rejection of the matters of belief. This kind is misguidance is easy. It is a non-acceptance of the truth, an abdication, non-existence, and the absence of acceptance. In the Risale-i Nur, this sort has been shown to be easy.
As for the second sort, it pertains not to actions and secondary matters, but is a judgement of the mind and pertains to belief. It does not only deny belief, but opens up a way that is the opposite of it. It is the acceptance of what is false and invalid, the proof of the reverse of truth. This is not only the denial and refutation of belief, it is its opposite. It is not non-acceptance so that it should be easy, but the acceptance of non-being, and can only be accepted through proving non-existence. In accordance with the rule “Non-existence cannot be proved,”1 it is certainly not easy to prove it.
Thus, the unbelief and misguidance shown in other parts of the Risale-i Nur to be so difficult and problematic as to be impossible is this sort. Anyone with even a grain of intelligence would not take this way. Moreover, as is demonstrated, it imparts such grievous pains and suffocating darkness that anyone reasonable to the tiniest degree would not follow it.
I f i t i s a s k e d : Why do most people take it, seeing that it is so grievous, dark, and difficult?
T h e A n s w e r : They have fallen into it and cannot extricate themselves. And because the animal and vegetable powers in man do not see the consequences and do not think of them, and come to dominate man’s subtle faculties, such people do not want to extricate themselves, so console themselves with immediate, temporary pleasure.
Q u e s t i o n : Since misguidance gives rise to such dreadful suffering and fear, the unbeliever should not be able to live, let alone receiving pleasure from life. He should be crushed by the pain and be absolutely terrified. For although by reason of his humanity he desires innumerable things and loves life, because of his unbelief, he constantly sees death confronting him as eternal extinction and everlasting separation, and the passing of beings and deaths of his friends and those he loves as annihilation and eternal parting, so how can such a man live? How can he receive pleasure from life?
T h e A n s w e r : He deceives himself through an extraordinary sophistry of Satan, and lives. He supposes he receives a superficial pleasure. We shall allude to the true nature of this with a well-known comparison.
It is related that they said to the ostrich: “You’ve got wings, so fly!” But it folded its wings and said: “I’m a camel,” and didn’t fly. So it fell into the hunter’s trap, and not wanting the hunter to see it, stuck its head in the sand. However, it left its huge body exposed, as prey for the hunter. They
Ibn Qayyim, al-Sawa’iq al-Mursala, iv, 1310; al-Ruh fi’l-Kalam, i, 198.