The Seventh Ray from Risale-i Nur Collection The Suprame Sign
Not everyone will be able to understand all the matters
discussed in this most significant treatise, but equally nobody will remain
portionless. If somebody enters a garden, he will find that his hands cannot
reach all the fruit it contains, but the amount that falls within his grasp will
be enough for him. The garden does not exist for him alone; it exists also for
those whose arms are longer than his.
There are five causes making difficult the understanding of this
The First: I have written down my own observations, according to
my own understanding, and for myself. I have not written according to the
understanding and conceptions of others, as is the case with other books.
The Second: Since the true affirmation of Divine unity is set
forth in this book, in the most comprehensive form, by virtue of a manifestation
of the Supreme Name, the subjects discussed are extremely broad, extremely
profound and sometimes extremely long. Not everyone can comprehend these matters
all at once.
The Third: Since each matter constitutes a great and extensive
truth, a single sentence will sometimes stretch out over a whole page or more,
in order not to fracture the truth in question. A single proof requires copious
The Fourth: Since most of the matters contained in the book have
numerous proofs and evidences, the discussion sometimes becomes prolix through
the inclusion of ten or twenty proofs by way of demonstration. Limited
intelligences cannot understand this.
The Fifth: It is true that the lights of this treatise came to
me from the effulgence of Ramadan. Nonetheless, I was distraught in a number of
respects, and I wrote the book hastily at a time my body was wracked by several
illnesses, without revising the first draft. I felt, moreover, that I was not
writing with my own will and volition, and it seemed inappropriate to rearrange
or correct what I had written, according to my own thoughts. This, too, resulted
in rendering the book difficult of comprehension. In addition, a number of
sections in Arabic crept in, and the First Station, written entirely in Arabic,
was removed and made into a separate work.
Despite the defects and difficulties arising from these five
causes, this treatise has such an importance that Imam ‘Ali (May God be pleased
with him) miraculously foresaw its composition and gave it the names “Supreme
Sign” and “Staff of Moses.” He looked upon this part of the Risale-i Nur with
special favour, and directed man’s gaze toward it.1 The Supreme Sign
is a true exposition of the Supreme Verse,2 and it constitutes at the
same time the Seventh Ray, designated by the Imam as the Staff of Moses.
This treatise consists of an Introduction and two Stations. The
Introduction sets forth four important matters; the First Station contains the
Arabic portion of the exposition of the Supreme Verse; and the Second Station
consists of the translation of that expostion together with the accompanying
Too much has been explained in the following Introduction, but
it was not my intention to lengthen it thus. The fact that it was written at
this length indicates the existence of a need. Indeed, some people may regard it
as too short, despite its length.
I created not jinn and mankind except that they might worship
According to the meaning of this mighty verse, the purpose for
the sending of man to this world and the wisdom implicit in it, consists of
recognizing the Creator of all beings and believing in Him and worshipping Him.
The primordial duty of man and the obligation incumbent upon him are to know God
and believe in Him, to assent to His Being and unity in submission and perfect
For man, who by nature desires permanent life and immortal
existence, whose unlimited hopes are matched by boundless afflictions, any
object or accomplishment other than belief in God, knowledge of God and the
means for attaining these, which are the fundament and key of eternal life — any
such object or accomplishment must be regarded as lowly for man, or even
worthless in many cases.
Since this truth has been proven with firm evidence in the
Risale-i Nur, we refer exposition of it to that, setting forth here, within the
framework of four questions, only two abysses that shake certainty of faith in
this age and induce hesitation.
The means for salvation from the first abyss are these two
The First Matter: As proven in detail in the Thirteenth Flash of
the Thirty-First Letter, in general questions denial has no value in the face of
proof and is extremely weak. For example, with respect to the sighting of the
crescent moon at the beginning of Ramadan the Noble, if two common men prove the
crescent to have emerged by their witnessing it, and thousands of nobles and
scholars deny it, saying: “We have not seen it,” their negation is valueless and
without power to convince. When it is a question of proof each person
strengthens and supports the other, and consensus results. But when it is a
question of negation, there is no difference between one man and a thousand.
Each person remains alone and isolated. For the one who affirms looks beyond
himself and judges the matter as it is. Thus in the example we have given, if
one says “The moon is in the sky,” and his friend then points his finger at the
moon, the two of them unite and are strengthened.
The one who engages in negation and denial, however, does not
regard the matter as it is, and is even unable to do so. For it is a well-known
principle that “a non-particularized denial, not directed to a particular locus,
cannot be proven.”
For example, if I affirm the existence of a thing in the world,
and you deny it, I can easily establish its existence with a single indication.
But for you to justify your negation, that is to establish the non-existence of
the thing — it is necessary to hunt exhaustively through the whole world, and
even to examine every aspect of past ages. Only then can you say, “It does not
exist, and never has existed.”
Since those who negate and deny do not regard the matter as it
is but judge rather in the light of their own souls, and their own intelligence
and vision, they can in no way strengthen and support each other. For the veils
and causes that prevent them from seeing and knowing are various. Anyone can
say, “I do not see it; therefore, in my opinion and belief, it does not exist.”
But none can say, “It does not exist in actuality.” If someone says this
—particularly in questions of belief, which look to all the universe— it is a
lie as vast as the world itself, and he who utters it will be incapable both of
speaking the truth and of being corrected.
In Short: The result is one and single in the case of
affirmation, and every instance of affirmation supports all other instances.
Negation by contrast is not one, but multiple. Multiplicity
arises through each person’s saying concerning himself, “In my opinion and
view,” or “In my belief,” and leads to multiplicity of result. Hence each
separate instance cannot support all other instances.
Therefore, with respect to the truth with which we began, there
is no significance in the multiplicity and apparent predominance of the
unbelievers and deniers who oppose belief. Now it is necessary to refrain from
introducing any hesitation into the certainty and faith of a believer, but in
this age the negations and denials of the philosophers of Europe have induced
doubt in a number of unfortunate dupes and thus destroyed their certainty and
obliterated their eternal felicity. Death and the coming of one’s appointed
hour, which afflict thirty thousand men each day, are deprived of their meaning
of dismissal from this world and presented as eternal annihilation. The grave
with its ever-open door, constantly threatens the denier with annihilation and
poisons his life with the bitterest of sorrows. Appreciate then how great a
blessing is faith, and the very essence of life.
The Second Matter: With respect to a problem subject to
discussion in science or art, those who stand outside that science or art cannot
speak authoritatively, however great, learned and accomplished they may be, nor
can their judgements be accepted as decisive. They cannot form part of the
learned consensus of the science.
For example, the judgement of a great engineer on the diagnosis
and cure of a disease does not have the same value as that of the lowliest
physician. In particular, the words of denial of a philosopher who is absorbed
in the material sphere, who becomes continually more remote from the
non-material or spiritual and cruder and more insensitive to light, whose
intelligence is restricted to what his eye beholds — the words of such a one are
unworthy of consideration and valueless with respect to non-material and
On matters sacred and spiritual and concerning the Divine unity,
there is total accord among the hundreds of thousands of the People of Truth,
such as Shaykh Gilani (May his mystery be sanctified), who beheld God’s Sublime
Throne while still on the earth, who spent ninety years ad-vancing in spiritual
work, and who unveiled the truths of belief in all three stations of certainty.
This being the case what value have the words of philosophers, who through their
absorption in the most diffuse details of the material realm and the most minute
aspects of multiplicity are choking and dazed? Are not their denials and
objections drowned out like the buzzing of a mosquito by the roaring of thunder?
The essence of the unbelief that opposes the truths of Islam and
struggles against them is denial, ignorance, and negation. Even though it may
appear to be an affirmation of some kind and a manifestation of being, it is in
reality negation and non-being. Whereas belief is knowledge and a manifestation
of being; it is affirmation and judgement. Every negating aspect of belief is
the gate to a positive truth or the veil covering it. If the unbelievers who
struggle against faith attempt, with the utmost difficulty, to affirm and accept
their negative beliefs in the form of acceptance and admission of non-being,
then their unbelief may be regarded in one respect as a form of mistaken
knowledge or erroneous judgement. But as for non-accceptance, denial, and
non-admission —something more easily done— it is absolute ignorance and total
absence of judgement.
In Short: The convictions underlying unbelief are then of two
The First pays no regard to the truths of Islam. It is an
erroneous admission, a baseless belief and a mistaken acceptance peculiar to
itself; it is an unjust judgement. This kind of unbelief is beyond the scope of
our discussion. It has no concern with us, nor do we have any concern with it.
The Second Kind opposes the truths of belief and struggles
against them. It consists in turn of two varieties.
The First is non-acceptance. It consists simply of not
consenting to affirmation. This is a species of ignorance; there is no judgement
in-volved and it occurs easily. It too is beyond the scope of our discussion.
The Second variety is acceptance of non-being. It is to consent
to non-being with one’s heart, and a judgement is involved. It is a conviction
and a taking the part of something. It is on account of this partiality that it
is obliged to affirm its negation.
The negation comprises two types:
The First Type says: “A certain thing does not exist at a
certain place or in a particular direction.” This kind of denial can be proved,
and it lies outside of our discussion.
The Second Type consists of negating and denying those doctrinal
and sacred matters, general and comprehensive, that concern this world, all
beings, the hereafter, and the succession of different ages. This kind of
negation cannot in any fashion be substantiated, as we have shown in the First
Matter, for what is needed to substantiate such negations is a vision that shall
encompass the whole universe, behold the hereafter, and observe every aspect of
time without limit.
The Second Abyss and the means for escaping from it: This too
consists of two matters.
The First: Intelligences that become narrowed by absorption in
neglect of God and in sin, or the material realm, are unable to comprehend vast
matters in respect of sublimity, grandeur, and infinity; hence taking pride in
such knowledge as they have, they hasten to denial and negation. Since they
cannot encompass the extremely vast, profound and comprehensive questions of
faith within their straitened and dessicated intellects, their corrupt and
spiritually moribund hearts, they cast themselves into unbelief and misguidance,
If they were able to look at the true nature of their unbelief
and the essence of their misguidance they would see that, compared to the
reasonable, suitable and indeed necessary sublimity and grandeur that is present
in belief, their unbelief conceals and contains manifold absurdity and
impossibility. The Risale-i Nur has proven this truth by hundreds of comparisons
with the same finality that “two plus two equals four.” For example, one who
does not accept the Necessary Being, the pre-eternity, and the comprehensiveness
of attribute of God Almighty, on account of their grandeur and sublimity, may
form a creed of unbelief by assigning that necessary being, pre-eternity, and
the attributes of Godhead to an unlimited number of beings, an infinity of
atoms. Or like the foolish Sophists, he can abdicate his intelligence by denying
and negating both his own existence and that of the universe.
Thus, all the truths of belief and Islam, basing their matters
on the grandeur and sublimity which are their requirement, deliver themselves
from the awesome absurdities, the fearsome superstitions, and the tenebrous
ignorance of unbelief that confront them, and take up their place in sound
hearts and straight intellects, through utmost submission and assent.
The constant proclamation of this grandeur and sublimity in the
call to prayer, in the prayers themselves and in most of the rites of Islam,
the declaration of the Sacred Tradition that “Grandeur is My
shield and Sublimity My cloak;” and the statement of the Prophet (Peace and
blessings be upon him) — his most inspiring communing with God, in the
eighty-sixth part of Jawshan al-Kabir:5
O You other than Whose Kingdom no kingdom exists;
O You Whose Praise cannot be counted by His slaves;
O You Whose Glory cannot be described by His creatures;
O You Whose Perfection lies beyond the range of all vision;
O You Whose Attributes exceed the bounds of all understanding;
O You Whose Grandeur is beyond the reach of all thought;
O You Whose Qualities man cannot fittingly describe;
O You Whose Decree His slaves cannot avert;
O You Whose Signs are manifest in everything
—Be You glorified; there is no god other than You—
Protection, protection, deliver us from the Fire!
— all these show that grandeur and sublimity constitute a necessary veil.
1. The events that took place in Denizli fully confirmed the
prediction of Imam Ali concerning the Supreme Sign. For the secret printing of
this book was the cause of our imprisonement, and the triumph of its sacred and
most powerful truth was the main cause of our acquittal and deliverance. Thus
did Imam Ali make manifest his miraculous prediction, and prove the acceptane of
the prayer he had uttered on our behalf: "By means of the Supreme Sign, secure
me against sudden death!"
2. See footnote (1) on page 20.
3. Qur’an, 51:56.
4. Allah is Most Great.
5. The famous supplication revealed to the Prophet Muhammed
(PBUH) which, comprising the Divine Names, is relatedto posses many merits.