Third Impossibility

The following two comparisons, which are included in other parts of the Risale-i Nur, explain this impossibility.

A wild savage entered a palace which had been built in an empty desert and completed and adorned with all the fruits of civilization. He cast an eye over its interior and saw thousands of well-proportioned and artistically fashioned objects. Out of his boorishness and lack of intelligence, he said: “No one from outside had a hand in this, one of the objects from inside must have made this palace together with all of its contents,” and he started to investigate. But it did not appear possible even to his untaught intelligence that anything he had looked at could have made those things.

Later, he saw a notebook in which had been written the plan and programme of the palace’s construction, an index of its contents and the rules of its administration. For sure, the notebook too, which was without hand, eye, or implement, like the rest of the objects in the palace, was completely lacking the ability to construct and decorate the palace. But since he saw that in comparison with all the other things, the notebook was related to the whole palace by reason of its including all its theoretical laws, he was obliged to say: “There, it is this notebook that has organized, ordered and adorned the palace, and has fashioned all these objects and set them in their places.” He transformed his uncouthness into ludicrous jabber.

Thus, exactly like this comparison, a boor who subscribed to Naturalist thought, which denies God, entered the palace of the universe, which is infinitely more well-ordered, more perfect and everywhere full of miraculous instances of wisdom than the palace in the comparison. Not thinking that it was the work of art of the Necessarily Existent One, who is outside the sphere of contingency, and shunning that idea, he saw a collection of the laws of divine practice and an index of dominical art, which are like a slate for writing and erasing of divine determining in the sphere of contingency, and like a constantly changing notebook for the laws of the functioning of divine power, and are extremely mistakenly and erroneously given the name ‘nature,’ and he said:

“These things require a cause and nothing else appears to have the relationship with everything that this notebook has. It is true that reason will in no way accept that this unseeing, unconscious and powerless notebook could carry out this creation, which is the work of an absolute dominicality and requires infinite power. But since I do not recognize the Eternal Maker, the most plausible explanation is to say the notebook made it, and makes it, so I shall say that.” To which we reply:

You mistaken unfortunate! Your foolishness exceeds anything imaginable! Lift your head out of the swamp of nature and look beyond yourself! See an All-Glorious Maker to whom all beings from particles to planets testify with their different tongues and to whom they point with their fingers! Behold the manifestation of the Pre-Eternal Inscriber, who fashions the palace and who writes its programme in the notebook! Study His decree, listen to the Qur’an! Be delivered from your delirious raving!

Second Comparison: A rustic bumpkin entered the bounds of a splendid palace and saw there the uniform actions of an extremely well-disciplined army carrying out its drill. He observed a battalion, a regiment and a division stand to attention, stand at ease and march, and open fire when commanded as though they were a single private. Since his rude, uncultured mind could not comprehend, so denied, that a commander had been given command by the country’s laws and by royal decree, he imagined that the soldiers were attached to one another with strings. He thought of what wonderful string it must be, and was amazed.

Later, he continued on his way till he came upon a mosque as magnificent as Aya Sophia. He entered it at the time of Friday prayer and watched the congregation of Muslims rising, bowing, prostrating and sitting at the sound of man’s voice. Since he did not understand the Shari‘a, which consists of a collection of immaterial, revealed laws, nor the immaterial rules proceeding from the Lawgiver’s command, he fancied the congregation to be bound to one another by physical string, and that this wonderful string had subjected them and was making them move like puppets. Coming up with this idea, which is so ridiculous as to make the most ignorant roar with laughter, he went on his way.

Exactly like this comparison, an atheist who subscribed to materialist thought, which is denial and pure brutishness, entered the universe, which is a splendid barracks of the Monarch of Pre-Eternity and Post-Eternity for His innumerable forces, and a well-ordered mosque of that Pre-Eternal All-Worshipped One. He imagined the immaterial laws of the ordering of the universe, which proceed from the Pre-Eternal Monarch’s wisdom, each to have material and physical existence; and supposed the theoretical laws of the sovereignty of dominicality, and the rules and ordinances of the Greater Shari‘a, the Shari‘a of Creation, which are immaterial and exist only as knowledge, each to have external, material and physical existence. But to set up in place of divine power those laws, which proceed from the divine attributes of knowledge and speech and only exist as knowledge, and to attribute creation to them; then to attach the name ‘nature’ to them, and to deem force, which is merely a manifestation of dominical power, to be an independent almighty possessor of power, is a thousand times more low-fallen ignorance than the ignorance in the comparison.

I n S h o r t : The imaginary and insubstantial thing that Naturalists call nature, if it has an external reality, can at the very most be work of art; it cannot be the Artist. It is an embroidery, and cannot be the Embroiderer. It is a set of decrees; it cannot be the Issuer of the decrees. It is a body of the laws of creation, and cannot be the Lawgiver. It is but a created screen to the dignity of God, and cannot be the Creator. It is passive and created, and cannot be a Creative Maker. It is a law, not a power, and cannot possess power. It is the recipient, and cannot be the source.

To Conclude: Since beings exist, and as was stated at the beginning of this treatise, reason cannot think of a way to explain the existence of beings apart from the four mentioned, three of which were decisively proved through three clear impossibilities to be invalid and absurd, then necessarily and self-evidently the way of divine unity, which is the fourth way, is proved in a conclusive manner. The fourth way, in accordance with the verse quoted at the beginning:

Is there any doubt about God, Creator of the heavens and the earth?

demonstrates clearly so that there can be no doubt or hesitation the Divinity of the Necessarily Existent One, and that all things issue directly from the hand of His power, and that the heavens and the earth are under His sway.

O you unfortunate worshipper of causes and nature! Since the nature of each thing, like all things, is created, for it is full of art and is being constantly renewed, and, like the effect, the apparent cause of each thing is also created; and since for each thing to exist there is need for much equipment and many tools; there must exist a Possessor of Absolute Power who creates the nature and brings the cause into existence. And that Absolutely Powerful One is in no need of impotent intermediaries to share in His dominicality and creation. God forbid! He creates cause and effect together directly. In order to demonstrate His wisdom and the manifestation of His names, by establishing an apparent causal relationship and connection through order and sequence, He makes causes and nature a veil to the hand of His power so that the apparent faults, severities and defects in things should be ascribed to them, and in this way His dignity be preserved.

Is it easier for a watch-maker to make the cog-wheels of a clock, and then arrange them and put them in order to form the clock? Or is it easier for him to make a wonderful machine in each of the cog-wheels, and then leave the making of the clock to the lifeless hands of those machines? Is that not beyond the bounds of possibility? Come on, you judge with your unfair reason, and say!

And is it easier for a scribe to collect ink, pen and paper, and then using them proceed to write out a book himself? Or is it easier for him to create in the paper, pen and ink a writing-machine that requires more art and trouble than the book, and can be used only for that book, and then tell the unconscious machine: “Come on, you write it!”, and himself not interfere? Is that not a hundred times more difficult than writing it himself?

I f y o u s a y : Yes, it is a hundred times more difficult to create a machine that writes a book rather than writing it out oneself. But is it not in a way easier, because the machine is a means of producing numerous copies of the same book?

T h e A n s w e r : Through His limitless power, the Pre-Eternal Inscriber continuously renews the infinite manifestations of His names so as to display them in ever-differing ways. And through this constant renewal, He creates the identities and special features in things in such a manner that no missive of the Eternally Besought One or dominical book can be the same as any other book. In any case, each will have different features in order to express different meanings.

If you have eyes, look at the human face: you will see that from the time of Adam until today, indeed, until post-eternity, together with the conformity of its essential organs, each face has a distinguishing mark in relation to all the others; this is a definite fact. Therefore, each face may be thought of as a different book. Only, for the artwork to be set out, different writing-sets, arrangements, and compositions are required. And in order to both collect and situate the materials, and to include everything necessary for the existence of each, a completely different workshop will be required.

Now, knowing it to be impossible, we thought of nature as a printing-press. But apart from the composition and printing, which concern the printing-press, that is, setting up the type in a specific order, the substances that form an animate being’s body, the creation of which is a hundred times more difficult than that of the composition and ordering, must be created in specific proportions and particular order, brought from the furthest corners of the cosmos, and placed in the hands of the printing-press. But in order to do all these things, there is still need for the power and will of the Absolutely Powerful One, who creates the printing-press. That is to say, this hypothesis of the printing-press is a totally meaningless superstition.

Thus, like the comparisons of the clock and the book, the All-Glorious Maker, who is powerful over all things, has created causes, and so too does He create the effects. Through His wisdom, He ties the effect to the cause. Through His will, He has determined a manifestation of the Greater Shari‘a, the Shari‘a of Creation, which consists of the divine laws concerning the ordering of all motion in the universe, and determined the nature of beings, which is only to be a mirror to that manifestation in things, and to be a reflection of it. And through His power, He has created the face of that nature which has received external existence, and has created things on that nature, and has mixed them one with the other.

Is it easier to accept this fact, which is the conclusion of innumerable most rational proofs – in fact, is one not compelled to accept it? – or is it easier to get the physical beings that you call causes and nature, which are lifeless, unconscious, created, fashioned and simple, to provide the numberless tools and equipment necessary for the existence of each thing and to carry out those matters, which are performed wisely and discerningly? Is that not utterly beyond the bounds of possibility? We leave it to you to decide, with your unreasonable mind!

The unbelieving nature-worshipper replied: “Since you are asking me to be fair and reasonable, I have to confess that the mistaken way I have followed up to now is both a compounded impossibility, and extremely harmful and ugly. Anyone with even a grain of intelligence would understand from your analyses above that to attribute the act of creation to causes and nature is precluded and impossible, and that to attribute all things directly to the Necessarily Existent One is imperative and necessary. I say: ‘ALL PRAISE BE TO GOD FOR BELIEF,’ and I believe in Him. Only, I do have one doubt:

“I believe that Almighty God is the Creator, but what harm does it do to the sovereignty of His dominicality if some minor causes have a hand in the creation of insignificant matters and thereby gain for themselves a little praise and acclaim? Does it diminish His sovereignty in some way?”

T h e A n s w e r : As we have conclusively proved in other parts of the Risale-i Nur, the mark of rulership is its rejection of interference. The most insignficant ruler or official will not tolerate the interference of his own son, even, within the sphere of his rule. The fact that, despite being Caliph, certain devout Sultans had their innocent sons murdered on the unfounded apprehension that the sons would interfere in their rule demonstrates how fundamental is this law of the rejection of interference in rulership. And the law of prevention of participation, which the independence intrinsic to rulership necessitates, has shown its strength in the history of mankind through extraordinary upheavals whenever there have been two governors in a town or two kings in a country.

If the sense of rulership and sovereignty, which is a mere shadow in human beings, who are impotent and in need of assistance, rejects interference to this degree, prevents the intervention of others, does not accept participation in its sovereignty, and seeks to preserve the independence of its position so jealously, if you can, compare this with an All-Glorious One whose absolute sovereignty is at the degree of dominicality, whose absolute rulership at the degree of Divinity, absolute independence at the degree of oneness, and absolute lack of need at the degree of absolute power, and understand what a necessary requirement and inevitable necessity of that rulership is this rejection of interference, prevention of participation, and repulsion of partners.

Concerning the second part of your doubt, you said: “If some of the worship of some insignificant beings is directed towards certain causes, does this cause any deficiency to the worship of all beings, from particles to planets, which is directed towards the Necessarily Existent One, the Absolute Object of All Worship?”

T h e A n s w e r : The All-Wise Creator of the universe made the universe like a tree with conscious beings as its most perfect fruit, and among conscious beings He made man its most comprehensive fruit. And man’s most important fruit, indeed the result of his creation, the aim of his nature, and the fruit of his life are his thanks and worship. Would that Absolute Sovereign and Independent Ruler, that Single One of Unity, who creates the universe in order to make Himself known and loved, give away to others man, the fruit of the whole universe, and man’s thanks and worship, his most elevated fruit? Totally contrary to His wisdom, would He make vain and futile the result of creation and fruit of the universe? God forbid! Would He be content to give away the worship of creatures to others in a way that would deny His wisdom and His dominicality? And although He demonstrates through His actions that He wishes to make Himself known and loved to an unlimited degree, would he cause His most perfect creatures to forget Him by handing over to causes their thanks and gratitude, love and worship, and cause them to deny the exalted purposes in the universe?

O friend who has given up the worship of nature! Now it is for you to say! To which he replied:

“All praise be to God, these two doubts of mine have now been resolved. And your two proofs concerning divine unity which demonstrate that the only True Object of Worship is He, and that nothing other than He is worthy of worship are so brilliant and powerful that to deny them would require as much arrogance as to deny the sun and the daytime.”