Bediuzzaman Said Nursi's Life and Legacy: A Jewish Appreciation
Bediuzzaman Said Nursi was one of the most remarkable personalities of the late 19th and 20th centuries. His life coincided with radical change in the geopolitical landscape of his native Turkey and the entire Middle East. How he responded to that change, and the changes he went through himself, have much to teach us as we grapple with our own challenges at the outset of the 21st century.
Nursi was a spiritual role model and leader, an educational visionary, and a social activist. He suffered greatly for his convictions, and the fact that he forgave his persecutors is one sign of his greatness. He advocated nonviolent struggle to achieve the aims he set forth for the movement he spawned. He implored his followers to wage a "jihad of the word" and to show exemplary "positive action" rather than hostility and confrontation toward adversaries.1 In our own time, with religious extremism and militancy engendering violence on a global scale, Nursi's life and teachings remain a genuine inspiration-and not only to Muslims. Today all believers, people committed to serving God and neighbor, are faced with the same challenge: how to make religious tradition appealing in a secular age, and how to persuade skeptical nonbelievers that submission to, or conformity with, God's will is the basis of true human freedom, dignity, and peaceful coexistence.
My appraisal of Nursi's life and legacy is rooted in my own experience as a believing and practicing Jew. I was born in Santiago, Chile, in 1949, the son of Austrian Jewish refugees who managed to flee Vienna just in time, before the evil of the Nazi Holocaust annihilated much of European Jewry, including some of my cousins. I grew up in the northeast United States, interacting with people of different faiths, benefiting from both a secular education in public schools and a religious education through my liberal Jewish synagogue. I earned two degrees at Harvard University in the 1970's: a bachelor's degree in Social Relations and a master's degree in "Applied Theology" from the Harvard Divinity School. I began my university studies as a biologist, then moved into psychology, and ended up in theology. My academic journey took me from liberal arts and sciences, to a nondenominational Christian seminary, and finally to a traditional Jewish academy (yeshiva = medrese) in Jerusalem, where I made my home from 1978 to 2002.
My decision to move to Israel from the U.S. was prompted by different factors, above all the wish to link my own life to the unfolding story of my people, as it tried to renew itself after the horrors and traumas of the Shoah (Holocaust). I also felt a degree of alienation from American society and culture in the 1970's. This was an estrangement that was deeper than opposition to the war in Indochina or disgust over the scandal of Watergate. At a much more profound level, my revulsion was similar to Said Nursi's spiritual estrangement from a secularist culture that worships money, success, and cosmetic exterior "beauty" rather than essential truths and virtues. Andrew Delbanco has captured this sense of spiritual exile or alienation is his small book THE REAL AMERICAN DREAM. Citing Alexis de Tocqueville's discovery in mid-19th century America of a "strange melancholy in the midst of abundance," Delbanco asserts:
Here we arrive at the root of our postmodern melancholy. We live in an age of unprecedented wealth, but in the realm of narrative and symbol, we are deprived. And so the ache for meaning goes unrelieved. "The short space of sixty years," as Tocqueville put it, "can never shut in the whole of man's imagination; the incomplete joys of this world will never satisfy his heart." The extra decade or two of life expectancy that we have tacked onto Tocqueville's projection does not vitiate his point.2
I was exposed to three different understandings of "truth" during my formal education in America and Israel, and these various epistemologies or truth-paradigms help me to appreciate Nursi's efforts to find a sacred synthesis of science and religion, reason and faith, law and sacred story, Western philosophy and Eastern wisdom. First, as a student of the natural sciences, I adopted the paradigm of rationalist empiricism, leaving metaphysics to the mystics. Then, as a seminary student at Harvard, I explored metaphysics and religious experience, trying through my studies to integrate the rational mind and the devotional heart. Finally, at my Jerusalem yeshiva, I was offered an approach to sacred texts and traditions that was the expression of a holistically consecrated lifestyle. This lifestyle, very similar to that of a devout Muslim, puts the willful, even joyful, performance of Divinely revealed commandments above theological claims.
In Israel I got the opportunity to bring all of these sensibilities to bear in the two areas of my work: Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations and Arab-Jewish peacebuilding. Israel, like Turkey, is a laboratory for exploring the interrelationships among different aspects of culture and society: religion, ethnicity, education, state governance, the interplay of political groups and interests, and international relations. At the moment both countries see themselves as democratic republics modeled on the Western parliamentary system. The founders of both republics saw their countries as bastions of Western political liberalism, relegating "superstitious" religion to the margins and eventual oblivion. The remythologizing and skewing of collective identity in each case came with enormous cultural costs. In both countries, there are self-designated religious factions struggling against the secularist paradigm and vying for political influence. Some of these political movements or parties are comfortable with democratic norms, while others wish to replace the relative "chaos" of free elections with the "order" of a theocratic regime upholding orthodox religious law. The clash of worldviews and political aspirations creates enormous tensions in both countries. And the internal frictions are compounded by uneasy, or even hostile, relationships with neighboring countries. In both cases, the political instability and resulting insecurity make the military a strong factor in national policy-making.
Nursi's own experience as a military officer in the First World War, commanding his students in combat against the Russians, preceded his illustrious career as public intellectual and teacher. At the very end of his life, in 1960, he composed a final ders (instructional lesson) for his followers, in which he wrote:
Our duty is to act positively; it is not to act negatively. It is solely to serve the cause of belief in accordance with Divine pleasure, and not interfere with God's concerns. We are charged with responding with patience and thanks to every difficulty we may encounter in the positive service of belief, a consequence of which is the preservation of public order and security...For the essential matter at this time is "jihad of the word." It is to form a barrier against the moral and spiritual destruction, and to assist internal order and security with all our strength...External aggression may be met with force, for the enemy's possessions and dependents are like booty. But this is not the case internally...External and internal jihad are completely different. Almighty God has now given me millions of true students, but internally, we shall only act positively to maintain public order and security.3
By 1960, Nursi and his movement were no longer deemed a mortal threat to the Turkish state apparatus, so he was no longer subjected to the harsh prison conditions of his earlier years. Yet the adversarial relationship between Muslim religiosity and the established secularist ideology remained. Nursi was strongly convinced that atheism, communism, and anarchy threatened not only Turkey but humanity as a whole. Despite this perceived clash of ideologies on a global scale, Nursi rejected a militant, revolutionary doctrine and tactics. He retained his hopeful conviction that Islam, through the word-power of the Holy Qur'an and his own Risale-i Nur writings, would prevail nonviolently against the tides of materialism, atheism, and secularism.
When I read Nursi's farewell lesson to his followers, I was deeply moved. The strength of his faith, his capacity to forgive his long-time persecutors, his hopeful outlook on the future-all of these made me yearn to see similar spiritual leadership in Israel and world Jewry. In Israel today we see ominous signs of religious extremism, threatening to erupt into civil war among Jews. Similar internal hostility, with religious militants and their rabbinic sponsors exacerbating the tensions, preceded the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in November, 1995. Although the immediate issue fueling ill will among Israeli Jews is the prospect of territorial contraction (withdrawal from the occupied Gaza Strip and at least part of the West Bank), the deeper and ongoing clash is between two opposing visions of what Israel as a Jewish state ought to be. It is simplistic to label the two camps as "secular left" versus "religious right"; nonetheless, there is a documented correlation between religious observance, on the one hand, and nationalistic fervor coupled with opposition to territorial concessions, on the other.4
During the 1980's, I directed the religious peace movement in Israel, called Oz veShalom-Netivot Shalom. This name came about when two relatively small movements of religious Jews joined forces in 1982-83. The first group, Oz veShalom (meaning "Strength and Peace," from Psalms 29:11), originated in 1975 among a group of religious academics associated with Bar-Ilan and Hebrew Universities. The second group, Netivot Shalom ("Paths of Peace," from Proverbs 3:17), sprang from a group of religiously observant soldiers who had fought in the Lebanon War of 1982. Having seen some of their friends killed or maimed, they organized an anti-war, pro-peace movement of religious Jews who spent part of their time in the army and the rest of their time studying Torah texts in special academies (yeshivot hesder) for soldiers fulfilling their mandatory service in the Israel Defense Forces. (These religious soldier-scholars came to mind when I first read of Nursi's students forming a militia under his command in World War I).
The Oz veShalom-Netivot Shalom movement has tried to be a bridge between the two polarized Jewish camps, the "secular left" (represented by the extra-parliamentary movement known as Shalom Akhshav, Peace Now, and other protest groups) and the "religious right" (primarily the settler movement Gush Emunim, Bloc of the Faithful). We in Oz veShalom-Netivot Shalom viewed both camps as authentically Jewish, but only partially so. The religious settlers feel a loyalty to the holy Land of Israel and make material sacrifices in order to live in isolated enclaves among hostile Palestinians, but they are blind or apathetic to the high toll in lives and suffering inherent in their religious chauvinism. The secularists on the left view justice and peace as higher values than control over the whole land. Our religious peace movement tried to offer an alternative to these two opposed positions by creating a sacred synthesis of these different Jewish values, with the preservation of human life (pikuach nefesh) affirmed as the highest imperative in the Jewish legal-ethical tradition. All of the positions across this spectrum (left and right, secular and religious) can be labeled as "Zionist," including my own. I know that the word "Zionism" evokes negative associations for many people, so I have to clarify what I mean by it. Rooted in the vision of messianic redemption revealed through the Hebrew prophets, it refers to the land and people reunited after centuries of exile, a homecoming not only in demographic or political terms but, more essentially, a spiritual renewal of the people and an expression of its essential vocation. Part of that vocation is to consecrate the land, and also the time dimension, through acts of justice and lovingkindness. Sadly, the ongoing conflict in the land, which evokes existential fear and intense anger, has deflected most Jews from this sacred vocation. For those of us in the Israeli religious peace movement, the "Zionist" dimension of our position includes a commitment to defend Israel as a Jewish state in the face of deadly and determined enemies, but at the same time it affirms the equal right to self-determination of the Palestinian people in a state of their own and refuses to accept an oppressive occupation or harsh military actions in the name of "security." For us, peace is a necessity not only to save lives threatened by violence, but also to safeguard our religious tradition against distortion and contamination by extremists.
I need not elaborate further on the political situation in Israel, nor on the principles and activities of our religious peace movement. What is relevant to this discussion is the parallel I see in the experiences of Said Nursi and his followers. Nursi had a beatific vision of humanity under God reconciled to one another through the revealed wisdom of the Holy Qur'an, made more accessible in our age through his Risale-i Nur teachings. In his final ders, he wrote:
...thanks be to God, a Qur'anic miracle, a lesson of the Qur'an called the Risale-i Nur, has begun to spread among the heroic Arab and Muslim peoples. Alluded to by the All-Wise Qur'an, and in the Arabic and Turkish languages, it will save this age. Just as sixteen years ago it had saved the belief of six hundred thousand people, now it has been established that the number exceeds millions. That is to say, just as the Risale-i Nur has been the means of saving mankind from anarchy to an extent, so it has been the means of uniting the Turks and the Arabs, the two heroic brothers of Islam...5
Given the residue of hostility between Arabs and Turks stemming from the Arab alliance with Britain against the faltering Ottoman Empire almost a century ago, and given the good relations today between Turkey and Israel (which breed suspicion, and considerable anger, in the Arab world), Nursi's vision of Turkish-Arab reconciliation seems unrealistic, or truly messianic. But history is full of surprises, as the recent seemingly miraculous transformations in South Africa, Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union have demonstrated.
In this regard, Nursi's commitment to nonviolent social change demonstrates his profound spiritual understanding of how societies are transformed, and how the means used to effect positive transformation must be nonviolent, lest the goals be undermined and the outcome contaminated by mass slaughter and lasting trauma. Nursi also appreciated how the interior life of religious activists has to remain above the temptations of power politics. He wrote in his last ders that "internal jihad of the word is to work against the moral and spiritual devastation. It is not material or physical service that is needed, but non-physical and moral. For this reason we do not interfere with politicians, nor have politicians any right to busy themselves with us!"6
This may sound naïve to the political activist or the community organizer, working to build a coalition of progressive forces. But Nursi appreciated that the ideological energies that fuel modern politics, everywhere, can easily distract the religious devotee and detract from the effectiveness of his/her efforts. He advocated a slow process of gradual consciousness-raising, a spiritual and educational evolution rather than a political revolution. His long-standing aspiration to create a new kind of university (Medresetu'z-Zehra) in eastern Turkey, one that would integrate the natural sciences with Qur'anic tradition and bridge the divide between the Christian Occident and the Muslim Orient, was a central pillar of the new edifice he was trying to build. In Israel today, Bar-Ilan University outside Tel Aviv might serve as a parallel to what Nursi dreamed of creating. It is one of the hallmark achievements of religious Zionism: a modern university excelling in the sciences and humanities, while at the same time offering programs of study in the classical Jewish sources. Its logo merges a microscope with a Torah scroll. Israel is the natural place for such a Jewish university, but the philosophical origins of this approach to education lie in the "Torah-and-Science" (Torah u-Mada') orientation of the 19th-century rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, a venerated leader of the Frankfort, Germany, Jewish community.
In our own time, a renowned rabbinic scholar who bridges the worlds of the academy and the yeshiva is Adin Steinsaltz. He has been hard at work in Jerusalem for years on a monumental task: producing an edition of the central rabbinic work, the Babylonian Talmud, in conversational Hebrew for readers without any classical yeshiva training. For Rabbi Steinsaltz is convinced that the future of Jewish culture depends on the ability of Jews to seriously engage the Talmud (written for the most part in Aramaic). For the overwhelming majority of Jews, including Israelis, the attractions and distractions of the electronic age have caused them to lose the textual connection to their religious heritage. Bible study in Israeli state-secular schools has, to a large extent, been desacralized; the Scriptures are presented as a major historical and national treasure alongside other great works of literature. The result is that most Israelis read neither the Bible nor the Talmud in their leisure time.
Rabbi Steinsaltz has assumed the task of bridging the universe of the Talmud and the postmodern sensibility, making ancient rabbinic debates come alive for Jews molded by the arts and sciences of the modern academy. Along with the traditional commentaries of Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo bar Yitzhak, 1040-1105) and later interpreters called the Tosafot; points of Jewish law (halakhah) linked to their sources in the text; cross-references to a wide range of rabbinic literature; and stories about the Talmudic personalities cited, Rabbi Steinsaltz includes in his Talmud edition scientific terminology and visual images that clarify some of the more obscure passages in the text. In addition to his running Hebrew translation of the Aramaic text, which is itself an eclectic commentary, Steinsaltz offers tabular summaries of the different rabbinic interpretations, his own introductions and summaries of each chapter, plus a synopsis of each tractate.
In an interview I conducted with Rabbi Steinsaltz in 1983 (for an article in ARIEL magazine, published by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs7), this vibrant and unassuming teacher with sparkling eyes, red beard, and elfin charm told me: "I am trying to create a unified and homogeneous work, faithful to the original text but obviously colored by my own comprehensive approach and my fascination with particular details." Steinsaltz's training in the exact sciences is evident in his many references to astronomy, biology, physics, and archaeology.
Rabbi Steinsaltz exhibits the same degree of dedication and persistence that Said Nursi displayed in an earlier time. And their aims are similar: to stimulate a spiritual renewal of the people in a secular age where "scientism" is the reigning paradigm of truth. For his part, Steinsaltz believes that a Jewish spiritual/cultural renaissance is both necessary and possible-not a "reformation" that whittles away at the halakhic (legal-ethical) core of Jewish faith, but a reinterpretation of the classical sources on a scale much broader than that defined by the religious establishment, especially in Israel. And at a time when many spiritually hungry Israelis are looking to the Far East (especially India) for inspiration, Rabbi Steinsaltz is offering Jews an inviting taste of their own tradition, in accessible form. Since Judaism, like Islam, is a communal framework for structuring a just and compassionate society, Steinsaltz's hope is that his efforts will help revitalize collective Jewish life, especially in Israel. Said Nursi had the same vision for Turkey, and his Risale-i Nur was offered as a way to make the Holy Qur'an accessible and believable to those who saw in rationalist philosophy or the natural sciences the primary arbiters of truth.
Here is another excerpt from my interview with Rabbi Steinsaltz:
The Bible is written in the highest tones possible. It is virtually shouted as a prophetic monologue, not a two-sided conversation. It is an emotionally-charged book with a clear-cut message. Even if most people tend to read it selectively and tune out the prophetic critique of their own lives, they are supported emotionally in their own belief systems. Unfortunately, they are also susceptible to bombastic emotional appeals. They prefer simplistic solutions to complex, real-life problems. [In America today, there are many evangelical Christians who are similarly simplistic, dualistic, and escapist, looking forward to an Armaggedon battle that will see the defeat of God's enemies, including the Muslim world]. The Talmud, on the other hand, reflects a more sophisticated, dialectical orientation to problems, for it is built on differences of opinion juxtaposed with each other. The style of the Talmud exudes what I would call a "holy intellectualism," and the religious ideal behind it is to participate in Divine thought by searching for truth l'shma, for its own sake. One links up to a chain of rigorous minds, spanning the centuries, and one becomes a cell in the larger organism of the Jewish people. In this way, the daily issues are given a transcendent perspective and one is supplied with a spiritual rudder that helps maintain sanity despite all the oscillations of the soul. The rabbinic maxim that two contrary propositions can both be true, because they are both the "words of the living God," is the classic formulation of the dialectical stance which holds contradictions in creative tension, challenging you to wrestle with the arguments for both sides. To counter dogmatism and intolerance in public affairs, we must teach people how to assume critical distance from their own ideas, with the leavening humility that comes from Talmud study.8
In this statement Rabbi Steinsaltz ties together issues of religious identity and affiliation, criteria for assessing truth claims, pedagogical strategy for reading and applying sacred texts, and the broader implications for society. The same issues engaged Said Nursi in his time and place, and he developed similarly creative ways of addressing them and helping others address them, too.
In the earlier part of his life, the "Old Said" was active in political circles, trying to merge Islam with constitutional government. This took on even greater relevance and urgency once it was clear that the Ottoman caliphate could not last. As Nursi's biographer ??kran Vahide has written:
Nursi's support for constitutionalism was not limited to the theoretical; in the early days of the "revolution" he worked together with the Ittihad ve Terakki Cemiyeti (Committee for Union and Progress-[CUP]), giving speeches in Istanbul and Salonica explaining these concepts, which were alien to most of the people, and persuading them of their manifold benefits. Together with this, Nursi's main concern...was to emphasize the conformity of constitutionalism with the Shari'ah and to insist that the Shari'ah be made the basis of it.9
The Islamic legitimacy he granted constitutional democracy is parallel to the "kosher stamp" (hechsher) which some religious-Zionist rabbis gave to the democratic forms of governance adopted by the state of Israel. In ancient times, the Jewish communities in the land had been ruled by judges or monarchs. Jewish tradition through the centuries had no conception of democratic rule within a sovereign nation-state. But modern, largely European, models of governance won Jewish advocates during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, some of them rabbinic authorities who supported the Zionist movement to re-establish Jewish sovereignty in the Holy Land. The most famous of these was Rabbi Abraham Isaac Hacohen Kook (1865-1935), who served as Chief Rabbi in British Mandatory Palestine. Rabbi Kook saw the promised messianic redemption unfolding through the resettlement of the land by largely secularist-socialist Jews in communal agricultural colonies called kibbutzim and moshavim. Even though these Zionist pioneers neither prayed nor kept the rabbinically-ordained commandments, Kook saw them as fulfilling God's will. They were helping to create the infrastructure of a Jewish state, which would welcome the exiled Jewish masses home and usher in a spiritual renaissance of the people in their historic homeland.10
The Jewish experience of exile, and of homecoming, has no real parallel in Christian or Muslim tradition-although "exile" can be understood metaphorically, or existentially, and not only as the geographic displacement and dispersion of a whole people. Much could be said about Nursi's own experience of "internal exile" within secluded prisons in his native Turkey. He himself wrote about this sense of ghurbah, estrangement or alienation, and how it can be overcome through belief, trust, and patience.11 Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad sees in Nursi's successful personal struggle a model for other Turkish Muslims alienated from the secular state, as well as for Muslim immigrants in Western countries, who tend to feel marginalized and even threatened, especially after September 11, 2001. Nursi's commitment to nonviolent struggle, she writes, can offer hope to others:
Several of those who have written about Nursi consider him to be the only leader of a contemporary Islamic movement who did not propose political struggle as a means of social change. He is seen as promoting passive resistance grounded in the belief that the peaceful resolution of conflict with the enemy is crucial in the interest of saving lives that could be used in the dissemination of the Qur'an. The change he promoted was not cosmetic in nature; rather he called for a radical Islamic transformation of society, the creation of a truly Islamic order...
Muslims living in Turkey, where the state does not tolerate religious symbolism and insists that Islamists cannot participate in the political process, find that his later writings promote patient and peaceful resistance to oppression and persecution. It is these writings, from the pen of what he himself called "New Said," that have become central to their mission. They focus on Said, the man of peace who during the last phase of his life learned that struggle does not have to be physical. Victory is guaranteed in persisting to the end, in refusing to bow down.12
In Said Nursi, the scholar, teacher, and spiritual leader who inspired so many disciples, one can sense a transformative personality who lived a holy life transcending his locale and his time. Those of us who search for teachers to guide us towards integrity and faithfulness recognize such natural authorities by the consistency of what they profess and how they live. They are embodiments of what might be called "truth-in-the-person," rather than truth as a statement about reality. Jewish tradition includes many tales of such holy personalities, from the Hebrew patriarchs and prophets, through the lives of rabbinic sages, and more recently the examples of saintly Hassidic rabbis. Islam's references to the life of the prophet Muhammad (pbuh), classical Christianity's view of Jesus as the perfect, godly person, and Hindu stories about holy teachers or avatars, all attest to this universal tendency to see in such transformative personalities the embodiment of truth.
In trying to assess the lasting legacy of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, one must begin with the Islamic context in which he lived, thought, and wrote. And it is necessary to apply Nursi's teachings from decades ago to the present context of turmoil and militancy within different Muslim societies. ?erif Mardin has written:
I consider Said Nursi's thought to be one of the foremost assemblages of important ideas among Islamic thinkers. It is not simply Nursi's intellectualism and piety that touch the reader, but the deep human respect inherent in his ideas. It is appropriate to stress this characteristic of Nursi's work in a day and time when some display their attachment to Islam by wielding the gun.13
Nursi's teachings are clearly important for Muslims searching for truth and guidance in conformity with their own tradition. But it would be too limiting to restrict the relevance of Nursi's ideas to Muslim circles only. Christians and Jews can also learn from his example - as scholar, religious leader, and public educator. The size and international scope of the Nur movement today is one indication of Nursi's lasting legacy. As the movement grows, I hope that it will engage more Jews and Christians who are grappling with similar challenges. Perhaps the most crucial among them is: How can we best apply our spiritualities in the service of a more just and peaceful world, and how can we join forces across communal boundaries to bring it about?
*Professor Yehezkel Landau is a Faculty Associate in Interfaith Relations at Hartford Seminary. He received an A.B. from Harvard University (1971) and an M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School (1976). His work has been in the fields of interfaith education and Jewish-Arab peacemaking. He authored a research report entitled "Healing the Holy Land: Interreligious Peacebuilding in Israel/Palestine."
1. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, "'Jihad of the Word' and 'Positive Action,'" (Istanbul: S?zler Publications, n.d.).
2. Andrew Delbanco, THE REAL AMERICAN DREAM: A MEDITATION ON HOPE, (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1999), pp. 106, 107.
3. Nursi, op. cit., pp. 2, 3.
4. See, for example, Avishai Ehrlich, "Israel, Religion, and Peace," in ISLAM, JUDAISM, AND THE POLITICAL ROLE OF RELIGIONS IN THE MIDDLE EAST, John Bunzl ed., (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2004), pp. 166-189.
5. Nursi, op.cit., p. 6.
6. Ibid., p. 7.
7. Yehezkel Landau, "Adin Steinsaltz: Shuttling Between Heaven and Earth," ARIEL, Jerusalem, Number 54, 1983, pp. 57-67.
8. Ibid., pp. 66-7.
9. ??kran Vahide, "Toward an Intellectual Biography of Said Nursi," in ISLAM AT THE CROSSROADS, Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi' ed.,(Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003), p.6.
10. See, Abraham Isaac Kook, THE LIGHTS OF PENITENCE, THE MORAL PRINCIPLES, LIGHTS OF HOLINESS, ESSAYS, LETTERS, AND POEMS, Ben Zion Bokser trans., (New York: Paulist Press, 1978).
11. See Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad, "Ghurbah as Paradigm for Muslim Life: A Risale-i Nur Worldview," in Abu-Rabi', op.cit, pp. 237-53.
12. Ibid., pp. 245, 246.
13. ?erif Mardin, "Reflections on Said Nursi's Life and Thought," in Abu-Rabi', op. cit., p. 45.