as though we have seen it from the certain information given by the high-ranking officials there, two groups have entered our prison.
One group are holding musical instruments, wine, and apparently sweet confections and pastries which they are trying to make us eat. But the sweets are in fact lethal, for satans in human form have laced them with poison.
The second group are carrying instructive writings, licit foods, and blessed drinks. They present them to us and all together say to us with great earnestness: “If you take and eat the gifts the first group gave you by way of testing you, you shall be hanged on these gallows before us like the others you have seen. Whereas if you accept the gifts we have brought you on the command of this country’s Ruler in place of them, and recite the supplications and prayers in the instructive writings, you shall be saved from execution. Believe as though you were seeing it that each of you shall receive the winning ticket worth millions in the lottery office as a royal favour. These decrees say, and we ourselves say the same thing, that if you eat those illicit, dubious, and poisonous sweets, you shall suffer terrible pains from the poison until you go to be hanged.”
Like this comparison, for the people of belief and worship —on condition they have happy deaths— the ticket for an everlasting and inexhaustible treasury will come up from the lottery of man’s destiny beyond the gallows of the appointed hour, which we always see. For those who persist in vice, unlawful actions, unbelief, and sin, however, there is a hundred per cent probability that on condition they do not repent, they will receive the summons to either eternal annihilation (for those who do not believe in the hereafter), or to permanent, dark solitary confinement (for those who believe in the immortality of man’s spirit, but take the way of vice) and eternal perdition. Certain news of this has been given by the hundred and twenty-four thousand prophets1 with their innumerable miracles, which confirm them; and by the more than one hundred and twenty-four million saints, who see in their illuminations the traces and shadows —as though on a cinema screen— of what the prophets have told, and put their signatures to it, affirming it; and by the more than thousands of millions of investigative scholars,2 interpreters of the law, and veracious ones who, with decisive proofs and powerful arguments, prove according to reason and absolutely certainly the things told by those two eminent groups of mankind, and have set their signatures to them. The situation
Mishkat al-Masabih, iii, 122. See also, Zad al-Ma’ad (tahqiq: al-Arna’ut), i, 43-4.
One of those investigative scholars is the Risale-i Nur, which for twenty years has been silencing the most obstinate philosophers and obdurate atheists. Its various parts are available; everyone may read them, and no one can object to them.