I am not a member of the Hizmet Movement but I am very familiar of the work that has being done around the world. I just had the opportunity to travel to the Balkans and I am very familiar with the work that they are doing in Senegal. They are not just that are calling people to do good, but are themselves pioneers in that doing of good.
As an academic and as a student of Islam, and of Islamic history I am not impressed with the writings of people, alone. When you look at somebody like Fethullah Gülen, for me his message is not so much at his writings but it is his life that is the message. That’s why to me he is important for this generation and for the generations to come.
You see the way he lives and where he lives, you see the way he dresses and how he dresses, and you see what he eats and how he eats. Then, you’re for me this is a model.
We do not need more huffaz (memorizers) of the Qur’an, we have enough of them; we do not need any more sheiks that are specialists of sharia and specialists of this. We have millions and millions of them. What we need are models and people that embody the principles of Islam. This is what Islam is lacking. The people that embody the enduring principles and the values of Islam, people that “my life is my message” like Fethullah Gülen, we are missing that.
From that standpoint, we have the responsibility, and even more members of this Hizmet Movement, to let this message be known to these coming generations. We have a generation of young Muslim men and women who are desperately looking for models to emulate. When I look at his life, I say, “This is somebody that people need to know. His vision people need to know, his ideas people need to know.” Not for benefit because I don’t know him and I’m not part of his movement, but because I know where we are struggling in finding models.
Having dealt with and interacted with members of the Hizmet Movement and having read, not just in passing not only read but studied the life and the work of Fethullah Gülen, from what I have seen since 1986 which is more than twenty years ago, what I have seen the consistency in the work that he has done and the way he has lived. From the beginning of his teachings how can somebody who says that “The only way you are going to get people to accept your ideas is to persuasion”, and that terrorizing people into accepting your ideas, Fethullah Gülen calls them, in one of his works, “People who are intellectually bankrupt are the people that force people to abide them”, which is what other groups, the ISIS and their sympathizers are doing. How can somebody like that be called the head of a terrorist group? How can somebody who has said in very, very old writings and very old work that the most powerful and the most important force in the human being is love and that is the most radiant light inside the being is love. Before anything else, how can such a person be accused of spearheading the killing of innocent people?
*Bilal Masjid, Beaverton, Oregon
Published on Spectra Media YouTube Channel, 9 December 2016, Friday