THE FIRST: Twelve years ago, I heard that a most dangerous and obstinate enemy of Islam had instigated a conspiracy against the Qur’an and ordered it to be translated so that “people could see its repetitiousness and understand just what it really is.” He also intended to substitute a translation for the original Arabic in the canonical Prayers. However, as the Risale-i Nur shows decisively, an exact translation of the Qur’an is impossible. No other language can preserve the fine virtues and subtleties of the Arabic language, given how strict and precise it is in grammar and syntax. No translation can replace the Qur’an’s miraculously inimitable words and phrases, which are extremely comprehensive in meaning, and each letter of which yields from ten to a thousand merits.

The Risale-i Nur also stymied the plan to have only translations of the Qur’an recited in mosques. But since hypocrites taught by that heretic continue to seek a way to extinguish the sun of the Qur’an in the name of Satan, I felt compelled to write the Flower of Emirdağ. However, since I have not met with people for a long time, I have no knowledge of the latest developments.

THE SECOND: After our release from Denizli prison, I was sitting on the top floor of the well-known Hotel Şehir. The graceful dancing of the leaves, branches, and trunks of the poplar trees in the fine gardens opposite me, each with a rapturous motion like a circle of dervishes touched by the breeze, pained my heart, which was already grieving at being parted from my brothers and finding myself alone. Suddenly I thought of fall and winter, and a kind of heedlessness overcame me. I pitied those graceful, swaying poplars and joyful living creatures so much that my eyes began to brim with tears. Since they reminded me of the deaths and separations which lie beneath the ornamented veil of the cosmic façade, the grief at a world full of death and separation took me in its grip and began to squeeze me. But then the light of the Muhammadan Truth came and changed that grief to joy. Indeed, I felt eternally grateful to the person of Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, for the help and consolation that came to me at that time, for only a single instance of the boundless grace of that light for me, as for all believers and everyone. It was as follows:

The heedlessness that had overcome me had shown me that these blessed and delicate creatures only appear in the season of summer in a purposeless and fruitless life. Their movements were not due to joy; rather they were trembling at the thought of death, separation, and the journey to nonexistence. This view was deeply injurious to my passionate desire for permanence, to my love of beauty and my compassion for all creatures and living things. This way of thinking transformed the world into a kind of Hell and my intellect into an instrument of torture. But just at that point, the light that Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, brought as a gift for humanity lifted the veil and showed that rather than extinction, non-existence, nothingness, futility, or separation, the existence of these poplar trees had as many meanings and purposes as the number of their leaves. Moreover, it revealed that they had several duties and that their lives yielded many results, as follows:

One kind relates to the All-Majestic Maker’s Names. For example, everyone applauds and congratulates an engineer who makes an extraordinary machine. By carrying out its functions properly, the machine in turn can be said to congratulate and applaud its engineer. Every created being in the universe is such a machine and congratulates and applauds its Maker.

Another instance of wisdom in things such as poplar trees is that each of them resembles a text which, when studied, reveals knowledge of God to conscious living beings. Having left their meanings in the minds of beings such as these, and having left their forms in these beings’ memories, as well as on the tablets of the World of representations or “ideal forms” and the records of the World of the Unseen, they leave the material world for the World of the Unseen. In other words, they are stripped of apparent existence and gain many existences that pertain to meanings, the Knowledge that lies behind them and the knowledge of conscious beings, and the unseen realm.

Since God exists and His Knowledge encompasses all things, certainly there can be no such thing in reality, or in the world of a believer, as nonexistence, eternal annihilation, or nothingness. An unbeliever’s world, however, is filled with notions such as non-existence, separation, and extinction. As the famous proverb has it: “Everything exists for the one for whom God exists; nothing exists for the one for whom God does not exist.”

In short, then, just as belief saves us from eternal punishment when we die, it saves everyone’s particular world from the darkness of eternal extinction and nothingness. Unbelief, especially the denial of God, destroys both the individual themselves and their particular world with the fear of death, casting them into dark, hellish pits and changing their life’s pleasures into pain. Those who prefer this world over the Hereafter should pay heed to this. They should either find a solution for this intractable problem or they should accept belief, thus saving themselves from a most fearful eternal loss.

All-Glorified are You! We have no knowledge save what You have taught us. Surely You are the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

Your brother who is in dire need of your prayers and misses you greatly,

Said Nursi