Who is Badiuzzaman Said Nursi? Will you give information about his life?

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Who is Badiuzzaman Said Nursi? Will you give information about his life?

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Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, the author of Risale-i Nur, divided his life into three periods: He called the period of his life from his birth to 1926, which was the year when he started to write Risale-i Nur, as Previous Said, the period of his life between 1926 and 1950 as New Said and his life after 1950 as Third Said. However, this division is a change method rather than thought. He applied different methods in each of the three periods based on time and space in terms of service to the religion and belief.

Badiuzzaman Said Nursi was born in 1878 in Nurs village, İsparit, Hizan in the province of Bitlis.

He started his education in the madrasah in the village of Tağ when he was nine years old. His education life was very active. He looked for a madrasah that was suitable for him in the region and studied in various madrasahs for very short periods. This search lasted for about three years. During this period, he read the whole Quran and read the introductory books of madrasah method. However, the most important part of his education life was the three months he spent in Doğubeyazıt; he was educated by Sheikh Mehmet Celâlî, in this period and he studied more than eighty books that were among the basic books of madrasah education. Then, he got his diploma and left Doğubeyazıt.

After that, Said Nursi went to Bitlis and joined the academic debates, which was a tradition among madrasah scholars at that time. He was appreciated by everybody due to his accomplishments, intelligence and memory. At the end of these debates, he made everybody accept his diploma, which he got when he was thirteen years old and proved his academic maturity; they started to call him ‘Badiuzzaman’, which means “the wonder of the time”.

When Hasan Pasha, the governor of Van, heard the fame of this young scholar, he invited him to Van. Said Nursi remained in Van for a long time and continued his studies. He had the opportunity to study the books related to exact sciences in the big library of Tahir Pasha, who was appointed as the governor after Hasan Pasha, and he became interested in physics, chemistry, geography, astronomy and philosophy.

The years Said Nursi spent in Van was a period when important formations took place in his world of thought. The statement of Gladstone, British Minister of Colonies, that it was necessary to eliminate the Quran or to alienate Muslims from the Quran affected Badiuzzaman a lot and he devoted his remaining life to the understanding of the Quran.

Thinking that it was necessary to establish a university, where madrasah sciences and exact sciences will be studied together, in order to meet the need for education in the East, Said Nursi went to Istanbul in 1907 in order to convey this idea of his to the government and to attempt to realize this project. When he stayed in Şekerci Han in Malta (Fatih/Istanbul), he had academic meetings with the notable scholars of Istanbul. He wrote the following sentence on the door of his room: “All questions are answered here but no questions are asked.” This attracted the attention of the palace, academic circles and people.

He informed the palace about his ideas related to the establishment of the university he wanted in the East with a petition. However, the government of that period could not understand the importance of this need and they did not make any attempts to realize this project. On the contrary, the palace, which suspected the slightest movement, began to suspect him due to his attitudes that did not accept any force in his earlier life and people gathering around him in Istanbul due to his attitudes. They sent him to a mental hospital, but the doctors who examined him reported: "If there is a grain of insanity in this man, then there must be no sane person in the whole world."

In those years, discussions on freedom and constitutional monarchy were on the agenda of Istanbul. Said Nursi also participated in these discussions and argued that that freedom and constitutional monarchy were not contrary to Islam but that authoritarian and autocratic governments were contrary to Islam with his articles published in the newspapers. In addition, on the third day of the proclamation of the constitutional monarchy, he made a speech supporting constitutional monarchy in Istanbul. He repeated the same speech in front of a large group of people at Hürriyet Square in Thessaloniki. He took part in a lot of political movements that emerged in the atmosphere of liberation brought by the constitutional monarchy; and he took part in many political events.

Despite the speeches he made to prevent chaos and his soothing role during the incident of March 31, 1909, he was arrested and was put on trial with the demand of execution in ‘the court martial’ and he was acquitted. Afterwards, he published his defense in this court under the name İki Mektebi Musibetin Şehadetnamesi.

He left Istanbul in 1910 and returned to Van; he visited the tribes in the region and gave explanatory information to the local people related to the issues like constitutional monarchy, liberty, constitution and parliament. In the same year, he wrote his book, Münazarat, which summarized these talks.

When he was in Damascus in the winter of the same year, upon the invitation of the scholars in the region, he addressed the scholars in Damascus Umayyad Mosque about the problems of the Islamic world. This sermon was published in 1911 under the name Hutbe-i Şamiye. He left Damascus and went to Istanbul; in the same year, he joined Sultan Reşad on his journey in Rumelia including the groundbreaking ceremony of a university in Skopje, as a representative of the eastern provinces of Turkey. Said Nursi, who persuaded the Sultan to apply this project, which was not completed due to the Balkan wars, in the East, left Istanbul in 1912 and returned to Van. In 1913 he laid the foundation of the university named 'Medresetü'z-Zehra' with the Governor of Van. However, when the First World War broke out, he went to the front with his students and the university project, which he made a lot of efforts for, was left unfinished due to the war.

During the war, he began to write his tafsir book called İşârâtü’l-İ’câz. Many of his students were martyred in this war, and he was enslaved by the Russians in 1916. His slavery, which lasted about two and a half years, ended when he escaped during the chaos caused by the Russian revolution. He reached Istanbul through Siberia, Berlin, Warsaw and Sofia in 1918.

Both academic circles and the people of the palace showed him great interest in Istanbul; he was appointed as a member of Darü’l-Hikmeti’l-İslâmiye. In the years when he was in Istanbul, he wrote his booklets called Nokta, Sünuhât, Lemeât, Katre, Habbe, Zerre andŞemme; he published twenty-two more books along with them. Among these published books are the book called Kızıl İcaz, which is related to logic and İşârâtü’l-İ’câz, which is a book of tafsir.

Istanbul was occupied by the British in 1920. Said Nursi tried to awaken the people against the occupation with the booklet Hutuvat-i Sitte, which he published as a reaction to the occupation; and he supported the Kuva-yı Milliye movement by publishing a fatwa against Sheikhulislam’s fatwa, which described the Anatolian movement as a "rebellion". Because of his activities in Istanbul, the British issued a decree to execute Said Nursi. He was insistently invited to Ankara by the Grand National Assembly in Anatolia. As a result of these invitations, he went to Ankara on November 19, 1922 and was welcomed with an official ceremony by the Assembly.

However, he issued a declaration to warn the members of parliament for their indifferent attitudes toward the religion. His activities caused him to argue with Mustafa Kemal. When the members of parliament consoled themselves with the victory against the Greeks, he published his Arabic booklet called Zeylü’z-Zeyl, which criticized naturalism and determinism. In addition, he wrote his works called Hubab and Zeylü’l-Hubab. The Ankara Government offered him to be a member of parliament, the general preacher of the East, a member of religious affairs, etc. However, he refused to accept any of them, left Ankara in May 1923 and went to Van.

In Van, he retreated to Mount Erek and was engaged in worshipping. That he rejected the official posts proposed to him by political authorities, that he kept away from politics and was engaged in worshipping on a mountain were the signs of a new era for Said Nursi. As a result of the questioning that started from the time of his captivity, a new era which he called "New Said Period" started; in this era, he wrote Risale-i Nur, in which he described the Quran in a manner congruent with the understanding of the people of 20th century.

The authorities pestered him all the time in this New Said period. Using the Sheikh Said rebellion, which started in 1924, as an excuse, they deported him from Erek Mountain by the order of the Ankara Government and sent him to Burdur for an obligatory stay. He was kept in isolation during the period that started with Burdur.

In Burdur, he wrote his book called Nur’un İlk Kapısı. Said Nursi, who was sent to Isparta from here in 1926, stayed in Isparta for a little while; then, he was sent to Barla Village of Eğirdir District for an obligatory stay. During his nearly eight-year obligatory stay in Barla, he wrote most parts of his works called Sözler, Lem'alar and Mektubat.

They brought him back to the center of Isparta by the order of the government of Ankara in order to observe closely and control Said Nursi, whom they disturbed by various oppressions and persecutions such as poisoning, violation of private life and arbitrary prevention of meeting his friends during Barla period. When those who feared the name Said Nursi realized that it would not be possible to prevent him by surveillance, they started looking for ways to send him to prison; and in 1935 they used his work Tesettür Risalesi as an excuse and accused him of establishing a secret organization, opposing the regime and shaking the foundations of the regime; thus, they sent Said Nursi and his students to Eskişehir prison.

He was sentenced to one-year imprisonment by the verdict on August 19, 1935 and one-year obligatory stay in Kastamonu under surveillance. He was sent to Kastamonu after a year of imprisonment in Eskişehir.

He wrote his works entitled Ayet-ül Kübrâ, Birinci Şua, İkinci Şua, Yedinci Şua and Sekizinci Şua during his seven-year stay in Kastamonu. This time, he was tried at Denizli court due to a file sued against the booklet called Ayetü’l-Kübrâ. He was acquitted but he was sent to Emirdağ district of Afyonkarahisar for an obligatory stay upon the instruction of the Ankara government. A new file was sued against him by Afyon Heavy Penal Court in 1948; he was acquitted in 1949. However, his books were confiscated. Upon the appeal against the confiscation verdict, Afyon Heavy Penal Court decided in 1956 that Risale-i Nur could be printed and distributed. After the verdict of the acquittal by Afyon court, he returned to Emirdağ.

The third term, which he called Third Said, is the period of propagation and spread of Risale-i Nur. This period is a period when Badiuzzaman focused on services for spreading and making Risale-i Nur understood and was engaged in social life for the future of his religious service. These years were years of a bit of relief and liberty. Different layers of people were informed about the truths of Risale-i Nur; university circles started to read Risale-i Nur.

In 1952, he went to Istanbul to participate in the trial for the file sued against his book called Gençlik Rehberi; he was acquitted there too.

He went to Emirdağ from Istanbul. However, due to a new file sued against him in Samsun, he came to Istanbul again in order to go to Samsun. Since he was very tired and sick, he got a hospital report and testified in Istanbul courts upon his request. As a result of his testimony sent by the rogatory court to Samsun, he was acquitted.

Said Nursi, who returned to Emirdağ from Istanbul, then went to Isparta from Emirdağ and spent the last periods of his life by paying short visits to Emirdağ and Istanbul.

In his travel that started in January 1960, he went to Istanbul, Ankara, Konya and Emirdağ; then, he returned to Isparta.

Although Said Nursi got sick on March 20, 1960, he was taken to Urfa by his students due to his insistent request. His illness deteriorated there; he passed away in the plain room of the hotel in which he stayed on March 23, 1960.

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