Third part of the whiff



In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.


I ask God for help to continue on my way. Glory be to Him Who makes the heavens speak with His praise and glorify with the words of the planets and other stars. O One Who makes Earth speak with His praise and glorify (Him) with the words of trees and plants, Who makes trees and plants speak with the words of flowers and fruits, Who makes flowers and fruits speak with the words of seeds and stones, and Who makes seeds and stones speak with the words of spikes and grains.

Glory be to You Whom light glorifies with praise in all its radiations, air with its winds, water with its rivers, Earth with its rocks, plants with their flowers, trees with their fruits, the atmosphere with its birds, clouds with their rain, and the sky with its moons.

Blessings and peace be upon our master Muhammad, the lamp of the Prophets, the moon of purified scholars, the star of saints, the sun of humanity and jinn, and the light of the east and the west, and upon his Family, the stars of guidance, and Companions, the lamps illuminating darkness.


KNOW, O ONE WHO FINDS it very hard to understand the meaning of: We have made them missiles for devils (67:5). In order to reach the sky of this verse, we need a ladder with seven steps.

FIRST STEP: The heavens have inhabitants of their own called angels. Just as Earth, despite its insignificant size when compared with the heavens, is full of living, conscious beings, so the heavens, with their decorated castles of constellations, must be full of conscious beings particular to themselves.

The universe is richly adorned with beauty, design, and embroidery requiring the existence of beings to reflect on them with appreciation and amazement. Beauty is displayed only for its lover, as food is given only to the hungry. Humanity and jinn, due to their number or inability, cannot observe and reflect on all of the majestic beauty of existence, for this requires the existence of many kinds of angels and other spirit beings.

SECOND STEP: There is a close relationship and transaction between Earth and heavens. For example, light, heat, and similar blessings come from the heavens. This shows and requires that there is a way for humanity to ascend to the heavens, as realized by the Prophets, saints, and spirit beings (other than angels), by being stripped of their bodily weight.

THIRD STEP: The heavens’ order, peace, and tranquility show that their inhabitants must not resemble those of Earth, where confusion and convulsion, conflict and testing prevail due to the intermixing of good and evil. The heavens’ inhabitants are obedient, doing what they are ordered.

FOURTH STEP: The Master of the Day of Reckoning and the Lord of the Worlds has Names with different rulings and requiring different manifestations. For example, the Name requiring that angels be sent to fight unbelievers in the lines of the Prophet’s Companions also requires the struggle between angels and devils, between the good of the heavens and the evil of Earth.

FIFTH STEP: Evil spirit beings imitate good ones in their attempt to ascend to the heavens. The inhabitants of the heavens confront and repel them. The wisdom of the Divine Lordship’s Sovereignty requires that this heavenly contest have a sign in this visible, material world so that humanity, who has been told to watch and observe, can be informed of it. The best way of making this struggle known is to shoot stars or meteors from the high towers of constellations. Unlike all other cosmic events having many instances of wisdom, there is no wisdom proper to this event other than serving as a sign of this heavenly struggle—an instance of wisdom known and witnessed by all truth-seeking people.

SIXTH STEP: The Qur’an seeks to guide people to truth and hold them back from rebellion with lofty styles and exalted analogies or comparisons. For example, consider: O company of people and jinn, if you can penetrate the spheres of the heavens and Earth, then penetrate (them)! You will not penetrate them except with an authority (55:33). The verse proclaims the helplessness of humanity and jinn before the kingdom of Divine Lordship’s vastness and immensity, as if to say: “O humanity, helpless, poor, and tiny. How dare you rebel against a Monarch Whom all suns and moons, stars and angels obey; who throws missiles as large as mountains, or even larger, at devils! How dare you rebel in the kingdom of a King among Whose soldiers are those who shoot in the face of enemies stars the size of your Earth as easily as you throw walnuts or hazelnuts!”

SEVENTH STEP: There are many kinds of stars, just as there are many kinds of angels and fish. Whatever shines in the heavens is called a star. Some glitter like jewels and adorn the heavens as fruits adorn a garden and fish a sea, while others are used to kill devils to show that the guards are doing their job. These guards are obedient, do not mix with the rebellious, and represent the law of struggle or contest prevailing in the heavens. God’s is the perfect, most conclusive argument and the greatest wisdom.80

KNOW, O FRIEND, that many Qur’anic verses state that things are recorded before and during their physical existence, such as: Nothing of wet or dry but (it is recorded) in a Manifest Book (6:59). This is confirmed by the Book of the Universe’s systems and compositions and its “verses,” especially those of universal order and harmony, balance and fashioning, adornment and distinguishing.

Other proofs are seeds, measures, and forms. Seeds are tiny cases holding that which Divine Destiny has measured, determined, and appointed. Divine Power builds according to Destiny’s precise measures, and uses particles in that building. These measures are exact molds (pre-)existing in Divine Knowledge. Despite their being blind, deaf, and unconscious, particles move for the growth of things in exact measure. Without overstepping the limits determined for them, as if having very acute sight and hearing, they go and settle just where they must to produce great results like fruits.

As evidence of recording during the existence of things, all fruits, the result and consummation of trees and like rolls of paper on which their “deeds” have been recorded, display to witnesses what the trees have experienced. The seeds they contain are buried in soil and burst forth the following spring to grow into a new tree, demonstrating thereby the life of the previous tree.

Another evidence is the mustard seed-sized human memory, which is like a document copied out of our deeds’ notebook by the Hand of Divine Power with the Pen of Destiny. This will be given to us at the Final Reckoning so that we may see what we did here. Memory also shows that behind this hustle and bustle, turmoil and decay, there are “permanent mirrors” on which the All-Powerful One records the pictures and identities of all decaying things. In addition, there are boards or tablets on which the All-Preserving, All-Knowing One copies the lives of transient things and writes their results.

KNOW, O FRIEND, that a clock is not stable, for its parts vibrate and move. So does the world, which is like a huge clock that also shakes and moves. Including time in its movement, night and day resemble the second hand, a year the minute hand, and a century the hour hand. Including space, atmosphere occurs and undergoes very swift changes and alterations, like the second hand; Earth’s surface displays a continuous change of plants and animals through the cycle of life and death, like the minute hand; and Earth’s interior exhibits, like the hour hand, great changes and convulsions. Like the hand pointing to days, the heavens become a vast scene of change with its bodies’ movement, the appearance of comets and meteors, and the birth and death of stars.

The world or worldly life is based on these seven pillars—day and night, year and century, Earth, atmosphere, and the heavens. It serves as a scene where the Divine Names are manifested or operate, and where the Pen of Power and Destiny works continuously. It is in a continuous flow, like a river, and is fleeting, transient, and perishable. Nevertheless, the eye of heedlessness considers it permanent and perpetual, as stable with the eye fixed on nature and naturalism veiling the Hereafter.

Modern philosophy views the world or worldly life on behalf of itself and concentrates on its physical side with the modern materialistic–scientific attitude. This only makes the veil thicker and presents it as far more stable and perpetual. However, the Qur’an’s verses “card” the world and make it like carded wool (101:5), make the veil transparent with their statements, melt it with their light and heat, smash its illusory permanence with its announcements (of death, the dreadful end of previous rebellious peoples and frightening events of afterlife), and disperse with their “thunderbolts” the heedlessness that engenders and breeds naturalism. The reality of the ever-shaking world recites in the tongue of its actual state: When the Qur’an is recited, give ear to it and pay heed, haply so you will find and be treated with mercy (7:204).

KNOW, O FRIEND, that one factor that distinguishes us from animals is that we have relations with the past and the future and can comprehend both the inner and outer worlds. We can discover the apparent causes of events and know how to obtain a desired result. However, our greatest and most prominent duty, for which we have been equipped with very important faculties, is to glorify and praise God. We glorify the Maker with the tongues of the past, the present, and the future, and with the tongues of our inner and outer worlds. We praise the Lord and glorify Him for the past and present blessings and bounties He has bestowed, and which will be bestowed in the future, and for the blessings found in our inner and outer worlds. As we witness other creatures glorifying God, we extol the Maker of things by discerning the Names manifested in their creation and the purposes for their lives.


Glory be to God, praised and glorified in amazement and appreciation, awe and love, Whose Holiness and exemption from defect are proclaimed, Whose Grandeur is beyond perception.


KNOW, O FRIEND, that God destines and decrees, executes His decrees and spares (forgives and withdraws His decree’s execution). His decree yields to His sparing, as hard rock and soil yield to very thin, fiber-like roots, and as iron’s resistance cracks in the face of ice. Sometimes the law of Destiny is not enacted because of His Decree, or a universal law that is the destiny of a species or group is not enacted for a particular member. [For example, a helpless infant survives a calamity that caused great death and destruction.] This shows that the All-Glorified One is absolutely free in His acts, does whatever He wills, and decrees whatever He wishes. What He gives cannot be prevented, and His decrees cannot be resisted.

The relation of sparing to executing decrees is like that of the decree to Destiny. Sparing means that something is exempted from the law of decree, just as a decree is sometimes exempted from the law of Destiny. Those who are aware of this relation cannot help but say: “O God! My good deeds are from Your sparing. I know that Your decree will eventually come. If You do not spare me, I will be among those who perish.” Due to its inclination toward evil, the evil-commanding self deserves to perish.

KNOW, O FRIEND, that many Qur’anic verses end with Divine Names to bring Divine works to the reader’s attention. At the end of its miraculous expressions, it concludes with the Divine Names, the true origins of those works, as in the verse: He it is Who originates creation, then causes it to return again, and it is easier for Him. His is the highest comparison in the heavens and Earth. He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise (30:27).

The Qur’an unfolds the weavings of His art before our eyes and then wraps them in Divine Names. It expounds Divine acts and then summarizes them with the Divine Names. It mentions and uses creatures to show the order, balance, and favoring. The Qur’an then offers the Divine Names, as if the creatures were “words” written by those Names. They give creatures their meaning, appoint their functions and purposes for their lives, thereby making them what they are. They act as the water of life giving life to them, the seeds from which they grow, or their concise summaries containing the information ingrained in their nature and according to which they act. The Qur’an also mentions particular, material, changeable things of certain qualities and then summarizes them with the Divine Names and their universal manifestations.

The Qur’an displays things growing freely and found in many places, and then places the stamp of unity on them to draw the reader’s attention to their common points. It manifests the effects or results, together with their apparent causes, to show the great distance between causes and their results and that causes cannot be the real origin of results, as even the greatest cause cannot produce the smallest effect. The Qur’an fills in the great gap between cause and effect with the relevant Divine Names, mentions the evil deeds of creatures and threatens them, and then consoles them by mentioning the Names containing mercy. It mentions particular purposes and then establishes them with the Names containing the universal laws ensuring those purposes.

KNOW, O FRIEND, that like love, one’s perception of innate helplessness before God and acknowledging it is a way leading to God, a way even more direct and safer than that of love. Those initiates seeking to reach God by silent recitation prefer to purify their ten faculties (the heart, spirit, and other innermost ones); those seeking to reach God by loud recitation choose to purify their selves having seven kinds or levels (the carnal, evil-commanding self; the self resisted but still rebellious and accusing itself of its evil; the self obedient and at rest; and the self well-pleasing and pleased with God’s decrees about it, etc.).

The way of helplessness consists of four steps, each of which is indicated by a Qur’anic verse:


Do not hold yourselves (to be) purified. (53:32)

Be not as those who forgot God, so that He caused them to forget themselves. (59:19)

Whatever good befalls you is from God, and whatever ill befalls you is from yourself. (4:79)

Everything is perishable save His “Face.” (28:88)


First step

Human beings love themselves on account of themselves. They restrict their love to themselves, praise themselves as if they were worthy of worship, strongly defend themselves, and consider themselves defect-free. Like those who deify their desire, they use their faculties, given to them to praise and glorify God, the True Worshipped One, to glorify themselves. Here, purification can be attained only by considering oneself in need of it.


Second step

Human beings hold themselves back during times of hardship and rendering service, but consider themselves entitled to the first reward given when it is time to collect the fruits. Here, purification can be attained only by forgetting oneself when rewards are given.


Third step

Human beings should consider themselves as having only defects and insufficiency, helplessness and poverty. They should know that their beauty is the Creator’s blessing, Who alone deserves praise. Here, purification comes through knowing that perfection lies in confessing imperfection, power in perceiving helplessness, and wealth in accepting essential poverty and inadequacy.


Said Nursi


80 Scientists have offered no acceptable reason for meteor showers, which occur almost every year. However, the Perseid meteor shower observed almost every year suggests that meteors are shot for certain, important purposes, for they surprise observers by showing great diversity. The observations made in 1993, for example, show that the structure of such showers remains poorly understood.

Preliminary data from European observers indicated that the rates gradually increased to ZHR of order 100 m/h between 20:00, 11 August and 01:00, 12 August. Observers in France reported a noticeable increase in rates after 00:30, 12 August, with the rate being about twice that of “normal.” The rates continued to climb between 01:00 and 03:00. A preliminary ZHR of 200-250 was ascribed to this period. The rates appeared to reach a maximum between 03:00 and 03:30. The ZHR at maximum was estimated to be of the order of 500. Observations from the Canary Islands indicated that the rates began to decline after 04:00.

Higher than normal rates were reported from many observers in the U.S. and Japan. As Martin Beech commented in Astronomy (p. 11), the results clearly indicated that the shower did not behave as predicted. Speculation about a possible meteor storm proved incorrect. Another unexpected feature in 1993 was the high number of bright fireballs seen. Observers reported something like five times the normal level of Perseid fireballs on the night of 11/12 August. The Perseid shower once again showed how hard it is to predict meteor shower activity. (Tr.)

According to data given by the International Meteor Organization about the events of the 1993 shower (Astronomy, October 1993), the first results posted for the night of 11/12 August came from Japan. Up to 20:30 (all times UT), 11 August, the meteor rates were found to be normal. A zenithal hourly rate (ZHR) of 40 meteors per hour (m/h) was tentatively assigned to the shower at this time. (Tr.)