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Lego Constructor

Quran is like a Lego constructor. You cannot break and modify individual pieces (verses), but you can combine them in a different combinations and configurations. Individual pieces (verses) are not identical, but they are compatible. Seeing the Quran as a fixed historical monument is wrong.

The compatibility of verses of the Quran is possible through four principles: Justice, Freedom, Compassion, and Knowledge. Each verse of the Quran has these principles or hints of them. Next, verses can be combined to make the desired cognitive structure.

The flexibility and fluidity of the Quran is based on its non-chronological and non-linear structure. Other books are fixed and rigid because they have a chronological and linear structure. Nursi used the metaphor of a starry sky when there is an asymmetrical, decentralized, and chaotic order between the stars. Thus, each star can be a center of order and symmetry, and reason can draw an infinite number of imaginary lines between them. In Nursi's metaphor, stars are verses of the Quran, and lines between them are the product of intellectual striving, i.e., jihad.

Verses of the Quran can be thought to be the bricks of Lego, and depending on the time, geography, mentality, circumstances, etc., new combinations can be and must be made. One thousand years ago, intellectuals of the agrarian age did that - they used Quranic verses to build the sciences of jurisprudence (fiqh), theology (kalam), esotericism (tasawwuf), etc. However, thinking that their constructions and contributions are eternal, unchanging, and up to date is laughable and lazy.

For example, you bought your child a Lego constructor and made a building as an example for him. If your child puts that Lego building on a shelf and starts worshipping it as an eternal example of perfection, then she loses the chance of development, progress, and improvement. What is more important: the unchangeableness of that Lego building or the development of a child? Children must play, make mistakes, and improve by modifying the Lego constructor. Similarly, people must play, make mistakes, and improve by combining various verses of the Quran. There is no such thing as wrong thinking. Thinking is a process of trial and error, and therefore, thinking cannot be wrong or right. Thinking is a process of play, and play is a process of learning. When you remove trial and error, when you remove play, you stop learning. That is why we must play and experiment with different combinations, configurations, and compositions of various verses. We must experience the verses of the Quran, and to have experience, we must experiment. Without doing that, we cannot learn and understand the Quran.

The Quran contains a paradox of unchangeableness and flexibility. Unchangeableness is provided by the fixedness of individual verses. Flexibility and adaptability are provided by various combinations of individual verses. Thus, any person can use several verses and construct the mental tool to solve her unique and personal problems, in the same way, the same Lego construction kit is used to make different toys.

Most people see the order of verses of the Quran as fixed, but it is not fixed. First, there is a traditional order of the verses and chapters, and it is called Mushaf. Second, there is a chronological order of the chapters. Third, there is a chronological order of the individual verses. Fourth, there is a thematic grouping of verses according to their topics. Fifth, more types of groupings can be made depending on the goals and tools.

The order of verses is not linear like a chain or lattice, but each verse has links and connections to all other verses, similarly to complex networks or neural networks. In the one-dimensional chain, each unit has two connections only. In two dimensional lattice, each unit has four connections. However, when analyzing the Quranic verse, we can think that it has a potential of more than six thousand connections to other verses. Thus, non-linear, non-chronological, and complex thinking must be the mode of thinking.

Quran is like a Lego construction kit. People must use their reasoning to construct cognitive and psychological tools from individual verses of the Quran. The constructions of the agrarian society are not valid in an information society. Quran is not a petrified fossil, but it is a living organism that provides fruits and seeds that need to be planted and grown through effort and striving.

I chose, and I am choosing construction, not imitation.

-İman isteyen münafık


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