English Articles

Islam and the family in the West in the light of 25th Word

Metin Karabaşoğlu (translated by Muhammed Şeviker)

BEDİUZZAMAN SAİD Nursi, in the 25th Word that he assigned to the miraculousness of the Qur’an, having summarized the fundamental confrontation points between Qur’anic civilization and the Western civilisation with an extraordinary clearness four case comparisons which, directly get in touch with the daily life. It is highly significant that, of the four cases, the three are related to the family.

While browsing around the pages of “Twenty-Fifth Word” which assigned for the demonstration of Qur’an’s miraculousness, we find the opportunity of understanding how the Qur’an brings precision and depth in the sight of people who become duly disciples of it. Particularly, there is such a chapter in this wide and deep epistle that it demonstrates Bediuzzaman’s tajdid mission as a Qur’anic disciple.

In the chapter in question, according to Bediuzzaman’s interpretation, challenge of Lord of the Worlds in responding the disbelievers who claim that the Qur’an is the word of the Illiterate Messenger, i.e. “then produce a Surah (chapter) of the like thereof and call your witnesses (supporters and helpers) besides Allah, if you are truthful” does not includes only that day’s polytheists and disbelievers but also today’s polytheists and disbelievers.

While the Lord of Lords is challenging “Say: "If the mankind and the jinns were together to produce the like of this Qur'an, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they helped one another." (See, Isra, 17:88) in Bediuzzaman’s terms “modern civilization, which is the product of the thought of all mankind and perhaps the jinn as well” is in the effort and claim to response to this challenge of the Qur’an via so-called “by promulgation likes of Qur’anic regulations”.

As it is seen in these utterances, Bediuzzaman identifies some features in the Western civilisation, which attempts dominating the entire world:

1- This civilisation tries to challenge the Qur’an’s heavenly regulations and laws. And, it claims to be an alternative and response to “the Qur’anic civilisation”.

2- The Western civilisation, to that effect, has blended all viewpoints and understandings which are broken off from the Revelation. In a sense, in trying to demonstrate the claim in question has called all humanity to help and assist.

3- It is not enough to identify the Western civilisation only as togetherness of the people who refuse the Revelation. As it is understood from “jinni as well” this civilisation has a demonical aspect. In a sense, the Western civilisation, with its human and jinni followers is the last and the largest sortie campaign of the Devil against the Qur’an.

In the Islamic territories where there are many people live who are inclined to accept everything which cooked in the West and serviced to us in a defeated mind and fatigued spirit before it, Bediuzzaman’s this “modern civilisation” comment is highly warning and awakening.

So, the believers before receiving everything stemming from the West regarding them “the common heritage of humanity”, should consider that this civilisation which is ” the products of the thought and efforts of mankind and the jinn” is human, more precisely demoniac effort to response the challenge of “If the whole of mankind and the jinns were to gather together to produce the like of this Qur'an, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they backed up each other with help and support”.

The familial failure of the West

Thus, Bediuzzaman, in the proceeding lines of the same chapter, after summarizing the fundamental confrontation points between the Qur’anic civilisation and the Western civilisation with an extraordinary lucidity, makes case comparisons on several points that directly touch into daily life. Here, it is particularly significant that of the four cases that Bediuzzaman uses, one is related with directly “socio-economic” life, the others are related to “family”. The more significant one is that the three topics relating to “family” are the issues which come to the fore mostly in the assaults undertaken by the mouthpieces of the Western civilisation against Islam. Bediuzzaman demonstrates the miraculousness of the Qur’an via put forwarding the failure that the Western civilisation has displayed in these three topics where they regarded themselves the most strong before the Qur’an.

Of the four cases that Bediuzzaman uses when he makes comparisons between the Qur’anic civilisation and the Western civilisation, the three are directly related with family life. The first of the three is related to veiling, the second one is with lawfulness of “polygamy”, and the third one is related to the sharing of heritage as unevenly rates among male and female siblings. Which, every believer living in the modern times experiences that the tongues who attempt to utter that the Qur’an’s timeless and transcendental discourse “has expired”, and, besides the prohibition of usury, they criticize Islam mostly for these legislations.

Yet, it is seen clearly, with Westerners’ failure, the miraculousness of the Qur’an, when considered, how the West which opposes the Qur’an, via its legislations that it has presented as a so-called alternative to the Qur’an, constructed a familial and societal life.

The Western civilisation has manufactured the devices that carried out men into the Moon’s surface or moved forward into the depths of the outer space and sent photographs into the Earth, has managed splitting atom and accelerating particles, and appeared before humanity with many technological marvels. Yet it has afflicted with a complete failure in the establishing peace and tranquillity in the construction a happy familial life and harmonious social life. This is a reality although it exerted so much means, workforce and time, with a virtually an army of academicians who have carried out detailed studies at this issue in psychology, sociology, anthropology, psychiatry and in so many areas. There is an explicit huge null despite of so much research, despite the data and findings obtained from these researches, despite of so much opinions expressed with reference to these data and findings, and despite the strong state mechanisms that turned these thoughts into legislations.

The Western civilisation which regards the Qur’an’s decrees, decrees particularly related to family and women as a reason to assault Islam, is a monument of complete failure at issues such as harmonious and enduring marriages, child education, coalescence and solidarity among siblings; and consequently at the constructing an harmonious societal life. However, the Islamic society to which The West regards “backward”, in spite of great strikes resulted from age-long assaults is still out and away ahead in considerations of familial life and societal solidarity.

While the lives in the West is more pulled to pieces than the atom which the West boasts of splitting, in the Muslim communities, in spite of the assaults that it incurred, and the erosions that resulted from these assaults persons, spouses and siblings live a more altruist, more tranquil and more balanced lives.

Likewise, in the Muslim communities, in spite of all kinds of blows that they have exposed to, because of that the related Qur’anic decrees, at least to some extent can be submitted and observed, we do encounter the less moral defilements and debaucheries which destroy the family life.

Warning modern Muslim

In a masterpiece like “the Twenty-Fifth Word, that the examples of Bediuzzaman which he gives while he was demonstrating the “miraculousness” of the Qur’an” against the “human inability” are related mainly to family has an aspect that looks us, the believers in the modern times. Since the assault stemming from the West against the Qur’anic essentials is rather strong, in their weakness times, is influencing the believers’ souls, selves, intellects, and even hearts. Thus, although they identify themselves by belief and Islam, as far as this belief’s translating daily life, particularly family life concerned, there are many who display the mental and actual resistance against the norms of the Qur’an under the influence of Western perceptions and manners.

For the sake of replacing the Western “custom” which has come into our lives particularly via films and soap operas in addition to other channels, many Qur’anic norms relating to familial life have been tossed aside sneering them as “tradition”. At these issues, Western experts’ utterances in the areas of psychology, sociology, pedagogy, psychiatry, and so on, have been “apodictic” fundamentals in many minds, not the Qur’an’s and Sunnah’s teachings. As a result of this, what had been experienced by the individuals, families and communities in the West have been, increasingly started to be experienced in the Muslim territories.

Precisely for this reason, Bediuzzaman’s approach that he introduced in respect to obey and observe the norms which the Lord of the Worlds has set forth via His Qur’an as His transcendental and perennial discourse is warning and awakening. This warning takes strength from the truth decreed by the Lord of the Worlds at the end of the verse relating into the familial life: ‘Allah knows but you do not know.’ (Baqarah, 2:216)


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