Al-Farabi and Said Nursi on the Civilising Mission of the Prophets

  • Elmira Akhmetova


This paper studies the role of prophethood in building a civilisation
with special reference to the writings of Al-Farabi and Said Nursi. In order to
elucidate the thought of Al-Farabi, the ideas of Ibn Sina are consulted in some
parts of the paper. The fi rst part of the paper defi nes the term “true civilisation”
(or an “ideal state” according to Al-Farabi), its foundations and peculiarities
from the viewpoints of these three Muslim scholars. I t suggests that, on one
hand, a human being cannot achieve his main goal, i.e. felicity, without living in
a society, and, on the other, his most fundamental need is the need for religion,
revealed by the prophets. Therefore, these three scholars argued that the real
civilisation, which can make its citizens happy, satisfi ed and equal without any
exception, originates from divine laws. As paper fi nds, Said Nursi articulated
that the mission of the prophets, besides establishing of the worship to One
God, also includes bringing of economic and political justice, social stability,
ethical enhancement and emotional inspiration to his society, which are the
fundamental requirements for the building of strong civilisations but beyond
the power of an ordinary man. Based on the ideas of the scholars, the paper
concludes that, according to the Muslim scholars, the prophets sent by God
were the best law-givers and founders of the most excellent civilisations.

How to Cite
Akhmetova, E. (2017). Al-Farabi and Said Nursi on the Civilising Mission of the Prophets. Intellectual Discourse, 25(Special Is), 453-475. Retrieved from