O miserable pseudo-patriot who fervently encourages Muslims to embrace this world and forcibly drives them to European industry and progress! Beware, don’t let the bonds be broken that tie certain members of this nation to religion! If thus foolishly blindly imitating and crushed under foot, their bonds with religion are broken, those irreligious people will become as harmful for social life as fatal poison. For the apostate’s conscience is completely corrupted and he becomes like poison in the life of society. It is because of this that according to the science of the principles of religion, “The apostate forfeits the right to life, whereas if an unbeliever is a member of the protected minorities or he makes peace, he has the right to life;” this is a principle of the Shari‘a. Furthermore, according to the Hanafi school, the testimony of such an unbeliever is acceptable, whereas the testimony of someone who has strayed from the path of the Shari‘a is rejected. For he is perfidious.
O miserable sinner who has deviated from Shari‘a! Do not look at the multitude of the dissolute and be deceived; do not say: “Most people think the same as me!” For the depraved do not want to embrace depravity; they rather fall into it and cannot extricate themselves. There is no sinner who does not want to be righteous and who does not want to see his superior and chief as religious. Other than if – I seek refuge with Allah! – his conscience is corrupted through apostasy and he receives pleasure from poisoning, like a snake.
O crazy head and corrupted heart! Do you suppose that Muslims do not love the world, or that they do not think about the poverty into which they have fallen, and that they are in need of admonishment so that they do not forget their share of the world?
Your supposition is false, your surmise, wrong. Their greed has increased; that is the reason they are impoverished. Because for Muslims, greed causes loss and indigence. The saying: “The greedy is subject to loss and disappointment” has become proverbial.
Yes, there are many things calling and driving man to the world, like his soul and its appetites, and need, and his senses and emotions, and the Devil, and the superficial enticement of the world, and false friends like you. While those who call to the hereafter, which lasts for ever, and to long-lasting eternal life, are few. If you are patriotic even to the tiniest degree towards this nation and the high aspirations you brag about are not lies, you should help the few who call to eternal life. For if you silence them and help the many, you will be befriending Satan!
Do you suppose this nation’s poverty is the result of a sort of religious asceticism or of laziness arising from abandoning the world? You are wrong to suppose that. Do you not see that the nations dominated by Europe, such as China and the Brahmins and Zoroastrians of India, and the blacks of Africa are poorer than we are? And do you not see that nothing apart from the most basic subsistence is left in the hands of Muslims? The rest is either stolen or seized by the European infidel tyrants or the dissemblers of Asia.
You should be certain that if your intention in forcibly driving the people of belief to degenerate civilization in this way is the country’s law and order and easy administration, you are mistaken and you are driving them down the wrong path. For it is more difficult to govern a hundred degenerates whose belief is shaken and morals corrupted, and to maintain public security among them, than to govern thousands of the righteous.
Thus, according to these principles, the people of Islam are not in need of being encouraged and driven to the world and to greed. Progress and public order cannot be secured in that way. They are rather in need of having their working conditions set in order, of security being established among them, and of having the principle of co-operation encouraged. And these needs can be brought about through the sacred commands of religion, and fear of Allah, and firm adherence to religion.
From The Risale-i Nur Collection