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Intellectuals in Pakistan discuss perspectives of Gülen, Iqbal and Mevlana

Today's Zaman. Mutli Ercivan, February 11, 2010

Pakistani Minister of Religious Affairs Hamid Saeed Kazmi (L)  attended the conference.
Pakistani Minister of Religious Affairs Hamid Saeed Kazmi (L) attended the conference.
A group of intellectuals gathered on Tuesday at the Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), one of the most prestigious universities in Pakistan, to discuss the ideas of some of the world’s most influential Islamic scholars -- Fethullah Gülen, 13th century Sufi mystic Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi and well-known 20th century Pakistani intellectual Muhammad Iqbal -- and the characteristics of an ideal individual.

Pakistani Minister of Religious Affairs Hamid Saeed Kazmi stated the significance of tasavvuf, or mystical principles, in his country’s fight against terrorism, adding that Gülen shared the opinions of Mevlana and Iqbal. “People are seeking heroes who will rescue Islam from its current grave position. The ideal type of individual described by Mevlana, Iqbal and Gülen is one who will help Islam recover,” he stated.

Dr. Hasan Ali Yurtsever, who was invited by the Rumi Forum, a Washington-based think tank and one of the organizers of the conference, underlined that love for humanity is at the center of Gülen’s beliefs, Mevlana and Iqbal, stating that Gülen is a follower of the ideas of Mevalana and Iqbal. Noting that the Gülen movement is not a fundamentalist movement, he expressed his belief that “the devoted people who are working to expand tolerance, peace and love in more than a hundred countries in the world will positively influence the future of the world.”

Professor Mohammad Zia-ul Haq from the International Islamic University defined Gülen as one of the prominent thinkers of the Islamic world and emphasized that Gülen’s opinions have been applauded by many people in many parts of the world. “These ideas that embrace all of humanity with love represent hope for the future of Islam,” he added.

The vice chancellor of AIOU, Professor Mahmood-ul Hasan Butt, highlighted that one of their biggest goals is to raise individuals to take on the ideal personal characteristics as defined by the three Islamic scholars. He thanked the participants of the conference for attending the meeting, which gave the group the opportunity to introduce and explain the Gülen movement.

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