A Real Opinion About Sai̇d-i̇ Nursi̇

Muhammad Said-i Nursi:

1. He supported the Constitutional Government (Meşrutiyet) and he was a Republican.

2. He was a liberal - supporting freedom

3. He supported social economy (he was egalitarian), besides supporting Islam Religion.

He said in his book called “The State Philosophy” that the reason why the Muslims were in this condition was “the selfish, rich Muslims who think of only their own benefits”.

He was also mystical (Sufi) in addition to supporting Sharia. He led a spiritual, saintly life that was not secular. When he died, there was only 6 Lira in his pocket. He owned nothing material. He was a mystic. Said-i Nursi Efendi used the principle of philosophers and scholastic theologians: “deduction by analogy”, which was the principle of Logic, in the struggle against materialist Philosophy. He chose the way of answering with the method of rationalists. He used deduction and induction such as exemplifying, simile, showing evidence in defining a reality or a concept.

Said-i Nursi Efendi said: “The struggle against materialist philosophers can be done in this way.” He reciprocated them with the same guns they used. This is also correct. He directed his aspirants, his disciples towards his method (with his own words) as he was the man of action. That is to say, he motivated them. For these reasons, he wanted to make his students to devote themselves to himself and to rationalist method and also to encourage them saying that the sheikhs of tekke would not cope with these philosophers and a scientific struggle was inevitable with these materialists. He said very pretentious words in some places in order to keep his aspirants in his doctrine.

For example, he said: “If the Personalities such as Jafari Sadıq, Abdulqadir-i Geylani and İmam Rabbani had lived in my time, they would have chosen my method”. This saying of him is very pretentious and he talked challengingly as it cannot comprise, involve the scholars and the wise people who knew physical, theoretical, philosophical and very high spiritual knowledge thoroughly and also acquired the knowledge of “Ledunni”. Some of them are: Jafari Sadiq, Abdulqadir Gilani, Imami Rabbani, Ahmed Yesevi, Sayyid Ibrahimi Dusuki, Halid Ziyaeddin, Hasan al Basri, Junayd al Baghdad, Marufu Kerhi, Sirri Saqati, Shabeddini Suhreverdi, Nejmeddini Kubra, Hadji Beqtashi Veli, Hadji Bayrami Veli, Jalaladdini Rumi, Kuşadalı Ibrahim Efendi and Yunus Emre.

These personalities are very exalted Scholars and wise Gnostics whom our Prophet defined as: “The Scholars of my People are like the Prophets of the Children of Israel”. (Kırk Hadis, Sadreddin Konevi, tans. By Harun Ünal, Vahdet Publ. 1984-Ist.) There were some materialist philosophers at their time too. These materialist scholars were called as“Dehris” at that time. These great personalities I mentioned would fight against these Dehri philosophers -using the same method of philosophy- theoretically and by reason. They had been able to do this. Said-i Nursi Efendi said: “In the past, blasphemy was due to denial and ignorance but now it comes through science and knowledge so we should fight against it scientifically”.

In the World of Islam, there were some philosophers that defended blasphemy and materialism theoretically and through philosophy during the time of the personalities, I mentioned above. I mean that materialism is not something new. This contradiction of spirituality and materialism has existed since the Prophet of Adam and it will continue until the doomsday. For this reason, we do not agree with this opinion of Said-i Nursi.

This is his disposal in order to reach his aim, to show himself more superior than these personalities and to make his students to devote themselves to him and to his doctrine. We say again that it is a motivation, a tactic of him.

Now we are revealing a truth: When these Muslim great Sufi Saints, all of them are the Friends of God but they are at different ranks, reach the rank of Fenafillah (non-existing in existence) and Bekabillah (existing in Allah), which is called as annihilating in God, some of them are taught spiritual knowledge and wisdom. They are called as “Gnostics-the Wise”. A number of them are called as “Abstract Friend of God”. It means that all the Friends of God (Wali- Muslim Saint) are not a Gnostic. They had known themselves and their Lord but they were not given detailed knowledge and gnosis. The name of these saints in the inner world is “the illiterate”. They are illiterate Friends of God. Some of them are assigned with the duty of “sheikhdom-meşihat”. This duty involves training the aspirants in the way as they were trained. This teaching is called as“Seyri süluk- spiritual journey in the path of God by being purified from the carnal desires-nafs-”. They are called as “the Sheikhs of Tekke (tekke: place of repose)” in the History of Sufism. Or else, all the wise Sufi saints-the Friends of God used the power of Holy Spirit and mental power in them to defend God and to teach realities. They had used all the ways to explain and defend God.

As for this, we say that what Said-i Nursi said comprises, involves only the religious teachers of tekke. It cannot include the personalities such as Jafar-i Sadıq, who is the sixth Ahl al Bayt Imam, Abdulqadir Geylani (he is the religious teacher of all the mystics (Sufis), İmam Rabbani, Muhammad Naqshibendi, Muhiddin-i Arabi. The personalities like Ahmed er Rufai are both the religious teachers of tekke and very exalted wise scholars who acquired the spiritual Knowledge (Ledunni) and theoretical knowledge and evidences. It is very dangerous and wrong to make claims about them recklessly. As we said above, that is the personal disposal of Said-i Nursi Efendi in order to keep his students near him and to make them serve his aim. It is a motivation.

5. He supported the production of the sciences related to the technology of the age.

6. He was a keen opponent of Sultanate and Umayyads. He was greatly fond of Hz. Ali and Ahl al Bayt (the Family of the Prophet). He knew Hz. Ali as the Shah of Sanctity. He did not get on well with “Abdülhamid” because he was an opponent of Sultanate and he was not in good terms with “Sheikhulislam” as he was the opponent of Umayyads. Due to this, he had been put into Bakırköy Mental Hospital between 1906-1908 until the declaration of Constitutional Government with the agreement of Abdulhamid II and Sheikhulislam having proved that he was mentally ill. He was released from the Mental Hospital (from lunatic asylum) on the day of the declaration of the Constitutional Government by Talat Pasha.

Although Said-i Nursi Efendi was a learned man of Shafii sect, he was such a keen lover of Ahl al Bayt and he said he attained the munificence of Alawism. He did not say: “the munificence of Hz. Ali” but he said: “the munificence of Alawism”. He meant to say: “I am a scholar of the People of Sunnat but I am also an Alawi”. Said-i Nursi Efendi was a supporter, an adherent of Hz. Ali. He put the hadith, which our Prophet had said at Gadir Hum, into the second page of his book called “Hakikat Nurları”. This is called as “the Farewell Speech of our Prophet”.

Most of the theological scholars of the People of Sunnat had taken this hadith as “I am leaving and I am entrusting you two things; one of them is the Glorious Koran and the other is my Sunnat (customs, deeds)” but Said-i Nursi Efendi had put the correct form of this hadith into his book called “Hakikat Nurları”. The correct form is: “I am leaving and I entrust you two things - I am entrusting you the Koran -the Book of Allah- and my Ahl al Bayt”. There is also a hadith in the Sahih by Bukhari as “I am entrusting you my Sunnat too.” By this way, our Prophet entrusted us three things: The Glorious Koran, his pure Ahl al Bait and his Sunnat. Said-i Nursi Efendi had put this hadith into his book in this way. Ahl al Bait is: The Prophet of Allah, Muhammad Mustafa, Mother Fatıma, Hazrat Ali, Hazrat Hasan and Hazrat Husayin. These hadiths are also written in “Müsned” by Ahmed bin Hanbely, in “Sahih” by Müslim.

According to him, the real purpose of the Kings of the Umayyad was to abolish the Religion of Muhammad. However, Muawiyah bin Abu Sufyan did not succeed this when he met such a strong power-knowledge, piety and sword- : the King of Sanctity Hz. Ali, who is a great scholar, a pious man and the owner of a powerful sword “Zulfikar”. The other kings of the Umayyad also attempted this but they were not successful. Fortunately, the call to the prayer (ezan) and the Glory of Muhammad are continuing without interruption.

Hz. Ali made the calling to prayer of Islam to be announced eternally and everlasting. Hasan al Ashary and Muhammad Shafii also thought that Muawiyah bin Abu Sufyan and Amr Ibn ul As were rebellious. They are the ones who rebelled against İmam Ali (the True İmam, the True Religion). (The sources: They are written in the books called “Mezhepler Tarihi” by Abu Zehra, “Kelam İlminin Başlıca Meseleleri” by Taftazani and in “El Milel” by Şehristani)

Said-i Nursi Efendi had told the realities about Ahl al Bait. May Allah be pleased with him!

7. He was a member of the Committee of Union and Progress. He belonged to the Intelligence Service of the Private Organization. (This is taken from Talat Pasha Hatıratı (Memoirs) in Tercüman Newspaper owned by Nazlı Ilıcak)

8. He supported the National Struggle Movement and made the opening pray of the First Grand National Assembly. This event was confirmed with photographs. He was near Mustafa Kemal Pasha.

9. He was affected by Sayyid Cemaleddin-i Efgani in Islamic Movement. He appropriated his method which was“quantitative judgment -kemiyetçilik-” and he became contrary to the method of Muhammad Abduh, an Egyptian Scholar, which is “qualitative judgment -keyfiyetçilik-”, that was chosen by Mehmet Akif.

Quantitative method involves influencing the sovereign powers of that country (the Pashas of the Union and Progress Committee such as Talat, Enver and Cemal Pasha) and getting the control of the government from the top, which means,“to revolutionize”. Qualitative method involves establishing a pious society that consisted of qualified people through educating them. It means “evolutionary”, progressing from below to above.

This evolutionary method is the method of Sadrazam (Grand Vizier) Halim Pasha, Muhammad Abduh from Egypt and Mehmet Akif. After 1918 Sevr Treaty, these two sides; Said-i Nursi and his followers and Mehmet Akif and his followers both joined the National Struggle Movement altogether. They supported Mustafa Kemal strongly and they both (Akif and Nursi) helped the declaration of Republic in 1923. When the article “The religion of the state is İslam” was withdrawn from the Constitution in 1924, their way with Mustafa Kemal was separated and Mehmet Akif and Said-i Nursi were not included into the list of 150 people, who were sent to exile. However, Mehmet Akif went to Egypt either compulsorily or by his own will (the reason why he went there is still not known). Akif had lived in Egypt for twelve years until 1936. Said-i Nursi was made to live in Van, which was his hometown due to his service for the Union and Progress Committee and National Struggle. He was made to reside in his hometown to be gratified. (He was banished from İstanbul)

We see that Muhammad Said-i Nursi devoted himself to knowledge from 1924 to 1945, leaving politics. Yet, we see that he returned to politics by supporting Democrat Party Movement in 1945 when multi-party system started. He wrote a letter saying that he was near Celal Bayar and he supported the movement against İsmet Pasha. For this reason, İsmet Pasha banished him to Elmalı and said:

“Said-i Kürdi raised his head again (he rebelled) let him go away from the eastern provinces”. Nursi lived an exile around Elmalı and Isparta until his death and he was taken to law courts meanwhile. He died in Urfa in 1960.

Muhammad Said-i Nursi Efendi was a passionate Islam scholar who led a stormy life. He was a patriotic Muslim, a strong believer, and a well-intentioned person with his good and bad points. Whereas, those who attempted to represent him after his death did not have his faith, his piety, his mystic life style, his well intention, his fervent scientific struggle, his courage and his devotion.

I commemorate him with mercy and gratitude.

I say that he was also a patriot because he had never been in cooperation with foreigners (with foreign elements) against his opponents. He would continue in his way he believed to be correct even though by himself. He was a nationalist in this respect.

However, those that claim that they represent him got in touch with the centers of other nations and they are still doing this. They went even to their temples and they made friends with some atheists, materialists, freemasons and Christians without hesitation. They wanted to apply the quantitative method of Said-i Nursi inversely. That is to say, the method of Said-i Nursi was to use the sovereign powers- those who are at the top ranks- for his own aims. Their method is the cunning of seizing the sovereign powers at the top, but not ordinary people, hierarchically, oozing from below to above after the seizure of bureaucracy. Nevertheless, these cunnings turned out badly, it went wrong because the nationalist people at the summit are wide-awake and alert they are not foolish.

The quantitative method does not mean to educate people, it is to seize the people at the higher ranks and then to get the control of the government. Now, those who are attempting to represent Said-i Nursi Efendi want to make use of all the means in order to reach their aims, on the contrary of his patriotism. They do not hesitate to be in cooperation with atheists, non-Muslims and foreign centers and to benefit from them. They are “Makyavelists”. They say: “It is permissible to use all the means in order to reach the aim”, whether or not they are foreign elements. This is completely a non-nationalist action. It is a dangerous way for people and for the country and a wrong method. This is a harmful movement, which is not beneficial for the country, for Islam and Muslims.

What I have written so far can be discussed, but this is what I think because we love our country, we are nationalist and we can be accepted as the supporter of Akif. We emphasize on the path based on Love, Wisdom and Knowledge and the fight against one’s carnal desires before Shariat -Jurisprudence-, system and the religious fight. We chose the mystical path and support the opinion of Mawlana, Yunus and of all the Sufis, which is: “He who did not get rid of his own carnal desires (nafs) cannot save other people”. This is explained perfectly by Ziya Pasha as follows:

“Those are the people who give orders to the World,

there are a thousand kinds of faults in their houses.”


1. Mehmet Akif Ersoy supported neither Abdulhamid II nor the Union and Progress Party in his life and in his poems. He was an independent thinker and a great poet. (He is independent and neutral) He is strongly against the Pashas of Union and Progress Committee (such as Talat, Enver and Cemal Pashas). He declared his opposition against Abdulhamit and Sultanate with the following lines:

“He is a coward, who is even afraid of his own shadow and he start shouting,

He has deceived us for thirty-three years saying Sharia.”

(from Safahat by M. Akif Ersoy)

Said-i Nursi Efendi was also a fervent opponent of Sultanate and Abdulhamid. For this reason, as mentioned above, he was sent to Bakırköy Mental Hospital considering he was mad by both Abdulhamid and Sheikhulislam. Yet, he supported Union and Progress and its Pashas as he was a keen supporter of Constitutional Government. He was a member of the Union and Progress and he belonged to it. (It is taken from the Hatırat (Memoirs) of Talat Pasha in Tercüman Newspaper owned by Nazlı Ilıcak. Our source is the Tercüman Newspaper of Nazlı Ilıcak. It may be the old newspaper called Tercüman by Ilıcaks). In 1908, on the declaration of Constitutional Government, Talat Pasha released him from Bakırköy Mental Hospital. Said-i Nursi Efendi made a speech to the crowd gathered with the Pashas of the Union and Progress at Taksim Liberty Square:

“We ruined despotism and founded liberty

Damn with despotism, long live the legal Constitutional Government.”

The above lines definitely belong to Said-i Nursi Efendi.

We greet all the People and our Nation with the Inspirations from the Existence!

                                                                                                                        **Kazım YARDIMCI**

20th October, 2004