Islam in Modern Turkey

An Intellectual Biography of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi

By Sukran Vahide
Edited by Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi'
Introduction by Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi'

Subjects: Middle East Studies, Islam, Comparative Religion, Theology, History Of Religion, Autobiography, Biography And Memoir
Paperback : 9780791465165, 440 pages, August 2005
Hardcover : 9780791465158, 440 pages, August 2005

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Table of contents

Author’s Note on the Sources
Note on Spelling and Punctuation

Introduction by Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi‘

Part I. The Old Said

1. Childhood and Youth

2. Istanbul

3. Bediuzzaman and the Thirty-first of March Incident

4. The Future Shall be Islam’s

5. The Medresetü’z-Zehra

6. War and Captivity

7. The Armistice Years (1): Appointment to the Darü’l-Hikmeti’l-Islamiye and Opposition to the British

8. The Armistice Years (2): The Birth of the New Said, and Departure for Ankara

Part II. The New Said

9. Van

10. Barla

11. Eskis*ehir

12. Kastamonu

13. Denizli

14. Emirdag

15. Afyon

Part III. The Third Said

16. Consolidation of the Nur Movement and “Jihad of the Word”

17. The Last Months


A biography of the prominent Turkish theologian and thinker.


Islam in Modern Turkey presents one of the most comprehensive studies in English of the seminal Turkish thinker and theologian, Bediuzzaman Said Nursi (1876–1960). A devout Muslim who strongly believed in peacefully coexisting with the West, Nursi inspired a faith movement that has played a vital role in the revival of Islam in Turkey and now numbers several million followers worldwide. While Nursi's ideas have been afforded considerable analysis, this book is the first to situate these ideas and his related activities in their historical contexts. Based on the available sources and Nursi's own works, here is a complete and balanced view of this important theologian's life and thought.

Sçükran Vahide is Resident Scholar at the Istanbul Culture and Science Foundation in Istanbul, Turkey. Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi> is Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations at the Hartford Seminary. He edited and wrote the introduction for Islam at the Crossroads: On the Life and Thought of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, also published by SUNY Press.


"…a timely contribution to the study of one of the most prominent Islamic thinkers of the twentieth century. " — American Journal of Islamic Studies

"This book is vitally important. Nursi was an authentic Muslim, which even the most conservative of Muslims would recognize. One finds in his writings a warmth and generosity of spirit that is worth celebrating and should be better known. " — Ian S. Markham, author of A Theology of Engagement