Dictionary / Arabic - Turkish Terminology

‘ILLAH – عِلّة


Literally: The real, effective and basic cause of the existence of an effect.

As an Islamic term: The will of Allah, Who is the causer of causes, Who creates the cause and the effect together.

As a Sharî’ah term: The order of Allah, which is the real cause for the existence of a law. The underlying cause or element (ratio legislation) on which a new ruling is based by making parallel to an established ruling through qiyas (analogy).


Since causes are extremely ordinary and impotent and the effects that are attributed to them are extremely valuable and full of art, this state dismisses causes. The purposes and benefits of effects also eliminate ignorant and lifeless causes being intermediaries and hand them over to a Sâni’, Who is Hakîm.

The Thirty-Third Word/The Twenty-Seventh Window


It sometimes happens that in order to dismiss an apparent cause as possessor of the ability to create and to demonstrate how far the cause is from the creation, the âyah points out the aims and fruits of the effects so that it can be understood that the cause is only an apparent veil. For to will and choose the most important aims and fruits full of hikmah is of necessity the work of One Who is infinitely ‘Alîm and Hakîm, but their causes do not possess life and intelligence. By mentioning their aim and result, the âyah shows that, although, to the superficial view, causes appear to be connected and adjacent to their effects, in haqiqah, there is a great distance between them. The distance from the cause to the creation of the effect is so great that the hand of the greatest cause cannot reach the creation of the most insignificant effect. Here, within this long distance between the cause and the effect, the names of Allah each rise like a star. The place of rising of those Names is this ma’nawî distance. Just as, to the superficial view, on the horizon of the mountains, the skirts of the sky appear to be joined to and contiguous with them, although from the horizon of the mountains to the skirts of the sky, there is a vast distance in which the stars rise and which is the dwelling of other things, so the ma’nawî distance between causes and effects is such that it can only be seen through the nûr of the Qur'an and the telescope of îmân. For example,

فَلْيَنْظُرِ اْلاِنْسَانُ اِلَى طَعَامِهِ اَنَّا صَبَبْنَا الْمَاءَ صَبًّا ثُمَّ شَقَقْنَا اْلاَرْضَ شَقًّا فَاَنْبَتْنَا فِيهَا حَبًّا وَ عِنَبًا وَ قَضْبًا وَ زَيْتُونًا وَ نَخْلاً وَ حَدَائِقَ غُلْبًا وَ فَاكِهَةً وَ اَبًّا مَتَاعًا لَكُمْ وَ لاَنْعَامِكُمْ1

Here, by mentioning miracles of the qoudrah of Allah in a sequence with hikmah, this noble âyah binds causes to effects, and, at its conclusion, with the phrase 2 مَتَاعًا لَكُمْ , it points to an aim that proves that, within the sequence of all the causes and effects, there is a hidden Mutasarrif Who sees and follows that aim, and the causes are His veil.

Yes, with the phrase مَتَاعًا لَكُمْ وَ لاَنْعَامِكُمْ3, it dismisses all the causes as possessors of the ability to create. It says in a ma’nawî manner, "Rain comes from the sky in order to grow rizq for you and your animals. Since water does not possess the ability to cultivate rizq by pitying you and showing compassion, it means that the rain does not come by itself but is sent. The earth also blooms plants; your rizq comes from there. The earth lacking feelings and intelligence is far beyond the ability to think of your rizq and show compassion to you, so it does not bloom by itself, but Someone opens that door and gives ni’mahs to your hands.

Furthermore, since the plants and trees are far beyond the ability to think of your rizq and to compassionately grow fruits and grains for you, the âyah demonstrates that they are strings and ropes that One Who is Hakîm and Rahîm extends from behind the veil; He attaches His ni’mahs to them and extends them to living beings." Here, from this expression, numerous places where the names of Allah rise, like Rahîm, Razzâq, Mun’im and Karîm are seen.

The Twenty-Fifth Word-Seventh Mystery of Balâghat


What deceives those who worship apparent causes is two things coming together or being together, which is called iktiran; they suppose the two things are real and effective causes (‘illah) for each other. Also, since the non-existence of a thing is the real and effective cause of a ni’mah’s being non-existent, they imagine that that thing's existence is also the real and effective cause (‘illah) of the ni’mah’s existence. They offer their shukr and gratitude to that thing and fall into error because a ni’mah’s existence is the result of all the conditions and preliminaries of the ni’mah. In contrast, the ni’mah’s non-existence occurs through the non-existence of only a single condition.

For example, a man who does not open the water canal, which waters a garden, is the real and effective cause (‘illah) of the garden drying up and the non-existence of ni’mahs. But the existence of the garden's ni’mahs is dependent on hundreds of conditions besides the man's service, and the ni’mahs come into existence through the irâdah and qoudrah of Ar-Rabb, which are the real and effective cause (‘illah). Here, understand how clear the error of this fallacy is and know how wrong those who worship causes are!

Yes, iktiran is one thing, and the real and effective cause (‘illah) is another. A ni’mah comes to you. But the intention of a person to bestow it on you is associated with the ni’mah. But it was not the real and effective cause (‘illah). The real and effective cause (‘illah) was the rahmah of Allah. If the man had not intended to give, that ni’mah would not come to you. He would have been the real and effective cause (‘illah) of the ni’mah’s non-existence. But as a consequence of the above rule, the inclination to bestow cannot be the real and effective cause (‘illah) of the ni’mah but can only be one of the hundreds of conditions.

For example, some of those among the Risale-i Nur students (like Husrev and Re'fet) who are honoured with the ni’mahs of Janâb-i Haqq have confused the iktiran and the real and effective cause (‘illah); they were excessively grateful to their ustadh. Whereas, Janâb-i Haqq joined and associated (iktiran) the ni’mah of benefiting from the lessons of the Qur'an, which He gave to them, with the ni’mah of instructing, which He bestowed on their ustadh. They say that if our ustadh had not come here, we would not have received this lesson, so his instruction is the real and effective cause (‘illah) of our benefit. However, I say, "O, my brothers! The ni’mah that Janâb-i Haqq bestowed on you and on me came together. The real and effective cause (‘illah) of both ni’mahs is the rahmah of Allah. Through confusing the iktiran with the real and effective cause (‘illah), I, too, felt much gratitude towards the hundreds of Risale-i Nur students with diamond pens like you. I would say, “If it were not for them, how would a semi-literate and helpless person like me serve?” Then, I understood that after bestowing on you the sacred ni’mah that occurs by means of the pen, He bestowed success on me in this service. He associated (iktiran) one with another; they cannot be the real and effective cause (‘illah) of each other. I do not thank you, but I congratulate you. You too offer du'â for me and congratulate me, rather than being grateful to me."

In this Fourth Matter, how many degrees there are in ghaflah can be understood.

The Seventeenth Flash-13th Note- The Fourth Matter


The hikmah of a law is different, while its real cause (‘illah)  is different. Hikmah and benefit are not the cause of the necessity and creation of the law but are the cause of its preference. While the ‘illah is the cause for the existence of a law. For example, the salâh is shortened while travelling; it is performed two rak'ats. The ‘illah of this rukhsah of the Sharî'ah is the journey, while its hikmah is the hardship. If there is a journey, the salâh is still shortened even if there is no hardship. Because the ‘illah exists. But if there is no journey but hundreds of difficulties, it cannot be the ‘illah for shortening the salâh. Thus, contrary to this haqiqah, the view of this time appoints the benefit and hikmah in place of the ‘illah and makes its judgement in accordance with that. Such an ijtihad is certainly earthly, not samâwî.

The Twenty-Seventh Word/The Fifth

1 (Let man reflect on the food he eats, How We pour down rainwater in abundance and cleave the soil asunder. How We bring forth grain, grapes and nutritious vegetation; olives and dates, lush gardens, fruits and fodder, as a means of sustenance for you and your cattle.)

2 (as a means of sustenance for you.)

3 (as a means of sustenance for you and your cattle.)

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