...This movement is teaching its followers and all those with whom it comes in contact with that modernity is not an enemy of Islam.
But rather, we can find connecting dots between Islam and modernity and to implement assimilation which leads to integration. This is the only movement that I know—Muslim movement—which knows how to make Muslims part of the modern world, the only movement which has a vision of how to be integrated in the wider society.
Mr. Fethullah Gulen has rightfully identified one of the most important vehicles in reaching out to others; through interfaith dialogue.
That’s the best way to show non-Muslims who we are, what our beliefs are, and what our practices are.
From what I know, this movement is not after converting others into Islam but rather, through interfaith activities, the movement is trying to come in contact with others, to learn about others, to try to help others, to make others be aware of the existence of Islam and Muslims in the given area, and also to engage them in some activities directed to help others.
It’s really something which I would like to emphasize as something very productive, very fruitful and fully justifiable step towards establishing Islam and Muslims in a non-Muslim environment.
Muslims cannot hope to be given mercy by Allah unless they are merciful to those who need our mercy, who need our help.
So, again, when I was in Istanbul, I was taken to the place which is known as Kimse Yok Mu, I think, and I asked, what is the meaning of this? I was told that it means, Is there anyone else who needs help?—to help him, which means that we have to struggle to reach the last one who may be in need, that no one is to be left without help.
If we can provide, if we know anyone who may be in need of our help, whether he is Muslim or non-Muslim, as long as he is a human being, our duty as human beings is to help. This is completely in line with the spirit of Islam and with the spirit of the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (saw). But, Mr. Fethullah Gulen and his movement are reminding us of what the real spirit of Islam is.
To the accusation of Gulen’s movement, of Hizmet, I have one verse from the holy Quran to quote; “İnnAllahe yudafiu anilleziyne amenu” “Allah is defending and protecting those who believe.”
He is protecting believers. Of course, any human being who doesn’t have enemies may be useless. Prophet Muhammad (saw) was the perfect human being, but he had enemies. So, it is a very normal anticipation, something we anticipated that a movement such as Hizmet, which has been producing huge global results, would have some enemies, would produce hatred through jealousy.
Of course, some people and some other movements are jealous of the planetary results of this movement. And now they are, with the help of Satan, trying to stop the good work of this movement, but Allah is, of course, aware of this. And Allah will be on the side of the believers. This is temporary, just like it was temporary in the life of Prophet Muhammad (saw). Despite some of the hatred and enmity that were directed against Prophet Muhammad (saw), his movement, his mission succeeded. In the same way, this movement will succeed and it is strong enough to overcome any of these allegations and attempts to denigrate light.
Light cannot be put off. The light which has a strong foundation cannot be turned off.
Hocaefendi is not afraid to say the truth for the good of the person who does something wrong. He’s not afraid to tell anyone that what is wrong is wrong. In every government, there are some bureaucracy which is negative, there is some corruption.
He wouldn’t be right, his character wouldn’t be complete if he didn’t raise his voice against what he perceives as corruption. So, we are behind Mr. Fethullah Gulen because he knows what is good for us in the long run. He’s not subject to everyday judgment of politicians or those who elect politicians. He’s not a politician, he’s a scholar, he’s a humanist, and he is a visionary.
He has been doing this since 1967, I believe, and no one can compare himself with Fethullah Gulen. A politician who is subject to election cannot be compared with someone who has dedicated his life to the betterment of the society—Turkish society and the global society.
So, the prayers of the believers are with Fethullah Gulen and with his movement, and I’m sure that he will prevail and that this is just a temporary test which is going to be passed.
**Profile: Dr. Senad Agic is the head imam of the Islamic Association of Bosniaks in North America since 1994. He received Ph.D. in Islamic Studies at the Graduate Theological Foundation. He is also a graduate of the Gazi-Husrev Beg Medresa in Bosnia and the University of Sarajevo. He is the 2004 recipient of the Jalaluddin Rumi Prize in Islamic Studies.
*Produced by Spectra Media exclusively for Irmak TV, Atlas of Thoughts (Fikir Atlasi) connects the scholars, politicians, jurists, religious figures, journalists, and academics reflecting on Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen and the Hizmet Movement with the audience. Each episode features a person from a different segment of the society with diverse experiences regarding the Hizmet activities and its volunteers. If you are interested to hear about the Hizmet and Mr. Gulen from these people’s perspectives, do not miss this show! .