In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
I shall explain a matter that unfolded before the gaze of my imagination one glittering night of the festival, while watching from my prison window through the lens of prudence and foresight the laughter of mankind that would turn into tears. As the lives of people of previous ages who lie in the graveyard may be seen in the cinema, so I as though saw the moving corpses of people who would inhabit it in the near future. I wept for those merry-makers. All of a sudden a feeling of desolation and pity came over me. I turned to my intellect and asked of reality: “What is this imagining?” Reality replied, saying:
In fifty years time, out of the fifty who are now laughing and enjoying themselves with such joy five will be bent and stooping seventy-year-olds, while forty-five will have rotted in the graveyard. Those beautiful features and joyful smiles will have been transformed into their opposites. According to the rule of “All that is coming is close,” since it is to some degree true that things that are going to happen in the near future are seen to have already arrived, then surely what you see is not imagination.
Furthermore, since the heedless laughter of this world veils bitter facts that thus turn it into tears, and is temporary and subject to decline, most certainly it is only thankful, innocent enjoyment within the bounds of the licit, which leads to awareness of God’s presence and dispels heedlessness, and pleasures that will be permanent by reason of their reward that will cause joy to wretched man’s eternity-worshipping heart and his spirit, which has an irresistible desire for immortality, and make them smile.
It is because of this that there are among the narrations many that strongly encourage thanks and remembrance of God at festival times, in order to prevent heedlessness from prevailing and deviation into the illicit. To do this at such times may transform the bounties of joy and happiness into thanks and make the bounty continue and increase it. For thanks increases bounty and dispels heedlessness.
S a i d N u r s i
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