stolen and he received a compassionate but severe blow. God willing, the lost nine hundred liras was like a sort of almsgiving.
This is Şamlı Hafız Tevfik.1 He himself says: “Yes, I confess that because of some things I did unknowingly and in error that would have caused harm to our service of the Qur’an, I received two compassionate slaps. I have no doubt that they were the result of that.
“The First: All praise be to God, I was endowed with handwriting of the Arabic script which is to a degree suitable for writing the Qur’an. My Master first of all assigned me three thirtieth parts of the Qur’an to write out, and divided the rest among the others. Desire to write out the Qur’an destroyed my wish to perform the service of writing out the rough and final drafts of the parts of the Risale-i Nur. I even had the conceited idea of wanting to surpass the others who did not know how to write the Arabic script properly. I had even said arrogantly when my Master told me as a precaution about the writing that it was for him: “I know this. I don’t need to learn it.” I received an extraordinary and unimaginable slap because of this mistake: what I wrote was not even as good as that of a brother (Husrev) who knew the least about writing the Arabic script. We were all astonished. And we have understood now that it was a slap.
“The Second: I confess that two of my attitudes were damaging for the complete sincerity necessary for service to the Qur’an, which has to be purely for God’s sake, and I received a severe blow. For I am like a stranger in the region, and foreign. Also – but I should not complain – since I did not observe frugality and contentment, important rules of my Master, I suffer from poverty. I am compelled to mix with selfish and arrogant people, and so, may God forgive it, I was forced to be generous in hypocritical and sycophantic manner. My Master frequently warned, reminded, and scolded me, but unfortunately I could not stop myself. On the one hand satans from among jinn and men were profiting from this situation of mine which was opposed to the spirit of service of the All-Wise Qur’an, and on the other it caused a coldness and slackness in our service.
“In the face of this fault of mine, I received a severe, but God willing compassionate, blow. I have no doubt that it happened in consequence of that fault. The blow was this: although for eight years I have had both close
Tevfik Göksu, 1887-1965, was Bediuzzaman’s student and scribe in Barla, and was imprisoned together with him in Eskişehir and Denizli. He saw Bediuzzaman in Damascus in 1911, where his father was serving in the army, hence his name Şamlı. (Tr.)