What is Bediuzzaman's view on racism?
The great portion that has been allocated to our terrible century by our Lord out of His bounties that he sends to each century separately and the great waterfall of belief, effort and help who said I feel that the blows that are dealt to the World of Islam are dealt to my heart first: Bediuzzaman.
The unique and fearless mujahid whose effort of belief outburst intensely and said I will prove and show to the whole world that the Quran is like a spiritual sun that will not go out and that cannot be quenched when he heard that the Secretary of State for the Colonies in the British House of Commons showed the Quran in his hand and said As long as this Quran exists, we will never be able to conquer them, we must remove this Quran from their hands....
A hero of patience who was exiled and imprisoned many times in different places because of the books he wrote in order to make the belief and the Quran prevail in the hearts of the young people and thus who actually proved that he was an inheritor of the Prophet..
This extraordinary person spent his life writing prescriptions for all kinds of material and spiritual illnesses that can infect Muslims. From disbelief to immorality, from senility to diseases he suffered the ugliest treatments that made him say I have not known any worldly pleasures in my life of over eighty years despite his philanthropy, help and efforts... This hero of Islam wrote a wonderful book to set up brotherhood among Muslims: The Book of Brotherhood... He also had a special chapter in his work Mektubat for racism which is the greatest enemy of brotherhood and the fatal poison for unity and solidarity.
In this chapter after explaining the Quranic verse by using a wonderful example he writes the following: Islamic Society as a whole is a huge army which has been divided into tribes and groups. But it has a thousand and one aspects of unity. Its groups' Creator is one and the same, their Provider is one and the same, their Prophet is one and the same, their qibla is one and the same, their Book is one and the same, their country is one and the same; all the same, a thousand things are one and the same...
Thus, this many things being one and the same requires brotherhood, love, and unity. That is to say, being divided into groups and tribes is for mutual acquaintance and mutual assistance, not for antipathy and mutual hostility!..
This chapter in which Islamic brotherhood is explained perfectly ends with this prayer: Hope in Divine Mercy must not be lost. For Almighty Allah will not cause to perish through temporary set-backs the Magnificent Army and Mighty Community of the People of this Land, whom He has employed for a thousand years in the service of the Qur,an, appointing them as its standard-bearer. He will once again kindle that Light and cause them to continue their duty.
What the Master (Bediuzzaman) writes about racism is not limited to this chapter. He writes about this great disaster in many addenda letters and court defenses.
Here is one of them: Al Azhar is a general school in Africa; since Asia is much larger than Africa it is necessary to have a bigger university an Islamic university in Asia so that the negative nationalism will not seduce the Islamic nations in places like Arabia, India, Iran, Caucasia, Turkistan and Kurdistan. They will obtain the full development of one of the laws of the Quran The Believers are but a single Brotherhood with the nation of Islam which is the real, positive, holy and general nation. (Emirdağ Addendum I)
The Master who tried hard for the opening of a university in which religious and exact sciences would be studied together in the east wrote the following in the letter part of which we quoted above: I have worked for the reality of it as I have worked for the Risale-i Nur for fifty-five years. These lines are quoted from a letter he wrote to the President and Prime Minister of that time.
The introduction of the letter is very interesting: A poor, lonely old man who is at deaths door, who is over eighty years old, with a lot of diseases and who sees himself close to death says
Even in that condition he occupies himself with the unity and solidarity of the country and the nation, the unity of the world of Islam, and not being drifted by nationalism; he did not refrain from warning the statesmen to this effect
An exemplary part from the same letter:
When I was in Van I said to a patriotic Kurdish student of mine: The Turks served Islam a lot. How do you see them? He said: I prefer a Muslim Turk to a sinful brother. I take care of him more than my father because they serve the belief fully. After some time while I was a slave that student of mine (May Allah show mercy on him) went to a school in Istanbul. I saw him after I was freed of slavery. Because of his reaction to some racist teachers he followed a different way with his Kurdish tendency. He said to me: now I prefer a Kurd even if he is sinful or infidel to a good Turk. Then having some talks with him I managed to rescue him. Then I fully believed that the Turks are a heroic army of the nation of Islam.
There are lessons to learn for all of us from these statements. Those who like the Turkish nation sincerely are those who appreciate this nations services for Islam
In the letter attention is drawn to the fact that the current of Turkism serves Kurdism as a reaction. A lot of caution and care is necessary at this point. We love our ancestors not because of a sole racism but because they were , with the words of Bediuzzaman, the standard-bearers of Islam. The fact that our grandfather was a scholar does not free us from ignorance; and their services for Islam do not compensate for our laziness, laxity and effortlessness.
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