Light and Darkness: A Continuous Cycle

Lead Article
Tomorrow is a new day; who can foresee what it may bring!
| M. Fethullah Gulen | Issue 156 (Nov - Dec 2023)

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Light and Darkness: A Continuous Cycle

In This Article

  • The conflict between oppression and justice shows no sign of subsiding, while tumult has perpetually stood in contrast to order.
  • For countless years, in nearly every corner of the world, feeble, defenseless, and underprivileged nations have been largely governed through sheer force, devoid of any semblance of accountability.
  • In the present moment, it feels as though heavenliness appears in every direction, and the scent of the realms beyond seeps into our very souls. We perceive all of creation pulsating as one, in connection with Him, and occasionally, the warmth of the worlds beyond envelops our entire being.

Light persistently pursues darkness; they coexist in close companionship. The rhythm of days succeeding nights embodies this eternal balance. The intertwining of beauty and ugliness has remained an enduring truth since the very dawn of our world. Satan has been harassing humankind since the first day, just as our spirit has been confronting our carnality. The conflict between oppression and justice shows no sign of subsiding, while tumult has perpetually stood in contrast to order. Misguidance and guidance have alternately expanded and contracted; their relationship interwoven. The paths leading to Hellfire and the expansive highways to Paradise have stretched alongside each other, akin to parallel lanes, mirroring the perpetual emergence of mornings from the depths of nights.

Today is no different: sometimes we feel ensnared in darkness, and we yearn to cry out at the top of our lungs, “Everywhere is dark... / O Lord, is this evening or the grave!” (A. Hamit). At other times, we witness radiance permeating every corner and lights streaming in from all directions. Within the depths of the night lie countless glimmers and sunrises, one upon another, as darkness finds itself entangled in the web of light. It is a state of existence where everything you perceive and encounter feels akin to traversing the corridors of Heaven. Each individual holds in their grasp a bouquet of roses plucked from the highest Garden, meandering under the shelter of Divine Trust.

Then arrives a moment when you are overwhelmed by the unsightliness engulfing your horizon, often contingent on external events. Yet, following these unpleasant occurrences, unexpected beauties arise, sparking exhilaration and kindling a fervent spirit of gratitude. You incessantly proclaim, “Now is the time, the time is now,” seizing as many days, hours, minutes, and seconds as possible, thereby incensing Satan. Nonetheless, nearly as numerous are the unfavorable moments wherein your spirit succumbs to your physical self, and your rationality yields to your ego.

Abundant are the racket of tyranny, the terrifying growls of tyrants, the impudent shrieks of brute force, with spirits continually eroded by sin and transgression, falsehoods normalized, treachery seen as commonplace, and deceit applauded as cleverness... Yet, amidst these various forms of unbelief and vice tantamount to the rebellions of destroyed ancient nations, one witnesses numerous individuals reorienting themselves once again towards human values. Thus, whispers arise in the shadows and a commotion stirs among bats, even as nightingales begin to sing, unfazed, even in magpie nests. Indeed, while the number of those dragged into the abyss of Hellfire is countless, no fewer are those who stride purposefully towards the gates of Paradise.

Undoubtedly, certain forces persist in plunging the entire world into the throes of unprecedented chaos, even amidst this new era. Brazenly, they assume “everyone is blind and the whole world is senseless” (Z. Paşa). The absence of anyone to halt this onslaught constitutes an unparalleled agony for the oppressed and the suffering masses as a whole. It becomes evident that the bitter grievances of numerous nations, particularly certain marginalized communities, go unheard. How lamentable it is for all of us that there is not even a solitary voice that cries out, “Enough!”

It is now common knowledge that fundamental rights and freedoms, such as the right to life and freedom of speech, have morphed into privileges exclusively bestowed upon the powerful. Laws are crafted to safeguard the interests of the influential, while punitive measures are employed to suppress the vulnerable. Tyrants abound, each more ruthless than the next. Should one dare to dissent, the inevitable consequence is oppression. Conversely, should one dare to advocate for "truth" or "democracy," they are swiftly subdued in the name of "civilization" and "modernity," an occurrence not unfamiliar in the least.

For countless years, in nearly every corner of the world, feeble, defenseless, and underprivileged nations have been largely governed through sheer force, devoid of any semblance of accountability. Spanning the vast expanse of the Muslim world, from one end to the other, an unprecedented wave of oppression and injustice has taken hold. Miserable populations, miserable nations, lacking both regard for truth and empathy for fellow human beings; a landscape characterized by bloodshed, pus, and a bone-chilling brutality.

These events have persisted relentlessly and continue to do so, yet there exists the other side of the coin: Foremost, in our contemporary era, oppression stands on the brink of invoking God's “protective care and intervention” (ghayrah). “Despotism, oppression, tyranny, disgrace / Hypocrisy, various vile scourges, various afflictions” (M. Akif [Ersoy]) have begun to awaken societies that have long remained dormant over the past few centuries. A myriad of radiant torchbearers now emerge, alongside a multitude of individuals capable of perceiving and comprehending the truth under this illuminating light.

In stark contrast to our incessant preoccupation with past nightmares, we now harbor gleaming, distinct thoughts woven with the dreams of a radiant future. Even if delayed, we can finally lay claim to “our tomorrow.” We conceive in our distinct manner and tread our own unique paths. The multitude seeking God's approval and good pleasure will suffice for all, while those steadfastly dedicated to the truth are innumerable. Amidst the ever-expanding light that blankets the earth each day, darkness diminishes consistently. The world spins unceasingly, and numerous transformations occur at a rapid pace. As long as events continue unfolding in this manner, it remains undeniable that a celestial life will knock on our door, if not today, then in the very near future.

Who knows, when that particular moment arrives, like “a single drop of Ramadan” descending upon us from the throne of mercy, perhaps a universal grace and compassion will cascade and overflow upon us. The lands of the oppressed, which have transformed into an arid desert over the course of centuries, will then metamorphose into lands of dreams, drawing everyone towards them, much like moths drawn to a flame.

Throughout, there exists a palpable shift in our fortunes; we draw nearer to our intrinsic values, endeavor to understand them more deeply, and love them with a newfound sincerity as our familiarity deepens. Admiration fills us for faith and its manifold blessings; furthermore, we perceive it as an expression of compassion and faithfulness of the realms beyond. With pride, we reminisce about the illustrious days when we safeguarded it, laud those who harbor a sense of allegiance and devotion to it, and extend well-wishes of a safe journey to those steadfastly marching towards a radiant future, brimming with hope.

Perpetually journeying, reflections of the path permeate our inner worlds, each manifesting as a ray of light. The objective is God’s approval and good pleasure; the toil and weariness of the expedition do not daunt us. Observing those who, upon hearing the Divine's Grand Name, are revitalized, it feels as if we too are revived once more alongside them. Waves of expansion and solace ripple through our hearts, one after another, our beings expanding as if to encompass the moon, the sun, and the entirety of the universe. Everything we encounter along the way whispers that we are destined for eternity.

In the present moment, it feels as though believing hearts have turned their gaze once more towards the celestial realms. Heavenliness appears in every direction, and the scent of the realms beyond seeps into our very souls. We perceive all of creation pulsating as one, in connection with Him, and occasionally, the warmth of the worlds beyond envelops our entire being. Each object and entity speak to us in a distinct verse, a unique melody of life, reflective of its individual plane of existence and special standing. We discern a distinct allure in everything and everyone. The horizons appear brighter, our vision sharper, and interpretation of creation more coherent. It is as if the lights of the spiritual realm twinkle in every corner, and a joyous tomorrow already weaves its own rhythm, its own design, into the fabric of existence. The world, which until yesterday resembled a graveyard, now stirs and emerges with life, as if a festival of “resurrection” unfolds all around. A heightened sense of the celestial graces the countenance of humanity. No longer do we view anything as an insurmountable enigma; instead, we behold all creation as a vibrant and meaningful tapestry, extolling it as a ballad, and experiencing every object and phenomenon in a novel light.

Under the luminance of faith, everything we perceive and behold appears as resplendent as a scene from Paradise, imbued with the hues of eternity. Time, space, creation, and events seem more pliant and precious when compared to yesteryears. Our hearts seem to recount the promise of brighter days ahead. In diverse ways, many individuals seem to envision a radiant future with a premonition, inwardly elated as if handed the key to transmute their misfortunes into prosperity. The jubilation of gaining something new with each step, coupled with the confidence of eventually attaining their place and purpose in the world's equilibrium through this path, is evident in their demeanor and countenance.

Moreover, through this belief and expectation, their hope in crossing over the grave, the Day of Judgment, and the Bridge of Sirat in order to reach Paradise, is complete. They have believed from the depths of their heart that God will not forsake them, and with His grace and favor, they will overcome earthly and spiritual barriers. They bear witness to the world’s perpetual rotation, the alternation of light and darkness, night following day, the blossoming of spring within the embrace of winter, the emergence of ease after hardship, and the assurance that those who wept the day before will inevitably smile the next. Tomorrow is a new day; who can foresee what it may bring!


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