15 Nov Risale-i Nur: The Seventh Ray: Second Chapter
Concerning Proofs of the Divine Unity
[The traveller who had been sent to the world in order to attain faith, who journeyed through the whole cosmos in his mind in order to ask all things concerning his Creator, to seek his Sustainer in every place and find his God, with the utmost certainty, at the point of Necessary Existence — this traveller said to his intellect: “Come, let us depart on a new journey in order to behold the proofs of the unity of our Necessarily Existent Creator.”
They set out together. At the First Stopping-Place, they saw four sacred truths prevailing over the whole cosmos, truths that self-evidently necessitated the unity of God.]
THE FIRST TRUTH: Absolute Divinity
The absorption of each class of men in a mode of worship dictated by their innate dispositions; the species of worship engaged in by other animate beings, as well as inanimate beings, through the performance of their essential functions; the way in which all material and immaterial bounties and gifts in the cosmos become means inciting men to worship and thanks, to praise and gratitude; the fashion in which all the manifestations of the Unseen and epiphanies of the spirit, revelation and inspiration, unanimously proclaim the exclusive fitness of one God to receive worship — all of this, in most evidential fashion, proves the reality and dominance of a single and absolute Divinity. If the truth of such a Divinty exists, it can in no way accept partnership. For those who respond to Divinity —that is, the fitness to be worshipped— with thanks and worship, are the conscious and animate fruits on the highest branches of the tree of the cosmos. If others were able to gratify and place under their obligation those conscious beings in such fashion as to make them turn away from and forget their true object of worship —Who may, indeed, be swiftly forgotten, because of his invisibility— this would be in such utter contradiction to the essence of Divinty and its sacred purposes that it could in no way be allowed. It is for this reason that the Qur’an so repeatedly and with such vehemence refutes polytheism and threatens the polytheists with Hell-fire.
THE SECOND TRUTH: Absolute Dominicality
The ubiquitous workings of a wise and compassionate hidden hand throughout the cosmos, especially in animate beings and their nurturing and development, everywhere in the same fashion and yet in a totally unexpected form, must be, without doubt, the emanation and light of an absolute dominicality and a decisive proof of its reality.
An absolute dominicality cannot accept any partnership for since the important aims and purposes of dominicality, such as the manifestation of its beauty, the proclamation of its perfection, the revelation of its precious arts and the display of its hidden accomplishments, are combined and concentrated in particulars and animate beings, the slightest attribution to God of a partner, when entering even the most particular of things and the smallest of animate beings, will frustrate the attainment of those purposes and destroy those aims. Averting the faces of conscious beings from those purposes and the One Who conceived them toward causes will be totally opposed and hostile to the essence of dominicality, and absolute dominicality cannot in any way countenance it.
The abundant proclamations in the Qur’an of God’s sanctity and transcendence, its verses and words, even its letters and their shapes, are constant guides to God’s unity, made necessary by the mystery we have just expounded.
THE THIRD TRUTH: Perfections
The self-evident testimony to the existence of the truth of perfections given by all the exalted instances of wisdom in the universe, all its wondrous beauties, its just laws, its wise purposes, and in particular its testimony to the perfections of the Creator, Who brought forth the cosmos out of the void and then administered it in every way miraculously and beauteously, as well as the perfections of man, who is the conscious mirror of the Creator — such testimony is extremely clear.
There exists then the truth of perfections, and the certainty that the Creator Who fashioned the cosmos in perfection must Himself possess perfection. Further, the perfections of man, the most important fruit of the universe, God’s vicegerent on earth, the beloved and most valued object of His creation — these are also established as true. Therefore, to assign partners to God would be unacceptable and false, for it would condemn to destruction and perdition all of the perfect and wise beings we behold with our eyes; it would turn the cosmos into a vain plaything of accident, a place of amusement for nature, a cruel slaughterhouse for the animate, an awesome house of sorrows for the conscious; it would reduce man, whose perfections are visible in his works, to the level of the most wretched, distraught and vile animal; and it would draw a veil across the infinite perfections of the Creator that are reflected in the mirror of all beings, thus nullifying the result of His activity and denying His creativity.
Since assigning partners to God contradicts Divine, human and cosmic perfections and its denial of them has been established and explained in the First Station of the Second Ray (devoted to three ‘Fruits’ of Divine unity) with strong and decisive proofs, we refer our readers that work and cut short the discussion here.
THE FOURTH TRUTH: Sovereignty
Whoever looks at the cosmos with comprehensive attention, will see it to resemble a most prosperous and active kingdom, a city administered most wisely and ruled most firmly; he sees all things and all species obediently engaged in a particular function.
According to the military metaphor contained in the verse,
God’s are the armies of the heavens and earth,29
the prevailing creative commands, imperious orders, and kingly laws enunciated in those numerous armies, that extend from the hosts of the atom, the battalions of the vegetable kingdom, the brigades of the animal kingdom, to the armies of the stars, and embrace both the lowliest soldier and the loftiest commander — they all indicate self-evidently the existence of an absolute sovereignty and a universal authority.
There is then a truth of absolute sovereignty, and there can be no truth of assigning partners to God. For according to the decisive truth of the verse,
Were there to be in the heavens and earth gods other than God, verily they would be corrupted,30
if numerous hands all engage assertively in the same task, the result will be confusion. If there are two kings in one country, or even two headmen in one district, order will disappear, and administration be replaced by anarchy. But on the contrary we see everywhere such order, from the wing of the fly to the lamps of the heavens, from the cells of the body to the signs of the planets, that there is no possibility for the intervention of any partner in God’s affairs.
Sovereignty is, moreover, a station of dignity; to accept a rival would flout the dignity of sovereignty. The fact that man, who needs the assistance of many people on account of his impotence, will kill his brothers and offspring in the cruellest fashion for the sake of some petty, apparent and temporary sovereignty, shows that sovereignty rejects all notion of partnership. If so feeble a one acts thus for the sake of so petty a sovereignty, it follows that the Possessor of Absolute Power, the Master of All Creation, will never permit one other than Himself to participate in His sacred sovereignty, the means to His real and universal dominicality and Divinity.
Since this truth has been established with firm proofs in numerous places throughout the Risale-i Nur and especially the Second Station of the Second Ray, we refer the reader to those pages for further discussion of it.
Through witnessing these four truths, our traveller came to know Divine unity with the degree of certain and clear witnessing. His faith shone, and with all his power he said, “There is no god but God, He is One, He has no partner.” In brief allusion to the lesson he derived from this station, we said in the Second Chapter of the First Station:
There is no god but God, the One, the Unique, to Whose Unity and the Necessity of Whose Existence point the witnessing of the sublimity of the truth of the manifestation of absolute Divinity, as well as the witnessing of the sublimity of the comprehensiveness of the truth of the manifestation of absolute dominicality that requires Unity, the witnessing of the sublimity of the comprehensiveness of the truth of the perfections that arise from unity, and the witnessing of the sublimity of the comprehensiveness of the truth of absolute sovereignty, that prevents and contradicts the existence of any partnership.
Then that restless traveller addressed his heart and said: “The fact that the people of faith, and particularly those affiliated with a sufi order, are constantly repeating the words, ‘no god but He,’ and recalling and proclaiming God’s unity, is an indication that the affirmation of God’s unity comprises many degrees. Such affirmation is moreover a most enjoyable, most valuable, and most exalted sacred duty, instinctive function, and act of worship. Let us then in order to attain a further degree, open the door of another stopping-place in this abode of instruction. For the true affirmation of God’s unity we seek is not some imaginary species of knowledge. It is rather an affirmation that in terms of logic is deemed the opposite of imagination, that is far more valuable than cognition based on imagination, that is the result of proof, that is designated a knowledge.”
The true affirmation of God’s unity is a judgement, a confirmation, an assent and acceptance that can find its Sustainer present with all things, that sees in all things a path leading to its Creator, and does not regard anything as an obstacle to His presence. For otherwise it would always be necessary to tear and cast aside the veil of the cosmos in order to find its Sustainer. “Onward, then,” said the traveller to himself, as he knocked at the door of God’s Sublimity and Grandeur. He entered the Stopping-Place of God’s deeds and workings, the world of creation and origination, and there he saw that five comprehensive truths were prevailing over the entire cosmos, and offering self-evident proof of the Divine unity.
THE FIRST TRUTH: that of Grandeur and Sublimity.
Since this truth is explained with different proofs in the Second Station of the Second Ray and various other places in the Risale-i Nur, we restrict ourselves here to the following:
The Being that creates and then administers at a single time and in a single fashion the stars that are thousands of years distant from each other; that creates at a single time and in a single form the countless members of the same species of flower, distributed over the east and the west, the north and south of the globe; that administers, nurtures, quickens, distinguishes and adorns more than two hundred thousand different types of plant and species of animal in five or six weeks, with the utmost regularity and equilibrium, without any confusion, defect or error, in order to provide every spring on the face of the earth more than a hundred thousand specimens of the supreme resurrection, and thus prove before man’s eyes a remarkable event, now belonging to the past and the realm of the Unseen, namely the creation of the heavens and the earth in six days, as indicated in the verse,
He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six days;31
the Being that causes the earth to revolve, as evidenced in the verse,
He merges night with day, and day with night,32
and turns the night into the page on which the events of the day are written — this same Being knows and administers according to His own will, all at the same time, the most secret and obscure thoughts that occur to men’s hearts. Since each of the aforementioned acts is in reality one act, it follows that their Glorious Doer is a Unique and Powerful Being, enjoying such grandeur and sublimity that nowhere, in nothing, in no way, does it leave the slightest possibility for the acceptance of partnership; on the contrary, it uproots all such possibility.
Since such sublime power and grandeur exist and since that grandeur is at the very apex of perfection and comprehends everything, it is certainly in no way possible to permit or allow any attribution of partners to that Unique and Powerful Being, for so doing would ascribe impotence or need to that power, fault to that grandeur, defect to that perfection, and impose restriction on that comprehensiveness. No sound intellect could deem this possible.
The assignment of partners to God, is then by virtue of the offence it causes to God’s Grandeur, the dignity of his Glory and His Sublimity, so grave a crime that the Qur’an of Miraculous Exposition decrees with an earnest threat,
God does not pardon the assignment to Him of a partner; He pardons whatever is lesser than that.33
THE SECOND TRUTH: The absoluteness, the comprehensiveness, and appearance in infinite form of the dominical deeds seen at work in the cosmos.
It is only God’s wisdom and will that limits and restricts those deeds, as well as the inherent capacities of the objects and places in which they manifest themselves. Stray chance, dumb nature, blind force, unconscious causality and the elements that without restriction are scattered in every direction — none of these can have any part in the most balanced, wise perspicacious, life-giving, orderly and firm deeds of the Creator. They are used, rather, by the command, will, and power of the Glorious Doer as an apparent veil to conceal His power.
Three out of innumerable examples:
We will set forth three from among the numerous subtle points that relate to the three deeds indicated in three continuous verses in Sura al-Nahl.
Your Sustainer inspired in the bee that it should seek a dwelling-place in the mountains.34
The bee is, with respect to its disposition and function, such a miracle of God’s power that a whole sura, Sura al-Nahl, has been named after it. For to inscribe in the minute head of that little honey-machine a complete programme for the fulfilment of its important task; to place in its diminutive stomach the most delicious of foods and to ripen it there; to place in its sting poison capable of destroying and killing animate beings, without causing any harm to its own body or the member in question — to do all this without the utmost care and knowledge, with exceeding wisdom and purposiveness, partakes of a perfect orderliness and equilibriium, and hence unconscious, disorderly, disequilibriated nature and accident could never interfere or participate in any of this.
The appearance and comprehensiveness of this Divine craft, this dominical deed, which is miraculous in three separate respects, in the countless bees that are found scattered over the earth, with the same wisdom, the same care, the same symmetry, at the same time and in the same fashion — this is a self-evident proof of God’s unity.
The Second Verse:
There is for you a lesson in cattle. From what is within their bodies, between excretions and blood, we produce for your drink, milk, pure and agreeable to those who drink it.35
This verse is a decree overflowing with useful instruction. To place in the nipples of cows, camels, goats and sheep, as well as human mothers, in the midst of blood and excrement but without being polluted by them, a substance the exact opposite, pure, clean, pleasant, nutritive and white milk, and to inspire in their hearts tenderness toward their young that is still more pleasant, sweeter and more valuable than milk — this requires such a degree of mercy, wisdom, knowledge, power, will and care that it cannot in any way be the work of turbulent chance, of the tangled elements, or of blind forces.
The manifestation, workings and comprehensiveness of so miraculous a dominical art and so wise a Divine deed, all over the face of the globe and in the countless hearts and breasts of innumerable mothers of hundreds of thousands of species, in the same instant, the same fashion, with the same wisdom and the same care — this too constitutes a self-evident proof of God’s unity.
The Third Verse:
From the fruits of the date-palm and the vine you take sugar and fine nourishment; verily therein is a sign for a people possessing intelligence.36
This verse invites our attention to the date and to grapes, saying, “For those of intelligence, there is great proof, argument and evidence of the Divine unity in these two fruits. These two fruits yield nurture and sustenance, fresh and dry fruit, and give rise to most delicious forms of food; yet the trees that bear them stand in waterless sand and dry soil, and are thus miracles of power and wonders of wisdom. They are each of them like a factory producing sweet sugar, a machine manufacturing honeylike syrup, a work of art created with perfect order and sensitive balance, wisdom and care; hence anyone with a grain of intelligence will say on contemplating them, ‘The one who made them in this fashion may very well be the Creator of the whole cosmos.’”
For in front of our eyes each vine branch the thickness of a finger will hold twenty bunches of grapes, and each bunch will in turn contain hundreds of sugary grapes, each like a litle pump emitting syrup. To clothe the surface of each grape with a fine, delicate, thin, and colourful protection; to place in its delicate and soft heart seeds with their hard shells, which are like its retentive faculty, programme, and the story of its life; to manufacture in its stomach a sweetmeat like the helva of Paradise, a honey like the water of Kawthar; to create an infinite number of such grapes over the face of the entire earth, with the same care and wisdom and wonderful art, and at the same time and in the same fashion — this proves in self-evident fashion that the one who fulfils these tasks is the Creator of the whole cosmos, and this deed, requiring as it does infinite power and limitless wisdom, can be only His deed.
Yes, blind and stray, disorderly and unconscious, aimless, aggressive, and anarchic forces, nature and causality, cannot have anything to do with this most sensitive balance, this most skilful art, this most wise scheme. They cannot even stretch out their hands toward it. It falls to them only to be employed through the dominical command as passive objects, as curtainholders.
Just like the three points proving Divine unity contained in the three truths indicated in the three verses, the countless manifestations and workings of infinite dominical deeds attest unanimously the unity of a Single One of Unity, the All-Glorious One.
THE THIRD TRUTH: The creation of beings, particularly plants and animals, with absolute speed and absolute orderliness; with absolute ease and extreme skill, talent, ability, and order; with great value and distinction, despite extreme abundance and intermingling.
Yes, to produce with extreme swiftness and in extreme abundance, most skilfully and artistically, with great ease and facility combined with the utmost care and orderliness, with great value and distinction despite abundance and intermingling, without any form of confusion or deficiency — this can be achieved only by a Unique Being Whose power is such that nothing appears difficult to it.
For that power it is as easy to create stars as atoms, the greatest as the smallest, a whole species as a single member of a species, a sublime and comprehensive universal as a restricted and petty particular; it is as easy for Him to revivify and quicken the whole earth as to do the same with a tree or to erect a tree as tall as a mountain as it is to produce a seed no bigger than a fingernail. All of these deeds He performs in front of our eyes.
So the exposition, the solution, the uncovering and proof of the mystery of this degree of the assertion of the Divine unity, this Third Truth, this word of unity — the mystery that the greatest universal is like the smallest particular without the slightest difference between them —this beneficial wisdom, this supreme talisman, this riddle beyond the reach of the intellect, this most significant foundation of Islam, this most profound source of faith, this greatest basis of the Divine unity— the setting forth of all this opens the talisman of the Qur’an, and makes it possible to know the most secret and unknowable riddle of the creation of all beings, a riddle that reduces philosophy to impotence.
Thanks and praise one hundred thousand times the letters of the Risale-i Nur be to the Compassionate Creator that the Risale-i Nur has solved, uncovered and established this wondrous talisman, this wondrous riddle. It has been proven with decisive arguments, to the same degree of certainty that twice two is four, particularly in the discussion of “He is powerful over all things” toward the end of the Twentieth Letter; in the section concerning God’s being an all-powerful agent in the Twenty-Ninth Word, one devoted to the resurrection; and in the section proving the Divine power in the degrees of “God is Most Great” in the Twenty-Ninth Flash, written in Arabic. For that reason we assign to those parts of the Risale-i Nur the exposition of this matter, wishing, however, to set out briefly the foundations and proofs that solve this mystery and to allude to thirteen mysteries that resemble thirteen steps, or a list of contents. I have indeed written the first and second mysteries, but unfortunately two powerful obstacles, material and immaterial, have caused me to abandon the remainder.
T h e F i r s t M y s t e r y : If something be essential, its opposite cannot have access to the essence defined by that thing. For that would be equivalent to the union of opposites, which is an absurdity. Now with regard to this principle, since God’s power is related to His Essence and is an essential concomitant of His Most Sacred Essence, impotence —the opposite of power— cannot in any way gain access to that All-Powerful Essence.
Moreover, the existence of degrees within a thing comes about through the intervention in it of its opposite. For example, strong and weak degrees of light result from the intervention of darkness; high and low degrees of heat proceed from the admixture of coldness; and greater and lesser amounts of strength are determined by the intervention and opposition of resistance. It is therefore impossible that degrees should exist in that power of the Divine Essence. He creates all things as if they were but a single thing. And since degrees do not exist in the power of the Divine Essence and it does not admit of weakness or deficiency, no obstacle can in any way obstruct it nor can the creation of anything cause it difficulty.
Since, then, nothing is difficult for God’s power, He creates the supreme resurrection with the same ease as spring; spring with the same facility as a tree; and a tree with as little trouble as a flower. Further, He creates a flower as artistically as a tree; a tree as miraculously as a spring; and a spring as comprehensively and wondrously as a resurrection. All of this He accomplishes in front of our eyes.
It has been proved in the Risale-i Nur with decisive and strong proofs that if there were no Divine unity, the making of a flower would be as difficult as a tree or even more difficult; the making of a tree would be as hard a spring or even more difficult; and creation would even lose its value and artistic quality. An animate being that now takes a minute to produce would be produced with difficulty in one year, or maybe never at all.
It is then on account of this mystery that these fruits, flowers, trees and animals, that are extremely valuable despite their ubiquitousness and abundance, and extremely artistic despite the swiftness and ease of their fashioning, emerge in regular fashion onto the plain of being and assume their functions. Proclaiming God’s glory, they accomplish their duties and depart, leaving behind their seed in their stead.
S e c o n d M y s t e r y : Through the mystery of luminosity, transparency, and obedience, just as through the manifestation of its essential power, a single sun reflects it light in a single mirror, so too, through the Divine command and due to the extensive activity of that unrestricted power, it can easily bestow the same reflection —together with its light and heat— on innumerable mirrors, shining objects, and droplets. Great and small are the same, there is no difference between them.
Similarly, like a single word can enter the ear of one man without trouble, so too due to the infinite breadth of boundless creativity, it may enter a million ears, with dominical permission. And a single light like an eye, or a single luminous spirit being like Gabriel, through the infinite breadth of dominical activity within the manifestation of mercy, may be present in, or look at, or enter thousands of places through Divine power, as easily as they look at or enter a single place. There is no difference between many and few.
The pre-eternal power of God’s essence is the most subtle and choicest of lights, the light of all lights; the quiddities, essences and inner dimensions of all things are luminous and lustrous as mirrors; all things, from the atom, the plant, and the animate creature to the stars, the suns and the moons, are extremely obedient and submissive to the command of that power of the Divine Essence and subordinate to the orders of that pre-eternal power. It is for all of these reasons entirely natural that innumerable things should be created with the same ease as a single thing and placed side by side with each other. No concern or task interferes with another. Great and small, many and few, particular and universal — all are the same for that power, for which nothing is difficult.
As was said in the Tenth and Twenty-Ninth Words, through the mysteries of order, equilibrium, obedience to command and submission to order, that power causes a great ship as big as a hundred houses, to move and advance as a child’s finger pushes his toy.
As a commander will send a single infantryman into battle with an order from his throne, so too he may throw a whole obedient army into the fray with the same single order.
Let us suppose that two mountains are in a state of equilibrium in a large and sensitive balance. In the same way that a single walnut would cause one pan to rise and the other to fall if placed on one side of a balance containing two eggs, it would produce the same result with the scale containing the mountains; through a wise law it would cause one pan with its mountain to rise to the mountain-top, and the other to descend with its mountain to the bottom of the valley.
Since there is to be found in God’s absolute, infinite, luminous, esssential and eternal power a Divine justice and unending wisdom that is the origin, source, fundament and beginning of all order, regularity and equilibrium in creation; and since all things, particular and universal, small and great, are obedient to the command of that power and submissive to its workings — it follows that God causes the stars to revolve and to move, through the wisdom of His order, as easily as He rotates and moves the atoms.
In spring, just as He brings to life a single fly with a single order, so too He bestows life with the same ease and the same command on the whole species of fly, as well as all the hosts of plants and animals, through the mystery of the wisdom and equilibrium inherent in His power, and then sends them forth onto the plain of life.
In the same way that he swiftly gives life to a tree in spring and infuses vitality in its bones, with His wise and just absolute power, He also resurrects in the spring the corpse of the vast earth and brings into being hundreds of thousands of different specimens of resurrection similar to the tree, all this with the greatest of ease.
With His creative command, He brings the earth back to life. By the decree of,
There will be but a single cry, then they shall all be brought nigh unto Us;37
that is, “all men and jinn, with a single cry and command shall be brought to Us and made present at the plain of resurrection.” Again, by His command,
The hour shall be but a blinking of the eye, or even closer;38
that is, the bringing about of resurrection and the gathering that follows upon it shall take no longer than the opening and closing of an eye, or even less. Then there is the verse,
Your creation and resurrection is as a single soul,39
meaning the following: “O men! To create you and to bring you to life, to resurrect and gather you, is as easy for me as bringing one soul to life; it presents no problem to My power.” Acccording to the inner sense of these three verses, God will bring all men and jinn, all animals, spirit beings and angels to the field of the Supreme Gathering and the great balance with a single command and with great ease. One concern does not interfere with another.
The remaining Mysteries, from the third and fourth as far as the thirteenth, have been postponed to another time in a fashion disagreeable to me.
THE FOURTH TRUTH: The existence and appearance of all beings proclaim the Divine unity in a self-evident fashion through their numerous points of unity and convergence, such as being simultaneously together and yet separate and unique; resembling one another; being the miniature or magnified versions of each other; being some, universals and species, and some, particulars and individuals; resembling each other in the stamp of innate disposition; having affinity in the impress of artistry; and aiding and complementing each other with respect to their innate functions. They establish the unity of their Maker. And with respect to dominicality, make it clear that the cosmos is a universal and a whole that may not be divided or fragmented.
For example, in each spring, to create, order and sustain the innumerable members of the four hundred thousand different species of plants and animals, together and intermingled, in a single moment and in the same fashion, without any error or mistake, with the utmost wisdom and perfection of artistry; to create all the different species of bird, from flies, which are like birds in miniature, to eagles which are the supreme specimens of the species, then to equip them with the means of flight and subsistence and to cause them to journey through the realm of the air; to imprint on the countenances of each of the birds in miraculous fashion a stamp of artistry, on the body of each of them a seal of wisdom, and in the quiddity of each of them, in sustaining fashion, a sign of God’s unity; to cause wisely and mercifully particles of food to hasten to the aid of the cells of the body, plants to rush to the assistance of animals, and all mothers to go swiftly to the help of their powerless infants; to work on all things, particular and universal, from the Milky Way, the solar system and the elements of the earth, down to the veils of the pupil of the eye, the petals of the rose, the husk of the corn, the seeds of the melon, like a series of intersecting circles, with the same regularity, perfection of artistry, the same deed, and plenitude of wisdom — to do all this establishes the following with self-evident certainty:
He who performs these deeds is One and unique; His imprint is on all things. In the same way that He is not in any place, he is present in every place. Like the sun, all things are distant from Him, but He is close to all things. Just as the greatest objects, such as the Milky Way and the solar system, are not difficult for Him, so too the cells in man’s blood and the thoughts that pass across his heart are not secret from Him nor beyond the reach of His power.
However great and multitudinous a thing may be, it is as easy for Him as the smallest and scarcest thing, for He creates with ease a fly on the model of an eagle, a seed in the form of a tree, a tree in the shape of a garden, a garden with the artistry of a spring, and a spring on the scale of a resurrection. Things most valuable in their artistry He gives to us and bestows upon us most cheaply. The price that He asks of us is merely to say “In the name of God” and “Praise be to God.” In other words, the accepted price for all those numerous precious bounties is to say at the beginning of all things, “In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate,” and at their end, “Praise be to God.”
Since this Fourth Truth is explained and proved elsewhere in the Risale-i Nur, we content ourselves here with this brief allusion.
THE FIFTH TRUTH perceived by our traveller at the second stage: the existence in the entirety of the cosmos, its pillars and parts and all the beings contained in it, of the most perfect order and regularity; the sameness of the substances and purposive beings that are the means of the rotation and administration of that vast kingdom and are connected to its general scheme; the fact that the Divine Names and deeds that are at work in that magnificent city, that vast exhibition, encompass and comprehend all things or most things, despite their being one within the other, and of the same nature, and the same, and their being the same Name and deed in every place; the fact that the elements and species that are the means for the administration, inhabiting, and construction of that well-adorned palace, cover the whole face of the earth in their diffusion, despite their being one within the other, of the same nature, and the same element and the same species being found everywhere — all of this demands, proves, and affirms, necessarily and self-evidently, the following:
The Maker and Disposer of this cosmos, the Monarch and Nurturer of this realm, the Master and Builder of this palace, is one, unique, sole. He has neither like nor peer, neither minister nor aide. He has neither partner nor opposite, he has neither inability nor deficiency. Yes, order is in itself a perfect expression of unity; it demands a single orderer. It leaves no place for the assignment of partners to God, the source of dispute and dissension.
There is a wise and precise order inherent in all things, whether universal or particular, from the total scheme of the cosmos and the daily and annual rotation of the earth down to the physiognomy of man, the complex of senses in man’s head and the circulation of white and red cells in man’s blood. Nothing other than One Absolutely Powerful and Absolutely Wise can stretch out its hand intentionally and creatively toward any thing, nor interfere with it. On the contrary, all things are recipients, means of manifestation, and passive.
Now, ordering, the pursuit of certain purposes and the bestowal of regularity with a view to certain benefits, can be done only by means of knowledge and wisdom and performed only with will and choice.
Certainly and in all events, this wisdom-nurturing regularity, this infinitely varied ordering of the cosmos that before our very eyes assures various benefits, proves and affirms to a self-evident degree that the Creator and Disposer of all beings is one, an agent possessing will and choice. Everything comes into being through His power, assumes a particular state through His will, and takes on a particular form through His choice.
The heat-giving lamp of this hospice that is the world is one; its candle that is the basis for the reckoning of time is one; its merciful sponge is one; its fiery cook is one; its life-giving beverage is one; its well-guarded field is one, as well as a thousand and one other instances of oneness. It follows from all of these instances of oneness that the Maker and Master of this hospice is also one, that He is extremely generous and hospitable, for He employs numerous high-ranking and great officials to serve the animate guests of His hospice.
Names such as All-Wise, Compassionate, Giver of Forms, Disposer, Quickener, and Nurturer, the impresses and manifestations of which are to be seen at work in every corner of the world, attributes such as wisdom, mercy, and grace, and acts such as formation, disposition and nurturing, are all one. They embrace every place in the utmost degree, each Name and act being present there.
They also complement the imprint of each other in such a way that it is as if those Names and deeds were uniting in such fashion that power becomes identical with wisdom and mercy, and wisdom becomes identical with grace and life. For example, as soon as the activity of the Name of Quickener appears in a thing, the activity of numerous other Names such as Creator, Giver of Form, and Provider, also appears at the same instant, everywhere, and in the same system. This of a certainty and self-evidently establishes and proves that that which is designated by the Names and the Doer of the comprehensive deeds that appear everywhere in the same fashion must also be one, single and unique. In this we believe and to this we give our assent!
The elements that are the substance and material of creation encompass the whole earth. Each of the species of creation that bears an imprint attesting unity is diffused throughout the earth in unity and, so to speak, conquers it. This also proves to the degree of being self-evident that those elements together with what they embrace, and those species, together with their separate members, are the product and property of a single being. They are the products and servants of so Unique and Powerful a One that He employs those vast and and imperious elements as obedient servants and those species diffused throughout the earth as well-disciplined soldiers. Since this truth also has been established and explained in other places in the Risale-i Nur, we content ourselves here with this brief indication.
In summary of the witnessings that he derived from these Five Truths, through the superabundance of faith and the joy of Divine unity, and in expression of his feelings, our traveller said to his heart:
Look upon the coloured page of the cosmic book;
See what forms the golden pen of power has traced.
No dark point remains for the gaze of the heart’s eye;
It is as if God has inscribed His signs with light.
Know too that:
The leaves in the world’s book are dimensions infinite;
The lines of time’s events are works innumerable.
Written on the workbench of the Preserved Tablet of reality,
A meaningful embodied word, is every being in this world.
Listen also to this:
When all things proclaim, “No god but God,” they will in unison say, “O Truth and Reality!” and beseech in harmony, “O Living One!” Yes, in all things there is a sign pointing to the fact that He is One.
Hearkening to this his heart and soul affirmed the truth of what they heard and said, “Yes, indeed!”
In brief allusion to the Five Truths of Unity observed by our traveller through the world, our voyager through the cosmos, at this Second Stopping-Place, it was said in the Second Chapter of the First Station:
There is no god but God, the One, the Unique, to Whose Unity in Necessary Existence points the witnessing of the truth of Grandeur and Sublimity, its perfection and comprehensiveness; the witnessing of the truth of the appearance of deeds in absolute fashion, in infinitude, without any limitation except that of God’s will and wisdom; the witnessing of the truth of the creation of beings in absolute multiplicity with absolute swiftness, the creation of creatures in absolute ease with absolute perfection, the origination of things made in absolute plenitude with utter perfection of artistry and value; the witnessing of the truth of the existence of beings in universal and comprehensive fashion, joined, interconnected and interrelated; the witnessing of the truth of universal order, an order incompatible with the assignation of partners to God; the witnessing of the unity of the sources of cosmic order, a unity that clearly attests the unity of their Maker; the unity of the Names and deeds that comprehend and permeate the universe; and the unity of the elements and species dispersed over the face of the earth in imperious fashion.
That world traveller voyaging through different ages chanced upon the school of the Renewer of the Second Millenium, Imam-i Rabbani, Ahmad Faruqi. He entered and listened to the lesson being taught by the Imam:
“The most important result yielded by all the Sufi paths is the unfolding of the truths of belief. The unfolding in clarity of a single truth of belief is preferable to a thousand miraculous deeds and mystical visions.”
The Imam said too:
“In former times, great persons said that someone will arise from among the theologians and the scholars of the science of theology. He will prove all the truths of belief and Islam with rational proofs and the utmost clarity. I wish to be that man and maybe I am.”40
He continued his instruction by saying that belief and the assertion of Divine unity were the foundation, substance, light and life of all human perfection; that the Hadith “An hour’s reflective thought is better than a year’s worship”41 refers to reflection on belief; and that the silent mode of invocation practised in the Naqshbandi Order is a form of this most excellent reflection.
The traveller listened with utmost care. He turned and addressed himself as follows: “It is thus that this heroic Imam speaks. To increase the strength of one’s belief by as much as an atom is worth more than a ton of gnosis or other form of perfection and sweeter than the honey of a hundred visionary experiences.
“On the other hand, the philosophers of Europe have leagued together for a thousand years to invent objections and doubts in their hostility to faith and the Qur’an, and to attack the believers. They wish to shake the pillars of belief that are the key, the source, the foundation of everlasting felicity, of life immortal, of eternal Paradise. We ought therefore to strengthen our belief by making it one of realization instead of one of imitation. So come, let us advance! In order to bring the twenty-nine degrees of faith that we have found, each as powerful as a mountain, to the blessed number of thirty-three, the number of litanies that follow upon prayer, and in order to see a third stopping-place in this realm of instruction, let us knock at the door of the dominical sustenance of the animate world and open it with the key of ‘In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.’” Speaking thus he beseechingly knocked at the gate of this Third Stopping-Place, a compendium of wonders, and a spectacle of marvels.
Saying, “In the Name of God, the Opener,” he opened the gate. The Third Stopping-Place became visible to him. He entered and saw that it was illumined by four great and encompassing truths that demonstrated the Divine unity as brightly as the sun.
THE FIRST TRUTH: the Truth of Opening
That is, the opening up from a single simple substance of innumerable varied and separate forms, together, everywhere, in a single instant and by a single deed, through the manifestation of the Name of Opener.Yes, in the same way that God’s creative power has opened up innumerable beings like flowers in the garden of the cosmos, and endowed each with an orderly form and distinct identity, through the manifestation of the Name of Opener, so too, although in more miraculous fashion, he has given to the four hundred thousand species of animate beings in the garden of the earth each its symmetrical, adorned and distinct form.
He creates you in the wombs of your mothers, creation after creation in three darknesses. That is God, your Sustainer. His is the sovereignty; there is no god other than He. Where, then, will you turn?42
Nought is hidden from God, neither on earth nor in the heavens. He it is Who forms you in the wombs as He wills; there is no god but He, the Mighty, the Wise.43
As these two verses indicate, the strongest proof of Divine unity and the most remarkable miracle of Divine Power is God’s opening up of forms. Because the opening of forms is repeatedly established and expounded in different ways elsewhere in the Risale-i Nur, and particularly in the Sixth and Seventh Degrees of the First Chapter of the Second Station of this treatise, we refer the discussion of this matter to those places and restrict ourselves here to the following:According to the testimony of botany and biology, based on profound research, there is in the opening and unfolding of forms, such comprehensiveness and artistry that other than a Single and Unique One, One Absolutely Powerful, able to see and do all things in all things, no one could undertake this comprehensive and all-embracing deed. For this deed of the unfolding of forms demands a wisdom, an attention and a comprehensiveness that are present at all times and are contained within an infinite power. This power, in turn, can be found only in that Unique Being Who administers the whole cosmos.
As is decreed in the above-quoted verses, God’s attribute of ‘opening’ expressed in the opening and creation of the forms of men from their mother’s wombs, within three darknesses, separately, with equilibrium, distinctness, and order, without any error, confusion, or mistake; this truth of the unfolding of the forms of all men and animals, all over the earth, with the same power, the same wisdom and the same artistry, is a most powerful proof of God’s unity. For to comprehend and embrace all things is itself a form of unity that leaves no room for the assignation of partners to God. Just as the nineteen Truths of the First Chapter bearing witness to the necessary existence of God also attest the existence of the Creator through their own existence, so too they bear witness to His unity through their comprehensiveness. Our traveller then saw the following Second Truth in the Third Stopping-Place:
THE SECOND TRUTH: the Truth of Mercifulness
We see with our own eyes that there is one who has covered the face of the earth with thousands of gifts of mercy, and made it into a feasting-place. He has laid out a spread of hundreds of thousands of the different delicious foods of Mercifulness, and made the inside of the earth a storehouse containing thousands of precious bounties of compassionateness and wisdom. That Being sends to us also the earth, in its yearly rotation, like a ship or a train, laden with the finest of the hundreds of thousands of vital human necessities, proceeding from the World of the Unseen; and He sends to us too the spring, like a waggon carrying food and clothing for us. Thus does he nurture us, with utmost compassion. In order for us to profit from those gifts and bounties, He has moreover given us hundreds and thousands of appetities, needs, feelings, sensations and senses.
As was set forth in the Fourth Ray concerning the verse on the sufficiency of God, He has given us a stomach that can take pleasure in infinite varieties of food.
He has given us such a life that through the senses associated with it we can derive benefit from the innumerable bounties of the vast corporeal world, just as if it were some bounteous spread.
He has favoured us with the human state so that we delight in the boundless gifts of both the spiritual and material worlds, through instruments such as the intellect and the heart.
He has conveyed Islam to us so that we derive light from the boundless treasuries of the Unseen and Manifest Realms.
He has guided us to faith so that we are illumined by the innumerable lights and gifts of this world and the hereafter. This cosmos is like a palace fitted out and adorned by the Divine quality of mercy with innumerable antiques and valuable items, which then gives to man’s hands the keys to open all the chests and chambers in that palace, as well as bestowing on man’s nature all the needs and senses that will enable him to make use of them.
This mercy that embraces this world and the hereafter, and indeed all things, is without doubt a manifestation of oneness within unity.
Just as the light of the sun is a parable of unity, through its comprehending all things that face it, every bright and transparent object that receives the reflection of the light, heat, and seven colours of the sun, is also a parable and a symbol of oneness. Hence, whoever sees its all-embracing light will conclude that the sun of this earth is one and unique. Witnessing the warm and luminous reflection of the sun in all bright objects, and even in drops of water, he will say that the oneness of the sun, or the sun itself, is present with its attributes close to all things; it is at the mirrorlike heart of all things.
So too the encompassing of all things by the extensive mercy of the Merciful One of Beauty, like a light, demonstrates the unity of that Merciful One and that He in no way has any partner. Similarly, the fact that under the veil of that all-embracing mercy the lights of most of the Merciful One’s Names and a sort of manifestation of His essence are found in everything, and especially in all living beings, and in man in particular, and the fact that this gives each individual a comprehensiveness arising from life which causes him to look to and be related to the whole universe, proves the oneness of the Merciful One and that He is present with all things and does all things in all things.
Yes, the Merciful One shows the splendour of His glory in the whole of the cosmos and all over the earth through the unity and comprehensiveness of His mercy. With the manifestation of His oneness, He gathers together in every member of all animate species, and particularly man, specimens of all His bounties, orders the tools and instruments of animate beings, and proclaims the special solicitude of His beauty to each individual, this without shattering the wholeness of the universe. As for man, it is in him that God makes known in concentrated form the various forms of His bounty.
Similarly, a melon can be said to be concentrated in its seed; the being that makes the seed must necessarily be he who makes the melon. Then, with the special balance of his knowledge and the particular law of his wisdom, he draws the seed out from it, gathers it together and clothes it in a body. Nothing other than the one and unique master craftsman who makes the melon is able to make its seed. That would be impossible.
Since through the manifestation of Mercifulness the cosmos becomes like a tree or a garden, the earth becomes like a fruit or a melon, and man becomes like a seed, of a certainty the Creator and Sustainer of the smallest animate being must be the Creator of all the earth and all the cosmos.
In Short: just as the making and unfolding of the regular and orderly forms of all beings through the truth of Opening, which is comprehensive, proves unity to the point of being self-evident, so too the truth of Mercifulness, which encompasses all things, through its nurturing of all animate beings that come into existence and enter the life of this world, particularly the newly arrived, with the utmost order and regularity, causing all necessities to reach them, forgetting none of them, this same mercy reaching all individuals everywhere at the same instant demonstrates both unity, and oneness within unity. Our traveller then witnessed the following Third Truth in the Third Stopping-Place
THE THIRD TRUTH: the Truth of Disposing and Administering
That is, to administer with complete order and equilibrium both the awesome and swift-moving heavenly bodies and imperious, interfering elements, and the needy, weak denizens of earth; to cause them to aid each other; to administer them jointly with each other; to take all necessary measures concerning them; and to make this vast world like a perfect kingdom, a magnificent city, a well-adorned palace.Leaving side the vast spheres of this imperious and merciful administration, since it is explained and proved in important sections of the Risale-i Nur such as the Tenth Word, we will show, by means of a comparison, a single page and stage of that administration as it manifests itself in the spring on the face of the earth.
Let us suppose, for example, that some wondrous world conqueror assembled an army from four hundred thousand different groups and nationalities, and supplied the clothes and weapons, the instructions and dismissals and salaries of every group and nationality, separately and variously, without any defect or shortcoming, without error or mistake, at the proper time, without any delay or confusion, with the utmost regularity and in most perfect form, no cause other than the extraordinary power of that wondrous commander could stretch out is hand to attempt that vast, complex, subtle, balanced, multitudinous and just administration. Were it to stretch out its hand, it would destroy the equilibrium and cause confusion.
So too we see with our own eyes that an unseen hand creates and administers every spring a magnificent army composed of four hundred thousand different species. In the autumn —an example of the day of resurrection— it dismisses three hundred thousand out of those four hundred thousand species of plants and animals from their duties, and they go on leave through the activity of death and in the name of decease..
In spring —a sample of the gathering that follows resurrection— it constructs three hundred thousand examples of raising from the dead in the space of a few weeks, with the utmost order and discipline. In the case of the tree, four such resurrections take place with respect to the tree itself, its leaves, its flowers, and its fruits. After showing spring to our eyes exactly like the preceding one, it gives each species and group in that army of glory that contains four hundred thousand different species its appropriate sustenance and provision, its defensive weapons and distinctive garments, its orders and dismissals, and all the tools and instruments it needs, with the utmost order and regularity, without error or slip, without confusion or omission, in unexpected fashion and at the proper time. It thus proves its unity, oneness, uniqueness, and infinite power and boundless mercy within perfection of dominicality, sovereignty and wisdom, and writes with the pen of Divine Determining this proclamation of Divine unity on the face of the earth, on the page of every spring.
After reading only a single page of this proclamation of one spring, our traveller said to himself:
“The torment of Hell-fire is pure justice for those who commit the error of denying resurrection. For such denial would be to refute the numerous promises and to deny the power of One Powerful and Compelling, a Wrathful One of Glory, Who has promised and assured all of His prophets thousands of times and set forth in thousands of verses of the Qur’an, explicity and by way of allusion, that He will bring about a resurrection and gathering far easier for Him than the thousands of miraculous gatherings that occur every spring, each more wondrous than the Supreme Gathering.” His soul responded: “We believe in what you say.”
THE FOURTH TRUTH, which forms the Thirty-Third Degree:
the Truth of Compassionateness and Bestowal of Provision
That is, the giving, over the whole face of the globe, within the earth, in the air above it and the ocean around it, to all animate beings, especially those endowed with spirit, and among them especially the impotent, the weak and the young, all of their necessary sustenance, material and immaterial, in the most solicitous manner, deriving it from dry and rude soil, from solid, bonelike dry pieces of wood, and in the case of the most delicate of all forms of sustenance, from between blood and urine, at the proper time, in orderly fashion, without any omission or confusion, in front of our eyes, by an unseen hand.Yes, the verse,God is the Provider, the firm possessor of strength,44restricts to God the task of sustaining and providing, and the verse,There is no moving thing on earth but depends on God for its sustenance; He knows its resting-place and storage-place; all is in a book perspicuous45provides a dominical guarantee and pledge to furnish provision for all men and animals. Similarly, the verse,The beasts do not carry their sustenance; God sustains them and you, and He is All-Hearing, All-Knowing,46establishes and proclaims that it is God Who guarantees and provides for all impotent, powerless, weak and wretched creatures that are unable to secure their own sustenance, in an unexpected fashion, indeed from the Unseen or even out of nothing; it is He for example Who provides for insects on the ocean bed and their young. This proclamation is directed in particular to those men who worship causes and are unaware that it is He Who bestows provision from behind the veil of causality. Numerous other verses of the Qur’an and innumerable pieces of cosmic evidence unanimously demonstrate that it is the compassionateness of a single Glorious Provider that nurtures all animate beings.Now the trees require a certain form of sustenance but have neither power nor will. They remain therefore in their places, trusting in God, and their provision comes hastening to them. So too the sustenance of infants flows to their mouths from wondrous small pumps, aided by the solicitude and tenderness of their mothers. Then when the infants acquire a little power and will, the milk ceases. These various instances clearly prove that licit sustenance is not proportionate to will and power, but comes in relation to weakness and impotence, which induce trust in God.
Will, power and cleverness frequently incite greed, which is a source of loss, and often push certain learned men toward a form of beggary, whereas by contrast the trusting weakness of the boorish, crude and common man may cause him to attain riches.
The proverb, “How many a learned man has striven in vain, and how many an ignoramus gained rich provision,” establishes that licit provision is not won by power and will, but by a mercy that finds working and striving acceptable; it is bestowed by a tenderness that takes pity on need.
Now provision and sustenance is of two kinds:
The First is true and natural provision, that required for life; this is guaranteed by the Sustainer. It is indeed so regular and well-ordered that this natural provision, stored in the body in the form of fat and other things, is enough to ensure survival for at least twenty days, even if nothing is eaten. Those who apparently die of hunger before the twenty or thirty days are up and before the provision stored up in their body is exhausted, die in reality not from a lack of provision, but from a disease arising from lack of caution and the disturbance of fixed habit.
The Second Form of Provision: metaphorical and artifical provision, arising due to addiction from habit, wastefulness and misuse, but acquiring the appearance of necessity. This form is not guaranteed by the Sustainer, but depends on His generosity: sometimes He may give it, sometimes He may not give it.
With respect to this second form of provision and sustenance, happy is he who regards his frugality —a source of happiness and pleasure— contentment and licit striving, as a form of worship and active prayer for sustenance. He accepts God’s bounty gratefully and appreciatively, and passes his life in happpy fashion.
Wretched is he who on account of prodigality —the source of wretchedness and loss— and greed, abandons licit striving, knocks at every door, passes his life in sloth, oppression and wretchedness, and indeed puts his own life to death.
In the same way that a stomach requires sustenance, so too the subtle capacities and senses of man, his heart, spirit, intelligence, eye, ear and mouth, also request their sustenance from the Compassionate Provider and gratefully receive it. To each of them separately and in appropriate form is presented such provision from the treasury of mercy as will rejoice them and give them pleasure. Indeed, the Compassionate Provider, in order to give to them provision in more generous measure has created each of man’s subtle capacities —eye and ear, heart, imagination, and intellect— in the form of a key to His treasury of mercy. For example, the eye is a key to the treasury containing such precious jewels as the fairness and beauty to be seen on the face of the universe, and the same holds true of all the others mentioned; they all benefit through faith. To resume after our digression:
The All-Powerful and Wise One Who created this cosmos created also life as a comprehensive summary of the cosmos, and concentrated all of His purposes and the manifestations of His Names therein. So too, within the realm of life, he made of provision a comprehensive centre of activity and created within animate beings the taste for provision, thus causing animate beings to respond to His dominicality and love with a permanent and universal gratitude, thankfulness, and worship that is one of the significant purposes and instances of wisdom inherent in the creation of the universe.
For example, it is one of the activities of dominicality to cause every area of the broad realm of dominicality to rejoice — the heavens are caused to rejoice with the angels and spirit beings, the World of the Unseen with spirits, and the material world, particularly the air and the earth, with the existence of all animate beings, particularly birds, great and small, at all times and places. Through the wisdom of this causing to rejoice and the infusion of life and spirit, animals and men are, as it were, whipped by the need for provision and the pleasure they take therein to pursue their provision and sustenance, thus being delivered from sloth. This too is one of the wise activities of dominicality. Were it not for such significant instances of wisdom, the provision destined for animals would be caused instinctively to hasten toward them to satisfy their needs, without any effort on their part, just as provision and sustenance is caused to hasten toward the tree.
Were there to be an eye capable of witnessing and comprehending the whole surface of the earth at one time, in order to perceive the beauties of the Names of Compassionate and Provider and the witness they bear to Divine unity, it would see what sweet beauty is contained in the tender and solicitous manifestation of the Compassionate Provider Who sends to the caravans of animals at the end of winter, when their provision is about to be exhausted, extremely delicious, abundant and varied foods and bounties, drawn exclusively from His unseen treasury of mercy, as succour from the unseen and Divine generosity, placed in the hands of plants, the crowns of trees, and the breasts of mothers. The possessor of that all-seeing eye would realize the following:
The making of a single apple, and the generous giving of it to a man as true sustenance and provision, can be accomplished only by a Being Who causes the seasons, the nights and the days to rotate, Who causes the globe to revolve like a cargo ship, and thus brings the fruits of the seasons within reach of those needy guests of the earth who stand waiting for them. For the stamp of its nature, the seal of wisdom, the imprint of eternal besoughtedness, the signet of mercy that is to be found on the surface of the apple, is to be found also on all apples and other fruits, plants and animals. Hence the true Master and Maker of the apple is bound to be the Glorious Sovereign, the Beauteous Creator of all the inhabitants of the world, who are the peers, the congeners and the brothers of the apple; of the vast earth that is the garden of the apple; of the tree of the cosmos that is its factory; of the seasons that are its workshop; and of the spring and summer that are its place of maturing.
In other words, every fruit is a seal of unity that makes known the Writer and Maker of the earth, its tree, and of the book of the universe, its garden; it demonstrates His unity, and shows to the number of fruits, the seal affixed to the decree of unity.
Since the Risale-i Nur is a manifestation of the Names of All-Compassionate and All-Wise, and numerous flashes and mysteries of the truth of Compassionateness have been expounded and proved in many parts of the Risale-i Nur, we leave further discussion of the matter to those parts and content ourselves with this brief indication, out of a vast treasury, on account of the unfavourable circumstances from which we are now suffering.
Our traveller now says: “Praise be to God! I have seen and heard Thirty-Three Truths bearing witness to the necessary existence and unity of the Creator and Sovereign I was everywhere seeking and enquiring after. Each of the truths is bright as the sun and leaves no darkness behind. It is as strong and unshakeable as a mountain. Each of them, with its verifications, bears decisive witness to His existence, and with its comprehensiveness proves His unity in manifest fashion. While proving implicitly all the pillars of faith, the totality and consensus of these truths causes our belief to advance from imitation to realization, from realization to knowledge of certainty, from knowledge of certainty to vision of certainty, and from vision of certainty to absolute certainty. Praise be to God; this is from the bounty of my Sustainer.”
Praise be to God Who guided us to this; verily we would not have been guided unless God had guided us. The messengers of God have come to us with the truth.47
In extremely brief allusion to the lights of belief derived by our inquisitive traveller from the four sublime truths he witnessed at the Third Stopping-Place, it was said in the Second Chapter of the First Station, concerning the truths of the Third Stopping-Place:
There is no god other than God, the One, the Unique, to Whose Unity in Necessary Existence points the witnessing of the sublimity of the comprehensiveness of the truth of opening, through the unfolding of different forms of four hundred thousand species of living beings, perfect and without defect, according to the testimony of biology and botany; the witnessing of the sublimity of the comprehensiveness of the truth of mercifulness, all-embracing and regular, without any deficiency, as the eye can see; the witnessing of the sublimity of the truth of administering, that encompasses in orderly fashion all living beings, without error or defect; the witnessing of the sublimity of the comprehensivness of the truth of compassionateness and sustaining, embracing all consumers of sustenance, at every time of need, without any mistake or forgetfulness; Glory be unto Him, the Provider, the Merciful, the Compassionate, the Solicitous, the Generous; His gifts are universal, and His Generosity is all-embracing; there is no god but He!Glory be unto You; we have no knowledge save that which You have taught us; indeed, You are All-Knowing, All-Wise.48O our Sustainer! For the sake of ‘In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate,’ O God, O Merciful One, O Compassionate One! Bestow peace and blessings upon our master Muhammad, his Family and all his Companions, to the number of all the letters in the Risale-i Nur, multiplied by ten times the number of minutes in all of our lives in this world and the hereafter, and then by the number of particles in my body throughout the course of my life. Forgive me, and those who aid me in sincerity in the copying and distribution of the Risale-i Nur, and our fathers, our masters, our shaykhs, our sisters, our brothers, and the sincere students of the Risale-i Nur, particularly those who write and copy this treatise; by Your Mercy, O Most Merciful of the Merciful, Amen. The conclusion of our prayer is, ‘Praise be to God, the Sustainer of All The Worlds!’NOTESince the other parts of the Risale-i Nur were not available in the place that saw the composition of the foregoing treatise, which was of necessity written down here, certain important matters of The Words and The Flashes have been mentioned also in The Supreme Sign, in what is an apparent repetition. In order to have the students of the Risale-i Nur in this area write a complete Risale-i Nur in miniature, we nonetheless had them write down all the present treatise.
The revised copy of this rough draft was written by a certain blessed person. Even though he was ignorant of such matters, we saw in the copy prepared by him a subtle and profound correspondence of the letters: there were six hundred and sixty-six alifs49 written at the beginning of the lines in his copy. This number corresponds fully with the value according to the abjad of the title given to this treatise by Imam ‘Ali (May God be pleased with him), Ayat al-Kubra (The Supreme Sign), and thus demonstrates the suitability of this title for the treatise. We also understood this numerical correspondence to be an indication that this treatise is a flash derived from the light of the verses of the Qur’an for they are six thousand six hundred and sixty-six in number.
S a i d N u r s i