• Q and A

    Questions and Answers from the Risale-i Nur Collection
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Why Does the Qur’an not Mention Explicitly the Wonders of Civilization, Which are so Important in Man’s Eyes? Why Does it, Instead, Content itself With Allusions or Indications or References?


The Qur’an does so because the wonders of civilization do not have more right than that to be included among the topics of the Qur’an. For the basic duty of the Qur’an is to teach about the perfections, essential qualities and acts of Divine Lordship and the duties and the status and affairs pertaining to the sphere of servanthood. That being so, the wonders of human civilization have no greater right than to be mentioned in the Qur’an either with a slight indication or implicit reference or allusion.

For example, if a man-made aircraft were to appeal to the Qur’an, saying, ‘Give me the right to speak and a place in your verses’ then certainly the aircrafts of the sphere of Lordship— the planets, the earth, the moon—would reply on behalf of the Qur’an: ‘You may take a place here in proportion to your size!’ Were the submarines to ask for a place among the verses of the Qur’an, the submarines belonging to that sphere—the heavenly bodies ‘swimming’ in the vast ‘ocean’ of the atmosphere and the ether would say: ‘Your place beside us is too small to be visible!’ If the shining, star-like electric lights were to demand the right to speak and ask to be included among the verses, the electric lights of that sphere—the lightning, the shooting stars, and the stars which adorn the face of the sky—would say: ‘You may have a right to be mentioned and spoken about in the Qur’an in proportion to your light!’ If the wonders of human civilization were to demand a right to a place among the verses of the Qur’an with respect to the fineness of art they contain, then a single fly would answer them: ‘Shut up, please! You do not have as much right as a wing of mine. For if all the fine arts and delicate instruments produced by man were banded together, they could not be as wonderful and exquisite as the fine art and delicate members concentrated in my tiny body.’ The verse,

Surely those upon whom you call, apart from God, shall never create (even) a fly, though they banded together to do it. (22:73)

will silence you!’

If those wonders were to appeal to the sphere of servanthood and demand a right to have a place there, they would receive a reply like the following:

You have very little relationship with us, so you may not enter our sphere. For our program is this: The world is a guest-house. Man is a guest with many duties who will stay there for a short time only, and he is charged with preparing all the necessities for eternal life. He will give priority to the most urgent and important of his duties. Whereas you mostly seem to be designed in heedlessness and worldly-mindedness as if the world were an eternal abode. Therefore, you have very little share in servanthood to and worship of God, which is founded upon love of truth and otherworldliness. However, if there are among you respected craftsmen, scientists and inspired inventors, who, purely for the benefit of God’s servants, serve the general interest and public ease and attainment of social life, which is a valuable sort of worship, the allusions and indications of the Qur’an are surely sufficient for those sensitive people, who of course form a minority among their colleagues, in order to encourage them and honor their accomplishments.


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