Twenty-Fourth Letter: It explains an important secret of the obscure secrets of the universe, and wisdoms behind the manifestations the divine names of ar-Rahim (All- Compassionate) al-Karim (The Generous) and Wadud (Loving). It consists of two stations.
The Twenty-Fourth Letter
In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
Allah does what He wishes, and decrees what He wills.
Q u e s t i o n : How can the solicitous nurturing, the purposeful and beneficial planning, the loving kindness of the Names of All-Compassionate, All-Wise, and Loving, which are among the greatest of the Divine Names, be reconciled with death and non-existence, decline and separation, and disaster and hardship, which are awesome and terrible? Very well, man goes to eternal happiness, so we can tolerate his passing down the road of death, but for the delicate, lovely species of trees and plants, and the flowers, all living creatures, and the species of animals, which are worthy of existence, lovers of life, and desire permanent life-what compassion and kindness is there in their continuously, without exception, being annihilated, in their swiftly being despatched to non-existence without being allowed to so much as open their eyes, in their being made to work and labour without being allowed to so much as take a breath, in their being changed by calamities with not one of them being left in peace, in their being killed without exception, in their dying with not one of them remaining, in their departing with not one of them being gratified-what wisdom and purpose, what favour and mercy are there in this?
T h e A n s w e r : Through Five Signs which show the necessitating cause and reason, and Five Indications which point out the aims and benefits, we shall try to look from afar at the mighty truth which solves this question, and which is extremely broad, profound, and elevated.
[This consists of Five Signs]
As is described at the end of the Twenty-Sixth Word, when making a precious bejewelled and embroidered garment, a skilful craftsman employs a poor man in return for a commensurate wage. In order to display his skill and art, he dresses the poor man in the garment, then measures it and cuts it, and lengthens and shortens it, and making the man sit down and stand up, he gives it various forms. So does the wretched man have the right to say to the craftsman: “Why are you interfering with this garment which makes me beautiful, and altering and changing it? Why are you making me stand up and sit down, disturbing me and causing me trouble?”
In exactly the same way, in order to display the perfections of His art through the embroideries of His Names, the All-Glorious Maker takes the essential nature of every sort of being as a model, then He clothes them all and especially living creatures in the garment of a body be-jewelled with senses, and inscribes it with the pen of Divine Decree and Determining; thus demonstrating the manifestation of His Names. In addition, He gives to every being a perfection, a pleasure, an effulgence, in a way suitable to it and as a wage.
Has then anything the right to say to the All-Glorious Maker, Who manifests the meaning of, the Lord of All Dominion has free disposal over His realms as He wishes: “You are giving me trouble and disturbing me.”? God forbid! In no way do beings have any rights before the Necessarily Existent One, nor can they claim them; their right is to carry out through offering thanks and praise, what is required by the degree of existence He has given them. For all the degrees of existence that are given are occurrences, and each requires a cause. Degrees which are not given are possibilities, and possibilities are non-existent as well as being infinite. As for instances of non-existence, they do not require a cause. For example, minerals cannot say: “Why weren’t we plants?”; they cannot complain. Their right, since they have received mineral existence, is to offer thanks to their Creator. And plants may not complain asking why they were not animals; their right is to offer thanks, since they have received life as well as existence. As for animals, they may not complain that they are not humans; the right over them rather, since they have been given the precious substance of spirit in addition to life and existence, is to offer thanks. And so on.
O complaining man! You did not remain non-existent; you were clothed in the bounty of existence. You tasted life; you did not remain inanimate, nor become an animal. You received the bounty of Islam; you did not remain in misguidance. You have experienced the bounties of good health and well-being!
O ungrateful one! Where did you win the right not to offer thanks in return for the degrees of existence which Almighty Allah has given you and are pure bounty. How is it that because exalted bounties which are contingencies and non-existent and which you do not deserve have not been given you, you complain about Almighty Allah with meaningless greed, ungrateful for the bounties you have received? If a man rises to an exalted degree like climbing to the top of a minaret and finds a high station, and on every step receives a large bounty, then does not thank the one who gave him the bounties and complainingly asks why he could not have risen higher than the minaret, how wrong he would be, what an ungrateful denial of the bounties, what great foolishness it would be; as even a lunatic would understand.
O discontented greedy, thriftless wasteful, unjustly complaining, heedless man! Know certainly that contentment is profitable thanks, greed is loss-causing ingratitude, and frugality, fine and beneficial respect for bounties. As for wastefulness, it is ugly and harmful contempt for bounties. If you have intelligence, grow accustomed to contentment and try to be satisfied with little. If you cannot endure it, say: “O Most Patient One!” and seek patience. Be satisfied with your lot and do not complain. Understand who is complaining about whom, and be silent. If you have to complain, then complain about your soul to Allah Almighty, for the fault is its.
As is stated at the end of the final matter of the Eighteenth Letter, one instance of wisdom in the All-Glorious Creator constantly changing and renewing beings in an astonishing and awesome fashion through the activity of His dominicality is as follows:
Activity and motion in creatures arises from an appetite, a desire, a pleasure, a love. It may be said that in all activity is a sort of pleasure; even, that every activity is a sort of pleasure. Pleasure too is turned towards a perfection; it is a sort of perfection even. Since activity indicates a perfection, a pleasure, a beauty; and since the Necessarily Existent One, Who is absolute perfection and the Perfect One of Glory, unites in His essence, attributes, and Names every sort of perfection; for sure, in a manner fitting for the necessary existence and holiness of the Necessarily Existent Essence, in a form suitable to His absolute riches and the self-sufficiency of His essence, in a way appropriate to His absolute perfection and freedom from defect, He has a boundless sacred compassion and infinite pure love. Of a certainty, there is an infinite holy eagerness arising from that sacred compassion and pure love; and from that holy eagerness arises an infinite sacred joy. And arising from that sacred joy, is, if the term is permissible, an infinite holy pleasure. And from this holy pleasure and from the gratitude and perfections of creatures which result from the emergence and development of their potentialities within the activity of His power, arise, if one may say so, an infinite sacred gratification and holy pride pertaining to that Most Merciful and Compassionate Essence; and it is these which necessitate a boundless activity. And that boundless activity in turn necessitates boundless change and transformation, alteration and destruction. And that boundless change and transformation necessitate death and extinction, decline and separation.
At one time, the benefits shown by ‘human’ science and philosophy concerning the aims of beings appeared most insignificant in my view. I understood from this that such philosophy leads only to futility. It is for this reason that leading philosophers either fall into the swamp of Nature, or they become Sophists, or they deny Divine knowledge and choice, or they call the Creator “self-necessitating.”
At that point, Divine mercy sent the Name of All-Wise to my aid, and it showed me the great aims of creatures. That is to say, every creature, every artefact, is such a dominical missive that all conscious beings study it. This aim satisfied me for a year. Then the wonders in the art of beings were unfolded to me, and the former aim started to appear insufficient. Another, much greater aim became apparent, which was that the most important aims of creatures look to their Maker. I understood that this aim is to present to His gaze the perfections of His art, the embroideries of His Names, the embellishments of His wisdom, and the gifts of His mercy; it is to be mirrors to His beauty and perfections. This aim satisfied me for a long time. Then the miracles of Divine power and functions of dominicality in the extremely swift changes and transformations within the astonishing activity in the art and creation of things became apparent. The former aim too began to appear insufficient. I understood that a necessitating cause, a motive, as great as this aim was necessary. It was then that the causes in this Second Sign and aims in the Indications to follow became apparent. It was made known to me with complete certainty that “the activity of Divine power in the universe and the constant flood of beings is so meaningful that through it the All-Wise Maker causes all the realms of beings in the universe to speak.” It is as if the beings of the earth and the skies and their motion and actions are the words of their speech; their motion is their speech. That is, the motion and decline arising from activity is speech glorifying Allah. And the activity in the universe, too, is the universe’s silent speech and that of the varieties of its beings; their being made to speak.
Things do not go to non-existence, they rather pass from the sphere of power to the sphere of knowledge; they go from the Manifest World to the World of the Unseen; they turn from the world of change and transience to the worlds of light and eternity. From the point of view of reality, the beauty and perfection in things pertain to the Divine Names and are their impresses and manifestations. Since the Names are eternal and their manifestations, perpetual, certainly their impresses will be renewed, refreshed, and made beautiful. They do not pass and depart for non-existence, only their relative determinations change; their realities, essences, and identities, which are the means of beauty and loveliness, effulgence and perfection, are enduring. The beauty and fineness in beings with no spirits pertain directly to the Divine Names; the honour is theirs; praise is due to them; the beauty is theirs; love goes to them; they suffer no harm on those mirrors changing.
If they are beings with spirits but no intellect, their death and departure is not extinction and vanishing into non-existence, it is being saved from physical existence and the turbulent duties of life. Making over to their spirits, which are immortal, the fruits of the duties they have gained, each relying on a Divine Name, their immortal spirits persist, attaining a happiness worthy of them.
If they are beings possessing both spirits and intellects, their demise is anyway a journeying to everlasting happiness, to the eternal realm, which is the means to perfections, material and non-material, and to the other dwelling-places of the All-Wise Maker, like the Intermediate Realm, the World of Similitudes, and the Spirit World, which surpass this world in beauty and luminosity. Their passing is not death and extinction, separation and non-existence, it is attaining perfection.
I n S h o r t : Since the All-Glorious Maker exists and He is Eternal, and since His attributes and Names are perpetual and everlasting; certainly His Names’ manifestations and impresses are renewed, affording a sort of perpetualness; they are not destroyed and transitory, departing for non-being. It is clear that by reason of his humanity, man is connected with most other beings; he receives pleasure at their happiness, and is grieved at their destruction. And he is more grieved at the suffering of living creatures, of mankind in particular, and particularly of those possessing perfection he loves and admires; and his happiness is greater at their happiness. Like a fond mother, even, he sacrifices his own happiness and comfort for their happiness. Thus, in accordance with their degree, through the light of the Qur’an and mystery of belief, all believers may be happy at the happiness of all beings, and at their enduring and being saved from nothingness and their being valuable dominical missives; they may gain a light as extensive as the world. Everyone may profit from this light according to his degree. As for the people of misguidance, they are grieved at the destruction of all beings, at their transience and apparently being despatched to non-existence-and if they have spirits, at their suffering, in addition to their own pains. That is to say, their unbelief fills their world with non-existence; it empties it over their heads, causing them Hell before they go there.
As we have said in many places, a monarch has various different offices and departments proceeding from his titles like Sultan, Khalifa, Judge, and Commander-in-Chief, and in the same way, Almighty Allah’s Most Beautiful Names have innumerable different sorts of manifestations. The varieties and different sorts of creatures arise from the varieties of manifestations. Thus, in accordance with the fact that every possessor of beauty and perfection has an innate desire to see and display his beauty and perfection, those various Names too -since they are constant and eternal- want to be displayed in permanent fashion on account of the Most Pure and Holy Essence. That is to say, they want to see their impresses; that is, to see the manifestation of their beauty and reflection of their perfection in the mirrors of their embroideries; that is, to renew every instant the mighty book of the universe and the different missives of beings; that is, to constantly write them anew; that is, to write thousands of different missives on a single page and to display each missive to the witnessing gaze of the Sacred Essence, the Most Pure and Holy One Who is Signified; and together with this, to exhibit them to the meditative gazes of all sentient beings, and cause them to read them. Consider the following poem which alludes to this truth:
The leaves of the book of the world are of variety incalculable,
Its letters and words, too, are of number infinite;
Inscribed on the workbench of the Preserved Tablet of reality,
An embodied meaningful word, is each being in the world.
Study the lines of the universe; for they are missives to you from the Sublime Assembly.
The Fifth Sign consists of Two Points.
F i r s t P o i n t : Since Almighty Allah exists, everything exists. Since they have a relation with Almighty Allah, all things exist for everything. For through the mystery of Unity, through the relation with the Necessarily Existent One, all beings become connected with all other beings. That means, through the mystery of Unity, every being which knows its relation with the Necessarily Existent One, or whose relation is known, becomes related with all beings which are related to Him. This means, from the point of view of the relation, every being may manifest endless lights of existence. There is no separation or death from that point of view. To live for a single passing second is the means to innumerable lights of existence. Whereas if the relation does not exist or is not known, the being manifests infinite separations and deaths. For in that case, in the face of every being with which he could have been connected, he is exposed to a separation, a parting, a death. That is, he burdens his own personal existence with endless instances of non-existence and separation. Should he remain in existence for a million years even (without connection), it would not be as much as living for an instant being related in the former respect. The people of reality have said therefore: “Illumined existence for even a passing instant is preferable to a million years of profitless existence.” And it is also because of this that those who have researched into the realities of creation have said: “The lights of existence become apparent through recognizing the Necessarily Existent One.” That is to say: “In that case, the universe is seen to be full of angels, spirit beings, and intelligent beings within lights of existence. Whereas without them, the darkness of non-existence and pains of death and separation encompass all beings. The world appears in such a view to be an empty and desolate wasteland.”
Indeed, each one of a tree’s fruits has a relation with all the other fruits on the tree, and since through the relation, each is its friend and brother, it possesses accidental existences to their number. But when the fruit is plucked from the tree, a separation and death comes about in the face of all the other fruits; they all become as though non-existent for it; a darkness of external non-existence results for it.
In exactly the same way, in respect of being related to the Power of the Single Eternally Besoughted One, for everything, all things exist. If not for that relation, there would be external non-existences for all things to the number of things.
And so, from this Sign you may see the vastness of the lights of belief and the terrifying darkness of misguidance. That is, belief is the title of the elevated truth described in this Sign; and it may be benefited from through belief. In the absence of belief, just as everything is non-existent for someone who is blind, deaf, dumb, and stupid, so is everything non-existent and dark for one without belief.
S e c o n d P o i n t : The world and all things have three faces:
The First Face looks to the Divine Names and is their mirror. Death, separation, and non-existence cannot intrude on this face; there is rather renewal and renovation.
The Second Face looks to the hereafter and gazes upon the World of Eternity; it is like its arable field. Enduring fruits and produce are raised on this face. It serves eternity, and makes transitory things as though eternal. On this face too there is no death and decline, but the manifestations of life and eternity.
The Third Face looks to transient beings, that is, to us. It is the beloved of ephemeral beings and those who follow the caprices of their souls; the place of trade for the conscious; the arena of trial and examination for those charged with duties. Thus, the salve and cure for the pains and wounds of the transience and decline, the death and extinction, on this third face, are the manifestations of life and eternity in its inner face.
I n S h o r t : This flood of beings, these travelling creatures, are moving mirrors and changing places of manifestation for the renewal of the Necessarily Existent One’s lights of creation and existence.
[The Second Station consists of an Introduction and Five Indications. The Introduction contains Two Topics.]
F i r s t T o p i c : In each of the following Five Indications is a comparison, written in the form of a dull, short-ranged telescope, in order to observe the attributes of dominicality. These comparisons cannot contain the reality of those attributes; they cannot encompass them and be the measure of them, but they can assist in looking at them. Any phrases or expressions in the comparisons, or in the previous Signs, unfitting for the attributes of the Most Pure and Holy Essence are the fault of the comparisons.
For example, the meanings of pleasure, joy, and gratification known by us cannot express the sacred attributes, but each is the title of an observatory, a means of reflective thought. In addition, through showing in a small example the tip of an encompassing, mighty law of dominicality, it proves the reality of the law within the attributes of dominicality. For example, it is said that a flower departs from existence leaving behind it thousands of existences; this demonstrates a mighty law of dominicality which is in force in all the beings of spring, indeed, of all the world.
Yes, through whichever law the All-Compassionate Creator changes and renews the feathered dress of a bird, through the same law that All-Wise Maker renews the dress of the globe of the earth every year. Through the same law, He transforms the shape of the world every century. And through the same law, He will change the form of the universe at the resurrection of the dead.
Through whichever law He impels particles like Mevlevi dervishes, He makes the earth spin through the same law, like an ecstatic Mevlevi dervish rising up to dance the sama‘. And through that law, He causes worlds to revolve, and the solar system to travel through space.
Through whichever law He renews, repairs, and dissolves the particles in your body’s cells, through the same law, He renews your garden every year, making it anew many times every season. And through the same law, He renews the face of the earth every spring, drawing a fresh veil over its face.
Through whichever law that All-Powerful Maker raises a fly to life, through the same law He restores to life the plane-tree before your window every spring; and through that law, He raises the globe of the earth to life in the spring; and through the same law will raise creatures to life at the resurrection. The Qur’an alludes to this with the verse,
Your creation and your resurrection is but as a single soul.1
And so on; you can make further examples in the same way.
There are many laws of dominicality like these which are in force from particles to the totality of the world. Consider the immensity of these laws within dominical activity; note carefully their breadth, and see the meaning of Unity within them. Understand that each law is a proof of Divine Unity. Yes, through each of these numerous and immense laws being the manifestation of knowledge and will, and being both the same and all-encompassing, each also proves most certainly the Maker’s Unity, knowledge, and will.
Thus, most of the comparisons in the Words [Risale-i Nur] show the tips of laws like these through a small example, and by doing this, point to the existence of the same law in the matter claimed. Since the existence of the law is demonstrated through a comparison, it proves the assertion as categorically as a logical proof. That is to say, most of the comparisons in the Words may be seen as categorical proofs and certain arguments.
S e c o n d T o p i c : As described in the Tenth Truth of the Tenth Word, however many flowers and fruits there are on a tree, each has aims, purposes, and instances of wisdom to that number. These instances of wisdom are of three sorts:
One sort looks to the Maker and displays the embroideries of His Names.
Another sort looks to intelligent and conscious beings, and in the view of the conscious, things are valuable missives and meaningful words.
Another sort looks to itself and to its own life and perpetuation; and if beneficial for man, the being contains instances of wisdom accordingly.
At one time, while contemplating on how all beings have such numerous aims, the following phrases occurred to me in Arabic, which, like notes forming the basis of the following Indications, allude to those universal aims:
These glorious beings are flowing places of manifestation and roving mirrors for the renewal of the manifestations of the lights of His creativity, Glory be unto Him: through the changing of their relative determinations, * Firstly, and by preserving their beautiful meanings and their identities in the World of Similitudes; * Secondly, and producing truths pertaining to the World of the Unseen and the weavings of the Preserved Tablet; * Thirdly, and spreading the fruits of the hereafter and publishing everlasting panoramas; * Fourthly, and proclaiming dominical glorifications and making known what the Divine Names necessitate; * Fifthly, so that the Divine attributes become apparent and the aspects of Divine knowledge.
These five sections comprise the bases of the Indications we shall discuss below. Yes, all beings, and particularly living beings, possess on five levels different aims and instances of wisdom and purposes. Like a tree produces fruit on branches one over the other, so all living beings have five different levels of aims and purposes.
O ephemeral man! If you want your own reality which is like a small seed to be transformed into an eternal fruit-bearing tree, and to obtain the ten levels of fruits and ten sorts of aims pointed out in the five Indications, acquire true belief. Otherwise, in addition to being deprived of all of them, you will be squeezed into that seed and you will rot!
Firstly: through the changing of their relative determinations, and by preserving their beautiful meanings and their identities in the World of Similitudes.
This section expresses the following: although a being apparently disappears into non-existence after departing from existence, the meanings it has expressed are preserved and perpetuated. Its identity, form, and essential nature are preserved also in the World of Similitudes, on the Preserved Tablets, which are samples of the World of Similitudes, and in memories, which are samples of the Preserved Tablets. That is, the being loses its visible existence, and gains hundreds of immaterial existences and existences in knowledge.
For example, in order to print a page in a printing-press, the type is set up and arranged. Then after the page has bequeathed its form and identity to many pages on being printed and after it has proclaimed its meanings to many minds, the arrangement of the type is changed. For no need remains for it, also other pages have to be printed.
In exactly the same way, the pen of Divine Determining sets up and arranges the beings of the earth, and especially plants. Divine power creates them on the page of the springtime. Then in order for them to express their beautiful meanings and for their forms and identities to pass to the ledgers of the World of the Unseen, like the World of Similitudes, Divine wisdom requires that the arrangement be changed. In this way, the page of another, future spring may be written and its beings express their meanings too.
Secondly, and producing truths pertaining to the World of the Unseen and the weavings of the Preserved Tablet.
This section indicates that before departing from existence, everything, whether particular or universal, and particularly living beings, produces many truths pertaining to the Unseen. So too they leave behind them on the tablets and notebooks of the World of Similitudes forms to the number of the stages of their lives; their life histories and those of their forms that are meaningful are inscribed and become objects of study for spirit beings.
For example, a flower passes from existence, but together with leaving behind its essential nature in its hundreds of seeds, it also leaves thousands of its forms on small Preserved Tablets and in memories, which are small samples of the Preserved Tablets, and through the stages of its life, causes conscious beings to study the embroideries of the Divine Names and dominical glorifications it expresses; then it departs.
Similarly, adorned with finely wrought beings in the flower-pot of the face of the earth, the springtime is a flower; it apparently passes and departs for non-existence, but in its place it leaves behind in existence the truths pertaining to the Unseen it has expressed to the number of its seeds, and identities in the World of Similitudes it has published to the number of its flowers, and the instances of dominical wisdom it has displayed to the number of its beings; only then is it hidden from us. Moreover, it makes room for its friends, other springs, to come and perform their duties. That is to say, the spring is divested of an external existence, and in meaning is clothed in a thousand existences.
Thirdly, and spreading the fruits of the hereafter and publishing everlasting panoramas.
This section states that the world is a workbench and arable field raising crops suitable for the market of the hereafter. We have proved in many of the Words that just as jinn and men send their actions to the market of the hereafter, so too the other beings of the world perform numerous duties on account of the hereafter and produce many crops for it. It may even be said that the earth travels for them, or even that this is its purpose. This dominical ship traverses a twenty-four thousand year distance in one year, circumscribing the field of the resurrection.
For example, the people of Paradise will surely desire to recall their adventures in this world and recount them to one another. They will be exceedingly curious to see the images and pictures of those adventures, and if they watch them like watching the cinema screen, they will enjoy it immensely. Since that is the case, as the verse,
[Joyfully] facing each other on thrones [of dignity]2
indicates, there will be in Paradise, the realm of delight and happiness, the recounting of worldly adventures and scenes of worldly happenings, amid everlasting panoramas.
Thus, these beautiful beings appearing for a moment then disappearing, and their following on one after the other in succession, appear to be factories and workshops for manufacturing the vistas of eternity. For example, in order to afford a sort of permanence to transient situations and leave a souvenir for the people of the future, the people of present-day civilization record the forms of beautiful or strange situations and present them as gifts to the future by means of the cinema screen; they show the past in the present and the future, and include it in them.
In just the same way, the All-Wise Maker of the beings of spring and this world records the aims of their brief lives which look to the World of Eternity in that world, and He records in everlasting scenes in the Eternal Realm the vital duties and the Divine miracles those beings have performed throughout the stages of their lives, as is the requirement of His Names of All-Wise, All-Compassionate, and Loving.
Fourthly, and proclaiming dominical glorifications and making known the requirements of the Divine Names.
This sections states that throughout the stages of their lives, beings perform numerous varieties of dominical glorifications. They also demonstrate various situations that the Divine Names necessitate and require. For example, the Name of All-Compassionate desires to be compassionate. The Name of Provider necessitates the giving of sustenance. The Name of Gracious requires the granting of favours. And so on; all the Divine Names require and necessitate something. Thus, in addition to demonstrating the requirements of the Names through their lives and existences, all living beings glorify the All-Wise Maker to the number of their members and faculties.
For example, a man eats delicious fruits which are then dissolved in his stomach and apparently destroyed, but in addition to producing a pleasure and eagerness arising from activity in all the cells of his body as well as his mouth and stomach, they are the means to very many instances of wisdom like nurturing his life and every part of his body and causing his life to continue. The food itself also rises from vegetable existence to the level of human life; it progresses.
In exactly the same way, when beings are hidden behind the veil of death, in addition to their very many glorifications enduring in their places, they bequeath to the Divine Names many of the Names’ embroideries and requirements. That is to say, they depart entrusting them to an eternal existence. If, then, on the departure of a transient and temporary existence thousands of existences manifesting a sort of permanence remain in its place, can it be said that the thing is to be pitied, or that it was all for nothing, or why did that lovable creature depart; can it be complained about? It is rather that the mercy, wisdom, and love which look to it required and necessitated it to be thus. Otherwise it would be necessary to abandon thousands of benefits so that a single harm should not come about; in which case the harm would be a thousandfold. That is to say, the Names of All-Compassionate, All-Wise, and Loving One are not opposed to death and separation; indeed, they require and necessitate it.
Fifthly, so that the Divine attributes become apparent and the aspects of Divine knowledge.
This section states that on departing from visible existence, beings, and particularly living beings, leave behind them many enduring things. As described in the Second Sign, among the attributes of dominicality in a way fitting to the sacredness and perfect self-sufficiency of the Necessarily Existent Essence, and in a form worthy of Him, are a boundless love, an infinite compassion, an endless pride, and, if the term is permissible, a boundless holy pleasure, a joy, and if the expression is not mistaken, an infinite sacred delight, and a transcendent happiness; the traces of which are to be observed and seen.
Thus, through change and transformation, decline and transience, beings are driven on at speed within the astonishing activity necessitated by these attributes; they are constantly sent from the Manifest World to the World of the Hereafter. Under the manifestations of the attributes, creatures are shaken up in a continual flow and flood, motion and movement, scattering to the ears of the heedless the lamentations of death and separation, and to the hearing of the people of guidance, a clamour of glorification and recitation of Allah’s Names. It is due to this mystery that all beings depart leaving behind them in existence meanings, qualities, and states which will each be the means to the manifestation of the Necessarily Existent One’s eternal attributes.
Furthermore, beings depart leaving behind them the stages and states they have undergone throughout their lives -a detailed existence which represents their external existence- on the Preserved Tablet, and in the Clear Book and Clear Record, and other spheres like these pertaining to Divine Knowledge where there is existence. This means that every transitory being abandons one existence and gains thousands of permanent existences.
For example, a number of common substances are thrown into a wondrous machine in a factory; they burn up inside it and are apparently destroyed, but in those vats valuable chemical substances are precipitated. Also, through its force and steam, the factory’s machinery works: in one area of it textiles are woven, in another books are printed, while in another sweets and other rare confections are manufactured; and so on; it is the means to these. That is to say, thousands of things come into existence through the burning of those common substances and their apparently being destroyed. One common existence departs, but it leaves a legacy of numerous elevated existences. Can one therefore feel sorry for the common substance? Can one complain about the factory owner because he did not pity it and burnt it, destroying those affectionate substances?
In exactly the same way, And Allah’s is the highest similitude,3 as necessitated by mercy, wisdom, and lovingness, the Wise, Compassionate, and Loving Creator causes the factory of the universe to work. He makes all transient existences the seeds to numerous perpetual existences; He makes them the means for the fulfilment of the dominical aims; He makes them manifest the Divine functions; He makes them the ink for the pen of Divine Determining and shuttles for the weaving of Divine power; and for many elevated aims and favours which we do not yet know, through the activity of His power, He causes the activity of the universe; He causes particles to spin, beings to travel, animals to flow, and the planets to rotate; He makes the universe speak, causing it to silently recite His verses, His signs, and to inscribe them. And of the creatures of the earth -with regard to His dominicality- He makes the air a Throne to His command and will; the element of light a Throne to His knowledge and wisdom; water a Throne to His bounty and mercy; and earth a Throne to His preservation and giving of life; and three of these Thrones He rests on the creatures of the earth.
Know certainly that the shining truth demonstrated in these Five Signs and Five Indications is to be seen through the light of the Qur’an and may be laid claim to through the strength of belief. Otherwise a terrifying darkness takes the place of this enduring truth. For the people of misguidance, the world is full to overflowing with deaths, separations, and non-existence; for them, the universe becomes a sort of Hell. Having only a flash of existence, everything is surrounded by never-ending non-existence. The past and the future are filled with the darkness of non-existence; they may find a sad light of existence only in the fleeting present. While through the mystery of the Qur’an and the light of belief, a light of existence becomes apparent which shines from pre-eternity to post-eternity; they may become connected with that, and through it secure eternal happiness.
I n S h o r t : In the manner of the poet Niyazi Misri, we say:
Till this breath becomes the ocean,
Till this cage is smashed to fragments,
Till this voice is silenced,
I shall call: O Truth! O Existent! O Living One! O Worshipped One!
O Most Wise! O Sought One! O Compassionate One! O Loving One!
And I call out:
There is no god but Allah, the Sovereign, the Truth, the Evident; Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, faithful in His promise, Amen.
And believing, I state:
Resurrection after death is a reality; Paradise is a reality; Hell-fire is a reality; eternal happiness is a reality; Allah is Compassionate, Wise, and Loving; and Mercy, Wisdom, and Love encompass all things and all their attributes.
And they shall say: “Praise be to Allah, Who has guided us to this [felicity]; never could we have found guidance, had it not been for the guidance of Allah; indeed, it was the truth that the prophets of our Sustainer brought to us!”4
Glory be to He Who has made the garden of the earth: the exhibition of His art, the gathering of His creatures, the place of manifestation of His power, the means of His wisdom, the garden of His mercy, the tillage of His Paradise, the place of passage of creatures, the place through which beings flow, the measure of artefacts; adorned by animals, embroidered with birds, made fruitful by trees, made to blossom with flowers; miracles of His knowledge, wonders of His art, gifts of His munificence, proofs of His favour, evidences of His Unity, subtleties of His wisdom, witnesses to His mercy; the smiling of the blossoms with the adornment of fruits, the singing of the birds in the breezes of morning, the pattering of the rain on the cheeks of the flowers; the adornment of the flowers, the embellishment of the fruits in these gardens; all mothers, human and animal, are tender towards their small young, making known a Loving One, making loved a Merciful One, the compassion of a Kind One, the tenderness of One sympathetic to man and jinn, and to spirits, animals, angels, and jinn.
1. Qur’an, 31:28.
2. Qur’an, 15:47; 37:44.
3. Qur’an, 16:60.
4. Qur’an, 7:43.