THE CONNECTION OF “GOD IS THE ALL-GREAT” WITH THE RESURRECTION
It was during the Feast of the Sacrifice that this part was being written. On these blessed days of Sacrifice, three hundred million (now over a billion) people declare in one voice: “God is the All-Great! God is the All-Great! God is the All-Great!” It is as if the earth would have its fellow planets in the skies hear the sacred words God is the All-Great! Also, on the hill of ‘Arafat, tens of thousands (now millions) of pilgrims declare in unison God is the All-Great! This is the same declaration made by God’s Messenger and his Companions fourteen hundred years ago, and is a response in the form of extensive, universal worship to the universal manifestation of Divine Lordship through God’s sublime titles the Lord of the earth and the Lord of the heavens. I was able to imagine all of this and become convinced of it.
Then I wondered whether this sacred phrase has any connection with the question of the Resurrection we have been discussing. It suddenly occurred to me that together with this sacred phrase, similar other phrases and symbols of the Islamic faith such as There is no deity but God; All praise and gratitude are for God! and All-Glorified is God!, which are referred to as “enduring good works,” recall this in both a particular and universal fashion and imply its realization.
For example, the phrase God is the All-Great! means in one respect that God’s Power and Knowledge are greater than everything: nothing at all can escape His Knowledge or the control and authority of His Power. They are infinitely greater than the things we fear most. This means that they have the absolute ability to accomplish things that are much greater than bringing about the Resurrection, saving us from non-existence, and granting eternal happiness. They are able to do things that we may see as strange, unbelievable, or even unimaginable. For this reason, as is stated explicitly in the verse: Your creation and your resurrection are but as (the creation and resurrection) of a single soul (31:28), the resurrection of humankind and their being gathered together in the Place of Resurrection are as easy for that Power as the creation of a single soul. It is in connection with this truth that, when faced by serious disasters or attempting important undertakings, all Muslims say: “God is the All-Great! God is the All-Great!” making it a source of consolation, power, and support for themselves.
As was explained in The Ninth Word, the phrases God is the All-Great!, All-Glorified is God! and All praise and gratitude are for God! form the seeds and summaries of the canonical Prayers—the zenith of all worship— and in order to emphasize the meaning of these Prayers and compensate for any defects in them, they are included in recitations both during and after the Prayers. They also point to three supreme truths and provide powerful answers to the questions which arise in our mind from the amazement, pleasure, and awe we feel at the strange, exquisite, and extraordinary things that we see in the universe—things that fill us with wonder and lead us to offer thanks on account of their awe and grandeur. Furthermore, as mentioned at the end of The Sixteenth Word, a private soldier may enter the king’s presence in the company of a field marshal at a festival and come to know him directly; at other times, however, he knows him only through the person of his immediate commander. Similarly, like the saints to a certain extent, a person performing the Hajj begins to know God through His titles the Lord of the earth and the Lord of all worlds. As the levels of the manifestations of Divine Grandeur unfold in a person’s heart, by repeating the phrase God is the All-Great! they answer all of the astounding questions that overwhelm the spirit. Moreover, as was explained at the end of The Thirteenth Gleam, the phrase God is the All-Great! provides the most effective replies to the most cunning intrigues of Satan, cutting them off at the root; similarly it also gives a most succinct but powerful answer to the question we posed concerning the Hereafter.
The phrase All praise and gratitude are for God also suggests and demands the Resurrection. It says to us: “Without the Hereafter, I would be virtually meaningless. For what I mean with this phrase is this: to God are due all the praise and thanks offered from pre-eternity to post-eternity, regardless of who has offered them and to whom they have been offered. It is only the promise of eternal happiness—the supreme bounty—that actually makes bounties bountiful and saves all conscious creatures from the permanent calamity of non-existence. It is only in eternal happiness that my existence can find true meaning.”
Every believer’s recitation of All praise and gratitude are for God!, uttered at least a hundred and fifty times a day after the canonical Prayers, is not only an act of worship in itself, but it is also the expression of praise and thanks that extends from pre-eternity to post-eternity: this can only be the advance price and immediate fee for Paradise and eternal felicity. The praise and thanks offered through them cannot be restricted to the fleeting bounties of this world, which is marred by the pains of transience; people see these quite rightly as means to the attainment of eternal bounties.
As for the sacred phrase, All-Glorified is God!, which declares that God is exalted above having partners, faults, defects, injustice, impotence, mercilessness, need, or deception—indeed, any negative attributes that are opposed to His absolute Perfection, Grace, Beauty, and Majesty—it also points to the eternal happiness of the Hereafter and its Paradise, which are the means to the splendor and glory of His Grace, Beauty, and Majesty, and the perfection of His Sovereignty. For, as has been explained previously, if there were no eternal happiness, His Sovereignty and His Perfection, His Majesty, Grace, Beauty, and Mercy would be sullied by fault and defect.
Like these three sacred phrases, In the Name of God; There is no deity but God and other similar utterances are all seeds of the pillars of faith: they are extracts of both the pillars of belief and the truths of the Qur’an. In addition to their being the seeds of the five daily Prayers, the three phrases mentioned above are also the seeds of the Qur’an, sparkling like brilliant gems at the beginning of a number of radiant suras. They are also the true sources and foundations of the Risale-i Nur, many parts of which began to form in my mind while reciting these phrases after the canonical Prayers; they are the seeds of its truths. Also, from the perspective of the worship of Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, and of the sainthood included in his Messengership, these phrases are the regular recitations of the “Muhammadan Way.” As such, they are repeated by hundreds of millions of believers after each of the five daily Prayers, as though they were forming a vast circle of remembrance. Their prayer beads in their hands, they declare All-Glorified is God! thirty-three times, All praise and gratitude are for God! thirty-three times, and God is the All-Great! thirty-three times.
Now you must surely understood how worthy and full of reward such recitations are, and how, as explained above, they are the extracts and seeds of the Qur’an, of belief, and of the canonical Prayers.
Just as the first matter discussed at the beginning of this treatise provided an agreeable lesson regarding the five daily canonical Prayers, this last matter has also turned out to be an important lesson regarding the regular recitations following the Prayers.
All praise be to God for His favors!
All-Glorified are You! We have no knowledge save what You have taught us; surely You are the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.