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

Thursday, April 18, 2013

TODAYS ZAMAN: Gülen among TIME magazine's 100 most influential people

Gülen among TIME magazine's 100 most influential people


Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen has made it onto Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

This is the 10th year the magazine has listed its 100 most influential people shaping the world.

This year, the magazine put seven cover portraits of “TIME 100” honorees who it said reflect the “breadth and depth of our list.” They include Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai,
musician and businessman Jay Z, actress Jennifer Lawrence, politician Rand Paul, inventor and entrepreneur Elon Musk, Chinese tennis player Li Na and Bollywood star Aamir Khan.
In 2008, Gülen came out on top of a list of "The World's Top 20 Public Intellectuals" put together by the magazines Foreign Policy and Prospect.

Gülen is a Turkish Islamic scholar well known for his teachings promoting mutual understanding and tolerance between cultures. Now residing in the US, Gülen has pioneered educational activities in a number of countries, along with efforts to promote intercultural and interfaith activities around the world.

He has also written nearly 50 books in Turkish, some of which have been translated into several languages. He was most recently honored with the EastWest Institute's (EWI) 2011 EWI Peace Building Award for his contribution to world peace.

Throughout his life and until today, Gülen has been greatly influenced by the ideas and writings of many Muslim scholars, such as Said Nursi, Mawlana Jalaladdin Rumi, Abu Hanifa, Ghazali, Imam Rabbani and Yunus Emre.

Gülen is regarded as the founder and inspirer of the global social movement known as the Hizmet (Service) Movement, more popularly known as the Gülen Movement.

In 1959, Gülen was awarded a state preacher's license in Edirne, Turkey. He was then transferred in 1966 to a religious post in İzmir. It was in İzmir that Mr. Gülen's progressive ideas of education, science, the economy and social justice began to take shape and his supporters began to increase.

During this time, he traveled to various provinces in Anatolia giving lectures in mosques, coffee houses and other community meeting places.

In 1994, Gülen co-founded the Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV) and was given the title "Honorary President" by the foundation.

In March 1999, upon the recommendation of his doctors, he moved to the US to receive medical care.

Despite the high regard millions hold for him, Mr. Gülen considers himself a volunteering member of the civil society movement he helped found and does not accept any credit of leadership for the Hizmet (Service) Movement.

Gülen currently resides in Pennsylvania and continues to write and give talks on various subjects.

The jailed leader of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, was also included on the magazine's list.