In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
[This forms a seventh ‘Point’ about the six Greatest Names and is about the Greatest Name of ‘God, The One.’]
In my view, this treatise holds great importance, for the significant and subtle mysteries of belief that it contains unfold and develop. One who reads and understands this treatise will save his belief, God willing. Unfortunately I have been unable to meet with anyone here and have been unable to write out a fair copy myself. If you want to understand the treatise’s value, read first of all the Second and Third Fruits of the First Station carefully and the Conclusion at the end and the matter in the two pages preceding that, then study the whole of it slowly!
THE SEVENTH OF THE SIX POINTS ABOUT THE SIXGREATEST NAMES, ABOUT ‘GOD, THE ONE’
In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
And from Him do we seek help.
Inspired by one splendid meaning of the verse,
And know that there is no god but God,1
and by a famous oath of the Prophet (PBUH), this treatise consists of a subtle point I perceived about three beautifully sweet and subtle fruits of the affirmation of Divine unity, and three matters necessitating it, and three proofs of it.
The oath God’s Most Noble Messenger most frequently used was the oath: “By Him in whose hand is Muhammad’s being,”2 which shows that even the furthermost tips of the tree of the universe, and its broadest extent, and its minor particulars, exist through the power and will of the Single One of Unity. For if the most choice and exceptional of creatures, Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him), does not own himself, and if he is not free to act as he wishes and is tied in his actions to another will, certainly, nothing, no function, state or circumstance, whether particular or universal, can be outside the power of that all-encompassing will.
Yes, what this meaningful oath of Muhammad (PBUH) indicates is the mighty, all-encompassing unity of dominicality. Since a hundred, perhaps a thousand, clear proofs of this Divine unity have been set forth and explained in the Risale-i Nur, which is the Siracü’n-Nur (The Illuminating Lamp),3 we refer to that the details and proofs of this elevated truth. In this Second Ray, in the first of three brief ‘Stations’ contained in this most important truth of belief, three subtle, sweet, precious, and luminous universal fruits out of innumerable fruits will be explained in summary fashion, thereby alluding to the insights and experiences which impelled my heart to those fruits.
In the Second Station, three universal matters and motives necessitating this sacred truth will be explained, which have the power of three thousand such matters.
In the Third Station, three signs pointing to this truth of Divine unity will be mentioned, which have the power of three hundred signs, indications, and proofs.
The First Fruit of the First Station
In Divine unity and the affirmation of it, Divine beauty and dominical perfection become apparent. If there was no unity, that pre-eternal treasury would remain hidden. Yes, it is only in the mirror of unity and in the manifestation of the Divine Names concentrated by means of unity in the faces of particulars at the extremities of the tree of creation that infinite Divine beauty and perfection, unending dominical excellence and loveliness, the incalculable bounties and gifts of that Merciful One, and the utterly perfect beauty of that Eternally Besought One, are all to be seen.
For example, when the particular act of sending to the assistance of a powerless infant lacking will, pure white milk from an unexpected place, that is, from between blood and excrement, is considered from the point of view of the affirmation of Divine unity, suddenly, through the wondrous, tender sustaining of all infants and young and their subjugating their mothers to themselves, the undying beauty of the mercy of the Most Merciful is seen in all its splendour. If not looked at through the eyes of Divine unity, that beauty is hidden, and that particular providing of sustenance is ascribed to causes, chance, and Nature, thus losing all its value and even transforming its very nature.
Also, for example; if being healed of a dreadful disease is considered from the point of view of the affirmation of Divine unity, on the face of the bestowal of healing on all the sick in the huge hospital called the earth, through the remedies and medicines from the vast pharmacy called the world, the beautiful compassion of the Absolutely Compassionate One and the acts of His mercy become apparent in universal and splendid fashion. If it is not considered from the point of view of the affirmation of Divine unity, that particular but knowledgeable, perceptive, and conscious bestowal of healing will be attributed to the properties of lifeless medicines and to blind force and unconscious Nature; its nature will be completely changed and it will lose its wisdom and value.
I am explaining here because of its relevance a point which occurs to me about a benediction for the Prophet (PBUH). It concerns the well-known benediction which is recited regularly by the Shafi‘i’s at the end of tesbihat following the five daily prayers: O God! Grant blessings to our master Muhammad and to the family of Muhammad, to the number of ills and their remedies, and bless him and them and grant them unending peace. It is important because due to the wisdom in man’s creation and the mystery of his comprehensiveness, every moment he entreats his Creator and seeks refuge with Him, and offers Him thanks and praise. Just as illnesses are the most effective whip driving him to the Divine Court, so the chief of the sweet bounties prompting him to give thanks earnestly and to truly offer praise gratefully are remedies, healing, and good health. It is for this reason that this benediction is most meaningful and widely accepted. Sometimes when reciting “to the number of all ills and their remedies,” I see the earth in the form of a hospital and sense the clearly obvious existence of the True Healer, Who supplies the remedies for all ills, physical and spiritual, and answers all needs, and His universal clemency and sacred all-embracing compassion.
Also for example; if the bestowal of guidance and belief on someone who experiences the ghastly pains of misguidance is considered from the point of view of the affirmation of Divine unity, the pre-eternal beauty of One Munificent and Generous becomes apparent on the face of that supreme gift, which transforms the insignificant, transitory, and impotent man into the slave-addressee of the One True Object of Worship, the Creator and Sovereign of all the universe, and through his belief bestows on him —and on all believers according to their degree— eternal happiness and a broad and splendid everlasting world and property. One flash of that unfading beauty is such that it makes all believers love it, and the elite enamoured of it and captivated by it. If such an event is not considered from the point of view of Divine unity, the man’s particular belief will be attributed either to the person himself, as with the self-centred and self-opinionated Mu‘tazilites, or to causes. Then that sparkling gem of the Most Merciful, the true price and value of which is Paradise, will be reduced to being a piece of glass and it will no longer reflect the flashes of that sacred beauty.
Thus, it may be seen from these three examples that being concentrated in them through the affirmation of Divine unity, the innumerable sorts and varieties of Divine beauty and dominical perfection are apparent in the particular beings at the extremities of the sphere of multiplicity, and in all their states and conditions, and the certain existence of Divine beauty and perfection is understood and established.
It is because Divine beauty and perfection are to be seen with the heart in the affirmation of Divine unity and perceived by the spirit that all the saints and purified ones have found their sweetest illuminations and most delectable spiritual sustenance in repeated recitation of “There is no god but God,” the profession of Divine unity. And it is because Divine grandeur and magnificence, Divine glory, and the absolute sovereignty of the dominicality of the Eternally Besoughted One are realized in the profession of Divine unity that God’s Noble Messenger (Peace and blessings be upon him) declared: “The best thing I and the prophets before me have said is ‘There is no god but God.’”4
Yes, although a small bounty, gift and sustenance like a flower, a fruit, or a light, is a tiny mirror, through the mystery of Divine unity each suddenly stands shoulder to shoulder and joins with all its fellows. Being transformed into a large mirror, its species displays the sort of Divine beauty which is manifested on it. With transient, fleeting beauty it points to an everlasting, undying beauty. As Mawlana Jalal al-Din5 said:
The imagination which is the snare of the saints
Is the reflection of the moon-faced beauties of the garden of God;
it becomes a mirror to Divine beauty. If not for the mystery of the affirmation of Divine unity, each particular fruit would remain on its own, and would show neither that sacred beauty nor its elevated perfection. Even the particular flash of beauty within it would be extinguished and vanish. It would quite simply become its opposite; from being a diamond, it would turn into glass.
Also, through the mystery of the affirmation of Divine unity, in living beings, which are the fruits of the tree of creation, is a Divine personality, a dominical oneness, an immaterial face of the Most Merciful defined by the seven attributes, a concentration of the Names, and the manifestation of the determination and personification of the One Who is addressed by the words You alone do we worship and from You alone do we seek help.6 Otherwise that personality, that oneness, that face, the manifestation of that determination would expand to the extent of the universe, disperse and be hidden. It would be seen only by eyes of the heart that were truly vast and comprehensive. For the magnificence of Divine grandeur would veil it; not everyone could see it with the eye of the heart.
Also, it is clearly understood from those particular living beings that their Maker sees them, knows them, hears them, and does as He wishes. Quite simply, behind the createdness of each living being, the immaterial personification and determination of one who has power and will, hears, sees and knows, is apparent to one who believes.
Especially behind the createdness of man from among living creatures, through belief and through the mystery of Divine unity, that immaterial personification and determination are to be observed in extremely clear fashion. For samples of meanings such as knowledge, power, life, hearing, and sight, which are the bases of that personification of oneness, are present in man, and he indicates them through those samples. For example, the one who bestows the eyes, both sees the eye, and, a subtle meaning, sees what the eye sees, then he bestows them. For sure, the oculist who makes some spectacles for your eyes, sees that they are suitable for your eyes, then he makes them. And the one who bestows the ears, surely hears what the ears hear, then he makes them and bestows them. Examples for the other attributes may be made in the same way.
Also, man bears the impresses and manifestations of the Names; through them, he testifies to those sacred meanings.
Also, through his weakness, impotence, poverty, and ignorance, man acts as a mirror in another way; he testifies to the power, knowledge, will, and other attributes of the one who has pity on his weakness and poverty, and comes to his aid.
Thus, since through the mystery of Divine unity, a thousand and one Divine Names are concentrated in the furthest points and most scattered particulars of the sphere of multiplicity, in the tiny missives known as living beings, and are to be read most clearly, the All-Wise Maker multiplies the copies of them extensively. He makes exceedingly numerous and various the copies of the species of small living beings in particular, and publishes them everywhere.
What impelled me to the truth of this First Fruit was a certain feeling and experience.
It was like this:
At one time, due to my excessive feelings of pity, sympathy and kindness, I was exceedingly touched and sorry for living beings, and of them, intelligent beings and man, and particularly the oppressed and disaster-stricken. I exclaimed from my very heart: “Neither these monotonous laws which prevail over the world hear the woes of these powerless and weak unfortunates, nor do the overwhelming, deaf elements and events hear them. Is there no one who will take pity on their wretched state and intervene in their particular plights?” My spirit was crying out from its very depths. My heart called out with all its strength: “Do these fine creatures, these valuable goods, these yearning and grateful friends, have no owner, no master, no true friend who will look to their business, accompany them and protect them?”
The satisfying, soothing, and sufficient answer to the cries of my spirit and tumult of my heart was this: through the mystery of the Qur’an and light of belief, and the mystery of Divine unity, I perceived the particular favours and special assistance of the All-Glorious One, Who is All-Merciful and Compassionate, above the law, to those lovable creatures who weep and lament under the pressure of universal laws and the assaults of events; and His particular dominicality towards everything directly; and the facts that He Himself directs everything personally and listens to the plaints of all things; and that He is the true owner, protector, and master of everything. I felt an infinite joy in place of that endless despair. Being totally owned by such a Glorious Owner, and being connected to Him, in my view all living beings gained in importance and value a thousand times over.
For since everyone takes pride in his master’s honour and fame, and at the rank of the person to whom he is attached, and acquires a dignity, through the unfolding of this relation through the light of belief and the state of being owned, and due to its strength, an ant vanquished the Pharaoh and could feel the pride of a thousand Pharaohs, who were heedless, imagined themselves to be independent and to own themselves, and had overweening pride —which was extinguished at the door of the grave— at their forefathers and the land of Egypt. And in the face of Nimrod’s pride, which changed into torment and shame when he tasted the pangs of death, the fly pointed to the pride of its own relationship, reducing Nimrod’s to nothing.
To assign partners to God is verily a great transgression7
states that to associate partners with God is an infinite wrong. Assigning partners to God is a vast crime, since it transgresses the rights, honour, and dignity of all creatures. Only Hell can cleanse it.
The Second Fruit of the Affirmation of Divine Unity
The First Fruit considered the Most Pure and Holy One, the Creator of the Universe, now this Second Fruit considers the universe and its essential nature. Yes, it is through the mystery of Divine unity that the perfections of the universe are realized; and the elevated duties of beings understood; and the results of the creation of beings are established; and the value of creatures known; and the Divine purposes in the world find existence; and the instances of wisdom in the creation of living beings and conscious beings become apparent; and behind the stern, angry faces of the violent storms of upheaval and change the smiling, beautiful faces of mercy and wisdom are seen; and the numerous existences of transitory beings —such as their results, identities, true natures, spirits, and glorifications, which they leave in their places in the Manifest World before they depart— are known.
Furthermore, it is only through the mystery of Divine unity that it is known that the universe as a whole is a meaningful book of the Eternally Besought One; and all beings from the ground to the Divine Throne are a miraculous collection of Divine missives; and all the realms of creatures are a magnificent regular dominical army; and all sorts of beings from microbes and ants to rhinoceroses, eagles, and planets are diligent officials of the Pre-Eternal Sovereign; and since they act as mirrors to and have a relation with that Sovereign, the value of all things infinitely surpasses their individual value; and the answers are revealed of the unsolved, abstruse questions “Where do this flood of beings and these caravans of creatures come from? Where are they going? Why did they come? And what are they doing?” Otherwise, these elevated perfections of the universe would vanish, and those lofty, sacred truths be transformed into their opposites.
It is because the crimes of ascribing partners to God and disbelief constitute aggression against all the universe’s perfections and its sacred truths and the elevated rights of beings, that the universe becomes angry at the disbelievers and idolators. The heavens and earth become wrathful, and the elements unite to destroy them, overwhelming and submerging those who ascribe partners to God, such as Noah’s people, and the ‘Ad and Thamud peoples, and the Pharaoh. In accordance with the verse,
Well-nigh bursting with fury,8
Hell so rages and fumes at the disbelievers and ascribers of partners to God that it almost bursts apart. Yes, to associate partners with God is a terrible insult to the universe and a great transgression against it. By denying the sacred duties of beings and the purposes of their creation, it insults their honour. To illustrate this, we shall allude to one example out of thousands.
For example, through the mystery of Divine unity the universe resembles a huge, corporeal angel; glorifying and sanctifying its Maker with hundreds of thousands of heads, to the number of species of beings, and with hundreds of thousands of mouths, to the number of members of those species, and with hundreds of thousands of tongues in every mouth, to the number of organs, parts, and cells of those members — a wondrous collection of elevated creatures engaged in worship like the Angel Israfil. Through the mystery of Divine unity, the universe is also an arable field yielding copious crops for the worlds and dwelling-places of the hereafter; a factory producing numerous goods, such as human actions, for the levels of the Abode of Bliss; and a movie-camera with a hundred thousand lenses continuously taking pictures of this world to show to the spectators in the eternal realm and especially in Paradise. To ascribe partners to God is to transform this truly wondrous, absolutely obedient, living, corporeal angel into a lifeless, soulless, unemployed, perishing, meaningless, wretched, futile collectivity, revolving in the tumult of events and storms of change and darkness of non-existence; and to convert this strange, utterly orderly, beneficial factory into an idle, confused, unconscious plaything of chance which is without product or result or function; to make it into the playground of deaf Nature and blind force, a place of mourning for all intelligent beings, and the slaughterhouse of all living creatures, and a vale of tears.
In accordance with the verse,
To assign partners to God is verily a great transgression,9
to associate partners with God, although a single evil, leads to such vast and numerous crimes that those who perpetrate it deserve infinite torment in Hell. Anyway... since this Second Fruit has been explained and proved repeatedly in The Illuminating Lamp, we have cut short the long story here.
A strange feeling and perception which drove me to this Second Fruit. It was like this:
One time when observing the season of spring, I saw that the successive caravans of beings, and especially living creatures and the small young ones at that, which followed on one after the other and in a flowing torrent displaying hundreds of thousands of samples of the resurrection of the dead and Great Gathering on the face of the earth, appeared only briefly then disappeared. The tableaux of death and transience amid that constant, awesome activity seemed to me excessively sad; I felt such pity it made me weep. The more I observed the deaths of those lovely small creatures, the more my heart ached. I cried at the pity of it and within me felt a deep spiritual turmoil. Life which met with such an end seemed to me to be torment worse than death.
The living beings of the plant and animal kingdoms, too, which were most beautiful and lovable and full of valuable art, opened their eyes for a moment onto the exhibition of the universe, then disappeared and were gone. I felt grievous pain the more I watched this. My heart wanted to weep and complain and cry out at fate. It asked the awesome questions: “Why do they come and then depart without stopping?” These apparently useless, purposeless little creatures were being despatched to non-existence before my very eyes, despite having been created, nurtured and raised with so much attention and art, in such valuable form. They were merely torn up like rags and thrown away into the obscurity of nothingness. The more I saw this the more my inner senses and faculties, which are captivated by beauty and perfection and enamoured of precious things, cried out: “Why does no one take pity on them? Isn’t it a shame? Where did they come from, the death and ephemerality in these bewildering upheavals and transformations which persistently attack these wretched beings?”
As I started to utter fearful objections about Divine Determining and the grievous circumstances of the outer face of life and its events, the light of the Qur’an, the mystery of belief, the favour of the Most Merciful, and belief in Divine unity all came to my assistance. They lit up those darknesses, and transformed my laments into joy and my weeping into happiness and my pity into exclamations of “Blessed be God! What wonders God has willed!” They caused me to declare: “All praise be to God for the light of belief.” For through the mystery of Divine unity I saw that all creatures, and particularly living creatures, produce truly significant results and have general benefits.
In Short: All living beings, for instance this adorned flower or that sweet-producing bee, are Divine odes full of meaning which innumerable conscious beings study in delight. They are precious miracles of power and proclamations of wisdom exhibiting their Maker’s art in captivating fashion to innumerable appreciative observers. While to appear before the gaze of the Glorious Creator, Who wishes to observe His art Himself, and look on the beauties of His creation and the loveliness of the manifestations of His Names, is another exceedingly elevated result of their creation.
A further elevated function of their creation is described in the Twenty-Fourth Letter, and is their serving in five ways the manifestations of dominicality and Divine perfections which necessitate the infinite activity in the universe.
I saw that if it is a being with a spirit, besides benefits and results such as the above, since it leaves behind in its place in this Manifest World its spirit, and in innumerable memories and other ‘preserved tablets’ its form and identity, and in its seeds the laws of its being and a sort of future life, and in the World of the Unseen and Realm of the Divine Names the perfections and beauties it has mirrored, its apparent death has the meaning of a joyful release from duties; it merely passes behind a curtain of death and is hidden from worldly eyes. I exclaimed: “All praise and thanks be to God!”
These genuine, powerful, faultless, utterly brilliant instances of beauty and loveliness which are visible in all the levels of the universe and all its realms of beings, and have spread everywhere, demonstrate with complete certainty that the ugly, harsh, abhorrent, wretched former situation, which the association of partners with God necessitates, is impossible and illusory. For such ghastly ugliness could not exist hidden under the veil of such genuine beauty. If it was found there, that true beauty would be untrue, baseless, futile, and illusory. This means that the association of partners with God has no reality, its way is closed, it has become stuck in a bog; what it posits is impossible and precluded. Since this truth of belief, which pertains to the emotions, is explained in detail with numerous proofs in many parts of The Illuminating Lamp, we shall suffice here with this brief indication.
This fruit looks to conscious beings, and particularly to man. Through the mystery of Divine unity, among all creatures man may attain to the highest perfections, and become the most valuable fruit of the universe, the most perfect and refined of creatures, the most fortunate and happy of animate beings, and the addressee and friend of the world’s Creator. Indeed, all man’s perfections and his lofty aims are tied to the affirmation of Divine unity and find existence through its meaning. For if there was no unity, man would be the most unhappy of creatures, the lowest of beings, the most wretched of the animals, the most suffering and sorrowful of intelligent beings. For together with his infinite impotence, his innumerable enemies, his boundless want, and endless needs, he has been decked out with a great many faculties and senses, so that he feels innumerable sorts of pains and experiences countless sorts of pleasures. He has such aims and desires that one who does not govern the whole universe at once cannot bring about those desires.
For example, man has an intense desire for immortality. Only one who has disposal over the whole universe as though it was a palace can answer this wish; who can close the door of this world and open that of the hereafter, like closing the door of one room and opening that of another. Man also has thousands of desires, both negative and positive, which like the desire for immortality spread throughout the world and stretch to eternity. It is only the Single One, Who through the mystery of unity holds the whole universe in His grasp, that by answering these desires of man can cure the two awesome wounds of his impotence and want.
Moreover, man has wishes for tranquillity and ease of heart so insubstantial, secret, and particular, and aims connected with the immortality and happiness of his spirit so vast, comprehensive, and universal, that they can be answered only by one who sees the subtlest and most imperceptible veils of his heart, and is not unconcerned, and hears its most inaudible, secret voices, and does not leave them unanswered. That one must also have sufficient power to subjugate the heavens and earth as though they were two obedient soldiers, and make them perform universal works.
Also, through the mystery of unity, all man’s members and senses gain a high value, while through ascribing partners to God and disbelief they fall to an infinitely low degree. For example, man’s most valuable faculty is intelligence. Through the mystery of Divine unity, it becomes a brilliant key to the sacred Divine treasuries, and to the thousands of coffers of the universe. Whereas if it descends to associating partners with God and to unbelief, it becomes an inauspicious instrument of torture which heaps up in man’s head all the grievous pains of the past and awesome fears of the future.
Also, for example, compassion, man’s most gentle and agreeable characteristic: if the mystery of Divine unity does not come to its assistance, it becomes a calamitous torment which reduces man to the depths of misery. A heedless mother who imagines she has lost her only child for all eternity feels this searing pain to the full.
Also, for example, love, man’s sweetest, most pleasurable, and most precious emotion: if the mystery of Divine unity assists it, it gives miniscule man the expanse and breadth of the universe, and makes him a petted monarch of the animals. Whereas if —I seek refuge with God— man descends to associating partners with God and unbelief, because he will be separated for all eternity from all his innumerable beloveds as they continuously disappear in death, love becomes a terrible calamity constantly lacerating his wretched heart. But vain amusements causing heedlessness temporarily numb his senses, apparently not allowing him to feel it.
If you make analogies with these three examples for man’s hundreds of faculties and senses, you will understand the degree to which Divine unity and the affirmation of it are the means by which he may be fulfilled and perfected. Since this Third Fruit too has been very well explained in detailed manner with proofs in perhaps twenty of the treatises of The Illuminating Lamp, I am sufficing with this brief indication here.
What impelled me to this Fruit was the following feeling:
At one time I was on the top of a high mountain. Through a spiritual awakening powerful enough to dispel my heedlessness, death and the grave appeared to me in all their stark reality, and transience and ephemerality with all their painful representations. Like everyone’s, my innate desire for immortality surged up and rebelled against death. The fellow-feeling and compassion in my nature, too, revolted against the annihilation of the people of perfection, the famous prophets, the saints, and the purified ones, for whom I feel great love and attachment; it boiled up angrily against the grave. I looked in the six directions, seeking help, but I found no solace, no assistance. For looking to the past, I saw a vast graveyard; and to the future, darkness; and above I saw horror; and to the right and left, grievous situations and the assaults of numberless harmful things. Suddenly, the mystery of Divine unity came to my assistance and drew back the veil, revealing the face of reality. “Look!”, it said.
First of all I looked at the face of death, which I feared greatly. I saw that for the people of belief it was a discharge from duties. The appointed hour was the discharge papers. It was a change of abode, the introduction to an everlasting life, and the door leading to it. It was to be released from the prison of this world and to fly to the gardens of Paradise. It was the occasion one enters the presence of the Most Merciful in order to receive the wages for one’s service. It was a call to go to the realm of bliss. Understanding this with complete certainty, I began to love death.
I looked then at transience and ephemerality, and I saw them to be a pleasurable renewal, like pictures on the cinema screen and bubbles on flowing water under the sun. Coming from the World of the Unseen in order to refresh the exquisite manifestations of the Most Beautiful Names, they were an excursion, a trip, in the Manifest World, with certain duties to perform; they were a wise and purposeful manifestation of dominical beauty; they performed the function of mirrors to the eternal beauty of beings. This I knew with certainty.
I then looked at the six directions, and I saw that through the mystery of Divine unity they were so luminous they dazzled the eyes. I saw that the past was not a vast grave, but having been transformed into the future, had become thousands of enlightened gatherings of friends and thousands of light-filled vistas. I looked at the true faces of thousands of matters like these two, and I saw that they afforded nothing but joy and thanks.
I have described my feelings about this Third Fruit with proofs, particular and universal, in perhaps forty treatises of The Illuminating Lamp. They have been explained so clearly and decisively in the thirteen ‘Hopes’ of the Twenty-Sixth Flash in particular, the Treatise For The Elderly, that there could be no clearer elucidation. Here I have therefore cut this very long story very short.
[There are incalculable proofs necessitating in absolutely certain form Divine unity and the affirmation of it, which neither accept nor permit the association of partners with God. Since hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of these are demonstrated in detail in the Risale-i Nur, here only three of them which necessitate Divine unity will be set out briefly.]
According to the testimony of the wise and discerning acts which are to be observed in the universe, creatures are made through the limitless attributes and Names of an All-Wise Sovereign, One Perfect and Mighty Whose knowledge and power are absolute.
Yes, it may be surmised certainly from the works in the universe, that their Maker possesses sovereignty and rulership at the degree of absolute dominicality, and grandeur and magnificence at the degree of absolute might, and perfection and self-sufficiency at the degree of absolute godhead; and that His activity and rule are absolutely without restriction or limit; these are understood clearly, and are visible. As for sovereignty, grandeur, perfection, self-sufficiency, absoluteness, comprehensiveness, unrestrictedness, and unlimitedness, they necessitate unity and are opposed to partnership.
The testimony to unity of sovereignty and rulership: This has been proved with complete certainty in numerous places in the Risale-i Nur. A brief summary is as follows:
The mark of rulership is independence, solitariness, and the rejection of interference; rulership necessitates these. Due to only a shadow of rulership, impotent men even, who by their natures are in need of assistance, reject the interference of others and preserve their independence. It is for this reason that there cannot be two kings in a country, or two governors of a province, two mayors of a town, or even two headmen of a village. If there are two of any of these, it leads to chaos; rebellions break out and law and order are overturned. Since a mere shadow of rulership in impotent men needy of assistance repels the partnership and interference of others to this extent, surely the rulership, which is in the form of dominicality, of an Absolutely Powerful One free of all impotence will in no way accept any partners or interference. He will reject it vehemently and angrily repulse from His court those who ascribe imaginary partners to Him. The All-Wise Qur’an’s severe threats against those who ascribe partners to God arise from this truth.
The testimony to unity of grandeur, magnificence, and glory: This too has been explained with brilliant proofs in the Risale-i Nur, and here a very brief meaning of it is alluded to:
For example, the magnificence and grandeur of the sun’s light leave no need for any weak lights near to it, nor does its light allow any other light an effect. Similarly, the magnificence and immensity of Divine power leave no need for any other force or power, and afford no other power a true effect or ability to create. Especially living and conscious beings, which are the points on which of all the dominical aims in the universe turn and where they are concentrated; it is impossible that they should be referred to others. It is also in no way possible that the fruits, results, and circumstances of man’s creation and of living beings, which are the origin of innumerable sorts of bounties and where the aims of their creation are manifested, should be referred to other hands. For example, it would be an affront to the magnificence of dominicality for an animate being to be truly grateful to anyone other than Almighty God for being healed from some minor ailment, or for some sustenance, or for guidance, and to praise and applaud the person extravagantly; the grandeur of the Godhead would be offended; the dignity of the Absolute Object of Worship affronted, and His glory, vexed.
How perfection points to the mystery of unity: Again this has been explained with brilliant proofs in the Risale-i Nur, and an extremely brief meaning of it is this: self-evidently, the creation of the heavens and earth necessitate an absolute power of utter perfection. The wondrous bodily systems of animate beings also necessitate a power of absolute perfection. And the perfection of an absolute power which is exempt from impotence and free of restriction necessitates unity. For to apply defect to perfection and restrict the unrestricted, and to make infinity finite, and reduce the strongest power to the weakest impotence means making an infinite power finite with something finite at a time it is infinite, and this is utterly impossible in five ways.
The testimonies to unity of unrestrictedness, comprehensiveness, and infinity: This too has been mentioned in detail in the treatises of The Illuminating Lamp. A summary of its meaning is as follows: since by spreading pervasively around their own works, the acts in the universe all show that they are comprehensive and unrestricted, unlimited and absolute; and since partners and participation place a restriction on the comprehensiveness and unrestrictedness, and limit the unlimitedness, destroying their nature and reality; most certainly partnership in those acts which are absolute and comprehensive is impossible and precluded. Yes, the very nature of unrestrictedness is opposed to partnership, for its meaning, even in finite, material, and limited things, is to spread, pervade, and permeate everywhere.
For example, if air, light, and heat, and even water, manifested unrestrictedness, they would spread everywhere. Since this aspect of unrestrictedness makes physical and limited things invasive, even if they are particular, surely true, universal unrestrictedness would afford such encompassment and pervasiveness to attributes that were both infinite, and free of matter, and unlimited, and free of defect, that there could be no possibility whatsoever of their accepting any partners or partnership.
In Short: Both the sovereignty, and the grandeur, and the perfection, and the comprehensiveness, and the unrestrictedness, and the infinity of the thousands of general acts and the hundreds of Divine Names whose manifestations are to be seen in the universe are extremely powerful proofs of Divine unity and the affirmation of it.
Also, a superior force wants to overrun its surroundings in order to become activated, scattering other forces. Similarly, it is apparent from all the works of dominicality and manifestations of the Names of the Godhead that their forces are so extraordinarily overwhelming that if it were not for general sovereignty and absolute justice, which prevent them, they would have overrun all beings. For example, is it at all possible that the universal power which creates all the poplar trees on the earth and administers them, should not take under its control the individual trees like walnut, apple, and apricot, which have become interspersed among the poplars, and not regulate them and dominate them, or that it should hand them over to other forces? Yes, in all species of creatures, and even in each individual, a governing force and power are felt which clearly have the capacity to overrun the whole universe and subjugate all beings. Certainly, such a power would not accept partners of any sort, nor permit partnership.
Also, for the owner of a fruit-bearing tree, the matter of greatest importance is the fruit at the tips of the tree’s branches, and for future planting, the seeds in the hearts of its fruits, rather that are the hearts of its fruits. If the tree’s owner has any sense, he will not make his ownership go for nothing by handing over the fruits to someone else. In exactly the same way; the elements, which are the branches of the tree called the universe, and the plants and animals, which are at the tips of the elements and are like the flowers and leaves of the tree, and human beings, which are the topmost of the leaves and flowers, —the owner of the tree would in no way hand over to other forces the worship and thanks of those fruits, which are their most important fruits and the result of their creation, and especially their hearts, the all-encompassing seeds of the fruits, and their faculties of memory, which are known as the ‘outer heart,’ so negating the sovereignty of His dominicality, and cancelling also his fitness to be worshipped.
Also, since the aims of dominicality are centred in the particulars at the extremities of the sphere of contingency and multiplicity, and even in the states and circumstances of those particulars; and since they are the source of the thanks, gratitude, and worship, which are extended and look to the One True Object of Worship; for sure He would not hand them over to others and so nullify His wisdom, and by nullifying His wisdom, annul His Godhead. For the most important dominical aim in the creation of beings is to make Himself known to conscious beings, and loved, and praised and extolled, and to attract their gratitude to Himself.
It is because of this subtle mystery that, in order to demonstrate that the bounties and acts, universal and particular, at the extremities of the sphere of multiplicity, like sustenance, healing, and particularly guidance and belief, which result in thanks, worship, gratitude, love, praise, and worship, are directly the works, bounties, gifts, and acts of the universe’s Creator, the Monarch of all beings, the Qur’an of Miraculous Exposition repeatedly ascribes sustenance, guidance, and healing to the Necessarily Existent One, stating that the bestowal of them is His alone and restricted to Him, and strongly rejecting the interference of others.10 Yes, the One Who bestows the bounty of belief, which wins for a person an abode of bliss, can surely only be the One Who creates the abode of bliss and makes belief the key to it. It could only be His bounty. Nobody could shut up this largest window opening onto the True Object of Worship by bestowing an equally great bounty; no one could block up this most important means to Him, or steal it.
In Short: The most particular events and fruits at the tips of the tree of creation testify to Divine unity and the affirmation of it in two ways:
Firstly: The aims of dominicality in the universe are gathered together in those fruits and events and their aims are centred on them, and most of the manifestations of the Divine Names and their determinations, and the results of and benefits in the creation of beings are gathered together in them. In this respect, each of them therefore declares: “I am the property, act, and work of the One Who created the whole universe.”
The Second Way: Since the hearts of those particular fruits, as well as man’s memory, which in a Hadith is called “the outer heart,”11 are concise indexes of most species of beings, and small maps of them, and bear the meaning of seeds of the tree of the universe, and are subtle mirrors of most of the Divine Names; and since hearts and memories, which are all similar and bear the same stamp, spread pervasively throughout the universe; they look to the One who holds the whole universe in the grasp of His power, and they each declare: “I am the work and art of Him alone.”
To Conclude: With regard to its benefits, a fruit looks to its tree’s owner. With regard to its seed, it looks to all the parts, members, and nature of the tree. And with regard to the stamp on its face, it gazes on all the fruits of the tree, whose stamp is the same. Together they declare: “We are all the same and we have one maker. We are the property of a single person. Whoever made one of us, made all of us.” In exactly the same way, in regard to the stamps on the faces of the living creatures at the extremities of the sphere of multiplicity, and especially the stamps on man’s face, and his index-like heart, and the results of his nature and his being a fruit, they look directly to the One Who holds the whole universe in the grasp of His power, and testify to His unity.
The Second Matter Necessitating Divine Unity
This is the fact that in unity are an ease and facility which render it necessary, while in associating partners with God are difficulties to the point of its being impossible. This truth has been explained and demonstrated with brilliant and decisive proofs in many of the treatises of what Imam ‘Ali (May God be pleased with him) called The Illuminating Lamp, especially in the Twentieth Letter, in detail, and in the Fourth Point of the Thirtieth Flash, briefly. It has been demonstrated with most powerful proofs that if all things are attributed to one single Being, the creation and regulation of the universe are as easy as the creation and regulation of a tree; and the creation and making of a tree are as easy as the creation and making of a fruit; and the origination and management of the spring are as easy as the origination and management of a flower; and the admininstration and raising of a species containing numerous members are as free of trouble as the administration and raising of a single individual.
Whereas if, on the way of associating partners with God, all things are ascribed to causes and nature, the creation of a single individual is as difficult as that of a species, indeed, of many species; and the creation and decking out of a single living flower as difficult as the creation and decking out of the spring, or many springs; and the creation, making, raising to life, administering, nurturing, directing, and regulation of a tree as difficult as those of the universe, or even more difficult.
Since the reality of the matter has been thus proved in The Illuminating Lamp, and since as we see plainly before us, together with the very highest degree of art and the greatest value there is a superabundance of beings; and together with being wondrous machines with numerous miraculous components and members, all living creatures come into existence in absolute profusion infinitely easily with extraordinary speed just like striking a match; it demonstrates necessarily and self-evidently that the profusion and ease arise from unity and from their being the works of a single Being. Otherwise, it would not be cheapness, abundance, speed, ease, and value; a fruit that is now obtained for five para would not have been obtainable for five hundred lira,12 or would have been so rare as to have been unobtainable. And the creation of living beings, which resemble regular machines that work like setting a clock or turning on an electric switch, would have been so difficult as to have been impossible, and some animals who come into existence together with all their bodily systems and vital conditions in a day, or an hour, or a minute, would not have come into existence in a year, or a century, or perhaps ever at all.
It is proved in a hundred places in The Illuminating Lamp, so decisively as to silence the most obdurate denier, that if all things are ascribed to the Single One of Unity, they are as easy, swift, and cheap as a single thing. Whereas if causes and nature are given a share as well, the creation of a single thing becomes as difficult, slow, unimportant, and expensive as all things. If you want to see the proofs of this truth, you may refer to the Twentieth and Thirty-Third Letters, the Twenty-Second and Thirty-Second Words, the Twenty-Third Flash, which is about nature, and the Thirtieth Flash, which is about the Greatest Name, particularly its Fourth and Sixth Points which are about the Names of Single and Self-Subsistent respectively. There you will see that it has been proved with the certainty of two plus two equalling four. Here, only one of those hundreds of proofs will be alluded to, as follows:
The creation of things is either from non-existence, or from the elements and other beings in the form of composition. If attributed to a single Being, that Being is bound to have all-encompassing knowledge and power that prevails over all things. In this way, the giving of external existence to things whose forms are present in His knowledge or who exist as knowledge, and bringing them out of apparent non-existence, is as easy and simple as striking a match or spreading a special liquid over invisible writing in order to reveal it, or transposing an image from photographic film to paper. Through the ‘command of “Be!” and it is,’13 the Maker brings into external existence from apparent non-existence things whose plans, programmes, and shapes and proportions are present in His knowledge.
If it is in the form of composition and art, and not creating from non-existence and nothing, and in the form of gathering together from the elements and surroundings, it resembles the members of a regiment mustering at the call of a bugle after having dispersed to rest, and the soldiers collecting together in regular and orderly fashion, and in order to facilitate this exercise and preserve their positions, the whole army being like the power, law, and eye of its commander. In exactly the same way, as though they were the power, law, and officials of the Monarch of the Universe, the minute particles under the command of that Monarch —together with the beings with whom they have contact— are mobilized according to the principles of His knowledge and determining and the laws of His pervasive power. In order to form a living being, they assume a specified measure and proportion, which resembles an immaterial mould specified by Divine knowledge and determining, and there they stop.
If things are referred to different hands and causes, and to nature, then as all the reasonable agree, no cause can in any way create from nothing and non-existence. For causes do not possess comprehensive knowledge and all-pervading power, and non-existence would not be only apparent and external, it would be absolute. And absolute non-existence can in no way be the source of existence. It which case, creation would be in the form of composition. But if in the form of composition, the particles of a fly or a flower could come together only with innumerable difficulties after collecting the body of a fly and parts of a flower from all over the earth and passing them through a fine sieve. Even having come together, since there would be no immaterial moulds existing as knowledge to preserve them in orderly form without dispersing, physical, natural moulds, in fact moulds to the number of their members, would be necessary so that the particles that had come together could form the bodies of those living creatures.
Thus, the ascribing of all things to a single Being is so easy as to be necessary and the attributing of them to numerous causes so difficult as to be impossible and precluded. Similarly, if all things are ascribed to the Single One of Unity, they become valuable, full of art, meaningful, and powerful to the utmost degree at the same time as being infinitely cheap. While if, on the way of associating partners with God, they are ascribed to numerous causes and nature, they become valueless and completely lacking in art, meaning, and power, as well as being infinitely expensive.
For since a man who joins the army becomes connected with its commander-in-chief and he relies on him, he gains the potential moral support of the army, if it is necessary. And since the power of the army is his reserve force, he acquires a physical strength far exceeding his individual strength. And since because the army carries them, he is not compelled to carry the sources of that significant strength of his and his ammunition, he will be able to carry out superhuman works. Despite being a single private soldier, he may capture an enemy field-marshal, or compel all the inhabitants of a town to migrate, or capture a citadel. His works will be extraordinary and of great worth.
If, however, he leaves the army and remains on his own, he will lose that miraculous moral strength, power, and force, and be able to perform only insignificant, valueless works in accordance with his personal strength like a common irregular soldier. His achievements will diminish proportionately.
In exactly the same way, since on the way of Divine unity everything becomes connected with the All-Powerful One of Glory and relies on Him, an ant may defeat the Pharaoh, a fly vanquish Nimrod, and a microbe subdue a tyrant. So too a seed the size of a fingernail may bear on its shoulders a tree the size of a mountain, and be the source of all the tree’s parts and members and their workbench. All particles, too, through that connection and reliance, may perform innumerable duties in the formation of bodies, which are of innumerable sorts and arts. The works in which those miniscule officials and tiny soldiers are employed are infinitely perfect and of the highest art and value. For the one who makes them is the All-Powerful One of Glory; it is He Who put the works in their hands, making them a veil. Whereas if attributed to causes on the way of associating partners with God, the works of the ant would have been as insignificant as the ant, not an atom’s worth of value would have remained in the particle’s art, and everything would have lost all value both in meaning and physically so that no one would give a farthing for the vast world.
Since the reality is this; and since as we see with our own eyes everything is infinitely valuable, and full of art, and meaningful, and powerful; most definitely there can be no way other than the way of Divine unity. If there was, it would be necessary to change all beings, empty the world into non-existence, and then refill it with meaningless junk, so that a way could be opened up to associating partners with God.
So now you have heard a brief summary of only one of the hundreds of proofs which elucidate the affirmation of Divine unity in the Risale-i Nur, which in the words of Imam ‘Ali (May God be pleased with him) is Siracü’n-Nur (The Illuminating Lamp) and Siracü’s-Sürc. You may make analogies with this for the others.
The Third Matter Necessitating Divine Unity
Since, together with the extraordinary art in the creation of things, especially in living beings, a seed is a small sample of the fruit, a fruit is a miniature specimen of the tree, a tree is a summary index of the species, and the species is a concise map of the universe and in meaning is its seed, and each of these is a comprehensive point and a droplet gathered together and distilled from the universe according to the principles of knowledge and balances of wisdom; the one who created any one of them must be the one who created the whole universe. Yes, the one who creates the seed of a melon is self-evidently he who created the melon; it is impossible and precluded that it should be anyone other than him.
Yes, we look and see that all the atoms in blood are so orderly and perform so many duties that they are not inferior to the stars. All the red and white corpuscles in blood work with such a degree of consciousness in protecting and feeding the body that they are more efficient than the best commissaries or bodyguards. All the cells of the body manifest such orderly processes and incomings and outgoings that their administration is more perfect than the best-run body or palace. All plants and animals bear such a seal on their faces and such machines in their chests that only one who created all of them could situate those seals and machines in their places. And all the species of living beings have spread over the face of the earth in such orderly fashion and have intermingled with the other species having mutual relations with them, that one who could not simultaneously create, administer, regulate, and raise all those species, and not place that veil on the face of the earth, and not weave that most ornate, artistic, living tapestry with its warp and weft of the four hundred thousand plant and animal species — one that could not do all these could not create and administer a single species. If analogies are made with these for other things, it will be understood that in respect of creation and bringing into existence, the universe is a whole that may not be split up into parts, and in respect of dominicality and management is a universal whose division is impossible.
This third necessitating factor has been explained and proved decisively and brilliantly in many of the treatises of The Illuminating Lamp, and especially in the First Stopping Place of the Thirty-Second Word, demonstrating that like reflections of the sun, a proof of unity and its affirmation is reflected and represented in everything’s mirror. Making do with those explanations, we are here cutting a long story short.
[In this station three universal signs of the affirmation of Divine unity will be explained.]
The signs, proofs, and evidences of Divine unity are incalculable. Since thousands of them have been explained in detail in The Illuminating Lamp, in this Third Station three universal proofs are set forth briefly.
The First Sign and Proof
The phrase “He is One” is the conclusion of this. There is a unity in everything, and unity points to one. Yes, a work that has unity self-evidently proceeded from one maker. One proceeds from one. The fact that there is a unity in everything demonstrates that they are the works and artefacts of a single being. The universe is like a rosebud swathed in a thousand veils of unity. Or it is a single macroanthropos dressed in unities to the number of Divine Names and universal Divine works. Or it is a Tuba-tree of creation on the branches of which are hung unities to the number of realms of creatures.
Yes, the administration of the universe is one and the same; and its regulation is one and the same; its sovereignty is one and the same; its stamp is one and the same; a thousand and one things are all one and the same. Also, although the Names and acts which make the universe turn are one and the same, they each encompass the universe, or most of it. That is to say, the wisdom that works in it is one and the same; the bestowal in it is one and the same; its regulation is one and the same; the providing of sustenance in it is one and the same; the mercy which hastens to assist the needy is one and the same; the rain, which is that mercy’s dispenser of soft drinks, is one and the same, and so on; thousands of things are all one and the same. The sun, the universe’s stove, is one and the same; the moon, its lamp, is one and the same; fire, its cook, is one and the same; its mountains, which are its stores, treasuries, and masts, are one and same; its water dispensers are one and the same; its sponges which water the gardens are one and the same; a thousand and one things are all one and the same.
All these instances of unity in the world are proofs indicating the Single One of Unity, as clear and brilliant as the sun. Moreover, the elements and realms of beings of the universe each encompassing the face of the earth, as well as being one and the same, and their interpenetration and their uniting through their mutual relations and even mutual assistance, are clear signs that their Owner, Maker, and Master is one and the same.
The Second Sign and Proof
The conclusion of this is the phrase “He has no partners.” It is the fact that there is a faultless, perfect order in everything in the universe, from minute particles to the stars, and an utterly beautiful harmony that is free of defect, and a just balance that wrongs nothing. Perfect order and balanced harmony can occur only through unity. For numerous hands interfering in a single work cause only confusion.
Come now and behold the magnificence of this order: it has made the universe into a splendid mansion every stone of which is as full of art as a palace; and into a magnificent city whose endless incomings and outgoings, and boundless valuable goods and foods, arrive perfectly regularly at exactly the right time from unexpected places, from behind the veil of the Unseen. The order has also transformed the universe into a miraculous book so full of meaning that each of its letters expresses the meanings of a hundred lines, and each of its lines the meanings of a hundred pages, and each of its pages the meanings of a hundred chapters, and each of its chapters the meanings of a hundred books. Moreover, all its chapters, pages, lines, words, and letters look to each other and allude to each other.
Now come and look at the perfect ordering within this wondrous order: it has made the vast universe as clean as a modern city; or made it into a fine palace which is constantly swept and polished; or a houri of Paradise wearing seventy ornamented garments one on top of the other; or an immaculate rosebud enwrapped in seventy delicate, ornamented petals.
Now come and consider the perfect justice of the balance within the order and cleanliness; microscopic organisms that are visible only on a thousandfold magnification are weighed up on those scales and balances together with suns and stars a thousand times larger than the earth, and all are given their necessities without deficiency. Those minute creatures and those vast beings stand shoulder to shoulder before the scales of justice, despite there being among the large ones some that if they were to lose their balance even for a split second, it would destroy the equilibrium of the world and doomsday would occur.
Now come and behold the wondrously attractive beauty within the order, cleanliness, and balance; it has made the vast universe into a splendid festival, an exhibition of highly decorated works, and a springtime with freshly opened flowers. The vast spring too it has made into a beautiful flower-pot and gorgeous bunch of blooms, and to each spring it has given the form of a magnificent flower with hundreds of thousands of adornments which opens every season on the face of the earth. All the flowers of the spring it has beautified with every sort of decoration. Yes, through the beautiful manifestations of the Most Beautiful Names, which possess the utmost beauty and loveliness, all the realms of beings in the universe, and all the members of each, manifest such beauty according to their capacities that Hujjat al-Islam Imam Ghazali said: “There can be nothing better or more beautiful than what exists in the sphere of contingency.” Thus, this all-encompassing, captivating beauty, and general, wondrous cleanliness, and all-pervasive, exceedingly sensitive balance, and comprehensive and in every way miraculous order and harmony, are such proofs and signs of Divine unity that they are clearer and more brilliant than the light that indicates the sun at noon.
[There follows a very concise yet powerful reply to a two-part question related to this Station.]
The First Part of the Question: You are saying in this Station that beauty, good, and justice encompass the universe, so what do you say to all the ugliness, disasters, illness, tribulations, and death we see around us?
The Answer: A single instance of ugliness which results in or shows up numerous instances of beauty is indirectly an instance of beauty. While the non-existence of an ugliness, or its being invisible, which then conceals numerous instances of beauty and does not permit them to be seen, is not a single, but a manifold, ugliness. For example, if an ugliness which is a unit of measurement is non-existent, the beauty would be of only one sort, and its numerous degrees would remain concealed. For it is through the intervention of ugliness that the degrees of beauty unfold. Just as the degrees of heat become apparent through the existence of cold, and the degrees of light are known through darkness, so universal instances of good, universal benefits, universal bounties, and universal instances of beauty become apparent through there being minor instances of evil, harm, calamities and ugliness. This means that the creation of ugliness is not ugly, it is beautiful, because the majority of its results are beautiful. Yes, a lazy man who suffers loss due to the rain, cannot deny the good results it produces in the name of mercy; he cannot transform the mercy into harm.
As for transience and death, it is demonstrated with extremely powerful and decisive proofs in the Twenty-Fourth Letter that they are not contrary to general mercy, all-embracing beauty, and comprehensive good; in fact, they are necessitated by them. The creation of Satan, even, since he is the cause of striving and competition, the springs of man’s spiritual progress, is also good, as is the creation of his species; their creation is beautiful in that respect. Also, for unbelievers to suffer torments in Hell even is good, since through their unbelief they have transgressed the rights of all beings and insulted their honour. These two points have been explained in detail in other treatises, so here we are curtailing the discussion with this brief indication.
The Second Part of the Question:14 Alright, so we can accept the answer about Satan and the unbelievers from a general point of view, but how is it that the Absolutely Beautiful One, the Absolutely Compassionate One, the Absolutely Self-Sufficient One, Who is absolute good, inflicts evil, calamities, and ugliness on particular wretched individuals?
The Answer: Whatever good, beauty, and bounty there are, they come directly from the treasury of mercy of that Absolutely Beautiful and Compassionate One, and from His particular bestowal. Evils and calamities on the other hand are occasional results out of the many results of the general, universal laws which are called ‘adat Allah and represent His universal will. Since they are minor and required by those laws, He creates them in order to preserve and maintain the laws, which are the means to universal benefits. But in the face of those minor, grievous results, He responds with special, merciful assistance and particular dominical favours to the cries for help of individuals afflicted by misfortune and tribulations. And by showing that He acts as He wishes, and that all aspects of all things are tied to His will, and that universal laws too are always subject to His will and choice, and that a Compassionate Sustainer heeds the individuals who cry out at the constraint of the laws and responds to their cries for help with His favours, through exceptions to those universal Divine principles and general laws and their minor evil results and His particular favours and making Himself loved in special ways, He opens up an unrestricted infinite field for the unrestricted infinite manifestations of His Names, and opens too the doors of particular manifestations.
This second sign of the affirmation of Divine unity has been elucidated in perhaps a hundred places in The Illuminating Lamp, and here we suffice with a brief hint to it.
The Third Sign and Proof
This consists of the innumerable stamps of Divine unity alluded to by the phrases “His is the dominion and His is the praise.” Just as the manifestation of the sun in a mirror shows the sun, so on the faces of all things, whether particular or universal from minute particles to the planets, is a mirror-like stamp which, pointing to the Sun of Pre-Eternity and Post-Eternity, testifies to His unity. Since a great number of those stamps have been described in detail in The Illuminating Lamp, here with a brief indication, we shall take a look at only three of them. As follows:
Just as on the face of the universe as a whole a large stamp of unity has been placed consisting of mutual assistance, co-operation, mutual resemblance, and interpenetration among the species of beings, so on the face of the earth is a stamp affirming Divine unity placed through the army of the Glorious One, composed of the four hundred thousand animal and plant species, all being given their different provisions, weapons, uniforms, instructions, and discharges with complete regularity and no confusion at exactly the right time. So too on man’s face a stamp of unity is placed through each having features distinguishing it from all other faces, as there is on the faces of all beings, whether particular or universal. Also, on the heads of all creatures, whether large or small, numerous or few, a seal of Divine oneness is to be observed. The stamps on living creatures are particularly brilliant; indeed, all living creatures are themselves each a stamp of unity, and seal of oneness, and a signature of Eternal Besoughtedness.
Yes, all flowers, all fruits, all leaves, all plants, all animals are such seals of Divine oneness and stamps of Eternal Besoughtedness that they transform all trees into being dominical missives, all species of creatures into books of the Most Merciful, and all gardens into Divine decrees, placing stamps on the letters of the tree to the number of its blossoms, and signatures to the number of its fruits, and seals to the number of its leaves. In order to show their scribe, stamps have been put on the species and groups of creatures to the number of individuals. And in order to announce and describe its ruler, stamps have been set on the decree of the garden to the number of the plants, trees, and animals it contains. In fact there are four stamps of Divine unity on trees; on their origins, ends, outsides and insides, alluded to by the Names of “He is the First, and the Last, and the Outward, and the Inward.”15
As the Name of First suggests, the original seeds16 of fruit-bearing trees are coffers containing the programmes, indexes, and plans of the trees. They are workbenches for the production of their formation, systems, and necessities; and machines regulating the tiny amounts they take in and expend.
As the Name of Last suggests, the results and fruits of trees are instruction sheets setting forth through the seeds in the fruits’ hearts, the trees’ shapes, attributes, and stages; they are proclamations stating their functions, benefits, and characteristics; and summaries announcing the trees’ peers and progeny.
As the Name of Outward suggests, the forms and shapes in which trees are clothed are skilfully fashioned and embroidered garments which have been cut out, trimmed, and decorated exactly according to the branches, members and parts of the trees. They are so fine, well-proportioned and full of meaning that they transform the trees into odes, missives, and books.
As the name of Inward suggests, the workbenches within trees are factories which produce all the parts and members of the trees, and manage and run them with the very finest balance. They despatch too with perfect regularity and order, the food and substances necessary for all the separate members. Those wondrous factories function with the speed of lightning, the ease of setting a clock, and the uniformity of commanding an army.
In Short: The origins of trees are coffers and programmes, their ends are instruction sheets and samples, their outer faces are artistically fashioned and embroidered garments, and their inner faces are factories and workbenches. These four aspects look to each other and as a whole form a supreme stamp. Indeed, a Greatest Name becomes apparent through them, for self-evidently none other than the Single Maker of Unity Who administers the whole universe could perform these works. Like trees, the origins, ends, and outer and inner faces of all animate creatures bear seals of Divine oneness and stamps of unity.
Making an analogy with the trees in these three examples, the spring is a tree laden with blossoms. The seeds and roots entrusted to the hand of the autumn bear the stamp of the Name of First. The fruits, grains, and vegetables poured into the lap of summer, filling its skirts, bear the seal of the Name of Last. The brocades and natural garments decorated with a hundred thousand designs which the spring wears one on top of the other like a houri bear the seal of the Name of Outward. While the factories of the Eternally Besought One working away in the springtime inside the earth, and the bubbling cauldrons of the Most Merciful and dominical kitchens cooking foods, each bear the signet of the Name of Inward.
All species, for instance the human species, are trees: just as, with its roots and seeds in the past and fruits and results in the future, the orderly laws regulating sexual life and the perpetuation of the species bears a stamp of unity; so its present circumstances bear a stamp of unity governed by the principles of individual and social life; humankind bears a hidden, orderly seal of unity under the apparent disorder; and under its confused circumstances, it bears a stamp of unity governed by the principles of Divine Determining and Decree, known as the appointed course of life.
[A brief allusion to the other pillars of belief, within the mystery of the affirmation of Divine unity.]
Heedless man! Come now and consider if only once the three Fruits, Necessitating Causes, and Proofs in the three Stations of this treatise: is it at all possible, since the All-Powerful, Wise, Compassionate, and Knowing Maker Who has disposal over the universe takes into account the smallest cure and least thanks; does not refer to others nor is indifferent towards the tiniest art, such as that of a fly’s wing; attaches to the lowliest common seed duties and instances of wisdom as great as a tree; and makes perceived His mercifulness, compassionateness, and wisdom through all His arts, and Himself known through every means and loved through every bounty — is it at all possible that He should be indifferent towards the virtues of the Muhammadan (PBUH) reality and his glorifications, and the lights of Islam?
Is it at all possible that the Messengership of Muhammad (PBUH), which gilds all creatures and fills them with joy, illuminates the universe and brings the heavens and earth to tumult, and has for fourteen centuries taken under its rule, physical and spiritual, half the globe and a fifth of mankind, and has perpetuated that glorious rule on account of the Creator of the universe and in His Name — is it at all possible that his Messengership is not one of the Maker’s most important aims, lights, and mirrors; and that the other prophets, who served the same truths as Muhammad (PBUH), should not also have been that Maker’s envoys, friends, and officials? God forbid, to the number of the prophets’ miracles!
And is it at all possible that the Wise and Compassionate Creator Who attaches a hundred purposes and fruits to the least significant thing like a branch or twig, and through His wisdom and general mercifulness makes known His dominicality, should deny all His wisdom and mercy, and even His dominicality and perfection, by not bringing about the resurrection, which is as easy for His power as the spring? Is it at all possible that he should not open up an abode of happiness and everlasting realm, and make His wisdom and mercy, dominicality and perfection denied, and condemn to eternal annihilation all His beloved creatures whom He loves? God forbid, a hundred thousand times! That Absolutely Beauteous One is utterly exempt from such an absolute abomination.
A Lengthy Note
A question related to the resurrection of the dead:
The frequently repeated verse,
It will be naught but a single cry,17
and the verse,
The command of the Hour will be like the glance of the eye,18
show that the resurrection of the dead and Great Gathering will occur instantaneously, in a flash. But man’s narrow reason requires some tangible example so that it can conceive of this wondrous, extraordinary, and unparalleled event, and accept it.
T h e A n s w e r : At the resurrection there will be the return of spirits to their bodies, the revivification of the bodies, and the remaking of the bodies. It consists of three matters.
THE FIRST MATTER: An example for the return of spirits to their bodies is the mustering, at a loud bugle call, of the members of a disciplined army after they have dispersed to rest. Yes, the Sur of the Angel Israfil is no less powerful than an army bugle. The spirits, too, who while in post-eternity, reply with “Yes, we accept” to the question “Am I not your Sustainer?”,19 which comes from pre-eternity, are infinitely more subjugated, disciplined, and obedient than the soldiers of an army. The Thirtieth Word has demonstated with decisive proofs that not only spirits, but all particles, form a Divine army and are its soldiers under command.
SECOND MATTER: An example for the revivification of bodies is the springing to life in an instant of the hundred thousand electric lights of a large city on a festival night, switched on from one centre. It would be possible to light up in the same way a hundred million lamps scattered over the face of the earth from one centre. Since through the training and instruction in regularity and order it has received from its Creator, a creature of Almighty God like electricity —a servant and candleholder in His guest-house— possesses this quality, surely the resurrection of the dead could occur in the twinkling of an eye within the bounds of the regular laws of Divine wisdom which thousands of luminous servants represent, like electricity.
THIRD MATTER: An example for the remaking of bodies instantaneously is the perfect remaking within a few days of all the trees in the spring, which are far more numerous than all humanity, together with all their leaves, in exactly the same way as those of the previous spring; and the bringing into being, again like those of previous springs, all the blossoms, fruits and leaves of the trees with the speed of lightning; and the sudden awakening of the uncountable numbers of seeds, grains, and roots, which are the source of the spring, and their unfolding and being raised to life; and reflecting the meaning of “resurrection after death,” the sudden raising to life at a command of the upright skeleton-like corpses of the trees; and the reanimation of the innumerable members of all the species of small animals; and the revivification of all the sorts of flying insects, particularly those which continually cleaning their faces, eyes, and wings, remind us of our ablutions and cleanliness, and caress our faces — the resurrection and remaking of all the members of this tribe within a few days every spring before our very eyes together with all the other species, despite being greater in number than all mankind since the time of Adam, provides not one example of the remaking of all human bodies at the resurrection, but thousands.
Yes, since this world is the realm of wisdom and the hereafter the realm of power, numerous Divine Names like All-Wise, Arranger, Disposer, and Nurturer, as well as dominical wisdom, require that the creation of things in this world is gradual and in the course of time. In the hereafter, however, power and mercy will be manifested more than wisdom, and there being no need for matter, time, and waiting, things will be made instantaneously. Alluding to the fact that things which are made here in a day or in a year will be made in the hereafter in an instant or a flash, the Qur’an of Miraculous Exposition states:
The command of the Hour will be like the glance of the eye, or briefer.20
If you want to be as certain about the occurrence of the resurrection of the dead as you are about the arrival of next spring, study the Tenth and Twenty-Ninth Words carefully, which are about this, and you will see! If you do not then believe that it will occur as you believe the coming of spring, come and stick your finger in my eye!
A FOURTH MATTER: The death of the world and Doomsday. The sudden collision with this globe, our guest-house, at a dominical command, of a planet or comet, could wipe out this dwelling-place of ours. Like the destruction in a minute of a palace the building of which had taken ten years.
The above summaries of the four matters of the resurrection are sufficient for now, and we return to our main subject.
Also, is it at all possible that the Qur’an of Miraculous Exposition, which is the eloquent interpreter of all the universe’s elevated truths, the miraculous tongue of all the perfections of the universe’s Creator and the wondrous collection of all His aims, should not be that Creator’s word? God forbid, to the number of the mysteries of its verses.
Also, is it at all possible that the All-Wise Maker should cause his living and conscious creatures to speak with one another in all their myriad tongues, and that He should know their voices and what they say, and listen to them and clearly reply through His acts and bounties, but Himself not speak or not be able to speak? Is there any possibility or probability of this? Since self-evidently He speaks and the chief of those addressed by His speech, who comprehends it perfectly, is man; more certainly, foremost the Qur’an and all well-known holy scriptures are His speech.
Also, is it at all possible that the All-Wise Maker, Who made the universe a means of making Himself known, loved, and praised; and through His multifarious bounties makes living creatures happy and contented, and their thanks and gratitude a significant pivot of His dominicality; and made the vast universe together with all its elements and realms, a docile servant, a dwelling-place, an exhibition, and banquet; and so wanted to multiply the thousands of all the different sorts of animate beings, that He made some of the leaves of trees that do not bear fruit like the poplar and elm both the cradle, and the womb, and the foodstore for the living creatures that perform their glorifications in the air, that is, for a regiment of flies; —is it at all possible that having done all this he should leave empty, purposeless, and without owner, life, spirit, or inhabitants the adorned heavens and light-scattering stars; that is, that He should leave them without angels and spirit beings? God forbid, to the number of angels and spirit beings!
Also, is it at all possible that the All-Wise Maker, the Disposer, should write with the pen of His determining in the seeds and fruits of the commonest plant and smallest tree their origins and ends and the courses of their lives within a perfect order, and that He should write with perfect order and differentiation the origins and results of the vast spring as though it was a tree, and not remain indifferent to the least signficant things, then not record the actions and deeds of man, which have great importance, since he is the result of the universe, God’s vicegerent on earth, the supervisor of all the realms of beings and their officer; that He should not include them within His determining or be unconcerned with them? God forbid, to the number of the deeds of man, all of which will be weighed up on the scales!
In Short: The universe together with all its truths shouts out:
I believe in God, and in His angels, and messengers, and in the Last Day, and in Divine Determining, that both the good of it and the evil of it are from God Almighty, and that resurrection after death is the truth; I testify that there is no god but God, and I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of God, may God grant blessings to him and to his Family and Companions, and grant them peace. Amen.
A Supplication about Divine Unity and its Introduction
In his Qasidat al-Jaljalutiya in the place he mentions it, Imam ‘Ali (May God be pleased with him and honour him) gives the Risale-i Nur the names of Siracü’n-Nur and Siracü’s-Sürc in wondrous fashion. Since he gives it these two additional names and the name Siracü’n-Nur is repeatedly mentioned in the present treatise, we have taken one of his most important supplications, and expanding it two degrees, offer it in his elevated tongue and in our tongues on his account to the Court of the Single One of Unity.
O God! There is in the heavens no circulation, no star, and no motion of the planets...
In the atmosphere no cloud, no lightning, and no glorification of the thunder...
On the earth no profusion of animate beings and no wondrous artefact...
In the seas not a droplet of water nor a fish nor any strange creature...
On the mountains no stone or plant, and within them no mineral...
On the trees, no leaf or blossom, nor any decorated fruit...
In the bodies of living things no activity, nor any well-ordered member or system...
In man’s heart no thought, no inspiration, and no illumined belief...
But it testifies to the necessity of Your existence and is evidence for Your unity, and in Your dominions is utterly subjugated. Through the power by which You subjugate the heavens and earth, subjugate to me my soul and subjugate to me my wish, and subjugate to the Risale-i Nur and to service of the Qur’an and belief the hearts of Your servants and the hearts of the spirit beings, both elevated and lowly; O All-Hearing! O Near One! O Answerer of Prayer! Amen. And all praise be to God, the Sustainer of All the Worlds.
Glory be unto You! We have no knowledge save that which You have taught us; indeed, You are All-Knowing, All-Wise.21
1. Qur’an, 47:19.
2. Musnad, iv, 16.
3. A collection from the Risale-i Nur consisting of A Supplication (Third Ray), Treatise For The Sick, Treatise For The Elderly, ‘For us God suffices’ (Fourth Ray), the Thirteenth Flash, Thirty-Three Windows, A Supplication in Arabic, and the Denizli Defence Speeches. [Tr.]
4. Muwatta, Qur’an, 32; Hajj, 246; al-‘Ajluni, Kashf al-Khafa, i, 153; al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami’u’s-Saghir, no: 1113.
5. Mawlana Jalal al-Din Rumi (604/1207-672/1273), author of the Mathnawi.
6. Qur’an, 1:5.
7. Qur’an, 31:13.
8. Qur’an, 67:8.
9. Qur’an, 31:13.
10. For example, God is the Provider, the firm possessor of strength (Qur’an, 51:58).
11. Bukhari, al-Mu’sir, v, 237; al-Nikah, vii, 8; al-Nasa’i, al-Nikah.
12. 4 para = 1 qurush, 100 qurush = 1 lira. [Tr.]
13. Qur’an, 36:82.
14. The answer to the second part of the question has great importance; it dispels numerous doubts.
15. Qur’an, 57:3.
16. Since olden times, a common expression in the popular language was “to raise from seed,” which may be seen as a sort of allusion to the author of this treatise. For through the effulgence of the Qur’an, ‘the servant of the Risale-i Nur’ [its author] discovered two ascents in knowledge of God and the affirmation of Divine Unity in seeds and flowers. He discovered the water of life in the very places the Naturalists drowned. He reached reality and the light of knowledge of God from seeds. It is for this reason that these two things are repeated frequently in the Risale-i Nur.
17. Qur’an, 36:29.
18. Qur’an, 16:77.
19. Qur’an, 7:172.
20. Qur’an, 16:77.
21. Qur’an, 2:32.