The Risale-i Nur
Before the republic, Said Nursi had already changed from “Old Said” to “New Said.” Withdrawing from public life, he had devoted himself to defending and explaining Islam’s main principles of thought, belief, worship, morality, and way of life through writing. His words reached millions of people through the 600,000 copies handwritten by him and his students. And this at a time when any religious undertaking was extremely difficult.
In his Risale-i Nur, considered a classic of Turkish religious literature, he identified the cause of the Muslim world’s decline: the weakening of belief’s foundations. When joined with the unceasing attacks of materialism, atheism, science, and progress, he saw a great cloud of denial and doubt hovering over the Muslim world. To neutralize it, he undertook a “jihad of the word with the diamond principles of Islam” designed to strengthen—even save—belief by reconstructing Islam from its foundations of belief.
The Risale-i Nur explains Islam and belief to modern people in their own terms and according to their own worldview. Analyzing both belief and unbelief, he used clearly reasoned arguments to prove that the Qur’anic conception of God and His Unity, Prophethood and bodily resurrection, and all others are the only rational explanations for existence, humanity, and the universe.
Using easily understood stories, comparisons, and explanations, Said Nursi produced categorical proofs showing that modern scientific discoveries actually support and reinforce the truths of religion. He used the Qur’anic methodology of addressing each person’s intellect, and all inner and outer facilities, to encourage people to study the universe and its functioning in order to understand creation’s true nature and purposes. This, in turn, leads to learning the One Creator’s Attributes and their own duties as God’s servants.
Said Nursi explained the universe’s true nature as being a comprehensive sign of its Creator, and showed via clear arguments that all fundamentals of belief can be proven rationally when the universe is read in this way. As belief is then grounded in modern science, it remains firm and immune to materialism, naturalism, and atheism.
Such believers view all scientific and technological advances as merely uncovering the cosmos’ workings. Viewing the cosmos as a vast and infinitely complex and meaningful unified book describing its Single Author, all discoveries and advances reinforce, deepen, and expand belief. Thus their most fundamental needs—to worship God by recognizing His Most Beautiful Names and Attributes, and to obey His laws—are met.