innocent, harmless benefits as informing a needy believer about one of the fine truths of belief. If possible, encourage one of your disinclined companions to inform him, so that your soul does not become conceited. If you have the desire to tell him the edifying matter to gain the reward, it surely is not a sin and there is no harm in it, but the essence of sincerity between you might be damaged.
YOUR FOURTH RULE
This is to imagine your brothers’ virtues and merits in your own selves, and to thankfully take pride at their glory. The Sufis have terms they use among themselves, “annihilation in the shaykh,” “annihilation in the Prophet;” I am not a Sufi, but these principles of theirs make a good rule in our way, in the form of “annihilation in the brothers.” Among brothers this is called “tefânî;” that is, “annihilation in one another.” That is to say, to forget the feelings of one’s own carnal soul, and live in one’s mind with one’s brothers’ virtues and feelings. In any event, the basis of our way is brotherhood; it is not the relationship (lit. means) between father and son, or shaykh and follower; it is that of true brotherhood. At the very most a Master [Ustad] intervenes. Our way is the closest friendship. This friendship necessitates being the closest friend, the most sacrificing companion, the most appreciative comrade, the noblest brother. The essence of such friendship is true sincerity. The person who spoils this true sincerity falls from the high pinnacle of this friendship, possibly to the bottom of a deep depression. There is nothing onto which he may cling in between.
Yes, the way is seen to be two. There is the possibility that those who part now from this way of ours, the great highway of the Qur’an, are unknowingly helping the forces of irreligion, who are hostile to us. God willing, those who enter the sacred bounds of the Qur’an of Miraculous Exposition by way of the Risale-i Nur will always add strength to light, sincerity, and belief, and will avoid such pitfalls.
O my companions in the service of the Qur’an! One of the most effective means of attaining and preserving sincerity is “contemplation of death.” Yes, just as worldly ambition damages sincerity and drives a person to hypocrisy and the world, so the contemplation of death causes disgust at hypocrisy and gains sincerity. That is, to think of death and grasp that this world is transient, and so be saved from the tricks of the soul. Yes, the instruction the Sufis and people of truth received from such verses of the All-Wise Qur’an as,
Every soul shall taste death.(3:185) * Truly you will die [one day], and truly they [too] will die [one day],(39:30)