Lead Article

  • Issue 99 / May - June 2014



    Laborers of Thought, Building the Future

    M. Fethullah Gulen

    Those who will shape tomorrow with their ideas will be the guides of generations to come. The way they think and reason will redesign the world, and their messages will brighten the future. They will not act like inheritors who have bequeathed a legacy without any effort or suffering and their behavior will never give in to reckless extravagance. No, they will not squander, for anything they have gained will be the product of strenuous effort and devotion. A few will become as abundant as thousands in their hands and non-existence will transform into a womb for existence in their luminous bosom.

    They will not be free riders who just fiddle and suffice with what is given. No, when need be, each and every one of them will be sure to strike water from the hardest stones as Moses did and split rampant waters to lead the way.

    They will know to wait when they need to wait, and they will know to act when they need to act. At times, they will come down on the earth like lightning. Yet, at other times, they will know to avoid violent storms and wait for the season of clear breezes. They are quick and bold, but their actions do not lack thought. Their minds are enlightened, their decisions exact, and their conduct measured.

    They see no harm in relating to any idea or school of thought. But the direction of their hearts is immutably fixed on their own foundation of faith. For them, even the most lustrous movements of thought are not worthy of concern if they ultimately fail to relate to their faith. That is, they will not struggle to reclaim rivers that will not water their lands or feed their lakes.

    Their power is derived from the truth and it is the truth for which they endeavor. However, they know that power is not without aim or place, and they know to be prudent when they cannot match the power of their adversaries. Shallow in appearance, they are smart and wise.

    They are candid and sincere with friends. Their insight warmly accommodates their foes. In their world, heart and reason go hand in hand; friends are not ignored and foes are not cast away by vitriol.

    Their anger never extends to cruelty. Yet, their leniency does not tolerate injustice. Their blessed atmosphere is free of the wantonness of the cruel and the wailings of the downtrodden.

    They have resolve and determination. Neither worldly concerns, nor the desire for Paradise can entrap them until the day of true festivity. They incessantly exude the unparalleled incense of the transcendence.

    They serve as a spiral cord between their communities and the truths of the realms beyond the heavens. This cord will never break, even though malevolent hands try to tear it apart, time and again. They are neither scared of the flames nor intimidated by the cannons of tyranny, because they have often countered infernos and crushing blows.

    For them, true liberty lies in connection to the Divine Truth. Therefore, every exertion of the carnal self on the path of the Divine engenders an exhilaration of worship and infuses the faithful with interminable joy. This is particularly true when the soul is way beyond the primal human wants and pleasures, nestled in the safe haven of the heart ...

    Those who will shape tomorrow are always in confrontation with the carnal self. They are so composed that they will not be deceived into the positions granted by the good will of other people. They are never spoilt by their own achievements, grand as those achievements may be, or by the respectful ranks others ascribe to them. When the time comes that their names are heard everywhere and their reputation knows no limit, they will remain the same modest and unpretentious individuals they were when they first assumed the sacred duty. This modesty and this unpretentiousness will be embroidered with nobility and dignity.

    They will never become beggars who seek reciprocation in return for the deeds they perform for the sake of their people. For them, beggary is to be abhorred, even if they are in utter need. For begging would mean doing what they despise most - receiving double of what they gave to their people.

    Once again, we beseech the help of an elevated generation whose approach is imminent on the horizon. We pray, knowing that the Merciful God will not disappoint us.

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