Risale English | Risale-i Nur Collection
  • As time passes, the Qur’an doesn’t get old; as a matter of fact, the Qur’an gets even younger

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  • Alas! We have been deceived. We supposed the life of this world to be constant, and so have lost everything. Yes, this passing life is but a sleep; it passes like a dream. This frail life flies like the wind, and departs.

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  • Everything was determined by qadar (destiny). If you feel content with what you have, you will live easily.

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  • Oh man! You do not own yourself. Rather, you are totally owned by One whose power is infinite, an All-Compassionate One of Glory whose mercy is infinite. Therefore, do not trouble yourself by shouldering the burden of your life. For it is He who grants

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  • In a brief life, it is not reasonable to destroy eternal, everlasting life and eternal happiness for a little bit of pleasure. (The Letters)

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  • This world is a guesthouse. Man will stay here for a short time and he is a guest with a lot of duties; in his short life, he is obliged to obtain the materials necessary for the eternal lif

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  • Time has shown that Paradise is not cheap, and neither is Hell unnecessary

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  • O my soul! Know that yesterday has left you, and as for tomorrow, you have nothing to prove that it will be yours. In which case, know that your true life is the present day.

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  • Man did not come to this world in order to live in fine manner and pass his life in ease and pleasure. Rather, possessing vast capital, he came here to work and do trade for an eternal, everlasting life

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  • It is as easy for the Lord of Glory to create a spring as it is to create a flower

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Questions and Answers

What wisdom does it spring from, Adam (Upon whom be peace) being expelled from Paradise and some of mankind, the sons of Adam, being sent to Hell? What was the reason for it?

The reason for it concerns the charging of duties: the duty with which Adam was charged yielded such results as the unfolding of all human spiritual progress and the revealing of all human potentialities and man’s essential nature being a comprehensive mirror to all the divine names. If he had remained in Paradise, his rank would have been fixed like that of the angels; man’s potentialities would not have been disclosed. In any case, the angels, with their unchanging ranks, are numerous and there is no need for man to perform their sort of worship. Since divine wisdom required a realm of accountability commensurate with the potentialities of man, who would traverse infinite degrees, he was expelled from Paradise for his well-known sin, sin being the requirement of human nature and contrary to that of the angels. That is to say, just as it was pure wisdom and pure mercy that Adam should be expelled from Paradise, so is it just and right that the unbelievers should be sent to Hell.

As is mentioned in the Third Indication in the Tenth Word, the unbeliever only committed only one sin in his short life, but the sin comprised infinite wrongdoing. For unbelief is an insult to the whole universe; it negates the value of all beings, it denies the testimony to divine unity of all creatures, and is contempt towards the divine names, the manifestations of which are to be seen in the mirrors of beings. Therefore, in order to avenge the rights of beings on the unbeliever, their monarch, the All-Compelling One of Glory, casts the unbelievers into Hell, and this is pure right and justice. For an infinite crime demands infinite punishment.

Why are devils created? Almighty Allah created Satan and evil; what is the wisdom in it? Isn’t the creation of evil, evil, and the creation of bad, bad?

May Allah forbid, the creation of evil is not evil, the acquisition of (kesb) or desire for evil, is evil. For creation and bringing into existence look to all the consequences, whereas such a desire looks to a particular result, since it is a particular relation. For example, there are thousands of consequences of rain falling, and all of them are good. If due to misuse of their wills some people receive harm from the rain, they cannot say that the creation of rain is not mercy or that it is evil. For it is evil for them due to their mischoice and inclinations. Also, there are numerous benefits in the creation of fire and all of them are good. But if some people are harmed by fire due to their misuse of it and their wills, they cannot say that the creation of fire is evil; because it was not only created to burn them. Rather, they made a wrong choice and thrust their hands into the fire while cooking the food, and made that servant inimical to themselves.

In Short: A lesser evil is acceptable for a greater good. If an evil which will lead to a greater good is abandoned so that a lesser evil should not occur, a greater evil will have been perpetrated. For example, there are certainly some minor material and physical harms and evils in sending soldiers to fight a jihad, but the jihad leads to a greater good whereby Islam is saved from being conquered by infidels. If the jihad is abandoned due to those lesser evils, the greater evil will come after the greater good has gone, and that is absolute wrong. Another example: to amputate a finger which is infected with gangrene and has to be amputated is good and right, although it is apparently an evil. For if it is not amputated, the hand will be amputated and that would be a greater evil.

Thus, the creation and bringing into existence of evils, harms, tribulations, satans, and harmful things, is not evil and bad, for they are created for the many important results they yield. For example, satans have not been set to pester the angels, and the angels cannot progress; their degrees are fixed and deficient. However, in the world of humanity the degrees of progress and decline are infinite. There is an extremely long distance through which to progress, from the Nimrod’s and Pharaoh’s as far as the veracious saints and the prophets.

Thus, because of the creation of satans and the mystery of man’s accountability and the sending of prophets, an arena of trial and examination and striving and competition has been opened so that coal-like base spirits may be differentiated and separated out from diamond-like elevated spirits. If there had been no striving and competition, the potentialities in the mine of humanity, resembling diamonds and coal, would have remained equal. The spirit of Abu Bakr the Veracious at the highest of the high would have remained on a par with Abu Jahl at the lowest of the low. This means that since the creation of satans and evils looks to vast, universal results, it is not evil or bad. The evils and instances of bad that arise from abuses and the particular causes known as man’s acquisition pertain to his voluntary actions not to divine creation.

Almighty Allah sends calamities and inflicts tribulations; isn’t this an injustice towards the innocent in particular, and animals even?

May Allah forbid, sovereignty is His. He holds sway over His possessions as He wishes. Moreover, a skilful craftsman makes you a model in return for a wage and dresses you in a bejewelled garment that he has artistically fashioned. Then in order to display his art and skill, he shortens it and lengthens it, measures it and trims it, and he makes you sit down and stand up. Can you say to him: “You have made the garment that makes me beautiful ugly. You have caused me trouble, making me sit down and stand up.”? Of course, you cannot say that. If you did, you would be crazy.
In just the same way, the All-Glorious Maker has clothed you in an artistically wrought being bejewelled with such faculties as the eye, the ear, and the tongue. To display the embroideries of various of His names, He makes you ill, He afflicts you with tribulations, He makes you hungry, He fills you, He makes you thirsty; He makes you revolve in states like these. To strengthen the essence of life and display the manifestation of His names He makes you pass through numerous such conditions. As is indicated in the comparison, if you ask: “Why do you inflict these calamities on me?” a hundred instances of wisdom will silence you. In any event, calm, repose, idleness, monotony, and arrest from motion are forms of non-existence and harm. Motion and change are existence and good. Life finds its perfection through motion, it progresses by means of tribulations. Life performs various motions through the manifestation of the divine names; it is purified, finds strength; it unfolds and expands; it becomes a mobile pen to write its own appointed course; it performs its duty and acquires the right to receive reward in the hereafter.

Why do we perform prayers (salat)?

The meaning of worship is this, that the servant sees his own faults, impotence, and poverty, and in the Divine Court prostrates in love and wonderment before dominical perfection, Divine mercy, and the power of the Eternally Besought One. That is to say, just as the sovereignty of dominicality demands worship and obedience, so also does the holiness of dominicality require that the servant sees his faults through seeking forgiveness, and through his glorifications and declaring Subhanallah (Glory be to Allah) proclaims that his Sustainer is pure and free of all defects, and exalted above and far from the false ideas of the people of misguidance, and hallowed and exempt from all the faults in the universe.

Also, the perfect power of dominicality requires that through understanding his own weakness and the impotence of other creatures, the servant proclaims Allahu Akbar (Allah is Most Great) in admiration and wonder before the majesty of the works of the Eternally Besought One’s power, and bowing in deep humility seeks refuge in Him and places his trust in Him.

Also, the infinite treasury of dominicality’s mercy requires that the servant makes known his own need and the needs and poverty of all creatures through the tongue of entreaty and supplication, and proclaims his Sustainer’s bounties and gifts through thanks and laudation and uttering Alhamdulillah (All praise be to Allah). That is to say, the words and actions of the prayers comprise these meanings, and have been laid down from the side of Divinity.

What need has Almighty Allah of our worship that in the Qur’an He severely and insistently reproves those who give up worship and threatens them with so a fearsome a punishment as Hell?

Almighty Allah has no need of your worship, nor indeed of anything else. It is you who needs to worship, for in truth you are sick. As we have proved in many parts of the Risale-i Nur, worship is a sort of remedy for your spiritual wounds. You can understand how absurd it would be if an ill person responds to a kindly doctor who insists on his taking medicines that are beneficial for his condition by saying: “What need do you have of it that you are insisting in this way?”

As for the severe threats and fearsome punishments in the Qur’an concerning the giving up of worship, they may be likened to a king who in order to protect his subjects’ rights, inflicts a severe punishment on an ordinary man in accordance with the degree that his crime infringes those rights.

In the same way, the man who gives up worship and ritual prayer is violating in a significant manner the rights of beings, who are like the subjects of the Monarch of Pre-Eternity and Post-Eternity, and is in fact acting unjustly towards them. For the perfections of beings are manifested through the glorification and worship performed by that aspect of them which is directed towards their Maker. The one who abandons worship does not and cannot see this worship. Indeed, he denies it. Furthermore, beings occupy an exalted position by reason of their worship and glorification, and each is a missive of the Eternally Besought One, and a mirror to its Sustainer’s names. Since he reduces them from their high positions and considers them to be unimportant, lifeless, aimless, and without duties, he is insulting them, and denying and transgressing their perfections.

Indeed, everyone sees the world in his own mirror. Almighty Allah created man as a measure and scale for the universe. And from the world He gave a particular world to each person. This world He colours for him in accordance with his sincere beliefs. For example, a despairing, lamenting, weeping person sees beings as weeping and in despair, while a cheerful, optimistic, merry person sees the universe as joyful and smiling. A reflective man given to solemn worship and glorification discovers and sees to a degree the certain, truly existent worship and glorification of beings, while a person who abandons worship through either neglect or denial sees beings in a manner totally contrary and opposed to the reality of their perfections and so transgresses their rights.
Furthermore, since the person who gives up prayer does not own himself, he wrongs his own soul, which is a slave of its True Owner. His Owner delivers awesome threats in order to protect His slave’s rights from his evil-commanding soul. Also, since he has given up worship, which is the result of his creation and the aim of his nature, it is like an act of aggression against divine wisdom and dominical will, and he therefore receives punishment.

I n   S h o r t : The abandoner of worship both wrongs his own soul, which is the slave and totally owned property of Almighty Allah, and wrongs and transgresses the rights of the perfections of the universe. Certainly, just as unbelief is an insult to beings, so is the abandonment of worship a denial of the universe’s perfections. And since it is an act of aggression against divine wisdom, it is deserving of awesome threats and severe punishment.
Thus, it is to express this deservedness and the above facts that the Qur’an of Miraculous Exposition chooses in a miraculous way that severe style, which, in complete conformity with the principles of eloquence, corresponds to the requirements of the situation.

We frequently offer supplications (duas), but they are not accepted. But a verse in the Quran (Mu’min-60) states that every supplication is answered?

To answer is one thing, to accept is something quite different. Every supplication is answered, but its being accepted and exactly what was sought being given is dependent on Almighty Allah’s wisdom. For example, if a sick child calls the doctor, saying: “Doctor! Doctor!”, and he replies: “Here I am, what do you want?”, and the child says: “Give me that medicine!”, the doctor will either give him exactly what he asks for or something better and more beneficial for him. Or knowing that medicine is harmful for his illness, he will give him nothing.

Thus, since Almighty Allah is all-present and all-seeing, He responds to the supplications of His servants. Through His presence and response, He transforms the desolation of loneliness and solitude into familiarity. But He does this, not in accordance with man’s capricious and importunate demands, but in accordance with the requirements of dominical wisdom; He gives either what is sought or what is better than it, or He gives nothing at all.

Also, supplication is a form of worship and recognition of man’s servitude to Allah. The fruits of this pertain to the hereafter. The aims pertaining to this world are the times of a particular sort of supplication and worship. For example, the prayers and supplications for rain are a form of worship.

Drought is the time for such worship. Worship and supplications of this sort are not in order to bring rain. If they are performed with that intention alone they are not worthy of acceptance, for they are not sincere worship. Sunset is the time of the evening prayers. And eclipses of the sun and moon are the times of two particular prayers known as salat al-kusuf and salat al-khusuf. That is to say, with the veiling of the two luminous signs of the night and day, Allah’s tremendousness is proclaimed, so Almighty Allah calls his servants to a sort of worship at those times. The prayers are not so that the sun and moon will be revealed (whose appearance and how long the eclipses will continue have anyway been reckoned by astronomers).

In just the same way, drought is the time for the prayers for rain, and the visitation of calamities and infliction of harmful things the times of certain supplications when man realizes his impotence and through his supplication and entreaty seeks refuge at the Court of One Possessing Absolute Power. Even if the calamities are not lifted despite many supplications, it may not be said that they were not accepted. It should rather be said that the time for the supplication is not yet over. If through His graciousness and munificence Almighty Allah removes the calamity, light upon light, then the time for that supplication is over and done with. That is to say, supplication has the meaning of worship and man’s acknowledging his servitude to Allah.

As for worship and servitude to Allah, it should be purely and sincerely for the sake of Allah. Man should only proclaim his impotence and seek refuge with Him through supplication, he should not interfere in His dominicality. He should leave the taking of measures to Him and rely on His wisdom. He should not accuse His Mercy.


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