The Thirtieth Word

[This Word explains the talisman of creation by solving an important talisman of the All-Wise Qur’an. It is an explanation of ‘Ene’1 and ‘Zerre’2 to the extent of an ‘Alif’3 and a ‘Point’.4 It consists of two Aims. The first of these concerns the nature and result of the human ‘I’, and the second, the motion and duties of minute particles.]

1. The Turkish for 'I' or 'ego'. To avoid confusion with other interpretations, 'ene' has been translated throughout as the 'I', and 'enaniyet' as 'I-ness'. [Tr.]

2. The Turkish for a mote, atom, or particle. [Tr.]

3. The first letter of the Arabic alphabet consisting of a vertical stroke, (I). [Tr.]

4. The equivalent of the dot in English, also indicating a small quantity. [Tr.]

First Aim

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

We did indeed offer the Trust to the heavens, and the earth, and the mountains; but they refused to undertake it being afraid thereof. But man assumed it; indeed, he is most unjust, most foolish.5

We shall indicate a single jewel from the great treasure of this verse, as follows.

The ‘I’ is one component, one aspect, of the numerous aspects of the ‘Trust’, from the bearing of which the sky, earth, and mountains shrank, and of which they were frightened. Indeed, from the time of Adam until now, the ‘I’ has been the seed of a terrible tree of Zaqqum6 and at the same time, of a luminous tree of Tuba,7 which shoot out branches around the world of mankind. Before attempting to elucidate this vast truth, we shall give an explanation by way of an introduction which will facilitate the understanding of it.

Just as the ‘I’ is the key to the Divine Names, which are hidden treasures, so is it the key to the locked talisman of creation; it is a problem-solving riddle, a wondrous talisman. When its nature is known, both the ‘I’ itself, that strange riddle, that amazing talisman, is disclosed, and it discloses the talisman of the universe and the treasures of the Necessary World. We have discussed this problem as follows in my Arabic treatise, Şemme (Intimations).

The key to the world is in the hand of man and is attached to his self. For while being apparently open, the doors of the universe are in fact closed. God Almighty has given to man by way of a Trust, such a key, called the ‘I’, that it opens all the doors of the world; He has given him an enigmatic ‘I’ with which he may discover the hidden treasures of the Creator of the universe. But the ‘I’ is also an extremely complicated riddle and a talisman that is difficult to solve. When its true nature and the purpose of its creation are known, as it is itself solved, so will be the universe.

The All-Wise Maker gave to man as a Trust an ‘I’ which comprises indications and samples that show and cause to recognize the truths of the attributes and functions of His dominicality, so that the ‘I’ might be a unit of measurement and the attributes of dominicality and functions of Divinity might be known. However, it is not necessary for a unit of measurement to have actual existence; like hypothetical lines in geometry, a unit of measurement may be formed by hypothesis and supposition. It is not necessary for its actual existence to be established by concrete knowledge and proofs.

Question: Why is knowledge of the attributes and Names of God Almighty connected to the ‘I’?

The Answer: Since an absolute and all-encompassing thing has no limits or end, neither may a shape be given to it, nor may a form be conferred on it, nor may it be determined; what its quiddity is may not be comprehended. For example, an endless light without darkness may not be known or perceived. But if a line of real or imaginary darkness is drawn, then it becomes known. Thus, since God Almighty’s attributes like knowledge and power, and Names like All-Wise and All-Compassionate are all-encompassing, limitless, and without like, they may not be determined, and what they are may not be known or perceived. Therefore, since they do not have limits or an actual end, it is necessary to draw a hypothetical and imaginary limit. The ‘I’ does this. It imagines in itself a fictitious dominicality, ownership, power, and knowledge: it draws a line. By doing this it places an imaginary limit on the all-encompassing attributes, saying, “Up to here, mine, after that, His;” it makes a division. With the tiny units of measurement in itself, it slowly understands the true nature of the attributes.

For example, with its imagined dominicality over what it owns, the ‘I’ may understand the dominicality of its Creator over contingent creation.

And with its apparent ownership, it may understand the true ownership of its Creator, saying: “Like I am the owner of this house, so too is the Creator the owner of the universe.” And with its partial knowledge, it may understand His knowledge, and with its small amount of acquired art, it may understand the originative art of the Glorious Maker. For example, the ‘I’ says: “As I made this house and arranged it, so someone must have made the universe and arranged it,” and so on. Thousands of mysterious states, attributes, and perceptions which make known and show to a degree all the Divine attributes and functions are contained within the ‘I’. That is to say, the ‘I’ is mirror-like, and, like a unit of measurement and tool for discovery, it has an indicative meaning; having no meaning in itself, it shows the meaning of others. It is a conscious strand from the thick rope of the human being, a fine thread from the raiment of the essence of humanity, it is an Alif from the book of the character of mankind, and it has two faces.

The first of these faces looks towards good and existence. With this face it is only capable of receiving favour; it accepts what is given, itself it cannot create. This face is not active, it does not have the ability to create. Its other face looks towards evil and goes to non-existence. That face is active, it has the power to act. Furthermore, the real nature of the ‘I’ is indicative; it shows the meaning of things other than itself. Its dominicality is imaginary. Its existence is so weak and insubstantial that in itself it cannot bear or support anything at all. Rather, it is a sort of scale or measure, like a thermometer or barometer, that indicates the degrees and amounts of things; it is a measure that makes known the absolute, all-encompassing and limitless attributes of the Necessary Being.

Thus, he who knows his own self in this way, and realizes and acts according to it, is included in the good news of,

Truly he succeeds who purifies it.1

He truly carries out the Trust, and through the telescope of his ‘I’, he sees what the universe is and what duties it is performing. When he obtains information about the universe, he sees that his ‘I’ confirms it. This knowledge will remain as light and wisdom for him, and will not be transformed into darkness and futility. When the ‘I’ fulfils its duty in this way, it abandons its imaginary dominicality and supposed ownership, which are the units of measurement, and it says: “His is the sovereignty and to Him is due all praise; His is the judgement and to Him will you all be brought back.” It achieves true worship. It attains the rank of ‘the Most Excellent of Patterns.’2

But if, forgetting the wisdom of its creation and abandoning the duty of its nature, the ‘I’ views itself solely in the light of its nominal and apparent meaning, if it believes that it owns itself, then it betrays the Trust, and it comes under the category of,

And he fails who corrupts its.1

It was of this aspect of the Trust, therefore, which gives rise to all ascribing of partners to God, evil, and misguidance, that the heavens, earth, and mountains were terrified; they were frightened of associating hypothetical partners with God.

Indeed, if the ‘I’ is not known for what it is, an insubstantial Alif, a thread, a hypothetical line, it may burgeon in concealment under the ground, gradually swelling. It will permeate all parts of a human being. Like a gigantic dragon it will swallow up the human being; that entire person with all his faculties will, quite simply, become pure ‘I’. Then too, the ‘I-ness’ of the human race gives strength to the individual ‘I-ness’ by means of human racialism and national racialism, and the ‘I’, gaining support from the ‘I-ness’ of the human race, contests the commands of the Glorious Maker, like Satan. Then, using itself as a yardstick, it compares everyone, everything even, with itself; it divides God Almighty’s sovereignty between them and other causes. It falls into ascribing partners to God on a vast scale, indicating the meaning of:

To assign partners to God is verily a great transgression.2

It is just like a man who steals a brass coin from the public treasury; he can only justify his action by agreeing to take a silver coin for each of his friends who is present. So the man who says: “I own myself,” must believe and say: “Everything owns itself.”

Thus, while in this treacherous position, the ‘I’ is in absolute ignorance. Even if it knows thousands of branches of science, with compounded ignorance it is most ignorant. For when its senses and thoughts yield the lights of knowledge of the universe, those lights are extinguished because such an ‘I’ does not find any material within itself with which to confirm, illuminate, and perpetuate them. Whatever it encounters is dyed with the colours that are within it. Even if it encounters pure wisdom, the wisdom takes the form, within that ‘I’ , of absolute futility. For the colour of an ‘I’ that is in this condition is atheism and ascribing partners to God, it is denial of God Almighty. If the whole universe is full of shining signs, a dark point in the ‘I’ hides them from view, as though extinguished.

The nature of man and the ‘I’ within his nature have been explained clearly and in detail in the Eleventh Word, as indicating something other than themselves. They are shown to be a most sensitive scale and accurate measure, an encompassing index and perfect map, a comprehensive mirror, and a fitting calendar and diary for the universe. Since we consider the explanation in that Word to be sufficient and it may be referred to, we curtail and conclude the introduction here. If you have understood the introduction, come, let us enter upon the truth.