Is what follows, and it is to this that my life-experiences have given rise: Despair is a most terrible disease which has infiltrated into the heart of the Muslim world. It is despair which has killed us and caused a small Western state of a few millions to dominate tens of millions of Muslims in the east and to colonize their country. It is also despair which has extinguished our elevated morals and led us to abandon public interest and restrict our views to our personal interests. It is despair which has ruined our spiritual and moral power to such an extent that while our earlier generations, who were small in number but equipped with extraordinary spiritual and moral power, conquered a vast area that stretched from the east to the west, unjust foreigners have captured and reduced to slavery hundreds of millions of Muslims for the last four centuries. Those Muslims have found a pretext for their laziness in one another’s indifference and loss of energy, saying, “Everyone is bad like me,” and abandoned Islamic zeal and the responsibility to serve Islam, which is required by belief. Since this disease has done us such wrong and almost kills us, we will, God willing, smash its head with Do not despair of God’s Mercy (39:53), and break its waist with the truth of the Islamic principle, “If something cannot be obtained entirely, it is not to be abandoned entirely.”

Despair is the most terrible disease, a cancer, for nations. It blocks the way to perfection and is contrary to the truth of God’s pronouncement, “I am with my servant in the way he thinks of Me.”57 It is the characteristic of the ignoble, cowardly, and impotent. It can never be at one with Islamic valor and the spirit of endeavor. God willing, all Muslim peoples will go hand in hand with each other in perfect solidarity and unity, and hoist the flag of the Qur’an all over the world.

Bediuzzaman Said Nursi

57 al-Bukhari, “Tawhid” 15; Muslim, “Tawba” 2, at-Tirmidhi, “Zuhd” 51.