by to shop in, an ever-renewed notebook of the Pre-Eternal Inscriber which is constantly written and erased, and every spring is a gilded letter, and every summer a well-composed ode; that it is formed of mirrors reflecting and renewing the manifestations of the All-Glorious Maker’s names; is a seed-bed of the hereafter, a flower-bed of divine mercy, and a special, temporary workshop for producing signboards which will be displayed in the world of eternity.
I offered a hundred thousand thanks to the All-Glorious Creator who had made the world in this way. And I understood that while love for the beautiful, inner faces of the world which look to the hereafter and divine names had been given to mankind, since they spent it on its transient, ugly, harmful, heedless face, they manifested the meaning of the Hadith: “Love of this world is the chief of all errors.”1
Elderly people! I realized this truth through the light of the All-Wise Qur’an, and the warnings of my old age, and belief opening my eyes. And I have demonstrated it with decisive proofs in many places in the Risale-i Nur. I experienced a true solace, powerful hope, and shining light. I was thankful for my old age, and I was happy that my youth had gone. You too do not weep, but offer thanks. Since there is belief and the truth is thus, it should be the heedless who weep and the misguided who lament.
In the First World War, as a prisoner, I was in the distant province of Kosturma in north-eastern Russia. There was a small mosque belonging to the Tatars beside the famous River Volga. I used to become wearied among my friends, the other officers. I craved solitude, yet I could not wander about outside without permission. Then they took me on bail to the Tatar quarter, to that small mosque on the banks of the Volga. I used to sleep there, alone. Spring was close. I used to be very wakeful during the long, long nights of that northern land; the sad plashing of the Volga and the mirthless patter of the rain and the melancholy sighing of the wind of those dark nights in that dark exile had temporarily roused me from a deep sleep of heedlessness. I did not yet consider myself old, but those who had experienced the Great War were old. For those were days that, as though manifesting the verse:
A day that will turn the hair of children grey,(73:17)
made even children old. While I was forty years old, I felt myself to be
al-‘Ajluni, Kashf al-Khafa’, No: 1099; al-Suyuti, al-Durar al-Muntathira, 97; Isfahani, Hilyat al-Awliya’, vi, 388; al-Munawi, Fayd al-Qadir, iii, 368, No: 3662.