Volkan No: 70
18 Safar 1327/ 26 Şubat 1324/ 11 March 1909
We have been members of the İttihad-ı Muhammedî (The Muhammadan Union) (Upon whom be blessings and peace) since man undertook the trust in pre-eternity.2 The reason for our unity is Divine Unity; our oath and pledge is belief; we are united because we affirm Divine Unity. All believers are charged with upholding the Word of God, and at this time the most effective means of doing this is material progress. For the Europeans are crushing us under their tyranny with the weapons of science and industry. We shall therefore wage jihad with the weapons of science and industry on ignorance, poverty, and conflicting ideas, the worst enemies of upholding the Word of God.
As for external jihad, we shall refer it to the decisive proofs of the Illustrious Shari‘a. For conquering the civilized is through persuasion, not through force as though they were savages who understand nothing. We are devotees of love, we do not have time for enmity. Republicanism3 consists of justice, mutual consultation, and the restriction of power to the law. The Illustrious Shari‘a was founded thirteen centuries ago, so to go begging to Europe in the question of laws is a great crime towards the religion of Islam. It is like facing the north while praying. Power must reside in the law, otherwise arbitrary rule spreads. The saying “It is Allah Who is the Strong, the Most Firm” must govern the conscience. That is possible through general education and widespread civilization, or in the name of the religion of Islam. Otherwise absolutism will always prevail.
Unity may be achieved through Divine Guidance, not through personal whims and desires.
People are free, but they are still slaves of God. Everything is free now; the Shari‘a is free, constitutionalism is free. We shall not give the matters of the Shari‘a as a bribe. One may not make the faults of others the basis of and excuse for one’s own faults.
Despair is an obstacle to all achievement. The saying: “What is it to me, let other’s think” is a souvenir of absolutism. I do not know what should be interposed to tie together these sentences since I do not know Turkish, and leave it for the readers to work it out.
S a i d N u r s i
2. "Qalu bala." See, Qur'an, 7:172. [Tr.]
3. At that time it was 'constitutionalism,' now it is 'republicanism.'