[This is Husrev’s footnote at the end of my letter entitled The ‘Takbirs’ of the Hajjis, which furnishes a perfect reply to their criticisms of my explanations.]
In the letter signed by Said Nursi, with the heading ‘The takbirs of the Hajjis on Arafat,’ is the reply to “a significant number of the Risale-i Nur students asking persistently about a prominent guide from the Family of the Prophet who is to come at the end of time; they suppose you to be him. For your part, you consistently refuse to accept their ideas, and shrink from such a suggestion. This is a contradiction. We want the answer to this matter.”
The reply: The collective personality of the sacred community which the Mahdi descended from God’s Messenger will represent will have three functions: to save belief, to revive the marks of Islam under the title of the caliphate of Muhammad (PBUH), and to modify to some extent the laws of the Shari‘a of Muhammad (PBUH). He will attempt to carry out this vast duty. Since the Risale-i Nur students see the first duty completely in the Risale-i Nur, saying that the second and third duties are in second and third place, they rightly suppose the Risale-i Nur’s collective personality to be a sort of Mahdi. Since some of them suppose its wretched Interpreter is a representative of that collective personality, they sometimes call him by the same name. Indeed, they say that through interpretation and investigation it is understood from the predictions of some of the saints that the Risale-i Nur is that very guide of the end of time. There is confusion on two points, and they have to be interpreted.
The First: In reality the latter two duties are not of the same degree as the former. However, influenced by this century’s ideas in particular the mass of people and the politicians consider the caliphate of Muhammad (PBUH) and Islamic Unity to be immeasurably more extensive than the first duty. Every century a sort of Mahdi and Regenerator who gave guidance has appeared, but since they have performed only one of the three functions, they have not been given the title of the Great Mahdi.
The Second: That supreme person of the Last Days will be a descendant of the Prophet (PBUH). For sure I am like a spiritual son of Imam ‘Ali (May God be pleased with him), and I have received instruction from him in the realities; and since in one sense the Family of Muhammad (PBUH) includes true Risale-i Nur students, I too may be thought of as belonging to the Prophet’s Family. But it is not permissible in the Risale-i Nur way to desire any sort of egotism or personality or personal rank, or to win fame and renown. Even if rank in the hereafter were given me, I would feel myself compelled to leave it aside in order not to spoil the