The Flowers from the Seeds of Truth-7


A concise explanation of the Qur’an’s miraculousness

Once I had a dream: I was at the foot of Mount Ararat. The mountain suddenly exploded, scattering rocks the size of mountains all over the world and shaking it.

Then suddenly, a man appeared at my side. He told me: “Explain the aspects of the Qur’an’s miraculousness known to you, concisely and precisely!”37

I thought of the dream’s meaning while I was still in the dream and told myself: the explosion here symbolizes a revolution in humankind.

As a result of this, the guidance of the Criterion of truth and falsehood (the Qur’an) will be exalted everywhere, and will rule. And the time will come to explain its miraculousness!

I said to the questioner in reply: The Qur’an’s miraculousness originates in seven universal sources or is composed of seven universal elements:

FIRST SOURCE: This is its brilliant manner of exposition that arises from the fluency of its wording, the eloquence of its meanings, the originality of its concepts, the purity of its language, the beauty of its word-order, and the uniqueness of its styles.

All these elements combined, its miraculousness manifests an amazing embroidery of expressions, and an original linguistic art, thus its repetition never wearies or bores.

SECOND (SOURCE OR) ELEMENT: Formed of the unseen principles underlying cosmic events, and the unseen, mysterious Divine truths, and the unseen realities contained in the heavens, and the events that have become unseen behind the veil of the past, and the matters and events that remain unseen behind the veil of the future,

The Qur’an is the tongue of the Unseen; it speaks with the visible, corporeal world, revealing some matters of the Unseen with subtle, profound and symbolic expressions. It addresses humankind. This is another flash of its miraculousness.

THIRD SOURCE: The Qur’an has an extraordinary comprehensiveness in five aspects: in its wording, meanings, commands, and its knowledge, and the balance in its aims.

Its wording: There are many diverse ways of expression and various aspects in its wording, each being agreeable in the sight of eloquence, grammatically correct, and perfectly suitable for legislation.

Its meaning: The miraculousness of the Qu’ran’s exposition at once comprehends and contains the ways of all the saints, the illuminations of those versed in knowledge of God, the schools of those following the Sufi way, the ways of theologians, and the paths of the philosophers.

The extent and variety of what the Qur’an refers to, and the expanse of its meanings: if you look through this window, you will see how broad the arena is!

The scope of its commands: The wonderful Shari‘a has issued from the Qur’an; its pronouncements at the same time cover the principles necessary for happiness in both worlds, the means to salvation and security, the relations of social life, the methods of education, and responsiveness to circumstantial realities.

The profundity of its knowledge: The Qur’an mentions or alludes to, at different levels, and with signs and indications, both the physical sciences and the Divine sciences; the Qur’an brings together all the paradisal gardens of all types of knowledge within the castles of its suras.

In its aims and purposes, the Qur’an has perfect balance and regular sequence, and it fully conforms to and agrees with the principles of the original Divine pattern and system of creation, and it has preserved the balance thereof.

See the magnificent comprehensiveness in the extensiveness of its words, the breadth of its meanings, the scope of its commands, the profundity of its knowledge, and the balance of its aims.

FOURTH (SOURCE OR) ELEMENT: The Qur’an bestows bounteous, luminous gifts and blessings on every age in accordance with its capacity of understanding and literary degree and on all classes of people in accordance with their capacities and abilities.

Its door is open to every era and every class within each. It is as if this Speech of the All-Merciful is freshly revealed at every instant, in every place.

The Qur’an grows younger as time grows older; its allusions and symbols become clearer and more manifest; that Divine Address rends the veil of nature and causes (ascribing creativity to nature and “natural” causes).

The light of Divine Unity in the Qur’an constantly bursts forth from every verse. It raises the veil of the visible, corporeal world from the Unseen. The loftiness of its address invites humans to be attentive.

The Qur’an is the tongue of the Unseen, speaking to the visible, corporeal world. From this source proceeds its extraordinary freshness, its being an all-encompassing ocean of meaning.

The Qur’an includes Divine condescension to human minds so that they may be familiar with it. The fluency of its styles in various forms makes it lovely to humans and jinn.

FIFTH SOURCE: The Qur’an relates all its narrative accounts and the events they contain with their essential points and presents these in an original, meaningful style as though observing the events at first hand.

Through these narrative accounts of the past events, the Qur’an warns humankind. It relates or tells about former peoples and their experiences, future people and what they will experience, the secrets of Hell and the Gardens of Paradise,

And the truths of the Unseen, mysteries of the visible, corporeal world, the Divine mysteries, and the bonds of creation and the universe. Its styles of narration give the impression that the Qur’an relates what it sees.

Neither time nor the facts discovered over time have refuted the truths of the Qur’an, nor does logic ever contradict them. As for the other revealed Books, which are revered by the world,

The Qur’an relates the points on which they agree in a confirmatory manner, and mentions the subjects on which they differ in a corrective style. All this knowledge and these arguments are related or conveyed by someone “unlettered:” this is a wonder of all times!

SIXTH (SOURCE OR) ELEMENT: The Qur’an was the founder of the Religion of Islam and comprises it. If you reflect on time and place, neither was the past capable of producing the like of Islam, nor is the future.

It is a heavenly rope that holds the earth in its annual and daily orbits, rotating it. It rides upon and weighs down the earth, not allowing it to rebel (against its duty).

SEVENTH SOURCE: The six lights pouring forth from these six sources exist one within the other, and it is from these that a beauty arises, and it is from that beauty an intuition, a luminous means of understanding, emanates.

This produces a pleasure that serves the comprehensive pleasure of its miraculousness, but our language is inadequate to describe this, the mind is also insufficient. That celestial star (of the pleasure in its eloquence) is seen, but cannot be held in the hand.

For thirteen centuries the Qur’an’s enemies have desired to challenge it, while it has aroused in its friends a desire for imitation. This too is a proof of its miraculousness.

Millions of books have been written in Arabic as a result of these two intense desires, and have entered the library of existence.

If they are compared with the Qur’an, God’s Revelation, if they are weighed on a balance, not only the learned scholar, but even the most common people, who only judge by their eyes and ears, will declare: “This one is heavenly; those are human!”

They will also conclude: “It does not resemble them, it is not of the same class. It is either lower than all of them – and this is self-evidently not true – or

“It is superior to all of them.” During that long time from its revelation, the meanings of the Qur’an have always remained open to humankind; it has summoned to itself spirits and minds!

Humankind has employed these meanings, and has adopted them, but it still has not been able to oppose the Qur’an with its meanings; humanity will never be able to do this; now the time of testing has passed.

The Qur’an does not resemble other books; it cannot be compared to them. For due to Divine wisdom it was revealed part by part, over more than twenty years, in response to need and in miscellaneous parts.

The Qur’an was revealed on different occasions; to answer different and repeatedly asked questions, and to legislate judgments concerned with numerous and diverse occasions and circumstances. The times of its revelation were all different.

The conditions where the Qur’an was received and communicated were diverse and varied; the groups of those it was addressing were numerous and remote from one another; the targets of its guidance were numerous and of varying levels.

Based on these foundations, the Qur’an explains, teaches, answers, legislates, orders, forbids, advises, reminds, warns, praises, encourages, condemns, and restrains. Yet despite this, the Qur’an is perfect in eloquence, fluency, mutual proportion, and harmony. The sciences of rhetoric, eloquence, and fine arts testify to this.

The Qur’an has a unique characteristic; none of other forms of speech has it. If you listen to a speech, you will see the speaker (or writer) behind it, or you will find them within it: style is the mirror of the person who writes or speaks.

The Qur’an apparently points to the Prophet, its addressee, who is a veil before the Owner of the Speech. The Owner of the Speech is uniquely the Necessarily Existent Being, Whose words or discourses are infinite and innumerable.

He addresses all His uncountable addressees from eternity in the past to the eternity in the future; however, the Speech of the All-Eternal is only heard in embodied, finite speeches.

He could sum up all His discourse in a single manifestation of His Speech, if it had been possible for us to hear all His infinite words all at once,

Or if all His addressees had been a single ear formed of all the particles of the universe – then that universal ear, that universal light of belief, that inspiration in conscience,

Would have seen the representation of the All-Glorified’s Speech behind or in infinite speeches or words in all Its majesty and grandeur.

This means that the variation in the styles of the Qur’an is because the Qur’an comprises God Almighty’s condescension and manifestations of His Names and Attributes. This is seen by looking with belief behind His speech embodied in the Qur’an.

Every person can say, “In the world, which was built and is heated and lit up as my home, the sun, that eye of the heavens, smiles at me.

“If God had given it consciousness and speech, that delicate, beautiful entity of the heavens would speak to me and a mirror would be the means of communication with it.”

The autonomy of mind gives every individual this right, so they can also say, “My Lord speaks to me from behind His speech, the Qur’an; I see an All-Merciful of Light with my belief.”

All beings with spirits, even the whole universe, can say this all together, because there is no congestion or blockage when communicating with Him, (as one’s benefiting from the sun does not prevent others from benefiting from it). No one can monopolize or restrict it. He is uncontained in time and space.

O dream-questioner! You asked for conciseness, so I have made an indication. If you want a detailed exposition, that is beyond my capability! A fly cannot watch and scan the sky.

For of its forty aspects of miraculousness, only one is the fluency of its word-order; this could not be explained fully in Isharatu’l-I‘jaz.38

This nearly two hundred-page commentary of mine has been insufficient for that. Rather, I want a detailed exposition from you, as your spirit inspirations are many.


The fanciful, lust-exciting, genius-impressing, earthly hand of Western literature cannot equal the healing, light-scattering, guiding, heavenly, eternal literature of the Qur’an

Anything pleasing to the elevated taste of the mature and perfected does not gratify childish fancies or dissolute natures.

It does not entertain them. For this reason, one who has grown amid and been fed with base, dissolute, carnal and lusty pleasures will not know spiritual pleasure.

Looking within a perspective fashioned by and based on novels, the present literature, which has issued from Europe, will neither see nor experience the elevated subtleties or the majestic virtues of the Qur’an.

This literature cannot weigh up or measure the Qur’an by its own scales. There are three arenas in which literature revolves; it roams within their bounds:

Either love and sorrow, or heroism and valor, or a depiction of reality. The Europe-based literature does not seek the truth or acclaim right in heroism; rather, it instills a desire for power by applauding the cruelties of oppressors.

As regards sorrow and love, this literature is not aware of true love; it injects into the soul a lust-exciting thrill.

In the matter of the depiction of reality, it does not look on the universe as Divine art; it does not see it as a painting of the All-Merciful.

Rather, this literature approaches the Qur’an from the point of view of “self-existent nature” or naturalism, and depicts it thus; it cannot free itself from this limitation.

For this reason, what such literature inculcates is a false love of nature. It implants in the heart feelings associated with materialism, from which it cannot easily save itself.

Furthermore, that unmannerly literature is only a sedative and narcotic for the distress of the spirit which arises from the misguidance resulting from materialism; it can provide no remedy.

It has found a single remedy, and that is in novels and fiction. Books are animated corpses, movie pictures are moving corpses. The dead cannot give life!

And the theater – it feels no shame at these three sorts of its fiction resembling “reincarnated” ghosts from the vast grave known as the past.

It has put a false, lying tongue in humankind’s mouth, attached a lustful eye to its face, clothed the world in a scarlet dress, and does not recognize pure beauty.

If literature indicates the sun, it puts in the reader’s mind a beautiful blonde actress; but it apparently says: “Dissipation is bad; it is not fitting for humanity.”

Literature indicates harmful consequences. But its depictions so incite dissipation that they make the mouth water and reason cannot maintain control.

They rouse appetite, excite desire, thus the emotions heed neither advice nor warnings. The literature of the Qur’an, however, stirs up no such desires;

It imparts love of and attachment to right, a passion for pure beauty and pleasure in it, and zeal to attain and establish the truth. It never deceives.

The Qur’an does not look at the universe from the point of view of “self-existent nature” or naturalism; it speaks of it as Divine art, as a painting of the All-Merciful. It does not confuse the mind.

It inculcates the light of knowledge of the Maker. It indicates His signs in all things. Both the literature of the Qur’an and that of the modern age can produce a touching pathos, but they do not resemble each other.

The literature born of Europe excites a pathetic sorrow that arises from a lack of friends, from being ownerless; this is not an elevated sorrow.

This literature is a despairing  sadness inspired by a deaf nature and blind force. It knows and shows the world as a desolate wasteland, and not in any other way.

The literature depicts the world in this way, and it takes the sorrowful and places them, ownerless, among strangers, leaving them without hope.

Due to this emotional mood the literature has imbued them with, they gradually move to misguidance; thus the way is opened to atheism, from whence it is difficult to return. Perhaps they never will return.

As for Qur’anic literature, it produces a sorrow, but it is the sorrow of love, not of orphans. It arises from separation from friends, not from the lack of them.

Its view of the universe, in place of blind nature, is as conscious, merciful Divine art; it does not speak of “blind and deaf” nature.

Instead of blind force, the Qur’an describes the wise and gracious Divine Power. The universe, therefore, does not take on the form of a desolate wasteland.

Indeed, in the view of those with sacred sorrow to whom it is addressed, the Qur’an becomes a gathering of friends. On every side there is mutual love and responsiveness, which cause no distress.

There is friendliness at every corner, giving the sorrowful in that society a yearning sorrow, an elevated feeling, not a dejected grief.

Both give rise to eagerness. But through the eagerness that is provoked by alien literature, the carnal soul becomes excited, fanciful desires are stimulated; there is no joy to the spirit.

The Qur’an’s eagerness, however, excites the spirit, spurring one on to lofty aims. It is for this reason that the Shari‘a of Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, does not desire play nor pastime.

It has forbidden some (musical) instruments for amusement, and permitted others. That is to say, instruments that produce Qur’anic sorrow and eagerness are not harmful.

But if such music produces the despairing grief of the orphan or carnal excitement and eagerness, then the instrument is prohibited. It changes from person to person, not everyone is the same.


There are two viewpoints, one dark, the other illuminating

There are two viewpoints, and two kinds of investigation. One is increasingly illuminated and brightened, while the other is increasingly drowned in doubts, with the result that the mind is darkened.

For example: There is delightful, sweet water, flowing from a source. It flows in thousands of canals. Foul things may mix with it in some places.

A person sees the source, tastes the water, and understands that it is sweet. They conclude that the foulness is not from the source.

Whenever one passes by a canal or waterway, the smallest sign that the water is pure and sweet convinces them of its original sweetness and purity.

Only an otherwise decisive, substantial proof can contradict such a sign. Then the person says: “Some other substance has become mixed with this pure, sweet water.”

This way of investigation strengthens belief, expands and exhilarates the heart, and develops and flourishes the truth. It is this splendid viewpoint that is encouraged by the Qur’an.

The other viewpoint is faulty and harmful. A foolish one walks with it around the canals unconsciously, instead of beginning from the source.

Their eyes are fixed on the ground; whenever they encounter a canal and see a doubtful sign that the water is bitter,

They doubt that the water is sweet. In order to judge that it is sweet, they seek a conclusive proof.

They desire to base the overwhelming result produced from a huge, pure source on one very insignificant sign.

Their doubt increases (as they encounter some insignificant foulness mixed with the water from the outside), and they begin to lose their former conviction, and become a target of groundless suspicions. The recompense of such a viewpoint is an increase in error.

Their intellect is defective, the principles they follow are flawed, and their capacity for understanding is narrow.

If they cannot reach the truth, they return and say: “This is not the truth,” refuting and denying it.

There is a proverb among the Kurds: A bear stood under a vine, and not being able to reach the grapes, said, “Woe to these! They are foul and sour!”


Branches offer fruit in the name of Mercy

Apparently, the branches of the tree of creation extend the fruits of bounties to the hands of living beings on every side.

But in reality it is a Hand of Mercy, a Hand of Power, Which holds out to us these fruits on those branches.

You should kiss that Hand of Mercy in gratitude; you should thankfully proclaim the holiness of that Hand of Power.


An explanation of the three ways indicated at the end of Suratu’l-Fatiha

O brother full of aspirations! Taking your imagination with you, come with me. See, we are in a land, we look around. There is no one to see us.

A layer of black clouds has settled on the high mountains, which are like tent-posts. The clouds have also overshadowed the part of the earth where we are.

They form a solid ceiling over us, but some say its six sides are open and the sun is shining there. However, we are under the cloud and the darkness oppresses us.

The distress is suffocating; the lack of fresh air is killing us. Now three ways are open to us. One is an illuminated realm; I looked upon it once. I also came here once before; I have been to the third realm as well.

The first way extending before us is this: most people take it and it is the way through the world, inviting us to travel it.

See, we are on our way, going on foot. See the boiling sands of this desert, how they are scorching us with their anger, threatening us!

Look at the mountainous waves in that sea; they are furious with us too. Now thank God, we have reached the other side, we can see the sunlight.

But only we know the difficulties we have suffered. Alas! We have returned to this same wasteland, the dark ceiling of cloud hovering over us. What we need is a wonderful light-filled realm,

Which will brighten the eye of the heart; if you have the courage, we will enter this extremely risky way together to reach this destination.

Our second way: we will plunge through “nature,” and pass to the other side. Or we will go trembling through a natural tunnel.

I traveled this way once before, full of entreaties and prayers, without feigning reluctance before God. But on that occasion I had with me a substance to smelt and rend “nature.”

The Qur’an, the miraculous guide of the third way, gave it to me. Brother, stick close behind me, and have no fear!

See, here await tunnel-like caves and underground torrents. They will let us pass. Let neither nature nor these awesome lifeless beings frighten you in any way!

For behind its sour face the smiling Face of its All-Compassionate Owner – I perceived It through the light of that radium-like substance of the Qur’an.

How happy you are! Now we have come out into the light-filled world; see this graceful earth, this pleasant and lovely heaven.

Raise your head! See, this Touba-tree invites us – it grows high into the heavens, has rent the clouds, leaving them far below.

It is the Qur’an. It has spread its branches everywhere. We must hold onto this branch which is trailing down, so that it can raise us up.

One of the manifestations of that heavenly tree on earth is the Illustrious Shari‘a. This means we ascend to this world of light in that way without difficulty; we will not be shaken by distress.

As we have gone wrong, we will now return to our former place and find the right way.

See, our third way! Over the mountains hovers a Royal Falcon, reciting the adhan to the whole world.

See, the supreme muadhdhin, Muhammadu’l-Hashimi, upon him be peace and blessings, is calling humankind to the luminous world of light. He enjoins supplication and obligatory Prayers.

Look at those mountains of guidance! They have rent the clouds and have reached as high as the heavens. See those mountains of the Shari‘a, how they have adorned the face and eye of the earth!

Now we must take off from here in lofty aspiration and endeavor. For the light and breeze are up there; the radiant face of grace is there. Ah, now here is the Uhud39 of Divine Unity, that mighty, beloved mountain.

Here is the Judi40 of Islam, that mountain of salvation and safety. Here is the Mountain of the Moon41, which is the bright Qur’an; the “Nile,” the pure water of life and mercy, flows from that sublime source. Take a drink of its sweet water!

So Blessed and Supreme is God, the Creator Who creates in the best and most appropriate form! (33:14)

And their final call is “All praise and gratitude are for God, the Lord of the worlds!” (10:10)

Friend! Now cast away your imagination and don your reason! The first two ways are those of “those who have incurred Your wrath” and “those who are astray.”

Their perils are numerous. With these is perpetual winter, their whole year is winter. Only one out of a hundred is saved, like Plato42 and Socrates.43

The third way is easy, and direct and straight. Weak and strong are equal. Everyone may take it. The easiest and safest is this: to be either a martyr or a “ghazi.”44

Now we come to the conclusion: the first two ways are the path and school of scientific materialism and philosophy. As for the guidance of the Qur’an, the third way is its straight path; it will take us to our destination.

O God! Guide us to the straight path. The path of those whom You have favored (with the blessing of guidance), not of those who have incurred Your wrath, nor of those who are astray.


Bediuzzaman Said Nursi

37 Volumes of books have been written on the inimitability of the Qur’an. What Said Nursi says here is a very brief summary. To a certain extent this was explained with examples in The Twenty-fifth Word in The Words. (Tr.)

38 Isharatu’l-‘I’jaz is Said Nursi’s commentary on the Fatiha (the Opening Chapter of the Qur’an) and the initial verses of Suratu’l-Baqara. It covers more than two hundred pages. It is a key to understanding and commenting on the Qur’an. (Tr.)

39 Mt. Uhud is a mountain in Medina, five kilometers north from the Prophet’s Mosque. A fierce battle took place before it between the Muslim army and the Meccan polytheists during the Prophet’s time, in 624. Once God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, said: “Uhud – it loves us much and we love it much too.” (al-Bukhari, “Fadailu’l-Medina” 6; Muslim, “Hajj” 462) (Tr.)

40 Mt. Judi is the mountain where the Ark of the Prophet Noah settled following the Flood.

See, the Qur’an, 11:44. (Tr.)

41 The Mountains of the Moon are the mountain ranges in Ethiopia that were once believed to be the source of the White Nile. The writer likens belief, Islamic belief and life, and the Qur’an to certain mountains. (Tr.)

42 Plato (428–348 BC) was one of the most famous classical Greek philosophers. He was a student of Socrates. He was also a mathematician, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. According to him, the material world as it seems to us is not the real world, but only a shadow of the real world. (Tr.)

43 Socrates (469–399 BC) was Plato’s teacher and is accepted as one of the founders of Western philosophy. He is known through the accounts of his students, especially those of Plato. He has become renowned particularly for his contribution to the field of ethics. (Tr.)

44 “Ghazi” is an Arabic term which means one who has warred in God’s cause. (Tr.)