This is about seeking refuge with God from Satan. Thirteen indications

Q u e s t i o n : Although evil spirits do not interfere in the universe in any way in regard to creation; and through His mercy and favour Almighty God takes the part of the people of truth; and the attractive beauties and virtues of truth and reality strengthen and encourage the people of truth, and the repulsive ugliness of misguidance revolts the people of misguidance; what is the reason for Satan’s party very often gaining the upper hand; what is the wisdom in it? And why should the people of truth always seek refuge with God from Satan’s evil?

This is about seeking refuge with God from Satan. Thirteen indications

The Thirteenth Flash
This, the Thirteenth Flash, explains the meaning of
“I seek refuge with God from Satan the Accursed”
[This is about seeking refuge with God from Satan. Thirteen
indications will be written. Some of them have been explained and
proved in various places in the Twenty-Sixth Word and other parts of
the Risale-i Nur so here will be discussed only briefly.]
In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
And say: O My Sustainer, I seek refuge with You from the whisperings of the
Evil Ones, * And I seek refuge with you, my Sustainer, lest they should come
near me.(23:97-8)
Q u e s t i o n : Although evil spirits do not interfere in the universe in any way in
regard to creation; and through His mercy and favour Almighty God takes the part of
the people of truth; and the attractive beauties and virtues of truth and reality
strengthen and encourage the people of truth, and the repulsive ugliness of
misguidance revolts the people of misguidance; what is the reason for Satan’s party
very often gaining the upper hand; what is the wisdom in it? And why should the
people of truth always seek refuge with God from Satan’s evil?
T h e A n s w e r : The wisdom and purpose is this: for the most part,
misguidance and evil are negative, destructive, and pertain to non-existence. While in
the great majority of cases, guidance and good are positive, constructive, repairing,
and pertain to existence. Everyone knows that one man can destroy in one day a
building constructed by twenty men in twenty days. Yes, a person continues to live
due to the existence of all the basic members and conditions of life, life being
particular to the All-Glorious Creator’s power; yet, by severing a member a tyrant
may make the person manifest death, which is non-being in relation to life. Therefore, the saying
“Destruction is easy” has become proverbial.
In consequence, the people of misguidance sometimes triumph over the people of
truth, who are very powerful, with what is in reality a weak force. But the people of
truth possess a stronghold so unassailable that when they take refuge in it, those
fearsome enemies cannot draw close; they can do nothing. If they cause some
temporary harm, according to the verse,
And the end is [best] for the righteous,(7:128, etc.)
everlasting reward and profit make up for the damage. That impregnable stronghold,
that fortified citadel, is the Shari‘a of Muhammad (UWBP) and his practices.
Q u e s t i o n : The creation of devils, who are pure evil, and their harassing the
people of belief, and many people not believing and going to Hell because of them,
appears to be terrible and ugly. How does the mercy and beauty of the Absolutely
Beauteous One, the Absolutely Compassionate One, the Truly Merciful One, permit
this infinite ugliness and awesome calamity? Many people have asked about this
question, and it occurs to many people.
T h e A n s w e r : In addition to the minor evils, there are numerous universal
good purposes in the existence of Satan, and human attainments and perfections. Yes,
however many the degrees from a seed to the huge tree, the degrees in the abilities
lodged in human nature are more numerous. They range from a minute particle to the
sun. For these abilities and potentialities to develop, action is required, a transaction is
necessary. In such a transaction the action of the mechanism of progress is triggered
through striving. And striving occurs due to the existence of evil spirits and harmful
things. Otherwise man’s station would have been constant like that of the angels;
there would have been no classes in humankind, which resembles thousands of
species. It is contrary to wisdom and justice to abandon a thousand instances of good
so as to avoid one minor evil.
For sure the majority of people embrace misguidance due to Satan, but
importance and value look mostly to quality; they look to quantity little or not at all. If
someone has a thousand and ten seeds which he buries, and under the earth the seeds
undergo a chemical reaction as a result of which ten become trees and a thousand rot,
the profit the man receives from the ten seeds which have become trees certainly
eliminates the loss he suffers from the thousand rotted ones. In exactly the same way,
through the struggle against the soul and Satan, the profit, honour, enlightenment, and
value for humankind gained by ten perfect men, who are like stars, certainly reduce to
nothing the harm caused to mankind through the people of misguidance embracing
unbelief, who are so base as to be considered vermin. Since this is so, divine mercy,
wisdom, and justice have permitted the existence of Satan, and allowed him to molest
O people of belief! Your armour against this awesome enemy is the fear of God
fashioned on the workbench of the Qur’an, and your shield is the Noble Messenger’s
(UWBP) practices, and your weapon, seeking refuge with God from Satan, and
seeking forgiveness, and taking refuge in divine protection.
Q u e s t i o n : The very great complaints and massing of forces against the
people of misguidance in the All-Wise Qur’an does not appear to the reason to be
conformable with its equitable and apt eloquence and the congruence and moderation
of its style. It is quite simply as though it is mustering armies against a single man. It
threatens him on account of one minor action as though he had committed thousands
of crimes. It affords him a position and complains about him as though he were an
aggressive partner, despite his being bankrupt and having no share of the property.
What is the reason for this and the wisdom in it?
T h e A n s w e r : The reason for it is this: because the evil spirits and those
who follow them take the path of misguidance, they can cause great destruction with a
small act, and they can violate the rights of many creatures and cause much harm with
a small deed.
For example, by some small action or neglecting a small duty, a man on a king’s
large merchant ship can be the cause of all the efforts of those employed on it and all
the fruits of their labour being lost and going for nothing. The illustrious owner of the
ship therefore complains about and threatens the rebellious man in awesome fashion
on account of all his subjects who are connected with the ship. And he inflicts a
terrible punishment on him, taking into account not his insignificant action but its
dreadful results, not in his own name but in that of the rights of his subjects.
In exactly the same way, through their apparently insignificant mistakes and sins,
the people of misguidance, Satan’s party, who are on the ship of the earth together
with the people of guidance, transgress against the rights of numerous creatures and
nullify the results of their elevated duties. The Monarch of Pre-Eternity and PostEternity’s awesome threats and complaints about them, therefore, and His
mobilization of forces against them are pure wisdom within perfect eloquence, and
are most apt and appropriate. It is in conformity with the requirements of the situation, which is the definition of
eloquence and its basis And it is free of exaggeration, which is wastefulness in
It is clear that the person will be wretched who does not take refuge in a secure
stronghold in the face of terrible enemies who wreak much destruction with little
action. O people of belief! Such a heavenly stronghold of steel is the Qur’an. Enter it
and be saved!
Investigative scholars and the people of illumination have agreed that nonexistence is pure evil and existence, pure good. Yes, in the great majority of cases,
good, virtues, and perfections are based on existence and are related to it. Even if they
are superficially negative and hint of non-existence, their basis is in existence and
pertains to it. While the basis and leaven of all ugliness, such as misguidance, evil,
calamities, and sins, is non-existence and denial. Their badness and ugliness arise
from non-existence. Even if they appear superficially to be positive and pertaining to
existence, essentially they are non-existence and denial.
Also, observedly, the existence of something like a building is realized through
the existence of all its parts. While its destruction, non-existence, and annihilation
occur through the non-being of one of its main parts. Furthermore, existence requires
an existent cause, it is based on a cause that has an actual reality. Whereas nonexistence may be based on things which pertain to non-existence. Such things may be
the cause of something non-existent.
In consequence of this rule, despite the awesome destruction in the universe of
devils from among jinn and men, and the varieties of unbelief, misguidance, evil, and
destruction they perpetrate, they neither interfere one iota in creation, nor do they
have any share in divine sovereignty. Moreover, they do not perform those acts
through any power or ability; they perpetrate many of the things they do through
neglect and abstaining from action. They commit evils by not allowing good to be
done, that is, they become evil. For since bad and evil are a sort of destruction, their
causes do not have to be an existent power and active creativity. Indeed, vast
destruction is wrought due to one non-existent matter or one condition being nullified.
It was because the Zoroastrians did not develop this mystery that theybelieved there

was a creator of good in the universe, called Yazdan, and a creator of
evil, called Ahriman. However, the imaginary god of evil they called Ahriman was
Satan, who causes evil through the power of choice and the power to act, which has
no ability to create.
O people of belief! Your most effective weapon and equipment for repairs in the
face of this awesome destruction of Satan is seeking forgiveness from God, and
declaring “I seek refuge with God,” to have recourse to Him. And your stronghold is
the Prophet’s (UWBP) practices.

In the revealed scriptures Almighty God points out to mankind great rewards like
Paradise and terrible punishments like Hell, and He gives guidance, many
admonishments and reminders, and threats and encouragement. But despite there
being so many means guiding the people of belief to the straight path, they are
defeated in the face of the feeble, unrewarding, repellent stratagems of Satan’s party.
At one time this caused me much thought. How is it, I wondered, that although they
believe, they disregard Almighty God’s severe threats? Why isn’t their belief enough?
They are carried away by Satan’s baseless wiles and rebel against God, although
according to the verse, “Feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan.”(4:76) Some of my
own friends, even, although they sincerely affirmed the teachings about reality they
had heard from me a hundred times and had an excessively good opinion of me and
relations with me, they were carried away by the trite and hypocritical compliments of
a corrupt person, and took up a position in favour of him and against me. “Glory be to
God!,” I exclaimed, “How can a person fall so low? What a deceitful man he was.” I
slandered him and committed a sin.
Later, the truth explained in the previous Indications became clear and
illuminated many obscure points. Thanks be to God, through its light I understood
both that the All-Wise Qur’an’s powerful encouragement and assurances are
completely in place, and that the people of belief being deceived by Satanic
machinations is not due to a lack of belief or weakness of faith. I understood too that
someone who commits grievous sins is not an unbeliever, and that the Mu‘tazilites
and some Kharijite sects are in error by stating: “The person who commits a grievous
sin is either in a state of unbelief or is between belief and unbelief,”3
and that that
unfortunate friend of mine sacrificing a hundred lessons in reality to win the attentions of such a
scoundrel was not despicable abasement and degeneration; I thanked Almighty God
and was saved from the abyss. For as I said before, Satan pushes man into serious
peril because of some insignificant matter that in reality lacks existence. Moreover,
man’s soul always listens to Satan; and his powers of anger and animal appetites are
like both receivers and transmitters of Satan’s whisperings.
It is in consequence of this that Almighty God’s names of Oft-Forgiving and AllCompassionate

are turned to the people of belief with a maximum manifestation, and
He points out in the All-Wise Qur’an that the greatest gift He bestows on the prophets
is forgiveness and He calls on them to seek forgiveness. Repeating the blessed words,
“In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate” at the start of every Sura and
commanding that it be recited at the commencement of all good works,4 He shows
that His all-encompassing mercy embraces the universe and is a stronghold and place
of refuge. And by the command, “Seek refuge with God,”(7:200, etc.) He makes a
shield of the phrase, “I seek refuge with God from Satan the Accursed.”

One of Satan’s most dangerous stratagems is this: he makes certain sensitive and
ingenuous people confuse imagining unbelief with affirming it. He shows the
imagining of misguidance to be the affirmation of it. He also conjures up in their
imaginations ugly thoughts about holy individuals and sacred things. He shows also
things which are essentially possible together with those that are reasonably possible,
thus making those things appear to be doubts opposed to the certainty of belief. Then
the wretched sensitive man supposes that he has fallen into misguidance and unbelief,
and that his certainty of belief has been lost; he falls into despair and becomes the
plaything of Satan. Satan works both his despair, and that weak vein of his, and his
confusion, so that he either goes mad, or exclaiming: “All is lost,” embraces
misguidance. We have explained in some parts of the Risale-i Nur just how lacking in
substance are these diabolical stratagems, so here shall discuss them only briefly, as
Just as a snake’s image in a mirror cannot bite, nor the similitude of fire burn, or
the reflection of filth soil; so the reflections of unbelief and association of partners
with God cannot corrupt belief nor the shadows of misguidance, or the imaginings of ugly abuse and words in the mirror of the
imagination or of thought change faith, or damage respectful courtesy. For the wellknown rule goes, “To imagine abuse is not abuse, to imagine unbelief is not unbelief,
and to conceive of misguidance is not misguidance.”
As for the question of doubts in belief, possibilities that are essentially possible
do not belie the certainty of belief and do not harm it. One of the established rules of
the science of the principles of religion is: “An essential impossibiblity cannot negate
the certainty afforded by knowledge.”5
For example, we are certain that Barla Lake is
in its place consisting of water. It is, however, essentially possible that this very
moment the lake sank into the ground. It is within the bounds of possibility that it
might sink. But since there is nothing to indicate such a possibility, it is not a
reasonable possibility and cause doubt. For another established rule of the principles
of religion is: “A possibility that does not arise from any proof or evidence holds no
importance.” That is, an essential possibility unsupported by any indication cannot be
deemed a reasonable possibility and so cause doubts and warrant importance.
Hence, the unfortunate man exposed to those Satanic whisperings supposes that
due to essential possibilities he has lost his certain belief in the truths of faith. For
example, numerous essential possibilites about the human aspects of the Noble
Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) may occur to him which cause no
harm to his firm belief, but he imagines that they have and so suffers harm.
Also, sometimes Satan suggests bad things about Almighty God in the form of
whisperings in the heart. The man trembles, supposing that his heart is corrupted so
that it says such things. But his fear and trembling and lack of consent shows that
those words did not come from his heart; they rather came from Satanic whisperings,
and were imparted and caused to be imagined by Satan.
Also, among man’s subtle faculties are one or two that I have been unable to
specify; they do not heed the will and power of choice and probably should not be
held responsible. Sometimes they govern, do not listen to the truth, and incline
towards wrong. Then Satan whispers to the man: “You’re not capable of attaining to
reality and belief, so you involuntarily attempt what is futile and fruitless. That means
your fate has condemned you to perdition.” The wretched man falls into despair and is
The believer’s stronghold in the face of the former stratagems of Satan are the truths of belief and incontestable matters of the Qur’an, the limits of which
have been defined by the principles of the purified exacting scholars. And in the face
of the latter stratagems, the believer’s stronghold is to seek refuge with God and to
attach no importance to them. For the more importance is given them, the more it
attracts attention to them, and they grow and swell. The believer’s antidote and
remedy for such spiritual wounds is adhering to the practices of the Prophet (UWBP).

Q u e s t i o n : The Mu‘tazilite authorities considered the creation of evil to be
evil, and therefore did not attribute the creation of unbelief and misguidance to God,
as if by so doing they were exonerating Him. They misguidedly said: “Man creates
his own actions.”
They also said: “A believer who commits a grievous sin loses his
for believing in God and affirming Hell is incompatible with such acts. Out of
fear at a minor prison sentence in this world, a man restrains himself from acting
contrarily to the law, so if he commits serious sins, which infers disregard of divine
wrath, it certainly points to his lack of belief.”
T h e A n s w e r to the first part of the question: as is elucidated in the treatise
on divine determining,
the creation of evil is not evil; it is the inclination to do evil
that is evil. For creation and bringing into being look to all the results. Since the
existence of one evil is preliminary to numerous good results, by virtue of those
results, the creation of the evil becomes good, and is as though good. For example,
fire has a hundred good results, but if because they misuse their wills people make the
fire evil for themselves, they cannot say that the creation of evil is evil. In the same
way, the creation of devils has numerous wise results such as human progress; so if a
person is defeated by Satan due to his misuse of his will and misguided inclinations,
he cannot say that the creation of Satan is evil. For he did evil to himself because he
was himself disposed to it.
Yes, since the tendency is a particular relation, it has a particular evil result and
becomes evil. But since creation looks to all the results, the creation of evil is not evil;
it is good. The Mu‘tazilites did not understand this mystery, so they said: “The
creation of evil is evil, and the creation of bad, bad.” And to exonerate Almighty God of all fault, they did not ascribe the creation of
evil to Him; they fell into misguidance, wrongly interpreting the pillar of belief
“belief in divine determining, both the good of it and the evil of it are from God.”9
T h e A n s w e r to the second part of the question “How can someone who
commits grievous sins remain a believer?”: Firstly, their error may be understood
clearly from the previous Indications, so there is no need to repeat it. Secondly, the
man’s evil-commanding soul prefers an ounce of immediate, present pleasure to a ton
of postponed, hidden pleasure; similarly, he shrinks at the fear of an immediate slap
more than at a year’s torment in the future. Furthermore, if the emotions dominate a
person, they do not heed the reason and mind. Desires and delusions govern in him,
and he prefers the slightest, most trivial present pleasure to huge reward in the future,
and he shrinks from some minor present distress more than from some terrible
postponed torment. For desire, illusions, and emotions do not see the future, indeed,
they deny it. And if the soul assists them, the heart, which is the seat of belief, and the
mind, fall silent and are defeated. In which case, committing grievous sins does not
arise from lack of belief, but from the defeat of the heart and mind by the predominant
emotions, desires, and illusions.
Moreover, as is understood from the previous Indications, since the way the
passions and evil work is through destruction, they are extremely easy. Satans from
among jinn and men quickly drive people down that road. It is an astonishing
situation, for according to a Hadith, a light to the extent of a fly’s wing from the
World of Eternity10 is comparable to the pleasure and bounties a person receives in
his entire life in this world,
11 yet following Satan, certain unfortunates prefer the
pleasures of this fleeting world, which are a mere fly’s wing in comparison with the
pleasures of that eternal world, which are worth all this world.
It is for these reasons that the All-Wise Qur’an repeatedly and insistently, and
with encouragement and threats, restrains believers from sin and urges them to do
One time this severe guidance of the All-Wise Qur’an gave me the idea that these
continual warnings and reminders imply that believers are inconstant and faulty. They
suggest a situation inconsistent with man’s integrity.For although a single order from his superior is sufficient to exact an official’s
obedience, if the superior repeats the same order ten times, the official will be
seriously offended. He will say: “You are insulting me. I am not disloyal.” However,
the All-Wise Qur’an insistently repeats the same command to the most sincere
At the time I was puzzling over this idea, I had two or three loyal friends. I
frequently used to warn and remind them lest they be deceived by the machinations of
satanic humans. They were not offended at me, nor said I was insulting them.
However I used to tell myself that I was offending them with these continual
admonitions and that I was accusing them of disloyalty and inconstancy. Then
suddenly the truth explained and proved in the above Indications became clear. I
understood that the All-Wise Qur’an’s insistent repetitions were apt and exactly as
required by the situation, and wise and not excessive or accusing; they were pure
wisdom and pure eloquence. I understood too the reason those loyal friends of mine
were not offended. A summary of the truth is this:
Since evil spirits provoke people in respect of destruction, they commit much evil
with few actions. People who take the path of truth and guidance, therefore, are in
need of much caution and great care and repeated warnings and various assistance.
For this reason Almighty God offers assistance to the people of belief through His
thousand and one names by way of those repetitions, and stretches out thousands of
compassionate hands to help them. He does not slight their integrity, but upholds it.
He does not belittle man, but shows Satan’s evil to be great.
O people of truth and people of guidance! The way to be saved from the abovementioned wiles of satanic jinn and men is this: make your headquarters the school of
the people of the truth, the Sunnis; enter the stronghold of the Qur’an of Miraculous
Exposition’s incontestable matters; and take the Prophet’s (UWBP) practices as your
guide; find safety and salvation!

Q u e s t i o n : You have proved in the above Indications that the way of
misguidance is easy, and is destruction and aggression, so that many take it. Whereas
in other parts of the Risale-i Nur you have proved decisively that the way of unbelief
and misguidance is so fraught with difficulties and problems that no one should take
it; that it is not possible to follow it. And you have shown that the path of belief and
guidance is so easy and clear that everyone should take it.
T h e A n s w e r : There are two sorts of unbelief and misguidance. One
pertains to actions and secondary matters, and is also denial andrejection of the matters of belief. This kind is misguidance is easy. It is a nonacceptance of the truth, an abdication, non-existence, and the absence of acceptance.
In the Risale-i Nur, this sort has been shown to be easy.
As for the second sort, it pertains not to actions and secondary matters, but is a
judgement of the mind and pertains to belief. It does not only deny belief, but opens
up a way that is the opposite of it. It is the acceptance of what is false and invalid, the
proof of the reverse of truth. This is not only the denial and refutation of belief, it is
its opposite. It is not non-acceptance so that it should be easy, but the acceptance of
non-being, and can only be accepted through proving non-existence. In accordance
with the rule “Non-existence cannot be proved,” it is certainly not easy to prove it.
Thus, the unbelief and misguidance shown in other parts of the Risale-i Nur to be
so difficult and problematic as to be impossible is this sort. Anyone with even a grain
of intelligence would not take this way. Moreover, as is demonstrated, it imparts such
grievous pains and suffocating darkness that anyone reasonable to the tiniest degree
would not follow it.
I f i t i s a s k e d : Why do most people take it, seeing that it is so grievous,
dark, and difficult?
T h e A n s w e r : They have fallen into it and cannot extricate themselves. And
because the animal and vegetable powers in man do not see the consequences and do
not think of them, and come to dominate man’s subtle faculties, such people do not
want to extricate themselves, so console themselves with immediate, temporary
Q u e s t i o n : Since misguidance gives rise to such dreadful suffering and fear,
the unbeliever should not be able to live, let alone receiving pleasure from life. He
should be crushed by the pain and be absolutely terrified. For although by reason of
his humanity he desires innumerable things and loves life, because of his unbelief, he
constantly sees death confronting him as eternal extinction and everlasting separation,
and the passing of beings and deaths of his friends and those he loves as annihilation
and eternal parting, so how can such a man live? How can he receive pleasure from
T h e A n s w e r : He deceives himself through an extraordinary sophistry of
Satan, and lives. He supposes he receives a superficial pleasure. We shall allude to the
true nature of this with a well-known comparison.
It is related that they said to the ostrich: “You’ve got wings, so fly!” But it folded
its wings and said: “I’m a camel,” and didn’t fly. So it fell into the hunter’s trap, and
not wanting the hunter to see it, stuck its head in the sand. However, it left its huge
body exposed, as prey for the hunter. They  later said to it: “You say you’re a camel, so you should carry loads.” Whereupon it
opened its wings and declared: “I’m a bird,” and so avoided being a beast of burden.
But then it had neither protector nor food, and was pursued by the hunters.
In exactly the same way, the unbeliever gave up absolute disbelief in the face of
the Qur’an’s heavenly proclamations and fell into scepticism. If he is asked: “You
think death is eternal extinction. How can a person live when he perpetually sees
before him the gallows on which he is to be hanged? How can he be happy?” Thanks
to the portion he has received of the Qur’an’s universal mercy and all-encompassing
light, the man replies: “Death doesn’t mean going to nothingness; perhaps there is life
after death.” Or else he plunges his head in the sand of heedlessness like the ostrich so
that the appointed hour will not spot him and the grave will not watch him and the
transience of things will not let fly their arrows at him!
I n S h o r t : When like the ostrich the unbeliever looks on death and decline as
extinction, his scepticism makes him consider possible the certain tidings of the
Qur’an and revealed scriptures concerning belief in the hereafter afford him a
possibility. He grasps the possibility and does not suffer that ghastly pain. If he is then
told: “Since one will go to an everlasting realm, to have a good life there, here one has
to put up with the difficulties of performing the religious obligations,” his scepticism
leads him to reply: “Perhaps there is no such world, so why should I work for
something that doesn’t exist?” That is to say, he is saved from the pain of eternal
nothingness by the possibility of immortality afforded by that decree of the Qur’an,
and clinging onto the possibility of unbelief, he is saved from the hardship of the
religious obligations by the possibility of non-existence afforded by his scepticism.
That is to say, from this point of view, he supposes he receives more pleasure from
this life than the believers, for due to the possibility afforded by unbelief he is saved
from the hardship of the religious obligations, and due to the possibility afforded by
belief, he does not expose himself to everlasting pains. However, this satanic
sophistry is extremely superficial, temporary, and without benefit.
Thus, the All-Wise Qur’an produces a sort of manifestation of mercy for the
unbelievers too that to an extent saves their lives in this world from being Hell; it
induces doubt in them, so they live through doubt. Otherwise, by recalling the Hell of
the hereafter they would have suffered the torments of a sort of Hell in this world too,
and they would have been compelled to commit suicide.
O people of belief! Fully confident in your belief enter under the protection of the
Qur’an, which will save you from eternal extinction and the hells of this world and the hereafter. Submissively and appreciatively remain within
the bounds of the Prophet’s (UWBP) practices, and so be saved from both misery in
this world and torment in the next!

Q u e s t i o n : Why is it that the people of guidance, who are God’s party, are so
often defeated by the people of misguidance, who are Satan’s party, despite the Glory
of the World (Upon whom be blessings and peace) being at their head and their
receiving so much divine mercy and assistance and so many favours? What was the
reason for the dissemblers of Medina insisting on misguidance and their not
embracing guidance, despite being close to the brilliant sun-like prophethood and
messengerhood of the Seal of the Prophets (UWBP) and the Qur’anic truths, which
are more captivating than the universal laws of attraction?
T h e A n s w e r : To solve the two parts of this awesome question, a profound
principle must be explained. It is like this:
The All-Glorious Creator of the universe has two sort of names, those pertaining
to His glory and those pertaining to His beauty. Since the names require to
demonstrate their decrees through different manifestations, the Glorious Creator
blended together opposites in the universe. Bringing them face to face, he gave them
aggressive and defensive positions, in the form of a wise and beneficial contest.
Making the opposites transgress one another’s bounds, He brought conflict and
change into being, and made the universe subject to the law of change and
transformation and the principles of progress and advancement. In humankind, the
comprehensive fruit of the tree of creation, he gave the law of contest an even
stranger form, and opening the door to striving, which would be the means to all
human progress, He gave Satan’s party certain faculties with which to challenge
God’s party.
It is because of this subtle mystery that the prophets were often defeated by the
people of misguidance. And the people of misguidance, who are extremely weak and
impotent, temporarily triumph over the people of truth, who in reality are extremely
strong, and struggle against them. The wisdom in this strange opposition is as follows:
Misguidance and unbelief comprise both non-existence and omission, so that they
are extremely easy and do not require action. They also give rise to destruction, which
is also easy, and need little action. They are also a source of aggression, which may
cause much harm to many with little action, and by way of intimidating others and
satisfying the soul’s desire for power, may secure rank and position for a person.
There is also freedom in misguidance and unbelief, which gratifies man’s vegetable and animal
powers, which are blind to consequences and obsessed by present pleasure, and
induces such subtle faculties as the heart and reason to give up their humane and farsighted duties.
However, the sacred way of foremost the Noble Messenger (Upon whom be
blessings and peace), the Beloved of the Sustainer of All the Worlds, and of the
people of prophethood and the people of guidance, both pertains to existence, and is
firmly established, and is constructive, and is based on the important principles of
action, moderation, prudence and foresight, worship, and smashing the domination
and independence of the evil-commanding soul. It is because of this that the
dissemblers of the Prophet’s (UWBP) time in Medina closed their eyes to that
refulgent sun like bats, and surrendering themselves to a satanic force of repulsion in
the face of that huge attraction, remained in misguidance.
I f i t i s s a i d : The Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace)
was the Beloved of the Sustainer of All the Worlds: and he held truth in his hand
and spoke the truth with his tongue;and among the soldiers of his army were
angels;16 and he watered a whole army with one handful of water; and provided a
feast for a thousand men with four handfuls of wheat and the meat of one kid; and
caused the unbelievers’ army to flee by throwing a handful of dust at them, which
entered all their eyes; so how was that dominical commander who performed a
thousand miracles similar to these, defeated at the end of Uhud20 and at the beginning
of Hunayn?21
T h e A n s w e r : God’s Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and
peace) was sent to mankind as an exemplary guide and leader so that  men might learn from him the rules of social and personal life, become accustomed to
obeying the laws of the All-Wise One of Perfection, and act in conformity with the
principles of His wisdom. If the Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) had
always relied on wonders and miracles, he could not have been absolute guide and
He therefore displayed miracles from time to time, in answer to need, solely to
make them affirm his claim to prophethood and to nullify the unbelievers’ denial. At
other times he obeyed the divine commands more than anyone, and more than
everyone acted in conformity with the divine laws in creation, established through
dominical wisdom and will, and submitted to them. He used to wear armour when
confronting the enemy,
and would order his troops to enter their trenches. He
received wounds and suffered hardship. In this way he obeyed and observed to the
letter the laws of divine wisdom and the Greater Shari‘a of Creation.

One of the most cunning of Iblis’s wiles is to make those who follow him deny
himself. Since at this time people whose minds have been tainted by materialist
philosophy in particular have been hesitant in these self-evident matters, we shall say
one or two things in the face of this stratagem of Satan. They are as follows:
There are self-evidently corporeal evil spirits who perform Satan’s functions. It is
also certain to the same degree that there are evil spirits without bodies from the jinns.
If they were clothed in physical bodies, they would be the same as those evil human
beings. Also, if those evil spirits in human form were able to leave aside their bodies,
they would be those jinn-satans. Indeed, in consequence of this terrible relationship
one deviant school pronounced: “After they have died, excessively evil spirits in
human form become devils.”
It is well-known that when something of high quality is corrupted it becomes
more corrupted than something of less quality. For example, if yoghurt and milk go
bad they may still be eaten, but if oil goes bad it becomes inedible, and poisonous
even. Similarly, if the most noble, indeed the highest of creatures, man, is corrupted,
he becomes more corrupt than a depraved animal. Like vermin who enjoy the stink of
putrifying matter and snakes who take pleasure at biting and poisoning, they take pride and pleasure at the
evils and wicked immorality of the swamp of misguidance, being gratified at the
harms and crimes of the darkness of evil-doing; quite simply they take on the nature
of Satan. Yes, a decisive indication of the existence of devils from the jinn, is the
existence of human satans.
Secondly: All the hundreds of decisive evidences proving the existence of angels
and spirit beings in the Twenty-Ninth Word prove also the existence of evils spirits.
We refer this aspect to that Word.
Thirdly: The existence of the angels, the representatives and supervisors of the
laws of the good matters in the universe, is established and agreed upon by all the
religions. So too, the existence of evil and satanic spirits, who are the representatives
and ushers of evil matters and the means of the laws of such matters, is required by
wisdom and reality, and is certain. Indeed, in evil matters, a conscious screen is more
necessary. For as is stated at the beginning of the Twenty-Second Word, since
everyone cannot see the true good of everything, the All-Glorious Creator has made
apparent intermediaries a screen to apparent evils and defects, so that objections
should not be levelled at Him, nor His mercy be accused, nor his wisdom criticized or
unjustly complained about, and so that objections, criticisms, and complaints should
be directed at the screen, and not turned to the Generous Creator, the Absolutely Wise
One. Just as He made illness a screen to the appointed hour of death in order to save
Azra’il from the complaints25 of His servants who die, so too He made Azra’il a
screen to the seizing of the spirits of the dying so that the complaints at that situation,
which is fancied to be lacking in compassion, should not be directed at Almighty
God. And even more certainly, dominical wisdom demanded the existence of Satan,
so that objections and criticisms in the face of evils and bad things should not be
directed at the All-Glorious Creator.
Fourthly: Just as man is a small world, the microcosm, so is the world a large
human being, the macroanthropos. Small man is an index and summary of the
macroanthropos. The large originals of the samples in man will necessarily be found
in the macroanthropos. For example, the existence of man’s faculty of memory is a
certain indication of the existence of the Preserved Tablet in the world. So too
everyone has experienced in himself the inner faculty situated in a corner of the heart
which is the means to diabolical suggestions26 and temptations and is a satanic tongue
that speaks at thepromptings of the surmising faculty and the corrupted power of imagination, which
becomes like a small Satan and acts contrary to its owner’s will and opposed to his
desires – these are certain evidences of the existence of great satans in the world. And
since the inner faculty which is the means of diabolical suggestions and the power of
imagination are an ear and a tongue, they infer the existence of an external evil
individual who blows on the one and makes the other speak.

The All-Wise Qur’an states in miraculous fashion that the universe grows angry
at the evil of the people of misguidance, and the universal elements becomes wrathful
and beings, furious. Awesomely, it depicts the storm visited on Noah’s people and the
assaults of the heavens and earth, the anger of the element air at the denial of the ‘Ad
and Thamud peoples, and the fury of the sea and element water at the people of
Pharaoh, and the rage of the element earth at Qarun, and in accordance with the verse,
“Almost bursting with fury,”(67:8) the vehemence and anger of Hell at the people of
unbelief in the hereafter, and the rage of the other beings at the unbelievers and
people of misguidance; in miraculous fashion it restrains the people of misguidance
and rebellion.
Q u e s t i o n : Why do the unimportant actions and personal sins of unimportant
men attract the anger of the universe in this way?
T h e A n s w e r : As proved in other parts of the Risale-i Nur and in the
previous Indications, unbelief and misguidance are terrible aggression and crimes that
concern all beings. For one of the most important results of the universe’s creation is
man’s worship and his responding to divine dominicality with belief and submission.
However, due to the denial which is a part of disbelief, the people of unbelief and
misguidance reject that supreme result, which is the ultimate reason for the continued
existence of beings, and they therefore perpetrate a sort of transgression against the
beings’ rights. Moreover, since they deny the manifestations of the divine names
which are apparent in the mirrors of beings and exalt their value, they both insult
those sacred names, and by degrading the value of all beings, greatly depreciate them.
Also, although beings are dominical officials charged with elevated duties, by their
unbelief, the people of misguidance cast them down, and showing them to be lifeless,
transitory, meaningless creatures, they in a way violate the rights of all of them.
Thus, since the varieties of misguidance impair to a greater or lesser extent the
dominical wisdom in the universe’s creation and the divine purposes in the world’s
continued existence, the universe becomes angry at thepeople of rebellion and misguidance, as do all beings and creatures.
O wretched man, whose being is small but guilt great and sin grievous! If you
want to be delivered from the wrath of the universe, the rage of beings, and the
aversion of creatures, here is the means: enter the sacred bounds of the All-Wise
Qur’an and follow the practices of God’s Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings
and peace), who was the herald of the Qur’an. So put yourself within its fold and
adhere to the practices!

This consists of four questions and answers.
F i r s t Q u e s t i o n : How can infinite torment in an endless Hell in return for
limited sins in a limited life be justice?
T h e A n s w e r : It was understood clearly in the above Indications, and
particularly in the Eleventh, that unbelief and misguidance constitute an infinite crime
and are transgression against innumerable rights.
S e c o n d Q u e s t i o n : It is said in the Shari‘a that Hell is punishment for
actions, but Paradise is a divine favour.27 What is the reason for this?
T h e A n s w e r : It is clearly shown in the above Indications that with his
faculty of will and trifling wishes, man causes awesome destruction and evils by
giving form and reality to something non-existent or theoretical. Similarly, since his
soul and appetites always incline towards evil and harm, he is responsible for the evils
that occur as a result of his trivial wishes. For his soul wanted them and his desires
gave rise to them. And since evil pertains to non-existence, the servant is the agent
and Almighty God creates it. Being responsible for the infinite crime, he certainly
deserves infinite punishment.
However, since good deeds and actions pertain to existence, man’s will and
wishes cannot be the direct cause of their existence. Man cannot be the true agent in
such acts. Also, his evil-commanding soul does not tend towards good deeds; it is
divine mercy that requires them and dominical power that creates them. Man can only
lay claim to them through belief, a wish, or an intention. And having claimed them,
such good works consist of thanks for the infinite divine bounties received, such as
the gifts of belief and existence. Such thanks looks to past bounties, while Paradise is
a favour of the Most Merciful which since it as been promised by Him will be given.
Apparently it is a reward, but in reality it is a favourThat is to say, in evils the soul is the cause and deserves the punishment, while in
good deeds, both the cause and the occasion are from God. Man can only lay claim to
them through belief. He may not say: “I want the reward,” but he may say: “I hope for
divine favour.”
T h i r d Q u e s t i o n : It is understood from the above explanations that since
evils multiply through contagion and aggression, a single evil deed should be
recorded as a thousand; and since good deeds pertain to existence, they do not
multiply nor do they occur through the servant’s creative act or the desires of his soul;
they therefore should not be recorded at all or as only one. So why are evil deeds
recorded as one and good deeds as ten, and sometimes as thousands?28
T h e A n s w e r : In this way Almighty God demonstrates His perfect mercy
and the beauty of His compassionateness.
F o u r t h Q u e s t i o n : The successes the people of misguidance have
achieved and the power they display and their victories over the people of guidance
show that they rely on some power and truth. This means either that the people of
guidance possess some weakness, or that the misguided possess some truth?
T h e A n s w e r : God forbid, neither do they possess any truth, nor do the
people of truth have any weakness. But regretably some of the ordinary people who
are short-sighted and unreasoning become doubtful and hesitant, and harm comes to
their belief. For they say: If the people of truth had possessed complete truth and
reality, they should not have suffered defeat and abasement to this degree. For the
truth is powerful. According to the fundamental principle “Truth is exalted and shall
not be overcome,”29 power lies in truth. If the people of misguidance had not
possessed a true power and point of support, they could not have predominated over
the people of truth and triumphed to this extent.
T h e A n s w e r : As is proven in the above Indications, the defeat of the people
of truth does not arise from lack of power and absence of truth, and as is also proven,
the people of misguidance’s victory does not spring from their power and capacity
and their having some source of support. Hence, the answer to this question is all the
above Indications; here we shall only point out a number of the tricks and weapons
they employ, as follows:
I myself have frequently observed that mischief-makers, who form ten per cent,
defeat the righteous, who form ninety per cent. I used to be astonished and curious.
Investigating, I understood certainly that their victoryresults not from power, but from corruption, baseness, destruction, taking advantage
of differences among the people of truth, sowing conflict among them, from playing
on their weak traits of character and grafting them with such traits, and exciting the
emotions of the soul and personal hatred, and through working the evil capacities in
human nature which are like mines of corruption, and through hypocritically flattering
the soul’s tyranny in the name of fame and glory, and through everyone fearing their
unfeeling destruction. By means of diabolical machinations like these, they
temporarily triumph over the people of truth. But in accordance with the verse,
And the end is [best] for the righteous,(7:128)
and the rule, “Truth is exalted and shall not be overcome,” in addition to its not
yielding any significant benefit for them, their temporary triumph will lead to their
earning Hell for themselves and Paradise for the people of truth.
Thus, because in misguidance those without power appear powerful and the
insignificant win fame, they take up a position opposed to the people of truth. In this
way conceited, fame-seeking, hypocritical people demonstrate their power although it
has little substance and win a position for themselves through intimidating others and
causing harm; they are seen and attention is drawn to them, and the destruction of
which they are the cause, not through power and ability, but through omission and
failure to act, is attributed to them and they become talked about. Just like the person
obsessed with fame who defiled a place of worship so that everyone would talk about
him. Even if it meant being execrated, so long as he was talked about, his worship of
fame made it appear desirable to him. The case became proverbial.
O wretched man created for the eternal realm and enamoured of this transient
world! Study closely the meaning of the verse,
And neither heaven nor earth shed a tear over them,(44:29)
and heed it. Look, what does it say? With its explicit meaning it says: “When the
people of misguidance die, the heavens and earth, which are connected with man, do
not weep over them, that is, they are pleased at their deaths.” While with its implied
meaning, it says: “The heavens and earth weep over the bodies of the people of
guidance when they die; they do not want them to depart.” For all the universe is
connected with the people of belief and its beings are happy with them. For by virtue
of their belief they know the Creator of the Universe, so appreciate the universe’s
value, and respect and love it. They do not nurture implicit enmity and contempt for it
like the people of misguidance.O man, think! You are bound to die. If you follow your soul and Satan, your
neighbours, and even your relations, will be happy at being delivered from you. But if
saying, “I seek refuge with God from Satan the Accursed,” you follow the Qur’an and
the Merciful One’s Beloved (UWBP), then in accordance with your degree the
heavens and earth and all beings will be sorry at your parting, and in effect weep.
Mourning in elevated fashion and giving you a splendid send-off, they will indicate
that you will have a good welcome in the world of eternity according to your degree,
when you enter it through the door of the grave.

This consists of three points.
F i r s t P o i n t : One of Satan’s most cunning wiles is to deceive people with
narrow minds, short views, and constricted hearts concerning the immensity of the
truths of belief. He says: “It is said that a single Being directs and administers within
His dominicality all particles and planets and stars and all the other beings and all
their states. How can a person believe in such an immense and extraordinary matter?
How can it be contained in the heart? How can the mind accept it?” He awakens a
feeling of denial in respect of human impotence.
T h e A n s w e r : The way to silence this wile of Satan’s is “God is Most
Great!” And its true answer is “God is Most Great!” Yes, the reason “God is Most
Great!” is the most frequently repeated of all the marks of Islam is to eliminate this
wile. For it is through the light of “God is Most Great!” that man’s impotence and
lack of power, weakness and lack of strength, and narrow thought see such infinitely
vast truths and affirm them. It is through the strength of “God is Most Great!” that
man sustains those truths, and situates them within the sphere of “God is Most Great!”
And he says to his heart which starts to doubt:
It is self-evident that the universe is administered and directed in most orderly
fashion. There are two ways in which this may occur:
The First Way: It is possible that despite its wondrous immensity, such an
astonishing work comes about through wondrous art in a wondrous way. So this first
way is that the universe exists through the dominicality, will, and power of a Single
and Eternally Besought One, to whose existence are witnesses to the number of
beings, indeed, of minute particles.
The Second Way: This is the way of unbelief and associating partners with God,
which is in no way possible and is so difficult as to be impossible  and is in no respect reasonable.

For as is proved decisively in many parts of the
Risale-i Nur such as the Twentieth Letter and Twenty-Second Word, there would
have to be present in all the beings in the universe and even in every single particle
absolute divinity and all-encompassing knowledge and infinite power so that the total
order and regularity, the sensitive balance and distinction, and the perfect, adorned
embroideries of art to be observed in beings could come into existence.
In Short: If there were no immense and tremendous dominicality, which is
completely appropriate and fitting, it would necessitate following a way that is in
every respect unreasonable and precluded. Even Satan cannot propose fleeing from
such necessary immensity, and suggest accepting impossibility.
S e c o n d P o i n t : Another of Satan’s cunning wiles is to prevent man
admitting his faults in order to close up the way of seeking forgiveness and taking
refuge with God. He also incites the egotism of the human soul, so that the soul
defends itself like a lawyer, quite simply acquitting itself of all fault.
Yes, a soul that listens to Satan does not want to see its own faults. Even if it does
see them, it explains them away in a hundred ways. According to the saying: “The eye
of contentment is blind to faults,”31 when a person looks with pleasure on his soul, he
does not see its errors. And because he does not see them, he does not admit to them
or seek forgiveness, or seek refuge with God from them, so becomes the plaything of
Satan. How can the soul be relied on when a noble prophet like Joseph (UWP) said:
“Nor do I absolve my own self [of blame]; the [human] soul is certainly
prone to evil, unless my Sustainer do bestow His mercy.”?(12:53)
The person who accuses his soul, sees its faults. And he who admits his faults, seeks
forgiveness for them. And he who seeks forgiveness, takes refuge with God. And he
who takes refuge with God, is saved from Satan’s evil. Not to see one’s faults is a
greater fault than the first fault. And not to admit to one’s faults is a serious defect. If
one sees the fault, it ceases to be a fault. If one admits it, one becomes worthy of
T h i r d P o i n t : A satanic wile corrupting the life of society is this: not to see
all the virtues of a believer on account of a single bad point. Those unjust people who
heed this wile of Satan are in this way inimical tobelievers. However, when Almighty God weighs up deeds with absolute justice on the
supreme scales at the Last Judgement, He will judge in accordance with the
predominance of good deeds over evils and vice versa. Seeing that the causes of evil
deeds are numerous and their existence is easy, sometimes He veils numerous bad
deeds with a single good deed.
That is to say, dealings in this world should be in accordance with divine justice.
If a person’s good points are greater in regard to quality or quantity than his bad
points, he is deserving of love and respect. Indeed, one should forgive numerous bad
points on account of a single laudable virtue. However, due to the vein of tyranny in
his nature, at the promptings of Satan, the person forgets the hundred virtues of others
because of a single bad point; he is hostile towards his believing brother, and commits
sins. Just as a fly’s wing covering the eye conceals a mountain, so too, the veil of
hatred makes man conceal virtues as great as a mountain due to a single evil
resembling a fly’s wing; he forgets them, is hostile towards his brother believer, and
becomes a tool of corruption in the life of society.
By means of another wile resembling this one, Satan corrupts the integrity of
peoples’ thoughts. He impairs sound judgement concerning the truths of belief and
damages integrity and correctness of thought. It is like this:
He desires to destroy hundreds of evidences proving the truths of belief with a
slight hint refuting them. Whereas it is an established principle that “a single proof is
superior to a hundred denials.” The statement of a witness proving a claim is
preferable to a hundred people denying it. Consider this truth by means of the
following comparison:
There is a palace with a hundred doors all closed. If one of its doors is opened,
the palace may be entered and all the doors opened. If all the doors are open and one
or two are closed, it may not be said that the palace cannot not be entered.
Thus, the truths of belief are the palace. Each evidence is a key; it proves the
truths and opens a door. If one of the doors remains closed, the truths of belief cannot
be abandoned and denied. Satan however, in consequence of certain things or by
means of heedlessness or ignorance, points out a door that has remained closed, thus
causing a person to disregard all the positive evidences. He deceives the person,
saying: “See, this palace cannot be entered. Perhaps it isn’t a palace and perhaps
there’s nothing inside it.”
O wretched man afflicted by Satan and his wiles! If you want the life of religion
and of society and personal life all to be healthy, and if you want integrity of thought,
a sound view, and a sincere heart, weigh up youractions and thoughts on the scales of the incontestable matters of the Qur’an and the
balance of the Prophet’s (UWBP) practices. Always take the Qur’an and the practices
as your guide. Say: “I take refuge with God from Satan the Accursed,” and seek
refuge with God Almighty!
The above thirteen Indications are thirteen keys. Use them to open the door of the
fortified stronghold of the Sura,
Say: I seek refuge with the Lord and Cherisher of mankind * The Ruler of
mankind * The God of mankind * From the mischief of the Whisperer [of
evil], who withdraws [after his whisper]– * [The same] who whispers into
the hearts of mankind– * Among jinns and among men;(114:1-6)
enter this secure citadel and find safety!
Glory be unto You! We have no knowledge save that which You have taught
us; indeed, You are All-Knowing, All-Wise.(2:32)
And say: O My Sustainer, I seek refuge with You from the whisperings of the
Evil Ones, * and I seek refuge with you, my Sustainer lest they should come
near me.(23:97-8)