Twelve Iraqi Islamic scholars from The Union of Sunni Scholars of Iraq were welcomed in Hayrat Foundation for a Risale-i Nur study from January 26th to January 31st 2015. Participant scholars told that they got great benefit from the whole program which included an intensive Risale-i Nur group study and visiting historical places of Istanbul. After the program, we asked them about Bediuzzaman Said Nursi and Risale-i Nur. We share with you the answers we got.
Interview by Rıdvan Abut
“This is the greatest pleasure that I can get.”
Yunus Subhi Hussein Alhamedani, Imam, Erbil
Imam Bediuzzaman is the reviver (mujaddid) of his age, very knowledgeable (alim) and one applying his knowledge into practice (amil); the light of belief manifests itself in his life, in himself and in his writings. He really deserves the nickname Bediuzzaman [meaning the wonder of the age]. Since I was 16 years old, I have been reading Risale-i Nur treatises. At the beginning, I had difficulty in understanding. I used to read a sentence that affected me so much and I found great pleasure in it that I was saying: “Doubtlessly this is the greatest pleasure that I can get.” As I was reading further, however, I was getting different pleasures in different sentences. I am 29 years old now. After getting a few lessons in this group study, I felt myself in a different world. Because, Risale-i Nur not only addresses the heart and soul but also it causes belief to be penetrated into reason and heart. In my opinion this should be the starting point for all Islamic services.
The distinctive feature of these blessed treatises is the intense meanings of its expressions. We do not see this aspect in many books. As Risale-i Nur treatises are read, meanings flourish. Every time you read, you understand new things. The essence of Risale-i Nur is belief. It strengthens belief by renewing it with its lessons. And the one who acquires this belief [iman al tahqiq] can protect himself [from disbelief and sins. Because the truths of belief that penetrated into heart do not corrupt easily.
It is necessary that whole world benefit from Risale-i Nur. Especially for the places in which there are troubles and factional unrests, Risale-i Nur is like medicine. Because Risale-i Nur connects human to the highway of the Qur’an. As far as I know, Risale-i Nur is not well-known in the Islamic world. Especially in Iraq it is known less. However, the entire world is in need of Risale-i Nur.
I wish Allah makes us and our children like the students of Risale-i Nur. In order to make use of this beautiful morality, I will introduce the students of Risale-i Nur to my students in Turkey. Hayrat Foundation is a pioneer [of the service of iman] and its experience is exemplary. May Allah grant you success and make your services continuous.
“We need it a lot.”
Dr Munir Hashem Al Ubaydi, The vice president of the Union of Sunni Scholars of Iraq
In every century, Allah sends a reviver (mujaddid) in order to revive the religion. Without a doubt Imam Bediuzzaman is the reviver of this century to revive the belief. Risale-i Nur awakened our benumbed faith in our hearts. It galvanized us into reading it in detail. It has a style that every Muslim can get great benefit. Risale-i Nur deals with belief and attainment of iman al tahqiq [critically verified belief]. It combines religious sciences and material sciences. And it causes the truths of belief we acquire to be put into practice. The main reason why Risale-i Nur service is continuous is that there is no material benefit among its students in the service of Islam. Everyone practice the lessons they got from their ustaz [i.e. Said Nursi] for the sake of Allah, and explain them to others, again, for the sake of Allah. This is a very important case. May Allah grant us this, too. We need it a lot. Especially at such a time mischief is everywhere, Risale-i Nur [helps] purifying human. From what I hear, female students of Risale-i Nur have the same spirit and self sacrifice as well. My Allah grant success to Hayrat Foundation. In a short time, inshaallah we’ll open a Risale-i Nur madrasa in Iraq; we need this very much.
“Whoever reads and understands these treatises can build a civilization.”
Muslim Ahmad Izzeddin, Imam, Bagdad
I knew Imam Bediuzzaman many years ago through his book called Isharat-al I’cjaz which I bought from a book store. After knowing him, my interest in Imam Bediuzzaman increased. Then I started to do research on him. He is truthfully Bediuzzaman. He who turns troublesome days into shining days through positive attitude is called nothing but Bediuzzaman. The experience of Risale-i Nur service is an experience that would rescue us from the difficulty that we have in Iraq. The students of Risale-i Nur in the past had saved themselves from their troubles through this experience. If Islamic countries use the same experience, they will be saved from all these difficulties and calamities as well. The experience of Nursi has thought us how to behave in the face of calamities and problems. Positive attitude, hope, love, and always being in touch… These are what we need a lot in Iraq. Islamic world is now experiencing very difficult days. The solution to these troublesome days and problems is in Risale-i Nur. Oh the students of Risale-i Nur! You are the ones that will make Risale-i Nur widespread. There is obvious difference between Risale-i Nur and other books. Risale-i Nur takes its readers to the gardens of truths of belief, and causes its readers to taste fruits of belief one by one.
The reason behind the continuity of Risale-i Nur service, I think, is its positive attitude and struggle against hopelessness. Whoever reads and understands these treatises can build a civilization with the help of Allah. And he obtains knowledge that can resist against the irreligious thought coming from the West.
With its studies and programs Hayrat Foundation is example for us and all Islamic movements. May Allah grant continuity! Their discipline and seriousness in the service attracted my attention very much. All endeavour to do things for the sake of Allah. They show the beauty of Islam in their actions and moralities. Through such programs these lights and this service will become widespread. Especially, the education of youths will revive the Islamic world.
“You brought me into life again.”
Adnan Mishal Javed El Anbar, Imam
Before I came here I was hopeless because of the oppression, war and mischief in my country. Hopelessness is everywhere in my country, or at least it seems to me that way. I came here and met with you, listened to Risale-i Nur. You brought me into life again. I got a great energy. The faith seeds that you planted in our hearts grew and yielded the fruits of hope. I want to confess frankly: Oh students of Risale-i Nur! I’m going back to my country with a great hope. Inshaallah, I will kill hopelessness in my county with the sword of لا تَقْنَطُوا (Do not despair) as you did. Risale-i Nur service has given such fruits in this country namely Turkey. It is my opinion that this service will give the result of the unity of Islamic world; because this service has the seeds of unity. Islamic world today is waiting for scholars that will raise the ummah. These scholars will be from among those who read Risale-i Nur which provides its readers iman al tahqiq. Through iman al tahqiq, scholars will take the ummah to shore of salvation inshaallah.
Risale-i Nur has started to become known but to spread it better and faster some NGOs of the Islamic world should be contacted.
In order to understand Risale-i Nur, it is necessary to study it in detail with an open heart and mind. We will inshaallah understand it. We are just at the beginning of the journey.
I see the students of Risale-i Nur like bees. Without any tiredness and weariness, they do their duties with a great hope. And the result of these hard works becomes cure for moral and spiritual diseases of society. Hayrat Foundation is doing great job. Its waqf persons [representatives] voluntarily serve for the sake of Allah without seeking any material benefit. May Allah grant reward for the services they have been doing.
“These lights should reach everywhere.”
Dr Salahaddin Mohammed En Naimi, Imam, Baghdad
I first knew Imam Nursi almost 25 years ago through one of the lectures of an Iraqi scholar Dr Muhsin Abdulhamid. The Imam attracted my attention a lot. Later, we have had the opportunity to meet you alhamdulillah. Risale-i Nur has thought me to re-consider my belief and to give more importance to ma’rifatullah, knowing Allah. I realized the levels of belief and the necessity of raising belief from taklid to tahqiq. Islamic world is very wide; it is essential that these lights should reach everywhere. Oh students of Risale-i Nur! This is your duty.
The beauty of Risale-i Nur is its compatibility with human nature and society’s need. All of its issues are accountable to reason. For this reason it is influential. Imam Nursi is truly Bediuzzaman with his life, knowledge and service. In fact, I see one more wonder. Oh students of Risale-i Nur! Your ustaz is Bediuzzaman; since you have brought this service up to now and now are reaping its fruits, you are Bediuzzaman too. Your ustaz is Bediuzzaman; since you have not looked for any political gain and any material benefit, you are Bediuzzaman too. Your ustaz is Bediuzzaman; since you have been preserving Islamic letters in difficult conditions up to now, you are Bediuzzaman too.
What provides continuity of these truths is that the truths in Risale-i Nur are from the Qur’an, you preserve Islamic letters and put Qur’an at the centre of your service. The students of Risale-i Nur are loyal to their ustaz, Imam Nursi. Their moral is the moral of Nursi. Their favour and kindness are the kindness and favour of Nursi. They are the nur [light] of Risale-i Nur. I want to tell the individuals of Hayrat Foundation that ‘May Allah be pleased with you. Your works are really very good and effective. May Allah enlighten your hearts, eyes, and chests.’ Amin.
“The one who reads Risale-i Nur in this age becomes a scholar.”
Dr Fuad Mahmud Atiyya, Imam
Imam Bediuzzaman is an ascetic and devout scholar. He describes himself as servant of Qur’an. He was just one man, but he did a service for entire ummah. I was really impressed by Risale-i Nur. I can summarize this impact in two points. Firstly, it raised our belief and bestowed a belief that increased our will power. For the second point, it enhanced our knowledge. It has taught us iman al tahqiq and how to be patient with and hopeful against calamities. These treatises address both reason and heart. It elevates human through double wings unlike other works which address either reason or heart only. However, Risale-i Nur addresses both.
Imam Bediuzzaman really deserves this nickname; because he has a marvellous intelligence and a strong memory. In addition, he comprehends the events in the correct way and he provides solutions for them. That is why, he is truly Bediuzzaman.
A service whose point of support is truths of the Qur’an never falls down. The most important point that makes Risale-i Nur long-lasting is its strong bond with the Qur’an. Its purpose is to strengthen the belief. The major solution for the calamities we’ve been confronting as ummah is the reinforcement of belief. Risale-i Nur is an interpretation of the Qur’an and an explanation of it in this century. The one who reads Risale-i Nur in this age becomes a scholar.
The students of Risale-i Nur set an example of model believer; their self sacrifice, abandonment of material world and relations with others remind the morals of the companions (sahabas). May Allah grant them success! They presented a very successful work. We haven’t seen before what we have seen in Hayrat Foundation. May Allah increase your works!
“Islamic Word needs Risale-i Nur a lot.”
Khalid Hamid, Imam, Baghdad
I first knew Imam Nursi by means of my teacher Dr Muhsin Abdulhamid. Also, the students of Risale-i Nur have become well known. Imam Nursi’s struggle is to revive belief in all souls. I, initially for myself, benefit from Risale-i Nur to discipline my lower-self, to attain iman al tahqiq and for enhancement of marifatullah.
Islamic world is in need of these [Risale-i Nur] treatises. It is possible that some people are unaware of Risale-i Nur. It is necessary that Risale-i Nur students show great effort to educate promising youth from every country in order to spread these truths. I believe that Risale-i Nur is quite different from other books; because it is not a superficial and classic interpretation, tafsir. It does not address only one strata of society. It addresses both reason and heart, and relates every truth with to the creation, mawjudat. If reason is convinced, belief penetrates into heart.
Said Nursi; yes he is Bediuzzaman. Because he proposed a unique idea. Moreover, he proposed this Islamic idea in a very beautiful and a unique method. The idea and style he suggested is very convenient with this century. And Risale-i Nur explains iman al tahkik; it binds the creation to the Creator with examples. This is what makes Risale-i Nur influential and continuous.
The spreading of Risale-i Nur service is very significant. This can come true by opening centres all over the Islamic world. Inshaallah, we will spread these truths all over the world in a very short time. I will benefit as much as I can. Because I realized the importance of these treatises in this program. After I understand its topics, I will propagate these truths in Iraq as far as I can. May Allah grant Hayrat Foundation success and make Risale-i Nur widespread to serve the religion of Islam.
“Hayrat Foundation educates shining youths.”
Dr Ahmad Abdulkarim Abdurrahman, Faculty Member -The University of Islamic Sciences of Iraq, Baghdad
I first knew Risale-i Nur by the means of Sheikh Halil Ibrahim in Baghdad. The biggest impact of Risale-i Nur on me was that it lighted up the light of belief in my heart. I realized that I must read it a lot and get benefit from it. Besides that, living and being together with the students of Risale-i Nur is very important. Because they are the embodiment of Risale-i Nur.
It is necessary for all Muslims to know it. Because it was written for the whole world. It is my opinion that Risale-i Nur which is worth of gold was written for the Islamic world. What makes Risale-i Nur lasting is that it brings human and Qur’an together. Islamic world is in need of these truths. Because it contains a Qur’anic teaching method.
I see the students of Risale-i Nur as angels. They are like angels in knowledge, deed, sincerity, modesty, morality and love. Hayrat Foundation, through the educational method it got from these treatises, raises shining youths. If Allah allows, it will conquer the whole world at spiritual level with these youths.
“Risale-i Nur teaches iman al tahqiq and hope lessons.”
Haris Abubakr Muhammad, Imam, Kirkük
In 90s, there were some books of Imam Nursi in my bookcase. Sometimes, I used to read them. Imam Nursi is very famous and a great scholar. In fact, the name of mosque in which I am imam is “Imam Nursi.” This is a great honour for me to be imam in a mosque having such a name.
As I study Risale-i Nur and spend time with its students, I understand that the students of Risale-i Nur have a great zeal to serve Islam. Each of them endeavours for ummah. This affected me very much. To my knowledge, about 40 percent of Islamic world knows Risale-i Nur. However, by way of Hayrat Foundation these risalas will be spread all over the world.
As I understand, the biggest mission of Risale-i Nur is to strengthen the belief and establish a bond between human being and the Creator of the earth and heaven. We cannot find this aspect in most of the other books. Risale-i Nur was written to prove the truths of Qur’an. As long as Qur’an is eternal, Risale-i Nur will continue too. This reality has actually brought Risale-i Nur up to now.
The lack of belief and hopelessness are the reasons why Muslims are in such condition. Tribulations are known by everyone. However, what I see is that Risale-i Nur, in order to remove these calamities, teaches iman al tahqiq and hope lessons. This is the need of all Muslims. I characterize you as humble, respectful, grave, learner and teacher, having good moral, and self-sacrificing. May Allah be pleased with Hayrat Foundation! Through this study you have given me a great hope. Inshaallah, when we go back, we will start our works with a great enthusiasm. Through these teachings you got beautiful fruits and and you still continue to get. May Allah grant this service continuity!