Rumi Forum's blog on Hizmet, Fethullah Gulen, peacebuilding, education and interfaith efforts.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Honorary President commended by resolution passed by Texas Senate

The senate of the US state of Texas on Tuesday passed a resolution commending Rumi Forum's Honorary President Fethullah Gulen for his contributions to the promotion of global peace and understanding.

Senate Resolution No. 85, which was approved during last Tuesday's session chaired by Texas Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, said, “The Senate of the State of Texas is pleased to recognize Fethullah Gülen for his ongoing and inspirational contributions to the promotion of global peace and understanding.” The resolution said Turkish scholar, author, poet, preacher and educational activist Fethullah Gülen has inspired a worldwide social movement that promotes humanistic values and service, known as the Hizmet movement, or the Gülen movement.

“Based on the principle that each human being is of value, regardless of background, faith or culture, the Gülen movement offers a multifaceted approach to seeking world peace. It also places a strong emphasis on intercultural understanding and the embracing of differences; it values compassionate acts of care and concern; and it promotes the importance of education in laying the groundwork for fostering better [CONTINUES]



Thursday, January 27, 2011

TV - PBS 'Religion & Ethics' : The Gulen Movement aired on US public television last Sunday

PBS's 'Religion and Ethics' aired a program that discussed the Rumi Forum's Honorary President, Fethullah Gulen and the movement based around his ideas last Sunday on January 23, 2011. Below is the program and some quotes.

Some quotes from the television program:

PROFESSOR HELEN EBAUGH (Dept. of Sociology, University of Houston; Author of “The Gülen Movement”): When Fethullah Gülen began preaching in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s in Turkey, his message was we don’t need more madrassas. We need schools that would promote science and math and secular subjects, and his contention was that one can be modern and one can be scientific and still be a good Muslim....

WILLIAM MARTIN (Senior Fellow, James Baker Institute at Rice University): I think it’s fair to say that Islam has had difficulty in coming to terms with modernity, and in that I think that the Gülen movement offers a much more positive picture of what Islam can be....

MARTIN: Gülen has always emphasized education, and that really lies at the core of this movement. To be a good Muslim meant to be well educated, and to be a good Muslim who participated in modernity meant to be conversant and well educated in science, math, and technology....

SEVERSON: Kimse Yok Mu and in the US Helping Hands contribute millions of dollars in humanitarian aid each year. Professor Ebaugh says in Turkey Gülen urged businessmen to grow their businesses and give a part of their earnings, as much as a third, to support humanitarian aid and education....[CONTINUES]

Full transcript:



Monday, January 24, 2011

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011

MEDIA - Gülen movement challenges Islamophobia, contributes to peace

An interesting piece quoting Dr Helen Ebaugh from Texas

American sociology professor Helen Rose Ebaugh, who is also the author of a book analyzing the Gülen movement, said the movement is a powerful challenge to the fears that people have after the 9/11 attacks and also praised the movement for its tremendous contribution to world peace.

The professor visited İstanbul last week upon an invitation from the Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV) and shared her opinion with Sunday’s Zaman. Ebaugh is known for her book titled “The Gülen Movement: A Sociological Analysis of a Civic Movement Rooted in Moderate Islam.”

“I do not think there are people in Houston who are afraid of this movement. Rather I think that a lot of people are realizing that the emphasis on education and interfaith dialogue [by the Gülen movement] is exactly what we need to hear from the Muslim world.

So I see it as a powerful challenge to the fears that people have after 9/11,” by which Ebaugh was referring to the growing trend of Islamophobia in the Western world.

The Gülen movement is inspired by internationally renowned Turkish scholar and intellectual Fethullah Gülen.

For the professor, the best way to overcome any kind of prejudice is one on one, getting to know people who challenge your stereotypes. “As long as the [Gülen] movement stays clean and there is not any terrorism or violence in it, people will continue to call it ‘peace loving’ on the whole,” she added.

Ebaugh also said the movement was contributing to world peace tremendously. She praised the launch of Abant platforms that bring together people from different positions for dialogue. She believes these efforts help to make a more peaceful world for all nations.

In response to a question about Gülen’s critics, the professor said she takes the criticisms quite seriously, but critics fail to provide data about their concerns.

“In a way I can understand their concerns. Nobody wants an Islamic state like Iran. People want women to have freedom within a movement. Nobody wants secret societies lurking around, so their concerns are legitimate. It’s just that I don’t see any data and nothing from my interviews connects those concerns with what I see in the movement. And I say to these critics over and over again: ‘Please give me data. I’m a scientist -- show me where your fears come from,’ but nobody produces data to show that it is more than just fear. It is ideology.”

Ebaugh is surprised most by “the fear that the movement is trying to infiltrate the military and the government in order to plan a takeover.” She said: “Some of these critics were convinced that that’s about to happen. I was surprised to see how sure they were of this, but they said to me, ‘Everybody knows this.’ I said: ‘I don’t know it. I need some names. I need some data,’ but that could never be produced. I was surprised how adamant people were in their convictions that this is what was happening. The other thing that surprised me was that over 50 percent of these critics had never met anybody in the movement, but they were part of a group that thought the same way; also many of them read Cumhuriyet [newspaper] and were getting a lot of their sources there. I was amazed at how few of them had first hand experience with people in the movement.”

What attracted the professor to the Gülen movement was the protest raised by Fethullah Gülen in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

“After 9/11 I was looking for Muslims who would speak up and challenge the terrorism. And 11 days after the attack, Mr. Gülen protested the attack,” she said.

For her, there are civil movements similar to the Gülen movement in other parts of the world, but what distinguishes the Gülen movement from others is that it is a “decentralized” movement. “This is very important. Because rather than going from top to down, it goes from down to top. And this gives dynamism and commitment to the movement.”

Financial transparency

In response to a question on the financial transparency of the Gülen movement, Ebaugh said: “The chief administrators of these institutions were very open about the initial money, where their current operating budget comes from. They opened up their books to me. I found a lot of transparency,” she said.

The professor started her research on the Gülen movement on its financial resources, and she interviewed people from the movement from the richest to the poorest.

She noted that everyone being suspicious about what was behind the scenes was mainly because the movement was acting in many areas of life. In her experience people have been very forthright about their financial transactions. She said she found no reason to suspect any other financial action “on the side.”

Asked whether she was satisfied about the answers she got regarding the funding of the movement, Ebaugh said: “I felt I had answered my basic question. When you realize that most people are giving an average 10 percent and multiply that by millions in the world, you get big figures. Plus, many of these projects become self-supporting, such as the schools.”

Ebaugh said she believed the main reason for the worldwide respect for the Gülen movement -- such as some countries allocating land for Gülen schools -- was the movement’s “good works” and “good hearts.” She said: “Everybody wants to educate young people. I mean that’s the start of a basic human value, so here are these people coming and emphasizing basic human values, tolerance and interfaith dialogue. And this isn’t just wishes floating in the sky. The volunteers in the movement are effective, they get results.”

What impresses the professor about volunteers in the movement who travel to other parts of the world to educate people is their “dedication.” She said the “education volunteers” are very dedicated to the beliefs and values of the movement, and they are willing to give of themselves to have the movement attain its objectives.

Social status of Gülen school students

Ebaugh also shared her opinions about the class structure of the followers of the movement. She said: “I think it’s appealing to all ranks of society in different ways. With Kimse Yok Mu [Is Anybody There], it’s addressing people in dire need, in disasters, in whatever. Many of the schools are in minority areas, but they are also attracting middle class and wealthier children who can afford the tuition, and then a lot of the luncheons and dialogue activities are drawing politicians, businessmen and leaders in the community. So I think it is addressing all different levels, maybe in different ways, but there is something for everybody.”

In her book, Ebaugh tells of her experiences talking to people who donate to the movement. During the interview, she shared a similar story. “I was touched by these workers. For example, one of the workers said he was laid off from his job and had no income so for several months he couldn’t give anything to the movement; however, he went and volunteered in one of the schools while he was looking for a job because he felt that that if he couldn’t give his money he could give his time.”

“For many of them it is a burden, but they still do it,” she said.

She also underlined that she did not meet Fethullah Gülen and does not want to because she is more interested in how his words and opinions impact people’s lives.

“I am basically a social scientist. And I am very committed to the use of the scientific method to study a phenomenon. So I was afraid that if I met Mr. Gülen, my readers would say I was saying what he wants me to say. I needed to keep a distance. I wanted to be objective as an outsider. I could give a better analysis in this way.”

SOURCE: click here


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Op-Ed - Fethullah Gulen on going green

An interesting piece on Fethullah Gulen's approach to the environment:

Gulen on going green

I will go green. This is one of my New Year resolutions for 2011. I know I am already late but better than never. Besides I am already half green. I have been printing less; reading my articles online. I have unsubscribed from printed version of the daily paper and been following it online for more than a year. I try to use less water, program the thermostat to save energy. We have been recycling at home for many years now; paper, plastic, bottles and all go to the recycle can. We would have switched to a hybrid car but could not afford it even with the tax credit. I am trying to prefer e-books lately, but old habits are hard to change. I need to be more conscious on going green. It is not just the e-books, I know almost all the tips on how to go green, but I am not that good at living all of them: I need motivation on more of a foundational level. I need to work on “why” to go green. What follows is a result of my little study on this chain of thought and where it took me in my search of stimulus for going green.

Why should I go green?

I learnt that I was not alone in my search for incentives. Several years back Time magazine reported 90% of Europeans recognized climate change was a major issue, and 75% identified fossil-fuel emissions as a major cause, but less than one percent was able to take action on switching to renewable energy sources even though it was only a one phone call away. The Time article argued the question was as old as Socrates, and listed several reasons for disconnect on the information and action1. At the end main cause was diagnosed as the lack of the motivation on the consumer side.
Why would someone go green today? You might start with listing tax credits, health benefits of green products, or initiatives on alternative energy sources.  But that would be ignoring the actual source of the problem: consumerism and materialism. Why can’t we consume less? However civilized or educated we might be, we, well at least most of us, do not consume consciously. We always want more than we need. The more we buy, the more we own, the better we feel. Our shopping habits are not driven by logical and calculated decisions but by advertisements. You might try to self-control by sticking to prewritten and revised shopping lists. However advertisement campaigns are getting sneaker than ever on targeting our subconscious that we always end up buying clutter that we never need.
This reminds me the words of notorious Tyler Durden character from the movie Fight Club: “Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate, so we can buy s*** we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact.”2 The only difference today is that it is not a small fight club anymore: It is almost the entire society. Materialism is the de facto standard for modern man. The economy in total is based on consumerism.  Satisfaction with less or enoughism is still a marginal thought. We are always inclined, educated, and directed to buy more. We can’t stop doing that. Even during our worst days we could not sacrifice: Indeed even in the aftermath of the tragic September 11 events, our President told us that we had to keep shopping3.

Green Zone in the Consuming War

While our troopers were hunting down terrorists in the deserts or on the mountains, we were advised on hunting down deals in the malls. We both were working to save our freedom, as we needed a sound economy as much as we needed safety and security. It is hard to say whether we gained and lost those battles, but as a matter of fact that we were hit really hard on both frontlines. We lost lives and we lost businesses. Our greed to buy bigger cars and larger homes turned against us and hit back with doubling gas prices and subprime mortgage crisis.  Century old car companies, banks, lenders went bankrupt. We lost our homes. We lost our jobs. For years we fought to have more but after all ended up with less.
Have we learned our lesson? Some of us did. At least we became more conscious on saving and consuming less. Yet current approaches for going green sound like creating a green zone in the battlefield. Green products constitute to only a small percentage of market. Alternative energy methods are very costly for the general population. Development of green industries and facilities is still very limited. Sustainability is only discussed in the academic circles.

“More” is still motto of the day

Consumerism is still sitting on the steering wheel in our economy. If we look at the big picture, it is not just our economy but most of our life is based on “greed”. Our financial plans, our health programs, our educational plans, all aim to get more. We do not eat less to lose weight: We have new diet pills and programs that allow us eat more while we are losing weight. We pursue advanced degrees not to learn or master in a field but to get a better-paying job or get promotion at work. More people are choosing business and technology majors at the college, and only a few in hundred want to study in History or English, because moneywise the latter worth less (!); and as always we want more.
As you can guess, living in a world of greedy people focusing on only their self interests; going green requires more than a few buying incentives. We have to dig deeper. Doing so, I came across a bunch of articles, workshops and conferences brainstorming on environmental and ecological issues. There are many good studies worth to read about.
In a research report from 2007, EPA determines six main themes that we should focus on to motivate individuals, businesses and governments on sustainable choices. In addition to the themes on renewable resource systems, biological and chemical impacts of our choices, urban development, land use, the last two themes listed are economics, human behavior and decision making.4  At the end sustainability boils down to our individual decisions and how much we consider and value the ecosystem in our daily lives.
Our decisions do not only affect the quality of our lives, but also lives of future generations and also plants and animals, hence the entire ecosystem. The Planet Green puts it “As globalization makes the world become smaller, it becomes increasingly easy to see how the lives of people (and plants and animals and ecosystems) everywhere are closely synced up with one another. So toys made in China can affect the quality of life in Europe, pesticides used in Argentina can affect the health of people in the U.S., and greenhouse gas emissions from Australia can affect a diminishing rainforest in Brazil.”5

At the Heart of the Crisis of Eco-justice is a Spiritual Crisis

As global citizens we have to be eco-conscious.  We have to curb and manage our consumption as a society. We cannot think nature as a mere commodity anymore.  We have to reshape our economy considering the environmental consequences of consumerism. In one recent study, Dr John Raines of Temple University concludes along the same lines: “Eco-Justice is the task of global economic justice and at the same moment the task of global ecological justice. To pursue that task, we must disenthrall ourselves of the dominant ideology that defines the self in relationship to its material possessions.”6
Dr. Raines points out that “at the heart of the crisis of eco-justice is a spiritual crisis” 7 and describes the problem as “We turned the natural world (upon which at every moment we are intimately and absolutely dependent) into “raw material,” into a commodity, something we could and should manipulate for our “higher” human purposes. But then came an ironic twist.  What we had de-sacralized and commodified we re-sacralized.  The stuff we owned and displayed became the powerful determiners of our meaning and value as persons.  It is called “conspicuous consumption” (Veblen) and it quickly became an endless race of “obligatory ostentation”.   We became a self trapped with other selves inside an endless competition for “comparative repute”. We could never get enough stuff.  As a result, we have turned out natural world into, literally, a “waste-land”.”

Gulen Echoing the Sufi way on Eco-Justice

At the same conference, Dr Eileen Eppig addresses the eco-justice problem at a deeper level through the Sufi way of well-known Muslim scholar Fethullah Gulen.  She explains the peaceful and harmonic way of Gulen as a reflection of traditional Sufi thought expressed in the words of 13th century Sufi poet Yunus Emre: “Love every creature because of the Creator.”
Dr Eppig explains Gulen’s universal approach as, “The nonviolent and peaceful lifestyle of Fethullah Gulen reflects the Sufi belief that love is the essential element in every creature. Gulen’s own love extends to the entire universe, which is meant to be “read” by human beings in order to achieve faith, knowledge, and closeness to God. With traditional Sufi theology, Gulen relates the inner meaning of the Qur’an to the inner meaning of the natural world. The Qur’an and the universe are two expressions of the same truth. The Qur’an calls on human beings to study creation for the sake of knowing the Creator. The natural world, like the Qur’an, reveals the Divine Names and so has a kind of sacredness in it. The universe teaches human beings to demonstrate compassion, not only to other humans, but to every living creature. Gulen calls this “the grand orchestra of love.” All creation is to be loved in the way of God’s loving, replacing violence and hatred with peace and harmony.”8
Dr Jon Pahl shows that Gulen’s extension of the Sufi notion that nature as a “sacred space” does not only provide a theoretical foundation but also a practical basis as reflected in every practice of the Hizmet movement, the transnational society inspired by Fethullah Gulen. He unravels this practice as, “The thought of M. Fethullah Gulen, and the Hizmet ("service") movement inspired by him, offers an alternative to any anti-material Islam.   Explicitly, Mr. Gulen asserts that "nature is much more than a heap of materiality or an accumulation of objects:  It has a certain sacredness, for it is an arena in which God's Beautiful Names are displayed." Fethullah Gulen develops this Sufi notion of the sacred space of nature in several directions, and those Muslims inspired by him have applied his thinking in practical action.  First, the Hizmet movement clearly emphasizes "scientific" education--with many of the schools organized by movement leaders serving as "science academies."  More indirectly, but perhaps even more importantly, crucial metaphors found in the theology of the movement--light, water, growing things such as the rose--feature nature.  These metaphors serve as reminders that creation is linked to a Creator.  Finally, the Hizmet movement embraces not only "professional" theologians, but also "lay" professionals--engineers, financiers, economists, physicians, and more--who integrate the practice of natural sciences with religious commitment in a social movement that might help remedy some of the damage done to the environment in previous generations.  Many have focused on the political dimensions of implications of the Hizmet movement.  More important, perhaps, will be its contributions to global environmental justice, flowing from the sense of nature as sacred space at the heart of the movement.”9

Comparative Analysis of Gulen’s Thoughts on the Ecosystem

In the course of the aforementioned conference, Dr Ori Soltes of Georgetown University compares Gulen’s sufi notion of ecosystem with Judeo-Christian tradition and also Plato’s “ergon” and Aristo’s “harmonia”. Besides he analyzes several passages from sacred texts of Abrahamic religions and study what they instruct on “shaping of humanity with respect to our relationship to each other and to the world around us” and “How are we intended by God to act vis-à-vis each other and the world?”
Dr Soltes’ research also provides “a brief discussion of how Plato’s thought distinguishes logos—discussion—from ergon: action; of what Aristotle means by the term harmonia—the bringing of apparently opposed ideas into dynamic synthesis ; and of how the Platonic and Aristotelian perspectives differ with regard to the human approach to the world around us”. In his detailed analysis Dr Soltes also focuses on writings of Gulen titled as “Humanity and Its Responsibilities,”  “An Ideal Society,” and “The Meaning of Life”, and concludes that “all contribute to a world view that both explicitly and implicitly draws from the threefold Abrahamic tradition with respect to human-human and human-natural world relations and does so by applying principles expressed by Plato and Aristotle—specifically the ideas of logos, ergon and harmonia.”10
In another comparative analysis, Dr Gage examines “why Gülen’s reinstituting wisdom in education promises to balance the benefits of science and humanism. Drawing from analyses by astrophysicists Primack and Abrams from their The View from the Center of the Universe and by economist Matt Ridley from his The Rational Optimist, the discussion centers on education and the existential choice to sustain today’s I/It enmity of winners and losers or to embrace Gülen’s ethos that elicits I/Thou equity through tolerant dialogue upon our common ground.”11
Dr Gage concludes that Gulen’s balanced approach to Eco-Justice reflected in Gulen-Inspired Schools does provide a unique solution: “Yet, living today we are of that cohort, unique in history, with understanding and perspective to comprehend a cosmic responsibility. And, we have the benefit and chance to attune with F. Gülen, whose humanism fosters harmony and tolerance among people living with our common Earth. Of the many Hizmet agencies that assert his inspiration and that evidence the dual mission of Eco-Justice - - of both living together in peace and with the planet - - are Gülen-inspired schools encircling Earth. In spite of the gravity challenging humanity, schools season many of the planet’s communities with young minds forecasting how to save their home, their real economy.”12

Gulen On Going Green

In the light of the above studies, I would conclude that Gulen’s extension of Sufi way of seeing nature as a “sacred space” and “grand orchestra of love”, gives us a more foundational basis for “going green”. In this way one can value each and every creature with respect to their relationship to the Creator. We do not need to superficially make a habit to conserve the environment, but to become aware of that loving and respecting the rest of the nature is already inherited in our own nature. As human beings, it is our existential responsibility to embrace the entire universe and protect the general harmony of existence.



Tuesday, January 11, 2011

MEDIA - Turkish Policy Quarterly : Fethullah Gulen's "Jewish Dialogue"

Fethullah Gulen has been a global pioneer in regards to the important message of dialogue - both through his words and by encouraging numerous service (educational, welfare, health and dialogue) projects. Fethullah Gulen's only aim is riza ilahi i.e. gaining the pleasure and favor of the Almighty. His intentions are neither worldly, nor for fame or fortune. It is in this light that all this good work and service should be viewed and understood. The following 2 links provide greater understanding of Gulen's thoughts:
The Necessity of Interfaith Dialogue by Fethullah Gulen
A Movement Originating Its Own Models by Fethullah Gulen

recently published an article by Efrat Aviv titled Fethullah Gulen's "Jewish dialogue" on Rumi Forum's Honorary President, Fethullah Gulen. Excerpts are below:

Fethullah Gulen's "Jewish Dialogue"

...Tolerance and Jews

According to Gülen, the idea of tolerance does not aim to confine itself in a narrow space. On the contrary, you must begin with the immediate environment, and then spread to more distant circles. Gülen sees great importance in disseminating tolerance because of the fact that the world is a global village, and it is imperative to lay the foundation for communication without making distinctions between Christians, Jews, Atheists or Buddhists. However, you must still begin with your immediate circle, since without it you cannot move onward and outward. In this way, you can radiate tolerance from your immediate environment to more distant ones.

Gülen remarks that tolerance is occasionally interpreted superficially by specific individuals, since they are attempting to change those around them under the guise of dialogue, but the idea that stands behind tolerance is to accept everyone as is, regardless of faith or beliefs. Beyond this, tolerance also includes the ability to connect with each other, to make a connection, to talk and communicate.

In fact, the religious tolerance that Gülen represents is not new to the Turks. It is based on the tolerance of the Ottoman regime throughout six hundred years and spanning three continents. Gülen gives numerous examples from the Ottoman history, the one to which he repeatedly refers is Fatih Sultan Mehmet, who unraveled the Greek and Armenian patriarchy in Istanbul and gave its leaders religious autonomy and authority.On the 31st anniversary of the establishment of the Gazeteciler ve Yazarlar Vakfı, in an event that took place in İstanbul, Jak Kamhi, a Jewish Turkish industrialist said that Gülen has not really reinvented anything with his interreligious activity, since the Turks exhibited love and respect for all nations for hundreds of years. Moreover, Kamhi said that were it not for this tolerance of the Turks, he himself would not exist: “Gülen manifests a long-standing tradition of tolerance, which helps familiarize the world with the beautiful sides of Turkish society”.

Because of this approach, of perceiving dialogue as both a religious and a moral-national-social obligation, Gülen met with countless leaders and key people from the three religions during the 1990s. He met with Jewish leaders, both secular and religious, inside and outside of Turkey, in order to promote dialogue between Judaism and Islam. Gülen was the first one to initiate interreligious meetings in Turkey, as testified by Yusuf Sağ Monsignor, patriarchal representative of the Catholic- Assyrian church in Turkey. Yusuf Sağ was one of the first religious leaders to meet Gülen in Turkey, who said that the initiative for the interreligious meetings was made by Gülen. The first to join was the Greek patriarch, followed by the Armenian patriarch, Rabbi İshak Haleva, Yusuf Sağ, and finally the Mufti of Istanbul. Sağ, in a personal interview, said that he himself attended at least 14 of Gülen’s Ramadan meals in 2006, under the umbrella of interreligious activity. Sağ recounts that Gülen was the first to talk about interreligion at a time when no one even thought or spoke about dialogue. Sağ mentions that numerous others followed Gülen’s example.Due to all the aforementioned, it is extremely important to examine the Gülen initiative associated with the interreligious meetings and to pay special attention to the interests vested in it. The purpose of each these meetings should be ascertained. The first of a series of meetings with Jewish leaders was with representatives from the Anti-Defamation League, whom Gülen met with at least twice, once in the United States and once in Turkey. The first meeting between Gülen and the League took place in New Jersey, attended by the President of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham Foxman, and Kenneth Jacobson, who was then National Deputy Director of the League, as well as the Director of Foreign Affairs, and an additional representative. The League representatives arrived at Gülen’s house during his convalescent period in 1997. This was a specific League meeting. Jacobson said the following about the first meeting:

‘‘Circa the 1990s, we worked intensively to promote Turkish understanding in America, as part of the effort to strengthen Turkish-U.S. relations, so that Turkey would be able to continue its relations with Israel… We were known to be involved with Turkey… And then some people contacted us… and said that they had information about a very important and moderate individual… that takes Islam in the right direction… a very interesting phenomenon indeed... We decided to meet with him [Fethullah Gülen]… and this meeting took place with Abe Foxman, myself and another colleague. The meeting lasted approx. one hour… Gülen talked about his moderation regarding Islam, the Jews, Israel, and expressed reasonable and non-extremist views… It was a very good meeting, very friendly… A group of his followers came to see us after our meeting with him and then asked if we could introduce Gülen to people in Washington… but I don’t recall which specific meeting came after. I think we offered our help in introducing him to others, which I think happened/didn’t happen.”

Kenneth Jacobson recounts that the second meeting took place in Istanbul during a visit by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, on their way back to the United States from Israel. Despite the opposition of the military and government, as well as people in the Turkish Jewish community, to hold a second meeting with Gülen, Jacobson decided to meet with him and two others, one of who was then the Chairman of the Conference of Presidents, Leon Levy.The first meeting took place at Gülen’s initiative, via mediators. These mediators came to the League representatives following the League’s involvement in several conferences, including the main conference to commemorate 500 years of Jewish life in Turkey, which took place in the United States. The League also organized a gala dinner in New York for then Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz. In a ceremony conducted on 18 December 1997, the League awarded the tolerance prize to Yılmaz for his efforts in promoting democracy, and for his religious pluralism and tolerance. During that same period, the League worked intensively to tighten U.S.-Turkey-Israel relations, which seems to have spurred the movement’s desire to meet with the League.

Jacobson said the following about the second meeting, which took place in Istanbul in 1998:
‘‘I remember it like it was yesterday. There were all sorts of television cameras there, TV networks, and lots and lots of cameras, as if it were a high profile meeting. We met, and it was another pleasant encounter. We were given gifts… again Gülen spoke in terms of moderation. He presented himself as someone that cares about moderation in Turkey and cares about a moderate Islam and as someone interested in good relations with Israel and the Jews… afterwards there was a follow-up meeting with his assistants in New York…as far as I know, he is not in touch with us… The meeting lasted half an hour and did not go into as much depth as the first, since we had to rush and join the rest of the group, which was waiting for the return flight to the U.S.”

It is possible then, that Gülen’s goal was to reach key people in Washington via the League members. However, Jacobson recounts that the essence of the meetings with Gülen was mostly introductory and courteous, and for the most part, no particularly significant decisions were made during these meetings.
Another meeting between Gülen and a Jewish leader was held in 1997 with Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron, who served as the Chief Sephardic Rabbi in Israel between 1993 and 2003. This meeting took place because of Zali De Toledo’s initiative, the cultural attaché in the Israeli consulate in Istanbul. The invitation was accepted.

Prior to the visit, there was a request from Abdülkerim Balcı, who was then the correspondent of the newspaper Zaman in Israel, to bring Gülen and Rabbi Bakshi-Doron together, which did not happen.The then The President of Religious Affairs, Mehmet Nuri Yılmaz, initially opposed meeting, claiming that Gülen did not have any official title, but he eventually agreed. The Israeli Foreign Ministry thought that a meeting with Gülen could help quell the hatred and resistance to Israel and/ or Jews, and therefore they authorized it, but Bakshi-Doron had a different interest – he wanted to ask for help in freeing Iranian Jews that were imprisoned for alleged espionage. Back then, Zali De Toledo says the following about the meeting: ‘‘At first, I translated for Rabbi Bakshi-Doron and Fethullah Gülen, in front of approximately 15 television microphones. The meeting took place in Gülen’s building in Istanbul. When Gülen entered, I extended my hand to him, a gesture that he did not return, but in order for my hand not to remain outstretched, one of his assistants immediately shook it. The Rabbi and Gülen quoted excerpts from the Torah and the Koran, and I translated. Afterwards, we adjourned to a quiet meeting, with the attendance of Rabbi Bakshi-Doron, Fethullah Gülen, his assistants, Rabbi Bakshi-Doron’s assistant Rafi Dayan, Eli Shaked, who was then the General Consul, and me. Rabbi Bakshi-Doron requested assistance for Iranian Jews, saying that there are widows and ‘agunot’ (literally ‘anchored or chained’, a Halachic term for a Jewish woman who is “chained” to her marriage). left there and that there is no Rabbi there to help them. Gülen said that he had no ties with Iran and that’s where the matter ended… Gülen was interested in opening one of his schools in Israel and that was the reason for his meeting with the Chief Rabbi.”

During this meeting, Gülen told Bakshi- Doron that it was imperative to discuss issues pertaining to all the religions and that it was their duty as religious leaders to pass this message on. In response, Rabbi Bakshi-Doron said that he appreciated Gülen’s efforts to create interreligious dialogue and world peace. He also added that they must, as religious leaders, visibly work towards peace. He added, that he had agreed to meet Gülen because he was an important personality in the Muslim world and it was important that such a message come from him. Bakshi-Doron apparently agreed to opening a Muslim school in Israel in principle, but the idea was rejected at the government level.

According to a senior personality that worked with Rabbi Bakshi-Doron, Gülen requested to establish a Muslim school in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. According to this testimony, Gülen wanted to visit Israel, but his visit was not authorized by the Israeli Foreign Ministry. The source testified that Gülen left a positive impression on the Rabbi and that the two  exchanged greeting cards for the holidays, at least until Gülen left for the United States.In other words, there was a mostly mutual interest at the basis of these meetings, but the meeting was also utilized to strengthen interpersonal ties.

On the other hand, Gülen’s true purpose in strengthening ties with the Jewish community and Israeli representatives in Turkey might have been to try to create world peace and harmony, with Israel playing a key and significant role in giving a global example of peace. If Israel, renowned in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict it has been embroiled in for years, expresses a message of peace, then it will influence the international arena and maybe even propagate to other conflict zones. Thus, Israel could serve as an example and symbol of successful dialogue. Moreover, there is an attempt to initiate dialogue with “post-Ottoman” zones and from here the path to dialogue with Israel as a former Ottoman territory.It should be noted that the people in Gülen’s Movement, via the Gazeteciler ve Yazarlar Vakfı, organized a communications conference in Istanbul at the end of May 2008, to which Turkish and Israeli journalists were invited, with the purpose of creating a more in-depth acquaintance between them.

Several meeting were also held in Turkey between Gülen and Turkey’s former Chief Rabbi, David Asseo, with Rabbi İshak Haleva, who was then Asseo’s deputy, also in attendance. In a personal interview, Haleva stresses Gülen’s assistance to the community.He mentions Gülen’s mediation between the community and elements in the media that published inflammatory content against the Jews. In Haleva’s opinion, Gülen did a tremendous service, not only to Jews, but to Turkey as a whole. According to Haleva, minorities in Turkey were regarded with suspicion due to the process of nationality that the Republic underwent, and therefore the closeness that Gülen created between the Muslims, Christians and Jews in Turkey, was of ultimate importance. When you speak, he said, the negative impression dissipates:

If I do not hate someone, then I learn to love him over time. So perhaps Gülen’s activity will not have an immediate impact on the next generation, but it will definitely have one on future generations… and this is how they will learn to love him. Personally, I very much admire Gülen"... 

Reverend Elizabeth Brown, affiliated with the Unitarian Church, conjectured: In her opinion, the criticism towards Gülen was actually caused by the “soft coup” of 1997. She says that since then, the regime in Turkey tended to be intolerant of anyone religious and Gülen fits into this definition. Brown also notes that she is not surprised that Gülen has dissenters, “like Jesus”, she adds. Her testimony that you do not need to see Gülen in order to be impressed by him suffices to get a positive impression of him and his people. The work that Gülen’s people do, says Brown, “brings me to tears”...

Discussion with numerous Turkish Jews paints a picture of apprehension and fear towards anything associated with the Gülen Movement, even if people are only familiar with him from the media. It is possible that Jewish society is influenced by the general society and may be apprehensive since any religious issue tends to be met with even greater reluctance or repugnance among the Jews than among the Turks. Notwithstanding, secular society in Turkey, as Rıfat Bali attested, does not only oppose Gülen Movement, but any community, movement, or religious organization that jeopardizes Kemalism and secularism in Turkey, with its worldview. Subsequently, the opposition to Gülen is not actually due to the Movement’s components, characteristics, or principles of its belief, but due to a general fear of religious domination over Turkey. The fear and misgivings from Gülen Movement are applicable to any movement, organization or party that deals with religion. Perhaps the fear of Gülen and his Movement may be greater than of other movements, because of its popularity. In other words, the more popular the Movement becomes, the greater the reservations about it become. Therefore, fear of Gülen and his movement is actually the fear of anything connected, even remotely, to religion, and therefore opposition to Gülen’s movement may not be because of what it stands for as a specific movement, but rather due to it being a religious movement....[continues]

* Dr Efrat E. Aviv is a member of the faculty at Bar Ilan University, Israel, Department of Middle Eastern Studies.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

ARTICLE Fethullah Gulen: Following in the Footsteps of Rumi by Thomas Michel

Fethullah Gulen: Following in the Footsteps of Rumi*


*note: see Dr Michel's video about F. Gulen below the article

1. The need for a modern spirituality

Among the medieval mystical poets, the one who speaks most clearly and directly to the modern world is Jalaluddin Rumi, known simply in the Muslim world as “Mevlana,” Our Master.  The depth of his spiritual experience, his original and arresting poetic images, his obvious sincerity and openheartedness, and his ability to transcend cultures, time periods, and religions, all go together to make Mevlana one of the most accessible and influential of Muslim thinkers who speak to us from the past.

The number of internet webpages devoted to translations of Rumi’s poetry into European languages is evidence of the extent to which Mevlana is known and loved in the West, but in the Muslim world, the influence of Mevlana on modern thinkers and scholars, as upon the ordinary Muslim worshiper, must not be underestimated.  While those who can read and appreciate his poetry in the original Persian may be relatively few, Mevlana’s works are known through poetry recitations, classical performances of their musical settings, and through the many translations of his poetry into Turkish, Arabic, Urdu and other Muslim languages.  I have seen verses of Rumi decorating dishes, wood panels, horse carts and their modern equivalent, minibuses.  The dervishes of the Mevlevi tariqa communicate in a non-verbal way Rumi’s message of tolerance, peace, and deep absorption in the Divine.

One of the modern Muslims who have appropriated Rumi’s attitudes and integrated them into their own understanding of Islamic faith and practice is the Turkish scholar and religious leader, Muhammad Fethullah Gulen*.  The correspondence of Mevlana to Gülen is that of kindred spirits who, across the centuries, share an interpretation of the Qur’anic message as well as a commitment to communicate that message effectively to people of their respective ages.  In his sermons and written works, Gülen frequently cites Rumi’s behavior and attitudes to illustrate his message; in the book Toward a Global Civilization of Love and Tolerance, Gülen cites Rumi over 15 times to exemplify his themes of civilizational dialogue.  In his work on the Key Concepts in the Practice of Sufism, Gülen cites Mevlana more often than any other saint or spiritual writer as he seeks to initiate the seeker into the mysteries of God's love.

What does Mevlana mean for Fethullah Gulen?  Where does he see the affinity between his own understanding of Islam and that expounded and exemplified by Rumi?  What are the lessons that can be learned from Rumi?  Why does Gülen consider Rumi a worthy exemplar for the modern Muslim?  I believe that these points of contact can be found in four areas.

1. Rumi as the model of tolerance and dialogue.  In discussing Said Nursi’s proposal to undertake dialogue and cooperation with true Christians, Gülen states that in this Nursi is acting in a similar manner to Rumi who described himself as a compass, with one foot fixed firmly in the center while the other turns in a broad arc to complete a full circle.  The foot planted resolutely in the center which never changes position is the faith conviction by which one is united to God as the unmoving heart and center of one’s existence, while the other foot moves in a “broad circle that embraces all believers.”[i]  Gülen endorses Nursi’s view that the days of the use of force are over; today’s methods of persuasion are those of dialogue, scientific argumentation and rational debate.

Such a mode of discussion is for Gülen the only manner of confrontation which fits properly the nature of Islam:

The truth is that there is no harshness or bigotry in Islam.  It is a religion made up entirely of forgiveness and tolerance.  Such pillars of love and tolerance like Rumi, Yunus Emre[ii], Ahmed Yesevi[iii], Bediüzzaman [Said Nursi][iv] and similar figures have expressed this aspect of Islam most beautifully and they have gone down in history as examples of this affection and tolerance.[v]

2. Rumi as one of the great saints produced by Islam.  If Gülen understands Islam to be a religion consisting entirely of forgiveness and tolerance, he looks back in Islamic history at those figures who best embodied these values. Foremost among them is Mevlana, whom Gülen calls one of “the people of love.”[vi]  About such, he has this to say: “Being the embodiments of sincerity, Divine love, and purity of intention, the Sufi masters have become the motivating factor and the source of power behind the Islamic conquests and the Islamization of conquered lands and peoples.”[vii]

For Gülen, Rumi represents the “true face of Islam,” what the Islamic revelation and tradition is actually about.  Gülen elaborates his point as follows:

If one were to seek the true face of Islam in its own sources, history, and true representatives, then one would discover that it contains no harshness, cruelty, or fanaticism.  It is a religion of forgiveness, pardon, and tolerance as such saints and princes of love and tolerance as Rumi, Yunus Emre, Ahmed Yesevi, Bediüzzaman and many others have so beautifully expressed.[viii]

According to Gülen, men like Rumi and Yunus Emre have left their mark on Islam as understood and practiced in Turkey.  The great honor and affection shown to mystical poets and saints by Turkish Muslims is evidence of the esteem in which such holy men are held and an indication of the attitudes and values according to which Islam is meant to be lived.  As Gülen puts it, the message of Islam for which modern people are thirsting is its teaching of peace, tolerance and love; the mission of Muslims today is thus to invite people to discover this message by the way that Muslims themselves live their beliefs.

Even though there are naturally exceptions, the interpretations of Islam held by Turkish scholars are tolerant.  If we can spread the understanding of Islam held by the pillars of affection like Rumi and Yunus Emre throughout the world, and if we can get their message of love, dialogue and tolerance to those people who are thirsting for this message, then people from all over the world will come running into the arms of this love, peace, and tolerance that we represent.[ix]

3. Rumi as the saint who longed to be united to God.  For Gülen, Mevlana is someone who was able to express the fundamental pain and sorrow of human life in this world.  For Rumi, that pain is rooted in the separation of the soul from its deepest desire, that is, for unity with the Divine Beloved.  This yearning of the soul for its true home forms the opening verses of Rumi=s masterwork, the Mathnawi.  To Rumi, the notes of the flute are like the sound of human groans, and readers of the Mathnawi are invited to imagine the reed flute being cut and plucked from its roots in the reed bed.  Its sad sounds represent the longing of the reed flute to return to its origins where it feels it belongs.  The application of this image to the human condition is not hard to conceive for, like the flute, the human soul has been snatched from its true home in the presence of God; it is presently wandering lost and far from home and is forever longing to return to the source from which it sprang.  Gülen speaks of

...the yearning produced by separation from the Beloved after meeting with and gazing upon Him in the past eternity.  The sighs that the flute of Rumi uttered, and the creaking, painful sounds heard by Yunus Emre from the revolving water-wheel express such a separation.  These sighs will continue until the final union or meeting with Him.

Such sorrow and feelings of separation are felt only by those who know God directly.  Someone who has been blessed by being allowed to experience oneness with the Divine Lover will be like a “spiritual drunkard,” living from then on with a longing to be fully united to the Beloved.  Gülen notes that only one who has reached this rank of sanctity can properly describe the profundity of his thoughts and feelings.  He cites Rumi’s verses in the Mathnawi to illustrate his point:

Those illusions are traps for saints, whereas in reality
They are the reflections of those with radiant faces in the garden of God.[xi]

Gülen’s point, beautifully expressed by Rumi, is that the longing to be united with God produces a sorrow and world-weariness which to those who did not know better would appear as unhappiness and despair.  Those who have not been initiated into the mysteries of Divine love must necessarily judge by appearances rather than the deeper reality.  However, for those who have arrived at the truth, like Mevlana, they see that such superficial sadness masks the radiant faces of those who have come into the “garden of God,” that is, God’s loving presence.

Gülen makes the point elsewhere that the longing and sorrow expressed by Rumi truly embody the human condition, the state of distance and lack of fulfilment in which we all live.  Absence, it is true, makes the heart grow fonder, but the deepest desire of our hearts cannot be achieved here on earth.  Whether or not we are aware of it, we are all longing to be in that loving union with God which is true peace and our heart’s true home; until that is achieved, no one can be satisfied with transient and ephemeral substitutes.  As Gülen states:

Our tongues speak sometimes of love and sometimes of weariness; though love and weariness cause pain to others, in them we always hear, like Rumi, the poem of longing for the realm that we have left to come here.  Love and weariness to us are like a plea from the tongue of the soul, stemming from a sorrowful desire for eternity.

The other side of the coin consists of those fleeting moments of joy by which God blesses the one who is seeking to be united with Him.  Rumi refers to these states of soul (hal/ihwal) as the “wedding night,” depicting the state of grace when those on the spiritual path find themselves rushing headlong to embrace the Beloved. “They try to find satisfaction for the desire of reunion in their soul.  They keep running toward Him, sometimes flying, sometimes limping on the ground, unified with everyone and everything.”[xiii]  Gülen points out that the same image of the wedding night, the fulfillment of love, is used by Mevlana to indicate death, when the seeker, freed from the shackles of mortality and earthly bonds, transcends all obstacles separating the soul from a loving union with the Divine Beloved.

Sorrow which arises from separation from the Beloved and which gives give rise to a longing to return to God is the source of greater love and happiness in one’s life.  The pain of separation from God must not be rejected or denied, but rather accepted as expressive of the human state and a strong motivation for a fuller absorption in the Divine.  Rumi puts it as follows:

I've broken through to longing now,
filled with a grief I have felt before, but never like this.
The center leads to love . . .
Hold on to your particular pain. That too can take you to God."

One must not think that Rumi, in his day, and Gülen, in modern times, are proposing a life-denying spirituality in which a person turns one=s back on the exigencies of reality and practical living in this world.  Gulen quotes Mevlana to say:

One wise and sensible prefers the bottom of the well,
For the soul finds delight in privacy (to be with God).
The darkness of the well is preferable to the darkness people cause...
One must seclude oneself from others, not from the Beloved.[xiv]

In his commentary on these verses, Gülen explains that the purpose of seclusion is to purify the heart of all love which is not for God so that one might live united with the Beloved in the midst of daily activities.  This is a restatement of what is affirmed in the compass image, portraying the true lover as one whose union with God frees him to embrace humanity wholeheartedly.  As Gülen explains:

Those who always feel themselves in the presence of God do not need to seclude themselves from people.  Such people, in the words of Rumi, are like those who keep one foot in the sphere of Divine commandments and turn the other, like a compass needle, throughout the world.  They experience ascension and descent at every moment.  This is the seclusion recognized and preferred by the Prophets and saints.[xv]

4. Rumi as teacher of virtue.  Gülen also sees Mevlana as one who teaches and exemplifies the virtues needed to progress on the path toward a union of love and will with God.  He enlists Rumi=s advice at the very beginning of the spiritual path and cites Mevlana=s words on the need for repentance. If one does not feel remorse and disgust for errors committed and if one is not apprehensive of falling back into ones old ways of living, in short, if one has not made a serious act of repentance, one=s persistence in following the spiritual path will be shallow and unstable.  Gülen sites Rumi as follows on the need for a deep commitment to repent :

I have repented and turned to God so sincerely

that I will not break [the vow of repentance] until my soul leaves my body.
In fact, who other than an ass steps toward perdition
after having suffered so much trouble [on account of his sins]?[xvi]

A second virtue essential for progress in spiritual life is that of sincerity.  It is so easy to fool onself and even easier to deceive others that if one is not sincere, one may find oneself performing religious duties to be seen by others.  As Rumi puts it:

You should be sincere in all your deeds,
So that the Majestic Lord may accept them.
Sincerity is the wing of the bird of the acts of obedience.
Without a wing, how can you fly to the abode of prosperity?[xvii]

Gülen elaborates on this by adding two hadiths from the Prophet in which he states: Be sincere in your religion; a little work (with sincerity) is enough for you and Be sincere in your deeds, for God only accepts what is done with sincerity.

A third virtue stressed by Rumi is humility.  Rumi does not present himself as a great saint or someone who has achieved a deep spiritual level, but sees himself rather as a simple servant of God.  He reiterates his servant status to emphasize his standing before God:

I have become a servant, become a servant, become a servant;
I have bowed and doubled myself up with serving You.
Servants or slaves rejoice when they become emancipated;
Whereas I rejoice when I become a servant of You.[xviii]

Gülen is aware, as was Rumi before him, that spiritual pride, or boasting about one=s religious experiences, is an all-too-common failing among those involved in religious practices, one which leads to an arrogant service of oneself rather than of God.  Gülen quotes Rumi regarding this danger to the effect: AIf the king=s courtier behaves in an affected manner to attract the king=s attention, you must not attempt to do so, for you do not have the document (to justify your doing so). O one who cannot be freed from the restrictions of this transient life, how can you know what (the stations of) annihilation, drunkenness, and expansion mean?[xix]

One could go on at length to multiply instances of how Fethullah Gulen* employs the teaching of Jalal al-Din Rumi to teach the practical virtues needed for a rich spirituality.  In his work, Key Concepts in the Practice of Sufism, Gülen refers to Rumi more often than to any other spiritual author.  He cites the advice of Mevlana to illustrate his teaching on poverty (p. 171), on the need for austerity and periods of retreat (p. 17) and the value of temporary seclusion (p. 18), on the importance of self-supervision (p. 58), patience (p. 103), truthfulness (p. 86), and reliance on God (p. 70).  Rumi offers the criteria for judging the value of work (p. 126) and for appreciating a proper attitude toward worldly possessions (p. 43).

It is clear from Gülen=s writings that he has spent much time perusing the poetry of Rumi and has reflected deeply on his spiritual insights.  It is not an exaggeration to say that Gülen is a modern Muslim scholar whose life work of promoting an Islamic appreciation of love, tolerance, and universal peace is in fact a renewed interpretation for our times of the central insights of Mevlana.  One can give the last word to Our Master Rumi himself to show the attraction of Rumi=s thought for modern Muslim thinkers like Fethullah Gülen*:

Stay in the company of lovers. Those kinds of people, they each have something to show you.

*see also the below writings of Fethullah Gulen
The Necessity of Interfaith Dialogue by Fethullah Gulen
A Movement Originating Its Own Models by Fethullah Gulen


1  Core Values of the Gülen Movement: Worship and Servanthood
2  Love and Truth in Democratic Societies: Fethullah Gülen and Pope Benedict XVI on Social Questions
3  Fighting Poverty with Kimse Yok Mu
4  Fethullah Gulen: Following in the Footsteps of Rumi
5  Fethullah Gulen as Educator
6  The Gulen Movement: A Sufi-type Spirituality for Modern Societies
7  Two Frontrunners for Peace: John Paul II and Fethullah Gulen
8  Islam in the Age of Global Challenges: Alternative Perspectives of the Gülen Movement
9  Foreword to the book: Toward a Global Civilization of Love and Tolerance
 10  The Wing of the Bird: Gülen on Sincerity
11  Sufism and Modernity in the Thought of Fethullah Gulen
12  The Contribution of Interfaith Dialogue to Peace Buildin
 13 The Gülen Movement: Its Contribution at a Time of Global Tensions
14  The Gülen Community: a Dynamic Muslim Movement of Peace and Dialogue
15  What are the Paths to Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue
16  Peace and Dialogue in the Plural Society: Common Values and Responsibilities
17  Muslim Peace Leaders, Medieval and Modern: Rumi and Gulen
18  Gulen's Pedagogy and the Challenges for Modern Educators


[i].M. Fethullah Gülen, Toward a Global Civilization of Love and Tolerance, Light: Somerset, N.J., 2004, p. 199.
2.The poet Yunus Emre, 1238-1320, was one of the first mystical poets to compose his works in the spoken Turkish of the time.
3.Ahmad Yesevi (Yasawi), from modern-day Kazakhstan, was the first Sufi poet to write his mystical works in Turkish.  He founded a Sufi confraternity, the Yasawiyya, which has been widely diffused throughout the Turkic world.
4.Said Nursi, 1878-1960, a prominent scholar and author of the Risale-i Nur, a 6600-page commentary on the Qur’an which has influenced millions of modern Muslims.
[v]. Ibid., p. 179.
[vi].Ibid. p. 93.
[vii].M. Fethullah Gülen, Prophet Muhammad The Infinite Light, Izmir: Kaynak, 1998, 2: 154.
[viii].Toward a Global Civilization, pp. 58-59.
[ix].Ibid., p. 181.
[x].M. Fethullah Gülen, Key Concepts in the Practice of Sufism, Fairfax, Va.: The Fountain, 1999, p. 157.
[xi].Key Concepts, p. 15.
[xii].Toward a Global Civilization, p. 155.
[xiii].Ibid., p. 97.
[xiv].Key Concepts, p. 18-19.
[xv].Ibid., p. 19.
[xvi].Ibid. p. 3.
[xvii].Ibid. pp. 61-62.
[xviii].Ibid., p. 55.
[xix].Ibid., p. 116.