TODAY IN HISTORY – 59 Years Since The Passing Away Of Said Nursi

On the morning of the 23rd March 1960 in the southern Turkish town of Urfa, the life of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi finally came to a close at the age of 87.


On the morning of the 23rd March 1960 in the southern Turkish town of Urfa, the life of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi finally came to a close at the age of 87. Finally he came to meet his Merciful and Gracious Lord. Following a funeral prayer that was attended by many members of the public, he was buried by the Halilu’r-Rahman mosque.  Throughout his life Said Nursi gave everything for the sake of Belief and the Qur’an and he suffered and struggled tremendously and was under constant pressure and persecution. For 28 years of his life he was either in a prison or in a state of exile. Yet just a few months after his burial, he was yet again disturbed. The revolution that took place on the 27th May 1960 may have been the cause. For on the night of the 12th of July that year his corpse was taken by unknown people and re-buried somewhere between Isparta and Afyon.



During the First World War, he helped to fight against the enemies invading Anatolia. Hundreds of fellow Nur students died amidst the fighting and became martyrs. In March 1916, Nursi was captured and taken to Siberia in Russia and for a few years he endured the harsh conditions. In 1918 he was recognised as a hero of the homeland, and was awarded a medal for his bravery in war by the Sultan and heads of the military.



He became a member of the Daru’l-Hikmete. During the founding years of the Republic, Nursi was invited to Ankara via a telegraf sent on behalf of several members of Parliament and Mustafa Kemal. At the Grand National Assembly he was met with much applause and approval and for a while he stayed in Ankara. His ideas and offers for a religious republic based on mutual consultancy were not accepted by the leaders of that time. When Nursi was invited to the first Parliament session, he noticed that there was a consistent apathy and lack of concern for prayer and namaz. In response he wrote and propagated a 10-point declaration on the importance of both the prayers and the Qur’an.




In the official record of the Grand National Assembly is written the headline “Welcoming A Man of the Ulema: Bediuzzaman Said Nursi Efendi”


When Mustafa Kemal told Bediuzzaman: “Sir, we invited you here for your comments and views on the matters of our nation. When you came and mentioned the issue of prayer you created a heated controversy amongst us”. In response to this, Bediuzzaman replied “Pashah! Pashah! The greatest truth and reality of creation is Iman (Belief). After Iman, it is the prayer”. Due to insufficient assistance and support from others attending Parliament, Nursi chose to abandon Ankara and return to his old “medrese” in the eastern Turkish province of Van. While there he continued to attract students. Later, a decree was sent out ordering the forced exile of many religious scholars in Anatolia suspected of breaching the stability of the new republic. Many thousands of religious scholars and other individuals were also hanged in public by the paranoid behaviour of the new regime. Nursi was one of those who were arrested and subject to incarceration. After a long and arduous journey, Bediuzzaman arrived in the village of Barla by the town of Isparta. Yet despite his state of exile, it was in this tiny village of Barla where Nursi was blessed by God in being able to begin his first great service to the Qur’an. His Risale-i Nur begin in this place and it resulted in the rescue and revitalization of the belief of millions of people both in Anatolia and in the wideworld far beyond.