Home / The Occupation of Istanbul / Abdul Hamid II Orders that Bediuzzaman Said Nursi Be Sent to A Mental Asylum
Abdul Hamid II Orders that Bediuzzaman Said Nursi Be Sent to A Mental Asylum

Abdul Hamid II Orders that Bediuzzaman Said Nursi Be Sent to A Mental Asylum

Bediüzzaman Said Nursi was a brave servant of God, who noticed and drew attention to the evil plans of the British deep state since he was a young man. It didn’t take long before the British deep state members saw this dedicated man’s intelligence and talent, and tried to stop him. One of those attempts happened when Said Nursi came to Istanbul to visit Sultan Abdul Hamid II.

In 1907, Said Nursi requested an audience with Sultan Abdul Hamid II to tell him about his ideas on the foundation of a university in Van, which he called Madrasah al-Zahra, and where Islamic and physical sciences would be taught together. However, when he went to the Palace, he was arrested for the so-called ‘crime’ of wearing traditional clothing and a turban, and was sent to Üsküdar Toptaşı Mental Asylum. This unfair practice, carried out upon Abdul Hamid II’s instructions, was a clear example of the fear and concern Said Nursi invoked in the British deep state with his unprecedented bravery.

Dr. Hamid Uras, one of the most esteemed doctors of Gaziantep, was at the asylum at the time Said Nursi was brought in. He recalled the incident with the following words:

It was during the Second Constitutional period and we were students in the Medical School. Nursi was also in Istanbul at the time. … He was very well known, his fame had spread everywhere. … they sent him to be examined by a government doctor, a Greek. The doctor interviewed Said and in the course of their conversation Said took a textbook on anatomy from the bookcase and read four or five pages, then asked the doctor to test him on it. The doctor did so and was left in amazement as the patient read the pages back to him from memory word for word. He apologized to Said and wrote a favorable report to be sent to the palace by means of the police chief.(Şükran Vahide, Islam in Modern Turkey: An Intellectual Biography of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, State University of New York Press, New York, 2005, p. 39)

Following the report stating that Said Nursi had no mental problems, he was discharged and sent back to the police headquarters. This prompted Abdul Hamid II to offer Said Nursi money to go back to his city, which Said Nursi immediately declined.

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