Fifth Point: It is an answer that will silence the worldly for the rules and bid’ahs they offered to Badiuzzaman Said Nursi.

FIFTH POINT

This concerns five small matters.

T h e   F i r s t : ‘The worldly’ ask me: Why do you yourself not practise the principles of our civilization, our style of life, and our manner of dressing? Does this mean you oppose us?

M y   r e p l y : Sirs! What right do you have to propose to me the principles of your civilization? Yet as though casting me outside the laws of civilization, you have wrongfully forced me to reside in a village for five years prohibited from all social intercourse and correspondence. While you left all the exiles in the town with their friends and relations, then gave them the papers granting them an amnesty, without reason you isolated me and did not allow me to meet with anyone from my native region with one or two exceptions. That means you do not count me as a member of this nation and a citizen. How can you propose to me that I apply your civil code to myself? You have made the world into a prison for me. Such things cannot be proposed to someone in prison. You closed the door of the world on me, so I knocked on the door of the hereafter, and Divine mercy opened it to me. How can the confused customs and principles of the world be proposed to someone at the door of the hereafter? Whenever you set me free and return me to my native region and restore my rights, then you can require me to conform to your principles.

S e c o n d   M a t t e r : ‘The worldly’ say: “We have an official department for instructing in the precepts of religion and truths of Islam. With what authority do you publish religious works? Since you are a convicted exile, you have no right to mix in these matters.”

T h e  A n s w e r : Truth and reality cannot be restricted. How can belief and the Qur’an be restricted? You can restrict the principles and laws of your world, but the truths of belief and Qur’anic principles cannot be forced into the form of worldly dealings, being given an official guise and in return for a wage. Those mysteries which are Divine gifts, those blessings, come rather through a sincere intention and giving up the world and carnal pleasures. Moreover, that official department of yours accepted me and appointed me as a preacher while I was in my home region. I accepted the position, but rejected the salary. I have the document in my possession. With the document I can act as an imam and preacher everywhere, because my being exiled was unjust. Also, since the exiles have been returned, my old documents are still valid.

Secondly: I addressed the truths of belief which I have written directly to my own soul. I do not invite everyone. Rather, those whose spirits are needy and hearts wounded search out and find those Qur’anic remedies. Only, to secure my livelihood I had printed a treatise of mine about the resurrection of the dead before the new script was introduced. And the former governor, who was unfair to me, studied the treatise, but did nothing against it since he could find nothing in it to criticize.

T h i r d   M a t t e r : Some of my friends remain apparently aloof from me because ‘the worldly’ consider me with suspicion and in order to appear favourable to ‘the worldly,’ indeed, they criticize me. But the cunning ‘worldly’ attribute their aloofness and avoiding me not to their loyalty to ‘the worldly’ but to a sort of hypocrisy and lack of conscience, and they look on those friends of mine unfavourably.

So I say this: O my friends of the hereafter! Don’t stand aloof from my being a servant of the Qur’an and run away. Because, Allah willing, no harm will come to you from me. Suppose some calamity is visited on you or I am oppressed, you cannot be saved by avoiding me. By doing that you will make yourselves more deserving of calamity and a blow. And what is there, that you should have these groundless fears?

F o u r t h   M a t t e r : I see during this time of my exile that certain boastful people who have fallen into the swamp of politics regard me in a partisan manner, with rivalry, as though I am connected with the worldly currents like they are.

Sirs! I am in the current of belief. Before me is the current of unbelief.

I have no connection with other currents. Perhaps some of those who work for a wage see themselves as excused to a degree. But to take up a position opposed to me in rivalry for no wage in the name of patriotism, and harass me, and oppress me, is a truly grievous error. For as was proved above, I have no connection at all with world politics. I have dedicated and vowed all my time and my life to the truths of belief and the Qur’an. Since it is thus, let the one who torments and harasses me in rivalry think that such treatment of his is similar to causing harm to belief in the name of atheism and unbelief.

F i f t h   M a t t e r : Since this world is transitory, and since life is short, and since the truly essential duties are many, and since eternal life will be gained here, and since the world is not without an owner, and since this guest-house of the world has a most Wise and Generous director, and since neither good nor bad will remain without recompense, and since according to the verse,

On no soul does Allah place a burden greater than it can bear1

there is no obligation that cannot be borne, and since a safe way is preferable to a harmful way, and since worldly friends and ranks last only till the door of the grave, then surely the most fortunate is he who does not forget the hereafter for this world, and does not sacrifice the hereafter for this world, and does not destroy the life of the hereafter for worldly life, and does not waste his life on trivial things, but considers himself to be a guest and acts in accordance with the commands of the guest-house’s Owner, then opens the door of the grave in confidence and enters upon eternal happiness..2

 

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1. Qur’an, 2:286.
2. The reason for these ‘sinces’ is this: I take no notice of the wrongs and tyranny perpetrated against my person and give them no importance. I say, “They are not worth worrying about,” and I do not interfere in the world.

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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 though he abandoned the world and politics and to protect the value of knowledge.

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