Is The Risale-i Nur Current Sufism?

Bahadır Gürler


Question: Some figures or groups try to introduce Ustad Bediuzzaman as a Sufi. Is that true? Or is this a false perception?

Answer: The best way to understand this matter and Ustad Nursi’s status is to refer to the Collection and ask directly to it.

Here, we reflect some examples from the Collection:

Yes, I gave the lesson of the knowledge of Iman and noble truths to some special brothers of hereafter, in terms of mastership. This is not a teaching of tariqat, in fact the lecture of reality. (p.224, Tarihçe-i Hayat)

Hey sirs! I am not a sheikh .. I am a lecturer... A proof of this; I’ve been here for four years; If I were to give tariqat lesson to a single man, you would have the right to be skeptical. Indeed, I said to everyone who came to me: Iman is needed, Islam is required, it is not the time of tariqat! (p.235, Tarihçe-i Hayat)

Very sharp clairvoyance of those students has realised such a truth that: the service with Risale-i Nur saves the belief; as for tariqat and school of sheikh bring the grades of walayat (sainthood). (p.288, Tarihçe-i Hayat)

Since this is the truth, people of knowledge, people of tariqat and sufi-style who are closed to the circle of the Risale-i Nur, should get in to its current and to empower it with the capitals coming from knowledge and tariqat, and to work for its expansion and to encourage its students, and to melt the egoism which is a piece of ice, by throwing it into the life-water in that circle, in order to gain a complete pond, and this is necessary. (p.320, Tarihçe-i Hayat)

My Ustad gave me and each reasonable listening one the lecture that; it is not the time of tariqat, it is the time of saving the Belief, perform the five daily prayers duly, do the glorifications at the end of the prayer, follow the Sunna of Prophet (asm), do not commit the seven sins. (p.12, Barla Lahikası)

With the compassion, bestowal, graces of the All-Glorious One,  and with the help of venerable Master, we’ve united with the people of tariqat. Now, we are reading the Words so much. And they too, take advantage and get benefit. (p.147, Barla Lahikası)

I am not a Sufi.. Our profession is not tariqat.. the love of position and to attract the sight to himself are a spiritual sickness; this is called a secret associating partners with God.. If our job were the school of sheikh, the position would be single; and many would be candidates to that position. Our profession is brotherhood. Brother cannot be father to another brother, cannot act the status of sheikh. (p.63, Emirdağ Lahikası)

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On the other hand, Ustad mentions the beauties of the tariqat which had been an important “backbone” during the Ottoman Caliphate for five hundred years preserving the path of Sunna.. The tariqat subject is a specific chapter in the 29th Letter, namely "Talwihat-i Tis'a":

Walayat (sainthood) is a proof of divine messengership; the Sufi path is a proof of the Shari‘a. (p.446, The Letters)

In conclusion, The Risale-i Nur and Bediuzzaman’s way is not Sufism; it is “tajdid”.. the Renewal.. we shall finalise here with several quotes:

“...Risale-i Nur is considered as the Renewer (Mujaddid) on the subject of the Renewal of the Religion.” (p.150, Barla Lahikası)

And he identifies the Risale-i Nur “society” intermingled within the Muslim Ummat, and highlights its particular duty:

Yes, we are a society and we are a society that every century has three hundred and fifty million members. Every day through the five obligatory prayers, its members demonstrate with complete veneration their attachment to the principles of that sacred society. Through the sacred programme of اِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ اِخْوَةٌ they hasten to assist one another with their prayers and spiritual gains. We are members of that sacred, vast society, and our “particular duty” is to teach the believers in certain, verified fashion the Qur’anic truths of belief, and save them and ourselves from eternal annihilation and everlasting solitary confinement in the Intermediate Realm.  We have absolutely no connection with any worldly, political, or intriguing society or clandestine group, or the baseless, meaningless secret societies concerning which we have been charged; we do not condescend to such things. (p.344, The Rays)

Furthermore, however deficient in Muhyi’l-Din al-‘Arabi’s view the knowledge of God was that Fakhr al-Din Razi obtained by means of theology, the knowledge of God attained on the Sufi way is similarly deficient in relation to the knowledge obtained through the legacy of prophethood directly from the All-Wise Qur’an. (p.331, The Letters)

The Words that have been written are not supposition, they are affirmation; they are not submission, they are belief; they are not intuitive knowledge (marifet), they are a testifying and witnessing; they are not imitating, they are verification; they are not taking the part of something, they are comprehension of it; they are not Sufism, they are reality (hakikat); they are not a claim, they are the proof within the claim. (p.378, The Letters)

“...Though, in every century, a sort of Mahdi and Mujaddid, guiding to truth is coming and came, however, each of them, performing only one of the three duties in a way, none of them obtained the “Great Mahdi” title of the end of times." (p.304, Emirdağ Lahikası)

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