From the “Damascus Sermon” by Ustad Bediüzzaman Said Nursi (1873- 1960) in Umayyad Mosque ( Damascus) in 1911:
The Second Word has been born in my thought as a result of my experiences in the course of life. It is as follows:
Despair is a most grievous sickness and it has entered the heart of the world of Islam. It is despair that has as though killed us so that a small state of one or two million in the West has as though made twenty million Muslims in the East its servants and their country, its colony. And it is despair that has killed our high morals, and causing us to abandon the public good, has restricted our sight to personal benefits.
It is despair too that has destroyed our morale. Although with little power we were victorious from east to west through the moral strength that arose from belief, because it was destroyed through despair, tyrannical foreigners have made three hundred million Muslims their captives for the last four hundred years.
And because of this despair, Muslims even suppose the indifference and despondency of others to be an excuse for their own laziness and say: “What is it to me?” Saying, “Everybody is contemptible, like me,” they abandon the courageousness of belief and fail to perform their Islamic duties.
Since the sickness of despair has inflicted so much tyranny on us and is killing us, we shall totally shatter it with the verse,
Do not despair of God’s mercy.(11)
God willing, we shall destroy it with the truth of the Hadith, “Even if a thing is not wholly obtained, it should not be wholly left.”
Despair is a most grievous sickness of communities and nations, a cancer. It is an obstacle to achievement and is opposed to the truth of the Sacred Hadith, “I am with my bondsman who thinks favourably of Me.” It is the quality and pretext of cowards, the base and the impotent. It does not tell of Islamic courage. It cannot be the quality of a people like the Arabs in particular, who among mankind have been privileged with a fine character that is the cause of pride.
(11) Qur’an, 39:53.
The nations of the Islamic world have taken lessons from the Arabs’ fortitude. God willing, once more the Arabs will give up despair and will stand together with the Turks, who are the heroic army of Islam, and will unfurl the banner of the Qur’an in every part of the world.