What I am certain of from my experience of social life and have learnt from my lifetime of study is the following:
The thing most worthy of love is love, and that most deserving of enmity is enmity. That is, love and loving, which render man’s social life secure and lead to happiness are most worthy of love and being loved. Enmity and hostility are ugly and damaging, have overturned man’s social life, and more than anything deserve loathing and enmity and to be shunned. Since this truth has been clearly explained in the TwentySecond Letter of the Risale-i Nur, here we shall point it out only briefly. It is as follows:
The time for enmity and hostility has finished. Two world wars have shown how evil, destructive, and what an awesome wrong is enmity. It has become clear that there is no benefit in it at all. In which case, on condition they are not aggressive, do not let the evils of our enemies attract your enmity. Hell and Divine punishment are enough for them.
Sometimes, man’s arrogance and selfworship cause him to be unjustly hostile towards believers without his being aware of it; he supposes himself to be right. But this hostility and enmity is to slight powerful causes of love towards the believers, like belief, Islam, and fellowhumanity; it is to reduce their value. It is a lunacy like preferring the insignificant causes of enmity to the causes of love, which are as great as a mountain.
Since love and enmity are contrary to one another, like light and darkness, they cannot truly combine. The opposite of whichever is predominant in the heart cannot at the same time be truly present. For example, if love is truly present, then enmity will be transformed into pity and compassion. This is the position towards the believers. Or if enmity is truly present in the heart, then love takes on the form of feigned approval, not interfering, and being apparently friendly. This may be the position towards unaggressive people of misguidance.
Indeed, the causes of love, like belief, Islam, humanity and fellowfeeling, are strong and luminous chains and immaterial fortresses. One sort of the causes of enmity towards the believers are personal matters, which are like small stones. In which case, to nourish true enmity towards a Muslim is a great error; it is like scorning the causes of love, which are as immense as a mountain.
In Short: Love, brotherhood, and affection are basic to Islam, and are its bond. The people of enmity resemble a spoilt child who wants to cry. He looks for an excuse, and something as insignificant as a fly’s wing becomes the pretext. They resemble too an unfair, pessimistic person who so long as it is possible to distrust, never thinks favourably. He ignores ten good deeds due to one bad deed. Fairness and favourable thinking, which mark the Islamic character, reject this.
The next parts of ‘Damascus Sermon’ will continue.