Well, you're assuming a "virgin birth" requires male penetration, which of course leads to further questions . . .
Also not very original; there were various gods prior to JC who achieved birth on earth sans sex, by hook or by crook, nudge nudge wink wink. They didn't have modern toilet seats then either, so this is the deepest of mysteries!
How about this for size?
We can not be utterly certain of the non-existence of any insane and contrived story so who gives a fuck if it there is some incalculable allowance for its coincidence with the story?
I am 100% sure, that if there is some kind of creator, it is not one described in any of the 'holy' texts through out the world.
I have not heard or read this Sagan piece before. It is powerful and so very timely. Thank you for sharing.
How would you like to be addressed? Visvakarman Svetasvatara-Upanish seems so formal!
You can just call me V if you'd prefer lol.
O man! You should be aware that there are certain phrases which are commonly used and imply unbelief. The believers also use them, but without realizing their implications. We shall explain three of the most important of them.
The First: “Causes create this.”
The Second: “It forms itself; it comes into existence and later ceases to exist.” The Third: “It is natural; nature necessitates and creates it.”
Indeed, since beings exist and this cannot be denied, and since each being comes into existence in a wise and artistic fashion, and since each is not outside time but is being continuously renewed, then, O falsifier of the truth, you are bound to say either that the causes in the world create beings, for example, this animal; that is to say, it comes into existence through the coming together of causes, or that it forms itself, or that its coming into existence is a requirement and necessary effect of nature, or that it is created through the power of One All-Powerful and All-Glorious. Since reason can find no way apart from these four, if the first three are definitely proved to be impossible, invalid and absurd, the way of divine unity, which is the fourth way, will necessarily and self-evidently and without doubt or suspicion, be proved true.
THE FIRST WAY
This to imagine that the formation and existence of things, creatures, occurs through the coming together of causes in the universe. We shall mention only three of its numerous impossibilities.
Imagine there is a pharmacy in which are found hundreds of jars and phials filled with quite different substances. A living potion and a living remedy are required from those medicaments. So we go to the pharmacy and see that they are to be found there in abundance, yet in great variet y. We examine each of the potions and see that the ingredients have been taken in varying but precise amounts from each of the jars and phials, one ounce from this, three from that, seven from the next, and so on. If one ounce too much or too little had been taken, the potion would not have been living and would not have displayed its special quality. Next, we study the living remedy. Again, the ingredients have been taken from the jars in a particular measure so that if even the most minute amount too much or too little had been taken, the remedy would have lost its special property.
Now, although the jars number more than fifty, the ingredients have been taken from each according to measures and amounts that are all different. Is it in any way possible or probable that the phials and jars should have been knocked over by a strange coincidence or sudden gust of wind and that only the precise, though different, amounts that had been taken from each of them should have been spilt, and then arranged themselves and come together to form the remedy? Is there anything more superstitious, impossible and absurd than this? If an ass could speak, it would say: “I cannot accept this idea!”, and would gallop off!
Similarly, each living being may be likened to the living potion in the comparison, and each plant to a living remedy. For they are composed of matter that has been taken in most precise measure from truly numerous and truly various substances. If these are attributed to causes and the elements and it is claimed, “Causes created these,” it is unreasonable, impossible and absurd a hundred times over, just as it was to claim that the potion in the pharmacy came into existence through the phials being knocked over; by accident.
I n S h o r t : The vital substances in this vast pharmacy of the universe, which are measured on the scales of divine determining and decree of the All-Wise and Pre- Eternal One, can only come into existence through a boundless wisdom, infinite knowledge and all-encompassing will. The unfortunate person who declares that they are the work of blind, deaf and innumerable elements and causes and natures, which stream like floods; and the foolish, delirious person who claims that that wondrous remedy poured itself out when the phials were knocked over and formed itself, are certainly unreasonable and nonsensical. Indeed, such denial and unbelief is a senseless absurdity.
If everything is not attributed to the All-Powerful and All-Glorious One, who is the Single One of Unity, and is attributed to causes, it necessitates that many of the elements and causes present in the universe intervene in the being of every animate creature. Whereas that different and mutually opposing and conflicting causes should come together of their own accord in complete order, with the finest balance and in perfect concord in the being of a tiny creature, like a fly, is such an obvious impossibility that anyone with even an iota of consciousness would say: “This is impossible; it could not be!”
The tiny body of a fly is connected with most of the elements and causes in the universe; indeed, it is a summary of them. If it is not attributed to the Pre-Eternal and All-Powerful One, it is necessary for those material causes to be themselves present in the immediate vicinity of the fly; rather, for them all to enter into its tiny body; and even for them to enter each of the cells of its eyes, which are minute samples of its body. For if a cause is of a material nature, it is necessary for it to be present in the immediate vicinity of, and inside, its effect. And this necessitates accepting that the constituents and elements of the universe are physically present inside that minute cell, a place too small even for the tip of its antenna, and that they work there in harmony like a master.
A way such as this, then, shames even the most foolish of the Sophists.
It is an established rule that, “If a being has unit y, it can only have issued from a single being, from one hand.” Particularly if it displays a comprehensive life within a perfect order and sensitive balance, it demonstrates self-evidently that it did not issue from numerous hands, which are the cause of conflict and confusion, but that it issued from a single hand that is All-Powerful and All-Wise. Therefore, to attribute such a well-ordered and well-balanced being which has unity to the jumbled hands of innumerable, lifeless, ignorant, aggressive, unconscious, chaotic, blind and deaf natural causes, the blindness and deafness of which increase with their coming together and intermingling among the ways of numberless possibilities, is as unreasonable as accepting innumerable impossibilities all at once. If we leave this impossibility aside and assume that material causes have effects, these effects can only occur through direct contact and touch. However, the contact of natural causes is with the exteriors of living beings. And yet we see that the interiors of such beings, where the hands of material causes can neither reach nor touch, are ten times more delicate, well-ordered and perfect as regards art than their exteriors. Therefore, although tiny animate creatures, on which the hands and organs of material causes can in no way be situated, indeed they cannot touch the creatures’ exteriors all at once even, are more strange and wonderful as regards their art and creation than the largest creatures, to attribute them to those lifeless, unknowing, crude, distant, vast, conflicting, deaf and blind causes can result only from a deafness and blindness compounded to the number of animate beings.
THE SECOND WAY
This is expressed by the phrase “It forms itself.” It too involves many impossibilities and is absurd and impossible in many aspects. We shall explain three examples of these impossibilities.
O you obstinate denier! Your egotism has made you so stupid that somehow you decide to accept a hundred impossibilities all at once. For you yourself are a being and not some simple substance that is inanimate and unchanging. You resemble an extremely well-ordered machine that is constantly being renewed and a wonderful palace that is undergoing continuous change. Particles are working unceasingly in your body. Your body has a connection and mutual relations with the universe, in particular with regard to sustenance and the perpetuation of the species, and the particles that work within it are careful not to spoil that relationship nor to break the connection. In this cautious manner they set about their work, as though taking the whole universe into account. Seeing your relationships within it, they take up their positions accordingly. And you benefit with your external and inner senses in accordance with the wonderful positions that they take.
If you do not accept that the particles in your body are tiny officials in motion in accordance with the law of the Pre-Eternal and All-Powerful One, or that they are an army, or the nibs of the pen of divine determining with each particle as the nib of a pen, or that they are points inscribed by the pen of power with each particle being a point, then in every particle working in your eye there would have to be an eye such as could see every limb and part of your body as well as the entire universe, with which you are connected. In addition to this, you would have to ascribe to each particle an intelligence equivalent to that of a hundred geniuses, sufficient to know and recognize all your past and your future, and your forbears and descendants, the origins of all the elements of your being, and the sources of all your sustenance.
To attribute the knowledge and intelligence of a thousand Plato’s to a single particle of one such as you who does not possess even a particle’s worth of intelligence in matters of this kind is a crazy superstition a thousand times over!
Your being resembles a thousand-domed wondrous palace in which the stones stand together in suspension and without support. Indeed, your being is a thousand times more wonderful than such a palace, for the palace of your being is being renewed continuously in perfect order. Leaving aside your truly wonderful spirit, heart and other subtle faculties, each member of your body resembles a single-domed part of the palace. Like the stones of a dome, the particles stand together in perfect balance and order demonstrating the eye and the tongue, for example, each to be a wondrous building, extraordinary work of art, and miracle of power.
If these particles were not officials dependent on the command of the master
architect of the universe, then each would have to be both absolutely dominant over all the other particles in the body and absolutely subordinate to each of them; and both equal to each and, with regard to its dominant position, opposed; and both the origin and source of most of the attributes that pertain only to the Necessarily Existent One, and extremely restricted; and both in absolute form, and in the form of a perfectly ordered individual artefact that could only, through the mystery of unity, be the work of the Single One of Unity.
Anyone with even a particle of intelligence would understand what an obvious impossibility this is; to attribute such an artefact to those particles.
If your being is not ‘written’ by the pen of the Pre-Eternal and All-Powerful One, who is the Single One of Unity, and is instead ‘printed’ by nature and causes, there would have to be printing-blocks in nature not only to the number of cells in your body, but to the number of their thousands of combinations, which are arranged in concentric circles. For if this book, for example, which we hold in our hand is written, a single pen may write it relying on the knowledge of its writer. If, on the other hand, it is not written and is not attributed to its writer’s pen, and if it is said that it exists of its own accord or it is ascribed to nature, then, as a printed book, it would be necessary for there to be a different iron pen for each letter so that it could be printed. In a printing-press there have to be pieces of type to the number of letters in the alphabet so the letters in the book come into existence by means of them; pens to the number of those letters being necessary in place of a single pen.
As may be seen, sometimes a whole page is written in a single large letter from among those letters with a small pen in fine script, in which case a thousand pens would be necessary for one letter. Rather, if it took the form of your body, with all its components one within the other in concentric circles, there would have to be printing-blocks in each circle, for each component, to the number of the combinations that they form.
Now, see, if you claim this, which involves a hundred impossibilities, to be possible, then again if they are not attributed to a single pen, for those well-ordered, artistic pieces of type, faultless printing-blocks and iron pens to be made, further pens, printing-blocks and letters to the same number as themselves would be necessary. And they too would have to have been made; and they too would have to have been well-ordered and artistically fashioned. And so on. It would carry on in succession ad infinitum.
There, you too understand! This way of thinking is such that it involves impossibilites and superstitions to the number of particles in your body. O denier of God! See this, and quit the way of misguidance!
THE THIRD WAY
“Nature necessitates it; nature makes it.” This statement contains many impossibilities. We shall mention three of them by way of examples.
If the art and creativity, which are discerning and wise, to be seen in beings and particularly in animate beings are not attributed to the pen of divine determining and power of the Pre-Eternal Sun, and instead are attributed to nature and force, which are blind, deaf and unthinking, it becomes necessary that nature either should have present in everything machines and printing-presses for their creation, or should include in everything power and wisdom enough to create and administer the universe. The reason for this is as follows:
The sun’s manifestations and reflections appear in all small fragments of glass
and droplets on the face of the earth. If those miniature, reflected imaginary suns are not ascribed to the sun in the sky, it is necessary to accept the external existence of an actual sun in every tiny fragment of glass smaller than a match-head, which possesses the sun’s qualities and which, though small in size, bears profound meaning; and therefore to accept actual suns to the number of pieces of glass.
In exactly the same way, if beings and animate creatures are not attributed directly to the manifestation of the Pre-Eternal Sun’s names, it becomes necessary to accept that in each being, and especially animate beings, there lies a nature, a force, or quite simply a god that will sustain an infinite power and will, and knowledge and wisdom. Such an idea is the most absurd and superstitious of all the impossibilities in the universe. It demonstrates that a man who attributes the art of the Creator of the universe to imaginary, insignificant, unconscious nature is without a doubt less conscious of the truth than an animal.
If beings, which are most well-ordered and well-measured, wise and artistically fashioned, are not ascribed to One who is infinitely powerful and wise and instead are attributed to nature, there has to be present in every bit of soil as many factories and printing-presses as there are in Europe so that each bit of soil can be the means for the growth and formation of innumerable flowers and fruits, of which it is the place of origin and workshop. The seeds of flowers are sown in turn in a bowl of soil, which performs the duty of a flower-pot for them. An ability is apparent in the bowl of soil that will give shapes and forms which differ greatly from one another to all the flowers sown in it. If that ability is not attributed to the All-Glorious and All-Powerful One, such a situation could not occur without there being in the bowlful of soil immaterial, different and natural machines for each flower.
This is because the matter of which seeds, like sperm and eggs for example, consists is the same. That is, they consist of an orderless, formless, paste-like mixture of oxygen, hydrogen, carbon and nitrogen. Together with this, since air, water, heat and light also are each simple, unconscious and flow against everything in floods, the fact that the all-different forms of those flowers emerge from the soil in a most well- ordered and artistic fashion self-evidently and necessarily requires that there are present in the soil in the bowl immaterial, miniature printing-presses and factories to the number of presses and factories in Europe so that they could weave this great number of living fabrics and thousands of various embroidered textiles.
So you can see how far the unbelieving thought of the Naturalists has deviated
from the realm of reason. And although brainless pretenders who imagine nature to be creator claim to be men of science and reason, see just how distant from reason and science is their thought, so that they have taken a superstition that is in no way possible, that is impossible, as a way for themselves. See this and laugh at them!
I f y o u a s k : If such extraordinary impossibilities and insurmountable difficulties occur when beings are attributed to nature, how are those difficulties removed when they are attributed to the Single and Eternally Besought One? And how is the difficult impossibility transformed into that easy necessity?
T h e A n s w e r : We saw in the First Impossibility that the manifestation of the sun’s reflection displays its radiance and effect through miniature imaginary suns with complete ease and lack of trouble in everything from the minutest inanimate particle to the surface of the vastest ocean. If each particle’s relationship with the sun is severed, it becomes necessary to accept that the external existence of an actual sun could subsist, with a difficulty at the level of impossibility, in each of those minute particles.
Similarly, if each being is ascribed directly to the Single Eternally Besought One, everything necessary for each being can be conveyed to it through a connection and manifestation with an ease and facility that is at the level of necessity. If the connection is severed and each being reverts from its position as an official to being without duties, and is left to nature and its own devices, it becomes necessary to suppose that, with a hundred thousand difficulties and obstacles that reach the degree of impossibility, blind nature possesses within it the power and wisdom to create and administer the universe so that it might bring into existence the wonderful machine of the being of an animate creature like a fly, which is a tiny index of the universe. This is impossible not just once but thousands of times over.
I n S h o r t : Just as it is impossible and precluded for the Necessarily Existent One to have any partner or like in respect of His Essence, so too is the interference of others in His dominicality and in His creation of beings impossible and precluded.
As for the difficulties involved in the Second Impossibility, as is proved in many parts of the Risale-i Nur, if all things are attributed to the Single One of Unity, all things become as easy and trouble-free as a single thing. Whereas if they are attributed to causes and nature, a single thing becomes as difficult as all things. This has been demonstrated with numerous, decisive proofs and a summary of one of them is as follows.
If a man is connected to the king by being a soldier or an official, by reason of the
strength of the connection he may perform duties far exceeding his individual strength. He may, on occasion, capture another king in the name of his own king. For he himself does not carry the equipment and sources of strength necessary to carry out the duties and work he performs, nor is he compelled to do so. By reason of the connection, the king’s treasuries, and the army, which is behind him and is his point of support, carry his equipment and sources of strength. That is to say, the duties he performs may be as grand as the business of a king, and as tremendous as the actions of an army.
Indeed, through being an official, an ant destroyed Pharaoh’s palace; through the connection, a fly killed Nimrod off; and through the connection, the seed of a pine the size of a grain of wheat produces all the parts of a huge pine-tree.2
If the connection is severed and the man discharged from his duties as an official, he will be compelled to carry the equipment and sources of strength necessary for his work himself. He will then only be able to perform duties commensurate with the sources of strength and ammunition he is able to carry. If he is required in this situation to carry out his duties with the extreme ease of the first situation, it will be necessary to load on his back the sources of an army’s strength and the arsenals and munitions factories of a king. Even clowns who invent stories and superstitions to make people laugh would be ashamed at this fanciful idea.
2 Yes, through this connection, the seed receives an order from divine determining and displays those wonderful duties. If the connection were to be severed, the creation of the seed would require more equipment, power and art than the creation of the mighty pine-tree. For it would be necessary for the pine-tree out there on the mountain, which is the work of divine power, to be physically present together with all its limbs and parts in what is only the potential tree within the seed and is the work of divine determining. For the mighty tree’s factory is the seed. The determined, potential tree within it becomes manifest in the external world through divine power and becomes a physical pine-tree.
I n S h o r t : To attribute all beings to the Necessarily Existent One is so easy as to be necessary, while to attribute their creation to nature is so difficult as to be impossible and outside the realm of reason.
The following two comparisons, which are included in other parts of the Risale-i
Nur, explain this impossibility.
A wild savage entered a palace which had been built in an empty desert and completed and adorned with all the fruits of civilization. He cast an eye over its interior and saw thousands of well-proportioned and artistically fashioned objects. Out of his boorishness and lack of intelligence, he said: “No one from outside had a hand in this, one of the objects from inside must have made this palace together with all of its contents,” and he started to investigate. But it did not appear possible even to his untaught intelligence that anything he had looked at could have made those things.
Later, he saw a notebook in which had been written the plan and programme of
the palace’s construction, an index of its contents and the rules of its administration. For sure, the notebook too, which was without hand, eye, or implement, like the rest of the objects in the palace, was completely lacking the ability to construct and decorate the palace. But since he saw that in comparison with all the other things, the notebook was related to the whole palace by reason of its including all its theoretical laws, he was obliged to say: “There, it is this notebook that has organized, ordered and adorned the palace, and has fashioned all these objects and set them in their places.” He transformed his uncouthness into ludicrous jabber.
Thus, exactly like this comparison, a boor who subscribed to Naturalist thought, which denies God, entered the palace of the universe, which is infinitely more well- ordered, more perfect and everywhere full of miraculous instances of wisdom than the palace in the comparison. Not thinking that it was the work of art of the Necessarily Existent One, who is outside the sphere of contingency, and shunning that idea, he saw a collection of the laws of divine practice and an index of dominical art, which are like a slate for writing and erasing of divine determining in the sphere of contingency, and like a constantly changing notebook for the laws of the functioning of divine power, and are extremely mistakenly and erroneously given the name‘nature,’ and he said:
“These things require a cause and nothing else appears to have the relationship with everything that this notebook has. It is true that reason will in no way accept that this unseeing, unconscious and powerless notebook could carry out this creation, which is the work of an absolute dominicality and requires infinite power. But since I do not recognize the Eternal Maker, the most plausible explanation is to say the notebook made it, and makes it, so I shall say that.” To which we reply:
You mistaken unfortunate! Your foolishness exceeds anything imaginable! Lift your head out of the swamp of nature and look beyond yourself! See an All-Glorious Maker to whom all beings from particles to planets testify with their different tongues and to whom they point with their fingers! Behold the manifestation of the Pre- Eternal Inscriber, who fashions the palace and who writes its programme in the notebook! Study His decree, listen to the Qur’an! Be delivered from your delirious raving!
Second Comparison: A rustic bumpkin entered the bounds of a splendid palace and saw there the uniform actions of an extremely well-disciplined army carrying out its drill. He observed a battalion, a regiment and a division stand to attention, stand at ease and march, and open fire when commanded as though they were a single private. Since his rude, uncultured mind could not comprehend, so denied, that a commander had been given command by the country’s laws and by royal decree, he imagined that the soldiers were attached to one another with strings. He thought of what wonderful string it must be, and was amazed.
Later, he continued on his way till he came upon a mosque as magnificent as Aya Sophia. He entered it at the time of Friday prayer and watched the congregation of Muslims rising, bowing, prostrating and sitting at the sound of man’s voice. Since he did not understand the Shari‘a, which consists of a collection of immaterial, revealed laws, nor the immaterial rules proceeding from the Lawgiver’s command, he fancied the congregation to be bound to one another by physical string, and that this wonderful string had subjected them and was making them move like puppets. Coming up with this idea, which is so ridiculous as to make the most ignorant roar with laughter, he went on his way.
Exactly like this comparison, an atheist who subscribed to materialist thought,
which is denial and pure brutishness, entered the universe, which is a splendid barracks of the Monarch of Pre-Eternity and Post-Eternity for His innumerable forces, and a well-ordered mosque of that Pre-Eternal All-Worshipped One. He imagined the immaterial laws of the ordering of the universe, which proceed from the Pre-Eternal Monarch’s wisdom, each to have material and physical existence; and supposed the theoretical laws of the sovereignty of dominicality, and the rules and ordinances of the Greater Shari‘a, the Shari‘a of Creation, which are immaterial and exist only as knowledge, each to have external, material and physical existence. But to set up in place of divine power those laws, which proceed from the divine attributes of knowledge and speech and only exist as knowledge, and to attribute creation to them; then to attach the name ‘nature’ to them, and to deem force, which is merely a manifestation of dominical power, to be an independent almighty possessor of power, is a thousand times more low-fallen ignorance than the ignorance in the comparison.
I n S h o r t : The imaginary and insubstantial thing that Naturalists call nature, if it has an external reality, can at the very most be work of art; it cannot be the Artist. It is an embroidery, and cannot be the Embroiderer. It is a set of decrees; it cannot be the Issuer of the decrees. It is a body of the laws of creation, and cannot be the Lawgiver. It is but a created screen to the dignity of God, and cannot be the Creator. It is passive and created, and cannot be a Creative Maker. It is a law, not a power, and cannot possess power. It is the recipient, and cannot be the source.
To Conclude: Since beings exist, and as was stated at the beginning of this treatise, reason cannot think of a way to explain the existence of beings apart from the four mentioned, three of which were decisively proved through three clear impossibilities to be invalid and absurd, then necessarily and self-evidently the way of divine unity, which is the fourth way, is proved in a conclusive manner. The fourth way, in accordance with the verse quoted at the beginning:
Is there any doubt about God, Creator of the heavens and the earth?
demonstrates clearly so that there can be no doubt or hesitation the Divinity of the Necessarily Existent One, and that all things issue directly from the hand of His power, and that the heavens and the earth are under His sway.
O you unfortunate worshipper of causes and nature! Since the nature of each thing, like all things, is created, for it is full of art and is being constantly renewed, and, like the effect, the apparent cause of each thing is also created; and since for each thing to exist there is need for much equipment and many tools; there must exist a Possessor of Absolute Power who creates the nature and brings the cause into existence. And that Absolutely Powerful One is in no need of impotent intermediaries to share in His dominicality and creation. God forbid! He creates cause and effect together directly. In order to demonstrate His wisdom and the manifestation of His names, by establishing an apparent causal relationship and connection through order and sequence, He makes causes and nature a veil to the hand of His power so that the apparent faults, severities and defects in things should be ascribed to them, and in this way His dignity be preserved.
Is it easier for a watch-maker to make the cog-wheels of a clock, and then arrange them and put them in order to form the clock? Or is it easier for him to make a wonderful machine in each of the cog-wheels, and then leave the making of the clock to the lifeless hands of those machines? Is that not beyond the bounds of possibility? Come on, you judge with your unfair reason, and say!
And is it easier for a scribe to collect ink, pen and paper, and then using them proceed to write out a book himself? Or is it easier for him to create in the paper, pen and ink a writing-machine that requires more art and trouble than the book, and can be used only for that book, and then tell the unconscious machine: “Come on, you write it!”, and himself not interfere? Is that not a hundred times more difficult than writing it himself?
I f y o u s a y : Yes, it is a hundred times more difficult to create a machine that
writes a book rather than writing it out oneself. But is it not in a way easier, because the machine is a means of producing numerous copies of the same book?
T h e A n s w e r : Through His limitless power, the Pre-Eternal Inscriber continuously renews the infinite manifestations of His names so as to display them in ever-differing ways. And through this constant renewal, He creates the identities and special features in things in such a manner that no missive of the Eternally Besought One or dominical book can be the same as any other book. In any case, each will have different features in order to express different meanings.
If you have eyes, look at the human face: you will see that from the time of Adam until today, indeed, until post-eternity, together with the conformity of its essential organs, each face has a distinguishing mark in relation to all the others; this is a definite fact. Therefore, each face may be thought of as a different book. Only, for the artwork to be set out, different writing-sets, arrangements, and compositions are required. And in order to both collect and situate the materials, and to include everything necessary for the existence of each, a completely different workshop will be required.
Now, knowing it to be impossible, we thought of nature as a printing-press. But apart from the composition and printing, which concern the printing-press, that is, setting up the type in a specific order, the substances that form an animate being’s body, the creation of which is a hundred times more difficult than that of the composition and ordering, must be created in specific proportions and particular order, brought from the furthest corners of the cosmos, and placed in the hands of the printing-press. But in order to do all these things, there is still need for the power and will of the Absolutely Powerful One, who creates the printing-press. That is to say, this hypothesis of the printing-press is a totally meaningless superstition.
Thus, like the comparisons of the clock and the book, the All-Glorious Maker, who is powerful over all things, has created causes, and so too does He create the effects. Through His wisdom, He ties the effect to the cause. Through His will, He has determined a manifestation of the Greater Shari‘a, the Shari‘a of Creation, which consists of the divine laws concerning the ordering of all motion in the universe, and determined the nature of beings, which is only to be a mirror to that manifestation in things, and to be a reflection of it. And through His power, He has created the face of that nature which has received external existence, and has created things on that nature, and has mixed them one with the other.
Is it easier to accept this fact, which is the conclusion of innumerable most
rational proofs – in fact, is one not compelled to accept it? – or is it easier to get the physical beings that you call causes and nature, which are lifeless, unconscious, created, fashioned and simple, to provide the numberless tools and equipment necessary for the existence of each thing and to carry out those matters, which are performed wisely and discerningly? Is that not utterly beyond the bounds of possibility? We leave it to you to decide, with your unreasonable mind!
The unbelieving nature-worshipper replied: “Since you are asking me to be fair and reasonable, I have to confess that the mistaken way I have followed up to now is both a compounded impossibility, and extremely harmful and ugly. Anyone with even a grain of intelligence would understand from your analyses above that to attribute the act of creation to causes and nature is precluded and impossible, and that to attribute all things directly to the Necessarily Existent One is imperative and necessary. I say:
‘ALL PRAISE BE TO GOD FOR BELIEF,’ and I believe in Him. Only, I do have one doubt:
“I believe that Almighty God is the Creator, but what harm does it do to the sovereignty of His dominicality if some minor causes have a hand in the creation of insignificant matters and thereby gain for themselves a little praise and acclaim? Does it diminish His sovereignty in some way?”
T h e A n s w e r : As we have conclusively proved in other parts of the Risale-i Nur, the mark of rulership is its rejection of interference. The most insignficant ruler or official will not tolerate the interference of his own son, even, within the sphere of his rule. The fact that, despite being Caliph, certain devout Sultans had their innocent sons murdered on the unfounded apprehension that the sons would interfere in their rule demonstrates how fundamental is this law of the rejection of interference in rulership. And the law of prevention of participation, which the independence intrinsic to rulership necessitates, has shown its strength in the history of mankind through extraordinary upheavals whenever there have been two governors in a town or two kings in a country.
If the sense of rulership and sovereignty, which is a mere shadow in human beings, who are impotent and in need of assistance, rejects interference to this degree, prevents the intervention of others, does not accept participation in its sovereignty, and seeks to preserve the independence of its position so jealously, if you can, compare this with an All-Glorious One whose absolute sovereignty is at the degree of dominicality, whose absolute rulership at the degree of Divinity, absolute independence at the degree of oneness, and absolute lack of need at the degree of absolute power, and understand what a necessary requirement and inevitable necessity of that rulership is this rejection of interference, prevention of participation, and repulsion of partners.
Concerning the second part of your doubt, you said: “If some of the worship of some insignificant beings is directed towards certain causes, does this cause any deficiency to the worship of all beings, from particles to planets, which is directed towards the Necessarily Existent One, the Absolute Object of All Worship?”
T h e A n s w e r : The All-Wise Creator of the universe made the universe like a tree with conscious beings as its most perfect fruit, and among conscious beings He made man its most comprehensive fruit. And man’s most important fruit, indeed the result of his creation, the aim of his nature, and the fruit of his life are his thanks and worship. Would that Absolute Sovereign and Independent Ruler, that Single One of Unity, who creates the universe in order to make Himself known and loved, give away to others man, the fruit of the whole universe, and man’s thanks and worship, his most elevated fruit? Totally contrary to His wisdom, would He make vain and futile the result of creation and fruit of the universe? God forbid! Would He be content to give away the worship of creatures to others in a way that would deny His wisdom and His dominicality? And although He demonstrates through His actions that He wishes to make Himself known and loved to an unlimited degree, would he cause His most perfect creatures to forget Him by handing over to causes their thanks and gratitude, love and worship, and cause them to deny the exalted purposes in the universe?
O friend who has given up the worship of nature! Now it is for you to say! To which he replied:
“All praise be to God, these two doubts of mine have now been resolved. And your two proofs concerning divine unity which demonstrate that the only True Object of Worship is He, and that nothing other than He is worthy of worship are so brilliant and powerful that to deny them would require as much arrogance as to deny the sun and the daytime.”
The person who gave up atheistic Naturalism and came to believe said: “All praise be to God, I no longer have any doubts, but there are still a few questions about which I am curious.”
“We hear many lazy people and those who neglect the five daily prayers ask:
‘What need has God Almighty of our worship that in the Qur’an He severely and insistently reproves those who give up worship and threatens them with so a fearsome a punishment as Hell? How is it in keeping with the style of the Qur’an, which is moderate, mild and fair, to demonstrate the ultimate severity towards an insignificant, minor fault?”
T h e A n s w e r : God Almighty has no need of your worship, nor indeed of
anything else. It is you who needs to worship, for in truth you are sick. As we have proved in many parts of the Risale-i Nur, worship is a sort of remedy for your spiritual wounds. You can understand how absurd it would be if an ill person responds to a kindly doctor who insists on his taking medicines that are beneficial for his condition by saying: “What need do you have of it that you are insisting in this way?”
As for the severe threats and fearsome punishments in the Qur’an concerning the giving up of worship, they may be likened to a king who in order to protect his subjects’ rights, inflicts a severe punishment on an ordinary man in accordance with the degree that his crime infringes those rights.
In the same way, the man who gives up worship and ritual prayer is violating in a significant manner the rights of beings, who are like the subjects of the Monarch of Pre-Eternity and Post-Eternity, and is in fact acting unjustly towards them. For the perfections of beings are manifested through the glorification and worship performed by that aspect of them which is directed towards their Maker. The one who abandons worship does not and cannot see this worship. Indeed, he denies it. Furthermore, beings occupy an exalted position by reason of their worship and glorification, and each is a missive of the Eternally Besought One, and a mirror to its Sustainer’s names. Since he reduces them from their high positions and considers them to be unimportant, lifeless, aimless, and without duties, he is insulting them, and denying and transgressing their perfections.
Indeed, everyone sees the world in his own mirror. God Almight y created man as a measure and scale for the universe. And from the world He gave a particular world to each person. This world He colours for him in accordance with his sincere beliefs. For example, a despairing, lamenting, weeping person sees beings as weeping and in despair, while a cheerful, optimistic, merry person sees the universe as joyful and smiling. A reflective man given to solemn worship and glorification discovers and sees to a degree the certain, truly existent worship and glorification of beings, while a person who abandons worship through either neglect or denial sees beings in a manner totally contrary and opposed to the reality of their perfections and so transgresses their rights.
Furthermore, since the person who gives up prayer does not own himself, he
wrongs his own soul, which is a slave of its True Owner. His Owner delivers awesome threats in order to protect His slave’s rights from his evil-commanding soul. Also, since he has given up worship, which is the result of his creation and the aim of his nature, it is like an act of aggression against divine wisdom and dominical will, and he therefore receives punishment.
I n S h o r t : The abandoner of worship both wrongs his own soul, which is the slave and totally owned property of Almighty God, and wrongs and transgresses the rights of the perfections of the universe. Certainly, just as unbelief is an insult to beings, so is the abandonment of worship a denial of the universe’s perfections. And since it is an act of aggression against divine wisdom, it is deserving of awesome threats and severe punishment.
Thus, it is to express this deservedness and the above facts that the Qur’an of Miraculous Exposition chooses in a miraculous way that severe st yle, which, in complete conformity with the principles of eloquence, corresponds to the requirements of the situation.
The person who had given up Naturalism and come to believe next asked:
“It is indeed a vast truth that each being is dependent on divine will and dominical power in every aspect; in all of its functions, qualities and actions. Our narrow minds cannot comprehend this because of its vastness. However, the infinite abundance that we see around us, and the boundless ease in the creation and formation of things, and the infinite ease and facility in the way of unity, which was established through your proofs above, and the infinite ease that verses of the Qur’an like the following clearly demonstrate and expound,
The matter of the Hour shall be but as the twinkling of the eye, or even closer(16:77)
show this mighty truth to be a matter that is most acceptable and rational. What is the wisdom and secret of this ease?”
T h e A n s w e r : This matter was elucidated in a most clear, decisive and convincing fashion in the explanation of “And He is powerful over all things,” which forms the Tenth Phrase of the Twentieth Letter. And it was demonstrated even more clearly in the Addendum to that letter that when attributed to the Single Maker, all beings become as easy as a single being. If they are not attributed to that Single One of Unity, the creation of a single creature becomes as difficult as that of all beings, and a seed as problematical as a tree. When they are ascribed to their True Maker, the universe becomes as easy and trouble-free as a tree, a tree as easy as a seed, Paradise as easy as the spring, and the spring as easy as a flower. We shall now point out briefly one or two evidences that have been explained in detail in other parts of the Risale-i Nur out of the hundreds which explain the underlying reasons for and instances of wisdom in the conspicuous, boundless abundance and profusion of beings, the ease of the great number of individuals in each species, and the fact that well-ordered, artistically fashioned and valuable beings come into existence with immense speed and ease.
For example, if the command of a hundred soldiers is given to one officer, it is a
hundred times easier than if the command of one soldier is given to a hundred officers. And if to equip an army it is assigned to one headquarters, one law, one factory and the command of one king, it quite simply becomes as easy as equipping a single soldier. In the same way, if to equip one soldier it is referred to numerous headquarters, numerous factories and numerous commanders, it becomes as difficult as equipping an army. Because in order to equip a single soldier, it would require as many factories as are necessary for a whole army.
Again, since by reason of the mystery of unity, the vital necessities of a tree are provided through one root, one centre and according to one law, it produces thousands of fruits as easily as a single fruit. This is plain to see. If unity changes to multiplicit y and all the necessities vital for each fruit are provided from different places, to produce each fruit becomes as difficult as to produce the tree. And to produce a single seed, even, which is a sample and index of the tree, becomes as difficult as the tree. Because all the necessities vital for the tree’s life are necessary for the seed.
There are hundreds of examples like these which show that it is easier for thousands of beings to come into existence through unity than for a single being to come into existence through multiplicity and ascribing partners to God. Since this truth has been proved with absolute certainty in other parts of the Risale-i Nur, we refer you to them and here only explain an important reason for this ease and facilit y from the point of view of divine knowledge, divine determining, and dominical power. It is as follows:
You are a being. If you attribute yourself to the Pre-Eternal All-Powerful One, He creates you at a command through His infinite power out of nothing in an instant, like striking a match. If you do not do this and rather attribute yourself to physical causes and nature, since you are a well-ordered summary, fruit, and miniature index and list of the universe, in order to make you, it would be necessary to sift with a fine sieve the universe and its elements, and to gather in precise measure from all the corners of the universe the substances of which your body is composed. For physical causes only gather and join together. It is confirmed by people of reason that they cannot create out of nothing what is not present in them. Since this is the case, they would be compelled to collect together the body of a tiny animate being from every corner of the cosmos.
Now understand what ease there is in unity, divine unity, and what difficulties lie in misguidance and attributing partners to God!
Secondly, there is an infinite ease also with regard to divine knowledge. It is like this: divine determining is an aspect of divine knowledge; it determines a measure for each thing, which is like its particular and immaterial mould; the determined measure is like a plan or model for the thing’s being. When divine power creates, it does so with extreme ease in accordance with the determined measure. If the thing is not attributed to the All-Powerful One of Glory, who possesses all-embracing, infinite and pre-eternal knowledge, as was described above, not only thousands of difficulties appear, but hundreds of impossibilities. For if it were not for the determined measure which exists in divine knowledge, thousands of material moulds with external existences would have to be employed in the body of even a tiny animate being.
So, understand one reason for the infinite ease in unity and the endless difficulties in misguidance and ascribing partners to God. Realize what a veracious, correct, and exalted truth is stated by the verse,
The matter of the Hour shall be but as the twinkling of the eye, or even
The former enemy and now rightly-guided friend then asked: “Philosophers, who have made many advances these days, claim that nothing is created out of nothing, and nothing is annihilated and goes to nothing; there is only compostion and decomposition, and this makes the factory of the universe run. Is this correct?”
T h e A n s w e r : Since the most advanced philosophers who did not consider
beings in the light of the Qur’an saw that the formation and existence of beings by means of nature and causes was so difficult as to be impossible – in the manner proved above, they diverged into two groups.
One group became Sophists; abdicating reason, which is exclusive to human beings, and falling lower than mindless beasts, they found it easier to deny the universe’s existence and even their own existences, than to follow the way of misguidance, which claims that causes and nature have the power to create. They therefore denied both themselves and the universe and descended into absolute ignorance.
The second group saw that in misguidance, according to which causes and nature are creator, the creation of a fly or a seed, even, entails innumerable difficulties and requires a power unacceptable to reason. They were therefore compelled to deny the act of creation and to say: “Nothing can exist out of nothing.” Seeing total annihiliation also to be impossible, they declared: “What exists cannot go to nothing.” They fancied an imaginary situation in which combining and decomposition, gathering together and dispersion, occur through the motion of particles and the winds of chance.
Now, see! Those who consider themselves to be the most intelligent are the most
profoundly ignorant and stupid. Understand just how ludicrous, debased, and ignorant misguidance makes man, and take a lesson!
Indeed, a Pre-Eternal Power created the heavens and the earth in six days, ever y year creates four hundred thousand species simultaneously on the face of the earth, and in six weeks every spring constructs a living world more full of art and wisdom than the world itself. Thus, it is more foolish and ignorant than the Sophists, the first group above, to deny the act of creation and deem it unlikely that, like a chemical that when applied shows up invisible writing, Pre-Eternal Power should give external existence to beings, which, though externally non-existent, exist as knowledge, and whose plans and measures are determined in the realm of a Pre-Eternal Knowledge.
Those unfortunates are absolutely impotent and have nothing at their disposal apart from the faculty of will. Although they are inflated like Paraohs, they can neither annihilate anything nor create anything from nothing, even a minute particle. And so, although nothing comes into existence out of nothing at the hand of causes and nature on which they rely, out of their stupidity they say: “Nothing comes from non-being, and nothing goes to non-being.” And they even extend this absurd and erroneous principle to the Absolutely All-Powerful One.
Indeed, the All-Powerful One of Glory has two ways of creating:
The First is through origination and invention. That is, He brings a being into existence out of nothing, out of non-existence, and creates everything necessary for it, also out of nothing, and places those necessities in its hand.
The Second is through composition, through art. That is, He forms certain beings
out of the elements of the universe in order to demonstrate subtle instances of wisdom, such as displaying the perfections of His wisdom and the manifestations of many of His names. Through the law of providing, he sends particles and matter, which are dependent on His command, to these beings and employs the particles in them.
Yes, the Absolutely All-Powerful One creates in two ways: He both originates and He composes. To annihilate what exists and to make exist what does not exist is most simple and easy for Him. It is one of His constant and universal laws. The man, therefore, who says: “He cannot give existence to what does not exist” in the face of a power that in one spring makes exist out of nothing the forms and attributes of three hundred thousand animate creatures, and, besides their particles, all their conditions and states, such a man should himself be obliterated!
The person who gave up nature and embraced the truth said: “Praise and thanks be to God Almighty to the number of particles in existence for I have attained to complete belief. I have been saved from delusion and misguidance. Not one of my doubts remains.
“ALL PRAISE BE TO GOD FOR THE RELIGION OF ISLAM, AND COMPLETE AND PERFECT BELIEF!”
All glory be unto You! We have no knowledge save that which You have taught us; indeed, You are All-Knowing, All-Wise.(2:32)
Do your five prayers a day bring flourishing of all men and women? Does your god require beheadings and stonings as retribution? Do you think your god is the answer for all of us when we see the atrocities committed in your god's name?
I believe in free speech, freedom of individuals to pursue their self-interests as long as they do not infringe on another's rights to freedom. If there is a god, it would not look anything like yours. Spreading your god, using violence as the means, looks more like cancer to me. Your notions of god sound like a virus that spreads through sick ideas and diseased processes.
Take your god off this site. I am an atheist and I do not want to read your malignant ideas.
We need thumbs up buttons.
Anyway, if there were thumbs up buttons here I'd click it for you Joan.