In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
Praise be to God Who is infinitely exalted above having a like both in His Essence and Attributes. He is the Creator. That macro-cosmos (the universe) is His creation, and this micro-cosmos (humanity) is His invention. That (the universe) is His construction, and this (humanity) is His building. That is His work of art, and this is His painting. That is His design and this is His adornment. That is His mercy and this is His bounty. That is His power and this is His wisdom. That is His grandeur and this is His Lordship. That is His creature and this is His fashioning. That is His kingdom and this is His servant. That is His place of worship and this is His worshipping servant. On the sides of both, nay, on each part of both, is a stamp showing that whatever exists is His property.
O God, O One sustaining Earth and heavens! Be witness and let those bearing Your Throne and Your angels be witnesses—together with the witnessing of all Your Prophets, saints, signs, verses (in the Books You sent), and all creation—that You are God, there is no god but You, One, without partner. Forgive us. We turn to You in repentance and bear witness that Muhammad is Your servant and Messenger whom You sent as a mercy for all worlds. O God, bestow Your blessings on him as befits the reverence he deserves and Your mercy of which he is worthy, and on all his Family and Companions.
KNOW, O FRIEND, that your body and what maintains it have been bestowed on you by God. You do not own them, and so cannot control them as you wish. You can control what has been given to you only if He consents, just as a guest cannot waste or dispose of something belonging to the host without the latter’s approval.
KNOW, O FRIEND who regards the Resurrection as impossible or improbable. Can you not see the innumerable instances of small-scale resurrection, assembling, and destruction happening in front of your eyes? When you see the annual death and revival of each fruit-bearing or blossoming tree, how can you regard the world’s ultimate destruction and reconstruction as improbable?
If you want direct confirmation of this, stand under an apricot or mulberry tree at the end of spring and summer. See how their sweet and lively fruits are re-created and re-presented. These fresh, pleasant, and enjoyable fruits smiling at your face are almost identical with those that died last year. If they had souls like human beings, they would be the actual fruits that died last year.
Reflect on the fact that although the tree is made of dried wood and has complex, narrow capillary tubes through which food reaches its blossoms and fruits, its head suddenly becomes a dazzling “world.” For a careful observer, this displays the meaning of: When the graves are overturned [to bring forth their contents] (82:4). Nothing is difficult for the Power that produces such sweet, pleasant blossoms, leaves, and fruit from a dried tree.
KNOW, O FRIEND, that each sura contains a summary of the entire Qur’an, as well as the purposes and stories of other suras. Thus those who can recite only a short sura may enjoy the reward for reciting all of it. By virtue of this gleam of miraculousness, a single sura substitutes for the entire Qur’an.
KNOW, O FRIEND, that one who controls multiple things does not have to be among them or in direct, physical contact with them. This is even more the case if the one dispensing these things has a different nature than what he controls, or if one is not a contingent, corporeal entity. To enforce his command, a commander does not always have to be among his soldiers personally; rather, his command is usually enforced through his orders and decrees. If command were left to the soldiers, each soldier would have to act as commander and commanded, which would require the ability to command. The All-Glorious One, despite His infinite grandeur and lack of need to be among us or in physical contact with us, controls us as He wishes. Like the sun, the All-Glorious One is nearer to us than ourselves, and we are far distant from Him.
KNOW, O FRIEND, that like a tree ending in its fruit, by virtue of a part including the whole’s properties [and the unity of the origin or Originator], multiple things result in unity. A single whole thing becomes like the whole species, and a part becomes like the whole of that of which it is a part. For example, since each particle of sunlight diffused throughout space contains the sun’s image, each vibrating particle of sunlight become as if a tiny sun due to its uninterrupted connection with the sun. The Names of the Eternal Light of Lights are manifested in a similar way. Each manifestation is seen on an individual and on the whole species.
KNOW, O YOU WHO ARE SATISFIED AND CONTENT with the world. You are like one who rolls down from the top of a high castle. After this, the castle rolls down in a flood coursing down a steep mountain, and the mountain collapses into the depths of Earth via earthquakes.
The castle of life collapses, and the “plane” of your lifespan flies with lightning speed. Soon you will be wrapped in your white shroud and buried. The stream of time turns its wheels with horrifying speed, and the “ship” of Earth floats like clouds. If, while traveling on a fast-moving train, you stretch your hand out to grasp thorny flowers alongside the railways and the thorns tear your hands, can you blame anybody other than yourself? Do not covet or reach for the world’s pleasures, for if the pain of separation tears your heart when you grasp them, you will get a small idea of what will happen at the time of final separation.
O EVIL-COMMANDING SELF, worship whomever you wish and claim whatever you wish. As for me, I worship only Him Who has created me and subjected to me everything that exists (other than Him). I ask help only from He Who conducts me on the “plane” of life moving through the “space” of Destiny and has subjected to me the “spaceship” among the planets. I ask help only of He Who makes me mount the “train” of time traveling with the speed of lightning through the tunnel opened up under the mountain of life toward the gate of the grave along the way to eternity. Sitting on it with His permission, I recall Him in the compartment of this day connected to both yesterday and tomorrow.
I call and ask help only of He Who can stop the wheel of Destiny, which apparently moves the ship of Earth, and stop the movement of time by reuniting the sun and the moon. I ask help only of He Who, by transforming this Earth into another Earth, can steady this changing world rolling down from the summits of existence into the depths of the valleys of decay. My ambition and aims are connected with all things. My ambitions are related to time’s passage and Earth’s movement. I also feel a deep connection with the joys and sorrows of all beings, particularly of humanity and especially with the righteous ones in the heavens and on Earth.
So I worship only He Who is aware of my heart’s most secret thoughts and satisfies its least ambition and inclination. By destroying the world and changing it into the Hereafter, He realizes the desire of my intellect and imagination, namely, to establish eternal happiness for humanity. His hand reaches the tiniest particle and the largest sun at the same instant, and nothing is too big for His Power to encompass. He is such that your pain changes into pleasure if you know Him, and that without Him science results in sheer fantasy and conjecture, and philosophy in fallacy.
Without His light, existence changes into non-existence, lights into layers of darkness, living creatures into dead things, pleasure into pain and sin, and beloved ones (indeed all things) into enemies. Without Him, permanence becomes a disaster, perfection goes for nothing, life is wasted and becomes a torment, intellect becomes a means of suffering and misery, and ambition becomes pain.
Those who submit to God’s will and pursue His pleasure are served by everything; those who disobey God find everything turned against them. This is also true for those who admit all that exists, without exception, belongs to Him and is His property. He has created you surrounded by circles of need and equipped you with devices that allow you, if you rely on your will and power, to satisfy only those needs in the smallest circle. Some of your other needs are related to an enormous circle stretching from the infinite past to the infinite future, and between Earth’s center and the Throne of God. To satisfy these needs, He has equipped you with prayer or supplication: Say: “My Lord will not be concerned for you, were it not for your supplication” (25:77). An infant calls its parents to provide what it cannot reach, and servants pray to their Lord for what they cannot [obtain or overcome].
KNOW, O FRIEND, that the perfect art in everything and its firm structure come from the unity [of origin], which does not allow division and disintegration and cannot be prevented from manifestation. If this were not so, there would be disharmony and disorder in existence. For example the sun, one and single, exists in whatever it touches with its light, from a transparent, minute particle to an ocean. And yet its reflection or manifestation in one thing does not prevent it from being manifested in another.
If this is true for the sun, a contingent, contained, inanimate physical object, a “drop” shining by the manifestation of a ray of the Divine Name “the Light,” it is even more true for the Ever-Existing Sun, Eternal Sovereign, Necessarily Existent and Permanently Self-Subsistent, the One and Single, Ever-Living, All-Powerful, Eternally-Besought-of-All. The encompassing light’s unity points to oneness; the sun’s existence, with all its properties in individual things and wholes, parts and particles through the manifestation of its light, implies unity.
KNOW, O FRIEND, that among the most truthful witnesses of Divine Oneness are the following:
- The unity or miraculously harmonious organization in everything, from the particles of your eye’s cells to the universe.
- The perfectly firm structure everything has according to its capacity, as determined by Divine Decree and Destiny.
- The absolute ease of creating and building things, which shows that the Creator’s existence is infinitely more deeply rooted and established than that of the created.
KNOW, O FRIEND, that Earth gives and sells you its produce for an extremely cheap price. If what it gives belonged to it or was produced by material causes, you could not buy a single pomegranate, for you would have to pay for what it had received from the soil, trees, fields, the Sun, and air.
Your Maker shows the utmost care in [creating] everything, even grains, making them infinitely firm and furnishing them most elaborately. He also includes in it that which is necessary with perfect consciousness and wisest skill, equipping it with subtleties of color, nourishment, and fragrance to attract customers. He creates with ease, and does not require physical contact with it. If the One Who created these things were not the same as He Who has created everything in existence with such great ease, creating them all with the same relation to His Power, these things then would not have the perfect quality that they now possess.
Since it has been created so firmly and artistically, and in such abundance, those things could not have been created only to satisfy some animate beings’ temporary pleasure and particular desire. If that were true, it would require that their Creator be without conscience, will, knowledge, choice, and perfection. However, the perfect, conscious, wise, and purposeful art in everything contradicts such a hypothesis.
The Necessarily Existent Being is All-Powerful, All-Willing, All-Knowing, All-Wise, and has absolute dominion over everything: When He wills a thing, His command is only to say to it: “Be!” and it is (36:82); Your creation and resurrection is like [that of] a single soul (31:28). He has placed in each creature instances of wisdom and purposes connected not only with the benefits of its customers but also, and more than them, with the manifestations of His Names and the meaning of His acts as God Almighty.
Such a universal banquet could not have been prepared by a blind power; the floods of fruits and other products could not be the result of chance and coincidence. The particular form, color, smell, and taste assigned to each thing for certain purposes, and the services that each consciously renders, rejects the intervention of blind chance and coincidence. On the contrary, their abundance and cheapness, the ease of creating them individually and as a species, their firm structure, and (despite their infinite variety) their formation out of only a few substances, all testify to the absolute generosity of the absolutely Generous, Wise and Powerful One.
Glory be to Him Who has combined infinite, absolute generosity with infinite wisdom and economy. Glory be to Him Who has put the unrestricted, absolute free-giving within the limits of a perfect order, a sensitive balance or measure, and an absolute justice. This order, balance, and justice are such that an elephant must protect itself against a fly, and haughty, too conceited people must fight against the little “spear” of a mosquito:
O humanity! A parable is set forth, so listen to it: Surely, those whom you invoke, apart from God, will never create a fly even if they combine together for the purpose. And if the fly takes something from them, they cannot rescue it from it. Hence, weak are both the seeker and the sought. (22:73)
And the fury of a sea and the rage of storms subside, and the severity of coldness diminishes, through a silent supplication of a broken-hearted child and the child is carried to safety: Is He not the One Who answers the oppressed when they supplicate Him and takes away [their] ills? (27:62). The One Who hears a heart beating and is aware of whatever occurs to it answers it and directs the movements of the sun and moon.
KNOW, O FRIEND who ascribes everything to the law of causality. Creating a cause and making it the cause of an effect, and then making it possible for the effect to come into being, is not an easier, more perfect and wonderful act than creating the effect with the command: “Be!” issuing from Him in relation to Whom everything that exists is the same.
KNOW, O MY HEART, that the suffering, decay, and death you see filling the world consist of similar things coming to the world and going, and events of birth and death occurring over and over again. In each separation and decay, however, believers find the pleasure of renewal instead of the pain of decline and disappearance. Believe and find security and satisfaction. Submit yourself to Him and find peace and happiness.
KNOW, O FRIEND, that racism is a combination of heedlessness, ignorance, misguidance, ostentation, and wrongdoing that support and strengthen one another. Racists make a fetish of their race. We seek refuge with God from such deviation. As for the zeal for Islam, it is a bright light coming from belief.
KNOW, O FRIEND who disputes with heretics, agnostics, and imitators of Western atheists. You are in a great danger, for if you are not perfectly purified and fully convinced of the truths of belief and Islam, you may be drawn gradually and unconsciously to your opponents. You cannot trust your evil-commanding self in objective reasoning, for a seed of criticism and fault-finding begins to grow within a just disputant who temporarily accepts an opponent’s ideas as true to find answers to them. Gradually, the disputant begins to behave like the opponent’s deputy. Taking advantage of this, Satan occupies that person’s mind and tries to make that seed grow and bear fruit. However, if you have a pure intention [in disputing], when you feel that you have begun to behave like your opponent’s deputy, immediately struggle against your greatest enemy within you and humbly seek God’s forgiveness.
SUPPOSE, O FRIEND, that a wonderful palace is being built and decorated for a mighty king. Whoever sees the instruments used and the workers employed, but without knowing their underlying purpose, will conclude that the workers are working not on their own behalf but on that of their employer and for a certain purpose. Look at the animate and inanimate beings employed in the universe for numerous noble and subtle aims and purposes, many of which even the smartest scholars cannot perceive. Ponder the exquisiteness that flowers display to make themselves loved by those who look at them. You will be convinced that flowers, like other beings, are charged by the Generous, All-Wise One with serving His guests on Earth and making Him loved.
Do flowers have the feelings and animals the consciousness necessary to perceive the purposes for the design, decoration, and graces of generosity they are made to display? No. Rather, they make the Generous Lord known and loved by His conscious servants, His guests.
KNOW O ILL-MEANING, EVIL-COMMANDING SELF! You demand to see what is necessary for all grades of existence in a single grade, and what is needed by all senses in a single sense. You seek to experience all of the pleasures that your feelings, faculties, and senses enable you to experience separately. You seek to see the rays of all Divine Beautiful Names in each Name, the splendor of the Creator in each creature, and to find the real, manifested meaning of everything in its reflection in the mind. Rather, seek to find in each thing what it deserves and can encompass so that you are not exposed to evil suggestions and thoughts about the Creator.
KNOW, O FRIEND, that when you have a high opinion of yourself, consider those greater than you. When you see things that are smaller than you, like insects, consider your body’s cells and concentrate on one of them. You will see that even a fly is greater than you. Do not despise the wisdom, mercy, favoring, and perfect art in you; rather, when you see the same innumerable bounties conferred on you, consider the extent of your need and weakness, and the purposes for those bounties so that you should not despise them.
Does it lessen your need for an eye that all animals have eyes? Does it reduce a particular bounty’s inclusiveness and purpose? No. Rather, it intensifies the need for it and increases its inclusiveness.
KNOW, O FRIEND, that there are innumerable purposes for every living creature’s life. Only one is concerned with the living creature itself, while those concerned with the Life-Giving One are proportionate to His limitless Ownership. No member of creation, however great, has the right to boast to those less than it. Although there is nothing useless and purposeless in creation, some people who consider everything with respect to their own interests and wishes may regard that which is irrelevant to their own use as futile and purposeless. Due to its duty to make Earth prosperous in the name of God, the universal table spread on Earth is a gift to humanity, provided it fulfills this responsibility. This table does not belong to and is not spread for the sole use of humanity.
KNOW, O FRIEND, that if one whispers to you: “You are but an animal among countless others. The ant is your brother, and the bee is your sister. How can you have a relation with the One Who rolls up the heavens like a scroll rolled up for books? The whole Earth is His handful on the Day of Resurrection, and the heavens will be rolled up in His right hand,” reply: “My admission of impotence, poverty, and insignificance before Him, together with my recognition and conviction of Him, becomes a mirror to show me His Power, Wealth, and Dignity. Thus I have progressed from being an animal to being a human being. The perfection of His Grandeur and the comprehensiveness of His Power require that He should hear my call and see my needs, and that His sustaining Earth and heavens should not prevent Him from sustaining me and directing my affairs.”
God’s concern with insignificant-seeming things and events does not contradict His Grandeur. Rather, if He did not concern Himself with them, His Lordship’s Grandeur would be lacking. Do you not see that every bubble, drop of water, and piece of glass, however small, contains the sun’s image? If it could speak, it would say: “The sun belongs to me. It is in me or accompanies me.” Those drops, pieces, planets, or seas do not hinder one another from having a relation with the sun, nor does the sun’s greatness prevent those relations. Rather, the more we know the Almighty and are aware of our poverty and insignificance before Him, the nearer we are to Him. How good is the position of those who remember their poverty and impotence before Him to Whose Wealth and Power, Dignity and Grandeur there are no limits.
Glory be to Him Who has included limitless kindness in limitless grandeur and boundless tenderness in boundless majesty, Who has combined infinite nearness with infinite distance and established brotherhood between minute particles and suns, and Who manifests His Power by combining opposites.
Sustaining and directing Earth and heavens does not prevent Him from sustaining insects. Sustaining and administering does not hinder Him from creating even the smallest animals, whether on land or in the sea. Violent winds and furious seas do not distract Him from providing His perfect kindness and goodness to every creature, without exception, regardless of size, location, or any other factor.
Mercy appears smilingly amidst the sea’s fury and behind its stern, frowning face. While it roars: “O All-Mighty God, All-Majestic, Greatest! Glory be to You, how grand You are!,” that little creature responds by calling silently: “O All-Subtle and Gracious God, All-Munificent, All-Providing, Most Compassionate. How gracious is Your favoring.” In these two types of calling God by His Names and glorifying Him are a gentle, gracious splendor and a splendid grace and gentleness, as well as an exalted type of worshipping the One, Single and Eternally-Besought-of-All.
KNOW, O FRIEND, that after acquiring the necessary knowledge of belief, you must do good and righteous deeds. For, following belief, the Qur’an declares: Those who do good, righteous deeds.
This short life suffices only for doing what is most important and necessary. Science and technology are necessary insofar as they help satisfy essential needs, human progress (both intellectual and spiritual), and human prosperity in both worlds. If they cause dissipation and sedition, they are harmful.
O God, O Most Compassionate of the Compassionate. Have mercy on Muhammad’s community, and illumine its people’s hearts with the light of belief and the Qur’an. Brighten the proof of the Qur’an, and exalt Islam. Amen.
- Believers who say: “I bear witness that there is no god but God,” “Muhammad is the Messenger of God,” or “All praise be to God” have made a claim, announced a cause and conviction, and declared a conclusion.
- Each radiation of belief and Islam is supported by the whole.
- Each part of the whole, regardless of size, needs [for its being] whatever the whole needs [for its being].
- Prophethood is like a seed from which the blossoming, fruit-laden tree of Islam has grown.
- History’s account of the Prophet’s life represents only the shell of the seed from which the blessed tree of Prophet Muhammad has grown.
- A minute particle can manifest only the Names of the Eternal “Sun,” for it has no truly effective and operative ability to create anything.
- Attributing the fruit of a group’s work to one person leads to associating partners with God, for the underlying assumption is that the person in question produced those fruits.
- Serving God leads to reward, especially in the Hereafter, while serving the ego leads to pain and suffering.
- Leaving the time of death undefined shows that it has been defined in the Originator’s knowledge.
- Calling blessings and peace upon the Prophet is like answering the invitation of the Giver of Bounties Who spreads His blessings freely.
- The difference between the civilization of unbelievers and that of (true) believers.
- Ijtihad is allowed, but not in all circumstances.
- One of the 55 “languages” that witnesses the Almighty’s necessary existence and His Unity in His Divinity and Lordship.
- The area where your mind and heart move is too spacious to be encompassed.
- God’s gifts have conditions.
- The Qur’an’s miraculousness saves it from corruption.
- Our disobedience, rebelliousness, and ingratitude mostly arise from our blindness to the Divine act of bestowing bounties and indifference to the One Who bestows.
- Satan’s whisperings and involuntary thoughts and suggestions arising from the heart and carnal self should be ignored.
- Philosophers who criticize Islam, and why unbelievers sometimes beat the believers in this world.
- Intense love causes one to deny the thing loved.
- The seed of unbelief potentially bears Hell.
- Your relation with your life is like the relation between a steersman and the royal ship that he steers.
- Do not confuse a shadowy existence formed through manifestation or reflection according to what Destiny has determined, with the main, substantial existence.
- The Qur’an explains many truths through parables and comparisons, for this makes the abstract Divine truths easily understandable.
- The heart has the same meaning for you as the Divine Throne.
- A supplication.
- An address to the Turkish Parliament.
- Your body and what maintains it do not belong to you, so you cannot control them as you wish.
- Each sura of the Qur’an contains a summary of the whole Qur’an.
- Those who submit to God’s will and pursue His pleasure are served by everything; those who disobey God find that everything turns against them.
- If you had to pay for what Earth, with His permission, freely gives you, you would not be able to buy even a piece of fruit.
- When He wills a thing, His command is only to say to it: “Be!” and it is (36:82); and Your creation and your resurrection is but like [that of] a single soul (31:28).
- Racism is a combination of heedlessness, ignorance, misguidance, ostentation and wrongdoing, which support and give strength to each other.
- Debating with heretics, agnostics, and imitators of Western atheists.
- When you have a high opinion of yourself, consider those greater than you.
- There are innumerable purposes for the life of every living creature.
- Your admission of impotence, poverty, and insignificance before God, together with your recognition and conviction of Him, becomes a mirror to show His Power, Wealth, and Dignity.
- After acquiring the necessary knowledge about belief, a believer must do good and righteous deeds.