The Role and Place of Prophethood in Humanity's Journey to the Truth: The Perspective of the Risale-i Nur
The human beings are created in the best form and are gifted with extraordinary potential. They yearn for many different things, explore many directions and have passion for many goals. They also have been gifted with capacity of intellect to distinguish right from wrong. To the extent that human beings misuse their capacities, and lose balance, injustice and tyranny result in the world. While human beings essentially yearn for truth, justice and peace, they are also capable of incredible wrongs and injustices, when they follow their egoistic inclinations. The wars, anarchy and injustices that humans have inflicted on each other throughout history are a witness to the gravity of consequences when human potential is misused.
It is the Divine guidance that enables human beings to flourish in the best way while inhibiting the misuse of their intellect and passions. The Creator offers the direly needed guidance for humanity. It is the messengers and prophets (peace be upon them) of God that have been sent throughout history who channelled this Divine guidance to humanity. The prophets not only warned humans against excess, but also ushered crucial positive transformations. Indeed, the prophets left an enduring and sublime legacy for humanity.
In other words, human intellect, given its situatedness and limits, is unable to access universal truths and also unable to ensure a dignified and peaceful human life. Human intellect needs guidance from the Transcendent to see the path to truth and dignity. The prophets and the Divine guidance they have conveyed have enlightened human journey throughout ages, and continue to do so.
The theme of the Tenth International Risale-i Nur Symposium is thus devoted to this crucial topic of prophethood. As outlined below, we invite papers about the role and function of prophets in the Risale-i Nur of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi. Our hope is that this symposium will contribute toward the making of a better world and enlightening of human path to truth. Please note that the papers are welcome to employ variety of approaches, including comparative studies, as long as they incorporate a close reading of the Risale.
The Definition, Necessity and Mission of Prophethood
- What is prophethood?
- What are the evidences of prophethood?
- What is the link between the prophetic mission and other articles of faith?
- Why do humanity need prophets?
- What is the significance of humanness of prophets, and of the fact that they carried out their mission within their own people?
- How do the prophets offer guidance for the individual, family and social aspects of life?
- How do the prophets guide balanced pursuit of truth, power and wisdom?
- How do the prophets relate to specific social contexts and classes, such as the poor, the rich, the children, the young, the marginalized, the women, the old, etc?
- What can we learn from the miracles of the prophets?
Common Points Among Prophets
- The universal message of the prophets
- Trustworthiness, infallibility and exemplariness of prophets
- The role of prophets in organizing their societies politically, economically and socially
Prophets as the Representatives of God’s Revelation
- The prophet as ‘abd [God’s servant] and rasul [God’s messenger], the ‘ubudiyya and risalahas aspect of the prophethood
- Prophets as the first interpreters and practitioners and teachers of God’s word
- Prophets as guides who read the book of the universe
- The prophets’ vocation in relation to their humanness and historical context
- Various approaches to prophets, such as philosophical, theological and sufi
Inheriting Prophetic Legacy
- The principles in applying the Prophetic Sunna to life
- What are the principles of hadith interpretation?
- The edification methods to be used by those who follow the prophetic legacy
- The lessons to be drawn from prophetic stories in scriptures
- The solutions for modern age offered by prophetic approach
- Sunna and hadith from the perspective of flourishing of humanity (“insaniyyat-i kubra”)
- Reading the life of the prophets in relation to al-asma al-husna (The Beautiful Names of God)