In one of the proofs revealed by Bediuzzaman demonstrating that he is not the Mahdi (as), he states that “the Mahdi (as) will be a sayyid, but that he himself is not a sayyid.” Some extracts in which Bediuzzaman openly expresses this fact read as follows:
... All my brothers will bear witness that I have never accepted the imputation of being the Mahdi (as). Indeed, in response to what learned people in Denizli said about whether Said claims to be the Mahdi (as), contrary to what all his disciples believe, Said stated in his objection, “I am not a sayyid, the Mahdi will be a sayyid,” and refuted them. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Rays, p. 365)
I know that I am not a sayyid (descended from the line of our Prophet (saas)). Generations are not known at this time. Yet, that great figure of the end times will be descended from our Prophet (saas). (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Emirdag Addendum, pp. 247-250)
Bediuzzaman also recalled one of the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) in his works - “it is incompatible with Qur’anic moral values for one who is a sayyid to conceal the fact,” thus making it clear that what he said on this subject was the truth:
Those people who are not sayyids, but who say they are, and those who are sayyids, but who say they are not, are both sinners, and in the same way that such claims and denials are forbidden … so adding anything to or removing anything from the hadiths and Qur’an is forbidden. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Reasonings, p. 52)
Had Bediuzzaman been a sayyid, there would have been no reason to conceal it because being descended from the line of our Prophet (saas) is not a feature requiring to be concealed. On the contrary, it is a great honour for all Muslims. Therefore, had Bediuzzaman been a sayyid, then when he was asked, he would have said, “Yes, I am a sayyid, but I am not the Mahdi,” and he would have been honored to say that he was descended from the line of the Prophet (saas) because admitting that one is a sayyid does not necessarily mean that one is the Mahdi (as). However, he nevertheless, several times reiterated that he was not a sayyid. Bediuzzaman also confirmed this several times in the treatises by saying that he was “Kurdish” (Disputations, p. 84; History of Life, p. 228; Bediuzzaman and His Students’ Trial Defence, p. 18). In the same way, had he been of the opinion that he was the Mahdi (as), he would not have spent hundreds of pages in works read by millions saying the exact opposite; he would not have said that he did not match the attributes of the Mahdi (as) nor, with a great deal of evidence, that this holy individual would be coming after him.
In addition, “there is no question of everyone who is a sayyid being the Mahdi. (as)” There are millions of sayyids in the world. Since the fact that someone is a sayyid does not necessarily mean that he is the Mahdi (as), and everyone who is a sayyid can freely and openly admit the fact. Moreover, Bediuzzaman did not say, “The only thing I lack in this regard is being a sayyid, had I been a sayyid I would have been the Mahdi (as).” On the contrary, he provided lengthy descriptions of all the attributes of the Mahdi (as) and the matchless activities he would engage in, and stated that these had not yet come about in his own day.