The phenomenon of "belief" as being one of the basic elements of the human nature
has emerged in several forms in the history of mankind. In this respect, Islamic
Theology, Philosophy, Sociology and Psychology has been interested in the ways of
beliefs, religious conversion and religious tendency movement, and thus, various
research areas in this field has been flourished.
Recently, there is a remarkable inclination towards religion in the whole world,
especially in Europe and America. The humanity lost its happiness due to the millions
of losses as a result of continuous wars, and therefore is seeking for peace. The
man of the modern era, who is satisfied in material forms yet spiritually dissatisfied,
rediscovers faith as a consequence of his questioning of its existence. That is
because materialistic approaches and the non-religious philosophy did not bring
the expected happiness, but restlessness. Today, "self-worshipping", which can be
defined as "popular slavery", and "secularisation and living for the day" brought
by the popular culture imposed a life with no questioning and no responsibility;
making the man a slave of his self and alienating him to the meaning of his creation.
This alienation always brings about disaster and disquiet. However, the recent natural
disasters such as earthquake, tsunami, hurricane etc. reinforced the human need
to believe and accelerated the search in the religious realm. Today, the mankind
looks for the road maps ending up at peace. Religious tendency as a worldwide phenomenon
should be analyzed as one of the indicators of that.
Considering all of the above-mentioned themes, we decided on the subject for
dossier in this issue as "Guidance (Hidayath): The Era of Religious Tendency". We
planned to discuss this title in the frame of some key concepts such as "religion,
guidance (hidayath), counselling, converted, God's grace, faith, infidelity, atheism,
human will, the correct path (Sirat-al Mustakim), true Islam, happiness". According
to this framework, we want to look for some answers to the following questions:
What are the psychological and sociological factors in regards to human psychology
that necessitate the man to believe? How can we explain the recent improving tendency
to religion? How can we, sociologically speaking, understand terrorism, aggression
and anarchy movements which are recognized as the most important problems in the
world by many countries in the framework of tendency to religion, guidance (hidayath)
and heresy? What are the contributions of a believer to his society in the fields
of education, culture, society, family etc? How did the Islamic Theologians (Kalam
scholars) discuss the concept of Guidance (Hidayath)? What kind of a role will the
recent backward image of the Islamic world play in the conversion of the non-Muslim
societies to Islam in such an epoch in which the methods and the ideal models to
bring people to Islam becomes more important and the communication tools are most
important? How should we understand the idea of Bediüzzaman as "displaying the true
Islam and the truth that Islam deserves" which may be a model and a method by the
transmission of Islam to people? How the concept of Guidance (hidayath) might be
evaluated as Bediuzzaman emphasises on faith as a model of the "Era of Bliss", the
time of the Prophet (pbuh)? What are the differences of Bediüzzaman and Risale-i
Nur for the explanation of Islam in our country and in the West considering the
tradition of renewal?
Ramazan Altıntaş comments upon the "Guidance (Hidayath) from the theological
point of view". He notices that Guidance (Hidayath) is related to the Godly and
manly activities. Social sciences deal with the physical dimensions of guidance;
whereas Islamic Theology (Kalam) deals with the meta-physical dimensions. He also
studies how the belief doctrines in Islam explain the subject of hidayath and also
mentions about the "freedom" in his text.
Nurullah Çetin stresses in his text that post-modern mind puts the rediscovery
of the faith on the agenda in a way. The post-modern mind needs to provide for spiritual
and moral expansion after its understanding the deficiency of the positivistic sense
which only tries to satisfy the biological needs of human being. According to Çetin,
in order to understand this issue better, the modern world and the modern period
influenced by post-modernism should be read in the light of the documents. Therefore,
Nurullah Çetin firstly examines the relevant concepts and terms, and explains the
historical process as a general overview.
Hüseyin Hatemi states about the definition of Guidance (Hidayath), and the means
and the ways towards Guidance in his article.
Süleyman Uludağ explains hidayath and its phases. Uludağ not only analyzes the
conceptual meanings of terms such as Guidance (Hidayath), apostasy and heresy, but
also the daily meanings of them. He suggests that Islam is a great blessing, and
Muslim should recognize the value of this blessing.
Atilla Yargıcı emphasizes that Koran is a guide to find the right path for everybody,
and explains the words "ihdina" (reach, arrive us) and "hudan" (bringing to the
right path) according to the various Commentaries of Koran.
A British converted Muslim, Abdulhakim Murad, mentiones that Islam is still charming
people from quite dissimilar societies even after fourteen centuries and he states
that the core of this fact is still not understood thoroughly. Therefore, Abdülhakim
Murad investigates in his article the formal and theological meaning of what sociologists
call "conversion", mentions about the most noteworthy conversions in the history
of Islam, and the new phenomenon of "cyber-conversion" in the Internet.
Hülya Alper suggests that human being is a believing creature and to imagine
human being without belief is impossible. This main idea is discussed in the article
by analyzing the opinions of both Muslim and Western scholars.
M. Ali Kaya describes Guidance (Hidayath) as a peaceful mode which glorifies
heart with faith, satisfies his reason, enlightens his conscience and relaxes his
soul. To achieve this mode is the aim of everybody and to gain happiness which is
the main target of life becomes possible only with Guidance (Hidayath).
We had a conversation with Ümit Meriç. She answered our questions on the phenomenon
of Guidance (Hidayath) from the eye of a Muslim woman and in relation to her attributes
to God, rather than Sociology. Meriç emphasized that even though the Western systems
can materially satisfy the Western man, but they weaken them spritually. Thus, the
Western man tries to find new ways in order to satisfy his reason, heart and soul.
Meriç also shared with us her observations on Norway. She mentions that the Norwegian
people are "non-Muslim believers" as in Bediüzzaman's words, and they are waiting
for being Muslims. In this respect, Muslim people should enhance their representation
Sadık Yalsızuçanlar puts in his article forward the relationship of the concepts
like existence, observation, reason, and heart with faith. He emphasizes that faith
is a "connection and a relation to a truth" and compares faith with infidelity.
Taha Çağlaroğlu emphasizes that the faith is a whole body, and he mentions about
the concepts as God, irreligion, and atheism. He compares a believer with an unbeliever,
and mentions that faith offers happiness to man in this world and hereafter.
Metin Karabaşoğlu states that the history of Islam is a history of conversions
to Islam. From the early days of Islam, this religion has developed by the help
of the converted Muslims who believed in other religions in the past. The author
emphasizes that Islam, in this way, has become a composite body consisting of people
from about all races, colours, languages and ethnicities. Touching on the conversions
to Islam in Europe, the author makes clear that these conversions are not a "work
of sword". According to Karabaşoğlu, these conversions, against all overwhelming
propaganda, political sovereignty, economic and scientific superiority and cultural
hegemony of the West over Islam, mark the power and ability of Islam to continue
its vitality. As a result, this situation confirms two statements by Bediuzzaman
Said Nursi made in the beginning of the twentieth century: "To overwhelm the civilised
is through persuasion" and "If we were to display through our actions the perfections
of the moral qualities of Islam and the truths of belief, without doubt, the followers
of other religions would enter Islam in whole communities…".
Ali Köse explains about the results of a dissertation on a field research held
between 1990 and 1994 about the British converts. Köse mentions that conversion
might take place in various forms and conditions with different consequences. His
aim in his article seems to "understand the reasons for the conversion to Islam
among British converts, and the psychological and sociological bases leading them
to change their religion". In this context, Ali Köse looks for answers for the following
questions: "What are the dynamics motivating converts?", "What is the form of the
change?", "What are the processes accelerating the search for a new religion?"
Musa Kazım Yılmaz studies in his article the reasons of the perversity of the
man. The author mentions about the divine, natural, psychological, social factors
in the universe that are encouraging to the right path, as well as he mentions the
reasons that lead men to astray and perversity. Yılmaz argues that there is not
any compulsion in religion. He expalins that no one is predestined by birth to be
a member of Heaven or Hell, and the deeds of each man determine their end.
Özcan Hıdır investigates the phenomenon of Guidance (Hidayath) in the early times
of Islam, and the Jewish and Christian converts to Islam in this era. In this article,
the author offers new dimensions for readers while emphasizing the strong need to
the studies, with religious, political, socio-cultural and psychological aspects,
on conversions in the early years of Islam.
Ziya Kazıcı exposes the difference of the Islamic transmission and conversion
activities from other missionary movements in the Ottoman Empire, the reason of
the choice of Islam among non-Muslims, and some of the material and moral opportunities
presented by the Ottoman state for the new Muslims with historical documents.
Furkan Aydıner who explains about the Islam in the USA exposes that Islam rises
in America despite a number of negative conditions. Aydıner mentions that the capitalist
ideology whose basic aim is the satisfaction of the self is based on the dissipation
and promises to individuals a paradise in this world. Through the media communication
tools, this ideology is inspired on Americans to form a consumption society. Thus,
the American motto of 'life is fun' is embroidered not only on t-shirts but also
on the minds and hearts of people. The author identifies that the secularisation
process in the spiritually restless US society slowed down towards the end of the
twentieth century. Instead, new search for morality emerged. The author also tells
about the Islam in US after September 11 and explains about the necessary activities
in order to reach Islam for all of those who are seeking Islam very dynamically.
Ali Murat Yel discusses the impacts of the Internet on the conversion process.
He also draws our attention to the rise in the numbers of religious Web sites on
the Net after the development of media technologies. Yel's article examines two
sites encouraging conversion: Christianity (Sinner's Prayer) and Judaism (Conversion
to Judaism Home Page).
Hikmet Hocaoğlu accentuates that not a single movement in the Islamic history
could be successful if they have chosen as method force and violence for themselves.
Thus, if somebody or some groups want to be in the service of religion as his mission,
then they rather should focus on the "Course of Faith" which prefers to lead its
energy upon the individuals. Hocaoğlu gives Hz. Hassan's abnegation from the caliphate
as an example. This article explains about the harmony of this attitude with the
service method of Risale-i Nur by referring to the texts from Risale-i Nur.
Let us end up here and leave you with the articles in this issue together. We
hope to meet you again in our 92nd issue with our dossier on "Justice".