If we consider God and the cosmos as two different realities, the object of human love may be God or something that is ‘other than God’. However, Nursi reminds us constantly that everything in the cosmos is a reflection of God, and therefore it soon becomes clear that even if we think we are loving something ‘other than God’, we are not, for ‘other than God’ actually has nothing in or of itself that is worthy of being loved: it is, after all, only a reflection. And so if we understand that the cosmos is nothing but the manifestation of God’s attributes, we also come to realise that there is nothing that can be loved apart from God. This applies to unbelievers as much as it does to believers. Nothing is actually loved for its own sake except God, for nothing actually points to itself, although naturally it appears to do so when we uproot it from its Divine soil and refuse to acknowledge its connection with the Creator. We may think that it is money or power or fame that we love, but on closer inspection it becomes clear that those things are not loved for themselves but for the qualities, attributes and effects that they represent. And those qualities, attributes and effects are all connected to the attributes of perfection which belong to God.
–Dr. Colin Turner (author of Islam the Basics)