BEDIUZZAMAN AND THE MYSTERIES OF RELIGION
As is affirmed and corroborated both by many predictive allusions,1 and numerous exacting scholars, and his works, the Risale-i Nur, in which are solved hundreds of religious, scholarly, and sufistic questions, in respect of his scholarly personality and his way of service Bediuzzaman Said Nursi was a regenerator of religion and a solver of mysteries and difficulties. He was correct in all matters and disclosed the 'straight path,' which is direct and free of danger. He was also a guide who solved for the people of this age at the end of time, and in particular for Muslims, their religious, worldly, social, and political problems.
The above description is not exaggeration in reference to Bediuzzaman and his Risale-i Nur; it is accurate and correct. For the facts have been proven with sound evidence. It is enough to study the Risale-i Nur once in order to prove my assertion, on condition it is understood and the reader has some knowledge of the Islamic sciences.
While the fact is this, it has been seen and is to be seen that Muslims do not truly understand and know Bediuzzaman's person and way, and the Risale-i Nur, his culture and knowledge, or they have not grasped their nature and reality. So much so that even many well-known and distinguished scholars of religion consider the Risale-i Nur to be a repetition of the traditional questions of kal?m and the fundamentals of belief. They therefore suppose the Risale-i Nur and the original, most valuable truths it contains to be knowledge that has long since been available. Whereas it is completely the opposite of this. Just as such a view and approach is not based on investigation, so it is deceptive and does not go beyond being a supposition taking one away from the truth.
Yes, those who study the Risale-i Nur closely know that its most original side and salient characteristic distinguishing it from the style and methods of former works of logic and 'ilm al-kal?m, is its proving the reality, elevated quality and naturalness of the questions and truths of Islamic belief within the matters themselves, evincing no need whatsoever for anything outside of them. I claim that this is a distinctive feature particular to the Risale-i Nur which has no predecessor. In addition, the Risale-i Nur weighs up on the scales of reason, understanding, and perception, the questions of Islam and belief, and particularly all the matters related to the fundamentals of belief, and has the capacity to satisfy and convince the human faculties.
Thus, since the true nature of the Risale-i Nur was not understood and known to the desired degree, despite being distinguished by the above characteristics as an inspired work, foremost its author, Ustad Bediuzzaman Hazretleri, published it at the outset with various striking names, in order to attract attention to them. Names like As?-yi Mûsa (The Staff of Moses), Z?lfik?r, Tilsimlar Mecmuasi (The 'Mysteries' -lit. 'Talisman'- Collection), Sirac?'n-Nûr (The Light-Giving Lamp).
Secondly: He wrote that there are numerous predictions about the Risale-i Nur, that is, allusions informing that Bediuzzaman and these works would appear at this time, and he had them published in the collection Sikke-i Tasdik-i Gaybî (The Ratifying Stamp of the Unseen Collection).
Thirdly: For the same purpose he recorded some of the instances of grace and Divine assistance that were manifested in the work of publishing the Risale-i Nur, whether in hand-written copies or in other forms, and had them published.
Despite all these activities, one cannot say that the Risale-i Nur and its elevated truths have received the attention they deserve. Many things have prevented scholars, and particularly religious scholars, being drawn to it, not allowing them to appreciate its worth.
Thus, I want in this Symposium to rend the veil of familiarity that hinders chiefly the religious scholars, to which they have long since become accustomed, that is, to dispel their false assumption that "it is something we know about. It addresses not us but the young people of this time, and is useful for them." In the hope of banishing some of those things which prevent them directing their attention towards it, I want to present my paper "Bediuzzaman and the Mysteries of Religion." Success is only from God Almighty.
The dictionary meaning of the word 'tilsim' does not refer to anything specific. It has generally been thus in the dictionaries and lexicons. However, it is a word that has been used occasionally in a technical sense with an allegorical or allusive meaning by literary figures and sufis, such as in the title Esrar-i Mutsalsim (The Talismanic Mysteries). As a word referring to something vague, like 'elixir', it may also be an expression with a meaning like 'transmuting earth into gold.'
Bediuzzaman occasionally used the word 'tilsim' (here translated as 'mystery') in his works in the technical or allegorical sense, referring to "obscure meanings which are difficult to disclose and solve." For example, in the Seventh Word "which solves the obscure riddle (talisman) of creation;" in the Eighth Word, "... solve this world's talisman;" in the Eleventh Word, "If you want to understand a little about the talisman of the wisdom of the world and the riddle of man's creation...;" and in the Thirtieth Word, "As the key to the Divine Names, which are hidden treasures, the 'I' is also the key to the locked talisman of creation; it is a problem-solving riddle, a wondrous talisman." The word recurs in many places of the Risale-i Nur in this sense.
The word 'tilsim' was also given to the fact that the Risale-i Nur discloses a number of obscure truths of religion, the Qur'an, and Hadiths, which are difficult to solve, and this is our chief subject. That is, the fact that numerous obscure matters contained in the Qur'an and Hadith, the sacred sources of the Islamic religion, and in the science of kal?m and sufism, and other works of Islam, which are sorts of interpretations of those sacred sources, -matters rational understanding of which is difficult, were completely solved in the Risale-i Nur. This is a matter of the very greatest importance.
We see that Bediuzzaman first noted these down in his defence speeches in Eskisehir Court, in 1935:
"There is nothing in the universe more important than the mystery of belief (iman), which is the supreme question of the universe and the greatest riddle (tilsim) in the creation of the world, that belief could made a tool of it. God forbid! Members of the Court! If this tortuous imprisonment concerned only my worldly life and my person, you can be sure that I would continue to be silent as I have these past ten years. But since it concerns the eternal life of many people and the Risale-i Nur, which expounds and solves of the mighty riddle (tilsim) of the universe, if I had a hundred heads and every day one was cut off, I still would not give up this mighty mystery..."2
In various places in the Risale-i Nur, he writes that the Risale-i Nur has solved many mysteries of religion and that the works should be applauded from this point of view. It is appropriate to mention a few of these passages. In order, they are in S?zler (The Words), Mektûbat (Letters), Lem'alar (The Flashes Collection), Sualar (The Rays Collection), and following these, in Barla Lahikasi, Kastamonu Lahikasi, and the first and second volumes of Emirdag Lahikasi. A few of the most important of these, without following the order, are given below.3
Thus, in many places in the Risale-i Nur, its author, Bediuzzaman, stated completely sincerely and comfortably that the Risale-i Nur has solved and disclosed hundreds of obscure matters rational understanding of which is difficult. And these are not merely unsupported claims; he is able to prove categorically what he says, because for evidence he ascribes primarily to the Qur'an itself the disclosures the Risale-i Nur has made and its solving of the mysteries of religion. Then he says, being a shining mirror of the Qur'an, this aspect of the Risale-i Nur is a ray of the Qur'an at this time, manifested in its mirror. Similarly, in order to prove how the Risale-i Nur has proved these aspects of the world and religion that are mysteries, he wrote the following at the beginning of the work he published under the title of Tilsimlar Mecmuasi (The Mysteries Collection), referring to universal subjects and treatises:
"Through the effulgence of the Qur'an of Miraculous Exposition, which solves the vast and obscure riddle of the universe, the Risale-i Nur has solved and disclosed and proved and elucidated hundreds of those riddles and mysteries of the Qur'an, and the most significant part of them is included in this 'Mysteries Collection.'"
It was for this reason that we chose 'Bediuzzaman and the Mysteries of Religion' as the title of this paper. Only, I have not chosen to collect together the long treatises as Bediuzzaman did in The Mysteries Collection in order to prove his assertions in this matter, I have preferred another method. I want to bring together the most important and clearest of each of the hundreds of matters found in various places in the Risale-i Nur and the evidences that prove and corroborate each other, and listing them according to their degree, perform the service of further elucidating, commenting on, and completing them. Furthermore, how were all the questions that are solved in the Risale-i Nur explained, set out, and expressed in the Arabic originals and books of former Islamic writers, written previously to the Risale-i Nur? This will also be mentioned briefly, so that the matters the Risale-i Nur solved will become completely clear, and being known, it will make understood the extent of Bediuzzaman's knowledge, and his way and the service he performed, as well as his 'station' and the ways in which he was a Regenerator of Religion.
The science of kal?m and the Risale-i Nur
The opinions of professors of religion who have carried out particular research on this subject, support the view that the way of the Risale-i Nur is a "new method in the science of kal?m." Two of these eminent scholars are Prof. Dr. Muhsin 'Abdulhamid (Professor of Qur'anic exegesis and kal?m in Baghdad University), and Prof. Ahmad 'Abdurrahim al-Sayih (Professor of 'Aqida and philosophy in the Faculty of Usul al-Din in al-Azhar University).
These two learned scholars have written articles setting out their ideas on the subject. Prof. Muhsin 'Abdulhamid's was published in Arabic in the magazine Nur-The Light, which is published in Istanbul, in the January, February, March (1995) number. Prof. al-Sayih has published two articles, one of which was published independently in Arabic. His second is in the book of the 1992 International Symposium on Bediuzzaman. We may also learn of the gist of the matter from the author himself.
Before explaining it, however, we should answer a question: Is the method by which, through the effulgence of the Qur'an, the Risale-i Nur solves "the obscure riddles" of the mysteries of religion and the universe a method followed by the science of kal?m?
The Answer: At once and most definitely we say: No! For the traditional science of kal?m had a classic form and method, and being based on material, rational principles, mostly used the weapons the sceptical philosophers hostile to religion themselves had developed, or accepting to be unshakeable their laws and rules, tried to prove the matters of Islamic belief with these 'outside' evidences. Bediuzzaman therefore considered a kal?m method of this sort to be defective. However, he accepted that in former times, the science of kal?m had defended the tenets of Islamic belief and had performed important functions, particularly in the matter of proving God's necessary existence.4
We may learn from Bediuzzaman himself the nature of the difference between the methods of kal?m and the principles of the other Islamic philosophers, which addressed only the reason, and the extremely effective and productive principles which Bediuzzaman discovered and took without intermediary from the pure source of the Qur'an.5
In the last passage, the approach is different, but if studied carefully, it is seen that by saying about the Risale-i Nur "it comprises teachings of the luminous, true science of kal?m," it is stating unmistakably the clear difference between the style and method of the Risale-i Nur and that of kal?m. That is, to put it briefly, the Risale-i Nur is a science of kal?m spring from the Qur'an, it is different, it is luminous, etc.
Expressions of this sort are to be found in many places in the Risale-i Nur. For example, in The Supreme Sign, and in the question and answer on page 442 of Mektûbat (Letters p. 516), and in the final part of H?cumat-i Sitte (The Six Attacks, Letters p. 499). It is stated here definitely and unreservedly that even if the Risale-i Nur's method and manner of exposition, which is based entirely on evidence and proof, bears superficial resemblances to the science of kal?m, it certainly does not possess its classic characteristics. This matter will be more clearly understood below, where we include some examples from the Risale-i Nur.
It is my guess that the differences between Bediuzzaman's entirely authentic Qur'anic way and the methods of other Islamic thinkers and scholars of kal?m have now been understood. Nevertheless, a clearer understanding may be gained from the sections below which contain explanations about questions related to religion and the universe.
The mysteries and their solution
The 'mysteries of religion' which the Risale-i Nur has solved are truly numerous; they run to hundreds. In brief, these mysteries are as follows: the purpose of the creation of the universe, known as the riddle of creation, and particularly the reason for the creation of mankind; the wisdom and purpose in the constant observable destruction and reconstruction of beings, their being brought into existence and annihilated, which is necessitated by the continuous creation in the universe; the certain proof of the existence and unity of the universe's Creator, and the power of His sovereignty, which is without assistant or deputy; the creation of all things being as easy for Divine power as one thing; the rational, readily comprehensible proof of bodily resurrection, which forms part of belief in the resurrection of the dead, the last judgement, and the hereafter, and the solving of this mystery; the scholarly proof of the existence of the angels and spirit beings, and the fact that they are creatures charged with duties; the rational and scholarly proof of the Prophet's (PBUH) Ascension, which he made both physically and in the spirit; the solving of the obscure and 'mysterious' aspects of many questions related to belief and its tenets; and proofs supported by the most penetrating evidence of both the Qur'an's miraculousness, and that its injunctions and truths are in conformity with knowledge, reason, and the natural disposition of things.
Of the many questions of religion and subtle points of belief like the above, summaries which are listed in order of importance in this paper, (I was able to prepare only thirty-three), doubtless the most important and extensive of them will be the sections on belief and its tenets. This subject is also contained in other matters. For instance, by proving in scholarly fashion a Hadith about the lifespan of the world, Muslims' belief will be strengthened and burnished.
First, belief and its tenets
The beliefs of the Islamic religion vary in importance. This is shown in the 'Amantu' or Islamic creed, which makes it clear that one has to believe without doubting in God's existence and unity, in His 'essential' and 'negating' attributes, and all His Most Beautiful Names, as well as His Godhead, dominicality and being the sole being fit to be worshipped, and one has to try to recognize the activity of the manifestations of all His Names. Since the Risale-i Nur attaches the greatest importance to the evidence the Qur'an offers for all these beliefs, and to the rational and reasonable proof of them, a number of examples of each are given in this paper.
Before setting out and describing the mysteries of religion which are solved in most original fashion in the Risale-i Nur, I want to try to explain a number of points:
1) On a superficial perusal, one face -like the two faces of a mirror- of the religious, scholarly, and sufistic questions solved in the Risale-i Nur, might be considered similar to the matters expounded in former works. But if the other face is studied attentively, it will be seen certainly that the Risale-i Nur's author at no time took matters that had already been solved and repeated them. For Bediuzzaman always observed the scholarly principle, "It is not permissible to scribble things about a question that has already been solved and write treatises about it."
2) No one can deny that the learned Islamic scholars of former times wrote brilliant treatises and works about the questions of Islam, especially concerning Arabic and rhetoric. But doubtlessly every age has its own system of thought, method, and weapon of struggle; so too each has a style particular to it and system in accordance with which it strives. For example, if the weapons that the mighty Ghazzali used are inadequate in the face of the doubts and scepticism of the enemies of religion this age, the deficiency is not Ghazzali's -God forbid!- it lies in the times. For like all thinkers, he was the son of his time.
Bediuzzaman alluded to this point in Kastamonu Lahikasi,6 and in the piece called Konusan Yalniz Hakikattir or Yalniz Hakikat Konusuyor,7 which he wrote in 1951. A summary is this:
"Every age the All-Wise Qur'an gives a weapon to its students which is appropriate to the age. Moreover, those who suppose that everything can be solved through brilliant eloquence and style are wrong. Feelings like sincerity, self-sacrifice, and so on, have to play apart..."
3) The spiritual light and weapon or method of striving that Bediuzzaman received directly from the Qur'an differs from those of former erudite scholars on several points. The most striking of these is that without describing the form of the doubts and hesitations about questions, that is, without describing them in detail, Hazret-i Ustad proved rationally and in scholarly fashion the truth and indubitableness of those matters pertaining to the Qur'an and religion, thus eradicating and destroying the doubts.
One of the most important of similar points is that the mysteries that are demonstrated below are solved by Bediuzzaman according to a completely original and new method. This will be seen, so here we suffice with this much.
In this paper I have chosen only thirty-three out of the many sorts of 'mysteries of religion,' which I shall define and describe as far as I am able. If Divine assistance is forthcoming, I am thinking of complementing the mysteries in this paper with the others solved by the Risale-i Nur, and publishing them altogether in a single work. But for now we pass on to proving the list of thirty-three mysteries.
Tawhid (The Affirmation of Divine Unity)
First Mystery: God's existence
The basis of this matter, belief in God, is the greatest, most brilliant, and most firmly established truth in the universe. All the revealed scriptures and prophets and all religions have proved and proclaimed it. Moreover, the logical proofs and evidences of the great scholars raised in the Muslim Umma, the scholars of kal?m and the philosophers, and particularly the Risale-i Nur of Bediuzzaman this age, have demonstrated this matter with such scholarly and logical proofs that it is not possible to doubt it. In any event, the rational belief of intelligent beings in the universe in the truths of Godhead, dominicality and the One fit to be worshipped, and their all acting in accordance with that belief in their different ways, forms another proof of it. It is because of this that, even if defined wrongly, the sense of worshipping some object has always dominated man's nature. All the different religions, beliefs, and forms of worship demonstrate this truth clearly. Basically, there is no need to dwell on this matter, since it has been solved. That is, it is superfluous to discuss it in this paper, for it is proved as clearly as daylight in the Risale-i Nur, and is there for all to see. However, certain aspects of the attributes like Divine unity, oneness, knowledge, will, and power, about which one is obliged to have knowledge in order to believe, as well as aspects of certain matters related to them, all need to be solved. I shall therefore attempt to set forth in list form the original explanations of them in the Risale-i Nur, as well as their clear proofs, the comparisons illustrating them, their clarity in respect of reason and knowledge, and how matters like these have been solved in the Risale-i Nur. Below are included a small part of only one or two of the many proofs of the Divine necessary existence; part of the Eighth Note of the Seventeeth Flash; part of the section from the beginning of the Twenty-Second Word, which demonstrates how all particles prove the necessary existence, oneness, and unity of God; and part of the Eleventh Hope of the Twenty-Sixth Flash:8
"Compare, then, animals like the bee, who receives inspiration, the spider, and the nightingale, who weaves his nest like a stocking, with the mosquito, and you can even compare plants to these animals in just the same way. Yes, the Absolutely Generous One (May His glory be exalted) has given each living being a memorandum written with the pen of pleasure and ink of need, and with it has deposited in the being the programme of the creative commands and index of its duties. See how the All-Wise One of Glory has written on a receipt the amount concerning the bee's duties, from the principles of the Clear Book, and placed it in the coffer in the bee's head. And the key to the coffer is the pleasure particular to the diligent bee. With it, it opens the coffer, reads the programme, understands the command, and acts."
"...If all material causes were to gather together and if they possessed will, they could not gather together the being of a single fly and its systems and organs with their particular balance. And even if they could gather them together, they could not make them remain in the specified measure of the being. And even if they could make them remain thus, they could not make those minute particles, which are constantly being renewed and coming into existence and working, work regularly and in order. In which case, self-evidently, causes cannot claim ownership of things. That is to say, their True Owner is someone else."
"In Short: If the miniature suns and various colours in droplets of water and fragments of glass are not attributed to the sun's reflection and the manifestation of its reflection, it is necessary to accept the existence of innumerable suns in place of the one sun; it necessitates accepting an utterly impossible superstition. In exactly the same way, if everything is not attributed to the Absolutely Powerful One, it necessitates falling to the degree of accepting a hundredfold impossibility like accepting infinite gods instead of the Single God; indeed, gods to the number of particles in existence. To Sum Up: From each particle three windows open up onto the Light of Unity and Necessary Existence of the Pre-Eternal Sun: ..."
Second Mystery: The unity of the Divine Essence, and God's being single and unique
Rational and scholarly evidences for Divine unity are found in the former books of kal?m and the tenets of faith. However, the evidences and proofs in the Risale-i Nur are both more numerous, and more direct, and different. There is another very important point besides this: the question is not solved by proving the Divine unity (vahdet) alone; the truth of the affirmation of Divine unity (tevhid), His single Essence administering, directing, and planning all things without partner, helper, or deputy have also to be proved, in addition to His oneness (ehadiyet) and unity (vahdaniyet, vahidiyet). The matter therefore contains several significant and subtle truths.
The First: The Divine Essence being One and Single.
The Second: The universe in its entirety, with its inner and outer faces, being His property and everything being able to act only through His will and command.
The Third: Despite the singleness and oneness of the Divine Essence, His having disposal over all things without assistant or partner. We shall prove truths like these and analyze them.
1. Proof that the Divine Essence is One and Single
Firstly I shall give one or two brief examples of the extensive manner in which these are proved in the books of kal?m and the tenets of faith, then shall offer some examples of how they are proved in the Risale-i Nur. For example, in an esteemed work of the famous Ibn Hazm al-Andalusi, is the following summary of the proofs of the scholars of kal?m:
"The world and all that is in it are bound by time. There is nothing that can be outside time. It therefore cannot be supposed that the world should be outside time. What is meant by time is the period of continuance of all bodies, whether in motion or at rest. Since everything is restricted by time, which consists of a particular period, time is a counted number. Also, everything has a beginning, and is dependent on it, in which case everything was created. Being created necessitates one who creates. Thus, the world in its entirety is created, and this necessitates there being a Creator Who does not decline or die.
"Furthermore, God Almighty is One and undying. Yes, for the world suffers decline and death and is created, and this necessitates that it has a single, undying Creator. For if there were more than one creator, they would be subject to what is called number, and everything that is numbered has to have an end (as was mentioned above). All finite things are necessarily created. And everything of which there are two has to something other than itself. According to this, one of the two would necessarily be composed of the essence and would possess attributes distinguishing it from the other. And if it is compound, it has to be a creature that has been planned. It is therefore impossible for these creatures to be God. They are therefore necessarily dependent on the necessary existence of a being who is One."9
In other books on the tenets of belief and the large works of kal?m, some aspects of this matter are expounded more extensively. But as is seen from the above example, they address not everyone, but informed scholars, and are mostly in the form of defences and consist of proofs taken from 'outside' the discipline to answer doubts raised in those times. Now to come to the Risale-i Nur:
Yes, truly the Risale-i Nur has put forward wondrous proofs of Divine unity and oneness that afford complete certainty in this pillar of belief, and leave no room for any doubt or even hesitation. This is not with 'external' proofs; ninety-nine per cent of its proofs of this Islamic matter pertaining to belief are taken from the Qur'an. It does this in a language and style that everyone may understand easily and with hundreds of the clearest of proofs. Thus, all those parts of the Risale-i Nur which deal with belief prove both the Divine necessary existence, and God's unity and oneness. However, some of its treatises focus particularly on the affirmation of Divine unity, and Divine oneness and singleness. Below are passages dealing with this matter in particular:
The Words: The First Ray of the Sixteen Word; the whole of the Twenty-Second Word, and especially the Fourth Flash of the Second Station; the First and Second Stopping-Places of the Thirty-Second Word; and the Thirtieth Window of the Thirty-Third Word, and the Second Point of the Thirty-First Window.
Letters: The end part of the section 'He has no partner' in the Second Station of the Twentieth Letter, and the part of the section 'And He is powerful over all things' about "the assistance of unity, the facility of unity, and the manifestation of oneness;" and the part of the same section on the facility resulting from unity; and the Fourth Matter of the Fourth Topic of the Twenty-Sixth Letter.
The Flashes Collection: The beginning and end of the Ninth Flash; the Matters of the Thirteenth Note of the Seventeenth Flash; the Eleventh Hope of the Twenty-Sixth Flash; and the whole of the Thirtieth Flash, particularly the section of the Divine Name of Single.
The Rays: The whole of the Second Ray, and particularly its Second and Third Stations; the proofs of God's necessary existence and unity in the Third Ray, the Treatise on Supplication; the whole of the Seventh Ray, The Supreme Sign, particularly the Second Station; and the First Station of the Fifteenth Ray.
al-Mathnawi al-'Arabi al-Nuri: The part entitled Lem'alar at the beginning of the work, which comprises evidences for God's necessary existence and unity; page 140 of Katre Risalesi; page 403, the i'lem and Habab Risalesi; and many places mentioning Divine oneness and unity.
As examples, we give the following
First: Part of the Fourth Matter of the Twenty-Sixth Letter.
"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."
Second: Part of 'The Third Point Necessitating Divine Unity' from the Second Station of the Second Ray.
"Since, together with the extraordinary art in the creation of things, especially in living beings, a seed is a small sample of the fruit, a fruit is a miniature specimen of the tree, a tree is a summary index of the species, and the species is a concise map of the universe which has the meaning of a seed, and each of these is a comprehensive point and a droplet gathered together and distilled from the universe according to the principles of knowledge and balances of wisdom; the one who created any one of them must be the one who created the whole universe. Yes, the one who creates the seed of a melon is self-evidently he who created the melon; it is impossible and precluded that it should be anyone other than he."10
Third: Part of the Twenty-Ninth Window from the Thirty-Third Word.
"... Like a seal, everything ascribes all things to its own Creator. It proves each is the letter of its own Scribe. Thus, everything forms a window onto Divine Unity that is such that each thing gives all things to a Single One of Unity. That is to say, there is an impress so wonderful, an art so miraculous in each thing, and especially in each living being, that the one who makes it and inscribes it so meaningfully can make all things, and the one who makes all things is certainly Him. That is to say, one who cannot make all things cannot create a single thing."11
Third Mystery: The universe in its entirety, with both its outer and inner faces, being the dominion of the Single One of Unity, and all things being able to act only through His will and at His command
If we say that the evidences and proofs of this question in the old works of kal?m and the tenets of belief are not striking (that is, they are not comprehensible and satisfying for the people of this age), we would not be wrong. This subject has been dealt with in the works of the great scholars of kal?m such as the following: Sharh al-Mawaqif of Sayyid Sharif al-Jurjani, Sharh al-Maqasid of Sa'd al-Din al-Taftazani, Kitab al-Tawhid of Imam al-Maturidi, Tahafut al-Falasifa of Imam Ghazzali, as well as the works of the thinkers and strivers of our times such as al-Hadarat al-Islamiyya, the series, Allah, al-Rasul, and al-Islam of Said Hawwa, and the works of Sa'id Ramadan al-Buti and Sayyid Qutb.
It is clear that the manner in which matters which are obscure but whose existence is established by the Qur'an, that is, the mysteries of religion, are solved in the Risale-i Nur, is not to be found in above valuable works of Islamic scholars, old or new. It is inappropriate therefore for us to quote the relevant passages from them at the beginning of each matter. For on examining those works it is seen that for the most part they comprise replies to the doubts and objections put forward by philosophers, Mu'tazilites, and even Christians and Jews and members of other heretical sects, and that they also describe the doubts in detail. And in proving God Almighty's unity and oneness, they offer no clear evidences addressing both the reason and heart which demonstrate that everything from the sun to minute particles are God's dominions and totally owned property. This means that the obscure aspects of such matters continue to be obscure. Those who wish to see examples may refer to Kitab al-Tawhid of Imam al-Maturidi pp. 118-135; Sharh al-Mawaqif of Sayyid Sharif al-Jurjani pp.32-72; Sharh al-Maqasid of Sa'd al-Din al-Taftazani vol. ii, pp. 98-105; and al-Iktisad fi'l-I'tiqad of Imam al-Ghazzali p. 49.
To pass on to the method this matter is proved and explained in the Risale-i Nur: all the parts of the Risale-i Nur mentioned in the preceding Mystery, which prove the Divine unity and oneness, also prove the present question brilliantly. It also forms the main subject of other parts, in particular the Treatise On Nature, which is the Twenty-Third Flash, and its Third Impossibility; the Fourteenth Note of the Seventeenth Flash; the whole of the Thirtieth Flash, and particularly the parts of the sections on the Divine Names of Self-Subsistent and Single; the Twentieth Letter and especially the Fourth Phrase, 'His is the dominion;' and numerous other treatises which prove as brilliantly as daylight the Divine unity and oneness, our matter here. We offer as examples:
First: Part of the section 'His is the dominion' from the Second Station of the Twentieth Letter.
"Is it therefore at all possible that anything apart from the Glorious Lord of All Dominion, Who makes everything, from the vast world of minute particles to a fly, as a field and cultivated property, and makes insignificant man a spectator, an inspector, a tiller, a merchant, a herald, a worshipper, and a slave in that vast property and takes him as an honoured guest and beloved addressee of Himself-could anything apart from Him have free disposal over the property and be lord over the totally owned slave?"12
Second: Part of the Fourth Point of the Thirtieth Flash, on the Divine Name of Single.
"The manifestation of Divine Singleness has placed a seal of unity on the face of the universe whereby it has made it an indivisible whole. One who does not have power of disposal over the whole universe cannot be the true owner of any part of it. The seal is this: like the finest machinery in a factory, the beings and realms of beings in the universe assist one another, and work to complete each other's functions. ..."13
As well as parts of the First Point of the Fourth Indication of the same treatise:
"Yes, both unity and singleness come about through everything being connected with the One of Unity, and through reliance on Him. And this reliance and connection may become a boundless power and strength for the thing. Through the strength of the reliance and connection, that small thing may perform works far exceeding its individual strength, and produce results. "
Fourth Mystery: The Glorious Lord of All Dominion being single and unique, and together with His unity and oneness, holding all the things in existence in His hand and administering and directing them without assistant or partner
Although the matters of this 'mystery' are of the very greatest importance in increasing the degrees of certainty of belief, I will not be in error if I say I have been able to find no reasoned arguments or proofs of them in the books of kal?m. For they have not dealt with it. However, it is especially essential at the present time that this matter is proved rationally and in scholarly fashion. It is imperative if one is to attain absolute certainty of belief. We have therefore to ask from the Risale-i Nur directly about this great mystery and obscure riddle. It is true that many verses of the Wise Qur'an proclaim this truth, but it has also to be proved rationally and reasonably. This is what the Risale-i Nur does. That is, its esteemed author, Bediuzzaman. A few examples are as follows.
The First: The First Ray of the Sixteenth Word:
"O my ignorant soul! You say, 'The oneness of the Divine Essence together with the universality of the Divine acts, the unity of Almighty God's person together with His unassisted comprehensive dominicality, His singleness together with His unshared all-embracing disposal, His being beyond space and yet present everywhere, His infinite exaltedness together with being close to all things, and His being One and yet Himself holding all matters in His hand, are among the truths of the Qur'an. Yet the Qur'an is All-Wise, and that which is Wise does not impose on the reason things which are unreasonable. And the reason sees an apparent contradiction between these things. I would like an explanation of them which will impel the reason to submit .... Since comparison is a most brilliant mirror to the Qur'an's miraculousness, we too shall look at this mystery by means of a comparison. ..."
After proving with the three sorts of comparison and representation the question of the simultaneous disposal of reflections and images in mirrors, he says:
"And so, what thing may hide itself from address of oneness which is within the manifestation of the attributes and acts of the Most Pure and Holy One through His universal will, absolute power, and all-encompassing knowledge? The Most Holy One, Who is far beyond and exalted above matter; free and exempt from any restriction or limitation and the darkness of density; of the sacred lights of Whose Names all these lights and luminous beings are but dense shadows; and of Whose beauty all existence and all life and the World of Spirits and the World of Similitudes are semi-transparent mirrors; Whose attributes are all-encompassing and Whose qualities, universal? What matter could be difficult for Him? What thing can be concealed from Him? What individual can be distant from Him? What person can draw close to Him without acquiring universality?"14
The Second: Part of the Second Aim from the Second Stopping-Place of the Thirty-Second Word.15 [Not included here]
In its continuation, in the Second Comparison, he moves on from a tree to the tree of creation, and explaining the mystery of Divine oneness, solves the matter in question. Similarly, the final part of the Second Aim, even as far as the Fifth Indication of the Third Aim solve this truth in a most original way. Other parts of the Risale-i Nur which explain it are as follows: the Second Question in the Conclusion of the Twenty-Third Flash; the First and Second Rays of the Sixth Point of the Thirtieth Flash; and many other parts. I curtail this here since in this paper I am compelled to show only the tips of treatises like the above as examples.
Fifth Mystery: The meaning of Divine unity, oneness, and eternally besoughtedness (Samediyyet)
Part of the extensive and profound concepts associated with these sacred terms are found in the books of Qur'anic commentary, kal?m, and sufism. However, some aspects of them have remained obscure and have needed to be expounded, among which is their being independent relative to meaning and context. We see the following in some of the traditional sources:
1. Tafsir of Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, vol. xxxii, p. 181, which gives the meaning of Samad as a person of rank who is sought by others to meet their needs.
2. Ta'rifat of Sayyid Sharif al-Jurjani, p. 7, which states that One (Ahad) is a Name pertaining to the Divine Essence (Ism al-Dhat), together with the plurality of the other Names and attributes and unseen realms.
3. Mu'jam Mustalahat al-Sufiyya of Dr. 'Abd al-Mun'im al-Khafani, p. 10:
"Divine oneness is through an essential power, and is something that is not manifested in either the Names, or the attributes, or in anything affected by them. Thus, Divine oneness is a name for the disposal of the Essence, which is pure truth and creativity, and there is no more perfect place for the manifestation of Divine oneness in the universe than this."
4. Sharh al-Hikam al-'Ata'iyya p. 109.
"The universe is constant through Almighty God making it so, but through the oneness of His Essence it is annihilated and nothing. For Divine oneness is a wave without ripple or billow... Also, the attribute of oneness is the first 'appearance' of the Essence, so it is impossible for creatures to be qualified by it... "
5. The Diwan of Molla Ahmad al-Jazari, vol. i, p. 217. A verse the meaning of which is "There is a difference between Wahid and Ahad (both mean 'One'). But in the station of Eternally Besoughtedness, it is Wahid, while Ahad is one in both." In the Arabic commentary on this, is says: "Oneness (Ahadiyya) shows that there is nothing similar to the Essence and no partners to It, while unity Wahidiyya shows that He has no like or partner in His attributes."
In Short: These two sacred terms were not discussed to any degree in the books of kal?m. They were however discussed briefly in sufism, as shown above. In Muhyiuddin al-'Arabi's works they are expounded in a different way, from the point of view of illuminations and spiritual unfolding. But as pointed out in the book Mu'jam Mustalahat al-Sufiyya Divine oneness does not have a place of manifestation, a mirror, in creatures. However, as shall be seen, in the Risale-i Nur, it is proved that like the other Names and attributes, Divine oneness has clear places of manifestation and reflection in things. Yes, there are frequent mentions of these questions in the Risale-i Nur, and particularly, Divine unity and oneness. Here, we shall suffice with giving one or two examples, as well as giving a list of other places they are mentioned.
The latest edition of al-Mathnawi al-'Arabi al-Nuri, pp. 210-1, 344; the Fourth 'Lem'a' of the Fourth 'Ders' of Nur'un Ilk Kapisi; Abd?lkadir Badilli's Turkish translation of Mesnevi-yi Nûriye, p. 22; the whole of the Second Ray; the Sixteenth Word; the Second Stopping-Place of the Thirty-Second Word; the Eighth Topic of the Eleventh Ray, and the Tenth Topic; Emirdag Lahikasi, vol. ii, p. 125; Sualar p. 248; the Twenty-Third and Thirtieth Windows of the Thirty-Third Word; and in many places of the Risale-i Nur. By way of example, we include the following:
First: Part of the Sixth Section of the Fourth Phrase of the Twentieth Letter.
"Just as the majesty of dominicality, which is manifested in the totally of the universe, proves and demonstrates Divine unity, so dominical bounty, which bestows on the members of animate creatures their regular provisions, proves and demonstrates Divine oneness. As for unity, it is to say that all those creatures belong to One and they look to One and they are the creation of One. Whereas by oneness is meant that most of the Names of the Creator of All Things are manifested in all beings..."16
Second: Part of the Second Truth of the Second Chapter of The Supreme Sign:
"... The encompassing of all things by the extensive mercy of the Merciful One of Beauty, like a light, demonstrates the unity of that Merciful One and that He in no way has any partner. Similarly, the fact that under the veil of that all-embracing mercy the lights of most of the Merciful One's Names and a sort of manifestation of His essence are found in everything, and especially in all living beings, and in man in particular, and the fact that this gives each individual a comprehensiveness arising from life which causes him to look to and be related to the whole universe, proves the oneness of the Merciful One and that He is present with all things and does all things in all things."17
There are many other places in the Risale-i Nur where the manifestations of Divine unity and oneness are proved, but I reckon the two examples given are sufficient. I now want to give one or two examples of Divine Eternally Besoughtedness (Samediyet):
"As the term of the Eternally Besought One 'the Most Beautiful Names' shows, all the Names of the Beauteous One of Glory are beautiful. Among beings the subtlest, most beautiful, and most comprehensive mirror of Eternal Besoughtedness is life."18
"... Thus due to this comprehensive nature of life, it is a mirror of eternal besoughtedness reflecting the Sustainer's essential attributes."19
The manifestation of Eternal Besoughtedness is mentioned also in the Ottoman edition of Sualar, 664; Lem'alar, 338 / The Flashes Collection, 437; Hutbe-i Samiye, 133 / The Damascus Sermon, 115-6.
Sixth Mystery: Almighty God being infinitely close to man, though man and creatures are infinitely distant from Him
Both sides of this very abstruse and difficult question are mentioned in Qur'anic verses and Hadiths, and it is explicit and certain. Of course, believers believe in the pronouncements of the Qur'an and Hadiths, so both sides of it are Islamic and Qur'anic truths. The aspect of the matter that may be described as 'a mystery' is the proof of it with rational and scholarly evidences, and the fact that there are no proofs of it in the works of kal?m and in the Qur'anic commentaries, and this is how it has come down to the present.
It is a fact that I have not been able to find any clear proofs of this obscure question in any of the old books of kal?m and the tenets of belief. If anyone does find any, of course they should point them out. However, the Risale-i Nur discusses it in many places and has solved it completely. Bediuzzaman indicates in the Twenty-Eighth Letter for the purpose of mentioning a Divine bounty that this extraordinary matter is solved only in the Risale-i Nur.
Some of the places it is solved are these: the Third Ray of the Sixteenth Word; the fourth part of the Fourteenth Word; the First Principle of the Thirty-First Word, about the Ascension; the First Station of the Fifteenth Letter; the treatise Semme in Mathnawi al-'Arabi, p. 324; and the treatise Nur Min Anwar al-Qur'an in the same work, p. 456; and in many other places.
Now I offer a few passages which look to this matter in particular, and refer the appreciation of them to those who recognize their worth.
First: Part of the Third Ray of the Sixteenth Word.
"... Although the All-Glorious One, the Lord of the command of, 'Be!', and it is, for Whom the suns and stars are like His soldiers under orders, is closer to all things than they themselves, all things are infinitely distant from Him. If you want to enter the presence of His grandeur without veil, you have to pass through seventy thousand veils of darkness and light, that is, material and physical veils and the veils of the Divine Names and attributes, rise through the thousands of particular and universal degrees of manifestation of each Name, pass on through the most elevated levels of His attributes, and ascend as far as the Sublime Throne, which manifests His Greatest Name, and if you are not the object of favour and attraction, work and journey spiritually for thousands of years."20
Second: Part of the First Principle of the Thirty-First Word.
"A king has two sorts of interviewing, conversation, and discussion at his disposal, and two modes of address and favour. The first is to converse with a common subject about a particular matter and special need by means of a private telephone. The second, under the title of august sovereignty, in the name of supreme kingship, with the dignity of universal rule, and with the aim of publishing and promulgating his commands, is to converse and speak through an envoy connected to those matters or by means of a high official related to those commands. It is also to speak through an illustrious edict that proclaims his majesty.
"Thus.. like this comparison, the Creator of the universe, the Lord of all things with their apparent and inner faces, the Sovereign of Pre-Eternity and Post-Eternity, has two modes of conversing, speaking, and favouring. The first is particular and private, the other universal and general..."21
Third: Nur Min Anwar al-Qur'an in Mathnawi al-'Arabi al-Nuri.22 [Not included here.]
Those who wish may refer to further explanations in the same place.
Seventh Mystery: A minute particle and the sun being the same before Divine power, and huge bodies and universes like the sun and the Divine Throne being created with the same ease, speed, and abundance as microscopic organisms; and no matter being an obstacle to any other; and the proof through rational evidences of Qur'anic verses expressing this meaning
Since the above is established by numerous of the Qur'an's verses, I wanted to see how the verses were explained and proved in the old books of kal?m and Qur'anic commentaries. I looked too at the works of eminent scholars of the present day. In the following, Almighty God's attribute of 'power,' one of His seven essential attributes, is defined and proved: Sharh al-Maqasid of Sa^d al-Din al-Taftazani vol. ii, pp. 347-374; Sharh al-Mawaqif of Sayyid Sharif al-Jurjani vol. iii, pp. 41-66; and al-Iktisad fi'l-I'tiqad of Imam al-Ghazzali p. 53-64. But in these the subject is expounded according to the accepted method of scholars of kal?m, which is to refute a whole string of doubts and objections after having first relating them. Moreover, since the way they followed was long and steep, it was difficult to reach the conclusion. Also, the profound truth which is part of our matter, that of everything from minute particles to the sun, and from flies to the heavens, being created directly by His power, is not to be found in the above works.
The Risale-i Nur's method, however, is to prove in certain manner the essence of the matter and the beliefs of the Sunnis, relying directly on the Qur'an, without looking 'outside' or mentioning the doubts and objections.
Now, first I shall quote one or two passages as examples of the works of the great scholars of kal?m, then shall mention a number of proofs from the Risale-i Nur. The following are pieces taken from Sharh al-Mawaqif of Sayyid Sharif al-Jurjani:
At the beginning of his discussion of this subject is lengthy analysis of the philosophers' calling Almighty God 'self-necessitating,' that is, the idea springing from disbelief that acts proceed from Almighty God outside His will. Following this it says:
"Almighty God's power is essentially infinite. For His attributes are pre-eternal, and He is One, and He is infinite in respect of His Essence. (That is, in the meaning of negating finiteness.) His power also encompasses all contingent beings, and the relation of His Essence with contingent beings is the same. For if the relation of His power with some of them is proved, its relations with all them is proved. This is the view of the people of truth. It is well-known that the first of the groups that oppose this principle, that is, the relation of Divine power with all creatures being the same, is the group of philosophers called the al-hukama' al-ilahiyun, who say: 'God is truly One. In which case, from one only one thing can proceed.'"
The second group consisted of the astronomers called the Sabiyyun. "They ascribed the motions and revolutions in the world to the situations of the stars. However, both rational proofs and those of the Qur'an and Sunna unanimously attest that nothing in existence other than God has an effect." It supplies replies to false ideas besides these, and then answers the false beliefs of the Magians concerning the gods of good and evil.
We ask the Risale-i Nur about the same questions, and see that many parts of it prove them as clearly as sunlight, also dealing with the Qur'an's reality, which is the essence of the question here. In particular, the Second Ray of the Sixteeth Word, and the section "And He is powerful over all things," which is the Tenth Phrase of the Second Station of the Twentieth Letter; and the Fourth Truth, "Sovereignty," of the Second Station of the Seventh Ray, called The Supreme Sign; and the section discussing the attribute of "Power" in the Second Station of the Fifteenth Ray, called The Shining Proof. Referring detailed proof and explanation to the Risale-i Nur, here we include three of the above passages by way of example.
The First Piece: Part of the Tenth Phrase of the Second Station of the Twentieth Letter.
"In relation to Divine power the greatest thing is as easy as the smallest. The creation of a species with all of its individuals is as easy and trouble-free as the creation of one individual. It is as easy to create Paradise as the spring and it is as easy to create the spring as a flower. ... A decisive and self-evident proof that everything is equal in relation to Divine power is this: we see with our own eyes in the creation of animals and plants the highest degree of mastery and exquisiteness of art within an infinite multiplicity and liberality; and the greatest distinction and differentiation within the utmost confusion and intermingling; and the highest worth as regards art and the most supreme beauty as regards creation within the greatest abundance and profusion."23
Later in the same section, it proves how through "the facility of unity," the creation of a single thing is as easy for that power as all things; and alludes to many other vast mysteries through the mystery of "the manifestation of oneness;" and through the really wonderful proofs of the three mysteries of "the necessity and total detachment and disengagedness of the Maker," "the complete otherness of His Essence and His unrestrictedness," and "His not being bound by space and His indivisibility," demonstrates that for the power of the All-Powerful One the creation of a minute particle and the sun are the same.
Second Piece: Part of the Fourth Truth, "Sovereignty," of the Second Station of the Seventh Ray, The Supreme Sign.
"...The prevailing creative commands, imperious orders, and kingly laws enunciated in those numerous armies, that extend from the hosts of the atom, the battalions of the vegetable kingdom, the brigades of the animal kingdom, to the armies of the stars, and embrace both the lowliest soldier and the loftiest commander - they all indicate self-evidently the existence of an absolute sovereignty and a universal authority. There is then a truth of absolute sovereignty, and there can be no truth of assigning partners to God. For ... if numerous hands all engage assertively in the same task, the result will be confusion. If there are two kings in one country, or even two headmen in one district, order will disappear, and administration be replaced by anarchy. But on the contrary we see everywhere such order, from the wing of the fly to the lamps of the heavens, from the cells of the body to the signs of the planets, that there is no possibility for the intervention of any partner in God's affairs."24
Third Piece: Part of the Second Station of the Fifteenth Ray, The Shining Proof.25 [Not included here]
In the continuation of this, this vast and incomprehensible truth is investigated and proved in "Nine Steps" on eleven pages. It may be referred to.
Eighth Mystery: The 'positive' and 'negating' Divine attributes
This question is discussed in detail in the books of kal?m and the tenets of belief, there being little difference of view. What they say is this: there are thirteen or fourteen Divine attributes it is obligatory to believe in, and each of these are proved to an extent in the books of kal?m. The subject is set out concisely in works like Kitab al-Tawhid of Imam Maturidi, al-Iktisad fi'l-I'tiqad of Imam al-Ghazzali, Sharh Jawhar al-Tawhid of Imam Bajuri, Kastali&s gloss on 'Aqa'id al-Nasafi, and al-Husn al-Hamidiyya of Husayn al-Jisri. Having mentioned these, I shall attempt to explain what the 'mystery' aspect of this subject is in the Risale-i Nur and how it came to have its present form.
We may first take two sentences from the definition of the 'positive' attributes in Sayyid Sharif al-Jurjani's work Ta'rifat: "The essential (dhatiya) attributes; they are attributes that can only qualify God, and the opposite of which is completely impossible. For example, power, glory, grandeur, and so on..."26
I now want to illustrate with one or two examples how it is defined in the books of 'aqa'id mentioned above. For instance, in 'Aqa'id al-Nasafi: Almighty God has pre-eternal attributes subsistent through His Essence. These attributes are neither identical to Him nor are they other than Him. They are: knowledge, power, life, strength, hearing, sight, will, choice, action, creativity, providing, and speech.
In Sharh Jawhar al-Tawhid, in total fourteen attributes which are 'positive' and 'negating' are listed. Seven of these are 'essential,' and the rest are 'positive' and 'negating.'27
In Imam A'zam's Fiqh al-Akbar, these attributes are said to be fourteen, seven of which are essential (dhatiyya) and seven pertain to action (fi'ili).28
In Husayn al-Jisri's al-Husn al-Hamidiyya, these attributes are said to total thirteen.
Thus, these attributes are stated to number twelve, thirteen, or fourteen. Together with 'existence' (vujud) and 'giving of existence' (takwin), they are fourteen.
From page 53 to 101 of his work al-Iktisad fi'l-I'tiqad, Imam Ghazzali proves these attributes rationally and in scholarly fashion. It may be referred to. I do not consider it appropriate here to take passages from the above-mentioned works and Ghazzali's work, and make comparisons with the proofs of the Risale-i Nur. For Bediuzzaman called Ghazzali his "master," and in his time Ghazzali achieved an unsurpassed renewal of the religion of Islam from the point of view of scholarship, proofs, and kal?m; but his scholarly achievements and proofs looked to that age. Discussion of the matter may therefore be referred to a number of passages that Bediuzzaman wrote about the above-mentioned attributes, and particularly about the seven essential (dhatiyya) attributes.
This question is proved and expounded in the Risale-i Nur in a few places only when it arises. For example, in some places the attributes of knowledge, power, and will are proved, while in others, the manifestations of attributes like life, hearing, sight, and self-subsistence. For example, in the First Stoppping-Place of the Thirty-Second Word; certain sections of the Second Ray; the whole of The Supreme Sign, and especially its Second Chapter; the Second Station of The Shining Proof, the Fifteenth Ray; the Second Station of the Twentieth Letter; the treatises of the Thirtieth Flash, and especially those about the Divine Names of Ever-Living, and Self-Subsistent. And so on.
As examples, I want to quote two parts of pieces which expound and prove the seven essential attributes in particular:
The First: Part of the Nineteenth Degree of the First Station of The Supreme Sign:
"From this continuous, wise and imperious activity, the deeds of an All-Powerful and All-Knowing Doer can be discerned, as if from behind a veil. And from behind the veil of these nurturing and administering deeds of dominicality, the Divine Names, manifest in all things, can be immediately perceived. Then behind the veil of the Beautiful Names, manifest with Glory and Beauty, can be deduced the existence and reality of the seven sacred attributes, according to the testimony of all creation, in a life-giving, powerful, knowledgeable, all-hearing, all-seeing, volitional and speech-endowed form, there appears to the eye of faith in the heart -self-evidently, necessarily, and with full certainty- the existence of a Necessary Existent that is described by these attributes, a Single One of Unity known by these Names, a Peerless and Eternal Doer, in a form more evidential and brilliant than the sun."29
In the continuation of the discussion, which we cannot include here, by describing the manifestations of the seven attributes in the universe, it demonstrates that they cannot be separated from the Necessarily Existent One and that they are signs of the functions of the Divine Essence. Those who wish may refer to it.
The Second: Part of the Ninth Phrase of the Second Station of the Twentieth Letter:
"The Maker Who controls and creates with actions which are to be seen in the universe has an all-encompassing knowledge, and such knowledge is His particular, inherent and necessary quality. Its separation from Him is impossible. In the same way that it is not possible for the sun to exist but for its light not to exist, it is also not possible, though thousands of times more so, for the knowledge of the Being Who creates these well-ordered beings to be separated from Him. Like this all-comprehending knowledge is necessary to that Being, so is it also necessary to all things from the point of view of their being connected to Him. That is to say, it is not possible for anything to be hidden from Him. Just as it is not possible for objects on the face of the earth to face the sun with no barrier and not see it, so is it a thousand times less possible, it is impossible, for things to be hidden in the face of the light of the All-Knowing One of Glory's knowledge. This is because they are in his presence. That is, everything is within the range of His sight, is facing Him, is within the compass of His witnessing; He penetrates into all things."30
This contains brilliant proofs of the first of the attributes, knowledge and will. Anyone who wishes may refer to it.
There are further explanations in other places, and especially the Second Station of The Shining Proof, and its sections following the discussion of al-tahiyyat. Refer