Faith Compatible with Science

Date posted: July 15, 2013

Taha Akyol

Fethullah Gulen’s book incorporates the concept of “faith” into those of “service, affection, compassion” and such.

Journalists and Writers Foundation President Mustafa Yesil, Cemal Ussak and Erkam Tufan Aytav earlier invited me for a breakfast. We had a worrisome conversation about the severe political polarization and an optimistic one about the recent enrichment of tolerance and dialogue in the society.

I was presented with the honorable Fethullah Gulen’s latest book “Kalbin Soluklari” (Breaths of the Heart). It occurred to me the breakfast was thought as an appropriate occasion for that.

A meticulously published, 570-page book. I’ve read it from cover to cover. In sum, it’s a piece that covers “faith” by incorporating it into concepts such as “service, compassion, affection, tolerance and love for human being.”

Old-fashioned catechism books feel gloomy or even fierce in their narrations. The Honorable Gulen’s book, on the contrary, not only inspires a sense of “serenity” but also arouses “cehd” (struggle for good deeds) in its readers, two concepts both of which are chapters of the book.

The spirit in this book makes it possible to understand how Gulen has energized thousands and how a volunteer network of schools extending from the African jungles to Asian deserts has formed.

“Philosophers” in Islam

I would like to bring up particularly the chapter dedicated to “Knowledge and Love of Inquiry”. Everyone can applaud the scientific developments over the first ages of Islamic civilization. What matters is that Gulen speaks highly of the names that has been rejected by “madrasah” for years.

Besides covering tafsir, hadith and jurisprudence up to the 12th century, the book also hails the scientific developments in math, geometry, chemistry, medicine, astronomy, agriculture, and urban planning.

“Experimental method”, the foundation of the modern science, is argued to have been developed by Muslims and expanded into Western Renascence. More importantly, Gulen lists Farabi, Ibn Sina and Ibn Rusd among the numerous Muslim scholars of the 9th and 10th centuries, in the chapter “Knowledge and Love for Inquiry”

The Honorable Gulen additionally notes that the scientific studies leading to findings on spherical earth, lunar and solar eclipses date back to Abbasid Me’mun period. This period is in no way appreciated in “madrasah” and “Es’ari” (a school in Islam) traditions.

Pre-Islam Science

Gulen regretfully recounts how Library of Alexandria was destroyed and that therefore resulted in stagnation in numerous scientific fields. As a result, in Gulen’s words, “scientific knowledge was overwhelmed by myths, scientific research came to a halt and love of knowledge completely died down.”

Scientific history too confirms the same findings. Gulen underscores the role which employment of each and every piece of knowledge handed down from this old scientific legacy played in the development of Islamic civilization. Needless to say that Gulen encourages to recognize the pre-Islam scientific legacy rather than reducing it to “the ignorance period.”

Seyyid Kutup, on the other hand, was conservative on the issue, so much so that he argued degradation of faith among Muslims started with the translation of these pieces. As for madrasah, it didn’t even show interest in such issues anyway.

The pious today

In addition to arguing these with regard to scientific history, Gulen also ardently encourages study of modern sciences of the age.

Why didn’t Gulen Movement become a community of a narrow, mystic sect but grow into an organized civil movement with its schools, academic and scholarly studies, entrepreneurs and civil institutions? To me, the reason behind this sociological phenomenon is that it offers an understanding of faith compatible with the universal science to the Muslim of our age. This an Islamic perspective that addresses the pious Muslims who are getting urbanized and educated, representing an entrepreneur class, following academic career and expanding into the world.

Source: , May 2013

Related News

Prosecutor’s office launches investigation into Şahin’s claim

Şahin claimed that a high-level judge at the Supreme Court of Appeals had acted contrary to legal procedure and contacted Gülen before issuing his final verdict in the case against the businessman several years ago. “What should I do in this case?” asked the judge, according to the claims of the former justice minister. He went on to say that Gülen had allegedly told the judge to do “what justice requires.”

Turkish-Armenian intellectual says failed coup staged to purge Gülen followers

Turkish-Armenian linguist and writer Sevan Nişanyan, who escaped from a prison in İzmir in July, shared his take on a failed coup in Turkey last year, saying it was staged in order to cleanse the Turkish military of followers of US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.

Gulen, a Secret Cardinal?

The Turkish government needs to understand that this kind of crazy makes it much less likely that the U.S. will extradite Gulen. His lawyers can point to this kind of demented paranoia as evidence that the Turkish justice system can’t be trusted to give him a fair trial. Most U.S. judges are likely to agree.

HAPPENING NOW: Police await outside hospital to detain woman who just gave birth

A group of police officers awaited outside of the Alanya Başkent Hospital in order to detain a woman who gave birth several hours ago, according to a tweet by former deputy Feyzi İşbaşaran. Fadime Günay, whose husband has recently been detained by police over alleged links to the Gulen movement, gave birth to a boy late on Sunday.

Turkey’s recent view from the US

The way the AK Party has proposed new laws to increase government control over judges and prosecutors and how many investigations have slowed down have raised suspicions that the government might be trying to hide corruption. The censorship of Turkish media and the recent attempts to change laws about the Internet to easily increase censorship are raising concern.

Should Hizmet establish a political party?

If the Hizmet movement had believed that services to Turkey can best be provided through politics, it would have done so from the beginning. Civil society has a special place in democracies. One can also serve the country by rejecting democratic pressures and upholding rule of law and individual freedoms.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Forget about the gentleman living in Pennsylvania, US tells Ankara

Turkish Schools in Afghanistan organized the eighth annual science competition

A coup was launched from here? Intrigue in rural Pennsylvania

Turkish daily Taraf accused of ‘spying’ and ‘terror acts’ for publishing state document

Is Erdogan’s smile worth more than the tears of Pak-Turk students?

Class-B shareholders join objection against Asya decision

How come a 25 days old BABY could be a THREAT to the national security?

Copyright 2023 Hizmet News