Eighth Matter



The meanings of a speech affect, support, and add to one another, even exchanging with and changing into one another through the essential meanings of its parts absorbing either the purpose of that speech or one of its probable meanings. The meanings left in the open change into reality, which houses the basic meaning. The meaning that gives existence to the wording or speech gains vigor and helps the other components. It also receives help from its probable connotations. For this reason, a speech has several meanings, and the exchange and relationship between the meanings arise from this point. One heedless of this fact loses a significant element of eloquence.



If, in the language of Arabic considered, something serves as a mount to get on and ride, it deserves the proposition alā (on) (as in the English phrases, “on the horse,” and “on a train”); if it contains something else and serves as a container, it demands the proposition fī (in) (as in the English phrases, “in the room” and “in the dish”). If something functions as an instrument, it draws to itself the proposition bi (with), as in “I climbed there with a rope.” When something serves as a place for something else or an event, it takes the preposition fī (in, on, or at) before it; when it has the meaning of a direction towards which something else turns or is directed to, or of a destination for which another things is headed, it requires either ilā or hattā (to, for). If it is something intended or a cause of an event, or if it expresses a purpose, then it is used with li (for), as it is in, “The sun runs the course appointed for it for a term to its resting place for the stability of it(s system) (36: 38).”



Whichever of the concentric meanings is more connected to your purpose, give it precedence in your speech and make the other parts support it. Otherwise, your style will be devoid of splendor.


Said Nursi