In order to fully understand the meaning in Bediüzzaman Said Nursi’s words one must read and consider the Master’s words as a single whole. But it is not so honest to read one passage or paragraph and comment on what Bediüzzaman might have meant without reading other passages or paragraphs, as these are all complimentary.
In his Risale-i Nur Collection, Said Nursi explicitly states that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will come as an individual in Hijri 1400, that he will have three duties, that these three duties had not been discharged in his (Said Nursi’s) own time, that it is Hazrat Mahdi (as) who will perform them, that he is not Hazrat Mahdi (as), but merely one of his vanguard. These words of the Master’s are too explicit and clear to allow any alternative interpretation.
It is impossible to conclude from Said Nursi’s words in the Kastamonu Addendum, “Yes, since this time is one of note for both faith and religion and for social life and the law, and also for public law and political Islam, they each require mujaddids "that the duties of the Mahdi will be discharged by three separate individuals. The Master is not referring to his own time here. Spiritual guides living at that time had worked as mujaddids. When we read the following part of the extract it is clear that the Master explicitly states that it is Hazrat Mahdi (as), who will appear in the End Times and who is descended from the line of our Prophet (saas) who will discharge these three duties simultaneously. For that reason, in interpreting this statement by the Master, one must also read and take into account the next part of the same passage. Not to do so, is neither honest nor sincere.
The full passage by Master Bediüzzaman in the Kastamonu Addendum reads:
Our great, loyal and splendid brother Hasmet Hodja!
I was astounded to read your letter about the mujaddid and spoke of it to our Master. Our Master says:
Yes, since this time is one of note for both faith and religion and for social life and the law, and also for public law and political Islam, they each require mujaddids. But the most urgent of all, the duty of restoring the preservation of true faith, is the most sacred and the greatest. The law, social law and the political sphere are the second, third and fourth in order of relative importance.
In the hadith accounts regarding the renovation of the faith, signs leading to faith are of greatest importance. However, since the needy public and people who are attracted by the life of this world consider Islamic social life and politics of religion more important, they see and understand from that point of view.
It is a remote possibility, in fact impossible, for these three duties to be present in one individual or community at this time, for them to be perfect and not conflict with one another. THEY CAN ONLY COME TOGETHER IN HAZRAT MAHDI (AS) AND THE COLLECTIVE PERSONALITY OF HIS COMMUNITY who represent the radiant community of the Ahl al-Bayt in the End Times. In this century, thanks be to Almighty Allah, the Risale-i Nur, its truth and the collective personality of its followers, has served in the preservation of the true faith. Forty thousands of men witness it to responding totally to intense atheism and heresy for twenty years and saving the faith of hundred thousands of faithful with its effective and victorious publication in that holy task.
However, a man so helpless and poor like me greets you and says that my individual should not be made the cause in the sense to burden me a load of thousands times heavier than my limit.
Emin, Feyzi, Kamil, followers of the Risale-i Nur
As we have seen, Said Nursi reveals that it is a remote possibility, and even impossible, for these three duties to be present at the same time in a single individual or even a single community, in his day. And what the Master said, happened. Indeed, none of these duties was discharged in his own time. In the Master’s time, various spiritual guides discharged various aspects of these tasks, but none therefore earned the title of Great Mahdi of the End Times, he who will undertake and accomplish them all. The Master served in matters of faith, Sultan Abdulhamit II in political matters and other spiritual guides in various different spheres, thus serving as mujaddids. But there has never been a single individual to accomplish them all at one and the same time. The Master says this on the subject in the Emirdag Addendum and the Rays:
Certain Muslim individuals had also come in previous centuries with the purpose of bringing Qur’anic moral values to prevail on Earth, but that none of these had discharged the three important tasks that Hazrat Mahdi (as) would perform in the End Times. (Emirdağ Addendum, p. 260)
THE FOUR GREAT DUTIES OF “THE GREAT MAHDI,” AND SOME OF THE DUTIES OF “THE GREAT MAHDI” HAVE BEEN PERFORMED IN ONE RESPECT BY MINOR MAHDIS WHO HAVE COME BEFORE, ARE TO RESTORE, DECLARE AND IMPLEMENT THE LAW OF MUHAMMAD (SAAS) AND THE ESSENCE OF THE MORAL VALUES OF THE QUR’AN AND THE SUNNAH OF OUR PROPHET (SAAS), AND THE “GREAT MAHDI,” THEIR GREAT COMMANDER, WILL SHOW HIS PERFECT JUSTICE AND DOMINION TO THE WORLD. (Rays, p. 456)
Since we have passages by Bediuzzaman Said Nursi containing hundreds of pieces of evidence about Hazrat Mahdi (as) being an individual, about his appearing in Hijri 1400, and about his being active in the fields of religious matters, politics and governance and spreading the religion, and about these duties all being manifested at the same time in Hazrat Mahdi (as) and his community, it is clearly incompatible with honesty, sincerity and good conscience for anyone to read half of what the Master says and not the other half and then produce interpretations solely in line with his own beliefs, not grounded in any evidence whatsoever.