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    Questions and Answers from the Risale-i Nur Collection
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What is the Relation of Human Attainments of Learning and Scientific Progress with the Divine Names?


In describing all the attainments of learning and scientific progress, and wonders of technology with which man has been endowed because of his vast potential under the title of ‘the teaching of the Names’, the verse quoted above alludes to a fine point which is as follows:

All attainments and perfections, all learning, all progress, and all sciences, each have an elevated reality which is based on one of the Divine Names. It is through being based on a certain Name, which manifests itself through numerous veils and in various ways and levels, that a particular branch of science or art attains its perfection and becomes reality. Otherwise, it remains something imperfect, deficient and shadowy.

For example, engineering is a science. Its reality lies in the Divine Names, the All-Just (One Who gives everything a certain measure and creates everything just in its place) and the Determiner, and its final aim is to receive the wise manifestations of those Names in full measure and with all their majesty.

Medicine is an art as well as a science. Its reality lies in the Divine Name, the All-Healing and its perfection in finding a cure for every illness by discovering the manifestations of mercy of the Absolutely Wise One in the earth, which is His vast ‘pharmacy’.

Again, each of the natural sciences, which discuss the reality of entities, can be a true science full of wisdom only by discerning in things the regulating, directing, administering, sustaining and all-embracing manifestations of the Divine Name, the All-Wise, and in the benefits and advantages of those things, and by being based on that Name. Otherwise they either become superstition and nonsense, or cause misguidance like naturalistic philosophy.

Out of many, these are only three examples for you! You may compare with these the other sciences and attainments.

With the verse, He taught Adam the names, all of them (2:31) the wise Qur’an points to the highest points, the furthest limits, the final degrees, from which, at the present level of his progress, man is far away, and urges him towards them. This verse is extremely rich and elaborate in meaning but for now I will go no further.


The Qur’an is the greatest of all the prophetic miracles, and Prophet Muhammad was endowed in full will all the levels of all the Divine Names

The wise Qur’an is the supreme miracle of the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, the seal of the office of Prophethood, the leader of the Prophets and cause of pride of all beings. To his cause of Messengership the miracles of all the previous Prophets are like a single miracle. He was endowed in full with all the levels of all the Names which were taught in brief to Adam, upon him be peace. The Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, by raising his finger in a mood of majesty, split the moon, and by lowering it in manifestation of grace, made water flow from it abundantly; and he was verified and corroborated by hundreds of miracles. Through numerous clear verses like,

Say: ‘If men and jinn banded together to produce the like of this Qur’an, they would never produce its like, not though they backed one another.’ (17:88)

which expresses the purity of its explanation and the eloquence of its expression, the comprehensiveness of its meanings, and the sublimity and sweetness of its styles which together constitute one of the most brilliant aspects of the Qur’an’s miraculousness—through verses like these, it attracts the attention of men and jinn to the most manifest and brilliant aspects of that Eternal Miracle. It provokes all men and jinn. Stirring up the zeal of its friends and the obstinacy of its enemies, it encourages and stimulates them with great intensity to produce a like of it, to imitate it, and to resemble it with their words. It places that miracle before the eyes of creatures as if the only aim in man coming into this world is to take it as his goal and guiding principle in life, and studying it, to advance consciously and knowingly to the goal destined in man’s creation.

In brief: The miracles of the other Prophets, upon them be peace, each point to a wonder of human arts or crafts and technology, and the miracle of Adam, upon him be peace, indicates in concise, summarized from, besides the basis of those crafts, the indexes of the sciences and branches of knowledge, and of wonders and perfections, and urges man towards them. As for the Qur’an of Miraculous Expression, the supreme miracle of Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, being the object of the manifestations of all the Divine Names in their fullness, it shows fully the true goal of sciences and all branches of knowledge, and the perfections, attainments, and happiness pertaining to this world and the next. Also, with truly powerful encouragement, it urges man towards them. It urges in such a way that it means:

O man! The sublime aim in the creation of this universe is your response to the manifestation of Divine Lordship—administering, directing, training and sustaining—with universal worship, while your furthest aim is to realize that worship through sciences, attainments and perfections.

The Qur’an states this in such a way that through it hints:


For sure, at the end of time, mankind will all pour into science and learning. They will derive all strength from science. Power and rule will pass to the hand of science and knowledge.

Also, by frequently emphasizing its eloquence and beauty of style, the Qur’an of Miraculous Expression suggests:


At the end of time, eloquence and beauty of expression, which are the most brilliant of sciences and branches of knowledge, will be most sought after in all their varieties. Even, in order to make one another accept their opinions and exercise their rule, men will find their most effective weapon in eloquent expression, and their most irresistible force in fine oratory.

In short: Most of the Qur’an’s verses are each a key to a treasury of perfections and a store of knowledge. If you would like to ascend to the sky of the Qur’an and reach up to the stars of its verses, make those twenty Words, which you have already read, a stairway of twenty steps, and climb to them. You will see what a brilliant, shining sun the Qur’an is! Notice how it radiates a pure light over the Divine truths and the truths of the contingent (created) realm! See what a brilliant light it spreads!

Conclusion: Since the verses concerning the Prophets contain some allusions to the wonders of the present level of technology, and have a manner of expression which suggests their furthest limits, and since it is certain, as is unanimously agreed, that each verse of the Qur’an bears a great variety of meanings, and since there are categorical commands to follow and obey the Prophets, then besides their explicit meanings, the verses mentioned above must be pointing to the importance of man’s arts and sciences, and urging man towards them.


This article has been adapted from Risale- i Nur Collection.