposes of beings that pertain to this world, we conclude that the non-existence of the hereafter would mean attaching to a little stone wise purposes as great as a mountain, and to a great mountain, a purpose as petty as a small stone. No intelligence or wisdom can find this acceptable.
  1352.  
  1353. In other words, this lack of proportion between beings and these matters on the one hand, and their purposes pertaining to this world on the other, demonstrates with certainty that all beings have their faces turned to the world of meaning. It is there that they will yield their appropriate fruits, and their eyes are fixed on the Sacred Names. Their ultimate aims pertain to that world alone. While their substance is hidden beneath the soil of this world, their flowers will unfold in the World of Similitudes. Man sows and is sown in this world, in accordance with his capacity; the harvest is gathered in the hereafter. If you look at the aspect of things that is turned towards the Divine Names and the hereafter you will see that each seed, a miracle of power, has an aim as vast as a tree. Each flower, which is like a word of Divine wisdom, has meanings as numerous as the flowers on a tree, and each fruit, a wonder of God's workmanship and a poem dictated by His mercy, has wise purposes as numerous as the fruits of a tree. As for the fruit serving us as sustenance, it is merely one out of those many thousand wise purposes; it fulfils its purpose, expresses its meanings, and dies, being buried in our stomach.27 Since these transient beings yield eternal fruits in another place, leave there permanent forms of themselves, and express there everlasting meanings; since they engage in ceaseless glorification of the Maker; and since man becomes man by perceiving these aspects of things that are oriented to the hereafter, thus finding his way to eternity by means of the transient - since all of this is true, there must be some other purpose for all these beings that are cast around between life and death, that are first gathered and then dispersed.
  1354.  
  1355. There is no error in this comparison: the above-mentioned state of affairs resembles circumstances formed and arranged by way of imitation and representation. Brief gatherings and dispersions are arranged at great expense merely for the sake of taking pictures that can thereafter be shown in the cinema. So too, one of the reasons for our passage through individual and social life in this life, for a brief time, is to enable pictures to be taken and images formed, to enable the result of our deeds to be registered and recorded, for display on a day of accounting, for being shown at a vast gathering, and to yield the fruit of supreme happiness. The noble saying of the Prophet, upon whom be peace and blessings, "This world is the tillage for the hereafter," indicates this meaning.
  1356.  
  1357. Since the world exists, and within this world wisdom, beneficence, compassion and justice also exist, with their numerous evidences, of a certainty the hereafter also exists, just as surely as does this world. Since one aspect of everything in this world is turned to that world and is proceeding toward it, to deny that world would be denying this world with all it contains. Just as the allotted hour and the grave await man, so too do Paradise and Hell, anxiously watching for his arrival.
  1358.  
  1359.  
  1360. ELEVENTH TRUTH
  1361.  
  1362. The Gate of Humanity, and
  1363.  
  1364. the Manifestation of the Name of Truth
  1365.  
  1366. Is it at all possible that God Almighty, He Who is worshipped by right, should create man within creation as the most significant of all of His servants with respect to His absolute Dominicality and with respect to His universal Dominicality in all of His realms; that He should make him the most thoughtful recipient of His glorious address, the most comprehensive mirror to the manifestation of His Names; that He should create him as the most beautiful miracle of His power in the fairest of forms, in order to receive the manifestation of the Greatest Name, as well as that quality of the Greatest Name inherent in the other Names, in order for him to assess and perceive the contents of His treasuries of mercy; that He should make him an investigator of secrets equipped more than any other creature with balances and instruments; and He should make him the most needy of all creatures with respect to His infinite gifts, the one suffering most from annihilation and the one most desirous of immortality; that He should make him the most delicate, the poorest and neediest of animals, most wretched and subject to pain in his worldly life but most sublime in disposition, in the highest of forms and characters - is it possible that God Almighty should do all this with man and not send him to the Eternal Realm for which he is suited and fitted and for which he is longing? Is it possible that He should thus negate the whole essence of humanity, act in a manner totally contrary to His own veracity, and perform an act of injustice that the eye of truth must deem ugly?
  1367.  
  1368. Again, is it at all possible that He Who rules justly, Whose Mercy is absolute, should bestow on man such a disposition that he took up the Supreme Trust, from which the heavens and mountains both shrank, in order to measure and know, with his slight and petty measures and crafts, the all encompassing attributes, the universal workings, and the infinite manifestations of the Creator; that He should create him as the most delicate, vulnerable, weak and powerless of beings, while yet entrusting him with the regulation of all the vegetal and animal life upon earth, and causing him to intervene in their modes of worship and glorification of God; that He should cause him to be a representation in miniature of His cosmic processes; that He should cause him to proclaim His glorious Dominicality to all beings, in word and deed; that He should prefer him to the angels and give him the rank of vicegerent - is it at all possible that God should bestow all of this on man and not give him eternal bliss, the purpose, result and fruit of all of these duties? That He should cast him down to low degree, as the most wretched, illfortuned, humiliated and suffering of all His creatures; or that He should make of intelligence, a gift from His own wisdom and a most blessed and luminous tool for the attainment of happiness, an inauspicious and somber tool of torment for that wretch, thus acting in total contradiction to His absolute wisdom and in opposition to His absolute mercy? No, it is by no means possible!
  1369.  
  1370. In short: Just as we saw by looking at the identity papers of an officer in our comparison that his rank, duty, wage, instructions and equipment prove that he exists not for the sake of some temporary battlefield, but rather that he is proceeding to some permanent kingdom, for the sake of which he is exerting himself - so too those to whom truth and certainty have been unveiled are unanimously agreed that the subtleties inscribed in the book of man's heart, the senses written down in the notebook of his intellect, the equipment contained in his essential character, are all turned towards Eternal Bliss; they have been given to man and fashioned in accordance with this ultimate goal.
  1371.  
  1372. For example, if one servant and illustrator of the intellect called "the imaginative power," is told that "you can have a million years of life and rule over the world, but in the end you shall become nothing," it will react with sorrow instead of pleasure, unless deceived by vain fancy and the interference of the soul. The greatest of transient things cannot, then, satisfy the smallest faculty of man.
  1373.  
  1374. It is, then, this disposition of man - his desires extending to eternity, his thoughts that embrace all of creation and his wishes that embrace the different varieties of eternal bliss - that demonstrates he has been created for eternity and will indeed proceed to eternity. This world is like a hospice for him, a waiting room for the hereafter.
  1375.  
  1376. TWELFTH TRUTH
  1377.  
  1378. The Gate of Messengerhood and Revelation,
  1379.  
  1380. and the Manifestation of
  1381.  
  1382. "In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate."
  1383.  
  1384. Is it at all possible that errant doubts, no stronger than the wing of a fly, could close the path to the hereafter and the gate to Paradise that have been definitively opened by the Most Noble Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, with all of his might, relying upon the power of his thousand certified miracles as well as the thousands of decisive verses of the All-Wise Qur'an, a book miraculous in forty different ways - that Prophet whose words are affirmed by all of the other prophets, relying upon their own miracles, whose claim is affirmed by all of the saints, relying upon their visionary and charismatic experiences, and to whose veracity all of the purified scholars bear witness, relying upon their investigations of truth?
  1385.  
  1386. * * *
  1387.  
  1388. From the previous truths it has become apparent that resurrection is so firmly rooted a truth that not even a power capable of lifting up the globe, breaking it and casting it aside, could shake it. For God Almighty Himself affirms this truth in accordance with the meaning of all His Names and Attributes; His Most Noble Messenger confirms it with all of his miracles and evidences; the All-Wise Qur'an establishes it with all of its truths and verses; and the cosmos itself bears witness to it with all the creational signs it contains and all the wise processes that take place within it. Is it at all possible that the Necessary Being (God) should unite with all of His creation (excepting only the unbelievers) on this question of resurrection, and doubts feebler than a whisker and satanic insinuations should shake and uproot that exalted and firmly-rooted truth which resembles a mountain? No, by no means!
  1389.  
  1390. Beware, do not imagine that the proofs of resurrection are restricted to the Twelve Truths we have mentioned. The All-Wise Qur'an alone, that instructed us in these Twelve Truths, indicates thousands of other aspects of the matter as well, each aspect being a sign that our Creator will transfer us from this transient realm to an eternal one.
  1391.  
  1392. Again, do not imagine that the Divine Names which logically require the existence of resurrection are only those we have discussed - Wise, Generous, Merciful, Just, Preserver. On the contrary, all the Divine Names manifest in the ordering of the cosmos logically require the existence of resurrection, indeed make it imperative.
  1393.  
  1394. Do not imagine, either, that the creational signs indicating resurrection are confined to those we have mentioned above. On the contrary, in the majority of beings, there exist different aspects and qualities that are like curtains opening to the right and the left: one aspect bears witness to the Maker, and the other aspect indicates resurrection. For example, the beauty of man's being, fashioned as he is in the fairest of forms, demonstrates the existence of the Maker, while at the same time the fact that together with his comprehensive abilities, lodged in that fairest of forms, he soon declines and dies, demonstrates the existence of resurrection. Sometimes, if one looks at the same aspect in two different ways, one sees that it demonstrates the existence both of the Maker and of resurrection. For example, if one looks at the wise ordering, the just balance, the gracious adornment and the merciful favour inherent in most things, they are seen to demonstrate that they proceed from the powerful hand of a Wise, Generous, Just and Merciful Maker. So too, if one looks at the brief and insignificant life of the transient beings that are the manifestations of these qualities, despite their power and infinitude, the hereafter appears before one. In other words, all things silently recite and cause others to recite "I believe in God and the Last Day."
  1395.  
  1396. * * *
  1397.  
  1398. Conclusion
  1399.  
  1400. The preceding Twelve Truths confirm, supplement and support each other. Coming together in union, they demonstrate the required result. Does it lie in the capacity of any doubt to penetrate those twelve firm walls, each like steel or diamonds, in order to shake the belief in resurrection housed within their closed citadel?
  1401.  
  1402. The verse, Your creation and resurrection is but like a single soul,28 indicates the following meaning: "The creation and resurrection of all men is as easy for God's power as the creation and resurrection of a single man." Yes indeed. In a treatise entitled Nokta (Point), I explained in detail the truth expressed by this verse. Here we will indicate only a summary by means of a few comparisons. If you want more detail, then refer to Nokta.
  1403.  
  1404. For example, And God's is the highest similitude,29 and there is no error in the comparison, if the manifestation of the sun were in accordance with its own will, it could be said that the sun bestows its mystery of manifestation on numerous transparent objects with the same ease as on a single particle.
  1405.  
  1406. In accordance with the mystery of transparency, the little pupil of a transparent particle is equal to the vast face of the ocean in receiving the reflection of the sun.
  1407.  
  1408. In accordance with the mystery of order, it overturns a huge battleship with the same ease as a child turning over his toy boat with his finger.
  1409.  
  1410. In accordance with the mystery of obedience, it causes a vast army to move with the same word that a commander uses to make a single infantryman move.
  1411.  
  1412. In accordance with the mystery of equilibrium, let us imagine there to exist in space a balance so sensitive and at the same time so large that were two walnuts to be placed in its pans it would feel them, and be equally able to hold and to weigh two suns. If two suns of equal weight were placed in the pans of the scale; the same power, which causes one of the walnuts to be lifted up to the heavens and the other walnut to descend to the ground, will move these heavenly bodies with the same ease. Since in this lowly, deficient and transient world of contingency, the greatest and smallest things are equal, and numerous, infinite things appear equal to a single thing, through the mystery of luminosity, transparency, order, obedience and balance, then of a certainty little and much, small and great, will be equal in the sign of the possessor of Absolute Power, and He will be able to summon all men to resurrection with a single blast on the trumpet, just as if they were one man - this, by virtue of the mysteries of the luminous manifestations of the infinite and utterly perfect power of His essence, the transparency of the inner dimension of things, the order decreed by wisdom and destiny, the complete obedience of all things to His creational commands, and the equilibrium existing in contingent being, that consists of the equivalence of the being and nonbeing of the contingent.
  1413.  
  1414. Furthermore, the degrees of strength and weakness that a thing possesses are determined by the intervention in that thing of its opposite. For example, degrees of heat are determined by the intervention of cold; degrees of beauty, by the intervention of ugliness; stages of light, by the intervention of darkness. But if something exists of itself, and is not accidental, then its opposite cannot interfere with it, for then a union of opposites would logically have to occur, and that is impossible. In something that exists of itself, there can then be no gradation. Now the power of the Possessor of Absolute Power pertains to His essence; it enjoys absolute perfection and is not accidental like contingent being. It is therefore impossible that its opposite, impotence, should intervene in it. Hence it is as easy for the Lord of Glory to create a spring as it is to create a flower. But if creation were ascribed to causality, then the creation of a single flower would be as difficult as that of a whole spring. For God it is as easy to resurrect and gather all men as it is to resurrect and gather one man.
  1415.  
  1416. All that we have expounded so far with regard to resurrection, the comparisons indicating it and its truths, is derived from the effulgence of the All-Wise Qur'an. Its sole purpose has been bringing the soul to surrender and the heart to acceptance. It is to the Qur'an that the right to speak belongs. It is true speech, and all speech is subordinate to it. Let us listen, then, to the Qur'an:
  1417.  
  1418. Say: "With God is the argument that reaches home: if it had been His will, He could indeed have guided you all."30
  1419.  
  1420. Look upon the signs of God's mercy, and see how He restores life to the earth after its death. Verily He it is Who shall bring to life the dead, and He is powerful over all things.31
  1421.  
  1422. And he makes comparisons for Us, and forgets his own [Origin and] Creation: he says, "Who can give life to [dry] bones and decomposed ones [at that]?"32
  1423.  
  1424. O mankind! Fear your Lord! For the convulsion of the Hour [of Judgement] will be a thing terrible!
  1425.  
  1426. The Day ye shall see it, every mother giving suck shall forget her suckling-babe, and every pregnant female shall drop her load [unformed]: thou shalt see mankind as in a drunken riot, yet not drunk: but dreadful will be the Wrath of God.33
  1427.  
  1428. God! There is no god but He: of a surety He will gather you together against the Day of Judgement, about which there is no doubt. And whose word can be truer than God's?34
  1429.  
  1430. As for the righteous, they will be in bliss;
  1431.  
  1432. And the wicked - they will be in the fire.35
  1433.  
  1434. When the Earth is shaken to her [utmost] convulsion,
  1435.  
  1436. And the Earth throws up her burdens [from within],
  1437.  
  1438. And man cries [distressed]: 'what is the matter with her!' -
  1439.  
  1440. On that Day will she declare her tidings:
  1441.  
  1442. For that thy Lord will have given her inspiration.
  1443.  
  1444. On that Day will men proceed in companies sorted out, to be shown the Deeds that they [had done].
  1445.  
  1446. Then shall anyone who has done an atom's weight of good, see it.
  1447.  
  1448. And anyone who has done an atom's weight of evil, shall see it.36
  1449.  
  1450. The [Day] of Noise and Clamour:
  1451.  
  1452. What is the [Day] of Noise and Clamour?
  1453.  
  1454. And what will explain to thee what the [Day] of Noise and Clamour is?
  1455.  
  1456. [It is] a Day whereon Men will be like moths scattered about,
  1457.  
  1458. And the mountains will be like carded wool.
  1459.  
  1460. Then, he whose balance [of good deeds] will be [found] heavy,
  1461.  
  1462. Will be in a Life of good pleasure and satisfaction.
  1463.  
  1464. But he whose balance [of good deeds] will be [found] light,-
  1465.  
  1466. Will have his home in a [bottomless] Pit.
  1467.  
  1468. And what will explain to thee what this is?
  1469.  
  1470. [It is] a Fire blazing fiercely! 37
  1471.  
  1472. To God belongs the mystery of the heavens and the earth. And the decision of the Hour is as the twinkling of an eye or even quicker: for God has power over all things.38
  1473.  
  1474. Listening to these and other clear verses of the Qur'an, let us say, "yes, we believe and give our assent."
  1475.  
  1476. I believe in God, His angels, His books, His messengers and in the Last Day. I believe that both the good and evil of destiny are from God Almighty; that resurrection after death is a reality; that Paradise is a reality; that Hellfire is a reality; that intercession is a reality; that Munkar and Nakir are reality; and that God will resurrect those who are in the tombs. I bear witness that there is no god but God, and I bear witness that Muhammed is the Messenger of God.
  1477.  
  1478. O God, grant blessings to the most delicate, the most noble, the most perfect, the most beautiful fruit of the Tuba of Your mercy, him whom You sent as a mercy to all the worlds, and as a means for our attaining unto the most beauteous, the fairest, purest and most exalted of the fruits of that Tuba, the branches of which are outspread over the hereafter and paradise; o God, protect us and our parents against the fire, and cause us and our parents to enter Paradise with the pious, for the sake of Thy chosen Prophet. Amen.
  1479.  
  1480. O brother studying this treatise with an open mind! Do not say, "why cannot I immediately understand this 'Tenth Word' in all its details?" and do not be saddened by your failure to understand it completely. For even a master of philosophy such as Ibn-i Sina said that "resurrection cannot be understood by rational criteria." His judgement was that we must believe in resurrection, but reason cannot aid our belief. Similarly, all the scholars of Islam unanimously have held that resurrection rests entirely on traditional proofs; it cannot be rationally examined. Naturally, so profound, and at the same time, so exalted a path cannot suddenly become a public highway for the exercise of the reason. But we would offer a thousand thanks that the Merciful Creator has bestowed upon us this much of the path, by means of the effulgence of the All-Wise Qur'an and His own mercy, in an age when belief by imitation is past and meek acceptance has disappeared. For the amount vouchsafed to each of us is enough for the salvation of our faith. Being content with the amount that we have been able to understand, we should reread the treatise and seek to increase our comprehension.
  1481.  
  1482. One of the reasons that it is impossible to approach a rational understanding of resurrection is that since the supreme gathering, resurrection, is through the manifestation of the Greatest Name, only through beholding and demonstrating the great deeds evident in the maximum manifestation of the Greatest Name of God as well as His other Names, is it possible to prove it as certain; and unshakeably believe that resurrection is as simple as the spring. Thus do matters appear and thus they are demonstrated in this 'Tenth Word' (Resurrection and the Hereafter), by means of the effulgence of the Qur'an. Were it not for this effulgence, and were our intelligence to be left to its own petty devices, it would be powerless, and condemned to believing in resurrection by way of imitation.
  1483.  
  1484. * * *
  1485.  
  1486. The First Part of an Important Supplement
  1487.  
  1488. and Addendum to the Tenth Word
  1489.  
  1490. In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
  1491.  
  1492. So [give] glory to God, when you reach eventide and when you rise in the morning; Yea, to Him be praise, in the heavens and on earth; and in the late afternoon and when the day begins to decline.
  1493.  
  1494. It is He Who brings out the living from the dead, and brings out the dead from the living, and Who Gives life to the earth after it is dead: and thus shall you be brought out [from the dead].
  1495.  
  1496. Among His Signs is this, that He created you from dust; and then,- behold, you are men scattered [far and wide]!
  1497.  
  1498. And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your [hearts]: Verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.
  1499.  
  1500. And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colours: verily in that are Signs for those who know.
  1501.  
  1502. And among His Signs is the sleep that you take by night and by day, and the quest that you [make for livelihood] out of His Bounty: verily in that are Signs for those who hearken.
  1503.  
  1504. And among His Signs, He shows you the lightning, by way both of fear and of hope, and He sends down rain from the sky and with it gives life to the earth after it is dead: verily in that are Signs for those who are wise.
  1505.  
  1506. And among His Signs is this, that heaven and earth stand by His Command: then when He calls you, by a single call, from the earth, behold, you [straightway] come forth.
  1507.  
  1508. To Him belongs every being that is in the heavens and on earth: all are devoutly obedient to Him.
  1509.  
  1510. It is He Who begins [the process of] creation; then repeats it; and for Him it is most easy. To Him belongs the loftiest similitude [we can think of] in the heavens and the earth: For He is Exalted in Might, Full of Wisdom.39
  1511.  
  1512. A supreme point, a most great proof, of these heavenly sublime verses that establish one pole of the faith, these sacred supreme evidences that prove the reality of resurrection, will now be set forth in this 'Ninth Ray.' It was a subtle indication of Divine grace that at the end of the work entitled Muhâkemat (Reasonings), which thirty years ago the Old Said wrote to establish the principles of Qur'anic commentary, was written: "Second Aim: Two verses of the Qur'an indicating resurrection will be expounded and explained: In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate." But there it stopped; no more was written. Praise and thanks as numerous as the proofs of my Merciful Lord and the evidences for resurrection that thirty years later I have been enabled to proceed. Yes, nine or ten years ago, God bestowed upon me the Tenth and Twenty-Ninth Words, two brilliant works containing numerous strong proofs and interpretations of this Divine edict -
  1513.  
  1514. Look upon the signs of God's mercy, and see how He restores life to the earth after its death. Verily He it is Who shall bring to life the dead, and He is powerful over all things.40
  1515.  
  1516. - the first of the two verses in question. They silenced those who denied resurrection. And now, nine or ten years later, He has presented to me the interpretation contained in this treatise of the second of those supreme verses, those impregnable fortresses of belief in resurrection. The following Ninth Ray consists, then, of the Nine Elevated Stations with an important introduction.
  1517.  
  1518. Introduction
  1519.  
  1520. [This introduction contains two 'Points' that demonstrate one comprehensive result of the numerous spiritual benefits and vital consequences of belief in resurrection, by way of a compact description, a discussion of how necessary - indeed essential - it is for human life, particularly social life, and a summary of one general proof from among its numerous proofs, and sets forth how self-obvious and indubitable a matter is the belief in resurrection.]
  1521.  
  1522. n FIRST POINT
  1523.  
  1524. We will indicate, by way of being a measure, four out of the innumerable proofs of this fact, that belief in the hereafter is the very basis and foundation of all the social and individual life of man, and the fundament of all bliss and accomplishment:
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