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Risale-i Nur: An Antidote to Secularism

The Risale-i Nur Madrasa, or as Turks spell it “Medrese”, is not an ordinary madrasa that teaches traditional studies.

After the Ottoman collapse in Turkey, the new leaders eradicated religion in the name of secularism from public educational institutes.

Said Nursi, the founder of Nur Movement, dedicated his life to finding a way out from this dark pit and bringing the spirituality back to education.

Despite the hard circumstances, he could restore the Islamic teachings through his collection entitled Risale-i Nur, “Epistles of Light”.

Reviving Faith in Secular Times

Said Nursi was an influential Muslim scholar who witnessed the rise of secularism in his country. He advocated for a new approach to education: integrating the religious and secular sciences. A

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He was committed to re-establish the Islamic teachings, using spirituality and renewing faith in an era when people were paddling out the waves of secularism.

What’s Special in the Risale-i Nur Collection? 

His collection – around nine books – is a commentary on the Qur’an and the Sunnah, from a spiritual perspective, contrasting the rise of the secular era around him.

The Epistles of Light has been translated into more than forty languages, and has reached millions of readers all over the world, prompting some to consider the series as one of the most widely read Islamic books after the Qur’an.

The rich content addresses different aspects of life that perfectly mirrors the Qur’an: the meaning and purpose of life, the love and knowledge of God; uncovering the validity of faith through the rational as well as the spiritual realities to fit the modern mindset.

With its easygoing explanation method attracts millions of readers: it is written specifically for the seekers of truth searching for God.

Likewise, Nursi’s approach to answering the questions with logic and with a positive attitude works as an antidote to spiritual illnesses caused by modernity.

In the Risala-i Nur schools throughout the globe, devoted teachers work endlessly for the sake of spreading the message of light. The halaqas take place several times a day; one can join directly, but also virtually to the discussions.

Risale-i Nur: An Antidote to Secularism - About Islam

My Personal Experience

The modernist commentaries of Nursi on classical teachings have a great impact on his followers. I personally joined one of the madrasas, and I truly enjoyed the experience.

There is a special bond with my companions from the madrasa: right after the first meeting, I felt that I’d known them for years.

As our gatherings go beyond a mere halaqa of dhikr and seeking knowledge; it becomes our social life in which we share food, thoughts, times of ease, and hardships.

Without exaggerating, being with these people reminds me of the life of some of the Companions I have read about, joining them has accelerated my spirituality and healed my spiritual wounds.

Anytime I feel the need to escape from the secular world and distractions entangling me, I find my peace and rest in Nur Madrasa, a safe place for my soul.