بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

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



There are two sorts of rivalry.

The first is positive: It is displaying zeal to reach fadhîlah and good deeds.

The second is negative: It is being ambitious to take the others' goodnesses and showing one's self higher than the others. This negative sort of rivalry opens the door for conflicts and is the means of great harm.

1)My brothers! The most dangerous aspect of ananiyyah in our work is jealousy. If it is not purely for the sake of Allah, jealousy interferes and spoils it. Just as one of a person's hands do not jealous of the other, his eye does not envy his ear and his heart does not compete with his mind, in the same way, each of you is a sense and a member of the ma’nawî collective personality of our assembly. To take pride and pleasure in one another's virtues is a duty of your conscience, let alone rivalry against each other.” The Twenty-Ninth Letter – The Sixth Section which is the Sixth Risale – 5th Wile of Shaytan

2)But as for the people of religion, the people of ‘ilm and those practising the tarîqah, since the duty of each is concerned with society in general, and their advance reward1 is not designated and specified, and their share in social standing, people’s attention and favourable acceptance are not specified, many become candidates for a single position, many hands might stretch out for each ma’nawî and material reward. Competition and rivalry arise from that point and transform concord to nifâq and alliance to disagreement.” The Twentieth Flash – First Cause

3)Due to the difference of outlook, they do not fully feel their need for the assistance of the one whose outlook apparently opposes their own, and do not see their need for the alliance. Indeed, if self-conceitedness and ananiyyah are present, imagining himself to be right and his opponent to be wrong, disagreement and rivalry intervene in place of alliance and love. He will lose ikhlas and his duty will be ruined.” The Twentieth Flash – Second Cause

4)So, O people of haqq and the possessors of haqiqah who are struck by calamity and fell into disagreement! Since you have lost ikhlas and you have not exclusively made acceptance and pleasure of Allah your main purpose in this age of calamity, you have caused this abasement and defeat of the people of haqq. In matters pertaining to the âkhirah and religion, there should be no rivalry, ghibta,2 envy or jealousy, and in the point of haqiqah, there cannot be.

Because the cause of jealousy and envy is that they fall into ghibta then jealousy due to competition, conflict and rivalry, which arise from many hands being stretched out to a single object and many eyes being fixed on a single rank and a single bread being desired by many stomachs. Since many desire a single thing in the world and because the world is unable to satisfy the limitless desires of man due to its being narrow and transitory, they fall into rivalry. However, through the indication of a five-hundred-year distance of Jannah being bestowed and seventy thousand palaces and houris being given to a single man in the âkhirah and everyone among the people of Jannah being perfectly satisfied with his share, it is demonstrated that there is no cause for rivalry in the âkhirah, nor can there be rivalry. In which case, there cannot be rivalry in ‘amal as-sâlih belonging to the âkhirah; jealousy has no place in it. The one jealous is either a hypocrite; he seeks worldly results by means of ‘amal as-sâlih, or a faithful ignorant, he does not know where ‘amal as-sâlih looks towards and does not understand that ikhlas is the rûh and foundation of ‘amal as-sâlih.” The Twentieth Flash – 7th Cause

5)O people of haqiqah and tarîqah! Servicing to haqq is like carrying and protecting a great and heavy treasure. The more powerful hands run to the aid of those who carry that treasure on their shoulders, the more happy and grateful they become. Let alone being jealous, while it is necessary to applaud with pride and extremely sincere love the aid, strength and effect — which are more than theirs — of those who come, why is it that those true brothers and self-sacrificing helpers are looked at with rivalry and because of that state ikhlas is lost? You are accused in your duty; the people of dhalâlah expose you with terrible accusations that are a hundred times lower than you and your way, such as gaining the world by religion, earning livelihood by ‘ilm of haqiqah and rivalling on the way of greed and ambition.

The only remedy for this disease is to accuse one’s own nafs and to always take the side of his opponent fellow, who follows the same path, not his own nafs. Amongst the ‘ulamâ of the science of âdâb and the science of debate, the principle of justice and equity that serves haqq is this: "In a debate on a matter, if a person takes the side of his word’s being turned out to be right and becomes happy with his being turned out to be right and if he is pleased with his adversary being turned out to be wrong and mistaken, he is unjust and has no sense of equity." He also suffers loss. Because in such a debate, when he turns out to be right, he does not learn anything that he does not know, but rather he might suffer loss with the possibility of pride. If haqq emerges in his adversary's hand, he will benefit without any loss and will be saved from the pride of the nafs by learning a matter he does not know. That is to say, one who is equitable, just and worships to haqq, breaks the influence of the nafs for the sake of haqq. If he sees the haqq in his adversary’s hand, he will still accept it with pleasure, take his side and will be glad.

Thus, if the people of religion, the people of haqiqah, the people of tarîqah and the people of ‘ilm adopt this principle as a guide for themselves, they attain ikhlas and succeed in their duties pertaining to the âkhirah. And with the rahmah of Allah, they will be saved from this grievous collapse and present calamity.” The Twentieth Flash-7th Cause

6) “The rivalry arising from the aspect of material benefits slowly shatters ikhlas. It also harms the results of service and causes the material benefit to be lost. Yes, this ummah has always nurtured the thought of respect and assistance for those who work for haqiqah and âkhirah. Intending to actively participate in the haqiqah of their ikhlas and their loyal service in one respect, they have respected them by assisting with material benefits like sadaqah and gift in order to save them from their time being lost by occupying themselves with the procurement of their material needs. But such assistance and benefit are not to be asked, rather they are given. Also, they are not to be asked through desiring by the heart,  waiting expectantly and through the language of being even, rather they are given unexpectedly. Otherwise, ikhlas will be harmed. He also approaches the prohibition of the âyah, 3 وَلاَ تَشْتَرُوا بِآيَاتِى ثَمَنًا قَلِيلاً and his action (‘amal) in part will be ruined. Thus, to wait expectantly by desiring such material benefit, then in order to not let that benefit be snatched by someone else, from the aspect of self-conceitedness, the nafs al-ammarah excites a vein of rivalry towards a true brother of his and a friend in that particular service. His ikhlas is harmed; he loses the sacredness in the service. He takes an ugly state in the eyes of the people of haqiqah and loses the material benefit as well. However... This subject bears more discussion; cutting it short, I will only tell two examples that will strengthen the mystery of ikhlas and sincere union among my true brothers.

First Example: In order to obtain great wealth and extreme power, ahl ad-dunyâ even certain politicians, important committees and governors of the life of society have adopted the principle of partnership in goods as their guide. Together with all the misusages and harms of it, they acquire extraordinary strength and benefit. Whereas — together with many of its harms — the reality of partnership in goods does not change through participation. Each of them is the owner — though in supervision and in one aspect —  but cannot profit from it. However, if this principle of partnership in goods enters the works (‘amal) of the âkhirah, it becomes a source of great benefit without loss. For it bears the mystery of all possessions passing completely to the hands of each individual. For just as intending to participate, one of four or five men brings paraffin, another a wick, another the lamp, another the globe and another brings the matches; they light the lamp. Each of them owns a complete lamp. If each of those who participated has a huge mirror on a wall, a lamp will enter it together with the room, without deficiency or being split up. In the same way, partnership in the goods of the âkhirah through the mystery of ikhlas, solidarity through the mystery of brotherhood and working collectively through the mystery of unity... The total sum and the total nûr obtained from such participation in action being entered the book of good deeds for each entirely is a fact and has been witnessed by the people of haqiqah and is the requirement of the abundance of rahmah and the munificence of Allah.

Thus, O my brothers! InshâAllah, material benefits will not drive you to rivalry. But, in point of the benefits of the âkhirah, you might also be deceived like some of the people of tarîqah have been deceived. But, there is no comparison between a personal, particular sawâb with the sawâb and nûr that manifest in point of the participation in actions in the above example.

Second Example: In order to gain more results from their craft, craftsmen are obtaining significant wealth by means of cooperation in their craft. As proof, it may be mentioned that ten manufacturers of sewing needles worked separately for manufacturing. Only three needles a day were the fruits of such individual labour and craft. Then, ten men united through the principle of working collectively. One brought the iron, one lit the furnace, one pierced the needles, one placed them in the furnace, another sharpened the points and so on... Since each occupied with only one particular labour of the craft of needle-making and the service of each occupied was simple, time was not wasted; acquiring mastery on that service, they performed their work with great speed. Then, they divided up the fruit of the craft which was made through the principle of working collectively and the division of labour. They saw that each man had three hundred needles instead of three in a day. This event has become a common legend among the craftsmen of ahl ad-dunyâ in order to encourage them to work collectively.” The Twenty-First Flash/Your Fourth Principle/1st Obstacle

7) “Thus, o my brothers! Since in the works of the world and dense materials, through such union and alliance, the results give such immense total benefits, you can compare how great profits are all nûr, which pertains to the âkhirah, which is luminous and does not need to be divided up and separated, being reflected on the mirror of each through the fadl of Allah and possessing the same sawâb gained by all. This immense profit should not be lost through rivalry and lack of ikhlas...

...O, my brothers! Since our way in the service of Al-Qur'an Al-Hakîm is haqiqah and brotherhood (ukhuwwah), and since the mystery of brotherhood (ukhuwwah) is to annihilate one's personality among the brothers {Yes, happy is he who, in order to gain a sweet and large pool filtered from the kawsar of the Qur'an, casts his personality and ananiyyah, which are fragments of ice, into that pool and melts them.} and to prefer brothers’ nafs over one's own nafs, the rivalry arising from this sort of love of rank should not affect us. Because it is altogether opposed to our way. Since brothers’ honour may belong to all individuals generally; I am hopeful that sacrificing that great ma’nawî honour for personal, boastful, competitive, minor honour and fame is a hundred times far away from the Risale-i Nur students.

Yes, the heart, mind and rûh of the Risale-i Nur students would not stoop to such lowly, harmful, inferior things. But the nafs al-ammarah is present in everyone. And sometimes the feelings of nafs affect veins and to an extent execute their commands despite the heart, mind and rûh. I do not accuse your heart, rûh and mind. Relying on the effect of the Risale-i Nur, I trust them. But the nafs, desires, feelings and wahm sometimes deceive. For this reason, sometimes you are warned severely. This severity looks to the nafs, desires, feelings and wahm; act cautiously.” The Twenty-First Flash/Your Fourth Principle/1st Obstacle

8) “My ‘Azîz Brothers! Our first and final advice to you is to preserve your solidarity; keep away from ananiyyah, selfishness and rivalry and practice caution and self-restraint.” Biography 456

9) “KNOW, when a wage is paid and reward is shared or they are considered the veins of rivalry, ghibtah4 and jealousy begin to stir. But when it is the time for work and service they do not... rather the weak loves the strong and the lowlier inclines to the loftier, and he appreciates theirs being superior to him and loves them in the increase of their service. For the burden of service and the difficulty of work on him lighten. This world is the place of working for the âkhirah, of fulfilling religious responsibilities to get the reward in the âkhirah. There must be no rivalry and jealousy, for such things point to lack of ikhlas and an impure intention. Such people, by looking for such worldly rewards as appreciation and praise, invalidate their good deeds, make others shariks with Allah in giving reward, and are condemned by others.” Al-Mathnawi al-Nuri

10) “I declare to you the precious sense of brotherhood, that is displayed by Hâfidh Ali Efendi about another brother of ours, who would be a rival of his.

That person came to me; I told him that the other one’s scribe is better than his. I said, “He will serve more”. I saw that Hâfidh Ali felt proud and pleased with his brother being superior with utmost sincerity and ikhlas. He also felt glad that his brother attracted his ustadh’s love. I looked carefully to his heart; I felt that he is sincere, not just displaying. I have offered shukr to Janâb-i Haqq, for among my brothers there are those who carry this elevated feeling. Inshallah, that sense will perform great service.” Barla Addendum ( 125 )

11) “There is necessity (dharûrah) to respond to the troubles of livelihood with frugality and contentment. I am conceded since many from among the people of haqiqah and the people of tarîqah even, have been driven to compete with one another due to worldly benefits. So far, this aspect has not caused any harm for students of the Risale-i Nur. Insha’allah neither will it, now.” Kastamonu Addendum (245)

12) “Through the ghastly instalments and injections in this strange age, both the true and metaphorical nafs al-ammarah have united, making people willingly commit such evils and sins that outrage the universe. In fact, within a single minute, I myself came close in preferring to be relieved of a problem with twenty cents, over a good deed worth sixty dollars.

Also, within ten minutes, in a grand ma’nawî struggle; while strikes were raining over the enemy like large projectiles, making headways from my front, on a fleeting moment of ghaflah and through the very oppressive and dark feelings of self-centredness and superiority, I felt both of nafs al-ammarah’s most ugly vein of riyâ and its competitiveness which is saying “Why didn’t I strike that blow” rather than offering great shukr and gratitude.

I offer a hundred thousand shukrs to Janâb-i Haqq that the Risale-i Nur and the Risale on Ikhlas in particular eradicated the intrigues of both the nafs and healed the wounds they opened and eradicated both those one minute and ten-minute stages at once. And I came to know my mistake, which is a ma’nawî form of istighfâr and was saved from the pains and torments within that mistake, which was its immediate punishment.

We pass on our salam to all our brothers.” Kastamonu Addendum (256)

13) “Since our way is based on the mystery of ikhlas and is the haqiqahs of îmân unless we are compelled to, we are to avoid interfering with the life of this world and social life, and due to our way, we must stay away from situations that lead to rivalry, partisanship and bickering. It is unfortunate a thousand times over that the helpless people of ‘ilm and the people of religion who are subjected to the attacks of dreadful snakes are assisting the destructions of the snakes and the zindiq munâfiqs and helping themselves to be killed at their hands by criticising each other for minor matters as small as the bite of a fly.”  Kastamonu Addendum (270)

14)A principle of Risale-i Nur is to know one’s own faults and without rivalry to serve humbly seeking Allah’s pleasure alone.” Emirdağ Addendum (100) 

15) “Moreover our way is khillah and brotherhood. There can be no rivalry amongst us in terms of individualism and ananiyyah. One should look, not at the shortcomings of a very weak and faulty helpless man like myself, but to perfections of the Risale-i Nur.” Biography (454)

16)Dispute and discord among the mu’mins, and partisanship, obstinacy and envy, leading to rancour and enmity among them, are repugnant and vile, are harmful and sinful, by the combined testimony of hikmah and the supreme humanity that is Islam, for personal, social, and ma’nawî life. They are in short, poison for the life of man.” The Letters ( 311 )

17)Seventh Groundless Fear: The jamâ’ah of the Union of Islam has split away from the other religious groups, and this leads to rivalry and mutual aversion.

The Answer: Firstly, there can be no jealousy, contention, and conflict in the matters of the âkhirah, so if any of those societies attempts to compete or strive against another it will be as though it is riyâ and nifâq in ‘ibâdah.” The Damascus Sermon ( 86 )

18) “No corruptor shall ever say that “I am a corruptor.” He always comes out as siding with the haqq. Or he sees bâtil as the haqq. Yes, no merchant ever runs down his own wares. But you should not buy it before testing by a touchstone. For there are many degenerated words in the trade. Do not even accept completely my word due to your good opinion of me because I said it. Maybe I too am a corruptor or I am corrupting although unknowingly. Therefore, do not allow every word which is spilt to enter your heart. Thus these are my words that I tell you, hold them in the hand of imagination, test them by the touchstone. If it emerges to be gold, keep it in the heart. If it emerges copper, reject it and send it to me attaching with it lots of ghiybah and curses.” Münazarat (14)

To distinguish the haqq from bâtil the criterion and a touchstone must be the Muhkamât of Sharî’ah for all mu’mins.

In place of the headship and dominance of a person, which provokes the feelings of rivalry and ananiyyah, there must be the dominance of Haqq and freedom of Sharî’ah among the mu’mins.

19)the uncomprehending kashf of some of the awliyâ relying only on shuhûd do not attain to the statements about the haqiqahs of îmân of the asfiyâ and muhaqqiqîn, who are the people of the legacy of nubuwwah and who rely on the Qur'an and wahy, not on shuhûd- which is about the ghayb but is lucid, comprehensive, and right. That is to say, the balance of all kashf, ma’nawî states, azwaq, and shuhûd are the Book and Sunnah. And their touchstone is the sacred principles of the Book and Sunnah, and the muhaqqiqîn asfiyâ’s rules which arise from hads.” The Letters ( 106 )

The phrase “touchstone” in this part has been used as the meaning of certain injunctions of Islam. All mu’mins must know, accept and use them as a touchstone and criterion to distinguish haqq from bâtil.

20)Principles called dharûriyyah of religion, which can not be interpreted, and those called Muhkamât can not be changed in any way and may not be opened to ijtihad. One who changes them excludes himself from religion, being included under the rule: يَمْرُقُونَ مِنَ الدِّينِ كَمَا يَمْرُقُ السَّهْمُ مِنَ الْقَوْسِ 5 The Twenty-Ninth Letter/Seventh Section/2nd Sign

21)The idea expressed as "The mysteries of Al-Qur’an Al-Hakîm are not known; mufassirs have not understood its haqiqah." has two aspects. And those who say it are two groups.

The First is the people of haqq and the meticulous ‘ulamâ. They say: "The Qur'an is an unending and inexhaustible treasury. Together with submitting to its nass and muhkamât and accepting them, each age receives its share from the hidden haqiqahs of the Qur'an, in the form of complements; it does not harm the hidden share of another." Yes, it means that more haqiqahs of Al-Qur’an Al-Hakîm unfold as time passes. It is not — Hâsha and Kallâ! — to cause doubt concerning the explicit haqiqahs of the Qur'an, which the Salaf as-Sâlihîn have expounded. Because having îmân in them is a necessity.

They are nass, definite, fundamental and pillars. Through the decree عَرَبِىٌّ مُبِينٌ 6 , the Qur’an informs that its meaning is clear. From beginning to end, the address of Allah revolves around those meanings, corroborates them and causes them to reach the degree of being evident. Not to accept those meanings, which are nass, suggests — Hâsha summa hâsha!7 —denying Janâb-i Haqq and insulting Hazrat Prophet's understanding. It means that those nass meanings have been taken from the source of Prophethood by continuous links like a chain. Ibn Jarir al-Tabarî, through continuous links like a chain with authentic transmissions, related all the meanings of the Qur'an to the source of Prophethood and wrote his significant and great tafsir in that way.” The Twenty-Ninth Letter-First Section-First Subtle Point



سُبْحَانَكَ لاَ عِلْمَ لَنَا اِلاَّ مَا عَلَّمْتَنَا اِنَّكَ اَنْتَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيمُ

رَبَّنَا لاَ تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنَا بَعْدَ اِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِنْ لَدُنْكَ رَحْمَةً اِنَّكَ اَنْتَ الْوَهَّابُ

وَصَلِّ وَ سَلِّمْ عَلَى رَسُولِكَ اْلاَكْرَمِ مَظْهَرِ اِسْمِكَ اْلاَعْظَمِ وَ عَلَى آلِهِ وَ اَصْحَابِهِ وَ اِخْوَانِهِ وَ اَتْبَاعِهِ

 آمِينَ يَا اَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِينَ


1 (Any material or ma’nawî reward received in this world.) (Tr.)

2 (A commendable longing; a desire without envy or malice.)

3 (Do not sell my âyahs for a petty price.)

4 (A commendable longing; a desire without envy or malice. Longing for having other’s good states for oneself ) (Tr)

5 (They will pass through Islam like an arrow passing through its target.)

6 (this ˹Quran˺ is ˹in˺ eloquent Arabic.)

7 (Allah forbid over again Allah forbid!)

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