Respecting all despite differences in style and method

Fethullah Gülen: Everyone can and should serve in their own way by remaining respectful to others. We do not have the right to open the door to conflicts and dissension. Once we have found what’s good for us we should not quarrel about what’s better.

Fethullah Gülen

Everyone displays his/her own character by his/her behavior, words and attitudes. In this respect, we have to act as we are both to friends and enemies alike. For example, most of the time I address others, even those who curse me, with respectful titles. This is my style. We cannot make concessions with our style and lower ourselves. Let us not forget that some come and some go, but everyone continues to live with his/her style. (1)

Also, I think that this type of behavior can soften the ideas and change the behavior of those who count on roughness and hostility.

In fact, we should try to tolerate even slanders and pressures as much as possible. When they can no longer be borne, then the matter should be referred to God.

We can see some stern expressions in the Qur’an. However, they refer to extremists. In line with this delicate spirit of the matter, Bediüzzaman in one place says that it is possible to establish dialogue and friendship with Jews and Christians and do every kind of work with them in social life. (2) He indicates that the Qur’an’s prohibition regarding not taking them for friends pertains only to those matters of belief in Judaism and Christianity that do not conform to Islam. Otherwise, generalizing on rules that pertain to specific conditions, specific people and specific subjects, would mean accepting the Qur’an differently than it really means. So, we should not sacrifice anything from our style.

As I have said before on different occasions, I want to state once again that it is a sin to nurture evil assumptions or opinions about others, and it is a mistake to be a vehicle for that. From this respect, those devoted to serving Islam and humanity should visit those who use different methods for the same purpose, and explain to them the matters that can constitute reasons for Islam to be misunderstood, thereby preventing their sinning in this area.

Everyone can and should serve in their own way by remaining respectful to others.  We do not have the right to open the door to conflicts and dissension. Once we have found what’s good for us we should not quarrel about what’s better.

In addition, while we should build a dialogue with everyone, it is difficult to explain why Muslims, who have countless things in common, heavily criticize each other because of insignificant differences among them and remain separated.

Notes:

(1) Style –üslup in Turkish- is a word Gulen stresses frequently. It may mean in English, depending on the context, manner, behavior, demeanor, wording.

(2) Risale-i  Nur Külliyatı, “Münazarat,” Vol. 2, p. 1944.

Source:

M. Fethullah Gülen, 2004. “Toward a Global Civilization of Love and Tolerance.” The Light, Inc, New Jersey. Pages 115-116.

Related Articles

Gülen’s Holistic Approach to Education

Gülen’s Holistic Approach to Education

Yuksel A. Aslandogan, Muhammed Cetin One way to evaluate Gülen’s educational philosophy and its appeal for diverse societies from Turkey to South Africa, and from the Philippines to…