Suleyman Hilmi Tunahan was born in the city of Silistre, Bulgaria in 1888. He received his primary education from his father who was a scholar as well. He graduated from the Fatih Madrasah, which was the most famous and important madrasah of the time in Istanbul, with distinction in 1916. Then he graduated from the Madrasah of Kuzad in Suleymaniye Madrasah, which is the counterpart of the faculty of law of our day, also with distinction. He earned the title of professor-in-ordinary at the age of 30.
He encountered prison at a young age
Suleyman Hilmi Tunahan, who throughout his life made a great effort to serve Islam and place the Qur’an in the hearts of men faced various difficulties on this path. He was first arrested in 1939 for the Islamic struggle he made. He encountered prison at a young age. He hastened his intellectual and cultural activities in prison. In 1944, he was arrested for the second time during which he was tortured for eight days. In 1957, when he was 69, he remained under arrest in Kutahya Penitentiary for 59 days. He was tried with the prosecution seeking the death sentence, but he was acquitted by being found not guilty by the court.
His love for his students…
Sulayman Hilmi Tunahan attached great importance to his students and took care of all of their problems. He covered the expenses of his students from his own funds.
He used to say in referring to the students he educated; “I am writing living books. They will never get dusty; they will make themselves read.”
Suleyman Hilmi Tunahan passed away due to diabetes in Istanbul on the 16th of September, 1959.
SULEYMAN HILMI TUNAHAN'S IMPORTANT WILL FOR HIS STUDENTS:
Suleyman Hilmi Tunahan preached the importance of the alliance of all Muslims with these words:
“Let this be my will: Do not fall apart. Do not harbor nationalistic goals. Do not go astray against the Ahl Al-Sunnah.
Unity and brotherhood is needed everywhere. In order to succeed we should cooperate about every issue and never let go of solidarity. Because the help of Allah, both material and spiritual, is always upon the community. Those who struggle together reap the benefits of this in a short time.”
SULEYMAN HILMI TUNAHAN SAYS, “WE ARE IN THE AGE OF HAZRAT MAHDI (AS)”…
In the hadiths about Hazrat Mahdi (as), knowledge from the Messenger of Allah (saas) was secretly realized; however, whoever has the key can open it and understand the truth of it, and no one else. If everyone understood it, the secret would be revealed. This would be against the law of Allah. So to whom the owner of time (Hazrat Mahdi (as)), the successor of the Messenger of Allah (saas), opens the curtain, only he can understand. The secret of the appearance of the Prophet Jesus (as) is so as well. The situations and secrets of Allah’s friends are hidden proportionate to their greatness. HAZRAT MAHDI (AS) WILL COME, WE ARE NOW IN THAT TIME.
SULEYMAN HILMI TUNAHAN’S VIEWS ABOUT BEDIUZZAMAN SAID NURSI
Mr. Arif Hihmet Koklu, one of the followers of Suleyman Efendi, recalled this memory;
'Some people were publishing against Bediuzzaman Said Nursi. Under theinfluence of these publications, I asked Sheikh Suleyman, “How are we to know about Said Nursi?” He said, “BEDIUZZAMAN IS THE INDIVIDUAL I LOVE THE MOST IN TURKEY.” (Prof. Ahmed Akgunduz – Suleyman Hilmi Tunahan in the light of archive documents- Osav pub.)
Suleyman Hilmi Tunahan stated his other views about Bediuzzaman as such;
"The Messenger of Allah (saas) himself gave Said Nursi his rank. He rose to the highest degree. He will write in the way Allah commands him, so will his service..
IF YOU STIR ANY CONTROVERSY BETWEEN YOU AND THE STUDENTS OF BEDIUZZAMAN, MY TWO HANDS WILL BE ON YOUR NECK IN THE HEREAFTER…”(Prof. Ahmed Akgunduz – Suleyman Hilmi Tunahan in the light of archive documents- Osav pub.)
Bediuzzaman told the following about Suleyman Hilmi Tunahan:
“I did not see him. But I know him spiritually. The community disregarded the honor of the religion of Islam. But he raised it like the spire of minaret. I MAKE HIM AND HIS STUDENTS PARTNERS TO THE BENEFITS OF MY PRAYERS INSHA’ALLAH.”(Mehmed Emre-My Memoirs.pp:55-56-Erhan pub.)