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Hidayet: Dine Yöneliş Zamanı
Yaz 2005   [ 91. Sayı ]


Guidance (Hidayath): The Era of Religious Tendency

Editorial

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?

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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 competence.

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".

Yukarı