بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ وَ الصَّلاَةُ وَ السَّلاَمُ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَ عَلَى آلِهِ وَ صَحْبِهِ اَجْمَعِينَ
KÂFIR - UNBELIEVER - 2
“If you were to ask: The sin of kufr persists a short time but its punishment is eternal and unending; how is this conformable with Ilahî justice? And if one does accept this, how is it consistent with pre-eternal hikmah? And if one accepts this even, how does Ilahî compassion permit it?
You would be told: If one accepts that the penalty is infinite, it is established that kufr perpetrated in finite time is in six respects a crime of infinite proportions:
Firstly: The kâfir who dies in kufr will remain as such even if he lives to all eternity, for he has corrupted the very substance of his rûh. And his corrupted heart has the propensity to commit infinite crimes.
Secondly: Even if kufr occurs in finite time, it is an infinite crime and gives the lie to infinity, I mean, it denies the whole universe, which testifies to Wahdâniyyah.
Thirdly: Kufr is ingratitude for infinite ni’mahs.
Fourthly: Kufr is a crime against infinity; that is, the Ilahî essence and attributes.
Fifthly: As [indicated by] the Hadith: "The samawât and earth contain me not, yet I am contained in the heart of the mu’min," the human conscience is in regard to its mulk and outer face limited and finite, but by virtue of its haqiqah the roots of its malakût spread and extend to eternity. In this respect, therefore, it is infinite. Kufr, however, sullies it and it dwindles away.
Sixthly: Although opposites stubbornly resist each other, they are similar in many instances. Thus, on the one hand, îmân yields the fruits of the delights of Jannah, and on the other kufr produces everlasting suffering and pain.
It may be concluded therefore if one puts these six aspects together that infinite punishment fits the infinite crime and is pure justice.
If you were to ask: So it is conformable with justice, but what about hikmah, which is exempt from creating sharrs that result in punishment?
You would be told: As you have heard before, a greater khayr should not be abandoned due to the interspersion of lesser sharr, for that would be a greater sharr. This is because Ilahî hikmah necessitates the existence of relative haqiqahs, which are far more numerous than actual truths; and their appearance is possible only through the existence of sharr; and sharr can be held within its limits and prevented from its aggression only through intimidation; and intimidation only truly affects the conscience if it [can be] verified and actualized by the existence of external torment; for like the mind (aql) and wahm, the conscience is truly affected by intimidation only if it perceives from various indications the eternal, external reality of torment. It is pure hikmah therefore after filling people with fear at Jahannam in this world, for it to exist in the âkhirah.
If you were to ask: So it is consistent with hikmah also, but how does Ilahî compassion permit it?
You would be told: The kâfirs can be thought of only in terms of non-existence or existence in torment. If you think it over in your conscience [you will understand that] existence, even if in Jahannam, is a rahmah and better than non-existence. For if you analyze it carefully [you will see that] non-existence is pure sharr; indeed, non-existence is the source of all calamities and sins. Whereas existence is pure khayr, even if in Jahannam. Furthermore, it is in the rûh’s fitrah, if it knows that the torment eliminates its crimes and sins, to be content with it, to alleviate the burden of shame. It will then acknowledge that the punishment is fair and that it deserves it. Out of its love of justice, it receives pleasure from it even. Many honourable people in this world long for the execution of justice on themselves so as to be saved from the shame of their crimes.
[The kâfirs] go to Jahannam and abide there forever as their perpetual abode, but after some time paying the penalty for their actions, they grow accustomed to it in a way and will be imprinted on them, even if they do not deserve this. Also, their punishments are reduced and mitigated in many ways in recompense for their khayr deeds in this world, as is indicated in some Hadiths. These are instances of rahmah for them, although they are not worthy of them.” Signs of Miraculousness ( 88 )
“The most significant reason for this refusal and decline is that our fundamental principle of ikhlas prohibits us. In this age of ghaflah, particularly those who are partisan, make everything serve their own aims. They, in fact, make their religion and their activities which relate to the âkhirah, as a means to achieving their worldly aims. Whereas the haqiqahs of îmân and the sacred service of the Risale-i Nur can never become the instrument of anything in this universe. It cannot seek to achieve anything but the Ilahî pleasure. At such a time when rival currents are battling, it has become extremely difficult to protect the mystery of ikhlas and to not use religion as a means to achieve worldly results. Instead of relying on the power and influence of currents, the best solution is to rely on ‘inâyah and the assistance of Allah.
One of the many reasons behind refusing any association is to “show compassion” and “to avoid dhulm and harm” which is one of the four principles of the Risale-i Nur. For in this age, people are prone to act contrary to the Ilahî principle of لاَ تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ وِزْرَ اُخْرَى , that is, “no person or relative can be held responsible or be punished for the mistakes of another” and in accordance with the mystery of اِنَّ اْلاِنْسَانَ لَظَلُومٌ كَفَّارٌ 1 readily respond by committing an extreme dhulm. Due to feelings of partisanship, a mistake committed by a single criminal will drive another person to feel enmity towards not only their relatives but even their supporters. If they had the power, they would oppress them. If they had a justification to rely on, they would go as far as bombing a whole village on account of one person’s mistake. The fact is, the rights of one innocent person cannot be transgressed for a hundred criminals; that person cannot be oppressed because of them. The situation in this age is that a hundred innocent people are harmed due to a few criminals. For example: Due to the mistakes of a single man, to inflict suffering to that man’s helpless and elderly mother and father, his innocent family and children and to carry partisan hostility against them, is contrary to the principle of compassion. It is because of such partisan currents amongst Muslims that innocent people are unable to save themselves from dhulm. Particularly events that give rise to revolutions completely extend this dhulm.
Even if it is in religious jihâd, the same rule applies for the families and children of kâfirs. However if someone from the circle of Islam becomes an atheist, their family and children cannot be taken as possession and their rights cannot be interfered with. Because through the connection of Islam, those innocent children are tied to the fold of Islam and the community of Islam, not to their atheist father. [Outside the realm of Islam ] kâfir’s children are surely among those who will be saved, but according to the law and life those innocents may be made prisoner and taken into possession at the blow of jihâd since they are dependants of and bound to their fathers.” Biography (502-503)
“KNOW, O FRIEND, that Islam is a universal rahmah. Islam enables even kâfirs to find some happiness in their worldly lives and ensures that their pleasure does not change into endless pain. Islam changes kufr al-mutlaq and denial, which cause despair and pain, into doubt and hesitation. Influenced by its clear announcements, kâfirs may come to regard eternal life as probable. This relieves them from suffocating and, since they are not convinced of eternal life, they consider themselves free of its obligations. Such people are like ostriches,2 that when told to fly reply: “I’m a camel, not a bird.” But when told to carry a burden, they answer like a camel: “I’m a bird, not a camel.” Deluded by shaytan, kâfirs and fâsiqs find a superficial happiness, in contrast to kâfir al-mutlaq and sincere mu’mins.” Al-Mathnawi al-Nuri (121)
“Kufr al-mutlaq is now working to disseminate such a ma’nawî Jahannam that no kâfir in the universe should approach it. A mystery of the Qur’an being a Rahmah al-lil’Âlamin3 is that: Just as it is a rahmah for Muslims, so too, it is a subtle sign and indication of its being a rahmah to all irreligious people and all the world and mankind that it saves them from that ma’nawî Jahannam in this world to an extent by offering the possibility of îmân in the âkhirah and îmân in Allah ” Emirdağ Addendum-2 (243)
“KNOW, O FRIEND, that the difference between the civilization of kâfirs and that of mu’mins is this: The former is barbarism disguised as civilization, outwardly glittering but inwardly hideous, apparently pleasing but in reality frightening. As for the civilization of mu’mins, its inside is more exalted than its outside. It is more perfect in meaning than in appearance. It is composed of friendliness, love and mutual helping. And the mystery of it: Through the mystery of îmân and Tawhîd mu’min sees brotherhood among everything that exists in the universe, as well as friendship and love among its parts, particularly among human beings, and more particularly among mu’mins. They see brotherhood in the origin, beginning, past and union in the end and the future. Kâfirs see all things as hostile, alien to, and separated from one another. They even see this hostility among fellow kâfirs, since they consider brotherhood only a point of meeting between two lines of disunity or separation. One line extends eternally into the past, and the other eternally into the future. They only feel a strong (and very temporary) brotherhood at times of national zeal or racial passion. However, in reality, such apparent love for a brother is really no more than love for his nafs. Any acceptable humanitarian aspects and spiritual virtues of the kâfirs’ civilization are either borrowings from Islamic civilization, leftovers from the samawî religions, or are owed to the guidance of the Qur’an [being in the world].” Al-Mathnawi al-Nuri (135)
“KNOW, O FRIEND, that the hikmah in Allah’s giving respite to kâfirs lost in the worldly life is that they unconsciously manifest various ni’mahs of Allah by their labour and skill, and unknowingly arrange the beauty and excellence of the works of Ilahî Art to display to others. Just as a clock is not aware of telling time, kâfirs are not aware of their function.” Al-Mathnawi al-Nuri (294)
“Consider the ma’nawî Jahannam that kufr causes: According to the mystery of اَنَا عِنْدَ ظَنِّ عَبْدِى بِى4 since kâfirs suppose death to be an eternal extinction and separation, their supposition becomes a painful torment for them.
Pleasure arising from the conviction of meeting with Allah is superior to that of Jannah. But above that is the even greater pleasure attained by Allah’s eternal approval and ru’yat of Him in Jannah free of any quantitative and qualitative dimension. The physically Jahannam state of a sinful, ‘ârif mu’min in the âkhirah is like a pleasure of Jannah compared to the Jahannam like ma’nawî state of a kâfir who does not recognize Al-Khâliq, in this world.” Mathnawi al-Nuri (320)
If you say: “Now after these investigations, none of my doubts remains and I affirm that together with other haqiqahs, there are indications and allusions in the Qur'an to the wonders of present civilization, indeed, further than them. Everything necessary for the happiness of man in this world and the âkhirah is found within it in relation to its worth. But why does the Qur'an not mention them explicitly so that obstinate kâfirs even would be compelled to confirm it, and our hearts would also be at ease?”
The Answer: Religion is an examination. Man's accountability through the obligations placed on him by Allah is a test so that elevated rûhs and base rûhs may be distinguished from one another in the arena of competition. Just as the fire is put into a mine so that diamonds and coal, gold and soil may be distinguished from one another, so too man's accountability through the obligations placed on him by Allah in this abode of the examination is a trial and an encouragement to competition, so that the elevated jewels and base materials in the mine of man's capacity may be separated from each other… Since the Qur'an was sent for man to become perfect in an arena of competition, in the form of trial in this abode of examination, surely, it will only indicate the future events of ghayb of this world, which will be seen by everyone, and will only open the door to the mind to a degree that will prove its evidence. If it mentions them explicitly, the mystery of man's accountability through the obligations placed on him by Allah would be negated. Simply, it would be as self-evident as writing clearly “Lâ Ilâha Illallah” with stars on the face of the skies. Then everyone will affirm it whether willingly or unwillingly. There would be no competition; the examination would be lost.
The Second Station of the Twentieth Word/The Answer to the Second Question
“If you ask? The majority of mankind become kâfirs, they embrace kufr and suffer harm due to the sending of prophets together with the existence of shaytans. Due to the rule "Al-hukm jârin ‘alal-aksar"5 if the majority receives sharr from it then the creation of sharr is sharr, it may even be said that the sending of prophets is not a rahmah, is that not so?
The Answer: Quantity has no importance in relation to quality. The true majority looks to quality. For example, if there are a hundred seeds of the date-palm and they are not put beneath the earth and watered and neither undergo a chemical reaction and manifest a struggle for life, they are only a hundred seeds worth nothing. But if they are watered and are subject to the struggle of life, and then eighty out of the hundred rot due to their bad disposition, but twenty become fruit-bearing trees, can you say, "watering them was sharr and rotted most of them?" Of course, you cannot say that for that twenty have become like twenty thousand. One who loses eighty and gains twenty thousand suffers no harm, and it does not become sharr.
And for example, if we have one hundred peacock eggs, they are worth five hundred pence as eggs. If the peahen sits on that hundred eggs and eighty are spoilt and twenty hatches into peacocks, can it be said that there was a great loss and the treatment became sharr; that it was bad to put the broody hen on the eggs and a sharr occurred? No, it is not thus, it is rather a khayr. For the peacock species and egg family lost eighty eggs worth four hundred pence but gained twenty peacocks worth eighty dollars.
Thus, mankind has gained the hundreds of thousands of prophets and millions of awliyâ and thousands of millions of asfiyâ who are like the suns, moons and stars of ‘âlam of mankind, through the sending of prophets and the mystery of man's accountability through the obligations placed on him by Allah, and through jihâd and striving with shaytans, in return mankind has lost the kâfirs and munâfiqs, who are from the species of harmful beasts which are numerous in regard to quantity and insignificant in regard to quality.” The Twelfth Letter-Your Second Question.
“Fayâ Subhanallah! Since the zindiq materialist kâfirs do not accept a Wâjib Al-Wujûd, they are compelled according to their beliefs to accept as many bâtil Ilahs as there are particles. Thus, no matter how illustrious a philosopher or scholar a denier kâfir may be, he is in profound ignorance to the utmost degree.” The Words ( 578 )
“Kufr is ignorance yet in the Qur'an it says: يَعْرِفُونَهُ كَمَا يَعْرِفُونَ اَبْنَٓاءَهُمْۜ اَلَّذ۪ينَ اٰتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ 6 How can these two statements be reconciled?
You would be told: There are two sorts of kufr. The first is due to ignorance; a person denies because he does not know. The second is obstinate rejection; a person knows but does not accept; he is certain but does not believe; he affirms but his conscience does not have idh'ân. Think carefully about this!” Signs of Miraculousness ( 74 )
“Ar-Rasûl Al-Akram ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm declared his nubuwwah and presented to humanity such a decree as the Qur'an of Mighty Stature and such manifest miracles up to the number one thousand according to the Ahl al-Tahqîq. The occurrence of those miracles in their entirety is as certain as the fact that he declared himself nubuwwah. In fact, as is shown by the words of the most obstinate kâfirs quoted in various places of Al-Qur’an Al-Hakîm, even they could not deny the occurrence of his miracles, but only called them Hâsha! sihr, in order to satisfy themselves, or to deceive their followers.” The Letters ( 119 )
“Ar-Rasûl Al-Akram ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm says to them through the tongue of the Qur'an: "In your books, there is confirmation and attributes of me. In the things I declare, your books confirm me." He challenges them with âyahs such as,
قُلْ فَاْتُوا بِالتَّوْرَيةِ فَاتْلُوهَا اِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِينَ ٭ قُلْ تَعَالَوْا نَدْعُ اَبْنَاءَنَا وَاَبْنَاءَكُمْ وَنِسَاءَنَا وَنِسَاءَكُمْ وَاَنْفُسَنَا وَاَنْفُسَكُمْ ثُمَّ نَبْتَهِلْ فَنَجْعَلْ لَعْنَةَ اللّٰهِ عَلَى الْكَاذِبِينَ7
"Bring your Tawrah, read it and come; we will bring our children and women of our household, and open our hands in the court of Janâb-i Haqq, and offer du’â against the liars with a curse!”
Despite him continuously hitting them over the head with âyahs such as these, no Jewish scholar nor Christian priest was able to show any error of his. If they had been shown, those very numerous and very obdurate and envious kâfirs and munâfiq Jews and the whole ‘âlam of kufr would have proclaimed it everywhere. He also said: "Either find any error of mine, or I shall have jihâd with you until you are destroyed!” Whereas, they chose war, wretchedness and migration. Which means they could not find any error of his. If an error was found, they would have been saved.” The Nineteenth Letter/16th Sign/The First Kind/1st Proof
“Whereas for twenty-three years, Al-Qur’an Al-Hakîm continuously taunted and challenged them in a way that would increase their obduracy. It said:
"Let someone unlettered like Muhammad al-Amîn8 compose the like of the Qur'an. You can't do it, so, come on, not an unlettered person, but someone ‘âlim and literary. You can't do that either. Rather than a single person, gather together all your ‘ulamâ and men of eloquence, and let them assist one another, and the false Ilahs on which you rely can also lend a hand. You won't be able to do this either, so use the literary works of the past, and even call on those of the future to help you, and then compose the like of the Qur'an. And if you can't do this, then do not compose all the Qur'an, but only ten Surahs. Come on, you can't manage ten which are truly like the Qur'an's Surahs, so put it together out of stories and fictitious tales; just produce the like of the word-order and eloquence (balâghat). Don't write a long Surah, just a short one. But if you can't do this, your religion, lives, property, and families will all be in danger, both in this world and in the âkhirah!"
Thus, with these eight alternatives, Al-Qur’an Al-Hakîm has challenged and silenced men and jinn, not for twenty-three years, but for one thousand three hundred and still does. Nonetheless, in those early times, those kâfirs did not have recourse to the easiest way, dispute or contest, but chose the most fearsome way, that of war, putting their lives, possessions, and families into danger. That means, to dispute it was not possible.
And so, would not any intelligent person, particularly the people of Arabia at that time -and the Quraysh, who were very clever- have ensured that one of their literary men composed a Sura similar to one of the Qur'an's and so be saved from the Qur'an's attacks; would they have abandoned the short and easy way, cast all they possessed into peril and travelled the way most fraught with difficulties?
In Short: As the famous Jahiz put it: "Dispute with words was not possible, so they were compelled to fight with the sword." The Letters ( 226 )
“KNOW, O FRIEND, that since kufr is the opposite of îmân, kâfirs are hostile to mu’mins. Thus the love of kâfirs, with whom it is impossible to establish friendship, is useless. The Qur’an condemns kâfirs and their kâfirs ancestors to Jahannam’s eternal punishment. O people of the Qur’an, do not expect them to love and help you. Say: حَسْبُنَا اللّٰهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيلُ 9 Al-Mathnawi al-Nuri (135)
“For just as self-centred man is an enemy to what is unknown to him, so too he is opposed to all that lies beyond his reach. Whereas he responds to a beauty, that deserves to be responded with an infinite love, boundless eagerness and admiration, with implicit enmity, hatred and rejection. From this, we understand the mystery of the kâfir’s enmity to Allah.” The Words ( 80 )
“For an eternal beauty (jamâl) cannot be content with an impermanent admirer, a mortal lover. Since jamâl loves itself, it desires love in return for its love. Transience and impermanence transform such love into enmity. If man was not going to go to eternity and remain there permanently, in place of his innate love of eternal jamâl there would be enmity.
As is described in a footnote in the Tenth Word, one time a celebrated beauty expelled a lover from her presence, whereupon his love turned into enmity and in order to console himself, he said: "Ugh! How ugly she is!", thus insulting and denying her jamâl.
Indeed, man is hostile to what is unknown to him in the same way that he quite simply wishes to be hostile to and discover the faults of things he cannot obtain or possess. Since, as the whole universe testifies, the True Mahbub and Absolutely Jamîl causes man to love Himself through Asmâ Al-Husnâ, which are altogether exquisite, and desires man to love Him, then most certainly He would not endow man who is both His beloved and His lover with a fıtrî enmity and cause him to be vexed with Himself from afar; He would not endow man's rûh with a hidden enmity which would be altogether contrary to man's fitrah, who is by his fitrah the most lovable and loving creature and the most exceptional that He has created for ‘ibâdah. For man would only be able to cure the deep wounds caused by eternal separation from an Absolutely Jamâl that he loves and whose value he appreciates through enmity towards it, being vexed with, and denying it.
It is from this point that the enmity towards Allah of the kâfirs arises.” The Flashes ( 459 )
O man and jinn, proud and obstinate within your baseness, and obdurate and refractory within your weakness and poverty!
How are you so bold as to oppose with your rebellion the commands of a Sultân so Glorious that the stars, moons, and suns obey His commands like soldiers under orders? Through your defiance, you contest a Hâkim Zuljalâl Who has obedient soldiers so awesome that, if to suppose the impossible your shaytans could withstand them, they would drive them off with cannon-balls the size of mountains.
And with your kufr, you revolt in the realm of a Mâlik Zuljalâl Who has ‘abds and troops so fearsome, it is not insignificant impotent creatures like you, if you were each kâfir enemies the size of mountains or the earth, they would be able to hurl stars, flaming projectiles, and molten metal the size of mountains or the earth at you, and rout you.
And you break a law that is such that those bound by it could if necessary strike your earth in your face, and rain down on you stars like cannon-balls the size of your globe.
The Words ( 196 )
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
2 (In Turkish ostrich is called “camel-bird”)
5 (Judgement is made according to the majority)
6 (The People of the Book know Him (asm) as they know their own sons.) (2:146)
7 (Qur'an, 3:61- 3:93)
8 (Muhammad the Trustworthy)
9 (Allah is sufficient for us. What a good guardian and good helper He is.)