By Yunus Çengel
Humanity goes through different phases of growth, just like individuals do, and progresses toward maturity. This progression, which started with savagery and continued with slavery, has settled in this age on individual rights and freedoms that put the individual at the center stage of justice. The prominent feature of this modern age of liberty is that freedom is the rule and any prohibition is the exception. Governments have been restructured to establish true justice and to uphold individual rights and freedoms in the broadest possible way, and the political systems have been transformed into democracies in which the public opinion, which is a reflection of the public will, dominates. Change has always met with resistance, often led by conservative and religious entities. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, a scholar of Islam and a philanthropic opinion leader, on the other hand, has been at the forefront of change in accordance with the rising values and realities of his time, instead of being in opposition. While his contemporaries opposed even positive reforms in the name of religion, Nursi applauded such reforms in the name of the very same religion, Islam, and showed that piety and some modern values did not contradict.
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