The Fundamentals of Revival, Progress and Order

by Fethullah Gülen on . Posted in Videos on Fethullah Gülen

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Bediüzzaman brings to our attention a number of matters which are the sources of progress and the maintenance of order:

Firstly, he mentions, the ‘organization of tasks’.

A human lives an orderly life; be it the time for sleep and the time spent with one’s family and children.

A person should also allocate some time to manage his own means of subsistence.

For example, if one is a teacher, he should divide part of his time for that job, divide some part for reading; and during his spare time, he/she should get together and discuss sublime matters and truths with others.

One should walk on this road knowing what needs to be done; because individuals, who walk on the road in a haphazard manner, will be waylaid by obstacles.

One should live being aware of what they wish to do with their life; one should write the following as if writing a constitution; they should say, ‘Very well. I will do this, and this, and also that’; they should organize their life accordingly.

Organization of tasks is a deep subject which should be heavily focused on.

Secondly, Bediüzzaman says, ‘division of labor’.

Who is going to do what?

Who do we believe will be more successful in which role or matter? We should act accordingly.

The feeling of altruism should also be considered here.

While considering these matters, one should remember:

The Messengers could not have said, ‘Come, take my place’; because they were assigned their profound duties; they could not run away from them, it was not possible.

That was an obligation, an exalted rank, as well as an inescapable responsibility.

Running away from this obligation, May God protect us, is moving away from God.

Thus, for example, God’s Messenger cannot say, ‘Oh Abu Bakr, Oh Umar, Oh Uthman, come take my place and do this duty’.

No matter how humble He is, it is his task in regards to his mission.

However, the rest of the people, in regards to very important tasks, should act in the spirit of altruism as much as preferring others over their own egos.

One should say, ‘This person can lead the Prayer.

That person can do the call to Prayer.

That person can be a mayor’, and those people should be preferred over one’s self.

It is also important to seek insight of the public in this regard.

As I mentioned in the past:

One of the first members of parliament, Tahir Effendi was giving a speech to the public, he stated:

‘Oh people, you are the ones who ‘choose’ and I am the one who has been ‘chosen’.

By electing me, you are sending me to Parliament.

The act you did is called ‘intihab’ (electing).

The word ‘intihab’ (electing) comes from the root ‘nuhba’, which means ‘cream’.

Remember that cream shares the same properties with its source.

Thus, you find the cream on top of the milk and the alum's cream over the alum.’

If society has insight at such a level, the matter of delegating tasks and authority is done easily.

When a society does not have such insight, they will vote for such a man who thinks of nothing but himself and thinks of nothing but building himself up as Korah did.

And using your values and things you hold dear, he will play with your emotions and feelings, he would use them for his interests and worldly concerns.

From this aspect, electing or choosing is such an important thing.

Unity and oneness are of the most important reasons for being success by God’s grace; it is an indication of unity that hearts beating for the same considerations and endeavor both through verbal prayer and active prayer.

Bediüzzaman’s third principle is the one called ‘the principle of ease in solidarity’.

It emphasizes that you should help each other in every matter.

If you join hands, as Bediüzzaman expresses, ‘Concord and alliance lead to Divine guidance and assistance’,

,f hands are lifted up towards Almighty God in unity, then He will not ignore them.

When you lift your hands up, you shall all feel the same emotion and excitement and ask for the same things.

For example, here’s what you should say:

‘Oh, my Lord!

Allow the exalted and glorified Word of God, the truth of ‘There is no deity other than God, and Muhammad is the Messenger of God’ to spread to all corners of the world; make it as a rainbow so It can be seen all over the world by everyone.

May You allow us to be committed to this cause

From amongst your creation in the heavens and earth, may You bestow love and beauty unto us’

May You make us amongst the sincere, righteous, god-fearing, sensitive, ascetic devotees of Islam that are content with God and God is pleased with them; sincere hearted, loving and loved in His eyes also, and devotees that are overwhelmed with the desire of union with God and Your Beloved One, the noble Prophet.

We ask for these things an infinite amount of times, for eternity; transcendent of time.’

Now this is our responsibility towards God Almighty that we must be committed to.

On the one hand, some of us may know certain things very well; this may be from our cultural upbringing or our innate skills or attributes or from how efficient our neurons work; we may have a more profound and vast way of thought.

We must channel our thoughts and actions so that others’ thoughts reach such horizons, we must help others.

On one hand, the union of prayer; that comes through harmony and alliance, is a result of reaching God’s help

On the other hand, the pursuit of improving people both mentally and spiritually, if someone has developed a route to achieve this, to show others of their ways so that they also reach such horizons, to will for others to overtake you in this regard.

The desire for others to overtake you; because this is what the spirit of altruism entails.

The spirit of altruism in a believer...

In every aspect, to prefer others over oneself is the spirit of altruism.

Another dimension of this matter is:

for example, you attend school and are studying with peers.

Some of you may be gifted in this aspect, in terms of their upbringing or from their family environment they may already have the necessary foundation to be successful in this field.

Their foundation will allow them to comprehend new information more efficiently, their synthesis of new information will be more elaborated and their analytical skills more profound.

In my opinion, they must share this knowledge with their peers, so that one’s friends also reach their level, one must do everything within their power.

Look, this is the degree of doing service as a student.

This again reflects the spirit of altruism; to bring others to one’s level, or to prefer them over oneself, for example.

Let us take a step further in this regard.

We strive for a career, we complete a master’s degree, we obtain a PhD, and we work to become a professor.

Some of our colleagues have great skill in writing.

Some of our friends are very knowledgeable in libraries; as Necip Fazıl puts it, they are like ‘library mice’.

They know the directories so well that any topic, any matter, they know where and how it has been dealt with.

Someone may have taken on a task in this area but may not know the extent of the resources.

The friend who has great skill in writing must help and say, ‘This matter is expressed in this way!’

One must bring ten years down to three; if they are completing a PhD, they must bring it down to two, if it is possible.

Some of them are just like library mice in a cellar, they know all the books; they should say, ‘Oh friend, the topic you are researching can be found in this library within this index.

When you look at that, you will find it!’

And some must teach others how specific matters are to be presented.

According to the situation of teachers, in terms of the attitude towards teachers, you must widen your horizons and open your eyes. Again regarding that matter, you must apply the principle of collaboration, and be helpful.

Such a mutual aid system can be found in the very structure of words.

The principle of collaboration means ‘two or more people coming together to complete a task, and sharing their ideas’.

In this way, through sharing thoughts, through sharing the idea of assistance, it is possible to reach the strength of thousands when you were just one, with God’s permission and grace.

Fourthly, Bediüzzaman says, ‘establishing internal security and mutual trust’.

An exquisite form of trust in one another.

‘He is truly a far greater trustworthy person than me’.

As you can see this holds together the spirit of altruism; for some this is a drop, for others it is a tea cup, yet for some there is a bowl of altruism.

Indeed, if we trust each other, our strengths will combine, with God’s permission and grace.

We will also have concord and alliance; we will not fall into sinful suspicions about others and commit sins.

At the same time, we will drive other people’s power towards us; we will add their power onto ours, with God’s permission and grace.

If we manage to place our internal relationships onto a firm base, we will be able to transform the earnings of one to the earnings of 1000 people, with God’s permission and grace.

Now, this is another important topic:

Trust and never having sinful suspicions about each other.

Who knows, on many occasions we might fall into sinful suspicions.

If we doubt people who look suspicious based on their attitudes and thoughts, we can test them.

We should first test them and put them in a small place in ourselves; when we see that they pass the test, we will place them to an upper level, and show them the address to the deepest place in our hearts and tell them, ‘You can also live here’.

When we see that they pass that test too, we will say, ‘You can install yourself in the middle of our hearts.’

Then if we see that they also make the best use of their position there, we will say, ‘Please! You can virtually sit on my heart!’

I am using this as an example.

It is likewise in this service:

You will assign a task to someone, when you see that they succeed, you will place them to the next level, then to the next, to the next, to the next.

This way he will be placed to a certain level.

If you have ‘positive attitudes’ towards someone, but at the same time have doubts due to ‘lack of confidence’, you will still be able to move this person to a certain level by staying away from sinful suspicions about him.

This way, you will pave the way for the community to benefit from the talents of this very talented person.

The Base Established by the Messenger of God, the Exceptional Success of the Noble Abu Bakr, the Spiritual Intellect of Bediüzzaman and the Kurdish Issue

As a matter of fact, this current period of misfortune is very violent, but we have witnessed other versions of this misfortune, we have seen almost all colours and tones of these misfortunes.

Perhaps as a nation we’ve been witnessing this for three centuries.

Bediüzzaman says ‘for three centuries’.

‘It has been undergoing deterioration for three centuries’. In other words, its walls have fallen, its most ornate parts are in ruins, and its areas designated for royalty are at the hands of the most incompetent individuals.

I will express it in the words of Mustafa III, not in my words in case some may be offended:

‘This world is in the process of destruction; do not think that it will be fixed with us.

The world left the wheel of the state in the hands of the lowly.

And those lowly ones are the ones who linger around the door of happiness

We are left at the mercy of the Everlasting One’.

Yes, the restoration of a castle that has been undergoing deterioration for three centuries requires individuals that do not deceive like Shah al-Jilani, Muhammad Bahauddin Shah an-Naqshband, Mustafa Bakri Siddiqi, Maruf al-Karhi, Abu Hasan al-Haraqani, Junayd al-Baghdadi and Bayazid Bastami.

In fact, it requires unity, and of the existence of the ‘collective spiritual personality’, a committee or Islamic community.

This is something that can be done with a team and not an individual.

Even the great Messengers fulfilled their missions through communities.

This in no way means that the noble Messenger did nothing. Indeed, with God’s permission and grace, he prepared the groundwork for everything; he prepared the master plan and laid the foundations, and later said: ‘I have two deputies in this world.’

He indicated the great individuals and said, ‘They are Abu Bakr and Umar’.

Those who understood the signs understood exactly who to select as his successor when he ‘sailed to the horizon of his spirit’ or should we say ‘took flight like a dove’ to the next life.

As a result, when the time came, they all ran to Abu Bakr, may God be pleased with him, and shook his hand pledging their allegiance to him.

So, what kind of a man was the noble Abu Bakr?

In terms of spiritual rank, he is below that of the great Prophets, but in terms of his functions and achievements, he accomplished things that many Prophets could not.

He dealt with eleven great seditious events and internal conflicts, three of which had emerged during the era of the Prophet, and the other three afterwards, appearing after his passing.

Think about it, in the noble Abu Bakr’s time, right after our beloved Prophet’s time.

When our noble Prophet walked to the horizon of his spirit, sources say there were around one hundred thousand companions.

One of the most meticulous studies on the lives of the Companions, in his book Al-Isabah, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani mentions ten thousand Companions.

This means that those who mention one hundred thousand people include woman, children and any individual who had some sort of affiliation with the noble Prophet.

These people were entrusted to the noble Abu Bakr.

He, with God’s permission, overcame eleven conflicts and calamities.

Look, today we talk about terror issues.

For years we have been dealing with the PKK.

We have tanks, planes, ground forces, air forces, a government and parliament.

And we have a lot more resources.

But we have not been able to overcome this one trial.

A positive method of overcoming this issue was to appease or soften these people.

Yes, as a small remedy, there was a way to connect with those people.

Integration with that society...

Those government officials who were sent there, doctors, police, governors, were to visit every household one by one.

The soldiers were to do the same.

So that it can be explained that they are no different than any other citizens.

The essence of the remedy was this.

And their language was to be respected and allowed.

A century ago, Bediüzzaman talks about founding a university in the city of Van.

A century ago...

Years later a university is built in that city but it is below the standards envisioned by Bediüzzaman.

He says, ‘Arabic is obligatory’ in the university.


Because the foundations of this religion, the Qur’an and the Sunnah is in Arabic.

He says, ‘Turkish is necessary!’

Karamani Mehmet Pasha had said, ‘Turkish is permissible’ and recognised Turkish as the official language of the state.

Up until Karamani Mehmet Pasha, the official language of the state was Persian.

You see honourable individuals such as Rumi, wrote their books in Persian during the rule of the Seljuks.

But a century ago, Bediüzzaman said, ‘Turkish is necessary.’

He also says, ‘Kurdish is permissible!’, those who desire can choose to learn it.

We were unable to reach that horizon.

This antidote was also within that prescription:

‘Permit those people to learn their language within the schools comfortably!’

A language develops as it is used and becomes a language of science.

That science of language is a very important factor in the development of a community.

It is impossible to do research and develop technology with an underdeveloped language.

It is impossible and inefficient to continually borrow the language of others. It will never end.

Ali Shariati, an Iranian sociologist whom I never met, but know of him from his books, may God bless him with Paradise, used to say:

‘It is impossible to do science with today’s Arabic and Persian!’

And I used to say to myself, ‘O respected one, if only you had learned Turkish; is it sufficient for science or not? You would then understand which language not to conduct science with!’

We have destroyed the language; we’ve turned it into some sort of stenography, symbols or Morse code.

If you are a true believer, you must never fall into despair in the face of difficulties. You must ask yourself, ‘What can I do under the current circumstances?’ and thus, keep your willpower alive and become a beacon of hope for everyone.

Yes, you are responsible for the repair of a fortress that has been ruined and destroyed for three centuries.

Nearly everything has been ruined and left destitute.

But it has been brought to ruin in different ways, patterns and colours.

As I just mentioned, we have witnessed this devastation in different forms; I myself have witnessed four or five of these from the coup of May 27th (1960) onwards, seven or eight, together with the obvious and not so obvious ones.

Hopefully this will be the last of it.

By ending them, God will put an end to your troubles as well; rather, end the suffering of those auspicious Anatolian people.

In a period when God gave this nation important tasks in relation to all nations, God promises to resurrect this nation before other nations in order to accomplish an important mission.

You will be resurrected; with God’s permission and grace, you will rush to aid the people of the world.

You should not feel fear when encountering this destruction.

In fact, instead of using up our energy in the face of tremors.

Because, in a way, that is an effort; you will tremble, feel excited, that is an effort, too.

You will wear out; your neurons will be exhausted, you will not be able to sleep right; you will turn right and left in bed.

You will not be able to take care of your children; you will not be able to attend to your spouse.

You have to build your tasks on a firm logical base.

Or else, you would be acting against yourself.

But instead, if you follow an actual grand purpose of life, with God’s permission and grace, unshakably you will say, ‘Well, what can be done in these difficult circumstances?’

Firstly comes giving hope and inspiration to those who have faced some tremors; it is necessary to rehabilitate them.

Wherever you go, you will inspire people and say, ‘Every aspect of the things we have been exposed to occurs as a providence of God.

And it has come and gone as God’s blessing.

Come and gone...

God’s power can overcome everything!’

What falls on us is our task.

If we are devoted to an exalted target, it means we have been victorious from the beginning.

If we have said, ‘Oh God!’, and turned to Him, if we have uttered, ‘Paradise, God’s vision and God’s good pleasure,’ if we have given Him our heart, it means we have won.

Even if we die in that cause, it does not count as a loss; because we have centered ourselves on an exalted target.

So why should we be concerned, why should we be in panic?

In fact, one should try to realise the more exalted target:

‘I wonder, how can we help our friends to reach a significant level of spiritual vitality in relation to this matter?

How would they double the effort they have put in and the endeavor they have gone through till this day?

How would they increase the gear from 4th to 8th?

From 8th to 16th?

How would they move forward with that speed with God’s permission and grace?’

Also there is a poise and vigilance that is required when moving forward at those speeds.

I think, when we exert our minds in that regard, with God’s permission and grace, without straying from the path, we will walk straight on the highway that God has set out for us and realise our goal quickly.

What is the goal?

The faith of all of mankind...

At least, to encourage them to respect Him, to awake the feeling in their consciences: ‘It is possible to live together with those who believe in Him’.

This is different.

Not with force, not with oppression, not with perpetration, not with assault, not ‘let everyone think like me!’, not with ‘let those who do not think like me go to Hell!’

On the contrary, considering everyone in their own category, ensuring safety, trust and confidence in the four corners of the world.

To make them say: ‘These people, are truly respectful towards universal values!’; in other words, ‘These people are very humanistic!

They fulfill the prerequisites of being the perfect pattern of creation and have respect to people due to them being an artwork of God’.

Respecting a human being that has come from the brush of God, created from His Knowledge, Will and Power, a person that is not comparable to any being, a person that is the compass of the angels, respecting such a person is respecting his or her Creator.

Awakening this feeling in people, awakening this feeling in all of mankind...

As you can witness, with very short moves, small moves, in one aspect, in a small circle, a small angle, a lot is already happening.

In that regard, I don’t want to say, ‘That is happening over there; this is happening over here!’ Some people may misinterpret this and say, ‘He is doing the work of a missionary!’


Before your words, there are your actions and dispositions.

In fact, as long as you live in the correct manner, people will say, by God’s permission, ‘A great distance can be covered with these people!’

You are to promise trust.

After all, ‘The believer is the one who provides safety and security on Earth!’

One meaning of this word is someone who believes in God and at the same time is taken from the Divine Name ‘Al-Mu’min’ (The Supreme Author of safety and security Who bestows faith and removes all doubt).

In respect to its other meaning, it means the ‘representative of trust on Earth’.

Those who are in the atmosphere of such people are at the same time in an atmosphere of trust.

You are to announce this to the whole world.

There was a temporary defeat at Uhud that ended with victory; for this was the separation of a believer from a hypocrite, the loyal from the disloyal, and the courageous from the coward and those faithfully believing from those with weakness in belief.

There has always been and always will be an ‘oligarchic minority’.

Now in such a day and age, essentially, we should strive to moralise and rehabilitate one another as if nothing has happened and continue on our way and mission with the people of such great and lofty ideals.

The best example of this, as you well know, is the Battle of Uhud.

When discussing the martyrs of Uhud, sixty odd, it is said to be approximately sixty six people; although in the Prophetic biographies it is generally quoted to be ‘seventy people martyred’.

170 to 200 were wounded; some who were at the point of having their arms severed, others wounded from their chest.

Although this was seen to be a ‘temporary defeat’, the Messenger of God turned this defeat into a victory with his elevated Prophetic perspicacity. Perspicacity is something that is far above and beyond genius.

In fact, Abbas Mahmud al-Aqqad, in his work Abqariyat Muhammad, lists our noble Prophet amongst the geniuses; this is a mistake.

Prophetic perspicacity is far above the title of genius.

When describing a genius, they say, ‘It is someone who instantaneously, without thinking, puts things into place’.

Perspicacity is far, far beyond it. He, in that state, pursues the unbelievers to drive them away.

Injured and bruised...

Some of them carrying one another on their backs; others are carrying each other in their arms.

Abu Sufyan realises that the Muslims are coming from behind as he approaches Mecca with his army.

Where is he following them to?

He says, ‘We do not want to further trouble ourselves; we better retreat to Mecca as quickly as possible.’

What looks like a temporary defeat to the eye becomes a victory with the great perspicacity he has, with God’s permission and grace.

The polytheists of the time are caught up in panic.

As they plan once again to try and besiege Medina they say, ‘Let us join forces with all of the tribes; let us go forth with twenty thousand, or even thirty thousand people, and let us take Medina!

Otherwise, it is impossible to enter that place!’

Once again, their efforts end in an absolute fiasco; as they approach the borders of Medina, they are met with extreme cold and ‘the striking storms’ of that perspicacious one, and they have no option but to return in panic.

Have no doubt, those who engage in cruelty and corruption against you will also run away in panic, just like the polytheists who came to besiege Medina.

May God Almighty bless us with His assurance and security.

May He allow us to continue our service with high morale, as though nothing has happened.

May God help us reach much success, God willing.