The Flowers from the Seeds of Truth-8


All true pain is in misguidance, and all true pleasure in belief: a mighty truth dressed in imagination

Sensible fellow-traveler! O beloved friend! If you want to clearly perceive the differences between the luminous way of the Straight Path and the dark path of those who have incurred God’s wrath and those who are astray,

Come, take your fancy and mount your imagination, together we will go into the darkness of non-existence. We will visit that vast grave, that city full of the dead.

An Eternal All-Powerful One took us out of the darkness of non-existence with His hand of Power, mounted us on existence, and sent us to this world, this city without pleasures.

Now we have come to the world of existence, this fearful desert. Our eyes have opened and we have looked in the six directions.

Firstly, we look before us seeking mercy and help, but tribulations and pain attack us like enemies. We take fright at this and retreat.

We look to left and right to the natural elements, seeking help. But we see their hearts are hard and merciless. They grind their teeth, looking at us angrily and threateningly. They heed neither plea nor plaint.

Like helpless creatures, we despairingly lift our gazes upwards. Seeking help, we look to the heavenly bodies, but see them to be threatening.

As though each was a bomb; having shot from of their housings they are speeding through space. But somehow they do not touch one another.

If one confused its way accidentally, this visible, corporeal world would be blown to pieces; God forbid! They move dependent on chance; no good can come of them.

In despair we turn back our gaze from that direction, overcome by painful bewilderment. We bow our heads, bent over our breasts; we look to ourselves, pondering and studying our own selves.

Now we hear the shouts of myriad needs coming from our wretched selves. The cries of thousands of desires issue forth. While hoping for solace, we take fright.

No good comes from that either. Seeking refuge, we consult our conscience or conscious nature; we look into it seeking a means and seeking help. Alas, again we are left unaided; we have to help our conscious nature.

For in it are thousands of aspirations, seething desires, wild emotions, all extending throughout the universe. We tremble with all of them, and cannot offer help.

Left unaided between existence and non-existence, these aspirations extend to eternity in the past on one side and eternity in the future on the other. They are so extensive. Even if the conscious nature were to swallow the world, it would still not be satisfied.

Whatever we have had recourse to on this painful path, we have encountered calamities. For the paths of those who have incurred God’s wrath and those who are astray are thus. It is chance and misguidance which lead us on these paths.

It is we who have allowed chance and misguidance to lead us, and so we have fallen into our present state. We are in such a state that we have forgotten the beginning of existence and the end of the world, as well as the Maker and the resurrection of the dead.

We are in a state that is worse than Hell; it scorches more terribly and it crushes our spirits. We had recourse to these six directions, but the result was this state.

It is a merciless state, comprising fear and terror, impotence and trembling, alarm and isolation, being orphaned and despair.

Now we will take up fronts opposite each of the directions (from where we had sought mercy and help, only to fall into a merciless state) and try to repulse them. Firstly, we have recourse to our own strength, but alas! We are powerless, weak.

Secondly, we turn to our souls, hoping their needs can be silenced. But alas! We see that they cry out unceasingly.

Thirdly, we cry out for help, seeking a savior; but there is no one to hear and respond. We think everything is hostile, everything strange. Nothing consoles our hearts; nothing gives a sense of security or true pleasure.

Fourthly, the more we look at the celestial bodies, the more they fill us with fear and awe. A feeling of terrifying loneliness, which vexes the conscience, appears; it torments the mind and fills us with delusions.

Brother! That is the path of misguidance! On it we experienced all the darkness of unbelief. Come, now, my brother, we will turn again to non-existence.

Again we will come. This time our way is the Straight Path and the way of belief. Our guide and leader are Divine Grace and the Qur’an, the Falcon that flies over the centuries.

At one time, the Eternal Sovereign’s Mercy and Grace willed our existence, His Power brought us forth, graciously mounting us on the law of His Will, completing us stage after stage.

Then It compassionately clothed us in the garment of existence, bestowing on us the rank of undertaking the Supreme Trust,45 whose decorations are supplication and the obligatory Prayers.

All of these stages are mansions of bestowal on our long road. To make our journey easy, the Divine Destiny has inscribed a decree on the parchment of our foreheads;

Wherever we go, with whichever group we are guests, we are welcomed in truly brotherly fashion. We give of our belongings, and we receive from theirs: a delightful trade.

They nourish us, adorn us with gifts, then see us off on our way. Now at last we have come to the door of the world. We hear a noise.

See, we have arrived on the earth. We have set foot in the visible world. Here is a promenade and festival, organized by the All-Merciful for the clamorous habitation of humankind.

We know nothing at all, our guide and leader is the Will of the All-Merciful. Our delicate eyes are the deputy of this guide. We open our eyes and look around. Do we recall the former time from where we came?

We were strangers, orphans, we had many enemies. We did not know who our protector was. Now, with the light of belief, which is a strong pillar, we find in us a point of support and a point of help against those enemies.

Our protector, belief in God, repulses our enemies. It is the light of our spirits, the light of our lives, and the spirit of our spirits. Now our hearts are easy and we disregard the enemies, not even recognizing them as such.

When on our former journey we consulted our conscious nature, we heard innumerable cries, laments, and complaints.

And so we were overcome by calamities. Now, our aspirations and desires, our capacity and senses, constantly desire eternity. But we did not know how to obtain it. We were ignorant of how to obtain it and our conscious nature lamented and cried.

However, all praise and gratitude be to God, this time we have found a point of help; it constantly gives life to our capacity and aspirations, making them take flight for eternity.

It shows them the way, and from that encouraging, mysterious point – belief in God – our capacity receives help, drinks the water of life, and races to its perfection.

The second pole of belief is affirmation of the Resurrection, the resurrection of the dead and eternal happiness. Belief is the pearl of this shell and the Qur’an is its proof. Human conscience is a mystery indicating it.

Now raise your head and take a look at the universe. Speak to it. On our former way how awesome it appeared. Now it is smiling on every side, gracefully winking and speaking.

Do you not see – our eyes have become like bees? They fly everywhere in the garden of the universe, around the multitude of flowers; each flower offers these bees delicious nectar.

Each flower also offers friendliness, solace, and love. Our eyes collect them and bring back the pollen of testimony. They make the most delicious honey flow forth.

As our gaze alights on the movements of the heavenly bodies–the stars, or suns–they give the Creator’s wisdom in its hands. Learning important lessons and the manifestation of His Mercy, it takes flight.

It is as though the sun is speaking to us, saying: “My brothers and sisters! Do not feel lonely or frightened. You are welcome, how good of you to have come! This dwelling place is yours; I am but a candle-holder.

“I am like you, naught but a pure, absolutely obedient servant. Out of His utter mercy, the Unique and Eternally Besought One has made me a servant of light for you. Light and heat are from me, supplication and Prayer from you!”

Now look at the moon! And the stars and the seas; each says in its own tongue: “Welcome! It’s good of you to have come! Do you not recognize us?”

Look through the mystery of cooperation, lend an ear to the signs of the order. Each says: “We are all servants, mirrors of the All-Majestic One’s Mercy; do not worry, do not become weary or fearful of us!

“Let not the roars of the thunder and cries of events rouse in you fear or suspicion, for within them reverberate Divine recitations, glorifications, supplications, and entreaties.

“The All-Majestic One, Who sent you to us, holds their reins in His hands. The eye of belief reveals the signs of Mercy on their faces; each proclaims It.”

O believer with a wakeful heart! Let our eyes rest a little; now in their place we will hand over our sensitive ears to the blessed hands of belief. We will send them to the world to listen to its delightful tune.

The voices and sounds that we thought were universal mourning and lamentations of death on our former way are in fact supplications and prayers, cries of glorification.

Listen to the murmuring of the air, the twittering of birds, the pattering of the rain, the splashing of the seas, the crashing of thunder, the crackling of stones; all are meaningful sounds of prayer and glorification.

The melodies of the air, the roars of the thunder, the strains of the waves are all recitations of Divine Grandeur. The chanting of the rain, the chirruping of the birds are all glorifications of Mercy – indications of truth is uttered in their languages.

The sounds of things are all sounds of existence: “I too exist,” they say. The silent-seeming universe speaks uninterruptedly: “Do not suppose us to be lifeless, O chattering fellow!”

It is either the pleasure of bounty or the descent of mercy that makes the birds sing. With their different voices, their songs, they applaud mercy, alight on bounties, and take flight with thanks.

Implicitly they say: “Beings of the universe, O brothers and sisters! What fine conditions we live in; we are tenderly nourished, we are happy with our lot!” With beaks pointed to the heavens they send their cheerful songs through the air.

The universe is a lofty orchestra in its entirety; its recitations are heard through the light of belief. For wisdom rejects the existence of chance and the order in existence banishes any formation or event from being attributable to random coincidence.

Fellow-traveler! We are now leaving this world of representations, stepping down from the realm of images. We will stop in the field of reason, follow the ways we have traveled that lie before our eyes and compare them.

Our first, painful way is that of those who have incurred God’s wrath, and those who are astray. It inflicts suffering on the conscience, in its innermost part; suffering and severe pain. Consciousness shows this; we traveled that way in opposition to our conscience.

We must be saved from it, we need to be – either the pain must be alleviated, or human feeling numbed – we cannot endure it otherwise, for our cries for help are not heeded.

Guidance is healing, but carnal tendencies and fancies block out the feelings. Submission to carnal tendencies and fancies requires solace, and solace requires forgetfulness, distraction, occupation, and entertainment.

So that those elements of deception can fool the conscience and put the spirit to sleep, stopping it from feeling any pain. Otherwise, that grievous suffering scorches the conscience, the lamentation is unendurable and the anguish of despair cannot be borne.

This means, the farther one deviates from the Straight Path, the more one is stricken by this state, and the conscience cries out. Within every pleasure is a pain, which is a trace of this state.

This means that the glitter of civilization, which is a mixture of fancy, lust, amusement and dissipation, is a deceptive cure for the terrible distress that arises from misguidance; the glitter is a poisonous narcotic.

My dear friend! On our second way, that light-filled road, we perceived a state of mind in which life becomes a source of pleasure, and pain joy.

We understood that the second way imbues the spirit with a state that has various degrees according to the strength of belief. The body receives pleasure through the spirit and the spirit receives pleasure through the conscience.

An immediate pleasure is felt in the conscience; a spiritual paradise is present in the heart. Reflective thought opens up that pleasure only to increase it, while consciousness unveils secrets.

The more the heart is aroused, the more the conscience is stimulated and the spirit stirred, the greater the pleasure; fire is transformed into light and winter into summer.

The doors of paradises open up in the conscience and the world becomes a paradise. Within it our spirits take flight, soaring like falcons and kites, entreating, praying.

Dear fellow-traveler! Farewell for now. Let us offer a prayer together and then we will part to meet again!

O God! Guide us to the Straight Path. Amen.


A mystery of the repetitions in the Qur’an

Sometimes fire is seen in light. Repetition to reinforce (a message), reminding to establish (the message), and reiteration to draw attention are all devices that linguists, rhetoricians, and orators make use of.

Just as at every instant human beings are in need of air , of food every day, of light every night, and medicine every year (for every illness), the recurrence of causes (like need) requires the recurrence of effects (like satisfaction),

So too, the intelligence of human beings, which is their most precious means, and their conscience and other deep faculties need the truth at every instant. Every moment, they eagerly desire it and passionately seek Divine manifestations.

They also feel needy of Divine remembrance every hour, and pursue Divine knowledge every day. Since those needs are repeated, the Qur’an guides them to light through repetitions.

The repetitions in the Qur’an are serious reminders and refreshment. Certainly, there are other contexts where repetition could be seen to be a defect; it is only an added decoration for the things that give only pleasure (and not instruction).

For example, repeated consumption of a food gives desirable familiarity with it if it is nourishment essential to the body. Human disposition always seeks the food which it needs and is familiar with.

But if the food is of fruit or sweet, repeated consumption of it leads to boredom and disgust with it.

For any essential, unchanging truth that a word contains, for one that is able to grow – repetition will cause it to be understood more clearly and to become established; this, too, is something the mind wants.

Styles – the form or garment of the word – become worn, so they require variation and renewal, which are agreeable to linguists and rhetoricians.

The Qur’an is thoroughly the food of the heart and the source of power for conscience; it has so great a stature that it reaches the heavens.

It is also the food for spirits and a cure for minds. Its repetitions and reiterations are verification that establishes its truths and enlightenment that reinforces and perfects guidance.

Some of its reiterated truths are the extracts of its food, something that is vitally required for humans. The more they are necessary, the more they are repeated.

While some others are the extracts of the extracts, leaven for truths, and perpetual, embodied lights. The Basmala is an example, for which there is, as for air, constant, vital need.

Since the Qur’an is a true and a luminous truth, it is not consumed; rather it gives light and guides to the cure for our “illnesses.”

The Qur’anic narrative about Prophet Moses has numerous benefits. The Qur’an has taken the life and Messengership of Prophet Moses in its “bright hand” and employs it for many purposes. The magicians of eloquence cannot help but prostrate before its eloquence.46

The experiences of Moses contain great truths and numerous mysteries. They offered excellent, most appropriate examples for the first Muslims, and remain so today;

It is an excellent example for establishing Islam, for understanding the communication of Divine Message, for bearing every trouble and difficulty on God’s way, for inculcating certain truths in the hearts of the Muslim Community, and to encourage the people to adopt these truths and the way of implementing them in their lives.

Moses’ story also contains the foundations of Divine Messengership and many other basic principles. It is narrated with its different aspects according to the basic theme and purposes of the topic in hand; sometimes to support the messages intended to convey.

In one respect, the narratives about Moses contain the principles of human social life which are so broad and profound that they extend into the depths of both the past and the future. The need to learn the realities of life is as substantial to life as light and food,

Thus, in the same way in which these essential principles and realities of life are repeatedly presented in the Qur’an, so too the lessons that must be learnt are repeated.


Each of the four senses of the spirit has an ultimate purpose

The four elements of conscience are the senses of the spirit: will-power, the mind, the power of perceptiveness or feeling, and the spiritual intellect.

Each of these four senses has an ultimate purpose for its existence: the ultimate purpose for will-power is worshipping the All-Merciful One, while for the mind it is having knowledge of God. For the power of perceptiveness or feeling, it is love of God, and for the spiritual intellect it is vision of God – a gift of the All-Glorified One.

The perfect form or degree of worship encompasses all these four – it is what the Qur’an calls taqwa (piety and righteousness).

The Shari‘a both nourishes them, so that they develop, and equips them with the necessary material, directing them to the ultimate purposes of their existence.


There is no creative power in existence save God

Causes are only apparent in creation; if they had actual agency or if they were given creative effect, they should also have been given a universal consciousness. Furthermore, things would have had variable degrees in both structure and art.

However, from the most distinguished to the most ordinary and from the largest to the smallest, eyes have never perceived a fault or incongruity in things.

Everything is perfectly firm and given the utmost care; the Inventor has given to everything a perfect nature according to its stature.

This means that it cannot be said that some things are nearer to the Necessarily-Existent One, while others are farther away.

Due to the perfection and perfect firmness in creation, it can neither be said that the Inventor has needed a means in the invention of some, while in others He has not.

Human beings have been given partial will-power, and it is because of this that there are faults in their actions and works. That is, the lack of firmness in their actions and works shows that they are not compelled to do something by the Creator. Will-power is the base of their accountability for the deeds they commit.

God has made human partial will-power a means for relativity in their arena of disposal; it is required by God’s Unity and Wisdom.

It is worth observing that because of human partial will-power a city built by human effort and intelligence is inferior to a beehive – a work of Divine inspiration – in order and arrangement; the former can never be on a par with the latter.

While due to their minimal will-power, the community of bees and the honeycombs – their works of art – are inferior to a pomegranate and a pomegranate blossom – both a city of cells – in order and arrangement.

This means that the Pen Which has inscribed gravity in general is the same Pen from Which particular gravities have dropped into the atoms.


A comparison between the treatment of their saints by Islam and Christianity

The basis of Islam, There is no creator but He, rejects the real agency of natural causes and means in the production of things and events.

Islam’s basic doctrine of Divine Unity holds that natural causes and means are like letters, which have no significance in themselves. Submission to the Creator guides Muslims to this creed, which the rank of reliance on Him teaches as well. Sincerity in worship also gives it this light.

By contrast, Christianity attributes real agency to causes and means and considers them to have a significant function on their own, like words – that is they have a creative effect; this is misguidance.

The creed of Jesus as the Son of God provides a basis for this creed and for the ways of monasticism and priesthood; the roles ascribed to monks/nuns and priests have guided Christianity to this. This is one reason for its eventual defeat by materialist philosophy.

Christianity views its saints like lamps which have appropriated the light they receive from the sun. This means that saints become the true source of the light that illuminates people.

Viewing humans as a genuine source of light is certain to give rise to the association of partners with God.

However, Islam views its saints as having, like letters, no real or complete function of their own. It knows them to have been enlightened by the light that emanates from the sun and that they only reflect this light, like mirrors.

Not only the saints, but also the Prophets are, according to Islam, mirrors reflecting God’s manifestations – that is, they reflect the light that emanates from the Eternal Sun. They are only containers into which the honey of Divine vision is poured; people then take this honey from them.

It is because of this that the followers of the Naqshbandi Sufi Way consider that their guides benefit from the light they reflect.

The guide never knows themselves to be the source of this light; the follower realizes that this guide is a mortal one – and therefore it is impossible for such to be the source of the light.

It is also because of this that initiation into a spiritual way is based on humility or modesty and continues along the path of self-denial until it ends in annihilation before God’s Existence.

Only from this point do the stations along the way of the spiritual journeying begin. This destroys arrogance, extinguishes vanity, and kills the carnal, evil-commanding soul.

By contrast, Christianity strengthens the ego with all its faculties and arrogance is not broken. A man with a strong ego, if a Christian, becomes a Crusader;

But if he is a Muslim, his strong ego makes him disregardful of the Religion. This is why unlike Christians the common Muslim people are more religious than the elite.


A significant difference between ecstatic love and knowledge

If saintly, true lovers of God err in following their way or in their interpretations, or in describing Him, their way is, in any event, toward their Beloved. The Beloved One attracts them toward Himself, protecting them from deviance.

For love has an attractive quality, which is fascinated by a heavenly beauty; it is a heavenly attraction. If love is turned toward a true object of love, one who is deserving of true love, then any wrong means will not harm it.

If saints who are distinguished in knowledge of God err in following the way or in their vision or in their speech, they cannot reach their target.

If a way of knowledge is deviant, it will never lead to the intended goal. If the necessary condition is not fulfilled, the result cannot be obtained. Those endowed with knowledge are not like lovers; there are restrictions on their freedom and their free movement.

Those with knowledge of God climb upward by themselves and thus they have to take every step carefully. In contrast, lovers of God are drawn forward and therefore are free of restrictions.

This means, if saintly lovers err, they are in themselves rightly-guided, even though they may cause others to err. But those with knowledge who err mislead both themselves and others. Therefore, they should not be followed.

It is because of this that certain words of some from among those with knowledge of God – their words implying heresy have led them to misguidance and eventually to execution, because such words issuing from them were not open to interpretation and were therefore not tolerated.

But lovers of God – even when some of them have explicitly uttered the same heresy-implying words, not allusively, have continued to be respected by the Muslim Community, which has in no way punished them.

For this reason, even though the heresy-implying words of Muhyiddin47, Molla Jami’48, Ibnu’l-Farid49 and Ibnu’s-Sab’in50 resembled one another, they were not perceived as being the same and were therefore not treated as the same.

When the knowledge of Muhyiddin, which eventually led him to love, prevailed over his love, his heresy-implying words caused terrible arrows (of criticism) to be shot at him, until Sultan Selim I unveiled the meaning of his words.51

However, Molla Jami‘ was a lover; he uttered the same kind of words explicitly, but he continued to live as a respected man safe from the arrows of criticism.

Ibnu’l-Farid was greater in love and went farther than Muhyiddin in his words, but he received less criticism and was excused.

In the words of Ibnu’s-Sab’in, pure love did not appear, so his theoretical words led him to be accused of heresy, and he was not able to save himself from this.

If you say that there are contradictions in Muhyiddin’s words, I reply that there may be, but he said whatever he saw. He did not say what he did not see.

However, something should not be expected to be always the same in essence as it is seen to be (in outward appearance). One may judge it differently from how the eyes see it; it can even sometimes be that insight cannot comprehend something in its entirety.

If Muhyiddin said, “I saw!” then it is true that he saw it. He was an exalted spirit, for whom intentional lying was never conceivable; he never lowered himself to telling lies.

The essence of this matter is: he was a traveling spirit, therefore, the unstable, continuously moving manifestations appeared to him as established, unchanging realities. Like seeds, the established, unchanging realities always put forth sprouts.

However, the established, unchanging realities are neither identical to nor different from their moving, unstable manifestations, just as a flower can be neither different from nor identical to its seed. The absolutely accurate balance where every assertion should be weighed is the Qur’an.

If you say, “There are words among Muhyiddin’s that they have no place in the Shari‘a and because of this some leading scholars considered them to be words of unbelief,” I say in reply:

There is an established rule, of which I should remind you. For example, if the Shari‘a judges a word or deed to be unbelief and that a believer cannot therefore utter or do it, it means that this word or deed cannot be compatible with belief. It is unbelief, and one who has uttered or done it has committed an act of unbelief, but we cannot therefore judge that person to be an unbeliever.

For they have many other attributes that arise from their belief and which prove that they are a believer. A word or deed uttered or done in certain circumstances or in a different state or mood, and which is open to interpretation, cannot annul their attributes that demonstrate that they are a believer.

We can judge that person to be an unbeliever only when we are certain that that word or deed has arisen from their unbelief; that is, we can only make such a statement when an attribute of unbelief observed in them is the result of unbelief, not of something else.

The heresy - or unbelief-implying words – uttered by persons such as Muhyiddin – are attributable to many reasons and meanings. Therefore, it is doubtful what is meant by them. Because of that, such words cannot be treated as indications of unbelief.

A person’s habitual deeds and established attributes that indicate belief prove that they are a believer; suspicion cannot be a basis of judgment.

Doubt cannot always cancel judgment when it is based on certainty. One cannot be accused of unbelief due to a word or deed that can be attributed to forgetfulness or an unintentional error or confusion.

If you say, “In some spiritual ways there are rituals that have taken the form of worship,” I say in reply: if they have been adopted with a good intention and meet the following three conditions, they may not be harmful:

They must not be contrary in any way to the decorum and solemnity of Divine remembrance, nor to the manners that must be adopted in God’s Presence.

The second condition is that there must never be a religiously forbidden act in them; if there is one, such ways cannot be tolerated.

The third condition is that these acts or actions must not be carried out as part of the worship. They should not be done intentionally either. They should not be anything but that which is done unconsciously and unintentionally out of ecstasy and rapture.

For worship is remembrance itself, while other excusable acts or rituals can be a means of encouragement. The Qur’an has not stipulated any form of remembrance; it has placed no restrictive definitions on a permissible form.

The acts of remembrance may not resemble the acts of worship appointed by the Shari‘a. For the acts appointed by the Shari‘a are like fruit, both the insides and peel of which are edible.

Whereas the rituals included in Divine remembrance are like walnuts. Their shells are only hard coverings and not edible.


Bediuzzaman Said Nursi

45 The Supreme Trust is the human ego or being human or human nature as the focus of the manifestations of God’s Names that are manifested throughout the universe. (Tr.)

46 This meaningful piece refers to certain facts concerning Prophet Moses, upon him be peace. One of the miracles bestowed on him was that when he put his right hand under his arm it came forth shining, white. The most skilled magicians of the Egypt of the time prostrated before Moses’ miracles of the “shining, bright hand” and that of his staff turning into a serpent. (Tr.)

47 Muhyiddin ibnu’l-‘Arabi (1165-1240CE): One of the greatest and most famous Sufi masters. His doctrine of the Transcendental Unity of Being, which most have mistaken for monism and pantheism, made him the target of unending polemics. He wrote many books, the most famous of which are Fusus u’l-Hikam and al-Futuhatu’l-Makkiyyah. (Tr.)

48 Mawlana Nuruddin ‘Abdur-Rahman ibn Ahmad al-Jami‘ (1414-1492 CE), commonly known as Molla Jami‘, is regarded as the last great classical poet of Persia and a saint. He composed numerous lyrics and ballads, as well as many works in prose. His Salaman and Absal is an allegory of profane and sacred love. Some of his other works include Haft Awrang, Tuhfatu’l-Ahrar, Layla wu Majnun, Fatihatu’sh-Shabab, and Lawa’ih. (Tr.)

49 ‘Umar ibn ‘Ali ibnu’l-Farid (1181–1235CE) was a Muslim Arab Sufi poet. He was born in Cairo, lived for some time in Makka and died in Cairo. He was esteemed as one of the greatest Sufi poets. Nazmu’s-Suluk (“The Poem of Journeying along the Sufi Way”) and Hamriyya (“The Ode of Wine”), which is about spiritual bliss, are his two masterpieces. (Tr.)

50 Ibnu’s-Sab’in was one of saints distinguished with ecstatic love of God. He was born in Murcia, al-Andalus, in 1217 and died in Makka in 1270. He was interested in and wrote on a variety of different subjects and disciplines, such as philosophy, Sufism, science of letters (al-‘ılmu’l-huruf), literature, alchemy and medicine. (Tr.)

51 Muhyiddin ibnu’l-‘Arabi once said to those around him in Damascus: “What you worship is under my feet.” People were insulted and attempted to kill him, but he escaped. Centuries later when Sultan Selim I, the 8th Ottoman Sultan, conquered Syria in 1516, he unveiled the grave of Muhyiddin and ordered excavations to be carried out on the place where he had made the above-mentioned utterance; here some pieces of gold were discovered. Said Nursi is referring to this incident. (Tr.)