In His Name, be He glorified.
There is not a thing but it glorifies Him with praise.
Upon you be peace and His Mercy and blessing everlastingly.
My friends in prison and brothers in religion,
It has occurred to me to explain to you a truth through which you may be saved both from worldly torment and the torment of the Hereafter. It is as follows:
For example, a person killed someone’s brother or other of his relatives. A murder resulting from a minute’s satisfaction of revenge causes millions of minutes of distress and the troubles of imprisonment. In addition, the fear of retaliation by the murdered man’s relatives, the anxiety of always being pursued by an enemy drive away all pleasure and enjoyment in life. The person thus suffers both fear and vexation. There is only one solution for this, and that is reconciliation, which the Qur’an commands, and right, truth, humanity, and Islam, and also the advantage to both parties require and encourage.
Indeed, both right and truth and mutual advantage for both parties require reconciliation. For the appointed hour of death is fixed, and it does not change. Since his appointed hour had come, the murdered man would not have lived any longer. The murderer was the means of God’s decree being carried out. Unless they are reconciled, both parties continue to suffer the torments of fear and vindictiveness. It is because of this that Islam commands that a believer should not be angered or bear a grudge against another believer for more than three days. Especially, if the murder was not the result of a vindictive grudge and enmity or the deceiving mischief of someone who incited the discord, the parties must make peace without any delay. Otherwise, that minor disaster becomes a large one, and continues. If they make peace, and the murderer repents and prays continually for the one he killed, then both parties will gain much and become like brothers. In compensation for a brother lost, they will gain several brothers in religion. In submission to Divine Destiny and Decree, they should give up enmity, and especially since they have taken part in the lessons of the Risale-i Nur, both individual and collective peace and brotherhood in the circle of the Risale-i Nur require that they put aside all grudges between them.
In Denizli prison, all the prisoners who had been enemies became brothers through the lessons of the Risale-i Nur, which formed one of the reasons for our acquittal, and caused even the irreligious outlaws to say concerning those prisoners, “What wonders God wills and creates! God bless them!” I have, however, seen here that a hundred men suffer troubles because of one man and do not go out to enjoy the fresh air together. A manly believer of sound conscience will not cause other believers harm because of some insignificant and minor error or advantage. If he makes a mistake and causes harm, he should repent immediately.
My dear new brothers and old prisoners,
I have been convinced that Divine Favor made you an important reason for our entering here. That is, with its consolation and the truths of belief, the Qur’an is to save you from the distress of imprisonment and much of the worldly harm thereof, and to save your life, which would otherwise be wasting in grief and sorrow, from being wasted. It is also to save you from moaning both in this world and the next.
If this is so, then evidently you should be brothers to one another. You see with your own eyes that they search through everything—food, bread and other things—which comes to you from outside so that a knife should not be brought in with which you may attack each other. Besides, the guards who faithfully serve you suffer much trouble, and you do not go out to have fresh air, as they think that you may attack one another like wild beasts. Now, you new friends, who are by nature heroic and courageous, should display an example of spiritual valor and say to the administrative board of the prison:
Even if, instead of knives, we were given guns and revolvers and ordered to use them, we would not hurt these unfortunate friends of ours who suffer the same as we do. As a requirement of belief and Islamic brotherhood and our interests, and as the Qur’an commands, we are determined to forgive them and to try not to offend them, even if formerly there were a hundred reasons for our hostility.” And by this means and attitude, you may transform this prison into a blessed place of study.
This article has been adapted from Risale- i Nur Collection.