Bediuzzaman Said Nursi
Every thing, every being in existence displays God’s Unity as a most manifest truth. For example, of the innumerable arguments for His existence and Unity, consider life: He makes everything out of one thing and makes one thing out of many things. He makes the countless members and systems of the animal body out of fertilizing sperm-bearing fluid and also out of simple water which is drunk. Thus, to make out of one thing everything is surely the work of an Absolutely All-Powerful One. Also, One Who transforms with perfect orderliness numerous substances contained in innumerably diverse kinds of vegetable or animal food into particular bodies, weaving from them a unique skin for each, and various members of the body, is surely an All-Powerful and Absolutely All- Knowing One.
If you consider air, you can also see His undeniable Unity. Air is a marvellous conductor: it conducts innumerable sounds, voices, images and other things like lightning, etc. It conducts all at the same instant without the least confusion and one without hindering the other. This explicitly shows that there is One, without any partners whatsoever, Who has created all things according to His Wisdom and controls and administers them.
The universe resembles a tree, which has grown from a seed containing the program of the future full form of the tree. So, all things in the universe are closely interrelated with one another. Each particle in the body, for example, a particle in the pupil of the eye, has relations with the eye itself, as well as with the head, and the powers of reproduction, attraction and repulsion, with the veins and arteries, and with other veins, and motor and sensory nerves, which serve the circulation of blood and the working of the body, and with the rest of the body, and it has also duties in relation to each. This evidently shows one who is not blind that the whole of the body, including every particle, is a work of an Eternal, All-Powerful One and operates under His command.
A molecule of air may visit any flower and any fruit. It may also enter into it and work within it. If it were not subjugated to, and working under, the command of an Absolutely All-Powerful One, that wandering molecule of air would have to know all the systems and structures of all flowers and fruits and how they are formed down to their peripheric lines. So that molecule does, therefore, show the rays of a light of Divine Unity like a sun. You may compare light, earth, and water with air.
In any event, the original sources of things which, according to science, are hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen, are the components of earth, air, water, and light.
The seeds of all flowering and fruit-bearing plants are the same in composition: they are all composed of carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, and oxygen. They only differ on account of and in respect of the program of their progenitor, deposited in them by Divine Destiny. If we put the seeds of various flowering and fruit-bearing plants one after another in a flower-pot filled with earth, which is composed of particular or certain elements, each plant will appear in the wonderful form and shape, the amazing members, peculiar to it. If those particles were not subjugated to, and under the command of, One Who knows each thing with all its features, structures, and life-cycles, and the conditions of its life, and is capable of endowing everything with a being suitable to it and everything necessary for it, and to Whose Power everything is subjected without the least resistance, then either there would have to be in each particle of the earth ‘immaterial factories’ determining all the future lives of the plants, and workshops to the number of all the flowering and fruit-bearing plants, so that each could be the origin for all those various beings, differing in form, taste, colour, and members, or each of those plants should have an all-encompassing knowledge and a power capable of forming themselves. That means, if the connection of beings with Almighty God is severed, then it becomes necessary to accept gods to the number of the particles in the earth. This is the most inconceivable of superstitions.
Also, in each particle are two further true witnesses to the necessary existence and Unity of the Maker: despite its absolute powerlessness, each particle is able to do a great variety of significant duties, and despite its lifelessness, by acting in conformity with the universal order, each particle displays a universal consciousness. That means, each particle testifies, through its impotence, to the necessary existence of the Absolutely All-Powerful One, and through acting in conformity with the order of the universe, to His Unity.
Out of the living creatures, a human being, for instance, is plainly a miniature of the universe, and a fruit of the tree of creation or the universe and a seed of this world, such that he comprises samples of most species of beings. It is as if that living being is a drop distilled from the whole universe with the most subtle and sensitive balance. That means, to create this living being and be the Lord over him requires having a free disposal of the whole universe.
Thus, one who is not lost in fancies and delusions will understand that to make, for example, a honeybee, a sort of small index of most things, and to inscribe, for example, in man, most features of the universe, and to include in one point, for example, in a tiny fig seed, the program of the whole fig tree, and to exhibit, for example, in man’s heart, the works of all the Divine Names which are manifest throughout the universe, and to record in the human memory, which is situated in a place the size of a lentil, ‘writings’ enough to fill a library, and to include in it a detailed index of all the events in the cosmos, is most certainly a stamp unique to the Creator of all things and the All-Majestic Lord of the universe.
Life in the whole of the universe displays a symphony of mutual helping. Just like the members, organs and systems, even cells, of a living animal body, all parts of the universe support and help one another. For example, for a single apple to come into existence, air, water, earth, the sun, even all the parts of the universe, give hand in hand and co-operate. Like the components of a factory or the building blocks of a palace, creatures support one another, come to one another’s aid and co-operate to meet one another’s needs. In a perfect orderliness they all work together. Joining efforts, they serve living beings. Elements in earth come to the aid of plants: they serve their coming into existence and maintaining their lives. Most animals live on plants and man lives on plants and animals. Thus, elements form the basic foundation of the physical constitution of living beings.
Acting in accordance with the rule of mutual assistance which is in force in the whole universe-from the sun and moon, night and day, winter and summer, to plants coming to the aid of needy and hungry animals, and animals hastening to the help of weak, needy men, and even nutritious substances rushing to the help of delicate, helpless infants, and fruits, and particles of food, moving to assist the cells of the body-they demonstrate to anyone who is not altogether blind that they are acting through the power of a single, Most Munificent Upbringer, and at the command of a single, Most Wise Administrator.
The universal providence and favour included in the universal wisdom which is clearly apparent in the purposeful creation of things, and the comprehensive mercy evident from the providence, and the universal sustenance required by that mercy in order to provide all living beings with the food they need, form a seal of Divine Unity so brilliant that anyone who has not altogether lost his power of sight and reasoning will see and understand it.
Like an individual being in need of sustenance to maintain its life, we see that all the beings in the world, especially the living beings, whether universal or particular, wholes or parts, have many demands and needs, material and otherwise, for their existence, lives, and the maintenance of their lives. They need such things that although they are unable to obtain the least of them, we see that all their requirements, their material and immaterial sustenance, are met for them in a way and from a place unexpected, and with perfect order, at the appropriate time, in a suitable fashion, with perfect wisdom. Does this want and need of creatures and this way of help and assistance from the Unseen not show as clearly as the sun an All-Wise Nurturer of Majesty, an All-Compassionate Provider of Grace?
Consider the sun: from the planets to drops of water, to fragments of glass and sparkling snow-flakes, a radiant effect particular to the sun is apparent. If you do not accept the tiny suns apparent in these innumerable things to be the manifestations of the sun’s ref lection, then you will have to countenance the absurdity of accepting the actual existence of a sun in each drop of water, and in each fragment of glass and transparent object facing the light of the sun.
If the images or reflections of the sun in drops of water and fragments of glass and various colours in flowers are not attributed to the sun, then it will be necessary to accept the existence of innumerable suns in place of the one sun, which is an utterly inconceivable superstition. In just the same way, if everything in the universe is not attributed to One God, the Absolutely All-Powerful One, it will be necessary to accept, in place of One God, as many gods as the particles in the universe. This will mean falling to the degree of accepting a hundred-fold inconceivability.
God raises to life in spring and summer hundreds of thousands of species of plants and animals with complete differentiation and specification and perfect orderliness and separation amid infinite intermingling and confusion. He ‘inscribes’ on the face of the earth the individual members of hundreds of thousands of different species all together without fault, forgetting, mistake or deficiency, and in most well-balanced, well-proportioned, well-ordered and perfect fashion. This evidently points to One of Majesty, an All-Powerful One of Perfection, an All-Wise One of Grace and Beauty, One Who has an infinite Power, all-encompassing Knowledge, and a Will capable of governing the whole universe.
Also, consider amazing Divine operations on the face of the earth in spring and summer. For that activity is absolutely extensive, and alongside its extensiveness absolutely speedy, and alongside its speed, absolutely liberal or generous, and alongside its liberality, done in absolute orderliness, a most perfect beauty of art and in a most perfect form of creation. Therefore, it is such a seal that only One with an infinite knowledge and boundless power can own it. That seal certainly belongs to One Who, although He is nowhere, is all-present and all-seeing, everywhere. Nothing is hidden from Him, nor difficult for him. With respect to His Power, particles and stars are equal.
Seeds sown in a field show that both the field and the seeds are under the disposal of one who owns both. Likewise, the fundamental elements of life-like air, water and earth-being universal and present everywhere despite their simplicity, and each being of the same nature everywhere, and the plants and animals being found everywhere despite their essentially similar nature vis vis the diverse conditions of life, show that they are under the disposal of a single miracle-displaying Maker in such a fashion that every flower, every fruit, and every animal is a stamp, a seal, a signature of that Maker. Wherever they are found, each proclaims in the tongue of its being: Whoever’s stamp I bear, this location is also of His making. Whoever’s seal I carry, this place is a missive of His also. Whoever’s signature I indicate, this land is also of His weaving.’ That means, only the one who holds all the elements in the grasp of his power can own and sustain the least of creatures, and anyone who is not blind can see that only one who exercises lordship over all plants and animals can own, sustain, and govern the simplest one of them.
Truly, in the tongue of similarity to other individuals, each individual being says: ‘Only one who owns my species can be the owner of me, otherwise not.’ In the tongue of spreading over the face of the earth together with other species, each species says: ‘Only one who owns the whole face of the earth can be our owner, otherwise not.’ In the tongue of being bound to the sun, together with other planets, and of its mutual relations with the heavens, the earth says: ‘Only one who owns all these can be my owner, otherwise not.’ Supposing apples were conscious and someone were to say to one among them, ‘You are my work of art’, that apple would scold him, saying: ‘Be silent! If you are capable of forming all the apples on the earth, rather if you have a free disposal over all the fruit-bearing trees spread over the earth, and all the gifts of the All-Merciful One proceeding from the treasury of Mercy in shiploads, only then can you claim Lordship over me.’
As explained above, since the countless fruits of a tree depend on one law of growth from one centre, they are as easy and cheap to raise as one single fruit. In other words, the multiplicity of centres requires for a single fruit as much hardship, expenditure, and equipment as for the whole of the tree, as to manufacture the military equipment necessary for a single soldier all the factories required for the whole army are necessary. That means, when a single result related to numerous individuals is dependent on a multiplicity of centres, as many difficulties as the number of the individuals involved arise. Thus, the extraordinary ease clearly seen in all species arises from unity.
The correspondence and similarity in basic members between all the individuals of a species, and all the divisions of a genus, proves that they are the works of a single Maker, as they are ‘inscribed’ with the same Pen and the seal on them is also one and the same. Also, the absolute facility observed in their coming into existence, the lack of difficulty, requires, to the degree of being necessary and inevitable, that they are the works of One Maker. Otherwise difficulties to the degree of making their existence impossible would doom that genus and that species to non-existence.
To conclude: When attributed to Almighty God, all things become as easy as a single thing, while if they are ascribed to causes, a single thing becomes as difficult as everything. Since this is so, the extraordinary cheapness and facility observed in the universe and endless abundance before our eyes display the stamp of Unity like the sun. If these fruits which we obtain in such plenty and for so little cost were not the property of the One of Unity, even if we gave the whole world in payment, we would not have a single pomegranate to eat, since it requires the purposeful and conscious cooperation of as many and universal elements as earth, air, water, and the light and heat of the sun, an the seed, which are all unconscious and act at the disposal of a Single Maker, Who is Almighty God. The cost of a single pomegranate or any other fruit is the whole universe.
Just as life, which manifests the Divine Grace, is an argument and proof for Divine Unity, indeed even a sort of manifestation of Divine Unity, so too, death, which manifests the Divine Majesty, is an argument and proof for Divine Oneness.
For example-God’s is the highest comparison-by showing the sun’s image and light, and its reflection, the bubbles on a mighty river sparkling in the sun, and transparent objects glistening on the face of the earth, testify to the existence of the sun. Despite the occasional disappearance of the sparkling bubbles on the flowing river (for example when it passes under a bridge), the splendid continuation of the sun’s manifestations and the uninterrupted display of its light on the successive troops of bubbles bears decisive witness that the little images of the sun, the lights that appear and then disappear, sparkle and die away, and then are renewed, are evidence of an enduring, perpetual, single sun, which continues to manifest itself from on high. Therefore, those sparkling bubbles which through their appearance demonstrate the existence of the sun, display its continuation and unity through their disappearance and extinction.
In just the same way, these beings that are in a continuous flux testify through their existence and life to the necessary existence and Oneness of the Necessarily Existent Being. They testify to His Unity, eternity and permanence through their decay and death. Truly, just as the beautiful, delicate creatures that are renewed and recruited along with the alternation of day and night, and summer and winter, and the passage of centuries and ages, certainly show the existence, Unity and permanence of an elevated, everlasting One with a continuous display of beauty, so too, the decay and death of those creatures together with the apparent causes for their lives. demonstrates that the (material or natural) causes are nothing other than a mere veil. This is a fact which decisively proves that these arts, these inscriptions, these manifestations, are the constantly renewed arts, the changing inscriptions, the moving mirrors of an All-Beautiful One of Majesty.
For example, the perfect design and adornments of a perfect palace show behind them the perfection of a master-builder’s acts. The perfection of the acts shows the perfection of that eminent builder’s titles, which specify his rank. The perfection of the titles show the perfection of the builder’s attributes which are the origin of his art. The perfection of the art and attributes show the perfection of the abilities and essential capacity of that master. The perfection of those essential abilities and capacity show the perfection of the essential nature of the master.
In just the same way, these faultless works observed in the universe, this art in the well-ordered beings of the universe, point evidently to the perfection of the acts of an Effective, Powerful Agent. The perfection of those acts clearly point to the perfection of that Majestic Agent’s Names. That perfection necessarily points and testifies to the perfection of the Attributes of the Majestic One known by the Names. The perfection of the Attributes certainly points and testifies to the perfection of the essential capacity and qualities of the Perfect One qualified by those attributes. The perfection of the essential capacity and qualities point with such absolute certainty to the perfection of the One having such capacity and qualities that all the types of perfections observed throughout the universe are but the signs of His Perfection, hints of His Majesty, and allusions to His Beauty, in the forms of pale, weak shadows in comparison with His Perfect Reality.
From The 22nd Word by Said Nursi