The Intrigues of Human and Satanic Devils and Struggling Against Them
This part has been written in order to warn the pupils and servants of the Wise Qur’an against delusions.
In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate
Do not incline toward those who do wrong lest Fire should touch you. (11:113)
What follows brings to nothing the six intrigues of human and Satanic devils and blocks up six of their routes of assaults.
Love of post and position and struggling against it
Human devils desire, based on the lesson they learn from Satan, to delude the self-sacrificing servants of the Qur’an through the love of post and positions and thereby to cause them to give up that exalted service and spiritual holy struggle.
Every worldly individual suffers some degree of ambition for fame, some love of position and, through that fame and show, the desire to acquire a status in the eyes of people. He is so fond of fame that he may even sacrifice his life for its sake. However, this desire, perilous for the people of the afterlife, is also destructive for the worldly-minded; it is the origin of many bad morals, and the weakest point in human character. By exciting this desire for public recognition, by working on this weak point in human character, the human devils can subdue a man and make him attached to themselves. What I fear most for my brothers is that the heretics are most likely to make use of that weak spot in them. It troubles me greatly. They have deceived a number of my poor friends and put them in danger.
O my brothers and companions in the service of the Qur’an, say to the intriguing agents of the worldly people, and the heralds of misguidance and the disciples of Satan:
God’s approval, the compliments of the All-Merciful, the acceptance of the Lord is so great a station or position that, when compared with it, the favor and commendation of people mean almost nothing. If God likes and approves us, then the approval or commendation of people may be accepted provided it is a reflection of God’s approval. Otherwise, it should not be desired, for it is of no use at the gate of the grave.
If, despite this, you are not able to overcome the love of position and the desire for status in the eyes of people, you can channel it into another direction, as will be explained below:
Such desire may be permissible if directed to gain a spiritual reward or founded on the intention of earning the prayers of people and of securing the influence of the service on others. The following comparison will clarify the point:
Let us suppose that the mosque of Aya Sofia is full of pious worshippers, and there are some idle boys and vagabonds at the gate or the antechamber and foreign lookers-on, fond of amusement, at the windows. If a man entered the mosque and recited beautifully a page of the Qur’an, the hundreds of the pious, truth-loving worshippers in the mosque would welcome, approve and commend him, and, by calling God’s blessing on him, cause him to gain spiritual rewards. Only those urchins, and sinful vagabonds, and the few foreigners would disapprove of him. If, by contrast, that man were, instead of reciting the Qur’an, to chant obscenities and dance violently in the mosque, he would amuse the idle boys, delight the sinful tramps by inciting them to more indecencies, and attract the ironical approval of foreigners, who take pleasure in witnessing the misery of Islam and Muslims. However, he would be disliked and condemned by every member of the huge blessed congregation, and seem to them among the lowest of the low.
The mosque in the comparison corresponds to the Muslim world in general, or Asia in particular. The believers and people of truth are the congregation. The idle boys represent foolish people, and the immoral vagabonds stand for the irreligious and heretical imitators of the West. As for the foreign lookers-on, they are the journalists who spread the foreign ideas. Every Muslim, especially the one of piety and perfection, has, according to his degree of practicing his religion, a place in the mosque and a position in the eyes of Muslims. If he does deeds and acts in compliance with the sacred truths and commandments of the Qur’an, with sincerity and for the good pleasure of God, which is the basis of Islamic life, and the meaning of the Qur’anic verses is demonstrated through his conduct, he is included in the supplication, O God, forgive all the believers, male and female, always said by all the world Muslims, and establishes a brotherly relation with all of them. He is only disapproved by some people of misguidance far below the rank of humanity, or by the single-minded who may be regarded as ‘bearded children’, that is, adults in appearance but children in mind and character.
If, on the other hand, that man breaks away from all his ancestors, whom he recognizes as the means of honor and pride, and breaks from the illustrious way of the righteous precedents, which he takes as a spiritual source of support, to become, instead, engaged in whims and fancies, and occupied with irreligious novelties for show and fame, he will be degraded to the lowest of the low in the eyes of the people of faith and truth. However ignorant and ordinary a believer may be, nevertheless, according to the Prophetic judgment, Fear the insight of the believer, for he looks with the light of God,1 he unconsciously turns away in disgust from such vainglorious people.
Thus, the one who acts to please and indulge the worldly and the heretics for the sake of fame or to gain a position in their eyes, falls to the lowest of the low in the eyes of a huge congregation, the great majority of the Muslim community. He achieves only a transient and inauspicious position in the eyes of a small minority of people suffering delirium and derision – according to the Qur’anic verse, Friends on that day will be foes one to another except those who fear God and avoid evil, (43:67) he finds only some false friends, harmful in this world, a means of torment in the Intermediate World of the grave, and foes in the Hereafter.
If a man, influenced by a desire for public recognition, acts like the one in the comparison above who prefers to recite the Qur’an in the mosque, he achieves a kind of spiritual position, both considerable and harm-free, to gratify that desire for fame and position – provided that he acts in sincerity and for God’s good pleasure, and does not see the fame and position as his main aim. In comparison with what he gains, what he loses is quite insignificant. He may lose a few snake-like people, but will find so many blessed friends that he receives, through their supplications, numerous Divine blessings like the water of life flowing to his soul from all over the Muslim world, and those blessings are added to the record of his deeds.
When a public figure once took a very important worldly post and became a laughing-stock in the eyes of the Muslims of the world because of the grave errors he indulged in to obtain fame, I preached this lesson to him most forcefully. It shook him, but since I was unable to rid myself of the love of position, my warning did not suffice to rouse him from it.
1. Sunan al-Tirmidhi, ‘Tafsiru sure 15:6’
Fear and struggling against it
Fear is one of the most basic human emotions. The intriguing wrongdoers, the agents of the worldly, and the heralds of misguidance, make much use of this weak spot of ordinary people and particularly of religious scholars, inculcating in them fear and anxiety. Suppose an anxious, fearful man is on the roof, but then an intriguer goads him by increasing his groundless suspicions and anxieties till, finally, he falls head first and breaks his neck. Similarly, the worldly people cause Muslims to sacrifice many important things by arousing in them groundless fear and anxieties.
There was a significant man – may God’s mercy be upon him – who was afraid of traveling by boat. One evening, we came down to the bridge together to go to Ayub by boat. He did not want to get on the boat.
– I fear I will drown, he said.
– How many boats are there in this Golden Horn? I asked him.
– As many as one thousand, he answered.
Our conversation continued as follows:
– Roughly, how many boats sink in a year?
– One or two. There are years when no boats drown.
– How many days are there in a year?
– 365 days.
– Then, the chance of drowning is one out of 365 thousand. What on earth should a man fear from so unlikely chance? Besides, how many years more do you expect to live?
– I am an old man. I may live at most ten more years.
– The appointed hour of death is unknown to us. That is, you may die at any time; death may come to you on any of three thousand, six hundred and fifty days. Therefore, the chance of your death is not one out of 365 thousand, which is (perhaps) the risk of this boat sinking; rather you may die today at a chance of one out of 3650. That being so, repent of your sins and weep, and write your last will and testament!
He came to his senses and got on the boat, though trembling. On the boat, I said to him:
God Almighty has placed the sense of fear in man’s nature so that he might preserve his life, not ruin it. He has not given us fear so that man should make his life an unbearable burden and a pain, full of torment for himself. If there is a risk of one chance out of two or three or four, or at most, five or six, then it may be religiously permissible to fear and to avoid the risk. But, to fear a chance of one out of twenty, thirty or forty is a groundless suspicion, a sort of paranoia, which changes life into a torment.
Therefore, dear brothers! If the sycophants and the heretics, seeking to prevent you from your holy spiritual struggle in the way of God, attack you through fear, say to them:
We are the people of the Qur’an, and, according to God’s declaration, No doubt We have sent down the Qur’an and surely We will guard it, (15:9) we are within the stronghold of the Qur’an. Our firm conviction is that for us God is sufficient, and how good a Being He is to trust in and rely on, and our trust is a strong citadel around us. So, by urging us to fear of a danger, the chance of which affecting us in this our short, transient life is one in a thousand, you cannot direct us willingly to a way a hundred per cent harmful to our eternal life, hereafter.
When a cruel, unjust man throws someone to the ground meaning to trample him to death, if that trampled man kisses the other’s foot, he will first die spiritually, and in addition to losing honor and dignity, will not be able to save himself from a degrading death. By displaying helplessness before that cruel man, he encourages him to crush him to death. If, by contrast, that wronged man spits in the face of the cruel man, he will die as a martyr and remain spiritually alive in honor and dignity.
When foreign forces invaded Istanbul and destroyed the cannon at the Bosphorous, a religious representative of them asked six questions of the office of the Shaikh al-Islam, then the highest religious office in Turkey. I was at that time a member of the House of Islamic Wisdom (Dar al-Hikma al-Islamiyya). They requested me to answer those questions. The representative of the foreign clergy wanted the questions to be answered in six hundred words. I replied:
Not with six hundred words, nor with six words, nor with one word even, I will answer them with a ... . For you see how, when a nation’s government puts its foot on our neck, its religious officer gets up to ask us some questions in a boastful way. Therefore, his due is a single ... !
Now I say:
Dear brothers! Even though it was a hundred per cent dangerous to give response in that way publicly in the press following the invasion of Istanbul by tyrannical powers, the Qur’an sufficed for my protection. It will also suffice for your protection to a hundred-fold degree against any danger of which there is but a slight chance at the hands of those insignificant people of wrongdoing.
Also, dear brothers! Most of you have completed your military service. Those who have not yet joined the army must have heard – if they have not, let them hear it from me – that those who flee the battlefront receive many more wounds than those who persevere at the front. The verse, Verily, the death from which you flee will surely meet you, (62:8) hints that those who flee are actually hastening to meet death.
Greed and struggling against it
They deceive many because of greed. Based on decisive proofs I have obtained from the verses and clear explanations of the Wise Qur’an, I have written in several treatises that the lawful provision comes in accordance, not with the extent of capacity and will-power, but with the degree of poverty and impotence. Out of countless signs and evidences concerning this truth, the following are only a few:
Trees are a kind of living creatures in need of provision. They stand still in their places and the provision they need reaches them. Animals, by contrast, are not provided with food as perfectly as trees because they seek their food impatiently.
The fish are fed perfectly and usually become fleshy though they are the least intelligent of animal species, whereas the animals more clever and powerful, like apes and foxes, are mostly weak because of insufficient nutrition. This also shows that the means of provision is need or destitution, not power or ability.
Also, the infants of both animals and human beings are fed very well and extraordinarily, especially with milk, the best food and the sweetest gift of the treasury of Mercy bestowed on them in an unexpected way out of care for their weakness and incapability. Wild beasts, by contrast, have usually to be content with the scarce food they obtain through tiring effort. This again illustrates how the means of lawful provision is impotence and poverty, not intelligence and capability.
Again, there are no people in the world in as passionate pursuit of worldly provision as the Jews, who are famous for the force of their greed. But no people in world history have suffered privation and shortage of livelihood as much as the Jews, and lived in humiliation. Even the wealthy among them live in misery and under stress. However, the wealth they obtain through unlawful means like usury is not religiously sanctioned so that it does not refute the general argument.
Further, the poverty of most of the literary men and scholars as against the richness of many ignorant people also shows that what attracts provision is not intelligence and ability, but it is weakness and need, and submission to God in reliance on Him, and petitioning Him by tongue, disposition and lawful effort.
The verse, Verily, God is the All-Provider, the Owner of the Strength, the Steadfast (51:58) which proclaims this truth, is so strong and firm a proof for my argument that all the vegetation, animals and babies announce it. Every living family in need of provision recites this verse through the tongue of their disposition.
Since provision has been pre-determined and is supplied by God Almighty, who is the All-Compassionate and the All-Generous, it is extreme folly to humble oneself in a way to deride God’s Mercy and belittle His Generosity, to offer one’s conscience and sacred things as a bribe in return for some wealth, albeit not forbidden by religion.
The worldly people, especially the misguided, do not pay out money except for a high return. In exchange for some wealth which might contribute to a year’s livelihood, they may cause one to lose his eternal life of the Hereafter. Unfortunately, there are always some who attract the Divine wrath because of that disgusting greed and by trying to please the misguided.
Dear brothers! If those who fawn on worldly people and hypocrites among the misguided are to capture you by greed – another weak spot of mankind – ponder over the truth I have explained above and follow the example of this poor brother of yours! I assure you with all my strength that it is thrift and contentment, rather than wages or salaries, with which you can preserve your life. Moreover, in return for the money given to you unlawfully, they will demand from you a high repayment. Your involvement in their world may also hinder your service of the Qur’an, each hour of which can open for you the gates of an eternal treasury-house. Being deterred from this service is so great a loss that no salaries or wages, however high, can compensate for it.
Negative nationalistic feelings and struggling against them
Instigated by Satan and inspired by the people of misguidance, some heretics who occupy certain high positions attack me with false accusations and, in order to deceive my brothers and stir up their national zeal, say to them:
‘You are Turkish. There are among Turks – God bless them – scholars in every field and men of perfection; your master is Kurdish. How do you reconcile co-operation with a non-Turk with your national zeal?’
I am – praise be to God – a Muslim. My holy nation – it is the Muslim nation – has long had hundreds of millions of members. I take refuge in God a hundred thousand times from sacrificing for the sake of racism and negative nationalism those hundreds of millions of brothers between whom and me there is eternal brotherhood and who help me through their prayers, among whom are the great majority of the Kurdish people. I also take refuge in God from securing, instead of those countless blessed Muslim brothers, the support of a few atheists or heretics considered as belonging to the Kurdish race. O unfortunate heretics! According to your corrupt logic, the eternal brotherhood of a huge, illustrious community composed of hundreds of millions of true brothers should be sacrificed for the sake of the temporary, useless friendship of few westernized and apostatized Turks or Hungarian or Bulgarian unbelievers who are considered as belonging to the Turkish race.
I have a deep and true connection with the believing people of this country through a genuine brotherhood and belonging to the same Muslim nation. I support and love, and take pride in, in the name of Islam, the children of this country, who carried the flag of the Qur’an victoriously throughout the old world for nearly a thousand years. As for you, O hypocrites, who falsely claim Turkish nationalism! With ulterior motives you make show of feeling a short-lived brotherhood with the Turkish people in order to make them forget their true national honors! I ask you whether the Turkish nation is made up of only fanciful and heedless young men between twenty and forty years of age? Does your nationalism require that they should adopt for their national interests a West-imposed kind of education which increases their heedlessness, habituates them to immorality and encourages them to commit religiously forbidden things? Does your service of them mean amusing them in a way that will make them, in old age, wail and repent over their sins of youth? If your nationalism requires, and progress and happiness consist of, all these, and if you are Turkish nationalists of this sort, then I am infinitely far from this kind of nationalism, and you may keep yourself away from me. If you have some trace of conscience left and true national zeal, and if you are at least a little fair-minded, consider the following discussion and then answer me:
The children of this country – the Turkish nation – comprise six groups of people. The first group is the people of piety and righteousness. The second group is the afflicted and the ill. The old form the third group, and children the fourth. The fifth group consists of the poor and weak. The sixth and last group is the youth. Are the first five groups not Turks to be offered your kind of national zeal? Is it true nationalism to wound their feelings and deprive them of their means of consolation in order to amuse the sixth group? According to the principle, The majority is considered in giving the judgment, something harmful to the majority comes from enmity – not friendship – so your nationalism is enmity for the nation.
I ask you: Does the interest of the people of piety and righteousness lie in blindly imitating Western civilization in its corrupt aspects? Or does it lie in finding true consolation in following the way of the truth to which they are passionately attached because of their belief in eternal happiness? The way of those misguided people who, like you, falsely claim national zeal, would extinguish the light of pious believers, deprive them of their means of consolation and present death as absolute annihilation and the grave as a gate to infinite separation.
Does the interest of the second group comprising the afflicted and the ill and those hopeless of their life lie in imitating Western civilization in its irreligious and immoral aspects? Rather, those wretched people hope for consolation and desire some return for their suffering. They seek vengeance upon those who have wronged them and wish to enter the grave happily. Nevertheless, through your false nationalism, you wound the feelings of those afflicted ones in dire need of care, hope and consolation, you keep them under restraint, and drive them without pity to absolute despair. Is this what national zeal really requires?
The old, who comprise the third group, are one third of the total population. Every day, they are more and more far away from this world and approaching death. In preparation for emigrating to the other world, they are gradually breaking with this life. Does their interest or consolation lie in listening to the dreadful adventures of certain tyrants, supposedly belonging to the Turkish race, and in the present direction of your movement which you claim as progress but is, in reality, neglect of the Hereafter, and attachment to this world, and therefore spiritual decay? Can a man find in a cinema the light with which to illuminate his other world, or find true consolation in the theatre? If to deceive those poor old people (who expect due respect from national zeal), into believing that death is absolute annihilation and the grave, which they believe to be a gate to mercy, is like the mouth of a dragon into which they are going to be thrown, is national zeal, I seek refuge in God a hundred thousand times from such kind of national zeal.
The fourth group of people consists of young children. They expect mercy and care from national zeal. Since they are feeble and impotent, it is only through recognizing an All-Merciful and Powerful Creator that they can be spirited and develop their potential. They can look at life lovingly and hopefully only by being inspired with belief in, and reliance on, God, and Islamic submission to Him. That will enable them also to resist the awful circumstances and calamities of their future in this world. That being so, does their interest and happiness lie in attaching themselves to the material progress they are only lightly interested in, and to the principles of materialistic philosophy which will demoralize and dispirit them? If man were no more than a biological entity, like the animals, one devoid of intellect, that West-imposed education, which you call a national education for civilization, might provide certain of their worldly interests and temporarily amuse them as a new toy amuses a child. But, since those innocent infants are human, and since they will find themselves in the tumults of life, they will certainly cherish long-term desires in their hearts and have great objectives in their minds. That being so, in order to compensate for their weakness and impotence, we should establish in their souls, as a requirement of our care of them, belief in God and the Hereafter as a strong point of support and an inexhaustible source of help. This is what mercy and care for them really demands. Otherwise, like an insane mother slaughtering her child with a knife, we will kill them spiritually, intoxicated with national zeal. Or we will commit a great, pitiless crime like taking out their brains and hearts and offering these to them as food in order to fatten their bodies.
The fifth group consists of the poor and weak. Surely national zeal should not ignore the poor, who are crushed, because of their poverty, under the heavy burdens of life, and the weak, who are very much affected by the terrible convulsions of life. Does your national zeal require that you should move, under the name of nationalism, to a shameless and tyrannical kind of civilization which must increase the grim hopelessness of their situation, which serves as a game to satisfy the fancies of certain, dissolute wealthy people, and as a means for some tyrannical, powerful individuals to gain notoriety and commit crimes? The remedy for the poverty of the poor does not lie in the notion of racism; rather, it is to be found in the sacred ‘medicine store’ of Islam. The source of the resistance and strength to endure of the weak lies in Islamic zeal and sacred Islamic nationalism, not in a materialistic philosophy which attributes everything to blind coincidences and chance accidents.
The sixth group is the young. Were youth permanent, the ‘wine’ you offer them through negative nationalism might be of temporary use for them. But when they recover in old age from the drunkenness of youth, when they awake in the morning of old age to the pains and realities of life, the troubles that drunkenness has caused will make them weep bitterly, and the pain coming from the end of that sweet dream will drive them to regret, saying:
‘Alas! Youth has gone, life almost ended, and I am approaching the grave bankrupt of good deeds. I wish I had collected myself earlier!’
That being so, does national zeal require that this group should lament in regret for a long time in exchange for a transient merriment? Or is it that the happiness, even the pleasure, of their lives lies rather in spending their youth, not in dissipation, but on the Straight Path so as to thank God for the blessing of youth, to be enabled to use their transient youth to gain permanence through worship, to secure an eternal youth in the World of Happiness by spending youth in faith and good deeds?
In short: If the Turkish nation were composed of only the young, if youth were permanent, and were it not for another world, your imitation of the dissipated life-style of certain portion of the West, behind the veil of Turkish nationalism, might be considered as true national zeal. You might have a right to say of me – a man who gives little importance to worldly life, considers the idea of racism as a disease like syphilis, and tries to prevent the young from indulging in religiously forbidden pleasures, and who was born in another province – ‘He is Kurdish, so do not follow him!’
However, since the people of this country, called the Turkish nation, consist of six groups, it is not friendship, but sheer enmity, for this nation, to harm and trouble five out of the six groups in exchange for amusing the sixth for a limited period, for intoxicating them in a way that must drive them to regret and despair in old age.
They do not consider me as belonging to the Turkish race. However, I have been striving with all my strength and perfect zeal, and with deep affection and brotherly feelings, for the good of the righteous among the Turkish people, as well as for the old and the afflicted, for the poor and weak, and for the children. I have also been trying to prevent the youth from religiously forbidden acts which poison their worldly life and will cause the ruin of their next life, and which cause one to weep for a whole year in exchange for an hour’s pleasure. The works I have had published in the Turkish language, not over the last six or seven years, but over the last twenty years or so, are all in the open. All praise be to God that, through those works which I have derived from the source of the Qur’anic lights, the old are offered the light of which they are in such dire need. The most useful remedy for the afflicted and the ill is shown to be found in the sacred ‘medicine store’ of the Qur’an. The grave is demonstrated as a gate opening to infinite mercy, not to eternal annihilation. The children are offered, from the treasure of the Qur’an, a very strong point of support against countless misfortunes of life, and a source of help to satisfy their innumerable desires and ambitions. And the weak and the poor are relieved, through the Qur’anic truths of belief, of the heavy burdens of life under which they are crushed.
As for the youth, I feel a heart-felt brotherhood with the good among them. Nevertheless, I do not recognize as Turks those who have fallen into heresy and want to break with the Muslim nationality, which is the real source of all the national pride of Turkish people; I regard them as some hostile foreigners disguised as Turks. They cannot deceive the people of truth even if they claim a hundred thousand times that they are Turks and Turkish nationalists. For their acts and attitudes contradict their claim.
Now, O you who try to make my true brothers chilly in their relations with me! What use do you have for this nation? You extinguish the light of the people of piety and righteousness. You deepen the injuries of the second group, the ill and afflicted, who deserve compassion and attention. You deprive the third group, the old, of their means of consolation and drive them to despair. You completely demoralize the fourth group, the children, who are in such need of care, and extinguish their humanity. By bringing to nothing the hopes of the fifth group – the poor and weak – who are in such need of help and consolation, and by drying up their source of help, you change life in their eyes into something more dreadful than death. Lastly, you intoxicate the sixth group, who should be warned and awakened to collect themselves, from the sleep of youth, with such a ‘wine’ that the resulting drunkenness is extremely painful and dreadful. Thus is your national zeal of a sort that you would sacrifice for its sake many sacred things of this nation! Does your Turkish nationalism benefit the Turks in the ways mentioned? I seek refuge in God a hundred thousand times from your Turkism or Turkish nationalism!
Human egotism and struggling against it
Supporters of the misguided desire, by making use of human egotism, to separate my brothers from me. Indeed, the most dangerous temperament common to all, which is also the weakest spot, of a man, is egotism. By exciting this sentiment, they urge men to do very bad things. Dear brothers, take care that they do not captivate you through egotism. Know that the people of misguidance, carried by their ego, wander in the alleyways of deviation. Therefore, the people of truth have no way other than to forsake ‘ego’ in order to serve the truth – even if they are sometimes right to make use of ‘ego’, since this will make the people of truth resemble the others, making them seem as egotists like the others. For the service of the Qur’an, around which we come together, does not accept ‘egotism’; rather it demands co-operation in sincere brotherhood. You must have been convinced that this poor brother of yours did not come forward to satisfy his ego or to invite you to serve it; rather, he showed himself to you as a servant of the Qur’an with no feelings of egotism. He has chosen self-denial and altruism as the way to follow. He has also proved to you that the works put forward for the benefit of people were derived from the Qur’an and belong to everyone. No one can claim ownership of them, attributing them to himself. If we were to suppose the inconceivable that they belong to me, then – as a brother of mine said – once this gate of the Qur’anic service has been opened, the people of perfection and knowledge should not hesitate to follow these works, giving no consideration at all to my defects and shortcomings. However great a treasury useful for everyone and a cure for every intellectual or spiritual disease the works of the righteous precedents and scholars of truth are, it sometimes happens that a key can open several treasure-houses. I think that those who have a forceful ego based on knowledge have also understood that The Words are each a key to the truths of the Qur’an and a ‘diamond sword’ with which to strike those who try to deny these truths. Those people of knowledge and perfection boastful of their knowledge should know that, by following my works, they will become the disciples of the Wise Qur’an, not of me, and that I am their fellow-student.
Supposing I were doing this service, as claimed by our enemies, to satisfy my egotism, even then does this brother of yours have the right to request you to forsake egotism and form a strong unity around the truths of the Qur’an, seeing that numerous people forsake their egotism to come together for worldly aims around a Pharaoh-like man with utmost loyalty and work in a strong solidarity? Are even the greatest of your scholars not wrong not to accede to this request?
Dear brothers, the most harmful aspect of egotism is envy. If one’s service is not purely for God’s sake, envy intervenes and adulterates his service. In the way the hands of a man are not envious of each other, and his eyes feels no envy of his ears and his heart does not compete with his intellect, so every one of you is like a member or a sense of our collective body. So, it is a duty of conscientiousness to take pride, and take spiritual pleasure, in each other’s merits, not to enter into rivalry with each other.
Laziness or fondness of comfort and struggling against it
This concerns making use of laziness, the fondness for comfort and ease, which is to be found in a man, or giving new duties to those who are really dutiful. Indeed, devils of humankind and jinn attack from every direction, and when they see those among our friends who are steadfast, faithful, sincere and zealous and persevering in service, they adapt their strategy. In order to interrupt our service and abate the zeal of our brothers, they choose to exploit laziness, the desire to live an easy life, which is naturally to be found in every person. They resort to such tricks in their efforts to prevent our service that they find such jobs for some of our brothers as leave them no spare time to assign to the service because of overwork, or they give them extra work. They show some brothers of ours the attractions of the world to stir up their worldly desires and aspirations so that they feel indolence in the service.
It will take a long time to note all their methods of attack. Cutting the matter short here, I refer the rest to your insight and understanding.
Dear brothers! Be alert! Your duty is sacred, and the service is exalted. Each of your hours spent in the service is as valuable as to gain for you the reward of a whole day’s worship. Be aware of this so that you do not let the opportunity slip.
O you who believe! Be patient, and vie you in patience; be steadfast, and fear God; haply so you will prosper. (3:200)
Do not sell My revelations for a trifling price. (2:41)
Glorified be Your Lord, the Lord of Glory, above that they describe! And peace be upon the Envoys; and all the praise be to God, the Lord of the Worlds!
Glory be to You; we have no knowledge save what You have taught us. Surely, You are the All-Knowing, the all-Wise.
O God, bestow blessings and peace upon our master Muhammad, the unlettered Prophet, Your beloved, most esteemed and noble, and of the highest rank; and on his family and Companions. Amen!
This article has been adapted from Risale- i Nur Collection.