Transcendence-imminence of God: How humans relate to God in the theological discourse of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter examines the transcendence and immanence problem in theology according to the writings of Said Nursi (d. 1960). There is a natural tendency in human nature to believe in and develop an intimate relationship with the Person (zhat) behind the transcendental Will and Power actively governing the universe. There are three important concepts and aims with respect to how Muslims relate to God in the Islamic spiritual framework that we need to bear in mind: Iman billah – belief in the existence of God; ma’rifatullah – knowledge of God and muhabbatullah – love of God. Our relationship with God starts by the discovery of His signatures in nature and a firm belief in His existence. A natural curiosity coupled with innate yearning to get to know God leads one to the knowledge of God. Ma'rifatullah is attained by identifying and accessing the names, attributes and qualities of God as they reflect in the human heart, the universe and the Holy Qur’an. Love of God naturally emerges out of knowledge of God for one cannot love the unknown. Since this is a vast field, discussion in this paper relates to the ma'rifatullah aspect of the way Islam facilitates the human need to relate to God.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGod, man, and mortality
Subtitle of host publicationThe perspective of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi
EditorsHasan Horkuc
Place of PublicationClifton, NJ
PublisherTughra Books
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781597849074
ISBN (Print)9781597843294
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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