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  1. #1
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    The words

    From the Risale-i Nur Collection

    THE WORDS

    On the Nature and Purposes of Man, Life and All Things

    by Bediuzzaman Said Nursi
    Translated from the Turkish by Şükran Vahide


    IN THE NAME OF GOD, THE MERCIFUL, THE COMPASSIONATE

    And from Him do we seek help. All praise be to God, the Sustainer of All the Worlds, and blessings and peace be upon our master Muhammad, and on all his Family and Companions.


    [Brother! You wanted a few words of advice from me, so listen to a few truths included in eight short stories, which since you are a soldier, are in the form of comparisons of a military nature. I consider my own soul to need advice more than anyone, and at one time I addressed my soul at some length with Eight Words inspired by eight verses of the Qur'an from which I had benefited. Now I shall address my soul with these same Words, but briefly and in the language of ordinary people. Whoever wishes may listen together with me.]


    The First Word

    Bismillah, "In the Name of God," is the start of all things good. We too shall start with it. Know, O my soul! Just as this blessed phrase is a mark of Islam, so too it is constantly recited by all beings through their tongues of disposition. If you want to know what an inexhaustible strength, what an unending source of bounty is Bismillah, listen to the following story which is in the form of a comparison. It goes like this:

    Someone who makes a journey through the deserts of Arabia has to travel in the name of a tribal chief and enter under his protection, for in this way he may be saved from the assaults of bandits and secure his needs. On his own he will perish in the face of innumerable enemies and needs. And so, two men went on such a journey and entered the desert. One of them was modest and humble, the other proud and conceited. The humble man assumed the name of a tribal chief, while the proud man did not. The first travelled safely wherever he went. If he encountered bandits, he said: "I am travelling in the name of such-and-such tribal leader," and they did not molest him. If he came to some tents, he was treated respectfully due to the name. But the proud man suffered indescribable calamities throughout his journey. He both trembled before everything and begged from everything. He was abased and became an object of scorn.

    My proud soul! You are the traveller, and this world is a desert. Your impotence and poverty have no lim it, and your enemies and needs are endless. Since it is thus, take the name of the Pre-Eternal Ruler and Post-Eternal Lord of the desert and be saved from begging before the whole universe and trembling before every event.

    Yes, this phrase is a treasury so blessed that your infinite impotence and poverty bind you to an infinite power and mercy; it makes your impotence and poverty a most acceptable intercessor at the Court of One All-Powerful and Compassionate. The person who acts saying, "In the Name of God," resembles someone who enrolls in the army. He acts in the name of the government; he has fear of no one; he speaks, performs every matter, and withstands everything in the name of the law and the name of the government.

    At the beginning we said that all beings say "In the Name of God" through the tongue of disposition. Is that so?

    Indeed, it is so. If you were to see that a single person had come and had driven all the inhabitants of a town to a place by force and compelled them to work, you would be certain that he had not acted in his own name and through his own power, but was a soldier, acting in the name of the government and relying on the power of the king.

    In the same way, all things act in the name of Almighty God, for minute things like seeds and grains bear huge trees on their heads; they raise loads like mountains. That means all trees say: "In the Name of God," fill their hands from the treasury of mercy, and offer them to us. All gardens say: "In the Name of God," and become cauldrons from the kitchens of Divine power in which are cooked numerous varieties of different foods. All blessed animals like cows, camels, sheep, and goats, say: "In the Name of God," and produce springs of milk from the abundance of mercy, offering us a most delicate and pure food like the water of life in the name of the Provider. The roots and rootlets, soft as silk, of plants, trees, and grasses say: "In the Name of God," and pierce and pass through hard rock and earth.

    Mentioning the name of God, the name of the Most Merciful, everything becomes subjected to them. The roots spreading through hard rock and earth and producing fruits as easily as the branches spread through the air and produce fruits, and the delicate green leaves retaining their moisture for months in the face of extreme heat, deal a slap in the mouths of Naturalists and jab a finger in their blind eyes, saying: "Even heat and hardness, in which you most trust, are under a command. For like the Staff of Moses, each of those silken rootlets conform to the command of, And We said, O Moses, strike the rock with your staff, {[*]: Qur'an, 2:60.} and split the rock. And the delicate leaves fine as cigarette paper recite the verse, O fire be coolness and peace {[*]: Qur'an, 21:69.} against the heat of the fire, each like the members of Abraham (UWP).

    Since all things say: "In the Name of God," and bearing God's bounties in God's name, give them to us, we too should say: "In the Name of God." We should give in the name of God, and take in the name of God. And we should not take from heedless people who neglect to give in God's name.

    Question:

    We give a price to people, who are like tray-bearers. So what price does God want, Who is the true owner?

    The Answer:

    Yes, the price the True Bestower of Bounties wants in return for those valuable bounties and goods is three things: one is remembrance, another is thanks, and the other is reflection. Saying, "In the Name of God" at the start is remembrance, and, "All praise be to God" at the end is thanks. And perceiving and thinking of those bounties, which are priceless wonders of art, being miracles of power of the Unique and Eternally Besought One and gifts of His mercy, is reflection. However foolish it is to kiss the foot of a lowly man who conveys to you the precious gift of a king and not to recognize the gift's owner, it is a thousand times more foolish to praise and love the apparent source of bounties and forget the True Bestower of Bounties.

    O my soul! If you do not wish to be foolish in that way, give in God's name, take in God's name, begin in God's name, and act in God's name. And that's the matter in a nutshell!

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  2. #2
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    ...

    The Second Station of the Fourteenth Flashes

    This, which has been included here because of its relevance, concerns six of the thousands of mysteries contained in In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

    'In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate'

    NOTE:

    A bright light from In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate concerning Divine Mercy appeared to my dull mind from afar. I wanted to record it for myself in the form of notes, and to hunt it down and capture it, and circumscribe the light with twenty to thirty Mysteries. But unfortunately I was not able to do this at the present time and the twenty or thirty Mysteries were reduced to five or six.

    When I say: "Oh, man!", I mean myself. And while this lesson is directed particularly to my own soul, I refer it as the Second Station of the Fourteenth Flash for the approval of my meticulous brothers in the hope that it may benefit those with whom I am connected spiritually and whose souls are more prudent than mine. This lesson looks to the heart more than the mind, and regards spiritual pleasure rather than rational proofs.

    In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

    [The Queen] said: "Ye chiefs! Here is-delivered to me-a letter worthy of respect. It is from Solomon, and is [as follows]:'In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate." {[*]: Qur'an, 27:29-30.}

    A number of mysteries will be mentioned in this Station.

    FIRST MYSTERY

    I saw one manifestation of In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate as follows:

    On the face of the universe, the face of the earth, and the face of man are three Stamps of dominicality one within the other and each showing samples of the others.

    The First is the Great Stamp of Godhead, which is manifest through the mutual assistance, co-operation, and embracing and corresponding to one another of beings in the totality of the universe. This looks to In the Name of God.

    The Second is the Great Stamp of Divine Mercifulness, which is manifest through the mutual resemblance and proportion, order, harmony, favour and compassion in the disposal, raising and administration of plants and animals on the face of the earth. This looks to In the Name of God, the Merciful.

    Then there is the Exalted Stamp of Divine Compassionateness, which is manifest through the subtleties of Divine beneficence, fine points of Divine clemency, and rays of Divine compassion on the face of man's comprehensive nature. This looks to the Compassionate in In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

    That is to say, In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate is the sacred title of three Stamps of Divine Oneness, which form a luminous line on the page of the world, and a strong cord, and shining filament. That is, through being revealed from above, the tip of In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate rests on man, the fruit of the universe and miniature copy of the world. It binds the lower world to the Divine Throne. It is a way for man to ascend to the Divine Throne.

    SECOND MYSTERY

    In order not to overwhelm minds by Divine Unity, which is apparent in the boundless multiplicity of creatures, the Qur'an of Miraculous Exposition constantly points out the manifestation of Divine Oneness within Divine Unity. For example, the sun encompasses numberless things with its light. In order to consider the sun itself in the totality of its light, a most extensive conceptual ability and comprehensive view is necessary. So, lest the sun itself be forgotten, it is displayed in every shining object by means of its reflection. And in accordance with the capacity of each, all shining objects display the sun's qualities, such as its light and heat, together with the manifestation of its essence. And just as in accordance with their capacities, all lustrous objects show the sun together with all its attributes, so too do the sun's qualities, like its light and heat and the seven colours in its light, all encompass all the things facing it.

    In the same way, And God's is the highest similitude {[*]: Qur'an, 16:60.} -but let there be no mistake in the comparison-just as Divine Oneness and Eternal Besoughtedness have a manifestation together with all the Divine Names in everything, in animate creatures in particular, and especially in man's mirror-like essence, so too through Divine Unity does each of the Divine Names connected to beings encompass all beings. Thus, lest minds become overwhelmed by Divine Unity and hearts forget the Most Pure and Holy Essence, the Qur'an constantly puts before the eyes the Stamp of Divine Oneness within Divine Unity. And that is In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate, which points out the three important points of the Stamp.
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