In referring to the Turkish-Islamic Union you say that it will be established under Turkish leadership. On what basis do you espouse Turkish leadership and will this be accepted by the Islamic world in general?
Turkey will be the natural leader of this Union. All Turkic and Muslim countries sincerely accept and desire Turkish leadership. At the root of this lie Turkey's historic experience and the moral virtues of the Turkish nation, which have been proved over and over again. The Turkish nation's desire for the role of leader is not based on any idea of racial superiority. There are no irrational and illogical ideas behind this, ideas that would also run contrary to the moral values of the Qur'an, along the lines of "we want to be the leader and for everyone else to follow behind" or "we are superior, and all other races must follow us." The superiority in question is a moral one. The leadership to be assumed is in fact a desire to assume suffering and responsibility in order to protect, watch over and serve others, to act as a kind of older brother.
One of the main proofs that the Turkish Nation will fulfill this historic responsibility is the way that in the hadith about the end times our Prophet (saas) makes particular reference to Istanbul and to Turkey. As revealed by the Prophet (saas), Hazrat Mahdi (as) will be active in Istanbul, will construct the Turkish-Islamic Union by bringing the dispersed Turkic states back together, and will appear with the Sacred Trusts.
Hazrat Mahdi (as) Will Spiritually Capture Istanbul
Narrated by ibn 'Amr: ... The Prophet (saas) said, "O People! Six things will happen before the Hour ... The sixth is the conquest of Medina."
He was asked, "O Messenger of Allah, which medina [city]?"
He said, "Constantinople [Istanbul]."
(*) This is the conquest of Constantinople by Hazrat Mahdi (as). (Signs of the Last Day, p. 204; Ramuz al-Ahadith, 296)
Allah will capture Constantinople [Istanbul] through His beloved friends [Hazrat Mahdi (as)]. (Signs of the Last Day, p. 181)
Nations will come under his [Hazrat Mahdi (as)] command. Allah will make him the instrument of the [spiritual] capture of Constantinople [Istanbul]. (Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-Zaman, p. 56)
Hazrat Mahdi (as) Will Serve Among the Turks
Hazrat Mahdi (as) will never leave Rum [the Turks, because Turkey used to be known as the region of Rum]. (Narrated from Ish'afu'r-Ragibin, Tilsimlar, p. 212)
A Tirmidhi hadith says that, "the Hour will not come until Hazrat Mahdi (as) rules the Arabs" (Tirmidhi, Fitan: 43). This means he will not appear from among the Arabs because in order to rule over the Arabs he will have not to be one of them. (Signs of the Last Day, p. 170)
Some people will appear from the East and prepare the way for Hazrat Mahdi (as). Hazrat Mahdi (as) will be the ruler among them. (Ibn Majah, Kitabul Fitan: 35 (4088) This hadith shows that he will come from among a people existing in or coming from the East. This refers to the Turks, who were then living in the East and who subsequently settled in Anatolia, and Allah knows the truth. (Signs of the Last Day, p. 171)
Ibn Khaldun and al-Qurtubi record that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will come from the Mashriq (the East), Khorasan (the area to the west of the Caspian Sea) and the Amu Darya (these being regions inhabited by Turks). (Macdonald, Encyclopedia of Islam, 7:478.)
These things all show that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will engage in intensive activities among the Turks. (Saban Dogen, Mehdi ve Deccal [The Mahdi and the Dajjal], p. 172)
Sayyid Ahmad Husamaddin (ra) says this about Hazrat Mahdi's (as) birthplace in his Istihracname:
An individual will come from among the Muslims, and the honor of that individual will be radiant like the rays of the Sun, shining around from the greatest peak of the Caucasus. (Osman Yuksel Serdengecti, City with No Temple, Serdengecti Publication: VI, p.107)
The Fragmented Turkish States Will Be United by Hazrat Mahdi (as)
... And dispersed Turkish flags will appear and help my son [Hazrat mahdi (as)] in every nook and cranny. (al-Ghaybah al-Nomani, p. 323)
... Allah will cause him [Hazrat Mahdi (as)] to conquer Rum, Daylam, Sindh, India, Kabul and the Caspian. (Sheikh Muhammad bin Ibrahim Nomani, al-Ghaybah al-Nomani, p. 274)
According to a hadith of the Prophet's (saas), Hazrat Mahdi (as) will first appear from Turkey with the Turkish flag and will then become the spiritual ruler of other Islamic countries with their green flags. He will be instrumental in the founding of the Turkish-Islamic Union and will assume the spiritual leadership of it. The hadith is as follows:
In that year the disappearance of my son [Hazrat Mahdi (as)], who will have the red flag and afterwards the green flag, will be announced. (Sheikh Muhammad bin Ibrahim Nomani, al-Ghaybah al-Nomani, p. 170)
Hazrat Mahdi (as) Will Have the Sacred Trusts with Him
The scholars who narrated the hadith about the end times spoke of the events of the end times being based in the centers of the caliphate of their own times. This is why, with regard to the place where Hazrat Mahdi (as) will appear from, different scholars have cited such places as Iraq, Damascus, Kufa and Medina, which were the centers of the caliphate in their own times. However, the common feature of these accounts is that the events of the end times will take place in the center of the caliphate. The final center of the caliphate was "Istanbul." The caliphate was officially abolished at the beginning of the last century, and it was never transferred anywhere else after that time. Consequently, Istanbul is the only city to still bear this spiritual title. The two standards, sword and robe of our Prophet (saas), together with other sacred trusts, are kept in Topkapi Palace, Istanbul.
It is related from Abdullah ibn Shurafa: "The banner of our Prophet (saas) will be adorned, together with Hazrat Mahdi (as)." (Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-zaman, p. 65)
Nuaym ibn Hammad narrates from Abu Jafar; "Hazrat Mahdi (as) will appear in the evening with the banner, robe, sword, signs, radiance and beautiful expression of our Prophet (saas). (Mar'iy Ibn Yusuf Ibn Abi Baqr ibn Ahmad ibn Yusuf al-Maqdi'si Faraidu Fawaidi'l Fikr Fi'l Imam al-Mahdi al-Muntazar)
The Mahdi (as) will appear with the banner of our Prophet (saas). That banner is unstitched, black, and has four corners. It has never been unfurled since the death of our Prophet (saas) but will be unfurled by Hazrat Mahdi (as). (The Book of Portents of the Awaited Mahdi, pp. 41-42, 52, 54)
As for signs, he [Hazrat Mahdi (as)] will have with him the shirt, the sword, and the banner of our Prophet (saas). That banner has never been unfurled since the death of our Prophet (saas). And, it will not be unfurled until the appearance of Hazrat Mahdi (as). (Portents of the Last Day, p. 164)
He will appear with the camel hair banner of our Prophet (saas). That banner has four corners, is unstitched and black in color. There is a halo on it. It has not been unfurled since the death of our Prophet (saas), but it will be opened when Hazrat Mahdi (as) appears. (Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-zaman, p. 23)
One important feature of this banner, which we are told will only be unfurled by Hazrat Mahdi (as) in the end times is that "it has never been unfurled since the death of the Prophet (saas)." The banner has never been opened by any state, including the Ottoman Empire, out of respect for the Prophet (saas), and was never taken out of its cover even during the battles or during the ceremonies it was taken to. The banner, preserved in this way for 14 centuries, will be opened when the moral values of Islam rule the world, with the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as).
You say that countries such as Israel, Armenia, Russia and Georgia will be included in the Turkish-Islamic Union. How will this happen?
All the nations in Turkish-Islamic lands, all the communities, holders of all beliefs and all states are our brothers and under our protection. The moral values of the Qur'an require us to treat these communities with love and affection, and to watch over and protect them. The People of the Book were always protected in the time of our Prophet (saas) and treated with respect and compassion. The 600 years of Ottoman history are the finest example of this policy. People of all opinions, beliefs and nations lived in peace and security in lands under Muslim rule. This model, or even a much finer and more perfect one, can be built today. There is no such approach as "as long as we are well-off and wealthy, everyone else can do what they want" at the heart of Islamic moral values. What does lie at the heart of Islamic moral values is to desire for one's neighbor what one desires for oneself. Our Prophet (saas) said, "He who goes to sleep full while his neighbor is hungry is not one of us." For that reason, in building the Turkish-Islamic Union, the mentality of looking only after one's own interests or feeling hostility toward neighbors must be strongly avoided. Allah will bestow no success on such a mindset. Islamic moral values demand that we desire all our neighbors and the nations who live in these lands with us to be economically, politically and socially strong, and to bring that about. The meaning of the hadith of our Prophet (saas) is a very broad one. It is unfitting for a Muslim to be warm if his neighbor is cold, to be safe when his neighbor is afraid or to be wealthy when his neighbor is poor. This hadith of our Prophet (saas) means equality under all conditions. It is therefore perfectly natural for all nations living in the region to benefit from the peace, security, abundance, plenty and well-being that the Turkish-Islamic Union will bring about. In addition, it must not be forgotten that these people are the People of the Book, who believe in the one Allah, who believe in and are loyal to the prophets, and who believe in the existence of the angels, the djinn and the Hereafter. The status of the People of the Book is clear in the Qur'an. Muslims have a duty to treat them with respect and love and to watch over and protect them. Christians are entrusted to us by the Prophet Jesus (as) and Jews by the Prophet Moses (as). Believers are those who best watch over what is entrusted to them. When the Turkish-Islamic Union is established these communities will live together, in the finest manner, under the umbrella of this union. (For detailed information on the subject, see http://www.unionoffaiths.com/page4.html)
Will the Turkish-Islamic Union be based on race?
In one verse, Allah reveals that people must not be judged according to their race, color or ethnic origin, but rather by their morality:
O humanity! We created you from a male and female, and made you into peoples and tribes so that you might come to know each other. The noblest among you in Allah's Sight is the one of you who best performs his duty. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware. (Surat al-Hujurat, 13)
The expression "so that you might come to know each other" reveals Allah's wisdom in creating different races and ethnic origins: Different tribes or nations, all of whom are Allah's servants, must get to know one another--in other words, learn about each other's different cultures, languages, customs and abilities. One of the intentions behind the existence of different races and nations is cultural richness, not war or conflict.
The moral values and rules revealed by Allah in this and certain other verses absolutely prevent a Muslim from engaging in racism or judging people by their race. There is no superiority based on blood or race in the Turkish-Islamic Union. The superiority in this union is one of moral virtue. The aim behind its being founded under Turkish leadership is that the Turkish nation is the country that best embodies Islam and possesses the quality of leadership. The Turkish nation is courageous and virtuous. That is why it must be the leader. There will be a union of moral virtues when the Turkic-Islamic countries unite together. And it will be established with the aim of serving the Islamic world and the world in general. The idea is one of serving other religions and races, not of oppressing them. There is the idea of enriching other races and bringing well-being, peace and freedom to other faiths. Our Prophet (saas) says, "The Persian is not superior to the Arab, nor the Arab to the Persian. Superioriity lies in piety alone." What is therefore being referred to here is the courage, fortitude, moral virtue, warmth, hospitality, self-sacrifice and heroism of the Turkish nation. They rendered the world great services during the time of the Ottoman Empire. And since it is the natural leader of the Islamic world now and is in a position to bring the Turkic and Islamic states together, it will be the leader; but not in the sense of any racial or genetic superiority, or any superiority of bloodline. (For detailed information see: http://tr1.harunyahya.com/Detail/T/EDCRFV/productId/20213/THE_TURKISH_ISLAMIC_UNION_IS_NOT_BASED_ON_ANY_RACIAL_SUPERIORITY )
Is it possible for Muslims to be brothers with Jews and Christians?
Muslims, Jews and those Christians who believe in the one Allah are "la Ilaha illa Allah" brothers. Muslims have a responsibility to protect the People of the Book and ensure a peaceful, safe and secure environment throughout their lives. This is because they are truly devout and believe in Allah and His oneness. Allah describes Jews and Christians as the People of the Book in the Qur'an and describes the proper nature of the relationship between Muslims and the People of the Book in detail. Ever since the birth of Islam, Muslims have attached great importance to tolerance and understanding with the People of the Book. Even though their books and some of their beliefs have subsequently been corrupted, the People of the Book possess many moral values, and the concept of lawful and forbidden, based on Allah's revelation. They are people who believe in Him, His oneness and follow the rules emanating from Him. The establishment of respectful and civilized relations between Muslims and the People of the Book is encouraged in the Qur'an.
An important distinction is drawn in the Qur'an between the People of the Book and idolaters, particularly in terms of social life. One verse, for example, describes the latter in these terms: "... the idolaters are unclean, so after this year they should not come near the Masjid al-Haram..." (Surat at-Tawba, 28) That is because idolaters recognize no Divine law, possess no moral criteria, and can engage unhesitatingly in all forms of wickedness and perversion. The People of the Book, on the other hand, possess certain moral criteria based on Allah's revelation, as well as concepts of what is lawful and what is forbidden. That is why it's lawful for Muslims to eat food prepared by the People of the Book. In the same way, Muslim men are permitted to marry women from the People of the Book. These rules show that marriage and the resulting ties of kinship can be established between Muslims and the People of the Book. Each can accept the other's invitations to dine, all of which allow the establishment of warm human relations and a peacefully shared life. Since such moderation and understanding is recommended in the Qur'an, it is out of the question for us Muslims to hold ideas in conflict with that viewpoint. Moreover, the places where the People of the Book worship are described in the Qur'an as being under Allah's protection:
... if Allah had not driven some people back by means of others, monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques, where Allah's name is mentioned much, would have been pulled down and destroyed. Allah will certainly help those who help Him - Allah is All-Strong, Almighty. (Surat al-Hajj, 22:40)
This verse shows that all Muslims must behave respectfully towards the places of worship of the People of the Book, as well as protecting them.
Indeed, when one reviews the history of Islam, it is seen that Muslim societies have always treated the People of the Book with moderation and understanding. That was particularly evident in the Ottoman Empire, from which today's Turkey is descended. It is well known that the Jews were expelled from Catholic Spain, but found the right to live peacefully in Ottoman lands. When Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror (Mehmed II) captured Constantinople (Istanbul), he allowed Jews and Christians to live there freely. Throughout Ottoman history, the Jews were regarded as a People of the Book and lived in peace. (for detailed information: http://tr1.harunyahya.com/Detail/T/EDCRFV/productId/20582/VERSES_REGARDING_THE_PEOPLE_OF_THE_BOOK )
Can Muslims eat the food of the People of the Book?
Allah reveals this on the subject in one verse:
Today all good things have been made lawful for you. And the food of those given the Book is also lawful for you and your food is lawful for them. So are chaste women from among the believers and chaste women of those given the Book before you, once you have given them their dowries in marriage, not in fornication or taking them as lovers. But as for anyone who rejects faith, his actions will come to nothing and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers. (Surat al-Maida, 5)
Allah's verse shows how natural, sincere and brotherly relations between Muslims and the People of the Book should be. It shows a lively and friendly relationship in which they eat food prepared by the other, go to one another's homes, offer refreshments to one another and sit at table and talk.
Jews believe in the one Allah and call on His name as they slaughter their animals. On the other hand, as we know, Christians eat pork. But pork has been made unlawful for Muslims. Believers must therefore bear this in mind when eating food prepared by the People of the Book.
How did our Prophet (saas) behave toward the People of the Book?
The Prophet Muhammad (saas) was always just and compassionate toward Jews and Christians and tried to form an atmosphere based on reconciliation and love among these three religious communities. Various agreements and guarantees allowed Christians and Jews to live as autonomous religious communities. When the young Muslim community was still suffering from the Makkan polytheists' cruelty and oppression, our Prophet (saas) advised some of them to seek refuge with the Christian king of Ethiopia, Negus (or al-Najashi). The Muslims who later on migrated to Madinah with our Prophet (saas), on the other hand, developed a model of coexistence with that city's Jewish community that was to become a model for all later generations. The Muslims' acceptance of Jews and Christians during the period of Islam's expansion in Arabia entered the history books as an example of justice and acceptance.
One such example was our beloved Prophet's (saas) reading of the verse: "Only argue with the People of the Book in the kindest way - except in the case of those of them who do wrong - saying: 'We believe in what has been sent down to us and what was sent down to you. Our Deity and your Deity are one, and we submit to Him'" (Surat al-‘Ankabut, 46) after he had the following words written in the text of an agreement prepared for the Christian Ibn Harris bin Ka`b and his co-religionists: "The religion, churches, lives, chastity, and goods of all Christians living in the East are under the protection of Allah and all believers. None of those living by Christianity will be forced to turn to Islam. If any Christian is subjected to any killing or injustice, Muslims must help him."
According to some accounts, our Prophet (saas) attended their weddings, visited their sick, and was generous to them. The Prophet Muhammad (saas) even spread out his cloak so that the Christians of Najran who came to visit him could sit on it. Our Prophet's (saas) marriage to Hazrat Maryam, an Egyptian Christian, is one example of this understanding. Following his death, the Muslims' moral conduct toward the People of the Book continued to be based on the acceptance that the Prophet (saas) had shown to them throughout his life.
Verse 51 of Surat al-Ma'ida refers to not taking Jews and Christians as rulers. So how can Muslims establish friendship with the People of the Book?
The word "friends" appears twice in this verse. One represents the Arabic word "awliya," meaning "protectors, those responsible in the sight of the law, parents, owners, or rulers." The other is the word "yatawallahum." This also means "to assume the care of, take command of, or to assume the administration of." The word "friend" in this verse therefore bears the meaning of "rule." Allah tells Muslims not to enter under the rule of Jews and Christians. In other words, the meaning of this verse is not, as some people say, that we should not enjoy good relations with Jews or Christians. It is perfectly natural for a Muslim society not to have a Jewish or Christian leader. Since both sides will act in the light of their own beliefs, a Jew by his beliefs and a Christian by his, and a Muslim will act in the light of his beliefs, situations that conflict with Muslim beliefs will inevitably arise, so this provision is totally normal. But apart from that, Muslims have very close relations with the People of the Book. A Muslim can marry a woman from the People of the Book. For example, our Prophet (saas) himself married a woman who is a member of the People of the Book. One can go to their weddings and funerals, eat their food, do business with them and live side by side with them as friends and brothers. This can clearly be seen in the practices of our Prophet (saas).
How should Muslims react to Israel's policy in Palestine?
As well as being opposed to individual acts of terror, a pure Muslim is also opposed to state terror. There is no excuse for bloodshed anywhere. Nothing about bloodshed can be justified. Bllodshed is unacceptable, whether it be Israeli shellings or rockets launched by the Palestinians. However, Muslims' reactions must be in line with the moral values of the Qur'an. Obviously, attacks on civilians cannot be excused under any circumstances, no matter who commits them. Such a method is absolutely inconsistent with Islam. When we examine the Qur'an and the Prophet's (saas) actions, we find that Islam does not support attacks against civilians. Whether during the conquest of Mecca or during other wars, the Prophet (saas) carefully protected the rights of innocent and unarmed people and prevented them from being harmed. He reminded Muslims of this on various occasions by telling them: "Set out for war in the name of Allah and for the sake of Allah. Do not lay hands on the old verging on death, on women, children and babies. Do good, for Allah loves the virtuous and the pious." Another reminder is:
"Do not kill any old person, any child or any woman."
"Do not kill the monks in monasteries" or "Do not kill the people who are sitting in places of worship."
As shown in the hadiths, Muslims must struggle in conformity with the Qur'an. In other words, their struggle must be just, tolerant, and free of extremism. The Palestinians need a strong team of educated and cultured individuals who are aware of legal, diplomatic, and international policies, and who conduct themselves according to the moral values of the Qur'an.
Of course there are a great many highly cultured, open-minded intellectuals among the Palestinian people. The important thing is the work these intellectuals will engage in to raise the consciousness of the young, turn them in the right direction and defend the Palestinian cause before the people of the world. This work could play an important role in raising the Palestinians' awareness of true Islamic moral values, raising the level of education, and helping them to explain their just cause to the world. Believers' struggle must be an intellectual one, not one based on violence. It is therefore essential that the invalidity of Darwinism, the religion of irreligion, be intellectually exposed, that people be told, through pleasant words and behavior, of the moral virtues of Islam, and that people strive to establish the Turkish-Islamic Union. It will be impossible, by the leave of Allah, for a hair on the head of a single Muslim anywhere in a unified Turkish-Islamic world to be harmed. Muslims must therefore strive with all their might and main for the unity of the Muslim world. It is impossible for hardships and suffering to come to an end so long as this union is not established. But the foundation of Turkish-Islamic Union will put a stop to the bloodshed.
What difference is there between atheist Zionism and Zionism?
There are two varieties of Zionism today. The first of these is the Zionist conception of the devout Jewish people, who wish to live in peace and security in Israel alongside Muslims, seeking peace and wishing to worship in the lands of their forefathers and engage in business. In that sense, Muslims support Zionism. We would fully back the devout Jewish people living in peace and security in their own lands, remembering Allah, worshipping in their synagogues and engaging in science and trade in their own land.
The Zionist belief held by a devout Jew and based on the Torah does not in any way conflict with the Qur'an. The Jews' living in that region is indicated in the Qur'an, in which it is revealed that Allah has settled the Children of Israel on it:
Remember when Moses said to his people, "My people! Remember Allah's blessing to you when He appointed prophets among you and appointed kings for you, and gave you what He had not given to anyone else in all the worlds! My people! Enter the Holy Land which Allah has ordained for you. Do not turn back in your tracks and so become transformed into losers." (Surat al-Ma'ida: 20-21)
It is the "irreligious, Godless Zionism" that we as Muslims condemn and regard as a threat. These Godless Zionists, who do not defend the existence and oneness of Allah, but, on the contrary, encourage a Darwinist, materialist perspective and thus engage in irreligious propaganda, are also a threat to devout Jews. Godless Zionism is today engaged in a struggle against peace, security and moral virtue, and constantly produces strife and turmoil and the shedding of blood.
Some people do not wish to acknowledge the fact that Allah is everywhere. How can we explain this reality to such people?
Some people imagine that they themselves, matter and the world they see all around them are all absolute beings. But they regard Allah (surely He is beyond that) as an imagination pervading that absolute matter. Or else, since they cannot see Him with their own eyes, they say: "Allah must be somewhere we cannot see, in space or far away from human eyes." (Surely Allah is beyond that.) But these are all grave errors.
As the sole absolute being, Allah enfolds the whole universe, all people and places, the heavens and everywhere. He is manifested in the whole universe. According to the hadith, our Prophet (saas) said that someone who said that Allah was in the sky was telling the truth. But this account in no way conflicts with the fact that Allah is everywhere. That is because if someone at your location on Earth raises his hands and prays to Allah and thinks that Allah is in the sky, while someone at the South Pole turns to Allah in the same way, while someone else at the North Pole raises his hands and yet another individual in Japan, or America or Ecuador raises his hands to the sky in the same way and turns to Allah, then it is impossible to speak of any fixed direction. In the same way, if djinn, angels and demons at various points in space and the universe also pray toward the skies, it will again be impossible to speak of any fixed direction, and the situation will be one that covers the entire universe.
We must not also forget that Allah is unfettered by time and space. Allah's Own Being is different. But the manifestations of Allah are everywhere. If someone enters a room and says Allah is not there, he is denying Allah. The manifestations of Allah are in that room and everywhere. Wherever you may turn, manifestations of Allah are there. Several verses of the Qur'an state that Allah pervades all places, that He is closer to us than our own jugular veins, and that we will see His Face wherever we look. For example, in verse 255 of Surat al-Baqara Allah says "... His Footstool encompasses the heavens and the earth...." Verse 92 of Surah Hud says, "... But my Lord encompasses everything that you do" meaning that Allah also pervades what people do. (For detailed information, http://us1.fmanager.net/api_v1/productDetail.php?dev-t=7EZU2FZ0164&objectId=993 )
Can anyone know when the Last Hour will come?
This knowledge is unique to Allah. No person, unless Allah wills, can know when it will take place. All we know is that it is coming, for it is revealed in the Qur'an:
People will ask you about the Last Hour. Say: "Only Allah has knowledge of it. What will make you understand? It may be that the Last Hour is very near." (Surat al-Ahzab, 63)
As revealed in the verse, nobody can have knowledge of the Last Hour unless Allah wills otherwise. However, one can make an estimate as to its century based on the hadith of the Prophet (saas) and signs in the Qur'an, and say "the Last Hour will come when there are no believers left and disbelief reigns." As a matter of fact, the great ahl al-Sunnah scholars al-Barzanji and as-Suyuti state, based on the hadith of the Prophet (saas), that the life span of the Ummah will not exceed the Islamic year 1500, in other words it will end before Islamic 1600s. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi says, again according to the information given in the hadith, that Muslims will remain on Allah's true path and will be victorious until around Islamic year 1506 with the Last Hour probably taking place in 1545 (2120 according to the Gregorian calendar). (Allah knows the truth) For detailed information on the subject, see http://www.awaitedmahdi.com/article.php?id=14883)
Does one have to know Arabic in order to be a good Muslim?
Honesty is one of the main conditions for being a pure Muslim. Being a true believer lies in loving and fearing Allah and intending to do all one can in order to earn His approval, not in knowing Arabic or not. There can be no question of anyone who speaks good Arabic necessarily being a good Muslim, or of anyone not knowing Arabic necessarily not being a good Muslim. Arabic is spoken by some 280 million people across the world. These people have an excellent knowledge of its grammar, word structure and pronunciation. But some of them are atheists, or espouse materialism, or adopt ideologies incompatible with the religion, such as communism or fascism. People who have oppressed Muslims in Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Morocco or Tunisia in the past, and who caused so many Muslims to be imprisoned under very harsh conditions, also speak Arabic very well.
Many courses are given in the philosophy departments of a great many universities that teach Arabic that are foolishly critical of Islam, that criticize the Qur’an (surely the Qur’an is above that) and that criticize our Prophet (surely our Prophet [saas] is above that). There are Arabic language and literature departments in many universities in many countries, and thousands of people graduate from them. But many of these people are materialists, communists or even atheists. There are a great many people who know Arabic very well but who ignorantly dare to insult the Prophet (saas). There are also people who can recite Arabic alphabet very well. There are masons, communists and fascists who recite Surat al-Fatiha very well. It is therefore illogical to say that anyone who knows Arabic is a good Muslim. There are very few people who speak Arabic in Turkey, with its population of 70 million, but Islam is practiced in a flawless manner there.
It also needs to be made clear that it is also revealed in hadith that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will not know Arabic. Hazrat Mahdi (as) is a most blessed personage fervently awaited by the entire Islamic world, and someone whom the Prophet Jesus (as) will follow. Said Nursi says that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will come as “a mujaddid, a renovator, a judge, a mahdi, a guide and a qutb az-azam (great saint).” This great person will not know Arabic either, but some of his close followers will, though they are not Arabs themselves. In his work “al-Javab al-Mustaqim,” Muhyiddin Ibn’ Arabi responded to a question put by Al-Haqim at-Tirmidhi in his “Hatm’al-awliya” by saying:
“He who qualifies for this is someone who closely resembles his forefather [the Prophet Muhammad (saas)]. HE [HAZRAT MAHDI (AS)] DOES NOT SPEAK ARABIC VERY WELL, BUT HE IS NO DIFFERENT TO HIM IN MORAL TERMS. HE [HAZRAT MAHDI (AS)] WILL BE OF MEDIUM HEIGHT. THE AGE OF PROPERTY WILL COME TO AN END WITH HIM, AND SOVEREIGNTY WILL END WITH HIM. He [HAZRAT MAHDI (AS)] has a helper by the name of 'Diri' [meaning ‘Alive’]. He has a spiritual essence, but is human in appearance.” (Al-Javab al-Mustaqim amma Seele anhu at-Tirmidhi al-Haqim, Bayazid, no: 3750, sheet 242b) (The excellent light of lights, the key of the hearts, THE LAST DAY AND THE SIGNS THEREOF revealed by Almighty Allah and Announced by the Messenger of Allah (saas), OMER ONGUT / Hakikat Press, p. 288)
Has Mr. Adnan Oktar written anything about the importance of Ahl al-Sunnah?
Mr. Oktar is an author whose life and books contain not a shred of doubt regarding his being a follower of Ahl al-Sunnah. Mr. Oktar devotes considerable space to verses from the Qur’an, the hadith of our Prophet (saas) and accounts handed down from the Companions, and he contributes in spreading Islamic values across the world and in illuminating people by the radiance of Islam, as well as being one of the leading figures in that sphere. Not just the Islamic world, but the Western world, too, bear witness to this fact. Indeed, Mr. Oktar emerged as the answer posed by Reuters to the question of who is the most influential figure in the Islamic world. His works themselves are one of the greatest proofs of the unrealistic nature of the claim that Mr. Oktar never mentions the Prophet (saas) and his Companions in his works. Mr. Oktar devotes wide space to the hadith and the lives of the Companions in his works, and his books specially written on the subject make his attitude and thinking crystal clear. Books by him such as The Prophet Muhammad (saas), in which he describes the exemplary life and moral values of our Prophet (saas), The Importance of the Ahl al-Sunnah, in which he sets out the importance of compliance with Ahl al-Sunnah belief, Self-Sacrifice in the Qur’an’s Moral Teachings, which cites wide examples of the moral values of the Companions, and The Hejira in the Qur’an represent the finest responses to these groundless claims. Another important proof that Mr. Oktar fully adheres to Ahl al-Sunnah belief in his works is the legal opinions given by Department Heads and Academic Staff from leading Turkish Theological Faculties. Anyone wishing to read Mr. Adnan Oktar's work The Importance of the Ahl al-Sunnah can visit this site: http://www.harunyahya.com/books/faith/al_sunnah/al_sunnah_creation.php
Mr. Adnan Oktar never considers Wahdatul Wujood in his works
Mr. Oktar does not espouse Wahdatul Wujood anywhere in his books. On the contrary, he provides full evidence that wahdatul wujood does not apply in his analysis of the true nature of matter. For example, Mr. Oktar issues this statement in the introduction to his book Matter: The Other Name of Illusion:
THE SECRET BEYOND MATTER IS NOT WAHDATUL WUJOOD
The topic called “The Real Essence of Matter” has been criticized by some people. Having misunderstood the essence of the subject, these people claim that what is explained as the secret beyond matter is identical to the teaching of Wahdatul Wujood. Let us state, before all else, that the author of this book is a believer strictly abiding by the doctrine of Ahlus Sunnah and does not defend the view of Wahdatul Wujood.
However, it should also be remembered that Wahdatul Wujood was defended by some leading Islamic scholars including Muhyiddin Ibn al-‘Arabi. It is true that numerous significant Islamic scholars who described the concept of Wahdatul Wujood in the past did so by considering some subjects found in these books. Still, what is explained in these books is not the same as Wahdatul Wujood.
Some of those who defended the view of Wahdatul Wujood were engrossed by some erroneous opinions and made some claims contrary to the Qur’an and the doctrine of Ahlus Sunnah. They, for example, completely rejected the existence of the living beings created by God. When the subject of the secret beyond matter is told, however, there is definitely no such claim. This section explains that all beings are created by God, and that the originals of these beings are seen by Him whereas people merely see the images of these beings formed in their brains.
Mountains, plains, flowers, people, seas—briefly everything we see and everything that God informs us in the Qur’an that exists and that He created out of nothing is created and does indeed exist. However, people cannot see, feel or hear the real nature of these beings through their sense organs. What they see and feel are only the copies that appear in their brains. This is a scientific fact taught at all schools, primarily in medicine. The same applies to the article you are reading now; you can not see nor touch the real nature of it. The light coming from the original article is converted by some cells in your eyes into electrical signals, which are then conveyed to the sight center in the back of your brain. This is where the view of this article is created. In other words, you are not reading an article which is before your eyes through your eyes; in fact, this article is created in the sight center in the back of your brain. The article you are reading right now is a “copy of the article” within your brain. The original article is seen by God.
In conclusion, the fact that the matter is an illusion formed in our brains does not “reject” the matter, but provides us information about the real nature of the matter: that no person can have connection with its original.
Does saying we have no direct experience of the original of matter mean that matter does not exist?
No, saying that matter is an illusion does not mean it does not exist. Quite the contrary: whether we perceive the physical world or not, it does exist. But we see it as a copy in our brain or, in other words, as an interpretation of our senses.
There is matter outside, yet we may never know the actual of the matter. We assume with the inculcation we have been given that these are invariable in a world outside our brains and hence that we see and feel the actual of them. However, in reality we never see real existing materials and we never touch real materials. In brief while assuming all through our lives that we deal with the matter outside, in reality we know the copy and image of everything. This is not a philosophical speculation. It is an empirical fact that has been proven by modern science. Today, any scientist who is a specialist in medicine, biology, neurology or any other field related to brain research would say, when asked how and where we see the world, that we see the whole world in the vision center located in our brains.
For us, therefore, the physical world of matter is an illusion. The matter outside is seen not just by us, but by other beings too. The angels Allah delegated to be watchers witness this world as well:
And the two recording angels are recording, sitting on the right and on the left. He does not utter a single word, without a watcher by him, pen in hand! (Surah Qaf: 17-18)
Most importantly, Allah sees everything. He created this world with all its details and sees it in all its states. As He informs us in the Qur'an:
… Heed Allah and know that Allah sees what you do. (Surat al-Baqara: 233)
Say: "Allah is a sufficient witness between me and you. He is certainly aware of and sees His servants." (Surat al-Isra’: 96)
It must not be forgotten that Allah keeps the records of everything in the book called Lawh Mahfuz (Preserved Tablet). Even if we don't see all things, they are in the Lawh Mahfuz. Allah reveals that He keeps everything's record in the "Mother of the Book" called Lawh Mahfuz with the following verses:
It is in the Source Book with Us, high-exalted, full of wisdom. (Surat az-Zukhruf: 4)
We possess an all-preserving Book. (Surah Qaf: 4)
Certainly there is no hidden thing in either heaven or Earth which is not in a Clear Book. (Surat an-Naml: 75)