The following eight obstacles prevented the truths of Islam from thoroughly invading the continent of the past:

The first, second and third of these obstacles were the ignorance of the Europeans, their distance from civilization, and their bigoted attachment to their religion. These three obstacles are being destroyed through scientific developments and the virtues of civilization.

The fourth and fifth obstacles were the domination of priests and religious leaders, and the people’s blind imitation of them. These two obstacles began to be removed through the birth of the freedom of thought and a tendency toward searching for the truth.

The sixth and seventh obstacles were oppression in us and our bad morals which arise from our opposition to the Shari‘a. The decline of personal, political oppression gives the glad tidings that the terrible oppressions of a society or class or a committee will also come to an end within thirty or forty years.52 In addition to this, the outburst of Islamic zeal and the realization of the evil results of bad morals will cause the disappearance of these obstacles. They are disappearing and, God willing, will disappear completely.

The eighth obstacle is the misunderstanding that the established facts of sciences are contrary to the outer meaning of some Islamic truths. For example, the two angels called Thawr (Ox) and Hut (Fish) have been taken to mean a huge, physical ox and fish respectively, and the people of science and philosophy, unaware of the truth of the matter, have opposed Islam.53 There are many other examples like this one which even the most obstinate opponents have felt obliged to accept the truth of them after having come to understand them.54 So, the studies of some verifying Muslim scholars to explain such matters signal that this eighth, terrible obstacle will be utterly destroyed.

Equipped with sciences, knowledge, and the virtues of civilization, the human tendency to seek the truth, fairness and the feeling of justice in human nature, as well as love of humanity, are beginning to defeat and remove the above-mentioned eight obstacles. God willing, these obstacles will be utterly demolished within half a century. It is with complete certainty that I announce: Europe and America are pregnant with Islam and will give birth to a Muslim state one day in the future, just as the Ottomans are pregnant with Europe and will give birth to a European state (and so they did).

Bediuzzaman Said Nursi

52 39 years after this sermon by Said Nursi, which he gave in 1911 in Damascus, the single party domination ended and multi-party democracy began in Turkey. (Tr.)

53 Said Nursi explained this matter in Muhakemat, published in English as The Reasonings, Tughra Books, New Jersey 2008, pp. 54–56. (Tr.)

54 Said Nursi also dealt with some of these matters in The Reasonings. (Tr.)