Then the ardent and inquisitive traveller, who was seeking the Creator of the world, had advanced by gaining knowledge of God indirectly through eighteen degrees and approached, at the end of an ascension in belief to the throne of truth, a station where in the presence of God, he addressed Him directly. He said to his own spirit:

“In the noble opening sura of the Qur’an, the verses that extend from the beginning to the word iyyaka (You alone) are like a form of praise and encomium uttered indirectly; but the word iyyaka signifies a coming into His presence and addresssing Him directly. So too we should abandon this indirect seeking and ask for the object of search from the object of our search. For one must ask the sun, that shows all things, concerning the sun, since that which shows all things will show itself even more clearly. Just as we perceive and know the sun by its rays, so too we can strive to know our Creator, in accordance with our capacities, through His Most Beautiful Names and Sacred Attributes.”

We will set forth here, with the utmost brevity and concision, two of the countless paths that lead to this goal; two of the infinite degrees of those two paths; and two of the abundant truths and details of those two degrees.

THE FIRST TRUTH: There appears visible to our eye a comprehensive, permanent, orderly and awesome truth, one that changes, transforms, and renews all beings in heaven and on earth, with imperious and incessant activity. Within the truth of that in every way wise activity, there is immediately perceived the truth of the manifestation of dominicality, and in turn, within the truth of that in every way merciful manifestation of dominicality, is recognizable the truth of the epiphany of Divinity.

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.

For a beautiful and profound book necessarily presupposes the act of writing and a well-built house presupposes the act of building; and the acts of writing beautifully and building well presuppose the names of writer and builder; and the titles of writer and builder obviously imply the arts and attributes of writing and building; and these arts and attributes self-evidently necessitate one who will be qualified by the names and attributes, and be the artist and craftsman. For just as it is impossible for there to be a deed without a doer, or a name without one designated by the name, so too it is not possible for there to be an attribute without one qualified by the attribute, and for there to be a craft without a craftsman.

On the basis, then, of this truth and principle, the universe with all the beings it contains resembles a collection of profound books and letters written by the pen of Divine Determining, and countless buildings and palaces constructed with the hammer of Divine Power. Each of these singly in thousands of ways and together in uncountable ways utters the following testimony:

These innumerable dominical and merciful deeds, and the endless manifestations of the thousand and one Divine Names which are the source of the deeds, and the infinite manifestations of the seven transcendent attributes which are the source of the Beautiful Names, in endless and infinite ways point to and testify to the necessary existence and unity of an All-Glorious Essence Which is the source of those all-embracing, sacred seven attributes and is qualified by them. And so too all the instances of beauty, loveliness, perfection, and exquisiteness found in those beings self-evidently testify all together to the sacred beauties and perfections of the dominical deeds, and the Divine Names, and attributes, and qualities, which are fitting and worthy of them, and to the sacred beauty of the Most Pure and Holy Essence.

So the truth of dominicality that manifests itself within the truth of activity reveals and makes itself known in qualities and acts such as creating, originating, fashioning and bringing into being, with knowledge and wisdom; determining, forming, administering and changing with regularity and balance; transforming, causing to descend and perfecting, with purpose and will; and feeding, nurturing, and bestowing generosity and bounty, with tenderness and mercy. And within the truth of the manifestation of dominicality, the truth of the immediately perceived revelation of Divinity makes itself known and recognized through the compassionate and munificent manifestations of the Beautiful Names and through the Glorious and Beauteous manifestations of the seven affirmative attributes: Life, Knowledge, Power, Will, Hearing, Sight, and Speech.

Just as the attribute of Speech makes the Most Sacred Essence known through revelation and inspiration, so too the attribute of Power makes the Essence known through its skilled works and effects, each of which is like a word assuming external shape. Presenting the cosmos from end to end under the aspect of an incarnate book of discernment, it describes and makes known a Powerful Possessor of Glory.

As for the attribute of Knowledge, it makes known a single Most Sacred Essence, through each of the wise, well-ordered and balanced objects of creation, through each creature administered, directed, adorned, and made distinct by God’s Knowledge.

As for the attribute of Life, it is proven not only by its own evidences, but also by all the works that proclaim God’s Power, by all the well-ordered, wise, balanced and adorned forms and states that indicate God’s Knowledge, as well as by all proofs of all other attributes. Thus Life, showing as witnesses all animate beings, which act as mirrors reflecting those abundant proofs, makes known an Eternally Living and Self-Subsistent Essence.

It is also this attribute that constantly changes the cosmos, in order to produce in it ever-fresh and various manifestations and designs, and turns it into a supreme mirror composed of countless smaller mirrors. Similarly, the attributes of Seeing and Hearing, Willing and Speaking, each reveal and make known the Most Sacred Essence, just as the cosmos does.

Then, too, just as the attributes point to the existence of the Possessor of Glory, they also indicate in most manifest fashion the existence and reality of life, and the livingness and permanence of that Essence. For Knowing is a sign of Life; Hearing is an indication of Life; Seeing belongs only to the living; Will takes place only with Life. Purposive Power is found only in living beings, and Speech is a task for those endowed with Knowledge and Life.

It follows from the foregoing that the attribute of Life has proofs seven times as numerous as the cosmos, and evidences that proclaim its existence and the existence of the One Whom it qualifies. Thus it comes to be the foundation and source of the attributes, the origin and support of the Supreme Name. Since the Risale-i Nur establishes this first truth with powerful proofs and clarifies it, we will content ourselves now with a drop from this ocean.

THE SECOND TRUTH: Divine discourse, which proceeds from the attribute of Speech.

Were the sea to become ink for the words of my Sustainer...1

According to the inner sense of this verse, Divine discourse is infinite. The clearest sign demonstrating the existence of a being is his speech. This truth, therefore, constitutes an infinite testimony to the existence and unity of the Pre-Eternal Speaker. Since two powerful evidences of this truth are revelation and inspiration, set forth in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Degrees of this treatise; another broad proof is provided by sacred and heavenly Books, as indicated in the Tenth Degree; and a further most brilliant and comprehensive proof is furnished by the Qur’an of Miraculous Exposition, as discussed in the Seventeenth Degree — for all these reasons we refer our readers to those Degrees for the exposition and affirmation of this truth. Enough for us and for our traveller, who was unable to proceed beyond this point, are the lights and mysteries contained in the sublime verse that proclaims this truth in miraculous fashion and adds it own testimony to all of the preceding ones:

God bears witness that there is no god but He, as do the angels and the possessors of knowledge; steadfast in equity; there is no god but He, the Mighty, the Wise!2

In allusion to the core of the lesson learned by our traveller at this sacred Station, we said, in the Nineteenth Degree of the First Station:

There is no god but God, the Necessary Existent, the One, the Unique; His are the Beautiful Names, His are the Supreme Attributes, and His is the Most Sublime Similitude. To His Necessary Existence in Unity points the necessarily existent Essence, with the consensus of all its sacred and comprehensive attributes and all of its Beautiful Names, manifested according to the consensus of His dominant qualities and deeds. By the testimony of the sublimity of the truth of the self-revelation of Divinity in the manifestation of dominicality, in the permanence of imperious activity through the act of bringing into being, creating, making and originating, in will and in power; and through the act of determining, forming and regulating, in choice and in wisdom; through the act of expending, preserving, ordering, administering, and nurturing in purposiveness and mercy, in complete order and equilibrium; as too by the testimony of the sublimity of the comprehensiveness of the truth of the mysteries of the verse: God bears witness that there is no god but He, as do the angels and the possessors of knowledge; steadfast in equity; there is no god but He, the Mighty, the Wise!