One Time when I Awoke in the Morning of Old Age…
One time when I awoke in the morning of old age from the sleep of the night of youth I looked at myself and saw that my life was hastening towards the grave as though racing down a slope. As Niyazi Misri said:
Each day a stone from the building of my life falls to the ground;
Heedless one! You slumber, unaware that the building is in ruins!
My body, my spirit’s dwelling, was becoming dilapidated with every day a stone of it falling away. My hopes and ambitions which bound me strongly to the world had begun to be broken off from it. I felt that the time I would be separated from my innumerable friends and those I loved was drawing near. I searched for a salve for that deep and apparently incurable spiritual wound, but I could not find one. Again like Niyazi Misri said:
While my heart desired its immortality, Reality required the passing of my body;
I am afflicted with an incurable ill, which even Luqman could not cure! (1)
Then suddenly the light and intercession of the Glorious Prophet (UWBP), the tongue, model, exemplar, herald, and representative of divine compassion, and the gift of guidance he brought to mankind, soothed and healed the wound I had supposed to be incurable and endless.
Yes, respected elderly men and women who feel their old age like I do! We are departing, there is no use in deceiving ourselves. Even if we close our eyes to it, we will not remain here. There is a mobilization. The land of the Intermediate Realm, which appears to us to be dark and full of separation due to the gloomy delusions which arise from heedlessness and in part from the people of misguidance, is the meeting-place of friends. It is the world where we shall meet with foremost Allah (God)’s Beloved (Upon whom be blessings and peace), and with all our friends.
We are going to the world of the one who every year for one thousand three hundred and fifty years has been the ruler of one thousand three hundred and fifty million people, and the trainer of their spirits, the teacher of their minds, and the beloved of their hearts; to whose book of good works, in accordance with the meaning of “the cause is like the doer,” is every day added the equivalent of all the good works performed by his community; who is the means by which the elevated divine purposes in the universe are accomplished and the high value of beings are realized. When he came into the world, according to authentic narrations and accurate divining of reality, he exclaimed: “My community! My community!”(My Ummah) So too at the Last Judgement when everyone thinks only of themselves, he will again declare: “My community! My community!”, and with sacred, elevated self-sacrifice hasten with his intercession to its assistance. We are going to such a world, illuminated by the stars of countless saints and purified scholars revolving around that Sun (UWBP).
Thus, the way to share in that Being’s (UWBP) intercession and profit from his light, and be saved from the darkness of the Intermediate Realm, is to follow his glorious practices.
At the time I approached old age, my physical health, which perpetuates heedlessness, was broken. Old age and illness attacked me in concert. Hitting me over the head, they chased away sleep. I had nothing to bind me to the world like family, children, and possessions. Having wasted the fruits of my life’s the capital on the giddiness of youth, I saw them to consist only of sins and mistakes. Crying out like Niyazi Misri, I said:
I had concluded no trade; the capital of life was all lost;
I came to the road to find the caravan had moved on, unaware.
Lamenting, I continued down the road, all alone, a stranger;
My eyes weeping, my heart in anguish, my mind bewildered, unaware.
I was in exile at the time; I felt a despairing sorrow, a regretful penitence, a longing for assistance. Suddenly, the All-Wise Qur’an came to my aid. It opened a door of hope so powerful and afforded a light of consolation so true that it could have dispelled despair and darknesses a hundred times more intense than mine.
Yes, respected elderly men and women whose attachment to the world has begun to be sundered and the ties binding them to be broken! Is it possible that the All-Glorious Maker who creates this world as a perfectly ordered city or palace would not speak with his most important guests and friends or not meet with them? Since He knowingly made the palace and ordered and adorned it through His will and choice, certainly as one who makes knows, so one who knows will speak. Since He made this palace and city into a fine guesthouse and place of trade for us, He will surely have a book, a file, to explain His relations with us and what He desires from us.
The most holy of such Books is the Qur’an of Miraculous Exposition; it is a miracle in forty respects and is every instant on the tongues of at least a hundred million people; it scatters light, and every letter of it affords at least ten merits and rewards, and fruits of Paradise and lights in the Intermediate Realm, and sometimes ten thousand, and sometimes – through the mystery of the Night of Power – thirty thousand. There is no book in the universe to compete with it in this respect and no one could put one forward. Since this Qur’an which we have is the Word of the All-Glorious Creator of the heavens and earth, proceeding from His absolute dominicality, the tremendousness of His Godhead, and His all-encompassing mercy, and is His decree and a source of His mercy; adhere to it. In it are found a cure for every ill, a light for every darkness, and a hope for all despair. And the key to this eternal treasury is belief and submission to Allah (God), and listening to the Qur’an and accepting it, and reciting it.
26th Flash, Risale-i Nur Collection
Bediuzzaman Said Nursi
(1) That is to say, although with all its strength my heart wanted my body to be immortal, divine wisdom necessitated its destruction. I was afflicted with an incurable ill for which even Luqman the Wise could find no solution.