free html hit counter SearchBlog Terms of Service, Privacy Policy - John Battelle's Search Blog

SearchBlog Terms of Service, Privacy Policy

By - July 01, 2006

Following Asha’s lead, I’m finally posting this. I’ve backdated this post so it does not interfere with the flow of items on the site, and will post a link to this on the home page and every archive page.

Thanks to Melanie for helping me get this done.

Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

SEARCHBLOG TERMS OF SERVICE

Searchblog is owned, operated and edited by John Battelle. By accessing, using, and/or submitting material to Searchblog, you agree to abide by these terms of service, including any modifications that may occur to the terms in the future. All modifications will be posted in this document.

All content published on Searchblog becomes the shared property of Searchblog and the respective author.

Searchblog content is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial license. As such, anyone can reproduce Searchblog content provided that the reproduction is for personal use and is non-commercial in nature, and the reproduction acknowledges Searchblog as the original source of the material either by including a link back to the original Searchblog post, or by including the following notice:

Content originally appeared on Searchblog (http://www.searchblog.com), and is made available through a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/).

For more information about the Creative Commons license, read the Creative Commons FAQ. If you’re in doubt about fair use, please contact the Searchblog editor at jbat@battellemedia.com.

If a reader’s submission is featured in a derivative work produced by Searchblog, Searchblog will, in good faith, attribute the submission to the reader (as the reader’s name appears on Searchblog) and attempt to contact the reader to let him or her know, but is not obligated to do so.

While Searchblog publishes what we hope is accurate and fair commentary, all Searchblog content is made available on an as-is basis, with no warrantees expressed or implied. As such, readers use any advice found on Searchblog at their own risk.

All content published on Searchblog is subject to editing or deletion. Opinions expressed on Searchblog are not necessarily those of the editor.

Searchblog reserves the right to restrict site access for any reason. Examples of inappropriate use include abusive behavior, posting the full text of copyrighted material without permission, and comment and/or trackback spam.

SEARCHBLOG PRIVACY POLICY

Searchblog will not sell, distribute, or reveal readers’ email addresses or other personal information without their consent.

In general, when publishing reader-submitted material, Searchblog will identify the reader by first name only and, if the reader desires, a link to the reader’s blog or website. If the reader is already in the public sphere (that is, the reader is well-known or has a blog or website that reveals the reader’s identity), Searchblog may publish the reader’s full name. If, in the submission, the reader requests first name-only identification, anonymity, or the use of a pseudonym, Searchblog will respect the request.

Finally, these terms are subject to revision, any revision will be noted on this page.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

3 thoughts on “SearchBlog Terms of Service, Privacy Policy

  1. Glenn Gow says:

    John, I agree there must be value to consumers so my question to Mark Zuckerberg is, how have you forgotten about your users? OK, you reversed course on portions of your advertising scheme, in response to user complaints. I give you credit for that. However, I think you’ve forgotten that you are a two-sided platform. One side is your advertisers and the other is your users. You are serving your advertisers to the detriment of your users. To win a platform war (and believe me you are in a war that will last for a very long time), you need to serve both sides. If you lose one side of the platform, you lose the other side as well.
    Your current advertising scheme (even with changes) is all about your advertisers. I can see no benefit to your users, only headaches. (See Facebook’s Social Ad Experiment)
    If you continue down this path of making life more difficult for your users, they will go somewhere else (do you remember Friendster? Do you know what Ning is?)

  2. Bediuzzaman says:

    The Eighth Word

    In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

    God, there is no god but He, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsistent.1

    Verily, the religion before God is Islam.2

    If you want to understand this world, and man’s spirit within the world, and the nature and value of religion within man, and how the world is a prison if there is no True Religion, and that without religion man becomes the most miserable of creatures, and that it is O God! and, There is no god but God that solve this world’s talisman and deliver the human spirit from darkness, then listen to and consider this comparison:

    Long ago, two brothers set off on a long journey. They continued on their way until the road forked. At the fork they saw a serious-looking man and asked him: “Which road is good?” He told them: “On the road to the right one is compelled to comply with the law and order, but within that hardship is security and happiness. However, on the left-hand road there is freedom and no restraint, but within its freedom lies danger and wretchedness. Now, the choice is yours!”

    After listening to this, saying, I place my trust in God,3 the brother with a good character took the right road and conformed to the order and regulations. The other brother, who was immoral and a layabout, chose the road to the left just for the lack of restraint. With our imaginations, we shall follow this man in his situation, which was apparently easy but in reality burdensome.

    Thus, this man went up hill and down dale until he found himself in a desolate wilderness. He suddenly heard a terrifying sound and saw that a great lion had come out of the forest and was about to attack him. He fled. He came across a waterless well sixty metres deep, and in his fear jumped into it. He fell half-way down it where his hands met a tree. He clung on to it. The tree, which was growing out of the walls of the well, had two roots. Two rats, one white and one black, were attacking and gnawing through them. He looked up and saw that the lion was waiting at the top of the well like a sentry. He looked down and saw a ghastly dragon. It raised its head and drew it close to his foot thirty metres above. Its mouth was as big as the mouth of the well. Then he looked at the well’s walls and saw that stinging, poisonous vermin had gathered round him. He looked up at the mouth of the well and saw a fig-tree. But it was not an ordinary tree, it bore the fruit of many different trees, from walnuts to pomegranates.

    Thus, through his lack of thought and foolishness, the man did not understand that this was not just some ordinary matter, these things were not here by chance, and that there were mysterious secrets concealed in these strange beings. And he did not grasp that there was someone very powerful directing them. Now, although his heart, spirit, and mind were secretly weeping and wailing at this grievous situation, his evil-commanding soul pretended that it was nothing; it closed its ears to the weeping of his heart and spirit, and deceiving itself, started to eat the tree’s fruit as though it was in a garden. But some of the fruit were poisonous and harmful. Almighty God says in a Divine Hadith: “I am according to how my servants think of Me.”

    Thus, through his foolishness and lack of understanding, this unhappy man thought what he saw to be ordinary and the actual truth. And so that is the way he was treated, and is treated, and will be treated. He neither dies so that he is saved from it, nor does he live – he is in such torment. And so, we shall leave this ill-omened man in his torment and return, so that we may consider the situation of the other brother.

    This fortunate and intelligent person went on his way, but he suffered no distress like his brother. For, due to his fine morals, he thought of good things, and imagined good things. Everything was friendly and familiar to him. And he did not suffer any difficulty and hardship like his brother, for he knew the order and followed it. He found it easy. He went on his way freely and in peace and security. Then he came across a garden in which were both lovely flowers and fruits, and, since it was not looked after, rotting and filthy things. His brother had also entered such a garden, but he had noticed and occupied himself with the filthy things and they had turned his stomach, so he had left it and moved on without being able to rest at all. But this man acted according to the rule, ‘look on the good side of everything’, and had paid no attention to the rotting things. He had benefited a lot from the good things, and taking a good rest, he had left and gone on his way.

    Later, also like the first brother, he had entered a vast desert, and had suddenly heard the roar of a lion which was attacking him. He was frightened, but not as much as his brother. For, because of his good thoughts and positive attitude, he thought to himself: “This desert has a ruler, and it is possible that this lion is a servant under the ruler’s command,” and found consolation. But he still fled until he came across an empty well sixty metres deep. He threw himself into it. Like his brother, his hand clasped a tree half-way down and he remained suspended in the air. He looked and saw two animals gnawing through the tree’s two roots. He looked up and saw the lion, and looked down and saw the dragon. Just like his brother he was seeing a most strange situation. He was terrified like him, but his terror was a thousand times less than his brother’s. For his good morals had given him good thoughts, and good thoughts show the good side of everything. So, because of this, he thought like this:

    “These strange happenings are connected to someone. Also it seems that they are acting in accordance with a command. In which case, these matters contain a talisman. Yes, they are turning at the command of a hidden ruler. Therefore, I am not alone; the hidden ruler is watching me, he is testing me, he is impelling me somewhere for some purpose, and inviting me there. A curiosity arising from this pleasant fear and these agreeable thoughts prompt me to say: I wonder who it is that is testing me, wants to make himself known, and is impelling me for some purpose on this strange road.”

    Then, love for the owner of the talisman arose out of the desire to know him, and from that love arose the desire to solve the talisman. And from that desire arose the will to acquire good qualities which would please and gratify the talisman’s owner. Then he looked at the tree and saw it was a fig-tree, but it was bearing the fruits of thousands of trees. So then all his fear left him, for he understood that for certain the fig-tree was a list, an index, an exhibition. The hidden ruler must have attached samples of the fruits in the garden to the tree through a miracle and with a talisman, and must have adorned the tree in a way that would point to each of the foods he had prepared for his guests. For there is no other way a single tree could produce the fruits of thousands of different trees. Then he began to entreat that he would be inspired with the key to the talisman. He called out:

    “O ruler of this place! I have fallen on your fortune and I take refuge with you. I am your servant and I want to please you. I am searching for you.” After he had made this supplication, the walls of the well suddenly parted, and a door opened onto a wonderful, pleasant, quiet garden. Indeed, the dragon’s mouth was transformed into the door, and both it and the lion took on the forms of two servants; they invited him to enter. The lion even became a docile horse for him.

    And so, O my lazy soul! And O my imaginary friend! Come! Let us compare the position of these two brothers, so that we can see how good brings good and evil brings evil. Let us find out.

    Look, the unhappy traveller on the left road is all the time trembling with fear waiting to enter the dragon’s mouth, while the fortunate one is invited into a blooming, splendid garden full of fruit. And the unfortunate one’s heart is being pounded by an awful terror and grievous fear, while the fortunate one is gazing at and observing strange things as a delightful lesson, with a pleasant fear and loving knowledge. Also the miserable one is suffering torments in desolation, despair, and loneliness, while the fortunate one is taking pleasure in hope, longing, and familiarity. Furthermore, the unfortunate one sees himself as a prisoner subject to the attacks of wild beasts, while the fortunate one is an honoured guest who is on friendly terms and enjoying himself with the strange servants of the generous host of whom he is the guest. Also the unhappy one is hastening his torments by indulging in fruits which are apparently delicious but in fact poisonous. For the fruits are samples; there is permission to taste them so as to seek the originals and become customers for them, but there is no permission to devour them like an animal. But the fortunate one tastes them and understands the matter; he postpones eating them and takes pleasure in waiting. Moreover, the unfortunate one is wronging himself. Through his lack of discernment, he is making a truth and a situation which are as clear and bright as daylight into a dark and oppressive fear, into a hellish delusion. He does not deserve pity, nor does he have the right to complain to anyone.

    For example, if a person who is at a pleasant banquet in a beautiful garden in summer among his friends makes himself drunk through filthy intoxicants, then imagines himself hungry and naked in the middle of winter among wild animals and starts shouting out and crying, he does not deserve to be pitied; he is wronging himself, and he is insulting his friends by imagining them to be wild beasts. Thus, the unfortunate brother is like this. But the fortunate one sees the truth. And the truth is good. Through perceiving the beauty of the truth, the fortunate brother is being respectful towards the truth’s owner. So he deserves his mercy. Thus, the meaning of the Qur’anic decree: “Know that evil is from yourself, and good is from God” becomes clear. If you make a comparison of other differences in the same way, you will understand that the evil-commanding soul of the first brother has prepared a sort of hell for him, while the good intention, good will, good character, and good thoughts of the other have allowed him to receive great bounty and happiness, and a shining virtue and prosperity.

    O my soul! And O you who is listening to this story together with my soul! If you do not want to be the unfortunate brother and want to be the fortunate one, listen to the Qur’an, and obey its decrees, and adhere to them, and act according to them.

    If you have understood the truths in this comparison, you will be able to make them correspond to the truths of religion, the world, man, and belief in God. I shall say the important ones, then you deduce the finer points yourself.

    So, look! Of the two brothers, one is a believing spirit and a righteous heart. The other is an unbelieving spirit and a depraved heart. And of the two roads, the one to the right is the way of the Qur’an and belief in God, while the left one is the road of rebellion and denial. The garden on the road is man’s fleeting social life in human society and human civilization where good and evil, and things good and bad and clean and dirty are found side by side. The sensible person is he who acts according to the rule: ‘Take what is pleasant and clear, and leave what is distressing and turbid’, and goes on his way with tranquillity of heart. As for the desert, it is the earth and this world. And the lion is death and the appointed hour. The well is man’s body and the time of his life, while its sixty-metre depth points to the normal life-span of sixty years. And the tree is the period of life and the substance of life. The two animals, one white and one black, are night and day. And the dragon is the road to the Intermediate Realm and pavilion of the Hereafter, whose mouth is the grave. But for the believer, that mouth is a door opening from a prison onto a garden. And as for the poisonous vermin, they are the calamities of this world. But for the believer they are like gentle Divine warnings and favours of the Most Merciful One to prevent him slipping off into the sleep of heedlessness. The fruits on the tree are the bounties of this world which the Absolutely Generous One has made in the form of a list of the bounties of the Hereafter, and both as examples of them, and warnings, and samples inviting customers to the fruits of Paradise. And the tree producing numerous different fruits despite being a single tree is a sign to the seal of the Power of the Eternally Besought One, to the stamp of Divine Dominicality and Sovereignty. For ‘to make everything from one thing’, that is, to make all plants and fruits from earth, and create all animals from a fluid, and to create all the limbs and organs of animals from a simple food, together with ‘making everything one thing’, that is, arts like weaving a simple skin and making flesh particular to each animal from the great variety of foods that animals eat is an inimitable stamp and seal peculiar to the Ruler of Pre-Eternity and Post-Eternity, Who is the Single, Eternally-Besought One. For sure, to make one thing everything, and everything one thing is a sign, a mark peculiar to the Creator of all things and the One Powerful over all things.

    And as for the talisman, it is the mystery of the wisdom in creation which is solved through the mystery of belief. And the key is There is no god but God , and, God, there is no god but He, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsistent. And the dragon’s mouth being transformed into the door into the garden is a sign that, although for the people of misguidance and rebellion the grave is a door opening, in desolation and oblivion, onto a grave distressing as a dungeon and narrow as a dragon’s stomach, for the people of the Qur’an and belief, it is a door which opens from the prison of this world onto the fields of immortality, from the arena of examination onto the gardens of Paradise, and from the hardships of life onto the Mercy of the All-Merciful One. The savage lion turning into a friendly servant and a docile mount is a sign that, although for the people of misguidance, death is a bitter, eternal parting from all their loved ones, and the expulsion from the deceptive paradise of this world and the entry in desolation and loneliness into the dungeon of the grave, for the people of guidance and the Qur’an, it is the means of joining all their old friends and beloved ones who have already departed for the next world, and the means of entering their true homeland and abode of everlasting happiness. It is an invitation to the meadows of Paradise from the prison of this world, and a time to receive the wage bestowed out of the generosity of the Most Merciful and Compassionate One for services rendered to Him, and a discharge from the hardship of the duties of life, and a rest from the drill and instruction of worship and examination.

    In Short: Whoever makes this fleeting life his purpose and aim is in fact in Hell even if apparently in Paradise. And whoever is turned in all seriousness towards eternal life receives the happiness of both worlds. However difficult and distressing this world is for him, since he sees it as the waiting-room for Paradise, he endures it and offers thanks in patience…

    O God! Appoint us among the people of happiness, safety, the Qur’an, and belief. Amen. O God! Grant peace and blessings to our Master Muhammed, and to his Family and Companions, to the number of all the letters of the Qur’an formed in all its words, represented with the permission of the Most Merciful One in the mirrors of the air waves on the recital of each of those words by all the Qur’an’s reciters from its first revelation to the end of time, and have mercy on us and on our parents, and have mercy on all believing men and women to the number of those words, through Your mercy, O Most Merciful of the Merciful. Amen. And all praise be to God, the Sustainer of All the Worlds.

    * * *www.nur.gen.tr  www.saidnur.com  www.nurpenceresi.com.tr http://www.fgulen.com.tr  www.herkul.org http://www.3dmekanlar.com  www.nurris.com http://www.bediuzzaman.netaThe Third Word 

    In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

    O you people, worship…. 

    If you want to understand what great profit and happiness lie in worship, and what great loss and ruin lie in vice and dissipation listen to and take heed of the following story which is in the form of a comparison:

    One time, two soldiers received orders to proceed to a distant city. They set off and travelled together until the road forked. At the fork was a man who said to them, “The road on the right causes no loss at all, and nine out of ten of those who take it receive a high profit and experience great ease. While the road on the left provides no advantages, and nine out of ten of its travellers make a loss. But they are the same as regards distance. Only there is one difference: those who take the left-hand road, which has no rules and no one in authority, travel without baggage and arms. They feel an apparent lightness and deceptive ease. Whereas those travelling on the right-hand road, which is under military order, are compelled to carry a kit-bag full of nutritious rations four kilos or so in weight and a superb army rifle of about two kilos which will overpower and rout every enemy…”

    After the two soldiers had listened to what this instructive man had to say, the fortunate one took the road to the right. He loaded the weight of ten kilos onto his back, but his heart and spirit were saved from thousands of kilos of fear and feeling obliged to others. As for the other, luckless, soldier, he left the army. He did not want to conform to the order, and he went off to the left. He was released from bearing a load of ten kilos, but his heart was constricted by thousands of kilos of indebtedness, and his spirit crushed by innumerable fears. He proceeded on his way both begging from everyone and trembling before every object and every event until he reached his destination. And there he was punished as a mutineer and a deserter.

    As for the soldier who loved the order of the army, had guarded his kit-bag and rifle, and taken the right-hand road, he had gone on his way being obliged to no one, fearing no one, and with an easy heart and conscience until he reached the city he was seeking. There he received a reward worthy of an honourable soldier who had carried out his duty well.

    And so, O rebellious soul, know that one of those two travellers represents those who submit to the Divine Law, while the other represents the rebellious and those who follow their own desires. The road is the road of life, which comes from the Spirit World, passes through the grave, and carries on to the Hereafter. As for the kit-bag and rifle, they are worship and fear of God. There is an apparent burden in worship, but there is an ease and lightness in its meaning that defies description. For in the prescribed prayers the worshipper declares, “I bear witness that there is no god but God.” That is to say, since he is believing and saying, “There is no Creator and Provider other than Him. Harm and benefit are in His hand. He is both All-Wise; He does nothing in vain, and He is All-Compassionate; His bounty and mercy are abundant”, he finds the door of a treasury of mercy in everything. And he knocks on it with his supplication. Moreover, he sees that everything is subjugated to the command of his own Sustainer, so he takes refuge in Him. He places his trust in Him and relies on Him, and is fortified against every disaster; his belief gives him complete confidence.

    Indeed, like with every true virtue, the source of courage is belief in God, and worship. And like with every iniquity, the source of cowardice is misguidance.

    In fact, for a worshipper with a truly illuminated heart, it is possible that even if the globe of the earth became a bomb and exploded, it would not frighten him. He would watch it with pleasurable wonder as a marvel of the Eternally Besoughted One’s Power. But when a famous degenerate philosopher with a so-called enlightened mind but no heart saw a comet in the sky, he trembled on the ground, and exclaimed anxiously: “Isn’t that comet going to hit the earth?” (On one occasion, America was quaking with fear at such a comet, and many people left their homes in the middle of the night.)

    Yes, although man is in need of numberless things, his capital is as nothing, and although he is subject to endless calamities, his power too is as nothing. Simply, the extent of his capital and power is merely as far as his hand can reach. However, his hopes, desires, pains, and tribulations reach as far as the eye and the imagination can stretch. Anyone who is not totally blind can see and understand then what a great profit, happiness, and bounty for the human spirit, which is thus impotent and weak, and needy and wanting, are worship, affirmation of God’s Unity, and reliance on God and submission to Him.

    It is obvious that a safe way is preferable to a harmful way, even if the possibility of its safety is only one in ten. But on the way of worship, which our matter here, there is a nine out of ten possibility of it leading to a treasury of eternal happiness, as well as it being safe. While it is established by the testimony – which is at the degree of consensus – of innumerable experts and witnesses that besides being without benefit, and the dissolute even confess to this, the way of vice and dissipation ends in eternal misery. And according to the reports of those who have uncovered the mysteries of creation this is absolutely certain.

    In Short: Like that of the Hereafter, happiness in this world too lies in worship and being a soldier for Almighty God. In which case, we should constantly say: “Praise be to God for obedience and success”, and we should thank Him that we are Muslims…

    * * *www.nur.gen.tr  www.saidnur.com  www.nurpenceresi.com.tr http://www.fgulen.com.tr  www.herkul.org http://www.3dmekanlar.com  www.nurris.com http://www.bediuzzaman.net

  3. Bediuzzaman says:

    The Second Word

    In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

    Those who believe in the Unseen. 1

    If you want to understand what great happiness and bounty, what great pleasure and ease is to be found in belief in God, listen to this story which is in the form of a comparison:

    One time, two men went on a journey for both pleasure and business. One set off in a selfish, inauspicious direction; the other on a godly, propitious way.

    Since the selfish man was both conceited, self-centred, and pessimistic, he ended up in what seemed to him to be a most wicked country due to his pessimism. He looked around and everywhere saw the powerless and the unfortunate lamenting in the grasp and at the destruction of fearsome bullying tyrants. He saw the same grievous, painful situation in all the places he travelled. The whole country took on the form of a house of mourning. Apart from becoming drunk, he could find no way of not noticing this grievous and sombre situation. For everyone seemed to him to be an enemy and foreign. And all around he saw horrible corpses and despairing, weeping orphans. His conscience was in a state of torment.

    The other man was godly, devout, fair-minded, and with fine morals so that the country he came to was most excellent in his view. This good man saw universal rejoicing in the land he had entered. Everywhere was a joyful festival, a place for the remembrance of God overflowing with rapture and happiness; everyone seemed to him a friend and relation. Throughout the country he saw the festive celebrations of a general discharge from duties accompanied by cries of good wishes and thanks. And he also heard the sound of a drum and band for the enlistment of soldiers with happy calls of “God is Most Great!” and “There is no god but God!” Rather than being grieved at the suffering of both himself and all the people like the first miserable man, this fortunate man was pleased and happy at both his own joy and that of all the inhabitants. Furthermore, he was able to do some profitable trade. He offered thanks to God.

    After some while he returned and came across the other man. He understood his condition, and said to him: “You were out of your mind. The ugliness inside you must have been reflected on the outer world so that you imagined laughter to be weeping, and the discharge from duties to be sack and pillage. Come to your senses and purify your heart so that this calamitous veil is raised from your eyes and you can see the truth. For the country of an utterly just, compassionate, beneficent, powerful, order-loving, and kind king could not be in the way you imagined, nor could a country which demonstrated this number of clear signs of progress and achievement.” The unhappy man later came to his senses and repented. He said, “Yes, I was crazy through drink. May God be pleased with you, you have saved me from a hellish state.”

    O my soul! Know that the first man represents an unbeliever, or someone depraved and heedless. In his view the world is a house of universal mourning. All living creature are orphans weeping at the blows of death and separation. Man and the animals are alone and without ties being ripped apart by the talons of the appointed hour. Mighty beings like the mountains and oceans are like horrendous, lifeless corpses. Many grievous, crushing, terrifying delusions like these arise from his unbelief and misguidance, and torment him.

    As for the other man, he is a believer. He recognizes and affirms Almighty God. In his view this world is an abode where the Name of the All-Merciful One is constantly recited, a place of instruction for man and the animals, and a field of examination for man and jinn. All animal and human deaths are a demobilization. Those who have completed their duties of life depart from this transient world for another, happy and trouble-free, world so that place may be made for new officials to come and work. The birth of all animals and humans forms their enlistment into the army, their being taken under arms, and the start of their duties. Each living being is a joyful regular soldier, an honest, contented official. And all voices, either glorification of God and the recitation of His Names at the outset of their duties, and the thanks and rejoicing at their ceasing work, or the songs arising from their joy at working. In the view of the believer, all beings are the friendly servants, amicable officials, and agreeable books of his Most Generous Lord and All-Compassionate Owner. Very many more subtle, exalted, pleasurable, and sweet truths like these become manifest and appear from his belief.

    That is to say, belief in God bears the seed of what is in effect a Tuba Tree of Paradise, while unbelief conceals the seed of a Zakkum Tree of Hell.

    That means that safety and security are only to be found in Islam and belief. In which case, we should continually say, “Praise be to God for the religion of Islam and perfect belief.”

    * * *www.nur.gen.tr  www.saidnur.com  www.nurpenceresi.com.tr http://www.fgulen.com.tr  www.herkul.org http://www.3dmekanlar.com  www.nurris.com http://www.bediuzzaman.netThe Sixth Word 

    In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

    Verily God has purchased from the believers their persons and their property that Paradise might be theirs.

    If you wish to understand how profitable a trade it is, and how honourable a rank, to sell one’s person and property to God, to be His slave and His soldier, then listen to the following comparison.

    Once a king entrusted each of two of his subjects with an estate, including all necessary workshops, machinery, horses, weapons and so forth. But since it was a tempestuous and war-ridden age, nothing enjoyed stability; it was destined either to disappear or to change. The king in his infinite mercy sent a most noble lieutenant to the two men and by means of a compassionate decree conveyed the following to them:

    “Sell me the property you now hold in trust, so that I may keep it for you. Let it not be destroyed for no purpose. After the wars are over, I will return it to you in a better condition than before. I will regard the trust as your property, and pay you a high price for it. As for the machinery and the tools in the workshop, they will be used in my name and at my workbench. But the price and the fee for their use shall be increased a thousandfold. You will receive all the profit that accrues. You are indigent and resourceless, and unable to provide the cost of these great tasks. So let me assume the provision of all expenses and equipment, and give you all the income and the profit. You shall keep it until the time of demobilization. So see the five ways in which you shall profit! Now if you do not sell me the property, you can see that no one is able to preserve what he possesses, and you too will lose what you now hold. It will go for nothing, and you will lose the high price I offer. The delicate and precious tools and scales, the precious metals waiting to be used, will also lose all value. You will have the trouble and concern of administering and preserving, but at the same time be punished for betraying your trust. So see the five ways in which you may lose! Moreover, if you sell the property to me, you become my soldier and act in my name. Instead of a common prisoner or irregular soldier, you will be the free lieutenant of an exalted monarch.”

    After they had listened to this gracious decree, the more intelligent of the two men said:

    “By all means, I am proud and happy to sell. I offer thanks a thousandfold.”

    But the other was arrogant, selfish and dissipated; his soul had become as proud as the Pharaoh. As if he was to stay eternally on that estate, he ignored the earthquakes and tumults of this world. He said:

    “No! Who is the king? I won’t sell my property, nor spoil my enjoyment.”

    After a short time, the first man reached so high a rank that everyone envied his state. He received the favour of the king, and lived happily in the king’s own palace. The other by contrast fell into such a state that everyone pitied him, but also said he deserved it. For as a result of his error, his happiness and property departed, and he suffered punishment and torment.

    O soul full of caprices! Look at the face of truth through the telescope of this parable. As for the king, he is the Monarch of Pre-Eternity and Post-Eternity, your Sustainer and Creator. The estates, machinery, tools and scales are your possessions while in life’s fold; your body, spirit and heart within those possessions, and your outward and inward senses such as the eye and the tongue, intelligence and imagination. As for the most noble lieutenant, it is the Noble Messenger of God; and the most wise decree is the Wise Qur’an, which describes the trade we are discussing in this verse:

    Verily God has purchased from the believers their persons and property that Paradise might be theirs.

    The surging field of battle is the tempestuous surface of the world, which ceaselessly changes, dissolves and reforms and causes every man to think:

    “Since everything will leave our hands, will perish and be lost, is there no way in which we can transform it into something eternal and preserve it?”

    While engaged in these thoughts, he suddenly hears the heavenly voice of the Qur’an saying:
    web http://www.nur.gen.tr  www.saidnur.com  www.nurpenceresi.com.tr http://www.fgulen.com.tr  www.herkul.org http://www.3dmekanlar.com  www.nurris.com http://www.bediuzzaman.net
    “Indeed there is, a beautiful and easy way which contains five profits within itself.”

    What is that way?

    To sell the trust received back to its true owner. Such a sale yields profit fivefold.

    The First Profit: Transient property becomes everlasting. For this waning life, when given to the Eternal and Self-Subsistent Lord of Glory and spent for His sake, will be transmuted into eternity. It will yield eternal fruits. The moments of one’s life will apparently vanish and rot like kernels and seeds. But then the flowers of blessedness and auspiciousness will open and bloom in the realm of eternity, and each will also present a luminous and reassuring aspect in the Intermediate Realm.

    The Second Profit: The high price of Paradise is given in exchange.

    The Third Profit: The value of each limb and each sense is increased a thousandfold. The intelligence is, for example, like a tool. If you do not sell it to God Almighty, but rather employ it for the sake of the soul, it will become an ill-omened, noxious and debilitating tool that will burden your weak person with all the sad sorrows of the past and the terrifying fears of the future; it will descend to the rank of an inauspicious and destructive tool. It is for this reason that a sinful man will frequently resort to drunkenness or frivolous pleasure in order to escape the vexations and injuries of his intelligence. But if you sell your intelligence to its True Owner and employ it on His behalf, then the intelligence will become like the key to a talisman, unlocking the infinite treasures of Compassion and the vaults of wisdom that creation contains.

    To take another example, the eye is one of the senses, a window through which the spirit looks out on this world. If you do not sell it to God Almighty, but rather employ it on behalf of the soul, by gazing upon a handful of transient, impermanent beauties and scenes, it will sink to the level of being a pander to lust and the concupiscent soul. But if you sell the eye to your All-Seeing Maker, and employ it on His behalf and within limits traced out by Him, then your eye will rise to the rank of a reader of the Great Book of Being, a witness to the miracles of Dominical art, a blessed bee sucking on the blossoms of Mercy in the garden of this globe.

    Yet another example is that of the tongue and the sense of taste. If you do not sell it to your Wise Creator, but employ it instead on behalf of the soul and for the sake of the stomach, it sinks and declines to the level of a gatekeeper at the stable of the stomach, a watchman at its factory. But if you sell it to the Generous Provider, the the sense of taste contained in the tongue will raise to the rank of a skilled overseer at the treasuries of Divine compassion, a grateful inspector in the kitchens of God’s eternal power.

    So look well, O intelligence! See the difference between a tool of destruction and the key to all being! And look carefully, O eye! See the difference between an abominable pander and the learned overseer of the Divine library! And taste well, O tongue! See the difference between a stable doorkeeper or a factory watchman and the superintendent of the treasury of God’s mercy!

    Compare all other tools and limbs to these, and then you will understand that in truth the believer acquires a nature worthy of Paradise and the unbeliever a nature conforming to Hell. The reason for each of them attaining his respective value is that the believer, by virtue of his faith, uses the trust of his Creator on His behalf and within the limits traced out by Him, whereas the unbeliever betrays the trust and employs it for the sake of the concupiscent soul.

    The Fourth Profit: Man is helpless and exposed to numerous misfortunes. He is indigent, and his needs are numerous. He is weak, and the burden of life is most heavy. If he does not rely on the Omnipotent One of Glory, place his trust in Him and confidently submit to Him, his conscience will always be troubled. Fruitless torments, pains and regrets will suffocate him and intoxicate him, or turn him into a beast.

    The Fifth Profit: Those who have experienced sapiental knowledge and had unveiled to them the true nature of things, the elect who have witnessed the truth, are all agreed that the exalted reward for all the worship and glorification of God performed by your members and instruments will be given to you at the time of greatest need, in the form of the fruits of Paradise.

    If you spurn this trade with its fivefold profit, in addition to being deprived of its profit, you will suffer fivefold loss.

    The First Loss: The property and offspring to which you are so attached, the soul and its caprice that you worship, the youth and life with which you are infatuated, all will vanish and be lost; your hands will be empty. But they will leave behind them sin and pain, fastened on your neck like a yoke.

    The Second Loss: You will suffer the penalty for betrayal of trust. For you will have wronged your own self by using the most precious tools on the most worthless objects.www.nur.gen.tr  www.saidnur.com  www.nurpenceresi.com.tr http://www.fgulen.com.tr  www.herkul.org http://www.3dmekanlar.com  www.nurris.com http://www.bediuzzaman.net

    The Third Loss: By casting down all the precious faculties of man to a level much inferior to the animals, you will have insulted and transgressed against God’s wisdom.

    The Fourth Loss: In your weakness and poverty, you will have placed the heavy burden of life on your weak shoulders, and will constantly groan and lament beneath the blows of transience and separation.

    The Fifth Loss: You will have clothed in an ugly form, fit to open the gates of Hell in front of you, the fair gifts of the Compassionate One such as the intelligence, the heart, the eye and the tongue, given to you to make preparation for the foundations of everlasting life and eternal happiness in the hereafter.

    Now is it so difficult to sell the trust? Is it so burdensome that many people shun the transaction? By no means! It is not in the least burdensome. For the limits of the permissible are broad, and are quite adequate for man’s desire; there is no need to trespass on the forbidden. The duties imposed by God are light and few in number. To be the slave and soldier of God is an indescribably pleasurable honour. One’s duty is simply to act and embark on all things in God’s name, like a soldier; to take and to give on God’s behalf; to move and be still in accordance with His permission and law. If one falls short, then one should seek His forgiveness, say:

    “O Lord! Forgive our faults, and accept us as Your slaves. Make us sure holders of Your trust until the time comes when it is taken from us. Amen!”, and make petition unto Him.www.nur.gen.tr  www.saidnur.com  www.nurpenceresi.com.tr http://www.fgulen.com.tr  www.herkul.org http://www.3dmekanlar.com  www.nurris.com http://www.bediuzzaman.net