THE “POSITIVE” AND “NEGATIVE” EUROPES
Below are listed a number of passages related to the subject of the Muslim – Christian Alliance which are to be found in the works of the Great Muslim Scholar and Renovator- Bediuzzaman Said Nursi (1877-1960 Turkey). In his famous commentary of Qur’an, named the Risale-i Nur (the Treatises of Light), Bediuzzaman wanted to attract the attentions of the Muslim and Christian peoples and in particular the intellectuals and the spiritual leaders to the tidings of Prophet Muhammad (saw) regarding the return of Jesus Christ towards the last century of the world life.
Here, one point in particular should be noted. As will be seen, referring to the Christian world of Europe and America, Bediuzzaman distinguished between “two Europes”, one positive and the other negative. It is hoped that in accordance with some Qur’anic verses and Hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the ‘People of the Book,’ that is, Jews and Christians, in the West, who although they are forgetful of the Hereafter and live lives of heedlessness and misguidance, do not adhere to any form of irreligion/atheism, will gradually join the followers of true Christianity.
In various places in his Commentary of Qur’an, Bediuzzaman mentions the “two Europes.” In a lengthy discussion addressing the ‘negative’ Europe, he says:
“It should not be misunderstood; Europe is two. One follows the sciences which serve justice and right and the industries beneficial for the life of society through the inspiration it has received from true Christianity; this first Europe I am not addressing. I am rather addressing the second corrupt Europe which, through the darkness of the philosophy of Naturalism, supposing the evils of civilization to be its virtues, has driven mankind to vice and misguidance.” (Lem’alar, 115 / The Flashes Collection, 160)
THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS (peace be upon him)
The following are a number of examples of Bediuzzaman’s interpretations of Hadiths about the second coming of Jesus (Peace be upon him) at the end of time and the Muslim – Christian alliance:
Question: “After Jesus (Peace be upon him) kills the Dajjal (Antichrist) at the end of time, most people will enter the true religion. However, it says in some narrations: ‘The end of the world will not occur so long as there remain on the earth those who say, Allah! Allah! (Muslim-Iman 234, Tirmidhi-Fitan 35, Musnad II-107-201, Al Hakim al Mustadrak 4-494). So how after most people have come to believe, will most people become unbelievers?
T h e A n s w e r : Those whose belief is weak deem it unlikely that the news given in the sound Hadith, “Jesus (Peace be upon him) will come, he will act in accordance with the Shari’a (Holy Law) of Islam, and he will kill the Dajjal (AntiChrist)” (Sahih-i Buhari 60/49, Sahih-i Muslim 1/71) will come about. But if what this means in reality is explained, no reason remains to deem it unlikely. It is as follows:
“The meaning expressed by this Hadith and those about the Sufyan (Anti-Islam) and the Mahdi (Rightly Guided Leader), is this: at the end of time (in this century and next) two currents of irreligion will gain strength:
One of them: Under the veil of duplicity, a fearsome individual named the Sufyan (Anti-Islam) will deny the messengership of Muhammad (PBUH), and coming to lead the dissemblers, will try to destroy the Islamic Shari’a. To oppose him, a luminous individual called Muhammad Mahdi, a descendant of the Prophet (PBUH) will come to lead the people of sainthood and perfection, who are bound to the luminous chain of the Family of the Prophet, and he will smite the current of dissemblers, which will be the collective personality of the Sufyan, and scatter it.
THE ANTI-CHRIST AND HIS REGIME
The Second Current: A tyrannical current born of Naturalist and Materialist philosophy will gradually gain strength and spread at the end of time by means of materialist philosophy, reaching such a degree that it denies God. A savage who does not recognize the king or accept that the officers and soldiers in the army are his soldiers ascribes a sort of kingship and rulership to everyone and to all the soldiers. In just the same way, each of the members of that current, who deny God, ascribes dominicality to his soul like a little Nimrod. And the greatest of them, the Dajjal, who will come to lead them, will manifest awesome wonders, a sort of spiritualism and hypnosis; he will go even further, and imagining his tyrannical, superficial rule to be a sort of dominicality, he will proclaim his godhead. It is clear just what foolish buffoonery it is for impotent man, who may be defeated by a fly and cannot create even a fly’s wing, to claim godhead.
At that point, when the current appears to be very strong, the religion of true Christianity, which comprises the collective personality of Jesus (Peace be upon him), will emerge. That is, it will descend from the skies of Divine Mercy. Present Christianity will be purified in the face of that reality; it will cast off superstition and distortion, and unite with the truths of Islam. Christianity will in effect be transformed into a sort of Islam. Following the Qur’an, the collective personality of Christianity will be in the rank of follower, and Islam, in that of leader. True religion will become a mighty force as a result of this alliance. Although defeated before the atheistic current while separate, Christianity and Islam will have the capability to defeat and rout it as a result of their union. Then the person of Jesus (Peace be upon him), who is present with his human body in the world of the heavens, will come to lead the current of true religion, as, relying on the promise of One Powerful Over All Things, the Bringer of Sure News has said. Since he has told of it, it is true, and since the One Powerful Over All Things has promised it, He will certainly bring it about. (Mektûbat, 56-7 / Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Letters, 77-9)
At the end of time, Jesus (Peace be upon him) will come and will act in accordance with the Shari’a of Muhammad (PBUH)’ indicates that at the end of time the religion of Christianity will be purified and divest itself of superstition in the face of the current of unbelief and atheism born of Naturalist philosophy, and will be transformed into Islam. At this point, the collective personality of Christianity will kill the fearsome collective personality of irreligion with the sword of heavenly Revelation; so too, representing the collective personality of Christianity, Jesus (Peace be upon him) will kill the Dajjal (AntiChrist), who represents the collective personality of irreligion, that is, he will kill atheistic thought. (Mektûbat, 6 / Letters, 22)
Because both Dajjals (Anti-Christ and Anti-Islam) will win the assistance of a secret Jewish society which nurtures a terrible desire for revenge on Islam and Christianity, and that of another secret society which uses women’s liberation as a screen, and the Islamic Dajjal will even deceive the Masonic lodges and win their support ; for these reasons they will be supposed to possess tremendous power.” (Shualar, 594 / The Rays Collection)
“There is a sound and certain narration which says: ‘Jesus (Peace be upon him) will kill the Great Dajjal (Anti-Christ). (Muslim 52/No: 94-110-116, Ibn-i Majeh No:4075)
The knowledge is with God, there are two aspects to this:
The First Aspect: It could only be a wondrous person with the power of miracles who could kill and change the way of the awesome Dajjal, who will preserve himself through wonders bestowed on him by God in order to lead him astray such as magic, hypnotic powers, and magnetism, and will spellbind everyone. And that person will be Jesus (Peace be upon him), who is the prophet of the majority of mankind, and to whom most people are attached.
The Second Aspect is this: It will be only the truly pious followers of Jesus who will kill the vast collective personality of materialism and irreligion which the Dajjal (AntiChrist) will form – for the Dajjal will be killed by Jesus’ (PUH) sword – and destroy his ideas and disbelief, which are atheistic. Those truly pious Christians will blend the essence of true Christianity with the essence of Islam, and rout the Dajjal with their combined strength, in effect killing him.
The narration: “Jesus (Peace be upon him) will come and will perform the ritual- prayers behind Mahdi”. (Ibn-i Majeh No: 4077) alludes to this union, and to the sovereignty of the Qur’an and its being followed.” (Shualar, 587 / The Rays Collection)
“Mahdi’s luminous community will repair the destruction of the innovative regime of the secret society of the Sufyan (Anti-Islam), and will restore the Prophet’s glorious Sunna. That is to say, the secret society of the Sufyan will try to annihilate the Shari’a of Muhammad (PBUH) in the World of Islam with the intention of denying his messengership, and will be killed and routed by the miraculous immaterial sword of the Mahdi’s community.”
SPIRITUAL “MUSLIM” CHRISTIANS
Moreover, in the world of humanity, with the intention of denying the Godhead, the secret society of the Dajjal (Anti-Christ) will overturn civilization and subvert all mankind’s sacred matters. A zealous and self-sacrificing community known as a Christian community but worthy of being called “Muslim Christians”, will work to unite the true Religion of Jesus (Peace be upon him) with the reality of Islam, and will kill and rout that society of the Dajjal, thus saving humanity from Atheism. (Mektûbat, 441 / Letters, 515)
God Almighty knows best, these are Monotheist Christians who believe in the Unity of God Almighty and deny Trinity and they also accept the Truthfulness of the Quran and interprete Biblical Dogmas in accordance with the Truths of the Quran.
PURE, ORIGINAL CHRISTIANITY
“Also, since the strange circumstances and fearsome activities of the Antichrist’s regime, and the covert organization and government that he founds, have been narrated as referring to his person, their true meaning has remained obscure. For example, “He will be so powerful and long-lived that only Jesus (PUH) will be able to kill him; nothing else will be able to” (see article 6). That is, it will only be a revealed, elevated, pure religion that will be able to overturn his way and rapacious regime, and eliminate them. Such a religion will emerge among the true followers of Jesus (PUH), and it will follow the Qur’an and become united with it. On the coming of Jesus (PUH) and emergence of the True Christian religion, the Antichrist’s irreligious way will be wiped out and will cease. The Antichrist’s person could otherwise be killed by a mere germ or by influenza.” (Shualar, 581 / The Rays Collection)
“Christianity will either erupt or be extinguished. It will surrender and submit to Islam.
“It was split repeatedly until finally Protestantism appeared, but in that it did not find what would rectify it.
“The veil was again rent, it fell into absolute misguidance. However, a part of it approached the affirmation of Divine Unity; in that it will find salvation.
“It is preparing to be split again. If it is not extinguished, it will be purified and will join Islam.
“In this lies a mighty mystery to which the Glory of the Prophets alluded when he said: “Jesus will come and follow my Shari’a (Holy Law); he will be of my Community.” (Sözler, 703 / The Words, 736)
THE MUSLIM-CHRISTIAN ALLIANCE
A warning from Bediuzzaman:
“We say this in connection with Salahaddin giving ‘The Staff of Moses’ (Asâ-yi Mûsa) to the American:
“It is essential that missionaries and pious Christians, as well as the students of Noor are extremely careful. For certainly, with the idea of defending itself against the attacks of the religions of Islam and Christianity, ‘the current from the North’ will try to destroy the accord of Islam and the missionaries. With a permissive attitude towards the common people, and inviting the bourgeoisie to help them by enforcing the payment of zakat and forbidding usury and interest, and by desisting from oppressing them, they will deceive the Muslims. Giving them some privileges, they may induce them to support them.
“Anyway, this time I broke my rule for your sake, and looked to the world.” (Emirdag Lahikasi 1/159)
CHRISTIAN VICTIMS OF OPPRESSION
MAY BE AMONG THE SAVED
Bediuzzaman stated that for some Christians, the present age is like Fatrat “a time period in which Divine Message of Prophet Muhammad did not reach some human beings”, and those who during the Second World War suffered oppression and death might receive due recompense :
“At the end of time, the True Religion of Jesus (Peace be upon him) will prevail and will stand shoulder to shoulder with Islam. Therefore, it may be said with all certainty that the calamity which the oppressed among Christians suffer, those connected to Jesus (peace be upon him), who at present remain in an interregnum-like obscurity, is a sort of martyrdom for them.” (Kastamonu Lahikasi,111)
NOTE: Although for centuries, without basing it on proof, the majority of Christian clergymen have spoken against Islam, whereas in many Hadiths (Sayings) Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) informed his community that Jesus (PUH) would come at the end of time, and defeating irreligion, would rule much of the earth. The Muslim community has therefore awaited the second coming of Jesus (PUH). This shows clearly that priests and clergymen were very often more concerned with maintaining their positions of authority, whereas the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) always adhered to the truth, rejecting emotional bigotry. Many true Christians are now seeking to rectify this error, and God willing, they will be successful.
THE STRUGGLE OF ATHEISM AGAINST
THE REVEALED RELIGIONS
During the Second World War, Bediuzzaman stated that since “the currents of irreligion” had also entered the struggle, it was essential that the two major religions, that is, Islam and Christianity, were reconciled. In this connection, he said:
“…For two states are engaged in the case of mutual conflict, struggling for world supremacy, the two major religions should therefore open the case for peace in the court of reconciliation. For a fearsome current of irreligion has entered upon a mighty struggle against the revealed religions…” (Sikke-i Tasdik-i Gaybî, 191)
In the continuation of the letter, Bediuzzaman points out that in such confused times and conditions, support should be given not to worldly strife but to the life of religion.
THE QUR’AN AND ETERNAL HAPPINESS
Bediuzzaman writes that mankind has been awakened in this century by the disruption resulting from tyrannical wars and by the ugly results becoming apparent of the widespread vice and corrupt politics inculcated by “the second Europe,” and will therefore realize its intense need for the truths of the Qur’an. The Risale-i Nur, he says, which sets out powerful proofs of those truths, will perform an important duty of guidance.
“Because of the extreme tyranny and despotism of this last World War and its merciless destruction, and hundreds of innocents being scattered and ruined on account of a single enemy, and the awesome despair of the defeated, and the fearsome alarm of the victors and their ghastly pangs of conscience arising from the supremacy they are unable to maintain and the destruction they are unable to repair, and the utter transitoriness and ephemerality of the life of this world and the deceptive, opiate nature of the fantasies of civilization becoming apparent to all, and the exalted abilities lodged in human nature and the human essence being wounded in a universal and awesome manner, and heedlessness and misguidance and deaf, lifeless nature being smashed by the diamond sword of the Qur’an, and the exceedingly ugly, exceedingly cruel true face of world politics becoming apparent, which is the widest and most suffocating and deceptive cover for heedlessness and misguidance, most certainly and without any shadow of a doubt, since the life of this world – which is the metaphorical beloved of mankind – is thus ugly and transient, man’s true nature will search with all its strength for eternal life, which it truly loves and yearns for, just as there are signs of this occurring in the North, the West, and in America.
“Most certainly there is also no doubt that since the Qur’an of Miraculous Exposition, which each century for one thousand three hundred and sixty years has had three hundred and fifty million students, and sets the seal on each of its pronouncements and claims through the affirmation of millions of profound, veracious scholars, and each minute has been present with its sacredness in the hearts of millions of hafiz’s and given instruction to mankind through their tongues, and which in a way unmatched by any other book conveys the good news of eternal life and everlasting happiness to mankind and heals all their wounds, since the Qur’an has given this certain good news of eternal life and happiness with thousands of its insistent, powerful and repeated verses, and with its certain unshakeable proofs and innumerable indubitable arguments which invite and give news explicitly and implicitly tens of thousands of times, so long as human kind does not altogether lose its mind and a material or immaterial doomsday does not erupt over its head, the broad masses and great states in the world will search out the Qur’an of Miraculous Exposition, and having grasped its truths, will embrace it with all their lives and spirits, just as there are now famous preachers in Sweden, Norway, Finland and England working to have the Qur’an accepted, and the important community of America is searching for the true religion. Because in view of this fact, the Qur’an by no means has – nor can have – any equal. Absolutely nothing can take the place of this greatest miracle.
“Secondly: Since the Risale-i Nur has performed the service of a diamond sword in the hand of this greatest miracle and compelled its stubborn enemies to submit, and acts as a herald to the treasures of the Qur’an in a fashion that illuminates and heals completely both the heart, and the spirit, and the emotions, and has no source or authority other than the Qur’an and is its miracle, it performs that duty perfectly.” (Sözler, 154 / The Words, 167-8)
THE COMFORTER (PARACLETE) IN THE GOSPELS
“Yes, my brothers, Jesus (Peace be upon him) says in the Gospels: “I am going so that the Comforter may come.” That is to say, so that Ahmad (Muhammad) (Peace and blessings be upon him) may come ; a supreme result, aim, gift, and consolation of the Qur’an.” (Kastamonu Lahikasi, 215)
THE NECESSITY FOR THE ISLAMIC UNITY
Thus, Bediuzzaman says that in the face of these world struggles and the spread of anarchy, those of the Christian states and peoples that can be called ‘positive’ will want the Islamic countries to unite and be strengthened in order to fight effectively against anarchy and international and domestic terror, and he stressed the importance of Islamic unity. He wrote in a letter:
“Signs of the ‘Night of Power (Laylat-ul Qadr) in the Guide For Youth are now to be seen in both America and Europe. For this reason, the true strength of our present government is to rely on the truths of the Qur’an and to serve them. By doing this, through Islamic government, a reserve force of three hundred and fifty million brothers (now 1.5 billion) will be gained within the bounds of the Islamic Unity. Formerly, the Christian states did not support this Islamic Unity, but now, because Communism and Anarchy (Terror) have appeared, both America and the European states are compelled to support the Qur’an and Islamic Unity.” (Emirdag Lahikasi 2/54)
Bediuzzaman states that when the Islamic Unity is achieved, the person who will be its representative will make alliance with truly pious and spiritual Christians. He expresses this succinctly as follows:
“…That person’s (Mahdi’s) third duty will be to construct the Islamic Caliphate on Islamic Unity, unite with the truly pious and spiritual Christians, and serve the Religion of Islam. This duty may be carried out only through powerful rule and millions of devoted followers.” (Sikke-i Tasdik-i Gaybî, 9).
THE MUSLIM-CHRISTIAN ALLIANCE AGAINST
ATHEISM AND ANARCHY
The Muslim – Christian Alliance against aggressive irreligion is one of the most important questions of our times. In a Hadith related to this, it says:
“In the future you will conclude a peace with the Greek-Romans that will ensure security, and together you will fight a joint enemy.” (Tajj 4/960, Ibn-i Majeh 4089,
Abu Dawood-Jihad 156, Malahem-2, Ibn-i Hanbel 4/91,5/372, 9/40)
This Hadith predicts the Muslim – Christian alliance against international irreligion and anarchy. The words “sulhan amina” (peace in security) in the arabic text infer anarchy and terror , which seriously disrupts public peace and security. The meaning is understood through its opposite: there will be intense need for the restoration of public security because of the spread of anarchy and terror. That is, it will be possible to ensure “peace and security” only through possessing the necessary power, and that will be through a Muslim – Christian alliance.
The pieces below expound the aspect of the above Hadith’s universal meaning which looks to this century:
“The believers should now unite, not only with their Muslim brothers but with truly religious and pious Christians, disregarding questions of dispute and not arguing over them. For absolute disbelief (Atheism) is on the attack.” (Emirdag Lahikasi,1/206)
“It is even recorded in authentic traditions of the Prophet that at the end of time the truly pious among the Christians will unite with the People of the Qur’an and fight their common enemy, irreligion. At this time, too, the people of religion and truth need to unite sincerely not only with their own brothers and fellow believers, but also with the truly pious and spiritual ones among the Christians, temporarily refraining from the discussion and debate of points of difference in order to combat their joint enemy , aggressive atheism.” (Lem’alar, 151 / The Flashes Collection, 203-4)
THE U.S.A – ISLAMIC WORLD ALLIANCE
In a letter Bediuzzaman wrote in 1946, he predicted that America would support Islam against ‘negative’ Europe, which was becoming increasingly aggressive towards the Islamic world:
“Both an important anxiety and a consolation occur to me, which is that as a result of this extensive conflict, harm greater than the harm of the First World War, an Anti-Christ-like savagery, will be born in Europe, the source and support of civilization. The consolation for this anxiety is that with the full awakening of the Islamic world, and the New World taking true Christianity as its guiding principle and its uniting with the Islamic world, and the Gospel uniting with the Qur’an and following it, with heavenly assistance they will withstand those two terrible future currents, and defeat them, God willing.” (Emirdag Lahikasi,1/58)
THE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF THE ALLIANCE WITH
THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK
The following verse from the Qur’an spells out the principles of uniting with the People of the Book (Christians and Jews):
“Say: ‘O People of the Book! Come to common terms as between us and you; that we worship none but God; that we associate no partners with Him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and Patrons other than God.’ If then they turn back, say: ‘Bear witness that we indeed are Muslims (peace-loving people).” (Qur’an, 3:64)
“Here it is shown how various different consciences, different peoples, different religions, and different books may be united in one basic conscience, one true word; and how broad, clear, and straight a path of guidance, a law of freedom, Islam taught to the world of humanity, and that henceforth this was not to be restricted to the Arabs and Persians.” (Hak Dini Kur’an Dili Tefsiri, 1131)
A verse which describes the friendship of ‘positive’ Christians for Muslims is as follows:
“And nearest among them in friendship to the believers will you find those who say, ‘We are Christians;’ because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant.” (Qur’an, 5/82)
“… Of all these people, you will find those closest to the believers in love and friendship, those who say: ‘We are Christians.’ For sure, these too are not all believers, and among them are some who are hostile towards the believers. But when compared to the others (Jews or other unbelievers), the others’ enmity is more virulent. That is, the posssibility of the latter’s loving the believers is virtually non-existent, while there is a greater likelihood of the former’s loving them. These have a greater capacity to believe, and to love the believers, than the others.
“They are closer because they are men devoted to learning and worship. That is, they have abandoned the world, and in their monasteries mortify their instinctual souls in fear of the Hereafter and devote themselves to worship of God. They are not arrogant, but humble and friendly.” (Hak Dini Kur’an Dili, 1791)
INTEREST SHOWN IN THE RISALE-I NUR
BY AMERICAN SCHOLARS
“Salahaddin’s letter is important in several respects. Certainly, the American scholars will not remain indifferent towards The Staff of Moses (Nursi’s work on faith). If it passes into the hands of those of them who love Religion for Religion’s sake, it will make some conquests. But if it is obtained by scholars resembling some of our egotistical hojas, because of their vein of jealousy, it is doubtful that they would try to publish it or have it accepted.” (Emirdag Lahikasi,1/160)
VERSES IN THE QUR’AN ABOUT CHRISTIANS
Verses such as 2:121, 3:113-115; 3:199; 13:36; 28:52-5 mention the attributes of ‘positive’ individuals from among the People of the Book, while numerous other verses state that the majority of them have deviated into misguidance (See, 3:110)
In verse 4:159, the Qur’an states that the People of the Book will believe in Jesus (Peace be Upon Him) before death. While verse 4:90 is about the right of immunity awarded to non-Muslims who are not aggressive.
A CHRISTIAN SUPERPOWER’S SUPPORT FOR ISLAM
Hadith no: 4090 of Ibn Majeh reads:
“When bloody wars break out, God will send an army of the mawali (Non-Arabs) whose horses and weapons are superior to the best of the Arabs’ horses and weapons. Through them God will strengthen the religion of Islam.”
The word mawali is the plural of mawla, and was used by the Arabs to denote non-Arabs. This question is mentioned in the history books. Thus, it is possible that the people described as strengthening and reinforcing Islam were a people other than Arabs. (Ibn-i Majeh Terjemesi,V.10,p.354)
It may be understood from this narration that one of the Christian States with very advanced arms technology will assist Islam. And God knows best.
WESTERN THINKERS’ HIGH REGARD FOR ISLAM
In a sermon he gave in 1911 to a large congregation in the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Bediuzzaman mentioned the statements of certain European thinkers and philosophers which corrobate what we have said:
“The following therefore are two examples out of hundreds:
The First: A famous European scholar and philosopher of the 19th century, Carlyle, did not hold back from proclaiming in the loudest voice to philosophers and Christian scholars the following, which he also wrote in his works, that Islam was born like a brilliant flame and devoured the religions of its time as though they were dead wood. It was Islam’s right to do this he said, for it was a reality, while the other religions lacked reality. He said also that the words most worthy to be heeded first are those of Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him), for the true word was his. He said too that if the truth of Islam is doubted then the most self-evident matters should be doubted, because the most self-evident and necessary truth is Islam.
“Second Example: A famous European of the last century who was also a scholar and philosopher, Prince Bismarck, said:
“‘I have studied all the revealed books, but since they are corrupted, I have been unable to find the true wisdom I was searching for, for the happiness of mankind. Then I saw that the Qur’an of Muhammad was far superior to all the other Books. I found wisdom in all its words. There is no other work that will serve man’s happiness like this. Such a work cannot be the word of man. Those who say it is Muhammad’s work are denying the imperatives of knowledge. That is, the Qur’an is self-evidently the word of God.’
BEDIUZZAMAN’S FORESIGHT IN 1911
“So, supported by the fact that the clever fields of Europe and America have produced crops of brilliant and exacting scholars like Carlyle and Bismarck, I say with all assurance:
“Europe and America are pregnant with Islam; one day they will give birth to an Islamic state. Just as the Ottomans were pregnant with Europe and gave birth to a European state.
“O my brothers who are here in the Umayyad Mosque and those who are in the mosque of the world of Islam half a century later!
Do the introductory remarks, that is, those made up to here, not point to the conclusion that it is Islam that will be the true, and spiritual, ruler over the future, and only Islam that will lead mankind to happiness in this world and the next; and that True Christianity, stripping off superstition and corrupted belief, will be transformed into Islam; following the Qur’an, it will unite with Islam” (Hutbe-i Shamiye, 30 / The Damascus Sermon, 34-6.)
A CALL TO THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK
TO BELIEVE IN THE QUR’AN
Just as there are verses in the Qur’an that mention the People of the Book explicitly, so there are verses with allusive meanings. For example:
“And who believe in that which is revealed to you, and that which was revealed before you, and have certain belief in the Hereafter. (Quran 2:4)
“And that which was revealed before you: Contained in attributes such as these is encouragement. And from this encouragement are born commands and prohibitions which urge the listener to conform. There are four subtle points in the relationships of the words in this sentence with those that precede it.
“1 – In regard to the phrase, and that which was revealed before you: this refers to the preceding phrase in a way that leads from what is deduced to the evidence. It is like this:
O men! Like you believe in the Qur’an, believe also in the previous scriptures, for the Qur’an is an evidence and witness to their truthfulness.
“2 – Or else it leads from the evidence to what is deduced, like this:
O People of the Book! Like you believe in the past prophets and scriptures, believe also in the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the Qur’an! For just as they gave the good news of Muhammad’s (PBUH) coming, so too the evidences to their truthfulness and to that of their scriptures are to be found in spirit and in fact in the Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). In which case, accept in the best way that the Qur’an is the Word of God and that Muhammad (PBUH) is His Messenger.
“3 – Islam, which proceeded from the Qur’an in the Era of Bliss, is like a tree. With its roots established in the Era of Bliss, its veins receive strength and life from the living water-sources of that time and have spread everywhere. So too its branches stretch to the skies of the future producing fruits, material and spiritual, for the world of men. Indeed, Islam has taken beneath its wings the past and the future, and holding them in shade, ensures general tranquillity.
“4 – When urging the People of the Book to believe in Islam, the Qur’an shows them in this verse a familiar aspect and a facility. That is, it implies:
O People of the Book! There is no difficulty for you in accepting Islam; do not let it appear hard to you. For the Qur’an does not order you to abandon your Religion completely, it proposes only that you complete your faith and build it on the fundamentals of Religion you already possess. For the Qur’an combines in itself the virtues of all the previous books and the essentials of all the previous religions; it is thus a modifier and a perfecter of basic principles. As for its nature as establisher, this only concerns such details as are subject to change and alteration because of differences of time and place; and this is in no way unreasonable or illogical. With the change of seasons, food and dress and many other things are changed; so too in the stages of a person’s life the mode of their education and upbringing changes. Similarly, as necessitated by wisdom and need, religious ordinances concerning secondary matters change in accordance with the stages of mankind’s development. For although one of these may be beneficial at one time, at another it may be harmful. Or one man’s bread may be another man’s poison. It is due to this mystery that the Qur’an has abrogated some of its secondary pronouncements. That is, it decreed that their time had finished, and the turn had come for other decrees.” (Isharat-ul I’jaz, 49-50)
“Indeed, this present age and the People of the Book this age, who have more than any other relied on themselves and stopped up their ears to the words of the Qur’an, are so in need of its guiding address of, O People of the Book! O People of the Book! that it is as if it addresses this age directly, and the phrase O People of the Book! comprises also the meaning of O People of the Modern Science Books! It delivers its shout of, O People of the Book! Come to common terms as between us and you to the ends of the world with all its strength, all its freshness, all its youth.” (Sözler, 407 / The Words, 420)
PRINCE BISMARCK’S TESTIMONY
Some Europeans thinkers have understood this truth, and have made statements testifying to it:
For instance, Prince Bismarck said:
“Although I have studied thoroughly and in detail all the heavenly scriptures which it is claimed have been revealed at various times by Almighty God to govern mankind, since they were corrupted I was unable to find in any of them the wisdom and pertinence I was seeking. Their rules were remote from ensuring the happiness of a household, let alone a society. The Qur’an of the Muslims (PBUH), however, is exempt from this. I have studied the Qur’an from every angle, and I have seen great wisdom in every word of it.
“The enemies of the Muslims may claim this book to be Muhammad’s (PBUH) work, but to assert that such a marvel appeared from even the most excellent brain is only to close one’s eyes to the truth and fall prey to hatred and prejudice, which are not conformable with knowledge and wisdom. I say this: Muhammad (PBUH) had an exceptional strength. It is highly improbable that the workbench of power would bring another such being onto the stage of existence. O Muhammad (PBUH)! I truly regret not being your contemporary! This book which you taught and disseminated is not yours, it is Divine! To assert that it is not Divine is as ridiculous as asserting the futility of all the sciences. Mankind therefore witnessed once your exceptional power, and will not witness such a power again. I bow in humble respect in your august presence.” (Isharat-ul I’jaz, 213)
“If you read the Qur’an once carefully, you will see that its characteristics begin to unfold. The Qur’an’s beauty is distinctive and differs from the beauty of all other literary works. One of its foremost marks is its originality. It is my conviction that the Qur’an overflows with sincerity and truth. The message Muhammad (PBUH) conveyed to the world is the truth itself.” (Isharat-ul I’jaz, 216)
THE TESTIMONIES OF OTHER ORIENTALISTS
The orientalist Sedio wrote this:
“The Qur’an taught the Divine law to men, and made known in the clearest fashion what creatures should await from the Creator, and the relationship of creatures with the Creator. The Qur’an comprises all morality and philosophy. Expressed in it are virtue and vice, good and evil, the true nature of beings, in short, all subjects. The principles of philosophy and wisdom that teach justice and equality, virtue and doing good to others, these are all to be found in the Qur’an. The Qur’an urges man to frugality and moderation, its preserves him from misguidance, it delivers him from the darkness of moral turpitude, raising him to elevated virtue, it transforms his faults and errors into perfection.” (Isharat-ul I’jaz, 218)
In the Le Figaro newspaper in 1913, Gaston Caré, one of France’s most famous orientalists, wrote a series of articles about whether or not it would be possible to maintain peace if Islam was to disappear from the face of the earth. These articles were translated and published at that time in the newspapers of the East. The French orientalist wrote:
“In the view of its adherents, Islam, the religion of hundreds of millions of people, is a religion exactly suited to the world. The Qur’an, the source and principles of this rational religion, contains the foundations on which its world civilization is based. So much so that we may say that this civilization exists through the blending of the principles taught by Islam. In truth, this elevated religion provided the most essential sources for the development and opening up of the world. Even if we do not admit to this superiority of Islam and recognize our debt of gratitude to it, there is no doubt this is where the truth lies.”
The French writer then discusses the role the Qur’an plays in preserving general peace and tranquillity. He says:
“If Islam was to disappear from the face of the earth and thus no Muslim was to remain, would it possible to perpetuate peace? No! It would not be possible!” Gaston Caré. (Isharat-ul I’jaz, 221)
The English thinker George Bernard Shaw wrote:
“It was the English who most advanced Democracy. But it was Islam which took it even further.” (Nur Çeshmesi, 184)
Bishop Walter Meron said in a lecture entitled “The Best Way to Peace” which he gave in a church in St. Petersburg:
“The Muslims’ religion is the religion of the Qur’an. It is the religion of peace, security, and assurance.” (Nur Çeshmesi, 190)
SOME VERSES OF THE BIBLE FORETELLING
THE COMING OF MUHAMMAD (PBUH)
A verse from the New Testament says:
“The Messiah said, ‘I am leaving for my and your Father so that He may send you the Paraclete,” that is, Ahmad Muhammad.
A second verse from the NT:
“I ask from my Lord for the Paraclete that he may abide with you forever.” (John,14-16)
Paraclete, meaning “the separator of good from evil,” is the name of our Prophet (ASW) as mentioned in those books. (The Letters, 165)
The books of other prophets include names that correspond in Syriac and Hebrew that correspond to the various names of the Prophet (ASW) such as Muhammad, Ahmad and Mukhtar. For example, in the tablets of the Prophet Job (Shu’ayb) (AS), his name is Mushaffaf and means “Muhammad.” In the Torah of Moses (AS), he is mentioned as Munhamanna, which again means “Muhammad,” and as Himyata, which means “the Prophet of al-Haram.” In the Psalms of David (AS), he is named al-Mukhtar (The Chosen One). Again in the Torah of Moses (AS), the name is al-Hatam al-Khatam. Both in the Torah of Moses (AS) and in the Psalms of David (AS), it is Muqim as-Sunna. In the Tablets of Abraham (AS) and in the Torah of Moses (AS), he is mentioned as Mazmaz, and again in the Torah of Moses (AS) as Ahyad.
Allah’s Messenger (ASW) said, “In the Qur’an, my name is Muhammad, in the Gospel Ahmad, and in the Torah Ahyad.” In fact, the NT refers to him as “the possessor of the sword and the staff.” Indeed, he is the greatest among the prophets who carried the sword, and was commanded to wage jihad together with his Community. The NT also describes him as “wearing a crown.’ What is meant here is a turban, for in former days it was the Arabs who generally wore headcover with a wrapper around them. Hence, the description refers of a certainty to Muhammad (ASW). The term Paraclete in the NT, or Faraqlit, is defined in Biblical interpretation as “the one who distinguishes truth from falsehood.” It is and should be therefore the name of a messenger who in the future will lead people to the truth..
In one place in the Gospels, Jesus (Upon whom be peace) says: “I am going so that the Lord of the World may come”. Who other than the Noble Prophet (upon whom be blessings and peace) has come after Jesus who will be the Ruler of the World, distinguish and separate truth from falsehood, and guide mankind in place of Jesus?
Indeed, Jesus (AS) always gave his followers the good tidings that “One will come, and there will be no longer any need for me. I am a forerunner of his, and bring the good news of his coming.” Confirming this is the following verse from the Quran :
“And remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said, ‘O Children of Israel! I am the messenger of Allah unto you, confirming that which was revealed before me in the Torah (Tawrat) and bringing the good tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad (the praised one).” (Quran, 61-6)
Certainly, Jesus (AS) gave in the Gospel the good news many times, the news that the most significant leader of humanity was to come, and he mentioned him with some names and titles in Syriac and Hebrew that mean, as scholars in the field confirmed, Ahmad, Muhammad, and Fariq – the Distinguisher between Truth and Falsehood. That is to say, on many occasions Jesus (pbuh) told of the coming of Ahmad (pbuh).[ Note by B.S.N.: At the site of the tomb of Sham’un as-Safa (Simon), the famous traveller Evliya Celebi came across the following verses from the Gospel of Jesus (AS) written on a gazelle hide: “A youth from the progeny of Abraham is to be a Prophet. He will not be a liar; his birthplace is Mecca: he will come with piety; his blessed name is Mavamit*, those who obey him will flourish in this world.” (* Mavamit is an alteration of Mamad, and Mamad is the alteration of ‘Muhammad.)]
A QUESTION: Why is it that the other prophets only foretold the coming of Muhammad (ASW), while Jesus (AS) described it more strongly than any other Prophet did?
ANSWER: Muhammad (ASW) defended Jesus (AS) against the fearsome denials and slander of the Jews and saved his religion from corruption. Furthermore, instead of the burdensome distorted religion of the Children of Israel who do not recognize Jesus (AS), He presents a feasible and all-encompassing religion that will complete the true religion of Jesus (AS). For this reason Jesus (AS) announced many times the good news of the coming of the Ruler of the World..
Now it is clear that in the Torah of Moses (AS), the Gospel of Jesus (AS), the Psalms of David (AS), and in the tablets of other prophets, there are numerous mentions of a Prophet promised to come at a later time, and these mentions include the various names of such a Prophet (ASW). Of these names we have pointed out only a few examples. Who, other than Muhammed (Upon whom be blessings and peace), the Prophet of the End of Time, could it be that these scriptures of the Prophets speak of, so repeatedly in their verses, and with such importance ?….. (The Letters, 170)
Books from the Risale-i Nur Collection quoted in this compilation booklet :
SOZLER (THE WORDS)
MEKTUBAT (LETTERS -1928-1932)
LEMALAR (THE FLASHES)
SHUALAR (THE RAYS)
EMIRDAG LAHIKASI (EMIRDAG LETTERS)
KASTAMONU LAHIKASI (KASTAMONU LETTERS)
SIKKE-I TASDIK-I GAYBI (THE STAMP OF UNSEEN RATIFICATION)
HUTBE-I SHAMIYE (THE DAMASCUS SERMON)
ISHARAT-UL I’JAZ (SIGNS OF MIRACULOUSNESS)
compiled by : Rustu Tafral, 1992
re-translated by : Shukran Vahide and Ali Kemal Pekkendir, 1998
Printed and published by ITTIHAD YAYINCILIK-Istanbul, 1998.