Said Nursî

Said Nursi in 1918

Said Nursî (Ottoman Turkish: سعيد النُّورسی‎ / Central Kurdish: سەعید نوورسی‎; 1877[1] – 23 March 1960), also spelled Said-i Nursî, officiallySaid Okur[13] and commonly known with the honorific Bediüzzaman (بديع الزّمان, Badī’ al-Zamān),[14] was a Kurdish Sunni Muslimtheologian. He wrote the Risale-i Nur Collection, a body of Qur’anic commentary exceeding six thousand pages.[15][16] Believing that modern science and logic was the way of the future, he advocated teaching religious sciences in secular schools and modern sciences in religious schools.[15][16][17]

Nursi inspired a faith movement[18][19] that has played a vital role in the revival of Islam in Turkey and now numbers several millions of followers world wide.[20][21] His followers, often known as the “Nurcu movement” or the “Nur cemaati”, often call him by the venerating mononymic Üstad (“the Master”).

Bediuzzaman displayed an extraordinary intelligence and ability to learn from an early age, completing the normal course of Madrasa (religious school) education at the early age of fourteen, when he obtained his diploma. He became famous for both his prodigious memory and his unbeaten record in debating with other religious scholars. Another characteristic Bediuzzaman displayed from an early age was an instinctive dissatisfaction with the existing education system, which when older he formulated into comprehensive proposals for its reform.[22] He was able to recite many books from memory. For instance “… So then he [Molla Fethullah] decided to test his memory and handed him a copy of the work by Al-Hariri of Basra (1054-1122) — also famous for his intelligence and power of memory — calledMaqamat al-Hariri. Said read one page once, memorized it, then repeated it by heart. Molla Fethullah expressed his amazement.”