LESSONS / Compilations

بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ وَ الصَّلاَةُ وَ السَّلاَمُ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَ عَلَى آلِهِ وَ صَحْبِهِ اَجْمَعِينَ

‘ILM-KNOWLEDGE – 1

The Qur'an reads the universe in the great mosque of the universe. Let us listen to it. Let us be illuminated with that nûr, and act through its hidâyah, and make it our constant wird.

 

Some of the Hadiths about the fadhîlah of ‘ilm and attaining ‘ilm, that Ustadh Bediuzzaman included in his book ‘Tafakkurname’

تَعَلَّمُوا العِلْمَ، فَإِنَّ تُعَلِّمَهُ لِلهِ خَشْيَةً وَطَلَبَةُ عِبَادَةٍ، وَمُذَاكَرَتَهُ تَسْبِيحٌ وَالبَحْثُ عَنْهِ جِهَادٌ

“Acquire ‘ilm, because acquiring it is standing in awe before Allah; seeking it is performing ‘ibâdah; discussing it is tasbîh; investigating it is jihâd.”

اِذَا جَاءَ الْمَوْتُ لِطَالِبِ  الْعِلْمِ وَ هُوَ عَلَى هذِهِ الّحَالَةِ مَاتَ وَ هُوَ شَهِيدٌ

“If death comes to the student of ‘ilm while he is thus engaged, he dies as a shahîd.”

مَنْ تَعَلَّمَ بَابًا  مِنَ الْعِلْمِ ـ اى مِنَ الْعِلْمِ اْلاِيمَانِىِّ وَالتَّحْقِيقِىِّ ـ عَمِلَ بِهِ اَوْ لَمْ يَعْلَمْ بِهِ كَانَ اَفْضَلَ مِنْ صَلاَةِ اَلْفَ رَكْعَةٍ٠ فَاِنْ هُوَ عَمِلَ بِهِ اَوْعَلَّمَهُ كَانَ لَهُ ثَوَابُهُ  وَ ثَوَابُ مَنْ يَعْمَلُ بِهِ اِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ

“If you learn one matter (one part) from the ‘ilm (‘ilm of îmân and tahqîq), it is better for you than to voluntarily salâh one hundred rak’ahs; regardless if it is applied or not. If you act through that ‘ilm or teach it to others, then until qiyâmah the merits of it and the merit that the one acts on that ‘ilm, will be yours.”

اَكْرِمُوا الْعُلَمَاءَ فَاِنَّهُمْ وَرَثَةُ اْلاَنْبِيَاءِ

“The ‘Ulamâ are indeed the heirs of the Prophets. It is therefore incumbent on us to show honour to them.”

اِذَا مَرَرْتُمْ  بِرِيَاضِ الْجَنَّةِ فَارْتَعُوا٠ قَالُوا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَمَا رِيَاضِ الْجَنَّةِ؟ قَالَ مَجَالِسُ الْعِلْمِ

“When you pass by the meadows of Jannah, indulge freely in them! They said, “What are the meadows of Jannah?” The Prophet (asm)  said, “Gatherings of ‘ilm.”

اُغْدُ عَالِمًا أَوْ مُتَعَلِّمًا أَوْ مُسْتَمِعًا أَوْ محبًا وَلَا تَكُنْ  الْخَامِسَةُ فَتُهْلِكُ

“You should be an ‘âlim, or a student, or a listener, or a lover of ‘Ilm and ‘ulamâ, and you should not be the fifth which makes you perish.

اَلْعِلْمُ عِلْمَانٍ فَعِلْمٌ ثَابِتٌ  فِى  الْقَلْبِ فَذَاكَ الْعِلْمُ النَّافِعُ وَعِلْمٌ  فِى اللِّسَانِ فَذَاكَ حُجَّةُ اللهِ عَلَى عِبَادِهِ

“ ‘Ilm is of two types. Firstly, ‘ilm perceived by the heart, and that is useful ‘ilm; secondly, the ‘ilm on the tip of one’s tongue, and that is an argument from Allah, against His ‘abds.”

تَعَلَّمُوا الْعِلْمَ وَتَعَلَّمُوا  لِلعِلْمِ السَّكِينَةَ وَالوَقَارَ  وَتَوَاضَعُوا  لِمَنْ تُعَلِّمُونَ مِنْهُ

“Acquire ‘ilm and seek in order to [attain] ‘ilm, stillness and seriousness (sakîna wa al-waqâr) as well as humility towards whom you are learning from and towards those you are teaching.”

مَثَلُ الَّذِى يَتَعَلَّمُ  الْعِلْمَ  فِى صِغَرِهِ  كَالنَّقْشِ  عَلَى لْحَجَرِوَمَثَلُ الَّذِى  يَتَعَلَّمُ الْعِلْمَ   فِى كِبَرِهِ  كَالَّذِي يَكْتُبُ عَلَى  المَاءِ

The Learning of ‘ilm at an early age is like carving on stones and learning of ‘ilm in elderly age is like writing on water.

 

Islam  appreciates the true sciences

Furthermore, Since Islam always protects the poor and common people with thousands of compassionate propositions like zakat being wâjib and usury and interest (ribâ) being haram; and with phrases like اَفَلاَ يَعْقِلُونَ ٭ اَفَلاَ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ ٭ اَفَلاَ يَتَدَبَّرُونَ 1 , it makes the mind and knowledge witnesses and warns them, and protects people of knowledge; Islam has been the castle and place of refuge for the poor and the people of knowledge. Therefore, there is no reason to be vexed at Islam.” The Twenty-Sixth Letter/Third Topic/5th Matter

 

 

Reading the book of the universe

A significant subtle point and an important mystery:

This wondrous âyah, in describing and expressing all the attainments of ‘ilm, the progress of science and the wonders of technology -which are manifested on man through his comprehensive disposition- under the title of 'the teaching of the Names (Al-Asmâ)'2 , there is a subtle, elevated allusion:

All attainments and perfections, all ‘ilm, all progress and all sciences, have an elevated haqiqah which are based on one of the Ilahî Names. The sciences, attainments and arts find their perfection and become haqiqah by being based on the Name, which has numerous veils and various manifestations and different spheres. Otherwise, they are deficient shadows in an incomplete form.

For example, engineering is a science; its haqiqah and final point is to reach Janâb-i Haqq's Names of ‘Adl and Muqaddîr and to observe with all its majesty the wise manifestation of those Names in the mirror of engineering.

For example, medicine is a science, and also an art. Its final point and haqiqah are based on the Absolutely Hakîm's Name of Shâfî, and through observing that Name's compassionate manifestations in the vast pharmacy of the earth, medicine finds its perfection and becomes haqiqah.

For example, the sciences, which discuss the haqiqah of beings; through seeing the regulating, nurturing supreme manifestations of Janâb-i Haqq's (Jalla Jalâluhu) Name of Hakîm in things, in their benefits and advantages, and by attaining to that Name, and being based on it, these sciences may become hikmah. Otherwise, they are either transformed into superstition, or become useless, or open up the way to dhalâlah like Naturalist philosophy. There, three examples for you! You may make analogies with these for the other sciences and attainments….

…As for the Qur'an of Miraculous Exposition, the supreme miracle of Ahmad (asm), since it shows clearly the quality of the haqiqah of the teaching of the Names in detail is manifested, the true goal of the ‘ilms and sciences, which are haqq and haqiqah, and perfections and happiness of this world and the next. With truly powerful encouragement, it urges man towards them. It encourages and urges in such a way it says:

"O man!  the most elevated purpose of the universe is man's universal ‘ubûdiyyah to respond to the manifestations of rubûbiyyah and the utmost aim of man is to attain that ‘ubûdiyyah by means of ‘ilm and perfection."

Also, it expresses this in such a way that the expression indicates:

"Indeed, at the end of time, mankind will spill into ‘ilm and science. It will obtain all its strength from ‘ilm. Rule and power will pass to the hand of ‘ilm."

Also, since the Qur'an of Miraculous Exposition repeatedly puts forward its eloquence and beauty of expression, by allusion it says: "In the âkhirzaman, eloquence and beauty of expression which is the most brilliant of the sciences and ‘ilm, will be most sought after in all their varieties. In order to make one another accept their ideas and carry out their word, people will even find their most effective weapon in eloquent expression, and their most irresistible force in eloquent expression." ” The Twentieth Word – 2nd Station

 

“all the sciences demonstrate through inductive reasoning a total, all-embracing order; each is a shining proof pointing to the benefits and fruits hanging in bunches from the links of the chains of beings, indicating too the instances of hikmah and advantages concealed in their changing states. The sciences raise the banner of As-Sâni’s hikmah. Each of them is a shining star piercing the darkness and repulsing the shaytans of wahm.” Signs of Miraculousness ( 163 )

 

“As-Sâni’ Zuljalâl's art in the great ‘âlam is so meaningful that because it is manifested in the form of a book, thus making the universe like a huge book, the human mind has extracted the library of true hikmah of science from it and has written the library according to it. And that book of hikmah is bound to haqiqah and draws assistance from haqiqah to such a degree that it has been proclaimed in the form of Al-Qur’an Al-Hakîm, which is a copy of that huge Kitâb al-Mubîn.” The Letters ( 277 )

 

“the Pre-Eternal Naqqâsh of the mighty book of the universe, through the universe and through all its pages, lines and even letters and points, through the numerous languages of all beings from the most particular to the most universal, makes known and loved the beauty of His perfection and perfection of His beauty, in order to make Himself and His perfections known, and to display His beauty and make Himself loved.” The Flashes ( 406 )

 

raise your head and observe the universe: you will see the clarity of the proof of 'inâyah and that it is as clear and obvious as the universe. All the Qur'anic âyahs that recount the ni’mahs and recall their benefits manifest this proof. When the Qur'an orders tafakkur, it generally directs the one it addresses to the method of this [deductive] reasoning (istidlâl): فَارْجِعِ الْبَصَرَۙ هَلْ تَرٰى مِنْ فُطُورٍ3 And this âyah, how [clearly] it points to this proof: اَلَّذ۪ى جَعَلَ لَكُمُ اْلاَرْضَ فِرَاشًا وَالسَّمَٓاءَ بِنَٓاءًۖ وَاَنْزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَٓاءِ مَٓاءً فَاَخْرَجَ بِه۪ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ رِزْقًا لَكُمْۚ4 Signs of Miraculousness (165 )

 

“With its acute expositions, the Qur'an of Miraculous Exposition rends the veil of familiarity and habit over all the beings in the universe, which are known as ordinary things but are all extraordinary and miracles of Qoudrah, and reveals those wondrous haqiqahs to conscious beings. It attracts their admonishing gazes and opens up before their minds an inexhaustible treasury of ‘ilm.

As for the hikmah of philosophy, it conceals within veils of the habit all the miracles of Qoudrah, which are extraordinary, and passes over them in an ignorant and neglectful fashion. It only puts forward to be noted freaks, which have fallen from being extraordinary and deviated from the order of creation, and sheered away from the perfections of their fitrahs; it offers them to conscious beings as hikmah with admonishing instructions. For example, it says that man's creation is ordinary, despite its being a comprehensive miracle of Qoudrah, and looks on it neglectfully. But then with cries of astonishment, it points out as an object of instruction a person who has diverged from the perfection of creation and has three legs or two heads.

And for example, it considers ordinary the regular sustenance of infants and young, bestowed from the treasury of ghayb, which is a most delicate and general miracle of rahmah and draws a veil of kufr over it. Whereas, on spotting an insect under the sea which is an exception from the general order and is alone and isolated from its fellows, being fed with green sea-weed, it wants to make the fishermen weep for it, because of the Ilahî favour and munificence manifested on it. {Just such an event occurred in America}

So, see the wealth and riches of Al-Qur'an Al-Hakîm regarding ‘ilm, hikmah and ma’rifat of Alla, and the poverty and bankruptcy of philosophy regarding ‘ilm, admonition and ma’rifat of As-Sâni’! And take a warning!” The Thirteenth Word

 

And there is an eloquence, fluency and naturalness in the styles of the Qur'an as though the Qur'an is a hâfidh; it recites the âyahs written with the pen of Qoudrah on the pages of the universe. As though the Qur'an is the recitation of the book of the universe and reading its order, and it reads its Pre-Eternal Naqqâsh's shuûnah and writes His acts. If you want to see this eloquence of expression, listen with an awaken and attentive heart to decrees like Surah 'Amma' and the âyah,  قُلِ اللّٰهُمَّ مَالِكَ الْمُلْكِ ” The Seventeenth Flash-Eleventh Note

 

“In Kastamonu a group of high-school students came to me, saying: "Tell us about our Khâliq, our teachers do not speak of Allah." I said to them: "All the sciences you study continuously speak of Allah and make known Al-Khâliq, each with its own particular tongue. Do not listen to your teachers; listen to them…..

…Thus, hundreds of other sciences like these make known Al-Khâliq Zuljalâl of the universe together with His Names, each through its broad measure or scale, its particular mirror, its far-seeing eyes, and admonishing gaze; they make known His attributes and perfections.

"It is in order to give instruction in this matter, which is a brilliant and magnificent proof of wahdâniyah, that the Qur'an of Miraculous Exposition teaches us about our Khâliq most often with the âyahs,رَبُّ السَّمٰوَاتِ وَ اْلاَرْضِ5 , and,خَلَقَ السَّمٰوَاتِ وَاْلاَرْض .6 I said this to the schoolboys, and they accepted it completely.” The Rays ( 226 )

 

“No conscious being in the universe can indeed deny Al-Khâliq Zuljalâl to whom every particle of the universe bears witness. If he does so, he will be rebuffed by all the universe, and hence becomes silent and negligent.

But îmân-believing in Him is as the Qur’an of Mighty Stature instructs us, to assent in one’s heart to Al-Khâliq with all of His Attributes and Names, based on the testimony of the whole universe; it is to recognize the commands He has sent by His messengers; and to make tawbah and feel regret with the heart after having sinned and violated His commands. Conversely, to commit great sins freely, not to do istighfâr and to remain careless, is proof that one has no share in that îmân.” Emirdağ Addendum-1 (203)

 

Also, a degree of îmân al-tahqîqî is the degree of ‘ayn al-yaqîn which contains so many degrees. Rather, it has degrees of manifestations to the number of the Ilahî Names. It reaches a degree in which it may read the whole universe like a Qur’an.” Emirdağ Addendum-1 (103)

 

although since the time of Âdam, all sciences together with all of their laws have studied this book of the universe, only a tiny proportion of the book's meanings and âyahs, which state and point to the Ilahî Names and perfections, have been read.” The Words ( 600 )

 

This means man came to this ‘âlam to be perfected by the means of ‘ilm and du'â. Everything is tied to ‘ilm regarding the essence and disposition. And the foundation, source, nûr and rûh of all true ‘ilm is Ma’rifatullah, and its fundamental foundation is îmân in Allah.” The Twenty-Third Word - Fourth Point

 

Ma’nâ al-harfî – Ma’nâ al-ismî

 

بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

وَمَنْ يُؤْتَ الْحِكْمَةَ فَقَدْ اُوتِىَ خَيْرًا كَثِيرًا7

[This Word consists of a brief comparison between the sacred hikmah of Al-Qur'an Al-Hakîm and the hikmah of philosophy, and a concise summary of the instruction of tarbiyyah which Qur'anic hikmah gives to man in his personal life and social life, and an indication of the Qur'an's superiority to other Ilahî words, and to all speech. There are Four Principles in this Word.]

FIRST PRINCIPLE

Look through the telescope of the following story which is in the form of a comparison, and see the difference between Qur'anic hikmah and the hikmah of science:

One time, a renowned Ruler who was both religious and a fine craftsman wanted to write Al-Qur’an Al-Hakîm in a script worthy of the sacredness in its meaning and the miraculousness in its words, so that its marvel-displaying stature would be arrayed in wondrous apparel. Thus that Embroiderer, therefore, wrote the Qur'an in a truly wonderful fashion. He used all his precious jewels in its writing. In order to indicate the great variety of its haqiqahs, he wrote some of its embodied letters in diamond and emerald, and some in pearl and agate, and other sorts in brilliant and coral, while others he inscribed with silver and gold. He adorned and embroidered it in such a way that everyone, those who knew how to read and those who did not, was full of admiration and astonishment when they beheld it. Especially in the view of the people of haqiqah, since the outer beauty was an indication of the brilliant beauty and striking adornment in its meaning, it became a truly precious antique. Then the Ruler showed the artistically made and bejewelled Qur'an to a foreign philosopher and to a Muslim ‘âlim. In order to test them and for reward, he commanded them: "Each of you write a work about the hikmah of this!" First the philosopher, then the ‘âlim composed a book about it. However, the philosopher's book discussed only the embroideries of the letters and their relationships and conditions, and the properties of the jewels, and described them. It did not touch on their meaning at all, for the foreign man did not know to read the Arabic script. He did not even know that the embellished Qur'an was a book, a written piece, expressing a meaning. He rather looked on it as an embroidered antique. He did not know any Arabic, but he was a very good engineer, and he described things very aptly, and he was a skilful chemist, and an ingenious jeweller. So this man wrote his work according to those crafts.

As for the Muslim ‘âlim, when he looked at it, he understood that it was Al-Kitâb Al-Mubîn, Al-Qur’an Al-Hakîm. This haqq-loving person neither attached importance to the external adornments nor busied himself with the embroideries of the letters. He became preoccupied with something that was a million times higher, more elevated, more subtle, more noble, more beneficial, and more comprehensive than the matters with which the other man had busied himself. For discussing the sacred haqiqahs and nûrs of the mysteries beneath the veil of the embroideries, he wrote a beautiful noble tafsir. Then the two of them took their works and presented them to the Illustrious Ruler. That Ruler first took the philosopher's work. He looked at it and saw that the self-centred one who performs ‘ibâdah to nature had worked very hard, but had written nothing of true hikmah. He had understood nothing of its meaning. Indeed, he had confused it and been disrespectful towards it, ill-mannered even. For supposing that Qur’an, which is the source of haqiqah, to be a meaningless embroidery, he had insulted it as being valueless in regard to meaning. So the Ruler who has hikmah hit him over the head with his work and expelled him from his presence.

Then he looked at the work of the other, the haqq-loving ‘âlim who investigates minutely, and saw that it was an extremely fine and beneficial tafsir, a book composed with utmost hikmah in a manner of a murshid. "Congratulations! Bârakâllah!", he said. Thus, hikmah is this and they call those who possess it ‘âlim and hakîm. As for the other man, he was a craftsman who had exceeded his mark. Then in reward for the ‘âlim's work, he commanded that in return for each letter ten gold pieces should be given to him from his inexhaustible treasury.

If you have understood the comparison, now look and see the face of haqiqah:

The ornamented Qur'an is this artistically fashioned universe, and the Ruler is the Pre-Eternal Hakîm. Those two men, one is the foreigner who represents ‘ilm of philosophy and its philosophers, and the other, the Qur'an and its students.

Yes, Al-Qur'an Al-Hakîm is a most elevated mufassir and a most eloquent translator of the Mighty Qur'an of the Universe. Yes, it is the Furqân which instructs man and the jinn concerning the takwînî âyahs inscribed by the pen of Qoudrah on the pages of the universe and on the leaves of time. It regards beings, each of which is a meaningful letter through the point of view of ma’nâ al-harfî, that is, it looks at them on account of their Sâni’. It says, "How beautifully they have been made! How exquisitely they point to their Sâni’s beauty (jamâl)!", thus showing the universe's true beauty. But the philosophy which they call ‘ilm of hikmah has plunged into the decorations of the letters of beings and into their relationships, and has become bewildered; it has confused the way of haqiqah. While the letters of this mighty book should be looked through ma’nâ al-harfî, that is, on account of Allah, it does not do this; it looks at beings through ma’nâ al-ismî. That is, it looks at beings on account of beings, and discusses them in that way. Instead of saying, "How beautifully they have been made," it says "How beautiful they are," and makes them ugly. In doing this it insults the universe and made it complain about it. Indeed, philosophy without religion is a sophistry without haqiqah and an insult to the universe.” The Twelfth Word

 

“Your second question about the discussion of ma’nâ al-ismî and ma’nâ al-harfî is explained in the majority of the books of ‘ilm al-nahw’s8 beginnings and also there are sufficient statements with comparisons in the risales on ‘ilm of haqiqah which are called The Words and The Letters. Further explanations to a person, who is intelligent and investigates minutely like you, are surplus. When you look to a mirror if you look at it to see the glass you may see the glass deliberately. Inside the mirror, Re’fet may be secondary and your view may slightly catch indirectly. If you look to the mirror intending to see your blessed face, you may see the loveable Re’fet purposely. You would say,  فَتَبَارَكَ اللّٰهُ اَحْسَنُ الْخَالِقِينَ . Your view indirectly and secondarily may slightly catch the glass of the mirror. In the first example, the glass of the mirror is ma’nâ al-ismî. Re’fet becomes ma’nâ al-harfî. In the second example the glass of the mirror is ma’nâ al-harfî, that is, it is not to be looked at for itself, it is to be looked at for another meaning, which is the reflection. The reflection is ma’nâ al-ismî. That is, in an aspect it is included in the description of the ismî 9 دَلَّ عَلَى مَعْنًى فِى نَفْسِهِ10 . And the mirror confirms the description of the harfî11 دَلَّ عَلَى مَعْنًى فِى غَيْرِهِ12 With the point of view of the Qur’an all the creatures of the universe are letters, they express others’ meanings withma’nâ al-harfî. That is, they cause to be known His Names and attributes. The philosophy that is lack of rûh mostly looks with ma’nâ al-ismî, stuck in the swamp of nature.” Barla Lahikası-348

 

Like Intention, Point of View Transforms Habitual Actions Into ‘Ibâdah

Note this point! Just as through intention, permissible habitual actions may become ‘ibâdah, so according to the point of view, the physical sciences may become Ma’rifatullah.

If you study and tafakkur, that is, if you look from the point of view of harfî and in respect to art: "How beautifully As-Sâni’ made these, how well He did it!" instead of: "How beautiful it is;"

If you look from this point of view at the universe, the embroideries of the Pre-Eternal Naqqâsh, His order and hikmah, and flashes of purpose and the solidness will illuminate your doubts.

The sciences of the universe will become Ma’rifatullah. But if you look at things through ma’nâ al-ismî, saying: "How does it exist by itself alone,"

If you look thus at the universe, whatever the extent of your scientific knowledge, it will be ignorance.13 Those unfortunate haqiqahs become worthless in worthless hands. The witnesses to this are many.” The Words ( 757 )

If the point of view looking to the sciences will be ma’nâ al-ismî, sciences will be the means of shirk.

“KNOW, O FRIEND, Hamd to Allah that He makes it possible to solve the greatest problems of the universe by one rule of ‘ilm al-nahw14 : “ma’nâ al-harfî and ma’nâ al-ismî.” This universe is a book; the creatures in it are its words. These words indicate other’s meanings, they are Rabbânî letters that manifest Al-Asmâ Al-Husnâ. They do not indicate their own nafs’ meanings. Considering creatures on behalf of their nafs causes compounded ignorance15 , kufr and ornamented philosophy while considering them on behalf of their Inscriber is the origin of ‘ilm, îmân and hikmah.” Al-Mathnawi al-Nuri (300)

 

“As we have explained in many of the Words, in regard to the ma’nâ al-ismî and their faces which look to themselves, all things are nothing. They do not possess existences which are of themselves independent or constant. And they do not possess haqiqahs which subsist of themselves. But in regard to their aspects that look to Janâb-i Haqq, that is if it is with ma’nâ al-harfî, they are not nothing. For in that aspect are to be seen the manifestations of eternal Names. That aspect is not doomed for non-existence, for it bears the shadow of an eternal existent. It has a haqiqah, it is constant, and it is elevated. For it is a sort of constant shadow of an eternal Name which manifests on it.” The Letters ( 82 )

 

“Know, O friend, that during the 40 years of my life and my 30 years of study, I have learned four words and four sentences.

The phrases are ma’nâ al-harfî; ma’nâ al-ismî; intention (niyyah); and viewpoint (nadhar). In other words, everything except Taâ’lâ (that is the universe) should be considered on account of Allah from the point of view of ma’nâ al-harfî. Considering the universe in terms of ma’nâ al-ismî, that is on account of causes is wrong. Everything has two aspects, one points to Al-Haqq, the other points to creation (kawn). Any created being should be considered with respect to its first aspect, that of ma’nâ al-harfî, and also should be a title to the ma’nâ al-ismî which has a point of view of relation to Taâ’lâ. For example, any ni’mah should be related to the act of bestowing ni’mahs. The related means and causes should be seen as “mirrors” reflecting the management or disposal of Qoudrah.

Similarly, intention and viewpoint transform the essence of things and, as an elixir turns soil into gold, changes evil acts into good ones. Intention transforms our everyday, ordinary acts into ‘ibâdah. And viewpoint transforms sciences to ma’rifat of Allah. If the viewpoint of them is on account of causes and means, they are the means of ignorance; if the viewpoint of them is on account  of Allah, they will be ma’rifat of Allah.” Al-Mathnawi Al-Nuri 67-68

 

“This ‘âlam, when considered on account of As-Subhân from the viewpoint of ma’nâ al-harfî as taught by the Qur’an, becomes infinitely valuable. If considered on behalf of causes, from the viewpoint of ma’nâ al-ismî as taught by hikmah of philosophy, its value is reduced to its changing and lifeless material substance. The ‘ilm of the universe derived from the Qur’an is infinitely superior to that taught by modern science of philosophy. For example, the Qur’an says وَجَعَلَ الشَّمْسَ سِرَاجًا16 . What a broad, profound view the Qur’an gives you to look at the series of the Names’ manifestations. That is:

“O humankind! Despite its huge size, the sun is subjugated to you as a nûr to illuminate your home, a fire to ripen or cook your food, by the command of Him Who gives your rizq. You have such a Mâlik Who is Rahîm and an ‘Adhîm Who is Qadîr,  that the sun and innumerable others like it are lamps in His guest-house.

Hikmah of philosophy tells you that the sun is a huge mass of fire moving by itself. Our Earth and other planets were detached from it and move in their orbits determined by their attraction to the sun and gravity. Does the information that is given by philosophy give you any attaintments other than a deaf fright, terrifying greatness and blind hikmah.” Al-Mathnawi Al-Nuri 324-325

 

If it is said: The Qur’an does not discuss the universe as philosophy and hikmah of science do.

The Answer: For philosophy deviated from the way of haqiqah. And it employs the creation on account of their own sakes, through looking to the universe by the terms of ma’nâ al-ismî. But the Qur’an is haqq, which was revealed from Al-Haqq and goes to haqiqah, employs the creation on account of their Khâliq not for themselves, through looking to them by the terms of ma’nâ al-harfî.” Al-Mathnawi Al-Nuri

 

“KNOW, O FRIEND, that a mu’min sees the creatures of art with ma’nâ al-harfî. He looks at them with a meaning pointing outside of itself. But a kâfir considers it with ma’nâ al-ismî with the meaning pointing to itself.

Every creature with art has two aspects: one looks to itself and its attributes, and the other looks to its Sâni’ and its Fâtir’s Names which are manifested on it. The second aspect has the most extensive power and most perfect meaning. Each letter of a book points to itself only as a letter, while in the book it points to and describes its scribe in many ways. In the same way, every creature with art, which is a letter from the book of Qoudrah, points to itself and its apparent existence to the extent of its size, while pointing to its Eternal Naqqâsh in many respects, and recites the Names manifested on it with long praising poetry.” Al-Mathnawi Al-Nuri (351-352)

 

“the Jawshan’ul Kabir, the Risale-i Nur and the Hizb’un Nuri also illuminate the universe entirely and scatter the darknesses… shattering all forms of ghaflah and naturalism.  I saw that it tears down the veils which the people of ghaflah and dhalâlah wish to hide behind. I witnessed that it scatters the universe with all its categories, and arranges with the combs. It shows the nûrs of Tawhîd behind the final and broadest veils in which the people of dhalâlah drown.

In short: Two days ago, after reading the ‘Point on the Name of Hakam’ a Naqshi darwish could not see how the reference to the sun and its orbit was relevant to the way of the Risale-i Nur. He assumed and said: “This explanation is like those made by the people of Science and Astronomy.” When it was read beside me, he realised and said: “This is completely different”. This means that the Risale-i Nur points out the Nur of Ahadiyyah within the furthest and broadest points of support and the veils which are the source of ghaflah of the people of science, like astronomers. It chases its enemies even there and destroys their furthest strongholds. Everywhere, it opens a way to the hudhur. If it were to run away to the sun, it will be told: “That is a heater, a light. Who is it that gives its fuel? Know this and wake up!” It will hit their heads.

Also, it shows how altogether the universe is like (an array of) mirrors displaying their reflections of the Names so much, that it makes ghaflah impossible. Nothing obstructs hudhur. Without having to deny and leave behind the universe and abandon it like the people of tarîqah and haqiqah do achieve that permanent state of hudhur, I saw that it attained a level of hudhur17 as large as the universe and opened a wide, universal and permanent sphere of ‘ubûdiyyah as broad as the universe. There is more to this. But I have been made to write this much now.” Kastamonu Addendum (254- 255)

 

The veil of familiarity

“KNOW, O FRIEND, that one of the greatest cause of dhalâlah is the human tendency to regard something familiar as ‘ilm because it is common and usual. However, this tendency may cause compounded ignorance, for people who do not reflect on such things, even though they are miracles of qoudrah. Rather, they pay attention to what they consider extraordinary because it is rare. This is like looking at the waves caused by wind, and the sea’s shining with the sun’s images, without considering the whole sea with all its animals and flora. Then people attempt to mention those waves or images, not the animals and flora, as the proofs of the grandeur of the sea’s Mâlik and Sâni’ (Jalla jalâluhu).

KNOW, O FRIEND, that most of what we know about Earth and consider evident is based on a superficial familiarity, a veil spread over compounded ignorance, and without foundation. Thus the Qur’an’s âyahs draws our attention to the usual and the ordinary. With its piercing expressions, it draws aside the veil of superficial familiarity to show that what we see as usual and ordinary is in fact extraordinary.” Al-Mathnawi al-Nuri (274)

 

“When looking at the universe for Allah’s sake, all that is seen becomes ‘ilm; when doing so with ghaflah for the sake of causes, all that is seen as ‘ilm becomes sheer ignorance.”Al-Mathnawi al-Nuri (276)

 

“Those mindless philosophers suppose to be purposeless the transformations of particles, which occur with hikmah not limited to the five above examples, but with infinite hikmah. They fancy the particles, which perform dhikr and revolve like Mawlawi darwishes through dhikr and tasbîh of Allah in two ecstatic movements, one is anfusî18 , the other âfâkî19 , to be reeling around as though stunned and aimless. It may be understood from this, then, that their ‘ilm is not ‘ilm, it is ignorance, and their hikmah is without hikmah.” The Words ( 576 )

 

“Europe science and civilization had to a degree a place in the Old Said's thought when the New Said travelling in the mana’wî progressing paths of thought, Europe science and civilization were transformed into sicknesses of the heart on that journey of heart and were caused of excessive difficulties. Necessarily, while the New Said wanted to shake off his mind and cast away that fallacious philosophy and dissolute civilization, he was compelled to the following discussion-which in one respect is very brief and in another is long-with the ma’nâwî collective personality of Europe in order to silence the feelings of nafs, which testifies in favour of Europe in his rûh.” The Flashes ( 159-160 )

 

“Then, before everything, I had recourse to the ‘ilm I had studied of old, I began to search for consolation, a hope. But unfortunately, up to that time, I had filled my mind with the ‘ilms of philosophy as well as the Islamic ‘ilms, and quite in error had imagined those philosophical ‘ilms to be the source of progress and means of illumination. However, those philosophical matters had greatly dirtied my rûh and been an obstacle to my ma’nawî development. Suddenly, through Janâb-i Haqq's rahmah and munificence, the sacred hikmah of Al-Qur'an Al-Hakim came to my assistance. As is explained in many Risales, it washed away and cleansed the dirt of those philosophical matters. For instance, the darknesses of rûh arising from the hikmah of science plunged my rûh into the universe. Whichever way I looked seeking a nûr, I could find not a gleam in those matters, I could not breathe. And so it continued until the instruction in Tawhîd given by the phrase from Al-Qur’an Al-Hakîm "Lâ ilâha illâ Hû" dispersed all those layers of darkness with its brilliant nûr, and I could breathe with ease. But relying on what they had learnt from the people of dhalâlah and the people of philosophy, my nafs and shaytan attacked my mind (aql) and my heart. Lillâhilhamd, the ensuing debate with my nafs resulted in the victory of my heart. Those exchanges have been described in many Risales. And so, deeming them to be sufficient, here I shall explain only one proof out of thousands in order to show one-thousandth part of that victory of the heart. In this way it may also cleanse the rûhs of certain elderly people which have been dirtied in their youth, and their hearts sickened and nafs spoilt, by matters which though called foreign hikmah or the sciences of civilization, are in part dhalâlah and in part trivia. And through Tawhîd, they may be saved from sharr of shaytan and the nafs. It is as follows:

My nafs said in the name of the sciences of philosophy’s proxy: "According to the nature of things, the beings in the universe intervene in other beings. Everything looks to a cause. The fruit has to be sought from the tree and seed from the soil. So what does it mean to seek the tiniest and least insignificant thing from Allah and to beseech Him for it?"

Through the nûr of the Qur'an, the mystery of Tawhîd then unfolded in the following way. Then my heart said to my nafs which became a philosopher: “like the greatest thing, the tiniest and most particular proceeds directly from the qoudrah of the Khâliq of the whole universe and emerges from His treasury. It cannot occur in any other way. As for causes, they are a veil. For in regard to art and creation, sometimes the creatures we suppose to be the smallest and least important are greater than the largest creatures…..” The Flashes ( 305 )

 

“You know that if dhalâlah arises from ignorance, it is easy to dispel. Whereas if it proceeds from science and ‘ilm, it is difficult to eliminate. In former times, the latter were one in a thousand, and of these only one in a thousand could come to the way through guidance. For such people fancy themselves. And they do not know, but they suppose that they do know. I think that Janâb-i Haqq has bestowed the Words at this time, which are ma’nawî flashes of the Qur'an's miraculousness, as an antidote to this zandaqa of dhalâlah.” The Letters ( 40 )

 

The Second Awesome Condition at This Age: In former times, compared with the present there was very little kufr al-mutlaq, or dhalâlah arising from science, or perversity arising from the obstinate kufr. The instruction of the muhaqqiqîn of Islam of those times and their arguments were, therefore, sufficient, quickly dispelling any kufr al-mashkuk. Îmân in Allah was general, and they could persuade most people to give up their dhalâlah and dissipation through teaching them about Allah and reminding them of Jahannam-fire. But now there are a hundred kâfir al-mutlaq in one small town instead of perhaps one in a whole country. Those who fall in dhalâlah due to science and ‘ilm and oppose the haqiqahs of îmân obstinately and perversely have increased a hundredfold in relation to former times. With pride like that of the Pharaoh and their terrible dhalâlah these obdurate rebels oppose the haqiqahs of îmân. A sacred haqiqah is, therefore, much needed that will completely destroy the bases of their kufr in this world, like an atom bomb, and will halt their transgression and bring some of them to îmân.

All shukr to Janâb-i Haqq that with its many comparisons, as the perfect panacea for the wounds of this time, the Risale-i Nur -a ma’nawî miracle of the Qur'an of Miraculous Exposition proceeding from its effulgence- has routed even the worst of those obdurate rebels with the diamond sword of the Qur'an. Its proofs and arguments to the number of the particles of the universe demonstrating Ilahî Wahdâniyyah and the haqiqahs of îmân show that in twenty-five years it has not been defeated in the face of the severest attacks, but has itself prevailed and been victorious.” The Fifteenth Ray-2nd Station-Introduction to the Translation of the Arabic Damascus Sermon

 

“The greatest danger facing the people of Islam at this time is their hearts being corrupted and îmân harmed through the dhalâlah that arises from science and philosophy.” The Flashes ( 143 )

 

Since science and philosophy are now dominant and the plague of materialism and naturalism has spread among the mankind before everything îmân should be saved in such a way that it silences philosophy and the idea of materialism.” Emirdağ Addendum-1 (266)

 

اَللّٰهُمَّ يَا اَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِينَ وَ ارْحَمْ اُمَّةَ مُحَمَّدٍ عَلَيْهِ الصَّلاَةُ وَ السَّلاَمُ وَ نَوِّرْ قُلُوبَ اُمَّةِ مُحَمَّدٍ عَلَيْهِ الصَّلاَةُ وَ السَّلاَمُ بِنُورِ اْلاِيمَانِ وَ الْقُرْآنِ وَ نَوِّرْ بُرْهَانَ الْقُرْآنِ وَ عَظِّمْ شَرِيعَةَ اْلاِسْلاَمِ آمِينَ

اَللّٰهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَى آلِهِ كَمَا يَلِيقُ بِرَحْمَتِكَ وَبِحُرْمَتِهِ آمِينَ

سُبْحَانَكَ لاَ عِلْمَ لَنَا اِلاَّ مَا عَلَّمْتَنَا اِنَّكَ اَنْتَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيمُ

وَ آخِرُ دَعْوَيهُمْ اَنِ الْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

 

1 (So will they not think * So will they not reason * So will they not ponder on it)

2 عَلَّمَ آدَمَ اْلاَسْمَاءَ كُلَّهَا (And Allah taught Âdam all the names) which says: "Hazrat Âdam ‘Alayhissalâm's greatest miracle in the question of the supreme khalîfate was the teaching of the Names." The Words ( 269-270 )

3 (So turn your vision again; do you see any flaw?/61:3)

4 (Who has made the earth a resting-place for you and the samâ a canopy, and has sent down water from the sky and thereby brought forth fruits for your rizq./2:22)

5 (Rabb of the samâwât and the Earth)

6 (He created the samâwât and Earth.)

7 (And he who has been given hikmah has been given great khayr.)

8 (The science of grammar, syntax and linguistics)

9 (Belonging to the name)

10 (Points to the meaning of itself)

11 (Belonging to the letter)

12 (Points to the meaning of another)

13 Thus, while in this treacherous state of its, the ana is in absolute ignorance. Even if it knows thousands of sciences, it is the most ignorant with compounded ignorance. For when its senses and thoughts bring the nûrs of knowledge (ma’rifat) of the universe, they extinguish, since they do not find any material within its nafs with which to confirm, illuminate and perpetuate them. Everything that comes is dyed with the colours within its nafs. If the pure hikmah comes, within its nafs, it will take the form of absolute futility. For the colour of ana in this state are shirk and atheism. It is the denial of Allah. If the whole universe is full of shining âyahs, a dark point in that ana extinguishes them in the view, does not show.” The Thirtieth Word-First Aim

14 (The science of grammar, syntax and linguistics)

15 compounded ignorance - jahâlatin murakkabbah: “…such people fancy themselves. And they do not know, but they suppose that they do know….” The Letters ( 40 )

“their ignorance is compounded because they are unaware of it. It is therefore useless to offer them advice; they should be shunned entirely. For it is only those who realize that they are ignorant that may benefit from advice.” Signs of Miraculousness ( 109 )

16 (He has made the sun as a lamp /71:16)

17 Ma’rifat obtained from Al-Qur’an Al-Hakîm, in addition to affording a perpetual hudhur, neither condemns the universe to non-existence nor imprisons it in absolute oblivion. It rather releases it from its purposelessness and employs it in Janâb-i Haqq's name. Everything becomes a mirror of Ma’rifat. As Sa'di Shirazi said:دَرْ نَظَرِ هُوشِيَارْ هَرْ وَرَقِى دَفْتَرِيسْتْ اَزْ مَعْرِفَتِ كِرْدِگَارْ (To the conscious gaze each leaf is a book telling of Ma’rifat) In everything a window opens up onto Ma’rifat of Janâb-i Haqq.” The Twenty-Sixth Letter Fourth Topic-Second Matter

18 (This word is used in Islamic terminology to describe inner dhikr and tafakkur which pertain to nafs and one’s own life.) (Turning on their own axes) (Tr)

19 (This word is used in Islamic terminology to describe outer dhikr and tafakkur which pertain to the universe and the events inside of it. ) (Describing circles) (Tr)

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