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The Twenty-Ninth Letter




[The Twenty-Ninth Letter consists of Nine Sections. This, the First Section, contains Nine Points.]




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




And there is nothing but it glorifies Him with praise.




My Dear, Loyal Brother and True Friend in the Service of the Qur’an!


This time in your letter you want an answer to an important question which neither my time nor my state of mind permit me to answer.


My brother! Praise be to God, this year the numbers of those writing out the treatises have much grown. The copies come to me for the second correction, and I am busy speedily doing them from morning to evening. Other important jobs remain undone. But I consider this duty to be far more important. In the months of Sha‘ban and Ramadan in particular, the heart takes its share rather than the intellect, and the spirit becomes active. Postponing this most important matter to another time, I shall write it to you gradually whenever my heart is inspired by Almighty God’s mercy. For now I shall explain three Points. 1








There are two aspects to the idea expressed as: “The All-Wise Qur’an’s mysteries are not known; the Qur’anic commentators have not understood its reality.” And those who say this are of two groups.


The First are the people of truth and the exacting scholars. They say: “The Qur’an is an unending, inexhaustible treasury. In addition to submitting to and accepting its established and incontestible matters, each age also receives its share of its hidden truths, in the form of a supplement; it cannot trespass on the share of another which is concealed.” Yes, that is to say, as time passes more of the All-Wise Qur’an’s truths are unfolded. Not, God forbid! causing doubt concerning the outer Qur’anic truths which previous generations have expounded. For belief in them is necessary; they are established, definite, fundamental, and basic. Through the decree, A perspicuous Arabic Qur’an, it states that its meaning is clear. From beginning to end, the Divine address revolves around those meanings, corroborating them and making them self-evident. Not to accept those authoritative meanings suggests, God forbid!, denying Almighty God and insulting the Prophet’s understanding. That is to say, those authoritative meanings have been taken successively from the source of Prophethood. Ibn Jarir al-Tabari wrote his great commentary relating all the meanings of the Qur’an through chains of authentic transmission to the source of Prophethood.


The Second Group are either foolish friends who cause harm and make matters worse, or they are enemies cunning as the Devil who want to oppose the ordinances of Islam and truths of belief. They want to find a way into the fortified Suras of the All-Wise Qur’an, which, in your words, are each like steel strongholds. People like that spread about ideas like the above in order, God forbid!, to create doubts about the truths of belief and the Qur’an.




In the Qur’an, Almighty God swears by many things. There are numerous mysteries and significant points contained in the Qur’anic oaths. For example, the oath in By the Sun and its [glorious] splendour 2 forms the basis of the splendid comparison in the Eleventh Word. It shows the universe in the form of a palace and a city. And through the oath of Ya. Sin. * By the Qur’an full of wisdom, 3 it recalls the sacredness of the Qur’anic miraculousness, indicating that it is so worthy of veneration that it can be sworn by. The oaths in By the star when its goes down, 4 and Furthermore I call to witness the setting of the stars, * And that is indeed a mighty adjuration if you but knew 5 indicate that falling stars are a sign that jinns and devils have been prevented from receiving news from the Unseen so that they can cause no doubts about revelation. Also, it recalls through the oaths the vast power and perfect wisdom in the stars with their vast awesomeness being set in their places with complete order and in the planets being made to revolve in wondrous manner.


With the oaths, By the [winds] that scatter and broadcast; 6 * By the [winds] sent forth, 7 it attracts attention to the angels appointed to the winds, in order to call to mind the significant instances of wisdom in the disposal of the air and its movement in waves. For the elements, which are supposed to be governed by chance, perform important duties for most subtle purposes; and so on. Each of the oaths and its position contains different points and different purposes. The time being inappropriate, I shall point out briefly only one fine point out of many in the oath, By the fig and the olive, 8 as follows:


Through swearing by the fig and the olive, Almighty God recalls the immensity of His power and the perfection of His mercy and His extensive bounties to those who are heading for the lowest of the low, pointing to the possibility of their progressing spiritually, through thanks, reflection, belief, and good works, as far as the highest of the high. The reason for specifying the fig and the olive among bounties is that those two fruits are most blessed and beneficial, and that in their creation are many notable things and bounties. For the olive is a basic commodity in the life of society and in commercial life, for illumination and for food. So too with the fig; in its creation it displays a miracle of power by encapsulating in its miniscule seed all the members of a huge fig-tree, and through the oath it brings to mind the Divine bounty in its being a food, and its benefits, and contrary to other fruits its continuity, and many other advantages. It instructs man to draw lessons from these so as to believe and perform good works, and not to fall to the lowest of the low.




The ‘disjointed letters’ at the start of some Suras are a Divine cypher. Almighty God indicates certain signs from the Unseen through them to His special servant. The key to the cypher is with that servant, and with his heirs. The All-Wise Qur’an addresses all ages and all the groups of mankind. The share of all the classes every age may encompass numerous different aspects and meanings. The purest share was that of the righteous ones of the first generations of Islam, and they expounded it. The people of sainthood and those who research into reality have found in their writings numerous allusions to the matters of the Unseen pertaining to spiritual journeying. In the commentary called Signs of Miraculousness, at the start of Sura al-Baqara, we discussed them to a small extent from the point of view of the miraculousness of the Qur’an’s eloquence; that work may be referred to.




The Twenty-Fifth Word has proved that a true translation of the All-Wise Qur’an is not possible. Also, the elevated style of its miraculousness cannot be translated. It would be extremely difficult to express and make understood the pleasure and reality arising from the elevated style in its miraculousness. But we shall allude to one or two aspects of it in order to show the way. As follows:


And among His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colours.9 * And the heavens will be rolled up in His right hand.10 * He creates you in the wombs of your mothers in stages, one after another, in three veils of darkness.11 * Who created the heavens and the earth in six days.12 * Comes in between a man and his heart.13 * From whom is not hidden the least little atom.14 * He merges night into day, and He merges day into night; and He has full knowledge of the secrets of [all] hearts.15


Through verses like these, with a wondrously elevated style and miraculous comprehensiveness, the Qur’an of Miraculous Exposition depicts the reality of creativity for the imagination, showing the following: “With whichever hammer the universe’s builder, Who is the Maker of the world, fastened the sun and moon in their places, with the same hammer and at the same instant He fixes atoms in their places, for example in the pupils of living creatures’ eyes. And with whichever measure, whichever immaterial instrument, He arranged the heavens and unfolded them, at the same instant and with the same arrangement, He opens up the eye removing its veils; He makes it, orders it, and situates it. And with whichever immaterial hammer of His power, the All-Glorious Maker fastens the stars to the skies, with that same immaterial hammer He fastens man’s innumerable distinguishing marks on his countenance and his external and inner senses in their places.” That is to say, in order to show His works to both the eye and the ear while He is at work, the All-Glorious Maker strikes a hammer on an atom with the verses of the Qur’an, and with another word of the same verse strikes the hammer on the sun; with an elevated style as though striking it right in the centre, He demonstrates His Unity within His Oneness, and His infinite Glory within His infinite Beauty, and His infinite tremendousness within His infinite concealedness, and His infinite breadth within His infinite precision, and His infinite majesty within His infinite mercy, and His infinite distance within His infinite proximity. It expresses the ultimate degree of the combining of opposites, which is considered to be impossible, in a way that is necessary; it proves this and demonstrates it. Thus, it is this sort of exposition and style that causes the most wondrous of literary scholars to prostrate before its eloquence. And for example, through the verse, And among His signs is this, that heaven and earth stand by His command; then when He calls you, by a single call, from the earth, behold, you [straight away] come forth,16 Almighty God shows the magnificence of the sovereignty of His dominicality in the following elevated style: “At a single command or a signal like a bugle, the beings in the heavens and earth, which are like two obedient barracks or two orderly army headquarters, will spring up with alacrity and perfect obedience from their sleep in the veils of transience and non-existence. Saying: “At your service!”, they will assemble on the field of the Resurrection and Judgement. With what miraculous and elevated style it describes the resurrection of the dead and Great Gathering and points to the following convincing proof contained in its assertion: observedly, the seeds concealed as though dead in the darkness of the earth and drops of water hidden and dispersed, non-existent, in the atmosphere are raised to life swiftly and with perfect order every spring, and they emerge into the field of trial and examination, perpetual examples of resurrection. At the supreme resurrection, beings will emerge with same ease. Since you observe the one here, you cannot deny the other. And so on. You can compare the degree of eloquence in other verses with this one. Would a true translation of this sort of verse be possible then? Surely it would not! At the most it would have to be an abbreviated meaning, or an interpretation, with five or six lines for each phrase.




For example, “All praise be to God” [al-hamdulillah] is a Qur’anic phrase. Its briefest meaning, required by the rules of grammar and rhetoric, is this: “Each individual instance of all the sorts of praise that has been offered by whatever to whatever since pre-eternity and will be offered to post-eternity is particular to and due to the Necessarily Existent One alone, Who is named Allah.” It is as follows: “Each individual instance of all the sorts of praise” is the consequence of the definite article “al” in “al-hamd.” As for the qualification of “that has been offered by whatever,” since “praise” (hamd) is the verbal noun and the active participle has been omitted, it expresses generality in that sense. And by omitting the passive participle it again expresses universality and generality, and therefore expresses the qualification “to whatever.” As for the qualification of “from pre-eternity to post-eternity,” it expresses this meaning because the rule of transposing from a verbal clause to a noun clause indicates continuity. The prepositional “lam” in “lillah” [to God], expresses the meaning of sole possession and worthiness. As for the qualification of “the Necessarily Existent One, Who is named Allah,” since necessary existence is the necessary requisite of the Godhead and a term signifying the All-Glorious Essence; comprising all the Divine Names and attributes and being the Greatest Name, the Name of “Allah” necessarily indicates both the necessaary existence and the title of “Necessarily Existent One.” If the shortest apparent meaning of the phrase “All praise be to God” on which all the scholars of Arabic are agreed is thus, how could it be translated into another language with the same miraculousness and power? Furthermore, among all the languages of the world, there is only one which can compare with Arabic in being ‘the language of grammar,’ and that can never achieve the comprehensiveness of Arabic. Is it possible for translations made by means of other composite and inflectional languages by people whose understanding is partial, comprehension short, ideas confused, and hearts dark, to take the place of the sacred words of the Qur’an, which have emerged in miraculous fashion in that comprehensive and wondrous grammatical language within an all-encompassing knowledge which knows all its aspects at once and wills them. I can even say, and perhaps prove, that each of the Qur’an’s words is like a treasury of truths, with sometimes a single letter teaching a page of truths.




I shall recount a luminous experience and true vision I had in order to illuminate this meaning. It was as follows: At one time I was pondering over the use of the first person plural in the verse You alone do we worship and from You alone do we seek help,17 and my heart was seeking the reason why the first person singular had been been transposed into the first person plural of “we worship”( na‘budu). Suddenly from that “Nun” the mystery and virtues of performing the prayers in congregation was unfolded to me. I saw that my participating in the congregation in Bayezid Mosque, where I was performing the prayer, made each member of the congregation a sort of intercessor for me, who testified to and affirmed each of the statements I pronounced in reciting the prayers. In the midst of the great, multiple worship of the congregation, I received the courage to offer my deficient worship to the Divine Court. Then a further veil was lifted. That is, all the mosques of Istanbul were added. The city became like Beyazid Mosque. Suddenly I felt as though I was receiving their prayers and affirmation. Then within that, I saw myself in the mosque of the face of the earth, in the circular rows around the Ka‘ba. I declared: “All praise be to God, the Sustainer of All the Worlds!” I have intercessors to this great number; they say exactly the same words as I say in the prayers, confirming me. Since this veil was raised by the imagination, the Noble Ka‘ba became like the mihrab. Taking advantage of this opportunity, I called on the ranks of the congregation to testify and entrusted the interpreter of belief, “I testify that there is no god but God, and I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of God” to the Black Stone. While saying this, a further situation was laid open before me: I saw that the congregation of which I was a part was separated into three circles:


The First Circle was the vast congregation of believers and those who affirm Divine Unity on the face of the earth.


The Second Circle: I looked and saw that I was part of a congregation consisting of all beings, all of which, performing prayers and glorification, were occupied with the benedictions and glorification particular to its group and species. Their worship consists of the activities we observe, called “the duties of things.” Declaring: “God is Most Great!” before this, I bowed my head in wonderment, and looked at myself:


Within a Third Circle I saw an astonishing microcosm which was apparently and in quality small, but in reality, number, and duties, great. TThis, from the particles of my being to my external senses was a congregation in which every group was occupied with duties of worship and thanks. In this circle, the dominical inner faculty in my heart was saying: “You alone do we worship and from You alone do we seek help” in the name of the congregation. Just as in the two former congregations my tongue had said it, having formed the intention to say it in their names.


I n S h o r t : The ‘Nun’ of ‘na‘budu’ indicates these three congregations. While pondering over this, the collective personality of God’s Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace), the Interpreter and Herald of the All-Wise Qur’an, was suddenly embodied in all its majesty in his immaterial pulpit in Madinah. Like everyone, I as though heard his address of “O you people! Worship your Sustainer,”18 and everyone in those three congregations responded like me, saying, “You alone do we worship.” In accordance with the rule, “When something is established, it is so through the things that necessitate it,” the following truth was imparted to my mind: Taking mankind as His addressee, the Sustainer of All the Worlds speaks with all beings, and His Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) conveys that lofty address to mankind, indeed, to all beings with spirits and consciousness. All the past and the future have become like the present; the address is being delivered to mankind, all of which is in a single gathering, in the form of a congregation the rows of which all differ. I then saw that each Qur’anic verse possesses an elevated power, eloquence, and beauty which it had received from the grandeur and compass of its station, its extremely numerous, various, and significant addressees, from the Pre-Eternal Speaker, the One of infinite glory and grandeur, and from its exalted Interpreter, who is at the rank of God’s beloved; I saw each verse within a brilliant, truly brilliant, light of miraculousness. Then, not the whole Qur’an, or a Sura, or a verse, but each of its words seemed a miracle. “All praise be to God for the light of belief and the Qur’an,” I said. And I emerged from my imagining, which was pure reality, the same as I had entered the ‘Nun’ of ‘na‘budu,’ and I understood that not only the Qur’an’s verses and words, but some of its letters, like the ‘Nun’ of ‘na‘budu,’ were luminous keys to important truths. After my heart and imagination had emerged from the ‘Nun’ of ‘na‘budu,’ my mind came forward and said: “I want my share too. I cannot fly like you; my feet are evidences and proofs. The way leading to the Creator, the Worshipped One and One from Whom help is sought, has to be pointed out in the same ‘na‘budu’ and ‘nasta‘in’ [You alone do we worship and from You alone do we seek help], so that I can accompany you.” It then occurred to my heart to say the following to my bewildered mind: Consider all the beings in the universe; whether living or inanimate, in perfect order and obedience they all have their worship which is in the form of duties. Although some of them lack feelings and intelligence, they perform their duties in most conscious, orderly, and worshipful fashion. That means there is a True Object of Worship, an Absolute Commander, Who impels them to worship and employs them. Also consider the beings and particularly the living ones; while each has extremely numerous and various needs, which have to be met for its continued existence, its hands cannot reach the smallest of them; its power is insufficient. Yet they all receive their innumerable needs regularly, from unexpected places, at the appropriate time; this is clearly to be seen. Thus, these boundless needs and this boundless want of beings and that extraordinary assistance from the Unseen and merciful succour self-evidently demonstrate that they have a Protector and Provider Who possesses absolute riches, is Absolutely Generous and Absolutely Powerful; it is from Him that everything and all living beings seek help and await succour, in effect saying: From You alone do we seek help. So then my mind declared: “We believe in this and assent to it!”




Then, when I said: Guide us to the Straight Path, * The path of those on whom You have bestowed Your bounty,19 I saw among the convoys of mankind that were travelling towards the past, was the luminous, radiant caravan of the prophets, the veracious ones, the martyrs, the saints, and the righteous. They were scattering the darkness of the future and travelling the road to post-eternity on a straight way, a direct highway. The phrase was showing me the way to join the caravan, indeed, it was joining me to it. Suddenly I exclaimed: “Glory be to God! Anyone with an iota of intelligence must know what a loss it is not to join that long, light-scattering caravan which is illuminating the future and travelling in perfect safety. Where can one who deviates from it by creating innovations find a light; which road can he take? Our guide, God’s Most Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) decreed: “All innovations are misguidance, and all misguidance is in Hell-fire.”20 I wonder what advantage do certain wretches worthy of the epithet ‘bad religious scholars’ find in the face of this certain statement? What fatwa do they issue so that unnecessarily and harmfully they oppose the clear matters of ‘the marks of Islam,’ and deem it possible to change them? It must be that a temporary awakening caused by a fleeting manifestation of meaning deceived those ‘bad scholars.’ For example, if an animal or fruit is stripped of its skin, it displays a temporary delicacy, but in a very short time the delicate flesh and delicious fruit go black and rot under the skin which is now a stranger, withered, dense, and extraneous. In exactly the same way, the prophetic and Divine phrases in ‘the marks of Islam’ are like a living and meritorious skin. On being stripped, the luminosity of the meanings is temporarily naked and visible to an extent. But like a fruit that has been separated from its skin, the spirit of those blessed meanings flies away leaving behind the human skin in darkened hearts and minds. The light flies away, while its smoke remains. However.....




It is necessary to explain a principle of reality concerning this. It is like this:


Just as there are two sort of rights, ‘personal rights’ and ‘general rights,’ which are considered to be a sort of ‘God’s rights,’ so too in the matters of the Shari‘a, certain matters concern individuals, and others, with regard to generality, concern the public; these last are called ‘the marks of Islam.’ Since these marks concern all, all participate in them. To interfere in them without the consent of the public is an infringement of the public’s rights. The most minor of those marks (a matter of the status of Sunna) is the equivalent of the greatest matter in regard to importance. They directly concern the whole World of Islam. Those who are trying to break the luminous chain to which all the great figures of Islam since the Era of the Prophet till now have been bound, and to destroy it and corrupt it, and those who assist them, should dwell on what a ghastly error they are making. If they possess the smallest grain of intelligence, they should tremble!




There are certain matters of the Shari‘a concerning worship which are not tied to the reason, and are done because they are commanded. The reason for them is the command. There are others which have ‘reasonable meaning.’ That is, they possess some wisdom or benefit by reason of which they have been incorporated into the Shari‘a. But it is not the true reason or cause; the true reason is Divine command and prohibition. Instances of wisdom or benefits cannot change those matters of ‘the marks of Islam’ which pertain to worship; their aspect of pertaining to worship preponderates and they may not be interfered with. They may not be changed, even for a hundred thousand benefits. Similarly, it may not be said that “the benefits of the Shari‘a are restricted to those that are known.” To suppose such a thing is wrong. Those benefits may rather be only one out of many instances of wisdom and purposes. For instance, someone may say: “The wisdom and purpose of the call to prayer is to summon Muslims to prayer; in which case, firing a rifle would be sufficient.” However, the foolish person does not know that it is only one benefit out of the thousands of the call to prayer. Even if the sound of a rifle shot provides that benefit, how, in the name of mankind, or in the name of the people of the town, can it take the place of the call to prayer, the means to proclaiming worship before Divine dominicality and the proclamation of Divine Unity, which is the greatest result of the creation of the universe and the result of mankind’s creation?


I n S h o r t : Hell is not unnecessary; there are many things which cry out “Long live Hell!” with all their strength. Paradise is not cheap, either; it demands a high price. Not equal are the Companions of the Fire and the Companions of the Garden; it is the Companions of the Garden who will achieve felicity.... [To the end of the verse.]21




1. The Nine Points were finally completed.


2. Qur’an, 91:1.


3. Qur’an, 36:1-2.


4. Qur’an, 53:1.


5. Qur’an, 56:75-6.


6. Qur’an, 51:1.


7. Qur’an, 77:1.


8. Qur’an, 95:1.


9. Qur’an, 30:22.


10. Qur’an, 39:67.


11. Qur’an, 39:6.


12. Qur’an, 7:54, etc.


13. Qur’an, 8:24.


14. Qur’an, 34:3.


15. Qur’an, 57:6.


16. Qur’an, 30:25.


17. Qur’an, 1:4.


18. Qur’an, 2:21.


19. Qur’an, 1:5-6.


20. Muslim, Jum’a 43; Abu Da’ud, Sunna 5; Nasa’i, ‘Idayn 22; Ibn Maja, Muqaddima 6-7; Darimi, Muqaddima 16, 23; Musnad iii, 310, 371; iv, 126-7.


21. Qur’an, 59:20.






The Second Section, which is the Second Treatise


On the Month of Ramadan


[There having been a brief discussion of ‘the marks of Islam’ at the end of the First Section, the most brilliant and splendid of the marks, Ramadan the Noble, is discussed in this Second Section. This Section consists of Nine Points, which explain nine of the numerous instances of wisdom in the month of Ramadan.]


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


It was the month of Ramadan in which the Qur’an was bestowed from on high as a guidance unto man and a self-evident proof of that guidance, and as the standard to discern true from false.1






The fast of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam, and it is one of the greatest of the marks and observances of Islam. There are many purposes and instances of wisdom in the fast of Ramadan which look to both God Almighty’s dominicality, and to man’s social life, his personal life and the training of his instinctual soul, and to his gratitude for Divine bounties. One of the many instances of wisdom in fasting from the point of view of God Almighty’s dominicality is as follows: God Almighty created the face of the earth in the form of a table laden with bounties, and arranged on the table every sort of bounty in a form of From whence he does not expect,2 in this way stating the perfection of His dominicality and His mercifulness and compassionateness. Human beings are unable to discern clearly the reality of this situation while in the sphere of causes, under the veil of heedlessness, and they sometimes forget it. However, during the month of Ramadan, the people of belief suddenly become like a well drawn-up army. As sunset approaches, they display a worshipful attitude as though, having been invited to the Pre-Eternal Monarch’s banquet, they are awaiting the command of “Fall to and help yourselves!” They are responding to that compassionate, illustrious, and universal mercy with comprehensive, exalted, and orderly worship. Do you think those who do not participate in such elevated worship and noble bounties are worthy to be called human beings?




One of the many instances of wisdom in the fast of the blessed month of Ramadan with respect to thankfulness for God Almighty’s bounties is as follows: As is stated in the First Word, a price is required for the foods a tray-bearer brings from a royal kitchen. But, to give a tip to the tray-bearer, and to suppose those priceless bounties to be valueless and not to recognize the one who bestowed them would be the greatest foolishness. God Almighty has spread innumerable sorts of bounties over the face of the earth for mankind, in return for which He wishes thanks, as the price of those bounties. The apparent causes and possessors of the bounties are like tray-bearers. We pay a certain price to them and are indebted to them, and even though they do not merit it, are over-respectful and grateful to them. Whereas the True Bestower of Bounties is infinitely more deserving of thanks than those causes which are merely the means for the bounty. To thank Him, then, is to recognize that the bounties come directly from Him; it is to appreciate their worth and to perceive one’s own need for them. Fasting in Ramadan, then, is the key to a true, sincere, extensive, and universal thankfulness. For at other times of the year, most of those who are not in difficult circumstances do not realize the value of many bounties since they do not experience real hunger. Those whose stomachs are full and especially if they are rich, do not understand the degree of bounty there is in a piece of dry bread. But when it is time to break the fast, the sense of taste testifies that the dry bread is a most valuable Divine bounty in the eyes of a believer. During Ramadan, everyone from the monarch to the destitute, manifests a sort of gratitude through understanding the value of those bounties. Furthermore, since eating is prohibited during the day, they will say: “Those bounties do not belong to me. I am not free to eat them, for they are another’s property and gift. I await his command.” They will recognize the bounty to be bounty and so will be giving thanks. Thus, fasting in this way is in many respects like a key to gratitude; gratitude being man’s fundamental duty.




One of the many instances of wisdom in fasting from the point of view of man’s social life is as follows: Human beings have been created differently with regard to their livelihoods. As a consequence of the difference, God Almighty invites the rich to assist the poor, so that through the hunger experienced in fasting, the rich can truly understand the pains and hunger which the poor suffer. If there was no fasting, there would be many self-indulgent rich unable to perceive just how grievous is hunger and poverty and how needy of compassion are those who suffer them. Compassion for one’s fellow men is an essential of true thankfulness. Whoever a person is, there will always be someone poorer than himself in some respect. He is enjoined to be compassionate towards that person. If he was not himself compelled to suffer hunger, he would be unable give the person—by means of compassion—the help and assistance which he is obliged to offer. And even if he was able, it would be deficient, for he would not have truly experienced the state of hunger himself.




One instance of wisdom in fasting in Ramadan with respect to training the instinctual soul is as follows: The instinctual soul wants to be free and independent, and considers itself to be thus. According to the dictates of its nature, it even desires an imaginary dominicality and to act as it pleases. It does not want to admit that it is being sustained and trained through innumerable bounties. Especially if it possesses wealth and power in this world, and if heedlessness also encourages it, it will devour God’s bounties like a usurping, thieving animal. Thus, in the month of Ramadan, the instinctual soul of everyone, from the richest to the poorest, may understand that it does not own itself, but is totally owned; that it is not free, but is a slave. It understands that if it receives no command, it is unable to do the simplest and easiest thing, it cannot even stretch out its hand towards water. Its imaginary dominicality is therefore shattered; it performs its worship and begins to offer thanks, its true duty.




One of the many instances of wisdom in fasting in Ramadan from the point of view of improving the conduct of the instinctual soul and giving up its rebellious habits is as follows: The human soul forgets itself through heedlessness. It cannot see the utter powerlessness, want, and deficiency within itself and it does not wish to see them. And it does not think of just how weak it is, and how subject to transience and to disasters, nor of the fact that it consists merely of flesh and bones, which quickly decline and are dispersed. Simply, it assaults the world as though it possessed a body made of steel and imagined itself to be undying and eternal. It hurls itself onto the world with intense greed and voracity and passionate attachment and love. It is captivated by anything that gives its pleasure or that benefits it. Moreover, it forgets its Creator Who sustains it with perfect compassion, and it does not think of the results of its life and its life in the hereafter. Indeed, it wallows in dissipation and misconduct. However, fasting in the month of Ramadan awakens even the most heedless and obstinate to their weakness, impotence, and want. By means of hunger, they think of their stomachs; they understand the need therein. They realize how unsound are their weak bodies, and perceive how needy they are for kindness and compassion. So they abandon the soul’s pharaoh-like despotism, and through recognizing their utter impotence and want, perceive a desire to take refuge at the Divine Court. And they prepare themselves to knock at the door of mercy with the hands of thankfulness. So long as heedlessness has not destroyed their hearts, that is.




One of the many instances of wisdom in fasting in Ramadan from the point of view of the revelation of the All-Wise Qur’an, and with respect to the fact that the month of Ramadan was the most important time in its revelation, is as follows: Since the All-Wise Qur’an was revealed in the month of Ramadan, to shun the lower demands of the soul and trivialities and to resemble the angelic state by abstaining from food and drink in order to greet that heavenly address in the best manner, is to attain to a holy state. And to read and listen to the Qur’an as though it was just revealed, to listen to the Divine address in it as if it was being revealed that very instant, to listen to that address as though hearing it from God’s Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace), indeed, from the Angel Gabriel, or from the Pre-Eternal Speaker Himself, is to attain to that same holy state. To act in this way is to act as an interpreter and to cause others to listen to it and in some degree to demonstrate the wisdom in the Qur’an’s revelation. Indeed, it is as if the world of Islam becomes a mosque during the month of Ramadan. In every corner of that mighty mosque millions of those who know the whole Qur’an by heart cause the dwellers on the earth to hear the heavenly address. Each Ramadan displays the verse It was the month of Ramadan in which the Qur’an was bestowed from on high in luminous shining manner. It proves that Ramadan is the month of the Qur’an. Some of the members of the vast congregation listen to the reciters with reverence, while others read it themselves. Following the appetites of the base instinctual soul while in a sacred mosque that is such, and quitting that luminous condition through eating and drinking, is truly loathsome and makes such a person the target of the aversion and disgust of the congregation in the mosque. In the same way, people who oppose those who fast during Ramadan are to the same extent the target of the aversion and disgust of the whole world of Islam.




One of the many instances of wisdom in the fast of Ramadan with respect to mankind’s gain and profit, who comes to this world in order to cultivate and trade for the hereafter, is as follows: The reward for actions in the month of Ramadan is a thousandfold. According to Hadith, each word of the All-Wise Qur’an has ten merits; each is counted as ten merits and will yield ten fruits in Paradise. While during Ramadan, each word bears not ten fruits but a thousand, and verses like Ayat al-Kursi3 thousands for each word, and on Fridays in Ramadan it is even more. And on the Night of Power, each word is counted as thirty thousand merits. Indeed, the All-Wise Qur’an, each of whose words yield thirty thousand eternal fruits, is like a luminous Tree of Tuba that gains for believers in Ramadan millions of those eternal fruits. So, come and look at this sacred, eternal profitable trade, then consider it and understand the infinite loss of those who do not appreciate the value of those words. To put it simply, the month of Ramadan is an extremely profitable display and market for the trade of the hereafter. It is an extremely fertile piece of land for the crops of the hereafter. For the growth and flourishing of actions it is like April showers in the spring. It is like a brilliant holy festival for the parade of mankind’s worship in the face of the sovereignty of Divine dominicality. Since it is thus, mankind has been charged with fasting in order not to heedlessly indulge the animal needs of the instinctual soul like eating and drinking, nor to indulge the appetites lustfully and in trivialities. For, by temporarily rising above animality and quitting the calls of this world, man approaches the angelic state and enters upon the trade of the hereafter. And by fasting, he approaches the state of the hereafter and that of a spirit appearing in bodily form. It is as if man then becomes a sort of mirror reflecting the Eternally Besought One. Indeed, the month of Ramadan comprises and gains a permanent and eternal life in this fleeting world and brief transient life. Certainly, a single Ramadan can produce fruits equal to that of a lifetime of eighty years. The fact that, according to the Qur’an, the Night of Power is more auspicious than a thousand months is a decisive proof of this. For example, a monarch may declare certain days to be festivals during his reign, or perhaps once a year. Either on his accession to the throne or on some other days which reflect a glittering manifestation of his sovereignty. On those days, he favours his subjects, not within the general sphere of the law, but with his special bounties and favours, with his presence without veil and his wondrous activities. And he favours with his especial regard and attention those of his nation who are completely loyal and worthy . In the same way, the All-Glorious Monarch of eighteen thousand worlds, Who is the Sovereign of Pre-Eternity and Post-Eternity, revealed in Ramadan the illustrious decree of the All-Wise Qur’an, which looks to the eighteen thousand worlds. It is a requirement of wisdom, then, that Ramadan should be like special Divine festival, a dominical display, and a spiritual gathering. Since Ramadan is such festival, God has commanded man to fast, in order to disengage him to a degree from base and animal activities. The most excellent fasting is to make the human senses and organs, like the eyes, ears, heart, and thoughts, fast together with the stomach. That is, to withdraw them from all unlawful things and from trivia, and to urge each of them to their particular worship. For example, to ban the tongue from lying, back-biting, and obscene language and to make it fast. And to busy it with activities like reciting the Qur’an, praying, glorifying God’s Names, asking for God’s blessings on the Prophet Muhammad (Upon whom be blessings and peace), and seeking forgiveness for sins. And for example, to prevent the eyes looking at members of the opposite sex outside the stipulated degrees of kinship, and the ears from hearing harmful things, and to use the eyes to take lessons and the ears to listen to the truth and to the Qur’an, is to make other organs fast too. As a matter of fact, since the stomach is the largest factory, if it has an enforced holiday from work through fasting, the other small workshops will be made to follow it easily.




One of the many instances of wisdom in Ramadan from the point of view of man’s personal life is as follows: It is a healing physical and spiritual diet of the most important kind. When man’s instinctual soul eats and drinks just as it pleases, it is both harmful for man’s physical life from the medical point of view, and when it hurls itself on everything it encounters without considering whether it is licit or illicit, it quite simply poisons his spiritual life. Further, it is difficult for such a soul to obey the heart and the spirit. It wilfully takes the reins into its own hands, and then man cannot ride it, it rather rides man. But by means of fasting in Ramadan, it becomes accustomed to a sort of diet. It tries to discipline itself and learns to listen to commands. Furthermore, it will not be attracting illness to that miserable, weak stomach by cramming it with food before the previous consignment has been digested. And by abandoning even licit actions as it is commanded, it will acquire the ability to listen to the commands of the Shari‘a and the reason, and so to avoid illicit actions. It will try not to destroy his spiritual life. Moreover, the great majority of mankind frequently suffer from hunger. Man, therefore, needs hunger and discipline, which are training for patience and endurance. Fasting in Ramadan is patient endurance of a period of hunger that continues for fifteen hours, or for twenty-four if the pre-dawn meal is not eaten, and it is a discipline and a training. That is to say, fasting is also a cure for impatience and lack of endurance, which double man’s afflictions. Futhermore, the factory of the stomach has many workers. And many of the human organs are connected to it. If the instinctual soul does not have a rest from activity during the day for a month, it makes the factory’s workers and those organs forget their particular duties. It makes them busy with itself so that they remain under its tyranny. Also, it confuses the rest of the organs in the human body with the clangour and steam of the factory’s machinery. It continuously attracts their attention to itself, making them temporarily forget their exalted duties. It is because of this that for centuries those closest to God have accustomed themselves to discipline and to eating and drinking little in order to be perfected. However, through fasting in Ramadan the factory’s workers understand that they were not created for the factory only. While the rest of the organs, instead of delighting in the lowly amusements of the factory, take pleasure in angelic and spiritual amusements, and fix their gazes on them. It is for this reason that in Ramadan the believers experience enlightenment, fruitfulness, and spiritual joys which differ according to their degrees. Their subtle faculties, such as the heart, spirit, and intellect, make great progress and advancement in that blessed month by means of fasting. They laugh with innocent joy inspite of the stomach’s weeping.




One of the instances of wisdom in fasting in Ramadan with regard to shattering the instinctual soul’s imaginary dominicality and making known its worship through pointing out its impotence is as follows: The instinctual soul does not want to recognize its Sustainer; it wants its own lordship, like Pharaoh. However much torment it suffers, that character remains in it. It is however destroyed through hunger. And so, fasting in Ramadan strikes direct blows at the soul’s pharaoh-like front, shattering it. It demonstrates its impotence, weakness, and want. It makes it realize that it is a slave. Among the narrations of Hadith is the following: “God Almighty said to the instinctual soul: ‘What am I and what are you?’ The soul replied: ‘I am myself and You are Yourself.’ So He punished it and cast it into Hell, then asked it again. Again it replied: ‘I am myself and You are Yourself.’ However He punished it, it did not give up its egoism. Finally He punished it with hunger. That is, He left it hungry. Then again He asked it: ‘Who am I and who are you?’ And the soul replied: ‘You are my Compassionate Sustainer and I am your impotent slave.’” O God! Grant blessings and peace to our master Muhammad, that will be pleasing to You and fulfilment of his truth to the number of the merits of the words of the Qur’an in the month of Ramadan, and to his Family and Companions, and grant them peace. Limitless in His glory is your Sustainer, the Lord of Almightiness, [exalted] above anything that men may devise by way of definition! * And peace be upon all His message-bearers. * And all praise is due to God alone, the Sustainer of All the Worlds!4




1. Qur’an,


2: 185. 2. Qur’an, 65:3.


3. Qur’an, 2:255.


APOLOGY: This Second Section was written at speed when both myself and the rough-copy scribe were ill; it is bound therefore to contain disorder and defects. We await from our brothers that they look on it with tolerance. They may correct it as they think fit. 4. Qur’an, 37:180-2.




The Third Section, which is the Third Treatise


[i wrote this Section in order to present an important intention of mine to my brothers of the hereafter for their consideration. This intention concerns the writing of a Qur’an in a way that will show one sort of the two hundred sorts of the Qur’an of Miraculous Exposition’s miraculousness —a sort pertaining to its patterns— with the pages specified in accordance with the style of Hafiz Osman and taking the Mudayana Verse1 as the measure, and taking Sura al-Ikhlas as the standard for the lines. This Third Section, which I also wrote to consult them concerning this matter and to learn their ideas, and also as a reminder to myself, consists of Nine Matters.]




It is established with proofs in the Twenty-Fifth Word, called the Miraculousness of the Qur’an, that the varieties of the Qur’an of Mighty Stature’s miraculousness reach forty. Some of these are demonstrated in detail, and some briefly, so as to convince even the obdurate. Also, the different miraculousness the Qur’an shows to each of forty of the classes of humanity were explained in the Eighteenth Sign of the Nineteenth Letter, and proved were the different shares of the miraculousness of ten of those groups. The remaining thirty classes are the people of sainthood and the scholars; their verified belief to the degrees of ‘knowledge of certainty,’ ‘vision of certainty,’ and ‘absolute certainty’ that the Qur’an is the true Word of God demonstrates a different aspect of miraculousness to the followers of all the different ways of sainthood and to the scholars of all the different sciences. That is to say, they see a different aspect of its miraculousness in a different way. Yes, just as the miraculousness a saint who seeks knowledge of God understands and the beauty of the miraculousness a saint who is a lover of God witnesses are not the same, so the manifestations of the beauty of its miraculousness vary according to the different ways and paths. And the aspect of miraculousness a profound scholar of the principles of religion sees and that an authoritative interpreter of the secondary matters of the Shari‘a sees will not be the same; and so on. I am not able to show in detail all these different aspects of its miraculousness. My comprehension cannot encompass them; my view falls short of them. For this reason, only ten classes were explained and the rest were alluded to briefly. Now, of those, two which were only inadequately described in the Miracles of Muhammad, while much needing to be elucidated, were the following:


The First Class is the uneducated mass of people, whom we call ‘the listening class;’ they only listen to the Qur’an, understanding its miraculousness by means of their ears. They say: “The Qur’an which I hear does not resemble any other books, so it must either be inferior to all of them, or superior. That it is inferior, no one can say, nor has said, nor even the Devil can say it. So it must be superior to all of them.” It was written as briefly as this in the Eighteenth Sign. Then, to elucidate it, the First Topic of the Twenty-Sixth Letter, called A Dispute with the Devil, illustrates and proves that class’s understanding of the miraculousness.


The Second Class is ‘the seeing class.’ That is to say, in the face of the uneducated common people, or of materialists whose minds see no further than their eyes, a sign of the Qur’an’s miraculousness which may be seen with the eyes; this is asserted in the Eighteenth Sign. Much elucidation is necessary to illuminate and prove this assertion. It was not elucidated at that time due to an important instance of dominical wisdom which we now understand. Only a few very minor particulars were pointed out. The wisdom in that may now be understood and we are now certain that its postponement was preferable. In order to facilitate this class’s understanding, we had a Qur’an written which shows the aspect, one of the forty aspects of its miraculousness, which can be seen with the eyes.


[The remaining Matters of this Third Section together with the Fourth Section are about ‘coincidences’ (tawafuqat). They have been included in the Index, and therefore not repeated here. Included here are only a Reminder concerning the Fourth Section and its Third Point.]


REMINDER: One hundred and sixty verses were written in the explanation of the important point concerning the word ‘Messenger.’ In addition to these verses having a glorious quality, since they prove and complete one another with regard to the meaning and their meanings are very profound, they make a Qur’anic supplication for those who want to memorize or recite different verses. The degree of eloquence and beauty of the sixty-nine verses in the explanation of the sublime point concerning the word ‘Qur’an’ is also most wondrous and elevated. This may be recommended as a second Qur’anic supplication for our brothers. In regard to the word ‘Qur’an,’ it was present in the seven lines of the word, which included all of them with the exception of two, and since they had the meaning of qira’at, their remaining outside the pattern strengthened the point. As for the word ‘Messenger,’ since the Suras most connected with the word are Sura Muhammad and Sura al-Fath, and since we limited it to the lines of the word appearing in those two Suras, the instances of the word outside those have not been included. If time permits, the mysteries in these will be written, God willing.


The Third Point consists of Four Points.




The word ‘Allah’ is mentioned two thousand eight hundred and six times. Including in the Bismillah’s (In the Name of God’s), the word Merciful (Rahman) one hundred and fifty-nine; Compassionate (Rahim), two hundred and twenty; Forgiving (Ghafur), sixty-one; Sustainer (Rabb), eight hundred and forty-six; Wise (Hakim), eighty-six; Knowing (‘Alim), one hundred and twenty-six; Powerful (Qadir), thirty-one; the He (Hu) in ‘There is no god but He,’ twenty-six times.2 In the number of the word ‘Allah’ are many mysteries and subtle points. For instance, Merciful, Compassionate, Forgiving, and Wise, which are the most mentioned after Allah and Sustainer, together with the word Allah, are half the number of the Qur’an’s verses. And Allah, together with Sustainer, which is mentioned instead of the word Allah, is again half the number of the Qur’an’s verses. The word Sustainer is mentioned eight hundred and forty-six times, but if these are studied carefully, it will be seen that around five hundred of them are mentioned in place of the word ‘Allah,’ while around two hundred are not. Also, ‘Allah’ together with ‘Merciful,’ ‘Compassionate,’ ‘Knowing,’ and the ‘He’ of the phrase ‘There is no god but He’ is again half of the verses; the difference is only four. And together with ‘All-Powerful’ instead of ‘He,’ is again half the number of verses; the difference here is nine. There are numerous subtle points in the total of the word ‘Allah,’ but for now we deem this point to be sufficient.




This is in respect of the Suras, and it too contains many subtle points. It contains ‘coincidences’ in a way that points to an order, an intention, and a will. In Sura al-Baqara, the number of instances of the word ‘Allah’ and the number of the verses is the same. There is a difference of four, but there are four ‘He’s in place of the word ‘Allah.’ For example, the ‘He’ in ‘There is no god but He’ corresponds exactly with it. In Sura Al-i ‘Imran, again the word ‘Allah’ and the number of verses ‘coincide’ and are equal. Only, the word ‘Allah’ is two hundred and nine and the verses, two hundred, making the difference nine. In the fine points of eloquence and literary merits such as these, small differences do not mar them; an approximate ‘coincidence’ is sufficient. In Suras al-Nisa, al-Ma’ida, and al-An‘am, the total number of verses ‘coincides’ with the total number of instances of the word ‘Allah’: the number of verses is four hundred and sixty-four, and the number of instances of the word ‘Allah’ four hundred and sixty-one; with the word ‘Allah’ in the Bismillah’s, it coincides exactly. And for example, the number of instances of the word ‘Allah’ in the first five Suras is twice the number of the word in Suras al-A‘raf, al-Anfal, al-Tawba, Yunus, and Hud. That is, the second five are half the first five. The number of instances of the word ‘Allah’ in the following Suras Yusuf, al-Ra‘d, Ibrahim, al-Hijr, and al-Nahl is half that, and in the following Suras al-Isra, al-Kahf, Maryam, Ta. Ha., al-Anbiya, and al-Hajj it is again halved.3 And so it continues to decrease in approximately the same ratio in the following groups of five Suras. Only, there are some differences and deficiencies. Such differences cause no harm in such stations of address. For example, some are one hundred and twenty-one, some are one hundred and twenty-five, some are one hundred and fifty-four, and some are one hundred and fifty-nine. Then, the five Suras which begin with Sura al-Zukhruf decrease to a sixteenth, but this is approximate. Differences arising from small errors do not harm stations of address such as these. The subsequent three groups of five short Suras contain only three instances each of the word ‘Allah.’ And this shows that chance has not interfered at all in the number of the word; the numbers of it have been specified in accordance with wisdom and order.




Concerning the word ‘Allah’ This concerns its relation to the pages, and is as follows: The number of instances of the word ‘Allah’ on one page looks to that page’s reverse side, and that page sometimes looks to its facing page, and ssometimes it looks to the left-hand facing page and to the reverse face of the facing page. I studied a ‘coincidence’ in my own copy of the Qur’an, and I saw what was generally a very fine numerical relationship. I marked them in my copy. Very often they are equal, and sometimes they are a half or a third. They have a situation which tells of a wisdom, purpose, and order.




This is ‘coincidences’ on a single page. My brothers and I compared three or four different copies, and we formed the opinion that the ‘coincidences’ were intended in all of them. Only, since copyists for printed copies followed different aims, the ‘coincidences’ lost their order to a degree. If they were set in order, ‘coincidences’ would appear to the number of the two thousand eight hundred and six instances of the word ‘Allah’ in the whole Qur’an with only rare exceptions. A light of miraculousness shines in this, because the human mind could not encompass a page as extensive as this, and interfere in it. And the hand of chance could not reach this situation so full of meaning and wisdom. We are having a new Qur’an written in order to show this Fourth Point to a degree, which together with preserving the same pages and lines of the most widely used copies of the Qur’an, will set in order the places which have lost their order due to the slackness of calligraphers, and will show the true order of the ‘coincidences,’ God willing. And it was shown. O God! O Revealer of the Qur’an! For the sake of the Qur’an, allow us to understand the mysteries of the Qur’an so long as the spheres revolve. And grant blessings and peace to the one to whom You revealed the Qur’an, and to all his Family and Companions. Amen.


* * *




1. Qur’an, 2:282


2. The total number of the Qur’an’s verses being six thousand six hundred and sixty-six, and on the eighty-ninth page here the above-mentioned number of Divine Names being connected with the number six, indicates an important mystery, but it has been left aside for now.


3. A mystery was unfolded through this division into fives. With not one of us being aware of it, six Suras were written here. We have no doubt that outside our wills, and from the Unseen, the sixth was added here so that the important mystery concerning these halves should not be lost.




The Fifth Section, which is the Fifth Treatise


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


God is the Light of the heavens and the earth.1


While in a state of spirituality during the month of Ramadan, I perceived one light of the many luminous mysteries of this light-filled verse; I saw it as though from afar. It was like this: I had a vision of the heart and imagination which afforded me the conviction that, as in the famous supplication of Uvays al-Qarani,


O God! You are our Sustainer, for we are mere slaves; we are powerless to sustain and raise ourselves. That is to say, the One Who sustains us is You! And it is You Who is the Creator, for we are creatures, we are being made! And it is You Who is the Provider, for we are in need of provision, we have no power!,


all living creatures are offering supplications to Almighty God, and that what illuminates each of the eighteen thousand worlds is a Divine Name. It was like this: I saw that within this world are thousands of worlds enwrapped in veil after veil, one within the other like a rose-bud of numerous petals. As one veil was unfolded, I saw another world. It was as the verse following the Light Verse depicts,


Or [the unbelievers’ state] is like the depths of darkness in a vast deep ocean, overwhelmed with billow topped with billow, topped by [dark] clouds; depths of darkness, one above the other; if a man stretches out his hand, he can hardly see it; for any to whom God gives not light, there is no light;2


it appeared to me in a darkness, desolation, and terrible blackness. Suddenly, the manifestation of a Divine Name appeared like a refulgent light, illuminating it. Whichever veil was folded back before the mind, another world appeared. But while appearing dark due to heedlessness, a Divine Name would be manifested like the sun, filling the world with light from top to bottom. And so on. This journey of the heart and imagination continued for a long time. In short: When I saw the animal world, the endless needs and acute hunger of the animals together with their weakness and impotence showed it to me as most dark and grievous. Then suddenly the Name of Most Merciful rose in the sign (that is, meaning) of Provider like a shining sun, gilding that world from top to bottom with the radiance of its mercy. Then within the animal world, I saw another world in which young and offspring were struggling in weakness, helplessness, and need within a grievous darkness that would fill anyone with pity. Suddenly the Name of All-Compassionate rose in the sign of clemency, illuminating that world in so beautiful and sweet a fashion that it transformed the complaint, pity, and tears of sorrow into joy, happiness, and tears of pleasurable thanks. Then a further veil was lifted, as though revealing a cinema screen, and the world of man appeared to me. I saw that world to be so dark, so oppressive, so terrible that I cried out in my anguish. “Alas!” I cried. For I saw that men had desires and hopes that stretched to eternity, and thoughts and imaginings that encompassed the universe, and a disposition and abilities that most earnestly yearned for eternity and everlasting happiness and Paradise, and wants and needs directed towards endless goals and aims. Yet despite this, they were weak and impotent, and exposed to the attacks of innumerable calamities and enemies; they lived tumultuous lives for a brief span with the greatest hardship and difficulties. Amid the continuous tribulations of decline and separation, the most grievous state for the heart, they were looking towards the grave, which for the heedless and neglectful appears as the door to everlasting darkness; singly and in groups, they were being cast into that dark well. The moment I saw this world in the midst of the darkness, my heart, spirit, and mind, and all my human faculties, indeed, all the particles of my being, were ready to weep and cry out in pain. But suddenly, Almighty God’s Name of All-Just rose in the sign of All-Wise, and the Name of Most Merciful in the sign of Munificent, the Name of All-Compassionate in the sign of (that is, in the meaning of) All-Forgiving, the Name of Resurrector in the sign of Inheritor, the Name of Giver of Life in the sign of Bountiful, and the Name of Sustainer rose in the sign of Owner. They gilded and filled with light many worlds within the world of humanity. Opening up windows onto the luminous world of the hereafter, they scattered lights over the dark human world. Then another, vast, veil was folded back and the world of the earth appeared. Philosophy’s dark laws of science showed a terrifying world to the imagination. The situation of wretched human kind journeying through infinite space on the aged earth appeared to me, which covers in one year a distance of twenty-five thousand years moving seventy times faster than a cannon-ball, and whose inside is in a state of upheaval, ever ready to split up and disintegrate. My head started spinning and my eyes darkened. Then suddenly the Names of Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, All-Powerful, All-Knowing, Sustainer, Allah, Sustainer of the Heavens and the Earth, and Subduer of the Sun and Moon rose in the signs of Mercy, Tremendousness, and Dominicality. They illuminated that world so that I saw the globe of the earth to be a safe liner, well-ordered, subjugated, perfect, and agreeable, all decked out for voyages of pleasure and trade.


I n S h o r t : Each of the thousand and one Divine Names turned towards the universe appeared like a sun, illuminating a world and the worlds within that world, and with respect to Divine Oneness, within the manifestation of each of them the manifestations of the rest of the Names appeared to a degree. Then my heart saw a different light behind all the darknesses, and felt an appetite for travel. It wanted to mount the imagination and rise to the heavens. At that point, a further, most extensive, veil was folded back, and my heart entered the world of the heavens. It saw that the stars, which appeared as twinkling smiles, larger than the earth, were spinning and journeying faster than the earth one within the other. If one of them had confused its motion, it would clash with another causing such an explosion that the universe would have exploded causing the whole world to scatter. They were scattering fire, not light, and were regarding me, not with smiles, but with savagery. I saw the heavens within endless, all-enveloping, empty, awesome, terrifying darkness. I was sorry a thousand times over that I had come. Suddenly the Names of Sustainer of the Heavens and the Earth and Sustainer of the Angels and Spirits appeared with their manifestations in the sign of He has subjected the sun and the moon,3 and, And We adorned the lower heaven with lights.4 The stars, which in accordance with the former meaning had collapsed into darkness, each received a flash from that mighty light and lit up that world of the heavens like shining electric lamps. The heavens too, which had been supposed to be empty and uninhabited, filled with angels and spirit beings. I saw that the suns and moons, which were in motion like an army of the Monarch of Pre-Eternity and Post-Eternity —one of His innumerable armies— were with their lofty manoeuvres displaying the majesty and magnificent dominicality of that All-Glorious Sultan. I declared with all my strength, and had it been possible with all the particles of my being, and if they had listened to me with the tongues of all creatures:


God is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The parable of His Light is as if there were a niche and within it a lamp; the lamp enclosed by glass; the glass as it were a brilliant star; lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the East nor of the West, whose oil is well-nigh luminous, though fire scarce touched it; Light upon Light! God guides to His Light whom He will.5


I recited this verse in the name of all creatures. Then I returned, descended to the earth, and awoke. “All praise be to God for the light of belief and the Qur’an,” I said.


* * *




1. Qur’an, 24:35.


2. Qur’an, 24:40.


3. Qur’an, 13:2, etc.


4. Qur’an, 41:12.


5. Qur’an, 24:35.






The Sixth Section, which is the Sixth Treatise




[This was written to warn students and servants of the All-Wise Qur’an, so that they should not be deceived.]




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

And incline not towards those who do wrong, or the Fire will seize you.1




God willing, this Sixth Section will confound Six Stratagems of satans among jinn and men, and block up six of their ways of attack.






As a consequence of the instruction they have received from satans among the jinn, human satans want to deceive, by means of the desire for rank and position, the self-sacrificing servants of the party of the Qur’an, and to make them give up their sacred service and elevated ‘jihad of the word.’ It is as follows: Present in most people is the hypocritical desire to be seen by people and hold a position in the public view, which is the ambition for fame and acclaim, and self-advertisement; this desire for rank and position is present to a lesser or greater extent in all those who seek this world. To accomplish this ambition, the desire for fame will drive a person to sacrifice his life even. This ambition is exceedingly dangerous for those who seek the hereafter. And for those who seek this world it is a rough road, is also the source of many bad morals and is man’s weakest vein of character. In order to get possession of someone and draw him to himself, a person only has to gratify this ambition; this ties the man to him, and he is defeated by him. My greatest fear for my brothers is the possibility that the atheists will take advantage of this weak vein of theirs. It has caused me much thought. For in that way they attracted some unfortunates who were not truly friends, drawing them into a dangerous situation.2 My brothers and friends in the service of the Qur’an! Say the following to the secret agents of the cunning ‘worldly,’ or the propagandists of the people of misguidance, or the students of Satan, who try to deceive you through the desire for rank: “Firstly, Divine pleasure, the favours of the Merciful One, and dominical acceptance are such a position that the regard and admiration of men is worth virtually nothing beside them. If one receives Divine mercy, that is sufficient. The regard of men is acceptable in respect of its being the reflection and shadow of the regard of mercy; otherwise it is not something to be desired. For it is extinguished at the door of the grave, so worth nothing!” If the desire for rank and position is not silenced and eliminated, it has to be directed towards something else, like this: in accordance with the following comparison, perhaps the emotion may have a licit side; if it is for reward in the hereafter, or with the intention of being prayed for, or from the point of view of the effectiveness of service. For example, at a time Aya Sophia Mosque is filled with eminent and blessed people, the virtuous and excellent, there are one or two idle youths and immoral loafers around the entrance and porch, while by the windows and in front of them are a few Europeans watching for amusement. A man enters the mosque and joins the congregation, then recites a passage from the Qur’an beautifully in a fine voice; the gazes of thousands of the people of truth are turned on him, and they gain reward for him through their regard and prayers. Only, this does not please the idle youths and heretic loafers and the one or two Europeans. If when the man had entered the blessed mosque and joined the huge congregation, he had shouted out disgraceful, rude, indecent songs, and danced and jumped around, then it would have made the idle youths laugh, have pleased the dissolute loafers since it encouraged immorality, and made the Europeans smile mockingly, who receive pleasure at seeing any faults in Islam. But it would have attracted looks of disgust and contempt from the vast and blessed congregation; he would have appeared in their view to have fallen to the very lowest of the low. Exactly like this example, the World of Islam and Asia is a huge mosque, and the people of belief and truth within it are the respected congregation in the mosque. The idle youths are the sycophants with the minds of children. The dissolute loafers are those villains who follow Europe and have no nation or religion. While the European spectators are the journalists who spread the ideas of the Europeans. All Muslims, and especially the virtuous and perfected ones, have a place in the mosque according to their degree; they are seen and attention is turned towards them. If they perform actions and works proceeding from the injunctions and sacred truths the All-Wise Qur’an teaches, in regard to the sincerity and Divine pleasure which are a fundamental of Islam, and if their tongues of disposition recite Qur’anic verses, they will then be included in the prayer: O God, grant forgiveness to all believing men and to all believing women, which is constantly uttered by all individuals in the World of Islam, and will have a share of it, and they will become connected to them all in brotherly fashion. Only, its value will not be apparent to some of the people of misguidance who are like harmful beasts and to some idiots who are like bearded children. If the man disowns all his forefathers, the source of honour, and all the past, the cause of pride, and abandons in the spirit the luminous highway of his righteous predecessors, which they considered to be their point of support, and performs actions following his own whims and passions, hypocritically, seeking fame, and following innovations, he will fall to the very lowest position in the view of all the people of truth and belief. In accordance with: “Beware the insight of the believer, for he sees with the light of God,”3 however common and ignorant a believer is, even if his mind does not realize it, his heart looks coldly and in disgust on such boastful, selfish men. And so, the man carried away by love of position and rank and obsessed by the desire for fame—the second man, descends to the very lowest of the low in the view of that numberless congregation. And he gains a temporary and inauspicious position in the view of a number of insignificant, mocking, raving loafers. In accordance with the verse, Friends on that Day will be foes, one to another—except the righteous,4 he will find a few false friends who will be harmful in this world, torment in the Intermediate Realm, and enemies in the hereafter. As for the first man, even if he does not expunge from his heart the desire for position, on condition he takes sincerity and Divine pleasure as basic and does not make rank and position his goal, he will attain a sort of spiritual rank, and a glorious one at that, which will perfectly satisfy his desire for rank. This man will lose something insignificant, very insignificant, and find in place of it many, very many, valuable and harmless things. Indeed, he will chase away a few snakes, and find numerous blessed creatures in their place; he will become familiar with them. Or he will ward off stinging wild hornets, and draw to himself blessed bees, the sherbert-sellers of mercy. He will eat honey at their hand, and find such friends that from all parts of the Islamic world his spirit will be given effulgences like the water of Kawthar to imbibe through their prayers, which will pass to his book of good deeds. At one time, when through perpetrating a great wrong due to the desire for fame, a little man who was occupying a high worldly position became a laughing-stock in the eyes of the World of Islam, I spoke to him teaching him the meaning of the above comparison; I hit him over the head with it. He was well-shaken, but because I had not been able to save myself from the desire for rank and position, my warning did not arouse him.




One of the most important and fundamental emotions in man is the sense of fear. Scheming oppressors profit greatly from the vein of fear. They restrain the pusillanimous with it. The agents of the worldly and propagandists of the people of misguidance take advantage of this vein of the common people and of the religious scholars in particular. They frighten them and excite their groundless fears. For example, in order to throw someone on a roof into danger, a scheming man shows the fearful one something which he supposes is harmful; he excites his fear and draws him gradually towards the edge of the roof; then he makes him fall and break his neck. In exactly the same way, they make people sacrifice most important things through most unimportant fears. Thinking, Don’t let this mosquito bite me, they flee into the dragon’s mouth. One time, an eminent person —May God have mercy on him— was frightened of climbing into a rowing-boat. One evening, we walked together in Istanbul to the Bridge. We had to board a boat; there was no carriage, and we had to go to Eyüp Sultan. I insisted. He said: “I’m frightened. Perhaps it will sink!” I said to him: “How many boats do you reckon there are, here on the Golden Horn?” He replied: “Perhaps a thousand.” So I asked him: “How many boats sink in a year?” He said: “One or two. Perhaps none at all.” I asked him: “How many days are there in a year?” “Three hundred and sixty,” he replied. Then I said to him: “The possibility of sinking, which arouses groundless fears in you and makes you anxious, is one in three hundred and sixty thousand. Someone who is frightened at such a possibility is not a human being, he could not even be an animal!” Then I asked him: “How long do you reckon you will live?” He replied: “I am old; perhaps I shall live another ten years.” So I said to him: “Because the appointed hour of death is secret, every day there is the possibility of dying. In which case, you might die on any day of the three thousand six hundred. You see, it is not a possility of one in three hundred thousand like the boat; rather one in three thousand, that you might die today; so tremble and weep, and write your will!” He came to his senses, and I got him trembling to board the boat. When on board, I said to him: “Almighty God gave the sense of fear to preserve life, not to destroy it! He did not give life to make it burdensome, difficult, painful, and torment. If fear is due to a possibility of one in two, three, or four, or even one in five or six, it is a precautionary fear and may be licit. But to have fear at a possibility of one in twenty, thirty, or forty, is a groundless fear, and makes life torture!” And so, my brothers, if those who toady to the atheists attack you by frightening you into giving up your sacred ‘jihad of the word,’ say to them: “We are the party of the Qur’an. According to the verse, We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it,5 we are in the citadel of the Qur’an. The verse, For us God suffices, and He is the Best Disposer of Affairs6 is a firm bastion surrounding us. Through fear at the possibility of one in thousands of some minor harm coming to our fleeting transient lives here, you cannot drive us through our own wills down a way which with a hundred per cent possibility will cause thousandfold harm to our eternal lives!” And say too: “Is there anyone who has suffered harm due to Said Nursi, our friend in the service of the Qur’an and Master and foreman in running this sacred service, or from the people of truth like us who are his companions on the way of truth? Is there anyone who has suffered any trouble due to his close students, so that we might suffer it too? So should we be anxious at the possibility of suffering it? This brother of ours has thousands of friends and brothers of the hereafter. Although for twenty to thirty years he played an effective role in the social life of this world, we have not heard of a single of his brothers suffering harm due to him. Especially at that time, he was carrying the club of politics. Now in place of that club, he has the light of reality. For sure, long ago they mixed him up in the Thirty-First of March Incident and they crushed some of his friends, but it later became evident that the affair had erupted due to others. His friends suffered misfortune, not because of him, but because of his enemies. Moreover, at that time, he saved very many of his friends. So satans like you shouldn’t get it into their minds to make us throw away an eternal treasury through fear of a danger the possibility of which is one in not a thousand but thousands.” You should say that, hit those toadies of the people of misguidance in the mouth, and drive them away! And tell them this: “And if the possibility of death is not one in hundreds of thousands but a hundred per cent probability, if we have a jot of sense, we will not be frightened and leave him and flee!” Because it has been seen through repeated experiences, and it is seen, that the calamity which is visited on those who betray their elder brother or their Master in times of danger, strikes them first. And they are punished mercilessly and they are looked down upon contemptuously. Both physically dead, and their spirits abased, they are dead in meaning. Those who torment them feel no pity for them, for they say: “Since they betrayed their Master who was loyal and kind to them, they must be completely despicable, and worthy not of pity but contempt.” Yes, the reality is this. Also, if a tyrannical, unscrupulous man throws someone to the ground and stands over him certain to crush his head with his foot, and the man on the ground kisses that savage oppressor’s foot, through his abasement, his heart will be crushed before his head, and his spirit will die before his body. He will lose his head, and his self-respect and pride will be destroyed. By displaying weakness before that savage tryrant without conscience, he emboldens him to crush him. But if the oppressed man under his foot spits in the tyrant’s face, he will save his heart and his spirit, and his body will be a wronged martyr. Yes, spit in the shameless faces of the oppressors! One time when the British had destroyed the guns on the Bosphorus and occupied Istanbul, the head clergyman of the Anglican Church, the main religious establishment of that country, asked six questions of the Shaykh al-Islam’s Office. I was a member of the Darü’l-Hikmeti’l-Islamiye at the time. They asked me to answer them, saying that they wanted a six-hundred-word reply to their six questions. But I said to them: “I shall answer them not with six hundred words, and not even with six words, or even a single word, but with a mouthful of spit! For you can see that government; the moment it set foot on our Bosphorus, its clergyman arrogantly asked us six questions. In the face of this, we should spit in his face. So spit in the pitiless faces of those tyrants!” And now I say: My brothers! Since at a time a tyrannical government like the British had occupied us the protection of the Qur’an was enough for me, despite the danger of confronting them in this way through the tongue of the press being a hundred per cent, it is certainly a hundred times more sufficient for you in the face of the harm that comes to you at the hand of insignificant bullies, the possibility of which is only one in a hundred. Furthermore, my brothers! Most of you have done your military service. Those that have not, have certainly heard this. And those who have not heard it, let them hear it from me: “Those who receive most wounds are those who abandon their trenches and run away. While those who receive fewest wounds are those who persevere in their trenches!” The allusive meaning of the verse, Say: “The death from which you flee will truly overtake you”7 shows that those who run away are more likely to meet death through their flight!




They hunt many people through greed. We have proved in many treatises with certain proofs that have issued forth from the clear verses of the All-Wise Qur’an that “Licit sustenance comes not in accordance with power and will, but in relation to powerlessness and want.” There are numerous signs, indications, and evidences demonstrating this truth. For instance: Trees, which are animate beings of a sort and in need of sustenance, remain in their places and their sustenance comes hastening to them. While since animals chase after their sustenance greedily, they are not nurtured as perfectly as trees. Also, although fishes are the most stupid and powerless of the animals, and are found in sand, their being the best nourished and generally appearing fat, while intelligent and capable animals like the monkey and fox are weak and thin from their scanty sustenance, shows that “the means of sustenance is not power, but want.” Also, the fine sustenance of all young, whether human or animal, and a most delicate gift of the treasury of mercy like milk being bestowed on them in an unexpected way out of compassion for their weakness and impotence, and the difficult circumstances of wild animals, show that the means of licit sustenance is impotence and want, it is not intelligence and power. Also, among the nations of the world there is none which pursues sustenance more than the Jewish nation, which is notorious for its intense greed. Whereas they have suffered more than any from poor livelihoods amid degradation and poverty. Even the rich among them live in lowly fashion. In any event, the possessions they have acquired by illicit means like usury are not licit sustenance so that it might refute our discussion here. Also, the poverty of many literary figures and scholars, and the wealth and riches of many stupid people shows that the means of attracting sustenance is not intelligence and power, but impotence and want; it is submitting to God while relying on Him, and supplication by word, state, and deed. The verse, For God is He Who gives [all] sustenance, Lord of Power, and Steadfast [for ever],8 proclaims this truth, and is a powerful and firm proof of this assertion of ours which all plants and animals and young recite. Every group of creature which seeks sustenance recites the verse through the tongue of disposition. Since sustenance is appointed and bestowed and the one who gives it is Almighty God, and since He is both All-Compassionate and Munificent, let those who degrade themselves through illicit gain in a way that accuses His mercy and insults His munificence, giving their consciences and even certain sacred matters as bribes and accepting things which are unlawful and inauspicious—let them ponder over just what a compounded lunacy this is. Yes, ‘the worldly’ and especially the people of misguidance do not give away their money cheaply; they sell it at a high price. Sometimes something which may help a little towards a year of worldly life is the means to destroying infinite eternal life. And through that vile greed, the person draws Divine wrath on himself and tries to attract the pleasure of the people of misguidance. Yes, my brothers! If those who toady to ‘the worldly’ and the dissemblers among the misguided lay hold of you due to this weak vein in human nature, think of the above truth and take this poor brother of yours as an example. I assure you with all my strength that contentment and frugality ensure your life and sustenance more than does a salary. Especially any unlawful money that is given you, they will want a price a thousand times higher in return. It may also be an obstacle to service of the Qur’an, which may open for you an everlasting treasury, or it may make you slack in that service. And that would be such a loss and emptiness that even if they gave you a thousand salaries every month, they could not fill its place. WARNING: The people of misguidance are not able to defend themselves and reply to the truths of belief and the Qur’an which we take from the All-Wise Qur’an and disseminate, therefore, through intrigue and dissembling they employ snares of deception and wile. They want to deceive my friends through the desire for position, greed, and fear, and to refute me by ascribing certain things to me. In our sacred service, we always act positively. But unfortunately, sometimes the duty of removing the obstacles in the way of some good matter impels us to act negatively. It is because of this that I am warning my brothers concerning the above-mentioned three points, in the face of the cunning propaganda of the dissemblers. I am trying to rebuff the attacks which are levelled at them. The most significant attack now is at my person. They say: “Said is a Kurd. Why do you show him so much respect, and follow him?” So I am forced to mention the Fourth Satanic Stratagem in the language of the Old Said, although I do not want to, in order to silence such villains.




In order to deceive my brothers and excite their nationalist feelings, certain irreligious people who occupy high positions and attack me by means of propaganda, through the promptings of Satan and suggestions of the people of misguidance, say: “You are Turks. Thanks be to God, among the Turks are religious scholars and people of perfection of every sort. Said is a Kurd. To work along with someone who does not share your nationality is unpatriotic.”


T h e A n s w e r : You miserable person without religion! All praise be to God, I am a Muslim. At all times there are three hundred and fifty million members of my sacred nation. I seek refuge with God a hundred thousand times from sacrificing three hundred and fifty million brothers who establish an eternal brotherhood, and who help me with their prayers, and among whom are the vast majority of Kurds, for the idea of racialism and negative nationalism, and from gaining in place of those innumerable blessed brothers a few who have embarked on a way which is without religion or belongs to no school of law, who bear the name of Kurd and are reckoned to belong to the Kurdish people. O you without religion! There would have to have been some idiots like you who would abandon the everlasting brotherhood of a luminous beneficial community of three hundred and fifty million true brothers in order to gain the brotherhood —which even in this world is without benefit— of a handful of Hungarian infidels or Europeanized Turks who have lost their religion. Since, in the Third Matter of the Twenty-Sixth Letter, we have shown together with the evidences the nature of negative nationalism and its harms, we refer you to that, and here only explain a truth which was mentioned briefly at the end of the Third Matter. It is as follows: I say to those pseudo-patriotic irreligious deviants who hide under the veil of Turkism and in reality are enemies of the Turks: “I am closely and most truly connected by means of an eternal and true brotherhood with the nation of Islam, with the believers of this country who are called Turks. On account of Islam, I have a proud and partial love for the sons of this land who for close on a thousand years victoriously carried the banner of the Qur’an to every corner of the world. As for you, you pseudo-patriotic imposters! You possess in a way that will make you forget the true national pride of the Turks, a metaphorical, racial, temporary, and hateful brotherhood. I ask you: does the Turkish nation consist only of heedless and lustful youths between the ages of twenty and forty? And is what is beneficial for them and will serve them —as demanded by nationalist patriotism— an European education which will only increase their heedlessness, accustom them to immorality, and encourage them in what is forbidden? Is it to amuse them temporarily, which will make them weep in old age? If nationalist patriotism consists of this, and this is progress and the happiness of life, yes, if you are a Turkist and nationalist like that, I flee from such Turkism, and you can flee from me, too! If you have even a jot of patriotism, intelligence, and fairness, consider the following divisions of society and give me an answer. It is like this: The sons of this land known as the Turkish nation consist of six parts. The first part are the righteous and the pious. The second are the sick and those stricken by disaster. The third are the elderly. The fourth are the children. The fifth are the poor and the weak. And the sixth are the young. Are the first five groups not Turks? Do they have no share of nationalist patriotism? Is it nationalist patriotism to vex those five groups, destroy their pleasure in life, and destroy those things which console them on the way of giving drunken enjoyment to the sixth group? Or is that enmity towards the nation? According to the rule “The word is with the majority,” that which harms the majority is inimical, not friendly! I ask you, is the greatest benefit of the believers and the pious, the first group, to be found in an European-type civilization? Or is it to be found in thinking of eternal happiness by means of the truths of belief, in travelling the way of truth, for which they are most desirous, and in finding a true solace? The way that the misguided and bogus patriots like you have taken extinguishes the spiritual lights of the pious people of belief, destroys their true consolation, and shows death to be eternal nothingness and the grave to be the door to everlasting separation. Are the benefits of the disaster-stricken, the sick, and those who have despaired of life, who form the second group, to be found in the way of a European-type, irreligious civilization? For those unfortunates want a light, a solace. They want a reward in return for the calamities they have suffered. They want to take their revenge on those who have oppressed them. They want to repulse the terrors at the door of the grave, which they are approaching. Through their false patriotism, those like you plunge a needle into the hearts of those unhappy victims of disaster who are much in need of compassion, soothing, and healing, and worthy of them. You hit them over the head! You mercilessly destroy all their hopes! You cast them into absolute despair! Is this nationalist patriotism? Is that how you provide benefits for the nation? The elderly, the third group, forms a third. They are approaching the grave, drawing close to death, growing distant from the world, coming close to the hereafter. Are their benefits, lights, and consolation to be found in listening to the cruel adventures of tyrants like Hulagu and Jenghiz? Do they have a place in your modern-type movements which make the hereafter forgotten, bind a person to the world, are without result, and have the meaning of decline while being superficially progress? Is the light of the hereafter to be found in the cinema? Is true solace to be found in the theatre? If nationalist patriotism is in effect to slaughter them with an immaterial knife, and give them the idea that “you are being impelled towards everlasting nothingness,” and to transform the grave, which they consider to be the gate of mercy, into the dragon’s mouth, and to breathe in their ears: “You too will enter there!”—if, while these unhappy elderly people want respect from patriotism, that is what it is, “I seek refuge with God” a hundred thousand times from such patriotism! The fourth group are the children. These want kindness from nationalist patriotism; they await compassion. Also, in respect of their weakness, impotence, and powerlessness, their spirits may expand through knowing a compassionate and powerful Creator; their abilities may unfold in happy manner. Through being instilled with reliance on God springing from belief and with the submission of Islam which may withstand the awesome fears and situations of the world in the future, these innocents may look eagerly to life. Could this be achieved by teaching them things concerning the progress of civilization, with which they have little connection, and the principles of lightless, purely materialist philosophy, which destroys their morale and extinguishes their spirits? If man consisted only of an animal body and he had no mind in his head, perhaps these European principles which you fancifully call civilized education and national education could have afforded these innocent children some worldly benefit in the form of some temporary childish amusement. Since those innocents are going to be cast onto the upheavals of life, and since they are human beings, they will certainly have far-reaching desires in their small hearts and large goals will be born in their little heads. Since the reality is thus, what compassion requires for them is to place in their hearts in the form of belief in God and belief in the hereafter, an extremely powerful support and inexhaustible place of recourse in the face of their infinite want and impotence. Kindness and compassion to them is in this way. Otherwise, through the drunkenness of nationalist patriotism, it has the meaning of slaughtering those wretched innocents, like a crazy mother slaughtering her child with a knife. It is a savage cruelty and wrong, like pulling out their brains and hearts and making them eat them to nourish their bodies. The fifth group are the poor and the weak. The poor, who, because of their poverty, suffer greatly from the heavy burdens of life, and the weak, who are grieved at life’s awesome upheavals — do they not receive a share from nationalist patriotism? Is it to be found in the movements which you have instituted under the name of European-style, unveiled, Pharaoh-like civilization, which only increase the despair and suffering of these unfortunates? The salve for the wound of indigence of these poor may be found, not in the idea of racialism, but in the sacred pharmacy of Islam. The weak cannot receive strength and resistance from the philosophy of Naturalism, which is dark, lacks consciousness, and is bound to chance; they may rather obtain strength from Islamic zeal and the sacred nationhood of Islam! The sixth group is the youth. If the youth of these young people had been perpetual, the wine you have given them to drink through negative nationalism would have had some temporary benefit and use. But on their painfully coming to their senses when they advance in years, on awakening from that sweet sleep in the morning of old age, distress and sorrow at the pleasurable drunkenness of youth will make them weep, and the sorrow at the passing of their pleasant dream will cause them much grief. It will make them exclaim: “Alas! Both my youth has gone, and my life has departed, and I am approaching the grave bankrupt; if only I had used my head!” Is the share of nationalist patriotism for this group to enjoy themselves briefly and temporarily, and to be made to weep with sorrow for a very long time? Or is their worldly happiness and pleasure in life to be found in making permanent through worship that fleeting youth by spending the bounty of fine, sweet youth, not on the way of dissipation, but on the straight path, in the form of offering thanks for the bounty, and in that way gaining eternal youth in the Realm of Bliss? You say, if you possess even a grain of intelligence!


I n S h o r t : If the Turkish nation consisted only of young people, and if their youth was perpetual, and they had no place other than this world, your European-style movement under the screen of Turkism might have been counted as nationalist patriotism. Then you might have been able to say to me, someone who attaches little importance to the life of this world, considers racialism to be a sickness like ‘the European disease,’ tries to prevent young people pursuing illicit amusements and vices, and came into the world in another country: “He is a Kurd. Don’t follow him!”, and you might have been right to say it. But since, as explained above, the sons of this land, who go under the name of Turks, consist of six groups, to cause harm to five of the groups and spoil their pleasure in life, and to afford a temporary, worldly pleasure the consequences of which are bad, to only one group, rather, to intoxicate them, is scarcely friendship to the Turkish nation; it is enmity. Yes, according to race, I am not counted as a Turk, but I have worked with all my strength, with complete eagerness, in compassionate and brotherly fashion, for the group of the God-fearing, and the disaster-stricken, and the elderly, and the children, and the weak and the poor among the Turks. I have worked for the young people as well, who are the sixth group; I want them to forego illicit actions which will poison their worldly life, destroy their lives in the hereafter, and for one hour’s laughter, produce a year of weeping. The works I have taken from the Qur’an and published in the Turkish language —not only these six or seven years, but for twenty years— are there for everyone to see. Yes, Praise be to God, through these works derived from the All-Wise Qur’an’s mine of lights, are shown the light which the group of the elderly wants more than anything. The most efficacious remedies for the disaster-stricken and the sick are shown in the sacred pharmacy of the Qur’an. Through those lights of the Qur’an, the door of the grave, which causes more thought to the elderly than anything else, is shown to be the door of mercy, and not the door leading to execution. A most powerful point of support in the face of the calamities and harmful things confronting the sensitive hearts of children, and a place of recourse to meet all their hopes and desires, have been extracted from the mine of the All-Wise Qur’an, and they have been demonstrated and profited from in fact. And the heavy obligations of life which crush most the poor and weak have been lightened by the truths of belief of the All-Wise Qur’an. Thus, these five groups are five out of the six parts of the Turkish nation, and we are working for their benefit. The sixth group are the young people. We feel powerful brotherhood towards the good ones from among them. But between those like you who have deviated from the straight path, and us, there is no friendship at all! Because we do not recognize as Turks those who embrace misguidance and want to abandon Islamic nationhood, which holds all the true causes of pride of the Turks. We consider them to be Europeans hiding behind the screen of Turkishness! Because even if they claim to be Turkists a hundred thousand times over, they could not deceive the people of truth. For their actions and works would give the lie to what they claim. O you who follow European ways, and you deviants who try to make my true brothers look coldly on me through your propaganda! How do you benefit this nation? You extinguish the lights of the first group, the pious and the righteous. You scatter poison on the wounds of the second group, who deserve kindness and care. You destroy the solace of the third group, who are most worthy of respect, and you cast them into despair. You destroy completely the morale of the fourth group, who are truly in need of compassion, and you extinguish their true humanity. You make fruitless the hopes and calls for help of the fifth group, who are most needy for assistance, help, and solace, and in their eyes, you turn life into something more ghastly than death. And to the sixth group, who need to be warned and to come to their senses, you give such a heady wine to drink in the sleep of youth that its hangover is truly grievous and terrible. Is this your nationalist patriotism for the sake of which you sacrifice numerous sacred things? Is this what Turkism has to offer the Turks? I seek refuge with God from it a hundred thousand times! Sirs! I know that when you are defeated in the face of truth, you have recourse to force. In accordance with the fact that power lies in the truth, not in force, you can set fire to the world around my head, but this head, which has been sacrificed for the truth of the Qur’an, will not bow before you. And I tell you this, that not a limited number of people like you who are in effect despised by the nation, but if thousands like you were physically hostile to me, I would pay them no attention, attaching no more value to them than to injurious animals. Because what can you do to me? All you can do is to either bring my life to an end, or spoil my work and service. I am attached to nothing else in the world apart from these. As for the appointed hour which befalls life, I believe as certainly as witnessing it that it does not change, it is determined. Since this is so, if I die as a martyr on the way of truth, I do not hang back from it, I await it longingly. Especially since I am old; I find it hard to believe that I shall live for more than another year. To transform one year’s apparent life into everlasting eternal life by means of martyrdom is an exalted aim for those like me. As for my work and service, through His mercy, Almighty God has given such brothers in the service of belief and the Qur’an that through my death it will be carried out in numerous centres instead of one. If my tongue is silenced by death, powerful tongues will speak in its place, continuing my work. I can even say that just as with entering the earth and dying, a single seed produces the life of a shoot, then a hundred seeds perform their duties in place of one, so I nourish the hope that my death will be the means to service greater than was my life!




Profiting from egotism, the supporters of the people of misguidance want to draw away my brothers from me. Truly, man’s most dangerous vein is egotism. It is his weakest vein, too. They can make people do terrible things by encouraging it. My brothers! Beware, do not let them strike you with egotism, do not let them hunt you with it! You should know that this century the people of misguidance have mounted the ego and are galloping through the valleys of misguidance. The people of truth have to give up the ego if they are to serve the truth. Even if a person is justified in making use of the ego, since he will resemble the others and they too will suppose he is self-seeking like them, it is an injustice to the service of the truth. In any event, the service of the Qur’an around which we are gathered does not accept the ‘I’, it requires the ‘we.’ It says: “Don’t say ‘I’, say ‘we.’” Of course, you have realized that this poor brother of yours did not set out with the ‘I’. And he did not make you serve it. Indeed, he showed himself to you as an ego-free servant of the Qur’an. He does not care for himself and has taken as his way not taking the part of his ego. In any event, he has proved to you with decisive evidence that the works that have been presented for general benefit are common property; that is, they have issued from the All-Wise Qur’an. Nobody can claim ownership of them through his ego. Even if, to suppose the impossible, I did claim them as my own through my ego, as one of my brothers said: since this door of Qur’anic truth has been opened, the scholars and those seeking perfection should not consider my defects and insignificance, and hold back from following me; they should not consider themselves self-sufficient. For sure, the works of the former righteous and exacting religious scholars are a huge treasury sufficient for every ill, but it sometimes happens that a key has more importance than the treasury. For the treasury is closed, while the key may open lots of treasuries. I reckon that those whose egotism in regard to their learning is excessive have understood that the Words that have been published are each keys to the truths of the Qur’an and diamonds swords smiting those who try to deny those truths. The people of virtue and perfection and those who are strongly egotistical in regard to their learning should know that the students are students not of me, but of the All-Wise Qur’an, and I study along with them. And so, if, to suppose the impossible, I claimed to be the master, since we have a way of saving all the classes of the people of belief —from the common people to the upper classes— from the doubts and scepticism to which they are exposed, then let those scholars either find an easier solution, or let them take the part of our solution, and teach it and support it. There is a grave threat towards the ‘bad religious scholars.’ Religious scholars have to be especially careful at this time. So suppose, like my enemies, that I perform a service like this for the sake of egotism. Since a large number of people give up their egotism and gather around a Pharaoh-like man with complete loyalty for some worldly and national aim and carry out their work in complete solidarity, does this brother of yours not have the right to ask of you solidarity around the truths of belief and the Qur’an by giving up egotism, like those corporals of that worldly society, so long as he concealed his egotism? If even the greatest of the scholars among you were not to agree, would they not be in the wrong? My brothers! The most dangerous aspect of egotism in our work is jealousy. If it is not purely for God’s sake, jealousy interferes and spoils it. Just as one of a person’s hands cannot be jealous of the other, and his eye cannot envy his ear, and his heart cannot compete with his reason, so each of you is like one sense, one member, of the collective personality of the totality we make up. It is not being rivals to one another, on the contrary, to take pride and pleasure in one another’s good qualities is a basic obligation springing from the conscience. One other thing remains and it is the most dangerous: among yourselves and among your friends to feel jealous of this poor brother of yours is most dangerous. There are scholars of standing among you, and some scholars are egotistical in regard to their learning. Even if they themselves are modest, they are egotistical in that respect. They cannot easily give it up. Whatever their hearts and minds may do, their evil-commanding souls want eminence, to sell themselves, and even to dispute the treatises that have been written. Although their hearts love the treatises and their minds appreciate them and recognize their worth, due to jealousy arising from the egotism of learning, their souls want to reduce the value of the Words, as though nurturing an implicit enmity towards them, so that the products of their own thought can compete with them and be sold like them. But I have to tell them this: Even if those in this circle of Qur’anic teaching are leading scholars and authorities on the Law, their duties in respect of the sciences of belief are only explanations and elucidations of the Words that have been written, or the ordering of them. For I have understood through many signs that we have been charged with the duty of issuing fatwas concerning these sciences of belief. If someone within our circle writes some things outside an explanation or elucidation due to a feeling in his soul arising from the egotism of learning, it will be like a cold dispute or a deficient plagiarism. Because it has become established through numerous evidences and signs that the parts of the Risale-i Nur have issued from the Qur’an. In accordance with the rule of the division of labour, each of us has undertaken a duty, and we make those distillations of the water of life reach those who are in need of them!




It is this: they take advantage of the human characteristics of laziness, the desire for physical comfort, and attachment to other duties. Yes, the satans among jinn and men attack from every angle. When they see those from among our friends whose hearts are stout, intentions pure, loyality strong, and enterprise, elevated, they attack from other points. As follows: In order to put a stop to our work and discourage from our service, they profit from their laziness, desire for physical comfort, and attachment to other duties. They keep people from the service of the Qur’an with every kind of trick, so that without their being aware of it, they find more work for some of them. Then they cannot find the time to serve the Qur’an. And to some, they show them the enticing things of this world, so that arousing their desires, they become slack in their service; and so on. These ways of attack are lengthy, so, cutting them short, we refer them to your perspicacious understanding. And so, my brothers, take great care: your duty is sacred, your service, elevated. Every hour of your time may acquire the value of a day’s worship. Be aware of this and do not waste any of them! O you who believe! Persevere in patience and constancy; vie in such perseverance, strengthen each other; and fear God, that you may prosper.9 * And sell not My signs for a miserable price.10 * Glory to your Sustainer, the Lord of Honour and Power! [He is free] from what they ascribe [to Him]! * And peace be on the prophets! * And praise be to God, the Sustainer of All the Worlds.11 Glory be unto You! We have no knowledge save that which You have taught us; indeed, You are All-Knowing, All-Wise!12 O God! Grant blessings and peace to our master Muhammad, the Beloved Unlettered Prophet, of Mighty Stature and Exalted Rank, and to his Family and Companions. Amen.


* * *




1. Qur’an, 11:113.


2. Those unfortunates suppose themselves to be in no danger through thinking: “Our hearts are together with Ustad.” But someone who strengthens the atheists’ current and is carried away by their propaganda, offering the possibility of perhaps unknowingly being used in spying activities, saying: “My heart is pure, and loyal to Ustad’s way” resembles the following example: While performing the obligatory prayers, someone cannot hold his wind and expels it; and his prayer is invalidated. When he is told that his prayers are invalid, he replies: “Why should they be? My heart is pure.”


3. Tirmidhi, Tafsiru Sura 156; Abu Na’im, Hilyat al-Awliya’ iv, 94; al-Haythami, Majma’ al-Zawa’id x, 268; al-‘Ajluni, Kashf al-Khafa’ i, 42.


4. Qur’an, 43:67.


5. Qur’an, 15:9.


6. Qur’an, 3:173.


7. Qur’an, 62:8.


8. Qur’an, 51:58.


9. Qur’an, 3:200.


10. Qur’an, 5:44.


11. Qur’an, 37:180-2.


12. Qur’an, 2:32.




A Sacred Date


The date a significant mystery of the All-Wise Qur’an became clear was again in a word of the Qur’an’s. It was like this: According to the abjad system the numerical value of the word ‘Qur’an’ is three hundred and fifty-one. It contains two alifs; if the concealed alif is read ‘alfun,’ it is ‘alfun’ with the value of a thousand.1 That is to say, the year one thousand three hundred and fifty-one may be called the Year of the Qur’an. Because that year the strange mystery of the ‘coincidences’ in the word ‘Qur’an’ became apparent in the parts of the Risale-i Nur, which is the Qur’an’s commentary. The miraculous mystery of the ‘coincidences’ of the word ‘Allah’ in the Qur’an appeared the same year. A Qur’an showing miraculous patterns, arranged in a new way, was written the same year. That year students of the Qur’an endeavoured to preserve the Qur’anic script with all their strength in the face of its being changed. Important aspects of the Qur’an’s miraculousness became apparent that same year. And the same year numerous events occurred which were related with the Qur’an, and it seems they will continue to occur...




1. According to the rules of grammar, failun is read fa’lun, like katifun is read katfun. Therefore, alifun is read alfun. Then it becomes one thousand three hundred and fifty-one


Addendum to the Sixth Section, which is the Sixth Treatise


Six Questions


[This Addendum was written in order to avoid the disgust and insults that will levelled at us in the future. That is to say, it was written so that when it is said: “Look at the spineless people of that age!”, their spit should not hit us in the face, or else to wipe it off. Let the ears ring of the leaders of Europe, savage beneath their humanitarian masks! And let this be thrust in the unseeing eyes of those unjust oppressors who inflicted these unscrupulous tyrants on us! It is a petition with which to hit over the head the followers of modern low civilization, who this century have a hundred thousand times over necessitated the existence of Hell.]


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


No reason have we why we should not put our trust on God. Indeed He has guided us to the way we [follow]. We shall certainly bear with patience all the hurt you may cause us. For those who put their trust should put their trust on God.1


Recently the concealed aggression of the irreligious has taken on a most ugly form; tyrannical aggression against the unfortunate people of belief and against religion. Our private and unofficial call to prayer and iqama was interrupted during the private worship of myself and one or two brothers in the mosque I myself repaired. “Why are you reciting the iqama in Arabic and making the call to prayer secretly?” they asked. My patience was exhausted in keeping silent. So I say, not to those unscrupulous vile men who are not worth addressing, but to the heads of the Pharaoh-like society who with arbitrary despotism plays with the fate of this nation: O you people of innovation who have deviated from the straight path of religion, I want the answer to six questions.




Every government in the world, every people which rules, and even cannibals, and the chief of a band of brigands, have some principle, some law, by which they rule. So according to which principle do you carry out this extraordinary aggression? Show your law! Or do you accept as the law the arbitrary whims of a handful of contemptible officials? Because no law can interrupt private worship in that way; there cannot be such a law!




On what force do you rely that you are so bold as to violate the principle of ‘freedom of conscience,’ which governs almost everywhere in mankind, especially in this age of freedom and in civilized circles, and to treat it lightly and so indirectly to insult mankind and dismiss their objections? What power do you have that you attack religion and the people of religion in this way as though you had taken irreligion as a religion for yourselves in bigoted fashion, although by calling yourselves ‘secular’ you proclaim that you will interfere with neither religion nor irreligion? Such a thing will not remain secret! You will have to answer for it! So what answer will you give? Although you could not hold out against the objections of the smallest of twenty governments, you try to violate by force freedom of conscience, as though you completely disregard the objections of twenty governments.




According to what principle do you propose to people like me who follow the Shafi‘i school of law, the Hanafi school, in a way opposed to the elevatedness and purity of that school, due to the wrong fatwas of certain ‘bad religious scholars’ who have sold their consciences to gain the world? If, after abrogating the Shafi‘i school, which has millions of followers, and making them all follow the Hanafi school, it is forcibly proposed to me in tyrannical fashion, it may perhaps be said that it is a principle of irreligious people like you. Otherwise it is arbitrary and despicable, and we do not follow the whims of people such as that, and we do not recognize them!




In accordance with which principle is it to propose through a corrupt and innovative fatwa, “performing the iqama in Turkish,” in a way completely contrary to Turkish nationalism, which is sincerely religious and sincerely respectful towards religion and has since early times blended and united with Islam, in the name of Turkism, which has the meaning of Europeanism, to those like me who belong to another nation? Yes, although I have friendly and brotherly relations with true Turks, I have in no respect any relation with the Turkism of imitators of Europe like you. How can you propose such a thing to me? Through which law? Perhaps, if you abolish the nationhood of the Kurds, of whom there are millions and who for thousands of years have not forgotten their nationhood and language, and are the true fellow-citizens and companions in jihad of the Turks, and make them forget their language, then perhaps your proposal to those like me who are reckoned to be of a different race would be in accordance with some sort of savage principle. Otherwise it is purely arbitrary. The arbitrary whims of individuals may not be followed, and we do not follow them!




A government may apply all laws to its citizens and to those it accepts as its citizens, but it cannot apply its laws to those it does not accept. For they are able to say: “Since we are not citizens, you are not our government!” Furthermore, no government can inflict two penalties at the same time. It either imprisons a murderer, or it executes him. To punish by both imprisonment and capital punishment is a principle nowhere! However, despite the fact that I have caused no harm whatsoever to this country and nation, for eight years you have held me in captivity in a way not inflicted on even a criminal belonging to a most wild and foreign nation. Although you have pardoned criminals, you have negated my freedom and deprived me of all civil rights. You have not said: “He too is a son of this land,” so in accordance with what principle and law do you propose, contrary to the wishes of your nation, these freedom-destroying principles to someone like me who is a foreigner to you in every respect? Since in the Great War you have counted all the heroic deeds to which this person was the means and were testified to by the Army’s commanders, as nothing and considered his self-sacrficing struggles for the sake of this country as crimes; and since you deemed his preserving the good morality of this unfortunate nation and his serious and effective work to secure its happiness in this world and the next to be treason; and since you have punished for eight years (and now the punishment has been for twenty-eight years) someone who does not for himself accept your injurious, dangerous, arbitrary principles, which in reality are without benefit and spring from unbelief and from Europe; the punishment is the same. I did not accept its application, so you made me suffer it. So according to what principle is it to enforce a second punishment?




In view of the treatment you have meted out to me, according to your belief, I oppose you in general fashion. You are sacrifing your religion and life in the hereafter for the sake of your lives in this world. According to you, due to the opposition between us and contrary to you, we are all the time ready to sacrifice our life in this world for our religion and for the hereafter. To sacrifice two or three years of humiliating life under your domination in order to gain sacred martyrdom, is like the water of Kawthar for us. However, in order to make you tremble, relying on the effulgence and indications of the All-Wise Qur’an, I tell you this with certainty: You shall not live after killing me! You shall be driven out of the world, your Paradise and your beloved, by an irresistible hand, and swiftly cast into everlasting darkness. Behind me, your Nimrod-like chiefs will be quickly killed and sent to me. In the Divine Presence I shall grasp hold of them by their collars, and on Divine Justice casting them down to the lowest of the low, I shall take my revenge! O you miserable wretches who sell religion and your lives in the hereafter for this world! If you want to live, do not interfere with me! I hope from Divine Mercy that my death will serve religion more than my life, and my death explode over your heads like a bomb, scattering you! Cause me trouble if you have the courage! If you do anything, you shall see! With all my strength I read this verse in the face of all your threats:


Men said to them: “A great army is gathering against you;” and frightened them; but it only increased their faith. they said: “For us God suffices, and He is the Best Disposer of Affairs.”2


* * *




1. Qur’an, 14:12.


2. Qur’an, 3:173.






Seventh Section


The Seven Signs


[These Seven Signs are the answers to three questions. The first question consists of four Signs.]


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


So believe in God and His Apostle, the unlettered Prophet, who believes in God and His Words; follow him that [so] you may be guided.1 * Fain would they extinguish God’s Light with their mouths, but God will not allow but that His Light should be perfected, even though the unbelievers may detest [it].2




Like all the bad things they do, the arguments which those who are attempting to change the ‘marks of Islam’ cite to support themselves spring from their blind imitation of Europe. They say: “In London, Europeans who have embraced Islam translate many things like the call to prayer and iqama into their own languages in their own country. The World of Islam says nothing in the face of this and does not object. That must mean it is permissible according to the Shari‘a, since they are silent?”


T h e A n s w e r : There is such a glaring difference here that no conscious being could make such an analogy and imitate them. For the European lands are called the Abode of War in the terminology of the Shari‘a, and there are numerous things which are permissible in the Abode of War which are not lawful in the Abode of Islam. Furthermore, the lands of Europe are the realm of Christendom. Since they are not an environment in which the meanings of the terms of the Shari‘a and concepts of the sacred words are communicated and instilled by the tongue of disposition, necessarily the sacred meanings have been preferred to the sacred words; the words have been abandoned for the meaning; the lesser of two evils has been chosen. In the Abode of Islam, however, the people of Islam are instructed in the abbreviated meanings of those sacred words through the tongue of disposition. The conversations of Muslims about Islamic traditions and Islamic history and the marks of Islam and the pillars of Islam, all continuously instill into them the concise meanings of those blessed words. In this country, besides the mosques and the madrasas, even the gravestones in the graveyards are like teachers instilling those sacred meanings in the people of belief and recalling them to them. If for some worldly advantage, someone who calls himself a Muslim learns fifty words every day from a French dictionary, and then in fifty years does not learn the sacred words like ‘Glory be to God,’ ‘All praise be to God,’ ‘There is no god but God,’ and ‘God is Most Great,’ which are repeated fifty times daily, would he not fall lower than an animal? These sacred words cannot be translated and corrupted and deported for animals such as that! To change and deport them is to erase all the gravestones; it is to turn against them all the dead in the graveyards, who would turn in their graves at such an insult. In order to deceive the nation, the ‘bad religious scholars,’ who have been misled by the irreligious, say that contrary to the other Imams, Imam-i A‘zam said: “If the need arises in distant countries, it is permissible to recite the Fatiha in translation for those who know no Arabic at all.” We are in need of this, so can we recite it in Turkish?


T h e A n s w e r : The most important of the leading authorities as well as the other twelve leading mujtahids have given fatwas opposing this fatwa of Imam-i A‘zam. The great highway of the World of Islam is their highway; the Muslim community may follow that way. Those who drive it to another particular and narrow way are leading them astray. Imam-i A‘zam’s fatwa is particular in five respects:


The First: It concerns people in places distant from the centre of Islam.


The Second: It is in consequence of real need.


The Third: According to one narration, it is particular to translations into Persian, which is supposed to be language of the people of Paradise.


The Fourth: The ruling is particular to the Fatiha, so that those who do not know it will not give up performing the obligatory prayers.


The Fifth: Permission was given so that, due to Islamic zeal arising from strength of belief, the sacred meanings could be understood by the ordinary people. But to translate them and give up the Arabic original due to weakness of belief, negative nationalism, and hatred for the Arabic language, driven by a destructive urge, is to make others give up religion.




The people of innovation who have changed ‘the marks of Islam’ first of all sought fatwas from the ‘bad religious scholars.’ Before that, they had pointed out the fatwa we demonstrated was particular in five respects. Secondly, the people of innovation obtained the following inauspicious idea from the European reformists: being dissatisfied with the Catholic Church, foremost the revolutionaries, reformists, and philosophers, who were innovators according to the Catholic Church, favoured Protestantism, which was considered to Mu‘tazilite, and taking advantage of the French Revolution they partially destroyed the Catholic Church, and proclaimed Protestantism. Then the pseudo-patriots here, who are accustomed to imitating blindly, say: “A revolution like that came about in the Christian religion. At first the revolutionaries were called apostates, then later they were again accepted as Christians. So why should there not be such a religious revolution in Islam?”


T h e A n s w e r : The difference here is even greater than in the false analogy in the First Sign. Because in the religion of Jesus, only the fundamentals of religion were taken from Jesus (Upon whom be peace). Most of the injunctions concerning social life and the secondary matters of the Law were formulated by the disciples and other spiritual leaders. The greater part were taken from former holy scriptures. Since Jesus (Upon whom be peace) was not a worldly ruler and sovereign, and since he was not the source of general social laws, the fundamentals of his religion were as though clothed with the garment of common laws and civil rules taken from outside, having been given a different form and called the Christian law. If this form is changed and the garment transformed, the fundamental religion of Jesus (Upon whom be peace) may persist. It does not infer denying or giving the lie to Jesus (Upon whom be peace). However, the Glory of the World (Upon whom be blessings and peace), who was the owner of the religion and Shari‘a of Islam, was the sovereign of the two worlds, and the East and West and Andalusia and India were his seat of rule, he himself therefore both demonstrated the fundamentals of the religion of Islam, and brought the secondary matters and other injunctions of the religion, including even the most minor matters of conduct; he himself taught them; he commanded them. That is to say, the secondary matters of Islam are not like a garment capable of change, so that if they were changed, the essential religion would persist. They are rather a body to the fundamentals of religion, or at least a skin. They have blended and combined with it, so that they cannot be separated. To change them infers direct denial and contradiction of the owner of the Shari‘a. As for the differences in the schools of law; this has arisen from differences in the way of understanding the theoretical principles shown by the Shari‘a’s owner. Principles called ‘the essentials of religion’ which are not open to interpretation, and those called ‘incontrovertible,’ cannot be changed in any way and may not be interpreted. One who does change them leaves the religion, being included under the rule: “They renounce religion as the arrow flies from the bow.”3 The people of innovation have found the following pretext for their irreligion and deviation from the straight path. They say: “The French Revolution was the cause of a sequence of events in the world of humanity; in it, the clergy and spiritual leaders and the Catholic Church, which was their Church, was attacked and destroyed. Later the Revolution was condoned by a lot of people, and the French also made greater progress. Is this not so?”


T h e A n s w e r : Like in the previous analogies, the differences in this one are clear. Because for a long time in France, the Christian religion and particularly the Catholic Church, had been a means of domination and despotism in the hands of the upper and ruling classes. It was by that means that the upper class perpetuated its influence over the ordinary people. And since it was the means of oppressing the patriots, who were those who were awakened among the common people and were called “Jacobins,” and was the means of oppressing the freedom-seeking thinkers, who attacked the despotism of the upper class tyrants, and since for nearly four hundred years it had been considered to be a cause, through revolutions in Europe, of overturning the stability of social life, the Catholic Church had been attacked, not in the name of irreligion, but by the other Christian sects. A feeling of indignation and enmity was engendered among the common people and philosophers due to which the above-mentioned historical event came about. However, no oppressed person and no thinker has the right to complain about the religion of Muhammad (PBUH) and the Shari‘a of Islam. For it does not injure them, it protects them. Islamic history is there for all to see. Apart from one or two incidents, no internal wars of religion have occurred. Whereas the Catholic Church caused four hundred years of internal revolutions. Furthermore, Islam has been the stronghold of the common people rather than of the upper classes. Through enjoining the payment of zakat and prohibiting usury and interest, it has made the upper classes not despots over the common people, but servants in a way! It says: “The master of a people is its servant.”4 And, “The best of people is the one most useful to people.”5 Also, through sacred phrases like,


So will they not think? * So will they not reflect on it? * So will they not reason?,


the All-Wise Qur’an calls on the intellect to testify; it warns, refers to the reason, it urges investigation. Through this, it gives scholars and the people of reason a position; it gives them importance. It does not dismiss the reason like the Catholic Church; it does not silence thinkers, or require blind imitation of them. Since the fundamentals of, not true Christianity, but the present-day Christian religion and the fundamentals of Islam have parted on an important point, they go their separate ways in many respects like the above-mentioned differences. The important point is this: Islam is the religion of the true affirmation of Divine Unity so that it dismisses intermediaries and causes. It breaks egotism and establishes sincere worship. It cuts every sort of false dominicality, starting from that of the soul, and rejects it. It is because of this that if a person of high position from among the upper class is going to be completely religious, he will have to give up his egotism. If he does not give up egotism, he will lose his strength of religion and to an extent give up his religion. As for the Christian religion of the present day, since it has accepted the belief of Jesus (Upon whom be peace) being the Son of God, it ascribes a true effect to causes and intermediaries. It cannot break egotism in the name of religion. Rather, saying that it is a holy deputy of Jesus (Upon whom be peace), it attributes a sacredness to that egotism. For this reason, members of the Christian upper classes who occupy the highest worldly positions may be completely religious. In fact, there are many like the former American President, Wilson, and the former British Prime Minister, Lloyd George, who were as religious as bigoted priests. But those who rise to those positions among the Muslims rarely remain completely religious and firm in their religion, for they cannot give up their pride and egotism. And true taqwa cannot be combined with pride and egotism. Yes, just as the religious bigotry of the Christian upper class and slackness in religion of the Muslim upper class demonstrate an important difference, so too, the fact that the philosophers who emerged from Christianity were indifferent towards religion or else opposed it, while the great majority of those who emerged from Islam constructed their philosophy on Islamic fundamentals, demonstrates yet another important difference. Furthermore, generally, ordinary Christians who have fallen on hard times or are sent to prison cannot expect assistance from religion. Formerly, most of them became irreligious. In fact, the revolutionaries famous in history who instigated the French Revolution and were called “irreligious Jacobins,” were mostly those disaster-stricken common people. Whereas in Islam, the great majority of those who suffer disaster or imprisonment await succour from religion and they become religious. This situation too, demonstrates an important difference.




The people of innovation say: “Religious bigotry made us backward. Living this age is possible if one gives up bigotry. Europe advanced on giving up bigotry. Is this not so?”


T h e A n s w e r : You are wrong and you have been deceived! Or else you are deceiving, because Europe is bigoted in religion. Tell an ordinary Bulgar, or an English soldier, or a French Jacobin: “Wear this turban, or else you shall be thrown into prison!”, and their bigotry will force them to reply: “Not prison, if you kill me even, I won’t insult my religion and nation in that way!” Also, history testifies that whenever the people of Islam have adhered to their religion, they have advanced in relation to the strength of their adherence. And whenever they have become less firm in their religion, they have declined. Whereas with Christianity, it is the opposite. This too arises from an essential difference. Also, Islam cannot be compared with other religions; if a Muslim abandons Islam and gives up his religion, he cannot accept any other prophet; indeed, he cannot acknowledge Almighty God either and probably does not recognize anything sacred. He will have no conscience that will be the means to moral and spiritual attainment; it will be corrupted. Therefore, in the view of Islam, in war, an unbeliever has the right to life. If it is outside the country and he makes peace, or if it is inside the country and pays the head-tax, his life is protected according to Islam. But an apostate does not have the right to life. For his conscience is corrupted and he becomes like poison in the life of society. But a Christian may still contribute to society, even if he is irreligious. He may accept some sacred matters and may believe in some of the prophets, and may assent to Almighty God in some respects. I wonder, what advantage do these innovators, or more accurately, deviants or heretics, find in this irreligion? If they are thinking of government and public order, to govern ten irreligious anarchists who do not know God and to repulse their evils is much more difficult than governing a thousand people with religion. If they are thinking of progress, irreligious people like that are an obstacle to progress, just as they are harmful for the administration and government. They destroy security and public order, which are the basis of progress and commerce. In truth, they are destructive due to the very way they have taken. The biggest fool in the world is he who expects progress, prosperity, and happiness from irreligious anarchists like them. One of those fools who occupied a high position, said: “We said ‘Allah! Allah!’ and remained backward. Europe said ‘Guns and cannons,’ and advanced.” According to the rule, “a fool should be answered with silence,” the answer for such people is silence. But because behind certain fools there are inauspicious clever people, we say this: O you wretches! This world is a guest-house. Every day thirty thousand witnesses put their signature to the decree “Death is a reality” with their corpses, and they testify to the assertion. Can you kill death? Can you contradict these witnesses? Since you can’t, death causes people to say: “Allah! Allah!” Which of your guns and cannons can illuminate the everlasting darkness confronting someone in the throes of death in place of “Allah! Allah!”, and transform his absolute despair into absolute hope? Since there is death and we shall enter the grave, and this life departs and an eternal life comes, if guns and cannons are said once, “Allah! Allah!” should be said a thousand times. And if it is in Allah’s way, the gun also says “Allah!”, and the cannon booms “Allahu Akbar!” It breaks the fast with “Allah,” and starts it...




Fourth Sign




Fifth Sign




Sixth Sign






That is, the Third Question. They say: “Your former refutations and strivings in the way of Islam were not in your present style. Also you do not defend Islam against Europe in the manner of the philosophers and thinkers. Why have you changed the style of the Old Said? Why do you not act in the same way as those who strive for the cause of Islam by non-physical means?


T h e A n s w e r : The Old Said and certain thinkers in part accepted the principles of human and European philosophy, and contested them with their own weapons; they accepted them to a degree. They submitted unshakeably to some of their principles in the form of the physical sciences, and therefore could not demonstrate the true worth of Islam. It was quite simply as though they were grafting Islam with the branches of philosophy, the roots of which they supposed to be very deep; as though strengthening it. But since this method produced few victories and it reduced Islam’s worth to a degree, I gave up that way. And I showed in fact that Islam’s principles are so profound that the deepest principles of philosophy cannot reach them; indeed, they remain superficial beside them. The Thirtieth Word, Twenty-Fourth Letter, and Twenty-Ninth Word have demonstrated this truth with proofs. In the former way, philosophy was supposed to be profound and the matters of Islam, external; it was supposed that by binding it with the branches of philosophy, Islam would be preserved and made to endure. As if the principles of philosophy could in any way reach the matters of Islam!


Glory be unto You! We have no knowledge save that which you have taught us; indeed, You are All-Knowing, All-Wise!7 And they shall say: “Praise be to God, Who has guided us to this [felicity]; never could we have found guidance, had it not been for the guidance of God; indeed, it was the truth that the prophets of our Sustainer brought to us!”8 O God! Grant blessings to our master Muhammad and to the Family of our master Muhammad, as you granted blessings to our master Abraham and to the Family of Abraham, in all the worlds; indeed, You are worthy of all praise, exalted!


* * *




1. Qur’an, 7:158.


2. Qur’an, 9:32.


3. Bukhari, Anbiya’ 6; Manaqib 25; Maghazi 61; Fada’il al-Qur’an 36; Adab 95; Tawhid 23, 57; Istitaba 95; Muslim, Zakat 142-4, 147, 148, 154, 159; Abu Da’ud, Sunna 28; Tirmidhi, Fitan 24; Nasa’i, Zakat 79; Tahrim 26; Ibn Maja, Muqaddima 12; Muwatta’, Nass al-Qur’an 10; Musnad i, 88; iii, 5; iv, 145; v, 42.


4. al-Maghribi, Jami’ al-Shaml i, 450, no: 1668; al-‘Ajluni, Kashf al-Khafa’ ii, 463.


5. al-‘Ajluni, Kashf al-Khafa’ ii, 463; al-Manawi, Fayd al-Qadir iii, 481, no: 4044.


6. Just one of them is Sayyid Ahmad al-Sanusi, who commands millions of followers. Another is Sayyid Idris, who commands more than one hundred thousand. Another Sayyid like Sayyid Yahya commands hundreds of thousands of men. And so on. Just as among the individuals of this tribe of Sayyids there are numerous outward commanders, so too there are the heroes of spiritual heroes, like Sayyid ‘Abd al-Qadir Gilani, Sayyid Abu’l-Hasan al-Shazali, and Sayyid Ahmad Badawi.


7. Qur’an, 2:32. 8. Qur’an, 7:43.




The Eight Symbols,


Which is the Eighth Section


This treatise consists of Eight Symbols, that is, eight short treatises. The basis of these Symbols is ‘coincidence,’ which is an important principle of the science of jafr, and an important key to the occult sciences, and to certain of the mysteries of the Qur’an pertaining to the Unseen. It has not been included here, since it is to be published in another collection.


* * *


The Ninth Section


The Nine Allusions


[This Section is about the paths of sainthood, and consists of Nine Allusions.]


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


Behold! Verily on the friends of God there is no fear, nor shall they grieve.1




Underlying the terms ‘Sufism,’ ‘path,’ ‘sainthood,’ and ‘spiritual journeying,’ is an agreeable, luminous, joyful, and spiritual sacred truth. This truth has been proclaimed, taught, and described in thousands of books written by the scholars among the people of illumination and those who have had unfolded to them the reality of creation, who have told the Muslim community and us of that truth. May God reward them abundantly! In consequence of some of the compelling circumstances of the present time, we shall point out a few droplets, like sprinklings, from that vast ocean.


Q u e s t i o n : What is the Sufi path?


T h e A n s w e r : The aim and goal of the Sufi path is —knowledge of God and the unfolding of the truths of belief— through a spiritual journeying with the feet of the heart under the shadow of the Ascension of Muhammad (PBUH), to manifest the truths of belief and the Qur’an through illumination and certain states, and to a degree by ‘witnessing;’ it is an elevated human mystery and human perfection which is called ‘the Sufi path’ or ‘Sufism.’ Yes, since man is a comprehensive index of the universe, his heart resembles a map of thousands of worlds. For just as innumerable human sciences and fields of knowledge show that man’s brain in his head is a sort of centre of the universe, like a telephone and telegraph exchange for innumerable lines, so too the millions of luminous books written by incalculable saints show that man’s heart in his essential being is the place of manifestation of innumerable truths of the universe, and is their means, and seed. Thus, since the human heart and brain are at this centre, and comprise the members of a mighty tree in the form of a seed in which have been encapsulated the parts and components of an eternal, majestic machine pertaining to the hereafter, certainly the heart’s Creator willed that the heart should be worked and brought out from the potential to the actual, and developed, and put into action, for that is what He did. Since He willed it, the heart will certainly work like the mind. And the most effective means of working the heart is to be turned towards the truths of belief on the Sufi path through the remembrance of God in the degrees of sainthood.




The keys and means to this journeying of the heart and spiritual progress are remembrance of God and reflective thought. The virtues of these are too numerous to be described. Apart from uncountable benefits in the hereafter and human attainments and perfections, a minor benefit pertaining to this tumultuous worldly life is as follows: everyone wants a solace and seeks a pleasure in order to be saved a little from the upheavals of life and its heavy burdens, and to take a breather; everyone searches out something familiar and friendly to banish the loneliness. The social gatherings in civilized life afford a temporary, but heedless and drunken familiarity, intimacy, and solace for one or two out of ten people. However, eighty per cent live solitary lives in mountains or valleys, or are driven to distant places in search of a livelihood, or due to agencies like calamities and old age which make them think of the hereafter, they are deprived of the sociableness of man’s groups and societies. The situation affords them no familiarity, friendliness, or consolation. And so, the true solace and intimacy and sweet pleasure of such a person is, being turned to his heart in those distant places and desolate mountains and distressing valleys, to work it by means of the remembrance of God and reflective thought. Saying: “Allah!”, it is to become familiar with Him with his heart, and through that familiarity to think of the things around him, which were regarding him savagely, as smiling on him familiarly, and saying: “My Creator, Whom I am recollecting, has innumerable servants here in my place of solitude, just as He has everywhere. I am not alone; loneliness has no meaning.” Through his belief, he receives pleasure from that familiarity. He understands the meaning of the happiness of life, and offers thanks to God.




Sainthood is a proof of Divine Messengership; the Sufi path is a proof of the Shari‘a. For the truths of belief which Messengership preaches, sainthood sees and confirms with a sort of witnessing of the heart and illumination of the spirit at the degree of ‘the vision of certainty.’ Its confirmation is a certain proof of the truth of Messengership. Through its illuminations and unfoldings, and through its being benefited from and effulgence being received from it, the Sufi path is a clear proof of the truths and the matters which the Shari‘a teaches; that they are the truth and that they come from the truth. Yes, just as sainthood and the Sufi path are evidence and proof of Messengership and the Shari‘a, so too they are a perfection of Islam and a means to its lights, and through Islam, a source of the progress and prosperity of humanity. Despite the great importance of this vast mystery, certain deviant sects have denied it. They have been deprived of those lights, and they have caused others to be deprived. The most regretable thing is this: making a pretext certain abuses and faults they have seen among the followers of the Sufi path, some externalist scholars from among the Sunnis and some neglectful politicians who are also Sunnis are trying to close up that supreme treasury, indeed, to destroy it, and to dry up that source of Kawthar which distributes a sort of water of life. However, there are few things and ways and paths which are without fault and are altogether good. There are bound to be some faults and abuses. For if the uninitiated undertake a matter, they are sure to misuse it. But in accordance with the accounting of deeds in the hereafter, Almighty God shows His dominical justice through the weighing up of good deeds and bad deeds. That is to say, if good deeds preponderate and weigh heavier, He rewards them and accepts them; whereas if evil deeds preponderate, he punishes for them, and rejects them. The balancing of good and evil deeds looks not to quantity, but to quality. It sometimes happens that a single good deed will weigh heavier than a thousand evils, and cause them to be forgiven. Divine justice judges thus and reality too sees it to be true. Thus, the evidence that the good deeds of the Sufi path —that is, the Sufi paths within the bounds of the Practices of the Prophet— definitely preponderate over their evils is that those who follow them preserve their belief at the times they are attacked by the people of misguidance. A sincere ordinary follower of the Sufi path preserves himself better than a superficial, externalist person with a modern, scientific background. Through the illumination of the Sufi path and the love of the saints, he saves his belief. If he commits grievous sins, he becomes a sinner, but not an unbeliever; he is not easily drawn into atheism. No power at all can refute in his view the chain of shaykhs he accepts, with a strong love and firm belief, to be spiritual poles. And because no power can refute it, his confidence in them cannot be destroyed. And so long as his confidence is not shaken, he cannot accept atheism. In the face of the stratagems of the atheists at the present time, it has become difficult for one who is not connected with the Sufi path and whose heart has not been brought to action, to preserve himself completely, even if he is a learned scholar. There is another thing; the Sufi path may not be condemned because of the evils of certain ways which have adopted practices outside the bounds of taqwa, and even of Islam, and have wrongfully given themselves the name of Sufi paths. Quite apart from the important and elevated religious and spiritual results of the Sufi path and those that look to the hereafter, it is the Sufi paths which are the first and most effective and fervent means of expanding and developing brotherhood, a sacred bond within the World of Islam. They are also one of the three most important, unshakeable strongholds of Islam against the awesome attacks of the world of unbelief and the politics of Christendom. What preserved Istanbul, the centre of the Caliphate for five hundred and fifty years against the whole Christian world, were the lights of belief which poured out of five hundred places in Istanbul and the strength of belief of those who recited “Allah! Allah!” in the tekkes behind the big mosques, a firm point of support of the people of belief in that centre of Islam, and their spiritual love arising from knowledge of God, and their fervent murmurings. O you unreasoning pseudo-patriots and false nationalists! Which of the evils of the Sufi paths can refute this good in the life of your society? You say!




Together with being very easy, the way of sainthood is very difficult. And together with being very short, it is very long. And in addition to being most valuable, it is very dangerous. And together with being very broad, it is very narrow. It is because of this that some of those who journey on the path sometimes drown, sometimes become harmful, and sometimes return and lead others away from the path.


I n S h o r t : There are two ways on the Sufi path, known by the terms of ‘inner journeying’ and ‘outer journeying.’


The Inner Way starts from the self, and drawing the eyes away from the outer world, it looks at the heart. It pierces egotism, opens up a way from the heart, and finds reality. Then it enters the outer world. The outer world now looks luminous. It completes the journey quickly. The reality it sees in the inner world, it sees on a large scale in the outer world. Most of the paths which practise silent recollection take this way. The most important basis of this is to break the ego, give up desires of the flesh, and kill the evil-commanding soul.


The Second Way starts from the outer world; it gazes on the reflections of the Divine Names and attributes in their places of manifestation in that greater sphere, then it enters the inner world. It observes those lights on a small scale in the sphere of the heart and opens up the closest way in them. It sees that the heart is the mirror of the Eternally Besoughted One, and becomes united with the goal it was seeking. Thus, if people who travel on the first way are not successful in killing the evil-commanding soul, and if they cannot give up desires of the flesh, and break the ego, they fall from the rank of thanks to that of pride, then from pride to conceit. If such a person experiences a captivation arising from love, and a sort of intoxication arising from the captivation, he will pour forth high-flown claims far exceeding his mark, called ecstatic utterances (shatahat). This is harmful both for himself and for others. For example, if a lieutenant becomes conceited out of pleasure at his position of command, he will suppose himself to be a field marshal, and confuse his small sphere with the universal one. He will become the cause of a sun which appears in a small mirror being confused with the sun whose manifestation is seen in all its splendour on the surface of the sea, due to their similarity in one respect. In just the same way, as with the degree of difference between a fly and a peacock, there are many people of sainthood who see themselves greater than those who in reality are greater than them to the same degree; they observe it thus, and consider themselves to be right. I myself even saw someone whose heart had just been awakened and had faintly perceived in himself the mystery of sainthood; he supposed himself to be the supreme spiritual pole and assumed airs accordingly. I said to him: “My brother, just as the law of sovereignty has particular and universal manifestations from the office of Prime Minister to that of District Officer, so sainthood and the rank of spiritual pole have varying spheres and manifestations. Each station has many shades and shadows. You have evidently seen the manifestation of the rank of supreme spiritual pole, the equivalent of Prime Minister, in your own sphere, which is like that of a District Officer, and you have been deceived. What you saw was right, but your judgement of it was wrong. To a fly, a cup of water is a small sea.” The person came to his senses, God willing, as a result of this answer of mine, and was saved from that abyss. I have also seen many people who thought themselves to be a sort of Mahdi, and they said that they were going to be the Mahdi. These people are not liars and deceivers, they are deceived. They suppose what they see to be reality. As the Divine Names have manifestations from the sphere of the Sublime Throne down to an atom, and the places of manifestation differ in that relation, so the degrees of sainthood, which consist of manifesting the Names, differ in the same way. The most important reason for the confusion is this: In some of the stations of the saints, the characteristics of the Mahdi’s function are found, or there is a special relation with the Supreme Spiritual Pole, or with Khidr; there are certain stations which are connected with certain famous persons. In fact, the stations are called ‘the station of Khidr,’ ‘the station of Uvays,’ or ‘the station of the Mahdi.’ As a consequence of this, those who attain to these stations, or to minor samples or shadows of them, suppose themselves to be the famous persons related with the station. They suppose themselves to be Khidr, or the Mahdi, or the Supreme Spiritual Pole. If such a person has no ego which seeks rank or position, then he is not condemned to that state. His excessive high-flown claims are considered to be ecstatic utterances; he is probably not responsible for them. But if his ego is secretly set on acquiring rank and position, and if he defeated by his ego, and leaves off thanks and becomes proud, from there he will gradually fall into conceit, or else fall to the depths of madness, or deviate from the path of truth. For he reckons the great saints to be like himself and his good opinion of them is destroyed. Because however arrogant a soul is, it still perceives its own faults. Comparing those great saints with himself, he imagines them to be at fault. His respect towards the prophets even lessens. It is necessary for those afflicted with this state to hold fast to the balance of the Shari‘a, and take for themselves the rules of the scholars of the principles of religion, and to take as their guides the instructions of the authoritative scholars from among the saints like Imam Ghazali and Imam-i Rabbani. They should constantly accuse their own souls, and attribute nothing to their souls other than fault, impotence, and want. The ecstatic utterances in this way arise from love of self, because the eye of love sees no faults. Since such a person loves his self, he supposes that faulty, unworthy fragment of glass to be a brilliant or a diamond. The most dangerous fault among these is this, that he imagines the partial meanings which occur to his heart in the form of inspiration to be “God’s Word,” and his calling them “verses.” This is disrespect towards Revelation and its most holy and exalted degree. Yes, all the inspirations from the inspirations of bees and animals to those of ordinary people and the elite among men, and from the inspirations of ordinary angels to those of the sublime cherubim, are Divine words of a sort. But they are dominical speech in accordance with the capacity of the places of manifestation and their stations; they are the varying manifestations of dominical address shining through seventy thousand veils. However, to signify such inspirations with the proper nouns, “Revelation” and “God’s Word,” and the word “verse,” which is a noun proper to the stars of the Qur’an —the most evident exemplification of God’s Word— is absolutely wrong. As is explained and proved in the Twelfth, Twenty-Fifth, and Thirty-First Words, whatever relation the tiny, dim, and obscure image of the sun which appears in the coloured mirror in your hand has with the sun in the sky, it is similar to the relation between the inspiration in the hearts of those making the above claims and the verses of the sun of the Qur’an, which is directly the Divine Word. Yes, if it said that the sun’s images appearing in all mirrors are of the sun and are related to it, it would be right. But the globe of the earth cannot be attached to the mirrors of those tiny suns, and cannot be bound through their attraction!




Of the ways of the Sufi path, an extremely important one is ‘the Unity of Witnessing,’ which is called ‘the Unity of Existence.’ This way restricts the gaze to the existence of the Necessarily Existent, and sees other beings to be so weak and shadow-like in relation to the Necessarily Existent that it states that they are not worthy of the name of existence. Enveloping them in veils of imagination, it counts them as nothing in the station of ‘abandoning all things other than God,’ and even imagines them to be non-existent, going so far as relegating the manifestations of the Divine Names to the state of being mere imaginary mirrors. A significant fact about this way is that through the existence of the Necessarily Existent One being unfolded to the degree of ‘absolute certainty’ through the strength of belief and unfolding of an elevated sainthood, the existence of contingent beings is so diminished that nothing remains in its view other than imagination and non-existence; it is as though it denies the universe on account of the Necessarily Existent One. But this way holds dangers, the first of which is this: the pillars of belief are six. There are pillars like belief in the Last Day, in addition to belief in God, and these pillars require the existence of contingent beings. Those firmly-founded pillars of belief cannot be constructed on imagination! For this reason, when one who follows this way re-enters the world of sobriety from the worlds of ecstasy and intoxication, he should not bring that way together with him, and he should not act in accordance with it. Furthermore, he should not change this way, which pertains to the heart and to illuminations and certain states, into a form which pertains to the reason, knowledge, and words. For the laws and principles pertaining to the reason, knowledge, and speech, which proceed from the Qur’an and the Sunna of the Prophet, cannot sustain that way; they cannot be applied. For this reason, this way is not to be seen explicitly in the Four Rightly-Guided Caliphs, the leading authorities and interpreters of the Law, and the authorities of the first generations of Islam. That means it is not the most elevated way. Perhaps it is elevated, but it is deficient. It is very important, but it is very perilous and difficult, yet still very pleasurable. Those who enter it for the pleasure, do not want to leave it; due to their self-centredness, they suppose it to be the highest degree. Since we have explained the basis and nature of this way to an extent in the treatise called Nokta Risalesi, and in some of the Words and the Letters, we shall suffice with them, and here describe an important abyss of that important way. It is as follows: For the highest of the elite, who pass out of the sphere of causes and in accordance with renouncing everything other than God, sever their attachment to contingent beings and enter a state of absolute absorption in God, this way is a righteous way. But, to present it as intellectual knowledge to those who are submerged in causes, enamoured of the world, and plunged into materialist philosophy and Nature, is to drown them in Nature and materiality and to distance them from the reality of Islam. For one who is enamoured of the world and attached to the sphere of causes wants to attribute a sort of permanence to this transitory world. He does not want to lose his beloved, the world; through the pretext of the Unity of Existence, he imagines it to have a permanent existence; on account of the world, his beloved, and through ascribing permanence and eternity to it, he raises his beloved to being an object of worship; and, I seek refuge with God, this opens up the way to the abyss of denying God. This century, materialism is so widespread, materiality is thought to be the source of everything. If in such an age, the elite believers consider materiality to be so unimportant as to be non-existent, thus furthering the way of the Unity of Existence, the materialists will lay claim to it, saying: “We say the same thing.” Whereas, among all the ways in the world, the way furthest from that of the materialists and Nature-worshippers, is the way of the Unity of Existence. For the followers of the Unity of Existence attach so much importance, through their belief, to the Divine existence that they deny the universe and beings. Whereas the materialists attach so much importance to beings that on account of the universe they deny God. How can the two come together or be compared?




This consists of Three Points.


F i r s t P o i n t : Among the ways of sainthood, the finest, straightest, richest, and most brilliant is following the Practices of the Prophet (PBUH). That is, to think of the Practices in acts and deeds, and to follow and imitate them, and in conduct and dealings with others, to think of the rulings of the Shari‘a and take them as guide. By means of following them in this way, together with daily conduct and dealings and natural acts becoming worship, by thinking of the Practices and Shari‘a for all actions, it recalls the injunctions of the Shari‘a. This causes a person to think of the owner of the Shari‘a. By thinking of him, it brings to mind Almighty God, and that affords a sort of sense of His presence. This may make all the moments of a person’s life like worship in the Divine presence. Thus, this great highway is the highway of the Companions and the righteous of the first generations of Islam, who received the legacy of prophethood, the ‘greater sainthood.’


S e c o n d P o i n t : The most important basis of the ways of sainthood and the branches of the Sufi path is sincerity, for salvation from the hidden association of partners with God is through sincerity. One who does not obtain sincerity cannot travel those ways. The most powerful force of those ways is love. Yes, love does not seek pretexts for its beloved and does not wish to see its faults. And it sees frail signs to its beloved’s perfection as powerful proofs. It always takes the part of its beloved. It is because of this that those who are turned towards knowledge of God with the feet of love, do not give ear to doubts and objections; they are saved easily. If even a thousand satans were to gather, they could not negate in their view a hint to the perfection of their true beloved. If they did not love, then they would struggle desperately in the face of their souls and Satan and the objections of the outside satans. They would have to possess an heroic fortitude and strength of belief and attentive gaze in order to save themselves. It is because of this that in all the degrees of sainthood, the love arising from knowledge of God is the most important leaven and elixir. But love contains an abyss, which is this: it jumps from beseeching and self-effacement, which are the essence of worship, to complaint and claims and to imbalanced actions. By passing from the signified meaning of things to their literal meaning when regarding things other than God, while being the cure, it becomes poison. That is to say, although when loving things other than God, it is necessary for a person to bind his heart for God’s sake and in His name and due to their being mirrors of His Names, sometimes he thinks of the objects of his love on account of the objects themselves, and their personal perfections and in the name of their essential beauty; he loves them for themselves. Even if he does not think of God and His Messenger, he still loves them. This love is not a means to love of God; it is a veil to it. Whereas if he loves the persons for the meaning they signify, it is the means to love of God; indeed, it may be said to be a manifestation of it.


T h i r d P o i n t : This world is the realm of wisdom, the realm of service; it is not the realm of reward and recompense. The wage for deeds and acts of service here is given in the Intermediate Realm and the hereafter. Acts here produce fruits in the Intermediate Realm and the hereafter. Since the reality is this, the results of actions pertaining to the hereafter should not be sought in this world. If they are given, they should be received not gratefully, but regretfully. Because since in Paradise the more its fruits are picked the more they are produced, to eat in this world in transient fashion the fruits of actions pertaining to the hereafter, which are lasting, is not sensible. It is like exchanging a permanent lamp for one that will last a minute and then be extinguished. It is because of this that the people of sainthood consider service, difficulty, misfortune, and hardship to be agreeable, and they do not complain and lament, but say: “All praise be to God for all conditions!” When illuminations and wonders, unfoldings and lights are given them, they accept them as sorts of Divine favour, and try to conceal them. They do not become proud, but offer more thanks and worship. Many of them have wanted those states to be concealed or to cease, lest they spoil the sincerity of their actions. Yes, the most important Divine favour for an acceptable person is not to make them realize His favour, so that they do not cease beseeching and offering thanks, and start complaining and become proud. It is due to this truth that if those who seek sainthood and the Sufi path do so for illuminations and wonders, which are some of the emanations of sainthood, and they are turned towards those and receive pleasure from them, they as though consume in transient fashion in this transient world the enduring fruits of the hereafter. This too opens up the way to losing sincerity, the leaven of sainthood, and to sainthood eluding them.




This consists of Four points.


F i r s t P o i n t : The Shari‘a is directly, without shadow or veil, the result of the Divine address, through the mystery of Divine Oneness in respect of absolute dominicality. The highest degrees of the Sufi path and of reality are like parts of the Shari‘a. Or they are always like the means, introduction, and servant. Their results are the incontrovertible matters of the Shari‘a. That is to say, the ways of the Sufi path and of reality are like means, servants, and steps for reaching the truths of the Shari‘a, till at the highest level they are transformed into the meaning of reality and essence of the Sufi way, which are at the heart of the Shari‘a. So then they become parts of the Greater Shari‘a. So it is not right to think of the Shari‘a as an outer shell, and reality as its inner part and result and aim, as some Sufis do. Yes, the Shari‘a unfolds according to the levels of men. It is wrong to suppose what the mass of people imagine is the external aspect of the Shari‘a to be its reality, and to give the name of ‘reality’ and ‘Sufi path’ to the degrees of the Shari‘a which are unfolded to the elite. The Shari‘a has degrees which look to all classes. It is as a consequence of this that the further the Sufis and those who seek reality advance, their longing for the truths of the Shari‘a and captivation by them, and their following them, increase. Considering the smallest aspect of the Practices of the Prophet to be their greatest aim, they work to follow them and imitate them. For to whatever degree Revelation is higher than inspiration, the conduct of the Shari‘a, which is the fruit of Revelation, is that much higher and more important than the conduct of the Sufi path, the fruit of inspiration. Therefore, following the Practices of the Prophet is the most important basis of the Sufi path.


S e c o n d P o i n t : The Sufi path and way of reality should not exceed being means. If they become like the ultimate aim, then the incontrovertible teachings and actions of the Shari‘a and following the Practices of the Prophet become as though official, while the heart is turned beyond them. That is to say, such a person thinks of his circle for the remembrance of God rather than the obligatory prayers; he is drawn more to his recitations and supplications than to his religious obligations; he is more concerned with avoiding offending against the rules of behaviour of the Sufi path more than avoiding grievous sins. Whereas the recitations of the Sufi path cannot be the equivalent of the obligatory acts which are the incontestible matters of the Shari‘a; they cannot take their place. The rules of behaviour of the Sufi path and the invocations of Sufism should be a solace and means to true pleasure within those obligatory acts, not themselves be the source. That is, his tekke should be the means to the pleasure and correct performance of the five daily prayers in the mosque; one who hurriedly performs the prayers in the mosque as a formality and thinks he will find his true pleasure and perfection in the tekke, is drawing away from reality.


T h i r d P o i n t : It is sometimes asked: “Can there be any Sufi path outside the Practices of the Prophet and matters of the Shari‘a?”


T h e A n s w e r : There are, and there are not. There are, because some of the highest saints were executed by the sword of the Shari‘a. And there are not, because the authoritative scholars among the saints have agreed on this rule of Sa‘di-i Shirazi: “It is impossible, Sa‘di, to be victorious on the way of felicity, except by following the Chosen One.” That is, it is impossible for one outside the highway of God’s Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace), who does not follow him, to attain the true lights of reality. The true meaning of this matter is this: Since God’s Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) was the Seal of the Prophets and was the addressee of God in the name of all mankind, mankind cannot advance outside his highway; it is essential to be under his banner. But since ecstatics and those immersed in Divine contemplation are not responsible for their opposition; and since in man are certain subtle faculties which cannot be bound by obligation, and when such faculties dominate, a person cannot be held responsible for opposing the obligations of the Shari‘a; and since in man there are certain subtle faculties which just as they cannot be bound by obligation, they are also not under the jurisdiction of the will, and also cannot be controlled by the mind, for they do not heed the heart or the mind; certainly, when those faculties dominate in a person, —but only at that time— he does not fall from the position of sainthood by opposing the Shari‘a, he is considered excused. On condition, however, that he displays no denial, insult, or contempt towards the truths of the Shari‘a and rules of belief. Even if he does not carry out the injunctions, he has to know that they are right. But if he is overcome by that state and assumes a position, I seek refuge with God, which infers denial and giving the lie to those incontestible truths, it is the sign that he has fallen from the path!


I n S h o r t : There are two groups of those who follow the Sufi path outside the bounds of the Shari‘a.


One group: As described above, these are either overwhelmed by their state, their immersion, their ecstasy or intoxication, or they are dominated by certain of their subtle faculties which do not heed the commands of religion or do not listen to the will, and so exceed the bounds of the Shari‘a. But this is not due to their disliking the rulings of the Shari‘a or not wanting to follow them; they are rather compelled to, involuntarily. There are people of sainthood among this group, among whom have been temporarily found important saints. Scholars from among the saints have stated even that some of these have been not only outside the bounds of the Shari‘a, but outside the bounds of Islam. But they are people of sainthood on this condition, that they have not denied any of the injunctions Muhammad (Upon whom be blessings and peace) brought. They rather do not think of them, or cannot keep them in view, or are not aware of them. It is not acceptable for them not to accept them if they are aware of them.


As for the Second Group, these are carried away by the brilliant pleasures of the Sufi path and way of reality, and since they cannot attain to the pleasures of the truths of the Shari‘a, which are far more elevated, they suppose them to be dull formalities and are indifferent towards them. They gradually accept the idea that the Shari‘a is an external shell, and that the reality they have found is the basis and essential goal. They say: “I have found it; it is enough for me,” and act in a way contrary to the injunctions of the Shari‘a. Those from this group who are in their right minds are responsible; they stray from the path, indeed, become the playthings of Satan to an extent.


F o u r t h P o i n t : Some persons from the divisions of the people of misguidance and innovation are found acceptable by the Muslim community, while others, just like them with no apparent difference, are rejected. I always wondered at this. For example, although someone like Zamakhshari was one of the most bigoted members of the Mu‘tazila sect, the Sunni scholars did not declare him to be an unbeliever or misguided in the face of his severe objections; they rather searched for a way to save him. But then they considered that Mu‘tazila authorities like Abu ‘Ali Jubba’i, whose bigotry was far less strong than Zamakhshari’s, should be rejected and refuted. I was curious about this for a long time. Then through Divine favour I understood that Zamakhshari’s objections concerning the Sunnis arose from the love of truth of his way, which he considered to be right. That is to say, for example, the reason for declaring God to be free of all fault and deficiency is because in his view, animals create their own actions. Therefore, because of his love of declaring God free of all fault, he did not accept the principles of the Sunnis concerning the creation of actions. Whereas, rather than love of the truth, the other Mu‘tazila authorities were rejected because their inadequate intelligences could not aspire to the elevated principles of the Sunnis and they could not situate the Sunni’s extensive laws within their own narrow ideas, and therefore denied them. In just the same way that the Mu‘tazila opposed the Sunnis in theology, the opposition of some of those who follow the Sufi path outside the Practices of the Prophet is also of two kinds:


The First: Like Zamakhshari, out of love for their way or state, they remain somewhat indifferent towards the conduct of the Shari‘a, because they cannot attain the same degree of pleasure.


As for the Other Kind: God forbid! They look on the conduct of the Shari‘a as unimportant in relation to the principles of the Sufi path. For their narrow understanding cannot comprehend those broad pleasures, and their short stations cannot attain to that elevated conduct.




This describes Eight Abysses.


The First: Some of those who embark on spiritual journeying do not conform completely to the Practices of the Prophet (PBUH), and fall into the abyss of preferring sainthood to prophethood. It is proved in the Twenty-Fourth and Thirty-First Words how elevated is prophethood, and how dull sainthood is in relation to it.


The Second: Some of those who follow the Sufi path fall into the abyss of preferring extremist saints to the Companions of the Prophet. It is proved decisively in the Twelfth and Twenty-Seventh Words and in the Addendum on the Companions, that the Companions acquired such qualities through conversation with the Prophet (PBUH) that it cannot be attained to through sainthood, and the Companions cannot be surpassed, and that the saints can never reach the degree of the Companions.


The Third: Some of those who are excessively bigoted concerning the Sufi path oppose the Practices of the Prophet and give them up because of their preference for the customs, conduct, and recitations of the Sufi way, which they do not give up. In this way, they become slack in practising the conduct of the Shari‘a, and fall into that abyss. As is proved in many of the Words, and as leading scholars of the Sufi path like Imam Ghazali and Imam-i Rabbani said: “The degree of acceptance gained by following a single of the Practices of the Prophet (PBUH) cannot be won by means of a hundred personal practices and private acts of worship. And just as a single obligatory act is superior to a thousand acts taken from the Practices of the Prophet, a single of those Practices is superior to a thousand practices of Sufism.”


The Fourth: Some extremist Sufis suppose inspiration to be like Revelation, and of similar kind to Revelation, and fall into an abyss. It has been proved most definitely in the Twelfth Word and in the Twenty-Fifth Word on the Miraculousness of the Qur’an, how elevated, universal, and sacred is Revelation, and how insignificant and dull inspirations are in relation to it.


The Fifth: Some Sufis who do not understand the essence of the Sufi path, in order to strengthen the weak, encourage the slack, and to lighten the hardships and weariness arising from strenuous service, find the lights, illuminations, and wonders, which are not sought but given, to be pleasurable, and they become captivated by them and fall into the abyss of preferring them to worship, acts of service, and reciting of supplications. It is mentioned briefly in the Third Point of the Sixth Allusion in the present treatise and proved decisively in others of the Words that this world is the realm of service, not the realm of reward. For those who seek their recompense here, together with transforming enduring, perpetual fruits into a transitory and temporary form, permanence in this world is pleasing and they do not yearn for the Intermediate Realm; quite simply, they love the life of this world in one respect, for they find a sort of hereafter within it.


The Sixth: Some of those who embark on spiritual journeying fall into an abyss by confusing the shades and shadows and partial samples of the stations of sainthood with the fundamental, universal stations. As is proved clearly in the Second Branch of the Twenty-Fourth Word and in others of the Words, the sun becomes numerous by means of mirrors and thousands of similitudes of the sun possess light and heat like the sun itself, despite being very weak in relation to the actual sun. In exactly the same way, the stations of the prophets and of the great saints possess shades and shadows. Those who journey with the spirit enter these, and see themselves as greater than those great saints, or even to have advanced further than the prophets, thus falling into an abyss. However, the way to avoid falling into all these abysses is to always take the principles of belief and fundamentals of the Shari‘a as the basis and the guide, and to consider to be opposed to them the illuminations or what is witnessed.


The Seventh: Some of the people of illumination and ecstasy fall into the abyss in their spiritual journeyings of preferring pride, complaint, ecstatic utterances, public regard, and being a place of recourse to offering thanks and supplication, beseeching Almighty God, and self-sufficiency. Whereas the highest degree is Muhammadan worship, which is termed ‘belovedness.’ While the basis and essence of worship is to manifest the perfection of that reality by reason of supplicating and beseeching Almighty God, showing deep humility before Him, offering thanks, through impotence and want, and through self-sufficiency before the people. Some of the great saints have involuntarily and temporarily become proud, complained, and made ecstatic utterances, but they may not be voluntarily followed on such points; they are rightly-guided but not the guide; their way may not be taken!


The Eighth Abyss: Some of those who journey spiritually who are self-centered and precipitate want to consume in this world the fruits of sainthood, which will be received in the hereafter, and fall into an abyss through seeking them on their spiritual journeyings. But, as verses like,


But the life of this world is but goods and chattels 2


proclaim, and as is proved decisively in many of the Words, a single fruit in the realm of eternity is superior to a thousand gardens in this fleeting world. For this reason, those blessed fruits should not be consumed here. If without being wanted they are given to eat here, they should be thanked for, and considered to be Divine favours bestowed, not as reward, but for encouragement.




Here we shall describe briefly Nine out of the truly numerous fruits and benefits of the Sufi path.


The First is the unfolding and clarification, by means of Sufi paths which are on the straight way, of the truths of belief, which are the keys, sources, and springs of the eternal treasuries in everlasting happiness; it is their manifestation at the degree of ‘the vision of certainty.’


The Second: Through the Sufi path being a means of working the heart, the mainspring of the human machine, and causing the heart to stir into motion the other subtle faculties, it is to drive them to fulfil the purposes of their creation, and thus to making man into a true human being.


The Third: On the journey to the Intermediate Realm and the hereafter, it is to join one of the chains of the Sufi paths, and to be a companion in such a luminous caravan on the road to eternity, and to be saved from the desolation of loneliness, and to find familiarity with them in this world and in the Intermediate Realm; and relying on their consensus and accord in the face of the attacks of doubts and fears, and seeing each of their masters as a powerful support and proof, it is to repulse through them those doubts and instances of misguidance.


The Fourth is to understand by means of the pure Sufi way the knowledge of God to be found in belief in God, and the pleasure of love of God within the knowledge of God, and by so understanding, to be saved from the absolute desolation of this world and man’s absolute exile in the universe. We have proved in many of the Words that the happiness of both worlds, and pain-free pleasure, and familiarity without loneliness, and true pleasure, and untroubled happiness are all to be found in the reality of belief and Islam. As explained in the Second Word, belief bears the seed of a Tuba-tree of Paradise. It is through the training and nurturing of the Sufi path that the seed grows and develops.


The Fifth is to perceive through an awakening of the heart resulting from the Sufi path and remembrance of God, the subtle truths contained in the obligations of the Shari‘a, and to appreciate them. Then one obeys and performs his worship, not under compulsion, but with longing.


The Sixth is to rise to the station of reliance on God and rank of submission to Him and to gain His pleasure, which are the means to true pleasure, real solace, painfree pleasure, and familiarity without loneliness.


The Seventh is, through sincerity, the most important condition for travelling the Sufi way and its most important result, to be delivered from base qualities like the hidden associating of partners with God, hypocrisy, and artificiality. And it is to be saved by means of the purification of the soul, which is like the surgical operation of the Sufi path, from the dangers of the evil-commanding soul and the perils of egotism.


The Eighth : By means of the regard, sense of the Divine presence, and powerful intentions which are gained through the remembrance of God with the heart and reflective thought of the mind on the Sufi path, it is to transform customary actions into worship and make mundane dealings into actions for the hereafter. And through utilizing the capital of life, it is to make all its minutes into seeds which will produce the shoots of eternal happiness.


The Ninth is to work to be a perfect human being through journeying with the heart and striving with the spirit and spiritual progress; that is to say, to be a true believer and total Muslim; that is, to gain not superficial belief, but the reality of belief and the reality of Islam; that is, to be directly the slave of the Glorious Creator of the Universe, in the universe and in one respect as the universe’s representative, and to be His addressee, and His friend, and His beloved, and to be a mirror to Him; and through showing man to be on the best of patterns, it is to prove man’s superiority over the angels. It is to fly through the lofty stations with the wings of belief and actions of the Shari‘a, and to look on eternal happiness in this world, and even to enter that happiness.


Glory be unto You! We have no knowledge save that which You have taught us; indeed, You are All-Knowing, All-Wise!3 O God! Grant blessings and peace to the Supreme Help in every age and the Sublime Spiritual Pole at all times, our master Muhammad, the magnificence of whose sainthood was manifested in his Ascension, as was the station of his being the beloved of God, and under the shadow of whose Ascension are included all sainthoods, and to all his Family and Companions. Amen. And all praise be to God, the Sustainer of All the Worlds.


* * *




1. Qur’an, 10:62.


2. Qur’an, 3:185, etc.


3. Qur’an, 2:32.








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


[This short Addendum has great importance; it is beneficial for everyone.]


The ways leading to Almighty God are truly numerous. While all true ways are taken from the Qur’an, some are shorter, safer, and more general than others. Of these ways taken from the Qur’an is that of impotence, poverty, compassion, and reflection, from which, with my defective understanding, I have benefited. Indeed, like ecstatic love, impotence is a path which, by way of worship, leads to winning God’s love; but it is safer. Poverty too leads to the Divine Name of All-Merciful. And, like ecstatic love, compassion leads to the Name of All-Compassionate, but it is a swifter and broader path. Also like ecstatic love, reflection leads to the Name of All-Wise, but it is richer, broader, and more brilliant path. This path consists not of ten steps like the ‘ten subtle faculties’ of some of the Sufi paths employing silent recollection, nor of seven stages like the ‘seven souls’ of those practising public recitation, but of Four Steps. It is reality (haqiqat), rather than a Sufi way (tariqat). It is Shari‘a. However, let it not be misunderstood. It means to see one’s impotence, poverty and faults before Almighty God, not to fabricate them or display them to people. The method of this short path is to follow the Practices of the Prophet (PBUH), perform the religious obligations and give up serious sins. And it is especially to perform the prescribed prayers correctly and with attention, and following them to say the tesbihat. The verse, Therefore, do not justify yourselves,1 points to the First Step. The verse, And be not like those who forget God, and He therefore makes them forget their own selves,2 points to the Second Step. The verse, Whatever good happens to you is from God, but whatever evil befalls you is from yourself,3 points to the Third Step. The verse, Everything will perish save His countenance,4 points to the Fourth Step. A brief explanation of these Four Steps is as follows:




As the verse, Therefore, do not justify yourselves suggests, it is to not purify the soul. For on account of his nature and innate disposition, man loves himself. Indeed, he loves himself before anything else, and only himself. He sacrifices everything other than himself to his own soul. He praises himself in a manner befitting some object worthy of worship. He absolves and exonerates himself from faults in the same way. As far as he possibly can, he does not see faults as being appropriate for him, and does not accept them. He defends himself passionately as though worshipping himself. Even, using on himself the members and faculties given him as part of his nature in order to praise and glorify the True Object of Worship, he displays the meaning of the verse, Who takes as his god his own desires.5 He considers himself, he relies on himself, he fancies himself. Thus, his purification and cleansing at this stage, in this step, is to not purify himself; it is not to absolve himself.




As the verse, And be not like those who forget God, and He therefore makes them forget their own selves teaches, man is oblivious of himself, and is not aware of himself. If he thinks of death, it is in relation to others. If he sees transience and decline, he does not attribute them to himself. His evil-commanding soul demands that when it comes to inconvenience and service of others, he forgets himself, but when it comes to receiving his recompense, and to benefits and enjoyment, he thinks of himself, and takes his own part fervently. His purification, cleansing, and training at this stage is the reverse of this state. That is to say, when oblivious of himself, it is not to be oblivious. That is, to forget himself when it comes to pleasure, and ambition and greed, and to think of himself when it comes to death and service of others.




As the verse, Whatever good happens to you is from God, but whatever evil befalls you is from yourself teaches, the nature of the evil-commanding soul demands that it always considers goodness to be from itself and it becomes vain and conceited. Thus, in this Step, a person sees only faults, defects, impotence, and poverty in himself, and understands that all his good qualities and perfections are bounties bestowed on him by the All-Glorious Creator. He gives thanks instead of being conceited, and offers praise instead of boasting. According to the meaning of the verse, Truly he succeeds who purifies it,6 his purification at this stage is to know his perfection to lie in imperfection, his power in impotence, and his wealth in poverty.




As the verse, Everything will perish save His countenance teaches, the evil-commanding soul considers itself to be free and independent and to exist of itself. Because of this, man claims to possess a sort of dominicality. He harbours a hostile rebelliousness towards his True Object of Worship. Thus, through understanding the following fact, he is saved from this. The fact is this: According to the apparent meaning of things, which looks to each thing itself, everything is transitory, wanting, accidental, non-existent. But according to the meaning that signifies something other than itself and in respect of each thing being a mirror to the All-Glorious Maker’s Names and charged with various duties, each is a witness, it is witnessed, it gives existence, and it is existent. The purification and cleansing of a person at this stage is as follows: In his existence he is non-existent, and in his non-existence he has existence. That is to say, if he values himself and attributes existence to himself, he is in a darkness of non-existence as great as the universe. That is, if he relies on his individual existence and is unmindful of the True Giver of Existence, he has an individual light of existence like that of a fire-fly and is submerged in an endless darkness of non-existence and separation. But if he gives up egotism and sees that he is a mirror of the manifestations of the True Giver of Existence, he gains all beings and an infinite existence. For he who finds the Necessary Existent One, the manifestation of Whose Names all beings manifest, finds everything.






The Four Steps in this way of impotence, poverty, compassion, and reflection have been explained in the twenty-six Words so far written,7 which are concerned with knowledge of reality, the reality of the Shari‘a, and the wisdom of the Qur’an. So here, we shall allude briefly to only one or two points, as follows: Indeed, this path is shorter, because it consists of four steps. When impotence removes the hand from the soul, it gives it directly to the All-Powerful One of Glory. Whereas, when the way of ecstatic love, the swiftest way, takes the hand away from the soul, it attaches it to the metaphorical beloved. Only after the beloved is found to be impermanent does it go to the True Beloved. Also, this path is much safer, because the ravings and high-flown claims of the soul are not present on it. For, apart from impotence, poverty, and defect, the soul possesses nothing so that it oversteps its mark. Also, this path is much broader and more universal. For, in order to attain to a constant awareness of God’s presence, a person is not compelled to imagine the universe to be condemned to non-existence and to declare: “There is no existent but He,” like those who believe in ‘the Unity of Existence,’ nor to suppose the universe to be condemned to imprisonment in absolute oblivion and to say, “There is nothing witnessed but He,” like those who believe in ‘the Unity of Witnessing.’ Rather, since the Qur’an has most explicitly pardoned the universe and released it from execution and imprisonment, one on this path disregards the above, and dismissing beings from working on their own account and employing them on account of the All-Glorious Creator, and in the duty of manifesting the Most Beautiful Names and being mirrors to them, he considers them from the point of view of signifying something other than themselves; and being saved from absolute heedlessness, he enters the Divine presence permanently; he finds a way leading to the Almighty God in everything.


I n S h o r t : Dismissing beings from working on account of other beings, this way is to not look at them as signifying themselves.




* * *




1. Qur’an, 53:32.


2. Qur’an, 59:19.


3. Qur’an, 4:79.


4. Qur’an, 28:88.


5. Qur’an, 25:43; 45:23.


6. Qur’an, 91:9.


7. This Addendum is also the Addendum to the Twenty-Sixth Word. (Tr.)

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