Islam

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.…

Civil Islam and Democratic Modernity in Gülen’s thought

Civil Islam and Democratic Modernity in Gülen’s thought

Throughout Gülen’s teaching, one can see an abiding concern with fostering a communitarian ethos that aims to improve modern society through the revitalization of Islamic spiritualism, individual religious piety and service to others. Gülen’s ideas are effective in practice because they have rationalized religious ideals and shown their core compatibility with secular interests. This is a projection of worldly mysticism onto his understanding of secularism.…

Understanding the Hizmet Movement – Is Hizmet Islamist?

Understanding the Hizmet Movement – Is Hizmet Islamist?

It is on this basis that the Hizmet movement has competed directly with the revolutionary and authoritarian ideas of Islamists. The religious attitude of Civil Islam rejects the politicized doctrine and the “us vs. them” approach of Islamists, and instead stresses the importance of living Islam through sincerity, honesty, personal piety, and through selfless service to others through modern civil society.…

Consultation from Gülen’s perspective: The relationship between the ruler and the ruled

Consultation from Gülen’s perspective: The relationship between the ruler and the ruled

I am in favor of solving all issues according to the collective conscience. I am one of those who hold that three minds are better than one and thus prefer the majority sentiments of my friends to my own sentiments. Therefore, let’s make the mechanism of consultation operational. Let's join our efforts together to meet and resolve the grave problems of the future and never act individually.…

Political Activism for Peaceful Coexistence in Rumi and Gulen

Political Activism for Peaceful Coexistence in Rumi and Gulen

Gulen echoes Rumi also in telling us not to ignore the laws of the universe, not to sit around aimlessly, but rather to exert all our energies to change this world into a world of peaceful coexistence and justice. Gulen’s ideal man, man of action, does his best until this world is turned into paradise; and also struggle for a better world, to be stopped by nothing except death itself.…

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

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

Although Rumi lived about 800 years before Gülen, they both lived in cosmopolitan environments and thus both made intercultural dialogue their main tool of social innovation and conflict resolution for social inclusion, coherence and peaceful coexistence. They inspired the lives and practices of their students, sympathizers, followers, scholars, and the larger community to contribute to solutions that better the world. …

Fethullah Gülen: Following in the Footsteps of Rumi

Fethullah Gülen: Following in the Footsteps of Rumi

Thomas Michel The writings of Jalal al-Din Rumi, the thirteenth-century mystical poet and founder of the Mevlevi Sufi confraternity, have influenced the thinking and behavior of many Muslims down to our own times. One of the modern Muslims who have…