A person who worships for thousands of years, spends his life purifying his self, and becomes useful to those around him with his beautiful manners and the tools he has invented will not attain the endless bliss unless he adapts himself to Hadrat Muhammad.
He declares in the thirteenth ayat of Surat-un- Nisa, "Those who are indifferent to the commandments of Allah ta'ala and His Prophet, Hadrat Muhammad 'alaihis-salam', those who dislike the commandments and who say that they are not compatible with the present age and science, that they do not suffice for modern needs, will not escape the fire of Hell on the Day of Judgement. There is a very bitter torment for them in Hell."
This world is a field for the next world
23 - This world is a field for the next world. How unfortunate and stupid are those who, instead of sowing their seeds, eat them, thus depriving themselves of earning much fruit. They do not prepare for that day on which brother will avoid brother, a mother will disavow her children. These people will be wrong in this and the next worlds and will repent at last. He who is reasonable looks on this world only as an opportunity. During this short term, instead of enjoying worldly pleasures, he sows seeds by doing auspicious deeds, the ones which Allahu ta'ala likes, and thus gathers the many blessings communicated in the ayat al-karima. Allahu ta'ala will give infinite blessings for the auspicious deeds and worships done in this short life. And He will eternally torment those who do not follow His Prophet and who dislike Islam.
[As a matter of fact, He declares in the hundred and seventy-second ayat of Surat-un- Nisa, "For those who, believing in Hadrat Muhammad, do the deeds useful for the Hereafter, Allahu ta'ala will give what He promises and many other blessings in addition. He will inflict vehement punishment on those who presumed that it is baseness and retrogression to worship Allah ta'ala, that is, to obey Hadrat Muhammad. Such people pretend to be great by calling themselves modern and enlightened. There will not be a helper or an owner of power besides Allahu ta'ala to rescue these disbelievers from Hell, who assume themselves to be superior to everybody."]
He Himself knows why He will torment them eternally. Men's short brains cannot comprehend it. For example, He commands various punishments for the murders done in the world. No man can understand the reasons, the ultimate divine causes in them. Thus, He will torment unbelievers eternally for such a transient, short period of disbelief.
He who attempts to adapt to all the commandments of the Qur'an, all the rules of the Shariat by means of reason has not understood or believed in the highness of the rank of prophethood. We should not read books that try to explain Islam by making it believable through reason and philosophy.
Knowledge of the next world is beyond the mind.
Mind cannot comprehend it.
24 - The book Almunkizu Aniddalal says: "As the things that are understood through reason are superior to those perceived through sense organs, and as the former may prove the latter wrong, that is, as our sense organs cannot perceive the things comprehended through reason, so reason is incapable of comprehending facts realized at the rank of prophethood. Reason has no other option but to believe. How can reason assess things which it cannot understand? How can it decide if they are right or wrong?
To try to investigate with reason the things that have been understood through convention, in other words, the things which Prophets have explained, is like forcing a loaded cart to go uphill while it can hardly move on a level road. If the horse is whipped uphill, it will either fall down or die from fatigue. Or, in order to get on the level road it is used to, it will turn right or turn left, overturning the cart and spoiling its load. So, if reason is forced to solve the reality of the next world, which it cannot cope with and which it cannot understand, the person will either go out of his mind, or, by attempting to liken it to worldly affairs, which he is accustomed to, he will go astray, become deceived and deceive others. Reason is a gauge, a toll used to measure things that are like those which can be perceived or felt through the senses or things that are relative to them. Reason can compare them with one another and distinguish the good ones from the bad ones. Since it cannot discern things that have no relation with such things, it will be overwhelmed by them. Then, there is no other way to believe the things communicated by Prophets without consulting reason. It is understood that following Prophets is a necessity indicated by reason, and it is a way which is agreeable with reason. It is an action contrary to reason to attempt to consult reason about a Prophet's statements, which are beyond and above reason. It is like walking heedlessly at unfamiliar places in the pitch darkness of the night or the sailing of an inexperienced captain in the open sea without a compass on a dark night; they can at any moment fall into an abyss or whirlpool. As a matter of fact, philosophers and materialists, who attempt to explain facts through their imagination, have gone wrong in most of the things that were beyond their logic. They were bringing many facts into view, whereas, in fact, they were preventing people from attaining endless bliss. Reasonable ones among them have always been able to understand and communicate this pathetic situation. There are many examples. An article by Professor F.Arnold, a famous German chemist, states in his book Tecribee Kimya (Experimental Chemistry), which was published in Istanbul in Turkish: "The reason why improvements in science and knowledge have been at a standstill for almost fifteen hundred years is due to a fault in Aristotelianism."
In Islam there are many things reason cannot comprehend, but there is nothing contrary to reason. If knowledge of the next world, things which Allahu ta'ala likes or dislikes, and forms of worshipping Him were within the mind's ability to understand, and if they could be ascertained through reason, there would be no need for sending thousands of Prophets. People would be able to see and find happiness in this and the next worlds by themselves, and, in this case, Allahu ta'ala would have sent Prophets in vain and unnecessarily (never!). It is because reason cannot find or solve the knowledge pertaining to the next world that Allahu ta'ala sent a Prophet to every part of the world in each century, and lastly, He sent Hadrat Muhammad as a Prophet for the whole world until the end of the world. All Prophets, instead of meddling in worldly affairs that are ascertained through reason, only commanded and encouraged their people to work in order to find them and get use from them, and they explained how each worldly affair can draw people to everlasting happiness or perdition. They also explained clearly the things which Allahu ta'ala liked and disliked. Then, let us be reasonable: An ignorant person who does not know of today's technical information and experiments, which expose to view the subtleties of Allah's infinite power, who, let alone reads and understands the books of Islamic superiors, has not even heard of their names - a fact that can be inferred from his words - and who is an enemy of Islam working under the mask of a philosopher, behind the veil of a newspaper writer; how can an idea put forward by such a person with his ever faulty reason ever be held superior to the words of Allah's Prophet? How can an ignorant person's words ever blemish our Prophet's commands and words, which encompass the knowledge of health, science, morals, justice and all branches of happiness that are written in our books and which are respected and admired by men of knowledge, experience and science that have come from all parts of the world for the last fourteen hundred years, and which no one has ever been able to find any fault or defect? Can there be sadness, a wretchedness more pathetic than this? The perfect wisdom is the wisdom that doesn't go wrong and doesn't make any mistakes. Can an ignoramus who bandies thoughts about claim that he never goes wrong - not only in affairs that mind cannot grasp, but perhaps even in his own daily affairs? Who will ever believe such a claim or consider such a person as a deputy whom the nation (s) must look upon as the most intelligent of today's men? Let alone a single person, today's supposedly most intelligent Christians come together and elect the wisest ones among them, and these people pass laws by using all their brains and knowledge. Then, expecting certain results, these same people grow dissatisfied and have to change their own laws. There is one thing on earth that is never defiled and that cannot be changed the Qur'an al-karim of Allahu ta'ala and the hadith ash-Sharifs of Rasulullah (that is, his blessed words).
A man of science who has thoroughly comprehended the rules of Islam and who has observed the short history of the scientific branches that form a basis for today's civilization will clearly see that in the course of history no technical achievement, no scientific fact has ever stood against Islam, but all have always been compatible with it. How can they be at odds while it is Islam which commands us to observe nature, to study matter and energy, and to rely on reason in everything? Allahu ta'ala declares in many places in the Qur'an al-karim, "Take lessons from your predecessors by observing their lives, the path they chose, and what happened to them. Observe the earth, the skies, the living, the lifeless and yourselves! Study the inner part, the essence of what you see. Find and see, understand My greatness, and the dominion which I have over all these!"
Allahu ta'ala has related iman (which is the basis of Islam) to experimentation and the intellect. That is, the building of Islam has been erected upon these two principles. All other worships, blessings, and forms of obedience are the branches and twigs of this tree of iman. Allahu ta'ala in many places of Qur'an al-karim, scolds and disgraces disbelievers because they didn't use their minds; they didn't think by observing the earth, the skies and themselves, and thus attain iman. The book Marifatnama writes, "Sayyid Sharif Jurjani, a great Islamic scholar, says that the knowledge of astronomy helps a wise and reasonable person to realize the existence of Allahu ta'ala. Imam-i Ghazali says that he who does not know astronomy and anatomy cannot realize Allah's existence."
Yes, the righteous religion of Hadrat Isa (Jesus) was changed insidiously in a short time by his enemies. A Jew named Paul claimed that he believed 'Isa, and it appeared as if he was spreading the religion of 'Isa 'alaihissalam'. However, he annihilated the Injil, which descended from heaven. Later four people appeared, and they wrote down what they had heard from the twelve apostles. Thus four books in the name of Bible were compiled, but the lies of Paul were included in them. In addition, although an apostle named Barnabas wrote down correctly what he had heard and seen from hadrat 'Isa, this Bible by Barnabas was also destroyed. In the course of time, number of Injils increased and made-up and different Bibles were read at various places. Constantine the Great, formerly a pagan, accepted Christianity, and after enlarging and improving the city of Istanbul, he gave it the name Constantinople. In the year 325 A.D. he convened three hundred and nineteen priests in Nicea, ordered all the Bibles to be united and a new Bible to be written, having many articles of paganism from his former religion inserted into it. Accepting Christmas Day as the beginning of the year, he established a new Christian religion. It was declared that Allah is one in the Injil (the real Bible) of Hadrat 'Isa and in the Bible written by Barnabas. Yet, because they did not have the original Injil, the idea of the Trinity put forward by Plato, whom they esteemed as a philosopher, was included in these four defiled books. Constantine had this idea of Trinity put into the new Bible together with many fabled writings. A priest named Arius said that this new Bible was wrong, that Allah is one, that Hadrat 'Isa was not His son but His born servant, yet they wouldn't listen to him. They excommunicated him. Arius fled to Egypt and spread the tawhid (unity of Allah) there, but he was killed.
The kings succeeding Constantine veered between Arius's sect and the new Christianity. In Istanbul, the second and the third, in Ephesus, which is between Izmir and Aydin, the fourth, and in Kadikoy the fifth and again in Istanbul the sixth meetings were held, thus giving rise to many new Bibles. Eventually, Martin Luther and Calvin made the final changes in 931 [A.D. 1524] and added lies to the truth heard from the hawaris (the apostles of Hadrat 'Isa); Christians who believed in this new Bible were called Protestants. Thus, a religion contrary to reason and reality came forth in the name of Christianity. How can the attacks that are rightfully made against Christianity in Europe be directed towards Islam?
Escaping torment in the next world is dependent only upon following Muhammad 'alaihis-salam'. He who follows the way guided by him will attain the love of Allahu ta'ala. Those who follow in his footsteps will be close to Allahu ta'ala. He who adapts himself to him will get the happiness of being a faithful born servant of Allahu ta'ala. Hundred and twenty-four thousand prophets that came to the world desired to follow him. If Hadrat Musa (Moses) had lived in his time, despite his greatness, he would have preferred to follow him. All Muslims know that Hadrat 'Isa will descend from heaven and follow his way. Muslims who are of his ummat became the most auspicious and best of all people because they adapted themselves to him. Most of those who will enter Paradise are from among them, and they will enter before all other people.
What is the Qur'an? Translations of the Qur'an
25 - Qur'an al-karim is nazm-i ilahi (the divine verse). The lexical meaning of nazm is to string pearls. It has been called nazm also because words are arranged side by side like pearls. Each poem is a nazm. The Qur'an's words are in Arabic. However, Allahu ta'ala arranged these words side by side. These words were not arranged by any human being. When the words inspired into his blessed heart by Allahu ta'ala were spoken by him in Arabic, they were not included in the Qur'an al-karim. These words are called hadith al- qudsi. Words in Qur'an al-karim, having been arranged by Allahu ta'ala, descended in ayats. An angel named Jabrail (Gabriel) recited the ayats with these words and letters, and Hadrat Muhammad, hearing them through his blessed ears, memorizing them and immediately recited them to his companions. Allahu ta'ala sent the Qur'an in the language of the Quraish tribe. The book Radd-ul-Mukhtar says on the subject of 'oath' in its third volume, "As it is said in the book Fath-ul-Qadir, Allahu ta'ala sent the Qur'an in words and letters. These letters are creatures. The meaning of these words and letters carries the divine word. These words and letters are called the Qur'an. Also, the meanings indicating the divine word are the Qur'an. The Qur'an, which is the divine word, is not a creature. It is eternal in the beginning and eternal in the end, as the other attributes of Allahu ta'ala are." The Qur'an began to descend on the Qadr Night, and it continued to descend for twenty- three years. As for the Tawrat (the book that descended to Hadrat Musa [Moses]), the Injil (the Bible), and all other books and holy pages, each of them had descended as a whole, all at once. All of them resembled human words, and they were not miracles. For that reason, they were defiled, and soon changed. But the Qur'an is one of the greatest miracles of Hadrat Muhammad, and it is unlike human words. These details are written in detail in the hundredth letter of the third volume of Maktubat by Imam-i Rabbani and in the books Hujjatullahi 'alal 'alamin and Sharh-i Mawahib, Vol. V, by Zarqani.)
Hadrat Jabrail used to come once every year to recite the Qur'an that had descended up to that moment according to its order in the Lawh al-Mahfuz [see Preface]. And our master, the Prophet, used to listen to it and repeat it. In the year when he (the Prophet) would honor the Hereafter, Jabrail came twice, reciting the whole of it. Hadrat Muhammad and the majority of his Ashab memorized the whole Qur'an. Some of the Ashab memorized some sections of it and wrote down most of its other sections. In the year when Hadrat Muhammad 'alaihis-salam' honored the next world with his presence, Abu Bakr, the caliph, gathering those who knew it by heart and, uniting the written parts together, formed a committee to write down the whole of the Qur'an on paper. Thus, a book (a manuscript) called a Mushaf was formed. Thirty-three thousand Ashab of the Prophet decided unanimously that each letter of the mushaf was precisely in its correct place. The suras (chapters) were not separated. Hadrat Uthman, the third caliph, separated the suras from one another in 25 A.H. He put them in their order. After having six more mushafs written, he sent them to Bahrain, Damascus, Egypt, Baghdad [Kufa], Yaman, Mecca and Medina. The mushafs all over the world today have been multiplied by copying these seven. There is not even a point's difference amongst them.
There are one hundred and fourteen suras and six thousand two hundred and thirty-six ayats in Qur'an-al karim. It is also reported that the number of ayats were sometimes more or less than 6236, but these differences originate from the fact that one long ayat was considered several short ayats, or that a couple of short ayats were considered one long ayat, or that the Basmalas before the suras were considered to be within the suras (by some scholars) and to be independent ayats (by others). Detailed information exists in the book Bostan-ul-'arifin.
Each poet has a different method for developing nazm. For example, if we take a poem which Mehmed Akif wrote towards the end of his life to an expert literary man who knows Mehmed Akif's and Nabi's poems well, and tell him that this is a poem of Nabi's, though he has never heard about this poem, won't he say upon reading it, "You are wrong! I know Mehmed Akif's poetic style and that of Nabi well. This poem is not Nabi's; it is Mehmed Akif's"? Of course, he will. As the nazm, the arrangements of the words of the two Turkish poets are quite different from each other, so is the Qur'an unlike any human word. It has been proved through experiments that the Qur'an is not human words, and it can be proved any time. Let's take an example from the past. An Arabic poet wrote something displaying the delicacies of his literary art on a sheet of paper, among which he put a few lines of hadith and at some other place an ayat dealing with the same things. Someone who knew nothing of Islam or the Qur'an but who had a strong knowledge of Arabic was told that the writings belonged to a certain person and was asked to read them all. While reading, he stopped upon the hadith, and said, "This part is unlike those above. There is a higher art here." When the turn came for the ayat, he said in a bewildered fashion, "This is unlike any word. There are meanings within meanings. It is impossible to understand them all."
The Qur'an al-karim cannot be translated into any language, even into Arabic. It is impossible to translate any poem into its own language precisely. It can only be explained, interpreted. We should not read the Qur'an's translation in order to understand it. To understand the meaning of an ayat means to understand what Allahu ta'ala means through this ayat. A person who reads a translation of this ayat cannot learn murad-i ilahi (the divine purpose). He learns what the translator has understood according to his level of knowledge. And he who reads the translation written by someone ignorant or by an irreligious translator, learns not what Allahu ta'ala says, but what the translator, who assumes that he understands it, is expressing from his own thoughts.
The government does not send a law concerning villagers directly to villagers because villagers cannot understand this law even if they can read it. This law is sent to governors of cities first. These governors, understanding it well and adding their explanations, send it to the mayors of towns, who, explaining it more clearly, send it to directors of districts. Directors of districts can understand the law with the help of these explanations and can explain them to headmen of villages. Headman of a village cannot understand it by reading it. The headman explains it to the villagers in village dialect. By the same token, the Qur'an al-karim is divine rules. It is divine law. Allahu ta'ala has shown the way of happiness to His born servants through the Qur'an al-karim and has sent His own word to the highest of mankind. Only Hadrat Muhammad can understand the meaning of the Qur'an al-karim. No other person can understand it completely. Though the Ashab-i kiram 'alaihim-ur-ridwan' [A person who saw Hadrat Muhammad at least once when he was alive, is called a 'Sahabi'. Of course, it goes without saying that a Sahabi is a Muslim. Ashab is the plural form of Sahabi. All the Sahabis are called 'Ashab-i Kiram'.] knew Arabic as their native language and were literary and eloquent, they couldn't understand some ayats and asked Rasulullah to explain them.
One day, 'Umar 'radi-Allahu anh' saw Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) saying something to Hadrat Abu Bakr as he passed by them. He went near them and listened. Others also saw them, yet they hesitated to go and listen. The next day, when they saw Hadrat 'Umar they said to him, "O 'Umar, Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) was telling you something yesterday. Tell us, so that we can know." He (the Prophet) always used to say, "Tell your brothers-in-Islam what you hear from me! Let one another know!" Hadrat 'Umar said, "Yesterday Abu Bakr (radi Allahu 'anh) had asked him about the meaning of an ayat which he couldn't understand, and Rasulullah was explaining it to him. I listened for an hour, but I couldn't understand anything." He was explaining everything according to the high grade of Abu Bakr. Hadrat 'Umar was so great that Rasulullah said, "I am the Last Prophet. No Prophet will succeed me. If there were a prophet to succeed me, 'Umar would be that prophet." Though he was so great and knew Arabic very well, he was not able to understand even the explanation of the Qur'an. Rasulullah used to explain it according to the degree of the person. The degree of Abu Bakr was much higher than Hadrat 'Umar's. But he, too, and even Hadrat Jabrail used to ask Rasulullah about the meaning, about the mysteries in the Qur'an. [The book al-Hadiqa, while explaining the disasters incurred by the tongue, communicates that Imam-i Suyuti wrote that Rasulullah explained the interpretation of the whole Qur'an to the Ashab-i kiram.]
In short, only Hadrat Muhammad understood the meaning of the Qur'an and explained it through his hadiths. It is he who interpreted the Qur'an. The correct book of interpretation is his hadiths. By not sleeping or resting, by sacrificing their repose, our religious scholars gathered these hadiths and wrote books of interpretation. The book of interpretation entitled Baidawi is one of the strongest among them. To understand even these books of interpretation, it is necessary to learn the twenty main branches of knowledge well by working ceaselessly for thirty years. There are eighty subdivisions that are the branches of these twenty main branches of knowledge. One of the main branches is the knowledge of tafsir (interpretation). These branches of knowledge had different savants and many books. Various Arabic words that are used today have different meanings in the knowledge of fiqh than from the meanings which they have in the knowledge of interpretation. Even the same word conveys different meanings according to its place in the Qur'an and the particles it takes. The Qur'an's translations by those who do not know these vast branches of knowledge or made according to today's Arabic convey meanings far from the meanings in the Qur'an-al karim. Everybody understands the hints, the meanings from the symbols in the Qur'an in proportion to the strength of his iman. Tafsir is not something done simply by writing or by expressing in words. Tafsir is a halo (nur) that occurs to the heart of great religious men. The books of Tafsir (interpretation) are the keys to this halo. As the jewels are revealed when you unlock the drawer with the key, in similar way does a halo occurs to the heart by reading those interpretations. Those who knew the eighty branches of knowledge well understood the Tafsirs and, in order to explain them to religiously ignorant people as we are, they wrote thousands of books suitable for people of various categories. Valuable Turkish Tafsirs such as Mawakib, Tibyan, Abul-Lays are among them. Tibyan is an interpretation that was prepared in 1110 A.H. The interpretation by Vahbi Effendi of Konya is a book of preaching. Since there are parts containing personal views in all those newly written books, which are considered to be the most valuable, their harm is greater than their good to those who read them. Especially those tafsirs and translations by enemies of Islam and by holders of bidat, which have been written to defile meaning of Qur'an-al karim, are fully harmful. These are all poisonous.