From Tolerance to Alliance Based on Acceptance of Divine Revelation An Outline of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi's Views on Christianity and the West
Sukran Vahide (Resarcher-Writer)-ISTANBUL
For Bediuzzaman, the term 'West' did not signify Christendom; in a work first published in 1922, he wrote that Europe, as representing the West, was "twofold." The first Europe, which he was not opposed to, through the inspiration it had received from "the true religion of Jesus," had contributed positively to social justice and mankind's material progress. The second Europe, however, having grown out of materialist philosophy, had only a corrupt and harmful civilization to offer mankind.(1) This counterposing of divine revelation and 'man-made' philosophy underlies virtually all Said Nursi's mature thought, and it will be useful to bear it in mind while investigating his views on Christianity and the West.
Another point to mention is that since the study of Christianity was not Bediuzzaman's prime concern, his works contain little in the way of doctrinal discussion. He did however consider that strands of Christianity were following an evolutionary course towards the acceptance of divine unity (tawhid) in the Qur'anic sense,(2) a question linked to the Second Coming of Jesus (PUH), which he did deal with in some detail. Bediuzzaman's interpretations of Hadiths related to the end of time are both highly original, and foresaw a reconciliation between Islam and Christianity. Also original and far-sighted was his view that Christian victims of wartime atrocities should be considered martyrs along with Muslim victims, and among the saved.
The above are questions Bediuzzaman dealt with in the second main period of his life, that of the New Said, which commenced after the First World War. A third period, influenced by the wide changes in the balance and configuration of the world powers after the Second World War and the great upheavals in the world of humanity, saw a development in his ideas, and at this time he is seen to actively urge general peace and reconciliation, and to support the political alliance of Turkey and the West against communism and aggressive atheism. The views he evinced at this time have important implications for the future, as will be mentioned.
The Old Said
The first period of Said Nursi's life, that of the Old Said, coincided with the final decades of the Ottoman Empire, and during this time he was actively engaged in a number of fields aimed at reversing the Empire's decline and securing its progress. These endeavours included energetic participation in the constitutional movement, and support for its ideals, which like other religious thinkers and writers of the time, he defended on the basis of their conformity with the Shari'a.(3) As regards the West, He shared the view that "science and industry" should be taken from it, but not "the evils of civilization,"(4) or its values or culture. And the incorporation of the modern sciences into the religious education system was part of his project for educational reform. The return to and revitalization of Islamic ethics and 'moral rearmament' was another matter on which he expended considerable effort. As for Christianity, references in his works of this period are confined to the question of the Christian minorities of the Empire and their gaining equal rights under the 1908 Constitution, and to relations with People of the Book, that is, Jews and Christians.
Bediuzzaman's replies to the Kurdish tribesmen, allaying their fears about the equality accorded the Armenians and Greeks, illustrate his fairness and tolerance, as well as the importance he attached to persuasion in these matters and a reasoned approach, and it will be useful to include a few brief quotes from his work M?n?zarat. His arguments are interesting also because although it was then government policy to unite all the ethnic elements of the Empire (ittihad-ý anasýr),(5) and according to the Shari'a the non-Muslim minorities had always been according full religious rights and freedoms, Bediuzzaman was justifying their now being granted full civil and political rights with arguments again based on the Shari'a.
"Question: There are [now] Christians and Jews in the Chamber of Deputies. What value do their votes have in the Shari'a?"
"Anwser: Firstly, in mutual consultation, the decision is the majority's, and the majority are Muslims. ... Secondly, the opinion of an Armenian or Jew is valid in [a craft like] clockmaking or running a machine. Just as the Shari'a does not reject their opinions in these, so it shouldn't reject them in questions of political and economic advantage..."(6)
"Question: All right, we accept that freedom [as opposed to despotism, constitutionalism] is good, but the freedom of the Greeks and Armenians seems bad to us, and makes us think. What's your opinion?
"Answer: Firstly, their freedom consists of leaving them in peace and not oppressing them, and this is what the Shari'a enjoins. More than this is their aggression in the face of your bad points and craziness, their benefiting from your ignorance. ..."(7)
"Question: How can we be equal with non-Muslims?
"Answer: Equality is ... before the law. A king and a beggar are equal before the law. How could a Shari'a that forbids the deliberate crushing of an ant, or causing it pain, neglect the rights of the sons of Adam? No! We didn't comply with it!"(8)
"Question: In the Qur'an, friendship with Jews and Christians is proscribed. .. Why do you say therefore that we should be friends?(5:51)
"The Answer: ... the Qur'anic proscription is not general, it is absolute. If it is absolute, it can be restricted. Time is a great interpreter; if it determines its limits, it cannot be gainsaid [that is, when a matter becomes clear in the course of time, one may not object to it]. ... Besides, a man is loved not for himself, but for his attributes or skills. In which case, just as it is not necessary for every attribute of every Muslim to be Muslim, so it is not necessary for all the attributes and skills of every unbeliever to be unbelieving. Consequently, should it not be permitted to consider good and adopt an attribute or skill which is Muslim? If you have a wife from the People of the Book, of course you should love her!" (9)
A passage from Bediuzzaman's Qur'anic commentary, Isharat al-I'jaz, begun 1913, although essentially setting out the Qur'anic stand towards the People of the Book, again illustrates his persuasive, reasoned approach. It is part of his exposition of verse 4 of Sura al-Baqara:
"It is as though the Qur'an is saying: O People of the Book! You should not experience any difficulty in taking this new way [Islam], for you are not casting away your outer shell altogether, but completing your beliefs and building on the fundamentals you already possess. For the Qur'an does not bring any new fundamentals or principal beliefs; it modifies and perfects existent ones; and it combines in itself the virtues of all the previous books and the essentials of all the previous laws. It only establishes new ordinances in secondary matters, which are subject to change due to differences of time and place. For just as with the change of seasons, food and dress and many other things are changed; so too in the stages of a person's life the mode of their education and upbringing changes. Similarly, as necessitated by wisdom and need, religious ordinances concerning secondary matters change in accordance with the stages of mankind's development. For how many of these are beneficial at one time, yet at another are harmful, and how many medicines are efficacious in infancy, yet cease being remedies in youth. It is due to this mystery that the Qur'an abrogated some of its secondary pronouncements. That is, it decreed that their time had finished, and the turn had come for other decrees."(10)
The New Said Period
Said Nursi's interior struggles, which were resolved with the emergence of the New Said and were a sort of struggle between reason and revelation, resulted in his finding a way of ascertaining truth through the Qur'an alone and freeing himself from the influences of 'philosophy.' What this amounted to was that he now accepted divine revelation as the sole criterion of truth, and as in all areas of his thought, this became the standard for his ideas and proposals related to both the West and Christianity.
From this time, his works contain numerous comparisons between revelation, usually represented by the Qur'an, which he asserted was the source of all positive progress and "the virtues of civilization," and the philosophy that rejects divine revelation, which he considered to be the source of its evils. Thus, the occasionally unfavourable comments about Western civilization to be found in the Risale-i Nur, are directed at "the second Europe," mentioned above, which had grown out of materialist philosophy of this sort. It may be said even that Said Nursi's mission with the Risale-i Nur, was besides the renewal of belief, the combatting of materialist philosophy. Thus, according to his ideas, the injustices in the world, which had resulted in the carnage of two world wars, were the direct consequences of materialist philosophy with its rejection of revelational principles.(11)
It is in the light of the above that Bediuzzaman's original statement should be seen, that whatever their religion, innocent victims of the wars should be looked on as not only being among the saved, but as having attained the high rank of martyrdom. He expresses this opinion, unique among Islamic scholars,(12) in two letters written in Kastamonu around 1941. Part of one of them is as follows. Bediuzzaman marked it "extremely important," and mentions each of the groups involved and the recompense it will receive:
"... While for three or four months I had had no news of the [Second World] War and the world situation, I fell to pitying the families and children in Russia and Europe. ... If those who died and were ruined by that heavenly visitation, which occurred due to the crimes of tyrants, were fifteen years of age or less, they were martyrs of a sort whatever religion they belonged to. Like Muslims, their great spiritual reward reduces the calamity to nothing. If those who were fifteen and older were innocent and oppressed, their reward is great; indeed, it will save them from Hell. For since in recent times, as though it were a time between prophets (fetret),(13) there is a general attitude of indifference towards religion and [towards] the religion of Muhammad (PBUH), and since at the end of time the true religion of Jesus (Peace be upon him) will prevail and will stand shoulder to shoulder with Islam, it may be said with all certainty that the calamity which the oppressed among Christians suffer, those connected to Jesus (UWP), who at present remain in an interregnum-like obscurity, is a sort of martyrdom for them. Especially the old and the afflicted, and the poor and the weak, they suffer adversity under the violence and force of mighty and despotic tyrants..."(14)
As is seen in the above letter, during this period Bediuzzaman linked the events of the 20th century to the end of time and the second coming of Jesus (PUH).(15) These are questions he deals with in some detail, sometimes in response to questions put to him, but chiefly for the purpose of elucidating allegorical Hadiths about the end of time that had been the cause of misunderstanding and therefore of doubts.(16) His interpretations of these Hadiths are of considerable interest in that they not only relate the rise of atheistic philosophy to the antichrist, but also foresee the emergence of "true" Christianity and its joining with Islam in a triumphant struggle against those atheistic currents of thought.
Bediuzzaman interprets the vast stature and colossal power ascribed to the antichrist in these Hadiths as a "collective personality," an idea unfamiliar to the people of earlier times, which led to the misunderstanding of the Hadiths.(17) The collective personality of materialism and irreligion will become so powerful, it will only be the collective personality of Jesus (UWP), that is, true, revealed religion, that will be able to defeat it. He writes, "At that point when the current appears to be very strong, the religion of true Christianity, which comprises the collective personality of Jesus (UWP), will emerge. That is, it will descend from the skies of divine mercy."(18) For, according to the Bediuzzaman, "It will be the truly pious followers of Jesus who will kill the gigantic collective personality of materialism and irreligion that the Dajjal (antichrist) will form -for the Dajjal will be killed by Jesus' (PUH) sword- and destroy his ideas and disbelief, which are atheistic. Those truly pious Christians [or clergy -Ýsevî ruhaniler] will blend the essence of the religion of Jesus with the essence of Islam and rout the Dajjal with their combined strength, in effect killing him."(19) Present-day Christianity will thus be "purified" and following the Qur'an, will be transformed into "a sort of Islam." This union will signal the descent of Jesus from the heavens, who will come to lead the now mighty force of true religion.(20) In another place, he describes Jesus' pious followers as "a zealous and self-sacrificing community known as a Christian community but worthy of being called 'Muslim Christians,' [who] will work to unite the true religion of Jesus (UWP) with the reality of Islam, and will kill and rout that society of the antichrist, thus saving humanity from atheism."(21)
It may also be mentioned that in one place Bediuzzaman relates Hadiths of this sort, again for the purpose of correcting misunderstandings, to current events, that is, countries which, at that time during the Second World War, either defended Christianity or furthered the cause of irreligion.(22)
The Communist Threat and Post-World War Two Period
The Second World War brought about great changes in the balance of world powers, with their eventual realignment into the western bloc, in which the United States was the dominant power, and the communist bloc under the leadership of Soviet Russia. Having overrun eastern Europe, and with its aggressive demands at the end of the war, communist Russia's overwhelming presence to the north drove Turkey to turn to the western bloc.(23) Turkey itself was not without its communist groups.(24) Moreover, a number of Muslim countries entered the Soviet sphere of influence in this period. It is against this background that what appear to be the changes in Bediuzzaman's stand towards the West should be seen, and his calls for peace and reconciliation. However, a closer examination of his letters and writings in these last ten years of his life shows that these changes follow on logically from the ideas he had first formulated after the First World War, and were the necessary response to the struggle between 'philosophy' and divine revelation, which had now found physical manifestation in the struggle of communism and aggressive atheism against religion and its values.
In a piece written in the Second War, Bediuzzaman described communism as "an alarming current of irreligion [that] has embarked on a mighty struggle with the revealed religions." But he intimated that "the two great religions," by which he presumably meant Christianity and Islam, were making moves towards "peace and reconciliation."(25) It is not clear precisely what he is referring to here, but it was also around this time that rather than the theoretical union previously mentioned, in one or two places he urges active union and co-operation between Muslims and Christians. He wrote: "At this time too [Muslims] need to unite sincerely not only with their own brothers and fellow-believers, but also with the truly pious Christians [or clergy- ruhanîler), temporarily refraining from the discussion and debate of points of difference, in order to combat their joint enemy - aggressive atheism."(26) He also warned that those attempting such an alliance should act with great caution, since "the current from the north" would try to break it.(27)
After the Democrat Party came to power in 1950 and it became possible for him to do so, Bediuzzaman himself made moves towards establishing relations with the Christian world. This took the form of his having one of his students send a copy of Z?lfik?r, a work containing the Twenty-Fifth Word about the Qur'an's miraculousness, and the Nineteenth Letter, about the miracles of Muhammad (PBUH) to the Pope in Rome. He received a gracious letter of thanks, dated 22 February, 1951.(28) Also, during his three-month visit to Istanbul in the spring of 1953, he made the move, unprecedented among Islamic scholars-certainly under the Republic, of visiting the Greek Orthodox Patriarch, Patriarch Athenagoras. Most of what passed between them on this courtesy visit has not been recorded, only that in the course of it, Bediuzzaman said: "If you accept that the Qur'an is God's Word and Muhammad (PBUH) is His prophet, and you act in accordance with true Christianity, you will be among the saved." The Patriarch replied that he did accept this. But when Bediuzzaman asked whether the other religious leaders accepted it, he replied in the negative. Bediuzzaman related also how well he had been received.(29)
When the Democrat government demonstrated its intention to allow greater religious freedom and combat communism, it won Bediuzzaman's support not only in its internal policies, but also in its pro-Western foreign policy. In this post-war period, Bediuzzaman looked to the United States in particular as a country that understood the necessity and value of religion,(30) and as such encouraged the Democrat Party to cultivate friendly relations with it.(31) He supported Turkey's participation in the Korean War as part of the struggle against atheism;(32) and according to his student who fought there with his blessing, at that time (1952) supported NATO.(33) He also applauded Turkey's signing of the Baghdad Pact, writing an important letter of congratulation to the President and Prime Minister,(34) not only because the Pact was a means of re-establishing relations with the Islamic world, but also because he saw it as an important step towards general peace and reconciliation, of which "800 million Christians and members of other religions" were "in severe need." It would win their friendship for Turkey, as well as that of "400 million brother Muslims."(35) Bediuzzaman also commented in one of his letters that because of the rise of atheism, irreligion, and anarchy, the gravest dangers facing mankind, America and Europe should no longer be opposed to Islamic unity.(36)
Another dimension of reconciliation, central to the Baghdad Pact letter, was that which would be achieved by the university that for more than fifty years Bediuzzaman had striven to found in eastern Anatolia, and was now planned by the government. Bediuzzaman urged the President and Prime Minister to give it the form he proposed whereby, by making the religious sciences its basis, it would be a means of rapprochement both between the peoples of the region and the eastern Islamic world, and between the inmates of the modern secular schools and the religious schools. It would also bring together the modern sciences and traditional religious sciences, as well as achieving "a full reconciliation between European civilization and the truths of Islam." This last phrase appears nowhere else in his works, and most probably refers to the combining or "blending" of the physical sciences and truths of belief in a way similar to what he had achieved in the Risale-i Nur.(37) This question is important in that it provides a concrete clue as to how Bediuzzaman envisaged reconciliation might be achieved on a fundamental or theoretical level.
From one or two letters it seems clear that Bediuzzaman hoped that the Risale-i Nur itself would be a means of solidarity and reconciliation between Muslims and Christians, as it was among Muslims. He pointed out that it was now being read by Christians in Europe,(38) and just as it was gathering into its fold Muslims of all persuasions, so there were signs some Christian missionaries and truly pious followers of Jesus would enter it. For this reason he wanted everyone to perceive the need for reconciliation, and to avoid raising contentious issues.(39)
Finally, a matter that implicitly could bring together believers in divine revelation, and guide them in efforts to rectify the appalling injustices in the world, which in Bediuzzaman's view spring from present-day civilization's "not truly heeding the revealed religions," was the adoption and practice of principles -Bediuzzaman calls them "fundamental laws"- taken from divine revelation. It was only through the general application of such principles that "true civilization" could be established and universal peace be brought about. In describing them, he analyzes society and diagnoses a number of prevalent ills and their sources in either "principles of human origin" or the neglect of revelational values, and shows how their harm can be reversed by revelational principles. For example, he suggests such principles as frugality and endeavour, taken from Qur'anic verses, to counter the wastefulness and extravagance encouraged by modern civilization; and the payment of zakat (the purification tax) and prohibition of usury and interest, disregard for which had led to serious social imbalances and ultimately to the revolt of the lower classes and disastrous social upheavals. He points out too that while modern technological wonders should be used "for the benefit of mankind ... four fifths are used on meaningless trivia and encourage idleness and depravity." Furthermore, he diagnoses human problems which have become acute due to the general "awakening" of mankind caused by war and advances in science in particular, and points out that with their proofs of the life of the hereafter they can be solved and "healed" only by the Qur'an and divine revelation.(40)
Three main conclusions may be drawn from this outline of Bediuzzaman's views on Christianity and the West.
Firstly is the comprehensiveness of his views and their looking to general reconciliation and universal peace. Bediuzzaman considered reconciliation and joint action between pious Muslims and Christians to be part of a universal struggle against the forces of unbelief and irreligion. The co-operation he foresaw would most probably fulfil a function in society similar to that of the Risale-i Nur and its students, that is, countering "the moral and spiritual (m?nevî) destruction" of aggressive atheism, and "healing" and "repairing" its damage. Following the Second World War, Bediuzzaman also supported the political alliance of Turkey and the West, and this was because it was engaged, as representing Christianity-anyway to an extent, in the struggle against communism. From the way he worded his letter about the political alliance of the Baghdad Pact, that is his saying "winning the friendship of 800 million Christians and members of other religions ... [and of] 400 million fellow-Muslims," it may be said that he looked on political alliance as an extension of the co-operation of individual Christians and Muslims. Within this framework, Bediuzzaman clearly attached great importance to the reconciliation also of the Islamic world and the West, and particularly to the reforging of links between Turkey and other Muslim countries. Similarly, he laid great emphasis on strengthening the internal unity of the Islamic world, and in his works put forward constructive ideas for settling deep differences and conflicts equitably, in the light of the many commonly held beliefs. A further, fundamental element of the reconciliation he envisaged was reconciliation on the level of knowledge, learning, and education, and the disciplines and traditions they represented, the basis of any true and lasting reconciliation. Also, a positive outcome of all the wars and destruction of the 20th century which gave him hope, was "the awakening" or increased consciousness among a section of mankind of their need for "a true religion," which potentially greatly increased the force working to establish justice on the earth in the way he foresaw.
Secondly: The unifying factor in this comprehensive view, or strategy even, of Bediuzzaman, is divine revelation and the revealed religions, and broadly speaking, adherence to its principles is the condition for alliance. In my view, this was an elaboration of the analytical model, based on the counterposing of divine revelation and 'man-made' philosophy, which was an important element of the New Said's thought, and shows the development of his ideas in the last period of his life. Furthermore, it offers a model for analyzing future developments and the great changes that occurred with the collapse of communism and raising of the Iron Curtain.
Thirdly: In Bediuzzaman's "revelational principles," which significantly he called "fundamental laws," are a way of uniting all believers in divine revelation, whatever their position or rank, in a practical and practicable struggle to reorder their own lives and bring about a transformation of present-day civilization. Only in this way may its virtues come to outweigh its evils, and peace and prosperity be secured for the majority of mankind.
1. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, The Flashes Collection [Eng. trans.] (Istanbul: S?zler Publications, 2000), 160.
2. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Letters 1928-1932 [Eng. trans.] (Istanbul: S?zler Publications, 1997), 544; Nursi, The Words [Eng. trans.] (Istanbul: S?zler Publications, 1998), 736.
3. See, Ýsmail Kara, Ýslamcýlarýn Siyasî G?r?þleri (Istanbul: Derg?h Yayýlarý, 2001), 37ff., 105-11, etc.
4. See, Bedi?zzaman Said Nursî, Divan-ý Harb-i Örfî (Istanbul: S?zler Yayýnevi, 1975), 61.
5. See, Niyazi Berkes, The Development of Secularism in Turkey (New York: Routledge, 1998), 325 ff.; S. J. Shaw & E. K. Shaw, History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977), ii, 275, 276, 282, 288.
6. Bedi?zzaman Said Nursî, "M?n?zarat," in As?r-ý Bedi'iyye (n.p., n.d.), 417.
7. Nursî, M?n?zarat (Istanbul: S?zler Yayýnevi, 1977), 20.
8. M?n?zarat, 24-5.
9. M?n?zarat, 26-7.
10. Badý'u'z-Zama\n Sa'id al-Nursi, Isharat al-I'jaz fi Mazann al-Ijaz [Tahqiq: Ihsan Qasim al-Salihi] (Istanbul: S?zler Yayýnevi, 1414/1994), 59.
11. See for example, Nursi, The Words, 745-8, 764; Emirdað Lahikasý (Istanbul: Envar Ne_riyat, 1992), ii, 98.
12. An interesting footnote in Berkes, The Development of Secularism in Turkey , 434 fn 3, cites Þeyhu'l-Ýslam Mustafa Sabri's refutation of, among other things, the reformist Mûsa C?rullah's statements in Rahmet-i Ýl?hiye Burhanlarý (1911) "of the truthfulness (haqq and saw?b) of Judaism and Christianity ... and of freedom of conscience." This suggests that there were precedents in this matter, though as far as Musa C?rullah was concerned, in another context Bediuzzaman condemned him of being "excessively in favour of renewal" and being "very much in error due to the concessions he made to modernity." See, The Flashes Collection, 371.
13. Metin Yurdagûr, "Fetret," in T?rkiye Diyanet Vakfý Ýslam Ansiklopedisi (Istanbul, 1995), xii, 475-80.
14. Bedi?zzaman Said Nursî, Kastamonu Lahikasý (Istanbul: Sinan Matbaasý, 1960), 75.
15. See also, Nursi, The Words, 736 fn 12.
16. See, Nursi, Kastamonu Lahikasý, 49; Nursi, The Rays Collection [Eng. trans.] (Istanbul: S?zler Publications, 1988), 97-102. The latter is the explanatory introduction to the Fifth Ray, about allegorical Hadiths and their interpretation.
17. Nursi, The Rays Collection, 101.
18. Nursi, Letters, 78.
19. Nursi, The Rays Collection, 108.
20. Nursi, Letters, 78.
21. Nursi, Letters, 515.
22. See, Nursi, Kastamonu Lahikasý, 49-50.
23. S. J. Shaw & E. K. Shaw, ii, 399-400; Erik Z?rcher, Turkey, A Modern History (London: I. B. Tauris, 2001), 217-8.
24. Shaw & Shaw, ii, 400.
25. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, A Guide For Youth [Eng. trans.] (Istanbul: S?zler Publications, 1991), 33.
26. Nursi, The Flashes Collection, 203-4 fn 8. See also, Nursi, Emirdað Lahikasý, i, 206.
27. Nursi, Emirdað Lahikasý, i, 159.
28. Necmeddin ªahiner, Bilinmeyen Taraflarýyla Bedi?zzaman Said Nursî (Istanbul: Nesil Basým Yayýn, 13th edn. 1998), 384.
29. Mehmed Fýrýncý, in ªahiner, Son ªahitler Said Nursi'yi Anlatýyor (Istanbul: Nesil Basým Yayýn, 1999), iv, 358.
30. In a booklet published by Bediuzzaman's students in the mid-1960's entitled M?l?kat (Istanbul, Yeni Asya Yayýnlarý, 1976, 96), U. S. President Eisenhower is quoted as defining the struggle against communism in specifically religious terms: "If our struggle against communism isn't a struggle between those who believe in God and those who don't, what is it? The communists know this. They have to root out belief in God from their entire thought system, because where there's belief in God, there can't be communism."
31. Nursî, Emirdað Lahikasý, ii, 25; ii, 209.
32. ª?kran Vahide, The Author of the Risale-i Nur, Bediuzzaman Said Nursi (Istanbul: S?zler Publications, 2000), 336.
33. Bayram Y?ksel, in ªahiner, Son ªahitler, iii, 36.
34. Nursî, Emirdað Lahikasý, ii, 222-5.
35. Vahide, Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, 353-4.
36. Nursî, Emirdað Lahikasý, ii, 54.
37. See, ª?kran Vahide, "Towards an Intellectual Biography of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi," in Ibrahim Abu Rabi' (ed.), Islam at the Crossroads: On the Life and Thought of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi. (in preparation for publication by SUNY Press, New York.).
38. Nursî, Emirdað Lahikasý, ii, 181.
39. Nursî, Emirdað Lahikasý, i, 211.
40. See, Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, The Damascus Sermon [Eng. trans.] (Istanbul: S?zler Publications, 1996), 126-131; also, 29-31; Nursî, Emirdað Lahikasý, ii, 98-101; Nursi, The Words, 167-8. See also, Emirdað Lahikasý, ii, 81-4; ii, 172-5.