The Hizmet Movement: Reflections from Sri Lanka

Learnium International School, Sri Lanka
Learnium International School, Sri Lanka

Date posted: November 14, 2013

Hameed Abdul Karim

‘Be so sympathetic and tolerant that your bosom becomes as wide as the ocean. Be inspired with faith and love for your fellow human being. Let there be no troubled souls to whom you do not offer a helping hand and about whom you remain unconcerned.’ – Fethullah Gulen

How many of us have heard the words Kimse Yok Mu? To most of us this might sound Greek. But in actual fact its Turkish and it means ‘Isn’t Anybody Out There.’ Kimse Yok Mu is a worldwide social and charity movement under the banner of the Hizmet Movement, inspired by the indefatigable humanist Turk, Fethullah Gulen.

Seated in his modest room in Pennsylvania in the US, being treated by his doctors for a number of ailments, you might dismiss this stately man as a retired wealthy aristocrat. But he’s far from that. He’s not rich and yet he has admirers and supporters all over the world, willing to do his bidding at the drop of a hat.

His movement, Kimse Yok Mu, was among the first to respond to the devastating tsunami that hit Sri Lanka. Large amounts of food and other requirements that the tsunami victims needed were supplied without any fanfare.

Of a Sufi bent of mind, Gulen was greatly influenced by the thoughts of Sufis like Jallaludin Rumi and Said Nursi. His father was an influential imam. He followed his father’s footsteps and himself became an imam. He delivered his first sermon when he was only 14. As he grew older, he began to develop new ideas based on the teachings of his master, Said Nursi. He expanded his horizons and went into social service setting up educational institutes in Turkey. As his work attracted attention, his fame spread all over Turkey as well as in other countries. Support came from his admirers in the form of donations in large amounts. Thus was born the Gulen Movement.

Service to humanity

The Gulen Movement took off in Turkey in the 1970s as a faith-inspired movement to give educational opportunities to local communities. But as the movement progressed, Fethullah Gulen, being a modest man, thought that it would not be appropriate for the movement to carry his name as the funding for the movement came from his admirers and supporters from Turkey and other parts of the world. He therefore proposed the name be changed to Hizmet Movement. Hizmet means service to humanity. It is reported that the vast line-up of supporters of the Gulen-inspired Hizmet Movement contribute anything between five to 10% of their incomes to support the educational and social service efforts of the organization.

From its humble beginnings, the movement has grown all over Turkey, setting up huge universities in many Turkish cities, and making it easy for those in rural areas to access modern education. It has also spread to other corners of the world, incorporating educational, intercultural and interfaith movements that bring people of different cultures and faiths together as one in humankind.

In Sri Lanka, the Hizmet Movement started the Learnium School as well as the Intercultural Dialogue Foundation. Initially, the funding for the school came from the Movement until it managed to support itself on its own income.

Paying a tribute to the Movement, Prof. John Esposito of Georgetown University said, “The Gulen Movement has become a very influential voice in the world in both dialogue of religions and the civilization of societies.”

In another tribute, Turkey’s former Prime Minister, Bulent Ecevit said, “Gulen reminds us of the understanding of Islam, which stems from the love of god and love of human beings that is practised in Turkish public Sufism.” Fethullah Gulen shuns political leaders as a matter of principle and Bulent Ecevit happened to be just one of two political leaders he had met.

This in itself speaks volumes for the man and his mission.

Source: Ceylon Today , November 14, 2013

Related News

Deputy speaker of Kenya Parliament: “I Gave Out Fethullah Gülen’s books to Congressmen”

Farah Maalim, Kenya’s deputy speaker of the parliament, thinks that the Turkish schools in his country, and in the rest of Africa “changes lives”.

Fethullah Gulen will be awarded the prestigious Manhae Grand Prize

The Asian columnist Abderrahim El Allam and the renowned Turkish educator Fethullah Gulen will be awarded the prestigious Manhae Grand Prize for this year. The Society for the Promotion and Practice of Manhae’s Thoughts (Manhae Foundation) announced on Mar. 3 the winners of the Manhae Prize in three categories; peace, practice and culture.

Erdoğan’s war against Hizmet: Step by step

Turkish prosecutors carried out a number of arrests and raids on the morning of 17th December 2013 as part of a series of on-going corruption investigations. PM Erdogan’s response has been to call this a coup attempt against his government orchestrated by a coalition of foreign and domestic enemies. Erdogan claims that the ‘domestic pawn’ of this plot is the Hizmet movement. His number one election campaign promise: to crush and annihilate the treacherous Hizmet movement.

GYV Presient Yesil: We knock on all doors

Mustafa Yesil is the president of the Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV), which is known as the Gulen community’s institutional representative. He has addressed a wide range of issues, among them the Gulen movement, eavesdropping, the arrest of Aziz Yildirim (chairman, Fenerbahce soccer team), the National Intelligence Institution’s (MIT’s) head Hakan Fidan’s query.

Students of Turkish school in Iraq learn four languages

YONCA POYRAZ DOĞAN, ARBIL / SULAIMANIYA In Turkey, education in one’s mother tongue other than the official language, Turkish, has long been an issue of hot debate, but in the Kurdish region of Iraq, students have been graduating from Turkish schools having learned four languages. “In this area, people know two or three languages. In […]

Scholars: Hizmet efforts to build schools will not stop

Taipei, Dec. 12 (CNA) Supporters of a civic movement inspired by Fethullah Gulen, one of the most important Muslim figures in Turkey, will not cease their efforts to build schools as long as there is a demand for such service around the world, according to a Turkish scholar dedicated to the movement. The Hizmet movement […]

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

Associations, NGOs, banks launch aid campaigns for Soma victims

Who is Fethullah Gülen, why is the Gülen movement currently being targeted by the Turkish government?

Police wait outside delivery room to detain woman who just gave birth

A time for sacrifice

Turkish court rejects appeal to arrest Dumanlı

“Time to Help” launched in England

Abant Platform discusses thriving relations between Turkey and Africa

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News