Our vase broke

Our vase broke. It was the product of long years of hard work. We had invested our most precious care, our sorrows, our defeats, our longing for the land we lost, our disappointments and, of course, our hope in it.

With a passion for power that we failed to tame with the moral values of Islam, we hurled the vase to the ground and it fell to pieces. Now, those pieces are all around us, hurting us like sharp knives. Our hands, arms and legs are all bruised.

The sharpest piece is going deep into the heart of the ummah (global Islamic community). "Accidents reveal the substance," says Aristotle. This is certainly true. The broken vase exposed to daylight our true essence.

Power is a fire that burns whoever comes near without permission. This permission consists of the divine rules that constitute the very essence of the rule of law. When you push them aside, the fire of power will set your heart aflame.

Let us put aside our 300-year-old dramatic history that started with the loss of land. During the last 100 years, we struggled hard to survive. Zahid Kotku, the venerable Naqshibandi sheikh; Esad Coşan, who died in Australia as he worked hard to promote the services initiated by Kotku; Mahmut Ustaosmanoğlu, the respected leader of the İsmailağa community; Süleyman Tunahan; as well as Said Nursi, whose life was rife with hardship and struggle for the promotion of Islamic values; Mahmud Sami Ramazanoğlu and Necmettin Erbakan were all prominent people who dedicated their lives to the spread of Islamic values in our recent history.

Likewise, Fethullah Gülen is another venerable person who is enlisted in this cause. Any fair person whose eyes are not blinded by hostility can acknowledge the service he has inspired in Turkey and around the world. Muhammed Raşid Erol, Muzaffer Ozak, Mehmet Öğütçü and many other venerable people did service to Islam with their unique methods. They were like small rivers flowing into a big one. This is the holy river of Islam. This river will continue to bring the elixir of life to this ummah's sea.

Of course, these people are not infallible. They are each like a star in their own sky and all of them are guided by the Prophet Muhammad, whom God sent as a mercy to all the worlds. Because they are not inerrant, they can make mistakes. Their mistakes can be considered "insignificant sins" or "lapses" (zallah). Our prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, tolerated "deeds done in error or forgetfulness." However, the mistake should be abandoned as soon as it is noticed.

Turkey is one of the important pillars of the Muslim world. If this pillar is broken, the Muslim world will sustain great damage. In the tension between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the Gülen community there have been disappointments, a harsher language and style, violations of rights, and a breach of brotherhood. We have started to see each other as "Satan," "absolute evil" and a "hate figure." Our intellectuals and academics have become barren; some of them lost their direction. This state of affairs is doing everyone great damage. Everywhere are the cries of those carrying battle axes and reasonable people are increasingly being silenced. Not only are practices being attacked, but so are beliefs and creeds. All around our region are fires, and we set our neighborhood ablaze.

The state that is the mix of Ottoman and modern times is renovating its hardcore insides. The ruling party has allied with the coup perpetrators who seek to overthrow it. The current process is nothing but a continuation or recurrence of the coups of 1960, 1971, 1980 and 1997. This "conspiracy" clearly targets the abovementioned centuries-old struggle or cause. Evil people and the self-indulgent are collaborating with each other to fuel internal conflict.

One thing has become certain: Muslims were not sufficiently prepared to rule the country. What's done is done. Now we should focus on learning lessons from the experiences in Turkey and around the world and developing new models and views.


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fgulen.com is the offical source on the renowned Turkish scholar and intellectual Fethullah Gülen.