Bediuzzaman (1873-1960) and Two Stories
World renowned scholar, Bediuzzaman Said Nursi (1873-1960 per Official Autobiography, First Edition, 1958), was and continues to be one of the most phenomenal spiritual Masters of all time, and indeed, certainly the most extraordinary luminary of this millennium. His one-of-a-kind Masterpiece, The Risale-i Nur Collection, which translates into English as The Treatise of Light, consists of over 130 books and has been time tested for accuracy and trust by multiple disciplines. Translated into over 60 languages, Bediuzzaman’s Risale-i Nur continues to positively influence and benefit millions of people of all walks of life around the world and remains a growing phenomenon globally. His name, “Bediuzzaman” means “Wonder of the Age”. At the remarkable young age 15, he demonstrated publicly his unprecedented ability of winning all debates against multiple groups of the most eminent scholars in his region. Additionally, Bediuzzaman accomplished the academic excellence in only three months’ time, educating himself extensively and thoroughly in all the traditional religious sciences as well as most of the modern sciences. These are but a few of Bediuzzaman’s many exceptional abilities. His brilliance and superior genius, according to some, is likened to that of Albert Einstein.
Bediuzzaman Said Nursi devoted his entire life to helping and guiding people understand and obtain genuine belief in God. He was actively involved in public life teaching students, debating scholars, etc. This time is referred to as the “Old Said”. Bediuzzaman transitioned into the “New Said” shortly after WWI and withdrew altogether from public life and politics, concentrating instead on study and prayer. The New Said was a man of deep thought, contemplation and reflection. In 1925, he was unjustly exiled for life, though he committed no crime or misdemeanor. During his exile, he often suffered imprisonment and isolation. However, it was during these reflective years that he wrote his Masterpiece, The Risale-i Nur Collection. Bediuzzaman understood that the essential cause of the decline of religion was due to the weakening of the very foundations of belief. This weakening, along with the attacks on those foundations in the 19th and 20th centuries carried out by materialists, atheists and others in the name of science and progress led him to realize that the most urgent and overriding need was to strengthen, even to save, belief. What was needed was to expend all efforts to reconstruct the edifice of religion from its foundations of belief and to answer at the level of those attacks through peaceful dialogue or ‘war of the word’.
Serving the Risale-i Nur is a huge honor for all of us. According to one important student of Risale-i Nur who stated last year: “Mankind has been waiting for more than a thousand years for this amazing work to appear. And now it is here. [We must appreciate this.]” His name is Nusret Hoca, now 93 years old, from Agri, Eastern Turkey. As a Sheikh, he was teaching classical Islam to his hundred-plus students before knowing Ustad Bediuzzaman. After meeting Bediuzzaman, he saw the powerful cure of the Risale-i Nur and immediately started teaching it to all of his students.
Another Sheikh from Mecca-i Mukarrama, Saudi Arabia, stated two years ago when he was in Ankara: “Do you know why I am coming to Turkey? Because you have the Risale-i Nur and Bediuzzaman in this country. I have 50-60 students in Mecca and I am teaching the Risale-i Nur to them. The reason? The Qur’an says, ‘Do this!’, but it doesn’t say when, why, how or where. Bediuzzaman has these answers.” His name is Sheikh Al-Mas, the leader of the organization of the Descendants of the Prophet Muhammed in Mecca.
I just wanted to share these two important stories about the Risale-i Nur with our readers, fans and friends. Our hope is that the medicine of Bediuzzaman’s Masterpiece reaches the hearts and minds of all humanity.
Osman Birgeoglu, Ph.D.,
Director of Risale-i Nur Institute of America, Nur Publishers and Nursi School of Theology