Humans are mirrors and evidences of The Merciful One just as a mirror reflecting light is an evidence for the sun’s existence.
The Second Station of the Fourteenth Flash (Part 12)
NOTE: The quoted passages are from Ustadh Bediuzzaman’s book and the commentaries below them are my own.
It also points that embodiments (madhar) such as living beings and humans, who are evidences and mirrors of the Merciful Compassionate One, [that their] evidence of the Necessarily Existent One is so certain, clear, and apparent that just as for a shiny mirror displaying a sample and reflection of the sun, it [may] be said “that mirror is the sun” pointing to the shininess and to the clarity of its evidence, it was said and [may] be said that “The human being has the image of the Merciful” pointing to the clarity of [their] evidence and to the perfection of its appropriateness.
Suppose for a moment that we never saw the sun. Imagine yourself holding a mirror in your hand, observing the rays of the sun being reflected by the mirror. Your knowledge that a mirror is not capable of emitting light would lead you to conclude that some other object is the true source of light, which the mirror in your hand is merely reflecting. In other words, the mirror would be an evidence for the existence of some other object to which the light belongs, in this case the sun. Similarly, humans are an evidence for the existence of God. How so?
God has placed manifestations (cilve) of His names in human beings. In a sense, these samples are a “reflection” of the names of God. Yet humans are not capable of being the true possessors and the true source these samples, pointing to the existence of their Creator.
Take, for instance, our life. Being alive requires the whole system of our body to cooperate smoothly and efficiently with one another. Any slight disruption is enough to bring death. In fact, not only do our organs have to cooperate with each other but also with the rest of the universe, including the sun and the earth. Any minor disturbance would render this universe incapable of supporting life. Clearly, it is not reasonable for us humans to be the “true source” of this life; as we haven’t even discovered the whole of science, let alone constructing it ourselves in a way which supports life. This points to the existence of some other Being Who is the true source of life. The life of Whom we are merely reflecting. Essentially, our life implies the existence of Al-Hayy (The Living God). For details in this argument, see First Word (Part 3).
Likewise, we cannot be the true source of hearing and sight, implying the existence of another Being Who is the true Possessor of these features. It points to the existence Al-Baseer (The Seeing) and As-Samee’ (The Hearing), and so on.
In the previous post, the author was discussing the meaning of the Hadith “Indeed, Allah has created the human being in the image of the Merciful (or as he stated)” [*] In the above passages, he states that humans being a proof of God’s existence is another meaning implied by the mentioned hadith, just as a mirror points to the existence of the sun.
And the moderate faction of the People of Wahdat al-Wujud (Unity of Existence) have said لَا مَوْجُودَ إلَّا هُوَ [“There is no existent besides Him”] based on this subtle truth, as a title for the clarity of this evidence and the perfection of this appropriateness.
The author goes into some length to discuss the belief of Wahdat al-Wujud (Unity of Existence) in some other parts of the Risale-i Nur collection, which we will not discuss at the moment as that would digress from the main topic of this post. We only give a very brief description in order to clarify the above passage.
Wahdat al-Wujud (Unity of Existence) suggests that there is one and only one form of existence, namely that of God. The existence of the creation is denied, as it’s too illusionary to be considered real. This belief has been the subject of much controversy throughout Islamic history, mainly because it goes against the mainstream belief that the creation’s existence is different and separate from that of God, yet just as real. The difference in their existence is that God’s existence is necessary while the creation’s existence is possible (not necessary) and entirely dependent on the will of God.
Here, the author says that the moderate ones of those believing in Wahadat al-Wujud (Unity of Existence) base their belief on this subtle truth. Essentially, humans (and other beings) are such a clear evidence of the existence of God that we may say “The human being has the image of the Merciful”, just as we might say that a “mirror is the sun”, implying the clarity of the mirror’s proof of the sun’s existence.
اَللّٰهُمَّ يَا رَحْمٰنُ يَا رَحِيمُ بِحَقِّ بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ اِرْحَمْناَ كَمَا يَلِيقُ بِرَحِيمِيَّتِكَ وَفَهِّمْنَاۤ اَسْرَارَ بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ كَمَا يَلِيقُ بِرَحْمَانِيَّتِكَ اٰمِينَ
O Allah, O Merciful, O Compassionate [One], for the right of “In the name of Allah the Merciful the Compassionate” have mercy on us as befits Your mercy, and allow us to comprehend the mysteries of “In the name of Allah the Merciful the Compassionate” as befits Your mercy. Ameen.
[*] The phrase “or as he [i.e. the Prophet ﷺ] stated” is used whenever the narrator of a hadith is unsure of the exact wording of a hadith.