Bediuzzaman Said Nursi
The universe is a vast, constantly working factory, and the earth is a hostel and guesthouse continually filled and emptied. Generally factories, hostels, and guesthouses that are so used become very dirty. Without careful cleaning and sweeping, they cannot be occupied, for human beings are overwhelmed by such uncleanliness. However, the universe and the earth are totally pure, clean, and spotless. There is nothing unnecessary, nothing without benefit, not a random piece of dirt to be found. Even if there seems to be such a piece, it is quickly thrown into a transformation machine and cleaned.
This means that the One Who looks after the universe does so very well. Its Owner sweeps, cleans, and orders the vast universe and Earth as though they were small rooms. In relation to the size of the universe, there is no dirt or rubbish. Indeed, considering the size of the universe, its cleanliness and tidiness are remarkable.
If some people do not wash themselves or clean their small room for a month, they become extremely dirty. That is to say, the cleanliness, purity, and luminosity of the Earth arise from a continuous, wise, and diligent cleaning. If it were not so, in one year all of the 100,000 animal species on this planet would have choked to death.
Also, the debris of the planets and the heavens, which manifest life and death, and of satellites and stars would have smashed not only our heads and those of animals, but also the head of the earth itself. They would have rained down on our heads rocks the size of mountains, and driven us away from our homeland in this world. However, a few meteorites, as a warning, have fallen on this planet but have not broken any heads.
Furthermore, the corpses of 100,000 animal species and the debris of 200,000 plant species each year on our planet resulting from the alternations and struggles of life and death would have so dirtied the land and the sea that conscious creatures, rather than loving and delighting in our planet, would have felt disgust and aversion and fled to death and non-existence.
Just as a bird cleans its wings with ease and a scribe cleans his or her pages, so are the wings our planet, the birds of the heavenly bodies, and the pages of the Book of the Universe cleaned and made beautiful. This is true to such a degree that those who do not consider the infinite beauty of the Hereafter and do not think with belief become lovers of this world's cleanliness and beauty. They worship it.
The Earth and the universe display the greatest manifestation of the Divine Name of the Most Holy (Quddus). Not only do meat-eating cleaners of the seas and eagles of the skies obey the commands proceeding from that sacred cleansing, but those cleansing officials that gather up corpses, like worms and ants, also do so. Just as red and white blood corpuscles flowing in the body obey those sacred commands to cleanse the body's cells, so does breathing purifly and cleanse the blood.
As eyelids obey the command to cleanse the eye and flies to brush their wings, so do the atmosphere and the clouds obey the same command. Wind blows upon the particles of dust and soil settled on the face of the earth and cleans it. The sponge-like clouds sprinkle water on the garden of the earth and becalm the dust and soil. Then, in order not to dirty the sky, the wind quickly collects the earth's rubbish, withdraws, and hides itself with perfect orderliness. It displays the beautiful face and eye of the skies as swept and polished, all sparkling and shining.
All stars, elements, minerals, and plants obey the command to clean, as do all particles and atoms. They pay attention to cleanliness within the astonishing upheavals of change and transformation. They never congregate anywhere unnecessarily and get in the way. And if they somehow become soiled, they are quickly cleaned, for they are impelled by a hand of wisdom to acquire the cleanest, neatest, and most shining states, and the most beautiful, pure, and subtle forms.
Thus this single act of cleansing, which is a single truth, is the greatest manifestation of the Greatest Name, the Name of the Most Holy, which shows itself throughout the universe. Like the sun, it shows itself directly to far-seeing and broad-sighted eyes as the Divine existence and Unity together with the Most Beautiful Divine Names.
It has been established with decisive proofs in the Risale-i Nur that since the act of ordering and order manifest the Names of Sapient and All-Wise; the act of weighing and balance manifest the Names of Justice and All-Just; the act of adorning and munificence manifest the Names of Beauteous and All-Generous; the act of sustaining and bestowal manifest the Names of Sustainer and Most Compassionate-as each is a single truth and a single act, they demonstrate the necessary existence and Unity of a Single Being. In the same way, the act of purifying and cleansing manifest and display the Name of the Most Holy, and demonstrates, just as the sun does, the existence of the Necessarily Existent One, and, just like daylight does, His Unity.
Just as these wise acts of ordering, balancing, adorning, and cleansing point to a Single Maker by reason of their unity of kind in the universe, so do most of the Beautiful Names. Indeed, each of the 1,001 Names has its greatest manifestation in the universe. The act proceeding from that manifestation points to the Single Unique One with clarity and decisiveness in relation to its extensiveness.
The self-evident truths and single acts that illuminate the universe and make it smile, like the universal wisdom causing all things to conform to its law and order, the comprehensive munificence that adorns all things and causes them to smile, the all-embracing mercy that makes all things pleased and happy, the universal provision of sustenance that nurtures and gives pleasure to all things, and the life and the giving of life that connects each thing with all things and makes each thing benefit from, and to some extent own, all things point to a single All-Wise, All-Generous, and All-Compassionate One, a single Sustainer, a single Ever-Living Giver of Life as plainly as light points to the sun.
If those hundreds of extensive acts, each of which is a clear proof of God's Unity, are not attributed to the Single Unique One, each necessarily becomes impossible in hundreds of respects. For example, let alone such self-evident truths and single evidences as wisdom, providence, mercy, sustaining and giving of life, if only the act of cleansing is not attributed to the Creator, then the following becomes necessary:
- All creatures connected to this act of cleansing, from particles and flies to the elements and the stars, would have to know and consider the adorning, balancing, and cleansing of the vast universe and would act accordingly, or
- Each would have to possess the sacred attributes of the Creator of the world, or
- Each would have to be present at a consultative meeting the size of the universe in order to regulate the equilibrium of the adorning and cleansing of the universe and its incomings and outgoings.
Moreover, innumerable particles, flies, stars, and other elements of creation would have to attend this meeting. Hundreds of such impossibilities would have had to occur so that the universal, comprehensive, and exalted adorning, purifying, and cleansing seen and observed everywhere could exist. It is not impossible only once, but millions of times over.
If daylight and the imaginary miniature suns reflected in all shining objects on the planet were not attributed to the sun and were said to be something other than the manifestation of the sun's reflection, it would be necessary for the actual sun to be present in all fragments of glass, drops of water, and snowflakes glistening on the earth's surface, and even in all particles of air, so that the universal light could exist.
Thus, wisdom also is a light; all-embracing mercy is a light; adorning, balancing, ordering, and cleansing are each an encompassing light in the sense that they are rays of the Pre-Eternal Sun. So, see how misguidance and unbelief have entered a bog from which there is no way out! See just how ridiculous is such a view. Say: "Praise be to God for the religion of Islam and complete and perfect belief!"
This exalted, universal cleansing that keeps the universe clean is the manifestation and requirement of the Divine Name of the Most Holy. And just as the glorification of all creatires looks to the Name of the Most Holy, so does the Name of the Most Holy require the cleanliness of all of them. It is because of this sacred connection of cleanliness that a hadith states 1: "Cleanliness is a part of belief," 2 thereby deeming it to be a light of belief. And the verse: "Indeed, God loves those who turn to Him constantly, and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean" (2:222) shows that cleanliness attracts God's love.
From The Risale-i Nur Collection, The Thirtieth Flash, The First Point.
- We must not forget that bad qualities, false beliefs, sins, and mistaken beliefs and practices are all instances of moral and spiritual dirt.
- Muslim, Tahara, 1; Darimi, Vudu', 2; Muslim, Musnad 5:342; al'Ajiuni, Khashf al-Khafa', 291.