بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
وَ بِهِ نَسْتَعِينُ
اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ وَ الصَّلاَةُ وَ السَّلاَمُ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَ عَلَى آلِهِ وَ صَحْبِهِ اَجْمَعِينَ
WHAT IS THE RISALE-I NUR?
What is the Risale-i Nur and what type of tafsir is it?
The Collection of Risale-i Nur explains and proves the haqiqahs of Qur’an in a manner that is compatible with positive science and answers the most fundamental questions of humanity such as:
"Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going? What is my duty? Where do all living things come from and where are they going? What are their essence and haqiqah?"
It answers these questions clearly and decisively and in an attractive style with beautiful expressions which enlighten and satisfy the rûh and mind.
What kind of tafsir is the Risale-i Nur?
Tafsir is of two kinds:
The first kind: These are the known tafsirs in which, the meaning of the passages, words and sentences are expounded, explained and proven.
As for the second kind of tafsir: It is to expound, prove and explain with powerful proofs the haqiqahs of the Qur'an regarding îmân. This type of tafsir is of great importance. The tafsir of the first known kind may sometimes refer to this aspect in brief form. The Risale-i Nur, however; is a ma’nawî tafsir that takes directly this second kind as its basis, silencing obstinate philosophers in peerless fashion.
The Risale-i Nur, far from being a subjective theory or view, is a collection of works presented for the benefit of humanity which explains the haqiqahs of our holy book, the Qur'an, which is a guide for millions of people every century, rationally and objectively.
The Risale-i Nur is a tafsir with nûr of the Qur'an âyahs. It consists of proofs relating to the haqiqahs of îmân and tawhîd. It has been prepared for the understanding of every class of people and is equipped with the positive sciences that persuade even the most scrupulous. It addresses everyone from the lowest to the highest social class and compels the most obdurate philosopher to surrender.
The Risale-i Nur is a collection of the books of Nûr. It comprises one hundred and thirty works which are in the form of large and small risales. It provides complete answers to the needs of our time; satisfying both the mind and the heart. It is the ma’nawî - not literal - tafsir of the Qur'an this century.
It proves the matters of îmân! All questions that come to mind, the levels of îmân from the atom to the sun, the wahdah of Allah, the reality of nubuwwah. It proves them! From the spheres of the samâwât and the earth; to the topic of malâikah and rûh; to the haqiqah of time; to the occurrence of the resurrection and the âkhirah, to the essence of death and whether it is the source of eternal bliss or misery. By addressing the intellect, logic and mind, it proves with decisive evidence the questions pertaining to îmân. By encouraging positive science this masterpiece persuades the mind and the heart and removes doubts with more decisive proofs than those used in mathematics.
“Bediuzzaman Said Nursî was held captive in the village of Barla under constant and extreme dhulm, oppression and surveillance. They distanced him from populated cities and abandoned him in an isolated village in order to suppress the vigour of Islamic devotion in his rûh, to silence him and not give him a voice and to prevent him from writing about matters of îmân and Islam. Barla was chosen as his place of exile with the aim of keeping him idle and preventing him from striving against irreligion and serving the Qur’an.
Bediuzzaman was successful in acting completely contrary to their plans. He was never idle for even a moment. Even in an isolated place like Barla, he wrote the Risale-i Nur, which gave lessons on the haqiqahs of the Qur’an and îmân and ensured they were secretly disseminated. This success and this triumph was a victory carrying great significance. For during that period of extreme irreligion, not even a single true religious work was allowed to be written. All efforts were made to silence and do away with religious leaders. Despite this, the irreligious could not do away with Bediuzzaman, and they could not prevent his publications of îmân and Islam that awakened the hearts and minds that had been numbed. Bediuzzaman’s achievement in publishing religious works during the twenty-five year period of extreme oppression and absolute despotism is unprecedented.
Bediuzzaman was exiled to Barla in the years of 1926-1927. These years also saw the early implementation of absolute despotism in Turkey which reigned for twenty-five years. The covert irreligious committees were pushing for their agenda “to destroy the Islamic rûh by banning shaâ’er one at a time and by confiscating all copies of the Qur’an and annihilating them. Realising that this plan would fail, instead they shaytanically devised and implemented the idea of, “implementing a plan that would make the future generations wipe out the Qur’an themselves, with their own hands thirty years later.” A reign of destruction and aggression to destroy Islam never before seen in the course of history was underway. In order to distance and deprive this nation from Islam, all ties relating to Muslim identity were being cut-off from the Turkish nation and children of this country, who for six hundred years, rather for a thousand years since the Abbasids had been the flag bearers of Al-Qur’an Al-Hakîm and challenged the whole world. This plan was gaining momentum. This was not a minor event, but a major and universal one. It was a large-scale program with such far-reaching consequences that it would have a direct role in the catastrophe befalling the îmân and belief and the world and âkhirah of millions of people – particularly the youths and the millions of innocent students. This was to have a direct consequence over the eternal lives of people in Anatolia up until the qiyâmah.
Throughout those years, terrible revolutions and destructions were being carried out against Islam, the Qur’an, and the life of the heroic nation, who, as testified by it thousand-year glittering history, has held the highest of exalted positions as the flag bearer of the Qur’an. A deliberate attempt was made targeting future generations and students for them to forget their shining history of a thousand years engaged in the jihâd of religion by the most renown army of the world and their esteemed ancestors buried in the history. By cutting off all their ties with history, the grounds were being prepared for an atheistic regime by deceptively using certain deceptive and apparently glamorised words.
The attempt by the covert communists, freemasons and atheists was to indoctrinate through a wide-scale shift in teaching and education, the dark principles from the swamps of irreligious philosophy, and the ideologies of “uncivilised” intellectuals and philosophers in place of the highest-level principles in material- ma’nawî development and civilization already present in the haqiqahs of Islam. The foremost ambitions of the enemies of Islam, in particular, the British and French, was to materially and ma’nawî exploit and deteriorate the Islamic world and to distance the heroic Turkish nation from any religious ties. The plan was to bring its customs, traditions and morality down to estate completely contrary to Islam. Unfortunately, the implementation of these plans was underway.
Thus, the years during which Bediuzzaman Said Nursî commenced his fervent work of writing the Risale-i Nur as a hero of Islam striving for the service of îmân and Qur’an in Anatolia, saw the beginning and establishment of an extremely terrifying period of atheism never before seen on the face of the earth. This is why it is necessary to keep in mind these terrifying times when looking upon Bediuzzaman and his service with the Risale-i Nur. For in these unprecedented conditions an atom’s weight of service was as valuable as a mountain. The smallest service would yield great merit and result.
Thus the Risale-i Nur emerged as a product and result of responding to that terrifying and critical era. During a defeat sting period in which destruction of religion reigned for twenty-five years, the author of the Risale-i Nur stood alone as the greatest hero in the field of religious jihâd. Showing the way to humanity he became a perfect guide calling the Ummah of Muhammad (asm) to the shore of salvation (Dâr as-salâm). Moreover, it has been attested decisively by the times, conditions, and demonstrated to all observers that the Risale-i Nur was the be a diamond sword of the Qur’an. Dusting such a period in which distressful, catastrophic extremities were being established and under the toughest conditions set forth by atheistic efforts, with the ‘inâyah of Haqq, the Risale-i Nur written by Bediuzzaman was tantamount to an indestructible standing splendidly against the spread of unbelief. Silencing the lost atheistic philosophers, the Risale-i Nur demonstrated with its irrefutable rational proofs and logical evidences those philosophers, such as materialism and naturalism against religion, as baseless, bâtil and impossible to the degree that it is inconceivable. By defeating kufr al-mutlaq, it brought the invasion of unbelief to a halt.
Indeed, the Risale-i Nur which shone and rages against these historic oppressions, tortures, and the treachery afflicted on Bediuzzaman, is a sword of Islam for today and the future. The Risale-i Nur has become the beloved of hearts and rûhs, the beloved of lovers and lives. There necessary, lives have been sacrificed for this beloved. The Risale-i Nur has served and will continue to serve in the lofty position of royal crown and deliverer of humanity. The Risale-i Nur has arisen as ma’nawî miracle of the Qur’an anticipated in the last centuries. Foremost it’s author Bediuzzaman Said Nursî and millions of his students and brothers have circled themselves around this haqiqah of the Qur’an, illuminating themselves with its nûr, completely absorbing the haqiqahs of Qur’an and îmân found in them. They have strengthened their îmân and dedicated themselves to the mission of announcing this great truth the whole world and to read and serve it until their last breath…
…Indeed, the Risale-i Nur has a far more magnificent effect than the likes of the atomic weapons and bombs with which the nations of the world today depend upon and hold dearly to protect and defend themselves. Those who examine the Nur Risales with a bit of ‘ilm and basîrah, paying attention to the thirty-year long service of îmân in Anatolia by Bediuzzaman Said Nursî, the author of the Risale-i Nur, will see, appreciate and confirm this Fact. For those who have penetrated the haqiqah, the results of the services of the Risale-i Nur from the time of its emergence until today are magnificent and splendid to the utmost level and are worthy of billions of appreciations and congratulations.
By promoting tahqiqî îmân throughout this country, the Risale-i Nur has strengthened îmân. Striving against atheism, lack of îmân, dhalâlah and dissipation, it has positively defeated them. It has achieved in its victory in immense, universal and general religious jihâd. As a group of mujâhidîn; through an exalted, ma’nawî and acceptable mystery arising out of their utmost loyalty and unity, Nur students have become the means of attracting Allah’s rahmah. This group of mujâhidîn with ikhlas are just like a seed restricted in a narrow sphere, but carrying within it the natural capacity to spread across the globe like a Tûba Tree of Jannah. So too in the fourteenth Muhammadan century (asm) the Risale-i Nur which has come from the Qur’an, has spread in Anatolia and will continue to grow throughout the world of Islam and humanity.
Thus the Risale-i Nur on account of the sacredness it has gained by building its primary method on its extraordinary ikhlas and its serving the aqîdah of tawhîd and îmân, and its being a permeating and enveloping nûr of haqiqah, while having within its nature all the haqiqahs of Qur’an and Islam, has become the means of protecting this Nation of Islam. The Risale-i Nur is a Nûr of îmân and a Qur’anic wall in which from the view of Ilahî rahmah, holds back the threats of material and ma’nawî catastrophes and destructions.
In combating the opponents of îmân and Qur’an, the Risale-i Nur has taken not the path of force and debate, but of evidence and persuasion. In all it’s one hundred and thirty risales, the Risale-i Nur has directly shown the brightest aspects of haqiqah with full clarity and purity. Challenged by the ideologies of the world, it has demonstrated Islam as the Haqq Religion, and the miraculousness of the Qur’an, which is the sun of hidâyah for the would of humanity, with decisive and irrefutable evidences in the fields of ideas and philosophy. Moreover, it has proven with logical evidences that all princes relating to perfection, civilisation and development on earth have originated through prophets and the samâwî religions. Especially with the birth of Islam, under the leadership of the Islamic world, the world of humanity has been and in the future will be, saved from the swamp of ignorance.
The apparent fadhîlah, social benefit and the human values found in philosophy and hikmah are considered as follows: just like the rising sun dispels darkness and with its nûr and illuminated the night. So too the dawn of nubuwwah has produced reflection and flashes into the hearts and minds of humanity. These lights that can be seen in truthful philosophy and hikmah, the sciences and the arts, are the results of the reflections and manifestations of the sun of the Qur’an and the lamp of prophethood over al-’âlam of humanity.
Oh ‘âlam of Islam! Wake up and embrace the Qur’an. Direct both your material and ma’nawî being towards Islam…
…the years Bediuzzaman Said Nursî was kept in exile in Barla had begun writing the Risale i- Nur were, as it was briefly mentioned above, were significant years in which the smallest activities was measurable with mountains. Just as standing guard in the winter cold under extreme conditions for a single hour, is considered more rewarding than a year’s ‘ibâdah. In just the same way, to be able to write it even a single truthful risale on îmân and Islam during that awesome time, let alone writing a hundred and thirty risales, was of the equivalent value and significance of writing out of thousands of risales.
Yes, during that extreme time when irreligiousness was reigning, the people of religion were made to appear humiliated. In fact, the idea was to destroy the Qur'an completely and to destroy the aqîdah as it happened in Russia. But when it was put forward that this would bear the risk of a backlash by the nation of Islam, they gave up the idea and instead took the following decision: "With the new methods of education implemented in schools, we will indoctrinate the youths raised in them and they will do away with the Qur’an themselves. We will thus be cutting all ties this nation has with Islam." The originators of all of these horrifying plans of fitnah were the leaders and members of foreign irreligious currents who are the adversaries and enemies of the current progress in religion…
During the fiercest periods of that zandaqa and dhalâlah, Bediuzzaman Said Nursî was at all times monitored under surveillance and remained under extremely heavy conditions. The types of dhulm perpetrated by the Nimrods, Pharaohs, Shahhads and Yazide could not match why was endured by Bediuzzaman. And so passed the twenty-five years in this way. At that time the world of Islam was materially poor and was held captive by the colonial Powers. All of the secret committees of corruption and atheism were extremely active both in Turkey and the world of Islam. Their adherents showed them support by uniting against Islam.
Thus the Risale-i Nur is the product of a time of great significance, likened the significance of the times in which the battles of Badr and Uhud played such a vital role for the conquests of Islam across the globe during the Era of Bliss of the Prophet (asm). For its role, as the means of service of îmân and performing the ma’nawî jihâd of religion, carried such significance, that never before had it been witnessed outside of the Prophet’s Era of Bliss.
With one-hundred and thirty works of the Risale-i Nur he has written under captivity, exile and isolation, Bediuzzaman speaks with eloquence in the masjid of Anatolia and the mosque of the world of Islam, despite being inhibited in every way. He recites to the people of Islam the lesson he has received from the Qur’an. It is as if Bediuzzaman Said Nursî is on the summit of the minaret of the fourteenth Muhammadan century and of the twentieth century AD, crying out with fervour to his contemporaries, to the people of Islam and of humanity, and to the future generations lined up behind this century as a great murshid and a grand mujaddid ….
THE WRITING AND DISSEMINATION OF THE RISALE-I NUR
Bediuzzaman Said Nursî composed the Risale-i Nur under such difficult and fearsome conditions that he endured hardships no scholar in history has ever faced. Possessing an inexhaustible determination, a will and a love of service without being disheartened, he fearlessly and tirelessly spent all his energy with unparalleled patience, resilience and abnegation of the nafs. This culminated with his extraordinary work in writing the Risale-i Nur, which is presented as a perfect guide to illuminate and instruct the ‘âlam of Islam and humanity. It has and will always protect this nation and country from the dragon of communism, the calamity of masonry and irreligiousness. The writing of the Risale-i Nur, which consists of one hundred and thirty parts was finalised in twenty-three years.
Since the Nur Risales were written at a time of desperate need, every risale was the antidote and remedy that effectively cured the ma’nawî sicknesses of many people. Each person who reads the Risale-i Nur will find themselves engrossed in such a state of rûh in which they will study it with great longing and feeling their utter need for it as though that risale was written for themselves. Consequently, the works emerging served as bestowals of the Qur’anic haqiqahs that perfectly addressed the needs of all matters relating to îmân, Islam, the thought, rûh, heart and mind that would suffice for this age and ages to come.
The Risale-i Nur is a true tafsir of Al-Qur’an Al-Hakîm. The tafsir is not in sequence of the âyah; it addresses the âyahs expounding the haqiqahs of îmân needed in this age.
There are two types of tafsirs: The first is a tafsir of the passage and words of the âyahs, while the other explains and proves the meaning and haqiqahs of the âyahs. According to the testimony and verification of thousands of people of tahqîq and analysis, the Risale-i Nur is the strongest, most valuable, most brilliant and the most superb of this second type.
This way in which the Risale-i Nur was written and disseminated has no like or equal in history. Bediuzzaman Said Nursî was not proficient in handwriting so that he could duplicate his writings. He was semi-literate in writing. For this reason, he would dictate with great speed to the actives who would hastily write it out. By spending one or two hours each day, masterpieces have been composed in ten, twelve and sometimes one or two hours.
Multiple copies of the works by Ustadh Bediuzzaman Said Nursî were handwritten by his Students, who passed it from one to another to make further hand copies, with the final finished work Brought back to its author, who would then correct the mistakes of the scribes. While making these emendations he would do so without reference to writings of the original work. Even now, when correcting a work he has written twenty- five or thirty years ago he would do so (purely from memory) without looking at the original.
The people from the surrounding towns and villages would receive these works with great interest and enthusiasm and would disseminate them with their own handwritten copies.
Ustadh Bediuzzaman Said Nursî did not have recourse to any book other than the Qur’an and he wrote the Nur Risales without having any book beside him.
The ideal expressed by the late Mehmet Akif in the following couplet was an accomplishment bestowed upon Bediuzzaman:
“receiving ilham directly from the Qur’an,
We should make this century’s comprehension speak of Islam”
The nature of the Risale-i Nur’s dissemination was unparallel in history. It was as follows:
Being charged with the duty of preserving the Que’anic letters it was imperative that the Risale-i Nur be written out in the Qur’anic alphabet. The Qur’anic alphabet had been banned and publishing houses in that alphabet were abolished. Bediuzzaman was poor and had no connection with any worldly possessions. He possessed neither money nor wealth. Those copying out the Risales by hand were also able to secure only their most basic needs. Scribes of the Risale-i Nur were arrested and taken to police stations. There, they would be subjected to torture and cruelty. This was a time when a climate of fear and intimidation was on the rise and when the devout and lovers of haqq lost their lives on the gallows merely because they were religious. Levelling unjust pressures and propaganda against Bediuzzaman by the hands of the government everywhere a climate of terror was being instilled. People were left so afraid they could not find the courage to even approach Ustadh or receive from him a lesson of religion and îmân.
Under this regime of extreme oppression and absolute tyranny, the people of religion were condemned to absolute silence. Neither was it permissible to a truthful treatise that spoke about religious truths nor was it permissible to teach those haqiqahs to the people. Thus, Islam was being made out to be a body without a rûh; to teach the nature of the Religion of Islam and its principles was absolutely prohibited…
…Bediuzzaman Said Nursî remained in Barla for a period of eight years. Most of his time would be spent in the countryside among orchards and gardens. He would retreat to the unfrequented mountains or orchards about two or three hours’ distance, and would write the Nur risales while also emending the duplicated copies of his work sent to him by the scribes in Isparta and its regions. Within a single day, he would be busy with emendation and travel distances of up to four to five hours by foot and allocate in the same day three to four hours to his writing. In most cases, he would also prepare his own meals.
During those times the early students yearning for the Risale-i Nur would be copying risales out by scribing in forty different places. Loading these books on his back, Ustadh would take them to the mountains, orchards and gardens, complete their emendations and return to his residence. Remaining in forced exile he was subject to the most extreme oppression of the time and was banned from having to see anybody. However, within these abject conditions, he reached an inexhaustible wealth. For he was writing out the truths of îmân resonating from the Qur’an that would illuminate and guide the ‘âlam of Islam and humanity, and was at the same time working for its dissemination. His sole preoccupation became his works (risales).
A day will come and these works will spread across Anatolia, reach the centres of the ‘âlam of Islam and attract the gazes of the people of politics, shatter the ideologies of irreligion and kufr, which were intended to be implanted within a nation that for centuries was the flag bearer of the ‘âlam of Islam and serve as a barrier against the invasion of this country by the currents of the people of kufr, the people of dissipation and the people of dhalâlah, which consist of the ma’nawî collective personality of the taghûts of dhalâlah. They will be the means of the procurement of eternal salvation and happiness for future generations.
Thus, in regard to being inspired and permitted by Allah to prepare the grounds for a most magnificent event in history, and with respect to his undertaking a duty with such sacred significance, Bediuzzaman could be considered the world’s happiest and the most fortunate of his time. He was never shaken even in the minutest way to give up his ideals, goals and personal attire. On the contrary, he carried the torch of hidâyah to illuminate the beliefs of the present world and dispel the darkness. He was in a great struggle because his duty and service were integral to the happiness and prosperity of all of humanity in both worlds.” Biography (174)