Part Two


Gleams of Truth or Flowers from the Seeds of Truth



This is a short “Mathnawi” on Islamic belief, thought, and action for students of the Risale-i Nur


NOTE: In both its composition and subject-matter, this collection is unlike other mathnawis or compilations of poetry. It bears the title Lemeat (Gleams of Truth) and was written in order to explicate, to some degree, the writer’s previous work, Hakikat Çekirdekleri (Seeds of Truth); moreover, it is in prose form and does not contain entertaining images or unbalanced emotions. It was written as scholarly instruction for some of the students of Bediüzzaman, including his nephew, who was with him at the time of writing; in it are included the truths of the Qur’an and belief, entirely in accordance with logic. This is a lesson about the Qur’an and belief. As our master himself said, and as we can understand, Bediüzzaman had no predisposition to verse or poetry, and did not occupy himself with them.

Working for two or two and a half hours every day, Bediüzzaman wrote this work in versified form (though it was not poetry); the work was completed in twenty days during Ramadan. At that time, he was a member of the Darü’l-Hikmeti’l-İslamiyye (“The House of Islamic Wisdom”), and had numerous preoccupations. Although it was dictated “extempore” and completed very quickly, the work was not edited and was published as it was. In our opinion, it is a wonder, on account of its relation to the Risale-i Nur. No other compilation of poetry seems to be as remarkable as this one is, as easy to read as prose. God willing, this work will become a sort of Mathnawi for students of Risale-i Nur. It acts as a form of index for the Risale-i Nur, or a forerunner for it, as the Risale-i Nur appeared ten years later and was completed over twenty-three years.

The Risale-i Nur students, Sungur, Mehmed Feyzi, Hüsrev


REMINDER: As the saying goes: “A person is hostile to what they do not know.” I have thought a great deal about poetry and rhyming simply because I do not know much about them. I have never wanted to change the reality of what I mean to fit into the demands of poetry. So, in this book, I have dressed sublime truths in an inelegant garment that is bereft of rhyme or meter.

In the first place, I do not know any better way and am only thinking of conveying the meaning. Secondly, I wanted to give form to my criticism of those poets who chisel the body to suit the clothes. Thirdly, a childish style such as this is preferable and more suited to occupy the carnal soul and heart during Ramadan. But, my reader, I must confess I have made a mistake and want to alert you to avoid making the same – do not be misled by the poor style into being carelessly disrespectful of its exalted truths!

AN EXCUSE: O Reader! I confess at the beginning that I have worried about my abilities in the art of writing and versification. As for verse and rhyme, I had never been able to produce even one poem. But suddenly I felt a desire to put things in verse, a desire which has persisted. There is an epic in Kurdish about the expeditions of the Companions called Qawl-i Nawala Sisaban. My spirit enjoyed its natural cadence, which is similar to a hymn. So I chose to use its verse form, but in a way particular to myself. I made a composition which somehow resembled verse, although I took no pains with the meter. Anyone who wishes may read it as easily as prose, without thinking of its verse-like form. Indeed, it would be better to consider it as prose so that the meaning can be better understood. The verses of each section are interrelated in respect of meaning. Readers should not ask about rhyming. A fez can be without a tassel, and meter can be without rhyme, verse without rules. I think that if a composition draws attention to itself through its artistry, the mind is preoccupied then with the art. Therefore, a composition is better when artless, thus not distracting attention away from the meaning.

My teacher in this work was the Qur’an, my book was life, and the one I addressed was myself. And you, my reader, are an eavesdropper. Eavesdroppers have no right to criticize; they must take what pleases them and ignore what they do not like. It is my hope that the readers’ tongues will utter a prayer of forgiveness for me, or recite a Fatiha, God willing.


Bediuzzaman Said Nursi