Opening Speech, The 5th International Bediüzzaman and Risale-i Nur Symposium
Ali Kurt, Secretary General of The Union of NGOs of The Islamic World (UNIW)
In the Name of Allah, The Merciful, The Compassionate
All thanks and praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, may blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad, his family and companions.
Distinguished delegates, honourable guests, dear brothers and sisters who have come from very many beautiful corners of Islamic world, and who join us from various cities of our beloved country. You have honoured us by coming to Hayrat Foundation’s 5th International Bediuzzaman Symposium.
You have brought us joy and happiness. Ahlan wa sahlan. Welcome!
This year’s symposium theme will inshaAllah be “Ittihad al-Islam”, The Unity of Muslims. We are in the capital of Turkey, the inheritor of the Great Ottoman Empire. In the blessed land of an empire that sustained the Unity of world Muslims and had been a leader for six centuries in massive territories, today’s 50 or more countries, big and small. Here in Ankara, we are also in the spiritual presence of Haji Bairam Wali.
Today we’ll be privileged to listen to the presentations of our precious brothers who have come from various centres of the Islamic world, and who represent Islamic unity.
Our Prophet, Sayyidina Muhammad (upon whom be blessings and peace) said:
ا إِنَّللّه وتر يحب الوتر
Allah is One, he loves unity. As members of the religion of tawhid, a religion that is founded on the principle of unity and is based on wahdat, we were all together in the “Qalu Bala” and were united, and Alhamdulillah we are together here, too, united.
We pray and ask Our Lord, the One and Only to keep us united in the everlasting abode, in beautiful thrones of paradise, facing one another, and not to let us break away. Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala created us from one father and mother, Sayyidina Adam and our mother Hawwa. Then, He made us different tribes and nations so that we may know each other. He created us different, in different places, in different colours and in different times, but He did make our book one, our qiblah one, and our prophet one, and made each one of us brothers and sisters.
Human beings are prone to forgetting, they easily forget. In the holy book: إِخْوَةٌ مِنُونَ الْمُؤْ إِنَّمَا “The believers are but brothers” declared Our Lord, so that we would not forget, and be deceived.
Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala has sent us his Beloved, the Mercy to the worlds. He made us among this Blessed Prophet’s ummah. The Prophet of the akhir zaman said for us: وَاحِدَةً أُمَّة “You are one ummah, you are one nation”.
His companions became like stars, and united around such a sun. Pleased with the unity and togetherness of the companions who are an example to humanity, Allah praised them in the book, and said:
وَيُؤْثِرُونَ عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ وَلَوْ كَانَ بِهِمْ خَصَاصَةٌ”
“They were in such a lofty station in the rights of brotherhood that, even if they were in great need, they gave them preference over themselves”
They were like the limbs of one body. When one of them was upset, all others would not be able to sleep and they would themselves upset. They would regard an instance of injustice against one of them, as though it had been done to themselves.
They were like the bricks of a wall enforcing each other, shoulder to shoulder. They were the first ones to give us the lesson of the unity of Muslims. They migrated for the sake of Allah. Hands wide open, they embraced their brothers who migrated for the sake of Allah, and became ansaar, helpers.
Almighty Allah commanded us in the Surat Al-‘Imran:
وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللّهِ جَميعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا
“And hold firmly to the rope of Allah, all of you, and do not be separated.”
And remember Allah’s blessing upon you when you were enemies and He united your hearts, then you became with His blessing as brothers;
and you were on the verge of a pit of fire and He saved you from it; it is thus that Allah clarifies for you His signs that you may be guided.”
Since that age of bliss, Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala has sent imams and mujaddids in every century so that they would not go away from
the straight path and fall into the pits of fire. The Imam Ghazalis, Abd al-Qadir Gaylanis, Mawlana Rumis, Shah Naqshbands and Imam Rabbanis and many more unique heroes are all clear proofs for us, who declared the divine verses of Allah.
There is no coincidence in the sequence of creation. None of those imams came to the world by chance. Each of them provided us with the spiritual necessities of their age. Our Lord, Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala has sent us Imam Badi’uzzaman Sa’id Nursi in this very age, akhir al-zaman which is full of tribulations.
The Imam of the Age, our beloved Ustad, like his predecessors, spent his entire life for the Qur’an and the truths of iman, and within the circle of the unity of Muslims, he sacrificed himself for Muslims’ happiness of this world and the next.
He says: “In this age, none can resist these destructive streams but the unity of Muslims firmly assembled around the truths of the Qur’an. And the exact means to save humanity from the dangers of disbelief, and free the Islamic lands from the occupation of foreigners, and save the Muslim nation from anarchism is the unity of Islam, that is the unity of world Muslims.
“This age is not the age of egotism and selfishness for the people of truth, but the time of community. It is the collective personality that is of importance and value. Even though the individual intellect may be wondrous, there is a danger of it being defeated by the community and collective intellect of the people of misguidance.”
After emphasising that just like sainthood (wilaya), sincere intentions can also bring about karamat, Imam Badi’uzzaman Sa’id Nursi says:
“And especially, brother’s great sincere and serious cooperation just for the sake of Allah within the sincere brotherhood might have a large number of karamats as well. And what’s more the collective personality of such a community (jama’ah) like this can be like a waliy al-kamil (a perfected saint), and they will be granted divine help.” Sayyidina Omar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated this hadith about unity and togetherness:
“There is a community amongst the servants of Allah, they are neither messengers nor shaheed, but due to their station before Allah on the day of judgement, the holy messengers and martyrs envy them.
Those people who are present there asked: “O Messenger of Allah! Who are they, please let us know! Holy Prophet (may blessings and peace be upon him) replied: “They are those who love each other for the sake of the spirit of Allah – the Quran, even though they have neither blood bonds nor worldly merchandise between them. By Allah, their face is noor. They are on noor. When everybody is frightened, they don’t have fear at all. When people are in sorrow, they don’t grieve. And he read this verse:
: أَلا إِنَّ أَوْلِيَاء اللّهِ لاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ
“Behold! On the friends of Allah is no fear nor shall they grieve.”
And in this way of noor, Imam Badi’uzzaman, who took brotherhood for the sake of Allah as the fundamental principle of his service, the way of “khaliliya”, and feared none, says to his hundreds of noor-faced brothers:
“Life is on unity and togetherness. We, Muslims, are the people of tawhid. We have a duty to attain the love for our nation which will help to establish unity among us as in the same way we are obliged to establish tawhid. If nationhood is absolutely necessary, Islam is sufficient for us [as a nation].”
Just in this direction, Hayrat Foundation, which is a present to us from seniors, have been working both in Turkey and in the world in this very spirit of brotherhood. Hayrat Foundation is not only among the founders of the Union of Volunteer Organizations of Turkey (TGTV) but also an important figure in The Union of NGOs of the Islamic World (The UNIW) which is a milestone in the unity endavours in the Islamic world.
Imam Sa’id al-Nursi describes the Islamic unity, which is like a union organized all over the world and founded in the question of “Alastu birabbikum”:
“Ittihad al-Muhammadi, which I am a member of, and now describing is this:
This union is a magnificent circle lying from east to west, from Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta to Burkina Faso; from south to north, from Cape Town, from Khartoum to Crimea and to Astana, all tightly and spiritually bound to each other. Those who join in in this time are our brothers, more than 1.5 billion in number.
The point where this unity becomes united and the direction of connection is the Divine unity, oneness of Allah.
Members are those believers who have joined this union since “Qalu bala”, their registration book is the Lawh al-Mahfuz.
The commissions and consultation assemblies of this union are mosques and masjids, madrasas and places of dhikr.
The centre of the union is Haramayn al-Sharifayn.
The president of this union is the Honour of the Universe, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).
The field of work is, at the beginning, our own nafs and the battle against it, that is, to acquire the akhlaq of Ahmad (peace be upon him), rejuvenate the sunnah of the Prophet, to take this as a fundamental, and advise others with
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this in love and compassion.
The code of conduct of this union is the sunnah of the Prophet, its constitution is the commands and prohibitions of the Shari’ah. And its sword is proofs as sharp as a sword.
Overcoming the Westerners can only be possible by persuasion, neither by force nor pressure.
The aim and objective of this union is i’la al-kalimatullah, to raise high the word of Allah.”
Ustad Said Nursi, in one of his visits to Tiflis during the years of the world war, while watching the vicinity of the San’an hill overlooking the city, talked to a Russian police officer who wondered what he was doing. He said: “I’m planning my madrasa which will embrace all of the Islamic world”.
Those were the years of separation and partition years for the Muslim world, thus, the police officer said: “Lo! I wonder whether you have a sound intellect”. His answer to the police officer is the real proof that Imam Badi’uzzaman’s good news, hope and energy that never fade away, has now become realized and is an answer for us as well. The cold winters of those years did not last forever. And alhamdulillah, in every corner of the Islamic world spring flowers are blooming and blossoming today.
The glad tidings of these wonderful days, were actually reported to us a hundred years ago from the blessed region of Damascus, from the minbar of the al-Umawi Mosque, from Tiflis hills of Shaykh San’an.
The imam of the age replied to this statement: “Muslims have now separated from one another”
He said: They have gone to educate themselves. Here we see India, a talented son of Islam; he is studying in the British high school. Here we see Egypt, an intelligent servant of Islam; he is taking a course in the British vocational high school. Caucasia and Turkistan are two brave sons of Islam; they are being trained at the Russian military school. And more…”
Please look at the last century. Haven’t all Islamic countries which were dispersed around the world like the beads of a rosary, and left alone in a corner, experienced such depressive processes?
Almost all of the 58 Islamic countries of The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has studied a sort of lesson from various perspectives and in different front lines. May our prayers be with them. Our brother Syria being the foremost amongst them, is it not the case that many other Islamic countries are now under tyranny and looking for a spring? We pray to Allah that He help them, and drive away the cruelty that they have been subjected to, as soon as possible.
And those noble sons in the Islamic world, will inshaAllah take their diplomas after overcoming these storms, and each will be the leader of their continents, and will be declaring the mystery of the Divine wisdom in the destiny of the Everlasting by waving their father Islam’s flag in the horizons of perfection.
Alhamdulillah we are now seeing that those days are closer than ever. And we ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to grant us that unity of Islam the approaching steps of which we have been hearing, and hope that it will not cost us too much.
May Allah grant wisdom to the intellects, and iman to the hearts of the leaders of the Islamic world, and let them unite the followers of the religion of unity, and ease the ways of ittihad for us. May Allah bestow upon all of humanity the happiness and brotherhood of Asr al-Saadat, the holy age of bliss again.
This noble ummah is thirsty for that coming season, and humanity is longing for these sounds of approaching steps.
Once again, we greet all of you in this spirit of unity, and welcome you all. Ahlan wa sahlan. Selamat datang.
Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu.