pleasure since they are passed, and says: “Praise and thanks be to God, that calamity has left its reward and departed.” He breathes a sigh of relief. That is to say, an hour’s temporary pain and sorrow leave behind a sort of pleasure in the spirit, while a pleasurable hour leaves a pain.
Since the reality is thus; and since past calamitous hours together with their pains are no longer existent, and future distressing days are at the present time non-existent, and there is no pain from nothing, to continually eat bread and drink water today, for example, because of the possibility of being hungry and thirsty in several days’ time, is most foolish. In just the same way, to think now of the past and future unhappy hours, which simply do not exist, and to display impatience, and ignoring one’s faulty self, to moan as though complaining about God is also most foolish. So long as the power of patience is not scattered to left and right, that is, to the past and future, and is held firm in the face of the present of hour and day, it is sufficient. The distress is reduced from ten to one.
In fact, but let it not be complaining, Divine favour pointed out the above fact to me while, during a few days of material and spiritual affliction, illness and trial the like of which I had never before experienced in my life, I was being crushed in particular by the despair and distress of the heart and spirit which resulted from my being unable to serve the Qur’an and belief with the Risale-i Nur. I was then content with my distressing illness and imprisonment. For, saying: “It is great profit for an unfortunate like myself who waits at the door of the grave to make one hour which might be passed in heedlessness ten hours’ worth of worship,” I gave thanks.
Third Point: There is great gain in compassionately aiding and assisting prisoners, in giving them the sustenance they need, and in soothing their spiritual wounds with consolation. Giving them their food which comes from outside is like alms-giving which, exactly to the amount of the food, is written in the book of good deeds of those, outside and inside, who do this, together with the warders concerned. Especially if the unhappy prisoner is old, ill, poor, or a stranger, then the reward of this alms-giving increases many times over.
The condition of this high profit is to perform the obligatory prayers so that such service is for God’s sake. Another condition is to hasten to their assistance with sincerity, compassion and joy, and in such a way as to not make them feel obliged.
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