The Seventh Ray

The Supreme Sign*

{(*) This translation of the Seventh Ray was originally carried out by Hamid Algar, Prof. of Middle Eastern Studies in the University of California, Berkeley, USA, and was first published in 1979. It has been been in part amended to fit the present work. [Tr.]}

AN IMPORTANT WARNING

AND STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

Despite the defects and difficulties arising from these five causes, this treatise has such an importance that Imam ‘Ali (May God be pleased with him) miraculously foresaw its composition and gave it the names “Supreme Sign” and “Staff of Moses.” He looked upon this part of the Risale-i Nur with special favour, and directed man’s gaze toward it.1 The Supreme Sign is a true exposition of the Supreme Verse,2 and it constitutes at the same time the Seventh Ray, designated by the Imam as the Staff of Moses.

{(*) The events that took place in Denizli fully confirmed the prediction of Imam 'Ali concerning the Supreme Sign. For the secret printing of this book was the cause of our imprisonment, and the triumph of its sacred and most powerful truth was the main cause of our acquittal and deliverance. Thus did Imam 'Ali make manifest his miraculous prediction, and prove the acceptance of the prayer he had uttered on our behalf: "By means of the Supreme Sign, secure me against sudden death!" }

This treatise consists of an Introduction and two Stations. The Introduction sets forth four important matters; the First Station contains the Arabic portion of the exposition of the Supreme Verse; and the Second Station consists of the translation of that expostion together with the accompanying proofs.

Too much has been explained in the following Introduction, but it was not my intention to lengthen it thus. The fact that it was written at this length indicates the existence of a need. Indeed, some people may regard it as too short, despite its length.

S a i d N u r s i

Not everyone will be able to understand all the matters discussed in this most significant treatise, but equally nobody will remain portionless. If somebody enters a garden, he will find that his hands cannot reach all the fruit it contains, but the amount that falls within his grasp will be enough for him. The garden does not exist for him alone; it exists also for those whose arms are longer than his.

There are five causes making difficult the understanding of this book.

The First: I have written down my own observations, according to my own understanding, and for myself. I have not written according to the understanding and conceptions of others, as is the case with other books.

The Second: Since the true affirmation of Divine unity is set forth in this book, in the most comprehensive form, by virtue of a manifestation of the Supreme Name, the subjects discussed are extremely broad, extremely profound and sometimes extremely long. Not everyone can comprehend these matters all at once.

The Third: Since each matter constitutes a great and extensive truth, a single sentence will sometimes stretch out over a whole page or more, in order not to fracture the truth in question. A single proof requires copious preliminaries.

The Fourth: Since most of the matters contained in the book have numerous proofs and evidences, the discussion sometimes becomes prolix through the inclusion of ten or twenty proofs by way of demonstration. Limited intelligences cannot understand this.

The Fifth: It is true that the lights of this treatise came to me from the effulgence of Ramadan. Nonetheless, I was distraught in a number of respects, and I wrote the book hastily at a time my body was wracked by several illnesses, without revising the first draft. I felt, moreover, that I was not writing with my own will and volition, and it seemed inappropriate to rearrange or correct what I had written, according to my own thoughts. This, too, resulted in rendering the book difficult of comprehension. In addition, a number of sections in Arabic crept in, and the First Station, written entirely in Arabic, was removed and made into a separate work.