Gulen: Dervish of our times


Date posted: November 26, 2011

HE IS A SUFI WHO BELIEVES IN CEASELESS EFFORT AND PERSEVERANCE IN THE FACE OF CHALLENGES

BY PROFESSOR QAZI OBAIDUR REHMAN HASHMI***

Fethullah Gulen is a renowned and distinguished scholar of Islam having broad and in-depth knowledge of world history, politics and philosophy, besides having a comprehensive vision of world religions and religious movements. The main theme of his numerous writings and discourses, is interfaith dialogue which has assumed special significance in the backdrop of ideas like the end of history and clash of civilizations.

Gulen’s movement (aka Hizmet movement) though not the first to sustain multicultural and interfaith dialogue is definitely the most laudable initiative along with a number of significant organized efforts currently at work, committed to world peace, harmony and human happiness. Gulen being highly conscious of his moral obligations is always ready to go extra miles to defuse crisis and to give peace a chance. Visualizing a bright future for the humanity, he contemplates that if we could universally believe in religious diversity as representatives of a single Truth i.e. God Almighty, the dreadful spectre of terrorism and sectarian violence would vanish. He is among those cool headed thinkers who are fully convinced that war is no solution to any of the world’s problems. It only vitiates the atmosphere and instead of dousing the flames, unleashes hostility to cause further flare up with no end to such tragic episodes.

In most of his soul searching sermons, speeches and scholarly writings, he exhorts to his followers not to sit idle and come forward to contribute to the combined efforts for making this world beautiful and a better place to live in. The magically edifying quality of his exhortations have created a very powerful impact on his followers the world over. As a result they have dedicated themselves with utmost sincerely and selflessness to achieving the higher goals in life.

Gulen being a great advocate of interfaith harmony and universal brotherhood has always favored restraint even in the face of the worst kind of hostility revenge and animosity. This high calibre Muslim intellectual who is witness to a number of upheavals in his own native land, Turkey, cites to his followers the example of the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his pious companions who never initiated war by themselves, tried their best to avoid wanton killings, worked hard to negotiate and settle scores if any, beyond the zones of battle filed. However, when they were forced to wage war, they fought a few defensive battles ensuring that transgression of any kind did not take place and the war in no case turned out to be a tool to serve some body’s personal ambitions, pride or prejudice. War is the last resort and the most detested choice for a true Muslim as the holy Quran warns that shedding a drop of blood of an innocent person is like slaying the entire humanity incurring the wrath of the Lord of the universe, inviting severest kind of punishment in the hereafter, while saving a life is like saving the whole humanity.

Gulen suggests that most of the ills of our times including misery, impoverishment, social and moral debasement and a general erosion of values are by and large, the result of mad rush to conclusions and hasty decision to resolve differences through violence, abuse and intimidation instead of patient hearing, compassion and magnanimity. Gulen being a staunch lover of humanity can never approve of such policies which are disastrous and detrimental to human happiness. He believes in the principle of forgiveness and fortitude. He even goes a step farther to affirm in this regard the views of the luminous mystic of his time Yunus Emre, who declares” don’t strike those who hit, not to respond harshly to those who curse and not to hold any secret grudge against those who abuse”

Gulen born and brought up in a traditionally religious Turkish family, who committed holy Quran to memory in a tender age, is a spiritual revolutionary par-excellence. Early influence on his life beside his saintly father, is traced to several luminaries and legendary figures such as Al Hasan al Bash, Shahwalilluah Dehlavi (1703-1762), Jalaluddin Rumi (1776) and Ahmad Sarhindi (1564-1624) etc. His deep fascination and involvement with the metaphysical experiences of Mujaddid Alf-e-Sani of India, and Badiuzzaman Syed Nursi of Turkey, clearly indicate his ardent desire and pious wish to go through a process of spiritual purgation before embarking on the divinely designated mission of transforming the society by dedicating himself to the relentless and selfless service to humanity for the rest of the life.

Why it is that Gulen, despite having been rated by the Foreign Policy Prospect as one of the highly acclaimed 100 top intellectuals of the world is still a lesser known public figure in the Muslim world. It may be because of his low profile and a moderate Turkish version of Islam and too much of his emphasis on the inter-civilization dialogue which is only a recent phenomenon in championing the cause of Islam.

Gulen being a unique example of the modern day Dervish, has successfully maintained the delicate balance between orthodoxy and spiritualism. He has repeatedly and categorically stated that the main source of his spiritual awakening, strength and guidance is the Holy Quran and the sayings of the prophet of God Mohammad (PBUH). He seriously contends that the true followers of Islam cannot abdicate the responsibility of serving the suffering humanity. In his opinion the service to humanity is as good as the sincere devotion to God. Despite being least concerned with worldly pleasure, he is not ready to renounce the world so as to leave it to the mercy of the senseless and wicked people to destroy it. He is a sufi who believes in action, proactive life, ceaseless efforts and perseverance in the face of challenges.

In most of his soul searching sermons, speeches and scholarly writings, he exhorts to his followers not to sit idle and come forward to contribute to the combined efforts for making this world beautiful and a better place to live in. The magically edifying quality of his exhortations have created a very powerful impact on his followers the world over. As a result they have dedicated themselves with utmost sincerely and selflessness to achieving the higher goals in life.

He seriously contends that the true followers of Islam cannot abdicate the responsibility of serving the suffering humanity. In his opinion the service to humanity is as good as the sincere devotion to God. Despite being least concerned with worldly pleasure, he is not ready to renounce the world so as to leave it to the mercy of the senseless and wicked people to destroy it. He is a sufi who believes in action, proactive life, ceaseless efforts and perseverance in the face of challenges.

Gulen doesn’t believe in imposing his views on his followers and urges them to critically examine and logically analyze his messages before applying them on their lives. He is a strong supporter of free thinking and scientific outlook based on the universal ethical values which also need to be nurtured and promoted through systematic and scientific method of teaching in the specially designed educational institutions. A number of such ideal institutions established by his followers are being successfully run not only in Turkey but in many parts of the globe, and a large number of students irrespective of caste, color and creed are benefiting from them. These institutions are not merely for religious education. Their main aim is to impart modern education taking care of the overall personal development and carving a future in the realm of science and technology. Its a purposeful educational project with highest consideration to human values, social consciousness and a responsible behavior toward every individual in the society.

***Author teaches at the Dept of Urdu, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.

Source: Greater Kashmir http://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/2011/Nov/26/gulen-dervesh-of-our-times-3.asp

 


Related News

Saylorsburg cleric sends statement to Muslim-Catholic conference

A press release prepared by the Alliance for Shared Values says Saylorsburg resident Fethullah Gulen, the prominent Muslim cleric, has urged people of all faiths to come together to address global conflict at the first-ever US Muslim-Catholic Dialogue Conference, which seeks to promote interfaith dialogue and mutual respect worldwide.

Junior Coalition Partner Demands Explanation Why Bulgarian Govt Turned over Abdullah Buyuk to Turkey

Right-wing Reformist Bloc, the junior partner in Bulgaria’s minority coalition cabinet, has demanded that Interior Minister Rumyana Bachvarova explain to Parliament why the government turned over Turkish businessman Abdullah Buyuk to Turkey last week. “The Reformist Bloc expresses disagreement with the violation of basic principles that guide the coalition; for us these are the rule […]

Turkish scholar Fethullah Gulen awarded in South Korea

In a moment of respect and hope, Fethullah Gülen received the prestigious Manhae Peace Prize. Journalists and Writers Foundation President Mustafa Yesil accepted the award on behalf of Gülen, who was not able to attend the ceremony due to health problems. Yesil, who delivered a speech at the event, spoke highly of Gülen and his […]

Fresh resignation in Turkey’s ruling AKP over graft scandal

Çetin also denied that he had spoken about resigning with Gülen, adding that the U.S.-based scholar did not give orders to anyone. “He does not interfere with anyone’s preferences. You only take advise and he gives his personal opinion. He has actually persuaded me to stay until today,” the resigned deputy said.

We need the Hizmet Movement example in Tunisia

YUSUF ACAR / TUNUS Tunisia, where the civil uprisings in the Arab world originated, recently discussed the Hizmet Movementand ideas of Fethullah Gulen. The symposium jointly organized by Hira magazine and Fadil bin Asur Research Center was entitled “Tunisia and Turkey: Concepts of Culture and Reform in the Cases of Tahir bin Asur and Fethullah […]

Turkey coup and Fethullah Gülen: Why blame a progressive Islamic modernist?

The coup in Turkey attempted by a group of middle-ranking soldiers of the country has gone down in West Asian history as an ill-designed expedition.

Latest News

This notable Pocono resident has been living here in exile since 1999

Logistics companies seized over Gülen links sold in fast-track auction

That is Why the Turkish Government could Pay 1 Billion Euros

ECtHR rules Bulgaria violated rights of Turkish journalist who was deported despite seeking asylum

Fethullah Gülen’s Message of Condolences in the Wake of the Western European Floods

Pregnant woman kept in prison for 4 months over Gülen links despite regulations

Normalization of Abduction, Torture, and Death in Erdogan’s Turkey

Turkey’s Maarif Foundation illegally seized German-run school in Ethiopia, says manager

Failed 2016 coup was gov’t plot to purge Gülenists from state bodies, journalist claims

In Case You Missed It

Giuliani pressed Trump to eject Muslim cleric from U.S., a top priority of Turkish president, former officials say

Australian Catholic University Gulen Chair Launch

Disabled teacher, husband removed from job as brothers under arrest

Kimse Yok Mu uplifts orphans in Tacloban

A day of joy for five hundred Albanian orphans

Erdogan is transforming Turkey into a totalitarian prison

Mozambican minister: I will mention success of Turkish schools on every occasion

Copyright 2021 Hizmet News