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The Twenty-Second Flash


In His Name, be He glorified!


This highly confidential short treatise, which I wrote twenty-two years ago specifically for my closest and most select and sincere brothers while in the village of Barla in the Province of Isparta, I am dedicating to Isparta’s just Governor, judiciary, and police. This is because of the concern shown by both the people and the administration of Isparta. If appropriate, several copies should be written by typewriter in either the old or new letters so that those who have been holding me under surveillance and searching out my secrets these twenty-five years may know that I have no hidden secrets whatsoever. They should know that my most hidden secret is this treatise!


S a i d N u r s i


Three Indications


[While being the Third Matter of the Seventeenth Note of the Seventeenth Flash, this was incorporated in the Flashes as the Twenty-Second Flash of the Thirty-First Letter because of the harshness and comprehensiveness of the questions and strength and brilliance of the answers. The Flashes had to give a place to this Flash. It is confidential and particular to my most select, sincere, and loyal brothers.]


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


And if anyone puts his trust in God, sufficient is [God] for him. For God will surely accomplish His purpose. Verily for all things has God appointed a due proportion.


This matter consists of Three Indications.




An important question about my person and the Risale-i Nur: many people ask, Although you have not meddled in “the worldly’s’ world, why do they meddle in your Hereafter at every opportunity? Whereas no government’s laws interfere with recluses and those who have abandoned the world?’


T h e A n s w e r : The New Said’s reply to this question is silence. The New Said says: “Let Divine Determining give the answer for me.” Nevertheless, being compelled to, the Old Said’s head, which the New Said has borrowed on trust, says: those who should give the answer to this question are the authorities of Isparta Province, and its people. For the authorities and the people are much more concerned with the meaning underlying this question than I am. Since the administration, which consists of thousands of people, and the people, who number hundreds of thousands, are obliged to consider it and defend it in my place, why should I speak with the prosecutors unnecessarily, and defend myself?


I have been in this province for nine years, and I am gradually turning my back more and more on their world. No aspect of my life has remained hidden. Even my most secret and confidential treatises have come into the hands of the government and some of the deputies. If I had meddled at all in worldly matters, which would have caused the worldly’ alarm and anxiety, or if I had made any attempt to meddle, or if I had had any idea of doing so, this province and the local government in the towns would have known. But although I have been under their scrutiny and surveillance for nine years, and I too have not hesitated to divulge my secrets to those who have visited me, the authorities have remained silent and have not bothered me. If I had had any fault that could have been harmful to this country’s happiness and future, and to its people, over this nine years everyone from the Governor to the village police chief have made themselves responsible. They are obliged to defend me in the face of those who make molehills into mountains concerning me, and make the mountains into molehills. In which case, I refer the answer of this question to them.


The reason the people of this province are mostly obliged to defend me more than myself is that by means of hundreds of treatises which have demonstrated their effectiveness materially and in fact, I have worked these nine years for these people’s eternal life and strength of belief and happiness of life, who are both brothers, and friends, and blessed; and no upset or harm at all has been suffered by anyone on account of the treatises; and not the slightest sign of anything political or worldly has been encountered; and, praise be to God, by means of the Risale-i Nur, this province of Isparta has gained in respect of strength of belief and firmness in religion a degree of blessedness resembling the blessedness of Damascus in former times and of al-Azhar in Egypt; and the Risale-i Nur has made the power of belief prevail over indifference and the desire to worship prevail over vice in the province, and has made it more religious than any other province. Since this is the case, all its people, even supposing they are irreligious, are obliged to defend me and the Risale-i Nur. While they have such important rights of defence, my unimportant, insignificant right does not drive me to defend myself at a time I, this powerless one, have completed my duty and, thanks be to God, thousands of students have worked and are working in my place. Someone with so many thousands of advocates does not defend his own case.




The answer to a critical question.


“The worldly’ ask: “Why are you angry with us? You have not made application to us even once, and are silent. You complain about us bitterly, saying that we are unjust towards you. But we have our principles, we have our particular rules, as demanded by this age, and you do not accept that they are applied to you. One who applies the law is not a tyrant, and one who does not accept the law is rebellious. For instance, in this age of freedom and new republican era which we have inaugurated, the principle—on the basis of equality—of abolishing oppression and subjugation of others is as though our fundamental law. However, it is understood from your open behaviour and your adventurous life in the former period that whether by assuming the position of hoja or of being an ascetic, you try to draw the public gaze on yourself and attract attention, so to secure a power and social position outside the government’s influence. This may appear desirable within—according to current terminology—the despotic tyranny of the bourgeouisie. But since the principles of pure socialism and bolshevism, which have emerged with the awakening and ascendancy of our common people, are more conformable with our interests, we have accepted them, and your position is disagreeable to us; it opposes our principles. For this reason you do not have the right to complain about and be angry at the distress we cause you.”


T h e A n s w e r : If one who opens up a new way in the life of human society does not act in conformity with the natural laws in force in the universe, he cannot be successful in beneficial works and in progress. All his acts become on account of evil and destruction. Since actions have to be in conformity with the natural laws, absolute equality can only be applied by changing human nature and removing the fundamental wisdom in the mankind’s creation. Yes, by birth and the way I have lived I am from the class of common people, and I am one of those who by temperament and intellectually have accepted the way of “equality of rights.’ And due to compassion and the justice proceeding from Islam, I am one of those who for a long time have opposed and worked against the despotism and oppression of the elite class called the bourgeouisie. I therefore support total justice with all my strength, and oppose tyranny, oppression, arbitrary power, and despotism.


However, human nature and the underlying wisdom in human kind are contrary to the law of absolute equality. Because, in order to demonstrate His perfect power and wisdom, the All-Wise Creator produces many crops from a single thing, causes many books to be written on a single page, and causes many functions to be performed by a single thing; and in the same way, He causes the duties of thousands of species to be carried out by human kind. It is because of this great mystery that Almighty God created mankind with a nature that would produce the shoots of thousands of species and display the levels of the thousands of other species of living creatures. No limit was placed on man’s powers, subtle faculties, and senses like the other animals; since He left him free and gave him a capacity whereby they could roam through endless degrees, while being one species, mankind became like thousands of species. And for this reason, man was God’s vicegerent on earth, the result of the universe, and monarch of the animals.


Thus, the most important leaven and mechanism for the variety in mankind is competition and the true virtue arising from belief. Virtue can only be removed through changing human nature, extinguishing the reason, killing the heart, and annihilating the spirit. Yes, this age with its awesome tyranny under the veil of freedom deserves to be struck in the face with the following masterly lines, which, written by a most important person, have been wrongly brandished in his face, although he deserved no slap:


It is not possible through tyranny and injustice to destroy freedom;


Try to remove consciousness, if you can, from human kind.


In place of these lines, I say, in order to strike this age in the face:


It is not possible through tyranny and injustice to destroy reality;


Try to annihilate the heart, if you can, in human kind.




It is not possible through tyranny and injustice to destroy virtue;


Try to annihilate the conscience, if you can, in human kind.


Yes, just as the virtue arising from belief cannot be the means of oppression, so too it cannot be the cause of despotism. Oppression and arbitrary despotism indicate the absence of virtue. And the most important way of the people of virtue in particular is to interfere in the life of society only through impotence, poverty, and humility. All praise be to God, my life has passed on this way, and is passing on it. I am not claiming this out of pride, saying that I possess some virtue. I say the following with the intention of offering thanks and making known a Divine bounty:


Through His grace and munificence, Almighty God bestowed on me the virtue of working for the sciences of belief and the Qur’an. All praise be to God, throughout my life I have spent this Divine bounty for the benefit and happiness of this Muslim nation, and just as at no time I have made it the means of dominating and oppressing others, so too for an important reason I detest public attention and being feted by the people, which is sought after by the neglectful; I flee from it. Since twenty years of my former life were lost because of that, I consider it to be harmful for me. But since I know public attention to be a sign of the people liking the Risale-i Nur, I do not put them off.


And so, O you whose view is restricted to the life of this world! I have not meddled in any way in your world, nor have I had anything to do with your principles, nor as is testified to by my life during these nine years of captivity, have I had any intention or desire to meddle in the world again. So according to what law have you inflicted all this surveillance and oppression on me as though I was an old oppressor who was ever ready to seize an opportunity and supported the idea of tyranny and despotism? No government in the world permits such treatment over and above the law, which is recommended by no one. It is not only me who is sick of the ill-treatment I have had meted out to me so far, if they knew of it, all mankind would be disgusted, and even the universe!




A fallacious, crazy question.


Some members of the judiciary say: “Since you reside in this country, you should abide by its republican laws. So why do you elude those laws under the cloak of being a recluse? For instance, according to the present laws of the government, it is opposed to one of the principles of the Republic, which is based on equality, to assume some virtue, some merit, outside one’s duty, and through it to dominate some of the nation and exercise power and influence. Why do you have your hand kissed, though you hold no position? Why do you assume a position advertising yourself and saying: Let the people listen to me?”


T h e A n s w e r : Those who apply the law, may apply it to others after first applying it to themselves. By applying a principle to others which you had not applied to yourselves, you are infringing and opposing your own principle and law before anyone. Because you want to apply this law of absolute equality to me. So I say this:


Whenever a common soldier rises to the social rank of a field marshal and shares in the respect and acclaim the nation shows to the field marshal and is the object of acclaim and respect the same as him; or whenever the field marshal becomes as common as the soldier and assumes the soldier’s lowly position and he retains no value whatsoever outside his duty; and whenever the most brilliant military commander who leads the army to victories receives public acclaim, respect and affection equal to that of the dimmest common soldier; then as required by this law of equality of yours, you can tell me: “Don’t call yourself a hoja! Don’t accept respect! Deny your virtue! Serve the servants, and take beggars as your friends!”


I f y o u s a y : “Respect, social position, and public attention are in regard to functions and particular to those who perform them when they are performing them. But you have no function, so you may not accept the people’s respect as though you did have one.”


T h e A n s w e r : If man consisted only of a body, and he was going to live in this world for ever, and if the door of the grave was closed and death had been killed, then his duties and functions would have been limited to the army and government officials, and what you say would have had some meaning. But since man does not consist only of a body, and his heart, tongue, mind, and brain cannot be plucked out to feed his body; they cannot be annihilated; they too required to be administered.


And since the door of the grave does not close, and since anxiety for the future beyond the grave is the most important question facing everyone, then the duties based on the respect and obedience of the nation are not restriced to the social, political, and military duties looking to its worldly life. Yes, just as it is a duty to give a passport to those travelling abroad, so is it also a duty to give a passport to those travelling to post-eternity and to give them a light for that dark way, and it is such a duty that no other duty bears its importance. That duty can be denied only through denying death and giving the lie to the testimony of the thirty thousand witnesses who every day set their signatures with the seals of their corpses on the claim “Death is a reality,” affirming it.


Since there are moral and spiritual duties based on moral and spiritual needs, and the most important of those duties are the passport for the journey to post-eternity, and the pocket-torch of the heart in the darkness of the Intermediate Realm, and belief, the key to eternal happiness, and instruction in belief and its strengthening, for sure, the learned who perform those duties will not with ingratitude count as nothing the Divine bounties bestowed on them and the virtues arising from belief, and descend to the level of sinners and the dissolute. They will not soil themselves with the innovations and vices of the base. Thus, the solitude which you do not like and suppose to be inequality is because of this.


In addition to this truth I say the following, not to those like you who torment and pester me and who in egotism and breaking the law of equality are as overweening as the Pharaoh—because the arrogant suppose humility to be abasement, so one should not be humble before them—I say rather to the fair-minded, the modest, and the just:


All praise be to God, I know my own faults and impotence. I do not arrogantly want any position superior to Muslims which demands respect. I rather continuously see my endless faults and utter insignificance. Finding consolation through seeking Divine forgiveness, I want not respect from the people, but their prayers. I reckon all my friends know of this way of mine. There is only this, that while serving the All-Wise Qur’an and teaching the truths of belief, in order to preserve the dignity and pride of learning that such a rank requires, on account of those truths and in honour of the Qur’an and in order not to bow before the people of misguidance, I temporarily assume that dignified stance. I do not think “the worldly’s’ laws can oppose these points!


SOME ASTONISHING TREATMENT: It is well-known that everywhere teachers judge in accordance with knowledge and learning. In whomever and wherever they encounter knowledge and learning, they will nurture friendship and respect for the person due to their profession. If a professor from an enemy country visits this country even, teachers will visit him out of respect for his knowledge and learning, and offer him respect.


However, when the highest learned council of the British asked for a six-hundred-word answer to six questions they asked the Shaykhu’l-Islam’s Office, a scholar and teacher who has met with the disrespect of the education authorities here, answered those six questions with six words which met with approval, and answered with true knowledge and learning the most basic and important principles of the Europeans and their philosophers, and defeated them. Through the strength he received from the Qur’an, he challenged those European philosophers. And in Istanbul six months before the proclamation of the Second Constitution, he invited both the religious scholars and scholars of modern science to debate, and himself asking no questions answered completely correctly without exception all questions posed to him. Those who have caused most distress to this scholar and teacher— who has devoted all his life to the happiness of this nation, and publishing hundreds of treatises in the people’s own language of Turkish has illuminated them, and is both a fellow-citizen and a co-religionist and friend and brother—those who have nurtured enmity towards him, and indeed been disrespectful towards him, have been certain members of the educational establishment as well as a few official hojas.


And so, what have you got to say to this? Is this civilization? Is it encouraging education? Is it patriotism? Is it love of the nation? Is it republicanism? God forbid! It is nothing at all! It is rather that Divine Determining showed hostility where this scholar and teacher hoped for friendship so that hypocrisy should not become mixed with his learning due to respect, and he might gain sincerity.




An assault which in my view was astonishing, but was the means to thanks:


“The worldly’, who are extraordinarily egotistical, are so sensitive in their egotism that if it had been conscious, it would have reached the degree of wonder-working or of great genius. The matter in question was this:


Through the sensitive balance of their egotism, they perceive in me a little hypocritical egotism which I had not perceived with my soul and mind, and in violent fashion confront this egotism which I had not realized. This eight or nine years I have experienced the following eight or nine times: after they have treated me wrongfully and unjustly, I have considered Divine Determining and searched out the tricks of my soul, saying: “Why have they been set to pester me?” Each time I have understood that my soul has unconsciously and naturally inclined to egotism, or else has knowingly deceived me. So then I have said that within the injustice of those tyrants Divine Determining has acted justly towards me.


For instance, this summer my friends mounted me on a fine horse and I rode out into the countryside. On a selfish desire for pleasure awakening in me without my being aware of it, “the worldly’ opposed that hidden desire of mine so violently that they destroyed not only it, but also my appetite for many other things. Even, for example, following Ramadan and after learning of the allusions made to us through his wonder-working which penetrated the Unseen by one of the great, holy imams of former times, faced with the piety and sincerity of my brothers and the respect and good opinion of visitors, without my realizing it, my soul wanted proudly to assume a hypocritical position under the veil of being thankful. Suddenly with their infinite sensitivity and in a way in which the very particles of hypocrisy could be felt, “the worldly’ attacked me. I thank Almighty God that their tyranny became a means of my gaining sincerity.


And say: “O my Sustainer! I seek refuge with you from the suggestions of the Evil Ones. * And I seek refuge with You lest they should come near me.”


O God! O Protector! O Preserver! O Best of Protectors! Preserve me and preserve my companions from the evil of the soul and of Satan, and from the evil of people of misguidance and of rebellion. Amen. Amen. Amen.


Glory be unto You! We have no knowledge save that which You have taught us; indeed, You are All-Knowing, All-Wise.


* * *

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