First station


Each phrase affirming Divine Unity bears good tidings to believers. Each message offers a cure, and each cure contains a spiritual pleasure.

FIRST PHRASE: There is no god but God provides an inexhaustible source of help for the human spirit, which is subject to innumerable needs and prey to countless attacks, by opening the door to a treasury of mercy that can meet its needs. The spirit finds therein a point of support that shows and makes known its Master and Owner, its Creator and True Object of Worship, Who secures it against its enemies’ evil.

This phrase saves the heart from desolation and the spirit from suffering through constant uplift and continual felicity.

SECOND PHRASE: (He is) One implies that the human spirit, which is connected to most species in the universe and thereby overwhelmed with misery and confusion, finds therein a refuge and savior to deliver it from such misery and confusion.

For humanity, the phrase means: God is One, so do not tire yourself with other things. Do not demean yourself and feel obliged to them, or humiliate yourself before them for security. Do not trouble yourself by following them, and do not tremble before them, for the Sovereign of the universe is one and holds the key to and the reins of all things. His command resolves everything. Finding Him means that you obtain whatever you wish and are liberated from interminable indebtedness and innumerable fears.

THIRD PHRASE: He has no partner means that He is One and has no partner in His Divinity and Sovereignty, as well as in His Lordship, acts, and creating. In principle, a worldly king may have no partner in his sovereignty, but nevertheless his officials may be regarded as his partners in the execution of his sovereignty, as they act as intermediaries between him and his subjects. God, the eternal Sovereign, has no such need and therefore no partner in His Sovereignty. One thing can interfere with another only if He permits it. In addition, His Oneness rejects any intermediaries between Him and His creatures, and so everyone has direct access to Him regardless of time and place.

This phrase informs the human spirit that nothing can prevent any believer from entering the Presence of the Majestic, All-Gracious, All-Powerful One of Perfection, Who is the Eternal Owner of the treasuries of mercy and bliss, and presenting his or her petition. Finding His Mercy and relying upon His Power enables believers to attain perfect ease and happiness.

FOURTH PHRASE: His is the Sovereignty means that He owns the heavens and Earth—including you—and that you work in His Kingdom. It also implies: Do not imagine that you own yourself, for you cannot administer your own affairs. You cannot maintain your spirit and body by meeting their needs and securing them against calamity. You cannot avoid exhaustion and aging, because you are subject to time and other erosive factors. Therefore, do not suffer pain and torment without reason. Somebody All-Powerful and All-Compassionate owns everything. Rely on His Power and do not accuse His Compassion. Renounce grief and anxiety and accept relief. Be rid of your troubles and find serenity.

This phrase also means: This world that you love, to which you are connected and which you see in disorder and cannot put right, belongs to an All-Powerful and Compassionate One. So return it to its Owner and leave it to Him. Mind your own duty and do not interfere with His acts. Do not be troubled by what you cannot overcome. Be at ease, for its Owner controls it completely and administers it as He wills. He is All-Wise and All-Compassionate, and acts for a wise purpose. So whenever you are afraid, say like Ibrahim Haqqi: “Let’s see what the Master does—whatever He does is always best—and observe His acts with complete trust.”

FIFTH PHRASE: To Him belongs all the praise means that only God deserves praise and acclaim, that everything is indebted only to Him. All bounties are His, for they come from His infinite and inexhaustible treasury.

This phrase implies: The bounties (you now enjoy) will never cease, for His Mercy’s treasury is inexhaustible. Your (current) enjoyment will never cease, for every enjoyment you are granted is the fruit of infinite Mercy. And the tree of that Mercy cannot die, for each exhausted fruit is replaced with a new one. Furthermore, offering thanks and praise for what you currently enjoy increases it a hundredfold, since every enjoyment is, in essence, a favor from the Divine Mercy and therefore 100 times more enjoyable than the enjoyment by itself. If a glorious king gives you an apple, your pleasure at such a royal favor will be superior to the material pleasure of 100 or even 1,000 apples.

Similarly, this phrase opens the door of a spiritual enjoyment 1,000 times sweeter, since it makes you consider the bestowal of bounty, which leads you to recognize the Bestower and reflect on His merciful favors that pour out continually.

SIXTH PHRASE: He alone gives life states that only He gives and sustains life and provides all its necessities, and that life’s sublime aims and important results are related to Him.

This phrase calls out: Do not bother to shoulder life’s heavy responsibilities, or feel unease because the world is transient, or let life’s insignificant worldly fruits make you regret that you came to this world. Rather, the “life mechanism” of your being is like a vessel which belongs to the Ever-Living and Ever-Self-Subsistent One, Who fulfills all life’s needs and expenditures. Further, life’s innumerable aims direct it to many important results, nearly all of which are related to Him. You are just a helmsman on that ship, so perform your duty properly. Receive your wages and be content with the resulting enjoyment. Ponder that ship’s preciousness and its valuable benefits, and consider the magnitude of its Owner’s generosity and compassion. Rejoice and give thanks, for performing your duty righteously will cause your life’s results to be recorded, in one respect, as good deeds securing your immortal life in eternity.

SEVENTH PHRASE: ...and causes to die means that He discharges you from life’s duty, changes your abode from this transient world to an eternal one, and releases you from the burden of service.

This phrase announces: Good news! Death is not annihilation or going to non-existence, not an eternal separation or a chance event without an author. Rather the All-Wise and All-Compassionate Author is discharging you from service, changing your abode, and sending you to the everlasting happiness that is your true home. Death is the door to union with the Intermediate World, where you will meet with 99 percent of your friends.

EIGHTH PHRASE: He is ever-living and dies not means that the Undying Object of Worship and the Everlasting Beloved, One Whose Beauty, Perfection, and Benevolence are wholly superior to their counterparts in this world and that arouse the love of all creatures, has an eternal life. One manifestation of His Beauty replaces all other beloveds. His eternal life is free of any trace of cessation or ephemerality, and has no flaw or defect.

This phrase proclaims to all conscious beings, whether human or jinn, and to all lovers: The Eternal Beloved will heal the wounds caused by separation from your loved ones. Since He exists and is undying, do not worry about those others. You loved them because of their beauty and goodness, grace and perfection. But these are only dim, shadow-like manifestations of the Everlasting Beloved’s Eternal Beauty, which has passed through many veils. So do not grieve when they disappear, for they are only mirrors. When the mirrors are changed, that Beauty’s reflection is renewed and becomes more radiant. When you find Him, you find everything.

NINTH PHRASE: In His hand is all good means that only He possesses all good and guides you to do good. Also, He records on your behalf any good and righteous deed that you do.

This phrase announces: O helpless people and jinn, do not cry out when you die: “Alas, everything we owned is destroyed and our efforts have come to naught. We have left that wide, beautiful world and entered this narrow grave!” Everything is preserved, for all your deeds and services were recorded. The One of Majesty, in Whose Hand is all good and Who is able to do whatever is good, summons you to reward your service. He will keep you underground temporarily and then bring you to His Presence. How fortunate you are that you completed your duty and service, for your labor is over and you are on the way to ease and mercy. Having toiled, you now receive your wages.

The All-Powerful One of Majesty, Who preserves seeds and grains as records of last spring’s activities and services and then unfolds and publishes them the following spring in the most dazzling, abundant, and benevolent manner, also preserves the results of your deeds. Thus He will reward your service most abundantly.

TENTH PHRASE: He is powerful over everything means that He is One and Unique and has power over everything. As everything is therefore easy for Him, creating spring is as easy as creating a flower, and creating Paradise is as easy as creating spring. The countless creatures He continually brings into existence every instant bear witness with innumerable tongues to His limitless Power.

This phrase implies: O people, your service and worship are not lost. A world of reward, an abode of bliss, has been prepared for you. An everlasting Paradise awaits your arrival from the transitory world. Have belief and confidence in the Majestic Creator’s promise, the One you know and worship, for He never breaks His promise. His Power contains no defect, and impotence does not interfere in His works. As He creates your small garden, He also can create Paradise for you. In fact, as He created it and promised it to you, He shall admit you to it.

Every year we watch Him speedily revive Earth with perfect order and ease despite countless animal and plant species and groups. Such an All-Powerful One of Majesty fulfills His promise. Furthermore, since He annually creates samples of Paradise, which He has promised through all His revealed Books; since all His acts and executions are performed with truth and seriousness; since the perfection of all His works point to and testify to His infinite Perfection, which contains no flaw or defect; and since breaking a promise, lying, falsehood, and deception are the ugliest of qualities, we can rest assured that the All-Powerful One of Majesty, the All-Wise One of Perfection, the All-Compassionate One of Grace will fulfill His promise. He will open the gate to eternal happiness and admit you, O people of belief, into Paradise, the original home of your forefather Adam (and foremother Eve).

ELEVENTH PHRASE: And unto Him is the homecoming means that all people are sent to this world of trial and examination for specific purposes. After fulfilling these, they return to the Presence of the All-Munificent Master, Majestic Creator, Who sent them in the first place. Leaving this transient realm, they are delivered from the turbulence of cause-and-effect cycles and from the obscure veils of means and devices. After that, they will be honored in the eternal abode in their Compassionate Lord’s Presence and meet with Him, without any veil, in His Everlasting Kingdom. Everyone will discover that their creator is the Worshipped One, Lord, Master, and Owner. Thus this phrase implies the following news, much happier than all the rest: O people, do you know where you are going, where you are being driven? You are going to the sphere of Mercy, to the peaceful Presence of the

All-Beautiful One of Majesty. A happy life of 1,000 years in this world cannot be compared to an hour of life in Paradise, and 1,000 years of life in Paradise cannot be compared to an hour’s vision of His Countenance of utmost beauty. All the loveliness and beauty seen in this world’s creatures, including the loved ones that so fascinate and obsess you, are only shadows of one manifestation of His Beauty and the loveliness of His Names. Paradise and its charms are merely manifestations of His Mercy; all longing, love, and attraction are merely flashes from His Love’s light. You are going into the Presence of the One Eternally Worshipped and Everlastingly Beloved, and are invited to Paradise, His eternal feasting place. So enter the grave with a smile.

This phrase also announces: O people, do not worry or think that you are going to extinction, non-existence, nothingness, darkness, oblivion, decay, and dissolution. In fact, you are going to permanence, eternal existence, and the world of His Light. You are returning to your true Owner, to the Eternal Sovereign’s Seat. You will rest in the sphere of unity and not drown in multiplicity. You are bound for union and not separation.

Said Nursi