Fourth Matter: What is the wisdom behind the hadith: “Renew your belief by means of ‘La ilaha illallah (There is no god but Allah)’”? How is belief renewed?
You ask concerning the wisdom contained in: "Renew your belief by means of 'There is no god but Allah.'"1The wisdom in it has been mentioned in many of the Words and one aspect of it is as follows:
Since man himself and the world in which he lives are being continuously renewed, he needs constantly to renew his belief. For in reality each individual human being consists of many individuals. He may be considered as a different individual to the number of the years of his life, or rather to the number of the days or even the hours of his life. For since a single individual is subject to time, he is like a model and each passing day clothes him in the form of another individual.
Furthermore, just as there is within man this plurality and renewal, so also is the world in which he lives in motion. It goes and replaced by another. It varies constantly. Every day opens the door of another world. As for belief, it is both the light of the life of each individual in that person, and it is the light of the world in which he lives. And as for 'There is no god but Allah,' it is a key with which to turn on the light.
Then the instinctual soul, desire, doubts, and Satan exercise great influence over man. In order to damage his belief, they are much of the time able to benefit from his negligence, to trick him with their wiles, and thus to extinguish the light of belief with doubts and uncertainty. Also, man is prone to act and utter words which apparently oppose the Shari'a, and which in the view of some religious authorities are no less then unbelief. Therefore, there is a need to renew belief all the time, every hour, every day.
Question: The masters of scholastic theology wrapped up the world in the abbreviated concepts of contingency and created ness and having disposed of it, so to speak, proved Divine Unity. And one school of Sufis, in order to experience Allah's presence and affirm His Unity fully, said: "Nothing is observed but Him." They thus forgot the universe and drew the veil of oblivion over it, and then fully experienced the Divine presence, Another school of Sufis, in order to truly affirm Divine Unity and enter Allah's presence in the highest degree, said: 'There is no existent but Him." They relegated the universe to the level of imagination and cast it into non-existence, and then fully entered the Divine presence. But you point out that in the Qur'an is a mighty highway besides these three ways. And you say that its mark is the phrases: "There is nothing sought but Him," and, "There is nothing worshipped but Him." Can you provide me with a brief proof of this highway that concerns the affirmation of Divine Unity and point out a short way leading to it?
The Answer: All the Words and Letters in the Risele-i Nur point out that highway. For now, as you wish, we shall concisely indicate an extensive, lengthy and mighty proof of it.
Each thing in the world ascribes every other thing to its own Creator. And each artistically fashioned object in this world demonstrates that all such objects are the works of its own fashioner. And each creative act in the universe proves that all creative acts are the acts of its own author. And each name that is manifest in beings indicates that all names are the names and titles of the one whom it itself signifies. That is to say, each thing is a direct proof of Divine Unity and a window yielding knowledge of Allah.
Each object, especially if it is animate, is a miniature specimen of the universe, a seed of the world, and a fruit of the globe of the earth. Since this is so, the one who created the miniature specimen, seed and fruit must also be the one who created the whole universe. For the creator of the fruit cannot be other than the creator of the tree that bears it.
And so, in the same way that each object ascribes all other objects to its own fashioner, each act also ascribes all other acts to its author. For we see that each creative act appears as the tip of a law of creativity that is so extensive as to encompass most other creatures, and so long as to reach from particles to galaxies. That is to say, whoever performs the creative act must be the author of all the creative acts which are tied to the universal law that encompasses those beings and stretches from particles to galaxies.
For sure, one who gives life to a fly must be the one who creates all insects and animals and who gives life to the earth. And whoever spins particles as though they were Mevlevi dervishes must be the one who sets successive beings in motion as far as the sun travelling through the skies with its planets. For the law is a chain and creative acts are tied to it.
That is to say, just as each object ascribes all other objects to its fashioner, and each creative act attributes all acts to its author, in exactly the same way, each Divine Name manifested in the universe ascribes all Names to the One Whom it itself describes and proves that they are His titles. For the names manifested in the universe are like intersecting circles, blending with one another like the seven colours in light; they assist one another and perfect and adorn one another's works of art.
For example, the instant the Name of Giver of Life is manifested on a thing and life is given, the Name of All-Wise also becomes manifest; it orders the body which is that animate creature's dwelling-place with wisdom. At the same time, the Name of Munificent is manifested; it adorns the creature's dwelling-place. So too, the manifestation of the Name of All-Compassionate appears; it presents the body's needs with tenderness. At the same instant, the manifestation of the Name of Provider appears; it supplies the material and spiritual sustenance necessary for the continued existence of the animate creature in unexpected ways. And so on. That means to whomever the Name of Giver of Life belongs, the Name of All-Wise, which is luminous and comprehensive in the universe, is also His. The Name of All-Compassionate, which nurtures all creatures with tenderness, is also His. And the Name of Provider, which sustains all animate creatures with munificence, is His Name and title. And so on.
That is to say, each Name, each act, each object is a proof of Divine Unity, and such a proof that each is a stamp of Divine Unity and each is a seal of Divine Oneness which has been inscribed on the pages of the universe and on the lines of the centuries. Each indicates that all the words of the universe, which are called beings, are inscriptions traced by the pen of its own scribe.
O Allah! Grant blessings to the one who said: "The best thing Iand the prophets before me have said is, 'There is no god but Allah' "2and to his Family and Companions, and grant them peace.
1. Musnad ii, 359; al-Mundhirî, al-Targhîb wa'l-Tarhiîb ii, 415; al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak iv, 256; al-Haythamî, Majma'al-Zawâ'id i, 52.
2. Muwatta', Qur'ân 32; Hajj 246; al-'Ajlûni, Kashf al-Khafâ'i, 353; al-Albani, Sahîh al-Jami' al-Saghîr, no:1113.
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