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Why Religion?

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A little before the end of time the majority of the world’s people will enter the true religion, that is, Islam. There has, however, been reported a tradition that the Day of Resurrection will not come as long as there exist some on the earth who recite the Name of God. How will then people apostatize after an almost universal conversion?

Those whose faith in the pillars of the religion is weak regard it as almost impossible that Jesus, upon him be peace, will return to the world before the end of time, practice the Islamic Law, and kill Dajjal (the Antichrist), all of which is predicted in an authentic hadith. What is meant by this and other similar Prophetic Traditions about Jesus’ return, Sufyan (another Dajjal who will appear in the Muslim world) and the Mahdi is this:

There will appear two trends of unbelief before the end of time:

A terrible person who disguises himself under the veil of hypocrisy will appear in the Muslim world. He will lead the hypocrites and, denying the Messengership of the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, will try to destroy the Shari‘a. Fortunately, a blessed person from the descendants of the Prophet‘s family will come up against him and, at the head of the people of sainthood and spiritual perfection, will eradicate this trend of hypocrisy.

The second trend of unbelief is an absolute atheism, a consequence of the philosophies of naturalism and positivism, strengthened by the materialist philosophy. Just as a wild, primitive man who does not recognize the King, and therefore does not recognize the different orders in the King’s army, from private to general, will have to attribute to each member of this army a sort of independent kingship and sovereignty; in the same way, each follower of this atheist trend will inevitably come to appropriate for himself some kind or degree of divinity. As a result, the man who will come to lead them, supported by some material and psychic means like spiritism and ‘hypnotism’ through various ways, will go so far as to deify himself. This man was referred to as Dajjal in the Prophetic traditions. How stupid it is of a human being to claim divinity when he is so powerless that he could not make the wing of a gnat and can be defeated by a fly or even a microbe. The religion of Jesus will gain momentum in its pristine, uncorrupted original form when this trend of atheism is at its peak. That is to say, the religion of Islam will come to spread in the Western world and Christianity, in response, will be purified of all the pagan elements which have found a way into it since its beginning and will convert to and so unite with Islam. Thus, the religion will gain great strength from this union and, as a result, will come out victorious in its struggle against atheist trends. How then can it be denied that the Exalted and All-Wise will ‘return’ Jesus to the world before the end of time? And do so for an important purpose related to His religion just as He frequently sends certain of His angels to the world for certain purposes, and sometimes sends them in the form of human beings? (The Archangel Jibril (Gabriel), for example, sometimes came to the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, in the form of one of his companions, Dihya.) God makes some spiritual beings appear in this world in the form of human beings, and He even dispatches to the world the souls of some dead saints in their energy ‘envelopes’. It is also worth pointing out here that Jesus is in the nearest heaven with his ’refined’ corporeal body and enjoying a particular degree of life-as expounded in the First Letter of the Risale-i Nur Collection. If he had ‘completely’ died and gone to the farthest corner of the other world, it would even then be in conformity with the Divine Wisdom that God should resurrect him and return him to the world for a very important purpose. God promised this and He will certainly carry out His promise, and the Truthful Reporter, upon him be peace and blessings, foretold all this on the basis of that promise. When Jesus comes again, not everyone is expected to recognize him. Only those who are nearest to him will recognize him through the light of faith.

It has been reported in the traditions that Dajjal will have a false paradise, where he will admit his friends, and a false hell, where he will throw his opponents. He will also have a saddle beast (donkey), one of whose ears is like Paradise, the other like Hell. Some other traditions say that he will have a huge physical stature. What is meant by all the traditions of this import?

Dajjal is a human being like everyone. He is a conspirator, a stupid devil who has forgotten God. He deifies himself because of his tyrannical rule, the apparent splendor of his despotism. However, the trend of atheism, which he represents, is very mighty and comprehensive. The traditions which describe Dajjal as an enormous man are actually about this trend, not about the person of Dajjal himself. I once saw a picture of the Japanese chief-commander, one of whose feet was on the Pacific Ocean, the other on Port Arthur. By this picture was the power of the Japanese army and the vast field of Japanese influence demonstrated.

As to the false paradise of Dajjal, this is the passing fancies, the charming playthings and amusements of modern civilization. His saddle beast (donkey) is modern vehicles of transportation from trains [to space ships]. There is at one ‘end’ of trains, for example, a fire-place into which Dajjal throws his opponents, while the other ‘end’ is richly furnished like Paradise, where he admits his followers. In fact, trains, which are a very important ‘mount’ of modern corrupt civilization, bring a false paradise to the corrupt worldly people, whereas they have become a means of colonizing Muslim countries, exploiting their riches and enslaving Muslim peoples.1

It is thus in this dramatic episode of human history that the religion of Islam, which will have gained great strength through the union of a ‘purified’ Christianity, will disseminate its light to the majority of the world’s population. But shortly before the end of time a new trend of unbelief will appear and have an overwhelming influence on the world’s people. As a result, the great majority will slip into unbelief while a few will continue to preserve their faith until the Last Day. Nevertheless, God, out of His mercy for believers, will make them die just before the destruction of the world so that they will not experience this terrible event, and the world will be destroyed over the heads of unbelievers.

Will the souls that have gained permanence through death be influenced by the events of Doomsday?

They will be influenced according to their ranks in the similar way that angels are influenced by the destruction of sinners in the demonstration of the anger of God. As the mind and spirit of a man in a hot room are influenced by the sight of someone trembling in the cold outside, so the conscious souls that have gone into eternity will, as indicated by the Quran, be affected by the important events of the universe, to which they are somewhat in relation: the people of torment will be affected by them in agony, while the people of happiness in wonder and amazement, and even in a joyful expectation of the coming of the final, endless bliss.

In many verses, the Wise Quran threatens mankind (and jinn) with the shock of the events of Doomsday, and emphasizes that all will experience them. But as only those alive at the time of the destruction of the world will experience it physically, the souls whose bodies have, or will have, melted away in graves are also encompassed, to some extent, within this Quranic threat.

Is the verse, All things perish, except His ‘Face’ (28:88), also related to Paradise, Hell, and those within them?

This matter has long been discussed by scholars, saints and men of deep perception and insight, who have the authority to discuss this subject. Some of them have maintained that the people of the permanent world are not included in the meaning of the verse, while others have held that these people will also enter an annihilation though for so short a time that they will not feel this instant of perishing. By contrast, some people among those who are able to discover some hidden truths, have gone so far as to argue that the whole of existence except God will permanently perish-but this is not compatible with truth. The Divine Essence is permanent, and so are the Attributes and Names of God. It is thus impossible that the permanent beings in the World of Permanence will go into absolute annihilation since they are the manifestations of those permanent Attributes and Names, and the mirrors where they are reflected.

Let me here briefly write down two points which have just come to my mind from the infinite ocean of the meanings of the Quran. They are:

The All-Mighty is Omnipotent: creation and destruction are equally easy for Him. As He can send the whole creation into annihilation in a moment, He can also bring it back into existence in an instant. In addition, there is no such entity as ‘absolute non-existence’. There cannot be because there is an encompassing knowledge: everything is contained, or, in other words, has a kind of existence, an ideal form, within the Divine Knowledge, which is infinite. There is, so to speak, no room for ‘non-existence’. As for the ‘relative non-existence’ within the encompassing circle of Divine Knowledge, it is, in essence, a nominal veil where the manifestations of Divine Knowledge are reflected. Some men of profound understanding have, however, called these ‘ideal forms’ of existence ‘archetypes’. Because of this, to go into non-existence means to take off an outer dress, namely, the body, and to return to the circle of spiritual existence or existence in Divine Knowledge. That is to say, those that are subject to perishing, by leaving their physical bodies, put on a spiritual body and, leaving the circle where the (Divine) Power operates, enter the circle of the (Divine) Knowledge.

Everything does not actually exist by itself; its existence depends on God. It exists as a manifestation of the permanent Divine Names. It has, in this respect, a permanent, sublime reality because it reflects the Divine Name which is the cause of its existence. The verse, All things perish, except His Face also serves as a sword with which to liberate man from everything that is not God, i.e., the world, the flesh, and the vanities of life. Because of this, whatever man has or does for the sake of God is not included in the meaning of this verse so that it is subject to perishing.

In sum, if a man ‘finds’ God and does whatever he does only for His sake, then there will be left nothing to be included in the meaning of the verse, All things perish, except His Face. So man, if he wishes to eternalize his deeds and to be rewarded with a permanent happiness, he must seek God and spend his life for His sake and pleasure.

 

1. That is, Dajjal makes much use of modern vehicles, weaponry and technology to colonize Muslim countries and enslave Muslim peoples. Trains have become one of the most important of those vehicles partly because trains were the main vehicles of transportation before other motor-vehicles were invented, Letter and partly because it is rather communism or, in a wider sense, materialism or atheism and the communist world to which the Prophet alluded by Dajjal. Innocent Muslim masses were carried to the concentration camps in Russia by trains. Again, trains were really of great importance for modern corrupt civilization especially in the previous century and in the first half of the twentieth, without, however, losing their importance today as well. While they were, on the one hand, carrying the privileged supporters of this corrupt civilization, and of the anti-Islamic regimes in the Muslim world, to the places of enjoyment, in richly furnished compartments, they have become, on the other, in the hands of imperialist powers, the means of colonizing Muslim countries, exploiting their riches and enslaving their peoples, as in Asia and Africa, and carrying them, piled-up into barn-like compartments, to work or to concentration camps, as in Russia, where most of them died.


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Last Updated on October 05, 2000

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