First Example: According to the rule of: Be moulded by God-given ethics, which is one of the principles of the line of prophethood concerning individual life, there is the instruction: “Be distinguished by God-given morals and turn towards God Almighty with humility recognizing your impotence, poverty, and defectiveness, and so be a slave in His presence.” Whereas, the self-seeking rule of philosophy, “Try to imitate the Necessarily Existent One” is mankind’s aim for perfection. No, indeed, the essence of humanity has been kneaded with infinite impotence, weakness, poverty, and need, while the essence of the Necessarily Existent One is infinitely omnipotent, powerful, self-sufficient, and without need.

Second Example: Among the principles of the line of prophethood concerning social life are those of mutual assistance, magnanimity, and generosity. These have been harnessed for the help and assistance of all things from the sun and moon down to even plants. For the assistance of animals, for example, and the help of animals for human beings, and even that of particles of food for the cells of the body. Whereas, among the principles of the line of philosophy concerning social life is that of conflict, which springs from the misuse of their inborn dispositions by a number of tyrants, brutish men, and savage beasts. Indeed, they have accepted this principle at so fundamental a level and at such a general one that they have idiotically declared: “Life is a conflict.”

Third Example: One of the valuable results and exalted principles of the line of prophethood concerning Divine unity is: “If a thing has unity, it must proceed from only one.” That is, “Since each thing in itself and all things collectively have unity, they therefore must be the creation of one single being.”

Whereas, one of the beliefs of ancient philosophy is: “From one, one proceeds.” That is, “From one person, only one single thing can proceed. Everything else proceeds from him by means of intermediaries.”

This misleading principle of philosophy, which is stained by associating partners with God, presents the Absolutely Self-Sufficient and Omnipotent One as being in need of impotent intermediaries, and gives all causes and intermediaries a sort of partnership in His dominicality. It attributes to the Glorious Creator the title of ‘Prime Mover’, which in fact indicates the status of creature. Moreover, it allots the rest of His sovereignty to causes and intermediaries, thus opening the way to associating partners with Him in a most comprehensive manner. If the Illuminists (Ishraqiyyun), who were pre-eminent philosophers, uttered nonsense like this, you can imagine how much more absurd will be what inferior philosophers, like the Materialists and Naturalists, say.

Fourth Example: According to the meaning of,

There is nothing but extols His limitless glory and praise,1

which is one of the wise principles of prophethood, “If the purpose and wisdom of everything, in particular every living being, has one aspect which looks to the being itself, then the purposes which concern its Maker and the instances of wisdom which look to its Creator must be myriad. Each thing, a single fruit, for example, has as much wisdom and as many purposes as all the fruits of a tree.” This principle, which is pure truth, results from the joining of one of the forms of philosophy with the line of prophethood.

Whereas, the nonsensical principles of a deceiving philosophy that has not joined this line says: “The purpose of every living being looks to itself or is connected with benefits for mankind,” thus considering in it an extremely senseless futility and attaching a purpose, a tiny fruit, to a tree as huge as a mountain. Because this truth has been explained to some extent in the Tenth Truth of the Tenth Word and some parts have been mentioned in the treatise called Lemeat (Gleams), we have cut it short here. However, you can extend these four examples to thousands.

It is because of these rotten foundations and disastrous results of philosophy that geniuses from among the Muslim philosophers like Ibn-i Sina and Farabi were charmed by its apparent glitter and were deceived into taking this way, and thus attained only the rank of an ordinary believer. Hujjat al-Islam al-Ghazzali did not accord them that rank, even.

Also, the foremost of the Mu’tazilites, who were among the most learned scholars of Islamic theology, being fascinated by the apparent glamour of the way of philosophy and being closely involved with it, assumed intellect to be self-sufficient. Because of this they could attain only the rank of deviating, novice believers. Moreover, because those famous literary figures of Islam, like Abu al-’Ala al-Ma’arri, who was renowned for his pessimism, and ‘Umar Khayyam, who was characterized by his pitiful weeping, took pleasure at the line of philosophy’s caressing their evil-commanding souls, they received contemptuous and condemnatory rebuffs and restraining and chastening slaps from the people of truth and perfection, who said: “You are being insolent, you are approaching heresy, and you are disseminating heresy.”

A further result of the rotten foundations of the line of philosophy is that although the ‘I’ has, in itself, an essence as insubstantial as air, because the inauspicious attitude of philosophy regards it as relating only to itself, it is as if that vapour-like ‘I’ becomes liquid; and then, because of its familiarity and preoccupation with materialism, it hardens. Next, through neglect and denial, that ‘I-ness’ freezes. Then, through rebelliousness it becomes opaque, losing its transparency. Then, it gradually becomes denser and envelops its owner. It becomes distended with the thoughts of mankind. Next, supposing the rest of humanity, and even causes, to be like itself, although they do not accept this and disclaim it, it gives to each of them the status of a Pharaoh. Then at this point it takes up its position contesting the commands of the Glorious Creator, it says:

Who could give life to bones that have crumbled to dust?1

and, as a challenge, accuses the Absolutely Omnipotent One of impotence. It even debases the attributes of the Glorious Creator. It either rejects or denies or distorts what does not suit its interests and does not please its Pharaoh-like evil-commanding soul.

One group of philosophers, by calling Almighty God ‘Self-Necessitating’, denied Him choice. They rejected the endless testimony of all creation, which proves that He has choice. Glory be to God! Although all the beings in the universe from the smallest particles to the sun show that the Creator has choice, each with its own appointed individuality, order, wisdom, and measure, this blind philosophy refused to see it. Moreover, another group of philosophers said: “Divine knowledge is not concerned with insignificant matters,” and denied its awesome comprehensiveness, and thus rejected the veracious witnessing of all beings.

Furthermore, by attributing effects to causes, philosophy has given nature the power to create. As has been definitely proved in the Twenty-Second Word, since philosophy does not see the evident stamp on everything as signifying the Creator of All Things, and assumes nature to be the originator, which is impotent, inanimate, unconscious, and blind, and whose apparent power is in the hands of chance and force which are also blind, it attributes to nature certain beings, each of which expresses thousands of instances of exalted wisdom and is like a missive from the Eternally Besought One.

In addition, the philosophers did not find the door to resurrection and the hereafter, which, as is proved in the Tenth Word, God Almighty with all of His Names, and the universe with all of its truths, and the line of prophethood with all of its verifications, and the revealed books with all of their verses demonstrate. They therefore denied the resurrection and ascribed pre-eternity to souls. You can deduce from these superstitions what their views on other matters would be. Indeed, the powers of evil have raised up the minds of atheistic philosophers as though with the beaks and talons of their ‘I’s and have dropped them in the valleys of misguidance. Thus, IN THE MICROCOSM, THE ‘I’ IS THE IDOL, LIKE THOSE IN THE MACROCOSM SUCH AS NATURE.

Hence, he who rejects idols and believes in God has indeed taken hold of a support most unfailing, which shall never give way: for God is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.1

It is appropriate to mention here the meaning of a fictitious event that I described in semi-verse in Lemeat as an imaginary journey, which will illuminate the aforementioned truth.

Eight years before writing this treatise, in Istanbul during the month of Ramadan, when the Old Said, who was concerned with the study of philosophy, was about to be transformed into the New Said, while pondering over the three ways that are indicated at the end of Sura al-Fatiha,

The way of those upon whom You have bestowed Your grace, not those who have received Your wrath, nor those who go astray,2

I saw something resembling a dream or vision, an imaginary event, which was as follows.

I saw myself in a vast desert. A layer of murky, dispiriting, and suffocating cloud had covered the whole face of the earth. There was neither breeze, nor light, nor water, none of these was to be found. I imagined that everywhere was full of monsters, dangerous and dreadful creatures. It occurred to me that through on the other side of this land there should be light, breeze, and water. It was necessary to get there. I realized that I was being driven on involuntarily. Under the earth I wormed my way into a tunnel-like cave and gradually travelled through the earth. I saw that many people had passed along this subterranean way before me, on all sides they were submerged. I saw their footprints, and once I heard some of their voices, then later they ceased.

O my friend who is accompanying me on my imaginary journey! That land is nature and the philosophy of Naturalism. And the tunnel is the way that the philosophers have opened up with their thought in order to reach the truth. The footprints I saw were those of famous philosophers like Plato and Aristotle,1 and the voices I heard those of geniuses like Ibn Sina and Farabi. Indeed, I saw in various books some of the things Ibn Sina had said and some of his principles, but he had become stuck, he could go no further, he was submerged before reaching the truth. Anyhow, in order to save you from anxiety, I showed you a small part of truth. Now I return to my journey.(*)

{(*) If you say: "Who do think you are to challenge these famous philosophers? You are like a mere fly and yet you meddle in the flight of eagles," I would reply: "While having a pre-eternal teacher like the Qur'an, in matters concerning truth and the knowledge of God, I do not have to attach as much value as that of a fly's wing to those eagles, who are the students of misguided philosophy and deluded intellect. However inferior I am to them, their teacher is a thousand times more inferior than mine. With the help of my teacher, whatever caused them to become submerged did not so much as dampen my toes. An insignificant private who acts in accordance with the laws and commands of a great king is able to achieve more than a great field marshal of an insignificant king..."}

Gradually I realized that I had been given two things to use. One was a torch; it would scatter the darkness of that subterranean nature. The other was a device which, by smashing mighty boulders and huge rocks, would open up a way for me. I was told: “This torch and device have been given to you from the treasury of the Qur’an.” So I carried on for a long time in this way. Then suddenly I realized that I had come out on the other side. I saw a world where everywhere there was rejoicing, bright sunshine in a most beautiful springtime and an invigorating breeze and delicious life-giving water. I said: “All praise be to God!”

Then I realized that I did not own myself, someone was testing me. As in the first part of the journey, I found myself in that vast desert under the suffocating cloud. And, though now on another way, still someone was driving me on. This time it was not under the earth; I was making this long journey on the face of the earth in order to reach the other side. I saw things in this part of my journey so strange and curious they cannot be described: the sea was raging, storms threatened me, everything caused difficulties for me. But once again, with the means of travel that had been given to me from the Qur’an, I overcame them and passed on. On the way I saw that there were corpses of travellers everywhere. Those who had completed the journey were one in a thousand. At any rate, having been saved from the cloud I had reached the other side of the earth and had come out in full view of the dazzling sun. Breathing in the invigorating breeze, I declared: “All praise be to God!”

I started looking round that heaven-like world. Then I saw that there was someone who would not let me stay there. In an instant he took me to that vast desert as though to show me another way. There I saw different sorts of things, some like aeroplanes, some like cars, some like hoists, which had descended exactly like lifts. Whoever, according to his power and capacity, jumped onto them, was taken up. I, too, jumped onto one of them, and in a trice it took me up above the cloud. I came out among the most beautiful green and spectacular mountain-tops. The layer of cloud came no more than half-way up the mountains. Everywhere was the gentlest of breezes, the most delicious water, and the softest of lights. I saw that on all sides were these lift-like allegorical vehicles. Even though I had seen them in the first two parts of my journey and on the other face of the earth, I had not understood what they were. Now I realized that they were manifestations of verses of the All-Wise Qur’an.

Thus, the first way, which is indicated by, Nor those who go astray, is that of those who are submerged in nature and those who are followers of the philosophy of Naturalism. You have seen in this first way how many difficulties there are in passing to the truth and the light. The second way, which is indicated by, Nor those who have received Your wrath, is that of those who worship causes and those who give the power to create and the effect to intermediaries, like the Peripatetic philosophers. These tried to open the way to the ultimate truth and knowledge of the Necessarily Existent One by means of the intellect and reason alone. As for the third way, which is indicated by, Those upon whom You have bestowed Your grace, it is the luminous highway of the people of the Qur’an, who are the people of the straight path. This luminous highway is a brilliant way revealed and bestowed by the Most Merciful One. It is the shortest, the easiest, the safest way, and it is open to everyone.