In His Name, be He glorified!
Just when with their stringent prohibitions they were trying to scare people everywhere away from me, the advertisement in the newspaper about the incident when I was a prisoner-of-war has increased their interest. Yesterday, three officials who are in favour of insulting my person said in the prison yard: “The people gather when Said appears at the window, and they look at him. He must not stand at the window or we’ll change his ward.” The Chief Warder said this. But don’t you worry at all. I have decided to endure all difficulties. God willing, through the blessings of your prayers, the distress will turn into joy.
Essentially, the incident is true, but because I had no witnesses, I never described it in detail. I did not realize that a squad had come to execute me; I understood later. I did not know that the Russian Commander then said some things in Russian by way of apology. That is to say, the Muslim Major who was present and who reported the incident to the newspaper understood; apparently the Commander said several times: “Forgive me!”
My brothers! When I am busy with the Risale-i Nur, the distress diminishes. That means, our duty is to be occupied with its treatises and to give no importance to passing things, and to offer thanks in patience.
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[This appeared in the 15th Teshrin-i Evvel, 1948 number of the magazine Ehl-i Sünnet. It was written by the magazine’s owner, who is a lawyer.]
Bediuzzaman was taken prisoner the same day that I was wounded and captured in Bitlis during the First World War. He was sent to Siberia, to one of the big prisoner-of-war camps. I was on the island of Nangün near Baku. One day, Nicola Nicolayavich visited the camp in order to inspect the prisoners. While passing in front of Bediuzzaman, Bediuzzaman ignored him, not so much as stirring a finger. This attracted the the Commander-in-Chief’s attention. On some pretext, he passed by a second time, and again Bediuzzaman did not stir. He passed by a third time, and stopped, then the following exchange ensued:
“Do you know who I am?”