Advertisement

Said Nursi’s Non-violent Social Activism as a Refutation and Response to the Re-emergent Neo-Kharijite Sect in Islam

  • Mahsheed AnsariEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Middle East Today book series (MIET)

Abstract

The Muslim world in the colonial era experienced rapid changes in all aspects of life; the development of Muslim modernist thought as a form of Salafism in this era had a profound impact on how approaches to Islam influenced the course of socio-political life in the decades that followed. This modernist influence and its shift from Islamic tradition paved the path for the re-emergence of the neo-Kharijite sect in Islam. One of the exceptions to this mode was the response of Kurdish scholar Said Nursi (1877–1960), who called for social activism rooted in non-violence as well as an absolute apolitical attitude. This chapter critically examines his revivalist work, the Risale-i Nur, and discusses the historical context within which he worked. It contrasts the variation in Nursi’s theological arguments, methodologies, and discourses and his contemporaries, which resulted in either apolitical activism or political Islam-based activism. This significant distinction can provide a workable framework to critically analyse contemporary Islamic movements.

References

  1. Abdelhalim, Julten. 2017. Reviving Islam: Neo-Salafism Traversing Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Northeast African Studies 17 (1): 51–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abu-Rabi, Ibrahim, ed. 2003. Islam at the Crossroads: On the Life and Thought of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi. Albany: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
  3. Al-Yaqoubi, Muhammad. 2015. Refuting ISIS: A Rebuttal of Its Religious and Ideological Foundations. Herndon: Sacred Knowledge.Google Scholar
  4. Ansari, Mahsheed. 2015. The Rational and Metaphysical Notions of Prophethood and the Prophet Muhammad in the Thought of Said Nursi and Muhammad Iqbal. PhD Dissertation, Monash University.Google Scholar
  5. Esposito, John L. 1983. Voices of Resurgent Islam. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Esposito, John L., and John Obert Voll. 2001. Makers of Contemporary Islam. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Haddad, Yvonne Yazbeck, John Obert Voll, and John L. Esposito. 1991. The Contemporary Islamic Revival: A Critical Survey and Bibliography. Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group.Google Scholar
  8. Haj, Samira. 2008. Reconfiguring Islamic Tradition: Reform, Rationality, and Modernity. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Hammond, Andrew. 2017. Salafi Thought in Turkish Public Discourse Since 1980. International Journal of Middle East Studies 49 (3): 417–435.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hassan, Muhammad Haniff. 2017. A Rebuttal of Al-Qaeda and IS’ Theological Justification of Suicide Bombing. Counter Terrorist Trends and Analyses 9 (7): 1–23.Google Scholar
  11. Huntington, Samuel. 1993. The Clash of Civilizations? Foreign Affairs 72 (3): 22–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kerr, Malcolm H. 1966. Islamic Reform: The Political and Legal Theories of Muhammad’Abduh and Rashid Rida. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  13. Khan, M.A. Muqtedar. 2014. What Is Enlightenment? An Islamic Perspective. Journal of Religion & Society 16 (1): 1–8.Google Scholar
  14. Kuru, Ahmet T. 2007. Passive and Assertive Secularism: Historical Conditions, Ideological Struggles, and State Policies toward Religion. World Politics 59 (4): 568–594.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kurzman, Charles, ed. 2002. Modernist Islam, 1840–1940: A Sourcebook. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Makdisi, Ussama. 2002. After 1860: Debating Religion, Reform, and Nationalism in the Ottoman Empire. International Journal of Middle East Studies 34 (4): 601–617.Google Scholar
  17. Mardin, Şerif. 1989. Religion and Social Change in Modern Turkey: The Case of Bediüzzaman Said Nursi. Albany: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
  18. Meijer, Roel. 2009. Global Salafism: Islam’s New Religious Movement. London: C. Hurst & Co.Google Scholar
  19. Michel, Thomas. 2013. Insights from the Risale-I Nur: Said Nursi’s Advice for Modern Believers. Clifton: Tughra Books.Google Scholar
  20. Murad, Abdul Hakim. n.d. Islamic Spirituality: The Forgotten Revolution. http://www.masud.co.uk/ISLAM/ahm/fgtnrevo.htm. Accessed 7 Apr 2018.
  21. Nursi, Said. 2002. Munazarat [The Debates]. Istanbul: Sözler Yayınevi Publication.Google Scholar
  22. ———. 2004. Al-Mathnawi an-Nuri [Epitomes of Light]. Trans. U. Ali. Somerset, NJ: Light Inc.Google Scholar
  23. ———. 2006. The Flashes. Trans. Sukran Vahide. Istanbul: Sozler Publications.Google Scholar
  24. Parray, Tauseef Ahmad. 2011. Islamic Modernist and Reformist Thought: A Study of the Contribution of Sir Sayyid and Muhammad Iqbal. World Journal of Islamic History and Civilization 1 (2): 79–93.Google Scholar
  25. Qutb, Sayyid. 1990. Milestones (Ma ‘alim fil Tariq), English trans. Indianapolis: American Trust Publication.Google Scholar
  26. Rafiabadi, H.N., ed. 2007. Challenges to Religions and Islam: A Study of Muslim Movements, Personalities, Issues and Trends. New Delhi: Sarup & Sons.Google Scholar
  27. Riexinger, Martin. 2008. How Favourable Is Puritan Islam to Modernity? A Study of the Ahl-i Hadis in Late Nineteenth/Early Twentieth Century South Asia. In Colonialism, Modernity, and Religious Identities: Religious Reform Movements in South Asia, ed. Gwilyn Beckerlegge, 147–165. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Saritoprak, Zeki. 2005. An Islamic Approach to Peace and Nonviolence: A Turkish Experience. The Muslim World 95 (3): 413–427.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. ———. 2010. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi’s Paradigm of Islamic Nonviolence. In Crescent and Dove: Peace and Conflict Resolution in Islam, ed. Quamar-Ul Huda, 95–106. Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace.Google Scholar
  30. Sayilgan, Zeyneb, and Salih Sayilgan. 2011. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi’s Ethics of Non-Violence: Implications for Christian-Muslim Relations Today. Dialog 50 (3): 242–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Turner, Colin, and Hasan Horkuc. 2009. Said Nursi: Makers of Islamic Civilization. Oxford: I.B. Tauris.Google Scholar
  32. ul-Qadiri, Tahir. 2010. Fatwa on Terrorism and Suicide Bombing. London: Minhaj al-Quran.Google Scholar
  33. Vahide, Sukran. 2003. Toward an Intellectual Biography of Said Nursi. In Islam at the Crossroads: On the Life and Thought of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, ed. I.M. Abu-Rabi, 1–32. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  34. ———. 2012. Islam in Modern Turkey: An Intellectual Biography of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi. New York: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
  35. van Bruinessen, Martin. 1999. Controversies and Polemics Involving the Sufi Orders in Twentieth-Century Indonesia. Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar
  36. Weber, Max. 2002. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism: And Other Writings. New York: Penguin.Google Scholar
  37. Yildiz, Ahmet. 2017. Said Nursi’s Positive Action as a Method of Serving Belief and Peace. In The Companion to Said Nursi Studies, ed. I.S. Markham and Z. Sayilgan, 379–392. Oregon: Pickwick Publications.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Charles Sturt UniversitySydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations