I saw one manifestation of In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate in this way:
Three stamps of Lordship, one within the other and each carrying a pattern of the others, are impressed upon the face of the universe, the earth, and man.
First: the great stamp of Divinity, evident in the co-operation of all entities in the universe, their general interconnectedness and reciprocity. And the referent of this is In the Name of God.
Second: the great stamp of Divine Mercifulness, evident through the likeness and form, the orderliness and harmony, grace and compassion in the disposal, raising and administration of plants and animals on the face of the earth. And the referent of this is the Merciful in In the Name of God, the Merciful.
Third: The noble stamp of Divine Compassion evident in the subtleties of Divine Goodness, the delicate adjustments of Divine Mildness, the scattering of the light of the Divine Compassion on the face of man’s comprehensive nature. And the referent of this is the Compassionate in In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
The basmala, then, is the holy expression of the three stamps of Divine Oneness, which form a luminous line on the page of the universe, a robust stay, and a golden thread. Revealed from above, the tip of In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate rests upon man, who is a miniature of the universe and its fruit. And the basmala links the world to the Divine Throne and is a stairway for man’s ascent to it.
Divine Mercy fills and lights up boundless space, an otherwise empty void, making it rejoice. Divine Mercy appoints eternity for transient man. And it bestows on man the rank of the beloved of the One, Eternal before and after eternity.
Divine Mercy causes the boundless universe to rejoice. It gives the spark of light and life to the dark entities. Again, Divine Mercy nurtures and raises creatures struggling in their endless neediness. It causes the whole universe to be directed toward man, in the same way as a tree together with all its parts is directed toward its fruit, and to hasten to man’s assistance. Divine Mercy fills and lights up boundless space, an otherwise empty void, making it rejoice. Divine Mercy appoints eternity for transient man. And It bestows on man the rank of the beloved of the One, Eternal before and after eternity.
O man! Since Divine Mercy is so powerful a truth, and so inviting, so mild, so helpful, so worthy of love, say: In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Cling to this truth and be rescued from utter desolation and the hardships of continual neediness. Draw near to the Sovereign, Eternal before and after eternity, and become the one addressed, befriended, and beloved of that Sovereign.
That the many kinds of entities in the universe are gathered around man with purpose and foresight, and hasten to provide all his needs with perfect orderliness and grace—plainly, this situation requires explanation. Either every kind of entity in the universe itself recognizes man and so runs to his help obediently—which is as irrational as it is impossible—or a creature so weak as man possesses the power of the mightiest, absolute sovereign. A third possibility is that help to man reaches him through the recognition of One Absolutely Powerful, behind the veil of the visible universe. In other words, it is not that the different entities in the universe recognize man, but that their doing so is an evidence that One, All-Knowing and Compassionate, is acquainted with him and recognizes him.
O man! Come to your senses! The All-Majestic One causes all kinds of entities to turn toward you, their hands outstretched, offering assistance and saying “Here we are!” when you are in need. How could it be that He does not know you, that He does not see you, that He is not aware of you? He teaches you that He knows you through His Mercy. Then, know Him also and reverently show that you do. Know for sure that Divine Mercy, comprising Wisdom, Grace, Knowledge, and Power, subjects the extensive universe to a creature like yourself -- slight, transient, feeble, powerless and needy-- and submits it to your service.
Mercy requires total and sincere gratitude, an honest and ardent reverence.
Without doubt, such Mercy requires total and sincere gratitude, an honest and ardent reverence. Say, then: In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate, which expresses and interprets such sincere gratitude and honest reverence. Make it the means of an admission to His Mercy, an intercessor and advocate at the Court of the All-Merciful.
The Gracious All-Merciful One submits to the service of life the sun and moon, elements and minerals, and plants and animals like the warp and weft of a vast tapestry woven from the light of His thousand and one Names. He demonstrates His Compassion in the self-sacrifice, the extraordinary sweetness of compassion, of motherhood in plants and animals. Also He subjects all animate life to man and thereby shows man’s importance, his being the finest, loveliest weave from the Divine Lordship. And, thus, He makes evident the brilliance of His Mercy. In the light of His own absolute lack of need, God made His Mercy the acceptable intercessor for His sentient creatures and man.
As the Seal of Mercy and Divine Oneness is impressed upon the face of the earth, so also is it impressed upon the face of man’s nature. And the Mercy stamped upon him is not less than that Compassion and Mercy stamped upon the face of the whole, vast universe. Plainly, man does possess a comprehensive nature as the center of the weave, the focal point of a thousand and one Divine Names.
This article has been adapted from Risale- i Nur Collection.