Answers to the slanders against Imam Nursi

Said Yavuz

Recently, especially after the coup attempt on July 15th, some smart (!) people have started to smear the distinguished personality and blessed cause of Imam Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, who is a real hero and a devoted altruist man of Islam and this homeland, by using some malicious misrepresentations that are not based on any information or document. These malicious violations have reached such a point that we have no more patience left.

It has become a necessity to share some examples of Imam Nursi’s unique heroism in the struggle for religion and homeland in order to enlighten and inform the public opinion about his personality and brightful cause.

Imam Bediuzzaman bore any kind of difficulty for the sake of his homeland and religion, he made any kind of sacrifice; in his words he “did not taste any worldly pleasure in more than 80-year-lifetime.” For the sake of his sacred things he spent his life either away from home, or on the battle ground, or in exiles, or in prisons. 1 None of these calamities could deter him from serving the motherland, or from devotion to Islam. What is more is that despite all these sufferings he did not even think of leaving his homeland. He strongly opposed the desirable offers of leaving the country and made the following meaningful explanation:

“In order to save the faith and serve the Qur’an, it would be necessary to come here [Turkey] even if I lived in Makka. Because it is most needed here. Even if I had a thousand souls, even if I were afflicted with a thousand illnesses and suffer troubles, I would decide to stay here to serve the faith and happiness of this nation with the lesson I have learned from the Qur’an.” 2

Imam Said Nursi is a rare personality who is both scholarly and militarily intelligent in the Islamic history. Some examples showing these qualities are presented below.

From madrasa to the battlefront

When Imam Bediuzzaman was teaching about 200 students at a madrasa in Van province, the First World War broke out. Bediuzzaman joined the war with his students as a volunteer regiment commander; first at the front of Erzurum Pasinler and then at the defense of Van and Bitlis provinces against the Russian and Armenian. While the war was ongoing General Enver Pasha wanted Vehib Pasha to form a militia. Vehib Pasha asked this from Bediuzzaman. 3 And Imam Bediuzzaman formed a militia of about five thousand and took the lead of it. During the battle Imam Bediuzzaman used to walk around the soldiers and say “Never be afraid! The faith of Muslim is stronger than any power,” 4 thus giving them courage and moral support. Called as “Keçe Külahlılar” in the army, this militia became a nightmare for Russian and Armenian gangs. The word “Keçe Külahlılar coming!” caused a great panic among the enemies.

Having heroically fought against Russian and Armenian gangs for two years in the First World War, most of Bediuzzaman’s students fell martyr; and he himself was captured by the Russian in the spring of 1916. 5

The tafseer written at the battlefront

Fighting against the disbelievers, Imam Bediuzzaman also continued his scholarly writing during the First World War, one of the most terrifying wars in human history. Sometimes at the shooter front, and sometimes at the trench, Bediuzzaman told and his student Molla Habib scribed.6 The most part of Isharat ul I’jaaz was written in this situation. It is worth mentioning that his student Molla Habib was surprised at Imam Bediuzzaman’s desire to write and asked, “Even at the war?” And Imam replied, “Brother, we do not have time!”

“Declare the miraculousness of the Qur’an!”

Before the First World War broke out, Imam Bediuzzaman used to often tell his students, “A big and common quake is approaching,”7 thus foreseeing the world war. He told about a fearsome dream he had those days:

I had a dream during the First World War or before that: I was at the skirts of Agrı Mountain which is also called Mount Ararat. Suddenly, that mountain exploded and its particles came apart all around the world. While I was in terror, I realized that my deceased mother was with me. I said to her:
– O my dear mother, do not be afraid! This is Allah (swt)’s will. He is both Merciful and Compassionate.
While I was in that condition, I realized that one person ordered me:
– Declare the miraculousness of the Qur’an!
I got up and realized that there will be an enormous explosion. After that explosion and revolution, the walls around the Qur’an will be broken and the Qur’an will directly defend itself. Moreover, the Qur’an will be attacked and its concision will be steel armour for itself. I understood that I will be the one who will introduce this kind of succinctness (I’jaaz) although this is higher than me.
” 8

Following years, the word “Declare the miraculousness of the Qur’an!” came true with the writing of the epistles, Isharaatu’l I’jaaz (The Signs of Miraculousness) being in the first place, of Risale-i Nur Corpus, which is about five thousand pages, explaining the mysteries and miraculous aspects of the Qur’an with very strong proofs.

Standing upright against the Russian Commander for the honour of Islam

As we mentioned earlier Imam Bediuzzaman was captured by the Russian in 1916. One day in captivity the commander-in-chief of Caucasian front Nicholas Nikolaevich visited the camp. He was welcomed with a great official military ceremony. All the prisoners stood before him and saluted him. But Imam Bediuzzaman just sat calmly and did not stand up. In order to be noticed the commander passed by the Imam three times. But Imam Bediuzzaman did not change his position. Upon this the commander stopped in front of him and asked the reason why he did not stand up (via his translator). Imam Bediuzzaman answered, “I am a Muslim scholar. I have faith in my heart. The one who has faith is better than the one who has not faith. If I had stood up before you, it would be disrespect to my sacred things. For this reason I don’t stand up before you.”

With the courage he had from his belief Imam Bediuzzaman, who defended the honour of Islam everywhere, did not stand before the Russian commander at the risk of his life.

Upon this the Russian commander ordered that Imam Bediuzzaman to be judged at extraordinary Court Martial. Considering the Imam’s not standing before the commander and what he said to the commander as insult to Russian tzar and army, the court sentenced the Imam to death. Imam Bediuzzaman did not even have the least hesitation, fear and regret; he did not take a step back. He only wanted a fifteen-minute permission to perform prayer and he peacefully prayed. Affected a lot from this state of Imam Bediuzzaman the Russian commander overruled the court decision and said to him: “Now I see that you act in that way because of your belief and you perform the orders of your sacred things. Your sentence is cancelled. Your devotion to your religion is to be appreciated. I have disturbed you. I kindly ask you to forgive my mistake.” 9

Isn’t it a merciless, unjust, ill-minded, superficial and an obvious baseless slander to call a person like this as “friend of the Christian,” who said “disbeliever” to the face of a Christian commander – away from home, in captivity, and at certain risk of death?

Spit at the merciless face of the tyrants 

Having come to Istanbul by escaping Russian captivity in the summer of 1918, Imam Bediuzzaman Said Nursi was welcomed with love and interest by all walks of life from the Khalifa, Shaykhulislam, Commander-in-Chief, to madrasa students. 10 Imam Nursi, because of his great bravery for the homeland and religion, and his high knowledge, with the proposal of the high officials, was elected as a member of the highest scholar academia of the last period of the Ottomans, Dar al Hikmat al Islamiyya. 11

As usual, his service for the Qur’an and his homeland continued here as well. In November 1918 the British occupied Istanbul. Imam Bediuzzaman fearlessly and heroically struggled against this occupation and the attempt of the British to corrupt the Islamic belief. At a time when the British tried to prejudice the Ottoman scholars and public opinion and even the Shaykhulislam favour of the occupant force, Imam Bediuzzaman wrote the Epistle of Six Steps (Khutuvaat-ı Sitta).12 With the help of Mr Eşref Edip Fergan, this epistle was published in thousands, both in Arabic and Turkish, and distributed at the hands of the students all around Istanbul in secret and for free. This negated the tricks and plots of the occupiers. For this reason, Imam Bediuzzaman became an open target of the British; and they decided to kill him on sight. 13

Some of the expressions in the Epistle of Six Steps that refuted the propaganda of the British to break the resistance of the public against the occupation of Istanbul and Anatolia are below:

اَعُوذُبِ اللهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ
وَلاَ تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan.

and do not follow the footsteps of Satan” (Al Bakarah, 2:168)

There is a human Satan of every age. Today, the cruel spirit, which is the deputy of Satan in the shape of human in the humanity; the Devil, who is setting fire all around the world with its mischief-maker politics, is managing the wicked sources in the communities and harmful qualities in the nature of people with propaganda and finding the weaknesses in order to corrupt the Islamic world with its six steps. 

They benefit the passion for revenge of some people, the passion for position of others, and the greed, the stupidity, the irreligiousness of some others. What’s most strange, they even benefit the zeal of some people; and they make all of these an instrument for their politics.

The First Step: (The British) say or make others say:

– You yourself say, too: You have deserved calamity. The destiny does not oppress; it rules with justice. So, accept how I treat you. 

We must say against this misgiving:

The Divine Destiny gives a calamity for our rebellion. Submitting to it [the calamity] means repentance from that sin. You, oh the accursed! You have oppressed us, and are still oppressing, because of our Islam, not because of our sin. Consenting to this or submitting to this by will – we take refuge in Allah – means regretting Islam and turning away from it. 

Yes, Allah gives the same thing – a calamity – and rules with justice. Because He gives it to forcefully turn us aside from our sin and evil. At the same time, human gives the same thing, [but] oppresses. Because he gives it for another reason. Just as the enemy of Islam does the same thing to us; because we are Muslim.” 14

The British pressured the Shaykhulislam and made him issue a fatwa declaring the national struggle movements in Anatolia as rebellion. 15 Against this, Imam Bediuzzaman issued another fatwa proving the invalidity of the fatwa that the British got. In his fatwa Imam Bediuzzaman declared that the fatwa that the British got by forcing the Shaykhulislam was invalid; and stated that the Independence Struggle was “Jihad” and those joining the struggle “Mujahid.” 16

Imam Bediuzzaman turned the idea of the scholars in Istanbul, first, and the entire public against the British colonialist with his written works and his talks and addresses; he did very important services for the National Struggle.

The treacherous British politics, nevertheless, plotted against Islam in various ways in order to humiliate its dignity, smear its holiness, cause its value to fall and throw misgiving and suspicion on people’s mind about Islam. One of those plots was that the archbishop of Church of England asked a few questions to the office of the Shaykhulislam. Imam Bediuzzaman related this incident in the later years as follows:

One time when the British had destroyed the guns on the Bosphorus and occupied Istanbul, the head clergyman of the Anglican Church, the main religious establishment of that country, asked six questions of the Shaikh al-Islam’s Office. I was a member of the Darü’l-Hikmeti’l-Islamiye at the time. 

They asked me to answer them, saying that they wanted a six-hundred-word reply to their six questions. 

But I told them, “I’ll answer them not with six hundred words, or even with six words, or even a single word, but with a mouthful of spit! For you can see that the moment that government set foot on our Bosphorus, its clergyman arrogantly asked us six questions. Faced with this, we should spit in his face. So spit in the pitiless faces of those tyrants!” 17

As it is understood from the parts from Imam Bediuzzaman we presented above, his work “The Six Steps” against the enemy occupation, his declaring the National Struggle to be “jihad” and those participating “brave mujahids,” his sharpest answer against the Anglican Church through the media; all of these clearly show how he stayed distant to Christians and how severely he criticized them. Therefore, it is impossible that he sympathized with the Christian world and made concessions to them. Asserting the contrary is simply against conscience, knowledge, and intelligence. When Imam Bediuzzaman’s service to the nation, homeland, and religion is so obvious, talking against him means, knowingly or unknowingly, supporting the enemies of the homeland, nation, and holy things.

The letter claimed to be sent to the Vatican

Imam Bediuzzaman’s understanding of service to the religion, homeland and nation, always made an overwhelming impression in the Anatolia [Asian Turkey]. According to the allegation of the prosecutor of Afyonkarahisar province in 1948, there were 500 thousand students of him. 18 With the confirmation of official authorities, no action of Imam Bediuzzaman and his students that violates the safety and security was seen. Additionally, the destructive western philosophy, which nothing could stand up against, faced the obstacle of Imam Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, and- with the affirmation of Turkey’s republican intellectuals- it had to lose ground.

Seeing that Imam Bediuzzaman and his cause are unshakeable and irrefutable, society engineers and powers abroad and at home put every kind of plans into action at all costs in order to annihilate Imam Bediuzzaman or discredit him. The latest one of these plans is nowadays in front of the public. The claim about the letter to the Vatican is actually a part of this dirty plan. With this groundless claim, they try to make the public think that Imam Bediuzzaman sympathised with the Christian world.

When we explore this issue, it is seen that there is no such a letter, this claim is groundless, and it is a plain slander.

The reality about this issue is as follows:

One of the Risale-i Nur students from İnebolu district, Salahaddin Çelebi, got permission from Imam Bediuzzaman and sent the Zulfiqar book from the Risale-i Nur to the imam of the Berlin Mosque, to Al Azhar University in Egypt, to Pakistani Ambassador, and to the Vatican. This book, Zulfiqar, includes three great epistles. The first one is Mujizat-ı Qur’aniyya (The Miracles of the Qur’an). This epistle is a masterpiece proving that ‘the Qur’an is the word of Allah and a miracle from 40 aspects.’ The second epistle is Mujizat-ı Ahmadiyya (The Miracles of Ahmad (pbuh) [i.e. Prophet Muhammad]. It proves that the Prophet Muhammmadis a true and the last prophet by relating his more than 300 miracles. And the third epistle is the Resurrection Epistle. It is an unprecedented and unique work that proves the resurrection of death with rational proofs.

The Vatican sent a letter of thanks for Zulfiqar book in 1951. It is as follows:

The Private Secretary of the High Office of the Vatican
The Office of the Head Secretariat
No: 232247
The Vatican, 22nd February 1951

Sir,
Your beautiful work of manuscript named Zulfiqar has been presented to H.H. the Pope by way of the office of representation of the Pope in Istanbul. Due to this kind respect of yours I inform you that he has been really affected; and he has appointed me to present you that he wishes the grace of God to be upon you. I would like to take this opportunity, sir, to offer you my best regards.
Signature
The Vatikan Bayn First Secretary
” 19

As mentioned earlier, it is understood from the struggle of Imam Bediuzzaman against the British in Istanbul, his honourable stand against the Anglican Church, and the work he sent to the Vatican, that he is far from making concessions about Islam. On the contrary, based on Sunnah al Saniyya 20 he invited the entire Christian world to true and the last religion of Islam by way the representatives of the Christians.

In addition to this, we see that no letter of Imam Bediuzzaman is referred in the Vatican’s letter of thanks; there is only a reference to the delivery of a manuscript of Zulfiqar work.
The claim that Imam Said Nursi sent a letter to the Vatican is nothing but false, without evidence, and a plain slander. A discourse based on such a thought, which is clearly not a product of good intention, does not have any scientific validity.

As it is understood there is not such a letter sent to the Vatican by Imam Bediuzzaman. There is a book sent not just to the Vatican but also to other centres with the intention of tabligh (conveying the message of Islam). Therefore, it is obvious that those who make this groundless claim are actually aiming to discredit Imam Bediuzzaman and his cause.

Tajdid duty of Imam Bediuzzaman

When the people have moved away from the truth and gone towards the falsehood, the prophets have been sent to tell them the truth and show the ways of guidance. The last of the prophets is the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). No prophets will come after him. The Qur’an verse about this issue is as follows:

Muhammad is not the father of [any] one of your men, but [he is] the Messenger of Allah and last of the prophets. And ever is Allah, of all things, Knowing.” 21

Since there will be no prophet coming after the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), there is a need for mujaddids(revivers) and murshids (guides) who will guide the ummah (Muslim community) facing spiritual trials for ages. In one of his hadith the Prophet (pbuh) said that people who would guide the ummah would arise within the Islamic community:

اِنَّ اللهَ يَبْعَثُ لِهٰذِهِ اْلاُمَّةِ عَلٰی رَاْسِ كُلِّ مِأَةِ سَنَةٍ مَنْ يُجَدِّدُ لَهَا دِينَهَا

Surely Allah will send every hundred years a person to the ummah to revive their religion.” 22

As a matter of fact, when we look at the Islamic history, we see that lots of great persons like Imam Ghazali, Imam Rabbani, Abdulkadir Gaylani, Shah-ı Naqshiband(Muhammad Bahauddin), who are the inheritors of the prophet, guided the ummah on the right path, leading them to the truth.

The word “mujaddid” means “one that revives, or reviver.” As a term it is used for the persons who come every hundred years and reinforce the points of Islam that have been spiritually ruined, by observing the fundamentals of the religion and the sunnah of the Prophet (asw); preserve the essence of the religion, not adding anything from himself and clean the religion from the falsehood that is wanted to be mixed with it; and establish the Divine commands.

Yes, there is need for mujaddids, renovators and murshids in every century.
Because;
1. The ummah who has become distant from wahy (the revelation) needs guidance.
2. It is a necessity to protect and reinforce the established religion of Islam.
3. There is need for persons who will save the ummah from the spiritual troubles they are in, comfort them and give hope to them.
4. The bad innovations that arise in time, the false and evil ideas must be invalidated and removed
5. The ‘recovery’ of the people who are incited by the oppressors and the ‘tabligh’ must continue.

The reasons stated above show that there is need for mujaddids who are inheritors of the Prophet and whose coming is heralded in the hadith. When we look at the Islamic history, the events confirm this. Sending mujaddids every century is also a necessity of Divine mercy. Allah (swt) has not deprived any century of mujaddid. All of these indicate that the religion of Islam will survive until the Doomsday. 23

Today the Islamic world is facing many problems, both domestic and international. The need today for the persons who will solve these problems is much more than the need in the past. In previous centuries, the problems faced by the ummah have been solved by mujaddids. In this century, as his mujaddid predecessors it is seen that Imam Bediuzzaman Said Nursi has produced works and methods of service [or dawah] that revive the religion.

When we consider the scientific and historical truths about the mujaddids, it is realized and understood that “any vision, thought or personality” which adds things to the religion from oneself, is in favour of bad innovation instead of opposing it, sees everything illicit as permissible under the veil of serving the religion, and degrades the dignity and honour of Islam, has nothing to do with “being mujaddid, guidance and reinforcing (اصلاح).”

Bediuzzaman enlightened more than one hundred complicated matters 

Against the attacks of the irreligious philosophy, which is the biggest problem of our age, Imam Bediuzzaman enlightened more than one hundred matters of the religion that are complicated and hard to understand, alongside of his proving the pillars of faith with strong evidences. Allah’s being ‘omnipresent and all-seeing’ as well as His being One, the resurrection after death, the destiny, man’s individual will, and the ascension (miraj of Prophet Muhammad (asw)) are just a few of them.

The current age makes it essential that the tabligh must be based on ‘ilm and science, and must fundamentally have proof and persuasion. Because the irreligion is easy to defeat when its source is ignorance. The current irreligion, however, is hard to defeat, for it is mostly based on reason and its source is science. The imam of our age opposed this extreme danger with new methods of persuasion and proof that are proper to the understanding of the age. He struggled to protect the faith of Muslims by proving the essentials of faith as sure as two by two is four. To the people of denial who abandon the religion, he proved with strong evidences that their way is full of inconsistencies and uncovered its inner face. He especially terminated the atheistic thought- a spiritual illness of our age- derived from ‘nature’ such that it may never again live, and disintegrated the foundation stone of disbelief, turning it upside down.

He explained the resurrection (after death) in a way that everyone can understand; which is a pillar of faith that the genius like Ibn Sina had difficulty in comprehending and concluded “We believe but the reason cannot comprehend it,” and the scholars of the past and today reached the conclusion that “The Resurrection is a matter of narration. Its proof is the narration; that is, it is believed the way the verses and hadiths informed us; it cannot be understood with reason.”

Yet again, Twenty-sixth Word, the Epistle on Destiny, explained the matter of destiny in a way understandable by everyone, which is a matter that great scholars could explain in 40-50 pages and only to scholars.

Those who carefully read the Risale-i Nur will see that many complicated matters like the ones above are treated easily and with strong proofs.

His aim was Allah’s consent

When we look at the Islamic history we see that the common characteristic of the mujaddids, mujtahids and guides is that they only aim to obtain Allah’s consent and gladness of our Prophet (asw). During his entire life, Imam Bediuzzaman Said Nursi’s purpose was Allah’s consent and our Prophet’s gladness. And he commanded his students to make it the fundamental principle of their service.

Some of his words that confirm this aim are below:

“A fundamental principle of the Risale-i Nur students is that they do not interfere in politics, or matters of administration, or government activities as much as it is possible. Because working seriously for the Qur’an is worth everything and is sufficient for them. Also, no one who enters politics, among the overwhelming currents that now prevail, can preserve his independence and sincerity. He is bound to become subject to one of the currents, and it will exploit him for worldly ends. It will corrupt the sacredness of his duty.”24

“Allah’s pleasure must be in your deeds. If He is pleased, the shunning of the entire world is of no importance. If He accepts [your deeds], then the rejection of all people has no effect. After He is satisfied [with your deed] and He accepts it, and if He wills and His wisdom requires [that others appreciate it], He will make them accept [your service], and He will cause them to be pleased with it – even if you have not requested this. Thus, [gaining] directly and solely Allah’s good pleasure must be made the fundamental objective of this service.” 25

The life of Imam Nursi and the quotations above clearly show that his cause is faith, sincerity, knowledge, living the Qur’an and make it to be lived, tabligh, guidance, securing the peace and ensuring the national solidarity and unity.

Those who interfere in matters of the government and administration, who break the peace, who aim at worldly position, intention and objectives, have nothing to do with Imam Bediuzzaman and his cause.

Imam Said Nursi’s service to the homeland and nation is a genuine and sincere service that has love in its essence. It is such that he pledged to waive his afterworld rights for even those who treacherously oppressed him during his life. 26 This can be seen in his following word: “We are the volunteers of love; we do not have time for animosity.” 27

Bediuzzaman in the view of Islamic scholars

In his eighty-three-year lifetime, Imam Bediuzzaman met many scholars; his in-depth knowledge, spiritual perfections, spirit of struggle, and foresight deeply influenced the people he met. Those who want to be informed of Imam Bediuzzaman have to consider the opinions of the Islamic scholars who know him well, have met him and closely studied his works. The so-called opinions which some superficial, insincere, nasty people nowadays express about Imam Bediuzzaman have got no value at all, and they must not be relied on.

Now we will present some opinions of several famous scholars and intellectuals of Turkey and the Islamic world about Imam Said Nursi.

Well-known interpreter of the Qur’an Elmalılı Hamdi Yazır Efendi

He is one of the greatest scholars of the last years of the Ottoman Empire. He is the author of the famous “Hak Dini Kur’an Dili” [True Religion the Qur’an Language]. He was a member of Dârü’l-Hikmeti’l-İslâmiye. Being a contemporary of Imam Bediuzzaman, he passed away in 1942 in Istanbul. He said the following words about Imam Bediuzzaman Said Nursi:

Bediuzzaman is a person who has got a conscience as clean as the clear water; who has got a beautiful soul. The eyes of the scholars of Istanbul have not ever seen such a scholar.” 28

Great poet Mehmed Akif Ersoy

The poet of our national anthem, Mehmed Akif Ersoy was a member Dârü’l-Hikmeti’l-İslâmiye. One day, in a conversation in which the litterateurs were also present, he said the following about Imam Bediuzzaman:

Victor Hugo, Shakespeare, Descartes can only be students of Bediuzzaman in literature and philosophy. At Dârü’l-Hikmeti’l-İslâmiye when he started speaking, we all used to listen to him with admiration.” 29

Shaykhul Islam Mustafa Sabri Efendi

He is a great scholar and an Ottoman Shaykhul Islam. Due to the oppressions he had to immigrate to Egypt. He said these words about Imam Bediuzzaman in his speech to the Turkish students in Egypt:

We could not do jihad as he did. We loved our lower-self and comfort. [However] He put up with difficulties. We love and respect him a lot. He started the Islamic faith movement in our country. All of these are result of his persistence.” 30

Shaykh Ali Haydar Efendi

He was born in 1872 in Ahıska (Akhaltsikhe) and passed away in 1960 in Istanbul. After completing his study in Istanbul, he joined tasawwuf and became the shaykh of İsmet Efendi Lodge. Having served Islam for long years, this blessed person told his student Emin Saraç the following:

When Bediuzzaman first came to Istanbul, I went to (visit) him as many other scholars. “Here every question is answered, no question is asked,” wrote at the door of his room. I prepared a really difficult question from Al-Mutawwal of Al-Taftazani for him. He gave the truest answer without hesitation and accurately. He is one of the cleverest people I have ever seen.” 31

Ömer Nasuhi Bilmen Efendi

Born in 1884 in Erzurum, he did the biggest services in the area of fiqh in our country. His most well-known work is “Büyük İslam İlmihali” [Big Islam Fiqh]. After 1960 he was the president of the Religious Affairs Directorate for a period of time. He told the people who came to him the following about Imam Bediuzzaman:

I met with Bediuzzaman at Dârü’l-Hikmeti’l-İslâmiye. He had gained the appreciation of all scholars of Istanbul. In fact, he did tajdid in ‘ilm ul kalam. He proved all of the pillars of faith in a perfect and clear way. Our books are written with searches from this and that, with study and investigation. However, he gets inspiration to his heart; we do not have that.” 32

Hasan Basri Çantay Efendi

He is a man of knowledge and an intellectual. He was born in 1887 in Balıkesir. He wrote a three-volume interpretation of the Qur’an. He was at the parliament of the Independence War as a member from Balıkesir province. He said the following about Bediuzzaman:

When we were sleeping at our comfortable beds, he defended Islam in the way of Allah despite all the tortures and imprisonments. Unfortunately, none of us could become like him.” 33

Mufassir Mehmed Vehbi Efendi

Born in Hadim district of Konya province in 1861, he is a scholar and the writer of the Hulasatu’l-Beyan Tafseer. One day, the Epistles on Sincerity (the 20th and 21st Flashes from the Risale-i Nur) were given him as gifts. After reading these two epistles, he requested the person who brought them:

Ah, ah! Bediuzzaman felt that I will go [die] without faith, and sent you to help me. May Allah be pleased with you and him. Go and kiss his hands and feet on my behalf. Please, let him forgive me and accept as his student.” 34

Great Naqshi Shaykh Esad Erbili Efendi

He was one of the great naqshi awliya who lived in Istanbul. He was born in 1847 in Erbil. In 1930, when he was really old, 83, he passed away after he was taken to the hospital when he was unjustly at a court due to Menemen case. This person one day told his students about Bediuzzaman:

In future, he will serve the youth in the cause of faith. But he still doesn’t know it himself. He will be the Imam Rabbani of the future.” 35

Gönenli Mehmed Efendi

Born in 1901 in Gönen district of Balıkesir province, Mehmed Efendi served the Qur’an for long years as hafiz. He was imam at Sultan Ahmed Camii (Blue Mosque). He called people to the way of truth with his effective sermons. Being in prison with Imam Bediuzzaman in 1944, Gönenli Mehmed Efendi defended Bediuzzaman with his following words:

Sir! I know Said Nursi as a great scholar of Islam; I love him and respect him. I took his risales (epistles) to read and benefit; and I benefited from them a lot. I know his name, his countenance and his works from earlier. Now I am really fortunate to see him here.” 36

Ex-President of the Religious Affairs, Ahmed Hamdi Akseki 

He was born in Akseki district of Antalya province in 1887, and died in 1951 in Ankara. He was the third president of the Religious Affairs. He wrote many beneficial Islamic works. He told about Bediuzzaman to the university students who visited him as follows:
(Taking two volumes in his hand from his library) Do you see these books? Imam Bediuzzaman has a great memory and intelligence to memorize these two books by reading just two times. Read the Risale-i Nur; it is the unique work to be read.” 37

Molla Sadreddin Yüksel Efendi

Being originally from Adilcevaz, Bitlis, he was born in 1920 in Konya. He died in 2004 in Istanbul. He is among the well known scholars raised in eastern madrasas. He made the following observation about Bediuzzaman:

He is really profound in knowledge, especially in the interpretation of the Qur’an. The proof for this is the Risale-i Nur Corpus he wrote and a book from this corpus called Isharatul I’jaz which is a great tafseer. He does not represent the faith of this age; he directly represents the faith of the Age of Bliss. We witnessed the faith of the Age of Bliss in his blessed personality which is far away from us.38

Halil Gönenç Efendi

Born in Savur district of Mardin province in 1930, Halil Gönenç has completed his education in eastern madrasas. He is among the prominent fiqh scholars in Turkey today. He still continues his service of fiqh in our country. He has said the following about the works of Bediuzzaman:

Whoever right-mindedly reads the Risale-i Nur will see that he faces a composition of truths in conformity with reason and narration. Since that the Risale-i Nur expresses the truths in a style that meets the needs of the age, and gives recovery to the hearts of people who have had all the spiritual illnesses of the age, those who read it surrender to this masterwork.” 39

Bediuzzaman in the view of Islamic scholars around the world

Abul Hasan Al Nadwi

The great Indian scholar’s words about Bediuzzaman and his works are as follows:

Bediuzzaman is one of the greatest scholars of our age. I constantly read his works. Especially the Arabic ones. I benefit. These epistles played a key role in winning back confidence in the religion of Islam, in its keeping up with the caravan of humanity, and even proving that it is capable of leading it.” 40

Muhammad Ali Al Sabuni

He is one the greatest tafseer scholars of today’s Islamic world. His works “Safwat al-Tafasir” and “Tafsir Ayat Al-Ahkam” have been translated into Turkish. He said the following about Bediuzzaman and his works:

I am a mufassir (commentator on the Qur’an). I criticized many mufassir of the past. However, when I read the works of Bediuzzaman, I felt a different awakening in my all faculties. Yes! The works of that person have been written with the inspiration to the heart.” 41

Prof Dr Vehbe Zuhayli

The famous fiqh scholar of Syria said the following in a symposium:

His talk is influential, his akhlaq is sweet, his language is charming. His method is light. So much so that I do not abstain from saying, ‘The ameer (commander) of language is presenting the meaning of the Qur’an.’ Yes! There is no doubt that Nursi is the ameer of the language of understanding and comprehending the truth of Islamic creed.” 42

Prof Dr Muhsin Abdulhamid

Being an expert in the fields of Arabic language and tafseer, Dr Muhsin Abdulhamid is from Iraq. He has serious works and books about Imam Bediuzzaman. He explained his opinion as a result of his studies and research as follows:

I thoroughly read and studied the Risale-i Nur at least two times. I gave many academic seminars about Imam Bediuzzaman’s thoughts. After all of my studies I am absolutely convinced that Imam Bediuzzaman is among the biggest mujaddids. Not only of our modern times, he is one of the biggest mujaddids of the Islamic history. “Risale-i Nur attracts the attention as the most profound one among the tafseers of the Qur’an in the modern times. And it is a really influential tafseer to reach at the truth that Allah (swt) has desired in revealing the Kitab al-Mubin.” 43

***

As it is seen from the things told until here;

  • Imam Bediuzzaman ran to the battlefront when the independence of the homeland fell into danger. His most precious students became martyr; he became a ghazi (veteran) and was taken as prisoner of war, and lived in captivity. He is a patriotic mujahid, champion of Islam.
    • He always defended the truthfulness and honour of Islam against Christianity with his words and writings. He is a great Islamic scholar who never made concessions in Islam.
    • Imam Bediuzzaman, in his entire life, struggled for the solidarity and unity of the Islamic society; he paid heavy price in this cause. He is a self-sacrificing person of the unity of Islam.
    • Imam Bediuzzaman is a hero of Islam who strongly opposed any uprising that targets the solidarity and unity of the nation and threatens the safety and security.
    • Imam Bediuzzaman is a mujaddid who struggled against any kind of attack that targets Muslim’s belief and lifestyle with his five-thousand-page works, and solved more than one hundred big and difficult issues of the religion.

Imam Bediuzzaman’s world-wide cause is not limited with the subjects mentioned above. The things mentioned are very important for sure. But they are only some parts of his services. If his services were wanted to be written entirely, it would be necessary to write a corpus including thick volumes.

In summary

When all the services of Imam Bediuzzaman, who served the religion, homeland, nation and future generations, are considered, it is seen that he is a preeminent personality of this age who aims at nothing but Allah’s consent, takes any kind of risks for the soundness of ummah, is merciful to Muslims but forceful against the disbelievers, observes social solidarity and unity.

Dua’ (Prayer) 44

سَخِّرْلِى نَفْسِى وَسَخِّرْلِى مَطْلُوبِى وَسَخِّرْ لِرَسَاۤئِلِ النُّورِ وَلِخِدْمَةِ الْقُرْاٰنِ وَاْلاِيمَانِ قُلُوبَ عِبَادِكَ وَقُلُوبَ الْمَخْلُوقَاتِ الرُّوحَانِيَّاتِ مِنَ الْعُلْوِيَّاتِ وَالسُّفْلِيَاتِ يَاسَمِيعُ يَاقَرِيبُ يَامُجِيبَ الدَّعَوَاتِ ..آٰمِينَ. وَالْحَمْدُ ِللهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Subjugate to me my soul and subjugate to me my wish, and subjugate to the Risale-i Nur and to service of the Qur’an and belief the hearts of Your servants and the hearts of the spirit beings, both elevated and lowly; O All-Hearing! O Near One! O Answerer of Prayer! Amen. And all praise be to Allah, the Sustainer of All the Worlds.

_________________

  • Bediüzzaman Said Nursî ve Hayru’l-Halefi Ahmed Hüsrev Altınbaşak, Hayrât Neşriyat, İstanbul, 2014, c. 2, s. 279.
  • Emirdağ Lahikası, c. 1, s. 195.
  • Bediüzzaman Said Nursî ve Hayru’l-Halefi Ahmed Hüsrev Altınbaşak, c. 1, s. 113.
  • Bediüzzaman Said Nursî ve Hayru’l-Halefi Ahmed Hüsrev Altınbaşak, c. 1, s. 114.
  • Bediüzzaman Said Nursî ve Hayru’l-Halefi Ahmed Hüsrev Altınbaşak, c. 1, s. 114-122
  • Bediüzzaman Said Nursî ve Hayru’l-Halefi Ahmed Hüsrev Altınbaşak, c. 1, s. 133.
  • Bediüzzaman Said Nursî ve Hayru’l-Halefi Ahmed Hüsrev Altınbaşak, c. 1, s. 111.
  • Osmanlıca Mektûbât Mecmuası, Altınbaşak Neşriyat, İstanbul, 2012, s. 248.
  • Bediüzzaman Said Nursî ve Hayru’l-Halefi Ahmed Hüsrev Altınbaşak, c. 1, s. 125-127.
  • Bediüzzaman Said Nursî ve Hayru’l-Halefi Ahmed Hüsrev Altınbaşak, c. 1, s. 131.
  • Bediüzzaman Said Nursî ve Hayru’l-Halefi Ahmed Hüsrev Altınbaşak, c. 1, s. 136.
  • Bediüzzaman Said Nursî ve Hayru’l-Halefi Ahmed Hüsrev Altınbaşak, c. 1, s. 147.
  • Bediüzzaman Said Nursî ve Hayru’l-Halefi Ahmed Hüsrev Altınbaşak, c. 1, s. 149.
  • Âsâr-ı Bedi’iyye, s. 114.
  • Bediüzzaman Said Nursî ve Hayru’l-Halefi Ahmed Hüsrev Altınbaşak, c. 1, s. 153.
  • Bediüzzaman Said Nursî ve Hayru’l-Halefi Ahmed Hüsrev Altınbaşak, c. 1, s. 154.
  • Osmanlıca Mektûbât Mecmuası, s. 302.
  • Bediüzzaman Said Nursî ve Hayru’l-Halefi Ahmed Hüsrev Altınbaşak, c. 2, s. 279.
  • Emirdağ Lâhikası, c. 2, s. 62.
  • Prophet Muhammad (asw) sent letters with his envoys to the kings and administrators at his time to invite them to Islam. Imam Bediuzzaman sent the work of Zulfiqar to the Vatican with the aim of reviving this Sunnah and inviting them to Islam.
  • Ahzâb Suresi, 40
  • El-Hakim, el-Müstedrek, 4:522; el-Münâvî, Feyzü’l-Kadîr, 2:281, hadis no. 1845.
  • Osmanlıca Mektûbât Mecmuası, s. 325.
  • Osmanlıca Şua’lar Mecmuası, c. 2, s. 170.
  • Osmanlıca Lem’alar Mecmuası, s. 167.
  • Emirdağ Lâhikası, s. 272.
  • Ulemânın Gözüyle Bediüzzaman, s. 142.
  • Ulemânın Gözüyle Bediüzzaman, s. 142.
  • Konferans, s. 41.
  • Nurculuk Nedir, s. 59.
  • Hocalarımız Konuşuyor, s. 113.
  • Ulemânın Gözüyle Bediüzzaman s. 354.
  • Son Şahitler, c. 4, s. 224.
  • Son Şahitler, c. 5, s. 315.
  • Ulemânın Gözüyle Bediüzzaman, s. 157.
  • Ulemânın Gözüyle Bediüzzaman s. 203.
  • Mufassal Tarihçe-i Hayat, c. 2, s. 909.
  • Aydınlar Konuşuyor, s. 119.
  • Nurculuk Nedir, s. 63.
  • Nurculuk Nedir, s. 222; Dünya Risale-i Nur’u okuyor, s. 107.
  • Ulemânın Gözüyle Bediüzzaman s. 302.
  • Tespitler Işığında Bediüzzaman ve Risale-i Nur, s. 36.
  • Qalu ani’n-Nursi (Arabic), Altınbaşak Neşriyat, s. 29.
  • Osmanlıca Şua’alar Mecmuası, c. 1, s. 34.

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