turn at the door of the grave. I exclaimed: “Endless thanks be to my Sustainer!”, and was happy at my old age and pleased with my imprisonment. For life does not stop, it passes swiftly. If it passes in pleasure and happiness, since the passing of pleasure is pain, it becomes transient, passing without thanks and in heedlessness; leaving sins in the place of pleasures, it departs. Whereas if it passes in prison and hardship, since the passing of pain is a sort of pleasure, and since it is considered to be a sort of worship, it becomes perpetual in one respect, and through its good fruits gains everlasting life. It becomes atonement for the mistakes that were the cause of past sins and imprisonment, and purifies them. From this point of view, the prisoners who perform the compulsory parts of the obligatory prayers should offer thanks in patience.
One time in my old age, I was released from Eskişehir Prison after serving a years’ sentence. They exiled me to Kastamonu,1 where I stayed for two or three months as a guest in the police station. It may be understood how much torment someone like me suffered in a place like that, who was a recluse, wearied by seeing even his loyal friends, and could not endure the changes in dress.2 While suffering this despair, divine grace suddenly came to the assistance of my old age. The inspector and police in the police station became like firm friends. They not once warned me about not wearing a peaked cap, and like my servants, used to take me for trips around the town.
Then I took up residence in Kastamonu’s Risale-i Nur Medrese, opposite the police station, and started to write further parts of the Risale-i Nur. Heroic Risale-i Nur students like Feyzi, Emin, Hilmi, Sâdık, Nazif, and Salâhaddin, attended the medrese in order to duplicate the treatises and disseminate them. We held scholarly debates even more brilliant than those I had held in my youth with my old students.
Then our hidden enemies aroused the suspicions of some officials and some egotistical hojas and shaykhs concerning us. They caused us and Risale-i Nur students from five or six provinces to be gathered together in the School of Joseph of Denizli Prison. The details of this Sixteenth Hope are described clearly in the brief letters I sent secretly to my brothers while
A provincial centre in the İlgaz Mountains to the north of Turkey. Bediuzzaman was exiled here in March 1936, after being released from Eskişehir Prison. He remained in Kastamonu for seven years, until 1943, when he was sent to Denizli Prison. (Tr.)
This refers to the compulsory adoption of European dress following the Dress Laws passed in the first years of the Republic. The Hat Act of 1925 banned the wearing of all headgear other than European-style hats. (Tr.)