The Sixth Letter
In His Name, be He glorified!
And there is nothing but it glorifies Him with praise.

May God's peace and His mercy and His blessings be upon you and upon your brothers so long as day and night continue and the ages follow on in succession and the sun and moon endure and the two stars in Ursa Minor are in opposition.

My hard-working brothers, zealous friends, and means of consolation in these lands of exile known as the world!

Since Almighty God has made you shareholders in the meanings He has imparted to my mind, it is surely also your right to share in my feelings. In order not to sadden you unduly, I shall skip the excessively grievous part of my loneliness in exile and shall relate another part to you, as follows:

These last two or three months I have been very much alone. Sometimes once every two or three weeks I have a guest with me; the rest of the time I am alone. And for nearly three weeks now there have been none of those working in the mountains near me; they have all dispersed...

One night in these strange mountains, silent and alone amid the mournful sighing of the trees, I saw myself in five exiles of different hues.

The first: due to old age, I was alone and a stranger away from the great majority of my friends, relations, and those close to me; I felt a sad exile at their having left me and departed for the Intermediate Realm. Then another sphere of exile was opened within this one: I felt a sad sense of separation and exile at most of the beings to which I was attached, like last spring, having left me and departed. And a further sphere of exile opened up within this, which was that I had fallen apart from my native land and relations, and was alone. I felt a sense of separation and exile arising from this too. Then through that, the lonesomeness of the night and the mountains made me feel another pitiable exile. And then I saw my spirit in an overwhelming exile, which had been prepared to journey to eternity both from this exile and from the transitory guest-house of this world. I said to myself suddenly, My God, how can these exiles and layers of darkness be borne? My heart cried out:

My Lord! I am a stranger, I have no one, I am weak, I am powerless, I am impotent, I am old;
I am without will; I seek recourse, I seek forgiveness, I seek help from Your Court, O God!

Suddenly the light of belief, the effulgence of the Qur'an, and the grace of the Most Merciful came to my aid. They transformed those five dark exiles into five luminous and familiar spheres. My tongue said:
God is enough for us, and He is the best disposer of affairs.1

While my heart recited the verse:
And if they turn away, say: God is enough for me, there is no god but He; in Him do I place my trust, for He is the Lord of the Mighty Throne.2

My mind too addressed my soul, crying out in distress and terror, saying:
Cry not out at misfortune, O wretch, come, trust in God!
For know that crying out compounds the misfortune and is a great error.
Find misfortune's Sender, and know it is a gift within gift, and pleasure.
So leave crying out and offer thanks; like the nightingale, smile through your tears!
If you find Him not, know the world is all pain within pain, transience and loss.
So why lament at a small misfortune while upon you is a worldful of woe? Come trust in God!
Trust in God! Laugh in misfortune's face; it too will laugh.
As it laughs, it will diminish; it will be changed and transformed.

1. Qur'an, 3:173.
2. Qur'an, 9.129.

And like Mawlana Jalal al-Din,3 one of my masters, said to his soul, I too said:
"He said: 'Am I not your Lord?', and you assented. So what is thanks for that 'Yes'? It is to suffer tribulation. And what is the true meaning of tribulation? It means to be the door-knocker on the abode of poverty and annihilation."

So then my soul declared: "Yes, yes, through impotence and reliance on God, and poverty and seeking refuge with Him, the door of light is opened and the layers of darkness are dispersed. All praise be to God for the light of belief and Islam!" I saw what an elevated truth the following lines of the famous Hikam Ata'iyya express:
"What does the one who finds God lose? And what does the one who loses Him find?"4

That is, the one who finds Him finds everything, while the one who does not find Him, can find nothing. If he does find it, it will only bring him trouble. And I understood the meaning of the Hadith, " Tuba (happiness) for strangers in exile."5 And I offered thanks.

And so, my brothers, for sure these dark exiles were lit up through the light of belief, but they still affected me to an extent, provoking the following thought: "Since I am a stranger and I am in exile and I shall go to exile, I wonder if my duties in this guest-house are finished? Should I hand over the Words to you and completely sever all my ties?" For this reason I asked you if the Words that have been written are sufficient or are lacking something. That is, is my duty finished, so that with ease of heart I can cast myself into a light-filled, pleasurable, true exile, forget the world, and say like Mawlana Jalal al-Din,
"Do you know what the sama' is? To become unconscious of existence,
"To taste eternity in absolute annihilation. "?
Asking, "can I search for an elevated exile?", I troubled you with these questions.
The Enduring One, He is the Enduring One!
Said Nursi


3. Mawlana Jalal al-Din Rumi, born in Balkh in 604/1208. He migrated to Konya with his father, where he died in 672/1273. He was author of the Mathnawi, and pir of the Mevlevi Order.
4. Ibn 'Ata'illah al-Iskandari, Sharh al-Hikam al-'Ata'iyya, 208.
5. Muslim, Iman 232; Tirmidhi, Iman 132; Ibn Maja, Fitan 15; Darimi, Riqaq 42; Musnad i, 184, 398; ii, 177, 222, 389; iv, 73.


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