Islamic theology (Kalaam) tried to prove God’s existence only emphasizing on mind, and did not dwell on marifatullah (knowing Allah),. Mysticism (Tasawwuf) by contrast, did not focus on proving the existence of God, but on marifatullah, muhabbatullah (love of Allah), and spiritual tastes (lazzat-i ruhaniya), and moved by heart and spiritual journey Risale-i Nur, combining the mind and the heart, proved God’s existence via the mind, as well as using heart, and focusing on muhabbatullah and marifatullah. We can say that Risale-i Nur in this context, combines theology (Kalaam) and Sufism (Tasawwuf).
Risale-i Nur, in some treatises, proves God’s existence with the issues of marifatullah and muhabbatullah. However, in some treatises, Proving god’s existence is highlighted whereas in some other treatises marifatullah and muhabbatullah is emphasized. These two issues will be covered briefly and separately.
Treatise on Nature
In the Western philosophy, the first person to ever consider whether it is possible or not to prove the existence of God is an 18th Century philosopher, Immanuel Kant. In his book “Critique of Pure Reason” he widely discussed this and came to conclusion that – even though he was a believer in God – “God’s existence or non-existence cannot be proven ” with this statement, Kant became a reference point for philosophers of materialistic and positivistic idea. This is why Kant has a major role in western philosophy which turned into atheist and agnostic (skeptical) structure.
In the Islamic world, materialist and positivist ideas have been seen since the 19th century. But a large-scale spread of these ideas was realized in the 20th century.
Like many scholars, Ustad Bediuzzaman fought against materialistic ideas which emerged in the last period of the Ottoman Empire. He explains the situation during the War of Independence:
“I went to Ankara in 1922. I saw that within the joy of triumph of Islamic Army over Greeks, Ahl-I Iman (Believing Muslims) were about to face a very great abominable current of atheism which tries to enter into and distort and poison. “Oh!” I said. “This monster is going to harm the fundamentals of belief!” At those times since this verse [Their messengers said: “Is there a doubt about Allah, The Creator of the heavens and the earth?”  makes God’s existence and unity self-evidently plain, I sought assistance from it and wrote a treatise in Arabic which is powerful enough to disperse and destroy that atheistic current consisting of a proof taken from the All-Wise Qur’an. In Ankara, I had it printed in “Yeni Gun” printing press. But because of lack of people knowing Arabic and scarceness of people who gave importance, that summarized and concise strong evidence did not show any effect. Unfortunately, that atheism idea found strength and flourished. Out of necessity, I will declare those evidences in Turkish.” (The Flashes from the Risale-i Nur Collection- 23rd Flash)
Risale-i Nur Collection, The Work of Ustad Bediuzzaman, includes the proving of God’s existence and unity of a large amount of texts. Many treatises were allocated to this issue. The Treatise on Nature, without doubt is one of the most comprehensive and powerful of these. This treatise looms large in tawhid related treatises within Risale-i Nur Collection. Ustad explains this as follows: “numerous proofs classified in some other treatises are partially coming together in this treatise, and each of them counted as a part of this one.”
The Western philosophy of Kant until this day –for 200 years-generally accepted as “God’s presence is to never be proven” The provisions against the Master Natural Treatise of the opposite opinion argues, and even very large claims for talks. “For this treatise puts naturalistic atheism to death with no chance of reanimation and totally shutters the foundation stones of unbelief.” he says.
This is philosophically a very large claim. Though it has been more than 70 years since the copyright of “Treatise on Nature” was written, that this claim hasn’t been, so far, refuted and that many people with the help of these treatises found deliverance or strengthened their belief proves that this claim is a true one.
Ustad Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, in this treatise, used the method ” Sabr ve Taqsim ” which is used to find the main reason of a comparison (illat of the qiyas). Sabr ve Taqsim, is a method and style of proving that goes by the names “Dalil-i taqsim, Dalil-i munqasim”. This proving method includes taking into account every variable that might be the main reason (illat) behind the comparison (qiyas), deducting every possible-non-main-reasons and lastly finding out the appropriate ones to be the genuine main reason.
Ustad, in the nature treatise, discusses four probable ways for the creatures to come into existence. By refuting three opinions that cannot be the main reason, he shows the true main reason.
Three opinions that Said Nursi refutes symbolizes three philosophical systems (positivism, evolution, materialism).
In the first part, he discusses the reasons, as the positivists claim that Allah’s existence cannot be proven, reviewing everything by a cause and effect relationship of which they give great importance.
In the second part, “tashakkala binafsihi” idea of coming into existence by itself, is focused on. The idea of evolution is refuted here.
In the third section, focus is on nature where the dialectical materialism is refuted.
Here it should not be considered that only these three ideas are refuted. None of the entire atheist movements are in these three points. What Ustad wants to do is to refute completely all of the denial philosophies. And indeed, this has been achieved in a spectacular way in the nature treatise.
Ustad Said Nursi puts forward a prior premise that no one can argue with. Says:
“O Mankind! You should be aware that there are certain phrases which are commonly used and these imply unbelief. The believers also use them, but without realizing their implications. We shall explain three of the most important of them.
The First: “Avjadathu’l-asbab – Causes create this.”
The Second: “Tashakkala binafsihi – It forms itself; it comes into existence and later ceases to exist.”
The Third: “.Iktazathu’t-tabiat – It is natural; Nature necessitates and creates it.”
- Indeed, since beings exist and this cannot be denied,
- since each being comes into existence in a wise and artistic fashion,
- since each is not outside time but is being continuously renewed,
then, O falsifier of the truth, you are bound to say either that the causes in the world create beings, for example, this animal; that is to say, it comes into existence through the coming together of causes, or that it forms itself, or that its coming into existence is a requirement and necessary effect of Nature, or that it is created through the power of One All-Powerful and All-Glorious. Since reason can find no way apart from these four, if the first three are definitely proved to be impossible, invalid and absurd, the way of Divine Unity, which is the fourth way, will necessarily and self-evidently and without doubt or suspicion, be proved true.” (23rd Flash – Treatise on Nature [Cause or Effect])
In fact, all of the evidences on the nature treatise implicitly refute three different kinds of denials. It seems that Ustad Said Nursi, to fully persuade and not to let any open-doors, preferred it this way.
To sum up we can say that Ustad Said Nursi, in nature treatise, puts forward the following:
“Apparently, in the universe there is an Infinite Divinity equipped with knowledge, will and might. The proof to this statement is all of the creatures that all come into existence in a wise an arty way. Denial is not the solution. If we are to deny the existence of Allah, we need to relate this infinite divinity to either to the causes, or to the nature, or to the thing itself. All three of these statements result in absurd and nonsensical situations. However, to relate the universe to Allah who have the infinite divinity is a reasonable and sensible way, and hence we need to relate it to Allah. Ustad Said Nursi formulates this phenomenon as follows: Person denying the sun in the sky is bound to accept all of the reflections of sun on earth as suns.”
Here, we quote a part of nature treatise to give a general-overall idea of how abouts:
“THE SECOND WAY: is “tashakkala binafsihi”. It comes into existence by itself, it forms itself. It too involves much impossibility and is absurd and impossible in many aspects. We shall explain three examples of these impossibilities.
First Impossibility: O you obstinate denier! Your egotism has made you so stupid that somehow you decide to accept a hundred impossibilities all at once. For you yourself are a being and not some simple substance that is inanimate and unchanging. You are like an extremely well-ordered machine that is constantly being renewed and a wonderful palace that is undergoing continuous change. Particles are working unceasingly in your body. Your body has a connection and mutual relations with the universe, in particular with regard to sustenance and the perpetuation of the species, and the particles that work within it are careful neither to spoil that relationship nor to break the connection. In this cautious manner they set about their work, as though taking the whole universe into account. Seeing your relationships within it, they take up their positions accordingly. And you benefit with your external and inner senses in accordance with the wonderful positions that they take.
If you do not accept that the particles in your body are tiny officials in motion in accordance with the law of the Pre-Eternal and All-Powerful One, or that they are an army, or the nibs of the pen of Divine Determining, with each particle as the nib of a pen, or that they are points inscribed by the pen of Power with each particle being a point, then in every particle working in your eye there would have to be an eye such as could see every limb and part of your body as well as the entire universe, with which you are connected. In addition to this, you would have to ascribe to each particle an intelligence equivalent to that of a hundred geniuses, sufficient to know and recognize all your past and your future, and your forbears and descendants, the origins of all the elements of your being, and the sources of all your sustenance.
To attribute the knowledge and consciousness of a thousand Plato’s to a single particle of one such as you who does not possess even a particle’s worth of intelligence in matters of this kind is a crazy superstition a thousand times over.”
 Kants ideas are exaggerated by atheists. Today, there are rare cases of theologists who defends his ideas.
 Surah Ibrahim, 10
 See. Imam Ghazali, the Islamic Law of Evidence and Interpretation Methodology. 2.s.253. Rey Y. Kayseri. 1994. Dr. Abdulvahhap Hallaf, Philosophy of Islamic Law. S.257. Moment. Reputation. Fk theology. Y. 2. edition. 1985