Fethullah Gulen about jihad
Gulen's movement is akin to a modern religion such as
Scientology that demands total lifelong dedication and complete obedience to the "master teacher."
It preaches a radical version of
Islam and ultimately aims to destroy the secular order in Turkey and beyond. It is easy to see all of that if one goes behind the
movement's carefully cultivated façade, with its pious verbiage of interfaith dialogue, peace, and Islamic enlightenment, and looks
directly into the writings of Gulen that inform his movement's ideology.
For instance, in a book describing the brilliance of Mohammed as a military commander, the master teacher explains that Islamic
enmity toward the infidels is actually a form of compassion toward them, because by being non-believers they commit injustice. This
type of "compassion" evidently justifies Muslims' conquering and killing the infidels. It is, writes Gulen, "incumbent upon those who
believe in One God and worship Him faithfully to secure justice in the world.
Islam calls this responsibility jihad." There is no doubt as to
what the ultimate purpose of jihad is in Gulen's view: "It seeks to convey the Message of Islam to all human beings in the world and to
establish a model Islamic community on a worldwide basis." Less-sophisticated jihadists call this simply the Caliphate.
Source in pdf.doc
There are two faces to the cult. One that faces the outside world, a face that is tolerant and in dialogue with everyone, involved with education with no ulterior motive, involved in inter-faith dialogue, tolerant towards everyone... This is the face that is seen by the outside world.
Then there's the cult's actual structure and this is hidden. Source
|Text marked in bold type are highlighted by gulen.network
|The following is from Fethullah Gülen's book "Prophet Mohammed as Commande" published in 1998.
There are two aspects of jihad. One is fighting against superstitions and wrong convictions and also against carnal desires and evil inclinations, and therefore enlightenment both intellectually and spiritually, which is called the greater jihad; the other is encouraging others to achieve the same objective and is called the lesser jihad.
The lesser jihad, which has usually been taken to mean fighting for God's cause, does not refer only to the form of striving done on battlefields. The term is comprehensive. It includes every action from speaking out to presenting oneself on the battlefield - provided the action is done for God's sake. Whether speaking or keeping silent, smiling or making a sour face, joining a meeting or leaving it, every action taken to ameliorate the lot of humanity, whether by individuals or communities, is included in the meaning of the lesser jihad.
While the lesser jihad depends on the mobilization of all the material facilities and is performed in the outer world, the greater jihad means a person's fighting against his carnal self. These two forms of jihad cannot be separated from each other. Only those who triumph over their carnal selves can perform the lesser jihad, which, in turn helps man to succeed in the greater jihad. ............
.......When the believers performed the lesser jihad whether by fighting on battlefields against those who waged war on them or tried to prevent them from worshipping One God only, or preaching the truth and enjoining the right and good and forbidding the wrong and evil, God's help and victory came, and men began to enter Islam in throngs. At that moment the Almighty decreed that His praises should be glorified and His forgiveness should be sought. As all success and victory are from God, it is only He who must be praised and worshipped.
God created the universe as a manifestation of His love for His creatures, in particular humanity, and Islam became the fabric woven out of this love. In the words of Badiüzzman [Said Nursi, 1877-1960], love is the essence of creation. Just as a mother's love and compassion compel her to allow a surgeon to operate on her sick child to save his or her life, jihad allows war, if needed, to preserve such fundamental human rights as the right to life and religious freedom. Jihad does not exclusively mean war.
God does not approve wrongdoing and disorder. He wills that human beings should live in peace and, accordingly, that justice should prevail amongst them. It is, therefore, incumbent upon those who believe in One God and worship Him faithfully to secure justice in the world. Islam calls this responsibility jihad
Jihad denotes, literally, doing one's utmost to achieve something. It is not the equivalent of war, for which the Arabic word is vital. It has a wider connotation and embraces every kind of striving in God's cause.
A mujahid is a person who is sincerely devoted to his cause, who uses all his physical, intellectual and spiritual capacity to serve it and employs all the force he commands in confronting any power which might stand in its way, and, whenever necessary, does not shirk risking his very life for it. All this is jihad. Jihad in the way of God is that striving in which man engages exclusively to win God's good pleasure, to establish the supremacy of His religion and to make His Word prevail.
THE GULEN MOVEMENT
Turkey's Islamic Supremacist Cult
and its Contributions to the
By Christopher Holton and Clare Lopez
Jihad as the core element of Islamic doctrine literally embodies justice. The section on Jihad in the Shafi'i book of Sacred Islamic Law, Reliance of the Traveller
('Umdat al-Salik),87 is to be found in the Book of Justice (o9.0). Likewise, as Gulen
accurately explains on page 20, Jihad is integral to justice:
"God does not approve wrongdoing and disorder. He wills that
human beings should live in peace and, accordingly, that justice
should prevail amongst them. It is therefore incumbent upon those
who believe in One God and worship Him faithfully to secure justice
in the world. Islam calls this responsibility jihad."
Gulen then goes on to explain the various forms of jihad, including warfare.
Again, on page 20, and in perfect accord with shariah, Gulen states the purpose of
"…to establish the supremacy of His religion and to make His Word prevail."
IIn the same section, Gulen then clearly references the Islamic doctrine of amr bi 'l-ma'ruf wa nahy an al-munkar and articulates the aim of establishing a worldwide caliphate:
"Besides the holy struggle, the principle of amr bi 'l-ma'ruf wa nahy an al-munkar (enjoining the good and forbidding the evil) seeks to convey the Message of Islam to all human beings in the world and to establish a model Islamic community on a world-wide basis."
Gulen does not distance himself in any way from the goal of establishing a worldwide caliphate. It is clear that he understands this is to be an obligatory objective for all Muslims.
Gulen next further identifies the two broad categories of jihad as the greater jihad and the lesser jihad. He describes the greater jihad as an internal spiritual struggle, and the lesser jihad as including warfare. It should be noted that this whole distinction between the so-called 'greater jihad' and 'lesser jihad', however, relies on a........................
87 Reliance of the Traveller, The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law ('Umdat al-Salik), d. 769/1368.
Available at http://www.islamicbulletin.org/free_downloads/resources/reliance2_complete.pdf..................................
............weak hadith, transmitted through an unreliable chain of narrators. Whether sincerely or otherwise, Gulen here slips into an all-too-common pattern of de-emphasizing the
importance of fighting in favor of a personal internal struggle. When he states on
page 24, for example, that "only those who triumph over there carnal selves can
perform the lesser jihad," he perpetuates an erroneous reversal of the actual
importance of each in Islam.
Citing on the following page (page 25) the example of Muhammad, Gulen
seems almost to try to rectify any prior misimpression by mentioning the 'two aspects
of jihad' but then offering explicit praise of Muhammad for his battlefield prowess:
"The Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, combined these two
aspects of jihad in the most perfect way in his person. He displayed
monumental courage on battlefields."
Gulen goes on in the same vein, acknowledging truthfully that violent jihad
is what resulted in the successful spread of Islam—not internal struggle to better
oneself. He additionally identifies a broad set of circumstances in which Muslims
should wage such jihad (page 27):
"When the believers performed the lesser jihad whether by fighting
on battlefields against those who waged war on them or tried to
prevent them from worshipping One God only, or preaching the
truth and enjoining the right and good and forbidding the wrong and
evil, God's help and victory came, and men began to enter Islam in
So, as Gulen points out, violent jihad is not just waged against those who
wage war against the believers. It is also waged against those who interfere with the
spread and practice of Islam.
One of the most important sections (especially for non-Muslims) in Prophet
Muhammad as Commander is on pages 29-31. It is here where Gulen defines the
conditions under which Islam allows the use of force:
"Islam seeks to call people with wisdom and fair exhortation, and
does not resort to force until those who desire to maintain the
corrupted order they built on injustice, oppression, self-interest and.........................
.............exploitation of others and usurpation of their rights, resist it to
prevent its preaching. Thus Islam allows the use of force in the
1. If unbelievers or polytheists or those who make mischief
and corruption on the earth resist the preaching of Islam
and try to block its way of conquering the minds and
hearts of people. …In case it is resisted or prevented, it
offers its enemies three alternatives: either they will accept
Islam, or allow its preaching or admit its rule. If they reject
all three alternatives, Islam allows the use of force.
2. God permitted His Messenger to resort to the 'sword' only
after he emigrated to Madina and established an
independent state there. This permission was given
because the Muslims were wronged….
witnessed by history, that Islam resorts to force in order to
defend itself and establish freedom of belief…
It is a
historical fact which has been acknowledged even by many Western writers, that Christians and Jews have lived the
most prosperous and happiest period of their history under
the rule of Islam.
3. Islam…never approves any injustice in any part of the
world…the righteous servants of God are charged with the
duty of submitting the earth to God's rule, which depends
on absolute justice and worship of only One God. They
are also obliged to strive until persecution and the worship
and obedience of false deities and unjust tyrants come to
Thus, any society or civilization that is perceived to be standing in the way of
or interfering with the spread of Islam is subject to lawful attack. Gulen's second
point echoes the commonly-heard apologia that says virtually all violent Jihad is
defensive. If Muslims are "wronged" they can wage violent jihad. As with a few other
passages in this book, one wonders to what extent Gulen himself actually believes his
next statement, that, in any case, Christians and Jews never had it so good as when
conquered and ruled by Muslims. Gulen's final point here (3) is essentially a
restatement of Qur'anic verse 8:39, which says.............
And fight them until there is no fitnah and [until] the religion, all of
it, is for Allah . And if they cease - then indeed, Allah is Seeing of
what they do.
As Gulen explains, because Muslims are tasked with subjugating the world
to Islam, they are obligated to use whatever means necessary to accomplish the task,
obviously including violent jihad.
Finally, on pages 31-37, Gulen provides what amount to rules for jihadis.
Some are merely curiosities—others are ominous indeed. "So, whoever fights for other causes, such as fame or material gain, or
for racial or other ideological considerations of similar nature, he will
not be regarded as a fighter with whom God is pleased."
Here, Gulen seems to refer to Qur'anic admonishments like the following:
Those who desire the life of the Present and its glitter, --to them we
shall pay (the price of) their deeds therein,--without diminution.
They are those for whom there is nothing in the Hereafter but the
Fire: vain are the designs they frame therein, and of no effect are the
deeds that they do! (Qur'an 11:15-16)
But he departs from scripture when he includes the additional prohibition of
fighting for racial or other ideological considerations, which would seem to preclude
fighting for a nation state or any leader motivated by racial or non-Islamic ideology.
Then Gulen returns to solid Islamic traditional ground with the following
passages about the obligatory nature of violent jihad, the jihad of fighting and the
"Where fighting is necessary…the Quran exhorts believers not to avoid fighting."
"When fighting is unavoidable, Muslims must not hesitate to take up
arms and hasten to the front. The Qur'an exhorts Muslims to fight
when necessary and severely reprimands those who show reluctance
in mobilizing in the way of God…"
"One of the important points to be mentioned concerning jihad is
that a believer cannot flee the battlefield."
"Fleeing on the battlefield is one of the seven major, perilous sins." But the next passage, reminiscent at once of the Ayatollah Khomeini --
We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah.
For patriotism is another
name for paganism. I say let this land [Iran] burn. I say let this land
go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the
--and of Qur'anic verse 9:5 --
But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the
Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and
lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)…
--is perhaps the most ominous of all for non-Muslims, in view of Iran's drive
for deliverable nuclear weapons and the fact that a jihadist Pakistan already has them.
Here Gulen says:
"…believers should also equip themselves with the most
sophisticated weaponry. Force has an important place in obtaining
the desired result, so believers cannot be indifferent to it. Rather they
must be much more advanced in science and technology than
unbelievers so that they should not allow unbelievers to use 'force' for
their selfish benefit. According to Islam, 'right is might'; so, in order
to prevent might from being right in the hands of unbelievers and
oppressors, believers must be mightier than others."
"An Islamic state…should be able to secure peace and justice in the
world and no power should have the courage to make corruption in
any part of the earth. This will be possible when Muslims equip
themselves with a strong belief and righteousness in all their affairs,.................
88 Taheri, Amir, "Nest of Spies: America's Journey to Disaster in Iran (London: Hutchinson, 1988), p. 269.
Available at http://www.amazon.com/Nest-Spies-Americas-Journey-Disaster/dp/0394575660
and also with scientific knowledge and the most sophisticated technology."
Similarly revealing of Gulen's close alignment with authoritative Islamic
doctrine and law—as well as the never-directly-mentioned Muslim Brotherhood—is
his commentary from the 'Reflections on the Quran' series. His brief comments on
Surah 9 ('Tawbah') focus on Qur'anic verse 9:20, which reads as follows:
"Those who believe and have emigrated (to the home of Islam in
God's cause), and strive in God's cause with their wealth and persons
are greater in rank in God's sight, and those are the ones who are the
triumphant." (At-Tawbah 9:20)
For which Gulen's observations conclude with a summary of three obstacles
that challenge faithful Muslims who seek Allah's favor by emulating Muhammad's
original Hijra from Mecca to Medina but also "striving in order to exalt God's Word
in the new land to which one has immigrated."
Gulen's comment on Muslims who
succeed in that challenge is both chilling and directly reminiscent of Brotherhood
writing, including the "grand jihad" passage from the 'Explanatory Memorandum on
the Strategic Goal for the Group in North America,'89 and also sections of 'The
Methodology of Dawah. As Gulen writes:'90
Indeed, if "believing" means overcoming the first obstacle of Satan, "leaving one's tribe, community, and relatives in order to immigrate
to a different land for the sake of belief" is surmounting another
obstacle which is as powerful as the other. Without being content
with leaving one's native land and relatives, "striving in order to exalt
God's Word in the new land to which one has immigrated" means
destroying a third, great barrier. One who has overcome all of these..................
89 "Explanatory Memorandum on the Strategic Goals for the Group in North America," 5/22/1991.
Available at http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/misc/20.pdf
90 Siddiqi, Shamim A., "Methodology of Dawah." Available here
..................obstacles or barriers has conquered his or her own carnal self and
The Gulen Movement must be understood for the jihadist, subversive,
worldwide Islamic network that it is. Just because Fethullah Gulen does not permit
the revelation of any overt connections to the Muslim Brotherhood or other
transnational jihad groups does not obviate their ideological synchrony. This is a
dangerous organization that threatens Western civilization as surely as an al-Qa'eda
or Islamic State—but with far greater finesse and stealth.
91 Fethullah Gulen's Works, 'Reflections on the Quran, Sūratu't-Tawbah (Repentance). Available here