The Secret Beyond Matter

Islam: The Religion of Ease


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The Ease of Living by The Morals of The Qur'an

Allah desires to lighten your burdens, for man was created weak. (Surat an-Nisa': 28)

Altruism, trustworthiness, compassion, modesty, honesty, behaving amicably, feeding the poor, keeping one's promises, returning a borrowed item on time, being dignified, mature, emotional, soft-hearted, forgiving, grateful, patient, brave, respectful, composed, not defrauding or cheating anyone, not belittling anyone, and similar virtuous qualities are some of the requirements of the Qur'an's morals which Allah commands.

In reality, everyone knows as a matter of conscience, which good morals Allah will approve of. However, satan portrays living by these morals as very hard and impossible to many people. In fact, practicing good morals all throughout one's life without ever compromising, is acknowledged as a form of superiority unique to Prophets and their companions. The good moral qualities ignorant people possess are like a bond tied with a fine string, —it breaks at the slightest blow. For example, a person known as a very composed gentleman can become very angry, uncontrollable, vulgar, and very aggressive in a situation in which he feels his interest is compromised. He doesn't know how to be patient even about a small thing. In our current society, people mostly have this kind of distorted morality. Because the majority display similar attitudes, negative traits such as selfishness, walking over people in order to protect one's own interest, deceit, dishonesty, hypocrisy, lack of concern, scornfulness, arrogance, rudeness, jealousy, etc., are seen as quite normal, but are actually the inventions of ignorant people. In fact, when anyone is defining himself he can list the most appalling qualities, such as: "I am a very ambitious, jealous, and selfish person," as if these unpleasant qualities were an important and valuable part of his personality. As a result, the majority of people accept themselves and each other with these negative qualities.

In fact, the saying: "A person in his seventies is the same as he was when he was seven" is used among the common people. According to this misconception, it is acceptable for immoral qualities, habits, and behavior to stay constant and never change throughout a person's life.

However as we mentioned earlier, Allah has created humankind as innately religious. Naturally, it is human nature to take pleasure in observing and upholding good morals. Other ways are difficult and bring nothing but misery. A very important Islamic scholar of our recent past, Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, draws our attention to the ease of living a religious life and the difficulty faithlessness brings to human life in his work titled, "The Rays:"

"… the way of belief and the affirmation of Divine unity is extremely short, direct, straight, and easy. And the ways of unbelief and denial are extremely lengthy, difficult, and dangerous. That is to say, unbelief and the association of partners with Allah are not tenable in this straight, wise universe, in which everything is driven down the easiest and shortest path, and belief and the affirmation of Divine unity are as necessary and essential in the universe as the sun. Also, the most comfortable, beneficial, and the shortest and safest way in human morality and conduct is the way of the straight path and moderation." (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, The Risale-i Nur Collection, The Rays Collection, 15th Ray)

In another work, Bediuzaman thus expresses this issue:

"Walking along the way of unbelief is like walking on ice or under earth and essentially repulsive, and therefore very difficult for him who inclines to this way knowingly to walk along it. However, one with a careless, imitative view cannot discern this difficulty. As for the way of belief, going along it is like travelling in water or air or light, and essentially attractive, and therefore very easy for him who is inclined to follow it." (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Epitomes of Light, 2nd Chapter, p. 71)

A person may experience certain pleasures in a life void of belief. But these are short-lived and they definitely bring sorrows and suffering with them. Even if he lives in the midst of riches, abundance, beauty, and pleasure, if he doesn't have any faith he will experience the sorrow of knowing that he will one day lose them. All the things that he possesses will eventually be lost either as a consequence of the situations he faces in this world or when one day he faces the inevitable end: death. So it is not possible to experience real peace and pleasure where there is no belief in the Hereafter and no submission to Allah. Bediuzzaman thus expresses what kind of an end an individual without faith or good morals will face:

"As for life, if it is without belief or because of rebelliousness belief is ineffective, it will produce pains, sorrow and grief far exceeding the superficial, fleeting enjoyment it brings." (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, The Risale-i Nur Collection, The Words Collection, 13th Word)

Good morals are the standards of right and wrong that are best and easiest for each individual. For those who choose the path of faith, there is an uninterrupted path from this life to the Hereafter of pleasure, joy, and comfort. Even if they become aware of certain deficiencies, they still live with the eagerness of knowing that it is only temporary and that whatever is missing in this world is promised to them in the Hereafter. To attain infinite blessing, what they have to do is very easy; by obeying the Qur'an and listening to their conscience they will attain Heaven, a place of infinite beauties and continuous blessings, by the will of Allah.

Those who listen to their conscience always win

Think about the cars driving on the highway… In each one these are people from different cultures, working in different jobs, with different characters, with different education levels, all looking different, basically, people who are totally different from each other are driving along the highway.

Let's imagine that two of these cars have an accident on this road. Let's say that we can clearly see that someone in one of the cars is injured and he is unconscious. In this situation, one passer-by only looks at the inert body and drives on, whereas another driver immediately stops and helps the injured person, taking him to a nearby hospital and trying to help him as much as he can…

The important distinction between these two people is that one listened to his conscience whereas the other didn't. The difference of culture, education, work, race, and lineage between them did not have any significance. Every person, without an exception, possesses this voice of conscience, which tells him what is right. Whenever he is doing something wrong and in every error he falls into, his conscience always tells him what is right. For a person to recognize the voice of his conscience is extremely easy, because the voice of conscience, that tells a person the right thing to do in a situation, is always the first thing one hears. As long as a person follows this voice, he will live a life of comfort and peace. But, on the other hand, if he blocks his ears against this voice and tries to find excuses and justifications for himself, he will have to live with a guilty conscience and experience difficulties from which he cannot escape.

For this reason, the existence of our conscience is a great gift from Allah in that it brings us ease and blessings. One who appreciates this blessing and listens to his conscience will be able to differentiate right from wrong in every situation and will acquire such understanding as will enable him to please Allah and save him in this world and the Hereafter.

Allah tells us that we will be saved by listening to our conscience:

By the soul and Him that molded it and inspired it with knowledge of sin and piety: blessed shall be the man who has kept it pure. (Surat ash-Shams: 7-9)

The phrase in this verse, "blessed shall be the man who has kept it pure" clearly puts forward the idea that whoever listens to his conscience finds peace.

The situation for those who do not listen to their conscience is explained in the verse succeeding the ones above:

And ruined he that has corrupted it! (Surat ash-Shams: 10)

The conscience of those who do not practice the morals Allah approves of, continues to command what is good, right, and just; and this results in a battle within oneself. The agony of committing immoral besets the sinner day or night. And this brings destruction for a person in this world and the next.

The easiness of submitting to Allah and having faith in Him

Everybody experiences incidents that seem to be unlucky, negative, or adverse, and seemingly powerful enough to affect a person's entire life. People who do not live by the morals of the Qur'an, experience distress, worry, unhappiness, tension, and fear when they face unpleasant events whether of minor or major importance. However, this is a cruelty they experience as the result of their choosing to live in unawareness of a very important reality. As Allah tells in one of His verses: "Allah does not oppress people, people oppress themselves." The outcome for people who do not have faith in Allah or who, even though they do have faith, live their lives ignoring the realities Allah informs us of, is always living with this worry, sadness, and anxiety and being a prey to the many fears and weaknesses, which begin in this world.

For those who know the reality, there is nothing that will cause them to be fearful, worried, or unhappy in this world, because those who have faith know that Allah creates everything in destiny, that everything is inscribed in the Mother of the Book (Lawh Mahfuz) in the Sight of Allah, and that they are followers of destiny like everyone else. They never forget that the events Allah creates for them will always end in a positive way and that the destiny of pious subjects of Allah is ordained in the most wise and most beneficial way.

The majority of people know about destiny, but they have a deficient understanding of it. For example, they think that certain things such as a person's hair color, height and parentage are written in that person's destiny, but in other respects they think that they can alter their destiny if they try hard enough and show perseverance. However, the reality is this: a person's every moment, all his life, every incident he has faced and will face, every word uttered, every look, every voice is in his destiny. For example, it is already written in a person's destiny that he will be reading the lines of this book at this hour, of this day. Allah knew of this moment millions of years before you were even created. Maybe a person has experienced many events before reading this book. Maybe just as he was about to read this book the doorbell rang and his friend came over, thus delaying his reading for three hours. Even before you live these events, that is, just when you pick up this book to read it the doorbell rings, you open the door and your friend's smiling face says "Hello," your reading this book is delayed for three hours,—all these are engraved in Allah's memory word for word, and your, this book's, and your friend's destiny have all already been determined. Allah tells this topic in one of His verses as:

You shall not engage in any matter or recite any verse of the Qur'an or do any action without Our witnessing you while you are occupied with it. Not even the smallest speck eludes your Lord, either on Earth or in heaven. Nor is there anything smaller than that, or larger, which is not recorded in a Clear Book. (Surah Yunus: 61)

Allah is free from time and place. It is humankind who is dependent on time and place. For this reason, the past, this moment, and the future are all one moment for Allah. For example, our next year's birthday is in the future for us. In reality, that moment has already been lived in Allah's Presence; Allah knows of that moment. So He already knows what we will wear on our next birthday, who we will be with, and what we will do on that day. In the same manner, Allah knows every single detail of what we will do in two, three, ten, or forty years time. Just as Allah is aware of the days, and even minutes, and seconds of a single person's life, He is also aware of every second of the lives of the billions of people that have lived since the Creation of the universe and that will live till the end of time. Allah has created infinite time in an infinitesimal period, that is to say, He has created all of time in a fraction of a second.

To be aware of Allah's infinite knowledge of these events and realize that people are observers of their destiny are great blessings and comfort for the believer. A righteous believer who sincerely submits to Allah, takes the destiny that has been prepared for him as a lesson, and with excitement, thankfulness, and contemplation watches his destiny unroll with the same comfort, trust, and happiness as if he were sitting on his couch and watching a movie.

One who regards Allah as his friend and guardian, and is happy with the events, sights, and speeches Allah has created is also happy with his destiny. Allah can create different events and sights in a person's destiny to try him. These can be seen as frightening, hard, and full of worries at times. But every one of these events is planned down to its finest detail and hidden in Allah's Presence. For example, the Prophet Joseph (as) was a prisoner for many years, even though he hadn't committed any crime. But, as he had joyfully submitted to the destiny Allah ordained for him, prison didn't seem like a hardship or difficulty. In fact, he saw it as an event that opened the doors to many blessings and beauties. For instance, a believer who can compare such hardships with comfort and ease can realize the delight of blessings with greater-intensity. Obviously, the pleasure experienced by a person who sees a rose garden every day will be very different from the pleasure of one who for years has seen nothing but concrete walls. One who knows hardships and unpleasantness will derive more pleasure from comfort and beauty. Or one who has to endure the difficulties of life in prison because of being wrongfully accused can be happy with his destiny by thinking that all this will return to him as Allah's approval and reward in the Hereafter. In the end, by knowing that he is living his destiny, and no one, including himself, can change even a second of it, he lives with the solace of resigning himself to his destiny.

A believer who submits to destiny, certainly exerts himself to do whatever he can in every situation. For example, a sick person will obviously go to the doctor, take his medicine, and care for all aspects of his sickness. However, when he is doing so, he acts with the knowledge that the result of going to the doctor, the medicine he is taking, and his treatment are all written in the destiny Allah has created. Because of this, he never becomes unhappy, worried, distressed, or pessimistic. He lives in the comfort and trust of knowing that Allah wills what is best for him. It is an extremely important point for a person to believe that there is a reason behind every event. Believers even believe that in seemingly wicked events there is great benefit for them and they resign themselves to Allah. This quality only pertains to believers. Our Prophet (saas) has expressed this issue in one of his traditions:

"How remarkable a believer's affair is! For it is always to his advantage, and this is peculiar to none other than a believer. If something good happens to him, he gives thanks to Allah and this is to his advantage, and if something harmful happens to him, he endures it, and this is to his advantage also." (Sahih Muslim)

Allah is the only Judge of the universe and possessor of infinite strength. For those who know this reality and can see it clearly, there is no other way than to submit to Allah and resign themselves to Him. Because every event, every person, every speech, every voice a person faces is under the control of Allah. As our Prophet (saas) said, everything from our Allah is a beauty and blessing for a believer. Allah informs us of the believers who put their trust in Him with the awareness of this reality:

I have put my trust in Allah, my Lord and your Lord. There is no creature on Earth whose destiny He does not control. My Lord is on a Straight Path. (Surah Hud: 56)

Those who do not trust Allah, assume that everything is within their own power and control, and live in continuous fear, sadness, worry, and pessimism. This is like a person who becomes excited and panicky thinking that he can change the ending of the movie he is watching. Just as this fear is inappropriate and unnecessary, so are the feelings of a person watching his destiny inappropriate and unnecessary. For example, those who accuse someone wrongly are beings under the control of Allah. And Allah creates such situations to test people. As long as a believer endures being wronged and goes on hoping for Allah's approval, Heaven, and mercy, there can be no reason for him to become sad and grief-stricken. For Allah certainly sends His help to believers and makes things easier for them. This is Allah's definite promise. For those who have been wronged, Allah declares the following in one of His verses:

That is so. And if anyone inflicts an injury the same as the one done to him and then is again wronged, Allah will come to his aid. Allah is All-Pardoning, Ever-Forgiving. (Surat al-Hajj: 60)

In this case, the only path for believers who know Allah's power, help, and friendship is to submit to Him and this is the best and easiest of paths. Otherwise, a person will burden himself with more than he can handle. Bediuzzaman explains in "The Words" of the hardship one will inflict upon himself when he doesn't trust Allah:

Man is helpless and exposed to numerous misfortunes. He is indigent, and his needs are numerous. He is weak, and the burden of life is most heavy. If he does not rely on the Omnipotent One of Glory, place his trust in Him and confidently submit to Him, his conscience will always be troubled. Fruitless torments, pains and regrets will suffocate him and intoxicate him, or turn him into a beast. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, The Risale-i Nur Collection, The Words Collection, 6th Word)

We should note that, this advice is not given so that people may console themselves or others, nor is it given for people to inspire themselves with after reflecting upon hardship. It is the reality of Allah's Creation and worldly life. Truly, a person who believes the opposite or acts on the contrary would be deceiving himself. As a result, whereas ignorant people live with the tensions and difficulties of not trusting Allah, even in their most prosperous and comfortable days, one who believes in realities lives with the ease, happiness, and comfort religion brings to people, no matter what kind of condition one might be in.

Allah informs about believers in the Qur'an as:

Yes, the friends of Allah will feel no fear and will know no sorrow: for those who believe and guard against evil, there is good news in the life of this world and in the Hereafter. There is no changing the Word of Allah. That is the great victory! (Surah Yunus: 62-64)

The rewards of just seeking for Allah's approval

If you pay attention, you will notice that most people try to win the approval, likeness, and love of each other throughout their lives—of friends, bosses, co-workers, neighbors, followers, children… In the life of a person with this kind of mentality, there is always someone he aims to please, in his way of life, from his style of dressing and his manner of speech to the music he listens to, basically, in everything. This, from many different perspectives, is a very difficult, boring, tiring, and wearisome life. Above all else, one who seeks other people's approval will always have to suppress his conscience. For example, he will hesitate to point out the wrongful actions of a group of friends he has recently made, in order not to be an outcast and to be accepted by others. All his life he will make concessions in what his conscience tells him out of fear of being alone and losing the people around him. This behavior will make him very uncomfortable in the beginning, but with time his conscience will become completely rusty and he will become unable to differentiate between right and wrong, good and bad, and beauty and ugliness.

Another difficulty likely to arise for one who tries to please many people is the possibility of angering one person while pleasing another. While a person is trying to please his friends he can anger his family and lose them, and vice versa. Or, when he is trying to make a good impression in his boss' eyes, he may win the contempt of his co-workers. As a consequence to all these, obviously it is predictable that there will be discomfort, tension, and discontent in this person's life.

A sincere Muslim on the other hand seeks only Allah's approval. It is not what other people will say about him that is important, but rather what Allah commands. Seeking Allah's consent and acting accordingly are always the most righteous way. In one of His verses Allah tells us of the difference between the situation of a person who seeks Allah's consent and the situation of a person who is "owned" by several disagreeing partners:

Allah has made a metaphor for them of a man belonging to several partners in dispute with one another and another man belonging wholly to a single man. Are they the same? Praise be to Allah! The fact is that most of them have no knowledge. (Surat az-Zumar: 29)

As it is clarified in the verse, the only suitable course for a person's life to take is along a path leading to Allah's approval. Bediuzzaman also declares that striving to achieve Allah's approval will always bring a very easy life:

You should seek Divine pleasure in your actions. If Almighty Allah is pleased, it is of no importance even should the whole world be displeased. If He accepts an action and everyone else rejects it, it has no effect. Once His pleasure has been gained and He has accepted an action, even if you do not ask it of Him, should He wish it and His wisdom requires it, He will make others accept it. He will make them consent to it too. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, The Risale-i Nur Collection, The Flashes Collection, The 21st Flash)

This reflection of Bediuzzaman, is extremely important; it is the key to real sincerity and earnestness. A person can be a truly sincere and devout Muslim only by seeking Allah's approval. If one leans towards gaining other people's approval in the things he does, then there is definitely hypocrisy involved in this issue. And hypocrisy leads to ruin both in this world and the Hereafter. First of all, those who seek other people's approval will never be able to receive the reaction they expect. They will keep trying to please the other person as if fawning on him, but he will not be able to appreciate their hard work. And even if he does recognize their labour, he is probably a helpless and a pitiful person himself. The only Judge and Owner of everything, Allah, gives the good news of infinite Heaven for those who seek His approval, and Heaven is a place where everything a person can desire is present. Allah has declared that only those who obey His wishes will be saved:

Allah guides those who follow what pleases Him to the ways of Peace. He will bring them from the darkness to the light by His will, and guide them to a straight path. (Surat al-Ma'ida: 16)

Obeying only Allah's commands will bring everyone the easiest, the best, and most joy-filled life both in this world and the Hereafter.

Altruism is easy and selfishness is difficult

People in ignorant societies usually think of their own desires and interests first. They always act with the thought that "my well-being, pleasure, and comfort come first." Altruism seems very difficult for such people. Egoistic behavior is interpreted as being bright and altruistic behavior is interpreted as being naïve, whereas, for those who believe in Allah and do altruistic deeds in order to win Allah's approval, altruism is a great prize and an extremely easy act of worship.

Allah tells us of the altruistic thoughts of believers:

They give food, despite their love for it, to the poor and orphans and captives: "We feed you for Allah's sake only. We want neither repayment from you nor thanks. Truly, We fear from our Lord a day of anguish and wae." So Allah will safeguard them from the evil of that Day and make their face shine with radiance and pure joy. (Surat al-Insan: 8-11)

A believer knows that, in return for the altruistic deeds he has done, he will win Allah's approval and the blessings of the Hereafter where he will experience "radiance and pure joy," as stated in the verse, and the things he has sacrificed will have no importance. In this life, which is temporary, short, and full of deficiencies, even a person's most loved possession will have no value or beauty in comparison to Allah's satisfaction and the Heaven which He will give as a reward. Believers, who have faith in this, neither expect appreciation nor leave other people feeling obliged for their kindness, no matter how great it may be.

Allah furthermore promises abundance and blessings in this world too, and grants the altruist more than he has sacrificed. Allah expresses this promise in the following verse:

Is there anyone who will make Allah a generous loan so that He can multiply it for him many times over? It is Allah Who enriches and makes poor. And you will all be returned to Him. (Surat al-Baqara: 245)

Those who spend their wealth for the cause of Allah are like a grain which produces seven ears; in every ear there are a hundred grains. Allah gives such abundance to whoever He wills. Allah is All-Encompassing, All-Knowing. Those who spend their wealth for the cause of Allah, and then do not follow their alms-giving by demands for gratitude or insulting words will be rewarded by their Lord. They will feel no fear and will know no sorrow. (Surat al-Baqara: 261-262)

For those who do not believe in Allah or the Hereafter, sacrificing anything is a great loss, and seen as highly detrimental to their interests. Because they don't have faith, they see the wonderful benefits that will be a great gain for them as a bad loss. They live with the tension and distress of selfishness, trying to hold their possessions and money tightly in their hands. Even when they are sitting at home they are in continuous discomfort. Their furniture aging, their food being exhausted, their friends visiting are always a form of suffering and trouble for people of this kind. They torture themselves with their decadence and miss out on the comfort and abundance decency brings.

Forgiveness is what is best and most advantageous for a person

"It is He Who accepts repentance from His servants and pardons evil acts and knows what they do." (Surat ash-Shura: 25). As is expressed in this verse, Allah is forgiving. And believers, obeying the morals Allah approves of, know to forgive when they face malevolence and how to banish wickedness with kindness. Without a doubt, to overlook wickedness by being patient and not be vindictive by forgiving the wrongdoer are qualities specific to a pious person. And the recompense for this behavior is Allah's approval and love. Allah informs us in one of His verses:

Those who give alms in times of both ease and hardship, those who control their rage and pardon their fellow man—Allah loves the charitable. (Surah Al 'Imran: 134)

By responding to wrong-doing with goodness, the person forgiving would also be creating a place full of peace and comfort for himself and others. Of course, such an environment is vastly superior in terms of ease, comfort, and peace to one ruled by continuous revenge, grudge, hatred, and animosity. Of course, the individual may have to control himself and exercise great patience for some time to rid himself of the anger and feelings of resentment which at first well up him, but in return he will achieve an environment and soul full of friendship, love, respect, and peace. This is what Allah tells believers in His verses:

A good action and a bad action are not the same. Requisite evil with good and, if there is enmity between you and someone else, he will become like a bosom friend. But none will obtain this save those who are truly steadfast. None will attain this save those who have great good fortune. (Surah Fussilat: 34-35)

As a reward for good morals, Allah gives people a good and an easy life. Around a person who doesn't forgive, there are always enemies who hate and despise him, whereas one who forgives is blessed with a life full of comfort and peace in this world and warm friends.

Modesty brings about an easy and comfortable life

Haughtiness and a feeling of superiority bring about the greatest suffering and difficulty. Modesty, on the other hand, brings a person comfort and peace. First of all, a haughty person thinks that he owns all his qualities. For example, instead of thinking that his brain has been given as a blessing by Allah and thanking Allah, he boasts about his intelligence. By magnifying this quality, he sees those around him as inferiors and belittles them. As a result of this behavior, people around him do not like him and see him as being repulsive. Some people may show him respect because he can trample over them. But the respect shown to an arrogant person is not real, sincere, and heartfelt, but is rather behavior displayed to escape the damage of his arrogance and conceitedness. Therefore, a haughty person cannot have friends who are attached to him with real, sincere, and candid love. There will always be people around him who will show fake respect and regard.

Another major agony a haughty person causes himself, is to always try to appear to be without any imperfections or inadequacies. As in the example we mentioned above, one who is conceited about his intelligence asserts that he is always the most intelligent person. He can never admit to making any mistakes. When he makes a mistake, he tries to do whatever he can so that others don't notice it; he even lies about it and in so doing debases himself. However, human beings are extremely vulnerable, full of deficiencies, and are being tested at every moment in this worldly life. As a result, it is only natural that they have many deficiencies and make many mistakes. To try to hide these from other people is really meaningless and unnecessary. Realizing that Allah sees and knows everything, that humans are weak and full of shortcomings, and that it is not what you look like in the eyes of others that is important but what your position is in Allah's eyes will make one's life easy and peaceful; one's shoulders will no longer be bowed in misery.

Another notion that a person has which causes the greatest distress is considering oneself more valuable than others because of certain qualities. This is also a characteristic of satan. When Allah created the Prophet Adam (as), He commanded satan and all the angels to bow down to him. The angels, being created by Allah with good morals, immediately bowed down. Whereas satan insisted on not bowing down and gave the following excuse:

He said, "I am better than him. You created me from fire but You created him from clay." (Surah Sad: 76)

As is clear from this verse, because of seeing himself as more superior to other creatures, satan became ferocious enough to disobey Allah.

In the Qur'an, Allah also informs those who diverged from true religion because they saw themselves as being superior to others. For example, by saying "We are Allah's children and His loved ones..." (Surat al-Ma'ida: 18) the Jews and Christians deviated. However all human beings, including them, are Allah's vulnerable creations. Every person is reliant on Allah and follows the destiny Allah has ordained for him. No one can develop certain qualities by himself and achieve superiority through them. People's superiority can be measured only by their effort to come close to Allah and by their piousness.

The answer Allah gives to those who presume they are exceptional and superior is:

"Say: 'Why, then, does He punish you for your wrong actions? Surely you are mortals of His own Creation. He forgives whoever He wills and He punishes whoever He wills. The kingdom of the heavens and the Earth and everything between them belongs to Allah. He is our final destination.'" (Surat al-Ma'ida: 18)

Claiming to be without any imperfections and not making any mistakes is a great burden for people. They try to be exceptional among their peers and because of this they constantly monitor their behavior and are pretentious in manner. For example, when they attend a meeting, they want to be the one who gives the most influential speech, the best dressed, the one who comes up with the cleverest solutions, and the one who attracts the most attention. When they are in any type of gathering, they try to put on airs of extraordinariness, distinction, and superiority down to the very seat they choose to sit on; they can never accept going unnoticed in the midst of others. And because of this they are as if sitting on a stack of needles, all the time. None of their mannerisms can be natural or sincere. Everything they do is calculated and planned to be commensurate with their assertions. The suffering this will bring to a person and the burden it will be on a person's shoulders are plain for all to see.

Moreover, it should be accepted that such people can never reach their goals. As they become haughtier, they win the hatred and anger of the people around them and when the things they have are taken away from them, they become depressed and angry at life. In one of His verses, Allah informs us that haughty people can never reach their goals:

Certainly those who argue about the Signs of Allah without any authority having been vouchsafed them have nothing in their breasts except for ambition which they will never be able to fulfill. Therefore seek refuge with Allah. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing. (Surah Ghafir: 56)

More importantly, haughty people, since they cannot attain any of their ambitions, lose Allah's love. Allah expresses this in one of His verses:

Do not avert your face from people out of haughtiness and do not strut about arrogantly on the Earth. Allah does not love anyone who is vain or boastful. (Surah Luqman: 18)

Modest people on the other hand, never experience the agonies and pressures of haughty people. Of course, everyone would like to own the best of everything and be best at everything. But those who aim at these objectives in order to satisfy their worldly desires, to grow in the eyes of people, and acquire respect are at the worst disadvantage. A humble person wants these things in order to win Allah's approval and reward. When he accomplishes something or acquires some quality, he knows that none of these are by his doing but are rather the result of the blessings Allah has been so kind as to grant him. He thanks Allah for giving these to him, and causing success, beauty, and blessing to enhance his destiny. As a result, he is not saddened when he loses one of them. He knows that this is a test for him and he trusts Allah. He lays claim to neither success, nor failure, neither beauty, nor ugliness. Knowing that all these are created to test him in this world, he lives in the comfort and peace of this knowledge.

Bediuzzaman briefly defines the discrepancy between the lives of haughty and modest people as:

"One who thinks too highly of himself is visited with calamities and meets with difficulties. Whereas one who is not fond of himself, finds happiness, and receives mercy." (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, The Risale-i Nur Collection, The Letters Collection, 23rd Letter)

The ease and peace, which stem from honesty and sincerity

Whenever ignorant people are in trouble, they immediately resort to falsehood. They see this as an easy means to save themselves. Whereas, not being honest and deceitfulness are traits that gives the most torture and suffering to a person. Above all else, one who lies, lives in apprehension of his lie being discovered and is fearful of being humiliated. In addition, lying brings about a burdened conscience, which causes a tense and turbulent situation. And an atmosphere in which everyone lies to one another is extremely insincere and hypocritical. Everyone is skeptical of what the others say. They cannot even trust each other on minor issues. For example, when they ask how the new outfit they bought looks on them, they know that they will get a dishonest answer. A friendship based on lies and hypocrisy will evidently not be a sincere and heart-felt bond.

On the other hand, to a person who fears Allah, honesty is very important. In one of His verses, Allah commands believers to be honest:

You who believe! Fear Allah and speak the truth. (Surat al-Ahzab: 70)

Honesty and sincerity bring believers a good, trustful, and comfortable life. For example, a believer who makes a mistake never hides it from others, because he knows that Allah is watching him and listening to him every second and by facing Allah he repents. If other believers have to know of his mistake, he will tell them about it in the most accurate and honest way. He knows that other believers will not exploit his sincerity. On the contrary, whatever the wrongdoing he has committed, believers will be pleased with him and trust him for his sincerity and modest manner. This is because a sincere person, who doesn't have anything to hide, and who doesn't put on a mysterious air, is very trustworthy and people around him are always comfortable. A community where such people are assembled is a great blessing and an advantage. People may escape the possibility of being humiliated and experiencing hardships by being honest, for Allah creates a very joyous, trustful, and comfortable atmosphere for honest and sincere people. The recompense they will receive in the Hereafter is much better and full of good tidings:

Allah will say, "This is the Day when the sincerity of the sincere will benefit them. They will have Gardens with rivers flowing under them, remaining in them timelessly, for ever and ever. Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him. That is the Great Victory." (Surat al-Ma'ida: 119)

Upholding good morals brings comfort and ease to everyone

In this section, it was explained by giving a few examples that real ease and happiness are brought about by practicing the morals of the Qur'an. It is possible to extend the examples given here. And for one, who is rid of one of his bad qualities and develops a good quality in stead, there is one more thing to be happy about. For example, a jealous person who formerly allowed himself to become emotionally drained by jealousy will begin to derive pleasure from all kinds of beauty, from good people, and from other people's successes. For example, the beauty of his friend, which he used to look upon with jealousy and contempt, instantly causes him to praise Allah's Creation and he sees it as a blessing from Allah. Or, one who used to make himself suffer by being impatient about even the slightest contretemps, now learns the beauty and the value of patience in Allah's eyes, and lives in the happiness and peace of being patient and resigning himself to and trusting in Allah, even in extremely difficult situations. When he shows patience in the face of any hardship, he becomes much happier thinking of his reward. Indeed, to believe in Allah, the destiny He has created, and in Heaven and Hell is a great secret that brings a person the greatest of all happiness, peace, and comfort. Those who try to attain these states by following other paths are greatly mistaken; they can never reach these blessings without having faith.


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