What developments took place related to religion and science in the first period of the Republic of Turkey?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

8.2.3.2- Religion and Science in the first period of the Republic

The laic Republican regime preferred the positivist and materialist understanding of science; everything related to Islam and religion were considered as “outdated” and “superstitious”. Religious institutions were abolished, madrasahs and dervish lodges were closed down; the alphabet was changed; thus, all the ways through religion could be learned and understood were actually closed.     

The laic Republican regime preferred the positivist and materialist understanding of science; everything related to Islam and religion were considered as “outdated” and “superstitious”. Religious institutions were abolished, madrasahs and dervish lodges were closed down; the alphabet was changed; thus, all the ways through which religion could be learned and understood were actually closed.    

     In this period, Nursi narrates one of his reminiscences related to some young people who fell into the void of faith by reading books based entirely on materialism as follows:

In Kastamonu, a group of high-school students came to me, saying: “Tell us about our Creator, our teachers do not speak of God.” I said to them:

All the sciences you study continuously speak of God and make known the Creator, each with its own particular tongue. Do not listen to your teachers; listen to them.

For example, a well-equipped pharmacy with life-giving potions and cures in every jar weighed out in precise and wondrous measures doubtless shows an extremely skillful, practiced, and wise pharmacist.

In the same way, to the extent that it is bigger and more perfect and better stocked than the pharmacy in the market-place, the pharmacy of the globe of the earth with its living potions and medicaments in the jars which are the four hundred thousand species of plants and animals shows and makes known to eyes that are blind even – by means of the measure or scale of the science of medicine that you study – the All-Wise One of Glory, Who is the Pharmacist of the mighty pharmacy of the earth.

To take another example; a wondrous factory which weaves thousands of sorts of cloth from a simple material doubtless makes known a manufacturer and skillful mechanic. In the same way, to whatever extent it is larger and more perfect than the human factory, this travelling dominical machine known as the globe of the earth with its hundreds of thousands of heads, in each of which are hundreds of thousands of factories, shows and makes known –by means of the measure or scale of the science of engineering which you study– its Manufacturer and Owner.

And, for example, a depot, store, or shop in which has been brought together and stored up in regular and orderly fashion a thousand and one varieties of provisions undoubtedly makes known a wondrous owner, proprietor, and overseer of provisions and foodstuffs…

            Thus, hundreds of other sciences like these make known the Glorious Creator of the universe together with His Names, each through its broad measure or scale, its particular mirror, its far-seeing eyes, and searching gaze; they make known His attributes and perfections.

It is in order to give instruction in this matter, which is a brilliant and magnificent proof of Divine unity, that the Qur’an of Miraculous Exposition teaches us about our Creator most often with the verses,

            ar-Ra’d, 16 “Sustainer of the Heavens and the Earth”; al-An’am, 1, “He created the Heavens and Earth”  I said this to the schoolboys, and they accepted it completely, affirming it by saying: “Endless thanks be to God, for we have received an absolutely true and sacred lesson. May God be pleased with you!”.1

     Thus, Islam and the sciences are virtually intertwined and inseparable from each other.

1.Nursi, B.S. Sözler. p. 186-189.

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