Fourth Satanic Stratagem: Nationalist feelings.
FOURTH SATANIC STRATAGEM
In order to deceive my brothers and excite their nationalist feelings, certain irreligious people who occupy high positions and attack me by means of propaganda, through the promptings of Satan and suggestions of the people of misguidance, say: “You are Turks. Thanks be to Allah, among the Turks are religious scholars and people of perfection of every sort. Said is a Kurd. To work along with someone who does not share your nationality is unpatriotic.”
T h e A n s w e r : You miserable person without religion! All praise be to Allah, I am a Muslim. At all times there are three hundred and fifty million members of my sacred nation. I seek refuge with Allah a hundred thousand times from sacrificing three hundred and fifty million brothers who establish an eternal brotherhood, and who help me with their prayers, and among whom are the vast majority of Kurds, for the idea of racialism and negative nationalism, and from gaining in place of those innumerable blessed brothers a few who have embarked on a way which is without religion or belongs to no school of law, who bear the name of Kurd and are reckoned to belong to the Kurdish people. O you without religion! There would have to have been some idiots like you who would abandon the everlasting brotherhood of a luminous beneficial community of three hundred and fifty million true brothers in order to gain the brotherhood -which even in this world is without benefit- of a handful of Hungarian infidels or Europeanized Turks who have lost their religion. Since, in the Third Matter of the Twenty-Sixth Letter, we have shown together with the evidences the nature of negative nationalism and its harms, we refer you to that, and here only explain a truth which was mentioned briefly at the end of the Third Matter. It is as follows:
I say to those pseudo-patriotic irreligious deviants who hide under the veil of Turkism and in reality are enemies of the Turks: “I am closely and most truly connected by means of an eternal and true brotherhood with the nation of Islam, with the believers of this country who are called Turks. On account of Islam, I have a proud and partial love for the sons of this land who for close on a thousand years victoriously carried the banner of the Qur’an to every corner of the world. As for you, you pseudo-patriotic imposters! You possess in a way that will make you forget the true national pride of the Turks, a metaphorical, racial, temporary, and hateful brotherhood. I ask you: does the Turkish nation consist only of heedless and lustful youths between the ages of twenty and forty? And is what is beneficial for them and will serve them -as demanded by nationalist patriotism- an European education which will only increase their heedlessness, accustom them to immorality, and encourage them in what is forbidden? Is it to amuse them temporarily, which will make them weep in old age? If nationalist patriotism consists of this, and this is progress and the happiness of life, yes, if you are a Turkist and nationalist like that, I flee from such Turkism, and you can flee from me, too! If you have even a jot of patriotism, intelligence, and fairness, consider the following divisions of society and give me an answer. It is like this:
The sons of this land known as the Turkish nation consist of six parts. The first part are the righteous and the pious. The second are the sick and those stricken by disaster. The third are the elderly. The fourth are the children. The fifth are the poor and the weak. And the sixth are the young. Are the first five groups not Turks? Do they have no share of nationalist patriotism? Is it nationalist patriotism to vex those five groups, destroy their pleasure in life, and destroy those things which console them on the way of giving drunken enjoyment to the sixth group? Or is that enmity towards the nation? According to the rule “The word is with the majority,” that which harms the majority is inimical, not friendly!
I ask you, is the greatest benefit of the believers and the pious, the first group, to be found in an European-type civilization? Or is it to be found in thinking of eternal happiness by means of the truths of belief, in travelling the way of truth, for which they are most desirous, and in finding a true solace? The way that the misguided and bogus patriots like you have taken extinguishes the spiritual lights of the pious people of belief, destroys their true consolation, and shows death to be eternal nothingness and the grave to be the door to everlasting separation.
Are the benefits of the disaster-stricken, the sick, and those who have despaired of life, who form the second group, to be found in the way of a European-type, irreligious civilization? For those unfortunates want a light, a solace. They want a reward in return for the calamities they have suffered. They want to take their revenge on those who have oppressed them. They want to repulse the terrors at the door of the grave, which they are approaching. Through their false patriotism, those like you plunge a needle into the hearts of those unhappy victims of disaster who are much in need of compassion, soothing, and healing, and worthy of them. You hit them over the head! You mercilessly destroy all their hopes! You cast them into absolute despair! Is this nationalist patriotism? Is that how you provide benefits for the nation?
The elderly, the third group, forms a third. They are approaching the grave, drawing close to death, growing distant from the world, coming close to the hereafter. Are their benefits, lights, and consolation to be found in listening to the cruel adventures of tyrants like Hulagu and Jenghiz? Do they have a place in your modern-type movements which make the hereafter forgotten, bind a person to the world, are without result, and have the meaning of decline while being superficially progress? Is the light of the hereafter to be found in the cinema? Is true solace to be found in the theatre? If nationalist patriotism is in effect to slaughter them with an immaterial knife, and give them the idea that “you are being impelled towards everlasting nothingness,” and to transform the grave, which they consider to be the gate of mercy, into the dragon’s mouth, and to breathe in their ears: “You too will enter there!”-if, while these unhappy elderly people want respect from patriotism, that is what it is, “I seek refuge with Allah” a hundred thousand times from such patriotism!
The fourth group are the children. These want kindness from nationalist patriotism; they await compassion. Also, in respect of their weakness, impotence, and powerlessness, their spirits may expand through knowing a compassionate and powerful Creator; their abilities may unfold in happy manner. Through being instilled with reliance on Allah springing from belief and with the submission of Islam which may withstand the awesome fears and situations of the world in the future, these innocents may look eagerly to life. Could this be achieved by teaching them things concerning the progress of civilization, with which they have little connection, and the principles of lightless, purely materialist philosophy, which destroys their morale and extinguishes their spirits? If man consisted only of an animal body and he had no mind in his head, perhaps these European principles which you fancifully call civilized education and national education could have afforded these innocent children some worldly benefit in the form of some temporary childish amusement. Since those innocents are going to be cast onto the upheavals of life, and since they are human beings, they will certainly have far-reaching desires in their small hearts and large goals will be born in their little heads. Since the reality is thus, what compassion requires for them is to place in their hearts in the form of belief in Allah and belief in the hereafter, an extremely powerful support and inexhaustible place of recourse in the face of their infinite want and impotence. Kindness and compassion to them is in this way. Otherwise, through the drunkenness of nationalist patriotism, it has the meaning of slaughtering those wretched innocents, like a crazy mother slaughtering her child with a knife. It is a savage cruelty and wrong, like pulling out their brains and hearts and making them eat them to nourish their bodies.
The fifth group are the poor and the weak. The poor, who, because of their poverty, suffer greatly from the heavy burdens of life, and the weak, who are grieved at life’s awesome upheavals - do they not receive a share from nationalist patriotism? Is it to be found in the movements which you have instituted under the name of European-style, unveiled, Pharaoh-like civilization, which only increase the despair and suffering of these unfortunates? The salve for the wound of indigence of these poor may be found, not in the idea of racialism, but in the sacred pharmacy of Islam. The weak cannot receive strength and resistance from the philosophy of Naturalism, which is dark, lacks consciousness, and is bound to chance; they may rather obtain strength from Islamic zeal and the sacred nationhood of Islam!
The sixth group is the youth. If the youth of these young people had been perpetual, the wine you have given them to drink through negative nationalism would have had some temporary benefit and use. But on their painfully coming to their senses when they advance in years, on awakening from that sweet sleep in the morning of old age, distress and sorrow at the pleasurable drunkenness of youth will make them weep, and the sorrow at the passing of their pleasant dream will cause them much grief. It will make them exclaim: “Alas! Both my youth has gone, and my life has departed, and I am approaching the grave bankrupt; if only I had used my head!” Is the share of nationalist patriotism for this group to enjoy themselves briefly and temporarily, and to be made to weep with sorrow for a very long time? Or is their worldly happiness and pleasure in life to be found in making permanent through worship that fleeting youth by spending the bounty of fine, sweet youth, not on the way of dissipation, but on the straight path, in the form of offering thanks for the bounty, and in that way gaining eternal youth in the Realm of Bliss? You say, if you possess even a grain of intelligence!
I n S h o r t : If the Turkish nation consisted only of young people, and if their youth was perpetual, and they had no place other than this world, your European-style movement under the screen of Turkism might have been counted as nationalist patriotism. Then you might have been able to say to me, someone who attaches little importance to the life of this world, considers racialism to be a sickness like ‘the European disease,’ tries to prevent young people pursuing illicit amusements and vices, and came into the world in another country: “He is a Kurd. Don’t follow him!”, and you might have been right to say it. But since, as explained above, the sons of this land, who go under the name of Turks, consist of six groups, to cause harm to five of the groups and spoil their pleasure in life, and to afford a temporary, worldly pleasure the consequences of which are bad, to only one group, rather, to intoxicate them, is scarcely friendship to the Turkish nation; it is enmity.
Yes, according to race, I am not counted as a Turk, but I have worked with all my strength, with complete eagerness, in compassionate and brotherly fashion, for the group of the God-fearing, and the disaster-stricken, and the elderly, and the children, and the weak and the poor among the Turks. I have worked for the young people as well, who are the sixth group; I want them to forego illicit actions which will poison their worldly life, destroy their lives in the hereafter, and for one hour’s laughter, produce a year of weeping. The works I have taken from the Qur’an and published in the Turkish language -not only these six or seven years, but for twenty years- are there for everyone to see. Yes, Praise be to Allah, through these works derived from the All-Wise Qur’an’s mine of lights, are shown the light which the group of the elderly wants more than anything. The most efficacious remedies for the disaster-stricken and the sick are shown in the sacred pharmacy of the Qur’an. Through those lights of the Qur’an, the door of the grave, which causes more thought to the elderly than anything else, is shown to be the door of mercy, and not the door leading to execution. A most powerful point of support in the face of the calamities and harmful things confronting the sensitive hearts of children, and a place of recourse to meet all their hopes and desires, have been extracted from the mine of the All-Wise Qur’an, and they have been demonstrated and profited from in fact. And the heavy obligations of life which crush most the poor and weak have been lightened by the truths of belief of the All-Wise Qur’an.
Thus, these five groups are five out of the six parts of the Turkish nation, and we are working for their benefit. The sixth group are the young people. We feel powerful brotherhood towards the good ones from among them. But between those like you who have deviated from the straight path, and us, there is no friendship at all! Because we do not recognize as Turks those who embrace misguidance and want to abandon Islamic nationhood, which holds all the true causes of pride of the Turks. We consider them to be Europeans hiding behind the screen of Turkishness! Because even if they claim to be Turkists a hundred thousand times over, they could not deceive the people of truth. For their actions and works would give the lie to what they claim.
O you who follow European ways, and you deviants who try to make my true brothers look coldly on me through your propaganda! How do you benefit this nation? You extinguish the lights of the first group, the pious and the righteous. You scatter poison on the wounds of the second group, who deserve kindness and care. You destroy the solace of the third group, who are most worthy of respect, and you cast them into despair. You destroy completely the morale of the fourth group, who are truly in need of compassion, and you extinguish their true humanity. You make fruitless the hopes and calls for help of the fifth group, who are most needy for assistance, help, and solace, and in their eyes, you turn life into something more ghastly than death. And to the sixth group, who need to be warned and to come to their senses, you give such a heady wine to drink in the sleep of youth that its hangover is truly grievous and terrible. Is this your nationalist patriotism for the sake of which you sacrifice numerous sacred things? Is this what Turkism has to offer the Turks? I seek refuge with Allah from it a hundred thousand times!
Sirs! I know that when you are defeated in the face of truth, you have recourse to force. In accordance with the fact that power lies in the truth, not in force, you can set fire to the world around my head, but this head, which has been sacrificed for the truth of the Qur’an, will not bow before you. And I tell you this, that not a limited number of people like you who are in effect despised by the nation, but if thousands like you were physically hostile to me, I would pay them no attention, attaching no more value to them than to injurious animals. Because what can you do to me? All you can do is to either bring my life to an end, or spoil my work and service. I am attached to nothing else in the world apart from these. As for the appointed hour which befalls life, I believe as certainly as witnessing it that it does not change, it is determined. Since this is so, if I die as a martyr on the way of truth, I do not hang back from it, I await it longingly. Especially since I am old; I find it hard to believe that I shall live for more than another year. To transform one year’s apparent life into everlasting eternal life by means of martyrdom is an exalted aim for those like me. As for my work and service, through His mercy, Almighty Allah has given such brothers in the service of belief and the Qur’an that through my death it will be carried out in numerous centres instead of one. If my tongue is silenced by death, powerful tongues will speak in its place, continuing my work. I can even say that just as with entering the earth and dying, a single seed produces the life of a shoot, then a hundred seeds perform their duties in place of one, so I nourish the hope that my death will be the means to service greater than was my life!
- What is Bediuzzaman's view on racism?
- Sixth Matter: It addresses those who go to excess in negative nationalism and mentions the importance of the patriotism of Islam.
- Seventh Matter: A call to those who show too much patriotism in negative nationalism.
- Addendum to the Sixth Section, which is the Sixth Booklet: It was written to avoid the hatred and insults that can target us in the future.
- Foreword (About Racism)
- Third Matter: It is an answer given to those who try to include the idea of nationalism in Islam in a negative way.
- The Twenty-Sixth Letter: It consists of four topics.
- Third Topic: It consists of seven matters about nationality and solidarity in the community.
- Fourth: The answer given to those who claim that Islam can be strengthened through nationalism.
- What are the principles of the education system in the Islamic civilization?