Underground riches and responsibilities that befall on believers

by Fethullah Gülen on . Posted in Endeavor for Renewal

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Underground riches and responsibilities that befall on believers

Question: It is reported that the Messenger of God said: “Seek rizq[1] in the depths of the earth.”[2] What are the responsibilities that befall on believers as this saying signifies?

Answer: After God Almighty created humanity, He did not simply tell them “Go and take care of yourself on the earth.” On the contrary, He sent them to such a ground and such a place of learning that almost all things await them nearby. However, we are not supposed to sit at home and say, “Let everything come near us on their own within a hand’s reach.” Happenings in this world, which is the Abode of Wisdom, take place within the frame of causes (God Almighty acts behind the veil of cause and effect) and we are responsible for fulfilling what they necessitate. As for the Hereafter, it is the realm of Divine Power. In Paradise, something passing one’s mind or something imagined can appear from nowhere. There is no need for the veil of cause and effect. In fact, the prayers God Almighty accepts in this world show some of its examples to us in a way. Sometimes we see that we are provided right away with something we prayed for. Similar to these directly accepted prayers, dwellers of Paradise will see that things will come true as soon as they move their lips or think about them; the overwhelming power of God will overtly reveal itself there without the veil of causality.

Yet unknown materials and rizqs

In many verses of the Qur’an, God Almighty reveals that the skies and the earth are made subservient to humanity. When we look around at trees flourishing, waters flowing, seas we benefit from, the living creatures they contain, or the light coming from the sun, we recognize that all of them hold different blessings for us. When we explore the earth and seas a little bit, we encounter amazing blessings. However, all of these blessings are enveloped in causes, so that the Divine Power is not associated with trivial issues in simple minds.[3] In order to reach those blessings, we need to tear those envelopes open. For example, you wish to harvest fruit of a certain kind. You first sow the seeds in soil or plant a sapling you find, and then prepare the suitable conditions for its growth. So the hadith mentioned in the initial question tells us to make an effort and search for the provisions and blessings God created in the depths of the earth. In fact, the significance of natural resources as different metals and energy sources is evident for everyone. In our time, scientists try to make some estimation about the reserves of those resources. But their work is limited to what is currently within our reach, as much as the available technology allows. There are such geological layers we have gained no access to yet. Let me give an example from a primitive tool: if you know that slamming a pickax will cause magma to burst on you, then you cannot dare search for anything in those depths. On the other hand, there is continuous metamorphosis occurring on earth, such as some creatures undergoing mutations. The Almighty Creator who makes those metamorphoses happen can also create new forms of provisions continuously under the earth. Who can claim that God will not create new certain things we think to be doomed to vanish? Who knows how many times the earth underwent changes, how many times the poles changed place, how many times mountains left their places to seas and vice versa. For this reason, let us not forget that the claims made about the reserves of underground resources in certain countries can be serving speculative purposes and pulling the wool over people’s eyes. By acting this way, some powers can be trying to delude the masses to suit their benefits.

Mother earth, which cuddles humanity with compassion

The initial question was related to believers’ responsibilities signified by the Prophetic command to search for provisions in the depths of the earth. In the Qur’an, God draws the importance of the earth for humanity: “Have We not made the earth as a cradle…?” (an-Naba 78:6). This verse suggests that God Almighty did not leave humans, who are essentially impotent and weak like a baby, to mercilessness on earth, but He created the earth like a cradle for them, as if it were prepared by a compassionate mother who also placed the food by their side. Human beings, who receive such compassionate care in such a suitable place, can enjoy all of God Almighty’s blessings on earth by giving their willpower its due. Since their available means blind them to the rest, they fail to see the blessings exhibited in this planet. If they can look around with a serious feeling of impotence and helplessness, with a mood of suffering in dire need, then they will realize the presence of so many blessings they had been unable to see, and different dimensions and depths they missed in those blessings. Great Messengers of God encouraged people to find the coded keys of the blessings in the universe and then enjoy them. At the same time, they pointed to the Divine messages like the Qur’an, Torah, and the Bible and told us to use them as keys. Therefore, we Muslims have a key like the miraculous Qur’an in our hands, which can help us enjoy all the blessings on earth. It is such a sad fact that we have been unable to use this key for the last few centuries and could not find the way to enjoy those blessings. Instead, we have been afflicted with illnesses that paralyze the willpower, such as arrogance, boasting about the past, pursuing carnal desires, and seeking personal benefit. In the meantime, motives like wishing to rule the world and gaining economic power triggered some others’ desires and made them take action. As they searched for a certain metal, they came across other elements in time and they kept discovering new things as they explored nature with a zeal for scientific exploration. As a result of this, they spotted the locations of oil reserves and important underground resources in different regions of the world and made plans for seizing those places. Later, those powers decided to put an end to the Ottoman state and thought that each of them could get a good share if they shattered the Ottoman lands. They would divide the land into different states and benefit from the riches therein. It is arguable whether the Ottomans were really aware of this situation in those days; there was an undeniable reality that they faced a serious shortage of intellectuals to generate new thoughts and take due action. On the other hand, the West was going through a new revival and industrial revolution. The West had undergone great changes and set about discovering the world. They started scrutinizing phenomena with a serious zeal for research. In the meantime, Westerners occasionally met some surprises. They found gold while searching for silver, amethyst while searching gold, and rubies while searching for amethyst, etc. All of these led them to new formations and new considerations.

The Islamic world is in dire need of lovers of truth

Today as well, there are different powers resorting to every legal or illegal means to seize natural resources in different regions of the world. For example, certain field experts claim that in some areas of Turkey there are enclosed areas, which could be containing reserves of oil, gold, silver, and other materials. Thus, failing to give the willpower its due about this issue and leaving those riches to exploiters will inevitably mean loss and grief, yet again.

Energy resources have become a major need of modern life, similar to food and shelter. In a way, everything somehow relates to the issue of energy. From lighting to vehicles on roads to planes in the air, so many things depend on energy. Since energy is of such vital importance, we can talk about a serious focus on energy almost everywhere. By God’s grace, the people of Anatolia have begun to be appreciated in the region again. Nowadays, they are building bridges of friendship with different countries in very different lands; they establish new business and economic relations. At this point, what we will need more than anything is scientists and seekers of truth, people determined to find out the truth and relate it to an eternal meaning. Naturalism and materialism can take people only so far. These systems are bound by the limits of matter. Therefore, researches cannot extend beyond that point. On the other hand, seekers of the eternal, who are always thirsty for deeper meaning, can carry on. With this broad perspective, believing scientists and researchers will meticulously scrutinize the depths of the earth with the labs and research centers allocated to them, reach down into the earth’s heart, bring out anything beneficial for humanity hidden in these underground layers, benefit from the earth, and try to serve humanity with their new findings.

[1] Rizq: sustenance, what God provides for a living creature.
[2] Abu Ya’la, Al-Musnad, 7/347; At-Tabarani, Al-Mu’jamu’l-Awsat, 1/274
[3] Nursi, The Reasonings, p. 55