The Elixir of Truthfulness and the Safe Route of Honesty
Question-1: Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, in his book Münazarat (The Discussions), answered the question, “What do we need the most?” by saying sidq (truthfulness), and repeated it three times. And he promotes truthfulness both as an individual virtue, and also as the elixir of social advancement. Then he supports his statement, saying “Unbelief is a lie, while belief is truth. Is this not proof enough that our survival is possible through belief, truthfulness, and solidarity?” What do these bring to your mind?
When Bediüzzaman contrasts the situation of our beloved Prophet and of Abu Jahl, he identifies Abu Jahl’s as kizb (falsehood), and our Prophet’s as truthfulness. The rank, or rather, station of truthfulness stands much higher than the station of iman (belief in God), than that of ihsan (God-consciousness), than that of ashk (love of God), and than that of marifah (knowledge of God). It is unconditional loyalty, and to be sincere and altruistic to sacrifice personally important, luminous and vital things for that cause.
When he defines falsehood, he says that falsehood is one’s speaking on the contrary of what they actually believe, and making statements to the contrary of what they feel and have witnessed. It is, for instance, saying “I have not seen anyone,” despite seeing all of you here. It is also, in some way, telling a lie to one’s self.
Secondly, although there is an external reality, stating its opposite is falsehood. Another example of falsehood is denying the laws of God’s creation, although these Creative Commands confirm God with their existence. Like Recaizade says, “The entire universe is a great book of God; whichever letter you study, its meaning will spell His Name.” Bediüzzaman focuses on this too. On the one hand, in “Ayat al-Kubra” (The Great Sign), he asks, “Isn’t there more?” and talks about the hero who has aimed for the highest of the high, about the hero of “Isn’t there more?”
On the one hand, it is our character; the promise of security, and the promises of trustworthiness and trust. Hence, stating what we see, hear and feel without altering the truth is truthfulness. On the other hand, reading the laws of creation properly, reading the Divine messages properly, and comprehending them, and reading them in accordance with their true essence and confirming them by saying ‘Yes, it is true’ is also truthfulness, and a statement of trustworthiness.
This has its own levels. For commoners like us; honesty has a very basic significance. For noble Abu Bakr, however, it is fully represented. For the Pride of Humanity, we do not possess the tools to measure his truthfulness. We do not have any measurement system or criteria for his truthfulness. Any humanly tool would collapse if used to measure it.
In one of his poems, Yavuz Sultan Selim says:
The concerns of dispute and disunity,
Unsettle me even when I am in my grave.
The best defense against enemy is unity,
If the nation does not unite, it greatly saddens me.
Solidarity is also a Qur’anic command, which appears twice in the chapter Al-Maedah (Wa ta’awanu alal-birri wa’t-taqwa wa la ta’awanu alal-ithmi wa’l-udwan) Help one another in virtue and goodness, and righteousness and piety.
Bediüzzaman also says, “Concord and alliance lead to Divine guidance and assistance.”
In the Islamic world, it was hypocrites that pushed Muslims away from Islam. All of the tyrants and troublemakers of the Islamic world have been hypocrites. Bediüzzaman says that hypocrisy is worse than infidelity; hypocrites will suffer the lowest level of inferno, which means they are much lower than even Abu Jahl.
Hypocrites have led the entire Islamic world to degeneration. That is why the Islamic world has been exposed to continuous deformation.
Question-2: In the various verses of the Qur’an, it is said that a Muslim’s path from this world to the other world should be entered by truthfulness, exited by truthfulness, remembered for truthfulness, stepped and acted truthfully, and settled with truthfulness. The path should constantly revolve around truthfulness. What do these expressions mean with regards to the path, the provisions, and the destination of a Muslim?
We use the term route frequently, as in a route of safety, by which we refer to acting carefully, against the groups of heretics, of unbelievers, of envy and of rivalry. In this way you can advance smoothly. The route of safety, in this sense, should always be maintained.
The Qur’an says: “Adkhilni mudkhala sidqin wa akhrijni mukhraja sidqin,” so if I am to enter somewhere, I should enter as the representative of the truth, and when I exit, I should exit by leaving a mark or image of truthfulness, only the truth.
In fact, truthfulness is a meaning inside you, a sense in your heart. Those who have it inside say “We are content with Allah as our Lord, Islam as our religion, and Muhammad as our Messenger. Being content with Allah is the ultimate truth, the summit of one’s servanthood. It is called the “Station of Contentedness” about everything God wills, and hence the ultimate truth. Affirmation, contentedness and acceptance that Islam is the true religion is one of the utmost truths. Also affirming the Prophethood of our Prophet is another ultimate truth.
It is essential that we tell the truth meticulously. That is why some scholars of Hadith have objected to narrating hadiths through meaning. Nevertheless, since not everyone is capable of memorizing hadiths perfectly they have narrated hadiths through meaning, which has brought about the variations in the wordings of hadiths. However, they were also linguistically knowledgeable, they have not sacrificed the entire utterance; they have used synonyms or words with close meanings which, like I said, brought about the variations.