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An international conference on Nursi Studies has been scheduled to be conducted at EMS Seminar Complex, University of Calicut, Kerala-India, under joint auspices of Istanbul Foundation for Science and Culture and Department of Arabic, University of Calicut. Eminent scholars, academicians, and youth leaders from Europe, Asia, and Africa will participate and present their papers in the three day International Conference. The program will be inaugurated by Mr. P.K. Abdul Rab, former minister of education, Kerala, in the function chaired by Prof. Dr. K. Muhammed Basheer, Vice Chancelllor of University of Calicut.
The plenary session will be handled by Dr. Ahmet Yıldız, Adviser to the Speaker, Turkish National Assembly and Prof. Dr. Alparslan Açıkgenç, Member of Turkish Academy of Sciences. The program has been designed in 3 channels so as to present 30 papers on politics, religion, and multi-cultural co-existence in Light of Said Nursi’s viewpoint and his magnum of opus Risale-i Nur.
This is for first time the Department of Arabic, University of Calicut is conducting an International Conference with a Eurasian country. By this conference the organizers intend to introduce one of the leading figures of socio-cultural arena of 20th century, Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, to the Student community with a different perspective and dimension. Different subjects like Nationalism and Sectarianism, Religion, multi-culturilsm and co-existence, faith and religiosity in contemporary societies, modernism and social transformation on the basis of Risale-i Nur.
The different academic sessions of the Conference will be chaired by Dr. Moideen Kutty.A.B, Dr. A. I. Rahmathullah, Dr.E.K. Ahmad Kutty, Dr.N.A. Muhammed Abdul Khader, Prof. Dr. Alparslan Açıkgenç, Dr. Ahmet Yıldız.
Conference Programme can be downloaded at this link:
by P.K Abdu Rabb, Former Minister of Education, Kerala, India, Calicut – 13.02.2017
Dear Dr. P. Mohan, pro vice chancellor, of Calicut University, Dear Dr. T. A. Abdul Majeed (Registrar, University of Calicut) Dear Dr. Moideenkutty. A.B, HoD Dept. of Arabic, University of Calicut. Dear Prof. Dr. AlparslanAçıkgenç, Member of Turkish Academy of Sciences Dear Dr. Ahmet Yıldız, Adviser to the Speaker, Turkish National Assembly Dear deans, lecturers, academicians and beloved students from different parts of the world,
I am pleased to be together with you today,. I believe that this international Nursi Studies conference, which will help us to analyze and discuss different aspects of the principles of the religious thought and multiculturalism, in general perspective. It is very important for all people to enhance the understanding of living together in peace and to deepen their righteousness from the perspective of the Said Nursi’s Risale-i Nur Collection.
I remember last year, the conference was organized by the foundation at Kerala University, and the Turkish delegates visited me at my office. Now, I take the opportunity to attend this conference to pay their visit back. Once more I would like to thank you all for coming from far away as well as different parts of India for this conference.
Today people around the globe are confronted with many material and spiritual problems. Hunger, poverty, social injustice, cruelties, wars, migrations, anarchy, terrorism, all kinds of violence, global warming and environmental pollution all over the world continue to increase. Despite many efforts, effective solutions are yet to be produced.
How can the happiness of humanity be obtained both in this world and in the next? What kind of approach is needed to solve or, at least, reduce these problems? Is reconstruction possible without further spiritual and material harm being done? Can a universal and sustainable solution be found that targets these problems at their very roots? The need for answers to these kinds of question is more urgent than ever before.
Bediuzzaman Said Nursi’s life and works, and his Risale-i Nur collection constitute an important means of providing answers to these questions and problems. Solutions to these individual, societal and global problems are related to the way in which mankind approaches the creation. Said Nursi propounded an original way of looking at, and responding to, the universe and humanity that is best described as “positive action”. Bediüzzaman writes in his last letter to his students before his death: “Our duty is to implement positive action. It is not negative action. It is a service towards belief, solely done for God’s sake alone. It does not try to interfere with the work of God and His Decree. We are charged to endure all hardship with patience and thankfulness through positive faith service which results in protecting the public order.” “Our duty is service; result belong to the Almighty God. We are obliged only to carry duty.” Let me end quote.
In recent years, we have witnessed a very painful situation. We witness perhaps one of the bitterest scenes in the history of humankind, in which people kill each other easily. Sectarian polarization reaches to a climax and people declare each other an enemy. As Muslims, we need to find an immediate solution to this problem. Bediuzzaman’s thoughts on “spiritual jihad” or, in other words, “jihad with pen” may guide us towards a solution. He stresses that internal jihad should be free of weapons. It is very relevant to our present scenario of jihad and post September. Nursi says: “The internal spiritual jihad is to work against spiritual destruction, for his not material but spiritual services are needed. “In fact, the source of all material damage is our inability to treat the spiritual wounds we receive.
Today, although we have police security cameras, prisons, courts and laws, crimes do not diminish, on the contrary they increase. Bediuzzaman informs us of a remedy which will reduce or even eliminate the crime. That is to believe in God. He says that this belief will place a spiritual prohibitor in the hearts. Bediuzzaman said, “Our enemies are ignorance, poverty, and conflict. We shall fight against these three enemies with the weapons of education, industry, and cooperation.” In another place, he emphasizes the necessity of destroying the feeling of hostility in our hearts by saying, “We are devotees of love, we don’t have time for enmity” and “The thing most worthy of love is love, and the quality most deserving of enmity is enmity.” This is Bediuzzaman’s understanding of jihad. I believe that today our attendance to this conference is anexample of spiritual jihad.
Something important here I should mention as a former minister of education; Bediuzzaman’s unfinished project and dream of “Madrasat-uz Zahra”
Said Nursi’s chief aim was to establish a university in Turkey where this method would be practiced; that is, where the physical sciences would be taught together with the religious sciences and his other ideas applied. This university he called the Medresetü’z-Zehra after the Azhar University in Cairo, as it was to be its sister university in the center of the eastern World.
Said Nursi says:
“The light of the conscience is religious sciences (ulum-u diniye). The light of the mind is modern sciences (funun-u medeniye). Combining both manifests the truth. The student’s skills develop further with these two (sciences). When they are separated, the former breeds superstition and the latter breeds corruption and skepticism.”
We will continue towards the construction of Bediuzzaman’s unfinished Medresetuz Zehra Project with the academic conversations that will take place here in this conference among the young students and Risale-i Nur expert professors.
I know the Istanbul Foundation for Science and Culture and Calicut University are recognizing the importance of young academics, where Masters and PhD students on Bediüzzaman and the Risale-i Nur come together to discuss their research and exchange views. These young scholar participants have researched on ways to blend both religious and positive sciences.
Yes, I believe that, Indian scholarship will gain ground and greatly increase their understanding of Risale-i Nur. We have so much to learn from each other. Once more I would like to welcome you our beautiful state of Kerala. I ask God Almighty to grant success to this conference. Jai Hind.
P.K Abdu Rabb, Former Minister of Education, Kerala, India,
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