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Konu: The Staff of Moses

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    The Staff of Moses

    Bediuzzaman
    Said Nursi

    From the Risale-i Nur Collection


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    In His Name, be He glorified!

    This strange age, just as the believers have intense need for the Risale-i Nur, so school teachers and students of science have great need for The Staff of Moses, and teachers of religion and 'hafizes' are in great need of Zülfikâr. For in the treatise on the Qur'an's miraculousness, for example, many verses that have been subject to questioning and objections are shown to contain flashes of miraculousness and many fine and subtle points.

    In the name of all the Risale-i Nur students,
    Said Nursi


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    In His Name, be He glorified!

    And there is nothing but it glorifies Him with praise.

    Peace be upon you and God's mercy and blessings, for ever and ever! My Dear, Loyal Brothers,


    Now that the Risale-i Nur is being duplicated by machine and is spreading generally, and many school children and teachers who study modern science and philosophy are holding fast to it, there is a point that needs explanation:

    The philosophy the Risale-i Nur strikes at fiercely and attacks is not absolute, but the harmful sort. For the philosophy and wisdom that serve the life of human society, and morality and human attainments, and industry and progress, are reconciled with the Qur'an. Indeed, such philosophy serves the Qur'an's wisdom and does not oppose it. This sort the Risale-i Nur does not bother with.

    As for the other sort, since it both leads to misguidance, atheism, and the swamp of nature, and is the cause of vice and dissipation, heedlessness and misguidance; and since with its spellbinding wonders it opposes the Qur'an's miraculous truths; the Risale-i Nur attacks and deals slaps at it with the powerful proofs in the comparisons contained in most of its parts. It does not attack beneficial, rightly-guided philosophy. Members of the secular schools can therefore embrace the Risale-i Nur without hesitation or objection.

    But completely meaninglessly and unjustly, secret dissemblers are turning a number of hojas against the Risale-i Nur, which is the true property of the hojas and people of the medreses (religious schools], and they similarly excite the scholarly pride of certain philosophers. Since it is possible they may do this to harm the Risale-i Nur, it will be appropriate to include this piece at the beginning of the collections, The Staff of Moses and Zülfikar.

    Said Nursi


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    In His Name, be He glorified!

    The Twenty-Eighth Flash and Eighth Ray proved with the same number that Imam 'Ali (May God be pleased with him) gave news of the Risale-i Nur and its important treatises almost explicitly in his Jaljalutiyya. Also in Jaljalutiyya, he foretold the final treatise of the Risale-i Nur with the lines: "And by the name of the Staff of Moses the darkness will be scattered." A couple of years ago I supposed The Supreme Sign to be the final part of the Risale-i Nur, but now, since in '64 (1944) it was completed; and since the above lines predict a treatise that would disperse the darkness and give light and negate the sorcery; and since the first section of this collection, The Fruits of Belief, acted as our court defence and scattered the awesome darkness that had descended on us; and the second section dispelled the darkness of philosophy, which had formed a front against the Risale-i Nur, and compelled the Ankara committee of experts to submit and appreciate it; and since there are numerous signs that it will disperse the darknesses of the future; and since just as the staff of Moses (PUB) caused twelve springs to gush forth and was the means of eleven miracles, so the present collection consists of the eleven light-scattering Topics of The Fruits of Belief and the eleven certain proofs of The Decisive Proof; - these have all given me the conviction that with the above lines Imam 'Ali (May God be pleased with him) was looking directly at this collection called The Staff of Moses, and that he was predicting it and applauding it.

    Said Nursi


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    The Staff of Moses

    PART ONE


    The Fruits of Belief
    (A Fruit of Denizli Prison)

    This is a defence of the Risale-i Nur against atheism and absolute disbelief. It is our true defence in this imprisonment of ours, for it is only this we are working at. This treatise is a fruit and souvenir of Denizli Prison, and the product of two Fridays.

    Said Nursi


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

    And he languished in prison for a number of years more. {[*]: Qur'an, 12:42.}

    According to an inner meaning of this verse, Joseph (Peace be upon him) is the patron of prisoners and prison is a sort of 'School of Joseph.' Since this is the second time the Risale-i Nur students have been sent to prison in large numbers, we should study and teach in this school which has been opened to give this training, the brief summaries of a number of matters connected with prison that the Risale-i Nur proves, and to benefit from them thoroughly. We shall explain five or six of those summaries.

    The First Topic

    As is explained in the Fourth Word, everyday our Creator bestows on us the capital of twenty-four hours of life so that with it we may obtain all the things necessary for our two lives. If we spend twenty-three hours on this fleeting worldly life and neglect to spend the remaining one hour, which is sufficient for the five obligatory prayers, on the very lengthy life of the hereafter, it may be understood what an unreasonable error it is, and what a great loss to suffer distress of the mind and spirit as the penalty for the error, and to behave badly because of the distress, and to fail to rectify one's conduct due to living in a state of despair, indeed, to do the opposite. We may make the comparison.

    We should think of what a profitable ordeal it is -if we spend the one hour on the five obligatory prayers- each hour of this calamitous term of imprisonment sometimes becoming a day's worship and one of its transient hours becoming many permanent hours, and our despair and distress of the spirit and heart in part disappearing, and its being atonement for the mistakes that led to the imprisonment and the cause of their being forgiven, and being trained and improved, which is the purpose of imprisonment; we should think of it being instruction and a pleasant and consoling meeting with our companions in disaster.

    As in the Fourth Word, it may be seen how contrary it is to a person's interests to give five or ten liras out of his twenty-four to a lottery in which a thousand people are taking part in order to win the thousand-lira prize, and not give a single lira out of the twenty-four for a ticket for an everlasting treasury of jewels, and to rush to the former and flee from the latter, -although the chance of winning the thousand liras in the worldly lottery is one in a thousand because there are a thousand people taking part, while in the lottery of man's destiny which looks to the hereafter the chance of winning for the people of belief, who experience happy deaths, is nine hundred and ninety-nine out of a thousand, as has been stated by one hundred and twenty-four thousand prophets and confirmed by incalculable numbers of truthful informers from among the saints and purified scholars as a result of their illuminations.

    Prison governors and chief warders, and indeed the country's administrators and the guardians of public order, should be grateful at this lesson of the Risale-i Nur, for the government and disciplining of a thousand believers who constantly have in mind the prison of Hell is far easier than that of ten who have no belief and do not perform the obligatory prayers, only think of worldly prisons, do not know what is licit and what is illicit, and are in part accustomed to living undisciplined lives.

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    A Summary of the Second Topic

    As is well explained in A Guide For Youth from the Risale-i Nur, it is as definite and obvious that death will befall us as the night will follow today and winter, this autumn. Just as this prison is a temporary guest-house for those who continuously enter and leave it; so the face of the earth is a hostel on the road of the swiftly travelling caravans that alight for one night then pass on. Surely death, which has emptied all the cities into the graveyard a hundred times over, has demands greater than life. The Risale-i Nur has solved the riddle of this awesome truth and discovered its answer. A short summary of it is this:

    Since death cannot be killed nor the door of the grave be closed, if there is a way of being saved from the executioner of the appointed hour and the solitary confinement of the grave, it is a question, an anxiety, for man of greater importance than anything. Yes, there is a solution, and through the mystery of the Qur'an, the Risale-i Nur has proved it as certainly as two plus two equals four. A brief summary of it is as follows:

    Death is either eternal annihilation, a gallows on which will be hanged both man and all his friends and relations; or it comprises the release papers to depart for another, eternal, realm, and to enter, with the document of belief, the palace of bliss. The grave is either a bottomless pit and dark place of solitary confinement, or it is a door opening from the prison of this world onto an eternal, light-filled garden and place of feasting. A Guide For Youth has proved this truth with a comparison.

    For example; gallows have been set up in this prison yard, and behind the wall immediately beyond them a huge lottery office has been opened in the lottery of which the whole world has taken part. We five hundred people in this prison are certain to be summoned one by one without exception to that arena; to avoid it is not possible. Everywhere announcements are being made: "Come and receive your decree of execution, and mount the gallows!", or: "Take the note for everlasting solitary confinement, and take that door!", or: "Good news for you! The winning ticket worth millions has come up for you. Come and receive it!" We see with our own eyes that one after the other they are mounting the gallows. We observe that some are being hanged, while others are making the gallows a step, and moving onto the lottery office beyond the wall. Just at that point, which we know as though we have seen it from the certain information given by the highranking officials there, two groups have entered our prison.

    One group are holding musical instruments, wine, and apparently sweet confections and pastries which they are trying to make us eat. But the sweets are in fact lethal, for satans in human form have laced them with poison.

    The second group are carrying instructive writings, licit foods, and blessed drinks. They present them to us and all together say to us with great earnestness: "If you take and eat the gifts the first group gave you by way of testing you, you shall be hanged on these gallows before us like the others you have seen. Whereas if you accept the gifts we have brought you on the command of this country's Ruler in place of them, and recite the supplications and prayers in the instructive writings, you shall be saved from execution. Believe as though you were seeing it that each of you shall receive the winning ticket worth millions in the lottery office as a royal favour. These decrees say, and we ourselves say the same thing, that if you eat those illicit, dubious, and poisonous sweets, you shall suffer terrible pains from the poison until you go to be hanged."

    Like this comparison, for the people of belief and worship -on condition they have happy deaths- the ticket for an everlasting and inexhaustible treasury will come up from the lottery of man's destiny beyond the gallows of the appointed hour, which we always see. For those who persist in vice, unlawful actions, unbelief, and sin, however, there is a hundred per cent probability that on condition they do not repent, they will receive the summons to either eternal annihilation (for those who do not believe in the hereafter), or to permanent, dark solitary confinement (for those who believe in the immortality of man's spirit, but take the way of vice) and eternal perdition. Certain news of this has been given by the hundred and twenty-four thousand prophets {[*]: Mishkât al-Maşâbih, iii, 122. See also, Zâd al-Maad (tahqiq: al-Arnâ'üt), i, 43-4.} with their innumerable miracles, which confirm them; and by the more than one hundred and twenty-four million saints, who see in their illuminations the traces and shadows -as though on a cinema screen- of what the prophets have told, and put their signatures to it, affirming it; and by the more than thousands of millions of investigative scholars, {(*): One of those investigative scholars is the Risale-i Nur, which for twenty years has been silencing the most obstinate philosophers and obdurate atheists. Its various parts are available; everyone may read them, and no one can object to them.} interpreters of the law, and veracious ones who, with decisive proofs and powerful arguments, prove according to reason and absolutely certainly the things told by those two eminent groups of mankind, and have set their signatures to them. The situation then of someone who does not heed the news given unanimously by the decrees of these three vast and elevated communities and groups of the people of reality, who are the suns, moons, and stars of mankind and the sacred leaders of humanity, and does not take the straight path which they have pointed out, and disregards the awesome ninety-nine per cent danger, and abandons that way due to one person saying there is danger on it and takes another, lengthy, way- his situation is as follows:

    The wretch who since he has abandoned, according to the certain news of innumerable well-informed observers, the shortest and easiest of the two ways, which with a hundred per cent certainty will lead to Paradise and eternal happiness, and has chosen the roughest, longest way, which is most fraught with difficulties and is ninety-nine per cent certain will lead to incarceration in Hell and everlasting misery, and leaves the short way because, according to the false information of a single informer, there is a one per cent chance of danger and the possibility of a month's imprisonment, and chooses the long way, which is without benefit, just because it holds no danger, like drunken lunatics, -such a wretch has lost his humanity, mind, heart, and spirit to the extent that he ignores the terrible dragons which are seen from afar and are pestering him, and struggles against mosquitoes, attaching importance to them alone.

    Since this is the reality of the situation, so that we avenge ourselves totally for this calamity of prison, we prisoners should accept the gifts of the second, blessed, group. That is to say, just as the pleasure of a minute's revenge or a minute or two, or an hour of two, of vice, or this calamity, has put us in this prison for fifteen, five, ten, or two or three years, and made our worlds into a prison; so to spite it, we should avenge ourselves on this calamity by transforming an hour or two of our prison lives into a day or two of worship, and our two or three-year-sentences -through the gifts of the blessed group- into twenty or thirty years of permanent life, and our prison sentences of twenty or thirty years into a means of forgiveness from millions of years of incarceration in the dungeons of Hell. In the face of our transitory worlds' weeping, we should make our everlasting lives smile. We should show prison to be a place of training and education, and each of us try to be well-behaved, reliable, useful members of our nation and country. While the prison officers, administrators, and governors should see that the men they supposed to be criminals, bandits, layabouts, murderers, depraved, and harmful to the country are students studying in this blessed place of instruction, and should proudly offer thanks to God.

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    The Third Topic

    This is the summary of an instructive incident which is described in A Guide For Youth.

    One time, I was sitting by my window in Eskişehir Prison during the 'Republic Festival.' Opposite me, the older girls of the High School were laughing and dancing in the schoolyard. Suddenly their condition fifty years hence appeared to me, as though on a cinema screen. I saw that of those fifty to sixty girl students, forty to fifty had become earth in their graves, and were suffering torments. While ten were ugly seventy to eighty-year-olds who were despised where they might have expected love because they did not preserve their chastity when young. This I observed with complete certainty and I wept at their piteable states. Some of my friends in the prison heard my weeping, and came and asked me about it. I told them: "Leave me alone for now, I want to be alone."

    Yes, what I saw was reality, not imagination. Just as the summer and autumn are followed by winter, so the summer of youth and autumn of old age are followed by the winter of the grave and Intermediate Realm. If there was a cinema which showed the events of fifty years in the future, the same as those of fifty years ago are shown in the present, and the people of misguidance and vice were to be shown their circumstances of fifty or sixty years hence, they would weep in horror and disgust at their unlawful pleasures and those things at which they now laugh.

    When preoccupied with these observations in Eskişehir Prison, a collective personality which spreads vice and misguidance was embodied before me like a human satan. It said:

    "We want to experience all the pleasures and joys of life, and to make others experience them; don't interfere with us!"

    I replied: Since you do not recall death and plunge yourself into vice and misguidance for pleasure and enjoyment, you should certainly know that due to your misguidance, all the past is dead and non-existent; it is a desolate graveyard full of rotted bodies. The suffering arising from those innumerable separations and the eternal deaths of those numberless friends inflicted on your head through the concern of your humanity and your misguidance, and on your heart if you have one and it is not dead, will soon destroy your insignificant drunken pleasure of the present. The future too, due to your unbelief, is a non-existent, black, dead, and desolate wasteland. And since the heads of the unfortunates who appear from there, sticking them out into existence while stopping by in the present, are struck off by the executioner's sword of the appointed hour and thrown into nonexistence, due to the concern of your intellect, it continuously rains down grievous worries on your unbelieving head, completely overturning your petty, dissolute pleasure.

    If you give up vice and misguidance and enter the sphere of certain, verified belief {[*]: According to Bediuzzaman, the aim of the Risale-i Nur is to gain for its readers 'certain, verified belief (iman-ı tahkikî). This has been defined as: "To acquire certain knowledge of all questions related to belief through close investigation, and to live that belief... Firm, unshakeable belief." See, Abdullah Yeğin, Yeni Lügat (3rd. edn.) (Istanbul: 1975), 271.} and righteousness, you will see through the light of belief that the past is not non-existent and a graveyard that rots everything, but an existent, light-filled world which is transformed into the future and into a waiting-room for the immortal spirits who will enter palaces of bliss in the future. Since it appears thus, it affords not pain, but according to the strength of belief, a sort of paradaisical pleasure. The future, too, appears to the eye of belief not as a dark wasteland, but where banquets and exhibitions of gifts have been set up in palaces of everlasting bliss by the Most Merciful and Compassionate One of Glory and Bestowal, Whose mercy and munificence are infinite and Who makes the spring and summer into tables laden with bounties. Since, knowing he will be despatched there, a person observes this on the cinema screen of belief, he may experience in a way the pleasures of the eternal realm. All may do this according to their degree. That is to say, true, painfree pleasure is found only in belief in God, and is possible only through belief.

    Being related to our discussion, we shall explain here by means of a comparison, which is included in A Guide For Youth as a footnote, only a single benefit and pleasure out of the thousands that belief produces in this world too. It is as follows:

    For example, your beloved only child is suffering the pangs of death and you are thinking despairingly of your being eternally parted from him. Then suddenly a doctor like Khidr or Luqman the Wise arrives with a wondrous medicine. Your lovely and lovable child opens his eyes, delivered from death. You can understand what joy and happiness it would give you.

    Now, like the child, millions of people whom you earnestly love and are concerned for are -in your view- rotting in the graveyard of the past and are about to be annihilated, when suddenly the reality of belief, like Luqman the Wise, shines a light from the window of heart onto the graveyard, which is imagined to be a vast place of execution. Through it, all the dead spring to life. On their declaring through the tongue of disposition: "We had not died and shall not die; we shall meet with you again," you feel an endless joy, which belief gives in this world too, proving that belief in God is a seed that were it to be embodied, a private paradise would emerge from it, becoming the Tuba-tree of that seed. I told the collective personality this, and in its stubbornness, it said:

    "At least we can live like animals, passing our lives in pleasure and enjoyment, and by indulging in amusement and dissipation not thinking about these difficult matters."

    I told it by way of an answer:

    "You cannot be like an animal, for animals have no past and future. They feel neither sorrows or regrets at the past, nor anxiety and fear at the future. It receives perfect pleasure; it sleeps and rises and thanks its Creator. An animal held down to be slaughtered, even, does not feel anything. It wants to feel it as the knife cuts, but that feeling disappears as well, and it is saved from the pain. This means that a great instance of Divine mercy and compassion is not making known the Unseen, and veiling the things that will befall one. It is more complete for innocent animals. But, O man, your past and future emerge from the Unseen to an extent because of your reason, so you are entirely deprived of the unconcern of the animals due to the Unseen being concealed from them. The regrets and painful separations coming from the past, and the anxieties coming from the future reduce to nothing your insignificant pleasure; they make it a hundred times less than that which the animals receive. Since the reality is this, either throw away your intellect, become an animal and be saved, or come to your senses through belief; listen to the Qur'an, and receive pure pleasure a hundred times greater than that of the animals in this transitory world too." Saying this, I silenced it.

    Yet, that obdurate collective personality still turned to me and said: "At least we can live like those Westerners who are without religion."

    I replied: "You cannot be like the irreligious people of Europe, either. For even if they deny one prophet, they can believe in the others. If they do not know the prophets, they may believe in God. And even if they do not know God, they may possess certain personal qualities through which they find fulfilment. But if a Muslim denies the Prophet of the End of Time (Peace and blessings be upon him), who was the final and greatest of the prophets and whose religion and cause are universal, and if he abandons his religion, he will accept no other prophet and perhaps not even God. For he knows all the prophets and God and all perfections through the Prophet of the End of Time (Peace and blessings be upon him); they can have no place in his heart without him. It is for this reason that since early times people have entered Islam from all other religions, but no Muslim has become a true Jew, Magian, or Christian. Muslims who abandon their religion rather become irreligious, their characters are corrupted, and they become harmful for the country and nation." I proved this, and the obstinate collective personality could find no further straw to clutch at, so it vanished and went to Hell.

    My friends who are studying together with me in this School of Joseph! Since the reality is this and the Risale-i Nur proves it so clearly and decisively, like sunlight, that for twenty years it has broken the obstinacy of the obdurate and brought them to believe; we should therefore follow the way of belief and right conduct, which is easy and safe and beneficial for both our own worlds, and our futures, and our lives in the hereafter, and our country and nation; and spend our free time reciting the suras of the Qur'an that we know instead of indulging in distressing fancies, and learn the meaning from friends who teach them; and make up for the prayers we have failed to perform in the past, when we should have done; and taking advantage of one another's good qualities, transform this prison into a blessed garden raising the seedlings of good character. With good deeds like these, we should do our best to make the prison governor and those concerned not torturers like the Angels of Hell standing over criminals and murderers, but righteous masters and kindly guards charged with the duties of raising people for Paradise in the School of Joseph and supervising their training and education.

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    The Fourth Topic

    Again, there is an explanation of this in A Guide For Youth. One time, I was asked the following question by the brothers who assist me:

    "For fifty days now -and now seven years have passed- {(*): This refers to 1946.} you have asked nothing at all about this ghastly World War, which has plunged the whole world into chaos and is closely connected with the fate of the Islamic world, nor have you been curious about it. Whereas some religious and learned persons are leaving the congregation in the mosques and racing to listen to the radio. Is there some event more momentous than the war? Or is it harmful in some way to be preoccupied with it?"

    I replied to them: Life's capital is very little and the work to be done is much. There are spheres one within the other like concentric circles, from the sphere of man's heart and stomach, and that of his home and body, and that of the quarter in which he lives and his town, and his country and land, and the globe and mankind, to the spheres of animate beings and the world. Each person may have duties in each of those spheres, but the most important and permanent of these are those in the smallest sphere. While his least important and temporary duties may be in the largest sphere. According to this analogy, the largest and smallest are in inverse proportion. But because of the attractiveness of the largest sphere, it causes the person to neglect his important, necessary duties in the small sphere, busying him with unnecessary, trivial, peripheral matters. It destroys the capital of his life for nothing. It kills his precious life on worthless things. Sometimes, the one following curiously the struggles of the war comes to earnestly support one side. He looks favourably on their tyranny, and becomes a partner in it.

    The Answer to the first point:

    Yes, an event more momentous than this World War and a case more important than that of world supremacy has been opened over the heads of everyone and especially Muslims, so that if everyone had the wealth and power of the Germans and English and sense as well, they would unhesitatingly spend all of it to win that single case. The case is this: relying on the thousands of promises and pledges of the universe's Owner, Who has disposal over it, hundreds of thousands of the most eminent of mankind, and uncounted numbers of its stars and guides, have unanimously given news -and some of them have actually seen- that for everyone the case has opened by which they may either win, in return for belief, or lose, eternal properties as broad as the earth set with palaces and gardens. If they do not secure the document of belief, they will lose. And this age, many are losing the case because of the plague of materialism. One of the diviners of reality and investigators of truth observed in one place that out of forty people who died, only a few won; the others lost. Can anything take the place of that lost suit, even rule over the whole world?

    Since we Risale-i Nur students know it would be pure lunacy to give up the duties which will win the case and abandon the wondrous lawyer who saves ninety per cent from losing it and the task which the lawyer employs us in, and become involved with peripheral trivia as though we were going to remain in the world for ever, we are certain that if each of us had intelligence a hundred times greater than what we have, we still would use it only on this task.

    My new brothers here in this calamity of prison! You have seen the Risale-i Nur the same as my old brothers, who entered here together with me. Citing them and thousands of students like them as witnesses, I say, I prove, and have proved, that it is the Risale-i Nur that wins that supreme case for ninety people out of a hundred, obtains for them certain, verified belief, which is the document and warrant that has won the case for twenty thousand people in twenty years. It has proceeded from the miraculousness of the All-Wise Qur'an and is the leading lawyer at this time. Although these eighteen years my enemies and the atheists and materialists have duped some members of the government with their exceedingly cruel plots against me, and have had us sent to prison to have us done away with -in the past as now, they have been able to cause harm to only two or three of the one hundred and thirty pieces of equipment in the steel fortress of the Risale-i Nur. That means, to obtain it is sufficient for those who want to engage a lawyer. Also, fear not, the Risale-i Nur cannot be banned! With the exception of two or three, its treatises are circulating freely among the deputies serving the Government of the Republic, and its leaders. God willing, at some time happy governors and guards will distribute those lights to the prisoners, like bread and medicine, and so make the prisons into truly effective places of reform.

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    The Fifth Topic

    As is described in A Guide For Youth, there is no doubt that youth will depart; it will change into old age and death as certainly as the summer gives its place to autumn and winter, and the day changes into evening and night. All the revealed scriptures give the good news that if fleeting, transient youth is spent on good works, in chastity and within the bounds of good conduct, it will gain for the person immortal youth.

    If, on the other hand, youth is spent on vice, just as murder resulting from a minute's anger leads to millions of minutes of imprisonment, so quite apart from being called to account in the hereafter, and the torments of the grave, and the regrets arising from their passing, and sins, and the penalties suffered in this world, the unlawful pleasures of youth contain more pain than pleasure; every youth with sense will corroborate this from his own experience.

    For example, the pains of jealousy, separation, and unreciprocated love transform the partial pleasure to be found in illicit love into poisonous honey. If you want to know how they end up in hospitals due to illnesses resulting from their misspent youth, and in prison due to their excesses, and in bars and dens of vice and the graveyard due to the distress arising from their unnourished hearts and spirits not performing their right functions, go and ask at the hospitals, prisons, bars, and graveyards. More than anything, you will hear the weeping and sighs of regret at the blows youths have received as the penalty for abusing their youth, and their excesses, and illicit pleasures.

    Foremost the Qur'an, with numerous of its verses, and all the revealed scriptures and books, give the glad tidings that if spent within the bounds of moderation, youth is an agreeable Divine bounty and sweet, powerful means to good works, which yields the result of shining, immortal youth in the hereafter.

    Since the reality is this, and since the bounds of the licit are sufficient for enjoyment, and since an hour of unlawful pleasure leads sometimes to a punishment of one, or ten, years' imprisonment; surely it is absolutely necessary to spend the sweet bounty of youth chastely, on the straight path, as thanks for the bounty.

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    The Sixth Topic

    This consists of a single, brief proof of the pillar of belief, 'Belief in God,' for which there are numerous decisive proofs and explanations in many places in the Risale-i Nur.

    In Kastamonu a group of high-school students came to me, saying: "Tell us about our Creator, our teachers do not speak of God." I said to them: "All the sciences you study continuously speak of God and make known the Creator, each with its own particular tongue. Do not listen to your teachers; listen to them.

    "For example, a well-equipped pharmacy with life-giving potions and cures in every jar weighed out in precise and wondrous measures doubtless shows an extremely skilful, practised, and wise pharmacist. In the same way, to the extent that it is bigger and more perfect and better stocked than the pharmacy in the market-place, the pharmacy of the globe of the earth with its living potions and medicaments in the jars which are the four hundred thousand species of plants and animals shows and makes known to eyes that are blind even -by means of the measure or scale of the science of medicine that you study- the All-Wise One of Glory, Who is the Pharmacist of the mighty pharmacy of the earth.

    "To take another example; a wondrous factory which weaves thousands of sorts of cloth from a simple material doubtless makes known a manufacturer and skilful mechanic. In the same way, to whatever extent it is larger and more perfect than the human factory, this travelling dominical machine known as the globe of the earth with its hundreds of thousands of heads, in each of which are hundreds of thousands of factories, shows and makes known -by means of the measure or scale of the science of engineering which you study- its Manufacturer and Owner.

    "And, for example, a depot, store, or shop in which has been brought together and stored up in regular and orderly fashion a thousand and one varieties of provisions undoubtedly makes known a wondrous owner, proprietor, and overseer of provisions and foodstuffs. In just the same way, to whatever degree it is vaster and more perfect than such a store or factory, this foodstore of the Most Merciful One known as the globe of the earth, this Divine ship, this dominical depot and shop holding goods, equipment, and conserved food, which in one year travels regularly an orbit of twenty four thousand years, and carrying groups of beings requiring different foods and passing through the seasons on its journey and filling the spring with thousands of different provisions like a huge waggon, brings them to the wretched animate creatures whose sustenance has been exhausted in winter, -by means of the measure or scale of the science of economics which you study- this depot of the earth makes known and makes loved its Manager, Organizer, and Owner.

    "And, for example, let us imagine an army which consists of four hundred thousand nations, and each nation requires different provisions, uses different weapons, wears different uniforms, undergoes different drill, and is discharged from its duties differently. If this army and camp has a miracle-working commander who on his own provides all those different nations with all their different provisions, weapons, uniforms, and equipment without forgetting or confusing any of them, then surely the army and camp show the commander and make him loved appreciatively. In just the same way, the spring camp of the face of the earth in which every spring a newly recruited Divine army of the four hundred thousand species of plants and animals are given their varying uniforms, rations, weapons, training, and demobilizations in utterly perfect and regular fashion by a single Commander-in-Chief Who forgets or confuses not one of them -to whatever extent the spring camp of the face of the earth is vaster and more perfect than that human army, -by means of the measure or scale of the military science that you study- it makes known to the attentive and sensible, its Ruler, Sustainer, Administrator, and Most Holy Commander, causing wonderment and acclaim, and makes Him loved and praised and glorified.

    "Another example: millions of electric lights that move and travel through a wondrous city, their fuel and power source never being exhausted, self-evidently make known a wonder-working craftsman and extraordinarily talented electrician who manages the electricity, makes the moving lamps, sets up the power source, and brings the fuel; they cause others to congratulate and applaud him, and to love him. In just the same way, although some of the lamps of the stars in the roof of the palace of the world in the city of the universe -if they are considered in the way that astronomy says- are a thousand times larger than the earth and move seventy times faster than a cannon-ball, they do not spoil their order, nor collide with one another, nor become extinguished, nor is their fuel exhausted. According to astronomy, which you study, for our sun to continue burning, which is a million times larger than the earth and a million times older and is a lamp and stove in one guest-house of the Most Merciful One, as much oil as the seas of the earth and as much coal as its mountains or as many logs and much wood as ten earths are necessary for it not to be extinguished. And however much greater and more perfect than this example are the electric lamps of the palace of the world in the majestic city of the universe, which point with their fingers of light to an infinite power and sovereignty which illuminates the sun and other lofty stars like it without oil, wood, or coal, not allowing them to be extinguished or to collide with one another, though travelling together at speed, to that degree -by means of the measure of the science of electricity which you either study or will study- they testify to and make known the Monarch, Illuminator, Director, and Maker of the mighty exhibition of the universe; they make Him loved, glorified, and worshipped.

    "And, for example, take a book in every line of which a whole book is finely written, and in every word of which a sura of the Qur'an is inscribed with a fine pen. Being most meaningful with all of its matters corroborating one another, and a wondrous collection showing its writer and author to be extraordinarily skilful and capable, it undoubtedly shows its writer and author together with all his perfections and arts as clearly as daylight, and makes him known. It makes him appreciated with phrases like, "What wonders God has willed!" and "Blessed be God!" Just the same is the mighty book of the universe; we see with our eyes a pen at work which writes on the face of the earth, which is a single of its pages, and on the spring, which is a single folio, the three hundred thousand plant and animal species, which are like three hundred thousand different books, all together, one within the other, without fault or error, without mixing them up or confusing them, perfectly and with complete order, and sometimes writes an ode in a word like a tree, and the complete index of a book in a point-like seed. However much vaster and more perfect and meaningful than the book in the example mentioned above' is this compendium of the universe and mighty embodied Qur'an of the world, which is infinitely full of meaning and in every word of which are numerous instances of wisdom, to that degree -in accordance with the extensive measure and far-seeing vision of the natural science that you study and the sciences of reading and writing that you have practised at school- it makes known the Inscriber and Author of the book of the universe together with His infinite perfections. Proclaiming "God is Most Great!", it makes Him known. Uttering phrases like "Glory be to God!", it describes Him. Acclaiming Him with words like "All praise be to God!", it makes Him loved.

    "Thus, hundreds of other sciences like these make known the Glorious Creator of the universe together with His Names, each through its broad measure or scale, its particular mirror, its far-seeing eyes, and searching gaze; they make known His attributes and perfections.

    "It is in order to give instruction in this matter, which is a brilliant and magnificent proof of Divine unity, that the Qur'an of Miraculous Exposition teaches us about our Creator most often with the verses, Sustainer of the Heavens and the Earth, {[*]: Qur'an, 6:1.} and, He created the Heavens and Earth ," {[*]: Qur'an, 13:16.} I said this to the schoolboys, and they accepted it completely, affirming it by saying: "Endless thanks be to God, for we have received an absolutely true and sacred lesson. May God be pleased with you!" And I said:

    "Man is a living machine who is grieved with thousands of different sorrows and receives pleasure in thousands of different ways, and despite his utter impotence has innumerable enemies, physical and spiritual, and despite his infinite poverty, has countless needs, external and inner, and is a wretched creature continuously suffering the blows of death and separation. Yet, through belief and worship, he at once becomes connected to a Monarch so Glorious he finds a point of support against all his enemies and a source of help for all his needs, and like everyone takes pride at the honour and rank of the lord to whom he is attached, you can compare for yourselves how pleased and grateful and thankful and full of pride man becomes at being connected through belief to an infinitely Powerful and Compassionate Monarch, at entering His service through worship, and transforming for himself the announcement of the execution of the appointed hour into the papers releasing him from duty."

    I repeat to the calamity-stricken prisoners what I said to the schoolboys: "One who recognizes Him and obeys Him is fortunate even if he is in prison. While one who forgets Him is wretched and a prisoner even if he resides in a palace." Even, one wronged but fortunate man said to the wretched tyrants who were executing him: "I am not being executed but being demobilized and departing for where I shall find happiness. But I see that you are being condemned to eternal execution and am therefore taking perfect revenge on you." And declaring: "There is no god but God!", he happily surrendered up his spirit.

    Glory be unto You! We have no knowledge save that which You have taught us; indeed, You are All-Knowing, All-Wise: {[*]: Qur'an, 2:32.}

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