Service with ‘pen’

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At the demise of the last Citadel of Islam, while collectively anti-Islamic movements engaged in unopposed subversion, Bediuzzaman wrote:


“I see (political) authorities as heedless. The Citadel of Islamic Faith cannot be supported by the decimated pillars of irreligion .”


Bediuzzaman initiated a novel method of Islamic service at the frontier of Islamic Faith that was able to convincingly penetrate the human heart and spirit. Both He and his students made the approval of Allah their fundamental objective in the service of the Qur’an. One of their most important struggles within the scope of this objective was the preservation of Qur’anic script. It is clear that the historical bridge between a nation and its cultural infrastructure is evidently the alphabet of the language they use.


During the years when every element of Islamic identity extant within the Turkish Republic faced potential extinction, Students of the Risale-i Nur not only successfully distributed tretises proving the truths of Islamic Faith, but served to preserve Qur’anic script by handwriting copies of the Risale-i Nur in its original (Ottoman) script. Bediuzzaman stated, “The most important duty of a person who accepts the Risale-i Nur is to both write it using the Qur’anic script and teach someone how to write it. Thus, he/she will assist the dissemination of the Risale-i Nur. The one who writes the Risale-i Nur and teaches someone to write it shall aqcuire the title of ‘Student of the Risale-i Nur .” (Bediuzzaman S. Nursi, Kastamonu Lahikası, 19)


“If, as Hafiz Ali, he is fortunate and has achieved essentially pure sincerity, he will be blessed with the life of martyrdom .” (Life of Martyrdom: Unaware of his or her apparent death, a martyr does in reality lives a special life until resurrection.) (Bediuzzaman S. Nursi, Emirdağ Lahikası, 167)


By this and many other means of encouragement which, for the moment, cannot be expounded upon in great detail, Bediuzzaman emphasized that the preservation of the use of Qur’anic script was one of the most important obligations in his Islamic endeavor. His students carried out this task with great discipline in the spirit of struggling for the cause of Islam. Bediuzzaman expressed pride in students who were performing this duty in a manner semblant of a printing press:


“Some people visiting Hafız Ali (RA) to investigate him have mentioned that Students of the Risale-i Nur had used up the entire stock of paper in the city. This certainly encourages Students of the Risale-i Nur, driving them to work even harder .” (Bediuzzaman S. Nursi, Kastamonu Lahikası, 104)


Following in the footsteps of Bediuzzaman, Husrev Efendi preserved the service of the Risale-i Nur without digressing from its fundamental purposes and principles or allowing it to be employed by politicians or others for their own personal benefit. He adopted the ways of the Messenger of Allah (ASW) as well as those essential guidelines set forth by Bediuzzaman, including the preservation of Qur’anic script as the fundamental tenet of his service.


Moreover, the claim that the service rendered by Husrev Efendi and all other Students of the Risale-i Nur had been undertaken only due to the lack of a printing press does not befit the very spirit of service to the Risale-i Nur, particularly in light of the fact that Bediuzzaman had explicitly stated that one of the most fundamental and important duties of this service was the preservation of Qur’anic script, the script representative of the Muslim World.


“Once, while enduring the torturous treatment of state officials eight times as a consequence of an ordinary letter I had received and been interrogated about, that machine, duplicating eight hundred to a million pages has certainly been sent from the unseen by Allah to assist us; it is certainly a Student of the Risale-i Nur with one thousand pens!.. Once, when the railroad had arrived at a certain city, buggy owners became worried about their jobs. They thought that there would remain no need for individuals of their profession. Contrary to what they had thought, the need for them increased twofold, since the activity in their city doubled subsequent to the arrival of the railroad. Similarly, Students of the Risale-i Nur should not abandon their service by the pen; rather, Allah Willing, they will increase their reward in the Hereafter by writing even more.” (Emirdağ Lahikası, 168)


Without violating or neglecting the above view, in order to reach people who were not aware of the Risale-i Nur and may have benefitted from it, Bediuzzaman, out of necessity, did not oppose the use of Latin letters for “novitiates” until they learn how to read and write Qur’anic script. While serving the goal of disseminating the Risale-i Nur, the vital obligation of preserving the Qur’anic letters was also emphasized by recalling five particular benefits thereof. Bediuzzaman called preserving the Qur’anic letters “an important act of worship,” and technological advancments would never reduce its significance. He welcomed Students of the Risale-i Nur serving by the pen:


“I looked upon them, and a question came to my heart as to whether these heroes will receive any reward in the present world. Then, I realized that by writing this work (The Risale-i Nur), these individuals became the first readers of a series of lectures of Islamic Faith so effective, that they silence the (atheistic/agnostic) philosophers and help them to embrace Islamic Faith. As such, these individuals are gaining a spiritual treasury. Many other individuals will either become convinced of the truth of Islamic Belief or strengthen their Islamic Belief by reading these copies. According to a saying of the Messenger of Allah (ASW), ‘If a person embraces Islam because of you, this is preferable to owning a desert-full of red sheep!’ Furthermore, with their blessed pens, they are performing the service of the swords of great Muslim heroes of the past. Certainly, the future will acknowledge these heroes of Isparta and the Students of the Risale-i Nur .” (Bediuzzaman S. Nursi, Emirdağ Lahikası, 140)