Bediuzzaman Said Nursi was born in 1877 in Eastern Turkey (the Village of Nurs) and died in 1960 in Urfa in Turkey. Readers may refer to his biography for details of his long and exemplary life, which spanned the last decades of the Ottoman Empire, its collapse after the First World War and the setting up of the Republic, then the twenty-five years of Republican Peoples’ Party rule, well-known for the measures taken against Islam, followed by the ten years of Democrat rule, when conditions eased a little for Bediuzzaman.
Here we shall mention just a few points which are relevant to the Risale-i Nur and will assist in understanding The Words. With this same aim some general points about the Risale-i Nur are included, and the method, which is particular to Bediuzzaman, that it employs for teaching the Qur’anic truths.
Bediuzzaman displayed an extraordinary intelligence and ability to learn from an early age, completing the normal course of Madrasa (religious school) education at the early age of fourteen, when he obtained his diploma. He became famous for both his prodigious memory and his unbeaten record in debating with other religious scholars. Another characteristic Bediuzzaman displayed from an early age was an instinctive dissatisfaction with the existing education system, which when older he formulated into comprehensive proposals for its reform.
Nurs, Bitlis Vilayet, Ottoman Empire
|Died||23 March 1960 (aged 82–83)
|Main interest(s)||Theology, theosophy, tafsir,Revival of Faith|
|Notable work(s)||Risale-i Nur|
WHAT THEY SAID ABOUT BEDIUZZAMAN?
“Said Nursi offers original and thought – provoking insights on Muslim -Christian dialogue and cooperation. His central thesis is that Muslims and Christians together can build a true civilization according to God’s plan in which human dignity, justice and fellowship will be the norm. This is possible if they seek to ground their mutual relationships on love”
Prof. Thomas Michel S.J. General Secretariat of the Vatican Secretariat for Interfaith Dialogue
“Bediuzzaman Said Nursi wrote with his heart and his imagination as well as with his head and his intellect… These allegorical comparisons… attract and hold the attention and make easily comprehensible truths which might otherwise be difficult to grasp. They are significant factors explaining widespread popularity and containing success of the Risale-i Nur.”
Prof. Jane I. Smith, Hartford Seminary – USA
“I say, at the end of the 20th Century, the meanings of the following words should be forgotten : war, religious intolerance, racism, hunger, ignorance. Yes, I’m a student of Turkish tolerance. Therefore I love a sentence, a command of Said Nursi’s, He said : “Our enemies are ignorance, poverty, and conflict. We shall wage Holy war against these three enemies with the weapons of industry, learning and unity.”
Ord. Prof. Anna Masala Rome University – Italy
“Bediuzzaman Said Nursi made a long ana profound journey through the wide oceans of the Qur’an, and his works, known as the RISALE-I NUR, are derived from its light and from its truths. The truths he took from the Qur’an are both numerous and are related to branches of knowledge such as the physical sciences and philosophy, culture and civilizations.”
Prof. M. Ramadan aI-BUTI – University of Damascus – Head of the History Of Religion
“Bediuzzaman Said Nursi lived as he thought and believed. He never bowed to tyranny, never compromised his beliefs, and never feared. He passed his life in prison and in exile. He many times returned from the threshold of death, but he was absolutely undefeated. Doubtless, Said Nursi is an example to everyone in this matter. Said Nursi is a treasury waiting to be discovered.”
Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN – Prime Minister of Turkey
“Bediuzaman’s sociological depth and success is concent- rated in his immediately understanding, in this situation,the place of Islam’s rich religious and cultural store.”
Prof. Serif Mardin – American Unv. Washington D.C. – USA
“My belief is that Risate-i Nur is the only self-contained comprehensive Islamic work that sees the cosmos as it actually is, presents the reality of belief as it truly is, interprets the Quran as our Prophet intended, diagnoses die real and very dangerous diseases that afflict modern man, and offers a lasting cure. Thus, I am convinced that the author of the Risale-i Nur, the Wonder of the Age Said Nursi, qualifies for the title of Mujaddid (renewer).”
Prof. Colin TURNER – Manchester Unv – England
”Bediuzaman’s style is the style of proving and strengthening the truths of belief. It’s not a style which causes indignation and mindless action by exciting the emotions. It addresses the reason and heart directly, and it reaches them.”
Prof. Ahmad Abdurrahim Al Sayih – Qatar Unv. – Qatar
“In Islamic history three Islamic movements emerged that resemble one another, each of which has played a large role in preserving the beliefs of Muslims; The movement of Imam Rabbani, sheyk Ahmad Sirhindi in India, The movement of Abdulhamid Ibn Badis in Algeria, The movement of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi in Turkey.”
Prof. Abdulvedud Chelebi – al Azhar Unv. – Egypt
“Bediuzzaman was the doctor of the age, who offered cures from the pharmacy of the Qur’an for the sicknesses of this century.”
Prof. Sener DILEK – Turkey
“I am of the opinion that in order to establish brotherhood in this country for its peace and security, and for Turkey to reach the position, material and spiritual, where it may lead the Islamic world as it did in the past it is necessary to turn to Bediuzzaman Said Nursi today and to give consideration to his diagnoses of the problems and the remedies he put forward.”
Asst. Prof. Huseyin Celik – The Former minister of Education – Turkey
“Yes, whereever there is war and starvation in the worid, we are compelled to work without looking at people’s religion and colour in order to find solutions. Howewr, the joint of Muslims and Christians must not remain only in the field of social aid. It must go beyond this.
For as the people of the book (Christians, muslims and Jews), we believe in the same GOD. There is a need for true religion and the moral principles based on revelation to be brought into the field of life.
Said Nursi saw this fact and he pointed it out in his works, the Risale-i Nur.”
Prof. Ursula SPULER – Marburg Unv – Germany
”While his empty tomb still lies in the shrine of Abraham in Urfa, Nursi lives on in the minds and hearts of those, who read the Risale-i Nur. Many are influenced by his life, thoughts, and writings. A newspaper article published at the time of his death noted that students of Nursi were more than one and a half million (Akşam, 24.03.1960). Arguably the number of his followers today is more than 6 million.”
Ian Markham – President of Virginia Theological Seminary
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