Virtual Retreats: 4 Books in 4 Seasons

1. Virtual Retreat Date: 18-19 December

Centre for Risale & Hizmet Studies is pleased to present its first effort, by the Risale Academy, to facilitate a virtual retreat on the works of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi. Titled “Four Books in Four Seasons” this retreat is an attempt to introduce the four main books authored by Said Nursi: a 20th Century tafseer scholar who bore witness to transitions of modernity and Islam and then advanced a vital commentary bridging our understanding and rooting Muslims in this modern era.

The designated readings for this retreat are from the four core books of Nursi’s Risale-i Nur, or Epistles of Light, The Words, The Letters, The Flashes and The Rays. During this winter season we will read sections from The Words.

Virtual Retreats: 4 Books in 4 Seasons

1. Virtual Retreat Date: 18-19 December

Centre for Risale & Hizmet Studies is pleased to present its first effort, by the Risale Academy, to facilitate a virtual retreat on the works of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi. Titled “Four Books in Four Seasons” this retreat is an attempt to introduce the four main books authored by Said Nursi: a 20th Century tafseer scholar who bore witness to transitions of modernity and Islam and then advanced a vital commentary bridging our understanding and rooting Muslims in this modern era.

The designated readings for this retreat are from the four core books of Nursi’s Risale-i Nur, or Epistles of Light, The Words, The Letters, The Flashes and The Rays. During this winter season we will read sections from The Words.

Objectives

The objective of this virtual camp is to focus on reading selected texts from the Risale-i Nur collection and have short discussions on the fundamental topics in a friendly and enjoyable atmosphere by experts who are grounded in their education heavily on Nursi’s tafseer collection the Risale-i Nur/ Epistles of Light.

2021 Winter Reading Camp 1
on “The Words” by Said Nursi

🔸All are welcome, however, due to the rigor of the camp we encourage those in university and beyond to attend.

🔸The language of instruction will be in English, and all texts will be read from English translation.

🔸Each session will be read out loud by an English speaker, in which all students are expected to follow the text. Following this, a different scholar of the Risale-i Nur will open up the topic further.

🔸The retreat will be colored with Kahoot Challenges, Jeopardy and Poll Everywhere sessions.

Focus on Risale-i Nur Collection

2-Day virtual retreat

Over 6 hours discussion and Q&A

Kahoot and Jeopardy Challange

Participating is free, but donation is recommended 🙂

Retreat Format

The virtual camp will be moderated by Iysha Arun, Ceyda Sablak and  Tuleyb Sablak.

Readings

by Iysha Arun, Ihsan Sengel, Ceyda Sablak, Tuleyb Sablak, Isa Palamar, Zainebou Mbaye, Uğur Coşkun and Sümeyye Ince.

Discussions

by Kerim Balci, Yusuf Bayram, Dr. Mahsheed Ansari, Dr. Mehmet Özalp, Dr. Yasir Bilgin, Dr. Züleyha Çolak, Dr. Muhammad Abdulghani, Tugba Kaya and Dr. Salih Yücel.

Retreat Program

December 18, 2021

9:00-10:00 AM – Reading – 1st Word & 23rd Word, Iysha Arun
10:00-10:30 AM – Discussion – How to read Risale with all our existence?, Kerim Balci
10:30-11:00 AM – Tea Time and Free Conversation – Q&A with Kerim Balci, Coordinator of the Centre for Risale & Hizmet Studies
11:00 AM-12:00 PM – Reading – 30th Word, Ihsan Sengel
12:00-12:30 PM – Discussion – Ene – First Part of the 30th Word, Yusuf Bayram
12:30-1:30 PM – Break
1:30-2:30 PM – Reading – 19th Word, Ceyda Sablak
2:30-3:00 PM – Discussion – Prophethood – Nubuwwah in Risale, Dr. Mahsheed Ansari
3:00-3:30 PM – Tea Time and Free Conversation – Q&A with Dr. Mahsheed Ansari
3:30-4:00 PM – Break
4:00-5:00 PM – Reading – 32nd Word, Tuleyb Sablak
5:00-5:30 PM – Discussion – Tawheed – Monotheism in Risale, Dr. Mehmet Özalp
5:30-6:00 PM – Break
6:00-6:30 PM – Discussion  – Nubuwwah – Prophethood according to Nursi, Dr. Yasir Bilgin
6:30-7:30 PM – Kahoot from Day’s Readings & Discussions, Tuleyb Sablak

December 19, 2021

9:00-10:00 AM – Reading – 11th Word, Isa Palamar
10:00-10:30 AM – Discussion – Why did Allah create this World? Answering the question from a Divine perspective., Dr. Züleyha Çolak
10:30-11:00 AM – Tea Time and Free Conversation – Q&A with Dr. Züleyha Çolak
11:00 AM-12:00 PM – Reading – 25th Word, Zainebou Mbaye
12:00-12:30 PM – Discussion – Miraculousness of the Qur’an, Dr. Muhammad Abdulghani
12:30-1:30 PM – Break
1:30-2:30 PM – Reading – 33rd Word, Uğur Coşkun
2:30-3:00 PM – Discussion – Tafakkur: Contemplation on the universe, Tugba Kaya
3:00-4:00 PM – Break
4:00-5:00 PM – Reading – 10th Word, Sümeyye İnce
5:00-5:30 PM – Discussion – Resurrection in Risale, Dr. Salih Yücel
5:30-6:00 PM – Break
6:00-6:30 PM – Jeopardy, Tuleyb Sablak
6:30-7:30 PM – Poll Everywhere: Reflection time, Ceyda Sablak

Register Now

Participating our online retreat is free of charge, but registration is obligatory. A donation to support the projects of the Centre for Risale & Hizmet Studies will be much appreciated. Recommended donation amount for this event is $25.

Once you register in our system, the system will send you a separate Zoom registration link, where you will only enter your name and email address. Please use an email address you control frequently. Zoom will generate a participation link unique to you, which you should save and not share with anybody else.

FAQs

Here is what Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies says about Said Nursi:

“Said Nursi (1876 –1960), the most influential Islamic scholar in modern Turkish history, is the inspiration behind the hugely popular Nur movement (Nurculuk). Guided by his masterwork, the Risale-i Nur, Nursi’s followers shun political ambition, focusing instead on a revival of personal faith through study, self-reform and service of others. Nursi lived through the upheavals that led to the establishment of a vigorously secular Turkish republic in place of the dismembered Ottoman caliphate. Nursi was educated through the medrese system in the traditional Islamic disciplines but also mastered modern Western philosophical and scientific ideas in order to address the challenges Muslims face now. In some ways the Risale-i Nur functions as an interpretation of the Qurʾan for the contemporary world; millions within and outside Turkey have found solace in that interpretation.”

The four books are the four major collections of Said Nursi’s treatises: The Words, The Letters, The Flashes and The Rays.

Among these, The Words explains and proves the fundamental matters of belief, such as God’s existence and unity, the manifestation of the divine names and attributes in creation, the resurrection of the dead and the life of the hereafter, prophethood, the miraculousness of the Qur’an, the angels, and the immortality of man’s spirit, together with such questions as the true nature of man and the universe, and man’s need to worship God. The Letters is largely a compilation of answered Said Nursi gave to his students. These letters cover issues from daily life of Said Nursi to explanations of the truths of belief and mysteries of the Qur’an, from nationalism to sufism and various treatises on how to read the Book of the Universe. The Nineteenth Letter, which describes the miracles of Prophet Muhammed (Peace be upon Him), is unquestionably the core of this book.

The Flashes (a.k.a. The Gleams) continues to expound the fundamental truths of belief, existence and science, the Practices (Sunna) of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him), and various topics relating to the social and personal lives of Muslims, including the treaties on brotherhood and sincerity.

The Rays is the final collection of the Risale-i Nur containing both argumentations on the existence of God and Nursi’s defences in the courts is a guidance for the Risale-i Nur’s way of life and for a spiritually enlightened life at the same time. The dual cores of the collection are The Supreme Sign (The Seventh Ray) which provides a wholistic testimony to God’s necessary existence and unity, and The Shining Proof (The Fifteenth Ray) which not only summarizes the argumentations on God’s existence put forward in the Risale-i Nur, but also adds short treatises on spiritual realms.

The Virtual Retreat is a virtual one. It will be on Zoom only. There will be reading sessions where native speakers will read the selected texts; and there will be discussion sessions where experts will explain certain segments of the text further. The discussion sessions are meant to add interactivity to the program. The retreat will be colored with Kahoot, Jeopardy and the like.

Although open to non-Muslims and Muslims alike, Virtual Retreats deal with texts particular to Islam. These texts are rich in references to Islam’s holy sources and tradition. No prior knowledge of Islam or of Said Nursi’s writings is required to participate, but an introductory knowledge of Islam and Islamic demonstrations of pillars of belief will certainly benefit the participants.

Contact Us

If you need advice on our program or registration, please feel welcome to contact us.