Address to the Army


Volkan No: 110

29 Rebîülevvel 1327/ 7 Nisan 1325/ 20 April 1909


O Soldiers of Islam! I remind you of the decree of the Glory of the World (Upon whom be blessings and peace) that it is obligatory to obey those in command within the bounds of the Shari‘a. Your commanders and masters are your officers. The army resembles a huge and orderly factory. If one cog of the machinery departs from the order and discipline, the whole factory is thrown into confusion.

Your orderly and powerful factory of the army is the point of support and source of help of thirty million Ottomans and three hundred million Muslims.

Your bloodless and instantaneous killing of two awesome despotisms was wondrous; you exhibited two miracles of the Illustrious Shari‘a, offering two proofs to those weak in belief of the power of Islamic zeal and the sacredness of the Shari‘a. Had the price of these two revolutions been thousands of martyrs, we still would have considered it cheap. But if even a thousandth of your obedience is sacrificed, it will turn out extremely expensive for us. For any decrease in your obedience is the cause of death, like a drop in the life-force or in body-heat.

History has always testified to the awesome harms to country and nation when soldiers interfere in politics. Certainly your Islamic zeal will prevent you from attempting things that will cause harm to the life of Islam.

Those who will think of politics are your officers and commanders, who are like your powers of thought.

Sometimes, since it repels considerable harm politically, a matter you consider to be harmful is pure benefit; your officers see this due to their experience, and give you commands. It is not then permissible for you to be hesitant. Actions in personal life that are contrary to the Shari‘a do not negate skill and expertise in a craft, and do not make the craft abhorrent. The illicit private conduct of a skilful doctor or proficient engineer does not prevent their medicine and engineering being profited from. So do not fail in your obedience because of minor actions contrary to the Shari‘a of some of your officers who are experienced in the science of warfare, skilful in that art, and whose ideas are enlightened through their Islamic zeal. Because the science of warfare is an important art. Also, since your rebellion showed the Illustrious Shari‘a like the Shining Hand of Moses, you compelled those few unlawful actions to return to the fold of the Shari‘a. This licit union of yours swallowed up other societies which were the cause of division and confusion of ideas, like the Staff of Moses. It also compelled the magicians to prostrate. Your action in this revolution was like a medicine, but if excessive, it will turn into poison and head the life of Islam towards a serious illness. Also, through your endeavours the despotism with us has for the present been destroyed. But we are still oppressed by Europe in respect of progress. The utmost caution and moderation are needed.

Long live the Illustrious Shari‘a! Long live the army!

S a i d  N u r s i