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While visiting Damascus in early 1911, Bediuzzaman Said Nursi was invited by the religious scholars there to give a sermon in the historic Umayyad Mosque. On their insistence he agreed, and delivered a sermon to a gathering of close on ten thousand, including one hundred scholars. It met with such a response that the text was afterwards printed twice in one week.
In this sermon, Bediuzzaman gave certain news that in the future Islam and the truths of the Qur'an would prevail, and he provided clear proofs that this would occur. Not only did he demonstrate how the Islamic world could heal itself through taking the medicines of the Qur'an, but he also pointed out a number of developments in the West, among them the stirrings of a genuine search for the truth, that indicated to a forthcoming acceptance of Islam. With extraordinary foresight, Bediuzzaman predicted that, as all the evidence suggested, Islam would in the near future gain ascendancy. However, the two World Wars and a period of despotism both in Turkey and elsewhere in the Islamic world, which he had not foreseen, delayed matters. That is to say, as the developments of which he gave news in 1911 slowly unfold, this sermon, together with its diagnosis of some of the fundamental ills afflicting the Islamic world and the remedies from the Holy Qur'an that it points out, continues to be of the greatest relevance for Muslims of the present day.
As Bediuzzaman Said Nursi demonstrates, since Islam relies on reason and reasoned proof, it is the religion of the present and 2he future, for this is the age of science, technology and reason. This fact is being understood now by many who realize that they cannot live without a true and complete religion. The causes for the decline of the Islamic world and its material backwardness in comparison to the West should be sought in the failure of Muslims to adhere to the teachings and truths of the Holy Qur'an and Islam. Just as Islam provides for the material progress of man, and indeed urges him towards it, so too does it provide for man s true progress and development in moral and spiritual matters. This combination forms the basis of true civilization.
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