We have established great relationships with the Hizmet Movement and those individuals we found them to be outstanding Muslims, very conscientious, always promoting the best values of democracy, but first of all, the best values of Islam and not just with words but also with actions and with their deeds that they do throughout this Atlanta area as well as those I'm familiar with in the D.C. area.
We are deeply troubled by what's going on as relates to those who identify with Fethullah Gulen and what's being said of them in Turkey.
I've seen nothing in his works -I've read at least three or four of his English-translated books- and always blending modernity and the traditions of Islam and finding the proper balance, always encouraging interfaith dialogue and relationships with people of good will across faith spectra, always encouraging the best of Islamic practices and Islamic thinking.
And I'm really deeply troubled by these slanderous, in my opinion, rumors of them being heretics or practicing heresy. I have seen no evidence of that whatsoever.
What I have seen is very good human beings following the life traditions of our Prophet (prayers and peace be upon him) and really loving and emulating the guidance that we find in the Qur'an.
So, I'm deeply troubled by what we see and hear of what's going on in Turkey, and I hope and pray that this will stop and cease and that the good works that they have been doing for the last 20-25 years here in the US, and much longer in Turkey, will be able to continue without feeling the oppression that is coming from the present-day government.
And our prayers are with our brothers and sisters in Islam, and we are here to support them in every and any way we can.
But I would advise the Hizmet members and individuals: Let your works continue and not stop. You're doing great works in the field of education, hospitality and cultural enrichment, and presenting Islam in a very practical and approachable way. Continue your hard work and continue your good work. And those of us who experience and see your works, we will continue to support you.
Allah (God Almighty) always tells us, those who believe and do good works must continue to do that and that the people who are at a loss are the ones who stop having faith, who stop doing good works, who stop mutually cooperating and collaborating for the truth, sharing the truth, and those who are not consistent or patient.
You are people of faith. You are people of good works. You have been mutually collaborating with any good people, any people that show faith in goodness. And you have been consistent. So, the only thing I can tell you beyond those four is the other aspect of consistency; being patient.
And Allah (God Almighty) will bring the "right" into your situation. God-willing."
* Imam Emeritus of the Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam
Published on Spectra Media, 17 December 2016, Saturday