"Alhamdülillah, today my Iman has increased"
At our previous public seminar at the IFSC, Sabri Okur, a relative of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi and a person who spent years conducting faith-service with Mustafa Sungur presented an account of his experiences with the Risale. In particular he recalled memories pertaining to both Bediuzzaman and those of his student, Mustafa Sungur.
At our previous public seminar at the IFSC, Sabri Okur, a relative of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi and a person who spent years conducting faith-service with Mustafa Sungur presented an account of his experiences with the Risale.
In particular he recalled memories pertaining to both Bediuzzaman and those of his student, Mustafa Sungur.
Okur told the audience about the fact that Mustafa Sungur used to read around 200 pages of the Risale-i Nur every day. One day while he was doing this, Sungur said “Al hamdulillah, today I have increased my Iman”. He then went to Said Nursi and asked him “Please give me some advice”. Nursi responded by saying, “My dear friend, those words that I used to say from memory have now passed onto the pages of my books. I too read from these books. Thus you should consult them”.
In another story, Okur mentioned that one day while Nazim Akkurt was paying a visit to Bediuzzaman he happened upon Mustafa Sungur Abi. While waiting to see Nursi, Sungur Abi asked Nazim the reason for his visit. Nazim replied by saying that he intended to ask Bediuzzaman thirty to forty questions that he had come prepared with. Sungur Abi wanted to see what these questions were and so Nazim showed him the list. To Nazim’s astonishment, Sungur answered each question by immediately referring into the books for the appropriate response to each one. Nazim told him “Since you knew, why didn’t you show me those books from the beginning?”. Sungur Abi gave the following reply:
“My dear friend, firstly, I wanted to show that we are not people of ignorance and that whatever religious knowledge we have is obtainable from the Risale-i Nur. Secondly, I wanted to show that all your questions have their answers from within the Risale-i Nur. And thirdly, my style of expression might not be appropriate for your understanding. However, the style of expression of the Risale-i Nur is appropriate for every person’s comprehension and understanding. And so I wanted to demonstrate that”.
In another interesting account, Sabri Okur related an incident concerning an Azeri Nur student, called Dr. Rauf. At one time Dr. Rauf was reading from the Risale-i Nur and whilst reading he felt that his heart was agitated and he couldn’t bear to read it. However, as he read each sentence one after the other, his restless and discontent state became resolved.
Okur also mentioned a time when a student of Bediuzzaman mentioned some bad news about a country that Nursi had been to. Nursi cautioned and rebuked him, “Please only explain to me things that are good”, he said. “Do not tell me of things that will darken or cast shadows upon my spirit”.
He also related an account of a student of the Risale who stayed with Bediuzzaman during his incarceration at Kastamonu, Çaycı Emin:
When Bediuzzaman and Emin Efendi were walking in Kastamonu they came upon a group of drunkards who were hanging around near the water fountain. “Ustadh will now start talking to them”, thought Emin Efendi to himself. “But since they are drunk and under influence of alcohol they will start attacking us”. He therefore felt afraid and anxious.
However, Bediuzzaman passed by the drunkards without saying a word. The drunkards then argued among themselves as they wondered why Ustadh had passed them without making a single comment. Perhaps Nursi was afraid of them? But yet, Ustadh was a man who was not afraid of anyone, even if he be a sultan. But then perhaps he looked at the hearts of the drunkards and thought “Is it useful to offer them a word?”. The result of the situation was that the drunkards soon understood the intentions of Ustadh and started to pick up their beer bottles and smash them on the ground, “Look here, we’re Muslims too!” they shouted. They proceeded to make ablutions at the fountain and then ran to the nearby mosque. When Çaycı Emin entered the mosque he saw all the former drunkards standing in a line of prayer.
Among other accounts also was one that Okur had heard from the late Mehmed Kırkıncı Hoca, a student of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi:
Kırkıncı Hoca was a man who had frequently visited Nursi and was himself a learned man in the Islamic sciences. One day while he was attending a congregation of brothers, he said to them: “I wondered at one time, why haven’t there been other people like me who have spent time with Ustadh and served the Risale-i Nur with him? Next to him there are students who don’t even know Arabic and they have very little knowledge in the Islamic sciences. Why has God decreed such a situation? I thought about this, and then the answer came to my mind. If there were people next to Ustadh such as me, then we would have added things from our own knowledge and ideas. Yet those servants of Nur have done whatever they have seen him do, said whatever they have observed him say and ensured its continuation.”