The Addendum of the Sixteenth Letter: It was written with the tongue of the Old Said in order to dispel the groundless doubts and panics of the worldly and the irreligious people about Badiuzzaman Said Nursi.

The Addendum to the Sixteenth Letter

In His Name!

And there is nothing but it glorifies Him with praise.

Without reason ‘the worldly’ became suspicious of a powerless stranger like myself, and imagining me to have the power of thousands of people, put me under numerous restrictions. They did not give permission for me to stay one or two nights in Bedre, a district of Barla, or on one of the mountains of Barla. I heard that they say: “Said has power equal to that of fifty thousand soldiers, we cannot therefore set him free.”

So I say: You unhappy people whose view is restricted to this world! How is it that you do not know the matters of the world, despite working for the world with all your strength, and govern it like lunatics? If it is my person you fear, it is not fifty thousand soldiers, one soldier even could do more than me. That is, he could be posted at the door of my room and tell me: “You can’t go out!”

But if it is my profession and my being herald of the Qur’an and the moral strength of belief that you fear, then you are wrong, it is not fifty thousand soldiers, you should be aware that in respect of my profession I have the strength of fifty million! For through the strength of the All-Wise Qur’an, I challenge all Europe including your irreligious people. Through the lights of belief I have published I have razed the sturdy bastions they call the physical sciences and Nature. I have cast down lower than animals their greatest irreligious philosophers. If all Europe was to gather, of which your irreligious people are a part, through Allah’s assistance, they could not make me recant a single matter of that way of mine. Allah willing, they could not defeat me....

Since the matter is thus, I do not interfere in your world, so don’t you interfere in my hereafter! If you do, if it will be of no avail.

What is determined by Allah cannot be turned by force;

A flame that if lit by Allah, cannot be extinguished by puffing

‘The worldly’ are exceptionally and excessively suspicious of me; quite simply, they are frightened of me. Imagining things non-existent in me, which even if they were existent would not constitute a political crime and could not be the cause of accusation, like being a shaykh, or of significant rank or family, or being a tribal leader, and influential, and having numerous followers, or meeting with people from my native region, or being connected with the affairs of the world, or even entering politics, or even the opposition; imagining these things in me, they have been carried away by groundless fears. At a time even that they are discussing pardoning those in prison and outside, that is, those that according to them cannot be pardoned, they have quite simply barred me from everything. A bad and ephemeral person wrote the following good and enduring words:

If tyranny has cannon, shot, and forts,

Right has an untwistable arm, a constant face.

And I say:

If the worldly have rule, power, and strength,

Through the Qur’an’s effulgence, its servant

Has unfaltering knowledge, an unsilenceable voice;

He has an unerring heart, an unquenchable light.

Many friends, as well as a military commander under whose surveillance I was, repeatedly asked: “Why don’t you apply for the release papers and put forward a petition?”

T h e   A n s w e r : I do not apply and I cannot apply for five or six reasons:

The First: I did not interfere in ‘the worldly’s’ world so that I should have been convicted and apply to them. I was convicted by Divine Determining; my faults are before it, and I apply to it.

The Second: I believe and have certain knowledge that this world is a swiftly changing guest-house. Therefore, it is not the true homeland and everywhere is the same. Since I am not going to remain permanently in my homeland, it is pointless to struggle for it; it is not worth going there. Since everywhere is a guest-house, if the mercy of the guest-house’s Owner befriends one, everyone is a friend and everywhere familiar. Whereas if it does not befriend one, everywhere is a load on the heart and everyone hostile.

The Third: Application is within the framework of the law. But the way I have been treated these six years has been arbitrary and outside the law. The Exiles’ Law was not applied to me. They looked on me as though I had been stripped of all the rights of civilization and even of all worldly rights. To apply in the name of the law to those whose dealings with me have been thus outside the law is meaningless.

The Fourth: This year, the local official applied in my name for me to stay for a few days in the village of Bedre, which is like a district of Barla, for a change of air. How can those who reject such an unimportant need of mine be applied to? If they are applied to, it would be a futile and degrading abasement.

The Fifth: To claim a right before those who claim a wrong to be right, and to apply to them, is a wrong. It is disrespectful towards right. I do not want to perpetrate such a wrong and show disrespect for right. And that is that.

The Sixth: The distress and difficulty ‘the worldly’ have caused me has not been due to politics, because they know I do not meddle in politics and flee from it. Rather, knowingly or unknowingly, they torment me on account of aggressive atheism because I am bound to religion. In which case, to apply to them has the meaning of regretting religion and flattering the cause of aggressive atheism.

Moreover, Divine Determining, which is just, would punish me through their tyrannical hand on my applying to them and having recourse to them, for they oppress me because of my being bound to religion. As for Divine Determining, from time to time it represses me due to my hypocrisy before ‘the worldly,’ because of my deficiency in religion and in sincerity. Since this is so, for the time being I cannot be saved from this distress. If I apply to the worldly, Divine Determining would say: “Hypocrite! Pay the penalty for applying!” And if I do not apply, ‘the worldly’ say: “You don’t recognize us, go on suffering difficulties!”

The Seventh Reason: It is well-known that an official’s duty is to give harmful individuals no opportunity to cause harm and to assist those who are beneficial. Whereas the official who took me into custody approached me, an elderly guest at the door of the grave, when I was expounding a subtle aspect of belief contained in There is no god but Allah as though I was perpetrating some misdemeanour, although he had not been to me for a long time previously. He caused the sincere unfortunate who was listening to be deprived, and me to be angry. There were certain people here, and he attached no importance to them. Then when they acted discourteously in a way that would poison the life of the village, he started to be gracious and appreciative towards them.

Furthermore, it is well-known that someone in prison who has committed a hundred crimes can meet with the person who supervises him whether the official be of high or low rank. But in this last year, although two important people in the national government charged with supervising me have passed by my house several times, they have absolutely neither met with me nor asked after my condition. At first I supposed that they did not come near to me due to enmity, then it became clear that it was due to their fearful suspicions; they were fleeing from me as though as I was going to gobble them up. Thus, to recognize a government whose members and officials are like those men and have recourse to it and apply to it, is not sensible, but a futile abasement. If it had been the Old Said, he would have said, like ‘Antara:

The very water of life becomes Hell through abasement,

Whereas Hell with dignity becomes a place of pride.

The Old Said no longer exists, and the New Said considers it meaningless to talk with ‘the worldly.’ Let their world be the end of them! They can do what they like. He is silent, saying, we shall be judged together with them at the Last Judgement.

The Eighth Reason for my not applying: According to the rule, “The result of illicit love is merciless torment,” Divine Determining, which is just, torments me through the tyrannous hand of ‘the worldly,’ because I incline towards them, since they are not worthy of it. And saying, I deserve this torment, I am silent. For in the Great War I fought and strove as a Commander of a volunteer regiment. Applauded by the Commander-in-Chief of the army and Enver Paşa, I sacrificed my valuable students and friends. I was wounded and taken prisoner. Returning from captivity, I cast myself into danger through works like The Seven Steps, aiming them at the heads of the British, who had occupied Istanbul. I assisted those who hold me without reason in this torment and captivity. As for them, they punish me in this way for that help. Those friends here cause me in three months the hardship and distress I suffered in three years as a prisoner-of-war in Russia. And the Russians did not prevent me from giving religious instruction, although they regarded me as a Kurdish Militia Commander, a cruel man who had slaughtered Cossacks and prisoners. I used to instruct the great majority of my ninety fellow officer prisoners. One time, the Russian commander came and listened. Because he did not know Turkish, he thought it was political instruction, and put a stop to it. Then later he gave permission. Also, in the same barracks, we made a room into a mosque, and I used to lead the prayers. They did not interfere at all. They did not prevent me from mixing, or from communicating, with the others. Whereas my friends here, my fellow citizens and co-religionists and those for whose benefits in the form of religious belief I have struggled, have held me in a tortuous captivity not for three years, but for six, for absolutely no reason and although they know I have severed all my relations with the world. They have prevented me mixing with others. They have prevented me from giving religious instruction, despite my having a certificate, and even from giving private instruction in my room. They have prevented me from communicating with others. They have even barred me from the mosque which I repaired and where I acted as prayer-leader for four years, although I had the necessary certificate. And now, to deprive me of the merit of performing the prayers in congregation, they do not accept me as prayer-leader even for three private individuals, my permanent congregation and brothers of the hereafter.

Furthermore, if, although I do not want it, someone is to call me good, the official who holds me in surveillance is jealous and angry. Thinking he will destroy my influence, he entirely unscrupulously takes precautions, and pesters me in order to curry favour with his superiors.

To whom can someone in such a position have recourse other than Allah Almighty? If the judge is also the claimant, of course he cannot complain to him. Come on, you say! What can we say to this? You say what you like, I say this: there are many dissemblers among these friends of mine. A dissembler is worse than an unbeliever. For that reason they make me suffer what the infidel Russian did not make me suffer.

And so, you unfortunates, what have I done to you and what I am doing? I am trying to save your belief and am serving your eternal happiness! It means that my service is not sincere and purely for Allah’s sake so that it has the reverse effect. In return, you torment me at every opportunity. For sure, we shall meet at the Last Judgement. I say:

Allah is enough for us and the best of protectors.1 * The best of lords and the best of helpers.2

The Enduring One, He is the Enduring One!

S a i d  N u r s i



1. Qur’an, 3:173.
2. Qur’an, 8:40.

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Seventeenth Letter Child Condolence: It is a letter of condolence to the people whose children die at a young age. It is a glad tiding that the children who die before reaching the age of puberty will be given to their parents as cute children.

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