A Flower of Emirdağ: The answer given to the objections for the repetitions in the Qur’an.

THE TENTH MATTER OF THE FRUITS OF BELIEF, THE ELEVENTH RAY

A Flower of Emirdag

[An extremely powerful reply to objections raised against repetition in the Qur’an.]

My Dear and Loyal Brothers!

Due to my wretched situation, this Matter is confused and graceless. But I knew definitely that beneath the confused wording was a most valuable sort of miraculousness, though unfortunately I was incapable of expressing it. But however dull the wording, since it concerns the Qur’an, it is both worship in the form of reflection, and the shell of a sacred, elevated, shining jewel. The diamond in the hand should be looked at, not its torn clothes. Also, I wrote it in one or two days during Ramadan while extremely ill, wretched, and without food, of necessity very concisely and briefly, and including many truths and numerous proofs in a single sentence. Its deficiencies, then, should be overlooked!1

My True and Loyal Brothers! While reading the Qur’an of Miraculous Exposition in Ramadan, whichever of the thirty-three verses I came to that in the First Ray describe the allusions to the Risale-i Nur, I saw that the page and story of the verse also look to the Risale-i Nur and its Students to a degree -in so far as they have a share of the story. Particularly the Light Verses in Sura al-Nur, just as they point to the Risale-i Nur with ten fingers, so the Darkness Verses following it point directly at those opposing it; these afford a further share. Quite simply, I understood that this ‘station’ rises from particularity to universality and that one part of that universality is the Risale-i Nur and its Students.

Indeed, in regard to the breadth, exaltedness, and comprehensiveness that the Qur’an’s address receives from firstly the extensive station of the universal dominicality of the Pre-Eternal Speaker, and from the extensive station of the one addressed in the name of mankind, indeed of all beings, and the most extensive station of all mankind’s guidance in all the centuries, and from the station of the most elevated comprehensive expositions of the Divine laws concerning the regulation of this world and the hereafter, the heavens and the earth, pre-eternity and post-eternity, and the dominicality of the Creator of the universe, and of all beings, this Address displays such an elevated miraculousness and comprehensiveness that both its apparent and simple level, which flatters the simple minds of ordinary people, the most numerous group the Qur’an addresses, and its highest level, partake of it.

It is as though, addressing every age and every class of people, not as one share of the story or one lesson from an historical story, but as parts of a universal principle, it is newly revealed. Particularly its often repeated threats of the wrongdoers, the wrongdoers, and its severe expositions of calamities visited on the heavens and the earth, in punishment for their wrongdoing -through these and the retribution visited on the ‘Ad and Thamud peoples and on Pharaoh- it draws attention to the unequalled wrongs of this century, and through the salvation of prophets like Abraham (PUH) and Moses (PUH) gives consolation to the oppressed believers.

Indeed, all past time and the departed ages and centuries, which in the view of heedlessness and misguidance form a fearsome place of non-existence and a grievous, ruined graveyard, the Qur’an of Miraculous Exposition shows to every century and class of people in the form of living instructive pages, strange worlds, living and endowed with spirits, and existent realms of the Sustainer which are connected with us; with an elevated miraculousness, it sometimes conveys us to those times, and sometimes brings those times to us. Infusing with life the universe, which in the view of misguidance is lifeless, wretched, dead, and a limitless wasteland revolving amid separation and decline, with the same miraculousness this same Qur’an of Mighty Stature raises to life those dead beings, makes them converse with one another as officials charged with duties and hasten to the assistance of one another; it instructs mankind, the jinn, and the angels in true, luminous, and pleasurable wisdom.

For sure, then, it gains sacred distinctions, like there being ten merits in each of its letters, and sometimes a hundred, a thousand, or thousands of merits; and if all men and jinn were to gather together, their being unable to produce the like of it; and its speaking completely appropriately with all mankind and all beings; and its all the time being inscribed with eagerness in the hearts of millions of hafizes; and its not causing weariness through its frequent and numerous repetitions; and despite its many obscure passages and sentences, its being settled perfectly in the delicate and simple heads of children; and its being agreeable like Zamzam water in the ears of the sick, the dying, and those distressed by a few words; and its gaining for its students happiness in this world and the next.

Its smoothness of style, which, observing exactly its interpreter’s being unlettered, allows for no bombast, artificiality, or affectedness, and its descending directly from the heavens, demonstrate a fine miraculousness. So too it shows a fine miraculousness in the grace and guidance of flattering the simple minds of ordinary people, the most numerous of the classes of men, through the condescension in its expression, and mostly opening the clearest and most evident pages like the heavens and earth, and teaching the wondrous miracles of power and meaningful lines of wisdom beneath those commonplace things.

By making known that it is also a book of prayer and summons, of invocation and Divine unity, which require repetition, it demonstrates a sort of miraculousness through making understood in a single sentence and a single story through its agreeable repetitions numerous different meanings to numerous different classes of people. Similarly, by making known that the most minor and unimportant things in ordinary, commonplace events are within its compassionate view and the sphere of its will and regulation, it demonstrates a sort of miraculousness in attaching importance to even the minor events of the Companions of the Prophet in the establishment of Islam and codification of the Shari‘a, and both in those minor events being universal principles, and, in the establishment of Islam and the Shari‘a, which are general, their producing most important fruits, as though they had been seeds.

With regard to repetition being necessary due to the repetition of need, the repetition of certain verses which, as answers to numerous repeated questions over a period of twenty years, instruct numerous different levels of people is not a fault, indeed, to repeat certain sentences so powerful they produce thousands of results and a number of verses resulting from countless evidences, which describe an infinite, awesome, all-embracing revolution that, by destroying utterly the vast universe and changing its shape at Doomsday, will remove the world and found the mighty hereafter in its place, and will prove that all particulars and universals from atoms to the stars are in the hand and under the disposal of a single Being, and will show the Divine wrath and dominical anger -on account of the result of the universe’s creation- at mankind's wrongdoing, which brings to anger the earth and the heavens and the elements, to repeat such verses is not a fault, but most powerful miraculousness, and most elevated eloquence; an eloquence and lucid style corresponding exactly to the requirements of the subject.

For example, as is explained in the Fourteenth Flash of the Risale-i Nur, the sentence,

In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate,

which forms a single verse and is repeated one hundred and fourteen times in the Qur’an, is a truth which binds the Divine Throne and the earth, and illuminates the cosmos, and for which everyone is in need all the time; if it was repeated millions of times, there would still be need for it. There is need and longing for it, not only every day like bread, but every moment like air and light.

And, for example, the verse,

And verily your Sustainer is Exalted in Might, Most Compassionate,

which is repeated eight times in Sura Ta. Sin. Mim.2 Repeating on account of the result of the universe’s creation and in the name of universal dominicality, the salvation of the prophets whose stories are told in the Sura, and the punishments of their peoples, in order to teach that dominical dignity requires the torments of those wrongdoing peoples while Divine compassion requires the prophets’ salvation, is a concise, miraculous, and elevated miraculousness, for which, if repeated thousands of times, there would still be need and longing.

And, for example, the verse,

Then which of the favours of your Sustainer will you deny?3

which is repeated in Sura al-Rahman, and the verse,

Woe that Day to the rejecters of truth!,

in Sura al-Mursalat4 shout out threateningly to mankind and the jinn across the centuries and the heavens and the earth, the unbelief, ingratitude, and wrongdoing of those who bring the universe and the heavens and earth to anger, spoil the results of the world’s creation, and deny and respond slightingly to the majesty of Divine rule, and aggress against the rights of all creatures. If a general lesson thus concerned with thousands of truths and of the strength of thousands of matters is repeated thousands of times, there would still be need for it and its awe-inspiring conciseness and beautiful, miraculous eloquence.

And, for example, the repetition of the phrase,

Glory be unto You! There is no god but You: Mercy! Mercy! Save us, deliver us, preserve us, from Hell-fire!

in the supplication of the Prophet (PBUH) called Jawshan al-Kabir, which is a true and authentic supplication of the Qur’an and a sort of summary proceeding from it. Since it contains the greatest truth and the most important of the three supreme duties of creatures in the face of dominicality, the glorification and praise of Allah and declaring Him to be All-Holy, and the most awesome question facing mankind, man being saved from eternal misery, and worship, the most necessary result of human impotence, if it is repeated thousands of times, it is still few.

Thus, repetition in the Qur’an looks to principles like these. Sometimes on one page, even, with regard to the requirements of the position and the need for explanation and the demands of eloquence, it expresses the truth of Divine unity perhaps twenty times explicitly and by implication. It does not cause boredom, but gives a power to it and inspires an eagerness. It has been explained in the Risale-i Nur with proofs how appropriate, fitting, and acceptable from the point of view of rhetoric are the repetitions in the Qur’an. The wisdom and meaning of the Meccan and Medinan Suras in the Qur’an of Miraculous Exposition being different in regard to eloquence, miraculousness, and detail and brevity is as follows:

In Mecca, the first line of those it was addressing and those opposed to it were the Qurayshi idolators and untaught tribesmen, so a powerful and elevated style in regard to rhetoric was necessary, and a miraculous, convincing, persuasive conciseness, and in order to establish it, repetition was required. Thus, in most of the Meccan Suras, repeating and expressing the pillars of belief and degrees in the affirmation of Divine unity with a most powerful, elevated, and miraculous conciseness, it proved so powerfully the first creation and the Resurrection, Allah and the hereafter, not only in a single page, verse, sentence or word, but sometimes in a letter, through grammatical devices like inverting the words or sentences, making a word indefinite, and omissions and inclusions, that the geniuses and leaders of the science of rhetoric met it with wonder. The Risale-i Nur, and the Twenty-Fifth Word and its Addenda in particular, which prove in summary forty aspects of the Qur’an’s miraculousness, and the Qur’anic commentary, Isharat al-I’jaz, from the Arabic Risale-i Nur, which in wondrous fashion proves the aspect of the Qur’an’s miraculousness in its word-order, have demonstrated in fact that in the Meccan Suras and verses are the highest styles of eloquence and the most elevated, concise miraculousness.

As for the Medinan Suras and verses, since the first line of those they were addressing, who opposed them, were the People of the Book, such as the Jews and Christians who affirmed God’s existence, what was required by eloquence and guidance and for the discussion to correspond to the situation, was not explanation of the high principles of religion and pillars of belief in a simple, clear, and detailed style, but the explanation of particular matters of the Shari‘a and its injunctions, which were the cause of dispute, and the origins and causes of secondary matters and general laws. Thus, in the Medinan Suras and verses, through explanations in a detailed, clear, simple style, in the matchless manner of exposition peculiar to the Qur’an, it mostly mentions within those particular secondary matters, a powerful and elevated summary; a conclusion and proof, a sentence relating to Divine unity, belief, or the hereafter which makes the particular matter of the Shari‘a universal and ensures that it conforms to belief in Allah. It illuminates the passage, and elevates it. The Risale-i Nur has proved the qualities and fine points and elevated eloquence in the summaries and conclusions, which express Divine unity and the hereafter, and come mostly at the end of verses, like:

Indeed, Allah is Powerful over all things. * Verily Allah has knowledge of all things. * And He is the Mighty, the Wise. * And He is Exalted in Might, Most Compassionate.

In explaining in the Second Beam of the Second Light of the Twenty-Fifth Word, ten out of the many fine points of those summaries and conclusions, it has proved to the obstinate that they contain a supreme miracle.

Yes, in expounding those secondary matters of the Shari‘a and laws of social life, the Qur’an at once raises the views of those it addresses to elevated and universal points, and transforming a simple style into an elevated one and instruction in the Shari‘a to instruction in Divine unity, it shows it is both a book of law and commands and wisdom, and a book of the tenets of faith and belief, and of invocation and reflection and summons. And through teaching many of the aims of Qur’anic guidance in every passage, it displays a brilliant and miraculous eloquence different to that of the Meccan Suras.

Sometimes in two words, for example, in Sustainer of All the Worlds and Your Sustainer, through the phrase, Your Sustainer, it expresses Divine oneness, and through, Sustainer of All the Worlds, Divine unity. It expresses the Divine oneness within Divine unity. In a single sentence even it sees and situates a particle in the pupil of an eye, and with the same verse, the same hammer, it situates the sun in the sky, making it an eye to the sky. For example, after the verse,

Who created the heavens and the earth,

following the verse,

He merges the night into the day, and He merges the day into the night,5

it says:

And He has full knowledge of all that is in [men’s] hearts.6

It says: “Within the vast majesty of the creation of the earth and the skies, He knows and regulates also the thoughts of the heart.” And through an exposition of this sort, transforms that simple and unlettered level and particular discussion which takes into account the minds of ordinary people, into an elevated, attractive, and general conversation for the purpose of guidance.

A Question: “Sometimes an important truth is not apparent to a superficial view, and in some positions the connection is not known when an elevated summary concerning Divine unity or a universal principle is drawn from a minor and ordinary matter, and it is imagined to be a fault. For example, to mention the extremely elevated principle: And over all endued with knowledge, One Knowing7when Joseph (Peace be upon him) seized his brother through subterfuge, does not appear to be in keeping with eloquence. What is its meaning and purpose?”

The Answer: In most of the long and middle-length Suras, which are each small Qur’ans, and in many pages and passages, not only two or three aims are followed, for by its nature the Qur’an comprises many books and teachings, such as being a book of invocation, belief, and reflection, and a book of law, wisdom, and guidance. Thus, since it describes the majestic manifestations of Divine dominicality and its encompassing all things, as a sort of recitation of the mighty book of the universe, it follows many aims in every discussion and sometimes on a single page; while instructing in knowledge of Allah, the degrees in Divine unity, and the truths of belief, with an apparently weak connection it opens another subject of instruction in the following passage, joining powerful connections to the weak one. It corresponds perfectly to the discussion and raises the level of eloquence.

A Second Question: “What is the purpose of the Qur’an proving and drawing attention to the hereafter, Divine unity, and man’s reward and punishment thousands of times, explicitly, implicitly, and allusively, and teaching them in every Sura, on every page, and in every discussion?”

The Answer: To instruct in the most important, most significant, and most awesome matters in the sphere of contingency and in the revolutions in the universe’s history concerning man’s duty, the means to his eternal misery or happiness -man who undertook the Divine vicegerency of the earth- and to remove his countless doubts and to smash his violent denials and obduracy, indeed, to make man confirm those awesome revolutions and submit to those most necessary essential matters which are as great as the revolutions, if the Qur’an draws his attention to them thousands, or even millions of times, it is not excessive, for those discussions in the Qur’an are read millions of times, and they do not cause boredom, nor does the need cease.

For example, since the verse,

For those who believe and do righteous deeds are gardens beneath which rivers flow,8* They will dwell there for ever.9

shows the truth of the good news of eternal happiness, which “saves from the eternal execution of the reality of death, which every moment shows itself to wretched man, both himself, and his world, and all those he loves, and gains for them an everlasting sovereignty,” if it is repeated thousands of millions of times and given the importance of the universe, it still is not excessive and does not lose its value. Thus, in teaching the innumerable, invaluable matters of this sort, and endeavouring to persuade, convince, and prove the occurrence of the awesome revolutions which will destroy the present form of the universe and transform it as though it was a house, the Qur’an of Miraculous Exposition certainly draws attention to these matters thousands of times times explicitly, implicitly, and allusively, and this is not excessive, but renews the bounty which is like an essential need, the same as the essential needs of bread, medicine, air, and light are renewed.

And, for example, as is proved decisively in the Risale-i Nur, the wisdom in the Qur’an repeating severely, angrily, and forcefully, threatening verses like,

For wrong-doers there is a grievous penalty.10* But for those who reject [Allah] - for them will be the Fire of Hell.11

is that man’s unbelief is such a transgression against the rights of the universe and most creatures that it makes the heavens and earth angry and brings the elements to anger so that they deal blows on those wrong-doers with tempest and storm. According to the clear statement of the verses,

And when they are cast therein, they will hear the [terrible] drawing-in of its breath as it blazes forth * Almost bursting with fury,12

Hell so rages at those iniquitous deniers that it almost disintegrates with fury. Thus, through the wisdom of showing, not from the point of view of man’s smallness and insignificance before such a general crime and boundless aggression, but the importance of the rights of the Monarch of Universe’s subjects before the greatness of the wrongful crime and the awesomeness of the unjust aggression, and the boundless ugliness in the unbelief and iniquity of those deniers -in accordance with the wisdom of showing this, if repeating in His decree most wrathfully and severely the crime and its punishment, thousands, millions, or even thousands of millions of times, it still would not be excessive and a fault, because for a thousand years thousands of millions of people have read such verses every day, not with boredom, but with complete eagerness and need.

Indeed, every day, all the time, for everyone, one world disappears and the door of a new world is opened to them. Through repeating There is no god but Allah a thousand times out of need and with longing in order to illuminate each of those transitory worlds, it makes There is no god but Allah a lamp for each of those changing veils. In the same way, in accordance with the wisdom of appreciating through reading the Qur’an the penalties of those crimes and the severe threats of the Pre-Eternal Monarch, which smash their obduracy, and of working to be saved from the rebellion of the soul, so as not to obscure in darkness those multiple, fleeting veils and renewed travelling universes, and not to make ugly their images which are reflected in the mirrors of their lives, and not to turn against them those guest views which may testify in favour of them, the Qur’an repeats them in most meaningful fashion. Even Satan would shudder at imagining to be out of place these so powerful, severe, and repeated threats of the Qur’an. It shows that the torments of Hell are pure justice for the deniers who do not heed them.

And, for example, in repeating many times the stories of Moses (Peace be upon him), which contain many instances of wisdom and benefits, like that of the Staff of Moses, and of the other prophets (Peace be upon them), it demonstrates that the prophethoods of all the other prophets are a proof of the veracity of the prophethood of Muhammad (PBUH), and that one who does not deny all of them cannot in truth deny his messengership. For this purpose, and since everyone does not always have the time or capability to read the whole Qur’an, it repeats those stories in the same way as the important pillars of belief, in order to make all the long and middle-length Suras each like a small Qur’an. To repeat them then is not excessive, it is required by eloquence, and teaches that the question of Muhammad (PBUH) is the greatest question of mankind and the most important matter of the universe.

It has been demonstrated decisively in the Risale-i Nur with many proofs and indications that through giving the highest position to the person of Muhammad in the Qur’an and including him in four pillars of belief and holding Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah equal to the pillar of There is no god but Allah, that the Messengership of Muhammad (PBUH) is the greatest truth in the universe, and that the Person of Muhammad is the most noble of creatures, and his universal collective personality and sacred rank, known as the Muhammadan Truth, is the most radiant Sun of the two worlds. His worthiness for this extraordinary position has also been proved. One of these proofs is this:

According to the principle of ‘the cause is like the doer,’ with the equivalent of all the good works performed by all his community at all times entering his book of good works; and the light which he brought illuminating all the truths of the cosmos; and his gratifying not only the jinn, mankind, and animate beings, but also the universe and the heavens and earth; and the supplications of plants, offered through the tongue of disposition, and the supplications of animals offered through the tongue of their innate need, and the righteous of his (PBUH) community every day bequeating to him their benedictions and supplications for mercy and spiritual gains, whose millions -and together with spirit beings, even, millions of millions- of unrejectable supplications are accepted, as we actually witness with our eyes; and since each of the three hundred thousand letters of the Qur’an yield from a hundred to a thousand merits, with infinite numbers of lights entering the book of his deeds, only with regard to the recitation of the Qur’an by all his community, the One All-Knowing of the Unseen saw and knew that the Muhammadan (PBUH) Reality, which is his collective personality, would in the future be like a Tuba-tree of Paradise. It was in accordance with that position that He gave him such supreme importance in the Qur’an, and in His Decree showed the following of him and receiving of his intercession through adhering to his Illustrious Sunna to be one of the most important matters concerning man. And from time to time He took into consideration his human personality and human state in his early life, which was a seed of the majestic Tuba-tree.

Thus, since the truths repeated in the Qur’an are of this value, all sound natures will testify that in its repetitions is a powerful and extensive miracle. Unless, that is to say, a person is afflicted with some sickness of the heart and malady of the conscience due to the plague of materialism, and is included under the rule,

Man denied the light of the sun due to disease of the eye,
His mouth denied the taste of water due to sickness.

***

____________________

1. As the Tenth Matter of the fruit of Denizli Prison, it is a small shining flower of Emirdag and of this month of Ramadan. By explaining one instance of wisdom in the repetitions of the Qur’an, it dispels the poisonous, putrid illusions of the people of misguidance.
2. Sura 26, al-Shu’ara’.
3. Qur’an, 55:13, etc.
4. Sura 77.
5. Qur’an, 35:13.
6. Qur’an, 35:38.
7. Qur’an, 12:76.
8. Qur’an, 85:11.
9. Qur’an, 5:85, etc.
10. Qur’an, 14:22.
11. Qur’an, 35:36.
12. Qur’an, 67:7-8.

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Two Additions, Which Form a Conclusion to the Tenth Matter. The First: A true translation of the Qur’an is not possible.

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