A Warning, Lesson and Reminder
Given to a Number of Unhappy Youths
One day a number of bright youths came to me, seeking an effective deterrent in order to guard themselves against the dangers arising from life, youth, and the lusts of the soul. I said to these youths as I had to those who had previously sought help from the Risale-i Nur:
Your youth will definitely leave you, and if you do not remain within the bounds of the licit, it will be lost, and rather than its pleasures, it will bring you calamities and suffering in this world, in the grave, and in the hereafter. But if, through Islamic training, you spend the bounty of your youth as thanks honourably, in uprightness and obedience, it will in effect remain perpetually and will be the cause of gaining eternal youth.
As for life, if it is without belief, or because of rebelliousness belief is ineffective, it will produce pains, sorrows and grief far exceeding the superficial, fleeting enjoyment it brings. Because, since, contrary to the animals, man possesses a mind and he thinks, he is connected to both the present time, and to the past and the future. He can obtain both pain and pleasure from them. Whereas, since the animals do not think, the sorrows arising from the past and the fears and anxieties arising from the future do not spoil their pleasure of the present. Especially if the pleasure is illicit; then it is like an altogether poisonous honey.
That is to say, from the point of view of the pleasure of life, man falls to a level a hundred times lower than the animals. In fact, life for the people of misguidance and heedlessness, and indeed their existence, rather their world, is the day in which they find themselves. From the point of view of their misguidance, all the time and universes of the past are non-existent, are dead. So their intellects, which connect them to the past and the future, produce darkness, blackness for them. Due to their lack of belief, the future is also non-existent. Furthermore, because they think, the eternal separations resulting from this non-existence continuously produce darkness for their lives. But if belief gives life to life, through its light both the past and the future are illuminated and find existence. Like present time, it produces elevated, spiritual pleasures and lights of existence for the spirit and heart – in respect of belief. There is an explanation of this truth in the ‘Seventh Hope’ in The Treatise for the Elderly. You may refer to that.