Islamitische Universiteit Rotterdam (İUR)  - Prof. Dr. Ahmed Akgündüz

The Terms of Risala-i Nur Collection

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  • 1- This important academic work is the necessary fruit of our academic efforts, which we have been carrying out for nearly 10 years, to revise the four main books of the Risāla-i Nūr Collection, The Words, The Rays, The Flashes and The Letters of Bedīuzzaman, and to explain important academic terms with glosses. The first two of these works are now in print and have attracted considerable interest in scholarly circles. Upon requests, we have found it appropriate to publish these terms, which are essential for the understanding of the Risāla-i Nūr Collection, as a separate book.

    We know that to claim that this work is entirely ours would be a betrayal of our precious elders who have laboured for years on this subject. Because many works have been produced by the elder brothers before our work. Of course, this work has not been an academic work important enough to leave them behind. In this regard, we say as Ibn Mālik, one of the famous scholars of Arabic Grammar Muḥammad b’n Mālik, auther of Alfiyyah said:

    This work is more comprehensive and academic than the others
    However, the previous ones are worthy of tafḍīl, i.e. superior, since they were written before us.
    Therefore, they are doubly worthy of praise and appreciation.
    May Allah Almighty bestow His abundant and inexhaustible favours upon me and them in the Hereafter, Insha'Allah.

    2. We would like these efforts as below:
    • The first effort in this regard was made by Abdullah Yeğin, one of Bedīuzzaman's regular students. Yeni Sözlük (The New Lughat), prepared by the late Abdullah Yeğin, contains a total of 27665 words and terms.
    • Osmanlıca - Türkçe Ansiklopedik Büyük Lughat (The Ottoman Turkish Encyclopaedic Grand Lughah) was prepared and made more comprehensive by the Ittihad Scientific Research Committee. This work was prepared primarily by the late Rüşdü Tafralı Ağabey.
    • "Glossary of Islamic Terms in the Light of the Risāla-i Nūr" prepared by Mustafa Tuna and Erol Tahtakıran has been our main source while doing this study. However, although the terms used in the Risāla-i Nūr are explained in this work, academic and Islamic terms are not explained. If this work would not have been done, our study would last at least more years. We are thankful for them.
    • We have benefited from all sources in English, Arabic and Turkish. Especially from our work under the title "OSMANLI TARİH VE HUKUK ISTILAHLARI KÂMÛSU" has been very important source for this academic study.
    • In our opinion, another important work is the work prepared by Rüşdü Tafralı Ağabey under the title Ta'bīrāt-ı Nūriye; however, it was not printed and some parts are missing. Its digital copy is among our sources.
    • Dictionary-Persian, Arabic, and English: This work written by Francis Johnson in 1852 is an excellent source. It also includes the terms of Ottoman jurisprudence. We consulted this work for the English translations of most terms.

    3. While conducting this study, we have utilised all printed and digital sources. It will be useful to mention some of them.
    Firstly, the Encyclopaedia of Islam of the Religious Foundation (Türkiye Diyānet İslam Ansiklopedisi) should be among the main sources of those who do this kind of work, and it has been so for us.
    Secondly, Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia (;
    ويكيبيديا، الموسوعة الحرة (;
    Wikiislam - the online resource on Islam;
    wikishia; - Nur Encyclopaedia of the Truths of Faith and Islam;
    Reference Works - Brill (;

    4. Since most of the terms in the alphabetical order in this study are in Arabic, we have sorted them according to the transliteration of Arabic words. For this reason, it is necessary to remind a few points:
    Firstly, the terms beginning with the letter ع were mentioned first, and this created an order within itself. It is necessary to pay attention to this. For example, 'A'lā 'Illiyyin (اعلى عليين) is the first word, while 'Uzair (ʿUzayrعزير) comes last.
    Secondly, in the explanation of terms, we have explained the same term twice or more due to the different meanings of the same term in different fields, or if the meanings are close, we have gathered them all in the same article. For example, we had to explain the term Safāhah (سفاهة) twice. Iqtisād (Frugality اقتصاد): is one of these terms.
    Thirdly, we have mentioned sometimes two or three definition for one term. Because the same term can have different meanings in different fields and in various aspects.
    Fourthly, of course, there may be spelling mistakes, mistakes in meaning and even mistakes in our understanding of terms in this work. Our request to the researchers is to inform us of these errors so that the work will be both more perfect and complete in the new editions.

    5. This work of ours does not include all the Kulliyāt of Bedīuzzaman with his old and new works. It may be completed in the future if Allah gives life. Because the basis of this Qamus is our studies on four great works from the Kulliyāt. Also, of course, we will have many mistakes. Sometimes repetitions will also be mentioned. However, we are always ready for constructive criticism and additions.
    Endeavour from us and success (tawfīq) from Allah is our basic principle.

    Prof. Ahmed Akgündüz
    Rotterdam 10.11.2023
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