The Eleventh Letter offers a spiritual drug against the delusion of Satan by interpreting the verse "feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan". (an-Nisa: 76)
The Eleventh Letter
In His Name,
And there is nothing but it glorifies Him with praise.
[This letter forms a significant remedy and points out four small gems from the treasuries of four verses.]
My Dear Brother!
The All-Wise Qur’an taught my soul these four different matters at various times. I am writing them now so that those of my brothers who wish may also receive instruction or a share of them. With regard to subject matter, each has been shown as a sample, a small jewel, from the treasuries of truths of four different verses. Each of the four topics has a different form and a different benefit.
Indeed the wiles of Satan are weak.1
O my soul which despairs at doubts and scruples! The association of ideas and imaginings, suppositions, that occur to one are a sort of involuntary expression or depiction. If it arises from good and luminosity, the qualities of such a depiction and reality pass to an extent to its form and image. Like the sun’s light and heat pass to its image in a mirror. If the depiction is of something evil and dense, the qualities and decree of the original cannot pass to its form and spread to its image. For example, the reflected form in a mirror of something unclean and corrupt is neither unclean nor corrupt. Nor can a snake’s image bite.
As a consequence, to imagine unbelief is not unbelief, and to imagine abuse is not abuse. Particularly if it is involuntary and is a hypothetical assumption that occurs to one, it is altogether harmless. Furthermore, according to the Sunni school (Ahl al-Sunna wa’l-Jama‘a), the badness or uncleanness of a thing according to the Shari‘a is because it is prohibited by Allah. Since such things are involuntary associations of ideas, imaginings that occur to one without one’s consent, prohibitions do not concern them. However ugly and unclean a form they take, they are not ugly and unclean.
This was a fruit of the Pine, Cedar, and Black Poplar trees of Tepelice in the mountains of Barla, which, since it has been included in The Words, has not been repeated here.
The two following matters are part of the examples given in the Twenty-Fifth Word showing the impotence of present-day civilization before the miraculousness of the Qur’an. They are two examples out of thousands proving how unjust is the law of present-day civilization, which opposes the Qur’an:
Just as the Qur’anic decree,
And for the man a portion equal of that of two women2
is pure justice, so too is it pure compassion. Yes, it is justice, for the overwhelming majority of men take a wife and undertake to provide for her. As for women, they take a husband and load their livelihood on him, and this makes up for the deficiency in what they have inherited. It is also mercy, for a weak girl is greatly in need of kindness from her father and brothers. The Qur’an decrees that she receives kindness from her father without worry. Her father does not consider her anxiously, thinking of her as “a harmful child due to whom half of his wealth will pass to the hands of a stranger.” Anxiety and anger are not mixed with his kindness. She also receives her brother’s kindness and protection free of rivalry and jealousy. He does not consider her “as a rival who will destroy half the family and give an important part of our property to someone else.” There will be no resentment and hostility mixed with his feeling of compassion and protection towards her. Thus, the girl, who is delicate and weak by nature, is apparently deprived of a small part, but in place of it she gains inexhaustible wealth in the form of the compassion and kindness of those close to her. Also, to give her more than her due with the idea of being more merciful to her than Divine Mercy, is not kindness, but a great wrong. Indeed, the savage greed of the present time, which recalls the appalling tyranny of burying girl children alive in the Age of Ignorance due to savage jealousy, may possibly open the way to merciless wickedness. Like this one, all Qur’anic rulings confirm the decree,
And we did not send you but as a Mercy to all the worlds.3
And to the mother, a sixth.4
This low civilization has caused an injustice by giving daughters more than their due, and it perpetrates an even greater injustice by not giving the mother what is her right. Yes, the compassion of mothers is a most sweet, subtle, and lovely manifestion of dominical mercy, and among the truths of the universe, is one most worthy of respect and reverence. A mother is so generous, so compassionate, so self-sacrificing a friend that driven by her compassion she will sacrifice all her world, her life, and her comfort for her child. A timid hen, even, the simplest and lowest level of motherhood, will cast herself at a dog and attack a lion in order to protect her young, through a tiny manifestation of that compassion.
And so, to deprive a mother, who is the bearer of such an honourable and elevated truth, of the property of her child is an appalling injustice, a most savage lack of respect, a compounded wrongful insult, an ingratitude for bounties, that causes the Divine Throne of Mercy to tremble and adds poison to a most brilliant and benefical cure for man’s social life. If those human monsters who claim to love humanity cannot understand this, for sure true humans can. They know that the All-Wise Qur’an’s command of,
And to the mother a sixth,
is pure truth and pure justice.
The Enduring One, He is the Enduring One!
S a i d N u r s i
1. Qur’an, 4:76.
2. Qur’an, 4:176.
3. Qur’an, 21:107.
4. Qur’an, 4:11.
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The Twelfth Letter explains why Adam was expelled from Paradise, why some people will go to Hell, why Satan and evil things were created, and why calamities and tribulations are inflicted on even the innocent people and animals.
- Second Radiance: The continuing youth of the Qur'an in every age; its rules and laws are ageless; a comparison between the civilization of the Qur'an and human civilization.
- Twenty-First Letter: It explains the importance of treating one’s old parents or relatives compassionately and mercifully.
- Third Stopping-Place: The point of views of the people of misguidance and the people of guidance on the worldly life.
- Third Aim: The explanation of verses such as “The Best of Creators” and “The Most Compassionate of the Compassionate” and the answer to the question about the perfection of the Creator of all the worlds.
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- Gleams: Flowers from the Seeds of Reality. A short ‘Mathnawi’ and collection on the subject of belief for the Risale-i Nur students.
- First Topic: It emphasizes the importance of brotherhood and love among Muslims. It explains with a persuasive style how damaging rancor and enmity are from the point of view of both Islam and social, individual and spiritual life.
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