Said Nursî : biography
Bediüzzaman Said Nursî (1878. – March 23, 1960), () commonly known as Bediüzzaman (Badi' al-Zaman), which means "The Wonder of the Age" was a Sunni Muslim Kurd theologian who wrote the Risale-i Nur Collection, a body of Qur'anic commentary exceeding six thousand pages. Believing that modern science and logic was the way of the future, he advocated teaching religious sciences in secular schools and modern sciences in religious schools.Said Nursi, Munazarat, p. 86 “The religious sciences are the light of the conscience; the modern sciences are the light of the mind; only on the combining of the two does the truth emerge. The students’ aspiration will take flight with those two wings. When they are parted, it gives rise to bigotry in the one, and skepticism and trickery in the other.” Nursi inspired a faith movement that has played a vital role in the revival of Islam in Turkey and now numbers several million followers world wide.
Said Nursi and the Republic of Turkey
Said Nursi's life, both while writing the Risale-i Nur (1925–48) and until his death in 1960, consisted of arrest and imprisonment, surveillance, and harassment. But he persevered. In the words of a person familiar with such anti-Said Nursi activities. Following is a brief chronology of this phase of his life:
· 1925-35: Kept under strict control at Barla, a very small, mountainous district, and forced to live alone.
· 1935: Arrested and imprisoned for 11 months with 125 students during their trial at Eskişehir Criminal Court.
· 1936-43: Following his release, began a 7-year exile in Kastamonu, where he spent the first 3 months at a police station After that, he was transferred to a house opposite to the police station.
· 1943: Arrested and tried with 126 students at the Denizli Criminal Court for having a treatise on God's existence printed secretly in Istanbul. He taught the other prisoner and produced his Fruits from the Tree of Light and other works on small pieces of paper torn from paper bags, which were then smuggled out. He was acquitted and exiled to Emirdag.
· 1948: Arrested in Emirdag with 53 students, and jailed for 20 months in Afyon prison. Now 72, Said Nursi endured solitary confinement in a cell with broken windows that were not fixed during the two harsh winters he stayed there. Sick and eventually poisoned, he had to serve his full term even though the Supreme Court had annulled his sentence. In 1956, they were declared innocent.
· In 1950: the multiparty system was introduced and restrictions on religion were relaxed. Said Nursi was arrested only once after this, and was acquitted by a unanimous decision.
· In 1960: He died on March 23, 1960 and was buried in Halil-ur Rahman Dergahı in Urfa, where Abraham is believed to have lived. However, on July 12, 1960 his body was removed from his grave by military junta of 1960 Turkish coup d'état and buried at an unknown location. His grave location is still unknown to the public., http://www.haber7.com, Erişim: 21.02.2013
Said's Later Life
He was finally released in 1949. In the last decade of his life he settled in Isparta city. After the introduction of the multi-party system he advised his followers to vote for the Democratic Party of Adnan Menderes which gained the support of the rural and conservative populations. Because Said Nursî considered communism the greatest danger of that time, he also supported the pro-Western orientation of the Democrats, leading to his support of NATO, CENTO and Turkey's participation in the Korean war. He tried to unite Muslims and Christians in the struggle against communism and materialism therefore he corresponded with the Pope and the Greek Orthodox patriarch. pg.441 In 1956 he was allowed to have his writings printed. His books are collected under the name The Collection Of Risale-i Nur (Letters of Light).
He died of exhaustion after traveling to Urfa. He was buried on the premises where according to Islamic beliefs prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) was born. After the military coup d'état in Turkey in 1960, a group of soldiers led by the later extreme right-wing politician Alparslan Türkeş opened his grave and buried him at an unknown place near Isparta during July 1960 in order to prevent popular veneration., Zaman His followers are reported to have found his grave after years of searching in the area, and took his remains to a secret place in an effort to protect his body from further disturbance. Now, only two followers of him know where he is buried. When one of them dies, the other one tells one more person the secret place of the grave, reducing the chance that the place be forgotten. Interestingly, [The Rays from Risale-i Nur Collection, Said Nursi] enough, he wrote in a treaty (risala), that no one should know where his tomb is. "The Risale-i Nur Collection" revealing his claimed personal level of closeness to God. Although in letters circulating between the disciples many have been narrated instantly and are to be found within published letters combined under books called "Lahikalar". There are a few of these published "Lahikalar" named after where Said Nursi resided.
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