We’ll kiss the hands of those who tell us our shortcomings

Hüseyin Gülerce
Hüseyin Gülerce

Date posted: March 30, 2011


I have been a guest of the esteemed Fethullah Gülen for one week. I am visiting not just as a friend, but as a journalist as well. Being here in this place as a writer is very exciting.

You are in the same place, breathing the same air as this person who has embarked on a journey in the name of universal peace, love and tolerance in this war-torn world. As a journalist, it’s very hard to control the urge to share what he says with readers.

The esteemed Gülen holds a discussion on religious matters three times a week as long as his health permits. His discussions are then broadcast on Mehtap TV. The discussions can also be accessed on websites relating to Gülen.

He began the discussion last Friday by saying, “Let’s be very grateful to God because we are human beings, we are believers because we are members of Prophet Muhammad’s ummah.” Then he talked about the devastation in the Muslim geography. He reminded people of the need to make progress in positive sciences and technology. “We need to study the laws of nature. We need to make advances in science, technology, social sciences, law, economics, medicine, literature and art. We can’t be uninformed. We can not lag behind the world. We must race in a way that suits us. If we don’t, others will always be managing us,” he added.

The venerable Hocaefendi was upset. He was upset that some people still have hostility towards the movement, known as the Volunteers Movement, despite all the service it provides for mankind. For some reason, some people still continue to attack the movement’s services, which are welcomed in 130 countries around the globe and are supported by Anatolian people who make sacrifices and work hard to provide them. In the past Gülen has said, “Those who work for this world, cannot understand those who work for hereafter.” But he also always reminds us that “We must do what is right.”

In his recent discussion, he reminded us of the importance of doing good deeds once again. “I pray even for those who attack you and conspire against you. I pray to God asking Him to put faith and trust in their hearts. If you show patience, bear the difficulties and remain polite, you will be the winner.”

He continued to express his sorrow in his discussion saying: “There is no logic in questioning every good deed, criticizing every issue and speaking negatively so as to appear objective. No aspect of these attitudes can be reconciled with religion. If there is any explanation for such behavior, it is related to the self-centered nature of such people. It has to do with their selfishness and egoism.”

One particular note I took from Gülen’s discussion, was the call for self-criticism. He said:

“Why are others hostile to the movement? Why do they plan plots and attack the movement anytime they have the chance? We should take a look at ourselves. Are there any mistakes in our methodology and style? Is it because we have faults in our approach, because we are negligent or because we see certain people as the ‘opposite front,’ that there is a hostile view toward us? It is wrong to immediately blame people without first considering these possibilities and without first confronting and questioning ourselves.

“I wish those people had good intentions for us and told us what our shortfalls are with the intention helping us to improve ourselves. On the other hand, we should question our actions, confront ourselves and ask, ‘What are we missing, what do we need to do.’ I wish they would tell us what it is that we’re missing, whether its reading, talking, comparative reading or making sacrifices, without insulting and offending us. We would consider it guidance. We would see it as a guide to improving ourselves to improving the people within this movement. We would easily kiss the hands [an act of respect] of people who extend them with the purpose of showing us the way.”

In my opinion the venerable Gülen is calling on people who have a fair heart to abandon the suffocating atmosphere of smear campaigns for the sake of our country and people. He is extending a hand that should be held. I wonder who will hold it.


Source: Today's Zaman , 30 March 2011

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