Looking at The Matters of Faith from The Right Side
(Introduction to New Perspectives of the Treatise of Nature)
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“Where did we come from? Where are we going and who are we? What are we doing here?”
Why are the real answers to these questions that have been asked throughout the history of mankind, important for us?
What does it mean for the human being that he, who leads a life inferior than an animal with his fears and worries related to the future and with his sadness and disappointments coming from his past and who is an unimportant creature in terms of the weakness of his physical structure, asks questions that are way beyond his capacity to answer?
Such a human being could gain value and importance only from the perspective of mind and comprehension and he has already done so. However, since the weakness of his body, the limitlessness of his needs and his imprisonment for death stay as they were before and he continues to seem as if he would “disappear into the nothingness” therefore, would not the value that he gained turn into worthlessness and the meaning, that he has had, turn into meaninglessness? Imagine, you are in such a high position in terms of your intellect, but you are sentenced to death. What is the point of having this superiority? What kind of superiority is this?
Now at this important point, we ask: what kind of truth can change this situation fundamentally?
Man has risen up with his mind and now he comes down back with the death. Then, what kind of truth may give rise to him and give back his value? We are asking this question.
Is such a great discovery possible, which would not fail the high potential and far-reaching capabilities of the human being?
Do you think that the value of such a meaningful reality could be estimated properly?
Such a thing is possible if it is certainly understood that the World is constructed especially for us.
Because such a discovery will also reveal the fact that the purpose of our existence in the world is to see the special treatment towards us and to appreciate it (If this is the case in reality, and it this fact is revealed).
In other words, if someone has brought you here and he has been nurturing you with blessings, this is not in vain. Since we have intellect and comprehension facilities, it is understood that we are asked for something. What is that? It is so easy. It is to see, recognize that special treatment and appreciate it.
If this is really the case, then, the life and the world we live in shall be brightened by a very different light and we will be able to look at the universe from a very different perspective. It means that we will be able to have this opportunity as a human being.
Each one of us will be able to say “This world is my home and it is specially built for me”.
What a beautiful thing.
It will come to the light that the world is not a chaotic place moving haphazardly in the space and among the meteors, for which it is worried that it will bring its doomsday by hitting one of them, leading us into a mystery; a place where continuously some are born and some others die; but rather a guesthouse for us.
Then there will be nothing to fear for us.
The goal of obtaining this information in the highest degree of certainty is a high horizon for the science.
The quality of all findings in this direction and the inferences of all studies to be made in this area will be a factor that will determine the real value of scientific information.
Moreover, we claim that the value of scientific approaches and studies which search for evidences for acceptance of existence of a creator and which make their conclusions in this direction is much higher and meaningful for the humanity compared to atheistic approaches which leave the creator out of consideration from the very beginning.
Yes, a man, who has discovered that he is being hosted as a precious guest in this universe resembling a magnificent gigantic palace and what the owner of this palace is asking of him, could not have a problem and a purpose of life which is more important than that. And in this way, it would be revealed that this is the case. Because a man in this situation has found the way to escape from being struck in a narrow space and decaying with death.
How long can we live? For 50 – 60 years or even for 100 years? Where can we go? How far? How much can we wonder about? From morning to the evening: work, school, military, toilet, bed and food. 90% of our lives passes in this way. What we call “life” is finished. That is all. “I will travel around the world!” How much can you travel? What will you do, how much, within which period of time, for God’s Sake? Is your imagination so limited? What will happen at the end? You will decay with death. You will travel all over the world, you will taste all the good things, then you will die and your body will decay. Is this all, the result of your life? Even if you are the king of the world, you are sentenced for death. Whereas, for the man who has discovered that this world is a guesthouse, this grand discovery does not leave any space to any other problem or purpose of life. Because this man has found the means of escaping from that sentence thanks to this discovery.
The discovery of the fact that the world is a temporary guesthouse is a great truth giving birth to a chain of spectacular truths. Recognizing, in its real sense, the owner/master of the palace would change the colour/appearance of everything, and it will be the basis of earning the eternal life.
A person, who knows why he or she is here, will look at everything or every event from this perspective.
Knowing, in its real sense, that the reason of his existence and the result of his life is to discover and achieve the truth of faith, which is the biggest truth of the universe, would mean that everything other than that assumes a lower value and a degree of worthlessness and doesn’t mean anything on its own.
In other words, it would mean “loving the life, the world and the universe not for their own sake but for the sake of their Creator… not being the servant of the created ones who are themselves servants… not running after them… leaving the world not physically but at heart… eating for living and not living for eating… by realizing in its real sense that he or she is a serious addressee of a beauty of indescribable excellence and of an excellence of inconceivable beauty, by perceiving that that the ephemeral world and worldly desires are not the purposes of life and he or she is indeed a candidate for living an eternal life; and acting according to this truth.
In the text of Risale-i Nur, two remedies are mentioned for the salvation from two dangers which we can come across on our way to the immaterial treasure and which weaken the power of faith and throw suspicion on it. We, on the other hand, thought that, being aware of the fact that the evidences of faith have such strong basis, would be a very necessary companion in our journey that we set on with Risale-i Nur. Therefore, we wanted to start the second part of our book, where the rudiments of the faith are proven, with the preamble of “Supreme Sign (Âyet-ül Kübra)”. In this way, we will obtain a background that is helpful in evaluating the matters of faith with a healthy intellectual approach.
We will try to establish a basic method of approach, that will not mislead us and that we can use in the matters of faith, like the truth of the existence of a Creator.
The high truths of the religion, although they are not seen by eyes, can be known and discovered by logical inferences and rational evidence. In other words, they can be seen by the eye of the mind (intellect) and can be established by reaching to the invisible through visible.
With each evidence brought forth in relation to the truths of faith, the approval of these truths by heart and the existing conviction as to their correctness are consolidated and find an opportunity to be expressed as a way of living.
Accepting the existence, correctness and trueness of the essence of faith on the basis of precise information and detailed studies, with an unhesitant opinion is the basic feature of the faith which Allah is requiring from us.
The meaning of the word of “eşhedü”- “I bear witness” which is used in the confession of faith is as following:
“The result of the logical evidence which I have seen and witnessed in the universe by reasoning is that the truths of faith are correct and real. Every created being, with the spiritual language of the fact that they assume duties which they could not have performed under normal circumstances, bear witness very brightly to the existence of the Creator. Holding this universe which I see, as a witness, I also bear witness to the reality of these truths.”
Indeed, in the matters of faith, denial does not have any value by its very nature. It does not have enough power to create doubt and hesitation.
In order to see that more clearly, let us first understand how difficult it is to deny the existence of something. Then, our job will be so easy. But, let us also remember that the thing, whose existence is claimed, does not exist in a limited time and place.
For example, the existence of an apple inside the drawer of our table can be proved just with the ease of opening that drawer; so can its non-existence, because we are talking about time and place which are within our sight. Now let us change that.
Let us now compare the difficulty of proving and denying the existence of an fruit called “Apple” while trying to find out whether a fruit called apple exists at all times and all over the world. It has taken a whole new shape, hasn’t it?
Despite the ease of proving it with a single apple that we take out of our bag and show, proving that a fruit called apple does not exist, that is denying it, has become so much difficult, because, in order to prove the non-existence of apple, it has become necessary to go through and search all times and all places.
At such a juncture, the fact that the nonbelievers of the existence of an apple are in majority in terms of their numbers, becomes irrelevant. Because, each one of them can make observation and reach to conclusion from a limited perspective from the place where he or she can see, as of the time through which he or she can scan. This limited perspective will not represent seeing and knowing the reality as it is.
Whereas the ones who are trying to prove the existence of an apple, would get in touch with the same reality. Of course, they will support each other as much as the greatness of their number. Because they make the same conclusions by looking at the same obvious reality existing there. The others are not like that each one’s observations and views are individual and just binding himself or herself.
Someone Like That Can Say This at Most:
“This is my reality. I don’t see it and I don’t know it. Therefore, I don’t accept”.
Now, let us apply our approach to the matters of faith.
But first let us make a determination as following: the matters related to faith have an area of relevance covering all universes and all times (the issues such as belief in Allah, Angels, Hereafter, and Fate) and what remains is related to all world and almost all history of humanity (belief in prophets and holy books).
For example, let’s say, the institution of prophethood is to be denied. Could it be possible to deny “this essence of faith, by proving that it is an unreal nonsense? First of all, this is such a subject that if the reality of any one of the prophets is proved, the reality of the prophethood existing throughout the history of mankind is authenticated.
Because, every prophet attests or heralds others who are prophets like himself.
The one who is trying to prove (this fact) has reasonable and fixed evidence. However, the way of denial could be acceptable and its basis could be right only if it is accepted that these people (prophets) who were famous for their righteousness and well-behaving nature/character, and who, indeed proved the rightness of their prophethood with their deeds by being a guide of righteousness during their times, are liars, they are immoral and casting aspersions upon Allah. Otherwise, it is not possible to deny the truth of prophethood which has its roots in the history of humanity, with some erroneous claims and inappropriate evidence, which can be confuted anytime with the correct explanations of previously misunderstood meanings. They can be, at the very most, personal opinion or incorrect convictions whose validity is accepted within a limited sphere.
Let us say another person is trying to deny the hereafter and angels by proving their non-existence. How can this be done? For this, he should have an ability to see the whole universe and an ability to travel in time. So that he or she could search and scour everywhere, at all times and in all dimensions and say: “Yes, I have traveled everywhere, there is no hereafter and no angels”. Whereas, when the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (SAV), the righteousness of whose words were attested by his life and whose enemies dared not deny this, comes and tells us: “At ascension, I have seen, with my own eyes, the angels, the hereafter and Allah and I have come back. Oh Mankind, I tell you this both as a news and as a harbinger”, an utterly different thing occurs.
At that point, news about the same reality from all past prophets like Him, together with evidence provided by Scholars based on scientific researches and spiritual discoveries of saints all come together with these words of the Messenger of Allah and form an unbreakable rope. With the addition to all these, of the requirement that the same truths, of which the messenger of Allah speaks, are necessitated by the truths of the universe and in that respect the attestation by the universe as to their truth; the claims of denial, which are weaker than the web of a spider, could not resist and they are scattered away.
Even the trueness of a case where a single man sees an Angel while he is awake and informs others about that situation, proves and shows successively the trueness of the existence of all angels, thereafter and Allah.
We have given an example to the fact that truth of just one pillar (essence) of faith necessitates the trueness of all pillars of faith. Indeed there are many examples. Since these are not directly related to the subject at hand, we keep it short here and refer You, for the subject of all pillars of faith being both evidence for and the result of each other, to the Ninth Point of The Treatise of Fruits, which is the 11th Ray of the Book of Rays and one of the magnificent Treatises of Risale-i Nur.
Denial has a limited area where it only sees itself and where the real color of faith is not reflected. On the other hand, truths of faith have such a wide area where they show their effect, covering the eternal worlds and all times. The fact that non-believer is not aware of this or could not see this truth within a limited period of time and in a limited space, does not change this reality.
In conclusion, there is no importance of the majority of nonbelievers and it is not possible to refute the matters of faith covering the whole universe in the form of proving their non-existence.
In our personal opinion; someone who is denying, should be thinking like that: “Now, I claim, from the point I stay, from my perspective, that religions and the existence of a Creator are superstitions and unfounded. And, from time to time, according to my own thinking, I accept this as an exact information/fact. “But, for a moment, let us assume that I accept that religion, prophet and creator are all real, what would be my place within such a world? What would be the value of my words?”
“Because, with my assumption, such a truth will be revealed:”
“That highest truth in this universe is the existence of the creator, that the beginning and the end of all sciences is to know the Creator and that the most valuable information is knowing Creator and in essence, the only reason why we are able to do science is that science reflects the work of the Supreme Mind.”
“Moreover, true religions and prophets should be the real guide of humanity on the way to search the truth. Because, if there is a Creator, it would not be possible to expect Him not to inform of Himself and of the purpose of creation.”
“In that case, what kind of importance could have the words and ideas that I have expressed on these matters as a person who is foreign to the world of spirituality and matters related to divinity? Compared to the prophets, saints and scholars who discover the worlds of spirituality as if they see them with their eyes and who travel in these worlds personally and spiritually in the niceties/details of these truths; the views of persons like me, who try to explain everything with material things and someone who, let alone being an expert having something to say about spirituality as I denied its existence and never interested in those matters, of course are void and cannot be taken as reference.”
“My self-confidence on this matter is based on my idea that my personal view is correct and views of religion and the creator are wrong. What if the reality is just the opposite and such a world of spirituality exist in reality, then, I would, of course, have to admit that I would be in a position of dark ignorance, and in that case position where I stand would not mean anything other than being a person with bad undependable judgements.”
Really, someone who is just dealing with the material side of an artwork, who is whelmed in the materiality of that work and not ever thinking who the artist is,… what kind of ideas can he or she bring forward about how and in which ways the nuanced art over this piece of work represents the mood of its artist? Can he or she have anything to say on these matters in which he or she is never interested, even disturbed from?
Just for this reason, the opinion on the spirituality of those, who seek everything within materialism and whose minds are in their eyes (since the eye cannot see the spirituality) cannot be a reference point or point of departure. They could never become an expert or someone who might have a say on the subject. In that sense, the denial by the worldwide famous and greatest quantum physicist of any issue spirituality, which is beyond his area of expertise, is not worth being respected (However, the introduction of the aspects of scientific data which are evidence and signs of the existence of the creator should be evaluated in a different category from that because there, what is at stake is a process of proving based on cause-effect relationship.)
There is a fundamental difference between faith and denial. Faith is a judgment based on fixed information, it is a proof. It is the acceptance of something existing in reality, with evidence. It is an intellectual occupation.
However, denial, which is opposite alternative, does not need an occupation. It is based on ignorance; it is not an intellectual cause on its own.
Even though it may make its presence felt to some extent with evidence and claims developed by itself, it is a claim in the form of “the acceptance of non-existence”, which does not have an existence of its own. The evidence developed in this direction, may be accepted as untrue information and false judgments.
Nevertheless, it does not have the quality of an alternative explanation of a model. But, in a simple way, it is not even possible to talk about information which is simply made up of “acceptance of non-existence”. It is altogether ignorance, lack of idea on a subject and staying indifferent.
In some thoughts of denial, a different model of thought is developed, which is not necessarily intended for being against Islam but it may be contrary to the truths brought by Islam. Here, a contestation or animosity is out of question. Since, the position of those who just do not accept Islam and remain indifferent, just represent a situation of ignorance, they will not be evaluated as an antagonistic approach and they will not be considered as noteworthy.
As we have studied in the previous explanatory note, the position of those who open a way against faith with acceptance of non-existence, since they do not have a capacity to get in touch with the totality of truth, will not be taken into account as an alternative model and analysis. The party of the thought of denial which could be considered as the opposite approach is that of denying altogether the pillars of faith, which have an extent over the whole universe without any limitation of time and place. We have already shown that it is practically impossible to go through this way.
In conclusion, our analysis reveals this:
The area of thinking of the denial, which can be evaluated and accepted as a serious opposite approach is almost non-existent or very limited.
Therefore, it is seen that such thoughts, due to their characteristics, do not have such power that could cast doubt and hesitation on the accuracy of the matters of faith. That is enough for us as a point of relaxation, taking our faith under protection.
In terms of saving the faith and getting a healthy perspective on matters of faith, such inferences are very important for us.
Let us say, we have just stuck ourselves to an evidence. What happens if this evidence is falsified, or its fallacy is approved? Shall we lose our faith? Of course not! There are a thousand pieces of evidence more. Faith stays up above. And the pieces of evidence are laid down there. Even if a hundred pieces of evidence are destroyed, Faith stays up there, nothing happens to it. Because, still there are thousands of pieces of evidence more. We will talk about this point in more detail in the following sections.
Another point is this: the subjects of faith are so big, paramount and magnificent events that a mind who is always busy with materiality could have difficulty in understanding and accepting them and after a certain point could see them illogical or could not grasp them, hence denying them altogether. However, in the explanatory notes of the Treatise of Nature, we have shown with evidence and in detail that, the path of faith is a reasonable and required path as much as a necessity, and despite the grandness which the mind of the path of faith has difficulty to accept, there are many unscientific and illogical superstitions, nonsense, and difficulties, which are on the border of impossibility in not accepting the path of faith, that is, on the path of denial and blasphemy.
In order to evaluate the matters of faith with a healthy mental approach, to judge reasonably and to fulfil the responsibility of “believing at heart definitely and unhesitantly ”, which Allah lays on human beings, we have to realize the following and evaluate every doubt and evidence from that perspective:
The essence of the issue is faith. Evidence is a supporting factor.
If the pieces of evidences are refuted one by one and differentiated, the truth of faith which stays above them is not shaken; even if there are hundred pieces of counter evidence and doubts, this situation would not harm its health and certainty.
Because, the occupation of faith is an approval based on information and evidence.
One witness will be sufficient in order to determine whether the moon in the sky has formed a crescent and it will be sufficient to nullify the contrary statements of one hundred persons who say they have not seen it. Because, the reason for their not seeing it could be many and different from each other. This is an important point. Therefore, in the proof of a matter, one proving evidence is preferred against numerous denials and contrary evidence as to the non-existence of it and given a higher value.
The example of the palace, which is provided in the text of Risale-i Nur, enables us to have a very healthy and well-directed approach when evaluating the matters of faith. As we have mentioned, in terms of substance, in our previous explanatory notes, there is a fundamental structural difference between proof and denial. This difference needs to be well understood.
We have to realize that the occupation of faith is based on such strong points. We have to see that evidence on the path of faith is more valuable than hundred pieces of evidence on the path of denial. This is such a wonderful anchor/point of support to save our faith. The difference that we are talking about is not just an assumption or an imaginary idea. We do not say this because we stand up for faith as if we support a football team or we see our evidence more valuable. We say it just because there is a real structural (characteristic) difference between faith and denial.
Hundreds and thousand pieces of evidence may be provided for and against the truth of a claim or the existence of an object. Even one piece of evidence for the trueness of that claim or for the existence of the object is real, the trueness of the claim or the existence of the object is manifested. The contrary is unthinkable. Therefore, here, the distinctness of the occupation of proving comes to the light. Despite hundred pieces of evidence as to the non-existence of that object or the fallacy of that claim, there is always a possibility that these pieces of evidences could be false and that the object could exist. Because there will always remain an open door since such evidence for the nonexistence cannot cover the whole reality/truth. Also, there could be numerous and different reasons behind the evidence supporting the non-existence. It is always possible to consider the existence of a possibility contrary to these pieces of evidence and the reality could be materialized in this manner.
Before anything else, it is not a logical approach to deny and abandon the matters of faith, over which definite and unhesitant conviction has been formed as to the trueness of them, with the joining of a thousand pieces of evidence. Because, the fallacy of some evidence would not change the result and trueness of one evidence will necessitate the trueness of the outcome.
When the trueness of the claim is manifested, all the reasons and explanations of the counter evidence and doubts, which are unknown to us will be considered as solved and will be void. Thinking the contrary as possible is logically impossible.
In other words, we do not have to know the right explanations of all doubts of deniers and all answers to their questions! We do not have such an obligation! Let the denier give thousands of doubts and counter evidence. In order to save our faith and to prove the trueness of the path of faith, which is our occupation, we need not to refute each of them or search and find out explanations of them one by one. Because nonbelievers are on the path of denial. A denier has a serious structural difference. We are on the path of the proof. We also have a structural difference.
Once the trueness of any of our evidence is manifested in a real sense, then we have to accept logically that, all doubts and counter evidence put by the denier have a certain point of dissolution (even we don’t know the exact reasons and explanations behind them).
Just as in the example of Palace given in Risale-i Nur, once one of the doors is opened, all doors are automatically opened. Because, now we are already inside that Palace. It is critical to understand this issue, because, it is a point which can save us together with our faith. This example is an excellent example really. We have to thank a lot our master Bediüzzaman and congratulate him. Really it makes the issue much clearer in our mind. May Allah be pleased with him!
Now we are making it simpler. One thing either exists or not. A claim (for example for prophethood) is either true or false. It is not possible to be in the middle. As such, evidence similar to the doors of the palace, helps us open the doors of that palace and go inside. How beautiful and how advantageous point is this for the one who is going on the path of faith.
Similar to hundreds of doors, maybe there are hundreds of evidence. At that point, we wonder what those who go on the path of denial would do, what they can say against this. Because, once, just one of our evidence is correct in a real sense, their claims and their unfounded case will be ruined. And they will get trapped under the debris by losing their eternal life, which is an irreparable damage, together with their nerviness. On the other hand, we do not have to learn the explanations of their doubts and the answers of the thousands of counter evidence. We should not occupy our minds with such things. Now it is their job to think of what to do. For their good, we at least expect them to get rid of their insolence they have shown with the courage of ignorance and to give up their excessed aggressive manners over the matters of faith.
Occupation of faith is such a strong one.
Just like how opening of one door enables the entry into the palace, truth of just one evidence, brings into the light the trueness of faith and dissolves wholly and definitely all wrong and contrary evidence and doubts, which are similar to closed doors, even though we do not know the details of how and in what ways. This is a requirement of the mind and logic.
The structural/characteristic difference between the denial and proof necessitates it. How wonderful and relaxing, this point is for those who are walking on the path of faith.
Just like this rule, counter evidences and doubts which are a few in numbers, weak and unimportant and all are liable to be explained and refuted, against hundreds and thousands of pieces of the evidence of faith which are very logical and once united gain an unshakable force like an unbreakable rope, could not harm the certainty of faith and could not lead to the acceptance the opposite of these truths. Counter-evidence brought by nonbelievers is manly related with detail issues. Some historical events like the marriage of the Prophet, some doubts related to details etc. However, we should talk about the truth of the institution of the Prophethood. Instead, they try to confuse the minds over detail issues. How would they dare to be against the essence of the issue? We should ask to talk about the existence of Allah, ask them why there are so many details brought up and invite them to talk about the essence of the matter.
And now we start our adventure of searching and finding a truth which is as obvious and certain as the body of universe itself.
* Studying academically, on the basis of logic and science, the theories which are developed as alternatives to the existence of a Creator in order to explain the astonishing happenings and the liveliness in the universe.
* In a world where we stand as observers, looking for answers to questions: “Where did we come from? Where are we going and who are we? What are we doing here?” and
* We are setting together on a journey of discovery among the lines that we wrote in order to make some contribution to the efforts to understand the functioning and the purposes of the universe, which are the ultimate target and the arrival point for all sciences.
You have a very strong reason to begin this journey:
To witness the magnificent details of the divine technology and uniqueness of the artful creation and hence, to take a big step in on the way of achieving the true faith that was demanded from us by Allah…
We would like you to accompany us in this imaginary and mental journey of discovery. There is only one fixed price for a ticket of the Journey:
A strong sense of wonder in the search for truth.