First Ray


Third light

This consists of three rays.

FIRST RAY: A significant aspect of the Qur’an’s miraculousness is explained in The Thirteenth Word. I mention it here as well, as the con text makes it appropriate to do so.

If you want to see and appreciate how each star-like Qur’anic verse removes the darkness of unbelief by spreading the light of miraculousness and guidance, imagine yourself in pre-Islamic Arabia. Everything in that time of ignorance and desert of savagery was enveloped in the veil of lifeless nature amidst the darkness of ignorance and heedlessness. Suddenly, you hear from the Qur’an’s sublime tongue such verses as: All that is in the heavens and the earth glorifies God. He is the All-Glorious and All-Mighty, the All-Wise (57:1); All that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth glorifies God, the Absolute Sovereign, the All-Holy and All-Pure, the All-Glorious and Mighty, the All-Wise (62:1). See how those creatures, considered lifeless and unfeeling, spring to life in the audience’s minds at the sound of glorifies, how they awaken, spring up, and begin to extol God by praising His Names! At the sound of, The seven heavens and the earth glorify Him (17:44), the dark heaven appears to those who hear it as a mouth, with each star being a wisdom-displaying word and a truth-radiating light; and the earth as a head, with the land and sea each a tongue, and all animals and plants words of glorification.

If you consider these verses from a modern viewpoint, if you look at it through a superficial veil of familiarity, after the darkness of the ignorance of the pre-Islamic age has long been changed into the “already known” by the Qur’an’s “sun” and Islam’s light, you cannot see what sort of darkness each verse removes in a sweet melody of miraculousness, and so cannot appreciate this aspect of its miraculousness.

If you want to see one of the Qur’an’s highest degrees of miraculousness, consider the following parable: Imagine an extremely vast and spreading tree hidden behind a veil of the Unseen. You know that just as between the members of a human body, there has to be and is a harmony and balance between various parts of a tree—between its branches, leaves, flowers, and fruits— and each part has its proper form and shape according to the tree’s nature. If someone draws an exact replica of that hidden tree, correctly displaying all its parts, relationships, and proportions without seeing it, no one can doubt that the artist sees and depicts the hidden tree with an eye penetrating the Unseen.

In the same way, the Qur’an’s explanations on the reality of things, namely, the reality of the Tree of Creation stretching from the beginning of creation to eternity, from the earth to the Divine Throne, from particles to the sun, maintain the proportion between all parts to such a degree, and give each part and fruit such a suitable form that all exacting and truth seeking scholars have concluded: “What wonders God has willed. May God bless it. Only you, O wise Qur’an, solve the mystery of creation.”

The highest comparison is (and must be put forth) for God—let us represent His Names and Attributes, as well as His Lordship’s acts and qualities, as a tree of light so vast and great that it stretches through eternity. It encompasses the whole universe and includes Divine acts in an infinitely vast sphere stretching from: He intervenes between a person and his heart (8:24), Surely God is the Splitter of the seed-grain and the date-stone (6:95), and: It is He Who fashions you in the wombs as He wills (3:6), to: And the heavens rolled up in His Right Hand (39:67), He has created the heavens and the earth in six days (7:54), and: He made the sun and the moon subservient to His command (13:2). The wise Qur’an describes this radiant reality, the truths of those Names, Attributes, Qualities, and acts in all of their ramifications and results in so harmonious, fitting, and appropriate a way that all who have penetrated the reality of things and discovered the hidden truths, as well as all sages journeying in the Realm of the Inner Dimension of Existence, have declared: “All-Glorified is God! How right, how conformable with reality, how beautiful, and how fitting!”

Take the six pillars of belief, which relate to both the Sphere of Contingency (the Realm of Creation) and the Sphere of Necessity (the Realm of Divine Existence), and may be regarded as a branch of these two mighty “trees.” The Qur’an describes these six pillars of belief with all their elements and furthest fruits and flowers such proportionately, observes their harmony to such a degree, and presents them in such a balanced and well measured way that we are amazed and scarcely able to grasp its beauty. It also observes the perfect relationship, complete balance, and amazing harmony among the five pillars of Islam, which form a twig of the branch of belief, down to the finest details, most insignificant points of conduct, furthest aims, most profound wisdom, and most particular fruits. With its perfect order and balance, as well as its due proportion and soundness, the supreme Shari‘a, which originated from the comprehensive Qur’an’s decisive statements, different aspects or dimensions of wording and meaning, indications, and allusions, is an irrefutable and decisive proof, and just and undeniable witness for this.

Given this, the Qur’an’s explanations could not have issued from any human being’s knowledge, especially from that of an unlettered person. Rather, its explanations rest on an all-comprehensive knowledge and is the Word of One Who sees all things together like a single thing, Who simultaneously observes all truths between two eternities. In this we believe.

Bediuzzaman Said Nursi