59 Years Later - Remembering Said Nursi's Life And Work

17.04.2019


 

The Istanbul Foundation for Science and Culture, in partnership with the Sekercihan Organization organized a Said Nursi commemoration programme titled “Unity of Islam and Consultancy”. The programme commemorated Nursi’s life 59 years following his passing away. 

 

 

Prof. Dr. Ishak Ozgel mentioned how both Islamic unity and brotherhood was amongst the most pressing goals and aims that Bediuzzaman strived for throughout his life.

 

Özgel brought to mind the words spoken by a member of the English Parliament that stated ““We cannot rule over the Muslims as long as this Quran remains in their hands. We should do everything possible to remove this Quran away from their hands, or alienate Muslims against the Quran.” Such words, he said, are those that aim to remove the principles and provisions of the Qur’an from our lives as well as to remove from the people the love that they have for God’s Holy Book. “Since Nursi was aware that the seeds of disunity have so easily been sown amongst muslims who have been estranged from the Qur’an, he responded by focussing on strengthening the fortress of Islam through brotherhood and unity in faith”, stated Özgel.

Even though at one level the idea of ‘unity’ is perceived as a sociological phenomenon there is a quote from Bediuzzaman stating that ‘The Unity of Belief certainly wants the unity of hearts. Unity of belief wants a unity of society and unity of the ummah’. This shows that Nursi drew attention to the firm and strong relationship between the idea of unity, belief of unity and practices of unity. Nursi saw that the unity of Islam and muslims was the most compelling and required action of this time and he also established a very meaningful relationship between unity and brotherhood via the means of mutual council and consultancy. He saw unity as deriving from the basis of seeing the argument and viewpoint of ones’ brother as valuable and acting with a collective intellect. Thus unity is practiced via collective intellect and practical action and this takes place instead of a solely self-focussed form of thinking and acting. As Nursi stated, ‘The happiness of the Ummah will become achievable when muslims become aware of the luminous bonds that connect them as well as through the practice of mutual consultation that gives life to Islam”.

 

 

The essence of unity is brotherhood”

The President of Erenler Foundation, Mahmut Eren, stated that muslims should not merely think as individuals but rather that there thoughts should be ummah-centred.

The muslim ummah resembles different organs of the same body, he said, and that despite the difference between each organ they all share the same goal as manifestations of God’s Names and Attributes. “The essence of unity is brotherhood. Such friends are those who sustain themselves mentally, intellectually and spiritually from the Noble Qur’an”, he added.

Eren stated that muslims have suffered a loss of consciousness with respect to what connects them and that the way towards rebuilding unity lies within the hands of muslims. He said that Jews do not regard themselves as having the right to live unless they live together as a community and that they always worked to minimize any emnity amongst themselves. He also stated that “Muslims need to nullify and defeat the proud and conceited spirit of the Western society through the means of Islamic unity and the illuminating light of God consciousness”.

 

Love and fondness for our scholars is the most important element of Islamic Unity”

Member and representative of the “Aziz Mahmud Hudayi Foundation”, Dr. Adem Ergul expressed his view that Said Nursi attained a state of faith that gave him intimate personal knowledge of God. He said that remembering Said Nursi recalls an individual who had delved deeply into the ocean of the Holy Qur’an, one who had read line-by-line the Wisdom embedded within the book of Creation, one who had achieved a great comprehension in the areas of religious knowledge and wisdom, as well as one who had committed his life in the struggle against the lower ego.

He also stated that:

The real scholars of God never engaged in internal disputation amongst each other or any other forms of conflict. Yet we have seen today and at various times in history certain people who claim to be scholars of religion attracting many ignorant and fanatic people around them. Yet the true scholars deserve love and respect, and indeed for our nation and community to show such an attitude towards Said Nursi and other purified scholars is to demonstrate one of the strongest aspects of unity and brotherhood in our religion. It is to show true gratitude and genuine faith.”

 

Semerkand Foundation Vice Chairman Dr. Mustafa Bahadiroglu compared Said Nursi to the sufi shaykh Mevlana Halid-i Bağdadi in terms of his appropriate utilisation of knowledge and wisdom for the amelioration of the sicknesses and imbalances that impacted the century that he lived in. For Nursi was one of the “Mujaddid”’s (Renewer) that came in each new age of the world to rennovate the condition of muslims and restore Islam. From the pharmacy of the Qur’an, Nursi brought the greatest and most effective recipes for healing and rejuvenation.

Bahadiroglu also said that Nursi’s disposition and way of living was not particularly different to the Sufi way and that Nursi always demonstrated fondness for the great Saints of the tariqa’s. He also emphasised that when Nursi said “This is not the age of Sufism, but the time for saving Belief” - he was not denying or negating the practice of sufism or stating that it was no longer relevant or needed. Rather it was about the urgent need to focus on defending the fundamentals for the masses of Anatolia.

 

Emnity is a weapon of Satan that strikes the heart”

Writer and journalist, Ahmet Tasgetiren, mentioned the sacred words from the 49th Sura of the Qur’an: “The Believers are but a single Brotherhood: So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; and fear Allah, that ye may receive Mercy.” (49:10)

The Noble Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) formed and established a society of brotherhood which was constituted both of mercy and compassion. For hatred and emnity is a weapon of Satan that strikes the heart. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, in his Treatise of Brotherhood, produced a very important appraisal of the calamity of animosity that has inflicted muslim societies and wrote of the comprehensive way of protecting the spiritual heart against such habits. In order to strengthen brotherhood and affection amongst us, we should be prepared to take into our hands each others’ hearts and stay well away from all hostility and animosity. We must make continuous du’a to purify ourselves of any ill feelings between us.”

 

Mehmet Firinci Agabey, one of the students of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, expressed his pleasure and gratitude for the proceedings as well as for the participants and attendees of the programme.

Firinci Agabey emphasised the importance of consultation as a reality of Islamic practice, quoting from Nursi “The religious sciences are the light of the conscience. The light of the intellect are the modern sciences. When the two become united, the truth becomes manifest”. He stated that understanding the importance of uniting the two sciences can arise through the medium of mutual consultation amongst muslims.

The programme, which started with a recitation from the Qur’an was finally completed with a poetic reading by Dursun Ali Erzincanli. The cinevision films at the event generated several emotional memories and poignant thoughts and reactions amongst participants.

 

Following the various speeches, the participants were awarded with various presents and plaque’s. Participants who attended consisted of academicians, representatives from NGO’s and several members of the public.