The wonder of the age, Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, had an exceptional life of worship. There are many accounts reported by his students about his sorrowful sighs and groans while saying his prayers in full concentration and awe of God Almighty. His experience with the Blessed Three Months (shuhuru thalatha) was certainly an outstanding one, fitting to the merit of this special period in the Muslim calendar.

The modern age has made people so preoccupied with worldly affairs that for a long time people have been deprived of the joy of being in the presence of our Lord. Bediuzzaman felt this honor of celestial presence before God throughout his life, and no prayer was deprived of its share of divine serenity.

Assignment to read the whole Qur’an everyday

Bediuzzaman would assign every one of his students who resided in towns or villages near Isparta to read a certain part of the Qur’an; thus, with the participation of all the students, many hatims (reading of the entire Qur’an) were completed every day. Bediuzzaman would read the hatim prayer on behalf of every participant and would devote it to the blessed souls of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, his family, his Companions, all believers, and students of the Risale-i Nur.(1)

Additionally, at the beginning of each of the blessed months, Bediuzzaman would issue a letter of celebration, which also served as a means of maintaining communication with his students. An excerpt from one follows:

My esteemed and loyal brothers,

First of all we celebrate your Blessed Three Months and the most precious holy nights therein. May God Almighty reward all your nights to the worth of a Raghaib or a Qadr.

We pray that your night of Bara’a, the forthcoming Ramadan, and the night of Qadr be more rewarding than a thousand months, and be recorded thereby in your “book of deeds.”

Likewise, we celebrate your night of Mi‘raj and we beg that your prayers on that night will be accepted by the divine Mercy-we hope the fact that it rained the day before and the day after this night in this region is a sign for the future manifestation of universal mercy.

My esteemed and loyal brothers,

We celebrate your blessed Ramadan with all our soul and existence. May God Almighty bless the night of Qadr for all of you with more rewards than a thousand months. And may He grant you a lifetime of eighty years, which will be most appreciated for each of you.

Ramadan nights

Bediuzzaman’s life of worship was transformed into strict discipline during Ramadan. Bayram Yuksel, one of his most loyal students, reports that Bediuzzaman would not sleep on the blessed nights, and most particularly in the second half of Ramadan. He used to check on his students at night and spill water on their faces to keep them awake; he made sure they stood vigilant in prayer.(2) He constantly reminded them of the authenticated hadith that the night of Qadr was to be searched for in the second half of Ramadan, and especially in the last ten days.

Bediuzzaman engaged in supplications and remembrance, and read a part of the Qur’an every day. He paid his sadaqa al-fitr (charity of the fast-breaking) to his students and asked them to collect the same charity among themselves.

He indicated the lofty mission of his students in one of his letters on the occasion of the Three Holy Months:

In His name, glory be to Him,

There is nothing that does not glorify Him with praise.

My esteemed and loyal brothers,

This summer season is also a time of unawareness, a chaotic time of chasing after livelihood, (as well as) a most rewarding time of prayer in the Blessed Three Months, and also a time of diplomatic storms not caused by weapons; if this is not resisted by powerful fortitude and determination in the holy mission, a sort of laziness, a loss of zeal, a state of languor is likely to set in, to the disfavor of the Risale-i Nur service.

My dear brothers, know for certain that the mission that the Risale-i Nur and its students are engaged in is far greater than all the great issues that are on the surface of the Earth. Therefore, do not lose your zeal for your eternal duty by focusing on worldly issues that may arouse your curiosity. (3)

In another letter, Bediuzzaman speaks about the spiritual atmosphere of the Blessed Three Months:

When the weather is unfavorable, it has a bad influence; likewise when the spiritual atmosphere is corrupt, every individual is influenced to the degree of his or her capacity and skills. The blissful atmosphere of the Blessed Three Months and the month of Muharram (the first month in the Islamic calendar) is purified, beautified, and can resist horrendous misfortune and storms, with the considerable inclination, efforts, and illumination of all believers who are involved in the profitable pursuit of earning the Hereafter. Everyone benefits from these circumstances to his or her respective level. But, after the Blessed Three Months depart, the exhibition and market for the Hereafter trade changes, and the exhibition of the world starts. Most effort undergoes a transformation. The smoke of the debris poisoning the air spoils the spiritual atmosphere; everyone is poisoned to the degree of his or her level. (4)

References

1 Sahiner, Necmettin, Son Sahitler (The Last Witnesses), Nesil Yayinlari, Istanbul: 2005.

2 Akar, Mehmet, Secdede Bir Ömur (A Lifetime in Prayer), Sahdamar Yayinlari, Istanbul: 2005

3 Emirdag Lahikasi (Letters from Emirdag), Letter No: 21.

4 Kastamonu Lahikasi (Letters from Kastamonu), Letter No: 40.

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