Why Muslims should Maintain their Dignity in Worldly Life: A Critical Consideration on Said Nursi’s Insight on the Meaning of “Theology of Hope” as Reflected in His Damascus Sermon

Fauzan Saleh


“At one time Muslim culture led the world in knowledge and prosperity. Now, in most respect, it lags far behind. What are the factors that led to its rise and subsequent fall?” (Perkins, 2003). Muslims fell under the Western domination for many centuries. As a result, they have lost their authority to administer their own matters independently. Whereas Muslims believe that they should attain worldly contentment and after life happiness altogether, in reality, they gain only a modest attainment to improve their prosperity and accordingly lose their political as well as cultural dignity. They have been overshadowed by the West in many aspects of political and cultural affairs. But what made the West prosperous and triumphant over Muslim nations in general? To some extent, as one might believe, it is because they have adopted “prosperity theology.” While the term itself is controversial among Christian theologians, the issue has roused a profound awareness among Western people about the importance of personal empowerment, proposing that it is God’s will for humans to live prosperously. What did Nursi say about the necessity of cultivating prosperous life in Islam and what did he say about the demand to maintain dignity in this worldly life? This article tries to examine Nursi’s idea on the necessity of gaining worldly prosperity for advancing Muslim civilization as well as of maintaining their dignity by examining his insights on the “theology of hope” as reflected in his “Damascus Sermon” and other works compiled in his voluminous Risalei Nur.


Islamic civilization; Averroes; Risalei Nur; Theology of Hope

Full Text:



Clough, Shepard B. (1967). The Rise and Fall of Civilization: An Inquiry into the Relationship between Economic Development and Civilization. New York: Columbia University.

Fakhry, Majid (1983). A History of Islamic Philosophy. New York: Columbia University Press.

______, (1999). “Philosophy and Theology from the Eight Century C.E. to the Present,” in John L. Esposito (ed.), The Oxford History of Islam. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 269-303.

Falsani, Cathleen (2014). “The Worst Ideas of the Decade.” The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/opinions/outlook, retrieved February 10, 2014.

Henderson, Rick (2013). “The False Promise of the Prosperity Gospel: Why I Called Out Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/pastor-rick-henderson/osteen-meyer, blog being posted on August 21, 2013, retrieved February 10, 2014.

Lewis, Bernard (2004). The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror. London: Phoenix.

Mahmud, Abdul Halim (1970). Sufyan al-Thawri Amir al-Mu’minin fi’l-Hadith. Kuwait: Dar al-Bayan.

Michel, Thomas (2013). Insights from the Risale-I Nur: Said Nursi’s Advice for Modern Believers. New Jersey: Tughra Books.

Nursi, Bediuzzaman Said (2004). The Flashes, trans. Sukran Vahide. Istanbul: Sozler Publication.

Nursi, Bediuzzaman Said (2003), The Flashes Collection, trans. Sukran Vahide. Ankara: Ihlas Nur Nesriyat.

Nursi, Bediuzzaman Said (2006). The Rays, trans. Sukran Vahide. Istanbul: Sozler Publication.

Nursi, Bediuzzaman Said (2008). The Words, trans. Sukran Vahide. Istanbul: Sozler Publication.

Perkins, John L. (2003a). “Prosperity and the Rise and Fall of Islam,” http://www.faithfreedom.org/Articles/perkins30325.htm, retrieved February 7, 2014.

Perkins John L. (2003b). “Islamic Economics, Politics and Prosperity,” http://home.alphalink.com.au/~jperkins/IslamEco.htm, retrieved February 6, 2014.

“Prosperity Theology,” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia (2013). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosperity _theology, retrieved November 29, 2013.

Vahide, Sukran (2005). Islam in Modern Turkey: An Intellectual Biography of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi. Albany: State University of New York.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.14421/skijic.v1i1.1216


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 The Author(s)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.