Bediuzzaman Said Nursi was born in 1876 in Eastern Turkey (the Village of Nurs) and died in 1960 in Urfa in Turkey. Readers may refer to his biography for details of his long and exemplary life, which spanned the last decades of the Ottoman Empire, its collapse after the First World War and the setting up of the Republic, then the twenty-five years of Republican Peoples' Party rule, well-known for the measures taken against Islam, followed by the ten years of Democrat rule, when conditions eased a little for Bediuzzaman.
Here we shall mention just a few points which are relevant to the Risale-i Nur and will assist in understanding The Words. With this same aim some general points about the Risale-i Nur are included, and the method, which is particular to Bediuzzaman, that it employs for teaching the Qur'anic truths.
Bediuzzaman displayed an extraordinary intelligence and ability to learn from an early age, completing the normal course of Madrasa (religious school) education at the early age of fourteen, when he obtained his diploma. He became famous for both his prodigious memory and his unbeaten record in debating with other religious scholars. Another characteristic Bediuzzaman displayed from an early age was an instinctive dissatisfaction with the existing education system, which when older he formulated into comprehensive proposals for its reform.
The Risale-i Nur collection is a six-thousand-page commentary on the Quran written by Bediuzzaman Said Nursi in accordance with the mentality of the age. Since in our age faith and Islam have been the objects of the attacks launched in the name of so called science and logic, Bediuzaman Said Nursi therefore concentrated in the Risale-i Nur on proving the truths of faith in conformity with modern science through rational proofs and evidence, and by decribing the miraculous aspects of the Quran that relate primarily to our century. This collection now has millions of readers both in and outside of Turkey. Thanks to the Risale-i Nur, the Turks managed to maintain their religion despite the most despotic regimes of the past decades. Although its author faced unbearable persecution, imprisonment, and exile, while no effort was spared to put an end to his service to faith, he was able to complete his writings compromising the Risale-i Nur and raise a vast group of believers who courageously opposed the oppression and preserved the dominance of Islam in the country.
Bediuzzaman understood an essential cause of the decline of the Islamic world to be weakening of the very foundations of belief. This weakening, together with the unprecedented attacks on those foundations in the 19th and 20th centuries carried out by materialists, atheists and others in the name of science and progress, led him