The First Topic

As is explained in the Fourth Word, everyday our Creator bestows on us the capital of twenty-four hours of life so that with it we may obtain all the things necessary for our two lives. If we spend twenty-three hours on this fleeting worldly life and neglect to spend the remaining one hour, which is sufficient for the five obligatory prayers, on the very lengthy life of the hereafter, it may be understood what an unreasonable error it is, and what a great loss to suffer distress of the mind and spirit as the penalty for the error, and to behave badly because of the distress, and to fail to rectify one's conduct due to living in a state of despair, indeed, to do the opposite. We may make the comparison.

We should think of what a profitable ordeal it is -if we spend the one hour on the five obligatory prayers- each hour of this calamitous term of imprisonment sometimes becoming a day's worship and one of its transient
-----------------------
1. Qur'an, 12:42. hours becoming many permanent hours, and our despair and distress of the spirit and heart in part disappearing, and its being atonement for the mistakes that led to the imprisonment and the cause of their being forgiven, and being trained and improved, which is the purpose of imprisonment; we should think of it being instruction and a pleasant and consoling meeting with our companions in disaster.

As in the Fourth Word, it may be seen how contrary it is to a person's interests to give five or ten liras out of his twenty-four to a lottery in which a thousand people are taking part in order to win the thousand-lira prize, and not give a single lira out of the twenty-four for a ticket for an everlasting treasury of jewels, and to rush to the former and flee from the latter, - although the chance of winning the thousand liras in the worldly lottery is one in a thousand because there are a thousand people taking part, while in the lottery of man's destiny which looks to the hereafter the chance of winning for the people of belief, who experience happy deaths, is nine hundred and ninety-nine out of a thousand, as has been stated by one hundred and twenty-four thousand prophets and confirmed by incalculable numbers of truthful informers from among the saints and purified scholars as a result of their illuminations.

Prison governors and chief warders, and indeed the country's administrators and the guardians of public order, should be grateful at this lesson of the Risale-i Nur, for the government and disciplining of a thousand believers who constantly have in mind the prison of Hell is far easier than that of ten who have no belief and do not perform the obligatory prayers, only think of worldly prisons, do not know what is licit and what is illicit, and are in part accustomed to living undisciplined lives.

The Staff of Moses