Bediuzzaman Said Nursi
In the verse just quoted are eleven phrases; each of them affirms the Divine Unity and carries a message of happy tidings for believers. Each message offers a remedy and each remedy holds a spiritual delight.
The first phrase: There is no god but God
This phrase provides for the human spirit, which is subject to innumerable needs and vulnerable to the attacks of countless enemies, an inexhaustible source of help. It opens for it the door to a treasury of mercy that can secure all its needs. In the phrase is a point of support that shows and makes known to the spirit its Master and Owner; its Creator; its true Object of worship, who possesses an absolute power that will secure it against the evil of all its enemies. In this way, this mighty phrase saves the heart from utter desolation and the spirit from grievous suffering, it is forever uplifting and the means of a continual felicity.
The second phrase: (He is) One
This phrase implies the following happy news, both healing and auspicious: the human spirit, which is connected to most species in the universe, and is overwhelmed in misery and confusion because of that connection, finds in the phrase '(He is) One' a refuge and saviour that will deliver it from all that confusion and misery.
This phrase means to man
'God is One. So do not tire yourself out seeking recourse to other things; do not demean yourself and feel obliged before them; do not humiliate yourself for security before them; do not give yourself trouble by following them, and do not tremble before them in fear. For, the King of the universe is One; He holds the key to all things, and the reins of all things. Everything is resolved by His command. If you have found Him, it means that you have obtained whatever you wish for; you have been liberated from an (otherwise) interminable indebtedness and innumerable fears.'
The third phrase: He has no partner
God is One in that He has no partner in His Lordship, in His acts and in His creating, nor in His Divinity or Sovereignty.
A worldly monarch may in theory have no partner in his sovereignty but, in the practical execution thereof, his officials act as his partners and/or as intermediaries between him and his people. Whereas, God, the Monarch of all times, has no need for partners or helpers in the execution of His Sovereignty, just as He has, in principle, no partner in His Sovereignty. Without His command and will, without His leave and power; not a single thing can interfere with another. Also, since He has no partner or helper, and there are no intermediaries between Him and His creatures, everyone can have recourse to Him directly at any time or place
This phrase, therefore, provides for the human spirit this glad tiding a man who has attained belief may, without hindrance, opposition or interference, in any state, for any desire, at any time and in any place, enter the presence of the Majestic, the All- Gracious, the All-Powerful One of perfection, who is the eternal Owner of the treasuries of mercy and bliss, and may present before Him his needs By seeking His Mercy and relying upon His Power, he can attain perfect ease and happiness.
The fourth phrase: His is the Kingdom
His is the Kingdom of all the heavens and the earth. So you are owned by Him and working in His Kingdom. This phrase implies the following joyful and healing news:
'O man! Do not imagine that you own yourself for you are unable to administer even your own affairs You can neither maintain your spirit and body by providing for their needs and securing them against calamities, nor can you avoid exhaustion and ageing since you have no dominion over time or other agencies of decline. Therefore, do not suffer pain and torment without reason. Somebody else, not you, owns everything. That Owner is both All-Powerful and All-Compassionate; rely on His Power and do not accuse His Compassion. Renounce grief and anxiety, and accept relief. Be rid of your troubles and find serenity.'
The phrase also means: 'This world that you love, to which you are connected, and which you see in disorder and are unable to put right, is the property of an All-Powerful and Compassionate One. So hand over the property to its Owner, leave it to Him, mind your own duty and do not interfere with His acts. Do not be troubled by what you are unable to overcome, and be at ease. The Owner of this property has free disposal of it and administers it as He wishes. But He is All-Wise, always acts for a wise purpose, and also He is All-Compassionate. So, whenever you take fright, say like Ibrahim Haqqi, "Let's, see what the Master does; Whatever He does is always best," and observe His acts with complete trust in Him.'
The fifth phrase: To Him belongs all the praise
Only God absolutely deserves praise and acclaim and only to Him is all indebtedness. His are all bounties and they come from His treasury. As for the treasury, it is infinite and inexhaustible. This phrase, therefore, implies this happy news:
'O man! Do not be anxious that, one day, the bounties (you presently enjoy) will cease.
'Know that the treasury of Mercy is inexhaustible. Nor cry out in anxiety over the possible cessation of enjoyment; every enjoyment you are granted is the fruit of an infinite Mercy Now the tree of that Mercy is undying, for each exhausted fruit is replaced with a new one. Furthermore, by reflecting on what you enjoy in an attitude of thanks and praise, since every enjoyment is in essence a favour from the Divine Mercy and, in so being a hundred times more enjoyable than the enjoyment by itself you will be able to increase it a hundredfold. If a glorious king presents you with an apple, the pleasure you take in being honoured by a royal favour will be superior to the material pleasure of a hundred, even a thousand, apples. Similarly, through the phrase 'To Him belongs all praise' will be opened to you the door of a spiritual enjoyment a thousand times sweeter than that you enjoy by itself, since this phrase makes you consider the bestowal of bounty, which in turn leads you to recognize the Bestower and to reflect on His merciful favours which are pouring out continually.'
The sixth phrase: He alone gives life
The One who gives life and sustains it through provision is He. Likewise, the Provider of life's necessities is He, and the sublime aims of life and its important results are related to Him. This phrase therefore calls out to mortal and helpless man and gives him this joyful tiding:
'O man! Do not bother to shoulder the heavy responsibilities of life; do not feel unease because the world is transient. Do not let the insignificant worldly fruits of life drive you to regret that you came to this world. Rather the 'life mechanism' in 'the ship of your being' belongs to the One Ever-Living and Ever-Self-Subsisting, so it is He who provides for all of life's needs and expenditures. Further, there are innumerable aims in life directing it to many important results, nearly all of which are related to Him. You are just a 'helmsman' on that 'ship' of your being, so perform your duty properly. Obtain your wage and take the enjoyment that comes with doing so. Ponder how precious that 'ship' is and how valuable its benefits; and consider how generous and compassionate is the Owner of that 'ship'. So, rejoice and give thanks, and grasp that, if you perform your duly righteously, all the results that life yields will, in one respect, be recorded as your good deeds to secure an immortal life for you in eternity.'
The seventh phrase: ...and makes to die
He discharges you from the duty of life changes your abode from this transient world and releases you from the burden of service. That is, He takes you from a transient life to an eternal one. This phrase, therefore, says explicitly to mortal jinn and man:
'Good news for you: death is not annihilation or going to non existence, nor is it eternal separation or a chance event without an author. Rather, it is being discharged form service by the Author who is All-Wise and All-Compassionate; it is a change of abode. It is being dispatched to ever-lasting happiness, to your true home. It is the door to union with the intermediate world, which is the place where you will meet with ninety-nine percent of your friends'
The eighth phrase: He is living and dies not
He is the One, Undying Object of Worship and Everlasting Beloved, who possesses a beauty, perfection and munificence wholly and utterly superior to the beauty, perfection and munificence to be observed in all creatures; who arouses love; a single manifestation of whose Beauty is sufficient to replace all other beloveds; who has an eternal life free from any trace of cessation or ephemerality and exempt from any flaw or defect. So, this phrase makes this joyful announcement to all conscious beings, including jinn and mankind, and to people of love:
'Here is good tidings for you! There is an Eternal Beloved who will heal the wounds caused by countless separations from the ones to whom you give your heart. Since He exists and is undying, whatever may happen, do not worry about those others. Moreover; the beauty and good in them, the grace and perfection which cause you to love them, are but a passing through many veils, a dim, shadow- like manifestation of the Eternal Beauty of the Everlasting Beloved. Do not grieve, therefore, at their disappearance, for they are a kind of mirrors:through the changing of mirrors the reflection of that Beauty is renewed and becomes more radiant. When you find Him, you have found everything.'
The ninth phrase In His hand is all good
That is, He possesses all good and only He guides you to do good. Also, He records on your behalf any good, righteous deed that you do. Thus, this phrase announces to jinn and mankind this glad tiding:
O you helpless ones! When you move to the grave do not cry out in despair. "Alas! Everything we owned is destroyed and all our efforts have come to nought. We have departed that wide, beautiful world and entered this narrow grave." Everything of yours is preserved: all your deeds were written down and every service you rendered was recorded. The All-Majestic, in whose hand is all good and who is able to do whatever is good, has summoned you in order to reward your service: He will keep you under the ground temporarily and then will bring you to His presence. How fortunate you are that you have completed your duty and service; your labour has ended, you are on the way to ease and mercy. Having gone through your period of toil, you are going to receive your wages.'
The All-Powerful One of Majesty, who preserves seeds and grains, which are the records of the activities and the deposit-boxes the services done in the last spring, and unfolds and publishes them the following spring in the most dazzling, abundant and benevolent manner, is undoubtedly preserving the results of your deeds also, in the same way, and will likewise reward your service in the most abundant manner.
The tenth phrase He is powerful over everything
That is, He is the One, Unique and Singular and He has power over everything. Nothing is difficult for Him. To create a whole spring is as easy for Him as to create a single flower and He creates Paradise with as much ease as He creates the spring. The countless creatures that He continually brings into existence every day, every year, every century, bear witness with innumerable tongues to His limitless power. Thus, this phrase, too, implies these glad tidings
'O man! The service you offer and the worship you perform do not go for nothing. A world of reward, an abode of bliss, has been prepared for you. In place of this transitory world of yours, an everlasting Paradise is awaiting you. Have faith and confidence in the promise of the Majestic Creator whom you know and worship. It is inconceivable that He should break His promise. In no respect is there any deficiency at all in His power. Impotence can never interfere in His works. As He creates your small garden, He can also create Paradise for you. And He has created it and has promised it to you. Since He has promised, He shall certainly admit you to it.'
We plainly observe how every year on the earth He most speedily revives, yet with perfect order and ease, more than three hundred thousand species and groups of animals and plants. Such an All- Powerful One of Majesty is most certainly able to carry out His promise. Further, since He creates every year samples of Paradise, which He has promised through all His revealed books; since all His acts and functions are performed with truth and seriousness; and, as we witness in all His works, all perfections point to and testify to His infinite perfection, with no flaw or defect at all in Him, and since the breaking of a promise, lying, falsehood and deception are the ugliest of qualities, then most decidedly will that All-Powerful One of Majesty, that All-Wise One of Perfection, that All Compassionate One of Grace fulfil His promise: He will open the gate to eternal happiness and admit you, O people of faith, into Paradise, which was the original home of your forefather, Adam.
The eleventh phrase and unto Him is the return
Human beings are sent to this world of trial and examination with important duties and business and to do some particular services. After they have completed their duties, they will return and meet once more with their All-Munificent Master, the Majestic Creator; who sent them out in the first place. That is, they will leave this realm of transience, be delivered from the turbulent cycles of cause and effect and from the obscure veils of intermediaries, and will be honoured in the eternal abode in the presence of their Compassionate Lord and meet with Him without veil before His seat of everlasting kingdom. Everyone will find out directly who His Creator is, the Worshipped One, Lord, Master and Owner. Thus, this phrase implies the following news, much happier that all the rest:
'O man! Do you know where you are going? Do you know to where you are being impelled? You are going to the sphere of Mercy, to the serene presence of the All-Beautiful One of Majesty. A thousand years of happy life in this world cannot be compared to one hour of life in Paradise, and a thousand years of life in Paradise cannot be compared to one hour's vision of His Countenance of utmost beauty. The loveliness and beauty in all the creatures of this world, including those worldly loved ones by which you are so fascinated and stricken are merely a sort of shadow of a single manifestation of His Beauty and of the loveliness of His Names; and the whole of Paradise, with all its charm is merely a manifestation of His Mercy, and all longing, love and attraction are merely a gleam from the light of His Love. You are going into the presence of the One Eternally worshipped and Everlastingly Beloved, and are invited to Paradise, which is His eternal feasting place. Since this is so, enter the grave not with tears but with a smile.'
The same words also give this glad news:
'O man! Do not be apprehensive, imagining that you are going to oblivion, extinction, non-existence, nothingness, decay and dissolution. You are going not to extinction but to permanence. You are being impelled not to non-existence, but to eternal existence. You are entering not the world of darkness but the world of His Light. You are returning to your true Owner, to the seat of the Eternal King.
You will not drown in multiplicity, but you will take your rest in the sphere of unity. You are bound not for separation, but for union.'
FROM THE RISALE-I NUR COLLECTION