Dictionary / Arabic - Turkish Terminology

FITNAH – فتنة


Literally: A temptation. Any tempting thing. A trial. A proof. A test. A sedition. A disorder. An intrigue. An intriguer. To rise in sedition. Dissension. Kufr. One literal meaning of fitnah is melting silver and gold to separate them.

As an Islamic term: Fitnah is anything that deviates the heart and mind from Haqq and Haqiqah.


It may then be asked: "What was the hikmah in the awesome and bloody fitnah that was visited on blessed Islam and the luminous Age of Bliss, and what aspect of rahmah was there in it, for they did not deserve such distress?

The Answer: Just as a heavy spring rainstorm stirs into action the potentialities of all the varieties of plants, seeds, and trees, and causes them to develop, so each blossom in its particular way and performs the fitrî duties, so too, the fitnah visited on the Sahâbah and Tâbi’în stirred their potentialities into action, which were all different and like seeds; it spurred them on. Exclaiming, "Islam is in danger! Fire! Fire!", it put fear into all the groups and made them hasten to protect Islam. According to its abilities, each of the groups shouldered one of the numerous different duties of the Islamic community and strove in utmost earnestness. Some working for the preservation of the Hadiths, some for the preservation of the Sharî'ah, some for the preservation of the haqiqahs of îmân, some for the preservation of the Qur'an, and so on; each group undertook a particular duty. They strove in performing the duties of Islam. Numerous multicoloured flowers opened. And through the storm, seeds were cast to all the corners of the most extensive ‘âlam of Islam; half the earth was transformed into a rose-garden. But sadly, together with the roses, the thorns of the ahl al-bid’ah appeared in the garden.

It was as if the Hand of Qoudrah had shaken that era in wrath, rotated it with intense vigour, and electrified the men of zeal. Through the centrifugal force of that movement, a great many enlightened mujtahids, luminous muhaddisîn1 , holy hâfidhes, asfiyâ and aqtâb were flung off and caused to emigrate to the remote corners of ‘âlam of Islam. It fired with enthusiasm all the people of Islam from East to West and awakened them to the treasures of the Qur'an.” The Letters (131-132 )


 “It is understood from the riwâyât of certain Hadiths that what will play the most fearsome role in the fitnah at the âkhirzaman will be women and their fitnah. Yes, just as it is related in the histories that in olden times a group of soldiers composed of warrior women called ‘Amazons’ were extremely skilled in war, so in just the same way at the present time, the most fearsome of the group in the war of dhalâlah of zandaqa against Islam, the commandership of which has been given to shaytan through the scheming of the nafs al-ammarah, is half-naked women, who with their bare legs -those ghastly knives- attack and assault the people of îmân. By striving to close the road to marriage and widen the road to houses of debauchery, they take many people’s nafs captive and wound their hearts and rûhs with kabâir. Indeed, they kill some of those hearts.

As a perfect punishment for displaying them to the desirous gazes of those who are non-mahrams, those knife-like legs become the logs to fuel Jahannam and will be the first to burn. And since such women have lost their claims to trustworthiness and loyalty in this world, they are no longer able to find suitable husbands, which by their creation they want and of which they are in great need by their fitrah. Even if they do find one, it only brings them trouble. It is understood from some Hadith even that as a result of this situation, at the âkhirzaman because marriage will be neither sought after nor observed in some places, women will lose their value to the extent one man looks after forty women.” A Guide For Youth ( 29 )


“The reality of the fitnah at the âkhirzaman appeared to me. It seemed to me that its most fearsome and attractive aspect of that fitnah would spring from the shameless faces of women. Negating free choice, it would cast people into the flames of dissipation, like moths, and make them prefer one minute of the life of this world to years of eternal life.

Another day while watching the street, I noticed a powerful example of that fitnah. I felt great pity for the young people I saw. While thinking: “These unfortunates cannot save themselves from the fire of this attractive fitnah which attracts like magnets,” A Guide For Youth ( 24 )


“There is a riwâyât: "The fitnah of the âkhirzaman will be so terrible that no one will be able to restrain their nafs." It is because of this that for one thousand three hundred years, on the command of the Prophet (asm), all the Ummah has sought refuge with Allah from that fitnah, the phrase of  مِنْ فِتْنَةِ الدَّجَّالِ وَ مِنْ فِتْنَةِ آخِرِ الزَّمَانِ2 became the wird of the Ummah after seeking refuge from the torments of the grave.

Allahu a'lam bissawab3 an interpretation of it is like this: the fitnahs will draw nufûs to itself, captivating them. People will join it voluntarily, indeed, eagerly. For example, in Russia, men and women bathe naked together in public baths. And because by fitrah women have a strong propensity to show off their beauty, they willingly throw themselves into that fitnah and are led astray. The men too, by their fitrah enamoured of beauty, are defeated by their nafs, and with drunken joy, fall into the fire and are burnt. Holding a fascination, the amusements, kabâir and bid’ahs of the times such as dancing and the theatre, draw those who perform ‘ibâdah to their nafs around them like moths, intoxicating them. But if this occurs through absolute compulsion, the will is negated and it is not even a sin.” The Rays ( 105 )


Bediuzzaman realised that an important part of what the riwâyats reported about the individuals and terrifying characters to come at the âkhirzaman had already emerged. He had already written an interpretation (ta'wil) on these Hadiths in Istanbul before the declaration of Freedom, and now saw on them on the stage of al-‘âlam of Islam and humanity. He once again decided to act in conformity with the recommendations of the Hadith which guide the Hizb al-Qur’an4 with the words “If you reach that age, know that one cannot achieve victory over them through politics. One can only respond with the nûrs of the miraculousness of the Qur’an, which is like a ma’nawî sword

Having found no opportunity to work cooperatively in Ankara, he rejected the list of offers like the Deputyship in the Grand National Assembly, his previous role with the Dar al-Hikmah al-Islam, General Preachery in the Eastern Provinces.” Biography (156)


1 (‘Ulamâ of Hadith)

2 (from the fitnah of the dajjal and from the fitnah of the âkhirzaman)

3 (Allah knows what is best)

4 (Party of the Qur’an)

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