Thursday, June 27, 2013

Ori Soltes on Fethullah Gulen and the Hizmet Movement

(Video Duration : 5 mins. 49 secs.)

In parallel with his recent book “Embracing the World: Fethullah Gulen's Thought and Its Relationship with Jalaluddin Rumi and Others”, the professor Ori Soltes reflects on the Sufi aspects of the motive behind Fethullah Gulen and the Gulen movement’s activities. Parenthetically, the book not only explores the Sufism in thought but its practical implications in a broad context through action-based initiatives he has inspired.

Speaking of what distinguishes Gulen’s way from a mere struggle to “empty himself of himself to be filled with God”, Soltes identifies “seeking the very same enlightenment to share it with the community” as the central premise that forms the basis of his and the movement’s recognition of and all-embracing approach to diverse faiths. According to Soltes, having its roots in this unique Sufi understanding, the Hizmet (meaning Service) movement, as its name suggests, applies its thoughts and theories to action in order to improve the world. Therefore, the Hizmet volunteers inspired by Gulen’s teachings-which not surprisingly bear the traces of great thinkers such as Socrates, Rumi, and Einstein- “don’t just talk the talk but walk the walk”, as he puts it.