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Konu: Signs of Miraculousness

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    Standart Signs of Miraculousness

    The Inimitability of the Qur'an's Conciseness
    Bediuzzaman Said Nursi



    Introduction

    (to the first edition edited by Ihsan Qâsim al-Sâlihî, published in Baghdad: Dâr al-Anbâr, 1989.)

    All praise be to Allâh, the Lord and Sustainer of all the worlds, and blessings and peace be upon Muhammad ibn 'Abdullah, to whom the Qur'an was revealed, the Seal of the Prophets and Messengers, and upon his family and companions and those who came after them, till the end of time.

    Virtually all those who have studied the circumstances of the Muslims in recent centuries agree that Ustad Bediuzzaman Said Nursi was an Islamic figure of great stature, of strong faith and complete sincerity; a person of great dignity who was cognizant of divine unity and its truths; one of the most distinguished men of his time, vastly knowledgeable, of penetrating thought, and a steadfast and perceptive caller to Allâh's way. From his youth he took it on himself to find solutions for the afflictions suffered by the Muslims, and passed his life tirelessly striving to expound the teachings of Islam and explain its beliefs and doctrines. Similarly, he refuted invalid thought and those inconsistent philosophies that denied Islam and schemed against it due to the inability of Muslims to withstand the stormy intellectual onslaughts to which it had been exposed since the beginning of the 14th century of the Hijra; indeed, since before that.

    Nursi indeed undertook a difficult task and his reward is with Allâh the Most High alone, Who sees His righteous servants and faithful friends and the scholars who strive in His way and are true to His covenant, and fear not the criticisms of their accusers.

    This present book is truly of high worth, firmly founded and containing unshakeable proofs. It demonstrates clearly the extraordinary power and effectiveness of Ustad Nursi and contains many examples of the precise and subtle meanings to be found in all his writings, and of his specialist knowledge. This genius and talent were given to him by the Most High so that by means of them and his knowledge, and profound intuitive understanding, and appropriate rational method he might penetrate His Word and discover the truth, and assist others in gaining complete certainty concerning the Qur'an's miraculousness. Just as before him the learned scholars and men of eloquence had understood the importance of belief and that the Qur'an is the True Scripture revealed by the One All-Knowing of the Unseen to His Noble Messenger Muhammad, Upon whom be the best of peace and blessings, to set humanity on the path of truth and to illumine men's vision with the light of belief and the understanding and certainty to become sincere bondsmen of the Lord and Sustainer of all the worlds.

    Ustad Nursi wanted to develop his unique gifts by studying the Islamic sciences, and ancient philosophy, and the humanities and modern sciences, as well as learning Arabic literature and rhetoric from the works of such masters as al-Jâhiz, al-Zamakhsharî, al-Sakkâkî, and especially the outstanding works on grammar and rhetoric of Imam 'Abd al-Qâhir al-Jurjanî. For Nursi believed in his famous theory concerning the Qur'an's wordorder and indicated his admiration for it in this work.

    The theory of the word-order was not new; al-Jurjânî did not invent it and it was not without precedents. For al-Jâhîz had turned his attention to it in his work Nazm al-Qur'ân, and so had al-Wasîtî in his I'jâz al-Qur'ân fi Nazmihi, and al-Bâqillânî in I'jâz al-Qur'ân it was that al-Jurjanî clarified it fully in respect of grammar and rhetoric and formulated a complete theory based on the absence of any disjunction between the words and their meaning and the form and its purport, and he established that the eloquence of the word-order lay neither in individual words nor in detached meanings, but in what the words and phrases depicted. In consequence, he defined the word-order as "some words being affixed to others and some being placed because of others; that is, words being positioned as required by the science of grammar, in accordance with its rules and principles, and methods, without deviation from them."

    It seems to me that Ustad Nursi studied this theory of the word-order thoroughly and then it became clear to him that the earlier commentators like al-Zamakhsharî and al-Râzî and Abu Su'ûd had not attempted to apply it as a complete system treating all the suras, verses, and words one after the other, in all its details. So he wanted to emulate these great commentators but to compose a commentary in which the theory was applied in detail and comprehensively in respect of the structures and meanings, and the wording and its related sciences both intellectual and intuitive, universal and particular. He relied on all these while disclosing the Qur'an's systematic ordering, through which its miraculousness and inimitability become apparent. He disclosed too and elucidated the subtle qualities of the literary styles and devices of the Qur'an, which when it first appeared opposed some current usages of Arabic, and astounded the Arab orators and silenced their eloquent masters. It confronted them with the challenge of its miraculousness, and so it will till the Last Day.

    It was not only to prove the Qur'an's miraculousness in respect of eloquence and rhetoric that Nursi directed his efforts towards explicating the theory of its word-order; it was to penetrate into the meanings of the verses. For he wanted to expound them in detail in the light of reason in order to set forth the main beliefs of Islam and demonstrate their relations with the truths of existence.

    It is quite obvious to anyone who studies this book and its arrangement that Nursi wanted to write a complete commentary of this sort. If he had been destined to do this, he would have produced a comprehensive commentary treating both rhetoric and eloquence and laying emphasis on reason, and this would have been fit to be his life-work. Certainly, it would have run to many volumes if he had continued to follow a method similar to that which we see here.

    Allâh the Most High, however, appointed for him something better than that; something higher and greater: to present the Qur'an to Muslims without distracting them with questions of rhetoric and the aspect of its miraculousness that pertains to its words. For the difficulties of the times prevented investigation of its finer questions, which could be understood only by a very few scholars. If it had been otherwise, the great majority of Muslims would have been unable to benefit from his unique talents and unrivalled zeal and faith. And then they would have been unequal to the awesome ongoing struggle of civilization and ideas, despite the attacks of atheistic materialism, which was bit by bit infiltrating the life of Islam, and in many Muslim countries the politics, economics, society, culture, and science, and their proponents.

    Consequently, Nursi did not continue after this volume; the circumstances of the time and place thrust him into the thick of the fight, but with a new persona, called the New Said, the mark of which calmness, gradual-ness, and holding out a constructive approach, and affecting the minds and hearts of Muslims without emotionalism, noisy agitation, confusion, confrontation, or striving for dominance. For the situation of Islam at the present time does not support such things; it does not have the power to face its powerful enemies, both external and internal.

    With its decisive clarity, brilliant learned sedateness, highly pleasurable manner of expression, and cogent rational proofs, the Risale-i Nur replaces the former works the purpose of which was to prove aspects of the Qur'an's miraculousness pertaining to its words, rhetoric, and reason in the light of its word-order. For now the Qur'an's enemies are not qualified to challenge its eloquence or dispute its properties related to its inimitability, or suras, verses, and words. So they have concentrated on launching a general assault on the foundations of belief and the principles of the Shari'a, and have attempted to shatter the moral order that the Qur'an brought.

    Ustad Nursi perceived the tremendous changes brought about by the new struggle and he faced them with the truths of the Qur'an, which he presented in the light of natural, rational logic and the sciences of his time.

    Nursi was able to prove the Qur'an's miraculous nature on the basis of the completed section of his commentary comprising this present work, and to demonstrate to his readers and students that it is easy to adhere to his rational, learned, pleasurable way. He saw that it was appropriate and sufficient, so he dedicated the rest of his life to the most pressing question, that of saving the belief of Muslims at the time of an awesome worldwide struggle. As a result he wrote more than ten books and numerous treatises, which represented a new way, in order to inflict intellectual defeat on the atheistic enemies of Islam and those pursuing Westernization.

    It would be an injustice to the present work to suggest that it contains nothing of the method Ustad Nursi developed for the new struggle; indeed, I can claim here from what I have learnt about his thought through reading his works of the later period, that there is no idea that he expounds, explains, and expands in those works but it is found in concise and essential form, or is elaborated, in this learned and substantial book, especially his presenting the fundamental Islamic beliefs in a contemporary scientific style. However in this book he was addressing his select students, combining the terminology of classical kalam and the beginnings of his new method, which found its definitive form in the Risale-i Nur.

    Perhaps it was because it is a true commentary on the Qur'an that the Risale-i Nur was given this name, and in truth Nursi persisted in expounding the Qur'an and teaching its verses to Muslims until the final moments of his life, so full of tribulations and sorrows, and knowledge and learning and calling others to adhere to Allâh's Book and the Sunna of His Prophet (Upon whom be blessings and peace).

    The publication of this book in new form offers a fresh analysis of rhetoric and eloquence to those concerned with the critical study of contemporary works on the Qur'an's miraculousness, inimitability, and eloquence especially scholarly circles. They will find expositions of the beliefs of Islam that utilize logical reasoning, augmented by the profound rational and scholarly discussions that Ustad Nursi appends to his analyses of the first part of Sura al-Baqara. (...)

    (Prof.) Muhsin 'Abdulhamid, Faculty of Education, University of Baghdad
    2 Sha'ban 1407/1987

    Konu *AHMET* tarafından (17.02.17 Saat 09:19 ) değiştirilmiştir.

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    Reminder

    THE QUR'ANIC commentary Signs of Miraculousness (Ishârât al-l'jâz) was written on the front in the first year of the Great War when no books or sources were available. Apart from the War, there were four reasons for its being written extremely concisely. Sûra al-Fâtiha and the first half are more concise and succinct.

    Firstly: The time did not permit elucidation; the Old Said expressed what he intended succinctly and briefly.

    Secondly: He had in mind his students' level of comprehension, and they were highly intelligent; he did not give thought to others understanding it.

    Thirdly: Because he was expounding the miraculousness of the Qur'an's word-order, which is of the greatest conciseness and subtlety, the Old Said wrote briefly and to the point. But I have reread it now with the New Said's eyes: in truth, notwithstanding all the Old Said's faults, with its elevated discussions this work is a masterpiece. Since when he wrote it he was in a constant state of readiness to fall in battle; and since his intention was pure and he wrote it in conformity with the rules of rhetoric and the sciences of Arabic, I [now] have been unable to refute any part of it. If Allâh so wishes, He will accept the work as atonement for the Old Said's sins and will raise up people who will understand it completely.

    If obstacles had not arisen such as the First War, and other fascicles and letters had included other exegetical truths similar to the miraculousness of the Qur'an's word-order - one aspect of its miraculousness - which is expounded in this first volume, a fine comprehensive commentary would have been produced on the Qur'an of Miraculous Exposition. Perhaps in the future, taking this partial commentary and the sixty-six, rather, one hundred and thirty parts of The Words (Sözler) and Letters (Mektûbat) as its source, a fortunate committee will write such a commentary, God willing.

    Said Nursi


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    The Author's Note to the Turkish Edition (1955)

    EXPLAINED below in three points are the reasons many minor points about the relations [between the words in the light of the science] of rhetoric, which will not be comprehensible and profitable for many people, are mentioned in this commentary interspersed among the detailed explanations of the twelve verses about dissemblers and two verses about unbelievers, while in the rest of the verses the nature of disbelief and the doubts clung on to by the dissemblers are touched on only briefly; and why the elucidation of the subtle indications and allusions of the Qur'an's words is emphasized.

    First Point: Inspired by the Qur'anic teachings, the Old Said perceived that something would emerge at this time similar to the obdurate, unlettered unbelievers of the early years of Islam and the dissembling members of former religions, and he expounded the verses about the dissemblers in explanatory and detailed fashion. But so as not to cloud the readers' minds, he mentioned only briefly without explaining them the nature of their way and its bases. In any event, contrary to other 'ulama, it is the way of the Risale-i Nur not to mention the doubts of opponents lest they taint the readers' minds, and to give such answers that no place remains for suspicion or doubts. Like in the Risale-i Nur, so as not to confuse the readers' minds, the Old Said only gave importance in this commentary to the indications and allusions of the words in respect of eloquence.

    Second Point: Since the Qur'an's letters are so valuable that the reading of a single letter may yield ten, a hundred, a thousand, or thousands of merits and everlasting fruits of the hereafter, certainly the Old Said's expounding in this commentary points as fine as a hair or an atom related to the Qur'an's words, is not wastefulness or irrelevant, but as valuable as the lashes are to the eye and atoms are to the eye's pupil. He must have felt this, for the enemy's bullets in the skirmishing lines in that terrible war did not confuse him or make him abandon his writing and thinking.

    Third Point: The Turkish translation [of the author's brother, Abdûlmecid] has not preserved the fluency, eloquence, and extraordinary value of the Arabic, and it is also sometimes abbreviated. I had therefore intended not to publish part of the lengthy discussion about the dissemblers. But since it is about the Qur'an, and even an atom about the Qur'an has high value, it will perhaps be useful for some people. God willing, if no obstacles arise, the Arabic commentary will be published following this translation and will complete its deficiencies. Moreover, there are some wonderful instances of 'coincidences' in the Arabic, in which human will has not intervened. So as far as it is possible the attempt should be made to produce it similarly to that printed copy, so that those wonders, a sign of its acceptance, are not lost.

    Said Nursi


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    Statement of Purpose

    THE QUR'AN OF MIGHTY STATURE is an all-embracing divine speech and universal dominical address delivered from the Sublime Throne that addresses all the classes, nations, and individuals of mankind in every age. So also, and especially at this time, does it encompass many sciences and branches of learning related to the physical aspects of the world, knowledge of which is beyond the capacity of a single individual or small group. Therefore, a commentary issuing from the understanding and imaginative power of a single individual, the scope of whose comprehension is very narrow with regard to time, place, and specialization, cannot truly expound the Qur'an. For an individual cannot be acquainted with and be an expert in all the exact sciences and the branches of knowledge concerned with the spiritual and material states of nations and peoples, all of whom the Qur'an addresses. And he cannot be free of bias towards his own profession and discipline that he might explicate the truths of the Qur'an impartially. Also, a person's understanding is peculiar to him and he may not call on others to accept it - unless it be affirmed by a consensus of some sort. And his findings [and judgements] related to actions are binding only on himself and no one else, again unless approved by a consensus.

    In consequence of this, a commentary should be written after minute studies and researches by an elevated committee of authoritative scholars each of whom is a specialist in a number of sciences, proving the Qur'an's subtle meanings and its fine points to be found scattered through other commentaries, and its truths, which become manifest in time due to the discoveries of science. Just as its legal ordinances have to be ordered and regulated, not according to the thought of a single individual, but by such a committee after being scrutinized and studied minutely by it. Thus, gaining the trust and confidence of the mass of the people, the committee will implicitly assume responsibility for them and be an authoritative source for the Muslim community.

    Indeed, one who expounds the Qur'an should possess high intelligence, penetrating independent judgement, and a high degree of sainthood. But in these times in particular, such conditions can be met only by the brilliant collective personality born of the co-operation of an elevated, esteemed committee and the uniting of the minds of its members, of their assistance for one another and harmony of spirit, and of their freedom of thought, and, being free of bias, of their complete sincerity. Only a collective personality such as this can expound the Qur'an. For in accordance with the rule, 'What is not found in the parts is present in the whole,' conditions like these which are not to be found in every individual are present in the group.

    While awaiting, as I had for many years, the appearance of such a committee, I had a premonition that we were on the eve of a terrible earthquake that would lay waste the country. {(*): Yes, our master said while teaching us on the roof of the Horhor Medrese in Van that there was going to be a terrible earthquake, and exactly as he predicted, a short time later the Great War broke out.(His students of the time) Hamza, Mehmed sefik, Mehmed Mihri} And so, in accordance with the rule, 'It is not permissible to abandon a thing completely even if it is not wholly obtained,' despite my impotence, faults, and difficult style of writing, I started to set down on my own some of the Qur'an's truths and some indications of the miraculousness of its word-order. Then, on the Great War breaking out I found myself in the mountains and valleys of Erzurum and Pasinler. Whenever the opportunity arose while I was performing the duty of jihad in the midst of those tumultuous conditions, I used to write what occurred to my heart in phrases that did not always match one another. Since it was not possible to have any books or commentaries to refer to, what I wrote consisted only of what occurred to my heart. If these inspirations of mine are appropriate for a commentary, light of lights; if they contain contradictory aspects, these can be referred to my own defects. Certainly, there are places in need of correction, but since it was written with complete sincerity in the front lines of war among the slain, like it is not permissible to change the clothes and wash off blood of martyrs, I could not permit the ripped phrases in which it was clothed to be changed; my heart would not consent to it. And now it does not consent to it, for now at this time, I cannot find that utter sincerity and purity of heart.

    Furthermore, I did not write this work of mine, called Signs of Miraculousness (Ishârat al-I'jâz), with the intention of its being a true commentary; only, in the event of its being well received, I wrote it as a model and source for a commentary to be written in the future, that treated a few aspects of Qur'anic exegesis. My eagerness drove me to what was beyond my power; if it is found acceptable it will give me the courage to continue.

    {([*]): See, the author's note at the end of the work.}

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    What is the Qur'an? How is it defined?

    THE QUR'AN is the pre-eternal translator of the mighty book of the universe; the post-eternal interpreter of the various tongues reciting the verses of creation; the commentator of the book of the Worlds of the Seen and the Unseen; the revealer of the treasuries of the divine names hidden in the heavens and on the earth; the key to the truths concealed beneath the lines of events; the tongue of the Unseen World in the Manifest World; the treasury of the post-eternal favours of the Most Merciful and of the preeternal addresses of that Most Holy One, that come from the World of the Unseen beyond the veil of this Manifest World; it is the sun, foundation, and plan of the spiritual world of Islam; the sacred map of the worlds of the hereafter; the expounding word, lucid exposition, decisive proof, and clear interpreter of the divine essence, attributes, names, and functions; it is the instructor of the world of humanity; the light and water of Islam, the macroanthropos; the true wisdom of mankind; and the true guide and leader urging humanity to prosperity and happiness; it is both a book of law, and a book of prayer, and a book of wisdom, and a book of worship, and a book of command and summons, and a book of invocation, and a book of thought; it is a unique, comprehensive sacred book comprising many books to which recourse may be had for the needs of all mankind; it is a revealed scripture resembling a sacred library that offers treatises suitable for all the various ways and different paths of the all the saints and the veracious ones and the wise and the learned, which is appropriate for the illuminations of each way and enlightens it, and is suitable for the course of each path and depicts it.

    Since the Qur'an has come from the Sublime Throne and the greatest name, and from the highest degree of each name, it is Allâh's Word in regard to His being Lord and Sustainer (Rabb) of all the worlds; it is a divine decree through His title of God of All Beings; it is an address in the name of the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth; it is a conversation in respect of absolute dominicality (rubûbiyet) it is a pre-eternal discourse on account of universal divine sovereignty; it is a notebook of the favours of the Most Merciful from the point of view of all-embracing, all- encompassing divine mercy; it is a collection of addresses at the start of which are certain ciphers related to the tremendousness of divine majesty; and through its descent from the comprehensiveness of the greatest name, it is a holy scripture full of wisdom that looks to and inspects all sides of the Sublime Throne.

    It is because of this mystery that with complete fitness the title of the Word of Allâh has been given to the Qur'an, and is always given. After the Qur'an comes the level of the books and scriptures of the other prophets. However, those other innumerable divine words are each in the form of inspiration made manifest through a special regard, a partial title, a particular manifestation, a specific name, a special dominicality, a particular sovereignty, a special mercy. The inspirations of the angels and man and the animals vary greatly with regard to universality and particularity.

    The Qur'an is a revealed scripture which contains in summary the books of all the prophets, whose times were all different, the writings of all the saints, whose paths are all different, and the works of all the purified scholars, whose ways are all different. Its six aspects are all brilliant and free of the darkness of doubts and scepticism; its point of support is certain heavenly revelation and the pre-eternal Word; its aim and goal is self-evidently eternal happiness; its inner aspect is clearly pure guidance; its upper aspect is necessarily the lights of belief; its lower aspect is undeniably evidence and proof; its right aspect is evidently the surrender of the heart and conscience; its left aspect is manifestly the subjugation of the reason and intellect; its fruit is indisputably the mercy of the Most Merciful and the realm of Paradise; and its rank and desirability are assuredly accepted by the angels and man and the jinn.

    (from The Twenty-Fifth Word, written 1927)


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    ﺑِﺴْﻢِ ﺍﻟﻠَّﻪِ ﺍﻟﺮَّﺣْﻤَﻦِ ﺍﻟﺮَّﺣِﻴﻢِ ٭ ﺍَﻟْﺤَﻤْﺪُ ﻟِﻠَّﻪِ ﺭَﺏِّ ﺍﻟْﻌَﺎﻟَﻤِﻴﻦَ ٭ ﺍَﻟﺮَّﺣْﻤَﻦِ ﺍﻟﺮَّﺣِﻴﻢِ ٭ ﻣَﺎﻟِﻚِ ﻳَﻮْﻡِ ﺍﻟﺪِّﻳﻦِ ٭ ﺍِﻳَّﺎﻙَ ﻧَﻌْﺒُﺪُ ﻭَﺍِﻳَّﺎﻙَ ﻧَﺴْﺘَﻌِﻴﻦُ ٭ ﺍِﻫْﺪِﻧَﺎ ﺍﻟﺼِّﺮَﺍﻁَ ﺍﻟْﻤُﺴْﺘَﻘِﻴﻢَ ٭ ﺻِﺮَﺍﻁَ ﺍﻟَّﺬِﻳﻦَ ﺍَﻧْﻌَﻤْﺖَ ﻋَﻠَﻴْﻬِﻢْ ﻏَﻴْﺮِ ﺍﻟْﻤَﻐْﻀُﻮﺏِ ﻋَﻠَﻴْﻬِﻢْ ﻭَﻟﺎَﺍﻟﻀَّٓﺎﻟِّﻴﻦَ ٭

    In the Name of Allâh, the Merciful the Compassionate. * All praise be to Allâh, the Lord and Sustainer of All the Worlds; * The Merciful, the Compassionate; * Master of the Day of Judgement; * You alone do we worship and from You alone do we seek help; * Guide us to the Straight Path; * The path of those whom You have blessed, not of those who earn Your anger, nor of those who go astray. (Bismillâh al-Rahmân alRahîm. * al-Hamd li-llâh Rabb al-âlâmîn, * al-Rahmân alRahîm, * Mâlik yawm al-dîn; * lyyâka na'budu wa iyyâka nasta'ın; * Ihdinâ al-sîrât al-mustaqîm, * al-sirât alladhîna an'amta 'alayhim, ghayr al-maghdûb 'alayhim, wa lâ dâllin.)

    ﺑِﺴْﻢِ ﺍﻟﻠَّﻪِ ﺍﻟﺮَّﺣْﻤَﻦِ ﺍﻟﺮَّﺣِﻴﻢِ


    In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

    The Most Merciful. * It is He who has taught the Qur'an. * He has created man. * He has taught him [articulate thought and] speech. (55:1-4)

    We offer Him praise and thanks, and seek His blessings for His Prophet, whom He sent as a mercy to all the worlds, and through its signs and indications made his greatest miracle encompass the universe's truths, so to remain permanently through the passage of time till the Day of Requital, and for all his Family and Companions.

    So know firstly that our aim from these indications, is a commentary on a number of the symbols of the Qur'an's word-order, for [one aspect of] its miraculousness is manifested in its word-order. Indeed, the embroidery of its word-order is its most brilliant [form of] miraculousness. {[*]: See, Nursi, İsârâtû'l-İ'caz [Turk, trans. Abdûlmecid Nursî]}

    And know secondly that the fundamental aims of the Qur'an and its essential elements are fourfold: divine unity (al-tawhîd), prophethood (alnubûwwa), the resurrection of the dead (al-hashr), and justice (al-'adâla). For when mankind, like a successive caravan and procession, departs from the valleys of the past and its lands, travels in the deserts of existence and life and proceeds towards the heights of the future, facing towards its gardens, events shake men and the universe turns its face towards them. It is as though the government of creation sends natural philosophy [or science] (fann al-hikma) to interrogate and question them, saying: "O mankind! Where are you from? Where are you going? What are you doing? Who is your ruler? And who is your spokesman?" At one time during this conversation there stood up one from among mankind - as did those like him of the prophets with authority - the lord of mankind Muhammad alHashimi (UWBP), and said through the tongue of the Qur'an: "O philosophy! All of us beings we come forth emerging by the power of the PreEternal Ruler from the darkness of non-existence to the light of existence, and all of us, we sons of Adam, were sent as officials privileged above our brother creatures in bearing the Trust; we are on our way, journeying on the road of the resurrection towards eternal felicity; and we are busy in this world in preparation of that felicity and the development of the potentialities that are our capital; and I am their master and their spokesman. Here it is before you, my manifesto, which is the word of the Pre-Eternal Ruler, on which sparkles the stamp of miraculousness." Thus, the answerer of these questions, the correct answer, is none other than the Qur'an, that book - the answer is those four fundamental principles.

    Just as the four aims are seen in the whole of the Qur'an, so they are manifested in every sura; indeed, they are hinted at in every phrase or alluded to in every word; because each part is like a mirror to the whole ascending, just as the whole is seen in each part successively. And by this point I mean that by this participation of the part (al-juz') in the whole (alkull), the Qur'an is made known as a totality (al-kul li) with constituent parts (al-juz'iyyât). {[*]: That is, every part of the Qur'an is a whole Qur'an. See, Nursi, Ishârât al-I'jâz [Abdûlmecid], 327.}

    If you were to ask: Show me these four aims in "Bismillâh - In the Name of Allâh" and "al-hamdulillâh - all praise be to Allâh."

    You would be told: Since "Bismillâh" was revealed in order to instruct [the Most High's] servants, 'Say!' (Qul) is implicit in it and essentially it is implied by [all] the words of the Qur'an. So according to this, there is in 'Say!' (Qul) an indication to prophethood; and in "Bismillâh" a sign to the Godhead; and in the prefixing of [the preposition] "bi-" of "Bismillâh" a sign to divine unity; {[*]: The genitive construction here (Jârr wa majrûr) expresses restriction. See, Nursi. Ishârât al-I'jâz [Abdûlmecid], 23.} and in "the Most Merciful (al-Rahmân)" an allusion to the order [of the universe, and therefore to] justice and beneficence; and in "the Most Compassionate (al-Rahîm)" a hint to the resurrection of the dead. Likewise, in "all praise be to Allâh (al-hamdulillâh)" is an indication to the Godhead; and in the lâm of specification (the "li-" of "li-llah") a sign to divine unity. And in "Lord and Sustainer of all the worlds (Rabb al'âlamîn)" is a hint to justice, and also to prophethood, for the education of mankind is given by the prophets. And in "Master of the Day of Judgement (Malik yawm al-dîn)" is an explicit statement of resurrection. Likewise, the shell of Innâ a'taynaka'l-kawthar {[*]: Sura 108, Sûrat al-Kawthar, one of the shortest of the Qur'an's suras.} contains these pearls [of the Qur'an's four main aims]. This is an example, so carry on in the same way.

    "In the name of Allâh (Bismillâh)" is like the sun, which illumines itself as well as others and is self-sufficient. Thus, the "In (bi-)" is related to the verb that is implicit in its meaning; that is, "I seek help from it;" or the meaning usually associated with it; that is, "I swear by it." Or it is related to the implicit 'Say!' (Qul), which necessitates a subsequent 'recite!' or 'read!' (iqrâ') to denote sincerity and divine unity. {(*): Related to and following the genitive construction, these implied verbs denote restriction, which in turn denotes sincerity and divine unity. See, Nursi, lsârâtû'1-l'caz [Abdûlmecid], 24.}

    As for "name (al-ism)" know that Allâh has names pertaining to His essence, and names pertaining to various sorts of action, such as Forgiving, Provider, Giver of Life, and Dealer of Death, and so on. They are various and numerous because of the multiplicity of the relations of His pre-eternal power with the different kinds of beings. Therefore, "Bismillâh" is an invocation, seeking the agency and connection of divine power, that its connection might be a spirit for man and a help for him in his actions.

    "Allâh:" the proper name of Allâh is a comprehensive summary of all the attributes of perfection, for it implies the Essence, unlike other proper nouns, in which there is no necessary implication of attributes.

    "The Most Merciful, the All-Compassionate (al-Rahmân al-Rahîm)"

    The positioning: just as divine glory (jalâl) and its concomitants are manifested in sequence from the name of Allâh, so too divine beauty (jamâl) and its concomitants appear in sequence from the Most Merciful, the All-Compassionate (al-Rahmân al-Rahîm). Since Glory and Beauty are two sources, there appear in sequence from them by virtue of their being manifest in every world, branches like command and prohibition, reward and punishment, inducement and threat, glorification and praise, and fear and hope, and so on.

    Also, just as the name of Allâh indicates the attributes that are identical with His Essence and indicate His freedom from defect (al-sifât al-'ayniyya wa'l-tanzihiyya), so "All-Compassionate (al-Rahîm)" hints at the attributes that are other than His Essence and pertain to action (al-sifât al-ghayriyya al-fi'liyya). As for "Most Merciful (al-Rahmân)," it indicates the seven attributes that are neither identical with nor other than His Essence (lâ 'ayn wa lâ ghayr), since it has the meaning of the Provider (al-Razzâq) and consists of the bestowal of continuance. For continuance is the repetition of existence; and existence necessitates a distinguishing attribute, a specifying attribute, and an effectuating attribute, and these are Knowledge, Will, and Power. Continuance, which is the result of the bestowal of sustenance, entails the certainty of Sight, Hearing, and Speech, for necessarily the Provider has sight in order to see the need of the recipient of providence if he does not seek it; and He has hearing in order to hear the recipient's word when he asks; and He has speech in order to speak through intermediaries, when there are some. And these six necessitate the seventh, which is Life.

    -If you were to ask: The precedence of "Most Merciful (al-Rahmân)" which indicates great bounties, over "All-Compassionate (al-Rahîm)," which indicates minute bounties, is the art of descending from great to small (san'at al-tadalli). While eloquence requires an ascent from lowest to highest (san'at al-taraqqi)!

    You would he told: The latter is appended to the former in order to complete it, like eyebrows complete the eyes and the bridle the horse. Similarly, when the great depends on the minute the minute gains the superiority, like the key to the lock and the tongue to the spirit. Furthermore, this context (lit. station - al-maqâm) being one of drawing attention to the bounties [rather than enumerating them or evoking gratitude for them], to alert [the reader to this fact since it is] less obvious is more appropriate. So the art of descending from great to small when (lit. in the context of) enumerating bounties and evoking gratitude for them becomes the art of ascending from small to great when alerting [the mind to them] and pointing them out.

    -If you were to ask: Like such concepts as tender-heartedness, Merciful and Compassionate cannot be used in reference to Allâh. If what is meant by these is their results, which here would be the bestowal of bounty, what is the reason for the metaphor?

    You would be told: The reason is that of the allegorical verses (mutashâbihât): {[*]: Meanings that cannot be applied literally to God Almighty, such as "the hand" in the verse, "The hand of Allâh is over their hands." 48: 10) See, Nursi, İsârâtul-I'caz [Abdûlmecid], 26.} it is divine condescension to human intellects; making something familiar to the mind and inducing it to understand, like one speaks to a child in terms he is accustomed to and familiar with. The mass of the people gather their information from their senses and they do not look at sheer truths except in the mirror of what they imagine them to be and from the point of view of that to which they are accustomed. Moreover, the aim of the phrase is to convey the meaning, and this is not achieved except by affecting the heart and emotions, and by clothing the truth in a style familiar to the one addressed; in this way his heart is prepared to accept it.

  7. #7
    Ehil Üye *AHMET* - ait Kullanıcı Resmi (Avatar)
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    "[All] praise (al-Hamd)"

    Its positioning as regards what precedes it:

    Since "the Most Merciful (al-Rahmân)" and "the All-Compassionate (alRahim)" indicate the [divine] bounties and favours, they necessitate praise. Furthermore, "All praise be to Allâh (al-hamduli'llâh)" is repeated in four suras in the Qur'an, {[*]: Suras al-An'âm, al-Kahf, Sabâ', al-Fâtir.} each repetition referring to one of the principal bounties, which are the first creation and the continuation of it, and the last creation and its ensuing continuation.

    Its positioning here:

    ["All praise be to Allâh (al-hamduli'llâh)"] being put at the opening of the Fatiha of the Qur'an is like putting the conception of the Qur'an's ultimate purpose in the forefront of the brain. For praise is a concise form of worship, which is the result of creation, and of knowledge of Allâh, which is the purpose and aim of the universe. So to mention praise is to conceive of the Qur'an's ultimate purpose. Indeed, Allâh (May He be exalted and glorified) says: "I created not the jinn and men except that they might worship." (51:57)

    Furthermore, there is the well-known meaning of praise: the display of the attributes of perfection.

    How this is achieved: Allâh created man and made him a comprehensive summary of the universe and an index of the book of the world, which comprises eighteen thousand worlds, and lodged in his essence a sample from each, in which is manifested one of His names. If man spends all of what is bestowed on him in the way of that for which he was created, for the purpose of offering thanks, a sort of praise, and obeying the Shari'a, which removes the rust of nature, each of those samples becomes a map [illuminating] his world, and a mirror reflecting it and the attribute manifested in it and the name it displays. In this way, with both spirit and body, man becomes a summary of the worlds of the seen and unseen, and manifests what is manifested in them. Through offering praise he becomes both a place of demonstration and a demonstrator of the attributes of perfection. This is implied by what Muhyi al-Din al-'Arabi said in explanation of the Hadith: "I was a hidden treasure, so I created creation that they might know Me." That is, I created creation to be a mirror in which I might observe My beauty.

    "[Be] to Allâh (li' llâh)"

    That is, praise (hamd) is particular to and fitting only for the Most Pure and Holy Essence, who although specified is described by the concept of the Necessarily Existent One. For sometimes something specific may be thought of in general terms. The letter lâm (the li- of li-llah) here is dependent on the verb implied by its meaning, as though it had absorbed the verb's meaning. In the lâm is also a sign to sincerity and divine unity.

    "Lord and Sustainer (Rabb)"

    That is, He who raises and sustains the universe with all its component parts, each of which is a world like the greater world, with all its atoms, like its stars dispersed, in motion, in order.

    Know that Allâh (May His glory be exalted) appointed for everything a point of perfection and deposited in each an inclination towards it, as though commanding it through this inclination to set out for the point of perfection. In its journey each thing stands in need of what will help it and what will repulse the things that hinder it, and this is the sustaining of Allâh. If you study the universe, you will see that it resembles human groups and nations, with each individually and collectively employed in the duties its Maker has appointed for it, striving diligently, obeying the laws of its Creator. How surprising therefore is man, in his being an exception!

    "Of all the worlds (al-'âlâmîn)"

    The yâ and nûn [that is, the two final letters] denote either a grammatical ending as in the numbers twenty ('ishrîn) and thirty (thalâthîn), or the [sound] plural. For the components of the worlds are worlds, or the world is not limited to the solar system. As the poet says:

    Praise he to Allâh, how numerous are His celestial spheres!

    Among them circulate the stars, and the sun and the moon.

    The sound plural, [properly used] for rational beings, as in the verse "Ra'aytuhum li sâjidîn (I saw them prostrate themselves before me)," (12:4) indicates that [the science of] rhetoric conceives of all the components of the world as living and rational, speaking through the tongue of disposition. For the world ('âlam) is so-called because through it the Maker is known (yu'lam), and it bears witness to Him and points to Him. Thus, the raising and sustaining of beings and their making known their Maker indicate, like the prostration, that they are as though conscious.

    "The Most Merciful, the All-Compassionate (al-Rahmân al-Rahîm)"

    Their positioning:

    they point to the two fundamentals in raising and nurturing. For in its meaning of Provider (al-Razzâq), Most Merciful infers the attraction of benefits, while in its meaning of Oft-Forgiving (alGhaffâr), All-Compassionate is conformable with the repulsion of harm, and these are the two basic principles of raising and sustaining.

    "Master of the Day [of Judgement] (Mâlik Yawm al-Din)"

    That is, the day of resurrection and requital.

    The positioning:

    it is as though it is the result of what precedes it, for mercy (rahma) is one of the proofs of resurrection and eternal felicity. For mercy can only be mercy, and bounty can only be bounty when the Resurrection arrives and eternal felicity comes about. Otherwise, on thinking of eternal separation, intelligence, which is one of the greatest bounties, would be a calamity for mankind, and affection and compassion, which are the most refined kinds of mercy, would be transformed into severe pain.

    -If you were to ask: Allâh is always the owner of everything, so why is the Day of Requital specified?

    You would be told: It is specified in order to indicate that apparent causes, which Allâh has put in the world of change to demonstrate His sublimity - lest the direct functioning of the Hand of Power be seen by the mind's eye in matters that appear to be lowly in their outward (mulk) aspect, will be raised on that day, and their inner aspect (malakûtiyya) will be manifested clearly and transparently. Then all things will see and know their Lord and Maker without intermediary.

    And in the term "the Day (al-yawm)" is an allusion to one of the conjectural signs of the resurrection, related to the evident correspondence between a day and a year, and the life of man and the cycle of the earth. So it is between the hands of a clock that count the seconds, the minutes, the hours, and the days. Thus, the person who sees that one hand has completed its revolution will surmise that the others will complete their revolutions too, even if with delay. Similarly, the person who sees the repeated resurrections of the species in the examples of the day and the year will surmise that the spring of eternal felicity will be born on the morning of the Day of Resurrection for mankind, one individual of which is like a species.

    What is meant by "al-Din" is either requital, that is, the day of requital for good deeds and bad, or of the truths of religion; that is, the day they will rise and be totally manifested, and the sphere of belief will prevail over the sphere of causes. For by relating causes to effects, Allâh has deposited an order in the universe through His will, and obliged man through his nature, illusions, and imagination, to comply with the order and be bound to it. Moreover, He directed all things towards Himself and is far above the effect of the causes in His dominions (mulk). He charged man in belief and faith, to comply with this sphere with his conscience and his spirit, and be bound to it. For in this world, the sphere of causes predominates over the sphere of belief, while in the next world the truths of belief will be manifested as supreme over the sphere of causes.

    Know too that each of the two spheres has its appointed position and particular rules, so each should be given its due. Thus, the person who looks from the position of the causal world with his nature, delusions, and imagination, and the criteria of causes towards the sphere of belief is forced to be Mu'tazilite, while a person who looks from the position of belief and its criteria with his spirit and conscience towards the sphere of causes will end up displaying a lazy sort of trust and obstinate opposition to the will of the Orderer. {[*]: 11. This refers to the Jabriyya (Predestinationists).}


  8. #8
    Ehil Üye olabilir - ait Kullanıcı Resmi (Avatar)
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    "You alone do we worship (Iyyâka na'budu)"

    Two points may be made concerning the letter kâf [ in the detached accusative pronoun iyyâka]:

    The first of them is that by reason of the direct form of address [that is, the change to the second person after the use of the third], the pronominal suffix "-ka - you" implies the attributes of perfection mentioned previously. For the previous mention [of the attributes] one after the other stimulates the brain, preparing it, filling it with enthusiasm, and directing the attention to the One described. Thus, "You alone (iyyâka)" means "O You Who is qualified by these attributes!"

    The second point: the use of the second person indicates that according to the science of rhetoric the meanings should be dwelt on, for then it will be read as it was revealed, and this will lead the person to make the address naturally and enthusiastically. Hence, "You alone (iyyâka)" implies compliance with [the Hadith] "Worship your Lord as if you were seeing Him." {[*]: See, al-Tabarânı, Sahih al-Jâmi' al-saghîr, 1049. It's complete form is narrated by alBukhari and Muslim. See, Nursî, Ishârât al-I'jâz [Ihsân Qasim], 30.}

    The use of the first person plural in "do we worship (na'budu)" has three aspects: firstly, we worship, all of us members and atoms of the microcosm that is myself, by offering the thanks expressed by all these members and atoms complying with that which they have been commanded. Secondly, all of us monotheists, we worship You through obedience to your Shari'a. And thirdly, all of us beings, we submit totally to your Supreme Shari'a of Creation, and we prostrate in bewilderment and love at the throne of your awesomeness and power.

    The positioning:

    "Do we worship (na'budu)" elucidates and expounds "praise" (alhamd). [That is, it explains the form praise should take.] It is the result of "Master of the Day of Judgement (mâlik al-yawm ad-din)" and necessitates it. [That is, "We worship Him alone because He is the Owner of all things."] {[*]: See, Nursi, İsârâtû'l-İ'caz [Sağlam], 31.}

    Know too that the precedence of "You alone (iyyâka)" infers sincerity, the essence of worship, while the use of the second person indicates the reason for worship, for the One qualified by these attributes, which call for direct address, is worthy of worship.

    "And from You alone do we seek help (wa iyyâka nasta'în)"

    In respect of the three groups mentioned above, this is the same as "You alone do we worship:" all of us members of man the microcosm, and us monotheists, and us beings, we seek help and assistance from You for all our needs and aims, the most important of which is worship. The "You alone (iyyâka)" is repeated to increase the pleasure of the address and sense of presence; and because the station (maqâm) of meeting face to face is higher and more exalted than the station of proof [in the absence of the one addressed]; and because presence calls for truthfulness and not for lying; and because worship and the seeking of help are two different, independent aims.

    The positioning of "do we seek help" and "do we worship:" you should understand that the relationship between them resembles the relationship of wages with service. For worship is Allâh's right over His bondsman [worship is a form of service], and the help is His bountiful bestowal [or reward]. {[*]: . See, Nursi, İsârâtû'l-İ'caz [Abdûlmecid], 31.}

    In the exclusivity implied by the precedence of You alone is an indication to the fact that through the noble relation that is worship and the service of Allâh, the bondsman is raised up from subjection to causes and intermediaries; indeed, the causes become his servants, and since he recognizes the One alone, [for him] the sphere of belief and conscience will come to dominate, as mentioned. The person who is not truly Allâh's servant becomes a slave to causes and is abased by intermediaries. However, while in the sphere of causes the bondsman should not neglect causes altogether lest he comes to rebel against the order established by divine wisdom and will. For misplaced reliance on Allâh while in the sphere of causes is laziness, as discussed. This is like the relationship of the antecedent and the aim, for help and grace are the preliminaries of worship.

    "Guide us (Ihdinâ)"

    The positioning: it is the bondsman's reply to Allâh's question, as if He asks: "What aim is closest to your heart?" and the bondsman replies: "Guide us!"

    Know that because of its several levels of meaning, it is as if "Guide us" is derived from the four sources [or verbal nouns - masdar] of the act of guidance. For its recipients may be divided into those who are guided, those who seek guidance, and those who seek increase in guidance. So "Guide us" means: make us firm in guidance if we are a society; increase us in guidance if we are a community; make us successful in guidance if we are a tribe; give us guidance if we are a group.

    Also, according to the verse, "Who gives unto every thing [that exists] its true nature and form, and thereupon guides it," (20:50) Allâh guided us by giving us external and inner senses; then He guided us by placing evidences in the outside world and in ourselves; then He guided us by sending prophets and revealing books. And then He guided us with the greatest guidance, which was that by removing the veils from the truth, it appeared as truth and falsehood appeared as falsehood.

    O Lord! Show us what is indeed the truth and empower us to follow it, and show us the false for what it is, and enable us to avoid it.

  9. #9
    Ehil Üye olabilir - ait Kullanıcı Resmi (Avatar)
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    "The Straight Path (al-sirât al-mustaqîm)"

    Know that the Straight Path is justice, consisting of the blending and summary of wisdom (hikma), chastity (iffa), and courage (shajâ'a), which are the mean or middle way of the three degrees of man's three powers.

    To explain: when Allâh (May He be exalted and glorified!) housed spirit (ruh) in man's body, which is changing, needy, and exposed to dangers, He deposited three powers in it to ensure its continued existence.

    The First: the power of animal appetites to attract benefits.

    The Second: the power of savage passion to repulse harmful and destructive things.

    The Third: the power of angelic intellect to distinguish between benefit and harm.

    However, since His wisdom necessitated that humanity should achieve perfection through the mystery of competition, Allâh placed no innate limitation on these powers, as He did on those of other living beings. He did however limit them through the Shari'a, for it prohibits excess (ifrât) and deficiency (tafrît) and enjoins the middle way (wasat). This is what is inferred by the verse "Pursue then the right course as you have been bidden." (11:112) In the absence of any innate limitation, three degrees arise in the three powers: the degree of deficiency, which is negligence; the degree of superabundance, which is excess; and the middle way, which is justice.

    Thus, deficiency in the power of intellect is stupidity and foolishness, and its excess, perfidious deception and over-meticulousness in trivialities, and its middle way is wisdom. "He who has been given wisdom, has been given great good.(2:269)

    Know that just as the power varies in these degrees, so does each of its branches vary. For example, in the question of the creation of actions, the middle way is that of the Sunni School between the Jabriyya and the Mu'tazila, and in the question of doctrine, the school of divine unity is the middle way between the denial of the divine attributes (ta'til) and anthropomorphism (tashbîh). You can make further examples in the same way.

    Deficiency in the power of animal appetites is apathy and want of appetite, while its excess is profligacy, which is to desire whatever is encountered whether lawful or unlawful. Its middle way is uprightness, which is desiring what is licit and shunning what is illicit. You may apply the principle applied to this power to any of its branches, such as eating, drinking, dressing, and so on.

    Deficiency in the power of savage passion is cowardice, that is, fear of what is not to be feared and delusive imagining. Its excess is uncontrolled anger, which is the progenitor of despotism, domination, and tyranny. And its middle way is courage, which is giving freely of oneself with love and eagerness for the defence of the laws of Islam and the upholding of the Word of divine unity. Apply this same principle to each of its branches.

    The six extremes are thus tyranny and the three middle ways are justice, which is the Straight Path and is to act in act in accordance with "Pursue then the right course as you have been bidden." (11:112) Whoever passes along this way will cross the bridge suspended over the Fire.

    The path of those whom You have blessed (Sirât alladhîna an'amta 'alayhim)"

    Consider this: the positioning of the Qur'an's words like pearls is not on one string, but in a multiplicity of embroideries resulting from the interweaving of lines of different relationships, close and distant, apparent and hidden. For the basis of the miraculousness after the conciseness is this embroidery.

    For example, "The way of those whom You have blessed (Sirât alladhîna an'amta 'alayhim)" has a relationship with "All praise be to God" because bounty (al-ni'ma) is the corollary of "praise;"

    -and with "Lord and Sustainer of all the worlds" because perfect sustaining and raising is through the continual bestowal of bounties (alni'am);

    -and with "the Most Merciful, All-Compassionate," because the recipients of bounty - I mean the prophets, the martyrs who witness to the Truth, and the righteous - are a mercy to the worlds and evident exemplars of mercy;

    -and with "Owner of the Day of Judgement (mâlik al-yawm ad-din)," because religion (din) is the perfect bounty;
    -and with "do we worship," because they are foremost in worship;

    -and with "do we seek help," because they have been graced with success in response to their request for help;

    -and with "Guide us," because according to the meaning of "Follow then their guidance," (6:90) they are the finest models;

    -and with "the Straight Path," because clearly the straight path is confined to their way. This is an example, so carry on in the same way.

    In the word "path (al-sirât)" is an indication that their way is passable, and has restricted sides so that those who travel down it will not stray from it.

    In "those whom (alladhîna)" -since it is a relative pronoun and it is the function of the relative pronoun to describe things known to the listener- is an indication to the exaltedness of their rank, and their refulgent shining in the darkness of mankind, as if they are obvious to all listeners even if they do not search or enquire. While its being plural indicates the possibility of following their way, and corroborated by the constant consensus concerning it, its Tightness, since "Allâh's power is with the community." {[*]: This is a Hadith the original of which is given by al-Tirmidhi as "The hand of Allâh is over the community," al-'Ajlûnî, Kashf al-Khafâ', ii, 391. For more details, see, Nursi, Ishârât al-I'jâz [Ihsân Qasim], 34.}

    In the use of the perfect tense for "You have blessed (an'amta)" is a hint to the means of requesting further bounty. And its use of the second person, addressing Allâh directly, indicates that it is an intercessor, as though one is saying: "O my God! You are the bestower of bounty and in Your grace have bestowed it before; so bestow it on me again, even though I am not worthy."

    And in "on them ('alayhim)" is an indication to the heavy burden that is divine messengership and the bearing of the Trust, and a sign that the Messengers are like high mountains on which pour down torrents of rain so that the plains may be flooded. As one part of the Qur'an expounds another, how beautifully "Those whom You have blessed" is expounded by "[they] are in the company of those on whom is the grace of Allâh - of the prophets, the veracious, the witnesses, and the righteous" (4:69)!

    -If you were to ask: The outlooks of the prophets are all different and their ways of worship are diverse. What is the reason for this?

    You would be told: The prophets are all followed in the principles of faith and fundamental rules, for these are constant and fixed; unlike secondary matters, the nature of which is to change in the course of time. Just as the four seasons and the stages in a person's life warrant different remedies and clothing - what is a cure at one time may cause illness at another - so the stages of the life of humanity necessitate differences in rules of secondary importance, which are healing for spirits and nourishment for hearts.

    "Not of those who earn Your anger (ghayri' l-maghdûbi 'alayhim)"

    The positioning: know that in being a 'station' of fear and flight, this station has a relationship with those preceding it. For a person looks in bewilderment and terror towards the station of dominicality signified by Glory and Beauty; he looks seeking refuge towards the station of worship in "do we worship;" in his impotence he looks towards the station of reliance in "do we seek help," and seeking consolation he looks towards its constant companion; that is, the station of hope and relief. For what occurs first to the heart of one who sees something terrifying is a sense of bewilderment, then he wants to flee, then having realized his impotence it occurs to him to rely on Allâh, and then he receives solace.

    -If you were to ask: Allâh (May He be exalted) is All-Wise and SelfSufficient, so what is the wisdom in the creation of evil, ugliness, and misguidance in the world?

    You would be told: Know that perfection, good, and beauty are essentially what are intended in the universe, and are in the majority. Relatively, defects, evil, and ugliness are in the minority, and are insignificant, secondary, and trivial. Their Creator created them interspersed among good and perfection not for their own sakes, but as preliminaries and units of measurement for the appearance, or existence, of the relative truths of good and perfection.

    -If you were to ask: So what is the importance of the relative truths for the sake of which partial evil is approved?

    You would be told: Relative truths are the ties between beings and the threads with which their order is woven. They are the rays from which is reflected each unique being of the species in the universe. Relative truths are thousands of times more numerous than real truths, for if the real attributes of a person were sevenfold, the relative truths would be seven hundred. A lesser evil may therefore be forgiven, approved even, for the sake of the greater good. For to abandon the greater good because it contains some lesser evil, is a greater evil. And in the view of wisdom, if the lesser evil encounters the greater evil, the lesser evil becomes a relative good, as has been established in principle in zakât and jihâd, for example. As is well-known, "things are known through their opposites," which means that the existence of a thing's opposite causes the manifestation and existence of its relative truths. For example, if there were no ugliness and it did not permeate beauty, the existence of beauty with its infinite degrees would not be apparent.

    -If you were to ask: What is the reason for the different forms of the following three words: "an'amta - You have blessed" being a verb, "almaghdûb - earn [Your] anger" being a passive participle, and "ad-dâllin - those who go astray" being an active participle? Also, what is the reason for the following differences being mentioned: the attribute of the third group, the outcome of the second, which is the result of its attributes, and the exact terms of the first?

    You would be told: The term bounty (or blessings) is chosen because bounty is a delight to which the spirit inclines, and it is in the past tense because this intimates that it is the mark of the Absolutely Generous One not to take back what He gives. By drawing attention to this practice of the Bestower of Bounty, it also suggests a way of reaching what is requested, as if one was saying: "Since it is Your practice to bestow bounties and You have bestowed them previously, bestow them on me too."

    As for "Not of those who earn Your anger," by it is meant those who exceed the limits of the power of passion, and have committed injustice and depravity by abandoning the rules. Since there is in the essence of depravity and injustice an evil pleasure and vicious pride that do not sicken the soul, the Qur'an mentions a,consequence that does sicken it, and that is the descent of divine wrath. The fact that a passive participle has been chosen implies continuation and this is an indication that rebelliousness and evil become ineradicable characteristics if they are not halted by repentance and forgiveness.

    "Nor of those who go astray (wa lâ dâllin)"

    This refers to those who have strayed from the path because delusion and passion have overridden the intellect and conscience, and they have fallen into hypocrisy through false belief. The Qur'an has chosen to describe it thus because misguidance is itself pain; the soul is sickened by it, and the spirit avoids it even it has not seen its result. And the active participle has been chosen because misguidance will be misguidance so long as it is not halted.

    Know too that all pain lies in misguidance and all pleasure is found in belief. If you wish, consider the state of a person whom the Hand of Power has taken out of the darkness of non-existence and flung into the world, that vast and frightening desert. When he opens his eyes seeking compassion, he sees afflictions and calamities besetting him like enemies. Seeking mercy, he looks to the elements and natural causes, and finds them stonyhearted and relentless, baring their teeth at him. Seeking help he raises his gaze to the celestial bodies and sees them awesome and bewildering; threatening him as though they were projectiles of fire issuing from huge mouths and encircling him. In bewilderment he lowers his head, and shielding it, starts to ponder. Then he hears the thousand screams of his needs and the moaning of his wants. Fearfully, he looks to his conscience seeking relief, and is met with thousands of vast and overwhelming hopes which cannot be satisfied in this world. For God's sake, what is the state of this person if he does not believe in the first creation and the resurrection of the dead, and in the Creator and Last Judgement? Do you imagine the sufferings of Hell would be severer for him, searing his soul more terribly? For his state is one of compounded anxiety, terror, impotence, trembling, fearfulness, orphanhood, and despair. If he considers his power, he will see himself to be impotent and weak. If he tries to quieten his needs, he will realize that they cannot be quietened. If he shouts and calls for help, he will not be heard and he will not be helped. He supposes everything to be hostile. He imagines everything to be strange, so feels no familiarity. He does not look to the revolutions of the celestial bodies except with fear, bewilderment, and fright, which disturbs his conscience.

    Now consider the state of this person if he is on the Straight Path and his conscience and spirit are illuminated with the light of belief: you will see that when he enters this world, opens his eyes, and beholds the assaults of all the things around him, he discerns a support on which to lean in the face of these onslaughts, and this is recognition of the Creator, so he will find rest.

    Then if he examines his innate disposition, potentialities, and hopes, which extend to eternity, he will perceive a source of assistance. He seeks help from it for his hopes, for from it is drawn the water of life, which is knowledge of eternal felicity. And if he raises his head and looks at the universe, he will feel a familiarity with everything; he will sense familiarity and affection coming from every flower. He will see in the motions of the heavenly bodies the wisdom of their Creator, and he will receive pleasure from their progress. Gazing on them, he will take a lesson and reflect. It is as if the sun is beckoning to him, saying: "My brother! Don't be frightened of me, I welcome your arrival. Both of us are servants of the One Being, obedient to His command." The moon, the stars, the sea, and their sisters will call each with her particular tongue. Waving to him, they will say: "Welcome! Don't you know us? We are all busy in the service of your Owner. Do not feel dismay or fright, nor be distressed by the threat of the calamities with their bared teeth, for the reins of all things are in your Creator's hand."

    Thus, in the first situation, the person feels a terrible distress in the depths of his conscience. He will be compelled to rid himself of it and to soothe and deaden his senses through diversions, feigning unawareness and busying himself with trivia, so to deceive his conscience and numb his spirit. He will otherwise feel an acute pain in the depths of his conscience, and its effect will be apparent to the degree he is distant from the true path. As for the second situation, there the person feels in the depths of his spirit a great delight and immediate happiness. Whenever his heart awakens and his conscience stirs and his spirit is moved, his happiness will increase and he will receive the good news that the doors of a spiritual paradise are being flung open to him.

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