Fourth Matter which is the Fourth Booklet: The answer to a trivial question to warn brothers.
The Fourth Matter,
which is the Fourth Part
In His Name!
And there is nothing but it glorifies Him with praise
[The answer written for my brothers to a question about a minor, though alerting, incident.]
Y o u a s k : On the arrival of a blessed guest, your mosque was raided on the night before Friday. What really happened? Why did they bother you?
T h e A n s w e r : I shall explain Four Points, necessarily in the tongue of the Old Said. Perhaps it will be the means of alerting my brothers, and you too will receive your answer.
In reality, the incident was a satanic plot and an act of aggression carried out by dissemblers on account of atheism in a way that was a violation of the law and purely arbitrary, and, in order to alarm us on the eve of Friday, to destroy the congregation’s enthusiasm, and to prevent me from meeting with people. It was strange, but that day, that is, Thursday, I had gone to a place to take some air. When returning, a long black snake like two snakes joined together appeared from my left, and passed between me and the friend who was with me. In order to ask my friend if he had been terrified at the snake, I said to him: “Did you see it?”
He replied: “What?”
I said: “That terrible snake.”
He said: “No, I didn’t see it, and I can’t see it.”
“Glory be to Allah!”, I said, “Such a huge snake passes between us and you didn’t see it! How is that?”
At the time nothing occurred to me. Then later this was imparted to my heart: “That was a sign for you. Watch out!” I thought it was like one of the snakes I used to see at night. That is, whenever an official came to me with an ill intention, I would see him in the form of a snake. In fact, one time I said to the District Officer: “Whenever you come with an ill intention, I see you in the form of a snake. Be careful!” I saw his predecessor many times like that. This means that the snake I saw clearly was a sign that their treachery would not remain as an intention only, but would take the form of actual aggression. For sure, this time the aggression was apparently minor and they wanted to minimize it, but encouraged and joined by an unscrupulous teacher, the District Officer ordered the gendarmes: “Bring the visitors here!” while we were reciting the tesbihat following the prayers in the mosque. Anyway the intention was to make me angry, and in the vein of the Old Said, to react and drive them out in the face of this unlawful and purely arbitrary treatment. But the wretch did not know that Said would not defend himself with the broken piece of wood in his hand while he had on his tongue a diamond sword from the workbench of the Qur’an, indeed, he would have used the sword like that. But the gendarmes were sensible, and since no state, no government at all, disturbs people in the mosque during prayer while performing their religious duties, they waited till the prayers and tesbihat were finished. The Officer was angry at this and sent the rural watchman after them saying: “The gendarmes don’t pay any attention to me.” But Almighty Allah did not force me to struggle with them.
So I make this recommendation to my brothers, so long as there is no absolute necessity, do not occupy yourselves with them. In keeping with the saying: “The best answer for the stupid is silence,” do not stoop to speak with them. But watch out, for like showing weakness to a savage animal emboldens its attack, so to show weakness by being sycophantic towards those with the consciences of beasts, encourages them to be aggressive. Friends must be alert so that the supporters of atheism do not take advantage of other friends’ indifference and heedlessness.
And incline not towards those who do wrong, or the Fire will seize you,1
threatens in awesome and severe fashion, not only those who support and are the tools of tyranny, but also those who have the slightest inclination towards it. For like consenting to unbelief is unbelief, so is consenting to tyranny and wrongdoing tryanny and wrong.
One of the people of attainment perfectly interpreted as follows one of the many jewels of the above verse:
One who assists tyranny is the world’s most despicable being;
He is a dog, who receives pleasure from serving the unjust.
Yes, some of them are snakes, some are dogs. The one who spied on us on a blessed night such as that, when, with a blessed guest we were reciting blessed prayers, and informed on us as though we were commiting some crime, and raided us, certainly deserved a blow in the meaning of the above poem.
Q u e s t i o n : Since you rely on the Qur’an’s saintly influence and its effulgence and light to reform and guide the most obstinate and obdurate of the godless, and you actually do this, why do you not call to religion those aggressive people that are near you, and guide them?
T h e A n s w e r : An important principle of the Shari‘a is “One who knowingly consents to harm should not be condoned.” Relying on the strength of the Qur’an, I claim that on condition he is not utterly vile and enjoys spreading the poison of misguidance like a snake, if I do not convince the most obdurate irreligious person in a few hours, I am ready to try. However, to speak of truth and reality to a conscience that has fallen to the very lowest degree of baseness, to snakes in human form that have reached such a degree of hypocrisy that they knowingly sell religion for the world and knowingly exchange the diamonds of reality for vile and harmful fragments of glass, is a lack of respect for those truths. It becomes like the proverb “Casting pearls before swine.” For those who do these things have several times heard the truth from the Risale-i Nur, and they knowingly try to refute its truths before the misguidance of atheism. Such people receive pleasure from poison, like snakes.
The treatment I have received this seven years has been purely arbitrary and outside the law. For the laws concerning exiles and prisoners and those in prison are clear. By law, they can meet with their relatives and they are not prevented from mixing with others. In every country, with every people, worship and prayer are immune from interference. Those like me stayed together with their friends and relations in towns. They were prevented neither from mixing with others, nor from communicating, nor from moving about freely. I was prevented. And my mosque and my worship even were raided. And while it is Sunna to repeat the words, “There is no god but Allah” in the prayers following the prescribed prayers according to the Shafi‘i School, they tried to make me give them up. Even, one of the old exiles in Burdur, an illiterate called Şebab, and his mother-in-law, came here for a change of air. They came to me because we come from the same place. They were summoned from the mosque by three armed gendarmes. The official then tried to hide that he had made a mistake and acted unlawfully, and apologized, saying: “Don’t be angry, it was my duty.” Then he gave them permission and told them to go. If other things and treatment are compared to this event, it is understood that the treatment accorded to me is purely arbitrary, and that they inflict vipers and curs on me. But I don’t condescend to bother with them. I refer it to Almighty Allah to ward off their evil. In fact, those who instigated the event that was the cause of the exile are now back in their own lands, and powerful chiefs are back at the heads of their tribes. Everyone has been discharged. They made me and two other people exceptions, although I have no connection with their world; may it be the end of them! But one of those two was appointed as Mufti to somewhere, and can travel everywhere outside his own region, including to Ankara. And the other was left in Istanbul among forty thousand people from his native region, where he can meet with everyone. Moreover, these two persons are not alone and with no one, like me; they are very influential, with Allah’s permission. And so on and so forth. But they put me in a village and set those with the least conscience on me. I have only been able to go to another village twenty minutes away twice in six years, and they did not give me permission to go there for a few days’ change of air, crushing me even more under their tyranny. Whereas whatever form a government takes the law is the same for all. There cannot be different laws for villages and for different individuals. That is to say, the law as far as I am concerned is unlawfulness. The officials here utilize the government influence in their own personal grudges. But I offer a hundred thousand thanks to Almighty Allah, and by way of making known His bounties, I say this:
“All this oppression and tyranny of theirs is like pieces of wood for the fire of ardour and endeavour which illuminates the lights of the Qur’an; it makes them flare up and shine. And those lights of the Qur’an, which have suffered this persecution of theirs and have spread with the heat of endeavour, have made this province, indeed, most of the country, like a madrasa in place of Barla. They supposed me to a prisoner in a village. On the contrary, in spite of the atheists, Barla has become the teaching desk, and many places, like Isparta, have become like the madrasa...”
All praise be to Allah, this is from the bounty of my Sustainer.
1. Qur’an, 11:113.
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