The Holy Qur'an and Preserving the Islamic Letters
After the oppressive rules of the Alphabet Revolution (1928) in Turkey, Islamic letters were in danger and millions of people became illiterate. Although they knew how to write and read in Islamic alphabet, the new Latin alphabet was utterly strange for them, however they were not allowed to use their Prophet’s scripts. People were forced to learn Latin and abandoned to teach Qur’anic script. Apart from teaching the Latin letters in those days, it was forbidden to read and write in the Islamic scripts either.
There was a group of committed people led by renowned thinker and mujaddid of this age, Imam Bediuzzaman Said Nursi. Imam al-Nursi’s starting point in his cause was to prove that the Holy Qur’an is like the sun whose light cannot be extinguished forever. Due to some tricky games on Islamic world and trials to get Muslims away from the core of Islam, Imam al-Nursi vowed: “I will show and prove to the world that the Qur’an is such an undying and inextinguishable sun!” And he devoted his life to this mission.
His sincere followers’ appreciated movement had struggled to keep preserving the Islamic manuscripts, which were banned in the Republican period. According to the teachings of Imam al-Nursi, one of the most important duties of Noor students is to preserve the Qur’anic letters writing and reading in Islamic letters.
The main idea behind was to get connected with the Qur’an which the nation has been more than a thousand years. If Muslims do not have the connection with that they are supposed to have, they will not be following Islam no more as they are supposed to do. As a matter of fact, this will decrease their power in terms of piety and unity. Imam al-Nursi ordered his students to write and read from Qur’anic letters not from Latin letters. By doing so, his aim was to attract them to the importance of Islamic letters. His outstanding behaviour against bid’as (renovations) and his significant opposition to the worst ever bid’as of time are the historic actions against the oppression in the post-Ottoman and post-Alphabet Revolution period.
Ahmed Husrev Efendi, being his senior assistant and the successor, was the one who understood him well and preserved the Islamic letters during all his life, even after his predecessor Imam al-Nursi’s decease. Like al-Nursi, he never allowed students to leave the sunnah way and was strictly opposed to those ill-intentioned scholars giving fatawa for bid’as just to get some worldly benefits.
Imam al-Nursi, in his famous book Letters (al-Maktubat) categorizes stations in the service for the Qur’an.Friend, brother and student. Studentship is the highest rank in his categorization in terms of following the faraiz (compulsory duties), the sunnah (practice of Messenger Muhammad – ASW) and strict loyalty to the principles. Student of Noor’s main aim in his life is to spread the Qur’an and its interpretation, Risale-i Nur. Brotherhood is less strict than the previous but station of friendship in the service is the least one. Yet, in order to become a friend, the first principle is not to recognize the bid’as and oppose them and preserve the Islamic letters.
Thanks to Imam al-Nursi and his successor Ahmed Husrev Efendi, there are thousands of Noor students who are honourably preserving the Islamic letters in today’s Turkey and connecting generations, past and future with the victorious history of Islam.