The Righteous Generation
What We Expect from the Righteous Generation
The first and most important criteria of righteousness is perfect faith. The Holy Book determines the purpose of humanity’s creation as belief in God, which is woven from the threads of the knowledge of God, love, enthusiasm, and spiritual fulfillment.
Only in the light of faith can people, by realizing their essential nature with all its dimensions and the existential aims of creation, penetrate the inner reality of existence. Lack of belief is a suffocating dungeon. In the view of unbelievers, existence began with chaos, developed in the frightening uncertainties of coincidences, and is speeding toward a terrible end. In this uncertain movement of existence, there is no breath of compassion to relieve them, no place of security to embrace them in our human desires, and not even a piece of ground on which they can step.
Believers who know their origin and destination, as well as their responsibilities, see everything clearly and so travel to their destination in utmost security. During their sojourn here, they carefully study existence and what lies behind it. They examine things and events over and over again, try to establish a connection with their surroundings, use the studies of others, and fill in the gaps of their knowledge and experience with untiring research and hope.
Believers have an inexhaustible source of power on which they can rely during their travel: Strength and power belong to God alone. This phrase is a power source, and those who obtain it feel no need for another. Believers who have equipped themselves with it direct their lives toward God in the hope of securing Divine approval. Their abiding optimism enables them to overcome every obstacle and challenge all kinds of worldly opposition.
The second quality is to overflow with love. People whose hearts are content with belief in and knowledge of God feel, in proportion to the extent of their belief and knowledge, a deep love for humanity and creation. They spend their lives in the colorful fluctuations of universal ecstasy, rapture, and spiritual pleasure.
There can be no permanent movement, especially that related to the Hereafter, without love. The Divine love we feel in order to gain God’s approval is a boundless and mysterious source of power. Those who want to be worthy of it should make as much use of it as possible.
We need to look into the origin of existence from the perspective of the Holy Book and the Sunna. Our origin, place in the universe, the Divine purpose for our creation, and the way we should live and our final destination, as described in the Holy Book and the Sunna, are in such harmony with our thoughts, feelings, and aspirations that we cannot help but be filled with wonder and admiration.
For people of understanding, these two pure sources are a spring of love and enthusiasm, a means to ecstasy. Those who have recourse to them with pure intention and petitions of need are not refused, and those who take refuge in them gain immortality. Indeed, by combining the love and enthusiasm of those personages with modern methods and styles, we will penetrate into the ever-fresh essence of the Holy Book and arrive at a universal metaphysics.
To turn to sciences with a sensible synthesis of mind, logic and consciousness is the third quality. This turning, which also will provide a direction for the general inclination of humanity, which is lost among obscure hypotheses, will be a significant step in our liberation.
As pointed out by Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, in the future reason, logic, science, and eloquence will be more influential in human life. He also pointed out that since truth-seeking scholars and the science of eloquence agree that each Holy Book’s verse contains guidance and instruction, it follows that verses relating the Prophets’ miracles, the most brilliant of all verses, should not be considered mere historical events. Rather, they comprise numerous indications of guidance. By relating these miracles, the Holy Book shows the ultimate goal of scientific and technological developments, and specifies their final aims, toward which it urges humanity.2 In fact, we no longer have any other way of escaping from the cloudy atmosphere of illusions enveloping us, or any other way to reach truths and, more importantly, the most manifest Truth. To achieve this, we must become unique representatives of scientific knowledge combined with religious spirit.
Since we have been unable to assign a true direction to science, and thus confused revealed knowledge with scientific theories and sometimes scientific knowledge with philosophy, serious confusion has appeared in scientific thought and scientists have lost considerable esteem. One result is that the younger generations became alienated from their society.
By M. Fethullah Gulen
This article has first appeared in the 38th issue of Fountain Magazine (April – June 2002). The Fountain can be reached online at http://www.fountainmagazine.com