Said Nursi (1877–1960)
Said Nursi was a late Ottoman theologian and thinker who lived well into the Turkish republican era. Nursi was concerned with the understanding of the human condition in the modern world, the relationship between religious faith and modern life, and the role of religion in negotiating the tension between tradition and modernity. At the more practical level, one of Nursi’s main objectives was to revive Muslim ethics in a world that had become highly secularized. In this sense, Nursi differed from other Islamic thinkers of the twentieth century such as Mawdudi, Hassan al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb who advocated the idea of ‘Islam as politics’ rather than ‘Islam as faith.’ Nursi writings constitute theology with a strong sociological dimension.