Islam

Gülen flatly rejects the totalizing ideology of Islamism

Gülen flatly rejects the totalizing ideology of Islamism

Gülen is well aware that generally speaking Islamism is a reactive and reactionary ideology that is formed by contemporary human and social needs rather than what actually religion dictates. Put differently, he strongly refutes the claim of the Islamists that what they advocate is indeed the true, authentic, original and pure Islam.…

Gülen on Secularism, Democracy and the Rule of Law

Gülen on Secularism, Democracy and the Rule of Law

Gülen: "Members of minority communities should be allowed to live according to their beliefs. If these sorts of legislations are made within the norms of international law and international agreements, Islam will have no objection to any of these. No one can ignore the universal values that the Qur’an and the Sunnah have presented with regard to the rights mentioned above."…

Gulen vs Erdogan – Contesting Religious Expressions

Gulen vs Erdogan – Contesting Religious Expressions

While on a shallow level they share a common religion, in his role as politician, Erdoǧan’s Islam is nationalistic, chauvinistic, militant, exclusivist, and is a source for his authoritarian, patriarchal leadership style. Gűlen’s understanding of Islam is inclusive, peaceful, contains universal values, and requires humility and service to others; ideals that few politicians have found easy to uphold.…

Rumi and Gülen’s Main Message and Acceptance of the Other

Rumi and Gülen’s Main Message and Acceptance of the Other

As Thomas Michel concludes in his paper entitled “Fethullah Gülen: Following in the Footseps of Rumi” in this book, “(i)t is not an exaggeration to say that Gülen is a modern Muslim thinker and activist whose life work of promoting an Islamic appreciation of love, tolerance, and universal peace is in fact a renewed interpretation for our times of the central insights of Mevlana.”…

Lesser and greater jihad

Lesser and greater jihad

The lesser jihad is material. The greater jihad, however, is conducted on the spiritual front, for it is our struggle with our inner world and carnal soul (nafs). When both of these jihads have been carried out successfully, the desired balance is established. If one is missing, the balance is destroyed.…

Submission vs. Sense and Reason

Submission vs. Sense and Reason

All that we see around us when contemplating the Divine laws so evident in His creation, as well as our inner personal conviction, makes it impossible for us not to believe in God. That belief in God, that sense of His Being, whether in the outer world or within ourselves, inevitably leads us to submit to Him. In this way, a path moving from sense and reason ends in submission…

The Gulen Movement: An Islamic Response to Terror as a Global Challenge

The Gulen Movement: An Islamic Response to Terror as a Global Challenge

As regards tolerance and forgiveness, Gulen explains how true Muslims should behave towards the ‘other’ expecting nothing in return for their humane behavior. Against this conduct based on non-violence, a Muslim who performs his/her religious duties properly cannot be a terrorist; and here lies the power of Gulen’s Islamic discourse to correct the stereotypical image blemishing Islam under labels such as Islamists or extremists or terrorists which are commonly mistaken as interchangeable.…

Fethullah Gülen’s Dialogic Sufism: a theological framework

Fethullah Gülen’s Dialogic Sufism: a theological framework

In Gülen’s thinking, tolerance is indispensable to Sufism. Above all, he has signified the tolerant nature of Sufism by the three principles of Sufism, as “overflowing with Divine Love and getting along with all other beings in the realization (originating from Divine Love) that the universe is a cradle of brotherhood”, “giving preference or precedence to the well-being and happiness of others” and “being open to love, spiritual yearning, delight and ecstasy.” Further, Gülen directly related this quality of tolerance to love in describing the Sufi knowledge of God.…

Sufism and its origins (by Fethullah Gulen)

Sufism and its origins (by Fethullah Gulen)

Sufism requires the strict observance of all religious obligations, an austere lifestyle, and the renunciation of carnal desires. Through this method of spiritual self-discipline, the individual’s heart is purified and his or her senses and faculties are employed in the way of God, which means that the traveler can now begin to live on a spiritual level.…

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