Fethullah Gulen: Honorary President of the Rumi Forum
Fethullah Gulen is a Turkish Islamic scholar, author & poet, education advocate, and preacher emeritus. Mr. Gulen was born in 1941 in the village of Korucuk, near Erzurum in the northeastern part of Turkey. His father, Ramiz Gulen, was an imam in the region and his mother, Refia Hanim, was the primary caregiver of the family and a major influence on Mr. Gulen’s spiritual and religious upbringing.
Fethullah Gulen attended his formal primary education in his home village, and after the family moved to a nearby village he began an informal religious education.
In 1959, Fethullah Gulen was awarded a state preacher's license in Edirne, Turkey. He was then transferred in 1966 to a religious post in Izmir, Turkey. It was in Izmir that Mr. Gulen'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. Fethullah Gulen spoke on important subjects ranging from peace and social justice to theoretical naturalism. His primary aim always remained, urging the younger generation to harmonize intellectual enlightenment with spirituality rooted in religious tradition, and to serve humanity.
Throughout his life and until today, Fethullah Gulen has been greatly influenced by the ideas and writings of many great Muslim scholars, amongst them: Said Nursi, Mawlana Jalaladdin Rumi, Abu Hanifa, Ghazali, Imam Rabbani, Yunus Emre.
In line with these great thinkers, Fethullah Gulen’s philosophy and writings embody ideas of altruistic service to one’s community and likewise to humanity in general; harmony between intelligence and heart; sincerity; a holistic view of the human; a profound devotion and love of creation. Throughout his life, Mr. Gulen has been noted for his support of democracy, science, dialogue and non-violence.
Fethullah Gulen is regarded as the founder and inspirer of the global social movement known as the Hizmet (Service) Movement, more popularly known as the Gulen Movement.
In 1994, Mr. Gulen co-founded the “Journalists and Writers Foundation" and was given the title "Honorary President" by the foundation.
In March 1999, upon the recommendation of his doctors, Fethullah Gulen moved to the U.S. to receive medical care.
In July 2008, Fethullah Gulen was voted the top public intellectual in the world by Foreign Policy Magazine.
Despite the high regard millions hold for him, Mr. Gulen 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.
Fethullah Gulen devotes his time to reading, writing, and religious devotion. He has based his understanding of service upon this guiding principle, ‘living to let others live’ (‘yasatmak icin yasamak’ in Turkish).
Fethullah Gulen currently resides in Pennsylvania and continues to write and give talks on various subjects.
He has served as the Honorary President of the Rumi Forum since 1999. Over the past decade there have been many conferences focusing on the progressive ideas of Mr. Gulen and the individuals he has inspired.
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Fethullah Gulen was interviewed by BBC News recently.
Fethullah Gulen's recent interview with the Wall Street Journal on January 21 2014
We pay tribute to the honorable life and legacy of Nelson Mandela, who devoted himself to the principles of peace, democracy, social justice and equality. Faced with extraordinary challenges and adversity, he chose reconciliation over retaliation and, in doing so, set an example of living a more noble life. As we remember the lessons and wisdom of Mandela, we must reaffirm our commitment to the dignity of all humans, and to our shared values of peace, mutual understanding and respect through open dialogue.
Our hearts and our prayers are with the Mandela family and the people of South Africa on the passing of their beloved Madiba. We at the Rumi Forum, and the world, will remember Nelson Mandela as one of history's most luminous beacons of hope and amazing courage, as one who struggled for peace and justice for all human beings.
Written by Jamie Tarabay
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
We were delighted to hear today that Mr. Fethullah Gulen, an inspiration for many of our volunteers and donors, was named as one of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2013.
Being named on the TIME100 list is recognition we see befitting of Mr. Gulen, who has dedicated his life to interfaith tolerance and peaceful coexistence with people of all faiths and backgrounds. His reinterpretation of aspects of Islamic tradition not only meets the needs of contemporary Muslims, but also inspires millions in Turkey and around the world to promote community service, intercultural dialogue and education.
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Fethullah Gulen and the Hizmet Movement David Newton, Adjunct Professor at the Middle East Institute
With regard to Fethullah Gulen I’ve never had the honor, pleasure meeting him perhaps someday I will. But, again I[…]Read more...
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I think that the Gulen movement is an extraordinarily unique movement. And it took me many years really to appreciate[…]Read more...
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Why Dedicated to Rumi?
|Commensurate with its mission, the Forum takes its name from the 13th Century Sufi philosopher-poet Mawlana Jalaladdin Rumi.
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Come and come yet again...
Come even if you have broken your vows a thousand times
Wanderer, idolater, worshipper of fire...
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This is the date of hope,
Come, come yet again, come.
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